Monday, November 2, 2015

E-mail: Nov. 2, 2015 "Ups and Downs, Again"

Gaaah, just when you think that the work is picking up in your area and you'll finally have some more baptisms things go wrong. The policy over here says that any investigator must attend church 4 consecutive weeks before they can be baptized so we can tell if they're really dedicated to the gospel. My companion and I have many new investigators who are progressing through the lessons and reading the Book of Mormon but haven't been to church yet. After pleading, urging, inspiring, and doing almost everything short of bribing and threatening (most of the time), we finally got our hand full of new investigators to commit to church with they're whole hearts. We even left our apartment early on Sunday morning to visit each of them and remind them to attend, to which they all responded that they would "definitely come". Later in the day the time for church came, but none of those investigators did. Among the things we heard when we followed up later were:

"My sister's brother-in-law's child was sick so I couldn't come."

"I sent my daughter to church by herself. What do you mean she never showed up?"

"My husband had some friends over and they all got drunk before church. Sorry."

Excuses excuses excuses. Several others were all gone visiting cemeteries to celebrate all saints day yesterday as well, so that means that none of our investigators can get baptized in November because they won't have been to church enough times. Basically, we need a miracle, and that's exactly what we're praying for.

Anyways, on a different note I realized this week how much I've come to love the people here in the Philippines. To be honest when I first got here I didn't know if I'd ever be able to love the people here as much as I came to love the people of India. The culture, language, and people were so different from what I'd grown accustomed to, but as I've tried hard to serve them my love for them has grown tremendously. I used to always be anxious to go back to India, now I'll be sad to leave. Something I've learned is that when we start to take seriously the commandment to love all people, whether those people be our friends, family members, co-workers, or people who live in a different country half way across the world, the Lord not only helps us but begins to change our very nature into a being more capable of spreading His love to all within their circle of influence. I pray that we will all begin to reach out in love a little bit more to one another.

Until next week everyone-
-Elder Cloward

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