Dear world,This week was very difficult. According to Pres. Ostler, Rizal is probably the most difficult and by far the most remote area in the mission. But boy is it fun. We are hiking every single day! It is so gorgeous here and I love the fresh air I get to smell all the time.
This week I had one of the most powerful moments in my mission. We have 2 families and 2 individuals in our small branch here preparing to go to the temple in Manila. Which means that we are teaching them temple prep. One of the individuals we are teaching is Bro. Alvorado. I have NEVER EVER seen so much faith in one person. He has 1 arm, his knee is messed up way more than mine is ha-ha. He walks about 2 miles to church. Before, he "crutched" to church. He fasted and prayed that Heavenly Father would help him be able to walk enough to get to church. Now he is able to walk to church. We went to visit him on Saturday and he said to us, "Elders, I can't come up with my 200 pesos limit to go to the temple, it is very hard to find any work here in Rizal, especially since I can't do much with one arm." He KNOWS how important it is to go to the temple to become endowed. His wife, who is less active was yelling from the other room in his house/hut thing, "Find a different church! These Mormons are forcing you to go to the temple! Find a new church! If you use that 200 pesos to go to the temple, our kids won't eat!" I couldn't believe what I was hearing. We all basically started crying. He bore a POWERFUL testimony about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. He went and got the Teachings of Joseph Smith book and showed us where he had been studying. He knows this gospel is true. He has been fasting to find the money to be able to go. We told him how much we wanted to give him money, and we assured him that his endowment would be that much more meaningful if he came up with his counter part. I felt impressed to share the story about Alma the senior, and how his people were being persecuted for their beliefs. I told him how the Lord will always visit us in our afflictions, and that this experience is only building his faith. It was such a powerful moment in my mission. These people are LITERALLY sacrificing food on their table, just so they can go to the temple to be sealed and endowed for time and all eternity. I have kind of felt a little bit of regret as well, about how I have not gone to the temple as much as a I should. We have how many temples within an hour of us in Utah? I had the opportunity to DRIVE MY CAR to the temple 10 minutes away. It is such a blessing for me to be living in such humble circumstances here in Rizal. The people here are humble, and I am living humble. I had the "opportunity" to go out and pump water with our pump so I could take my bucket shower. It was awesome.
I love it here in Rizal. I have come to the realization that my stay here will be the most difficult and the most rewarding in my mission. This week Elder Baquiran was getting some stuff off the shelf and a BIG mouse, not quite a rat, but a mouse ran down and I chased it down and killed it. We have some pretty heavy duty rat traps that are too heavy duty for the mice! But the new cover on the door is keeping more from coming in ha-ha. I am kind of used to them now. As long as they don't crawl on my when I am sleeping ;)
There are also lots of Muslims here. We don't go really to their areas very often. For the people asking, every Tuesday we take a 2 hour shuttle ride to a city called Quezon. A shuttle is basically a big van. that has air con! woo! The road is awful and its hard to sleep. We take that to Quezon for district meeting. No cars for us. Every one here does have a cell phone. But most of the time they don't have "load." which means they cant call or text on it. But they have them! Also, I do actually eat! I eat oatmeal that I bathe in brown sugar every morning, that's pretty good actually. Lunch we do rice with some kind of canned meat. For dinner I like to do fried rice with some eggs and stuff. Nothing special. The Rizal "market" day is every Tuesday, so we don't go to that because its not P day.. So that's cool. Sorry no pics this week.
I sure miss Elder Leofo hahaha. We had fun and worked SO hard haha. Its alright though. Hope this email is good!
Mahal ko po kayo lahat!Elder Lambert