Sunday, October 2, 2016

Good morning world,

We did it! We dunked the Manuel family! We got it all together and it ended up being a marriage and a baptism on the same day. It ended up being a great day that we were so excited for. We have been blessed to be able to get them married and baptized. That was a great way to end a good week where it might actually be my last week here in Tondo. We will see what happens this coming Wednesday.

I will start off with how the baptism went down. It was a little crazy so hold on to your hats. So here in Tondo, the missionaries are heavily relied on by the ward, which is no big deal, don't mind it. We do our best, but sometimes we just can't do everything ourselves. So Saturday morning comes a long and we decided to go to the church early to make sure things were set up. We got at the church at about 9, an hour before the baptism was supposed to start. Which was a great idea. We were the first people there, meaning that the person that was supposed to fill the baptismal font actually didn't do it. So we were kind of freaking out because we needed to fill the font and set up everything else. So we quickly cleaned the dirty font and made it happen. The water still ended up being kind of dirty... So that was great. We look past those things, or at least try to haha. We set up all the chairs and finally finished that up at about 9:50. By that time, there was 1 member there to attend the baptism. We were hungry, cause we hadn't eaten anything so we ran outside and grabbed a quick breakfast. We came back at about 10:10 and there were about 12 members there INCLUDING the senior couple.. So that was a joy aha. We had to keep waiting because we were waiting for the member who did all their marriage papers and stuff. If anyone wants to know about the Filipino culture, there is something called Filipino time. In theory, the arrival time is supposed to be about 15 minutes before the start time. The way they do it here is that you are probably going to arrive 30 to 45 minutes later than the actual start time. The way that the church runs things, they set the start time an hour early so that it can be expected to start around an hour later, about the same time as people will show up. So ideally, if an activity was to start at around 10 AM, they would say that it is to start at 9 AM so that they can start at about 10 or 10:30. So that's what happened, we didn't start the wedding until about 11 I think. It went fine. It was my first wedding that I witnessed and it was pretty cool. Immediately we were to follow the wedding by going directly to the font and starting the baptismal service, but the person who was supposed to fill the font finally showed up and pronounced that we can't continue because the water had a nice green color to it. We waited while we tried to figure out what we were to do. On top of that, the person who was supposed to prepare the program didn't do that so we were scrambling to do that. It was a zoo, not gonna lie. We did our best to delegate things for people to do to help us, but in the end it seems like the missionaries did a bad job planning. My companion was stressing kind of bad and I just told him to relax and that we can laugh about it later. So we basically put a quick program together and we did the best we could! It actually ended up being a great program. Lots of members showed up actually. It was a good day, a little stressful but it ended up being a great day. All the hard work for many months has now turned into a married family and 2 new members of the church which will turn into their kids being baptized as well. It was good. I was so excited for it. We took so many pictures from that day, so that was so so good. The spirit was just so strong there. Especially once the baptism started it was just great. I baptized Sister May Ann and Elder Panugao baptized Brother Alvin. It was so so awesome. I promise it sounds like a lot of complaining, it ended up being a great day! We definitely laughed about it that night after hahaha.

Obviously that was the highlight of the week. We had some other great things happen of course. The Sunday a week ago we were given a referral to a part member family. We taught them twice this week. The first lesson they accepted a baptismal date. Their mom is a member who was baptized in the province about 1990 I think. She went less active and now only like 3 of her 8 kids are baptized. We are teaching 4 of the kids. The oldest of the group is Stephenie (15), Jonn Mae (14), Lawrence (13), and Kristina (12). They are all girls and then Lawrence is a guy. They all read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it after the first visit. They have a date for November 12. They will for sure be baptized as well hopefully i will be here for it! Also their mom is showing signs of wanting to come back to church. That will be really awesome to see as well. I am really excited to see what happens in this area in the coming month. Even if I don't stay here to see it. 

I think that is all that is happening in our area this week. We are teaching a couple more people that have a few concerns. Some of them say that they have been baptized before. We just explain about the proper authority and all that and the proper method of baptism. The method was changed during the apostasy and now there are a million different methods of baptism. It should be the same way that Christ was baptized, and that is through immersion. When you tell them that, it makes them think and reflect, one of the investigators we had was like, "Oh, maybe our baptism is wrong in out church." Our response was like, "Well yeah, basically." You have to be bold but loving haha. We will see what happens there. 

I think that is all for this week. Not much else happened. I also bought a super dope Larry Bird jersey for like 400 pesos. I hope you approve that purchase dad hahah. That comes out to be like $8. Can't pass that up. If anyone wants a basketball or soccer jersey just lemme know haha. I have pics of just some of the members and all that to send as well. Love you all!

Elder Lambert

Elder Lambert
Philippines, Manila Mission, Earth

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