Ladies and gentleman, it's been kind of confusing last few days but the Angadanan branch now has a fifth missionary in the area. Let me explain the situation: Remember the big typhoon that hit Tacloban last November? So there was a missionary from there who got re-assigned here in Cauayan. However, his previous mission re-opened and he decided to return. Since he was a Zone Leader, somebody needed to fill his position and my good pal Elder Allred was just the man for the job. That left his companion, Elder Loto'Aniu, who was then sent here and now I am in a threesome.
Elder Loto'Aniu is Tongan and a really nice guy, so for the time being, I think the whole threesome thing will be alright these last few weeks of the cycle. However, the hard part is, the three of us have to cover our area here in Angadanan, as well as Loto's previous area which by tricee is like 30 minutes away. I think we'll figure things out though.
Quite a while ago, I mentioned the Paggao family. Nanay and Tatay still haven't attended church, but there is still something that happened with this family that I would like to share. When I first got here, the Word of Wisdom was something that was kind of an issue for them. Every one of them was drinking coffee on a basis of about five times a day. When we first taught them the W.O.W, they felt like coffee was something they couldn't give up. Tatay Paggao was also drinking and smoking occasionally. However, over the last month and a half or so, this is something we have really focused on with them.
After each lesson, we gave them a challenge to cut down just a little bit at a time. It was going to be hard for them but they said they were willing to try, because they knew it was a commandment of God and they wanted to be obedient. The next week, they were down to 4 times a day. Then 3. Then 2. We taught them this last Wednesday and asked them how they are doing with the Word of Wisdom. I am pleased to report that Nanay, Tatay, and Jazel haven't drunken coffee all week and Tatay is no longer smoking or drinking.
Alma 37:6 states 'by small and simple things are great things brought to pass'. It wasn't a sudden blink of an eye that these three went from drinking coffee 5 times a day to being obedient to the Word of Wisdom, but by taking small steps, they were able to do it and I know they will be blessed for it. So although Nay and Tay haven't been to church yet, (Jazel actually attended yesterday for the second time) I still consider this story a miracle and hopefully a stepping stone for them to come in the future.
Compare this scripture to us as members. We don't need to have a crazy life changing experience in order for us to have a testimony, but through small and simple things such as going to church, reading scriptures and praying every day, etc; we can have great things brought to pass. The little things are what make up the big picture and strengthen our testimonies and also all of us within our families. In school we always talked about how simply smiling or talking to someone can make their day.
So I guess that's it for this week. I don't always have a ton to say in my weekly emails, so maybe this will bring my happiness to my beloved parents. Yesterday marks 5 months since I have been here in the Philippines and I haven't stopped loving it. I'm just waiting for one of you seniors to get your calls to come kick it with me in Cauayan. I have plenty of faith that this can happen because if anyone hasn't heard the news yet, Sawyer Norman and Kurtley Meachem are currently a companions out in Jamaica. What a dynamic duo! To two of my very best friends...Riley, Emily...hope you guys had a great birthday! Have a good week everyone!