Here are excerpts from Sam's last email. He also attached photos which I will hopefully post soon!
October 9, 2010
This last week was a big fiesta in Estancia, and right next to our house there is a big Philippine independent church, and right outside of it there was a group of teens playing concerts a couple nights in a row, which was fun to stop and listen to for a minute. They play all the popular U.S. songs because that’s what plays on all the radios! I wanted to go up there and join them but I thought it might not be very missionary like, plus it was on the grounds of another church ha-ha.
As for money, I should be ok for a while. I’ve bought a couple things here with it: a pull up bar, some cards, and yes, I actually bought a guitar a couple weeks ago! I could probably count that as an early Christmas present. I am getting some music for hymns and things and been trying to learn some of the efy songs I have on my ipod.
The weather sounds great there. I’m jealous. I have definitely NOT become accustomed to the heat, and I don’t think I ever will probably ha-ha. I’m getting more used to the feeling of constantly sweating, and of being very sticky in the afternoon, and we carry around handkerchiefs to try and keep the sweat out of our eyes! It’s just always hot. We got quite a bit of rain the past few weeks, which is a great relief w/ the cloud cover and such. But one night we had to walk a long ways from a member’s house to the center of town and got completely drenched! Even w/ our umbrellas. Sometimes it just pours! Cant decide if I’d rather be drenched in rain, or sweat, but its usually one of the two ha-ha
Conference was absolutely amazing! So many amazing talks. We went to Roxas city to watch them all, so we even got to enjoy them in an air-con church building! It was super luxury! I loved Pres. Monson's talk on gratitude, the guy that talked about the scorpion and the sting of sin and poison of pride or something like that. His talk was very powerful to me. And of course Uchtdorf's were amazing! His pride one was great, and the one about just slowing down in life and focusing on the important things. I’m so excited to go over all my notes on them these next few weeks, and to get the Liahona with the talks!
Well, this week was kind of slow. But I do have a great story about our investigator Remo: for the past week or so he's been planning a trip to Manila to pick up his mother who has been staying there and bring her here. He was planning to leave yesterday, but has no job and no money, so he'd been really worried the last few days about what he was going to do. But when we visited him on Friday he told us this: I fixed a stereo system (ish thing) a while back, but haven’t been able to find ANYONE to buy it! But, I prayed elders, and God answered my prayer. I asked to find someone to buy it, and someone showed up, just like that! And now I have exactly enough money to travel to manila, and hopefully stop by Guimarras to visit my wife and my son for his 3-year-old birthday.
It is so incredible to see him exercising so much faith. And then recognizing where his blessings are coming from. He has many many trials in his life, but he turns to Heavenly Father, and sees the blessings from it. He won’t be back for a couple weeks, but we're so excited for him to return so we can continue teaching him and getting closer to his baptism.
Other than that, it has been hard switching from focusing on Balasan to Estancia. We went back to having almost no investigators to teach, so we're visiting a couple less-active members and searching for new investigators. But the work goes on! Our teachings should escalate again as we find new people to teach.
Thank you so much for the emails! I love you so much and pray for the family every day.
Thank you for the thoughts and prayers!