The area we have to work in is absolutely crazy. We are in the biggest city in the area and our area is centro - full of stores and not full of people. All the missionaries know about this area because there is never much progress, but Sister Pututau and I have gotten down and dirty in the work. Working in the most commercialized part of your third-world mission does come with benefits...like McDonald's and meeting some really interesting people.
The most interesting person we met this week was Jose/Pepito/Joe. He goes by three names, so choose the one you like the most. We are mostly all Americans here at the blog, so we will use "Joe." Joe is a grandpa and is about 60 years old. He is rich and owns a high-end souvenir shop. He is a genius and talked to us all about how the local dialect has roots in Pacific Island nations. He knows everything about the gospel, Joseph Smith, and our beliefs. He also knows it is true. "Of course, Sisters, I didn't learn that it was true. The Lord told me that it is true." Well, Joe, why are you not baptized? Even though Joe has received a spiritual witness of the truth of our message, he is stuck in his old ways. He is a member of a church established here even before the Catholic church because he believes that it is the most correct. Too bad he does not yet understand that we do not have to settle for the "most correct" because we can have access to the entire and complete truth. He is still suffering in a personal apostasy, like the Great Apostasy, a period of time after the death of Jesus Christ.
How do the Dark Ages (Great Apostasy) relate to Mormonism?
Joe knows the truth. He just doesn't know that he has to make changes to his life to become even more enlightened by the gospel. We will help him on his gospel journey.
Love you all!
P.S. The time is running out to send me fan mail! Just do it!
Sister Leah Copeland
Philippines Laoag Mission
Brgy. 50 Buttong, Airport Avenue
Junction Tangid Road, Laoag City 2900
Ilocos Norte, Philippines