Thank you all for your e-mails. It was fun hearing from Bets and Nicole:) Now it's Bethany's turn for the last week next week:) Can you believe that? I'm pretty sure I won't be e-mailing my last Monday so that means just one more e-mail.It's been SUCH a great weeK! So I first just have to tell you about cute ol' Sister Cortez. Yesterday when we went out to work, our oldest Sister in our ward who just happens to be 79 years old told us that she was going to work with us. Of course we were thrilled, and little did we know she worked with us all day long! It didn't matter that we were walking around in the middle of summer with sweat dripping from our face; she worked the whole day. Then when she was bearing her testimony, she told one member that she had been in the Relief Society for YEARS and then just last year got released from her calling. Well when she didn't have her calling anymore, she said that she had been praying to know what the Lord wanted for her to do to help in the church, and she received her answer that she needed to work with the missionaries. Talk about faith:) And she just was so cute and just made the Relief Society sisters that we visited feel so loved, and it was such a good day. That's just one example of why I love these Filipino people SO much!
But also this week has been such a good week with Melody. Thank you for all of your prayers. I'm so proud of her and so excited. She had an interview with Elder Tenny, our zone leader, on Tuesday and then another interview with Pres. Stucki Saturday. It's hard to explain all that has happened with her because some is more confidential, but lately I've been reading in Alma; he describes a lot of what happened and what I've been feeling. Alma 29:9-10 says it pretty well. It's just been really neat to see the power of repentance in her life and like it says in verse 10, "yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me." It just has reminded me of the effect that repentance and the atonement has had in my life, and the happiness that comes from forgiveness. Then I can't even explain the joy that it brings me to know that now that Melody knows and is living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, she is having the same experiences for herself. She's SO excited for her baptism. She also wants to work with us this week. President asked her if she wanted to serve a mission, and she said she'd love to, but her first mission after she gets baptized is to teach her family. She's just awesome. Oh and I forgot to say that yes she passed both interviews and the baptism will be this Saturday.
Our baptism this last Saturday went really well. President Stucki and Sister Stucki attended our baptism, and that was fun to have them there. Little Macmac did such a good job. At first he wasn't going to bear his testimony (he's 11), but we helped him feel comfortable and he did SUCH a good job. Our ward mission leader turned and asked us how old he was, and when we told him, he was shocked. He said that he is so mature for his age. He even started crying as he was sharing. He talked about how he was taught by the missionaries when he was younger . Then when he moved back to his province, he was SO sad because there were no missionaries in their town and no church. Then when he came back to live with his grandparents, he was so excited. He talked about the love he feels in the church when he comes to church and from the members, and it was just really neat. He's totally going to be a missionary when he gets older. One day I was talking to him and asked him where he wanted to serve his mission, and he told me in a place where the people don't believe in God!:) Isn't that so sweet?!? He's lookin' for a challenge! So it's been just a great week and we have another great one ahead of us.
I love you all so much, and one of you mentioned that I probably wasn't excited to come home, but you were. I'm very excited to see my family!:) But it will also be really hard to leave my family here in the Philippines. I know y'all understand. Have a great week!:)
Mahal ko kayo!Sister Stromberg
P.S. Ah I almost forget a memorable moment that happened this last week..... yeah i've been asked this a few times from y'all, but I finally ate... BALOT!!! And, man, it looks SOOO gross! but the taste actually isn't too bad. It kind of just tastes like a hard boiled egg. So yeah I hope these pictures don't gross you out too much, but it was worse in real life. I have videos you'll have to see in a couple weeks. Oh Filipinos!! Our counselor in our bishopric invited us over for dinner, and he bought them and said I had to eat it before I went home. So yeah I never thought I'd eat it, but once again... that's just how much I love these Filipinos!