Hello po! Sa inyong lahat! Kumusta kayo?!
Wow I am so incredibly HAPPY today! Walang sickness this week! So you know what that means! We worked EVERY SINGLE DAY! Lol oh man this week was just AWESOME! Seriously! The two weeks that I was sick were difficult for me to handle. Not because I was sick but because I couldn't work! I was burdened every day I couldn't go out with the reality that we wouldn't be able to help our investigators and less active members progress was HARD! That word is bawal dito sa mission, pero it's the only word that describes how I was feeling so pasensiya sa salita iyan. I was also worried since we had taught so few lessons compared to what we usually do, that my language and teaching skills had .... decreased. I was worried about it quite a bit tho. PERO! I am so happy to report that everything was fine! BETTER THAN FINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously this week has been the absolute greatest and I am SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY because of it! So much has happened this week! I wish I could tell you everything! And carefully explain all the things I've learned this week and all the miracles I've seen but because of time I will settle to share only 1.
Okay SO when I first got here our teaching pool was pretty small so in about the second week of this transfer my comp and I went tracting. Well between me getting sick and us not having much work for two weeks we weren't able to revisit and find some of the people we contacted WHICH SUCKED! I felt so guilty! But anyways there was one particular man who we found that day that my companion and I couldn't forget about. As we were walking down an alley (eskinita) and tracting to the few houses that were there, well we were so surprised when an elderly man walked right up to us and asked us our names, asked us where we were from and what our purpose was. Like seriously if I could write out a successful contact, that is exactly how it would go! Lol He took one look at our name tags and asked us if we were going to teach him before we could get 2 words out! Lol that was about a month ago, before this week we kept going back to his house and going back and his wife would tell us, "sa labas siya. bukas na lang ha!" which means, "He's out. Just ha!" Lol and we would try our best. Well we finally contacted him this week in the evening. As we were walking through the market to his house, we saw him sitting on the side of the road as drunk as ever. We said hello and paid respect to his wife and then we walked over to him. He looked up at us and asked us straight out what it was that we wanted from him. We explained enthusiastically that we wanted to teach him! And he agreed right there. Lol it was pretty funny because he kept shaking our hands and asking us "single ka ba?" which means "are you single?" LOL! Honestly we were a little creeped out and unfortunately the next day when we had planned to teach him we didn't have a sister with us and we couldn't SO we went back to his house but no one was home SO my companion and I left him a note telling him that we would come back and teach him in the afternoon. the member that was working with us had to go home before we could teach him so we went back to his house and as we were approaching he was waiting for us outside of his house, we regretfully told him AGAIN that we couldn't teach him but we invited him to church the next day. He agreed wholeheartedly and then proceeded to tell us with conviction and emotion that he wanted to change his life and that he knew that becoming a Mormon was the only way that he could do that.
We stood there talking to him for over 30 mins and he emotionally told us a little about his life and some of the mistakes that he has made in his life. We let him talk right there in the street and we listened to what he had to say. When it was time for us to go we shook his hand and encouraged him to come to church the next day. we went and picked up some of our investigators (it was so awesome! We had the biggest number of investigators attend sacrament meeting in this area!) and less active members we quietly hoped that he would be there. And as we walked into the church 15 mins before it was supposed to start who came walking up beside us?! WILFREDO! (thats his name) My companion and I were freaking out haha we were so happy to see him! As we sat through sacrament meeting we were constantly steeling glances at him to see what he was feeling and taking in everything that was being shared. After sacrament meeting finished he told us that he had to go, that whole time I had felt that we needed to teach him before he left and when I heard that he was about to leave I knew right then that we had to take that opportunity to teach him. I didn't care that it was in the middle of church I couldn't deny the subtle prompting that I was given. So I grabbed a sister from the relief society and my companion and we found a little corner in the chapel and started teaching him. Because all of the classrooms were taken our little corner just happened to be right next to the door to the church hahaha we did with what we had tho. And once all the young women and youth came up to us to tell us whatever we were finally able to begin the lesson. I don't have time to go into detail but what I can tell you is that the spirit was SO STRONG and so powerful in that lesson! He literally poured out his heart to us, complete strangers! And confessed to us why he wanted to become a member! Now here in the Philippines, Talaga there are so many churches! SO MANY! As he was sharing his experiences he told us that he had been to many churches! And none of had ever made him feel the way he felt that day. He also said that because he wants to change he wants to know what he should do and shouldn't because at this time in his life all he wants is to be closer to God! OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! That lessons was by far the most powerful lesson I have ever taught so far on my mission because honestly this man has literally been prepared by the Lord to receive us!
In Preach My Gospel it says that we live worthy of the spirit, people will recognize us as servants of the Lord and they will recognize that we are different. Honestly I wasn't sure how much that particular quote applied to me hahaha because ... well I'm me! There is nothing special, but after that lesson with him it truly testified to me of that one simple truth. We hadn't planned a lesson for him because we weren't sure if he was going to come to church but because the Spirit was there and because we were worthy of it the whole lesson played out PERFECTLY. From the things that he told us I felt that Mosiah 5:5,8 were the right versus to share to him. I wasn't sure in the beginning but chapter 5 was the chapter that stuck out in my mind and wen I went to the chapter during the lessons as I skimmed through the chapter those verses just felt right. Mosiah 5:5,8 says, "And we were willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days, that we may not bring upon ourselves a never ending torment, as has been spoken by the angel, that we may not drink out of the cup of the wrath of God." vs 8 says, "And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefor, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives." Now when we started the lesson all I knew was that we should ask him how his first experience at church was and just listen to what he had to say, as we finished reading those verses and explaining them it just felt right to commit him right then and there for baptism. Now with every new investigator we teach we commit on the first or second lesson, that wasn't a big deal but WOW just the way everything happened and the fact that NONE OF IT WAS PLANNED was a huge experience for me! What made it even more awesome was that he accepted! So willingly and happily I wanted to cry! I am teaching him again so we'll see how this week goes!
Brothers and sisters I want to testify to you in the best and most simple way I know that this Gospel is TRUE. As members of this church we have made certain covenants with God to be obedient and faithful to the END. Those two words take on different meanings especially at different times in our lives but one thing never changes, if we learn how to put God FIRST EVERYTHING else will fall into place. If we some how manage to make him the center of everything that we do, the blessings that we will receive will be amazing and so much more than WE EVER asked for or expected to receive. I know that we experience trials and many tribulations because of our choices and just because of life, but I also know with all of my heart that Heavenly Father is always there to guide and direct us when we allow him and when we learn to lean on Him for everything! Our strength especially. God did not create us or intend for any of us to experience this life alone OR suffer through our trials alone. I know that we can't see the future ahead of us, and we can't know RIGHT NOW what will happen 2 or 3 months down the line, but I KNOW that Heavenly Father does. And we are given trials to strengthen and INCREASE our faith to endure and our faith to overcome. With ANY of the problems and mistakes that you have now I KNOW that if you have faith first and foremost everything WILL ALWAYS FALL INTO PLACE. Better and more effectively than you ever thought possible, and I know it will happen that way because Heavenly Father is the one guiding you, NOT YOU.
I LOVE YOU ALL SO DEARLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND I AM SO HAPPY HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! SERVING AND LEARNING EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!!!!! The only thing that I want out of my mission is to BECOME a good missionary! And every day that I choose to be more faithful and obedient I can feel myself getting closer and closer to that desire one tiny step at a time.
This Gospel is REAL and this church is TRUE.
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
oh p.s. my companion is getting transferred!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been trying not to cry but I will update you all next week with who my new comp is and how amazing I know she'll be.
LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and always remember to #
havefaithinthethingsyouknowtob etrue. Lol sorry I had to hash tag that.