Malipayon Deciembre Everyone!!
Pasko or Christmas is almost here!! I hope you have all had an awesome start to December! I still miss you all so much and random little things remind me of you all every day.
I will start with the talk of the week insights 🙂 The talk was “It Works Wonderfully!” by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. What a wonderful talk! My favorite quote from this talk happens to be hanging on my wall right by my bed and I put it there when I first got to the field.
“We don’t need to be ‘more’ of anything to start to become the person God intended us to become. God will take you as you are at this very moment and begin to work with you”.
He goes on to say that all we need is (1) A willing heart, (2) A desire to believe, and (3) to trust in the Lord.
I know that this is true.
Heavenly Father doesn’t care how weak or imperfect we are right now, we don’t need to be smarter, stronger, more ‘spiritual’, etc. for Heavenly Father to work with us and answer our prayers and help us to become the person He knows we can become. Wherever you are right now, whoever you are, trust in the Lord to make you that person so you can reach your potential.
I wish I could show the people I see and teach every day the potential they have, because as humans we are hard on ourselves and sometimes easily give up and sell ourselves short. Please don’t. I am so guilty of this as well and I want to try every day to look at myself through His eyes so that he can work with me to make me better.
The talk of the week for this week is: “God is at the Helm” by Elder M Russell Ballard.
I led my area for the first time on Thursday with the STL, who doesn’t know my area. Basically meaning I am in charge of planning who we will see and then finding the houses and guiding us through the area. I only got us almost lost a few times but then at night, our Ward Mission Leader was coming to an appointment with us and I was leading us. Keep in mind it is pitch black because there are no street lights, so I was guiding him and Sister Teirei, being super confident that I knew where we were going. I went to turn down what I thought was his street, and walked right into someone’s yard while they were standing right there. So embarrassing because the people just stared at us like “what are you doing in our house”. Besides that though it wasn’t too bad.
Sister Mila will hopefully get married on Thursday!! So then she can get baptized the following week!! 🙂 Sister Cerdenia and I get to be at her wedding as witnesses and we are going to make a program for it and everything 🙂 I am so excited. We were going over her baptismal interview questions yesterday to make sure she understands everything and as we asked her the questions that I have heard so many times, it was so different to hear her answer them. To hear her say “Siyempre or oo gad” meaning “of course” or “definitely yes”, to questions like “Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the World?” and “Do you believe the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith?” brought tears to my eyes and made my heart so full. The truths that I grew up with, Sister Mila had just discovered for herself not that long ago. Then as I bore my testimony to her that I know how happy Heavenly Father is for her and how I know she is so ready to enter into the gate that will lead her back to Him, I truly knew that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were smiling at her and waiting with open arms for her. I can’t wait for her and her family. As we left her house yesterday she hugged us and begged us not to be transferred out of the area.
We got two new investigator families this week. Both with SEVEN kids! One of the families, the Rosales family, has a little boy who we saw the first day proselyting and I can still remember the first time I saw him my very first day in the field. Now when he sees me, he runs up and holds my hand and brings me to his home. His mom and sister who is 12 both listen so closely to our lessons and they have already started reading the Book of Mormon together at night! The 12 year old girl when she sees us also runs up to me and holds onto my arm like we are best friends and I just love their family so much. I can’t wait to teach them and see their progression every time we come back.
Before the mission, I expected to work with a lot of investigators and people who had not been exposed to the gospel and teaching them; I didn’t expect to be working with less active members so much. I also didn’t expect to be just as happy, sometimes ever happier, to see a less active member show up to church as I am an investigator who shows up to church. We teach a lot of less actives because the inactivity rate in the Philippines is so high. I absolutely love teaching them and seeing their renewed desire to come to church with their families and make church and living the gospel such a big part of their lives again. On Sunday 4 of our less actives who haven’t been to church since the beginning of the year came to church, and I was SO HAPPY for them. Sister Guyos, who is so busy with work came to church with her active children and I could see how happy her kids were that their mom was there with them after so long of them going on their own. I am so blessed to be able to share in that joy with families and member because of this calling.
We went to another GORGEOUS beach today for a district activity and played volleyball:) pictures attached of that. This place is unreal and I cannot believe this is my home for the next 15 months.
I love the Philippines, mostly the people. They are so dear to me and my heart will break when I have to leave this area.
Next week I will attach pictures and tell you all about Mila’s wedding 🙂
Upod tanan sa akon paghigugma,
(or Sister Teriyaki as the guy who works at the restaurant we have eaten at like 3 times calls me when we see him in our area cause I order teriyaki pork every time)