This week was good but kind of boring because Sister Davis got a really high fever on Friday and it just went away last night, so we basically stayed in the house for three days straight and it was excruciatingly boring and painful to not be able to work or go to all three hours of church(which was weird). I was the speaker in church and the teacher in gospel principles but I had to get someone to teach for me last minute; I did get to give my talk though 🙂
We have a lot of problems in our Branch with getting offended and also a lot of less active members within active families. I decided to simply give my talk on love referencing Matthew 22:37-40 where Jesus Christ tells that the first two great commandments are to love God and your neighbor. I also shared this quote from Elder Ronald A. Rasband’s talk “I Stand All Amazed”:
“Now, if I could leave one small message with you today, it would be this: the Lord has said, “Love one another; as I have loved you.” I’m conﬁdent that there is no choice, sin, or mistake that you or anyone else can make that will change His love for you or for them. That does not mean He excuses or condones sinful conduct–I’m sure He does not–but it does mean we are to reach out to our fellowman in love to invite, persuade, serve, and rescue. Jesus Christ looked past people’s ethnicity, rank, and circumstances in order to teach them this profound truth.”
I want to invite you all as I invited them to follow this simple commandment, and show our love in two ways: 1. Forgive others, no matter what they have done or how much they hurt you, just forgive because the Savior forgives us perfectly. 2. Be an example to those in your lives, or families that may not be on the right track. Savior taught so well by example as well.
The mission president’s wife, Sister Maurer worked with Sister Davis and I for one appointment on Friday morning. I was nervous at first but then realized she can’t understand anything we are saying so the nerves went away and the lesson went amazing! The Quimuel family, the mom and daughter used to be investigators but after the big typhoon hit here, they stopped being visited, so when we went through the former investigators we decided to try them again. THe dad and younger brother started listening for the first time and they are an amzing family with so many good questions. I translated Sister Maurer’s testimony for them about how the gospel, as a mother, has strengthened her family and her kids even with bad peer pressure. It was a blessing to have her there.
I ended up playing chess with Jason, the less active who thought I was asking him out, and it was an amazing way to build trust with him and he came to church on Sunday in a white shirt and slacks! The few times he has come, it has been in t-shirts and jeans.
We have started to play legit beach volleyball every Monday with the ward missionaries and it is so much fun:) Also some days when we feel like it, we run on the beach for our morning work out. I am telling you; this is surreal.
We ate nasty chicken heads the other night and the taste of a chicken brain is not one you want to familiarize yourselfs with, just trust me. I had to put the whole head in my mouth and slowly take bones out and try to get the little meat that was there off with my tongue. Sister Davis could only eat one. Yucks.
The last investigator I want to talk about is Sister Rona. We were trying to find other former investigators and she has the same last name as them, but didn’t know who they were so I asked if we could share a message with her. I could tell in our very first lesson how much she enjoyed and needed the message that we brought her about the Plan of Salvation. She said that she has gone to a lot of different churches but none of them really feel right like she needs to go to church. We went back this week and shared the message of Joseph Smith and the Restoration. She had tears in her eyes the whole time and she asked the perfect questions. We talked about why there were so many churches and we were able to relate her story to Joseph Smith’s. For the first time, I was able, with the Spirit to guide, recite the first vision in Tagalog without stuttering or a cheat sheet. The Spirit was so strong and I am excited to see her progress. I am starting to get better at using the gift of discernment and see in people’s eyes their status, and I haven’t seen the sincerity, curiosity, and interest as much as I have seen it in her eyes.
I absolutely love this work and I am so blessed to be a missionary in the Philippines.
Love with my whole heart,