I hope you are all enjoying this extra day in your year(lives) and are making the most of it. I feel so lucky to get an extra day here in the Philippines, serving the Lord.
To celebrate our extra day and my birthday on Wednesday (March 2), we went to these AMAZINGLY astig(cool) caves this morning (approved by President) and I will send more pictures of them next week. We had to wake up at 4:30 which was the opposite of fun; BUT SOO WORTH IT. We hiked about 1 hour to the cave through beautiful rice fields where we had to avoid the mud; without success so by the time we got to the cave you couldn’t see my tennis shoes because there was just mud cakes on them. This cave, though, is GIANT and there were waterfalls and pools inside and it took 6 hours to do but I loved every second. We were crawling through some parts, slipping and sliding in the mud in some parts and ducking so that bats wouldn’t fly into us in others. I wish I could take all the Provo peeps that went spelunking and adventuring with me last summer because this is the cave of all caves.
This past week has been good; nothing out of the ordinary. All the missionaries watched a missionary broadcast a few weeks ago and one of the speakers really emphasized “Find when you teach and teach when you find” meaning when you are teaching people still ask them for referrals or find people in the house that could listen and be interested and then when you are finding new investigators, try to teach them the first time. Since we have really taken that to heart, we have found so many new investigators and the other day when we went to one of their houses, they were gone but their neighbors were there so we talked with them and then they let us teach them. I am not joking; we taught this beautiful family on the beach. Their house basically on the beach and it was a breathtaking view. Still unbelievable that I am here.
Towards the middle of the week, Sister Davis and I were feeling a little discouraged because some of our appointments were falling through and a lot of the people who we wanted to visit, we weren’t able to(which I know it missionary work). But we were just feeling kind of down because it happened a few days in a row and we had a goal for baptisms in March that could only be done if they attended church on Sunday because of the 4 Sundays rule here. I was stressed about it and frustrated and then during personal study the other day I read Alma 17:11 and it was exactly what I needed to push forward. It reads:
“And the Lord said unto them: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls”.
Yesterday, we showed up at one of the less actives houses because she didn’t go to church again and neither did her kids(who usually go) and the stake first counselor was there with his family visiting her. We were going to just come back but he invited us in and told us that Sister Sonia had just asked them why her life is the way it is right now and why she has so many trials in her life. President Labtic asked me to share something with her that could answer her question. I want to share with all of you what we shared with her because I know that is one of the “FAQ’s” in life; “why is this happening to me, or why do I have to go through this, or why do I have so many trials right now”. I have asked myself this question many times and I am only almost 22. We reminded her of the story of Adam and Eve and asked what would have happened if they didn’t eat the fruit and fall. She answered with, we wouldn’t be here and they wouldn’t have known good from bad. We went on to explain that they could not have known that their little trial could have such great consequences. Similarly, we don’t know what will happen because of or why Heavenly Father gives us the trials he does; we only know that it is for our benefit. We assured her, and I want to assure you all that Heavenly Father loves us so he doesn’t set us up for failure. He only gives us trials that he knows we can handle so you can do it! Any trial or problem that you have right now; you can get through it and overcome it.
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! 🙂