How is everybody?!? I would like to start off by saying that I miss you all so very much and I hope everyone is happy and loving life:)
This week Sister Paulino was sick for 3 days so we didn’t get to work for three days and it was torture; but we got to bond more and I got to play mom and nurse and so that was a blast.
Nanay Mila got baptized on Saturday even though we had a black out and there was not electricity in the church. It was kind of a train wreck of a baptismal service because our branch mission leader is not always on top of things, so even though they announced in church that the baptism would be at 2 pm, he told the speakers and everyone the night before, that it started at 3. So it started an hour late, there was no electricity, we had two impromptu speakers and there was no program. BUT she got baptized and her testimony after her baptism and the smile on her face saved the day and baptism. I think that will continue to be my favorite part of the mission; seeing the smiles right after their baptisms. She strengthened my testimony with hers and as I imagined the people in heaven cheering because one more of their/our sisters entered into the gates of Heavenly Father’s kingdom, I was so happy. Despite of the craziness of the morning, I felt so much happiness and peace. She talked about how she was first attracted to the church because of the focus on families and how the church really places an importance on families. She then talked about how she felt so accepted as herself, not as someone who is fake but the members were so welcoming and it was the first time she had been to a church and felt that way and seen a church focus so much on families. That has always been one thing that I have always been grateful for and has strengthened my testimony in the church. It made me closer to my family and without it, I couldn’t be with them forever. Nanay Mila is amazing 🙂
We watched the women’s session yesterday because we watch everything a week later here in the Philippines, so I don’t get to watch conference until next weekend 😦 But the women’s session was INCREDIBLE and the most unique session I have seen with all the videos about service. Elder Henry B. Eyring started off talking about the hymn, “Because I Have Been Given Much”. This has always been one of my favorite hymns because when I was about 12, it was the first hymn that made me cry because I felt the Spirit so strongly. The Young Men and Young Women went to an orphanage type thing for disabled children and we got to spend the day just talking to them and playing games with them and seeing how they live and what they do all day. It was such a simple act of service but it left an impression on my heart that I still remember 10 years later. To close the activity, we sang Because I Have Been Given Much and I thought about everything that I have and all the things that my Heavenly Father has given me, and how I have so much to be grateful for and to give back. Looking at all these children, without parents, a real home, or the ability to function properly while singing this song made me want to serve and give as much as I could.
That hymn explains a big part of why I decided to serve a mission. I know that I will never be able to repay or thank my Heavenly Father enough for all the blessings he has given me, but I wanted to show my gratitude in a different way and give others the blessings that I have received from the gospel in my life. I want to include the lyrics in this email and they are as follows:
Because I have been given much, I too must give;
Because of thy great bounty, Lord, each day I live
I shall divide my gifts from thee with every brother that I see
Who has the need of help from me.
Because I have been sheltered, fed by thy good care,
I cannot see another’s lack and I not share
My glowing fire, my loaf of bread, my roof’s safe shelter overhead,
That he too may be comforted.
Because I have been blessed by thy great love, dear Lord,
I’ll share thy love again, according to thy word.
I shall give love to those in need; I’ll show that love by word and deed:
Thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed.
I have truly been blessed with everything that I could ever need and then some. My family, my mom, my health, my education, the gospel, my friends, etc. etc. etc.
I hope that we can all remember to share our gratitude by giving 🙂