I am extremely sad this year as well that I will not be there to spend Christmas with you all BUT I am so happy to still be here in the Philippines and celebrate it in a way that I couldn’t back home. But you are all in my prayers EVERY DAY.
FIVE: We went on five exchanges this week. Our busiest and most tiring week but I think it was also our most fun and rewarding week as well. My companions were: Sister Sulunga (big polynesian),
Sister Fajardo and Sister Fabon(my granddaughters in the mission and the two filipinas) and
Sister Mayaru(ABOVE). They are all amazing and I loved learning with them and getting to know them more. Besides Sister Mayaru, I already knew the sisters before pretty well so it was just a lot of fun to be their companion for a day.We also met and taught A LOT of people.
FIFTEEN: I have now been in the mission for over 15 months and I literally can’t believe it. I love this place and it is now my home. The things that were so foreign and weird to me when I first got here are now part of my culture and normal to me. I love these people and I don’t want to leave still.
EIGHTEEN: We had 18 investigators go to church yesterday. That is the most in my whole life. We were SOOOO happy and they all stayed all three hours as well. It was so neat seeing all of them feel the Spirit and so excited to come back next Sunday as well. For most of them, it was their first time stepping inside a Mormon church. What makes it even better is that Sister Fernandez and I were the speakers so we were able to tell the whole congregation as well as these investigators what the Spirit needed us to tell them.
We had dinner last night(me and Sister Fernandez) at the mission home with President and Sister Maurer and they thanked us for our hard work and we were able to just have normal conversations with them and grow closer with them as well.
INFINITY: The number of people that the Book of Mormon can help. I would like to write for you the things that the Spirit brought to my lips yesterday as I spoke about Christmas(some translations from Waray Waray to English might be weird but I will try):
I am so excited for Christmas as we all should be. But sometimes as Sister Fernandez and I talk to people we ask “Are you excited for Christmas??” or “What are your plans for Christmas??” and they respond, quite depressingly and to our surprise, with a “no, sisters because we have no money”. So we continue to tell them “well at least there is one person we can give a gift too and we don’t need any money to do so..Jesus Christ. What is your gift to Jesus Christ this year?” Unfortunately only sometimes are they able to answer that question. So as you read the rest of my talk keep in your minds what your gift can be to Jesus Christ this year.
I would like to write about the Book of Mormon because if we are going to celebrate Christ, we should really know Him and the Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Christ. In Preach My Gospel it says
“Those who know little or nothing about the Savior will come to know Him by reading, pondering, and praying about the Book of Mormon.“
That statement is supported as we read the Introduction of the Book of Mormon where it says
“The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after His resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come.”
I have seen this promise in the introduction help not only my own life but so many lives here in Tacloban Mission. I can really see the difference that the Book of Mormon makes in lives. We often compare it to medicine and it is the only medicine we have for our heart breaks and sorrows and trials in life. Those who have a testimony, a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon are the ones who stay faithful in the church and understand the plan of salvation and that this is the only way to receive peace in not only this life but for eternity. This is the only book that I know of that can truly change lives forever.
I would like to share a verse from Doctrine and Covenants 14:7 :
“And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.”
Earlier we read that this book tells men how to gain eternal life and this says that is the greatest gift of God. So when we think about gifts, as it is natural to do around Christmas, let us not forget about the GREATEST GIFT. And earlier I asked you to think about what your present is for Jesus. I want to help you. The best gift you could give to Jesus is the Book of Mormon. You cannot, of course give it to Him, but you can share it with your friends and family. It is free so we need not worry about money and the value is priceless. The value is eternal life.
I hope we can all truly remember the purpose of Christmas and find ways to share the Book of Mormon with others and find the best present for Jesus Christ this year. MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I LOVE YOU!!