I hope you all had a good time watching the Super Bowl and ate lots of food for me…I still have to wait another year pero no big deal… 😦
I HAD AN AMAZING WEEK here in the Philippines.
Brother Samuel and his son are preparing themselves for baptism this month. He is so different now and I will send a picture next week so you can put a face to a name. But he comes home early now so we can teach him and he changes his work schedule just so we have time to teach him so he can be ready for baptism. At church he stays the whole time and now he is teaching SamSam (his 8 yr old anak) to read from the Book of Mormon and sing the hymns. And just last night he texted us and said “natapod ako ha iyo nga duha sister na iyo ginbubuhat nga tanan para itutdo it pulong han aton Amay ha Langit. bless kami ni samsam na umabot kamo ha amon makatutdo”. Translator: “I trust you sisters and what you do to teach the words of Heavenly Father. Samsam and I are blessed that you came and started to teach us.” The gospel changes lives and people and we are so excited for their baptism.
This morning we climbed “600 stairs” to an abandoned church with Sister Apple and Brother Jay and other ward missionaries. As we walked it, Sister Osma struggled to make it to the top and we just kept telling her “it doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you don’t stop” which i think might be from an apostle.
My mom and sister also emailed me about a race that they ran this past week and they also struggled to run the whole thing because of lots of uphill sections. In both cases, even though they weren’t first to the top or to cross the finish line, they made it eventually. These two experiences reminded me of an article I read the other week from the Liahona “Finish with Your Torch Still Lit” by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and here is an excerpt:
“Sometimes after stumbling, failing, or even giving up, we get discouraged and believe our light has gone out and our race is lost. But I testify that the Light of Christ cannot be extinguished. It shines in the darkest night and will relight our hearts if only we incline our hearts to Him.
No matter how often or how far we fall, the Light of Christ ever burns brightly. And even in the deepest night, if we but step toward Him, His light will consume the shadows and reignite our souls.
This race of discipleship is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. And it makes little difference how fast we go. In fact, the only way we can lose the race is by finally giving in or giving up.
As long as we continue to rise up and move toward our Savior, we win the race with our torches burning brightly.
For the torch is not about us or about what we do.
It is about the Savior of the world.
And that is a Light that can never be dimmed. It is a Light that swallows the darkness, heals our wounds, and blazes even in the midst of the deepest sorrow and unfathomable darkness.
It is a Light that surpasses understanding.
May each of us finish the path we have begun. And with the help of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, we will finish joyfully and with our torches still lit.”
I know that it is hard to get back up when we fall so many times or to finish climbing 600 steps or make it to the end of a 10K. For my sister’s case, my mom never left her side and stayed with her the entire way. Sister Osma had Sister Apple encouraging her the entire time as well.
Just like them and how they didn’t have to do it alone, we don’t have to finish this life alone. We ALWAYS have someone to endure with us. Jesus Christ has experienced every race we will run and have run and currently are running; He has experienced not only walking 600 steps but 1 million. He understands what we go through and he wants to cheer us on as well. So if you are going through a hard time right now, or some time in the near future please don’t give up. Just pray.
These are our APs:
I love this calling. I love the Phillipines. I love all of you. and I love Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.