Before I forget: Just so everyone is aware; I will fly home March 29th and my homecoming talk is on April 9. Contact my home if you want more information. That’s all 🙂
We had a good Valentines Day. I made mango float for our district meeting and then we had a sisters date to an italian restaurant which was delicious.
This week was so so good. The Palacio family was baptized and their testimonies were incredible. Sister Osma and I sang a musical number and I translated “Families Can be Together Forever” into Waray Waray since it is their favorite song. Sister Jessa went first and she cried through the entire thing saying how she was sad that her husband couldn’t be baptized with them today but she knows that he will soon so they can go to the temple and be sealed forever.
She talked about knowing this is the true church and never leaving it and also knowing that Heavenly Father never leaves us alone. She is amazing. Hershey, her 11 year old daughter, was next. Last week when she was interviewed she told the Zone Leaders she wants to serve a mission and she wants to go to the temple with her family. She is already sharing about the Book of Mormon and restoration at school. She is incredible. Her testimony was like she is a 20 year old who has been a member her whole life. She testified about Joseph Smith restoring this church and Prophet Thomas S. Monson being a true prophet and the Book of Mormon and everything. She is going to be a fantastic missionary in 8 years.
Harold, age 9, followed and he is super shy so he quickly talked about how he is grateful that he was baptized. I love this gospel and I love that the Palacio family has entered the strait and narrow. Now Brother will follow:)
Brother Samuel and SamSam will be baptized on Saturday and when we visited Samuel on Saturday, his testimony was so strong and he is so changed. He (and I) teared up as he talked about how when I first met him he told us that he is far from Heavenly Father and he wants to grow closer and now he feels so happy all the time and feels closer to Him and instead of saying I am happy to join this church he kept on saying family 🙂 He is ready. Then on Sunday he kept on thanking us for finding him and teaching him the truth so he knows how to feel closer to Heavenly Father.
Sister Osma had a hard time the other night and said she didn’t feel like herself and she felt like she wanted to give up. Just a few days ago I read Helaman 6 about Lucifer. And I remembered one time when my seminary teacher talked about how much he hated Satan and he spoke of him like he had met him and it was the first time I heard someone talk about him with that much hatred to the point of tears and I remember thinking that I want to get to that point where I hate him that bad. When I was reading all of Alma and Helaman(which is super cool and I love the war chapters cause it is like the best war book you could ever read) I realized how real Satan is and how easy it is for him to get hold of the hearts of men. I started to cry as well out of hatred for the creature that has not only led the hearts of men in the Book of Mormon to forget the Lord but also so many times I have seen him in my own life and in the lives of investigators. I hate Lucifer. I told Sister Osma that she was right and it wasn’t her having those thoughts; it was Lucifer. Then I was reminded of Joseph Smith and how Satan tried the hardest to stop him in his prayer and if he would have stopped, we might not have the true church here right now. So we must never give up too. I read this article and it is amazing. So I will share it:
Rather, for Joseph and his family, there was a wildly meandering trail of sorrow marked with bad luck, ill health, poor judgment, natural disaster, crushing pain, callous injustice, continuing obscurity, and unrelenting poverty. This is not to suggest that the Smith family lived in one continual round of abject misery; they did not. But the path to Palmyra was anything other than direct, prosperous, and publicly notable. Lame, limp, and bloodied, the Prophet literally had to be carried to his unparalleled rendezvous with destiny by a nameless stranger.
Remember this as perhaps the first lesson of Joseph’s life and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. In spite of failure, mishap, and bitter opposition—and in many cases precisely because of those things—Joseph Smith got exactly where he needed to be to fulfill his mission. So, if now or on some future day, you look around and see that other perhaps less-devoted acquaintances are succeeding in their jobs when you just lost yours; if major illness puts you on your back just at the moment critical tasks of service seem to come calling; if a call to a prominent position goes to someone else; if a missionary companion seems to learn the language faster; if well-meaning efforts still somehow lead to disaster with a fellow ward member, a neighbor, or an investigator; if news from home brings word of financial setback or mortal tragedy you can do nothing about; or if, day after day, you simply feel like a bland and beaten background player in a gospel drama that really seems made for the happiness of others, just know this: many such things were the lot of Joseph Smith himself at the very moment he was being led to the stage of the single most transcendent thing to happen on this earth since the events of Golgotha and the Garden Tomb nearly 2,000 years earlier.
“But,” you may say, “my life and earthly destiny will never be like that of the Prophet Joseph.”
That probably is true. But it is also true that your lives do matter to God, and your eternal potential and that of every soul you will meet is no less grand and significant than that of the Prophet Joseph himself. Thus, just like our beloved Joseph, you must never give up, give in, or give out when life in general, or missionary work in particular, gets utterly painful, confusing, or dull. Rather, as Paul teaches, you must see that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28; emphasis added).
Just as He did with young Joseph Smith, God is shaping and directing you every single day to ends more glorious than you can know!
Please never give up. No matter what the trial is. I love you all and I can’t wait to hear about how you are all doing.
(me with Elder Wilson)