HELLO SA LAHAT!!! It's been a REALLY great week. Words can't describe my happiness right now. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!
This week I really gained a love and appreciation for prayer. Such a simple thing, but so so so important for us all. Do we recognize through prayer we can actually talk with our Heavenly Father? It's so great!!!!!! This week I recognized how important prayer is for me, and really noticed it in those that I teach too.
Soo let's get this party started....we will just start on Tuesday because Monday is usually just a night of work....
Tuesday - Secret Prayer.
Okay there are two meanings to this title, one serious and one kind of a joke hahaha but we will just get started. Today we tracted. Sister Leonardo's first time. Okay I must admit, as we were leaving our apartment I really was going to tell her not to expect anything because most of the time we tract, we don't get let in or they just say to come back. But then I felt something tell me "you need to have faith for her to have faith" so as we left I just said to her "let's have faith!" And as we got in the padyak on our way to our area, I offered a little secret prayer that we would be able to find those that the Lord has prepared. I asked for extra faith in order to find those that were ready. Well, we got the our area and walked down the street and came to the first house and yelled "tao po!" and the people in the house didn't respond. Well the house right by them had heard and thought we tao po'd at their house, and just invited us right in! We shared right there with them and their family and it was so amazing!!!! They were so prepared. The power of prayer is real. We taught there family and walked a little bit farther and taught another family!!! They also let us right in. It was so great. The joke part of this title was that at one of the lessons, we asked the sister to offer the opening prayer. She said she didn't want to say it out loud and would only pray in her head. We told her is it more powerful if she prays out loud but she insisted on praying in her head and all the sudden just put her head down and prayed, and prayed, and prayed. For like a solid 10 minutes she didn't move a single bone in her body. Hahaha it was quite the experience to say the least but at least we know that she has a strong testimony of prayer. :)
Wednesday - Did You Think to Pray?
Another day in the life, we taught lots of lessons and one in particular that was really special. We taught the Arabia family about family prayer, (did you think to pray was the opening song for the lesson btw) and yes. It was really awesome. More about this tomorrow though.... :)
Thursday - A Child's Prayer.
We taught little Michael Jackson aka John Christian and his sister Janessa again today, I just love them so much. I especially love the prayers that John Christian offers, they are just so sincere and so simple but SO SO precious and REAL. Seriously I learn so much on my mission, from people of all ages. They are excited for their baptisms on May 31st. This night we stopped by the Arabia family on our way home and we had family prayer with them. We invited their father even though he has never joined our lessons because he always hides upstairs. Before this day I had only seen him once or twice. WELL, WE INVITED HIM AND HE CAME DOWN AND JOINED OUR FAMILY PRAYER. It was so so super amazing. The power of prayer = real.
Friday - We just need a little more....prayer.
Today all our lessons were about....(drumroll).....prayer. Hahaha I don't know how it worked out that way but it was what we planned and what everyone needed. It was a good day.
Saturday - An answer to MANY prayers.
TODAY WAS SUCH A GOOD DAY. Three things were awesome about today. One: WE HAD ANOTHER BAPTISM!!!! It was the child of one of the families that have been reactivated. Since he is 8, he doesn't count really technically as our baptism but he will always be special to me since we have been able to teach him a lot and help him prepare for his baptism. Two: this week one of our investigator's children passed away. One of her other children is a member, so we were able to have a service kind of thing at their house. The amount of members that showed up was SO AMAZING. Answer to my prayers for sure. I just prayed and prayed that it would be a good experience for them because I knew they needed to feel comfort and love. It was really such a nice service and they were very grateful. Three: After the service, we all walked to the Arabia home and had a family home evening there. We had around 20+ members there!!!!!!! IT WAS SO INCREDIBLE TO SEE THE MEMBERS AND THEIR FELLOWSHIP. As people were walking in, Sister Arabia was just crying because she was so happy. Words can't describe my happiness that night. That's not even the best part....BROTHER ARABIA JOINED THE FAMILY HOME EVENING. THE WHOLE ENTIRE THING, HE WAS THERE. It was so so so glorious. I can't tell you all how happy I was the whole time. That was an answer to our prayers, the families prayers, everyone. It was so meaningful because us missionaries and the whole Arabia family have been trying to get him to join us but he never wanted to. AND HE FINALLY DID!!!! It was so great. I have no other words.
Sunday - MORE answers to prayers.
TODAY WAS THE BAPTISM OF JOEL!!! This is an answer to prayers. He had such a crazy week of work that we didn't think this baptism would even happen. He said he could get called into work at any time. Well, things worked out and it ended up being that his baptism was at 7 am on Sunday!!! It was great, he has such a strong testimony already and I feel so blessed to have been able to witness his conversion. (ps this was our 4th baptism in a row....yay!!! so humbling to be a part of this work.)
Well everyone, the power of prayer is real. Sometimes it is easy to just get in the habit of praying and being done, but like it says in the Bible Dictionary, "prayer is work." It requires some work on our part. Heavenly Father has blessings just waiting for us, but something that I've realized that it is solely dependent on our ASKING. He wants us to receive those blessings. Are we depriving ourselves because we don't have enough faith to ask for the things we need? He knows what we need, He just wants us to ASK. I know prayer is real and is a sacred way to speak WITH our Heavenly Father, not at Him. He knows what we need, even when we can only see what we want. He can see the big picture and will always direct us for our GOOD. [read Alma 37:36-37 NOW]
--we were able to teach 30 lessons this week, which is really good for still being in training!!! yayayayyy we are so blessed.
--Marvin (our recent convert) spoke in sacrament yesterday!!!!! wooohoooo for awesomely progressing new members!!!
--the daily struggle of the Philippines:while we are teaching I have to be careful not to rest my arms on my scriptures or else they will get stuck to the sweat permamently on my arms from the humidity and tear....(I speak from experience so trust me)
--we got kicked out of a padyak because the man driving us said "I can't go any more" aka fat joke to us
--shout out to my family for sending me a life time supply of instant mashed potatoes, you guys rock my Filipino world!
--this week John Christian sang to me the song "I Won't Give Up" to me but changed the words to.. "I won't give up on us Sister Reategui because you are my crush" hahaha k.
Needless to say, life is really good here in the Philippines. We work and work and work...and sweat and sweat and sweat every day. I love you all, thanks for being the best ever. You all strengthen me every day.
Mahal ko kayo,