This week, as I will hit my one year mark soon, I was really reflecting on the changes I've seen in myself since I've been out. I've learned a lot since being out on my mission and I've grown in ways I never thought I would. I am so grateful for the opportunities I've been given, the struggles I've been given, and the hard things I've gone through on my mission, because those are the times I've grown the most. So I wanted to share a few things I've learned so far...in hopes that it could help you all out too in some little way.
One thing I have learned on my mission, is that whatever happens, we need to be happy. We are not here to endure this life in sadness...but Heavenly Father's plan is centered on our happiness! He wants us to be happy! He loves us so much that He has given us commandments here on earth, so we have a guide to know what we need to do to return back to Him. He knows that happiness only comes if we are obedient to His commandments.
So that leads me to something else that I have really learned on my mission....the importance of obedience. I know that Heavenly Father knows us and loves us. And there is no commandment that He has given just for Him. "All things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things." (2 Nephi 2:24) He knows all and He knows that we need guidance here on earth. His commandments are that guidance and love from Him to us. Goodness, sometimes I just can't get over His love for each one of us!
This week we had a few experiences that really made me appreciate this work in the small ways. This whole week I have really been trying to find those we need to teach. My companion was sick a few days and while she was resting, I made lists and lists of names and descriptions of each person in each area that has a record in our area book. Let me tell you...IT TOOK HOURS. And days. But as a missionary you just feel such a strong responsibility for these people in my area. At least I did. I felt the love of God and just how important each one of those people are to Him. So, finally when we had the huge lists, we started working with the members to get some help. Yesterday was the most successful day....because we went on splits. It ended up being one of the best splits I've ever done!! We went to an area and were able to find about 10 different families that we could teach!!!! (Sister Lesa even found 10 too!!) But, a few of them we were able to teach right there on the spot. One of the families we found were so receptive!!!! Missionaries hadn't visited them in years, but before they came to church and had a baptismal goal date and were so progressing!!! It was such an amazing experience really and it was good to get to know the area and meet so many people. We ended up being able to teach over 30 lessons to new families that we met through out the week. YAY for finding new families!!!!
Highlights of the week:
--service, service, and more service! the best service we did this week was to wash the clothing of a family of 6. we washed their clothes in the river by their house.....hahaha good times. we also cleaned an entire school...as in all the rocks and branches and trees that got destroyed from the storm....we were there for about 5 hours. haha. and we got to build a garden! but that day i unfortunately didn't have my camera...sorry po.
--we went to our far area on Saturday. we went on a tricycle and it was about 30 minutes away in the middle of no where. (see jungle pictures I sent) Well we went there and found this less active family that had been baptized a year ago and then didn't come to church after that. We taught them and they were super nice. They just live so far from the church...or anything...so it's hard for them. Well, after our lesson we were walking out and seriously I said to sister Lesa "good thing it's not raining, we only brought one umbrella!" Hahaha and then like 5 minutes after....it started POURING. As in super strong.....and you want to hear the best part??? there were no tricycles to go back home!!!! Hahahaah so we walked...and walked....and walked in the pouring rain for about 40 minutes so we could get to our coordination meeting. We went soaking wet but it's okay....we were able to coordinate hahaha. But, it ended up being a good experience for us because we just laughed it off. So moral of the story...BE HAPPY EVEN IN THE POURING RAIN. ps....once we made it to the highway, a super nice family stopped and picked us up, even though they were going the complete other direction! and they were the only family out on the road because the storm was so bad. Haha yay for nice people!
Well, it's been another week full of crazy things that I could never sufficiently say in one email. Just know that I love each one of you and I know you are all loved by our Heavenly Father. He is there for us no matter what and is waiting to hear from each one of us through prayer. I know prayer is real and He is really listening. AND, HE WANTS US TO BE HAPPY! No matter what.
Here's a scripture that I came across that I loved....
"And we know 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
I love being a missionary in the service of my God. I know that when we put God first, miracles happen.
I am grateful to be called according to HIS purpose, even though I would have never expected myself here a few years ago. I know that this is where I need to be, and I am grateful that my Heavenly Father knew that even when I didn't yet.
Sorry this email is like all over the place....hahaha just know I love you all!!!
Mahal ko kayo,
picture...3 members worked with us! the other sister was taking the picture...:) good times.
carabao.....a filipino's best friend.
on Sunday with one of my favorite less active families that finally came to church!
this was at kawa kawa earlier! this is our district and then a few other sisters from the other :)
tracting in a jungle take #1