FIRST OFF....HOW IS IT FEBRUARY??? YIKES.
Time is going so fast. Is it going fast for you all?? It sure is for me!!!
This week was a tough one. It was probably one of the most challenging weeks of my mission to be honest. But I have learned a lot.
#1 - I learned that the Lord is looking out for each of us. I wish I could explain in detail everything that has happened but I have really seen His hand in this work this week. He is so great to each of us.
#2 - The Lord wants us to be happy. Bad things don't happen because He wants us to be sad and hate our lives. He wants to see how we react, and He rewards us accordingly. We had a lot of things happen this week that could have really disappointed us, but it was so cool to see that as we kept a good attitude, GOOD THINGS STARTED TO HAPPEN! His plan is just so great.
#3 - Positivity affects everything. This week we were coming from an appointment where the father totally just bagged on us and the church and everything he could think of for a good 20 minutes. He is a recent convert we have been working with but he just feels so lost in his life. He had drank a little bit but the things he said were still pretty hurtful. I'm pretty sure my companion was doing all she could to not totally break down in tears. We also had a member working with us, (it was her first time....) and she is just 17 years old. Yeah talk about awkward. We kept trying to stop him, but since he was under the influence it just wasn't working. So we decided to let him just get it all out. He is having a really hard time with everything going on in his life and we just wanted to help him out. He has no work, his wife had been sick for almost a week, and he just went off and took it out on us. I was glad that he didn't take it out on his kids, and that it was us instead. Well long story short, we walked out of that house feeling just so bad. We didn't know how we could help the family and the stuff he said really hurt. So I told my companion, "We have to be positive! ALL IS WELL." Hahaha she just laughed at me. Then we were walking down the street and she was seriously about to cry I think. Haha but I told her "just smile!" Haha so we did. Then this awesome man approached us and out of the blue just said "Wow, it must be such a happy feeling to be a missionary! Look how happy you two are! Like there are no problems in the world! I want to feel that way too. Can you guys teach me AND MY FAMILY?" YES. YES WE CAN!!!!!! Hahaha it was such a cool experience. Guys, be happy. You never know who's watching!!!!!
#4 - I also learned the power of testifying simply. We really worked a lot on tracting and OYM'ing this week. As a companionship, we had a goal of becoming professional OYM'ers haha so we really talked with everyone we saw no matter where we were. We were able to simply testify to them and it was awesome. We got a return appointment with probably more than half of them!
#5 - I learned the importance of having real desire. We taught this 22 year old lady for the first time this week, and one of the first things she said to us was "I always wondered what it was like to go into your church. When I was in high school (her high school is by the church here) I prayed that I could know what your religion is like. Finally, you guys came to my house and I think that is God telling me now is my time to become part of your church." OKAY. I can't even put into words how awesome that felt to hear from her. Her desire was so real and pure. It was cool because her house is kind of far away and we had to hike a mountain to get there. SO WORTH IT. We have a return appointment with her and her family, and she committed HERSELF to come to church this week! After all that has happened this week, we definitely felt blessed with that experience. I love being a missionary!
#6 - No one's too strong to cry. We are working with a man that was baptized about a year ago. He has been struggling coming to church because he is trying to decide whether or not to go into the army. He has been struggling with a lot of other things. But this week, he surprised us all and came to church AND bore his testimony yesterday. It was so cool. If you all only knew this man, oh my goodness he's come a long way. To see him up there bawl his eyes out because he received an answer that he shouldn't go into the army (although they offered him a really sweet salary for what he would be doing) so that he can be active in the church again. Such a cool experience. And BTW, he totes gave me and Sister Villeza a shout out in his testimony. The Spirit is so cool. We shared with him this week 3rd Nephi 13:31-34 and were unaware of what his situation was. The Spirit definitely helped out with that one. Anyways long story short, the gospel is awesome. It changes lives and makes strong people weep like babies. Good way to spend my last Fast Sunday here in the Pines.
#7 - The importance of loving others and SHOWING IT. I love these great people. I feel blessed to be in a place where the people are easy to love and they love you before they even know you. I have learned so much about sacrifice, dedication, and conversion out here from these great people. This week one of my goals was to tell everyone that we teach that we love them and they are loved by God. It is such a cool feeling to look people in the eyes and just tell them "You and your family are loved by God." It is such a cool feeling to share that special kind of hope.
Well guys I could go on and on but my time is short. I love being a missionary. Time is going fast and it's crazy.
I love you all!! Let's be overflowing with love for others always!!!
Nagmamahal from this Sister who's gonna soak up every last second here in the Philippines,
ZONE TRAINING WHAT WHAT