Friday, March 11, 2016

22 NA LANG! (22 Weeks Left)

Week 60

The baptism on Saturday was really good! It was actually a miracle. The girl who was baptized was in San Mateo for the week and she was like "oh yeah I'm coming home Friday night so I'll make it for my baptism." And then she texts Saturday morning and said she didn't have any money to get to Santiago so we would have to reschedule. So we told her to try to borrow some money and then we would pay her when she got her. (it was only like 50 pesos... which is like a dollar) and no one would give her any money!! And then we went to a member with a car and asked if they could go get her but they were busy. And then we were going to ride a bus to get her and then bring her back here hahahaha and then we were going to send money through this system so she could go pick it up. BUT we were so stressed and then we prayed and literally right after we went to the church and were done with a prayer, our phone went off with a text and it was her and she was on the way!! It was a stressful few hours but the baptism went wonderful and so did her confirmation yesterday and in a year she wants to serve a mission!!! :):) The Lord is really hastening His work! It's an exciting time and I'm so grateful to be serving in the Philippines.  

I finally read the talk about becoming a consecrated missionary. It changed my life!! It just talked about the difference between being a good missionary or even a great missionary and then being a consecrated missionary. He talked about 5 things we have to "put on the altar of sacrifice" Disobedience, pride, romantic passions, fear, and negativism & sarcasm. So as I was studying, specific things came into my mind that I need to change or be better at to become a consecrated missionary. Nothing major but there's always something we can improve on. And then I like how he said God doesn't expect perfection, but progression and with progression will bring consecration. I'm so grateful for a loving and forgiving Heavenly Father who is so patient with all of us. 

Week 59

Yeah it was a busy week! I was super nervous for our first splits because I'd only been the area for 2 weeks and was supposed to lead, right? Yes. Ha. So I prayed really hard and kept asking for help and guidance and it was actually such a good day!! And I'm so grateful my first splits was with Sister Porter!! We were in the same zone in Cauayan for 3 cycles. But it was such a fun day and we got so much accomplished and found 6 new investigators! Like such a blessing. And then my other splits was with one of our housemates. It was really good too!! I'm so thankful that Heavenly Father are helping me with this calling cause I know I couldn't do it alone.

So basically I realized I don't know anything that's happening in America, some of the ward members here were talking about a world war 3 or something how China is gonna combine with Russia. And then about the presidential election. That's in November?? I just kinda forget all these things are going on in my home country and I have no idea. I'm just in this little bubble over here. But I'll stay here for now. :) It's nice to just really focus on the gospel and helping people. It's my favorite! But yeah there are so many people prepared here it's crazy! We have a baptism on Saturday and then just set another date for the 26th.

Week 58

So yeah it's been quite the week... but it's been really really good. I'm learning so much. The new trainers meeting was really good. I was the only new sister but there were some new district leaders and zone leaders there and some missionaries I haven't seen in awhile so it was fun to see them again.

The Book of Mormon challenge is going good. I'm on track. Just finished 2 NE 25 this morning. I'm learning lots and there has only been one page so far where Christ isn't mentioned. We are going to have a big zone conference about the Book of Mormon in April I think so that's why all the missionaries are doing it. :) it's kind of cool. We introduced the new standard of excellence for the mission at zone conference last week. Some of them have stayed the same.. the 70 contacts and 35 lessons are the same cause we are trying to focus on quality instead of quantity and then it changed from 6 new investigators a week to 8 and we now have a goal of at least 4 investigators at church each week. So yeah this week was kind of limited on our work schedule with all the meetings we had but we were still able to reach the 35 and 70 and had 11 investigators come to church! I was like what is this craziness!! Miracles are just so real, and when we involve the Lord in our planning and goals anything is possible!! 

Week 57

I'm now a sister training leader! So I think I've told you some stories about sister training leaders (stl's) that I've had in the past. Everyone was telling me that it was going to happen but I didn't want it to.. haha cause I've just seen how stressful it is. I didn't hear anything from President Rahlf on Monday so I thought it was just a normal transfer but he called me Tuesday night to be a sister training leader. So basically we are zone leaders for the sisters. We keep track of their key indicators and progress and things. And then every cycle we do splits with each of the sisters in our assigned area to help them and stuff. LIKE WHAT. I feel so underqualified. It's been kind of a stressful week.

We were also given a challenge by president rahlf (for all the missionaries) to read the BOM in 60 days and then circle any time Jesus Christ is mentioned and then total at the bottom how many times and highlight his teachings and whenever he talks. They gave us brand spanking new BOM's to read and mark. So it's like 5 or 6 chapters a day. I'm doing good so far. HA WE STARTED YESTERDAY. But I'm committed and I'm already surprised by how many times He is mentioned. It's really cool. The BOM is really all about Him. So I'm excited.

Something pretty funny.. A Brother from Cabatuan gave me an "SR" or simple remembrance.. when you leave areas some of the members or missionaries give you SR's. And it was a little box.. and he's like don't open it till you get to your next area. So I opened it as we were planning that night and it was a HUGE GRASSHOPER!! Like what the! It jumped out of the box and we started freaking out.... but we caught it ... and now it's dead hahahaha I guess you had to be there.

Week 56

Well this week was good!! We had a special district meeting on Tuesday. We got to watch this district meeting broadcast that they held in salt lake. It was super good! For all the missionaries around the world. I learned so much. Elder Bednar's discussion was probably my favorite. He talked about the Spirit's role in missionary work. I think we really underestimate the Holy Ghost and His power. But I'm grateful for the things I'm learning. He really is the teacher in every lesson if we let Him, but our role as missionaries is also important. We must be obedient and worthy vessels for the Spirit to teach and testify UNTO the hearts of those we are teaching. And then those we are teaching must open their hearts to feel the Spirit. Us missionaries are just guides and to help these investigators recognize for themselves these things. 

And I will never forget yesterday. I have in a long time and when we got to church yesterday morning so many visitors and investigators were all just sitting waiting for us!! I thought I was going to die of happiness. One was just in his farm clothes cause he came from his work there. It was testimony meeting so of course I had to share my testimony and I knew it was my last Sunday. Gosh dangit it was such a good day! I love them so much and I know it's going to be really hard to leave them... but I know they are on the path and they are going to get baptized. I'm grateful I got to meet them and help them in their journey. 

Week 55

This week has been good. I'm actually going to miss this threesome I think!! I didn't think I'd like it this much! We had interviews with President on Thursday which went good. He said I'll probably transferring. I'm the only one left from my first cycle here in Cauayan everyone else has transferred or gone home! Except for the AP he's been here one cycle longer than me ha. Yesterday we had a "special district conference" they called a new district presidency and guess who's the new second counselor!! Pres. Quitola!! Aww shucks. So proud of him. He's gonna do great.

I ate chicken feet this last week.. it's actually kind of delicious. And I may or may not eat barbecued chicken intestines at least once a week... it's good man. Ha I'm going to miss the food here! We have like a million FHE's this week... everyone is convinced I'm transferring so they all want us to go their houses for FHE hahahaha now they love me that I'm leaving, just kidding! One of the family is going to cook frog adobo.... yikes!! I promised I would try it.

Week 54

We had splits with the Sister training leaders on Wednesday and then we've been doing lots of splits here in Cabatuan as well cause they are three of us so we can get some more work done. It's been good. But kind of tiring!! And yeah our investigators got baptized on Saturday! It was such a good day!! They are so happy and want to prepare for the temple!! I just am so excited for them. Lots of people came! Our district leader, the zone leaders, and one of the senior couples. We were surprised because we weren't expecting them at all. And it only started 45 minutes late. Haha that's progress. Everyone was there and ready except President Quitola and he was presiding and had the keys to the closet where their white clothes were. PHILIPPINO TIME. Hopefully I don't adopt that ;) Sometimes they are just not aware or they don't really care about time. ;)

Hit my one year mark this last week.. we bought a cake and kind of celebrated a little haha. The cake here by the way.. is kinda gross. I miss your cookin!! The children of President Rahlf came and visited them this week and they talked to us in our district meeting last week. It was kind of awkward but it was good! They gave us some advice and just their testimonies.

Week 53

Our investigators are very good. :) We fasted for them the other day and we know they are ready! They had their interview on Saturday and of course they passed haha. Their baptism is Saturday so of course next week I will send you pictures!! I'm so excited for them, I love them so much.

I know there's going to be a lot of changes I make in my life, my attitude, my language, the things that I watch when I get home. But I'm not perfect! And still have lots of weaknesses. But I’m grateful for a loving Father in Heaven and Savior who love us and are so willing to help us despite these things. 

I've been focusing my studies this week on faith and hope. They are so closely related and I've learned a lot. Learned that we need to continue to strengthen our faith every day and always hope for the promised blessings of the Lord. Hope is an abiding trust that God will fulfill his promises to us. I love that!! I think I need to be more trusting and more hopeful sometimes. 

Week 52

I'm learning and growing a lot from being in a threesome companionship. I'm learning how to be more patient and loving and trust in Heavenly Father to give me strength when sometimes I feel like I have none left. Even though it was a surprise I know we needed to be companions. :) Gosh Heavenly Father's plan is just perfect.

Well this week has been good because two of our investigators have finally stopped their coffee!! I almost cried with excitement. So now they can finally be baptized. :) I love them so much!! I’m so grateful for this opportunity... like I just can't even express sometimes how grateful I am. I love them. They are our brothers and sisters!! And they need the joy that comes from the gospel, everyone does. :) 

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