Ahhh I am so grateful that you sent more pictures of Jace. He is so cute!! I can't handle it. I pray for him and for Lindsay's recovery. How is Brynna taking it? What does she think of having a brother? Ahh I miss all of you so much, but I am so grateful I am here. I cannot express the feelings of gratitude that I have. I still have a year left and I already know that this is the single most important and defining decision of my life. And the work was sweet this week with a few miracles.
First, Sister Hingano received the package that you sent her mom! She LOVED it. She was so grateful and felt so special and I guess the skirt is SUPER cute. You are amazing mom. Thank you. Sister Hingano e-mails me. I am making a greater effort to e-mail her because she is going through a hard time. Especially because at Zone Conference this week I received the unfortunate news that Sister Hingano is having a really hard time with her companion this transfer. So keep her in your prayers. But I know that she received the package at just the right time. Thank you!!
Other news from my old area: Estellita's baptism was last week and apparently it was an INCREDIBLE baptism. Since it has been a long anticipated day, there were tons of people there and tons of food. Non-members and members were supporting her as she finally humbled herself enough to repent and step into the waters of baptism. Apparently, she was bawling as she was being baptized and as she was receiving the Holy Ghost. I wish I could have been there to hear her testimony, which I heard was very sincere. I know that she is completely converted and will endure to the end. I feel so grateful to have played a small role in her conversion and change of heart. Sister Hingano says they have a baptismal date set for Hellen at the end of July but we'll see what happens.
I have met Sister Brown. haha she is super nice I like her a lot but I don't see her that much because we are not in neighboring Zones.
In our area, Wayne is completely ready for baptism. He has really been searching through prayer, study, and church attendance. He wanted to make sure for himself that it was true and that this was the right decision. When we met with him on Friday, we were at the church and the sister that was supposed to teach with us wasn't there. We have to have a girl in the lesson if we are teaching a male investigator. So we didn't know what to do until we saw sister Jennyrose. She isn't a member. Her boyfriend is preparing for a mission and she has always liked the church and wanted to be taught but always claimed she was too busy. Well she was just waiting for Raywin, her boyfriend, while he was in institute. So we asked if she would be willing to just sit in the lesson while we taught Wayne. Well we ended up having SUCH a spiritual lesson. He had read so much from the Book of Mormon, and even created a notebook called "Ang Aklat ni Wayne," Which is like the Book of Wayne. Haha so he writes down any spiritual impressions he likes or things he likes and any questions he had. He said that it made his studying so much more fruitful and he knows through prayer and the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon was true. At the end of the lesson, we again extended baptism to solidify the date July 18th. It was dead silent as we invited him to follow Christ's example and be baptized by someone who holds the right authority. The spirit was thick. Sister JennyRose who was just sitting there had the biggest smile on her face and he excitedly accepted and she said she had chills and goosebumps everywhere. Anyway, we gave her a Book of Mormon because she didn't yet have one of her own and she begged us to teach her. Haha she miraculously "found time" for us to teach her. I know that the other sister who wasn't there for the lesson didn't show up for a reason. We were supposed to have JennyRose in the lesson.
|Me, our new Mission president - President Mangum, & Sister Tafiti|
|Our Zone with our new Mission President|
Then on Sunday, we prayed and fasted to be able to work with the members more effectively and see referrals. I am a little bit ashamed to admit that I had not yet asked God to bless the members to give us referrals. I don't know why. But I was just depending on my own efforts. Well God answered our fast and prayer almost immediately. We were flooded with referrals and members who want to meet with us this week. We know that it is God's way to work with the members. It is more effective and efficient. But sometimes we just have to ask for His help. Anyway, it was such a great day.
|Me and Sister Grace (A member that I love)|
Then after church, JennyRose asked if we could teach her right then. She had already read all of the intro and witnesses in the Book of Mormon and apologized because she felt like she hadn't read enough yet. (But I wish you knew how hard it is to get the Philippinos to read but one page. They really don't like reading and the Tagalog translation is very deep and sometimes hard to understand) Anyway, the lesson went amazingly. She is so prepared by God, I can't believe it. She excitedly agreed for baptism and to read and pray to know for herself that these are true.
|Me & Sister Tafiti|
Today we had a zone p-day at Bulaklak Beach or Flower Beach. It was so beautiful, and sometimes I forget that I am actually on an island in the middle of Asia. It is nice to take some time every once and a while to appreciate the beauty here in the Philippines.
|Sister Tafiti, me & Sister Lero|
It hasn't been raining very much!! But I wish it was.
Sorry I don't really have any funny stories from this week, but they are always coming. I love all of you so much and I know that this is the true church on the earth today. Not only do I know that, but I know that God lives. That he is literally our Father and He understands us even more than we understand ourselves. He loves us so much He sent His son, who has provided the way for us to return. It is that very way, the Atonement, which is the basic doctrine for everything else. Literally everything stems from that doctrine, that sacrifice. I have learned more about the atonement these past 6 months than in my entire life and I still don't fully understand it. But I do know that as we make it a priority to study every day, KNEEL and pray morning and night, and follow the commandments (not choose which ones we will follow and half-heatedly or choose not to follow certain ones, like I am sad to admit that I did before my mission). If we want to know Jesus Christ, then we must follow His example and do the will of the Father. I think that is the biggest thing I have learned this past month. Jesus Christ loved the Father so much, that he did nothing that was not in accordance to the Father's will. We aren't perfect, but I know we can be perfectly obedient to some of God's commandments: like paying a full tithe, kneeling and praying twice a day, and reading our scriptures. I encourage all of you to evaluate how you can come closer to the Living Christ... how you can more closely follow the Father's will, make a plan and act. This mortal life is shorter than we know. We can't procrastinate.
I love you all so much. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I can be with you forever.
Do not fear. Only believe.