"How do I please the subfamily? Namiss weeks ago I got everything. But I'm thankful I'm here. I know as soon as possible, please meet us again."
(Lost in translation)
Well, at the beginning of this week we went to mission tour, which is basically like zone conference, but there is a cool guest speaker. Elder Bowen, part of the area presidency and a member of the 70, came and spoke to us. IT WAS MIND BLOWING. Before he came he requested that we study out the Abrahamic Covenant, Baptismal Covenant, and Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. Basically, he went through all of this super deep doctrine and explained about the Abrahamic covenant and where all of us come from. His point that when we understand truly who we are, and where we come from, we are permanently changed and our thoughts are forever changed as well. And that happened to me. I can't really explain everything that I learned but I have such a greater eternal perspective.
He expounded more about what it was like in the pre-mortal existence, how Abraham and everyone was ordained to their callings that they now have on earth. How mortality is just a few minutes in all of eternity, and if we can enter into the Abraham covenant of marriage, and stay faithful to it, we can literally have EVERYTHING that Abraham and God have. That we can't afford to sell our exaltation for pottage, for trash, for pornography, for addictions, for laziness, for money, fame, etc.
He explained that every time it says the word 'chosen' in the scriptures, it could be replaced with the word 'obedient.' In other words, "many are called, but few are [obedient]." Ahhh I feel like I am not doing even the slightest bit of justice to everything I learned, but it gave me a new drive and determination both on my mission and when I get home. I thought back to my attitude before I left, while still at home.... easily distracted by the things of the world... but when we truly understand how short this life truly is and how amazing and beautiful the gifts of eternal life and exaltation are, we gain a new motivation to not just be active in the church (going to church every Sunday), but being active in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (feasting on the words of Christ, on our knees at least twice a day, serving, etc.) Anyway.... I hope that all of you remember who you truly are and remember what is important. I invite and encourage all of you to study out the same topics in your own personal study.
I love my new mission president, although he is very different from President Peterson. President Mangum is one of the most humble and temperate people I have met in my life. He is a great leader by example, and he has received a lot of new revelation and is trying lots of new things in our mission. I know that leadership and things change in the mission for a reason. Even though President Peterson was an INCREDIBLE mission president, President Mangum holds the keys and is supposed to be leading this mission now. He is moving it forward faster than President Peterson could at this time.
|Sister Hingano, Me, & Sister Martinez|
Anyway..... We came home and went to work. We are still building up our teaching pool and trying to help this branch to function correctly but we did have a couple of cool experiences. We taught a new investigator, Jesee, who is about 19 years old. He was soooo interested in our lesson, understood everything, and immediately and eagerly accepted the baptismal date. It was just another witness to me that there are so many people ready and hungry for the gospel. I think it is funny that in this area, all of my progressing investigators are in the 18 to 25 age range. But, maybe those are the people that I was supposed to find here? Who knows.
Ann, a young mother that we taught this week, shed tears as she explained her stress about not being able to give any time for her kids and family. We challenged her to pray that night and ask Heavenly Father for a way to be able to spend more time with them. The very next day, her husband explained that because of her work, in a couple months she will be able to just stay home and work a little bit from there. She had super strong faith and for her it was a big miracle.
Most of the miracles that I witness are just little but powerful, according to the faith of my companion and I, or those that I teach. For me, one other miracle was just watching the Restoration and feeling the spirit so strongly that it was almost tangible. Jenny Rose joined the lesson and bore her strong testimony of Joseph Smith and I could see the investigator's heart changing in that moment. It is hard to explain, but it is the best feeling. I know with all of my heart that this work is true.
A couple of funny things happened this week. During one of our lessons, I could feel something crawling on my pinky toe. Now, maybe you are wondering why my shoes were off, but for respect (no matter how gross or dirty the floor is in the person's home we are teaching) we always remove our shoes. Anyway, to be honest I wasn't that worried about it and actually figured it was a spider which surprisingly didn't scare me that much. But then the investigator leaped up and whacked it off my foot. To my horror, I asked what it was and they said it was a COCKROACH. Ahhh I CAN'T HANDLE COCKROACHES. ughhhhhh I freaked out. I squeeled and then just put my feet up on the couch wiping off my foot as if it was still there. I taught the whole lesson with my feet up on the couch. They were all laughing at me but I was FREAKING OUT. I am sure you could imagine. I don't think I will overcome my fear of mice and cockroaches.
|Sister Lero & Me|
|Me & Elder Parry|
Also, this morning we went to this private beach at 5:00 am in the morning to watch the sunrise. It was beautiful, and I was enjoying dipping my feet in the water when Elder Parry yelled, "Sister! You might want to grab your flip flop!" I looked and it had floated wayy out to sea. I didn't know what to do because I didn't have any other shoes. Of course it is bawal (forbidden) to swim so I tried to think of what I could do to get my shoe. I told the other missionaries that I would ask the old man who owned the beach to swim out and retrieve it for me, and they all laughed like I was sarcastic. Anyway.... I really did go ask him and he happily swum out for me. I don't know if this really sounds as funny as it was but I could just hear all of your voices saying, "of course Haley would make the old man do that." Anyway, I ended up sharing a message with him and he seemed happy to do the service.
Other than that, I love it here in Mindoro. The weather really isn't anything different. It is raining every once and a while. I am so lucky because my trainee is already an expert. She is so talented and I am the one learning from her. She is absolutely amazing. She is super smart. Apparently she loved reading and loved history before. She is amazing at both English and Tagalog and is the sweetest most humble person ever. I am learning so much from her. I am so grateful that she is my companion. She has helped me a lot with my Tagalog as well. We only speak Tagalog outside, and even within these past two weeks I know that my language has improved. She says that 90% I am totally fluent and don't make any mistakes. If I make mistakes it is only for like a couple sentences at a time. That is encouraging. I want to keep improving.
I know that we will see lots of miracles here. I love all of you so much. I know that this is the one and only true gospel. I encourage all of you to not sell your inheritance for a bowl of pottage. Even with the distractions of everyday life, remember that which is most important.
I love all of you.
|Sister Lero & Me|