I guess I just don't understand how it is already here. I have mixed feelings... siyemps. I am excited to come home, but just like it said when I was set apart, coming home will definitely be a day of sorrow for me. I love these people so much. I love being a missionary. Mom and Dad... I can't wait for you to come so that I can share with you this experience.
This week was so full of meetings, which has pros and cons. The pro is I am so spiritually fed and inspired but we didn't get to work that much so we saw less miracles.
Monday night we did a family home evening with the Reyes family, before Noel went back to work abroad. We simply talked about our relationship to Heavenly Father and how it relates to our earthly father and his role in our family. They all cried. The gospel has COMPLETELY changed their lives. I don't know if I told you this, but before, they would always fight, Noel would always drink, and Sister Lyn would
always gamble. To be honest, Noel wasn't that excited to come home because he knew that they would just fight the whole time. But now they are all so happy, quiet, and peaceful in their home. They all literally always have a smile on their face. Noel and Lyn were dreading when he would leave and he said that he is making plans to be able to stay for good upon his next return. They all really understand better the importance of family and God's plan for
They can't wait to be sealed together in the temple when he comes back in 3 years. Brother Noel also found out about a group of members that secretly meet every Friday there to take the sacrament so he got the phone number and is making plans to go. The cool thing too is they can skype to have family prayer and family scripture study. He is such a cool guy, and I am so excited and grateful that I could help him to receive the gospel.
At our special Zone meeting on Tuesday we talked about the importance of the temple. They asked each of us what the most important decision in life is and every single one of our answers were related to temple marriage. Haha because obviously it is the most important thing and absolutely necessary for our exaltation. After that, they asked if we were to ask the same thing to our investigators and recent converts, would they also have the same response?.....I felt a weight in my chest when I realized that they did not understand the importance of the temple and how important it is for them to go as a family to be sealed. That was the focus. There are just too many less-actives here in the Philippines and even struggling to retain the new fruits.
|Sister Melosantos, Sister Mangum, |
President & Me
President Mangum used a good illustration when he said that if there was a huge storm and a hole in the roof so that your entire house was being flooded... you would not want to START by cleaning up the flood. Instead you would want to get to the root of the problem and fix the roof so that you could start to see any progress. So as for the church here, instead of focusing all of our efforts on cleaning up the mess that has already been created, we need to first fix the root cause and prevent any more damage from occurring. I am so grateful to have a little more time here to strengthen my recent converts, especially the ones here in Sta. Cruz and help them to realize the importance of the temple. I will also keep in close contact with them when I go home, always pointing them towards that sacred place!
|Sister Cortez's beautiful Daughters, Sister Melosantos, |
Me & Sister Cortez
Friday we had MLC where we had beautiful words of wisdom about stress, patience, and sincere prayer. I have realized that unless you are giving great effort to your prayers, you can easily slip into the habit of just saying prayers, instead of really praying. I really feel that our prayers are directly related to the state of our relationship with Heavenly Father, and how close we are to becoming like Him.
I was glad to have this reminder before I go home so that I can really pray over the field here in Sta. Cruz and receive revelation, comfort, and peace for the next step I am about to take. I challenge each of you to really evaluate how your prayers are and to make goals to have a more intimate and sincere communication with our Creator. I even challenge each of you to take the test in chapter 4 in PMG to have a better idea!
Unfortunately, yesterday we had no one come to church, but I did go on splits with two return missionaries and we had success teaching Sister Cortez's mom who is slowly progressing, and my favorite Nanay, Sister Emy Diola. I have confidence that we will have lots at church this Sunday.
|Splits teaching Sister Cortez's Mother|
Anyway, I love all of you sa buong puso ko and I pray for you always. I know that God really does live and love each one of us. He is always there just waiting for us to come unto Him.
|I Love Sister Melosantos!|
|Sister Galbraith (Mission Nurse)|
|Elder...., Me & Sister Cayacay|
|Me & Sister Galabay|
|Me & Sister Harding|
|Me & Sister Melosantos|
|Sister, Me, Sister Melosantos, Sister Dula, & Sister|