Sunday, September 28, 2014
This upcoming week WILL BE AMAZING. Six baptisms: Michael, Nely, Michelle, Marius, Mikaela Masangkay, and Lanie Matalog (their sister in law). Oh man, I love this bunch with my whole soul! Why don’t you all just fly out for this Saturday and attend the baptism at 6pm, we promised the ward that refreshments will be provided as an incentive to get the ward to come.
So Masangkay update: we taught them tithing, priesthood, the importance of callings in the church, and enduring to the end. Totally took that doctrine right up into their hearts. Then on Friday night they had their interviews, they passed obviously. And the elder who interviewed them was just dying afterwards about how amazing they are! Yeah, seeing this family be completed has the sweetest feeling in my heart, like better than a BYU mint brownie with chocolate milk to top it off. Then on Saturday they came to the Stake Open House. They aren't even members and were considered visitors, and they brought 4 visitors with them. Yeah, I can't even handle their amazingness. They brought Nely's father and I think it really softened his heart to making the changes in his life to be with his family.
On Tuesday, we had a rockin day. Surpassed my record of total lessons in one day. We hit nine! We did some contacting of referrals and got one realllly great one. L, she is so strong already in her faith. And the amazing thing is that her faith is strong from her own experiences. Like, not even because that is what everyone else says here, it is because she loves the savior and felt it herself! So she has some great potential, just trying to work to teach her super nice husband and 4 kids.
So on Saturday the long awaited stake open house happened. The stake leaders planned it, but the zone leaders and sister training leaders were closely involved so I have been privileged to see this start from nothing to everything! They did an impressive job! Could have used some better planning, but this was a new idea for them so it was a job well done. Friday it was more of a public affairs event and the Zls and STLs were invited, and the mayor came! And some other public officials. Cool stuff. Then on Saturday all the missionaries were there to usher the people. I think I talked to almost every person there! (i got a niiiice head ache) But it was a great turn out! So many people that the missionaries weren't even allowed to eat! Hundreds came and it was impressive the amount of visitors. They started with a nice lunch and entertainment, then they divided them up into groups and gave a tour of the chapel. Each room was nicely set up and really helped the visitors understand more of what we do at the church. It sure made me feel proud to be a member of the church! It also seemed to spark a lot interest and the preparation of many referrals for the missionaries!
Also I have an invitation for you today, let's remember reverence when we are at church. It has been a struggle in our ward here and Sister Wilson gave a great talk on it in Sacrament meeting yesterday. We are there to renew our covenants, be nourished by the good word of god, and to fellowship one with another. Just keep the spirit of reverence with you throughout the day and you will see a great change on your Sabbath.
Keep the Masangkay's in your prayers this week that they can have a wonderful experience at their baptism. I love you all!
Hanggang sa muli,
Romans 5 (My Companion's Favorite chapter :)
Monday, September 22, 2014
Well my dear sweet and wonderful loved ones,
How I miss you dearly! Weird to hear that my flight plans have arrived into the inbox of your emails. Hmmmm. But let's focus on the present, shall we?
This week was solid. The M family. What a wonderful topic to begin with. When I was bored in church yesterday, oh wait that never happens! Oh jokelang, it does sometimes. But I made a sticky note of all the reasons to love them, so now I will share with you:
· They got rid of their religious statue immediately after we taught them the Ten Commandments. Took us a while to finally notice, but it is just totally outta there!
· They read the Book of Mormon everyday, it is quite impressive how they make sure to find the time!
· The understood the doctrine of temples, eternal marriage, and family history as if they already knew it. Sister even said, "So I can be baptized for my mother as proxy?" And we were surprised with how right she was!
· Brother attended the Baptism of the other sisters in our ward and totally loved it, afterwards at the lesson with the rest of his family, we asked him to share what he saw and felt there. He said, "I am so excited to get baptized! You really feel the difference of the people's lives!"
· Brother also attended the Elders Quorum activity and made lots of new friends. Then one of the members offered him a side job to work on his farm so he has a little extra income from a member! Sweet sauce!
· The ward is so excited about their baptism! Even a member was telling our mission president when he attended the other baptism the other day, the member was telling President Mangum how excited we all are for this completed family!
· They haven’t missed a single Sunday of church.
· They have had the same baptismal goal the whole time we have been teaching them since the second lesson, October 4, and we have never had to change the date.
Don’t you just love them from miles away?! I know I do!
This week I got to go on exchanges again with my Batchmate, Sister Rasmussen. It was legiiiiit! She is one awesome teacher and killer at Tagalog. But what I really grasped from her is how I can be better about bringing an even stronger spirit into our lessons. She made a goal to have have a better teaching opportunity when she talks to people on the street and she was a great example of that. She really sought to relate a gospel principle to the people she met in a understandable way so that they would be even more interested in our message, it was impressive. Great day with good ol sister Rasmussen!
Then on Thursday I headed up to Santo Tomas to work with Sister Maagad because sister Beaumont is still sick, so we just powered through the day to teach as many of their investigators as we could and it was great! I love working with Filipinas. It makes me feel more native.
Then on Friday I worked with Sister Williams in her area, buuuuut then this crazy typhoon came, Bagyong Mario. Lame, super affected our work, but we had some great discussions, really learned a lot from each other. Sure love that Sister, we will surely be friends after the mission. She shared an interesting tidbit with me about how we are born into our circumstances mostly out of the "election of grace", which can be found in the bible dictionary under election. Super interesting that depending on our faithfulness in the pre-existence, that is usually why we were put into our families and how easy it was for us to receive the gospel in our lives. I am sure grateful for whatever my spirit did before this life, because I have sure been blessed here on earth!
Well family, all is well. Thanks for everything! I love you all! Go study Chapter 6 in Preach My Gospel and we can all become a little more Christlike everyday.
And thus I close mine epistle,
Monday, September 15, 2014
The M family. First off, we found out from one of our fellow sisters, that she was the original missionary who contacted them! She said that she met him because he drove them on his tricycle after a meeting at the church. We are so grateful she did because they are some pretty amazing people! This week they made some great progress. They are all still reading and now we are teaching their sister-in-law who has come to church twice, and she read up to 2 Nephi 15 in a week! I think she will be baptized on Oct. 4 with the family. Yay! Also, we taught a really solid lesson on keeping the sabbath day holy and the sacrament. Man, they just soaked that doctrine right up!! They totally understood it, and then the next day at church I could see how quiet they were for the time of the sacrament and they were praying. What a testimony of how doctrine changes people! Also this past week, we introduced a lot more members to them in our lessons. And who knew that the Elders quorum president ended up staying at their house even 1.5 hours after we left! And THEN the next day he invited them over for dinner! Fellowshipping is the key! They are fully on their way to full activity as members of the church. Also their daughter has started her personal progress... They are just golden.
I think I can consider myself, Dr. Sister Training Leader. These sisters seems to just croak on me when I go on exchanges with them! So I went on Friday with sister Beaumont, fun stuff cause she was my old housemate, but man! After our first lesson, she practically died on the spot! She said, "Yeah right when I sat down in that lesson, I did NOT feel good..." We pull over and she sits on a bench, and everyone who drove or walked by was just staring up a storm. She kept laying down, or sitting up, or putting her head down, and I was just fanning her with my little fan, and then I was like, "Soooo we should probably go home, huh?" And she reallllllly did not want to, she felt so bad, but we headed back. She almost passed out like 20 times, but we made it back safely. We reached the consensus that it was probably from an allergic reaction to corn, but it sure was bad! I can count her I think as the 5th sister I have watched throw up on my mission... Yeah, I don’t really know why I attract the sickies. I feel so bad! But I am glad to help them! Doesn't bother me! I think I can handle about anything after these past 18 months. JOKELANG.
We have been receiving referrals from the office and it is great for finding too. My companion reminded me it keeps bringing us into great situations of "why did the lord bring us here?" We keep meeting people we didn’t mean to and going to places where the people definitely don’t live, so it is all pretty exciting and cool. I enjoy it. :)
Yesterday at church we had a special surprise. A member gave us a referral and we have taught them about three times, and then little did we know, she picked them up before church and brought them! So we had NINE investigators yesterday! That is honestly a high number, we are grateful, truly a miracle from mine and your prayers!
We had a legit Family Home Evening with the M’s and some members, it was quite the large group! We shared a message on missionary work and encouraged them each to invite someone to the stake open house. The M’s have informed us that they have each done so... they are better than most of the members!
The other day I was OYMing this man and listen to what I said, maybe the weirdest moment ever... "Yes we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint, or more known as Morgans...... (give weird stare/look to companion as we both seems panicked and confused) I mean Mormons, more known as Mormons..." IT WAS SO WEIRD. It just slipped! I dunno! Funny stuff though.
Go study "The First Great Commandment" by Elder Holland. Gold right there, my companion is obsessed, so we listen to it a lot. All is well here, thank you for the continuous support, it means so much!
Love to you all,
Monday, September 8, 2014
What a quick week. Tuesday I had a great learning experience. I went on exchanges with Sister m, she has already been released as an STL, but man she is so cool! Our teaching was good and something I learned from her was how to really listen and focus on the spirit in lessons. I could see how she really looked to heaven in order to seek the right thing to say. And even though she was teaching the investigators in our area, she still knew how to help them because she followed the spirit. However, she opened up to me about the problems she is experiencing with her companion. Man, communication with companions seems to be the biggest obstacle with missionaries. And when you have problems in your companionship, it affects the work too! I am sooooo grateful that I have been blessed with wonderful and humble companions who have sought to be one with me and unified. What a blessing. But it seems like Sister m is learning a lot and is seeking to work things out. I don't worry- she will find a way to make things better.
Wednesday, the day I had been dreading. I don't know why I felt so much pressure, but man I was dying inside. The mission tour surprisingly started with the testimonies of the departing missionaries. And since there was so many, they said we all could about 1 minute to speak. I was down for that since I was feeling too emotional. But yeah, I got up there and bore my testimony, I felt like it went ok, but I wasn't loving the tears falling off my face. So embarrassing. And then right after that, it was time compose myself to sing,, "A Window to His Love". Went pretty well too I guess, still don’t know why I was asked to do it, I ain't no singer! The spirit was strong and it was a great experience. Then shortly after some counsel from President and Sister Mangum, Elder Bowen just blasted us! So the first portion was a discussion more on missionary work. He sure woke up the mission that there is a "lack of power" from the whole mission not being totally unified in obedience. He helped us see the power we can have as we live the white handbook, scriptures, and Preach My Gospel. I loved it and sure fired me up! Also he really made me excited to talk to more people. I am trying to open my mouth to everyone I face! The second discussion was to help us "understand who I really am" therefore we discussed the four topics that he asked us to previously study, 1. the Abrahamic Covenant 2. the house of Israel 3. the baptismal covenant 4. the oath and covenant of the priesthood. I had some great learning from those studies! He tied them in really well! He really wanted us to come to understand more about our Father Abraham and the special blessings as we keep our covenants. I LOVED it. I felt I had been lacking in spiritual learning lately, and that sure fed me right up!
After that meeting we had a missionary leadership council with Elder Bowen. He helped us understand our callings more as leaders in the mission. I am grateful for this calling to be able to help these sisters and have a whole different perspective to learn from as a missionary.
The M Family this week, GALING SA LANGIT SILA TALAGA! (They really are from heaven.) Oh man, every time we are around them they just radiate with the spirit! They read every single day and love every ounce of the Gospel. Saturday night sister was out picking up some medicine and so we were sad we couldn’t teach our plan of the Sabbath day, so we came up with the idea to watch the restoration dvd. Their dvd player is black and white and they had lost the remote so we had to watch it in english, and right when it started sister walked in the door! (perfect timing eh) so then we just kept narrating it in Tagalog and knew exactly the part the God the Father and the Son would appear and they just loved it and the spirit was SO strong. Afterwards we asked each of them how they felt, but Brother and Sister immediately said, "it is true, how could that not be true?" They know without a doubt. It is just so amazing to really fulfill our purpose, we really aren't doing much, just being their guides simply. The spirit is teaching them and they are being obedient and following. This is true missionary work and I am so blessed to be apart of it.
Just a few fun facts:
1. The upcoming king of Tonga was baptized. Looks like we are gonna have a country full of Mormons.
2. Christmas music is playing here, hallelujah! It is glorious!
I love you all! I encourage you to come to understand who you really are and study the house of Israel. Amazing stuff, and read, "A personal Relationship with the Savior" by James E. Faust. Simple and true doctrine. Stay strong!
Doctrine and Covenants 88:67
Monday, September 1, 2014
I don’t think I have felt this much stress in a long time! We have a mission tour this week, Elder Bowen from the area presidency is coming to visit us! There with be 2 conferences and each will have about half of the mission. We were also supposed to have a zone conference this month, my last one before I go home! But little did we know, they are combining the zone con into the mission tour so I have to give my final testimony (kinda the last hoorah in the mission) this week! I just found out! I am not emotionally ready to say goodbye when I still have 2.5 months left in the mission! Total lame sauce. Then on top of that, they have asked me and Sister Wilson and some other sisters to give the musical number. I am trying to gather my thoughts so I can still make this a wonderful teaching opportunity of how my testimony has grown to where it is. As I was pondering in my personal study the other day, I was thinking of one of my favorite counsels of President Peterson. He taught about how we need to become more "one" with God. Christ always prayed to be more one with the Father and that is something I seek always. So I decided to look up "one" in the topical guide, and after doing some chasing in the scrips, I found the most wonderful verse that I think helps describe my feelings of my testimony. It is found in Galations 2:20: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I love this verse. Paul describes so well what perspective we need to have in life and the importance of "becoming" like the Savior. I hope I can present this scripture well with the spirit so that my fellow missionaries can understand how the mission has changed me too.
Ok the M family... They all came to church. They are all reading the Book of Mormon, even the 9 year old (in the Book of Mormon Stories book). And Sister bought two new skirts to wear to church and they are just so thrilled every time we come over and we caught brother reading when we showed up on their doorstep. And they committed to live the word of wisdom, and they love the fact that we have a modern day prophet! and everything is just going amazing! I love them and thank you for all your prayers in their behalf.
I am so grateful that I was not transferred! Well of course for the M's, but also because Sister Wilson and I have made some awesome goals! I have never had a companion for three transfers and we decided at this point in the mission and with this chance of being companions for so long, we are going to make our teaching perfect! We want to teach with true power and authority and help everyone get baptized! We are pumped, have caught the fire, and have a bounce in our step! LET'S DO THIS!
This week was a little rougher. Punted quite a bit, but we are managing. Rain was heavy this week, even got some rashy stuff on my leg, then when I washed it, it was fine. Nasty rain. Grrrr. The work is hard here, but I am loving it.
Also our less active that we have been visiting, Brother L, He has come to church 4 times in a row and even showed up in a white shirt yesterday! WOOOOO! He is officially active again! Hollachyagurl.
Ok well sorry there is not a whole lot for me to update you on. But know that all is well here and that I am feeling your prayers. Thank you! I really do love each of you so much. Remember, "Faith is the antidote for fear" and God will never let you down. I know that with all my heart. I love you!
Walang takot, kundi sa Diyos,