If you've got a queasy stomach maybe thing twice about serving a mission because it is literally just. like. a roller. coaster. Just kidding everyone that is able to should strive to serve a mission because the Lord will use you to help others shape their lives to the gospel and around the atonement of Jesus Christ, and he will shape and refine you while you're doing it. They don't call it refiner's fire because the metal doesn't experience any pain, stretching, or bending, in order to become what the master intends for it to be. This week was a very wonderful opportunity for me to feel that. And shouldn't we count our trials as blessings?
- We had exchanges one day this week and Sister Bleak (my old MTC comp and tunay na kusama) and I had a little thanksgiving celebration. I was reminded this week of the importance of gratitude no matter what our circumstances are. Sometimes when times are so hard you feel like you could pray for 2 hours listing all the things you think you need...I love to limit my prayers to mga pinapasalamatan (things your are grateful for). You find there are still too many to count.
-We switched areas with the Elders and got to teach one of their investigators that had been investigators for a couple of years now and never came to church. We felt the power of being "bold and loving" and sure enough they were touched, they prayed about coming to church, and at our follow up lesson the dad said he felt the Lord say "Pumunta ka anak" (Go child) On Sunday they showed up with their two grandchildren as well and the ward worked their fellow shipping magic so we will see where that goes.
After like 10 minutes of discussing it, a brother in the council (he is older now but used to be the bishop) slowly raises his hand and just says "I suggest we have a ward night where we can invite investigators, include those who are new in the ward, and bring back the less actives.." He is a little bit slow but SO funny and everyone sat for a second and then burst out laughing cause that's exactly what my companion said. We just thanked him for the great idea and continued planning :)
You Know You're in the Philippines When...
No one means any harm by how blunt they are with what you look like. On sunday I got people asking what was wrong because "you look pangit today" (you look ugly) hahahaha it actually lifted my spirits a ton because it was so funny. I love it here :)
Bubuhatin tayo ng Diyos (God will lift us)
This is for all my fellow missionaries but for all the members and just everyone in the world actually: Alma 17:2-3 "rejoice exeedingly because they were still his bretheren in the Lord...waxed strong in the scriptures..and this is not all..given themselves to much fasting and prayer..taught with power and authority.." We are asked a lot of us as missionaries but isn't that fitting because of how much Christ has done for us? No matter how tough our missions are I know we will rejoice in the day we all see each other again and we will know how everyone endured, and endured well. In a way they were refined and shaped and molded and strengthened. I have spent a lot of time on my knees this week, with my scriptures, and fasting, even more than 24 hours when necessary. I would like to testify that the Lord does not take away our trials when we do this- but he gives us a better blessing- his power when we teach. There is power to our testimony, conviction. We have his permission and blessing to teach his gospel in his way as if he was the one extended the invitations to his children to come and repent and follow Him. Please never give up. Turn to the Lord and rely on His atonement. Look in the mirror at the person the Lord is making out of you. What are you learning? Thank him for that challenge and as you reply on scriptures, prayer, and fasting, you will see him lift you.