Sister Rhea Walters

Sister Rhea Walters

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Kalayaan na Pumili (Agency)

First off I would like to formally apologize to everyone- before the mission I was definitely an email reader who got tired of the really long emails from missionaries and just looked at the pictures. Now I am that missionary who can't help but write everything about the week because I think everyone is obsessed about the mission, the Philippines, and the people we get to teach as I am. So I will try to be more simple from now on and fill you in on the details when I am home (just kidding I'm not going home)

  • My beautiful comp's birthday today! Of course she got breakfast in bed. 

  • Stake Choir was a hit. We even got awesome costumes and called the Bacnotan Tabernacle Choir. 

  • Sister Hazel told us she wants to be baptized as soon as possible despite other influences telling her to think twice
  • Met 10 new investigators on one day because a bunch of kids latched on to us and told us to come back on sunday and teach. Little by little their parents and grandparents and others living in the neighborhood just came to sit down until it was a huge group of people just listening to the incredible message of the restoration. One of them was apparently the neighborhood official and told us we could come back anytime and he would gather the people. 
  • Carol Villanueva came all the way down to the stake center for church because she didn't want to miss a Sunday for her baptisms    

On the other hand..we had a couple hardships this week

In short we've had some investigators that were really strong use their agency in contrary to things that will help them progress towards baptism. I fasted and prayed so SO hard and bore testimony as powerful and heartfelt as I may have ever done, searched for the perfect scriptures, contacted ward members and other missionaries to pray...and I have realized after all we can do the Lord will never take away our agency or anyone's agency. I was pretty discouraged BUT I realized a couple things I'll write about later.
  • The poverty is something that has struck more on my heart this week. One of our investigators is so so poor and it may be 5 pm when we get there and her kids haven't eaten lunch because they don't have the money. We are excited to buy her reading glasses today though so she can read the Book of Mormon (thanks grandma for the birthday money! It's going to a good cause). And her faith is so strong she still committed to find a way to save money every week to come to church.

  • Missionaries can Laugh
    We thought we made friends with the monkey next to our house but it's actually like rabid so thats too bad.


Alam mo ba na ito ang mga chips ng Panginoon? (don't you know these are the Lord's chips?)

Know You're in the Philippines when

The ward rents a jeepney to go home in after conference. Also they put soft drinks into plastic bags with straws.

Spiritual Thought
I had to ponder faith this week because I had that temptation come into my mind to be a little bit upset with God. I remembered the scripture in Moroni 10:23 that says we can do all things through our faith in Christ. I didn't understand why things hadn't worked out with our investigators, why they chose the things they did or didn't understand or read...or how we could bear the strongest testimony of truth and they could say they have nothing to say. It hurt because we asked in faith and fasted and prayed and worked hard. But the last of that verse says "which is expedient to the Lord". All things will happen on HIS timing and according to HIS will, not ours. He still expects us to do our best but then humbly accept his plan and the agency of others, being satisfied that we have shown our faith still. I've been humbled and will continue to work hard for those investigators and try to submit myself even further to God's will to be an effective instrument in his hands.

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