Our District at Christmas
With Sister Joy and others at the Temple
FYI’s – One of the most refreshing things to drink here is buko juice (coconut juice) that they sell out of these little carts and things. It’s actually pretty cool to see them slice open coconuts with machetes to make it! Also, I have had a lady in the ward doing my laundry in the past since we have money in our support for that, but I’m now having Elder Lumanta teach me to do it by hand. It’s actually not too bad it just takes a little bit of time out of P day.
Magandang tanghali sa inyong lahat!
It has been another great week here!
This week we taught Sister Minda and Brother Pablo once again. It had been a while since we were able to teach them before just a couple of weeks ago so we were excited to go back. We knew that Brother Pablo would have some new questions for us because of the Pope’s visit here, but we were prepared because of an email President Ostler sent out before the visit last week. It explains some different ways to use talking about the Pope in OYM’s and also in lessons. I definitely know that President Ostler was inspired in sending out that email because it was a huge help to us especially in this specific lesson. We were able to explain that the Pope is a good man who cares about the poor and puts a great emphasis on families. We then taught about how our families are the most important things to us. Brother Pablo seemed really impressed with our responses and listened for the rest of the lesson about the Plan of Salvation.
We also had another appointment scheduled to teach Sister Joy. We met her at the church, but our member companion was not able to show up. We almost had to reschedule with her, but a member walked up to the church right before we did. It turns out that he’s a returned missionary named Ezra who was just coming early to wait in the Institute building. He was able to accompany us so that we could teach her. During the lesson about the Plan of Salvation he gave a great testimony and he was really able to help sister Joy understand the blessings that come through God’s Plan for us. It was a really great lesson and full of the spirit. After the lesson, we found out that Sister Joy did not have any reviewing to do that day and that she would be able to attend the stake temple trip. We weren’t planning on attending, but were able to reschedule a couple of appointments and go to tour the temple grounds with her. The other elders also brought an investigator and it was a great experience for both of them. The spirit really is so strong there and I know that Sister Joy felt it as we were telling her about Family History work and Eternal Marriage. I am continuously realizing how much of a blessing it is to be able to go to the temple. I know that it will continue to bring you all great blessings as you make it a priority.
Later in the week we taught a new investigator named Luzviminda (her name is actually a mix of the 3 regions of the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.) She is also an investigator from back in 2010 and she had found her old Book of Mormon from then because she knew that we would be coming. It had Elder Comenta’s name and the name of an Elder Hart in it. Our member companion had actually met Elder Hart and told me that he’s from Idaho! It was a great lesson and I know that Sister Luzviminda has been prepared since 2010 by the Lord.
We had a great lesson with Sister Erlinda and a recent convert from the YSA ward named Brother Aries. I am continually seeing the importance of members and full time missionaries working together. Brother Aries was able to share a great testimony and talk with Sister Erlinda about how the Gift of the Holy Ghost guides him in his life. After that lesson, Sister Erlinda gave one of the most sincere prayers that I have ever heard. She thanked Heavenly Father for us and said, “Ama, ingatan nyo po ang mga Elders ko.” (Father, take care of my Elders.) I truly am feeling a great love for these people as I see what a great effect the gospel has in their lives.
On Saturday was a Follow Up Training Meeting for all of the new missionaries and trainers. I wrote a lot down in my study journal but I just wanted to share one thing that President Ostler said.
“If you feel like there is too much stress in your life [and it’s not caused by sin] it’s because you aren’t trusting your Heavenly Father enough.” I realized that this is completely true. If we are obedient and do everything that we can, the only stress that will be left over is that which will push us to be our best.
Yesterday Elder Lumanta and I taught Gospel Principles class. Nobody knew where the teacher was and Elder Taylor and one of the sisters had already given a talk earlier on, so the responsibility fell on us. At first, I felt a wave of apprehension. I started to have all of these thoughts of inadequacy race through my head. Things like, “I don’t even know which lesson we’re on in Gospel Principles.” and “Do I even know enough Tagalog to fill up that time?” But then I remembered, the promise of the Lord in D+C 84 that “it shall be given unto you in the very hour.” I also remembered what President Ostler said at the Follow Up Training Meeting about just trusting Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to fulfill their promises unto us. My fears faded away and Elder Lumanta and I were able to lead a discussion about the Savior with great input from both recent converts and investigators in the class. I know that the promise is true, I didn’t know what I would say but I opened my mouth and the Spirit gave me the words, even in Tagalog.
I know that this is the Lord’s work on the earth today. One more thing President Ostler said is this: “Your mission is not YOUR mission. It’s the Lord’s mission. We just do our part to show our faith and diligence and then the Lord does the Work.” I know that if we all try to do our part, we can become effective tools in the Lord’s hands, and the blessings will come to us and to those whom we serve. I love you guys so much and hope that your week is a great one!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!