The New Quezon District
Service Can Take Many Forms
Magandang buhay mula sa isla!
Elder Jim and I actually got asked to sing a special version of “I Stand All Amazed” in our Zone Conference this Thursday. We don’t have a lot of time to practice so it’s a little scary but you can’t really say no to Sister Ostler, she’s way too nice.
I guess I’ll start first with kind of a weekly lowlight. There has been a little bit of a sickness going around and I got it first last Monday, then Elder Jim got it on Friday. We weren’t able to work on either of those days, but I did get a lot of personal study done on Friday. I am doing my best to get everything that I can out of my study hours. Also, there is a great quote from Pres Benson about how the Book of Mormon is really for “our day”. I have learned so much more than I did before and I just wish that I had taken full advantage of the time that I had before the mission to read, especially in the Book of Mormon. That’s my invitation for you guys. Especially anyone who reads this who is still in high school. Prioritize your time and set some aside each day to study the Book of Mormon and the words of the living prophet and apostles today. It will bless you with more than just knowledge. You will gain and strengthen a testimony of the truth of the restored gospel and of the Savior and His Atonement. You will be more receptive to the Spirit and will find greater perspective in everything that you do.
I wanted to share about one of the less active members that lives in our area. Elder Jim and I can only visit him every once in a while because he is always out fishing to make a living, but he was home for a few days this week so we went and taught him a lesson. We taught about faith and that if we have show our faith through obedience Heavenly Father will bless us. He told us that he knows the church is true and that he always wants to come to church but needs to work in order to make a living. While in the lesson he actually told us that we are “just kids, and don’t understand family life.” Obviously that’s not the most uplifting thing to hear, and I was going to tell him about the trials that I have had and that I DO understand, but I paused for a second and tried to listen to to Spirit instead of just telling this man that he was wrong. Instead, I felt that I should just testify to him and leave 3rd Nephi 13:31-33 for him to read. After the lesson, I realized that what he said is partially true. We are just young Elders. We don’t have all of the life experience that the people around us have, especially with them living in the Philippines for their whole lives. But we are called by a prophet of God to bring this gospel to them. It reminds me again of the Lord’s way in His work. He works by “small and simple things.” Even though we don’t know what all of these people are going through or have gone through, we know that this Gospel is the way to “peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come.” I testified to that brother that if we show our faith and obey the commandments, Heavenly Father will bless us, always. Whether we have plenty of time or we are way too busy, the gospel is exactly the same. It will bless the life of anyone who lives it. I noticed when I was reading in the New Testament that as Jesus called each of the Apostles to follow Him, that they did so “straightaway.” They had faith to leave behind their old lives and to follow the Savior. I know that each of will be blessed as we truly make the decision now to live the gospel, no matter what the obstacles are. Because Heavenly Father will always provide a way (1st Nephi 3:7). It’s been a big eye opener to me here to see all of the less active members. The most effective thing that I have seen is the members and ward leaders working together with missionaries to help the less active members return. When it’s just the members or just the missionaries it’s not as powerful, but when we really coordinate together, that’s when the miracles happen.
I am just about out of time but wanted to give you a quick update on the Penaflors. We taught them this week and set a baptismal date of June 6th for the two of them!!! Brother is continuing to live the Word of Wisdom and told us how much better he feels and that he knows he’ll live longer because of it. I am excited for them and very thankful that we were able to find them through the branch.
That’s all for this week. I love you all!
Mahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!