Finish Strong Meeting
Our Wonderful Assistants Elder Zeyer and Elder Beagley
Magandang tanghali na naman! It was a fast week because we got to work a lot!
We had a great Family Home Evening at the Brother Jay and Sister Joara’s house this last Monday. The family that referred them came over and we had a lesson about temples where they shared how they are preparing to enter the temple as a family. It was great and they had lots of fun playing games. We are excited to see more of the members getting involved. We even had a big ward fireside kind of thing where we taught the members about bearing testimony and answering questions that others ask them. We had some good “practice teaching” and we really felt the Spirit as the members shared their testimonies of the gospel and the blessings that they have received. We were able to answer a lot of questions that they have heard. We’re excited about missionary work in the ward.
I had an exchange with a Filipino Elder named Elder Lindaya last week. He’s a really great teacher and I learned a lot from him. The lesson that I wanted to share was with a less active member named Brother Castillo. He hasn’t been to church for a long time due to work. As we taught about the Restoration and were feeling the Spirit, Elder Lindaya asked, “what do you feel like God wants you to do?” Then Brother Castillo told us that he knows he needs to come back to church. It was a great moment, but he still wasn’t able to come to church yesterday. I’ve learned a lot about the difference between believing and really exercising faith from situations like this. We believe that we’ll be blessed if we keep the commandments, but until we exercise faith to actually do God’s will, he can’t give us the blessings that he really wants us to have.
Another exchange last week was with Elder Honda. He is also finishing his mission in October and he’s a great missionary. He was assigned in Aborlan when I was in Quezon (both in Narra zone) and I consider him to be one of my close friends here in the mission. We had a really great day of finding new investigators. We even taught the nephew of a less active woman that we OYMed (we’re really focusing on bring less actives back and baptizing their extended family). At the end of the exchange Elder Honda and I had a great evaluation. We both know that we don’t have a lot of time left as full time missionaries, but neither of us are slowing down. We are still doing all that we can to bring people to Christ and we’re both really happy because of that. I’m grateful for friends that help me to be my best.
We had a lot of really good lessons this last week because we had a few exchanges. We taught a man this past week on exchanges when I was with Elder Sorensen. It was an interesting lesson because we just OYMed this guy outside of his house and when we started teaching he really opened up to us. He said that he just really doesn’t like where he is in his life right now, including those around him, where he lives, etc. As we taught about the restoration I felt prompted to share Ether 12:4 with him. Normally I wouldn’t jump straight to the Book of Mormon, but this time I felt that it was what this brother needed. I felt the Spirit as we read the verse together and I hope that he paid attention to it. I know that it’s true that we can hope for better things to come. I testified to this brother that no matter what his circumstances might be, he can “hope for a better world.” That doesn’t mean moving to a different place or even getting a family or friends, but it means that when we repent and come to God, we change and it changes the way that we see the world around us. We receive joy in our hearts and, eventually, “a place at the right hand of God.” When we have faith and do what is right our faith and belief solidifies into hope. Hope that because of the Atonement of Christ we can not only become clean, but become someone better than we are now. Hope that no matter what happens to us in this life we will make it back to our home, our real Heavenly home. When we have that kind of hope that’s when we are “sure and steadfast, always abound in good works, being led to glorify god” no matter what trials we might experience. I’m grateful for the Spirit that teaches me when I teach. I love this gospel and the Lord whose gospel it is. I have been strengthened so much by His power in my life.
That’s it for this week! Love you guys! Keep sharing the gospel and lifting up those around you.
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!