Our Mission President just sent out a new rule that we missionaries can't email our friends or other Missionaries anymore...):...Sad day. All the missionaries were so upset, but we know we must strive follow this new rule. Sayang na sayang talaga.... But I"m almost going home anyways, so it'll be fine and everyone will be tired of me--haha! No worries. So if I don't respond to your emails, I'm not doing it on purpose and I appreciate it! People can still email me, I just can't respond back. I will pray really hard to be obedient to this rule...hehe(;
We were teaching one of our "use-to-be-progressing" Investigators, Sis Diana, one day and unfortunately she was giving us a hard time about how she didn't read the assignment we had left her...again...We challenged her to read a verse a day and she accepted, but was still falling short and keeps telling us she "literally has NO TIME". Yah, okay. Anyways! She then told us during the lesson she'll just flip to a random verse just to, I guess I can say, "shut us up" so we can stop giving her a hard time about reading. We sat there patiently as she opened her "Ang Aklat ni Mormon" and flipped to a random page. Now, families and friends, I testify that the Lord works in mysterious ways and finds a way, somehow to communicate to his children. The Book of Mormon is a huge tool. Now, observe Sis Diana and what she is doing, while on the other hand my companion and I are praying that the Lord will somehow talk some sense into this woman about reading. Keep that in mind...
When she randomly picks a verse to read, she tells us where it is and we all turn there with her. The verse was 3 Nephi 10: 14-15 (she added verse 15 for extra effort...lol) which says:
14 And now, whoso readeth, let him understand; he that hath the scriptures, let him search them, and see and behold if all these deaths and destructions by fire, and by smoke, and by tempests, and by whirlwinds, and by the opening of the earth to receive them, and all these things are not unto the fulfilling of the prophecies of many of the holy prophets.
15 Behold, I say unto you, Yea, many have testified of these things at the coming of Christ, and were slain because they testified of these things.
My companion and I legit could not with hold our giggles as we looked at her and her to us. She basically just turned to us and told us how she basically did not want to be part of those people who were "too late to listen". We testified to her that it wasn't by random that she chose that verse, but that it was a counsel directly coming from our Heavenly Father to her. We invited her to listen and to follow the counsels of the Prophets. We testified to her that reading the scriptures is more than just a, "I will if I have time..." but should be part of our everyday living. I am so happy that I am able to be here in the mission to even realize that for myself.
I was once like Diana. Always using the common excuse of, "I'm just too busy..." or "I have no time". But we DO have time, lots of it! We just need to know how to use it. When we make time for our spiritual nourishment and make it a natural part of our everyday lives, those few precious moments you took out of your day will be the part that will benefit you the most for your eternity. We're given ETERNITY for just a few minutes for Him. Wow.
Probably the best part of this week was having Elder Bowen come and visit our Mission this past week! We had been preparing for weeks for the coming of this General Authority. Man, he gave us the BEST counsel and guidance ever that has really changed the course of a ton of us Missionaries lives! He reintroduced to us our purpose, he told us more about WHO WE REALLY ARE, and he helped to emphasize the importance of OBEDIENCE and sharing the Gospel to all we encounter. So powerful. I think the best way of explaining how I felt is that it felt like I was SLAPPED with a Spiritual Hand. He was firm, direct, but loving at the same time. He gave us all different tips on how we can better go out and find new people to teach and how we can better stand as representatives of God! I think one of my favorite parts that he shared about was when he told us that when we understand WHO WE REALLY ARE, we have a better, clearer view of what is expected of us. Powerful. Loved it all!
We had a wonderful baptism on Saturday for Nanay Gloria! We all were so happy and so excited to see her enter into that covenant with the Lord. It was amazing to see all the support of the Ward as well and even had one of our Missionary Couples come all the way down to support us. Our whole District had baptisms that day, the Zone Leaders were last week. So amazing how the Lord's work is DEFINITELY HASTENING. I'm so excited for Nanay and her new life as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was able to also sing for her baptism and felt the spirit so strongly.
Bro. Orlando was able to attend as well and he really enjoyed himself. Okay, I don't know how many times I have told ya'll how amazing this man is--but here I go again--HE'S AMAZING!!! His lessons are always super powerful and he is just loving every second of learning more about the gospel. Today I wanted to share you one thing I have truly admired about Bro Orlando and something I have learned from this man. I love this man because he is a man of action. He doesn't just wait for us to tell him to do something, he goes out, does his homework, and acts upon the counsel that is given. So yesterday, he came to church with the full "uniform of the Priesthood"--white polo shirt, slacks (with it rolled up to where his leg was cut off), and even a neck tie! We were so excited and happy to see him "roll" into the chapel fully dressed, "like a Mormon". When we went to class, we couldn't help but take a picture with him. When I showed him the picture, his eyes went big and a huge smile crossed his face as he pointed to his picture and said in English, "WOW! I LOOK LIKE A MORMON!!". We laughed with him and smiled as well as we said, "Yes, you look like a Mormon Brother."
It's amazing to see how happy this man was to be a part of this church and continues to testify to us how he knows with out a shadow of a doubt that this church is true. It's so cute to also see him counting down the days he has left to his baptism, haha. He always reminds us, "Sisters, I have 30 more days til I am baptized..." Yesterday, 29 days to go. So just like a Trunky Missionary who is counting the days to going home, this man is counting down the days to his New Life! I love him. Yesterday, we also went to teach him and shared a scripture about forgiveness which really touched him and he even cried to us, this time not being able to control the tears from rolling down his face. He knows this church is true and feels so blessed to have been able to call us that one night when we were walking home. He knew we had something special we could give him, and yes, it's the TRUTH.
There are people out there just waiting for us. I've realized that here a lot on my mission. Another thing I learned from Elder Bowen is that we have no rights to judge who is ready to receive the gospel or not. Looks can be deceiving. As we do our part, missionary or not, we can help in spreading this gospel light to ALL that are ready and waiting to receive it. It's not easy though. It takes Diligence, Patience, Charity, and Love to go out and find that one who is lost. Just like the Good Shepherd who will ALWAYS make the trip back for the one, because to Him WE ARE WORTH IT.
It feels good to be a Mormon and a Missionary(: #blessed.
I love this gospel. I know it's true with all my heart.
I love you all! Thanks for all the support(;
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!>.<
Til next time...
Love, Sis Alapa