This week we officially have a new investigator. It's about time right?! Right.
Sister Miraquel and family. She is so ready to hear this gospel, I can't even tell you. We taught her lesson one overview and gave her a good ole Restoration pamphlet. And the best thing is, she wants us to come back! When we found her tracting, we walked up to their house and it's like they're partying like it's 1995. Her husband and friends are getting pretty drunk.... Anyways, we walk up and say, "Hey we're missionaries for the church of Jesus Christ. Could we share with you a message?" (Mostly, that's all I can say in Tagalog anyway) Everyone is pointing and staring at me but hey, that's just a daily occurrence. In spite of everyone and their loudness, Sister Miraquel pulls two chairs up for us and we teach her. The spirit was so strong there, and It was AMAZING how attentive she was. It was still pretty crazy and I definitely can see why they tell you to teach people in member's homes or the chapel, cause it was getting CRAZY haha... Yeah, won't do that again. SO.... yeah. other than that, This week has been pretty slow moving, but some good things are happening here in San Jose!!
This week is TRANSFERS. I'm freaking out because my nanay has been here for like 4 months and I'm pretty sure she's taking her stuff and hitting the road.... I'm stressing over here. Hopefully we can stay together just a little bit longer cause we really do love each other so much. She's really grown and we've really helped each other become better missionaries.
This week was Halloween. OK-- Halloween in the Philippines is quite different from America's Halloween..... actually it's ALOT different. No costumes, no trick or treating, not even candy...
Everyone goes to the cemetery ALL DAY, and just sits by the graves of their loved ones. It was really interesting because all the streets had a million flowers (and people trying to sell flowers) for the graves. It was gorgeous to see flowers rather than trash and pigs running around. But it was really rough since everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) was at the cemetery so Sister Tafiti and I got punted.... the whole DAY. We looked at each other after our 3rd hour of tracting and said, "Soooo.... now what?" We literally just walked the streets of Galamay-Amo and just enjoyed the flower-scented polluted air of San Jose and talked about gospel things, and our mission. Here's some spiritual stuff I have been thinking:
Here's what I thought about missions: You come out thinking you know it all, once you've been thru the MTC. You come out thinking your testimony is PRIME TIME and that you are already the person you want to be, and that your prepared for any and every hardship that comes your way. (Does anyone else EVER feel like this, or is it just me? Cause if you have, you are NOT ALONE. And if you haven't, then it would have been cool to know how I could have avoided this dilemma.)
Here's the reality about missions: You come out here, experience the PITS. Heavenly Father gives you tough trials. Moldy apartments, bad food, mosquito bites everywhere, sweating all the day long, and people that simply just don't care what you have to say.
BUT-- in spite of all that and more, He gives you, YOU. He gives you all of that so you can see who you are, and who you were meant to be. I firmly believe that we all were bound to be stellar, awesome, amazing, and every other good quality that Christ has, before we came to earth. ALL OF US.
Point: We ALL have the greatest potential to become something GREAT, but so often we don't realize it.
Being a missionary so far, I've learned a lot. But the thing about missionary work is that you're not trying to teach people about something foreign, you're teaching them something they have heard before- something that they have known and believed in before they came here to earth: and that is the plan- THE PLAN of Salvation! You are simply there to bring to their remembrance what they chose by coming to this life, and you are there to remind them of their relationship with Heavenly Father. The word "lost" doesn't always mean unknown. I think that the word "lost" for missionary work means "losing remembrance" or "forgetting". What an AMAZING and really hard thing, missionary work is. Every day I get that chance to remind people of who they are, why they are here, and what they can become.
God knows all of us. The Philippines is pretty big, and there's millions of people, and yet God knows each and every one of them PERSONALLY. Don't ever think for one second that He doesn't remember you, that He has forgotten you, that he doesn't care about you. Because guess what? He hasn't. And He can't. It's simply impossible for Him NOT to love you!
I think more than anything I have realized how much God leads and guides us in our lives, and yet we sometimes don't see it or even acknowledge it. But I want anyone and everyone to know that if you feel forgotten, lost, or even just a little bit like God has been unfair to you, think of this: You have more potential and can become more with God than without Him.
The one thing I've learned since coming on my mission is that as we learn more about God, we learn more about ourselves and our potential. If you want to know who you really are, then take the time to learn about the gospel and you will find yourself. The gospel is without a doubt the best message anyone will ever hear. Share it! With everyone! Your mom, your friend, your boss. EVERYONE NEEDS TO HEAR THIS. Whether or not you wear a badge on the outside, you wear the badge on your heart when you were baptized! You have the responsibility to share this message. Forget yourself, forget your doubts, and fears and most importantly forget about what faith you don't have and SHARE IT.
I can't wait for this next week and what is up ahead, whatever it may be. Come what may and LOVE IT.