Sunday, February 23, 2014

Week 20

Hey!! A very interesting fact... I never would have guessed it, but if you put all the islands of the Philippines together, it would be about the same land size as Utah! But they have 10 times the population of Utah. 10 times! Wow.. 

I'm learning so much here...about everything. Don't get me wrong, I'm so grateful for what we have at home. But we have so much stuff. Even tho it's not really, our house is huge. I think I'm just really starting to get used to "small" things here. We sometimes will see big houses and I just think, "WOW, they must have so much money."  By comparison, we have a girl in our ward who just had a baby. She's just 18 and her and her boyfriend live in a TINY little one-room house... and this baby was born premature. It's humbling to see that they have a little light bulb hanging from the ceiling with parts of a box around it to make it a lamp to keep him warm... WOW. It really makes me realize, STUFF doesn't matter. It's who we are inside.

I have to admit, I'm a little bit scared of transferring. I love San Jose, I even love hearing the pigs! We don't have the rice fields and I haven't actually seen that yet but I'm sure I will! We are in the heart of chicken and pig farms everywhere. But I LOVE IT! But maybe my next area will be in the heart of the rice growers.

So something cool that happened this week..... There's a sweet sister in my house who will come to me with missionary questions and advice. I feel like we've known each other for a long time. She doesn't speak English that well. But one night she came to me because she was having a hard time. She asked my advice and what to do because she was feeling sad about some things. I told her to come in our room {just like how you'd do with me, Mom} and we sat on my little wooden bed and I just listened to her. She started to cry and just tell me everything, some in Tagalog and some in English. And I was thinking the whole time, "Heavenly Father, please help me to say what will help her." And the thought came to my mind about Dad's blessing before my mission. {I read it when I get homesick...haha... which is a lot}. But in there it says some council about listening and teaching and loving. I remembered that as I talked to her and give her some advice that hoped would help her. It was so cool to see the blessing being unfolded in front of my eyes. I think what I'm trying to say is that Heavenly Father doesn't forget His blessings. For me, I take a lot of peace and comfort in the promised blessings from Heavenly Father. You know, I haven't had that much success in this area. I haven't experienced helping anyone truly change and be baptized. I've spent my whole first area trying to plant seeds of faith in people's hearts, trying to train another foreign missionary how to teach the lessons, and speak the language. I've tried to be a good example and help the ward learn how to do missionary work. But it's enough for me to just read the promises of the Lord in the Book of Mormon and I will be diligent and obedient. The greatest gift of all truly is eternal life with our family together forever. I wouldn't want anything more than that. I wake up every day and study PMG and the scriptures and feel so amazed at what I'm learning every day. I have a strong testimony of prayer. I always feel the Spirit when we pray in our companionship. I just picture Heavenly Father right there beside me and then it helps me to pray sincerely. Try it!! :)

Also, read Helaman 5. It's a truly amazing story about missionary work. I want to be like these missionaries I miss you every day. I'm not homesick really anymore, only sometimes. And even though I miss you guys, I CAN'T waste any time. I signed up to be here and I told Pres. Monson and the Lord that I would do my best to represent them and so... I need to be here. Mind, heart, and might! I guess I just need to accept that I will always miss you. But I know that in one year from now, I am going to be a changed person! Which is cool to think about.. Plus I'm almost 20! Whoo-hoo!! :) that's cool. I love you! SO much.

Sister Seastrand

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