Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 26

We cross Omboy Wawa almost every day--I love this bridge!
So basically this week, I just really loved watching a life-changing program: The General Women's Meeting. Everything that was in that meeting helped me remember who we are as women and daughters of God. I especially loved talk given by Elder Henry B. Eyring and what he said about Heavenly Father's love. It's probably one of the most real things I have ever felt in my life. To me, the thing that's the greatest about being a woman is that Heavenly Father has placed within us that great ability we have which is Love. We have the ability to love and love like the Savior. As a Sister Missionary, I can see how important Love is every day. Your companion, your area, your calling, your investigators and less actives, and most importantly yourself. Missionaries really can be so hard on themselves. Come to think of it, Mothers can really be so hard on themselves, and women in general can be so hard on themselves. Why don't we count the blessings that we have like our talents, our potentials, our little success every day, and just our divine heritage that has been given to us? Change the way you look at it and you'll change your entire life. This is true.

I love these sweet children!
Sometimes, tho, I really forget to love some of the Lord's investigators that He's given me to teach. It really cuts to the core when: They don't read. Then they don't come to church. Then they forget where they are supposed to read. Then they forget who Joseph Smith is and mix him up with "Papa Jesus". And my personal favorite: sometimes they forget why we're even teaching them. After we ask them how their preparation is coming along for baptism, how they're feeling, etc. (usually it's about the 6th teaching appointment in). "Actually we're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. Mormons, remember?" OH YEAH. Those people that are trying to help me change my life. Guess I can say that's happened a few times.

However, we have an "Investigator of the week": Leonella M.
OK, even though she mixed up Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ, I still have to just laugh and love her anyway.
"So Leonella, who is Joseph Smith again?"
"Jesus Christ."
Close.... yet so FAR...
But really, nothing is more frustrating to me than this answer. She then redeemed herself when watching the 'Joseph Smith Experience.' The look on her face of understanding just filled me up. This 60 year old woman is just really wanting to read the Book of Mormon and is probably one of the most obedient investigator's I've had so far. Every commitment, KEPT. Even obeying the law of the land AND law of the fast. She always keeps her Book of Mormon and pamphlets in a little bag she brings to every lesson. I just love watching her change and watching her learning and growth right before my eyes.

My comp!
Sometimes on your mission there are those days when you really just forget everything you know about Tagalog and no one understands this little American girl trying to speak their language. Which really seemed to happen especially in Gospel Principles class trying to teach about Faith. And in spite of all my frustrations and challenges, I recognize that Heavenly Father still blesses me. If someone were to ask me my greatest fear it would have to be missing out on all the blessings from the Lord. It's SCARY to think that I could miss out on those things. I have a lot of faith in the blessings and promises of the Lord. He has so many for each of us.

My heart is happy in the following this week: Willie (my favorite recent convert), even paying his tithing and fast offering--and he doesn't even have his membership record number yet. What a GUY! To top it off, here's his answer to a question from my (probably really bad) Gospel Principles lesson:
"Brother Willie, what is faith to you?"
He slowly stands up, answers ALL in English:
"Faith comes from your heart, might, mind, soul, strength, and head. It comes from everything."
Basically I just closed the entire lesson. Thank you for recent converts who really brighten up Gospel Principles classes with simple testimonies!

Faith does come from every part of us. Have some faith this week. I know I will try. Love you all!
Sister Seastrand

P.S. We're cooking for conference. Filipino style. I'll let you know how that goes.

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