What a WEEK!!! We had zone interviews with President Peterson. He is leaving soon so that's sad. But I am excited for change. It was a really great interview with him. He told me "I trust you with anyone, anywhere. I see your progression. You feel the spirit and you get it, you really understand missionary work." That was really nice to hear as a missionary from my Mission President.
After my interview with Pres. Peterson, I got a blessing from my district leader because I have been feeling the need to have one lately—mostly because I really like listening to what Heavenly Father needs to tell me. And he told me a lot. It was stated three times that Heavenly Father knows and understands me better than anyone else, ever. I was told that Heavenly Father knows I love Him, and that He put me in this mission to strengthen me. And then I was told that if I continue to exhibit faith in Heavenly Father, He would give me tender mercies that are waiting for me. Then I was told that Sister Baguio is here to help me. Basically, this blessing was just full of counsel from my Heavenly Father, and it was nice to hear. I love the Priesthood. We are lucky to have it!
This week we taught a man named Marvin, who really didn't want to listen to our testimonies, I think because he is learning to be a pastor for another church... He said, "Faith in Christ is enough to save me. I don't need anything else." And you know me-being-me said, "Brother Marvin, faith in Jesus Christ is important. But it is not enough to save you. Only through the gospel of Jesus Christ can we be saved." I wasn't afraid. I wasn't ashamed. I said the truth and felt the Spirit in the room. He got a little quiet. It was pretty intense because he kept asking ME questions and not Sister Baguio (which was weird because her Tagalog is better, being Filipino..), but I tried to explain to him simply the plan of salvation, and then he just started quoting the bible. GEEZ LOUISE—He was really going off! But you know me, just being bold and loving. :) I bore him my testimony and so did Sister Baguio. It was a nice experience. I came out really sweating (haha!) but feeling happy and proud of myself for standing up for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We have a baptism this week on Wednesday! YAY! :) Lionella. She is 62 years old and is so obedient. I can see her desire to follow Christ. Her husband is now passed away, and she lives in a tiny little shack house with no light, and no water except for the water well. It’s really sad to see some of the living conditions here sometimes. But she is humble and willing to follow Christ. She always hands out the hymn books in Relief Society! It is so cute. I love her. She always reads the Book of Mormon and underlines parts that she doesn't understand, and I love helping her. The cutest part is that 12-year-old Clarisse always comes to our lessons with both Lily and Lionella, and helps them read. She is truly like the Savior, helping and being kind to them. I am excited for Lionella!!!! :)
This week we have been given an assignment by the mission to find some "address unknown" people who were members but are now in the reefs just lost. I have to say my favorite part about being a missionary is rescuing people. I love to rescue and find. It's a great feeling for me... and I’m hoping that we can find and rescue some of these “address unknown’s” and help them come back. :) Speaking of rescuing, one of my favorite hymns lately is Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy. I love the words to that, and it helps us understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have never understood Christ more than I have here on my mission. The Savior and Heavenly Father love us so much. And we can really find that in this hymn.
Lately I have felt the importance of the plan of salvation. This is the day for us to prepare... and there's not any other time. How important it is for us to spiritually prepare ourselves every day. I'm reading in 2 Nephi 9 about the plan, and I can really feel the urgency as a missionary to make this known to everyone I see. I know that it is true. I know that the plan of salvation is perfect and complete. This earth-life is just one short step in the plan. Sometimes I think we over-think things more than our Father in Heaven wants us to, instead of letting his tapestry unfold for us. He has one he is trying to create, and we need to let him do what He needs to do. Even though I am afraid of what is in my future, I know that God has a Tapestry for me. For Lionella, for Marvin, for all of us. The hard part is deciding to let him use His colors and not ours. When we submit our will to His, we become one with Him. In reality, nothing else in this life really matters other than learning to submit our will to His.
So this week was "holy week" for all Catholics. There was a huge mass of people with big scary looking floats of Christ holding his cross and being crushed by it (a little weird)... But the situation was really funny because we were trying to make it back to the church for a workshop we were giving and we had to walk against this HUGE throng of people in the street. And of course, I’m causing a problem myself because of what felt like 1000 people looking at this American girl trying to walk against the flow... it was stressful! But cool to see their customs.