Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 31

What a great call!! :) How grateful I was to talk to you, and the blessing of seeing you. The process by which it came about was a little stressful... and loud. The rain came POURING and the jeepneys were going by. Standing in a little cell phone shop trying to call you... No one was answering, and feeling a little abandoned. But how wonderful and funny it was to hear dad. That was special :) What an experience, too, trying to figure it all out.. hahaha... But nonetheless it all worked out--thanks to our Heavenly Father. He is watching over me all the time. I know it. Every time I pray I feel Him there. Just sitting right there on my bed. Listening to my worries and my fears. I'm SO grateful to have been able to see my wonderful grandparents as well. What a great blessing that was, too. I love them!!! I am so grateful!!!!

Beautiful Rice Fields
Mom, thank you for the compliments and love. I felt your love this email very strong. I hope you had a great Mother's Day. Just know I thought of you all day long :) Just like every day. What I couldn't do without my mother. Thank you for your virtue, faith in Jesus Christ, example, unconditional love, support, cooking for me, living the gospel, teaching me how to sew a button, teaching me how to repent, how to obey, how to be like Christ, how to love my companions, how to love everyone. All the good things that come from me come because you are my mother, sent from our Celestial Father. I love you mom. More than you know. You're a strong woman. And I am strong because of you. :)

We found a new investigator named Lito and his daughter named Liezel. They're super sweet and I hope things go well with them. I can see how the Lord has prepared them to hear the gospel. Liezel cares a lot for her family. At only 17 years old she understands her responsibility to help and care for them. She has a lot of little siblings and it was just great to see her example. I hope they accept the gospel.

This week had a few challenges:
Challenge number one: Not just a challenge emotionally and spiritually, but a frustration because of the fact that NONE of our investigators came to church. Not one. So that was rough... and a little sad standing at the entrance of the Chapel with no one to greet except our fellow missionaries. I felt a little sad and a little overwhelmed. WHERE ARE YOU?! But I think we'll find out the concerns in the lessons we will be teaching them this week.

Challenge number two: Mostly at this point in my mission, I'm feeling this great sense of stress/ self-inventory. I'm taking this self-inventory of my mission and wondering, "Am I giving enough?" And the answer I came to: "Probably not." Heavenly Father teaches us different things in each area, and for this area I think what Heavenly Father is trying to teach me 'sacrifice.' I need to sacrifice my thoughts, my desires, my will, everything. Which is a big part of me, but here's my big goal/vision: To just sacrifice everything, everyday. I mostly want to try this because I know that He knows me better, and has a better plan for me.

I also came to the conclusion this week that my biggest fear of my mission is that my weaknesses will stop me from finding people. I've felt recently the sense of urgency Heavenly Father must have to share His plan of happiness. Every teaching appointment I just tell our investigators that this is the most important thing they could ever hear, so listen up. :) Just like I would do in normal life. Being the boss.
Our investigators are doing pretty good, although both baptismal goal dates are being postponed, which means I probably won't be here for these baptisms. In spite of these setbacks to the hastening of the work in Santa Cruz, I think Heavenly Father really wants me here for them. These two genuinely good people. Remember when I had that strong impression in my first area that there were other people God was preparing for me to talk to? I think I found a couple of them, here. I'm grateful for them. And for the things I'm learning because of them.

So here's a few highlight of my week: Sunday was pretty great, mostly cause I have the sweetest companion EVER. She made little notes for all the relief society before church saying "Happy Mother's Day" to give to all the sisters. I JUST LOVED IT. I just want to be like her. So thoughtful!

Even though I've been struggling with myself lately, I have faith and trust in Christ. I'm reading this book called "Jesus The Christ", which is really great. And basically what I'm learning is that Christ is the one. He did it all. He lives so we can live. My fears just go away because I know I can live in this life because of Him. My testimony of Jesus Christ is growing so much. Mostly because I know that Jesus is The Christ. And there's so much to do with that knowledge.

Well, here's to finding more new people to teach this week. We'll be going through many long lists of lost souls out there. I can't wait. Part-members families, less-actives, and just lists of unknown people that forgot they are a member of this church. Finding is my new favorite hobby. Hopefully this week my obedience will pay off with some shiny new investigators full of the spirit! I can feel myself transforming like you said, Mom. Every day! I hope to transform myself into the person I want to be.

Sorry this email is all over the place, I just keep remembering things I want to say. But just know how great it was to see you all. I miss you guys, but I need to endure to the end. :) I hope you all have a great week again. Don't worry about the heat here...I'm dying a little but I'm bearing it! I love you SO MUCH! Thanks for the update on life over there. You know I love to hear anything! :) 

Until next week,
Sister Seastrand

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