Monday, July 7, 2014

Week 39

Hello, Family! The forf was great, just a normal day, but my companion told me 'Happy Fourth of July' so that was cute. And they wanted me to sing the national anthem, cause they like it apparently! God bless America! And the Philippines!  :)

Beautiful Sky!
The big family reunion sounds wonderful. I miss that... Being together. BUT I know not too far away, I will be back soon cause I'm so close to my 1 year mark.. Weird huh?! It's so fast... Time. Anyways, I really love that so many were there at the reunion. Especially with distance. The thing I've learned about distance... Heavenly Father REALLY doesn't care about that cause, I'm HERE in the Philippines. That's why I learned that. So meaning, that if God wanted me so far away, then we can travel a few hours by car to see everyone for awhile. This mortal life is so short--SO SHORT--compared to the life we have waiting for us... we need to use every day while in mortality. I really love what you shared to me about your impression about family. I actually just studied that today about the plan of salvation and the kingdoms of glory. In D&C 137 Joseph Smith has a revelation about the celestial kingdom, and I felt something very important: The Lord tells Joseph that He will base our judgments on two things, works and desires. Desires are important because they comes deep from within us, in our soul and heart. So no wonder he judges us on that. If we desire it, we can have it. We just have to do our best and desire to be with God. I wish I could tell you more about what I learned, but it'd take way too long!  :)

SO this week...not the best, but not the worst. We've had some people--actually quite a few of our investigators--drop us.  :(  It's sad. But, I've felt like I've been blessed with the gift of discernment and it's not been surprising to me the ones that aren't ready. And then there's our ward.... this week I've been feeling the impression to work with the ward. You know me.. I'm a very "Just do it myself and let's get it done" kind of person. Well... I think the Lord is trying to chasten me a bit. Sister Dadivas and I have to help the ward help themselves more. There's been some problems lately with pride among the members. BUT I love them. No matter what, I just love them. I appreciate their love for me, too. They are so giving to the missionaries. I'm lucky, and yet in a challenge at the same time. I'm learning how important it is to plan for members. It takes a lot of work to work with them, teach the existing members, instead of finding new, etc. But I know in my prayers I can ask the Lord to show mercy on us and help us find prepared people if I work hard with the members. I know I am doing my best to love them! 
So Willmar has been sick.... we didn't get to teach him Saturday or Sunday which was a bummer. And then I wasn't feeling well on Sunday so we went out only in the evening. But I'm hoping that we can teach him this weekend and see him. We went by to visit him and say hi but he was not feeling well enough to see us so that was too bad. The transfer week is coming up, and I'm feeling like I'll stay here one more transfer at least. I'm learning a lot from my companion. I'm so grateful for her. she's great! We're preparing another investigator for baptism on July 31st named Alex. He's 19 and so great! his girlfriend really wants him to be baptized. And he is excited too. When we extended the invitation to him, he got so happy! I'm excited for him. :) I wonder if I'll still be here when he gets baptized.

President Mangum and Sister Mangum are great!!!!! I love them. President Mangum was so nice and professional. I think he's nervous about being new here. We all loved President Peterson so much, but I know I will love President Mangum, too.  :)  He taught us about obedience and building a culture of righteousness. They showed pictures of their family and told us about themselves. They're so sweet! It was a great conference. Sister Mangum came up to me and gave me a big hug. There were quite a few of us--4 zones--so Sister Dadivas and I sat right up front on the second row. Sister Mangum told me she knew you guys and was excited to get to know me. She shared a great testimony about the Atonement and her family. This woman has had a lot of trials in her life recently and she is so strong! I know she's nervous, but she's great. I hope I can make her feel welcome. We all had lunch together, and then before President left, I went up to him to say hi (I wanted to give him space before I ran right up to him). He looked at me quite a few times during the conference and gave me a smile like, "I know you and I know you don't know me yet!" It was great. Anyways, after the conference when I shook his hand he told my companion about dad and his band and how they know you. It was funny... and then I said how I was excited to get to know him and that he was here and then he asked me how long I'd been here and about adjusting to the culture and I said, "Well President, if you need any advice about anything, give me a call!" haha! I thought that was funny since he is new here. It's nice to know them and especially to set a good example for our family. Sister Mangum is great. I know she is nervous and they told all of us how they weren't expecting to come to the Philippines but they are glad they are here with us. It'll be fun to be with him for the last 7 months of my mission!

Anyways...Like I said, transfers are coming up but at the same time I feel like I'll still be here at least one more transfer. It'll be my 4th cycle here.. that's long! But, that was my week. I hope you all have a GREAT week this week and just know I LOVE YOU so much. All I know is, I'm here and I love it. It's a great time to change and become closer to my Heavenly father in these days. I need all the time I can get here. I pray that I will serve the mission he has prepared for me and wants me to serve. I know if I am obedient and diligent till the end, I will have peace of mind knowing I gave it my absolute all. I'm learning and growing all the time. I only have a short time left! I know Heavenly Father will bless you all. I love you. Thank you for everything. Talk to you in 6 days again :) 
Sister Seastrand

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