Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 55

:( UGH…I've been sick this week. FOUR DAYS we didn't work. It’s frustrating MOSTLY because, no matter how hard I try, I can never always remain fully in good health. It's always gotta happen to ME…Not my housemates, not my companion, just Sister Seastrand. It's like when you hear about someone getting really sick with something and you feel bad for them and then a week later YOU get it. It's always just my luck, I guess. WHO KNOWS?! I was out 4 days this week with a high fever and some other uncomfortable sicknesses going on inside. But in spite of being frustrated about being sick, I was able to receive a priesthood blessing that really opened my eyes to some interesting truths. Just some great tender mercies! The Lord really does love me. He's helped me to recover slowly but surely over my sickness and I know that He is looking out for me. Something I want to share is from that priesthood blessing I received was that "There are people beyond the veil who are with me here in the Philippines, helping me as well as those we are teaching." That was great. I immediately thought of Aunt Carolyn. I bet she is here with me helping me. And of Grandma and Grandpa Openshaw. Same with all our other ancestors. It was nice to hear and think about. It made me a little emotional to think about it because I need those angels with me every day. There are some days when I just want to go back to Utah, but then other days when I wake up and see the Philippines and really love my mission. Here’s some of the new perspectives my priesthood blessing gave me:

FIRST: Our loved ones and friends that are beyond the veil really ARE here with me in my mission--Helping me, those we teach, encouraging me, etc. I don't know why I never realized that before, but it's been made known to me that there really are angels beside me helping me.

SECOND: Heavenly Father really actually does want us to reach our full potential. Sometimes we feel that He is not giving us things or opportunities that we think we want to do or be, or stopping us from being "happy." But we never know what it is He has in store, we just should know it’ll be better than we could have planned.

THIRD, OUR JOB: Keep our eyes and hearts toward heaven and our ultimate goal, which is going back to His presence. (Maybe if I learned that a long time ago, some of my choices would have been different.)

Also, I just really love our mission doctor, Sister Gallbraith. She is so kind and helped me feel better. I called her last night for advice on getting better and I just felt peace as I talked to her and love from Heavenly Father. I'm grateful for mission leaders and helpers that help me know things will be OK!

I was able to speak in church on Sunday even though I was just recovering from being sick, it was a really cool opportunity to speak in STRAIGHT Tagalog. Maybe it wasn't all completely correct, but I'm pretty proud of myself, nonetheless. My topic was ‘Becoming a Witness of Christ.’ When we want to be true witnesses of Christ, it first starts with our FAITH in Christ. We can assess our faith regularly, and try to see how we can strengthen it. It also requires that we take upon us HIS name through the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we do that, we become His true representatives! I think that the best way to always REMAIN a witness of Christ is to repent and be sanctified with the Spirit. The Spirit is the way to know all things and to be able to testify of all things that are true, right, etc. It's like what our beloved mission president said: "Teach BY the Spirit, WITH some Spirit." How true…he nailed it.

It's been awesome because Sister Rafi and I are receiving some pretty good referrals lately. And they all live super close to the church, which is golden. No excuse for not attending church, ha! We're really praying that these members will prepare and think about those they can share the gospel with so we can help strengthen their testimony.

I guess we never really know why we're in an area, until we stop and look around at all the aspects of missionary work. It's very easy as a missionary to get caught up in two single important indicators: Baptism and confirmation. BUT that truly does not define success. I think that knowing you are a successful missionary is defined as giving your all to the Lord, no matter the circumstance. It's all about you and the Lord, no one else, and He knows the best we can do. So we must never give up. Never, never give up. I know that the Lord is stretching me to help me grow and I can feel it. BUT like I've said before faith is painful at times, spiritually. It's the first thing that helps us to act and to do what the Lord wants. So if you feel other aspects in your lives are maybe out of place, take an inventory of your faith in Jesus Christ. :) He has the power and capacity to HELP and STRENGTHEN you. I have learned that here as a missionary! Like Bry said, I've learned the love of God more on my mission than I could have anywhere else- and what could ever replace that?! NOTHING. I'm so glad to be here, trials, tests, and all! It's truly a test of endurance but I'm willing to pay the price to endure to the end of this service in the Lord's vineyard.

I love you all! Have a great week!! I always think of you and pray for you.
Sister Seastrand

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