Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 58

This week has been CRAZY... So how many times can Sister Seastrand travel to Lucena City in one week? Let's count...we literally went to Lucena 5 TIMES. Stake conference, exchanges, and zone training meeting. So many things learned.

What I learned: Serving others makes us happy. Putting Heavenly Father first makes us even happier. I've had a lot of experiences in this week of having to learn that first hand. I think that we can't lose sight of what we're doing as missionaries, or else we lose sight of Heavenly Father.

I'm still here in my 3rd area, Candelaria, Quezon, Philippines San Pablo Mission. I'm heading into my 3rd transfer cycle here in this area. I'm not sure if Sister Rafisura will be transferred or not. But I love my companion and we find joy in the work together.

Cute Noah
There's just one thing I wanted to share about, and that is the power the Book of Mormon. We have been teaching an investigator named Jen. When I first met her when I got to the area, and went to our first teaching appointment, I really felt no hope. What I SAW was a silly, whatever-happens-happens mindset 20-year-old girl. Little did I know how wrong I was. We kept going

back to her, and teaching about the Restoration. Over and OVER, let me tell you. She just didn't seem like she cared at all. Normally we don't keep visiting investigators for more than 2 weeks if there's no progressing (i.e. no reading, coming to church, keeping really any commitments at all). As we kept running in to walls in what to teach her and feeling frustrated about her commitments not being kept, the Spirit of the Lord told us to share from the Book of Mormon in Alma 32, and so we taught about Faith in Jesus Christ. We could feel the Spirit in abundance and we could see her start to understand. She was beginning to plant the seed of faith in her heart. Over a period of 2 months, I have seen FIRST HAND the power of this book. We asked one day how she feel she has changed because of reading the Book of Mormon, and she told us, "I now have patience and long-suffering towards my child and others. When I get angry or frustrated, I open this book and it's gone." We saw and could feel the Spirit testify to us of her changing and becoming more spiritually mature. I could see the changes in the entire less active family and in her 4 year old son. They now pray together, her and Noah (her son). They love when we come over to teach. Apparently the Spirit enters the room and takes a seat on their small couch next to Sister Rafi and me. I will never forget this experience as long as I live. :)

I don't know what will happen to her since she is no longer here in Candelaria, because she had her second baby. She will be gone for at least a month with her parents and the new little one... It's so sad because Sister Rafisura might be transferred and didn't get to say goodbye, but we will see what happens. All I know is that I pray the spirit and angels will help her to stay and remember what she felt when we taught her every day. I know she is in good hands with the Lord. I felt like one important point of this experience is that Heavenly Father wanted to show me in real time that this Book has the power to solve ANY concern and help us overcome our weaknesses. In Ether 12:34 it says, "And IF men COME unto me, I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my GRACE is sufficient for ALL MEN THAT HUMBLE themselves before me, for if they humble themselves before me, and have FAITH in me, then will I make weak things become STRONG unto them."
Seeing friends at Zone Training

According to our faith things will work for our good. As long as our faith is in Christ and when we humble ourselves, the grace of Christ is sufficient to make up for what we don't have or can't do. Weaknesses are opportunities to know our Savior. If you haven't been reading this book or even if you have read it many times already, I invite you to ponder on your own weaknesses. Just one, and read the Book of Mormon on that weakness. I promise you that when you do this, the Spirit will take hold in your heart and you will experience in real time the grace of our Savior, Jesus Christ which is sufficient for all men that come unto Him. Don't delay! His arms are ready to receive you at all times.

Transfer week is this week... I think my companion will be transferred but I'm not sure... It's going to be interesting! We find out tomorrow what will be the next set-up in Candelaria. It's a good area. We are just trying to find, find, find!! It takes work to be a missionary. I'm reading in the gospels studying about the life of Jesus Christ in preparation for Christmas, and I am loving learning more about Christ. I encourage you to do the same! We can compare and talk about it together.

So this week has been great. We're being obedient, we're seeing success in our work, and just going every day to do the Lord's work. I love you all so much and I feel I need to share with you to know how HAPPY I am when I am obedient and teach and live my life in the Philippines as a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ. It's so hard, but I almost can't leave it behind. It's been the best experience of my life. Heavenly Father loves me and I know it. Have a great week! I love you!!!!!

Sister Seastrand

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