Hi beautiful family!
How's everyone doing? Wow, it's crazy to think about how spread out around the world our family is! It's wierd, I've been here so long, it feels like home now.
The other morning, Sister De Leon and I went jogging at this park that has a track and this brother saw me and said "Welcome to the Philippines!". I was totally caught off guard, thinking "What do you mean? I live here!" haha but of course I said "Salamat" once I realized I'm still white and American haha.
We're so blessed that no matter where we all are, we can still keep in touch! And still attend church:) because the gospel is everywhere! well, almost.
One thing I've learned from Sister De Leon, is recognizing miracles every single day of our lives. Even the super small miracles, evidence of God's involvement in our lives, in the world. It's an awesome way to look at life! Last Monday, we received a referral from another set of sister missionaries who met a brother they talked to on a jeepney ride. We went and visited him and at the first visit, it was so clear to us that he needs the missionaries, the gospel so much right now in his life. He has been prepared and is so ready and receptive. It's so evident that Heavenly Father loves Brother Ricky-- that's his name-- so much that he had him ride a certain jeepney at a time when sisters were on it too and they opened their mouth to talk to him. so cool.
His wife died about a year ago, he's searching for help and truth and guidance in his life, and he wants to come closer to God. He accepted a baptism date during our first visit with him, but the only problem is he works every day, including Sundays, delivering newspapers. So we have to build his faith and keep praying for a way for him to go to church. Even within this past week that we've been visiting him, we can see a slight change in him. He seems a little bit happier every visit:)
I love the gospel so much! It brings light into our lives and hope!
Oh my goodness, I have to tell you about the coolest thing ever. So last week, at transfers, one of the sisters, Sister Neis, approached me. She is now serving in Sagay, my old area. She told me about Sister Elsa, who was one of our investigators, the best friend of Pamela, if you remember. I got transferred right before her baptism. Sister Neis told me that now they are teaching Sister Elsa's husband! Which is the biggest miracle/answer to prayers ever! He's been going to church every week and totally changing and getting ready for baptism! Oh my goodness, I burst into tears when she told me that because when I was teaching Sister Elsa with Sister Parada, she would always talk about all the problems, pain, fear she was experiencing because of her husband and his choices. Even after I transferred I would pray so hard for her because I was so worried about her. And now her husband is getting baptized! I just can hardly even believe it.
The gospel changes people so much! In ways you could never imagine.
I love missionary work and am so grateful to be here! I'm grateful for your involvement in missionary work as well! I have seen here on the mission how much we can do, the influence we can have if we just open our mouths, have faith in Christ and love our friends and everyone around us:)
I read that talk by Pres. Uchtdorf this week called "You can do it now". I love what he says at the end, "my dear friends, there will be times when you think you cannot continue on. Trust the Savior and his love. With faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the power and hope of the restored gospel, you will be able to walk tall and continue on." So true!!!! Christ gives us the strength we need to walk tall! Be confident and continue pressing forward in faith, living the gospel everyday!
I love you all sooo much! I hope you are all safe and strong and happy, wherever you are! You are in my prayers:)
Love you lots and lots!