Tuesday, September 02, 2014

September! Time to be excited!

Okay, not quite sure if I could type properly because the AC here is super cold and my hands feel like they are being dipped in icy water... but anyway.
First of All, "MERRY CHRISTMAS PHILIPPINES"​ - one of the Filipina Sisters sent out a text message this morning before we were doing our studies. I told her that we still have pumpkins (Halloween) and turkeys (Thanksgiving) before Christmas comes. But I guess we want to keep the culture within us as Filipinas.
This week has been a really crazy week. Challenging but crazy. I met a lot of people that I knew from the square. We met Sister Liza Ocaña last Tuesday, Brother (once Elder) J. Rose last Thursday and my Tita Rhodora Fontillas yesterday (Sunday). It's fun to see familiar faces on the square but it's also good to be always reminded of our missionary purpose. This week, just like any other week, is focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and about Faith. Last Thursday, we had a wonderful speaker from the Relief Society General Board, Sandra Rogers, who talked about our privileges as women in the church. It was a good lesson. She shared a scripture from Nehemiah 6:1-3 about not coming down from doing something really important. At that scripture, Nehemiah was building the walls of Jerusalem. As for us as sister missionaries (or missionaries all over the world), we are doing the Lord's work - inviting others to come unto Jesus Christ. There are a lot of temptations all over telling us to "come down" and do mischief (including not being obedient to mission rules or not doing the very best in missionary work) but to remain focused on what we are doing and that we are standing to what we believe in. Here in the mission field, there are a lot of discouragements and disappointments but one advice that Sister Rogers gave us is to always remember that whenever we are thinking negatively of ourselves, always say "it's not true". Because that is what Satan wants us to think. That we are not doing the best that we could. It's something that I am always working on.
One thing that I have experienced this week in application to Sister Rogers' lesson was when I need to have the courage to drop my investigators who were not progressing. Sadly, yesterday, one of my Filipino investigators dropped us because who could not commit due to his inflexible schedule. I felt sad about the news but I totally told myself that it was going to be okay. At least he knew our purpose and I knew that he will be ready someday. Then when I was about to go on the verge of finding fault of myself, I went down on my knees and prayed. Poured everything out to my Father in Heaven how I felt. I had this overwhelming feeling of love and warmth as the song that was sang during sacrament meeting went inside my head "My mind is playing games again... Take me back to You, to the place that I once knew... I will rest in You." I don't really have the complete lyrics but by the time I keep on listening to it in the apartment, I would probably get it down.  I then talked to my district leader about it and she really helped a lot reminding me how great of a missionary I am.
But despite those sad moments, there are also uplifting moments. I have this cute investigator from Malta (off of the coast of Italy) /Eritrea (near Egypt) who do not speak much English and is currently staying in Baltimore, Maryland. He really loves the Church and loves the Savior and he is willing to get baptized. What made him so cute is that he really appreciated us sharing about the church with him. He really felt guilty when I followed-up on going to church and called me back saying not to worry and he will do his best to go to church next Sunday. He even told me that he wanted to give us a gift. I said that the best gift that he can give us is if he keeps his commitments in order to become closer to God. But he insisted. He even wants us to visit Baltimore. On the other hand, William - my recent convert to the church - missed our appointment so I sent him an email to reschedule, and he sent me back an email apologizing that he messed up with the time and told me that he will be doing his family history work on Wednesday and that the Elders of his area visited him when we called. He is just amazing. He said that his roommate has not yet agreed to take lessons but has read the first 100 pages of the Book of Mormon and had a LOT of questions with Elder Olson (one of his missionaries). He is getting excited. I am getting excited to how much he is helping his friend to receive the blessings that he had received through the gospel.
Well, I guess this is so far the updates this week. I was thinking of sharing something funny but I totally forgot. I think it isn't important or maybe there is quite a few that I don't really know what to share or not.  Oh well...
Happy Birthday to my Tita Oda today (I think) and Late Happy Birthday to my mom (yesterday!) 

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