Tuesday, February 21, 2017

God loves us and He has an individual plan for each of us, and it is up to us to choose the right for ourselves. God is our Father in heaven, Jesus Christ lives and is our perfect example

This week went by so fast, really it did. It feels like I was here just two days ago. But that's good because we were able to keep ourselves really busy this week! We didn't get in much proselyting hours because we had like 4000 service projects this week, but that's alright because service projects are really one of my favorite things out here.

One of our service projects of destroying the roof of this house
So last Wednesday we did a service project for an inactive member named Maya. She hasn't been to church since I got here back in October, and I never really could figure out why. The rest of her family goes, but she never comes with them. Last week I asked her why, and her response really shocked me. She says that she has a reason- a huge reason. But she has never told anyone about it since she stopped going to church in 2010. So it's been 7 years since she last went to church and she has not told a single soul why. But when I asked her what her reason was, she told me that she would tell me, but not in person. So when we went to her house on Wednesday for the service project, she gave me a 3 paged letter explaining three different reasons of why she doesn't come to church anymore. The reasons were really sad; she's done some things and other people in the church have done some bad things to her and she has just stopped coming because of that.

Me and Elder Semaning
After she gave me the letter and I read some of it, I thought really hard about what I was supposed to do. I was the only person she has told in 7 years, and that alone was just insanely stressful. But on Saturday night, I and Elder Maga went on splits, and I was paired with an 18 year old kid in our branch named John Paul. Anyways, some events transpired that are too long to explain, but we ended up finding ourselves literally sprinting to Maya's house Saturday night in order to talk to her. We got there completely out of breath and we just promised her that if she came to church she would feel at home, she would feel peace and happiness, and she would feel the love of everyone there. After we said that, she just looked at us and said, "Okay, what should I wear?" I was so excited. We just said to wear anything, we didn't care. And with that we said goodbye and sprinted away in order to make it back home in time.

The next day, there she was, sitting in church with everyone else smiling and laughing. Miracles. We still have to visit her sometime this week in order to ask her how it went, but I already know she loved it.

So this next Saturday Twinkle and her sister are getting baptized. Last night I went on splits with John Paul again in order to teach Twinkle and her sister. In the end of the lesson, I asked her and said, "I know you want to get baptized, but this isn’t like other religions. We aren't here to baptize you and then watch you leave. This is something that we need to do till the end. We need to serve God literally until the day that we die. Are you sure you're ready to do that?" And she responded with the most confident yes I've ever heard. I was kind of surprised that she wasn't scared of that question, so I asked her why she answered so confidently. She said, "Because a couple of nights ago, after I read some chapters in the Book of Mormon, I said a prayer before I went to sleep asking God to give me some sort of sign that this is the right path for me." That night she said she had a dream, and in the dream she said there was an American Mormon and in front of him there was a "sea of glass" and something else (to be quite honest, I didn't really understand her description, whoops) but because of that, she says that she knows this is right for her and she is SO excited for it.

Oh yeah, the ducks here are super chill.
Probably ridden with disease, but they are still cute
In all this week was amazing and very inspirational. A lot of other things happened that I don't really want to email about, but please just know that God loves us and He has an individual plan for each of us, and it is up to us to choose the right for ourselves. God is our Father in heaven, Jesus Christ lives and is our perfect example, this is His church here on earth and He is the head of it, and the Book of Mormon is true and was given to us for our own happiness and peace in this life if we just reach out and accept it. A lot of people here say, "Oh, this isn't for me. This 'Mormon' thing is good for some people, but not for me." But I know that it is for everyone. True happiness can only come through this gospel, and I truly have learned that here on my mission.

I love you all and am excited to email again next week!!

Yep. That's our dinner. We straight up chopped a live duck's head off.
In our laundry room.   Literally right where I wash my clothes.
Like.... My goodness... what is this place
This is how you survive in the Philippines

This little kid is one of my favorites,
 but I swear he is just INSANE
Exhibit "A"

Pictures whilst in the magnificent rice fields

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