Sunday, July 16, 2017

"Love is a decision." I've thought about that phrase so much in the past week. Love is not only a decision, but it is a conscious effort on our part.

For some reason, when I sit down at the computer it's so hard for me to remember exactly what happened in the last week. But this time I finally brought my journal, so hopefully I'll be able to be a little more descriptive this time.

On Tuesday we had this thing called "Trainer's Training," which is just a training seminar for all of the trainers in the mission. President Kotter and Sister Kotter both spoke to us as a group, and as usual, it was a great experience to have them uplift us with their words. One thing that I really thought was interesting was a quote that Sister Kotter gave to us: "Love is a decision." I've thought about that phrase so much in the past week, and it really is true. Love is not only a decision, but it is a conscious effort on our part.

Wednesday we had a lesson with a less-active family, the Concepcion Family. They are a very poor family and we are just trying to help them see how the Gospel can help them out with all of their problems, whether financial or not.

Thursday was actually the FIRST DAY with Elder Caballes in which we got absolutely zero lessons. But we weren't discouraged, some days that just happens.

Friday we had an amazing lesson with a new investigator of ours named Maria-Christina Saya. This was only the second time that we taught her, and she is so amazing. She told us of the hardest things in her life right now, which are threefold. She told us her hardships started last November when she had a stroke that kind of threw off the left side of her body, and even now she still walks with a limp. Then last December, on Christmas Day, her house got absolutely wrecked by a super typhoon that flooded this whole area. Shortly after that incident, her husband was killed right in front of her with a machete. So it's very obvious to see that she has almost more than she can bear right now. We have been teaching her about the Book of Mormon, and how the doctrine found in the Book of Mormon will help her find peace and joy, despite all of her horrible circumstances. She absolutely loves us visiting, and she told us that we are different and much greater than all of the other missionaries from other churches that come to her house, and told us that every time we leave her house, her mind is cleared completely and she has finally has peace of mind. she is such a choice spirit and I know that she will be changed by what we have to offer her.

Saturday we traveled out to a far area to teach Stanley Araw, who, even though we only gave it to him two weeks ago, has finished the Book of Mormon. The only problem with Stanley is that he might have a bit of a mental problem. He's had a very rough background as well which I won't get into, because I think it might be illegal to even mention, but he's had a broken soul before and he fully believes that this is the true church of Jesus Christ and he wants to associate himself with it. I believe that he will be baptized into the church soon enough.

Sunday was actually a great day, probably the best of this last week. We had 9 of our investigators come to church, and they all loved it! Every week is getting better and better, and the branch is becoming so much more involved in the missionary work and always asking us what they can do to help us out. Sunday we had another lesson with Maria-Christina Saya, which was equally as great as the others, a lesson with new investigators Judy-Ann and Amy, a lesson with Connie Sabas, and a great lesson with the Docot Family. Each one of those lessons was filled with the spirit and we brought a member with us, Brother Cedo, who bore very powerful testimony to each of them about the church.

I am very grateful for all of the miracles, both great and small, that have occurred in these past weeks with Elder Caballes. He is such a blessing to this area and to this mission and to my life. I know that it is because of our faith and obedience that we are witnessing these blessings in our area. I love you all and hope you have a great week!!

Elder Austin Cook

my incredible companion

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