October 7, 2013

Life As A Missionary...Part #10

hello thomas family,

kumusta? kumusta yong lahat mga conference sessions? those quotes you sent me were amazing! man, i am so excited to watch conference this coming weekend. we were able to watch the relief society broadcast on Saturday, which of course made me cry. but, it seems everything makes me cry these days. including your emails! geeze mom and dad. i am literally crying in the middle of this internet shop. some filipino's are staring. but, what's new? they are always staring at the white girl. haha

i must say, i feel very blessed and so loved. this weekend i fasted and prayed hard to feel better. i just needed to feel better so i could work! well, it has been rough, but i felt so much strength from back home. i literally FELT the fasting and prayers of everyone lifting me up. it was amazing to me.  i didn't even know you were fasting for me but i felt all of this love and all of this encouragement and now i know it was the same day that you all were fasting for me. thank you to everyone back home who is looking out for me. i feel very humbled and very blessed.

although i am not miraculously HEALED, i am feeling better. no hospital visits this week, so that is improvement. i finally gave up and took a nyquil a couple nights ago and i literally passed out. i don't even think i had a dream. i woke up and felt like i had been asleep for a thousand years. haha it was nice. i can't do that every night though unfortunately, and so this stinking cough continues to keep me up. but it is getting much better. my mission president's wife called me and said "we want you here and we will go to the highest degree, to the lord himself, to keep you here. we know that the Lord has things in mind for you sister, we have known that since we received the information that you were coming to serve with us, so let's get you better!"

i seriously have the best mission president and mission mom (his wife). hands down. so, i am on all sorts of meds to help fight off and kill this wild jungle infection. don't worry everyone. i feel alot better. i still don't feel perfect, but it is coming along. and truly the medical attention is good. i have a lot of support out here, as well as at home. thank you family for the fast. i can't even tell you how blessed i feel.

adjusting is HARD. missionary work is HARD. but, there have been some of the most rewarding experiences out here. i love these people so much. even if some of the things that they do completely just boggles my mind, hahaha, i love them. sister virgie and brother randy were both baptized on Saturday. it was beautiful! they both had smiles on their faces. there is nothing i love more than watching someone enter into the waters of baptism.

another learning experience i've had out here. so, brother wilbur martinez is a member of our branch. he is 19 years old and is now preparing for his mission. we have been visiting him and his family and he has recently come back, with his mom and little sister, to church. they spent many years being less active, but have now returned! he is amazing and works with us all the time! he has worked so hard to save money for his mission. on Saturday night he performed both baptisms for us! he did such a good job. he is growing so much. (:
unfortunately, that same night, his less active father was killed in a motorcycle accident. he was a really bad alchoholic, i guess, and he would always leave the house, go get drunk, and drive home almost every night of the week on his motorcycle. this time, we was hit head on by another vehicle as he was driving in the wrong lane. he was killed almost instantly. when we found out the news after the baptism, my heart hurt for that family. i was worried this would knock them off the path in some way. but, to my greatest surprise, wilbur and his sister were both at church the next morning. although red and puffy-eyed, they came. and they both bore their testimonies. brother wilbur sobbed as he said "i know that families can be together forever. and now, we can have his work done at the temple and our family can be sealed. i know that this is God's way of helping him come back into the Gospel." ..........wow. powerful. i learned a lot from him. i don't know if i would have reacted that way if i had been in his shoes. what faith he has! he will be a wonderful missionary someday, and it made me realize how important missionary work really is and how blessed we are to have the gospel in our lives.

the Lord's tender mercies are everywhere, if we choose to see them. i am learning more and more about leaning on the Lord for strength and not unto my own understanding. there are battles we all have to fight every single day, but with the Gospel in our lives, we can see the light. not only at the end of the tunnel, but the lights that are all around us, guiding us through. i know i have had my fair share of trials, but there are others who are suffering much worse. i need to be more grateful for what i do have. and i am glad that the Lord is teaching me all of these things. i am grateful that these beautiful people are teaching me so many things. i feel like i have done more learning out here than teaching.

alam ko na ang Simbahan ni Jesucristo ay totoo. Alam ko na ang Aklat ni Mormon ay salita ng Diyos. Alam ko na mahal mahal po tayo lahat ang diyos.

i love you all. and pray for you all.
thank you. i love you.

-sister thomas

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