April 14, 2014

Life As A Real Missionary...Part #37

Dearest Family,

So first off, I have to tell you mom...guess what I learned this week? I learned that you CAN cook muffins in a mini toaster oven! YES! So, I baked my delicious cinnamon muffins and had a good time both eating and distributing them to members. Haha, the Filipinos LOVED them. They all said, "wow! masarap! saan galing po sila?" Hahaha it means, "Wow delicious! Where are they from?!" So, thanks mom, (: you made some Filipinos and me really happy this week.

As for micheal, he had interview number two this week and PASSED! Yes! I knew he could do it.  His baptism is scheduled for Saturday. I know he is ready. He understands a lot better now, and is more confident in praying out loud. Maybe the Lord knew he needed more time to build some confidence. He even came all the way to Tarlac with the ward on Sunday to watch Conference.  He is great!

Speaking of which, conference was AMAZING.  Holy cow! I can see what the Lord is preparing us all for. We need to be much stronger and more diligent in making and keeping covenants, and standing firm in our beliefs. The world is preparing for Christ to come soon and the time, now is essential. I was really spiritually uplifted this past conference. It was so amazing. So many of the talks were inspirational.  I needed the spiritual boost it provided.

For conference on Sunday our ward hired a Jeepney to drive any members that wanted to attend. It was so fun to travel with everyone. Micheal AND Irene came! It was so fun to watch and experience conference with them. Irene understands English well and so she was able to listen and learn a lot more about the church. She enjoyed it a lot. Being able to see the prophet and apostles was truly a miracle for her.  For me, I literally got tears in my eyes as the whole congregation stood up and sang "teach me to walk in the light." I don't know what it was, but as I stood there, the only white person amongst hundreds of beautiful Filipino's, my heart was so touched. There was an unspeakable love flowing through me as I realized the gospel is the same everywhere and we all matter to our Heavenly Father.  The spirit testified to me of the importance of this work and how it is being hastened to reach every soul on the earth. It was a moment I needed and one I will never forget. So, yes, I cried and cried.  Help me, I'm turning into you, mom and Angie.

Finding new investigators is our priority right now, but it is hard. This time of year is crazy here. You should see all the decorations and lights and flags EVERYWHERE for this week. Every Catholic church has their "pabasa" playing ALL NIGHT AND DAY! Pabasa is when they literally chant the bible over a huge microphone so everyone can hear and they don't stop doing it for 6 whole days. Which means, no sleep for us since their is a Catholic church just down the street. Also, the people are preparing for their "scourging." I am terrified to have to see it. They whip themselves in front of everyone. Literally. Their blood is apparently flowing and oozing in huge amounts and people just watch as they torture themselves in order to become "clean from sin." Needless to say I am nervous. But, grateful at the same time that I know the truth. I just pray that somehow we can help these people understand the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As for my companion, she is doing awesome. She is amazing! I can't believe we only have 6 more weeks together, she is half through her training. I am gonna cry! I love her so much. I am so proud of the progress she has made. She is going to do amazing things in our mission.

Freak, Hannah looks like she is having the time of her life right now. Haha! I am so happy for her!  NYC, prom, Katy Perry.... what more could a 17 year old girl ask for right? She is so beautiful. I am so proud of her. Tell her to study hard and get good grades and prepare for college!

Bowen is a stud. But he needs to stay away from girls, how can he even like them yet?  Yuck. But I love him and he is a smart kid.

Courtney is a hard worker. She is gonna run herself into the ground! Haha! I am proud of her too. I can't wait to see where she goes in her future.

I love you all so much. I know the Church is true. Even here, in the blistering heat, the Church is still true. I am learning and growing a lot here. My dependence must be on the Lord or I cannot accomplish anything.

I have spent a lot of time studying the Atonement lately, both from the book of mormon and from reading Talmage. My whole perspective has changed. Christ was perfect. He had no faults. His teaching was flawless. He never said or did anything wrong. He loved unceasingly and yet, people despised and rejected Him. They hated and wronged Him. So, I guess I don't feel so bad anymore. Me, a completely imperfect missionary, has things a whole lot easier than He did. But He never gave up. He always had faith. He had enough faith to endure unspeakable pain, completely alone. I know now, that through Him and His power, I can do all things, even walk around in the scorching heat all day!

It's another sunny day here in the Philippines and I am sweating buckets here in the internet shop, as usual. Gotta love it! (:

Love you all!!!  :)

-Sister Thomas

Concepcion, Tarlac

Downtown Concepcion

City Center Statue


Me and Sister Peralta

General conference bound in a jeepney

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