July 28, 2014

Life As A Real Missionary...Part #51

Dear Thomas family,

I can't believe Pday has come yet again. Does time always fly by this quickly? I sure hope not. I really am trying to enjoy every moment of my mission, even the hard ones. I will be honest, as far as teaching goes, it has been a hard month. We had a zone goal setting meeting this month and apparently the whole zone struggled in July. We don't know why, other than we just aren't doing enough. But despite all of that, I have seen such beautiful miracles this week and I know if we do more, our zone will reap blessings.

First off, remember how I told you I had all those clothes disappear in the typhoon? Well last Monday, after we e-mailed we went grocery shopping and ran errands and returned home. When we returned, I walked in the door and ALL of my clothes that had blown away were sitting on the couch, neatly stacked, washed, dryed, AND ironed. I was shocked! I called the other sisters in our house to find out who had brought my clothes.  They didn't know. They had just found them hanging on the gate earlier that morning before they left. I have no idea who did it or how they knew the clothes were mine or even why they chose to be so kind to me, but my heart was greatly touched. I had tears in my eyes as I thought of some sweet Filipina nanay taking her time to wash, dry and iron my clothes, then secretly leave them hanging for me to find. It was a beautiful surprise. The Filipinos are truly some of the most beautiful and humble children of God.

Last week we had two more typhoons hit us. Proselyting in the storms is really really hard. Everyone locks their gates and hides indoors until the storm passes (I would too). So, at times, we are just aimlessly walking around in a huge storm. I prayed for some help.  Right after I prayed a jeepney driver pulled up next to us, I don't know where he came from but he told us to get inside. He drove us to our next area with no charge. He then gave us both a cup of hot Milo and wished us luck in spreading the "good word of God." We invited him to come to church and gave him a pass along card and he left as quickly as he arrived. I don't think I will ever see him again.

Another tender mercy, later last week on Thursday and Friday, I was having stomach problems (surprise?).  I think whatever is in the dirty typhoon waters makes me ill.  I couldn't keep food in my system for anything. We continued to work despite it, but I was pretty miserable. We stopped at a member's house so I could use their CR (bathroom) before our next appointment.  I wasn't feeling very well.  When I came out, nanay had cooked what she thought was close to chicken noodle soup. She made me sit down, eat the soup, and she rubbed this menthol cream stuff on my feet and neck. I tried to resist, but she insisted. Tears rolled down my eyes as this sweet ward member selflessly served me. I felt so helpless and yet so blessed and loved. I gained a new strength and was able to finish out the day.

Don't worry, Sister Clark has made sure I have medication.  It is the same antibiotic that I took last year.  Hopefully, I will feel better.

What have I learned this week? I have realized something really important, I know that in the midst of our trials and hard times the Lord is always there for us. No matter what.  We had every single baptism that was scheduled for the end of this month fall through and we have nobody progressing that will be ready for an August baptism date. We had absolutely no investigators at church this week, and we only had 38 total lessons for the whole week. All of these things are hard for me.  I really want to help build and strengthen this area.  But then I saw the miracles and the tender mercies that were just for me this past week. I realized how bright the light of Christ really is. All of us, ALL OF US were born with the light of Christ and oh how beautiful it is when we let it shine. Our lives are filled with complications, trials, sadness, and pain but if we will put on our "Christlike glasses," the way we see the world changes. The storm turns into a manifestation of God's power. Sweet acts of service become heart changing experiences and our lives become just a little bit sweeter. The Lord will not abandon us if we fill our lives with His love.

Family, I know that the Lord is aware of us, he tells us so in Alma 26:37. He knows us, especially when we are in the midst of our trials. Never give up on Him. Let Him in and He will turn this cold and dark world into a celestial glory.

I am amazed at how beautiful Christ's Atonement is. In Tagalog, Atonement is "pagbabayad-sala ni Cristo" which literally means "the payment of Christ." He did pay with his precious blood.  He paid for us all and now we have hope. Now our lives are filled with many blessings. Isn't it a beautiful thing?  I love this work.  I love sharing the hope and light of Christ with these beautiful people.

I know this to be true. I love you all so much. (:


Sister Thomas

Sister Ponitini and I with some of the amazing ward members! I love them!

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