August 25, 2014

Life As A Real Missionary...Part #55

Dear Family,

Wow...the work is hastening!

How is everyone today? Sorry I am writing so late. We spent the morning at a zone activity. It was the senior couple Elders birthday, and we celebrated. It was so much fun! Except, the stinking ZL's pulled a prank on me (it was payback for something I did in the past hahaha) and told me, JUST ME, that it was not a sport playing activity and to wear proselyting clothes. So, of course I was obedient. When we met up with everyone, my companion and I were the only ones in proselyting clothes!  What we had the opportunity to not wear dresses and we were in dresses?! I WAS SO NOT HAPPY! Gosh! I guess that is what I get. It didn't stop me though. We played baseball and dad you would have been so proud of me, I hit a home run and ran all the way to home plate, in a dress!  Woot woot! (;  It was a lot of fun. They fed us lots of American food and I ate my weight in Doritos (which would have made mom proud). Good times! (:

This week has been good. In fact, it has been amazing to experience the blessings we have received. The work is exploding! The numbers are jumping up. People are progressing. Unfortunately, we encountered another problem with Catherine's marriage papers, but we feel it is the Lord's way of postponing her baptism date. We feel like the Lord wants her whole family to be baptized together and her husband is not ready yet, he needs some more time to resolve his word of wisdom concerns. The Lord knows them and we are just trying to accept His timing. It will happen, she will be baptized but when the whole family is ready. What a beautiful day that will be. (:

The Orario family is getting baptized on the 6th. I am so excited!! (:

Just to report, the Yu family is doing great. Please remember them in your prayers. Their sealing is scheduled for October!!

More great news!  We had an area meeting with Elder Arder, the Area President.  My area, Mabalacat, at one time incorporated Mabalacat, Dau, and Sta. Lucia areas. Last year they split into Mabalacat ward, Dau ward, and Sta. Lucia branch. It was a huge deal!

The First Presidency has just announced that they approved the split of Mabalacat ward into two units. What?!  Who knew we had so many members!  So, this next month we will have the Mabalacat 1ward and the Mabalacat 2 ward. Isn't that amazing?!  The area is growing so rapidly.  Next year, it is being proposed to split the Angeles stake and create a second, Mabalacat stake. Yes yes yes!!  I cannot tell you how this makes my heart tingle!

The Stake President stood up and personally thanked all of the missionaries in our area by name, one by one. I almost cried...okay, I did cry!

The work is truly hastening. Great things are happening. If we rely on the Lord we cannot fail, EVER! I know this to be true!! (: Go Mabalacat ward 2!

After the meeting, we had the great privilege of receiving training from Elder Arder. He is so amazing! The training took all day and we were spiritually fed. I will be honest, even though the work has been moving forward, I have been filled with doubt. I know Satan is trying to slow me down and I have been trying to figure things out. Then this training came. It felt as if Elder Arder spoke directly to me. The training was about becoming master gospel teachers. He talked all about things that we need to do in our own private time and out in the field that will help us be better teachers through the Spirit. I can't explain to you what I felt during the training. What Elder Arder said did not directly address any of my questions, but the Spirit was there. The Spirit manifested to me so strongly that I hardly had room to hold it all in. I can testify that we do have a loving Heavenly Father and He hears and answers our prayers.  He knows us individually and He is pleased with all of us. When we start to doubt, all we need to do is open ourselves to Him. Elder Arder said something that I will never forget. He reminded us that the Atonement is a blessing. Repentance is a blessing. We are not in some sort of debt to our Savior or our Heavenly Father. We are not here as missionaries because we are in debt to Him. We are here because we love our Father in Heaven and our Savior and if we see it like that, everything will change. As soon as I changed my perspective and I told myself my reason for serving was love, not debt, it was like a huge weight was lifted. All of a sudden, it didn't matter that I wasn't perfect. It didn't matter that I had weaknesses and things to still improve on. Because I am serving a mission out of love not because I felt like I owe something.

I cannot tell you how this has changed my heart and my life.

I have always felt this deep burden in my heart, like because I have made mistakes and I am not perfect that I have this huge debt to my Savior and my Heavenly Father and everytime I make a mistake, the debt gets bigger and it was becoming this huge bill with interest that I was never going to be able to pay off. But, it's not like that. It is not like that at all. If that is the motivation that keeps us going, we are never going to make it because Satan will always remind us that we are not good enough and that the debt is too big. But, if we serve and obey out of love, it becomes a blessing, not a burden. It doesn't even matter that we have weaknesses because we are just trying to show our love the best that we can.  What a beautiful thing!  I love this Gospel.
I am so happy to hear that Bo won his first football game! Way to kick off the season boys!!

It sounds like everyone is happy and doing well at home. That makes me happy. (: I pray for you always, and I know He is watching over all of you.

Stay safe okay? I love you all! (:  The church is true!

-Sister Thomas

We are headed to mission tour training in matching flower dresses. Companionship unity!!! (:  Hahaha!


Yes...homerun, even in a dress!

1 comment:

Chris said...

What perspective!!!! Thanks Caitlin