I have survived another week in the Bukid! I am glad to hear that things are crazy and chaotic as usual back home. Don't worry, I have chaos too, it just comes in the form of Filipino trike drivers instead of boxes, homework, and football games. HA!
I am happy to hear that the Shakespeare competition in Cedar City went well. Tell Hannah congrats. That girl is a champ, I love her so much.
So sorry to hear about the football loss. But the pictures you sent of Bowen's game were SWEET! I miss that little man. Although from what everyone says, he is not so little anymore. Hahahaha!
Courtney is still beatiful. Tell her to hang in there, school will not go on forever!
This week was full of unbelievable ups and downs, as usual. Missionary life is most definitely a roller coaster ride!
I will start with the not so great events. So, we have an investigator named Angelito. He is a 20 year old college student who Sister Lamera met with her nanay last tranfer. He is so amazing! He reads the Book of Mormon daily and asks questions about what he has read. He prays and has had all these great spiritual experiences. We were excited for his baptism, which was supposed to happen this Saturday! We had scheduled his baptismal interview for last Saturday. He was to be interviewed at the stake center in between conference sessions. We currently have no DL in our district (something bad happened and they had to pull both elders out of their area) and so we had to schedule a special interview with a different DL. Anyway, we got everything worked out so he could travel with us to Camiling to watch the first conference session and then have his interview. We were so excited for him. Unfortunately, ten minutes before we needed to leave for conference, we got a text that said.... "sisters, may puputahan ako....and blah blah blah." That is just a fancy way of saying he had somewhere else he wanted to go so he wasn't going to be able to make it. Ughhh NO!! We texted him immediately telling him to pray and decide where the Lord wanted him to be and ask what was most important. Then we knelt down in prayer begging Heavenly Father to help him make the right choice. Sadly, he didn't. He chose to go with his friends to a party instead of with us to conference. He completely blew off his baptismal interview and well, ughhh, it broke my heart to pieces. Later we found out he had gotten drunk at the party he went to and he didn't come to conference the next day either. So now, we have to start his church attendance count all over again and basically go back to square one with the kid. He is feeling guilty about the choice he made and feels as if he is not worthy to be baptized.
It was a really hard weekend and Satan is really good at making situations like this seem like it is "my fault." He makes me doubt my efforts and then I feel like if i had done more, or something different, or been a better person, then Angelito would have made the right decision. Of course, this is absolutely ridiculous I know, but a battle to fight nonetheless with the Adversary. I know that we all have our agency and Angelito used his agency to attend the party instead of conference and his baptism interview. I am sure it is hard to be a parent and watch your kids make the "less than best choice" and I am sure that our Heavenly Father's heart breaks to pieces everytime we make the wrong choice. I just need to keep Satan's influence out of my head whenever things like this happens.
This whole thing caused me to evaluate myself before my mission. How many times did I choose to sleep rather than go to institute or how many times did I choose to waste my time on FB instead of read the scriptures? How many times did I choose something "good" over something better or best? I feel like I got a little taste of how Heavenly Father must feel when he knows so badly what we need to do to be happy and we don't do it. IT'S IRRITATING! Hahaha! Yet, being all knowing, loving, and patient, He never gives up on us. I guess that is what we will do with Angelito, not give up and be full of love and understanding. Patience and understanding and love, all Christlike attributes I need to incorporate more. I know that Angelito is committed to the gospel, that is why Satan is working hard on him. We will be more committed to teaching Angelito!
On the bright side, conference was amazing! I have been spiritually nourished and uplifted and energized. Even better news, on Sunday, we had a lot of other investigators and less actives show up for conference even though the stake center was further away than the church and it took more effort and/or money to get there. The conference sessions on Sunday were SO good. There was definitely a gentle and warm spirit during the sessions and all those in attendance felt it. I needed to hear the words of the living prophet and the apostles and I am now stronger! Look out...I'm totally flexing my spiritual muscles! Hahahaha!
MOM...you were spot on with your spiritual promptings, guess who I ran into at the stake center during conference?! NANAY CECILIA!!! It was a beautiful reunion! I was SO happy. When Nanay Cecilia saw me, she immediately started crying. She cried great big tears and so overwhelmed. Apparently, she just got home from Manila where she had been hospitalized for months because of a stroke that almost killed her. She walks with a cane now and can hardly even stand on her own. but as I sat down next to her and put my arms around her, she started crying and said, "the Lord had answered her prayers." Hahaha...she had prayed after her stroke to live because she wanted to see me one more time before I went home so she could give me a big hug! She remembered me and how much time I had left in the mission and when I was to be going home! What? Man, I was crying too. Crying great big tears as well. It was one big bawl fest. She promised me she was still going to church just like I had taught her her to. She said she is still learning and growing and obeying Jesus Christ. Hahahaha...it was the best moment ever. I cannot explain the feelings I had in my heart. The best part, I could understand every word she spoke to me and she was so impressed with my Tagalog! Hahahaha...time really does make a difference, especially with the language. I love her so much. She is still preparin
g for the temple. I don't believe I will be able to go to the temple with her, but at least I know she is on her way. (: That bawl fest moment was a tender mercy, a gift from Heavenly Father and I am full of gratitude!
During conference many people spoke about sustaining and obeying the prophet, so I guess it is pretty important. We all better get off our high horses and serve...huh (without griping)?! :) So...lookout San Clemente and Camiling...Sister Lamera and I are going to be serving with all our might, mind, and strength this week!
Here's to another rainy, hot, and humid week in the bukid of San Clemente. The church is true!
Love you all,
|Reunion with Nanay Cecilia! She is as beautiful as ever!|