October 27, 2014

Life As A Real Missionary...Part #64

Dearest Family,

Here I am, reporting after another week of missionary work. I feel like I was just here reporting on last week, what in the world happened to October?

This week was good. We walked through a lot of storms, only got dehydrated once, saw lots of miracles, and cried just a few times. You know, the usual.

We had a baptism! Actually, the story is really awesome. Harold was so excited about his baptism. We went to go see him Saturday morning before the baptism and he was so excited for it.  He had woke up super early to start his work on the palay (rice harvesting) so he would be done in time for the service. AWWWHH! That night was really great. Both sets of missionaries had a baptism, so it was a really good and spiritual baptism service.  Harold came and we thought he was coming alone, but to our surprise, his less active dad walked in with him!!! We were like..... NO WAY! Harold's dad hadn't stepped inside of a church since before Harold was born. It was so amazing! He came to support his son and his decision to join the Church. My eyes teared up as I saw the smile on Harold's face. He is truly one of the elect, so prepared to receive the gospel in his life.

The baptism service was great and the spirit was so strong, everyone was touched.  Harold shared his testimony, he thanked the missionaries and he made me cry. The branch president interviewed both of the new members right after the baptism service and both of them recieved the Priesthood the very next sunday! At the same time, one of the recent converts from last August, who has been struggling, recieved the Priesthood as well. So San Clemente had two baptisms, two confirmations, and three ordinations all in one weekend! It was so cool. This branch really does need the leadership and activity of these three new Prieshtood holders.  Even better, last night, we found Harold with all of the other young men in the branch and some of the YSA's hanging out together. Harold was enjoying himself. I am so happy the guys in this ward are so supportive and have welcomed Harold with open arms.  Harold has so much potential in the gospel and will make an amazing missionary someday!  The gospel is true and it really does bring happiness and hope to those who embrace it!

You know, there are rough days out here, but somehow by the time Monday comes around I just can't remember them very well. I know we dropped some people this past week, got rice thrown at our faces, and experienced some heartache.  But I can't really remember the details of those moments.  I do remember, however, feeling the spirit so strong as we taught and testified.  I remember being pushed up a hill when I was too exhausted to climb it, I remember being spiritually full at the end of the day, I remember having some powerful study sessions with my companion and feeling the love and support of the this powerful but small branch.  I also remember feeling the strength of the Savior beside us and having confidence in His guidance as we worked.  I remember having a heart full of love for these beautiful people and feeling grateful for the tiny miracles that influence their lives.  I remember laughing with my companion and sharing a smile with an elderly man on the street.  Those are the details I remember clearly. 

You know, even though I know it is getting towards the end of my mission, it still doesn't feel real to me. I know the end will come eventually, but the Lord is really helping me push myself these last few months.  We had one day where every appointment fizzled out. So we just went around talking to everyone we saw on the roads and in the fields, and ended up extending four baptism invitations! They all accepted. We walked away from the last lesson of the day and I just had this amazing feeling inside. My heart was so full.  It was a feeling that is so hard to describe. I just felt the Lord's happiness and I knew that we were doing what we have been called to do. These people need the Gospel, they NEED it and we are here to give it to them. We are here to bring hope to the hopeless and happiness to those who are feeling alone and discouraged.  These feelings, you just can't describe. But they completely fill you up and push you to a whole new level of yourself. It's a beautiful thing. Missionary work changes lives.  It changes the lives of those who are serving and those who are being served.

I am happy to hear family are friends are doing okay. I am SO proud of Hannah. She is amazing and I can't wait to watch her dance again!!! I hope she keeps stretching and surprising herself. The Lord has big things in store for her, I can feel it.

I am looking forward to meeting Parker. He seems to make Courtney really happy. Tell him I am excited to meet him and well, give him the stink eye because I don't want him to be too comfortable.  Hahaha!

Bowen is a stud. I would have DIED to see him play Max. Omgulay! Please tell me someone recorded it so I can watch it when I get back! I love that kid. Tell him to keep his head up, he will get the hang of junior high, just in time to move on to high school..... hahahaha but that's life I guess.

Anyway, I love you all. I hope you have another great week. You are all so beautiful. You know, after showing off my family picture to someone, I got told I was the ugliest one in the whole family....... hahahahahaha, and right now, I would have to agree with that. No running water, bucket showers, my "ghetto-fabulous" watch, worn out dresses, dirty fingernails, and let's not even talk about the sweat sauna I currently am in at the moment.  Hahahahahaha! #missionaryproblems

Have a good week! (:  Mahal kita!

Sister Thomas

Harold's Baptism!

It was a great day!

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