November 11, 2014

Life As A Real Missionary...Part #66


Dear Family,

Wow, I have SO much to report this week, it's not even funny! So I guess I will just start at the beginning. 

It is a new month and so all the mission leaders got together to discuss the training topic for the month and then bring it back to their zones at zone training meeting.  Our mission president also has a theme for the month to go along with our work and learning.  Well, we are now in the month of November and have only two months remaining in the year. At the beginning of the year, in January, our mission set a goal with the Lord, to reach 1,650 baptisms for our entire mission for the whole year. As of two weeks ago, our mission total was at 1,450 baptisms. HOW IN THE WORLD WERE WE GOING TO GET 200 BAPTISMS IN TWO MONTHS, especially around Christmas time when all the Catholics get REALLY Catholic?!

Our mission president has been fasting and praying about how we, as a mission, could reach our goal.  Well, the Lord told President Clark how we could manage 200 baptisms by the end of the year. President Clark has instigated this new program called "Follow-up 200." Every set of missionaries are to visit EVERY investigator EVERY day. We were counseled to cut down our proselyting area from about 10 barangays, to only 2. That will really help us spend more time teaching and less time walking every day. When we were told about this, I was freaking out just a bit because my companion and I are teaching less-actives all over our area,  not just in 2 barangays. We have people in every area that need us. 

But, Sister Lamera and I prayed together and then started planning. We felt we needed to focus on two specific places nearest to the chapel as this is the area where most of our progressing investigators live. So after praying and pondering we started the program and felt really good about our goals and planned our work. Then, the very next day we had transfer announcements..... and Sister Lamera was transferred. WHAT?! The Lord wants me to lead this area for the last 6 weeks of my mission with a new program and a new companion and reach our baptism goal? Oh man...I will tell you, my faith was wavering a bit.  I wasn't feeling adequate and I really wanted to achieve our goals and do our part to help with the success of the overall mission goal.

I was so sad to have Sister Lamera transferred.  She is so, so, so, amazing. I love her SO much!  She is so humble and compassionate.  She is like my child. Hahaha!  However, I know she needed to leave this area, it was time for her to be transferred. She can't grow if she stays here. So, off she went, to a new area with a new companion to conquer the mission! I received my new companion. Her name is Sister Secillano. Let me tell you, I know exactly why the Lord sent her to San Clemente with me, at this time. We need each other!  She has only been a member of the church for two years now, one of which has been spent on a mission. She left for her misson after her one year anniversary of baptism!  Wow, she is brave. But she is wonderful!  She was struggling really bad in her last area with stress, anxiety, and her companion, all of which made her want to go home.  She was ready to leave the mission and was feeling so sad about so many things.  She was feeling really alone and confused.  So, the Lord put her with me. Hahaha!  Why do I always get the sisters who are struggling to stay in the mission and who aren't enjoying this marvelous work? Sister Secillano and I get along well and she has such a beautiful testimony and is so strong!

Anyway, I was stressed about the new program implementation and about receiving a new companion who was struggling, but all is well! Oh me, of little faith. Shouldn't I understand by now that the Lord takes cares of His work and His missionaries? Actually, this new program is AMAZING! If you lean on the Lord it really works.  We have found and visited 10, yes 10 new families this week! I haven't taught this many families at the same time my entire mission. Because we are working in the same place and teaching the same people everyday, they progress so much faster. They don't have as much time in between appointments to let Satan get into their head. We are there daily, constantly filling their homes with the Spirit and they can feel the difference it is making.  They are growing so rapidly and learning so quickly.  This "Follow-up 200" truly came from God.  How grateful I am for a very inspired mission president who is helping us to reach our mission goal! 

Another part of the program is that if every companionship in the mission finds 4 people to prepare and baptize by the end of the year, we will achieve our goal.  We were promised by our mission president that the Lord has prepared 4 people for every companionship in the Angeles mission to teach and baptize before the end of this year, and it is our responsibility to find them and bring the spirit to them. We were given a sheet with four lines on it and we were asked to take it home, pray and decide who those 4 people were. Sister Lamera and I had already been teaching a family and they are getting baptized this month!  This will be 3 of the 4! Sister Secillano and I have also been directed to the fourth soul the Lord told us that was ready to be baptized.  That person just so happens to be in one of the areas that we had chose to focus on. The Lord is really smart, ya know? 

So, we have our 4 names and we are accountable for what happens to those 4 people before the end of the year.  I am going to make sure that all 4 of them are prepared for baptism before I leave the mission.  It sounds crazy, but all of this is really changing the work. President Clark was really inspired by the Lord with all of this. The Spirit is so strong in this new companionship, I have already learned so much from my beautiful new companion. Family, I can't even express how much God loves His children, every single one of them. I can feel it. We have our 4 names set on track for baptism, and have 10 new families to share the gospel with as well. There may be more baptisms than 4 by the end of December.  Wow!  The work is moving and progressing and I am so humbled to be a part of it. Oh, and I am doing my best to make sure Sister Secillano loves this work and feels loved!

You know, I read in Jacob chapter 6 this morning and it said, "cleaveth unto God as he cleaveth unto you." I love that. I think it's so beautiful. He loves us so much and He is just waiting and pleading for us to come unto Him. We all can, if we want to. 

I love this work. I love my new companion. I love this new program and I am so excited to watch Satan writhe in anger at the work being done in the Angeles Mission. 

Be good okay!  I love you all so much. I am happy to hear everyone is surviving life. I am excited to enjoy Christmas together (: and eat lots of mexican food! Man, I miss Mexican food. 

Miss you! See you all too soon!

-Sister Thomas

Meet my beautiful new companion, Sister Secillano!

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