Meeerry Chreestmas to you!!!
We saw some miracles this week. We had an FHE with a less active member last week and it was a success. She came to church. Sister Helen. She is a single mother who feels so so alone and has 3 young kids with her husband abroad. She has been losing hope because she feels she's been abandoned. But she really felt love from the members and missionaries this week and her kids prayed and participated in family home evening for the first time in a long time. On the way home after FHE a woman on a motorcycle just stopped us on her way home. She didn't know why but she told us she felt something about missionaries and wanted to talk to us. We went to her home last Saturday and found that she is a very hardworking single mother with an adopted child that she rescued from an incredibly abusive family. When we shared why we were there and who we were and then asked her what she was looking for in her life, she started crying and talking about all she wants is a family. She grew up unloved and prevented from having an education and she has had to work for everything she has her whole life, with hope in Christ that things will be alright. Now she has a nice house that she designed and built herself, but she still recognized that she has a kulong, something lacking in her life. We told her that God sent us to her and to listen to what we told her and that we were representatives of Jesus Christ with the everlasting gospel, that she can have a forever family someday. I don't know if she understood everything we said but I truly do believe that God sent her to us to teach her.
Little miracles like that. We received a couple referrals this week which really told us that members are recognizing the blessings of the gospel and want to give it to their friends. We met one named Jesusa who is another mother who wants to know how to feel peace when she grew up in an abandoned and broken family. I'm so excited to teach her.
Nuevo Dumaging is still progressing. He hasn't missed sacrament meeting in over a month, but still needs more help in classes. But he told us that he felt love from the missionaries and happy in the church and has found power in the church and the Book of Mormon and true prayer that he is overcoming his old habits and becoming a new person. We expect that he will be baptized next month.
Sister Ballesteros and I are happy and well. We feel the happiness every time we teach, not because we are perfect teachers or perfect missionaries, but because we are trying to teach the love of Jesus Christ and the blessings of the restored gospel. You can't help but just love the people. And even though this week was crazy with talking to the mayor, and we didn't have that many lessons, God led us to a less active whose house was burned down and she realized she needed to come back to church. We couldn't teach many people but I'm grateful for the people we did teach. Little miracles.
Even a family that was less active that we saw for like 10 minutes came to church as a family -- a part member family. That was amazing too.
72 And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their might; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things.
I for one know I want so desperately to be an effective missionary. This is the servant I want to be to fulfill this prophecy. To labor with all my might in Zion. To help and use all my time and talents to bring others to Christ for the rest of my life. That is my desire for my life. The first part of my mission in the MTC I thought of myself and since then I've been changing little by little. Now my desires are to be an effective planner and missionary, and bring people to Him. I see my mission as more than a year and a half.
People say that you serve for that long and then it's over. But I believe that missionary life is a training ground too, where I can convert myself and grow. I feel like I'm on an internship learning how to share the gospel. I believe that God called me forever and that after my mission my time will still be for the Lord and I want to spend my entire life in His service. I feel converted to Him despite weaknesses.
And blessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard, and have kept my commandments, and have brought unto me again the natural fruit, that my vineyard is no more corrupted, and the bad is cast away, behold ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard.
In the Fourth missionary, Jesus says.
Give me all. I don't want so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work: I want You. All of you. I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man, but to kill it. No half-measures will do. I don't want to only prune a branch here and another there; rather I want the whole tree out. Hand it all over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them all over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will shall become your will. My heart shall become your heart.
I realized that we must turn everything over to him. And I am learning to do that. My heart is completely in this work of salvation. 100%. I want to spend the rest of my life bringing people to Christ and serving in my callings. Things will work out. I love missionary work with all my heart.
I may not have many talents in this work or reach everyone that I wish I could share to, but I CAN LOVE the people. I can surrender my heart to Christ, and not just work but work with my heart. When I am stressed about time and stressed about all the things I don't get done, I am not happy. But when I relax and love the people, even though I'm not the best, I'm truly happy because I see the miracles of God in my life. I feel less stressed I just cheerfully do what I can and trust in God.
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Little kids make bells out of bottle caps strung on wire and they go from house to house singing carols. The Filipino accent is ADORABLE and sounds more like we weeesh you a merry chreeeeestmas. It's adorable.