Monday, August 14, 2017

Family Home Evening with the Abat family

KUMUSTA!?!?!? Mahal ko kayong lahat!

Another good week here in San Fernando. SOBRANG MAIINIT. So so hot this week the weather just switched from raining every day all day to being super hot again. It's typhoon season so it's normal haha. I got to see my first mini typhoon a couple weeks ago -- it's called a bagyo here.

Basically, missionary work is the best work in the entire world and nothing makes me happier. SERIOUSLY. Nothing is better than teaching the Restoration to investigators and serving them. NOTHING. Please please pray for our investigators --- they need all the support and help possible!

It's been another good week in Lingsat! Sister Daban and I are trying our best to help our investigators. This week we are especially grateful to the faithful members of our ward that are so devoted to missionary work. We got help from the young women, the ward mission leader, the relief society president, the high priest's president, primary and of course, our district and mission president, in visiting our investigators. Sister Flora helped us teach Sister Lenie Castigo, and the young women came with us to teach a less active youth, Mark Joseph. Sister Mendoza came with us to visit the less active Galvez family and recent convert Sister Amy Magbanwa. We got to go with a lot of members of the ward, including Bishop, to the Benidez family this week too. Over all, it's been a great privilege to work with the members.

A highlight of our week was FHE of course with everyone at the Abat family. It was amazing that everyone came together to show love and support to this family. They came to church again this Sunday as a family, and except for Brother Abat who has work, the rest stayed for class for the first time. We know that it is so important for investigators to have constant support and friends, to feel important and that people care for them in the church. It helps them stay strong in the gospel and understand more fully the love the Savior has for them. We believe that blessings truly are promised from following the Lord.

Sometimes we can't control everything that happens in the week, but we just have to do the best we can with what God has given us. I know I don't handle every situation perfectly and I have a lot of faults and weaknesses. I wish I always knew what to do and say when I teach, or was perfect in the language or handled every situation perfectly. But I truly want to serve the Lord and be obedient to all his mission rules, and that's what I try to do every day. Sister Daban is such a blessing to me and seriously she's been just an incredible companion. She lets me exercise every day and is so willing to work hard. She is so kind, so much fun to be around, and is truly dedicated to the work. She is such a blessing in lessons, teaching with confidence and clarity according to promptings of the Spirit. She truly was is tune to find some wonderful investigators too. She is an amazing missionary and a great friend.

We have an incredible new investigator, Sister Bing Aquitana. We met her about a week and a half ago, and she is an elect lady. She understands the Restoration and the Book of Mormon, and she already believes that this truly is the Church of Jesus Christ. We love her so much and have the highest of hopes for her. She's amazing and such a blessing.

We have another investigator, Carl Erikson, that is the sweetest little boy on the entire planet and is like my little brother. We love him to death. He is learning so fast and is 12 years old. He is so smart.

I've been studying more deeply the lessons in Preach My Gospel. I focused on the Apostasy, the Restoration, and the Book of Mormon this week, and my testimony truly has grown about these principles. Truly the fullness and clarity and beauty of the gospel was lost over time as the Apostles were killed and the world lost the authority from God and the prophets, and revelation. People began to teach according to their own understanding and denying the power of God. Many churches arose and their understanding of the commandments, the Bible, and the nature of God completely changed. Their purposes were different. The truth was lost from the earth and we truly needed a Restoration. I love to share that message with our investigators. God is the Father of us all, then why are there so many churches and different interpretations of the commandments. Isn't he the same yesterday, today, and forever? Shouldn't baptism, faith, and the commandments and ordinances be the same and constant for each of His children? I know that Joseph Smith asked of God to know the truth, and became the prophet to start the dispensation of the fullness of times. This is the Church of Jesus Christ restored to the earth again. The same one that existed before. The salvation of men is in Jesus Christ and the principles and ordinances of the gospel that are the same now and forever. I believe it with all my heart. OUR SAVIOR LIVES!!

Sister Porter
Doctrine and Covenants 1
17 Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;
18 And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets—
19 The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh—
20 But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;
21 That faith also might increase in the earth;
22 That mine everlasting covenant might be established;
23 That the fullness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.

24 Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Kung ikaw ay masaya, pumalapak!!!!

It's been a great week -- actually to be quite honest probably one of the happiest in my entire mission so far. I loved every minute of it and will forever cherish this time as a missionary. Being a missionary is the best job in the entire universe!!!! Seriously I want to do this for the rest of my life. The Philippines is the best place in the entire world. The people here are literally the sweetest on the entire planet.
I absolutely love everything about Lingsat, I love my companion Sister Daban so very much, and we love the ward we are serving in. Especially we just love the people. Honestly we just love love being here.
We worked so hard this week-- as hard as we possibly could, utilizing every minute we had to share the gospel. As soon as we were outside, we tried to talk to everyone we could, even if it was a few seconds; as a result, we are absolutely astounded at the amount of people that God places in our path to share. There are many people we hope we can get back to. We shared a lot of Books of Mormon and we truly do believe in the converting power there. Even when our appointments fell through, we found people to teach, and actually as a result we found Bing Aquitana, a 50 year old woman who immediately accepted the Restoration story with total understanding and started reading the Book of Mormon. She has great potential! We also met a 17 year old girl named Aira Mae Delos Santos who has a lot of siblings and her parents don't take care of them. She's had a hard time but is very receptive too. We know that God gave us those people to teach; we found both of those investigators after we got rejected a lot of times and we prayed outside for guidance.

A young boy named Carl came to church on Sunday, the son of a less active woman near the church. He is so shy and sweet and little, and needs to know that God loves him so much to boost his confidence. He has enormous potential too. We felt so good about him when we first met him a little over a week ago. We hope that he will be the means of reactivation of his mother.  I am so impressed with the drive for missionary work here in Lingsat ward - -my favorite ward ever!!!!! They all work to reactivate and visit members and we love it! We get referrals and the members are so excited and share so much love. I love Lingsat and Sister Daban so much.  I know that challenges come, but right now my mission is like a dream come true.
I love to run at the beach and exercise every day and I love finding and talking to as many people as possible and also doing my best to plan and teach by the Spirit.
I love the WORK!

Cultural Note:
I found some new favorite fruits -- I love Rambutan. It's a red fruit with a hard shell with long fuzzy like thick hairs around it. You crack it with your palms and eat the fruit inside. SOOOO MASARAP!!!!! I bought dragonfruit too, saging, apples, pinya -- there are soooo many kinds of fruit EVERYWHERE. I love it. Me and Sister Daban are obsessed with Swarma at the Night Market -- we are allowed to go there after work to get dinner sometimes. It's the bomb.
Also, people here love to talk. It's the sweetest thing.
Funny Story:
This family hid from us when we yelled "Tao Po". "It's the Elders!" Then we laughed and yelled at them back that we were the sisters. They hid from us. But that made the stubborn side of me kick in just as we were about to give up. We turned around, hid until they came outside again, then came out and gave them cards and told them they couldn't hide from us and we had a message for their family. Hahahaha Sister Daban was laughing so hard. We are definitely going back there because like I said to her then that families like that need the gospel now.
Mahal ko kayong lahat!!!

James of old chided his brethren for certain empty professions (James 2:19). Said he in effect: You take pride and satisfaction in declaring your belief in God; you boast of being distinguished from the idolaters and the heathen because you accept one God; you do well to so profess, and so believe; but, remember, others do likewise; even the devils believe; and, we may add, so firmly that they tremble at the thought of the fate which that belief makes sure. Those confessions of the devils, that Christ was the Son of God, were founded on knowledge; yet their knowledge of the great truth did not change their evil natures. How different was their acknowledgment of the Savior from that of Peter, who, to the Master’s question “Whom say ye that I am?” replied in practically the words used by the unclean spirits before cited, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15–16; see also Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20). Peter’s faith had already shown its vital power; it had caused him to forsake much that had been dear, to follow his Lord through persecution and suffering, and to put away worldliness with all its fascinations, the sacrificing godliness which his faith made so desirable. His knowledge of God as the Father, and of the Son as the Redeemer, was perhaps no greater than that of the unclean spirits; but while to them that knowledge was but an added cause of condemnation, to him it was a means of salvation.—Abridged from The Articles of Faith, 5:97–99.

Alma 5
14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
14 At ngayon masdan, itinatanong ko sa inyo, aking mga kapatid sa simbahan, kayo ba ay espirituwal na isinilang sa Diyos? Inyo bang tinanggap ang kanyang larawan sa inyong mga mukha? Inyo bang naranasan ang malaking pagbabagong ito sa inyong mga puso?

Sister Porter