Monday, March 29, 2010

Greetings from Dagupan!

Magandang Hapon! I can't believe it's almost April already.

I love being a Baguio missionary! This week we had a Tri-Zone Conference, and I got to see Sister Garma again! It was good to see her.
I know that President Jensen is called of God, and he has received this revelation to focus on reactivation during these two months. I am already seeing the fruits of that effort. This week we were blessed with many new investigators and referrals who seem to be ready to receive the gospel, most of whom we met through members.

This week we had a neat experience when we visited an inactive member, brother Elmer Cayabyab, in an effort to help strengthen his testimony and help him return to full activity in the church. His brother was there and joined in on our discussion about the Restoration, but raised a lot of questions and interrupted with objections to the things we were teaching. So we did our best to help his brother to understand the restored gospel, sharing scriptures from the Book of Mormon. After a while of this, something remarkable happened. When we brought up the need for priesthood authority in Christ's true church, brother Elmer's eyes lit up and he said "Yes! I really truly believe that! That's the thing that will answer all of this!" With tears welling up in his eyes, he bore his fervent testimony about the need for priesthood authority, and that "no matter how smart a person is, no matter how good-intentioned a church is, it is not Christ's true church unless it has priesthood authority to administer in the saving ordinances." It was really neat to see the light in his eyes as his testimony was re-awakened and he taught alongside with us. (Hehee--afterwards, Sister Niebla and I joked that we have found a new strategy in reclaiming less-active members: just bring along someone to protest against everything we believe, and then sit back and let the member rediscover his own testimony as he defends what he believes).

Lately I've been thinking about how everything that Heavenly Father does is for our eternal benefit. That's his whole purpose - He wants us to be perfectly happy, like He is. Every commandment is calculated to result in our eternal happiness. So if we truly understood his great plan for us, we would be asking him for more commandments, not complaining about the ones he has given us. In visiting these inactive members, I've also learned Satan is real. He is working hard to destroy people's faith. He is very good at convincing us that obeying small commandments doesn't matter. We've shared Alma 33:19-20 to a lot of people - because it shows that even small commandments, like praying, studying the scriptures, and partaking of the sacrament each week, truly has the ability to "heal us."

General Conference is soon! Yay! I love you! Thanks so much for everything!

Love, Rebecca

P.S. Moroni 10:27, 29 and 2 Nephi 33:10-11 are very powerful testimonies of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

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