Thursday, August 5, 2010

Is is really August already?

Wow, time seems to be flying on wings of lightning! I've learned that it is important when teaching investigators, to "Point them to the Savior" and make Him the focus, no matter what we are teaching. It is a sure way to invite the influence of the spirit and provides stronger motivation to apply His teachings and live the restored gospel.

The Reotorio family is a great example to me. Although they are extremely poor, they are absolutely faithful in attending church every single week. Even though Brother Lito (the father) has been out of work for an entire month. One sobering experience the other day -- because of a lack of food, they went to trade their dog for a chicken. But then, somehow, the chicken was stolen from them. Sister Merlene was so stressed and upset over it that she spent hours outside looking for it in the rain. Finally they found the remnants of it and evidence that whoever had stolen it had already eaten it. It was sobering to see them in that situation, and Brother Lito holding a plastic bag with the feathers only, and their 5 small children. But we testified to them that blessings follow obedience, and just a couple days ago, Brother Lito found work again, which is a huge blessing and proof that Heavenly Father really does take care of His children and delights to serve and honor those who put their trust in Him.

Sometimes I feel like a disney princess here with all the little children flocking to say "hello" and use whatever English they know. Filipino children are so cute.

Some sad experiences this week have been when we have taught to some investigators who have treated us and the message of the Restoration with spite and contempt. I feel sad especially when people choose to disregard the Book of Mormon, close their hearts to the message, and refuse to pray about the things we are teaching them. Many of these belong to Iglesia Ni Cristo - a very prominent church here, to which my companion belonged before she met the missionaries. It's interesting, because it's kind of like our "counterfeit" -- some of their doctrines/history are somewhat similar to ours, but they firmly believe that they are the only true church. But you can definitely tell a difference. I've heard lots of rumors that the founder was actually a former LDS member who apostatized. Anyways, during one such visit, I felt the spirit very strongly testify through me - I bore as fervent testimony as I could about the Book of Mormon and receiving answers to prayer through the power of the holy ghost. I love to share 3 Nephi 11:39 - about how contention is of the devil, and that the doctrine of Christ is for "such things to be done away." I love how one of the main purposes of the Book of Mormon is to confound false doctrine and do away with contention. One thing that really helps when it can be easy to get discouraged is to recite "The Standard of Truth." It is very comforting to know that no matter what happens, no matter how many people reject the message, the truth will go forward boldly, nobly, and independent. Truth will triumph! It will continue to roll forth until it has sounded in every ear and the work is accomplished!

Yesterday we went on splits because we had so many appointments. I went with Shiela Lorenzo, a member who works a lot with us. She becomes a really good friend and huge support to the work. She knows all of our investigators and it almost feels like she's a third companion. She will apply for a mission in 2 years from now.

What a joy it is to be serving as a Baguio missionary. Whenever there are challenges or big tasks to do, President Jensen always says, "All right! We can do it! We're Baguio missionaries!" This work is true! I'm so grateful for Heavenly Father's wonderful plan. It is perfect!
I love you! Thank you so much for being the best family in the world!
Love, Rebecca

P,S. If you know of any really good object lessons, I'd love to hear them. I'm trying to collect all the ideas I can.

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