Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy All Saints Day!

Hi! It's a great day! They don't really celebrate halloween here in the Philippines, but today is All Saints Day, and everyone goes to the cemetery (it's like our memorial day), and they also light candles and put it outside their door at night.

Thanks so much for all your letters and emails! I love you lots! Sister Almaquer is a delight to work with. We are doing great. This week was great. We took sister Jerrene to witness a baptism on Saturday. She is doing wonderfully well and progressing very rapidly. She'd make a great missionary if she chooses to go on one. I can't wait for her baptism! Sister Mary is going through some challenges right now, with some family discord, and she got really sick because of all the stress, so we offered to find someone who could give her a priesthood blessing of healing and comfort. President Orpiano, and another brother in our ward, offered to do that. I'm really grateful for our stake president's humble example. He is very humble and even though he is very busy trying to provide for his family, he is always magnifying his calling and willing to minister to those who need it, and we found out that he often cleans the whole church all by himself every week. I wouldn't be surprised if he is called to be the temple president of the Urdaneta temple in a few years. I learn many things from the examples of many good and inspired leaders here in the Philippines.

This week I've been really distressed about one of our families preparing for baptism who we still haven't been able to get to come to church, after recommitting them many times. My testimony was strengthened this week as me and Sister Almaquer have prayed a lot about how to help them, and ideas came to us that we never had even considered previously, which will hopefully be able to help them. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers. It just requires us to be in tune and receptive to the ideas and impressions that come to us. Yesterday I was really happy because one of our investigators surprised us by coming to church. We've been inviting him all the time, but he was always drunk and never came. Well this week we went to him many times to remind him, and we were delighted to see him walk through the gates. He told us he wants to become a member of the church. Yay! We found a wonderful family this week through a member referral - they were so happy that we came and the mom kept telling us how grateful she is that we will be teaching them. It was funny because the mom was shocked that I knew Tagalog, and kept asking me over and over "I don't believe it - do your really understand what I am saying?!" Hehe, another of our investigators thought that I was born and raised in the Philippines. It's pretty rare Americans to know Tagalog, and so many Filipinos are kind of take back by it when they hear one of us Americans speaking their own language.

The Book of Mormon is of priceless worth. It is often taken so much for granted and even "trampled under the feet of men." I think it's interesting in 1 Nephi 1:11, when the Lord appeared to Lehi in a vision - out of all the things he could have done - he gave him a book of scripture to read. Also in Matthew 24:27, when Jesus Christ appears after being resurrected, out of all the things that he possibly could have done and said to his disciples, he opened to them the scriptures. That says a lot about the importance of scriptures.

I love the story about when Jesus' disciples are fishing in the sea, and they aren't having any luck, and then Christ comes to them and tells them to cast their nets on the right side of the ship, which, they do. And after they do - they catch so many fishes that their boat almost starts sinking. I think that teaches a great principle about obedience. Sometimes when promptings come from the Holy Ghost, we might be inclined to say to ourselves, "That's a silly idea" or "That doesn't make sense" but if we cast away our pride and act on faith, we might be surprised at the miracles that can result.

Well, anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful day. It's a great day! Heavenly Father has blessed us all so much! I know that this is His church, and that He leads and directs us today through His living prophet. We all have limitless potential to do good and bless the lives of those around us. Let's all find out one thing that Heavenly Father wants us to do, and go do it. Go out and make someone happy!

I love you!
Palangga kita! (that's I love you in ilonggo!)


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