Sunday, January 3, 2016

Week 77 (Jan. 3, 2016 Gabaldon, Philippines)

Hi Mom!

I DID get transferred, which I didn't think would hit me as hard as it did. Ugh. I actually do really like it in my new area though. I'm in Gabaldon, here in Bongabon Zone, and it's BEAUTIFUL. We're surrounded by mountains and jungles, we baptize people in rivers, and the one other companionship in our District is on the beachside, so you best Believe, we gonna be doin some exchanges up in here. Word, G-Man. (That's how Elder Chand taught me how to talk :) ) But ya, it's weird as well, because I'm used to being in the city surrounded by people, and then going home to Kabahays and everything, but it's like nobody lives out in Gabaldon, plus it's just us two. It's weird trying to adjust to after 6 months in Talavera, but it'll be good. As soon as this crazy Cold Virus is gone, that is. I swear. I board the bus going to my new area, and BOOM, I'm cursed. Sneezing, coughing, dripping, you name it. Yucks. Mornings and evening are the worst, but I make it through the day alright. My new companion is Elder Dala, and I'm his follow up trainer. Elder Murdock was his trainer, so things are fun :)

I just want to share with you a touching experience I had yesterday. The church is about as strong here as it has been in any of my other areas, but for now, these faithful saints are limited to worship in a rented flat on the second floor of a business center. They have to climb a flight of stairs to get up, which isn't a big deal, but one of the Relief Society is a cripple who lost a leg in a boating accident about 10 years ago. My companion and I showed up at just about the same time as her, and I was curious as to what would happen as she approached the steps. Would she hop up the steps with her 1 remaining foot? Her age didn't allow it. Would she be carried up by some more than willing Elders? She wouldn't have it. Instead, she handed over her crutches, turned around and sat on the bottom step. And then, holding on to the railing for balance, she, with difficulty, lifted herself on to the second step. She stopped, took a few breaths, and then did the same up to the 3rd. Then to the 4th. And the 5th, etc. For the 20 some steps, she repeated this, until finally making it to the top. She didn't stop there though. During Sacrament meeting, she left her chair and climbed up those 3 extra steps onto the pulpit in order to bear her wonderful testimony to the branch.

Sometimes, I feel like we can get frustrated, as we see others practically glide up the steps of life, taking no notice of trial or affliction along their path. Sometimes, we may feel our steps are bigger, higher, or more uneven in comparison. And sometimes, that may be true. But the strength that we get from moving past those trials and tests can very well be one of the biggest blessings that we can hope to receive in this life. Imagine our satisfaction, and the approval of our Father in Heaven, after arriving in His Mansions above as we look back and see the progress we've made, the new person we've become.

Elder Syphus

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