Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 80 (Jan. 25, 2016 Gabaldon, Philippines)

Hey Mom!!
First off, could you add luke.hager and caleb.smith to my emailing list if they're not already there? Just to make sure. Thanks!

So, this week was pretty awesome, as most of them are. We were able to teach the Galvez family again, and the father is still really interested. Their oldest son, Lawrence, also sits in regularly on the lessons but is shy, so he's always sort of behind the sins, listening from the shadows like a ninja... He's a good kid though, haha. They've been having a problem lately with receiving a testimony, and so in our most recent lesson with them we, we really stressed the importance of praying for confirmation of the Spirit, as well as reading the Book of Mormon. That's one of the hard things about teaching people with a really solid Christian background, even if they're not really religious. Prayer, scripture study, and sabbath day worship aren't foreign concepts to any of them, and so it's nothing that really catches their eye. We have to really stress those kinds of things in order to explain to them how powerful those things actually are. The family all gave a solid commitment to read and pray, so we'll be following up with them later in the afternoon. They really could help the branch out a lot if we can help them get that testimony. Cool stuff :)

During our weekly district weekly this last week, The APs called and asked me to give an impromptu workshop on finding efforts. It's a struggle we're having across the Philippines area, and so they're really stressing the basics right now. Talk to EVERYONE! I still struggle with it sometimes, but I have seen how the Lord blesses us when we obey. There have been a lot of times when I see someone I need to talk to, but I just continue walking away, until I finally give in to the Spirit and turn around and contact them. More often than not, it's somebody who is either a lost member, needing help to return, or another son or daughter of God spiritually prepared to accept and live His plan for them. As was the Galvez family! We were on our way to another section of our area, walking through a part where we don't typically find, when we passed a simple little alley type thing. I felt really strongly to go inside, but we were already late for our appointment, and still had a long way to go. So we kept walking, but then (again) I finally decided to listen to the Spirit, and told my companion we had to go back. So we did, and met the Galvez family! Right now, they are still our main goal for baptism in February, and I really think we could make it happen.

Yesterday, we had our District Conference in Bongabon with President and Sister Clark. President Clark gave an awesome talk about repentance and about what it's NOT. He said that, too often, we mistake repentance with suffering, guilt, punishment, confession, apologies, correction, and so forth. But that's, making it all too complicated. Those are all things that will lead to repentance, but it falls short of what it truly is. Repentance is simply change, but more specifically, a change of the heart. That's what the Japanese word for repentance literally translates to. Change of heart. Pretty cool, huh? :)
Even better? There's a less active member that wasn't able to attend church yesterday, and so we shared with her President Clark's Message, and it was exactly what she needed!! President Clark also put a big focus on Forgiveness as a part of repentance, and the member shared with us about something in her life that she was having a really hard time forgiving. The coolest part though? When we all put together at nearly the exact same time that being able to forgive is, in and of itself, a form of repentance! It's when we change our heart and allow ourselves to once more love and accept anyone who has hurt us, despite their weaknesses and shortcomings, especially when that person is ourselves. The Gospel is so awesome!!! Gaahh, I get so hyped up about this kind of stuff!!! Hahaha!! Hooray for Salvation!!

Anyhoo, I just wanted to share one thing from my Personal study this week. It's from 1 Nephi 5.

14 And it came to pass that my father, Lehi, also found upon the plates of brass a genealogy of his fathers; wherefore he knew that he was a descendant of Joseph; yea, even that Joseph who was the son of Jacob, who was sold into Egypt, and who was preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he might preserve his father, Jacob, and all his household from perishing with famine.

I added the boldings and the underlines to emphasize the points that I just noticed this last time reading through. Joseph was sold into Egypt, according to the Lord's plan and will for him! Should he have stayed with his family through all those years, the coming famine wouldn't have been prophesied of, the food wouldn't have been put into storage and thousands of people would have died from starvation, including Jacob and his family. The Lord may see fit to allow us to fall into trial and tribulation, but we just need to keep having faith that it's according to His plan for our eternal progression, and stay true to His commandments.

Love you!!
Elder Syphus
Mountain view
Elder Dala and I

Ward Missionary and Recent Convert, Noel

At Mom's request

Preparing for the baptism this upcoming Saturday!

All one tree

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