Friday, December 5, 2014

November 23, 2014. Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Eat some turkey for me, will ya? I'll be celebrating Thanksgiving solo this year... with no food. I'll figure out soon how that works. I guess I could start with what I'm thankful for. First and foremost, I'm grateful for my wonderful family. I could not ask for a better family. They are supportive and loving... and hilarious! There's never a P-day that goes by that I'm not laughing hysterically to myself in the computer shop with everyone staring at me. I could definitely not do what I'm doing right now without their prayers and encouragement. Second of all, I'm grateful for my calling! It is absolutely incredible being a missionary. Words can't express in emails the things I feel and see every day in peoples' lives. Then I get here and sit down to write about it and forget most of it, so I apologize. Anyway, I'm so thankful to be a part of the most important work in the world that is so much bigger than myself. It has changed me in ways I never would have experienced otherwise. I'm thankful that my father in heaven allows me to be a part of the conversion process of his precious children and that I get to watch them grow. It builds my testimony daily. I'm grateful for my savior Jesus Christ and the atonement that makes it possible to return to him despite lifelong weakness and imperfection. I'm also soooo thankful for the good health I've had in the Philippines. I've dodged a lot of nasties and I haven't had lice yet, praise the Lord! 

Sister Gison is one week away from finishing training and she is so ready. I have absolutely loved having her as my companion. Throughout her training I never really felt like she was new. She instantly caught on to teaching and study techniques. She has also taught me so much about patience and service. I've never heard her complain and she loves doing service for me and our house mates. She will do great things in her mission!

On Saturday we decided we really needed to buckle down and find new investigators. We really sought to follow the spirit in our finding and it produced 7 new investigators in a day. I was thrilled. One of them we found as we were walking down the street - she was an old lady hauling home a rice cooker so we carried it for her. When we asked her if we could teach her, she was very happy to listen, telling us that something important to her is people who live their religion. She kept saying how service is something that defines a true follower of Christ and how she could tell from our actions that we were. Another lady we found did not trust us right off the bat. But we convinced her to let us in and within 5 minutes she was an open book. Sister Gison's theory is the ones whose trust we gain so fast are the ones the Lord has prepared for us. I liked that idea. 

One struggle we are having is our investigator Marvin who wants to be baptized. He has one problem (and it's kind of a big problem). He was reading in Alma 32 in the BOM and really related to Alma.  The amazing thing is, I'm seeing the power of the Book of Mormon. I don't feel like we're doing anything. From what I can see, he reads it and the Holy Ghost does the work. We just invite him to act. It's incredible! But he said that he feels like he has lost his faith because he can't understand why God gave him an autistic son. It's his only child and it's really a burden on his family. They love him so much but they struggle with it at the same time. We have made some plans on how to respond to his concern but I'm worried it's between him and the Lord to sort out. His wife didn't know he ever felt this way for 11 years until he opened up to us and her at the same time so she was pretty broken-hearted. It's been weighing down on me and Sister Gison since that lesson... sobrang mabigat sa loob. We really want him to find the faith again in God to be baptized. Praying we will be inspired when we go back...

Fun cultural fact for you all: When the language barrier hits and you don't understand each other, it's called a nosebleed. Well, during an OYM we were talking to these people and they asked how I learned Tagalog. They said, "Akala naming nosebleed ka!" meaning they were afraid to talk to me because they thought they would have a nosebleed. Well that very instant, my nose started dripping blood for the first time since I left home. Heheheh. 

Also for those who are interested, I know these kids that were in this performance. It's really cool! 

Enjoy the holiday. I love you all and am deeply thankful for all of you. Take care! Enjoy this picture from last Sunday. This is part of the Cristobal family.

Sister Wilson

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