Thursday, August 6, 2015

March 30, 2015

Nooooooooooo. I'm a grandmother (again). 

I'm so proud of Sister Strickland. She's training right after we finish her training this week. But at the same time, I'm heart broken. I'm gonna miss her a ton and I'm leaving my absolute favorite area after just 2 transfers. Wherever I'm going will be my last area so I'm sort of nervous. It's ok I guess... we had a really good week.

Tuesday was zone interviews and it was a little different this time. We each had a 20 minute interview where we taught President Bertin the restoration. Then instead of having a day's worth of workshops while waiting for everyone else to finish being interviewed, we had a regular district meeting and went right out to work. We actually got picked to work with Sister Bertin so she took us out to lunch and worked with us in our area. It was a really fun day. Our investigators were a little intimidated by her presence and felt it necessary to speak all the English they could. It was really cute, she carries a very sweet spirit with her and I think the people felt it. 

Our highlight was probably yesterday. Sister Strickland and I both had special fasts that our baptisms planned for the end of the week will go through and for a few other purposes. Heavenly Father really came through after that. Julie passed her baptismal interview after finishing our lessons in just 6 or 7 visits. She's got a solid testimony and her brother is coming right along behind her.
That afternoon we tracted into this lady who was just as sweet as could be. She invited us in to listen and it turns out she has always wanted to listen to the missionaries because she is friends with the member next door, she was just too shy to ask about it. She said she envies their family unity in going to church together every Sunday and broke down a little bit about how she longs to have that kind of feeling in her family. So after that lesson we had a lesson with the member next door about missionary work and the atonement. We talked about how experiencing its blessings will help us have the desire to share with others so she could help the sister next door. She then shared her testimony of the atonement and how she knows it's a real thing. She recounted the experience of how her second pregnancy almost killed her, but she knew she wouldn't die because during the time her blood pressure dropped and they thought she was dying, she had a dream, or more like a vision, that her family was in the temple dressed in white being sealed. The spirit was so strong! I felt like she taught us more than we taught her. 

Our last appointment though was the best and the blessings of our special fast continued. We went to the house of this man we taught one time off the street who came to church once but hasn't come since. I almost couldn't remember their house until I saw his girlfriend standing outside smiling at us. She welcomed us into this tiny little room (with room for not much else than a bed and a few chairs) in what seemed like a community house. Brother Ronilo was eating dinner with his friend. He was so embarrassed and said he didn't invite us over to teach him because of the size of his living quarters but we reassured him it couldn't matter less. He talked about how he felt filthy, unworthy, and wondered why he should believe in God or that he loves him when there is so much pain and suffering in his life. So I asked if we could start with a prayer and he was pleasantly surprised. The spirit was already strong and when the lesson started I really felt the spirit guiding us. We shared from Ether 12 about how hope comes from faith in God and becomes an anchor for us in life and how missionaries are one way that God provides to show his love for his children and help them gain faith in him. He invited us back for Thursday and on the way out, his girlfriend grabbed me by the arm and said, "Don't give up on him. In all our years together, this is the first time he's ever opened up about this." She shed a few tears and we didn't know what to say. So we waited. After a moment, she asked, "Can you come back tomorrow while he's at work? I feel like you could really help me too." And then I felt prompted to hug her and when I did, she held on tightly and cried in my arms. Heavenly Father is good and he really does love his children. I love the moments I get to be the instrument in showing God's love to them.

As President Monson said, "Heavenly Father loves you -- each of you. That love NEVER changes." I testify that that is true.  


Sister Wilson

Fairview zone

While everyone else is bowling...

Batasan 2nd ward missionaries!

Some random guy off the street bought us snacks because it was hot out side and we had walked a lot. Faith in humanity restored!

Taco salad anyone?
Our friend in the ward made us our own basket of sticky rice! It's the best... we finished it by the next day

 She's not allowed to go in our apartment so we brought the table out, heheh.

Sister Strickland's reaction to the phone call last night saying she will train

One of the BEST dinners I've ever had -- shrimp sinigang (sour brothy soup with okra, eggplant, different vegetables) and fried fish.

Dessert was also delicious. Ube buko pie (layers of thick sliced coconut and the purple potato-stuff spread on it.)

The 3 in the middle are Charlie, Julie and Claire. Julie, the little one (21 years old, believe it or not) is being baptized on Saturday.

Another really delicious dinner we had -- stuffed fish, lumpia shanghai, and eggplant with shrimp paste

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