Sunday, April 12, 2015
I honestly can't believe another week has come and gone already! This week was such a crazy week. We had our zone conference which was so great. We have such great leaders here who are so inspired as to the direction of our mission. We are all striving to be more obedient missionaries to the rules in the white handbook. Obedience has been on my mind a lot because obedience is something I think is taken too lightly. Obedience is the base line of all, rules mean nothing without obedience and laws and obligations mean nothing as well.
But on to the rest of the week. One of the rules we are striving to be better at is exercising daily. So we started our morning with the new exercise Sister Dahle(our mission president's wife) gave to us and as we were finishing my companion passed out. We were all freaking out, but she remembers nothing but me talking to her as she was waking up. We had the President next door come and give her a blessing and I monitored her for the rest of the day, she mostly slept while I studied and took it easy. We took the next couple of days easy and so far nothing more has happened so hopefully it won't again.
I got to go on exchanges with Sister Lucillo. She is going home on the 22nd. I will miss her so much. She is such a great missionary. While we were out, she said she kept hearing the name Caron St. over and over in her mind and kinda brushed it off thinking it's not in the plan for the day. Then the voice got louder and said Caron St. Now! So she said to me and the member who was working with us, lets go find a less active. She pulled out the sheet that had the less active names and addresses on them, and we set out to find the address. It took a while since the road isn't straight through. When we arrived, there was a man sitting on a balcony looking at us and two very large scary looking dogs behind the gate. We asked around before entering and finally braved the dogs and asked this man if he knew the name we were looking for. He asked us why and we told him we were missionaries from the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that he was a member we would like to meet. He said that was his name and that we could teach him but he didn't want to be forced to go to church and we again explained that we just wanted to meet him. It was really interesting to hear his story. He was baptized in 1970 when the naval base was active and he was taught by navy men. He was given an English BOM and taught that even if he didn't understand all that he was reading, he could pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet. He said he still had no doubt that Joseph Smith was a true prophet.Sister Lucillo asked if he believed that everything happens for a reason, he said yes and that that was the reason he let us teach him that day. All of this was in Tagalog but the strangest thing happened for me, I didn't understand what everyone was saying but whenever he spoke it was as if he spoke in English and I understood. Sister Lucillo shared a scripture and it was read in Tagalog so I really had no clue what was said but I felt that he needed to hear that God knows him personally so I testified of that, turns out that is exactly what the scripture said and I had no clue what was going on. We invited him to come to join us in church . As we all left, we knew he would be there He even told us he would come straight from his catholic service. We could not believe by the end of that appointment how strong the spirit was and how amazing it was to be doing the lord's work. So fast forward to , we got there a little late but he was not there. I sat by Sister Lucillo and silently was losing my faith that he would come, I thought he forgot and isn't going to show up, especially as conference continued. By the end of the first session I had pretty much given up hope that he was coming and as I stood to stretch at the end I turned around and there he was! I was so beyond overjoyed, I couldn't believe I lost my faith in him but he was touched and still came!!!! Sister Lucillo and I just hugged each other and were so beyond ecstatic. I was beaming all day yesterday! Sister Lucillo told me later that as we found him we had just been told that the baptism that had been planned for her last Saturday in the mission would be cancelled and she was frustrated to not get a baptism in her last area but that she learned its not all about baptisms its about finding the lost sheep. It was an amazing day.
Then as we went out proselyting that day, we met three new investigators and as we gave the first lesson, I noticed one sister was very touched to the point that she was almost emotional, so I hope that I will have the opportunity to teach her the gospel and help to change her life.
We went back to our apartment to get our sheets for PEC and were called out to by a man on a tricycle, neither of us recognized him but we went to talk with him. He is a less active. We went to contact him several weeks ago but he was either gone or not available. He was sitting there waiting for us and informed us that he wanted to be retaught with his family. I couldn't believe it, how often do you walk down the street, and have people tell you to teach them! It is so crazy how quickly the work is progressing here and everywhere. We don't always know our purpose here in each area of our mission but we do know that we have a purpose and I feel that this man was one of the reasons I was here was to meet him to give him a BOM in Tagalog and give him something that no one else could. I will never forget this man or my experience teaching him and I am so grateful for Sister Lucillo following the promptings she was given to meet this man. I love you all at home. I hope that all is well for you there especially in the spring time. For now I'll keep enjoying the heat here and the craziness of the Philippines. Until next week,
Love Sister Hansen