Well....there is so much that I could or should write about this week, but I will save that for a day when we go back through my journals someday.
This week was a really great week of observing the hand of the Lord in my life and striving to understand what I need to do, in order to be the Lord's missionary. I will tell you that I have learned a great deal.
My first great lesson is about the love, mercy and forgiveness of the Lord. I came to a greater knowledge about the love of the Lord for each of us. And how we are not all perfect...we are human beings with frail bodies, frail characters and frail personalities. We are far from the glory of God. But we all have a similar goal in mind. We are all striving to reach for our potential--to be like our Heavenly Father and to receive all that He has. But because of the frailties of our life, we are all capable of sinning....this sinning can affect us and the ones around us. But the role of the gospel at this point is to forgive and forget. It sounds like a really hard task....it depends on how willing (or humble) we are to let the Lord shape us. We can forgive and forget the wrong that has been done to us...because that is what the Savior overcame death for. And that is the role of mercy in our life....we receive mercy because the Lord loves us and wants us to return back to the presence of our Heavenly Father...we should have the same desire for others (for are we not all brothers and sisters with the same need, from the same Being? Mosiah 4:19-21). In order to receive mercy we have to be willing to give mercy....if we will not give mercy....we shall not receive the mercy that will be sufficient enough to let us enter back into the presence of our Heavenly Father. From my experience....it is a hard task to ask...but it is so very crucial and necessary in order to be ready to receive the blessings and gifts the Lord seeks to bestow upon us (D&C 88:33). I hope to carry this gift or knowledge with me forever...a lesson to be learned and a blessing to receive and bestow upon another.
We had some really great lessons with less actives and investigators. I have really felt the love of the Lord for each of them and the power of the Spirit in the opportunity to share with them about their purpose here on earth. I love missionary work! I love helping people to understand, what the adversary had been so good at destroying....the truth. I know of nothing else in this life that can bring greater joy and satisfaction, than the truth of the gospel and a heart willing to listen.
I want to share with you a really cool insight... I was talking to one of the new American Sisters from New York. She is Sister Andrada's companion--Sister Ianuzi. She is trying so hard to get the language and Sister Andrada finally came to me to ask for help on how she could teach her companion the language. It is not an easy task for the Philippinos...but they try. And so I spent some time to understand the feelings that Sister Ianuzi was having....yup....the same as me. I totally understood what she was saying and I felt like I could try to give feedback. (and just as a side note....this doesn't just apply to having to learn a new language and talking to people....it applies to many aspects in our lives) I started to share with her that it all comes with time....just as any blessing that we seek from the Lord. We must wait. Like life here in earth....some of us are granted the knowledge, through the gospel to know where we will go after this life and what awaits us. But we must live here on earth in order to receive that gift of eternal life. With that we must never give up. We cannot give up on the fact that we cannot see ourselves progressing. Because most of the time we are progressing.....but it is little by little. I shared with Sister Ianuzi that the language did not come upon me in one night....it came over a period of time. Along with a promise to the Lord that I would read the entire Book of Mormon in Tagalog, if He would help me in Tagalog. Granted it took me 9 months to read the Book of Mormon....I have looked back and seen Him help me every step of the way--line upon line and precept upon precept. I shared with her that as long as she was continuing to do all she could the spirit would carry her words to the hearts of the people that she is talking to....but you have to talk...you have to try your hardest. And I told her that according to the will of the Lord, He will grant her that gift of tongues (or in the case of life....He will grant us those blessings that we so much desire in this life...). But after the language barrier, there are other trails and speed bumps to overcome....just as in life....you overcome one mountain and then you have another one before. It isn't because you are good enough, but it is because the Lord loves you and is in the process of refining you and making you into the person He knows you to be.
I was striving to find a way to be a better missionary...this is a continual process....so I don't have a good discourse to give on it yet....maybe after :)
I will tell you that I have come to the part in my mission that I don't ever want to leave...I love the people too much. I love talking with them (even though I don't understand all the people and what they are saying) and sharing with them the wonderful words of the gospel. *sigh* the good part is that it is not over until the coming of the Lord. So I have the rest of my life to give to this....maybe not in Tagalog.....but definitely in the language of the Spirit. I am so grateful for these experiences here and the blessings given to me!
I know that the Lord lives. I know that the Book of Mormon is Another Testament of the Lord Jesus Christ and that through His Atonement, we are able to return back to the presence of the Lord. I know that the Lord has a plan for each of us, as His beloved Sons and Daughters. We must share this plan with all....even if they will not listen to us. We have to make it known. For if their spirits are ready, they will know the truth of the things we share.
Carry forth the words of the Lord and hell shall not prevail against us!
God speed the right!!!!