Life is so beautiful, no?? I'm loving every minute of it! Every minute is wonderful, and guess what?? It doesn't have to end!!! We are so blessed to have this time on earth now, and we know that after this life, we can have peace and happiness FOREVER. Our Father in Heaven is so good to us:)
This week has gone by so fast! But it's been so good! At night, I can hardly sleep because I'm so excited to get up and work in the morning. I love every minute of it:) Why?? Because we are going about our Father's work. Simply as that. Of course I love the food and the people and the Philippines, but the ultimate joy that I feel is solely because we're doing our best to be obedient and live the gospel, we're becoming instruments in the hands of a Heavenly Father who needs us to help bless His children here on earth.
I've realized that this isn't about me at all! I love the things I'm learning, especially the language and how to cook and how to teach better, but I am just so happy that I get to serve Heavenly Father! It's the best and again, after the mission, it doesn't end. For all of us, we are charged with the duty to lift and bless all the children of God here on earth, even in just the simple, every day things:) So go and serve and just live the gospel!! I promise, it is the best and truest and ONLY way to lasting happiness:)
Going back to being an instrument of God, it's a neat experience, because it's two-way: our part as disciples of God is to do all we can to live the gospel, be obedient, love others, be Christlike, and be worthy of the Spirit. It sounds like a lot, but it's very simple really. And as we do that, Heavenly Father uses us in ways I never expected! And it just happens! I can't quite explain it, but it's an incredible, satisfying experiences to know that despite my limited capacity (because of language, teaching skills, whatever), as I do my best, the Lord does the rest. I've also realized that as a missionary, we teach the gospel. Of course I knew that, but it's that simple- we preach the gospel, both in word and action. I've seen the Lord's hand in my life as I've done my best to learn the language and the lessons and then later in lessons, I'm able to explain those concepts clearly and confidently...they're not even my words! It's the spirit and the Lord helping me. But sometimes sharing the gospel doesn't always end up in baptisms, and that's ok- this is called a "labor of love" for a reason. I've thought a lot about that this week, because in one of our areas, there's an older lady who is a maid at a house. She lives far away from her family and is lonely a lot. Especially lately, because she fell and hurt her wrist and she doesn't have enough money to go to the doctors. Because she's always busy, she doesn't have time to take the full lessons, but we've shared scripture verses and prayed with her a couple times, and those have been some of my favorite lessons because it's such a blessing to help this sister feel her Savior's love and be comforted. I can't describe that peace:)
There was also an awesome experience this week where again we saw the Lord's hand in the lives of His children. In one of our areas, there's a sister we taught a couple times, but after a week or so it seemed like she wasn't interested anymore because she was always 'busy' when we dropped by to try and teach her and she wasn't reading the Book of Mormon. So we put her record aside, thinking that she just wasn't interested. But the other night, on our way home, it was kind of dark and as we were walking, she stepped out from the shadows and started talking to us, crying. She said that she was having trouble with her family and that she was afraid of her husband and was just really struggling right now. (from what she's told us before, her husband does drugs and she struggles with emotional and self-worth problems a lot). So she was saying this and just sobbing, and I thought to share Helaman 5:12 with her. As I did, she calmed down and everything about her changed- it's like a burden was lifted from her shoulders. She also said that she wanted us to keep teaching her, but because of her family situation, there's no one to help her with the housework and such, and so she could never meet with us. We talked a little bit more, and said a prayer for her, but before she left she asked what scripture that was and that she would read it again later. We dropped by the next day, and found her outside her tindahan (little store), reading the Book of Mormon! Helaman 5:12!!!!!!!! :) She loved it and couldn't stop talking about it. We asked if we could come back that night to teach her, and when we did, she put everything down so she could listen. We talked about the Word of Wisdom, and she accepted it right then and there! As we left, she said "my heart was opened because of your scripture." I know there is power in the Book of Mormon because it is true. But more than that, I know that Heavenly Father is in the details of EVERY LIFE of each one of His precious sons and daughters. The feeling I felt when I thought of that scripture wasn't overwhelming or burning, just an idea even, but it changed everything and I know it's because God loves Sister Marlyn so so much.
So I know this gospel is true, with all my heart. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a servant and instrument and disciple of our Savior. I love the work and I love every single person on this earth!!!! :) What an amazing life we have:) Trust in Him, believe in His promises, and just LIVE THE GOSPEL!!! :)
Love you all and have an awesome week!
P.S. Go to https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/categories/inspirational-picture-quotes?lang=eng and look and SHARE some of this beautiful quotes!! They make me so happy and I know they'll make YOU happy! :)