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As a missionary, of course our call is to serve all of God's children. We're even set apart for that job. But even though we're the missionaries, I've come to learn that there's so much I can learn from the people around me - both investigators and members. My area right now, Baler, is a small, farming community. The church is still small here and all the members work so hard to keep the branch going. Within these last 3 weeks we've experienced 2 typhoons, and these are some of the incredible, selfless examples of the members in Baler:
- President Sollano: He only just returned from his mission, he's only 23 and now branch president. But 2 weeks after the first typhoon, he spent half the night driving his tricycle around Baler to check on all the members and give out food. It was muddy, wet, cold, and still stormy, but he visited everyone.
-Sister Armin: She was baptized last year, but struggles being able to come to church sometimes. But even then, she's one of the most selfless people I know. After the first typhoon, her house was flooded, there were holes in her roof, all their family's clothes got soaked, and she had children to worry about, abut she spent the next two days in the hospital taking care of her best friend, who gave birth the day after the typhoon and who had no one else to take care of her.
- Sister Nympha: She has a lot on her plate. She's a single mom, but always gives of her time willingly. We spent the weekend packing over 4,000 relief good packages at the chapel, and even though she's so tired and has a lot of her own problems, she never complains. She was there at the church when all the members evacuated, cooked, and made sure everyone was okay, even though at her own house the floodwaters were up to her knees.
- All the members: On the night that Typhoon Lando hit, most of the members evacuated to the chapel. Many brought their non-member friends and neighbors with them. I'm sure that's just natural, but I can't help but feel the love and concern they had for all their loved ones as they ran from the storm. I also know there were a lot of prayers that reached heaven from the chapel as they prayed for their loved ones that weren't able to make it to the church.
These are only a few of the things that have happened this last while...these members are so strong, so amazing. They truly exhibit Christlike love for everyone around them and exemplify what it means to lift those that need help, to watch out for the spiritual and temporal welfare of their brothers and sisters. So yes, I am the missionary, but sometimes I think the members here understand what it means to be a true disciple better than I do. :-)
Sister Sierra Allen, October 26, 2015