Well it happened again- I got transferred once more. I’m now serving in Tarlac Ward 5 with Sister Aguspina. She’s from Manila, Philippines and will be going home in February. She’s so great and I’ve already learned a lot from her. She’s been in this area for a long time and so has a really good relationship with the members- I’m excited for this transfer :)
I love it here in Tarlac, even though I miss Baler. In my time as a missionary I’ve learned that wherever we are, we’re doing the Lord’s work and we have His help in doing it. I’m excited to work here for them.
I’ve also had some time to reflect on my time as a missionary and especially on the things I learned in Baler. I was there for 6 months, and they were the most santifiying, strengthening and challenging months I’ve had in my life. It was an incredible time. I’d like to share a little bit about what I learned in Baler, as one last tribute to an area that I loved very much.
The thing I learned about the most is the meaning of true Christlike service as a missionary. In Baler, it’s not like Tarlac or Angeles, where there are generations of member families- most of the members there are converts, almost all of them. It’s also a small town, with little income and as we all know, greatly affected and controlled by typhoons and the land, so in all my time there we rarely had dinner appointments, something that is a missionary’s favorite (or so I thought before). We also had a lot of physical challenges, not just for us, but for the members as well as we fought through a super typhoon and historic floods together. All in all, it was challenging. There was a point that I thought (after our house had flooded twice), “I’m done with this. I’m ready to transfer. This is tiring being here in Baler.” But…I’m so grateful that I served here. Because I saw what pure service is- and what the gospel truly does for people has they accept Christ into their lives. I saw the affect of the Holy Ghost change their lives, making them happier and their entire families happier. So yes it was hard. But on the other hand we saw miracles. Gracelyn was baptized and is going on a mission. Anicia has begun a gospel legacy for her children and will hopefully enter the temple someday to be sealed to her late husband. Lourdes has changed completely from the sullen, sad teenager she was, to a bright, beautiful, beaming daughter of God who knows He loves her. Sister Estrelita (a less- active) is active again and gives so much, even when she has so little. And Sister Marilou and her entire family will hopefully be baptized in the next coming months because she prayed to Heavenly Father saying she doesn’t know where to go anymore and so decided to come to church for the first time. God is a god of miracles. He loves His children. He loves the people of Baler…and in Tarlac and Angeles and America and wherever else you’re from.
I love being a missionary. I can’t express why, but I love it because I love Him and I love His children.
I love ya’ll. Thanks for everything. Take care and always remember God loves you too and He can’t wait to see you again.
Thank you Mom for bugging me about the camera. I finally bought a new one and took pictures and I'm very grateful I did. So enjoy:)