Monday, March 24, 2014

Revelation through Exchanges

Dear Family, 

How are you all doing? So summer is here, and lately it has been super hot all the time. But then yesterday it was raining really hard because there is a bagio (tropical storm) in Mindanao (the really big southern island). My payong (umbrella) is my best accessory. 

Yesterday, we taught a nun. That was interesting. She told us she served in Rome for 9 years and she has been serving in Venezuela for 19 years. She is fluent in Spanish and Italian. She was home for a little bit to visit her family. She told us to keep it short because she had laundry to do...then later Sister Marchant and I realized the nun was breaking the sabbath by doing her laundry on Sunday. (hand wash laundry really is a Saturday kind of chore) haha. Silly nun. Sister Marchant thought it was funny because the nun was really uncomfortable the whole time. Probably deep down, she knows we're right. I wonder if Jessica ever got to teach a nun in Rome?

This has been a great week. Things are really improving from a few weeks ago. I got to go on exchanges with Sister Ribelin in Pavia. Sister Roxy Ribelin is awesome. She is from Arizona. She and I are planning some roadtrips for when we are home. haha. It'll be fun. She is a great missionary. She talks to everyone. As in. EVERYONE. In our mission we keep track of our OYMs (Open your mouth/offer your message). The standard of excellence goal is 60 people for a week. I think the day I was with Sister Ribelin we talked to 25+ new people. She motivated Sister Marchant and I to kick our OYMs up a notch we got 81 (We hadn't ever even made the 60 before this week.)...which led to some good finding and some new investigators! Yeah! Finding! 

We also went on exchanges with one of the traveling APs. Elder Rutherford came with Sister Marchant and I on Thursday. We also had another great finding day. We ended up teaching this former investigator family which lives very near one of the only member families in our area, and two of them attended a baptism with us later that day. That was a cool experience. We also taught the Sase's, a less active family, and they are progressing! They weren't really reading scriptures and they were having some marriage and health struggles, but they are being taught by us and by the Elders in Molo when they visit their family there, so between the two, they were finally able to return to church yesterday. Brother Sase gave the closing prayer in Sacrament meeting. :) Also, it was so awesome to have a priesthood holder with us! Leoandra's 2 y/o son, Eric, was very sick. He looked miserable and his eyes were all goobery. So, Elder Rutherford said we should teach her about priesthood blessings. So, we did, and like everything else, Leoandra had so much faith. We asked her if she believe in priesthood power, and she basically said, Of course! Jesus blessed sick people in the Book of Mormon, didn't he? If Eric gets a blessing he will get better. There was no doubt at all. And then two days later, Eric was all better! yay! 

Leoandra is still being a super awesome missionary. She, Crissa, Eric, Melanie (her cousin we started teaching last week), and Manilyn (her sister-in-law we also started teaching last week) all came to church. Yay! Melanie and Manilyn are very interested and receptive. They are willing to be baptized, they just wanted to go to church and pray about it first, so hopefully they will set a goal date this week. :) Progress! 

Also, for a cherry on top. Yesterday, Rose, Mickey the returned less-active's girlfriend, accepted a date to be baptized on April 26. She has opened up so much in the last few months. I am so excited for her! Mickey has already shared about Word of Wisdom with her, so she won't have any of those problems holding her back. We've just got to get the LOC sorted out... fun times. *Wedding bells* :) 

So, personally, between the two exchanges and a heart-to-heart during companionship inventory, I feel so much more full of light and the Spirit this week. I learned so much, and my personal study of The Restoration lesson and The Old Testament has been deepening my understanding so much. I never used to have questions about the gospel before. Like, when people would say that it is best to listen to General Conference with questions in mind, I just never had any questions. I used to accept everything at face value and call it good. I never understood how Sister Foster could get at the gospel so deeply back in our MTC days. Simple was just good enough for me. And it still is (There is tremendous value in the simplicity of the gospel)...but now that I AM feasting on the words of Christ, there is so much more I want to know. I actually have questions, and I am finding answers, of how the doctrines of the gospel all really work. I learned a lot about the apostasy and about revelation's role in the true church this week. It is so cool! I love the scriptures. I like this verse--Luke 5:4--It tells us to "launch out into the deep"--like, a deeper knowledge and understanding of the gospel. I feel like I am getting the hang of it now. The gospel of Jesus Christ IS simple--and there is so much to it! There really is more to the gospel and to God's plan than I ever realized before. It fills me with awe...and love for my Heavenly Father and for His Son, Jesus Christ. 

I love you all so much! I hope you all remember that our Heavenly Father loves you so much! He is your number one fan! 

Love, Sister Winward

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