Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Go about doing Good

Dear Family,
Kumusta kamo? Again, I have so much awesomeness to tell you all this week. I hope I remember everything. :)
On Tuesday, we were trying to find some Less-actives in our area, and we unexpectedly found a nami former investigator. His name is Kester. He is a 21 year old fisherman. He is the older brother of a less-active YM and he basically told us right off the bat that he wants to be baptized. His challenge will be that he is gone out at sea most days of the week.
Resfe ann and Eleazar are doing pretty well. Actually, I'm pretty proud of Eleazar. He is determined to do things the right way, so he is planning on going to visit Resfe ann's father in Bugasong to ask if they can get married. He really wants to make things right with her family. How noble. He really does have godly sorrow. They know they have done wrong, and they are so ready to make it right. We are hoping all will be well, and they can get married in August so Resfe ann will be baptized! Yay!
Elna is still doing so great. Lidemae is struggling with her testimony a little. Which is due to the fact that she hasn't come to church for the last few weeks. But Elna can't even wait to be baptized. July 26th can't come fast enough. We taught them about the baptismal covenant. Elna was totally a show off in church yesterday. Joke lang. She just was so excited to answer questions in class and she got them spot on. Yeah! Handa na siya! (She's ready!) Her husband's older brother, Nelbert, wants to learn the gospel as well. Yay! So hopefully that will lead to Elna's husband to be interested.
On Thursday we found a bunch of new investigators. Margie (37) and her daugher Andrea (12), and Margie's boyfriend Rojie (24). And some other various friends of theirs. We OYM'd Margie, and right away she was like, I need you to teach my daughter. Margie and Rojie work up in Boracay (a white-sand-beaches-crystal-blue-oceans tourist spot up north of Kalibo), and they leave Andrea to fend for herself in a boarding house down near where we live. So they will be leaving this week to go back to Boracay, but Margie really wants us to teach Andrea so she can have a relationship with God. They all 3 came to church yesterday and were well fellowshipped. Margie kind of acts all tough, but she shared something in RS and started to cry. She knows Heavenly Father sent us to help her and her family. Plus, they fed us dinner the other night. Yes! :) And they have really great questions.
On Friday, we taught Josie and Arlyn about the Word of Wisdom. Josie accepted it so humbly. She smokes occasionally, but is addicted to coffee. We committed her to stop both, and she was so excited to report to us on Sunday at church that she had gone one whole day without it. She is doing great. She is reading the BOM every time we walk up to her house, and is now up to Jarom. She amazes me. Arlyn is so funny. She ran and grabbed her mom's sachet of coffee. I asked if we could take it and throw it away so she wouldn't be tempted, and she said yes. My companion is also funny. And crazy. Just like Sister Rappleye has done, Sister Viliami unexpectedly committed to Josie that she would quit ice cream AND chocolate until the baptism if Josie will quit coffee forever. haha. Sister V is doing good so far. She was surprised when those words came out of her mouth. haha.
We have been teaching all of our Less Active families about Antique District's Vision. It is called "Back to the Basics." We are just encouraging everyone to strengthen their own spiritual foundation on Jesus Christ by doing 7 very basic gospel things consistently: 1. Daily Family/Personal Prayers, 2. Daily Family/Personal Scripture Study, 3. Weekly Family Home Evenings, 4. Attend all 3 hours of church, 5. Pay full and honest Tithes, 6. Accept and magnify callings (including home and visiting teaching), and 7. Seminary and Institute. Those are some simple building blocks for a strong testimony. And we are trying to show people how super-easy it can be. It doesn't have to be a big production. Even little efforts make a big difference.
As we have been studying the New Testament, Sister Viliami and I have found that we keep having opportunities to live like the Savior. We have been able to be more bold in our teaching over the last transfer, and this week we have gotten many opportunities to give service. Pres. Harold B. Lee said, "Missionary work is but home teaching to those who are not now members of the Church, and home teaching is nothing more or less than missionary work to Church members." That has been in my mind...I've been asking myself, if our investigators were members, what would a good Visiting Teacher do to take care of them? Hmmm? And as we have taken the opportunities to follow the Spirit and serve, the Lord keeps on giving us more opportunities to do so! Yay! Let me explain what I mean...On Thursday, our investigator Robilyn was not feeling well when we taught her. She had a cold. So then I thought, maybe we should go get her some soup or something. It was not a convenient thing to do. But I remembered this other quote by the wife of Pres. Kimball to: "Never suppress a generous thought." I knew I couldn't ignore it. So we got permission to run to Gaisano real quick and we bought her some soup packets and oranges. We dropped it off real quick and she was thankful. She and her kids came to church! Then on Friday, we went to visit our investigator Myra (it's gonna take a whole other email to explain all about her :) ). Her kid was really sick...throwing up and diarrhea. He couldn't even keep water down. And they are way to poor to take him to the doctor. So we called every Melchizedek Priesthood holder in our phone...no answer. Finally the Elders called back and agreed to come later that night. They were able to administer blessings to the little boy, and 3 other people who needed blessings as well. I am grateful we were able to be a part of that. And that Myra was able to witness the power of the priesthood. Then on Saturday, Myra texted us that she was huya (embarrassed/shy) that she didn't have any church clothes to wear. Well, guess which sister missionaries had a box full of church clothes from a member to give away? Us! So we took her some outfits and a few extra shirts (they seriously have nothing--Their neighborhood is called Purok Pigado for crying out loud...Purok POOR). She and her family came to church! And then on Sunday, just like Christ told the Pharisees and Sadducees in Matthew 13, we got to serve again! Our investigator, Christine was busy cleaning their house. So we started mopping and washing dishes. She was so happy to not be doing it alone.
I don't share any of this as a way to show our "alms before men," but rather as a testimony that when we apply Christ's words and follow the Spirit, we are given even more opportunities to do the same. People will notice. They do notice. And they, too, will want to be like our Savior, Jesus Christ. Go do some good. I am so grateful for my mission and these priceless experiences He is giving me. I love you all and I hope you all have a great week.
Love, Sister Winward

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