Sunday, August 25, 2013

Who Said Swimming is Against Mission Rules?

Buckle up, this week was epic.  I hope I can type everything that happened fast enough!! 

So Tuesday was one of the craziest days of my entire mission in terms of culture. It all began Monday night when it began to rain extremely hard.  It continued to rain throughout the night and when we awoke... all the streets were flooded. I'm not talking a little water accumulated in the gutter.  No, I’m talking waist deep!! We received a call from the zone leaders telling us that a house of one our district members had flooded. So we walked to their house.  In waist deep water.  It was gross.  There were diapers floating by, half eaten corn, flip flops, everything.  We helped them get everything out of the water and then escorted them to the senior couples house (on the opposite side of our area) while their house dried out.  It was quite the morning.  We finally made it back home around 11 or so and received a call informing us that we had to stay indoors the rest of the night.  It was the most boring day of my entire life.  We have absolutely nothing entertaining to do at our house because we're never there, so we kind of just sat around, read preach my gospel, studied the scriptures and other really fun stuff. It was quite the day.
Luckily, the next day, most of the flooding had gone down and we were able to work. 

Saturday was a great day.  Two of our investigators were baptized.  Sister Michelle and Brother Mark Ng. The coolest people ever.  I'm so happy that I was able to meet and teach them.  Brother Mark is a really cool guy.  He's 20 years old, single and works as a physical therapist.  He's fairly soft spoken but has a strong testimony.  I had the great opportunity to confirm him a member of the church yesterday.  Even though I've only known him for about two weeks, my joy was full.  I cannot describe the feelings that overtook me as I watched him walk into the waters of baptism and as I placed my hands upon his head to confirm him a member of the church.  It was so amazing.  There are few things that can match the joys of being a missionary. 

I cannot express how much I love the people in this area.  The better I become at Tagalog, the better I get to know the people.  The better I get to know the people, the more I love serving them.  Everyday, I’m amazed at how perfect the gospel of Jesus Christ is.  It has answers to every question and helps us through every trial.  We had the opportunity to teach a less active member this week.  Her name was Maria.  She was an elderly lady and so nice.  We felt inspired to teach a lesson on faith.  The lesson went well.  At the end of the lesson, her eyes swelled up with tears and she began to sob. She began telling us about the many trials she was facing with her health and her family.  She proceeded to ask us why god was giving her so many trials. One of my favorite sections from the doctrine and covenants popped into my head; D&C 121.  I shared with here a couple verses that always help me through hard times.  I ended by reading verses 7 and 8.
7 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; 
8 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shall triumph over all thy foes. 

I cannot describe the spirit that was present in that lesson.  I can testify that these verses are true.  As a missionary, you experience more hardships than ever before.  These words spoken to Joseph Smith can give us the drive to push through all adversity.  The lord is refining us to receive the greatest gift that he has to offer.  Trials may seem long and agonizing in the moment, but when we emerge on the other side, when we finally conquer the mountains that have been placed in our path, we will notice our progression, we will realize that we are far better than we were at the start and are that much closer to becoming even as Jesus Christ is.  I love life as a missionary.  There is nothing else that I'd rather be doing. 

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