So it pretty much all started on Friday when we had a specialized teaching training. It lasted from 9 to 3 and was all about using the scriptures and teaching short and powerful lessons. We were called the night before and told that we would be leading a practice teaching for lesson three. Sweet, no big deal. Then we where told that we would be doing the demonstration and we had to teach all of lesson three (English) in 15 minutes using a scripture for every principle. That was an experience, especially when my companion doesn't like using English. It worked out well though. We learned a ton. Something that is not easy is teaching the entire plan of salvation in 15 minutes using a scripture for every principle. That one will take some practice.
Right after the specialized training we went of exchanges with the APs. I was with Elder Stevens. A little background about Elder Stevens: He was one of the very first missionaries I met in the field. We flew over to Palawan together and he later became my zone leader. We have a ton in common. It's actually quite weird how much we have in common. He's from San Diego, loves sports, music, and all that fun stuff. When I first got into the field, he was kind of the missionary that I looked up to and always thought, "I want to be a missionary like that." He's a convert to the church and was only a member for a year before he left on his mission. Needless to say, we had a great time. We worked in his area and pretty much tore it apart. We taught some great people including this referral who is a little bit older and just loves life. She was so excited to see us and was just bouncing off walls the whole time. She'll be getting baptized at the end of April. Fun fact about the Philippines. People love talking about things that have no relevance to anything. During our lesson with this woman (Margarita), she somehow took prophets and morphed it into how she's traveled all over the Philippines and did service projects or something hahaha it makes me laugh just thinking about it. The next morning we did P90x. Destroyed me. I sure miss that feeling.
Sunday was a great day. Spent the whole week preparing for my talk. It went well. I'll talk about it a little bit later though. I'll use that as my spiritual thought for the week.
Fun Fact: For some reason, everyone hear calls me Peter Parker or Clark Kent. And I mean everyone. Members, investigators, people I’ve never even seen before, it's quite ridiculous. I don't even look anything like them besides the fact that I’m white and wear glasses.
Anyway, back to Sunday. We were at coordination meeting and we brought JunJun, our baptismal candidate, because we were going to set up the program and all that stuff. As we were sitting there listening to some other missionaries in the ward give their report and JunJun leans over to us and asks if he can work with us and help us teach! "Of course!!" hahah I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. So later that day, he worked with us for 4 hours! We taught a lesson (which is a spiritual experience in itself that I’ll talk about next) and JunJun bore the strongest testimony ever about how the Book of Mormon has changed his life and how he knows without a doubt that it's true. It's amazing to me how converted JunJun is. He has experienced "a mighty change of heart" and is truly acting upon it. He worked with us again yesterday and introduced us to one of his friends who we will be teaching on Wednesday. Amazing. This kid is a better missionary than I am.
So more about the lesson that we taught. Our tinuruan was named Brian. He's a personal fitness trainer and a family man. He has a wife and a little baby and they mean everything to him. Luckily for him, we have exactly what he needs to make his family happier in this life and eternal in the life to come. Turns out that this man was prepared by the hand of the Lord to hear our message. He excitedly welcomed us in and began to tell us about the background that he's already had with the "Mormons." He has family members that are members and has been introduced to the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. He ran upstairs and brought down his Book of Mormon and the book "Our Heritage" and began to expound upon the things that he's learned from his reading. HE taught US about Mormon being the father of Moroni and how Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith and assisted in the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon. I was amazed. We didn't really even have to do anything. He asked a couple questions which he pretty much answered himself. We kind of just bore testimony of the things that he was saying. One of the members working with us, who was just baptized in December, bore strong testimony, and then we let JunJun loose on him and that just took it home. Game over. Brian is getting baptized. Such a spiritual experience. If anyone ever doubts that the lord is preparing his children to hear the message of the restoration, send them my way and I'll prove them otherwise.
As I was praying the other day about the topic I wanted to speak on, I was hit with a definite answer. A word popped into my head and the spirit testified to me that I needed to talk on forgiveness. President Hinckley proclaimed that forgiveness is probably the greatest virtue on earth and I’d have to agree. If we could master this virtue, the world would be a far better place and our lives would be far happier. If we ever feel that we can't forgive someone I would encourage us to remember our savior Jesus Christ who suffered incomprehensible pain for each one of us. He bled from ever pore, he was beaten, bruised, whipped, and mocked by those that he was in the act of saving. As he hung on the cross, facing his accuser, he offered this humble plea, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Never has such an act of love and forgiveness ever been preformed. We can forgive even when we feel that we have been wronged beyond forgiveness. The Lord is always ready and waiting to forgive us. Let us remember our savior and be willing and ready to forgive those around us.