Sunday, March 30, 2014

Small and Simple Things

What a crazy week full of baptisms, weird food, marriage counseling, and miracles. I'll start with Saturday. JunJun was baptized! It was a super great service and the spirit was strong.  You would have thought that he had been a member for years if you heard his testimony at any other venue. He's such a special guy. He'll be a great instrument in the hands of Lord as he continues to flourish in the Lord's church.  Who knows, a full time mission might be in his future. A few missionaries, including Elder Manares and I, sang a musical number that was alright. We prepared for like thirty minutes before so I wouldn't say that it was beautiful, but it invited the spirit none-the-less. Not only was JunJun baptized this last week, but also my favorite family from my last area.  I'm so happy for that family.  The parents were reactivated and now three of their 6 children are members of the church (the other 3 are under the age of 8). What a wonderful blessing to be a part of that wonderful change in their life.  I wish I could have been there to see it.

One great thing about this ward is that they love to feed the missionaries.  We had a dinner appointment every night this last week.  I'm getting so fat. It's great.  Anyways, included in those meals are some pretty epic eating experiences.  I ate horse. That was weird. Quite spicy, had quite the kick (hahaha). We also ate octopus.  It sufficeth me to say that some sea creatures should be left in the sea and be left un-eaten. Luckily, you can put anything on rice and it tastes good.

We had a really cool experience yesterday.  We concluded our church service and were in coordination meeting. One of our elderly ward missionaries told us of a family that was quite sick and was in need of priesthood blessings. We grabbed one of our high priests and headed to their house.  When we arrived, this family just lit up. They graciously let us in.  We proceeded to give both Tatay and Nanay blessings.  At the conclusion of the blessing given to Tatay, he looked at us, with a tear in his eye, and stated, "This might just be a little thing, but I will never forget it." We never know how much our simple acts of service can bless the lives of those around us.  An act that seems quite small can truly mean the world to friend, neighbor, family member, or stranger. It reminded me of the scripture found in Alma 37:6-7:
"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
"And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls."
We can be those little miracles in other people’s lives if we heed to the small, simple promptings of the spirit.  Who knows, it could bring about the salvation of a soul.

I had the opportunity to participate in marriage counseling the other day.  Before the meeting, all I could think about was the movie, "What Happens in Vegas" when they are yelling and screaming at each other. That's pretty much what it was like. Luckily we kept it a little more organized than that though. As soon as we began to talk about our Savior and the divinity and sanctity of the family, the whole mood changed. The Spirit was felt by all.  Tears were shed.  Hearts were changed.  The wonderful couple left the room holding hands. If we want to have a successful relationship and family, center it in the gospel and build it upon the Lord, our Savior Jesus Christ.

So I may or may not have told an innocent, old lady that we have a lot of prostitutes in the Philippines.  The word for harlet and learning is quite similar so in an attempt to state something along the lines of "we do most of our learning in the Philippines," I may have messed up a little and flopped a specific word. I don't know for sure though.  She didn't look too freaked out so I think it's all good. It made me chuckle though.

I relearned a valuable lesson this week about attitude.  Attitude is a choice and will greatly affect every situation. Don't worry about things you can't control, worry about the things you can. 

Favorite hymn line for the week that has been stuck in my head and playing on repeat. "Time flies on wings of lightning." Literary genius.

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