Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Lord is Truly Blessing Us

Another week down. Well this week has pretty much been an amazing week.  I've got a ton to tell you so "be ye therefore ready."

I'll start with the highlight of the week which was the baptism of Jess and Jojo on Saturday.  It was amazing. I cannot even express to you my love for those great men and their families. I'm so glad that you saw the picture of Jess and his family.  They are just the cutest family ever. They are so strong and are going to look great in white in one year from now when they get sealed in the temple. Jess bore such a great testimony after his baptism (did I mention that he asked me to be the baptizer? Yeah, that makes a great day even better). He expressed his love for his family and his excitement and gratitude that he has finally found the true church.  Jojo also bore a great testimony.  He expressed that he was feeling really nervous as he was about to walk through the door into the font, but he expressed that that fear left him when he saw me dressed in white waiting for him at the stairs. His fear was replaced with a "kaya ko" attitude. It was a great experience.  Elder Manares and I had the opportunity to sing a special musical number. After hours of contemplating which song would be best for this situation, we decided to sing, "I love to see the temple" instead of "Wrecking ball." The spirit was so strong. Nothing makes me happier than directing families to the temple. Don't you just love baptisms, missionary work and life?  The Lord is truly blessing us.

I have to tell you a wonderful experience that Jess shared with us before his baptism. As you know he has been looking for a job for quite some time. Despite his heartfelt prayers and faithfulness, he wasn't having any luck. He didn't get the job that I told you about a few weeks ago. so he was very discouraged.  He even expressed to us that he had almost lost hope.  A week before his baptism, we visited him with President Stucki and taught a very powerful lesson.  President Stucki then suggested that we give Jess a priesthood blessing to assist in his job search. Following the lesson, we gave him a great priesthood blessing and then left. The very next day, Jess got a call informing him of a job opening and was asked to come be interviewed.  He was interviewed 5 times.  After those 5 interviews, he was informed that he got the job! After years of searching, the job hunt was over. Not only did he find a job, but it was also a better job than any of the other jobs he had been interview for.  Isn't the power of prayer and priesthood blessings coupled with faith amazing? We can learn an amazing lesson from this story. It would have been really easy for Jess to give up on prayer and come to the conclusion that God doesn't answer prayers after the first failed attempt. However, because of his faithfulness, he was blessed with a greater job than any other he had come across. We sometimes expect God to answer every prayer in the way that we want him to answer.  We expect him to give us what we think is the best.  If we don't receive it, we often begin to doubt and get discouraged.  We rarely take into consideration that the Lord is preparing far greater things down the road. Never get discouraged if a prayer isn't answered right away.  The answer will come, and it will be far better than we initially expected.

I saw a decal the other day that describes the Philippines perfectly. It read, "Trust in God." Immediately following the statement there was a picture of the playboy bunny. Isn't that great? I think that would look good on Stevo. That's kind of how a lot of people think here.  Everyone believes in Christ, but that belief does not lead to a christlike life. They just need the Gospel!!

So earlier today we had an awesome experience.  We went Golfing!! Yes, Elder Obray has come out of retirement.  It was so great. I miss the game of golf.  It definitely wasn't nearly as fun though because I didn't have my dad and brother next to me. The sport itself is only half the fun. Who you're with is the other half. I'm happy to report that I still have a slice.  Some things just never change.  Don't worry though, I’ve still got it.  Pitching wedge=150. That's how we do. The golf course manager actually told me right there that they were ready to sign me if I was wiling. The contract looked pretty nice, but unfortunately, it's against mission rules to take part in sponsored sports activities. Maybe next year.

Went on exchanges this week. That was fun. 

Interviewed a cute little girl for baptism.

Looked at about 300 apartments.  Finally found a couple that actually meet missionary standards! One of which has a basketball court on the roof.  I know where I’ll be placing myself.

Teaching a great new less active part member family (my favorite)! They don't even know the happiness that is about to slap them in the face over the next few months.

Speaking of cute part member families that are going to be sealed in the temple, the Caras family emailed me! They found my blog online and somehow got my email.  They sent me the greatest email in the world.  Quick update for you all.  Carmelino was called to be the sports coordinator and coach of the church ball team (church ball is huge here).  They took the championship under his coaching! He was also called as the second counselor in the young mens.  He's the perfect man for the job.  Jhoanna was called to be a relief society teacher and a teacher in the primary.  I love that family so stinkin much.  Carmelino is going to be bishop before to long.  Their family is doing great! They expressed to me their gratitude for the amazing change that we brought to their family.  I love my mission.

Well that's about it for the week. It was a great week.  This week is also going to be great with MLC and Elder Christensen. The Lord is really blessing us here in the Bonifacio 4th Ward. 

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