The highlight of the week was on Saturday when Elder Thurber and I went on exchanges. You'll never guess where I worked, yep, Boni 4! It was one of the best days of my life. Honestly, it was such a great experience seeing all the members again. I'm going to give you a breakdown of all the major events that happened so you can fully comprehend how amazing the day was. Upon my arrival at about 8:20 at night, Elder Francisco (the missionary I worked with) took us straight to Jenna ‘s house. When we got there, we saw MJ through the window and her face lit up. She ran further in the house and then a few minutes later she comes running out the door with Jenna. I was so happy to see them. They are honestly the cutest family ever. Unfortunately, Edmar is still abroad so I wasn't able to see him. We only stayed for a couple minutes and chatted for a second. She invited us back the next day for lunch. We started the day off at the bakeshop where Junjun works. I love that kid. He's doing great; workin hard making the best bread in the Philippines. We then met up with Junard (one of my best friends here in the Philippines) and declared repentance to the people of Bonifacio. A while later, we made our way to the house of Jamie and Ciara (do you remember them?) and had a wonderful lesson. They are doing so great. If it had been the first time I met them, I would never have guessed the Ciara has only been a member for a couple months. We talked about the temple and they expressed to us how excited they are to get sealed as a family. We exchanged information so you know we'll be skyping after the mission. After our visit with them, we made our way back to Jenna's for lunch. We met up with Jio (one of my other best friends here) along the way and he's still Jio. A little later we were able to visit Princess with Jenna and Jio and had another great lesson with them. When we walked into their house, all the great memories came flooding back into my head about the good times Elder Diamse and I had sharing the gospel with her and her family. As we were walking back to the apartment at the end of the day, Jenna told me that I need to come back to the Philippines next year when their family gets sealed in the temple. It's little statements like that that make me love missionary work even more. It doesn't get better than this (at this point in my life). As I sat thinking about all the people I’ve taught and grown to love, I was filled with an overwhelming joy. It's going to be very difficult to leave this country and these amazing people. Luckily, that's still far into the future. You build relationships on your mission that are very strong and will be cherished for an eternity. I'm starting to get a glimpse into what was meant by the scripture "how great shall be your joy with [them] in the kingdom of my Father." Thinking about those amazing people that I have been blessed to get to know and share the gospel with brings me great joy. I can only imagine what it we will be like when we meet again in the "Kingdom of [the] father."
The rest of the week was great. The work is progressing at lightning speeds. We met with Wilma, Lynn and Samuel yesterday and it was pretty much the best lesson ever. Yesterday, Samuel told us a really good experience he had last Sunday that tells us how amazing these three members are. Samuel was trying to decide whether he should attend church or not. He only had enough money to make the trip to the chapel. He decided that he would skip out that week and attend the following week. As the morning continued, he felt more and more inclined to go to church. He finally make the choice to get dressed and go to church. He recounted that he though in his mind, "the Lord will provide." Samuel ended up having an amazing experience at church. After church ended, he didn't have a way home. We called him over to join in a lesson with Wilma, Lynn, Elder Thurber and I. Great lesson. Afterwards, Wilma and Lynn came to the rescue and were the answers to Samuel's prayers. Even though it was out of their way, they took Samuel all the way back to his house. Samuel concluded his story by saying, "I should have known better than to think twice about going to church. The Lord always provides." After he said that, I looked over at Wilma who had tears running down her cheeks. She then told us her side of the story. After our lesson, she felt prompted to ask Samuel if he wanted to ride with them. She initially planned on having the taxi take them all to her house and then that would be the end. As they were approaching their destination, Wilma heard a still, small voice whisper in her ear, "take care of Samuel." They arrived at Wilma's house and they started to get out. Then, the voice whispered again, "take care of Samuel." She told Samuel to stay in the taxi and paid the driver to take him the rest of the way to his house without knowing that he didn't have any other means of getting home. The Lord truly does provide. This amazing story reminded me of a statement by President Monson that goes something like this, "there are few things greater than learning that you were the answer to someone's prayer." Whenever I feel prompted to do something, I always remember that statement and think, "Maybe i'm supposed to answer someone’s prayer by doing this act." Never delay a prompting, you might just be an instrument in the Lord's hands in answering a prayer.