Thursday, September 18, 2014

The bitter makes the sweet that much sweeter and Uhh... Merry Christmas??

My dearest family and friends,
This week we had a lot of bitter and finally some sweet. However it's okay because you can't appreciate the sweet without the bitter!
The thing that has been the hardest this week has been the Dalo Family. I love this family so so much but they aren't sure if they want to get baptized anymore. Ah no! In fact they were supposed to baptized on August 23, they were interviewed, passed and everything, but then they told us that they weren't ready. They needed more time so we picked a date with them and they decided September 13. However now they are second guessing. I can feel that Satan is really working hard on them. Please pray for them so they can push through and be baptized!
As for some of the sweet:
-We taught one of our investigators (a chain smoker) about the word of wisdom. He has been texting us every day to tell us that he is quitting and will prevail. He really has a desire to be baptized!
-Got to witness a beautiful blessing. A father of one our recent converts asked for a blessing. The problem is that he has tuberculosis. for those of you that don't know, this is a extremely contagious disease and it's air borne. We asked Elder Pettingil if he'd be willing to give the blessing and he just smiled and said, "I've never heard of anyone getting sick from giving a blessing." He then, because the father couldn't move, had to stick his hands through this window to give the man a blessing. It was beautiful and afterwards the man was so grateful and so happy that we came. #PriesthoodPOWER
-one of our investigator families was really struggling with coming to church. We had a powerful lesson about the Plan of Salvation and they need to attend church to be baptized and return to our Father in Heaven. Then early Sunday Morning we pull up to see them waiting out side the church. That is one of the best sites ever!
-I have found my love for family history. We did Tatay Caalim's family history and since it's really hard for him to speak and nanay can't remember anything we were just planning on doing a little bit. But then we come to find out that tatay had done it years ago but hadn't yet sent it to the temple. We were able to find all these old records and miraculously tatay was able to help us put it all together. It was so fun! I can't wait to do my work when I get home.
As for things here in the Philippines.. It's still hot and always rains, don't worry the bathroom is still full of spiders and it's incredibly beautiful. Apparently it's Christmas season... Everyone is putting up lights and Christmas trees and lot's of Christmas music.
This week in the scriptures: I just finished Alma and I'm so inspired by the stripling warriors. Just when you think they will be defeated they prevail and this is why, "They did obey and observe to perform every command with exactness; yea and even according to their faith it was done unto them and I did remember the words which they said unto me, that their mothers had taught them." Alma 57:21
So a big shout out to my momma. She's incredible and I know the reason I'm here fighting this fight is because of what she has taught me. I hope when things get tough we can do as the stripling warriors and keep fighting for our faith in Christ and remember what we've been taught from our mothers!
Love you all! and I guess Merry Christmas!

Monday, September 1, 2014

CPR the small and simple!

Kumusta ang magandang pamilya at mga kaibigan ko.

This week was a little bit more difficult than I'm used to here in Claveria, but that's okay. Still a good week and lots of miracles! 
Last monday we went to Laoag to withdraw our money for the month. It was awesome we went down with the Petinggil couple in their car! We went to the filipino mall and ate pizza hut! then on the way back up we stopped at this really cool light house! the oldest in the Philippines!
The rest of the week we worked hard, and were actually pretty punted. I think Heavenly Father is just trying to keep me humble because these last couple weeks we've been having tons of success. Well it worked and I really had to pray and fast this week for help. One of the things I've really been struggling with is Ilocano. Now I'm pretty comfortable saying that I'm pretty fluent in tagalog, but we still have quite a few investigators that only speak Ilocano... I feel like I'm starting over, but I'm still working hard and not ready to give up this fight. by the time I leave this place I will be tri-lingual ( is that right?) haha.
but after a couple discouragements we started seeing the blessings.
One of the families we have been working with said they know the church is true. their baptismal interview will be this week, because they have been consistently attending church for weeks now. They have the coolest story, but I'll save that for when their baptized(:
We had an incredible lesson with the Vega family. This family is very influential in the community and would really help our little branch. they are truly investigating and want to know. As I taught them I really felt that they will be baptized!
Sunday was really great. So I spoke, you know us missionaries always prepared. Our recent convert Tatay Cresendo and his wife sang in church how great thou art. They sang acapela  and tatay harmonized. the whole audience was in tears. It was incredible. They were so nervous, but I'm so glad they shared their talent! They also mad history being the first musical number in sacrament meeting in Claveria.
I arrived to church to find out that one of the speakers didn't know he was giving a talk... well sister Abelhouzen to the rescue. As the leaders were stressing out I volunteered to speak. the relief on the faces were priceless haha.
My topic was centered in the scripture "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass." Alma 37:6
Something I have really learned on my mission is how important the small and simple things are. They may be 'small' but they make a big difference.
For example: Every morning we must be out of the apartment at or before 8am. One morning in my first area, my companion and I were running late. Everyone was late to shower and nobody had eaten. Earlier that week my companion and I had set a goal to be out the door before 8am every morning. It was 7:55 and we hadn't eaten yet. Though hungry we decided to pray and leave so we could achieve our goal. Right after we left a man on a tricee passed and we flagged him down to take us to our first appointment. "perfect timing." we thought. we started talking to him and turns out he was pretty interested. we went back to visit him later that week. That man's name is Maurito Rigunay and in April he was baptized a and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Can you imagine if we would have decided to eat or if we were just one minute late?
I promise you that as we are exactly obedient to the commandments of the Lord, even the small and simple, the Lord will provide and we will see miracles.
This is true not only for us missionaries but for all of us in our lives.
We missionaries have a term we use a lot. CPR
C-attend church
P-pray daily
R-Read Daily
This three things are commandments of the Lord and are basically the commitments we leave to everyone. Though simple, it makes a big difference. I have seen that as people follow these small and simple commandments their spirituality becomes more sensitive, their desire to do good increases, and the distance between them and our savior is shortened.
I hope all of you will do the small and simple things in your lives!
The Church is true
The Book is blue
if you do these things, the Lord will bless you.
Yes cheesy... but true.
have a great week
palagi may pagmamahal ako para sa inyo!
Sister Abelhouzen