Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sister Franks in the Philippines - January 12, 2014

Happy Monday ulit!

So this is coming to you from another new location! We are in Taytay! Just for the morning though. We are going to the mall after this, and we didn't know how traffic would be so we just left from the house this morning and are emailing from a little computer shop by the chapel here.

There is a lot of exciting news this week, hopefully I have time to share it all. Firstly, this is pretty recent, but we have a new kabahay! Sister Sikotilani (from Samoa) got Emergency Transferred here on Saturday night, coming from Mindoro. So now Sister Tingey and Sister Dudas are a threesome. It's a bit of an adjustment, for all of us (because our house/apartment really is not designed for 5 people--4 people was almost a stretch) but mostly for their companionship because they've been together 3 transfers now (about 4 months) so getting used to a new companion/teaching style/everything will take some time I think. But I really like Sister Sikotilani. I think she is a really good, and much needed, addition to our house and branch. Hopefully we can help her feel welcome and loved though, because I am sure it is awful for her having to leave behind her whole district and branch there that she's grown to love in the past 6 months, especially with just a couple of days notice.

The other news is that we got a new branch presidency in Morong! So, because we are in a district and not a stake, the mission president (President Revillo) came to visit our branch on Sunday. Which was super exciting, and actually really great, but also kind of nerve-wracking for me because I had been asked last Sunday to give a talk (not knowing President would be there). Fortunately, since I got to go first, and there was a lot on the program (testimonies from those who were released, and talks by the district president and then President Revillo), I got to just give a short message/testimony about Repentance and then turn the time over to the others. I think it might have blown my cover with President, though. I don't think he's going to believe me anymore when I complain about not knowing Tagalog (I actually am pretty good at it compared to most other foreigners, but since I'm a perfectionist I never think so). :P Having him with us though and speaking in our branch was such a testimony building for me of the truthfulness of his authority as a leader in this area. His remarks were so perfect and so powerful--like a general authority, but also like someone who lives in our branch boundaries. It was like he knew exactly what we needed to hear--like the Lord himself was speaking. It was super cool. :)

Also, there is a college/university in our area in Morong. Last week we were able to go talk to some people in the administration to find out about what we need to do to be able to go teach there. The people were all very nice, especially the professor we were able to meet with who runs the little chapel/gazebo they have on campus. We decided to teach just from "For The Strength of Youth", which is of course for everyone, whether members of the church or not. We also left a pamphlet about the Restoration for him personally. He said he was really excited to read it, because he's never encountered Mormons before. We have to submit a request letter to their "department of campus ministry" (the fact that such a department even exists should be evidence to the number of missionaries from different religions that proselyte here), which we wrote on Saturday and will deliver tomorrow. It was weird, actually, trying to write a letter in English. Haha I think I'm going to have the hardest time when I get home trying to get over my habit of using Taglish all the time. It's hard enough just writing emails, let alone professional-sounding documents. :P But at any rate, we met with President Revillo yesterday and he is super supportive and excited about our efforts, which is nice. Hopefully a lot of good will come from this new opportunity. :)

Today's spiritual thought comes from the 2nd half of Alma 39:1. "...For behold, have ye not observed the steadiness of thy brother, his faithfulness, and his diligence in keeping the commandments of God? Behold, has he not set a good example for thee?" We are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father. This means that our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our brother. We observe His steadiness, faithfulness, and diligent obedience every time we read the scriptures or the words of the prophets. He has set the example for us. The perfect example. We just need to make the effort to learn from and follow it. :) I know that as we do so, as we learn more about our Savior Jesus Christ and the path to Eternal Happiness and Peace that He has set before us, we will be blessed with so much more than we can even imagine.

I love you all! I hope you have a great week this week!!

Love always,
Sister Emma Franks

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