Monday, May 5, 2014

Sister Franks in the Philippines - April 13, 2014

Hello again!!

I have a lot to say, so I will just jump right in. This week was a great week! Firstly, I LOVE SISTER TARDIO!! She is from Mindoro, and was originally called to the Philippines Davao Mission, but after just one month there was medically released. She is fine now, though, and is just waiting to receive her call to return to Davao, so she is serving short-term here in Quezon City Mission. She actually came from the area in Quezon City where two of our other batchmates are (Sister Rupp, one of her companions there, and Sister Cutia, one of her kabahays). She is 20, and seriously just the cutest, sweetest, nicest little Filipina ever, and such a wonderful, loving missionary. We (Sister Strebel and I) weren't super excited when we found out we would be getting a new sister, but as soon as she came home with us on Tuesday night, we all pretty much fell in love with her right away. She is so happy and excited to be a missionary, and it is really refreshing. She is also pure Tagalog (it is the language her family speaks, not just a language she knows because it is required in school), so she loves serving here, because teaching is so much easier (Davao is mostly visaya speaking--so it's basically the equivalent of one of us foreigners getting to teach in English instead of Tagalog). She's not the best at English, but she's so cute that it doesn't even matter. We just help both her and Sister Avila to learn how to say things correctly, and we are all very patient with each other when there is a word that none of us knows in the other language.
The other thing that is super fun about her being here is that, since she is only here temporarily and may get transferred any day, our area has not technically split. We are a foursome who just happens to be able to split every day for teaching. :) So we still have all our companionship study and planning time together. It has been a HUGE blessing to our area!! (Haha just a fun tidbit: Sister Tardio loves the song "Have I Done Any Good In The World?" and is currently listening to it with her headphones and singing along to it here in the computer shop. Sister Sikotilani is a little bit annoyed and keeps shushing her, but I just think it is really funny. :P)
Though we've only had a handful of days together as companions, I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to serve with Sister Tardio. One of the highlights of our week, actually, is the finding we were able to do. We had an appointment fall through on Wednesday evening, so we decided to use the free time to go tracting here in Morong (who would have ever thought we would CHOOSE, voluntarily, to go tracting, rather than visit recent converts and less-actives, who were the intended backup plan? Just goes to show how much I am changing here). We stopped at several houses--as directed by the Spirit, hopefully--and talked to several people. Though we weren't able to actually teach any of them, a couple of them accepted the invitation for a return visit, and one particular family (the husband is who we mostly met/talked to, the wife was ill, and their newborn baby daw is in the hospital) has a lot of potential I think.
Then, on Thursday, we had planned a few hours of finding in the afternoon in an area that missionaries have not been to for a really long time--Butig, a neighborhood between Morong and Cardona. Our other appointments from the first part of the afternoon lasted longer than we anticipated, so we ended up only having about an hour and a half, but we were able to bring one of our branch missionaries with us to help us find the area, and it turned out to be pretty close, actually. We were hoping to be able to locate one of our OYMs that we haven't had a chance to visit yet, but we didn't have his address, so instead we just walked around and talked to whoever we could. Everyone we talked to accepted a return appointment for Tuesday, so we will be going back there tomorrow. I have felt really strongly since I got here that we needed to go visit that area, but we never found time until now. I feel like there are a lot of people who are so prepared for our message, though. The first woman that we talked to, when she found out who we are, said "Oh, Mormons! I always see their posts on Facebook and I always "like" them!" There really are countless, unseen ways that the Lord is working in the lives of these people to open their hearts and minds to our message. :)
(Sidenote ulit: don't ever hesitate to share things about the Church on Facebook--you never know who they will reach. This woman says she has never met any Mormons, yet she already has positive feelings about the Church because of her experience with social media!)

General Conference, of course, was also another highlight of the week. There are too many things that I learned/liked to list them all, so I will just include some of the personal revelation I received while listening:
*Obedience is the ONLY way to follow Christ. Obedience is the ONLY way to develop unshakable faith in Christ.
*We need to be anxiously engaged in a good cause (choose to go above and beyond), not just obey what is required/commanded of us.
*Conference this year was especially bold, it felt like. It is clear that the times are changing, and this world is becoming more dangerous, spiritually. We need to be ready, and we need to stand strong against the devil's attacks!
*The rising generation really is so important! They are the ones upon whom the future of the Church, the Lord's Kingdom, rests, and they are the ones most fiercely being torn down. They (we) need to be the most fortified.
*THE RESTORATION IS NOT A STORY ABOUT JOSEPH SMITH. He is just a character in it. IT IS A STORY ABOUT OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, and all that He has done for us, and ALL THAT HE CONTINUES TO DO (like calling a living prophet) TO HELP US COME UNTO HIM. We need to make sure people know/see/realize it is about Him!!
*We must help our investigators (or our family, friends, or whomever we hope to influence for good) to feel our LOVE FOR THEM. That is the only thing that will truly, and most effectively, help them accept our message.
*Philippines Quezon City Mission is not the only place that obedience is being emphasized. It was a theme in conference, and I suspect (hope) in missions throughout the world!
*Is it possible to be too concerned about our salvation? Is it possible to try TOO hard to qualify for Eternal Life, to be exactly obedient to all the commandments of God? I, personally, don't really think so. That is the purpose of our lives. It's hard, but we should still do our best.
*"Setting at naught the counsels of God" is when we think that we know a better road or path than the one the Lord has designated. There is no shortcut on the road to Eternal Life. We must follow the path. We must live the Gospel.
*There are so many people here on earth who wait so long to receive their ordinances (they don't have the opportunity to hear the Gospel, or it takes time to repent and become worthy)--and we have the physical capability to perform them. Just think how much harder it must be for those who are waiting in the Spirit World, who do not have that physical capacity. They are truly relying upon us!
*Who was I in the pre-mortal world? How does knowing that help me in living my life and serving the Lord today?
*We are continually exhorted, in scriptures and by prophets, to "wake up!" There is a significance in conscious action versus unconscious experience.
*Who are my heroes? What am I learning from them? If I were someone's hero, what would they learn from me?
*Do what is right, no matter who is watching, or what their reaction might be. That is true courage; that is true integrity.
*General authorities close their talks in the name of Jesus Christ, because they speak and teach on His behalf. We do too--our teachings should be purely His.
*We should ALL study and love Preach My Gospel! It is an amazing resource--for members just as much as missionaries--and can help us so much in understanding and applying the doctrines of the gospel in our own lives, and knowing how to share them with others.
*How was missionary work so successful in the first stages of the Restoration? Were the people just more prepared? No--the missionaries were more on fire! More eager to share their testimonies of the great truths of the Restoration! They were more in awe of the miracle of the Restoration, and realized what a gift it was. We need to catch that fire. We must not take these truths, the knowledge we have been blessed with, for granted!

I may be a week late, but I am just glad to have been able to watch/listen to general conference! I have been so well-fed, spiritually speaking. Since Morong is the district center here, all the surrounding branches came to our chapel to watch the broadcast. It was cool to get to see the other missionaries (the elders--since we are the only sisters in the zone) with their members and investigators. And each of the other branches had their own little "potluck" in the hour between sessions. Since we are the home branch, most of our members went home after the morning session, so we sisters just awkwardly wandered around until we got adopted by another branch (from Sampoloc) and donated the little food we brought to their lunch.

That is all I have time for today, but I just want to say that I feel so BLESSED to be here, serving the Lord at this time when His work is being hastened! I can feel the urgency in the messages that were shared during conference. NOW truly is the time to prepare the world for our Savior's return. There is no work more important to our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ than this, the work of Salvation. I just feel so blessed and humbled to be one of the Lord's trusted servants. I love this Gospel so much, and more and more I am realizing what a gift it is, and I just want to share it with everyone, especially these amazing people here in Morong! :)

Next week is transfers already (AHHHH!) so P-day will be on Tuesday (thank Sister Strebel for reminding me to tell you). I hope you all have a super fantastic week this week, and take time to reread or relisten to some conference talks when you get a chance. :) I LOVE YOU and MISS YOU and PRAY FOR YOU every day!! Keep up all the great work you are doing!!

Love always,
Sister Emma Franks

No comments:

Post a Comment