Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Sister Franks in the Philippines - August 4, 2014
I am coming to realize how missionaries feel that say they never want to go home. I feel like I am finally getting to a point of understanding what missionary work is all about and how to be successful and give everything to the Lord, and I only have a short time to accomplish all that I want to. The only comfort I can find is that at least I might be able to help some of the newer sisters to catch the vision I am catching, that they might be able to implement it sooner and accomplish even more. There was an elder who bore his testimony during MLC (he is going home at the end of this transfer) who is one of the elders that I respect the most of everyone I have met. His testimony was pure and powerful, and the biggest thing that struck me was how sincerely he loves this work, and how he really has given his all to it during his time here. He is the one who I could say more than anyone didn't just serve a mission, but BECAME a missionary. As in, he lives and breathes it. His companion was talking about how he can't even walk down the street to an appointment without stopping to OYM someone, because he just loves the people and he knows that this Gospel is what they need.
So the upside of Mindoro is....well, Mindoro! It is beautiful, it is so ready for the Gospel, it is a breath of fresh air (quite literally), just like I shared last week. The downside of Mindoro (or rather, having a lot of exchanges) is that my email time was spent a lot on reporting so I will have to be efficient today (short and sweet and to the point), so I apologize if this isn't as uplifting as it could be.
Firstly, exchanges in Mindoro were amazing! The sisters there are so incredible! Not just Sister Garcia, but Sister Judd, Sister Kahui, and Sister Suminguit as well. I had so much fun with every single one of them and learned so much from their examples! They are all amazing teachers and missionaries. It is so cool to see how Heavenly Father knows us each individually, and He knows all our strengths and weaknesses, and He chooses so carefully who gets paired together as companions and where they get put. Over and over this week, it has been confirmed to me that each sister is where she is for a specific reason, and I feel so blessed that the Lord lets me have little glimpses of why that is.
As for Sister Cutia and I, the same is true. It is an interesting but cool feeling to come home from exchanges and be back with my real companion, because it feels like coming home. Like you get back from a long day at work or something and you get home and feel that peace and safety and security like "this is right. this is where I am supposed to be." And even talking about our exchanges and the things we learned and such, I feel like we just keep becoming even more united and are becoming better missionaries every day.
We had MLC on Friday (we were late because our flight from Mindoro got delayed), which was so amazing. I swear, I get more and more personal revelation from it every time. Before it was all about the content of what was said that uplifted and inspired me, but now I feel like I get so much more from what ISN'T said, or at least not out loud, but rather the Spirit just pointing out little things to me to help with my own personal life or purpose. It's like Heavenly Father is trying to, little by little, take away my training wheels and help me learn to rely more on the Spirit as the true teacher (which we all know it is anyway).
After MLC, we finally managed to get home a little after 9pm. We were so excited to see Sister Tehei and Sister Tipasa again! Haha I missed them for real. But we are back with our real "family" now. :) So happy to be in Antipolo again!
Saturday morning, I was so excited to finally get to work in our area again. We had set some pretty high goals during our planning last week, even though we knew we would only have two days to work. It was perfect, though, because we worked SO HARD both Saturday and yesterday to accomplish them! We didn't quite reach them all, but we did reach a lot of them and I was amazed at all the miracles we witnessed along the way, that I know the Lord blessed us with purely as a result of our faith and hard work.
FOR EXAMPLE: our zone goal is to have 6 new investigators every week, or 6 new people to teach. For the simple reason that the more people you meet, the more people you teach, the more people you can help come to a knowledge of and gain a testimony of the restored gospel. If we just stay with the same 20 or so investigators, we will miss out on all the others that the Lord is preparing each day. We didn't make our goal last week before we left for Mindoro, but I promised the zone leaders that we would be working super hard to accomplish it this week. We weren't quite sure how, considering we were planning to and trying to teach all our investigators who are preparing for baptism as well, but we set the goal in faith and decided we would work toward it. Haha we even shared our goals with our district leader on Saturday morning after the interview for Joeferd (finally being baptized this Saturday!) and he asked how we were doing so far. We confidently explained that we hadn't started yet (i.e. zero), but we were going to accomplish it! When we set goals on Saturday night we still hadn't found any new investigators. A lot of our plans fell through on Saturday and yesterday, especially our finding ones, but we just kept working, teaching everyone we could, and as we walked home last night after our last appointment, we named all the new people we taught and saw that we had exactly 6! It was such a sweet tender mercy from the Lord. :)
Basically, this week has been one in which my trunkiness (if there was any left) died and instead I am battling the part of me that never wants to let go of this life and the work we are doing here. I love this Gospel; I love the people of the Philippines; I love being a missionary and serving my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that this is the truth, and the one Gospel that provides us with the knowledge we need and the true and living ordinances that will enable us to one day stand before the judgement bar and say that our garments have been washed clean through the Blood of the Lamb. I just want this same joy and peace and purpose for every single one of my brothers and sisters, wherever in the world they may be.
That is all I have time for today, but I just want you to know that I love you and miss you and am praying for you always!! Hope you have a great week!!!
Love always,Sister Emma Franks
P.S. The mexican food in Mindoro is awesome! And the restaurant has free delivery! Yeah...we ordered it 3 times in 4 days....it was so worth it.
P.P.S. Filipino airlines say the darndest things: pretty sure they just take the Tagalog message and translate it into English, leading to the use of words like "disembarkingship" and "disembarkmentship", which I am pretty sure mean the same thing, though I don't think either one is actually a real word. ;)