Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sister Franks in the Philippines - October 6, 2014 (In my father's footsteps/RM.T.C.)

Happy Tuesday!!

We have wonderful Zone Leaders here in Antipolo, and were blessed to be called last night and informed of the transfer announcements (instead of this morning). My beautiful companion, Sister Faka'osi, will be training a new STL here in Antipolo, and our precious ("most adorable Asian") kabahay, Sister Verdeflor, will be training a new missionary! Sister Tipasa is going to Pateros, and I will be whitewashing an elders area....in MINDORO!! 
Haha remember how I said how happy I was that I got to visit Mindoro as an STL instead of being assigned there? That one week was enough for me? Well, let's just say that I am so glad that the Lord is in charge of this work, and not us humans. I never expected, and never would have asked, to be assigned in Mindoro, let alone as my last area, my last transfer. Honestly, I kind of freaked out last night when Elder Crowther told me ("WHY???" "I don't want to die in Mindoro!!"), but then I kept realizing more and more reasons why it is perfect for me, and I felt the Spirit confirm that this is the right place for me right now. Actually, every area I have served in my whole mission, and the time I served there, was perfect for me. I truly feel so blessed. And I know that this will be no different. Of course, it probably won't be easy (I've never white washed before, let alone in an elders area), but the Spirit has confirmed that it is exactly the preparation I need before I finish this mission. And there are a whole lot of blessings that come along with it. For example, I get to be companions with Sister Panugaling (Sister Doucette's anak)! I have been missing having a Filipina companion, and I am excited to get to work with her. I know we will be able to get a lot done and have a great and productive 6 weeks in Magsaysay (another of my Tatay's old areas, I'm pretty sure)! :) 
But rather than previewing all the greatness of Mindoro, I'll save that for next week. Because there are so many great things that have happened THIS WEEK here in Antipolo! 

1) We had a super fun district meeting last week about Christlike attributes. We were each assigned one attribute and given about 10 minutes to prepare a talk/presentation on why our attribute was the best or most important. Then, of course, we each got to present ours. It was super fun! And I definitely learned/realized a lot about my assigned attribute, Faith in Jesus Christ, and why it is the greatest. ;) But on thing that came to me after the meeting as I was reflecting on what all my fellow missionaries had shared about their attributes, I thought about what Mormon claims in Moroni 7:46, that we must "cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all." I had just studied all about why faith is the basis of everything, the first principle of the Gospel, and necessary for and a springboard for all the other attributes listed in PMG. It struck me after, as I was pondering this, that faith is an attribute of redemption. We CANNOT be saved without it. It is necessary for repentance and baptism. Faith is what allows us to escape what Alma calls the "bands of death, and the chains of hell." Charity, however, is an attribute of perfection. We cannot be EXALTED in our Heavenly Father's kingdom, if we have not been cleansed through the blood of the Lamb and received His pure love into our hearts. As President Joseph Fielding Smith taught, "The man who does only those things in the Church which concern himself alone will never reach exaltation." We must develop charity if we are to become like our Savior and live worthy of the promises of the Celestial Glory we hope to attain. 

2) I got to have exchanges with 2 sisters from my batch this week: Sister Hivapea'ulu and Sister Sanders. SO FUN!!! :D I can't really say anything else, just that it was such a blessing to work with them, and especially to have Sister Sanders (a former STL) be my last exchange as an STL. Just reminded me all over again how much I love being a missionary and serving and teaching others. :) 

3) Just a quick overview of the progress of an AWESOME member referral: Rene and Edna, husband and wife with 4 young daughters. We've only taught them 4 times so far. The first was really just an intro to Sister Edna. The second, Sister Faka'osi and Sister Tipasa taught both of them and introduced the message of the Restoration and the role of prophets and revelation. Next, we followed up if they had read the pamphlet (Rene read a little, Edna not at all), and taught about Christ's earthly ministry, using both the bible and the Book of Mormon. It was a lesson unlike any I had ever taught, but scriptures just kept being brought to mind (so I used them) and at the end, Brother Rene was very curious about the Book of Mormon. When he found out he could learn more about it in the pamphlet we had left before, he committed to read it. We came back and discovered he had read the whole thing! And even tried to answer the questions at the back, but was confused, daw, by the verses he read in the bible. We shared about the apostasy (loss of truth and authority) that occurred after the death of Christ and His apostles, the Restoration through the prophet Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon as evidence of this incredible occurrence. :) We left with them a Book of Mormon (which he was shy to accept at first, but excited to read) and when we stopped by the next day to invited Edna to come to the General Women's Broadcast with us, we found him already reading it! This week, I want to testify to the power of the scriptures and using them in teaching. Especially using the Bible and the Book of Mormon together. They truly do support and expound upon one another. We have been blessed with many sources for reading the words of our Lord, we should take advantage of ALL of them! :)

4) Sister Faka'osi and I got to give the workshop in our district meeting yesterday. For our whole zone, actually, because Elder Phelps got Emergency Transferred on Friday so the elders were a 3-some and couldn't split for district meeting. It was really fun. It was cool to see how everything came together, too. I went from having NO idea on Friday night what to talk about, to having a complete workshop flow together (as if organizing itself) by my personal study on Saturday morning. It truly is incredible to see how the Lord sends revelation through the Holy Ghost so simply and perfectly, according to the needs of His children. 

I am out of time now (at least next transfer I won't have any reports to send to I'll have more time to email again :P). I just want to close by testifying once again of the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and most especially, the blessings of peace, joy, purpose, and security that obedience to its principles brings into our lives. I KNOW that this is the FULLNESS of the gospel of Jesus Christ and no other worldly substitute can compare to the joy it brings into our lives. :) I hope you all have a great week!!! I love you so much!! I pray for you always! Stay strong, keep the faith, share the Gospel! <3

Love always,
Sister Emma Franks

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