September 30, 2018
You Are Assigned to Labor in the Philippines, Partas Mission
Partas is a bus company here. It's funny, I promise. Hear me out.
I conducted my first exchanges this week. Because we are the sister training leaders over the sister in Candon, we had about 8 hours total of back and forth driving time. Then right after we had our way to San Fernando for a meeting, another four hours away. I got to do lots of thinking and nap taking on the bus, so it was a good time!
At the meeting in San Fernando, we were visited by the recently released mission president in Bacolod, one of the highest baptizing missions in the world. He said a lot of things about dreaming bigger and setting high goals but my favorite thing he said was when he referred to the fact that President Bangal let him speak at all. He said there are mission presidents that aren't humble enough to let others speak to missionaries the way President Bangal had and it just made me appreciate having a mission president with that kind of humility.
Things are going really well with Brother Edsel Adriano. At the beginning of our lesson on Tuesday, he told us that as he was reading in the Bible, he came across a verse that he felt the Lord intended him to find. John 3:5 about being baptized by water and the spirit. His greatest desire is to get baptized. He just has to get married. On Sunday, we shared to him with youth and YSA from the branch. We also shared to his soon to be wife, and two ysa/youth aged boarders. This may have been my most favorite lessons we have ever had there. We discussed faith. The best part was at the end, I invited everyone to go around the room and bare testimony, even if it be just one phrase. Something that Brother Hanseen used to have us do in mission prep. This is the strongest I have felt the spirit all week, maybe all transfer. Just like it says in Preach My Gospel, a testimony doesn't have to be long and articulate, just from the heart. Brother Nono, one of the boarders, bore testimony on our potential to change. Sister Erika, another boarder bore testimony of being able to overcome every obstacle, because nothing is impossible to God. Brother Edsel testified to how lucky all the youth are that they found the truth early on. He testified of the seed Elder Fisher and Elder Van Dyke planted in him and how much it has grown since.
Sister Florlinda and her granddaughter, Venus attended church this week, which I honestly was kind of surprised by. We only taught them once this week. It was a lesson on prophets so our focus wasn't really on church at that time. Then they came! Early too! And they seemed happy to be there. It just goes to show how integral personal agency is to this week. I have had many lessons in the past where the spirit was so strong and they committed to attend church and still didn't come. The best thing we can do as missionaries at all times is remain worthy of the spirit and teach clearly, then they will decide.