My Dearest Family and Friends,
Happy New Year!!! Don't you just love new years? 2013 was a good year for me. Before 2012 ended, I told myself that in 2013, I want to be the girl who would give up everything she loves (family, friends, work, etc) for what she loves the most, Him. And that was just one of the best things that ever happened to me! It is really true that when we obey God's commandments, we are so much happier! Growing up, I've always wanted to do things that would please my dad because I want him to be happy because I love him and same thing goes with our Heavenly Father. I want to do things that would please Him and this year, I want to be the girl He wants me to be. It won't be easy but it is possible! I want to share this article that I loved from Pres. Uchtdorf, The Best Time to Plant a Tree. http://www.lds.org/liahona/2014/01/the-best-time-to-plant-a-tree?cid=HPWE010114311&im=true&lang=eng NOW is the time! We can do it! May we all have a happy and fruitful 2014!
Amazing things happened at the start of this year. I love how it's on fire!
* Helen's finally baptized! She's a very sweet sister. We found her almost two months ago at the playground. She was alone and we were led by the Spirit to find her and approach her there and bring her to church and that's how everything started. Her baptism was very spiritual and the Saturday family were all there with their love and support. Helen was also very happy as tears flow in her eyes and I just love how these people we teach share their testimonies! She also wants her family in the Philippines to know the gospel so we're hoping the missionaries in the Phil. will give us feedback soon. She's doing great too and she's getting a calling!
* A lot of new lessons, new investigators, and new experiences (don't forget, free food all the way haha!) and it gives all sorts of high- the challenges and the joys. We're also rescuing less actives and it's been great just like the other day. The couple missionaries have been praying for some miracle for the Tuesday family because quite a big number moved out that's why they're the smallest group now and last Tuesday, we were able to find someone or she found us! She's a member and she's been here for 3 months but hasn't been to church yet so we brought her there and yay! She's now home sweet home! It's also interesting because Fatima is from Zamboanga and I know her family. By the way, I also get to practice my Chavacano and Cebuano skills too!
* Our zone gets to have a privilege to work online, suplementary to our in-field work and yes, we're on Facebook!!! Sorry, we can't be friends there and I won't be lurking to any of your profs haha. Working online is really helpful! I just love how our investigator, Naneth, posts statutes like.. "need to review past lessons for my interview- feeling great", "just got home from Kowloon Tong from my interview. I'm so blessed. -feeling blessed" awwww, isn't that wonderful? She's really excited for her coming baptism which we don't know yet because she only gets to go out once a month but we're praying for a miracle!
* I also got to work with Sister Serrano last week. We had companion exchanges for 24 hours and I love how we can learn so much from that experience. She's really nice and we had an awesome time together. I get to visit Peninsula 3 branch in Kwai Fong and it was really refreshing to the senses to see a branch with more than 5 priesthood holders, and there are primary children and youth. I also had an encounter with this adorable little girl who drew me (see photo attached). I knew it was me because it had curly hair with a flower on her head and I had a flower clip that Sunday! Too cute! Families are just one of the best things ever. The Filipino members here know how important their families are to them and some time in the future, they want to be with their families. I'm grateful for my family. I appreciate how my parents would gather us all to kneel down in prayer every night. It didn't really make sense to me when I was younger but looking back, it was one of the few things they did to keep our family intact and strong amidst all the trials. I love you, family!
* We got to go to the Temple this morning and no words can express how I feel. Insert all the positive and best feelings here! The Temple is just the best place for instruction and revelation ever and I feel prettiest when I'm dressed in white!
I've been singing the hymn, Savior, Redeemer of My Soul for a week now and my companion gets to join me in my singing too haha! I just love the lyrics of that song! I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us. God has this perfect love for all of His children. Even if we mess up a lot of times, He still loves us with His perfect love and He still has that desire to bless us with all that He has. It is true. You are loved.
1. Eating ice cream during winter isn't bad. It's really cool.
2. We don't really know all the other missionaries cause their badges are written in Chinese characters but the dual language name tags are back soon! Excited!
3. I finally got letters! Thanks! So one letter was from someone I really didn't expect. He's an old man from our ward who served as a bishop before and he moved with his family to the US. How thoughtful of him to send me a Christmas card and he was giving encouragement and support to missionary work. It's so hard to reply to 50+ emails a week with only less than 30mins but thanks for keeping in touch! I really appreciate it and all the updates, the stories, and the LOVE makes me happy and nourished! Thank you so much! I love you!
Love and prayers,