Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March 30, 2014 Surprise! I'm Online! (a day early)

Hello Family!

Well, we got a text in the middle of the day saying to go email at 8 pm because we aren't going to have time on Monday.  Our mission achieved our baptism goals of 200 baptisms in 1 month and so we are having a mission party on Monday.  Crazy!  We were super surprised. I don't really know what to say....I haven't planned it out like I usually do.  Just kidding.

So this week was pretty good.  We were kind of punted this week but we found some new investigators.  We run into some really interesting people here in the mission because we literally talk to everyone.  We talked to a lady yesterday whose name is Resurrection.  Yes.  That is really her name.  She was very talkative and very religious, Born Again I think....not quite sure.  Unfortunately we had a member present who was also very talkative.  We didn't do much teaching and eventually we just ended the lesson.  She was very nice but some people think that us going there is a chance for them to share too....haha

One interesting thing that happened was that we went back to a less active that we had stopped going to because she was just not progressing at all.  She was very offended by the district president here and so became less active because of that.  I remember my first lesson with her, I think it was an hour and a half, and she spent most of the time being angry and offended and telling us her story of what happened.  She now goes to the Iglesia Ni Cristo church although she knows this church is true.  And it always seemed like we were such a bother to her.  She was never happy with whatever time we went to her.  So we stopped going to her.  But the last two weeks, I kept thinking her name when we were in her area.  So finally one night, we were punted on our last appointment and it happened to be right across the street from her.  So I told Sis Salado that we would try her.  So we went there and immediately she let us in and said "Why did you stop coming?  I thought that you'd been transferred.  I read the reading asigment that you gave me and was ready to share what I learned."  She was so nice during that visit.  She said that when we had been going to her in January, she had been feeling like this was probably God telling her that she needed to go back to church.  And then we stopped coming to her.  And then she said, "If I go to church on Sunday, will you come back more often?  Every day even!"  I tell you that I spent the whole lesson in shock!  This was not the Melody that I knew back in January!  I literally said hardly anything the entire lesson because I could not believe what I was hearing was true.  Afterwards, I told sis Salado, "That is a different person than I knew!"  Back in January, if you'd have asked me, I would have said that she was too offended and that that if she came back, it was going to be a long time.  But this just goes to show that we really can't assume about other people.  We don't know their thoughts and we don't know how the Lord is working in their lives.  In fact, she admitted "I turned my back on the Lord and rejected him but the whole time he is still waiting for me." And I am so glad that I listened to the Lord's prompting to go back to her.  It was a lesson to me to listen to the small thoughts in my mind because the Holy Ghost really is quiet and sometimes it isn't apparent that that is the Holy Ghost.

And also....Herson is progressing!!!!!!  We went to him on Thursday after not having been to him since last Saturday.  He told us that on Sunday, after hearing the talks in Sacrament meeting, something changed inside of him.  He said that he doesn't know what happened but something changed and he really wants this for himself and his family.  He set a goal for himself that he is going to be totally smoke free by April 16,his wife's birthday.  He said that even if we are transferred, he is going to be baptized.  He is down to two a day and tomorrow he is going to try zero.  Before, he never wanted to set a date or goals of how many cigarettes in a day because he was afraid that he wouldn't be able to fulfill his goal.  So he didn't want to set any.  All the goals would come from us and he would hesitantly agree to them.  But now he has set a goal for himself and he is excited about it!  I am so happy for him!  I just know that he is going to be baptized!  Something has truly changed in him and he really wants this for himself and for his family.  And although he has lessened his smoking, he is happy.  This is seriously a miracle.  Prayers really do work!

Sometimes we would joke that our purpose is to force others to come unto Christ by receiving the gospel and dragging them to the baptismal font.  And maybe that's sometimes how it starts out but ultimately, it has to be our individual commitment to follow Christ.  No matter how committed the missionaries or other people are, it is everyone's individual commitment to obey the commandments of God and come unto him.  Sometimes it's disappointing as a missionary when you are so so committed to helping a person be baptized and ultimately they decide they don't want to.  But I've realized here how important free agency is in our life, otherwise our actions don't mean anything to us.

Well, I love you all and hope that you have a great week!

Mahal ko kayo!

sister Sirrine

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