Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Church is True, The Book is Blue, and Moroni's on the ball!

Hello everyone!
Another week has flown by! Here's what happened this week...

Monday, after P-day we taught the Malihan family. Ronina Joy is in her
20s and has a cute baby boy, and Ruby and Christian are her younger
siblings. Her mom also sat in on the lesson. We taught the beginning
of lesson one on how the Gospel blesses families. The Spirit was so
strong (one of the most spirit filled lessons up to that time) as
Ronina's mom talked about all their trials. They are going to be
kicked out of their home in October, their son is very sick with
depression, and several other issues. I couldn't understand very much
of what she said (I had to ask Sister Canimo later) because I'm still
working on everyday vocabulary, but the Spirit was strong and I knew I
needed to bear testimony of how the Lord is always there to help us
through our trials if we pray to Him and ask for his help. My heart
just ached for this family, but I know the Gospel can help them. They
said they wanted to come to church on Sunday, but unfortunately they
weren't able to come because the father, who's always drunk, wouldn't
allow them. He said he doesn't want us to teach in their house, so we
might have to start teaching in the house next door. Hopefully his
heart will be softened to let them come to church.

Tuesday, we taught Angie Lubaton. Oh my goodness, she is GOLDEN!!
Seriously, she is awesome. We taught the Restoration and the first
vision, and she couldn't stop crying. She told us she felt very sad
and guilty that she hadn't included God in her life as much as she
should and that us coming to her was a huge blessing. Her prayer was
so sweet as she expressed great gratitude in having us teach her. The
Spirit was so strong as we cried with her and told her that God has a
plan for her. She was more than willing to let us come back and
continue teaching her. She has the cutest little boy named Pawi. He's
a little hyper during our lessons, but Angie listens so intently
despite the chaos and soaks everything in so well. We gave her a
baptismal date for September 7th. Later that night we visited Glenn
Datiles, who is taking care of a family friend's mother, Sister
Delavega, who has had 3 strokes in the past 12 years and can't
communicate with us. He is one of the most selfless, Christ-like
people I have ever met. He has such a big heart. He is a recent
convert (that's why we visited), but I think I gained more strength
from him than we gave to him. Charity Delavega is one of the
daughters, and she is a less active that lives there as well. They are
watching their other sibling's son, Mandrake, who is four, and so
cute. He just wants to play and play and he's the chubbiest little
Filipino I've seen. ;) haha so cute! I have pictures, but the computer
is very slow today so I won't be able to send them this week. :(

Wednesday,  we had a zone leader's training meeting and then I had
exchanges with Sister Arnold, one of the Sister Training Leaders. I
went to her area in Paglaum, and I learned so much from her. This is
her last transfer and she is a very good missionary. I want to
implement a lot I learned from her in my work. We had a lot of fun
river crossing and going up and down lots of hills. It was a fun area!

Thursday after returning to Alijis, we visited Angie again. This time
we shared the Book of Mormon with her that through the Book of Mormon
and prayer, she can know Joseph Smith is a prophet and that the Church
is true. She told us she already prayed to know about Joseph Smith and
she received an answer that he's a true prophet!! :) She told us her
story of how when she was younger she was very down all the time, and
felt like there was something lost in her life. She would walk and
walk and would end up in the Catholic church. She said she just cried
because she felt warm and at peace there. She said she felt the exact
same feeling when we met her and started teaching her. :) We explained
that that was the Spirit. :) She also said she felt so guilty for not
having God in her life as much as she should. She knows he answers
prayers because one day she went to the grocery store and only had
1000 pesos. She needed more to get what they needed but the ATM kept
saying there wasn't any money left. She prayed really hard that there
would be enough money, and when she checked the ATM again, there was
enough money for her to get what she needed. She was so grateful after
that, and that's when she knew she needed to include God in her life
more. So when we met with her the first time (which was not by
coincidence--we met with a member who is their boarder and she was
outside. We talked with her and she said we could come back), and
taught the Restoration, that's when she could feel that this was God's
way of telling her that this was the way for her to include Him in her
life more. She just cried and cried as she shared her story, and the
Spirit was so strong. It's so amazing to me that way the Lord prepares
His children to hear the Gospel. :) Her countenance from when we first
talked to her has drastically changed. When we first talked to her,
she seemed so heavy and burdened, but know it's a total change. She
has a light now, and she is more upbeat and happy. She has such a
sweet spirit and such love for her family and for God. :)

Friday we had weekly planning and then taught Rhodora Mission. We had
to walk a ways to get to her home because she lives more in a farm
area with pigs and chickens, and a real nipa hut (it was so neat!).
She has three gwapo little boys who just got baptized, but she isn't
baptized yet. We taught about the importance of going to church and
being an example to her family. She said she's always very busy so we
just promised blessings. Hopefully she will come to church soon!

Saturday  we taught Angie again. :) This time her husband Dexter was
home. He only gets Saturday off from work, but said he wants to try
and get Sunday off because he knows it's important to go to church and
have family bonding time. Just in the way he talked about his family
and in the way he presented himself, I can see him being a great
leader in the Church someday. Hopefully he can get Sundays off! We
taught him and Angie the Plan of Salvation because Angie had questions
about it last time. This was probably one of the most Spirit filled
lessons I've had so far and Sister Canimo said it was one of the best
lessons for her too. The unity and flow Sister Canimo and I had was
awesome as the Spirit guided us in what to say and teach. They
understood everything we taught and the Spirit was just so tangible!
We didn't want to leave! We expressed our love to them and Heavenly
Father's love for them. They said they could feel it. Ah, I just love
this family! Angie is so ready and I think her husband can be too.
Hopefully we'll be able to teach him more and he can get Sundays off
so he can come to church. :) Afterwards, we visited the Cepeda family.
Bryan (16), Kyle (13), Krisha (10), and Kevin (4). Both their parents
died, as well as their grandparents, and they currently live with
their aunt. Their house fills so depressed and sad, and they have such
heavy countenances. They are all members, they're just less active. We
read from the Book of Mormon with them, and then shared testimony of
how through Jesus Christ and God's greatest gift of love and eternal
life, we can be with our families again. We cried with them as we
expressed our testimonies. My heart just aches for them! They just
need the light and happiness that the Gospel can bring. I know they
know it, especially Kyle, but they just need that extra push to really
realize and feel God's love and hope that they can have a happy life.
Hopefully Sister Canimo and I can do that with the help of the Spirit.

Our next lesson was with the Puyong family. It was so funny because
over time, all these little kids gathered to the door, because there
was a "cana" (American) in the house. By the time I left, there were
20-25 little Filipino children staring at me. haha I asked them if
they wanted a picture with me (because I heard that the kids liked
that), but they all ran away screaming! I just laughed and we left,
but then they all started following me. haha Maybe next time. ;)
Afterwards, we visited the Villiasor family. They are active, but we
stopped by to try and get a referral (we're in desperate need of
referrals since we still don't know the area that well). The lola (or
grandmother) is 86 and very weak, but her mind is sharp as a tac. We
visited with her for a bit, and talked with Monette (who Sister Canimo
knows from Singapore! Small world!) and the kids for a while. Oh! And
the four year old girl is named Karissa! (prounounced Kareesa here).
Same spelling and everything! How awesome is that?! I took a picture
so Rissy can see, so hopefully the computer is faster next week so I
can send it. :) Anyway, we sang I Am a Child of God, and the Spirit
touched my heart in a special way that I can't describe. It was just
amazing to see all these different ages of Heavenly Father's children
in one sitting. We are all His children, no matter our age, race,
gender, or situation. He loves each of us so much. And I am so
grateful for His love.

Sunday was awesome because Angie came to church! We are going to teach
her tomorrow  and see how she liked it, but I sure hope she felt the
Spirit! After church we had a meeting with Ron, the ward mission
leader. President Lopez has asked a lot of us as a zone. Since we're
the model zone for the others in our mission, we are trying lots of
different things, and at times it feels a bit overwhelming. I
sometimes feel like we're never going to have time to do everything we
need to and keep our numbers up because we are soo busy--constantly
moving. But that's the life of a missionary I suppose. I know that the
Lord will help us in all the we need to do as long as we're exactly
obedient and take one step at a time. :)

I hope everyone has a good week! Happy birthday to Crystal on the
16th! :) Thank you for all the prayers. As President Lopez says, "the
Church is true, the Book is blue, and Moroni's on the ball." ;) It's
true! I love you all!

Sister Dixon

PS I don't know if I've said this, but when we go to a house, we say,
"tugbalay" because there's obviously no doorbells, and we don't knock.
When there's a brownout at night, make sure you have a flashlight.
Otherwise it's pretty much pitch black. ;)
Letzon is roasted pig. Like the whole thing. And it's delicious! ;)
Sister Canimo calls me Princess. haha Probably because I'm so much
younger than her, and she can't call me 'daughter' since I'm Sister
McIver's "daughter." :)
I met Sister Monson this week! She is one of the newest missionaries
and President Monson's grandniece (?). Pretty awesome!

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