Sorry about no letter last week—we had a brown out right as I was literally about to click the send button. Welcome to the Philippines.:) Anyway, I hope you all had a great week! Monday was great last week because we found out that on November 2, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be coming to our mission to speak with us! Is that not the best birthday gift or what?! I’m so excited!!
(Mom's note: November 2nd is Sister Dixon's birthday!!)
Tuesday we had district meeting and then went to the huge government building in Bacolod City to sing. It was family week this week in the Philippines so they had a lot of celebrations throughout the week. We were asked to sing “Gugma sa Balay,” or “Love at Home.” It was so neat to stand in front of all these Filipino people and bear our testimonies about home and loving families through song. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Filipinos in one area. It was pretty neat! They all sang their national anthem, which gave me chills. I just love these people so much! I was also grateful for the guidance of the Spirit that day. In the Philippines, I don’t think maps exist. I’ve
tried to find one with no success. You just have to ask how to get to certain places. It was a two jeepney, one tricycle ride to the government building, and I had no idea how to get there. I was completely calm, however, as we traveled through the crazy traffic because I knew the Lord would direct us to get where we needed to go.
As a missionary, I can feel his arm of protection and guidance in everywhere I go. If I were to do this not as a missionary, I’m about 98% sure I’d get lost. Haha I know for a fact that the Spirit guides us to where we need to go each day, and in safety, as well. Plus the fact that Filipinos are so kind and everyone is willing to
help us get where we need to. :)
Wednesday was kind of a punt day, which was a bit rough, but in the process we found Disneyland! Haha You know Adventure Land in Disneyland? Well we found an area that made me feel like that, only it was a billion times better! We were trying to find a former investigator, and I had never been to this area before (because our
area is HUGE). It was such a pretty area and what I imagined when I
found out I was going to the Philippines. We found the Sentecieva family, but the wife wasn’t home, so we weren’t able to enter and teach. But at least we know where they live now! Also in the process of finding this family, we found where Fera Jane Pedroso moved to! The area where they lived is being demolished for a hardware store to be built, so they had to move. I just knew the general direction of where they moved to, but didn’t know details. Well, while looking for the Sentecieva family, we passed Dexter, her little brother, who was
heading home from school, so we went with him to his house! Again, I know Heavenly Father is guiding us and helping us to know where to go, even if it comes in the most unexpected ways.
Thursday was great because we taught Angie. You can’t have a bad day when you teach Angie Lobaton. :) We’re teaching her the new member lessons so we reviewed the Restoration and she bore her testimony of the Spirit. She said Sunday, after stake conference, she went to her friend’s church because she invited her. She said the whole time she felt confused and didn’t like it. On the way home on the jeepney, she heard a whisper keep entering her mind to, “read the Book.” That night she kept hearing the same words, so she pulled out her Book of Mormon and read three chapters before she went to sleep. It was neat to see how the Spirit worked through her to help bring comfort of the truth back to her mind. She also told us her mind wants to run faster to learn everything about the Gospel. She is so hungry and just wanting to feast so much on the words of Christ, but she can’t learn fast enough! Haha She is amazing. She told us she wants to name the next, “Paue,” either Nephi Gabriel or Sariah, if it’s a girl. :)
Friday we had weekly planning and then visited a few families including the Potato family. They have a lot of kids, so to keep their attention we told the story of Nephi and Laban as excitedly as we could. They were so cute as their little eyes just watched us and their mouths parted open as we got to the part of Nephi slaying Laban.
We related to them how keeping the commandments will help them receive help from God in everything they need to do as well. Like school and in their everyday life. We committed them to read Helaman 56 about the
stripling warriors. I think the boys will like that story. ;)
Saturday we had a few lessons with some potential investigators and then met with Dexter since he didn't have work. Angie shared another story about the Holy Ghost guiding her in just little everyday life things. She went to a second hand store and saw some shorts she liked, but someone had beat her to it. She was disappointed she hadn't seen them just a few minutes earlier to get them, but she found another pair she liked. Then as she was leaving, she had the thought to go back. She went back to the store and the person had left the pair of
shorts she had wanted. So she left with two pair of shorts. :) I think it’s so neat that she was able to recognize that the Lord is looking out for her, not just in big decisions in life, but in little details like having a pair of shorts she wanted. It was a testament to her and to me that God loves His children and brings tender mercies to our
lives, something as little as having a pair of shorts, to show us His love and guidance through the Spirit. She also got teary as she expressed her gratitude for Heavenly Father in bringing the missionaries to her family. Thomas Solquilio, their boarder, told her the story of Christ as the Shepherd and how He goes out to find the one lost sheep. She knew that she had been a lost sheep, but that this was the time for her to be found and she expressed such great gratitude for her Savior in sending the missionaries to find her, the lost sheep, as well as her family. Dexter also expressed such great gratitude for Christ and how he wants to have his family always
centered on the teachings of Christ so they can always grow closer to Him and return to live with Him and our Father for eternity with our families. At the end of the lesson, Dexter gave such a sincere, heartfelt prayer. It’s been amazing to see the incredibly fast spiritual growth in this family. I wish so much for every one of our
other investigators to see and feel the importance of this Gospel like the Lobaton family has. They are so amazing!
Sunday was the Primary program in Sacrament meeting. Oh my goodness, when Filipino children sing, it’s just the cutest thing ever! They sang, “A Child’s Prayer,” and it just filled me with the Spirit so much. Their talks were so simple, but so sincere and true. Brother Cordero, the second counselor, also gave a talk from last conference
(I can’t remember who it’s by) about how a singing child is a happy child (remember that one? It’s a good one :) ) and it’s so true! These little children who sang were just so happy and filled with the Spirit. :) After Sacrament we had the baptism of Sarah Boli boli, Ma.Lyn Jurada, and Cassey Joy Granton. This mission is teaching me a lot about patience. There was a brownout earlier in the day, which means the water won’t flow, so we had to wait a while for the water to fill the font and for the elders to get to the church with the jumpsuits since our ward doesn't have any that will fit kids. People were starting to get a bit restless, but despite all that, the baptisms were very successful and I’m one step closer to obtaining the attribute of patience. ;) The girls were good sports about waiting too and said that they felt, “nami!” after they were baptized. :)
All in all it was a pretty great week! My studies get better and better each day and I’ve learned so much this week on the importance of following the promptings of the Spirit and listening to those I teach with the Spirit to understand their needs. I’ve learned a lot about fervent prayer as well, and have seen that as my prayers become
more fervent, the Lord draws nearer to me in guidance, comfort, and everything else. He wants so much to help and guide us and he’s just waiting for us to turn to Him. Sister Russon is doing so well and sometimes I forget I’m training because she’s just so natural at this. It’s been fun to be with her and we’ve had some pretty neat studies and lessons together. She is very in-tune with the Spirit. She is just so awesome!
I hope everyone has a great week. I felt extra grateful this morning for my family and friends and leaders back home and just want to express to you how much I love all of you! Thank you so much for your love, support, and prayers. They mean the world to me. I truly have the most wonderful family and friends. :) Palangga ko kamo!! xo
Sister Dixon said she was unable to send photos this week. We are so grateful that her mission president, President Lopez, takes photos and shares them with us. Here are a few from her experience singing at Bacolod City Hall.
This is a photo of the missionaries singing in Hiligaynon, "Love at Home" for Family Week.
Sister Dixon is standing close to the top of the first flight of stairs.
Bacolod City Hall
Sister Dixon and Sister Russon