Sunday, December 15, 2013

Miracles Every Day!

Kamusta my wonderful friends and family!

This week has been wonderful! Kind of rough as far as our numbers and key indicators went, but way high as far as miracles and tender mercies are concerned! 

Monday our FHE with the Pueg family fell through, so we visited the Padilla girls--Melody, Joy, and Julia (Joy and Julia are twins). They were busy making Agogo (ice candy), which is how they make a living, so we decided to help them and made a great object lesson out of it. Sister Fanene and I were having a hard time tying the bags tight against the agogo, so we related that to how we need to make sure we keep our testimonies strong by doing all sorts of 'sweet' or 'good' things (like the agogo), and not making any room for Satan to enter. 

Tuesday we taught the cutest little 10 year old, John Ravin, about the Plan of Salvation. He's one of the smartest boys I've met here and when we told him that in order to get to the Celestial Kingdom he had to do all sorts of things here on earth like baptism, reading scriptures, praying, going to church, etc., he was like, "When am I going to be baptized so I can go there!" Then he started reteaching the Plan of Salvation to us. Such a smart, cute kid!

Wednesday we had our zone leader's training. My zone leaders now are Elder May and Perez. They are so in tune with the Spirit and I learned so much from their training. I felt like it was just for me! Afterwards we were pumped to get back to work and strive even more to work hard. Nasty little Satan crept in, however, trying to stop the work, and I got super tired the rest of the day and got a cold. I didn't want to give in though and just kept working. The next day I was back to full speed. :) 

Thursday was awesome. We had gone on Wednesday to visit Gina, Ge-ann, and Andrea, but they weren't home. We left a sticky note saying we'd come the next day, and I don't think it was a coincidence that we came when we did. We were having a really powerful lesson about the Plan of Salvation (they're the family that just had their mom/lola die). Amidst it all, someone came running and yelling towards the house, with Ge-ann's little boy in his arms. He had fallen and hit his head really hard and was knocked out, but they thought that he had died. I found all that out afterward, but during the commotion I just kept praying and praying in my heart that he would be okay while we watched them try to wake him up by rubbing his forehead. It wasn't until after he woke up and was okay and that we finished our lesson that I started thinking about the power and authority of my call. I don't mean to say this in a proud or boasting way, but I wonder what would've happened if we as servants of the Lord weren't there at that very moment. Of course as sister missionaries, we don't hold the power of the Priesthood, but I still believe the power of the Priesthood worked through both mine and Sister Fanene's prayers for this little boy. We couldn't do anything but pray at that moment, but I still felt the Lord's hand take control of the situation. I just got the strong feeling after we left that we really are servants of the Lord and our call is sacred and we truly have power and authority. Just the fact that servants of the Lord were present at the time of this miracle was a witness to me that God loves each of His children and He works through us as missionaries to bless families in a variety of ways. It just makes me want to strive even more to be worthy of my call. After this medyo heart-stopping experience, the family wanted to continue with our lesson, so we did. Like I mentioned before, the Spirit was so strong---probably one of the strongest, spirit-filled lessons I've had as we testified of HOW they'd be able to see their grandmother and mother again. When we talked about being baptized, we committed them to baptism on the 19th of January. That day is on a Sunday (baptisms are usually on Saturday) but for some reason I just felt prompted to extend that date. They agreed to be baptized and then said that that is their mom/grandma's birthday! (The one that just passed away). I got chills as they told me that. There is no way that that was a coincidence. I could just imagine their mom/lola on the other side leaping for joy, knowing that they would be baptized on her birthday. :) It was truly an amazing experience.

Friday we had a good planning session and planned how we can find more investigators (this area has been the hardest for me as far as finding goes), but when we went out, we were punted like crazy.The night ended well though because we taught Janna and Glance about following the prophet. We taught them the books of the Book of Mormon song and now I think they'll be driving their mom crazy--they LOVE to sing it and go faster and faster with each time. haha They're so cute. :)

Saturday the Bago 1 sisters had a baptism, so we went with our investigators Erika and EJ. They are so so excited for their baptism on the 25th and Erika couldn't help but grin the whole walk over to the church. She just can't hide her excitement! They had their interview with Elder Cruz after the baptism and they are good to go! We also had some pretty awesome miracles as far as recent convert lessons go. We were able to teach two of our recent coverts, Nikki and Arial, that have been hard to get in contact with to teach. While we taught them, we also had a less active sit in on the lesson! He's partly deaf, so we had to basically yell as we taught about the 10 commandments, but thank goodness for scriptures so he could read and follow along just fine. :) 

Sunday was another miracle. After a really rough week of low key indicators and feeling like we weren't having any success as far as new investigators go (our zone goal is 10 per week and we had 0), we witnessed the blessings of working our hardest and doing our best to be exactly obedient and we witnessed a miracle! Sometimes the Lord's plan and timing works in the most mysterious of ways. We got to church and someone from the Bago 1st ward introduced us to one of his friends that lives in our area. Bam! He gave us an investigator at our very own church! It was awesome! We were so excited and visited him that very afternoon. Oh my goodness, Heavenly Father has put an elect in our path! His name is Jayman Guarra. He's 22 and lives by himself. His brother lives in Luzon, his Dad died, and he hasn't seen his Mom in 16 years.He works in the rice fields to support himself. I couldn't help but think that he must think all the time if God really loves him. He also expressed his thoughts about why there were so many churches, but only one God. We had just the answer for him! ;) We had a really awesome time teaching, completely led by the Spirit, and he was glued to the information we relayed to him as we discussed lesson one, the Restoration. We testified to him how much God loves him and how if he's ever felt lost, he has now been found and that this Gospel can bring him so much happiness and peace. Now and for his future family. He seemed to really appreciate that. We set up an appointment to go back later this week when he's not working in the rice fields, so hopefully we can go back soon! I'm just so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord as He has given us miracle after miracle. Yes, we've been tried and tested, wondering if we were doing all that we could and why nothing was happening, but in the end, I know Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for us as missionaries and for our investigators, so that all of us grow according to His plan. I'm so grateful for Sister Fanene and her deep desire to work hard and do all we can to be worthy of the Spirit. The unity we have with each other and the Spirit has helped us so much in our lessons. She's so in tune with the Spirit and we help each other recognize the little miracles we see each day, which I love. 

I was studying in the Liahona this month, and there are some pretty amazing articles about the Savior and His birth. I'm so grateful for the Savior and for His birth, Atonement, and Resurrection. Christmas is a time to share gifts (spiritual ones, not just physical), strengthen others, build the kingdom of God, express love, and bear testimony of the Savior.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary of the Lord, serving Him during this Christmas season. There's no better time than now, as a missionary, for me to be doing these things. I'm excited to share the gift and Spirit of Christmas now and throughout the rest of my mission. There's truly no greater gift than that from our Heavenly Father--Jesus Christ and His birth, Atonement and Resurrection. I know that He is our Savior and that through Him we can receive the greatest gift of all-eternal life. 

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week celebrating this wonderful time of the year! And Happy birthday Lanna!!! Have the best golden birthday ever! Lova love you! xo

Sister Dixon

PS Randomness...nipa huts with Christmas lights are the best sight ever on a tropical island at Christmas. Fireworks literally sound like bombs here and make me jump about 10 feet every time I hear a lupok (boom).
 A huge toad decided to live in our home for a while until we got brave enough to sweep it outside. haha 
All the Filipino kids LOVE to rub my arm hair because they don't have any. This week Janna rubbed my arms and called me fluffy! haha 

"Bringing a 'cake' to the Padilla girls since our birthday FHE fell through, and helping them make agogo! (ice candy). Orange and Boco (coconut) flavored.


"The tree is made of plastic cups, chicken wire and lights"

"Akisha---the cutest Filipino baby EVER!"

"Filipino kiddos"

"the beautiful ocean"

"Christmas toes!"( there really are 20 there if you look closely-
those socks came from home-sweet-home--glad she got them)!

"Tricycle FULL of should see the jeepneys.."

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