Sunday, March 2, 2014

Bag-o Companion in Bago (Bag-o in Hiligaynon means "new")

Hello Family and Friends!

It's been a great week here in Bago! We've had quite a few changes, but they've been good! 

Tuesday we had a very spirit-filled and inspiring district meeting. Elder Cruz, our district leader, is very in-tune with the spirit. He just transferred to be a zone leader and I know he'll be fabulous. After district meeting we packed 8 of us missionaries into a jeepney with all our luggage on top to head to Galo for transfers. I said goodbye to Sister Fanene :( and met up with Sister Becerra to head to her area in Talisay for a few days while waiting for our new companions. We worked in her area Tuesday and Wednesday. One of the days we worked with Dunessa, a ward missionary who is pretty much a mini Sister Canimo. The way she taught reminded me a lot of her and it made me smile. :) Wednesday night we traveled to Bacolod to stay with Sister Cruz and Sister Judd. 

Thursday morning we met with President Lopez and the assistants to have our trainer's training meeting, then we met with our new companions! My new companion is Sister Tanes (pronounced tah-nais). She's from Paranaque, Manila and is just the sweetest. She's 19 years old and so excited and ready to work hard! Even before we left the mission home, she saw that I had an Ilonggo Book of Mormon and asked if she could have it. I gave it to her and she started studying it right away (they didn't learn Hiligaynon in the MTC). :) We headed to Bago after lunch, had our studies, and we met with Jennifer, Alex, Nancy, and Mark, so she could meet a few of our investigators. She's a natural at meeting people and all of them loved her before we left the lesson. :) She's a powerful teacher as well and was so excited to just start teaching and bearing testimony, even if she can't speak Hiligaynon yet. Later that night we met with the Dejino family (members) and helped them know what they can do to introduce the Gospel to their friends and family. It was a fun lesson and I love when I see the members get excited about sharing the Gospel. 

Friday we had weekly planning then worked with Michelle for the rest of the day. We visited Jennifer and finished our lesson on tithing and fasting. She told us how ever since we started visiting her she's been able to find so many answers to her questions through studying the scriptures and praying. She's still having a hard time stopping her drinking of coffee, but we know that as she reads and prays each day that she'll be able to stop. :) We stopped by Cecile's tiangee and taught her, the kids, and Carl George, a 13 year old boy who has awesome questions. It's not often that the young teenagers have questions for us, but he was asking things like where we go after this life and why we're here. We are so excited to go back and talk to him about the Plan of Salvation. We met with a few of our other investigators and recent converts and then visited the Repedro family. Sister Tanes knows the Beler family, and Brother Beler is actually the one who referred this family to us last week! Definitely not a coincidence that she was sent here to Bago. I'm excited to see how her testimony and spirit will bless this family. We ended our night at Mark and Nancy's and they are SO excited to be baptized! Nancy started talking to us about how much she wants to work with us. And she's not even baptized yet! haha That's one of my favorite parts of the mission---when the investigators get fired up about sharing the Gospel. It just means that they truly understand the importance of this Gospel and can't help but have the desire to let the whole world know about it! It's just the beginning of their everlasting conversion to the Gospel. :)

Saturday we had correlation with Bishop and then our basketball clinic with our church tour. Four potential investigators showed up so we were pretty excited about that. Sister Tanes also got to meet a lot of the members of our ward which was good. She fits right in here with the people of Bago. :) Oh! Before the clinic, Sister Tanes needed to buy a pin to tie her shirt back, and so on the way to one of the tiangees we saw Brother Jaymon!!! I have never been so grateful for the need of a pin in my entire life. He was working at the gasoline station so we could only talk to him for a minute. He said he'd try coming to church the next day. I'm just so grateful we were finally able to find him and talk to him! Hopefully we'll be able to figure out a time when we can meet with him and have a real discussion with him. After our basketball clinic we stopped by our investigators to remind them to come to church, and when we went to Mark and Nancy's, they had family members over. We invited them to church, and they were a bit hesitant. Then Nancy came right in and basically taught Sabbath-Day for us. haha She talked about the sacrament and how even though she can't partake of it yet, the Spirit is so strong in the chapel. To her, the way the sacrament is broken and passed makes perfect sense with the way it's done in the New Testament, so she was explaining it to her sister-in-law, Tacey. I was beaming with pride in Nancy and the way the spirit was working through her. I LOVE when experiences like this happen for investigators to testify to their family. Tacey said she'd try her best to come to church next week. 

Sunday was wonderful and full of miracles (one of the many reasons I love fast sundays): our ward mission leader quit his job so he can make it to church on Sundays and have meetings with us (we haven't been able to meet with him for almost a whole transfer), we had a meeting with Broher Reymon (our ward mission leader) and the ward missionaries and they're set to work with us every day this week, we organized Mark and Nancy's baptism program, Michelle originally wasn't able to work with us, then texted us right before we left the house saying she could work with us, and so many other miracles! We met with the Moises family later in the evening to do a member missionary lesson, and when Michelle testified about missionary work, she started crying. She's a very upbeat, humorous person, so the fact that she was crying was kind of a shock to me. It really hit her to the core. I guess she's been having a hard time with her friends accepting the fact that she's LDS and don't really respect her when she tries to share the gospel with them. :( She brought up the idea again when we were teaching Mark and Nancy and Nancy assured her to just read the Book of Mormon every day and just to be a good example to them and just invite them to church, telling them how much it's blessed her life. That was quite the lesson---our investigator comforting and telling our ward missionary what to do to have peace and joy. :) I love it and it really helped Michelle out.

Goodness, we just had so many miracles and tender mercies this week that it's hard to keep track of them all! I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father's hand is in every aspect of this work and that through the Holy Ghost, He just leads us to where we need to be, talk to who we need to talk to, and be companions with who we need to be companions with. I already love Sister Tanes so much and I'm so excited to learn from her. I know Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for each of us and half the joy of this life is understanding just what that plan consists of. I've been working a lot this week on my prayers to make them more sincere. I know that once we understand who we are--literally children of a living God, that our conversations with Him become more sacred, personal, and meaningful. I know we have a Father in Heaven who loves us very much and wants us to be happy. I know Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and I feel so blessed to bear and represent His name. I know Joseph Smith truly restored this Gospel by the power of the Priesthood to the earth and that he is a true prophet. I know President Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet and leads and guides us today. I'm eternally grateful for this restored Gospel and for the opportunity I have to share the joy and peace I receive from it's truths with the beautiful people of the Philippines. 

Thank you for all your love and prayers. And thank you for the letters! I received some from Grandma and Grandpa Warburton, Matt Hill, Danny Stanger, and Norma Jean Austin. I truly have the best family and friends in the world. Love you all so much and hope you have a great week! 

All my love,
Sister Dixon 

Sister Dixon's district before some of the missionaries were transferred.
She said, "Literally the BEST district in the world. I'm going to miss all these people so much!!"

Before transfers with Sister Fanene

"8 of us riding the jeepney to Galo for transfers. We fit all of us, and then had all our luggage on top."

 "The cutest couple in Talisay (where i went with Sister Becerra for a couple days). They are members and make those rugs for their living."
Thanks, Sweet Girl!

Sister Dixon and Sister Tanes

 The little water well to get water to do laundry.

Sister Tanes first time doing laundry this way.

Sister Dixon must be pretty good at it by now. 

I am thinking I will NEVER complain about doing laundry again! :)

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