Sunday, June 8, 2014

Press Forward Saints

Hello everyone!! 

This week was great! We started and ended our week busy, which is normal. :) On Monday we headed to Bacolod for our mission leadership council. On the way we rode on a jeepney and this woman said, "hi Sister Dixon!" It took me a minute to register who she was, and then it clicked that she's from Bago (my last area)! She was a referral and we had talked to her maybe twice before I left Bago. I asked how she was and she said she was getting baptized on June 7th! I was so excited for her. It's always neat to hear of people getting baptized that you've taught or met in previous areas. It's just a testimony builder that really no effort is ever wasted, even if at times it feels like we're not making a big difference. There's just a process of planting seeds, watering them, and harvesting. :) We had a wonderful MLC and the spirit was so strong. We ended our night at the Santa Fe sister's apartment (one of the sisters is Sister Canimo!). :)  

Tuesday we continued our mission leadership council and learned a lot about how to begin teaching, helping investigators receive and recognize revelation, dealing with stress, and a bunch of other good stuff I can't wait to tell you about. :) As always, we were fed really well, and then headed back to our areas. By the time we got back to Pontevedra, we only had time for about two lessons, but they were really powerful ones. We visited Marianne and taught her about the Book of Mormon. It was dark, and they don't have electricity so we taught by candlelight (somehow these lessons always seem to be the best). :) The spirit was incredibly strong as we testified of the Book of Mormon, and Marianne's body language was the most interested I've seen of any investigator. By the time we finished our lesson, Sister Batalero said, "I'll bet you forgot it was dark, haven't you." She got all surprised and said, "oh my goodness! I totally forgot!" haha Even though we had one little candle to teach by, the light of the spirit and the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon was so bright and strong, that the physical darkness around us seemed to disappear. We also had a pretty powerful lesson with AJ, Reymark, and Haydee about the Restoration. I just love the power that the Restoration brings into our lessons and the way it changes our investigator's countenances. It strengthens my own testimony of the Restoration every time.
Wednesday we had our Zone Leader's Training n Binalbagan. It was Sister Batalero's first time giving a training, and she was pretty nervous, but she did a great job. :) We have an awesome zone and everyone gave such great insights as we gave our trainings. Afterwards, we headed back to Pontevedra and we decided to do some finding behind our apartment. While talking to an older man, a woman behind us asked 'if we still had those little books we hand out.' We we more than happy to give her a Restoration pamphlet and after introducing our message to her, we set up a return appointment. We also helped her do her laundry. You know, when I first got on my mission, I strongly disliked doing laundry, but now it's kind of fun! Especially when we're doing it for potential investigators! ;)
Thursday we had a pretty full day, but one of my favorite experiences was finding an investigator named Karena that the elders used to teach. We were in a tricycle, and everyone we asked didn't know who she was (they don't have addresses here so you have to ask people in order to find someone). We ended up going down the most random street in the very back of the purok, and low and behold, there was a woman walking with two young kids. We asked her if she knew Karena Diretso, and she said, "that's me!" We got out of the tricycle and walked the rest of the way to her house, which turns out we had passed about five times. haha She was so receptive and my testimony was strengthened of how much the Spirit really is guiding us to find Heavenly Father's children. He loves each and every one of us so much!
Friday we had weekly planning and then had headed out to work with Sister Jane. We got punted quite a bit, but some days are just like that. Because rainy season is coming on, a lot of times it's really hot then it gets kind of chilly really fast because of the rain, which causes quite a few runny noses. One of those was Sister Marianne, who actually got pretty sick. We sang a hymn and said a prayer with her. Later that night we visited Allyza to make sure she was all set and ready for her baptism the next day.

Saturday was Allyza's baptism! Before her baptism, we had a lunch appointment at the Rusia's and then got everything ready at the chapel for her baptism. Everything went well and Allyza was super excited to be baptized. We sang, "Teach Me to Walk in the Light," her favorite hymn, and the hymn we sang last Saturday with her when the spirit was really strong in our lesson. Afterwards, she and Nelly worked with us and Nelly was an awesome 'nurse' and helped put these leaves that had some sort of medicine in it on Marianne's head. Sunday we picked up Marianne's two little girls to take them to church since Marianne was still sick. They are so cute. When I asked what Mary Jane learned after church, she told me all about the temple. I sure hope this family will be able to go there someday! We met the dad that day too and he seems super nice. We're hoping to find a time to teach him when he's not at work so their whole family can be baptized. :) Haydee worked with us for most of the day after church, and we ended at her house. We're teaching her brother AJ and he's having a bit of a hard time with coffee and his earring. I love Sister Batalero and the unity we have with each other in our teaching and with the Spirit. If we didn't have the unity we have, it would've been a rough lesson, but the Spirit completely guided both of us and yielded our promptings with each other, so that the lesson was filled with love and hopefully understanding for AJ about how the Atonement can help him. We ended our lesson and it was raining pretty hard. I should know by now to always have my umbrella with me, even if it doesn't look like it's going to rain, but I left it at the apartment, thinking Sister Batalero would have hers just in case it did rain. Well, turns out she thought the same thing, so we ended up walking home in the rain. haha I thought it was pretty funny, and we made it into a positive experience. :) We sure learned our lesson though! From now on, I'll always carry my umbrella, even if the sky is blue for miles. ;)
Anyway, I hope everyone has a great week! And welcome home Jacob! Thanks for all the love and support back home. You really are the greatest! I know this Gospel is true with all my heart and I know Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and that through the Spirit and revelation, we can come closer to the Savior than we ever imagined. I know the enabling power of the Atonement is real. I know that this mission isn't my mission, but God's mission. I'm grateful I get to be his 'angel' in "declaring the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls." (Hel. 5:11). Have a great week and always remember how much I love you!
Sister Dixon

The photos this week are from the lunch appointment Sister Dixon and Sister Batalero had with the Rusia family before Allayza's baptism. Sister Dixon loves this family very much.
Erwin climbing the tree to get coconuts for amazing is that?

Helping to make boco juice

Lunch with the Rusia's

Allayza's baptism

We love the Rusia family. 
They are so very kind to Sister Dixon and Sister Batalero.

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