Sunday, July 6, 2014

When Faith Endures

Hello my wonderful friends and family!! 

Looks like I'll be staying on Pontevedra another transfer with Sister Batalero and I couldn't be more excited! This week was full of tender mercies and miracles, just like every week. :) But here are some that stuck out to me this week...
We found a super nice family that the elders used to teach named the Mindanao family. The mother has kidney problems and when we first met with them, we just met her. She told us about her situation, and I can tell she is so strong for her kids. She cried in front of us because her kids weren't there...she tries not to cry in front of them. The kids constantly fear she will die. That brings us to our lesson on the Plan of Salvation. :) When we went back, Sister Mindanao, her daughter Karla, and her husband were there. We went through the entire Plan of Salvation lesson and the spirit was so. strong. They pretty much listened in awe at such a glorious plan. They understood every bit of the Plan, especially the need to be baptized and confirmed by the laying on of hands in order to enter into the Celestial Kingdom. In their church, they had both, so we reminded them of the need for Priesthood. They willingly agreed to pray about it and if they know it's true, they will be baptized! I know they'll get their answer, there's no doubt about it. It's just a matter of time and sincere desire to know. I know this Gospel and Plan of Salvation will truly bless their lives and bring so much more peace to them. It's amazing how much power the lesson of the Plan of Salvation has. I love it! 

I also want to testify of the power of the Book of Mormon. We've been teaching Brother Telanas and his son Chris for a while now. They have SO many questions, and our lessons are usually pretty long because they love to talk, even if we write down their questions and tell them we'll address them in another lesson. Anyway, in this particular lesson, we read from the Book of Mormon because they hadn't read from it yet. As we started in the Introduction and got to about the third paragraph, Brother Telanas looked up and started explaining more of his feelings, rather than asking questions. He expressed his desire to have peace in this life and to have the strength to work day after day to support his family. He told us how even though he sees us walking all day long, rain or shine, we are always happy and have so much strength,and never fail to visit them. We testified that it comes through the Atonement, the Gospel, and through studying the Book of Mormon of Mormon daily. We committed him to read, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon and he accepted. I'm excited to see the changes that come in his life. He's one of the men on my mission that I've seen have the strongest faith. His potential is huge and we're excited to see how the power of the Book of Mormon will change his life, because we already saw changes in just the first three paragraphs! :) 

Sunday was fast Sunday, and they are the BEST in the mission field. Seriously, so many miracles. For example, on Saturday we visited the Semillano family, a less active family in one of our far areas. We started a special sacrament there so they could attend each week, but we arranged to have them attend church in the city every fast and testimony meeting. They told us that they had no money for travel and were praying to know what to do because they really wanted to attend church. Then one of Brother Semillano's co-workers came by and said that he had received a bonus from work...250 pesos...just enough to get to church and back! It was a real miracle. :) So Sunday comes around and it DOWNPOURS. That usually means very low church attendance, especially from our far areas. Church had started and the Semillano family hadn't come yet. One of their grown daughters, Rhodora, is scheduled to be baptized on Saturday, so we really needed her to come. I tried not to let any doubt creep in and not let my faith weaken, and was praying so hard in my heart that they'd make it. Sure enough, right before sacrament ended, they walked in the door. My little heart was doing backflips! And even better, the Semillano family, Rhodora, her friend Jennifer who is our new investigator, and Brother Dorio, who hasn't come to church in years, ALL came...despite the rain and super rugged road to get to the church!! True, strong faith right there. :) 

There were so many other little miracles and tender mercies that happened throughout the week. I've been really trying to notice the little acts that God puts His hand in so I can have more gratitude for His blessings and mercy in our missionary work. It's amazing...He really is the one directing this work. We are just His instruments in fulfilling it. All we need to do is exercise faith and be humble, so His power can be manifest through us. 

I testify that God loves us. And because He loves us He sent His Son. Through His Son, Jesus Christ, we have a perfect plan that takes us back to our Father in Heaven. I know that plan and the Gospel of Jesus Christ was revealed and restored through Joseph Smith. I know that Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet today and that the Priesthood is truly the power of God given to man to act in His name for the salvation of His children. How grateful I am to have a knowledge and testimony of this truth and to share it with the Filipino people that I love so much. 
I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July and that this week is wonderful! Thank you so much for the love, support, emails, and prayers! I have the best family, friends, and neighbors in the world. :) Palangga ko kamo! 

All my love, 
Sister Dixon 

PS If you ever need to do laundry by hand in the pouring rain, just sing Hymns! It changes your whole attitude and perspective on things. :) 

"FHE-Booga Booga was the game we played"
(It must have something to do with red cheeks--I am sure Jessica will want to play this when she comes home. You are all welcome to come to our house and play! )

Study time during a brown-out

"Sweetest Lola ever...she always pinches my cheeks"

"Doing laundry by hand in the pouring rain...

While singing hymns"

"A tricycle ride to our farthest area"

Mom's note: Grateful that driver looks so intent. I am sure he will get them there safely :)!!

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