Sunday, August 24, 2014

Guide Us, O, Thou Great Jehovah!

Hello friends and family! 

I hope everyone has a great first week of school this week! :) This week was pretty great for us. Sister Tangonan is doing so well and picking up so fast on the language! I love teaching with her and learning from her Christ-like acts and service. She truly is amazing and I've learned so much from her! 

On Monday we visited the Wenceslao family and Brother Daniel said he had a really good experience at church and would come again the following Sunday, and he did! :) He also said he believes Joseph Smith is a prophet! Cheyene also told me while she was walking us to the street that she always feels the spirit. When she prays, sometimes she doesn't notice she's crying. She also prayed that she'd be able to figure out a way she could reconcile some things with a friend from high school. The next day she received a message from that friend on Facebook asking for forgiveness. She's always excited to go to church and even lays out her clothes on Saturday night to prepare. Her and Elsie are so good about studying the Book of Mormon daily and we've been able to see a huge progression in their understanding of the doctrines than when they first started reading. Elsie told us she really felt the Spirit when she was confirmed and had absolutely no bad thoughts or feelings. All peace. :) 

On Tuesday we had a good district meeting and then had to do our four hours of study for Sister Tangonan's training, so we had limited time to proselyte but we had so many tender mercies and were able to still hit quite a few appointments, including meeting the Obello family! They are a referral from the Gibou family, a family in our ward, and they have 6 people living in their home right now! The son and daughter are the ones most interested, but the parents are willing to try. I know with time and with the Spirit, the Lord will soften all their hearts. :) It was pretty funny, too, because to get to their house you have to cross a bamboo bridge. It's pretty small, and Americans are typically bigger than Filipinos....the result? I broke the bridge. Yup. I fell through (with little injury, don't worry), but now their bamboo bridge is broken. Great. Hopefully that didn't kill our relationship of trust with them. haha If anything, hopefully it'll be an icebreaker in the future. ;) 

Wednesday was a pretty typical day and we were able to teach quite a bit and found a few new investigators. My favorite part of the day though, was when we were at the Wenceslao's and cute little Miguel knelt to pray. He's four years old and super hyper. Normally he has a hard time sitting down to pray, but this time, he knelt with us on the ground, folded his cute little arms, and closed his eyes. Cutest thing ever. The kid's really smart too. I usually give him my scripture story picture book to let him look at while we teach his family, and when he turned the picture of Joseph Smith he said, "Joseph Smith!" Good reminder that even the little kids still listen and love the Gospel, even if they're crazy hyper most of the time and you don't think they're listening. :) He'll be a cute little missionary someday. :) 

Thursday was great, too! We visited Euliza (Reneliza's daughter) and she's starting to progress really well. We talked about obedience and keeping the Sabbath day holy and in that particular lesson the Spirit really hit me and testified to me the importance of the sacrament. I truly am grateful for our Savior and His sacrifice and the opportunity we have each week to renew our covenants and recommit to always remember and serve the Lord. 

Friday we felt like Alma and Amulek in the city of Ammonihah. haha We went to one of our areas and all we could feel was wickedness in that area. I think Heavenly Father was testing my faith and patience because we were really trying to find new investigators. We felt that we should go there, but once we were there, the feelings were totally opposite. It reminded me of that Mormon message by Elder Holland about how sometimes the Lord lets us go on the wrong path only 400-500 meters, so that we can turn around and know for a surety that the other fork in the road is the right road. I guess He was letting us know not to go back to Hsda. Sian! It was amazing though, because He truly did guide us to an investigator who IS ready. We went to the Gibou family to teach, and they have a new house helper. We invited her to join our lesson and she wasn't even reluctant! (That surprised me because usually house helpers are pretty shy). She was super receptive the entire time and loved learning how the gospel can bless her family. By the end of the lesson, she accepted a baptismal date in September! I truly know that the Lord is softening the hearts of those who are ready to hear the gospel. The humble in heart are so receptive and as we follow the promptings of the spirit and trust in the Lord, He will grant us miracles and blessings in finding the humble and those who are searching the truth but know not where to find it. 

Saturday was a very successful day as we were able to have a one day mission with our ward! Bishop Quinerquero is AWESOME and worked with us in visiting some less active and recent converts, and to invite them to ward conference the next day. It was super effective because every family he visited with us came to church the next day. Our bishop is amazing. He has a way of gaining the highest respect from our ward members but still shows an incredible amount of love for everyone while making sure things that need to be done get done. He's the best! He also gave us a referral that came to church the next day! Miracle. :) 

Sunday we had a fabulous ward conference and the spirit was so strong. We had yet another miracle in finding a new investigator. Or rather she found us. Jeffery, one of our investigators, brought his friend's sister to church who said she wanted to join our church. Talk about being placed literally in our path! We taught her before church started and she accepted a baptismal date in September as well! I was just astounded with how many miracles we had this week. I know the Lord truly loves us and His purpose for us is to be happy. My mission has brought me so much happiness, all because of bringing others to feel the joy of the Gospel. I'm so grateful for the calling I have as a missionary and to be serving among such beautiful people here in the Philippines. They are incredible and I love them so much.

I hope everyone has a great week and I'll talk to you next week! 

Sister Dixon  

****No photos this week because Jessica couldn't get the camera to connect to the computer. Maybe next week...***

During the week, we received this wonderful email from Jessica's mission president. Here are a few lines:

"Greetings from Philippines Bacolod Mission!

It is with pleasure to inform you that Sister Jessica Dixon will be completing her mission on 05 Nov 2014....

We are privileged to have Sister Dixon in our mission. She had been a faithful and dedicated servant of God. In behalf of the people of the Philippines Bacolod Mission, I thank you so much for sharing your missionary with us! Aloha!

President Marlo Oliveros Lopez"

We continue to pray that she will serve with all her might, mind, and strength as she crosses the finish line!!

70 days...but who's counting?!!

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