Sunday, August 10, 2014

I Stand All Amazed

Hello everyone! 

What a great week! We focused a lot on Cheyene in preparation for her baptism this last Saturday, so I'll probably be talking about her and her family a lot in this email. :) On Monday we visited them and taught about the self reliance program the church offers here in the Philippines. I had randomly gotten a prompting to teach that while I was taking my bucket shower that morning and it turned out to be just what they needed! Elsie was super excited at the prospects of their future becoming better and even turned to Cheyene and said, "it's an answer to your prayers!" Cheyene had to stop school because they are so poor, but PEF is just the answer! :) 

Tuesday we had some good lessons throughout the day with Reneliza about temple and family history work, and with Christian, our new investigator/referral of the Gibou family. He's awesome! We actually met him when Jade (on of our RCs) brought him to church! Later that night when we visited Cheyene and Elsie, we asked Elsie if she's received an answer to her prayers yet about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Elsie said she had finally received an answer. We asked her how she knew and she said it was just the simple, calm, peaceful feelings in her heart that she felt every time we'd teach or discuss a new principle, commandment, or doctrine. She said it just felt right! After much prayer and fasting, we were so relieved that she was able to finally recognize the promptings of the Spirit. 

Wednesday we had a very inspired zone leader's training meeting and we learned a lot about teaching for understanding by using pictures, scriptures, and the spirit. And asking inspired questions. It totally changed my perspective on the way I teach, and so I've done quite a bit of changing to the way I teach and it's been super effective. I'm so grateful for such inspired mission leaders! Later that night when we visited Cheyene, she said she had a dream where there was a darkness preventing her from being baptized. She said she had the dream three times. She said she was trying to ignore it and was reading every day to keep her mind distracted, but when we went back on Thursday and Elsie shared that she had read from 1 Nephi 8 about Lehi's dream, it was the perfect lead into the lesson we had planned. We talked about how when there's a mist of darkness, it's usually associated with Satan and how he wants to prevent anything good from happening (like her being baptized that Saturday). We shared from JSH when that same darkness was around Joseph Smith before he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. We also shared 3 Nephi 18:15-16 about how Jesus Christ is our light. Cheyene felt a lot better after that and was even more determined not to let Satan win with her baptism so soon. We also gave them a picture of Christ (good timing on your package, Mom!) and they placed it right by their door so they could always see him and remember that He's our Light. :) 

Friday was actually Elsie's birthday! We had a good lesson on baptism and confirmation to extra prepare Cheyene for her baptism, and then they shared a little bit of her birthday treat of spaghetti and maha with us. I asked Elsie what her favorite birthday memory was and her answer kind of broke my heart! She said, "this one. Because when I was young, sometimes I'd go to school and think, 'subong gali ang birthday ko.' or 'Oh yeah, today's my birthday..." :( That's actually pretty common here....a lot of times, birthdays go unnoticed, especially for those who are poor because they have nothing to celebrate with. :( I'm glad we were able to be there for her 40 something birthday to make it so happy and special. :) She definitely had some good smiles throughout the night, so that made me smile too. :) We also celebrated Miguel's birthday that day since they don't actually know when his birthday is...someone just left him with them and never came back... :( I sure love that kid. He's so cute and hilarious. I just love this family! I have faith that with time they will ALL be baptized. :) 

Saturday was Cheyene's special day and when she bore her testimony she testified of the wonderful clean feeling she had in her heart. She had a bit of depression for a while, so to see her so happy and with such a full heart was amazing. Sunday she received the gift of the Holy Ghost and when we visited them later that night she told us that after she was baptized and she was in the bathroom, she exclaimed, 'Yes! Member na 'ko!" Or, Yes! I'm a member now! haha she's so cute. She gave a really heartfelt prayer thanking Heavenly Father for the peace she felt in her heart and for the stress she no longer felt in her body. She's such a sweetheart. Her dad was there in the lesson and he expressed how happy he was that she was baptized. He's slowly but surely opening up to us more and more and I know this sweet family will be one in heart and mind in the church someday. That they'll be able to go to the temple and partake of all the blessing of exaltation. 

I'm so grateful for the Gospel and how central it is on families. I truly know that because of the Savior, families can be together forever. I'm so grateful for all my one here in the Philippines, my missionary family, my ward family, my friends, and of course my real family. :) Life would just not be what it is without family. It truly is one of God's greatest gifts to us and I'll be forever grateful for the family He's sent me to. I couldn't ask for a better one! Speaking of that, Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I love you two sooo very much and I'm eternally grateful Heavenly Father sent me to you two! :)

Have a great week everyone and I'll talk to ya next week! xo

Love always, 
Sister Dixon 

 "This is how we take pictures every zone leader's training meeting....
lots of missionaries....lots of cameras...for lots of memories! haha 

"Little Filipino kiddies! They loved the jollie ranchers you sent, Mom. :)"

Cute little Miguel :)

 Cheyene's Baptism

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