Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Went to the Philippines and China!

This week has been super weird.  I feel like there's nothing special to report and also a million things to report.
In our area we're at the point where we're going to have to drop quite a few investigators.  They're just not progressing and they're not seeking to be converted to the gospel.  Sister Osborn and I have been feeling a little weighed down this past week, and we realized this weekend it's because we need to stop teaching a lot of the people that we're teaching right now.  They're all at the point where we could kind of push them or persuade them into baptism, but it wouldn't be right and we wouldn't be fulfilling our purpose.  We're seeking for conversion, like Derek said, and it has to be their choice.
Our shining star right now is Nancy.  She was a little discouraged last week because her family doesn't support her, but at our last meeting with her she was once again excited about the gospel and willing to keep preparing to be baptized on Oct. 14.  Her barrier is still church attendance--she was willing to make the 50 minute drive to the chapel in the middle of her work day to be able to attend, but other things got in her way.  She can make it, we know it! It will take faith and prayers and probably some sacrifice, and maybe some waiting, but she has a sincere desire and we feel very confident that she will be baptized.
This week I went to the Tagalog program and the Chinese program.  It's so interesing to go and "visit" different cultures.  I feel blessed to be able to get to know the sisters, but also to appreciate different cultures more.  It's amazing how we can feel instant love for people when we're trying, like Derek said, to see them as Heavenly Father sees them.  There are no barriers of culture for the Spirit or for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We also had a fun experience with the young women this week.  They invited us to have an "open forum" about what it's like to be a missionary.  It was interesting to be there with the girls and then with their leaders, almost all of whom were returned sister missionaries.  I LOVE talking about my mission and missionary work.  I feel so blessed to be here and it's hard for me to believe there was a time when I didn't want to go on a mission or when I was reluctant about it.  It's made me appreciate everything so much more--my family, the gospel, the scriptures, the plan of salvation, the commandments, my education, the privilege of being born in the U.S., Spanish, my health, everything!  It doesn't feel like a sacrifice at all because the happiness of serving in the Lord's vineyard is the greatest blessing there is.  The gospel is true and Jesus Christ really is our Savior!  I feel it more deeply every day.

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