The big news this week is that our mission president, President Tanner, finishes his 3 years this June 30 and will be leaving us!! He left us with these words:
Elders and Sisters, these are your days! This is your time! You were chosen to live now because you were strong spirits and our Father knows you can stay strong in mortality even in the face of adversity, IF YOU CHOOSE TO FOLLOW HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON. Please "open the door" (Revelation 3:20) so the Savior can enter your life more abundantly.
We love you all and pray for your eternal joy and peace.
Our new president, President Maughan, will arrive this week and we'll get the chance to meet him at a Zone Conference this July 7. We're all so excited to welcome a new president and help him in his new calling! We hear he has already been studying his Cebuano too!
This week we went to work down in Liloan because one of the sisters has been sick and they needed us to go on splits with them in their area to keep up with all their work. That meant taking time away from our own work, but somehow everything we needed to do got done because as we sacrifice to serve others, God is always there to magnify our own goals and abilities! As of yesterday, we have a new IBD, Catherine Hermosilla, set for July. We used to teach her lola, grandmother, who is a less-active. As we taught and came to love Nanay Minda, she started expressing a desire to come back to church. She came with her granddaughter, who we are now teaching. We also found the home of her daughter, Lesel, who is also not a member. It's really so effective to work through families and referrals in missionary work- the whole purpose and focus of the gospel of Jesus Christ is, afterall, family.
Also this week we had an old British man tell us that we weren't helping anyone by teaching and sharing the gospel- that we should help people physically, not mentally- and that as for himself, he believed in "Mother Nature", not God. I thought, how sad it is that although he can love and appreciate mother nature, he knows and loves and thanks not the Father in Heaven who created her (Mosiah 4:9, Alma 30:44, Moses, Genesis, etc.) Also, I have seen so many hearts, and therefore lives, change from simply hearing the gospel, reading the Book of Mormon and the Bible, and living the principles taught therein. Including my own.
I know that this work is the Lord's work. Sometimes it can be frustrating or disappointing to see people reject the truth or fail to live up to our hopes and expectations for them, but God has given each of His children our agency for a wise purpose- he "hath given us a knowledge, and he hath made us free" (Hel 14:30-31). I also know that when his children realize their mistakes and come unto Him in repentance, he is ALWAYS there to receive us (Alma 5:33-34); a pretty big role to emulate as a missionary!
Also this week, Sister Allen and I realized we have a frog swamp living behind our house (the croaking of frogs sounds like straight out of a horror film!), we made stove top 'smores, and we now get called "Amerikana'g Bisaya!" instead of just Americana :)
I 💙 the Philippines!
Have a great week!
Love, Sister Bertoldo