Monday, August 29, 2016

Opposition in All Things

I just want to share a couple experiences with you from my week.

Yesterday, Sunday, Sister Paget and I were on our way to teach a lesson before heading to church and it was really, really sunny and hot so we decided to jump in the next sikad that came our way. So we get into the sikad (tiny seat attached to a bike). The driver knew we were Mormons and so I chatted with him and he told us he was also Mormon, which we were surprised about since I've been in the area for 4 months and I've never seen him. He said he just barely moved here and knows where the church is but he's been to shy to come to church not knowing anyone. We invited him to come to church with us, and he asked "hapit mo sa ba'y?" (can you stop by my house?) so we went and visited his home and met his wife and children. He has many fond memories from growing up in the church and wants his children too as well! Their names are Jackie and Jenivive Roca. So we invited them to come to church and then went on our way to our planned lesson. Later at the church, they didn't show up........until the last 20 minutes of sacrament, in comes this young couple and their children and we went out and brought them in the church! The ward was so great at fellowshipping them and we found out that his wife isn't a member yet, but very interested in joining the church with her husband! Later in class Jackie shared that he had been praying that he would meet a member to help him come to church, and then he said "Natuman ang akong pagampo sa diha nga nakasakay silang Sisters nako." (his prayer was answered when the sisters got on his sikad). Sister Paget and I were so overjoyed meeting them and seeing how prepared they are by the Lord to progress in the gospel! It's amazing too because our ward here in Danao sorely needs Priesthood holders, and by adding this family to the ward it would be such a huge strength!

Speaking of which, our bishop randomly got reassigned to Davao for his job, so we have no bishop right now! We are trying to do our best as the missionaries to support the ward and keep the work running smoothly until they call a new bishop!

One other experience: earlier today we held a Sisters' Activity with Sister Maughan at the mission home and Sister Paget and I had each sister (12 total) stand and one by one and give a "shining moment" for their companion. I think nothing brings the Spirit stronger or in more abundance than helping others to see and appreciate their individual strengths and Christlike attributes!

I am loving the missionary work- Catherine is still progressing and coming to church, though her baptism keeps getting pushed back since her parents aren't too sure if they want their daughter to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints since they are Catholic.

I think the hardest part of being a missionary for me is this: the work demands more of me that what I feel is in my power to give. Between the spiritual and physical and organizational needs of the ward, the mission, the sisters, my companion, and each and every individual person that I teach, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and inadequate. But one thing my mission is teaching me is that "the gospel of Jesus Christ does not profess to eliminate stress and none should think it will. But it will give meaning to the opposition and resistance that we meet in this life and enable us to grow "in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52).
Also this week I caught a glimpse of someone's TV while the swimming Olympics were going on and there I stood for about 3 minutes in the mud under the palm trees entranced at seeing a piece of my former life on a stranger's tv set through an open door at the end of a narrow alleyway. It was like "worlds collide!" haha!

I hope you all have a great week and know that as we do our best to serve God as missionaries, students, parents, etc, he can magnify our abilities and multiply our blessings because He is God and He loves us!

Love you all
Sister Bertoldo


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