This first weekend serving in Sagbayan has been a lot to take in! The biking is so fun- beautiful landscapes, wind, exercise! But when we get off the flat roads and into the jungle-y hills and off-roading trails, I admit, it's a challenge! But I'm getting better at it! The very first thing I did on my bike the first day was fall off it when my chain broke, haha, so I've come a looong way in the last few days in my "mountain biking" skills!As for the work, we have a wonderful IBD and her name is Juvelyn Castro! She is really good at reading the Book of Mormon- she's already in Helaman! And she's always telling us what she's learned! It helps that the Bisaya here is really..... deep Bisaya .....so the people understand the Basahon ni Mormon really well! She is special though- very prepared by the Lord. She is getting baptized this Sept 10!
The branch is also very impressive- they are few, but they are active. The Gambe family just got home from getting SEALED as a family in the Cebu temple the day after I arrived! They and the other members here have sacrificed so much and endured a lot of questioning from family and neighbors about why they joined the "Mormon" church. We are teaching the members and recent converts how they can answer others' questions and how they can work with us to teach their friends.
The members here, to me, really embody the efforts of the early Latter-Day Saints in establishing the Church. As Joseph Smith taught:
“For a man to lay down his all—his character and reputation, his honor and applause, his good name among men, his houses, his lands, his brothers and sisters, his wife and children, and even his own life also, counting all things but filth and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ—requires more than mere belief or supposition that he is doing the will of God. It requires actual knowledge, realizing that when these sufferings are ended, he will enter into eternal rest and be a partaker of the glory of God.”
I always want to be like the members I'm meeting here- willing to sacrifice and consecrated my all for the gospel of Jesus Christ! It's not easy, not for them and not for us, but as I see their happiness and hear their testimonies I know that the sacrifices we make for the truth's sake are worth it.
Amping mo kanunay!