Monday, November 7, 2016

Enjoy to the End

I don't really want to have a last email. Or a last week in the mission! Or leave the Philippines! But I DO want to share with all of you how much I love missionary work, how much I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And how much I KNOW that it can change human nature! Because it changes mine everyday!

This past week, Elder Haynie of the Quorum of the 70 came and spoke to us! He taught about how to be more successful at "finding" by using all our resources as missionaries, all the time. He focused a lot on finding "scattered Israel"! I was so inspired by his humility ("I am a product of the Atonement of Jesus Christ") and love for each of us- before the meeting, he took the time to great each one of us one by one!

But the highlight of this week was getting to leave all the meetings and get back to the bike, back to the work. Joenalyn was baptized and confirmed, and the best part of my week was hearing her share her testimony for the first time right after her baptism! I later asked Jovilyn how she felt now that her sister was also converted? And she said she was happy, but she still has 9 other siblings and she gave us all their names and addresses as referrals!

We also have 3 new IBD's, Justin, Joel, and JimCarlo! I won't get to be here long enough to see their baptisms, but I'm still so grateful to get to find, teach, and help prepare them for it!

Missionary work- God's work of gathering in His people and sanctifying them- will go on with or without us. But by participating with all our heart, might, mind, and strength, we receive so many blessings and so much joy. As we "lose ourselves" for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we truly begin the journey of "finding ourselves" and finding our way to eternal life. (Luke 9:24, Matt 16:25).

I know that missionary work is not just done for 18 months or 2 years, it is continuously done in small and often quiet ways everyday as each of us live what we know to be true. Yet, as the world gets increasingly LOUDER in wickedness and sin, we should "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:25).

A scripture that's been on my mind lately:

"Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah..." (2 Nephi 2:8)

I know that I can't get anywhere without the merits, mercy and grace of my Savior, and neither can anyone else. How grateful we are to Him and the chance to bring anyone and everyone to know Him!

-sister bertoldo

Jovilyn and Joenalyn on Sister Bertoldo's last Sunday in the mission!

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