This week I was asked how long I have been on my mission, and I realized it has almost been 4 months! That's crazy! And about 8 weeks I think here in the Philippines, actually maybe more, It's crazy!
This week went by pretty quickly, but nothing super crazy exciting happened. We have been working with a lot of investigators that are progressing really well! It's so exciting to see them make and keep commitments. This last week we went by Jenny's house, who we baptized in my first transfer, and I have seen her at church, and follow up with her, but we were able to teach her and actually her mom too. I've noticed just how different she is since her baptism, and I really saw it in contrast to her friend and her mom, there is like this glow around her, and I brought it up, and asked if the mom noticed it, and she said she had. I just thought how special that was, and was really special to be able to see that.
I have been thinking a lot about that, and really strengthened my testimony in how much the gospel blesses the lives of people. No matter what struggles we have, no matter what problems we face, even though they will try us, we can get through them if we have faith, and know that we can pray to Heavenly Father, and that no matter what, he loves us. He wants us to follow him, and to remember him, and is sad when we make mistakes, but he seriously loves us so much, and gives us a way to be able to repent for our mistakes, and feel his love, and peace in our life, and to be able to move forward in life, without looking back. I have had the opportunity to see a few investigators keep commitments, and there is just something a little different each time we go to their house, they are just happier and brighter. It's easy to tell who hasn't been keeping commitments, it's just a really neat thing I have been picking up on. And the happiness and Joy comes from the gospel, I know that with all my heart.
This week as well we had the opportunity to hear from 3 members of the 70, or our Area Presidency here in the Philippines. They were really great to hear from, and the topic was on the new Area goals here in the Philippines. I really have noticed that goals are so critical, and I am not good at making goals. But the way they started was by reviewing last year's goals, and then introduced the new goals, and how we get there. I think they could have just introduced the new goals, but I thought it was interesting how they reviewed the last year's goals, and the result of them. But then they moved forward. It reminded me of the Talk by Edward Dube, about looking forward, not back. I had recently read a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland about Lot's wife, and the scripture "Remember Lot's wife". It wasn't necessarily that Lot's wife looked back at the city being destroyed, but it was that she looked back, longingly, and that in her heart she wanted to go back. He then said the "past is to be learned from, not lived in" to learn from experiences, but to move on. He then quoted Bruce R. McConkie (I don't thing that's spelled right) that "we want to build our house in zion, but hope to keep a summer cottage in Babylon" I just thought that was awesome. Especially for me, when I may get caught up in things that aren't entirely centered on missionary work. He said that being afraid of the future is not having faith in Heavenly Father.
So as I look back on the last 4 months, I have grown a ton I feel. But why stop? I have no idea when I am going to be comfortable with the language, maybe never. But that's not a reason to just stop and not continue to learn. These 4 months have been awesome, and I only have 20 more. So The thing I really took this week is to not be complacent, and be satisfied with what we have done. Don't live in the past, and don't be afraid for the future. And in relation to goal setting, setting goals helps you see the future in a more realistic sense that enables you to see that it is possible to accomplish and not so scary looking.
I hope everyone has a great week!