This week was AWESOME. I wish I could just gopro my mission sometimes to better explain to you life here in the Philippines. If anyone wants to ship me a tie clip spy camera, feel free haha. But seriously, this week was just awesome, and I am so pumped to be able to stay in Baesa for another transfer, because to be honest, I wasn't too thrilled.
I was ready to get out of the city, and prayed really hard how I could help this area out, because to me, it just feels stuck. I don't know how to explain it, but we have lessons and stuff, but it doesn't feel like it is moving a whole lot. I felt that we needed to get the members going. We work about everyday with our ward mission leader, and sometimes the ward missionaries work too, but the thing about ward missionaries, is they feel that they have to work all day with us. I am impressed to be honest, but it actually isn't effective though, because they should be used for fellow shipping, so I want to hand pick which appointments they go to. Ward missionaries are super important (Dad, I think you are a ward missionary) and they can be so much more effective in lessons. People just seem to listen better when they talk and can relate so much better. So that was one thing I felt. The other was setting goals with the ward, because I realized I didn't know what the goals were.
Goals are probably one of my favorite things to set, and when it comes to doing it, that's different ha. But I have learned that goals are so meaningful, and SO important in life. It helps give a purpose, and you can plan on how you are going to achieve it. So I talked with my companions because I have two now, it's super fun, and we agreed we needed goals. In our meeting with bishop he didn't really have any, so In our meeting with the Ward Mission Leader we went over so much stuff and discovered the stake had a goal of 50 baptisms per month, or about 8 per ward! This ward has only had 6 so far! So we helped make plans to get referrals from members. Members are the key to missionary work. The missionaries are there to help the members in teaching, because we have been set apart to do so. If the members share and have people interested, we can just teach and it is way more effective, because they already have a friend, and it's not as weird.
I loved President Uchtdorf's talk, "Are you sleeping through the restoration". He says, are we rolling up are sleeves getting into the work, or are we just an observer? I really hope that members will get more serious about missionary work, and I know it's just being repeated over and over, but it is seriously important, and the Lord will help us. It's time to get going if you are not already doing so, and set a goal for yourself, and then ask the missionaries for ways to achieve that goal if you are uncertain! They would love to help you!
This week was also awesome because Perla is progressing so much. She is the one that has been investigating for a long time, like 2 years, and has a solid testimony, but smokes. She had cut down from 4 cigarettes to 2 a day, but even though that was progress, I knew she could do better. She wasn't trying her hardest, because there was something missing. So we shared with her about the atonement, and all Christ has done, and if she would give up smoking for 24 hours, and we went back the next day and she had. We shared another short message and recommitted her and she did this whole week. We visited her everyday committing her and she told us the other day, "Elders, I'm not smoking anymore" kind of annoyed we kept asking haha, but I'm so excited, and we gave her a baptism date.
Another cool experience was sunday we had an investigator come I did not think, I'm sad to say, she was actually going to come. And I didn't even recognize her because she looked so different. The difference, She was happy! We teach her friend, and she will be there in a lesson not really interested, but the other day she started crying because she felt so down and trials were burdening her, and it was such an awesome lesson. Then on sunday we went by before church to invite her, and she seemed way better. And then at church she was so into everything! She seemed like a completely different person! Oh I love the gospel! It's just so true. And I love missionary work. It is the absolute best feeling. It beats everything else.
I challenge everyone to pray and look for opportunities, even if you already have before and it worked out or didn't work out. Remember Edward Dube's talk, "Don't look back, there is still so much more to do." I know there is so much work to do, I am so pumped to help this ward hit these goals we set with them. I want them to just catch this vision that missionary is possible, and those 2 experiences were just 2 of the awesome miracles we had this week. So much happened and I am starting to see that miracles are so real. I want to thank everyone for their support, and I know that this work is true, and am so grateful to be a part of it, especially at this time.