Monday, September 2, 2013

A New Era story waiting to happen

So I have to do this one really fast this week. I had a lot of other emails that I have responded to and for some reason today I just really wanted to talk to people not just write on and on about what I’m up to without even knowing who is listening! I also heard from many of my missionary friends and they are always uplifting me, and I really need that. Side note: Caiti Hall I wrote you a letter, and then I got your letters, so I wrote you another one... thanks for just being the greatest friend in the world! This next one is really long... but I love you and don't be confused by the first letter you get not having any responses to your comments... Thanks for always making me laugh out loud. I love being able to read your letters again and again. 

So, earlier this week Sister Baird said that we are just a new era story waiting to happen. Because really, they put the two of us in the middle of a big city, with city rice fields and jungle and we are just tackling it all and wearing each other out every single day!!! I love the new jungle area we found close to where we live. I hope to teach more people there... Not a lot happened this week. We did a lot of tracting, got punted a plenty and OYM'd the world. We got the highest number for street contacts this week for our district (79) and we didn't even work one of the days! We are tracting like crazy but we find joy in the simple things and don't let ourselves get down. We are just happy with the little things like Sister Baird pronouncing kanina correctly or me understanding someone. I am learning how to be myself more when I do street contacting and that is what really helps us learn how to speak tagalog too! I love it! 

We had one really touching lesson this week that I would really like to share. We have one investigator who is part of a part member family. She knows how to know if what we are teaching is true. She knows the gospel is blessing her daughter, and she just won't let herself be open to the millions of blessings pounding on her door just waiting for her to let one of them in. Mostly she just has no desire to change, we need to drop her soon. But her husband is really open to us and truly wants to know the truth. The problem is that he works in Manila and is rarely home, that happens a lot here it is really sad. I hope some missionaries in Manila can find him and teach him there. 
Anywho... We decided to teach her a lesson on a mother's example and read with her in Alma 56: I believe it is about the stripling warriors. Anyways, this story is about this guy named Helamen and he is in charge of an army of young men who are going off to war to protect their families. Helamen is so proud of these guys. They have more courage than anyone I have ever learned about. They do not fear battle because their mothers taught them both by example and by their words. They taught their sons to love the Lord and trust in him, as well as how to do everything they needed to do to succeed.  They never had any doubt that their mothers believed that their teachings were true. I connected this to my life. Luckily that day I was wearing the green dress my momma made me! She really liked me and complemented me on it. I explained that my mother had made it for me and she was really impressed, especially since I told her my mom can substitute teach and she isn't even a sewer for a living! I connected my mother teaching me how to sew a dress, just like the one I was wearing. And that it isn't just the things like sewing or growing a garden that my mother taught me are important, but she also taught me how to read the Book of Mormon and connect it to my life. She taught me how to pray and most importantly she showed all this to me in her example. Would I believe these things I’ve been taught are important if my mother did not teach them to me and then actually do them herself? NO! Of course I would have many more doubts especially as I was still learning them as a child. It is because of my parent’s example that I am here teaching her. I felt the spirit very strongly and I pray that she will want to just read the Book of Mormon and just learn for herself that it is true! She won't even pray to know if the best gift she has ever received is true! I wish she could just see how important this is and realize how it could change her life! We have taught her the Plan of Salvation and how through this plan and by following the gospel of Jesus Christ while here on the earth (Faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, Baptism by immersion by someone holding the authority of god, the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end) how all this could just make her life a million times better! It is frustrating sometimes when I am trying so hard to help someone and they use their agency not to accept it! But I remind myself that as I do my best and teach by the spirit I am doing my part and they have their own agency and can choose as they desire. 

My new favorite place to be

This is the dress my mom made for me that I was talking about in the story.

Sometimes when I think about it I also forget that I am doing all this in Tagalog with someone who knows just as much tagalog as I do! (which, let me tell you my friends... is not too much) but the holy ghost truly does tell me what to say and sometimes how to say it when I keep myself worthy of such a gift! 
I love you all, and I am so grateful to be here on my mission no matter how many times I get discouraged or frustrated with the language or trying to work with members... but I know how important this work is and that I need to do all I can and the lord's grace will make up for the rest! 

Mahal Kita,

Sister Hellewell

baby snails we found on the porch.  They are bigger than the ones we find in the U.S.


Rambutan! My new favorite fruit

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