Well it has been another crazy long week here in Batangas. M had her Baptism Interview which was just wonderful. And I had the DL's companion help me with my tagalog while they had the interview. Lets just say it reminded me how bad my tagalog is and how nice the people are about my abilities. Yikes. I decided to read to him And Aklat Ni Mormon and thought it would be fun to read some Mosiah and learn the words of a wise king benjamin.... but really all I think I actually learned is that I still really struggle with the NG sound. It's a weird one, let me tell ya. I'm fine in words I've mastered like Panginoon (Lord) Panalangin (A noun conjugation of prayer) and Kapangyarihan (power) and other's like those but when it comes to words like Paningin (which I think is sight) and Bingi (which I think is deaf if I remember right) I am struggling! Saying that sound is worse than playing the piano! (And just for the record I quit piano and played the violin instead so that should tell you how hard this is for me.)
I was feeling really down about my tagalog and such the next day when I was doing my personal study I learned something (Imagine that! ) I have decided to share with all of my family and friends who apparently read this thing what I learned by sharing some of what I wrote in my journal. Prepare yourself this next sentence is profound: "I am the master of my own destiny." I feel very at peace right now, I have just been reading the Book of Mormon in Helamen 4 when the Lamanites are just so righteous and also in the book Jesus The Christ and have just been learning so much about christ and my eternal father. And ya know also about myself! And my for-ordination. And just about the Plan of Salvation in general. It's humbling but also just makes me feel so good at the same time. It is also causing me to think about how good feels this way, this love I'm feeling from him about all of his children. He may trust them differently, or maybe even like them differently, but I know that he loves us all the same. whether we are worthy of his love and trust or not.
I am humbled that he trusts me so much right now REALLY trusts me! As a missionary of course but also to call me to serve at a time where much would be required of me early. I know that I was foreordained to do this. We all lived with our father in heaven before we came to this earth. We wanted to become like him. His First Son, Jesus Christ, accepted the role as savior and redeemer of the world in this life. Heaven Father did not create our sins, but he knew that in a world of temptation we would make mistakes and need a little mercy, that is why the atonement is a central thing in my life. I use the power it gives me every single day. I know when I lived with Heavenly Father before, I accepted this plan. I accepted all of the challenges that I would encounter in a fallen world. I have had many things that were big trials of my faith. But none of them compare to the one I face now. But I know that the lord called me to serve here in Batangas before I was born into the greatest forever family in the world! Just as the prophet Jeremiah was told that he was ordained before he was given a body too. The spirit has made this manifest to me that I was too. Back to the love and trust.....that I feel coming from my loving heavenly father. He really trusts me. As a daughter of His and as a missionary. I was called at a time when much more responsibility would be required as a missionary earlier, at least in my mission. As a trainer much of what I do will help set the course of sister William's mission. But also as a re-open. He has given me the faith and strength to succeed. But really I think I was just lacking in many areas so he put me in a situation to develop what I would need to develop in order to succeed in future assignments. and throughout my life. I am so weak! But I know that the Lord makes weak things strong unto him, and that is the process that I am in right now. All that I have done in the last 2 weeks is all just relying on the Lord to get his work completed---through me. I feel so humbled that he is trusting me and loving me blessing me so much. even with all those blessings I have felt...Missionaries still get sick! It all started with a sore throat again... but at least this time I got a fever so it wasn't just me feeling like a wimp that I didn't feel good. But luckily it came the same night the typhoon did so it cooled down like nobody's business around here. The philippas were cold and wanted jackets... I was just LOVING it.
Also one of the temple sealers for the manila temple live in our ward boundaries. We met him as we were on a search for an investigators house. He thought that I had been on my mission longer than a year because of how good my tagalog is! (Personally, I don't know if he was just being nice or maybe previous missionaries were really bad, or maybe that was just a tagalog day for me...) But it made me feel really good!
Conference!!!! Can be seen at gc.lds.org
IT WAS AWESOME! (And they have it in english and tagalog here so I actually understood it! yeah!) It was an answer to my prayers! I wasn't going to write this, but I will. I've been trying to motivate my family to want to join in my joy of missionary work a little be more... especially since, with my parents callings they have alot of influence on the youth and children of the church but there I was just loving conference soaking it all in... and after Gifford Nielsen I just felt like all my prayers were answered. THE TIME IS NOW! to do member missionary work. I am one of the 80,333 that can testify of that. Then I was just feeling like everyone was talking about missionary work. Also I loved ballard's talk. And I can tell you that we cannot work alone. 1. because we are not capable (at least in my case) and 2. it is not the lords way! The world needs it's chance to hear and receive or reject the gospel. PLEASE make the decision now, wherever you may be to follow the prophets, yes even the lord's own plea and command to SHARE! INVITE! all to hear and feel the love you feel each time you pray as a family, dad gives a blessing, we take the sacrament, my brother's use the priesthood, or during a personal prayer before, after or during scripture study.
Decide now, to have a family council meeting (or set personal goals) centered on missionary work! If you didn't heed the call before, use the atonement in your life now and hold a family meeting to decide how you will bless and change the world by sharing your testimony. And if you don't have a testimony... get it quick! The world needs you to join the missionaries. I have a testimony that when member's work with us it makes a 200% difference in the lesson, whether my companion is fluent or not in the language.
If you are one of my friends that is not a member yet, still love me enough to be reading this, (you know who you are :)) I invite you to visit mormon.org to understand more. Also I've got a great book for you to read! It's called Our Search For Happiness. And it is an Invitation to understand the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. Don't worry this book won't focus on converting you to my faith. But I've been reading it this last week, and I love it. It is really a book focused on explaining what my church believes and is written by M Russell Ballard, a leader of my church. I promise that it is worth whatever the cost and will help you understand my emails more, as well as what I came here to the Philippines to teach. Also, if you would like one of my friends out on a mission to come and answer any of your questions you have I would love to tell them to drop by. There are 80,333 missionaries out right now, and the number is growing. I promise we have time. They can explain the things I talk about in my emails and really be a guide for you to learn if what I am teaching is true.
To all my friends and family: The message I am sharing is centered on Jesus Christ. And that through his gospel you can receive help in any problem or situation. I know that I have been called as a missionary by a prophet of god. to share what I personally know is true. Honestly, it is either true or it is not. And I hope that you want to find out for yourself. If it is false-well then, I will waste 18 months of my life and 1000's of dollars teaching it in the Philippines for 18 months, and well the 15million members of my church have been fooled, and caught in a lie. But. If it is true. God would like you to know it! If what I am teaching is true then the Book of Mormon is true, if that is true, Joseph Smith is a prophet. If Joseph Smith is a prophet then Christ established a church while he lived on the earth and the authority for that church was lost after the death of christ and his apostles, and the truth would need to be restored through a living prophet called of god. If all this is true, well then... my friend... I hope you would like to know for yourself. And you can! Through study of the Book of Mormon and a prayer. A prayer from the heart. That starts by addressing our god, our father in heaven and ends. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Not a recited prayer, but a prayer from the heart. And I know your loving heavenly father will answer your sincere prayer if you wait and listen for an answer. You can learn more at mormon.org and also from that book I invited you to read or even from the Book of Mormon itself (which is free!) and can be delivered to your doorstep at a day and time you choose! Also, I'd love to answer any questions you have because I love you. So you can ask my facebook for my email and my mom, who has the password for that, will tell it to ya! I know that what i am teaching here is true. And I love every moment I spend sharing such knowledge no matter how hard I work, or how sick I feel, or how much I miss my family.
Sister Stephanie Hellewell
Ps: whew! That was a long one! :)