This week has been intense! To start of, after I taught district meeting on Tuesday, we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. I learned so much. Elder Belnap and I got 10 new investigators in a single day! We really went to work. I learned so much about finding from him and have really been putting it to work. This week, we found a total of 18 new investigators. Basically double of a normal week here in Santa Monica. Before, I was basically working and finding, but waiting for the members to join the work. Elder Belnap told me that the last 10 baptisms in his area were OYMs....(open your mouth) From this, I decided. I am NOT going to wait for anything to keep this work from progressing. I am not going to wait for the members to fellowship, I am not going to wait for a referral, I am going to be an instrument in the Lord's hands, I am going to find the elect, those that the Lord has prepared, and I am going to BAPTIZE! It is my purpose. And I am going to do it no matter what it takes. I will not wait for anything, and I will not let anything hold me back. This has just sunk so deep into my heart and into my mind. There is almost nothing else that I can even think about now. I don't understand it.... I try to daydream and take a break for 5 minutes to relieve some stress... then I realize, I am thinking about the members, the branch, the investigators, commitments, missionary work. I am IN this work. I am the work.
We have been working so hard in this area to get it moving... We have been finding so many people willing to listen that it is hard to keep tract of them. It is easy to find someone to teach now, and even easier to drop those that aren't progressing. I found this scripture the other day. Alma 5:52, It talks about an ax that is laid at the root of a tree. If the tree is bad, the ax is there. And as a missionary, if the tree doesn't bring forth any fruit. We chop it down. Now this doesn't mean that I don't love these people...in Doctrine and Covenants 121:43, it says that we need to be "reproving betimes with sharpness" and then afterwards to show "an increase of love... lest he esteem thee to be his enemy." I see now how reproving betimes with sharpness, can actually be a tool to show even greater love to those we teach.
It is so amazing to be a missionary. I love this work and can't believe that I have been given such a great opportunity as this. I am a missionary. I have waited for this time in my life for so many years. Now it is here. The time is now, and I am going to do all I can to fulfil the work of God, as his servant.
Okay, here are some fun stories.
Last P-day, we were waiting in line at a restaurant place called Manginasal. As we are waiting, these two American girls walk up to us and ask "Can we buy your lunch?".... it turns out that one of these girls is a Member of the Church. She is working here with the Navy building schools. She was so inspired to see missionaries here in the Philippines spreading the gospel that she bought our lunch. God blesses us in ways we couldn't even imagine as we go about doing His work.
Another one, we were walking and a little kid started talking to me in Tagalog, he thought I had no idea what he was saying... he was talking about seeing an American... so I asked him in Tagalog, "Do you see an American? I don't see one..." haha, you should have seen the look on his face... so we keep walking, and we passed this store a place where people just sit and get drunk... and all these drunk people start asking me in English "how you doing?" to make fun of me. This little kid heard them.. so the little kid says "Tagalog yan!"..... meaning I know tagalog.... but when it is translated, it means "that thing is Tagalog".... haha. Elder Aguinaldo and I laughed about that one... haha, I bet it is more funny when you understand Tagalog.
Here are some pictures.
(sparing you the wide open mouth portion of this photo, use your imagination. Robin)
Love you guys so much!
Mahal na Mahal kita
p.s. sana nga ipatuloy mong gawin ang pagmimisionary work bilang mga miyembro.
You should really continue to do missionary work as members.