Musta kayo dyan? Well transfers have arrived. I can’t believe 3 months has come and gone since my dear Sister Farnes came into my life. I am so grateful for her. She taught me so much… including the words “I don’t care.” I am grateful for how laid back and able to roll with the punches she is. In the last few weeks that little catch phrase was taken a little too literal, with always moving around and on the go; it has been busy, busy, but my dear companion is always so upbeat and willing. I am grateful for the nights of no-bake cookies and attempts at grilled cheese sandwiches and stove pop corn. I am grateful for the miracles we have witnessed and the laughs we have had. She helped me survive a bagio (typhoon) and taught me how to be a better missionary; a better representative of Christ and I love her dearly. I will stay in Goa and she is moving on to her next step.
We traveled to Iriga on Tuesday and Wednesday for exchanges with the sisters; including my old companion Sister Abarabar! It is funny that after you have lived with someone for 3 months you can pick up so quick right where you left off. We may or may not have stayed up laughing and catching up after the lights went off Tuesday night. I have realized once again this week that this work; the work of our heavenly father is about people. It is about his children.
These people include the little ones traveling to elementary school at 7 am each morning; the girls always in blue pleated skirts and white shirts and the boys in their school pants; their hair usually wet, fresh from the recent faucet bath; their overly large backpacks bouncing up and down as the morning traffic rushes by. It also includes the little boy Jaypee, maybe 2 or 3 years old, who lives next to our house and greets us with an enthusiastic “Hi Sisters!” each time we go out to work. It also includes Xhyne Enciso, with her long curly black hair that let me help zip-up her baptismal suit and roll the bottoms and sleeves before she entered the font. She is only 9, but she comes to church each week with her grandma. She forgot what it meant to “bare your testimony” so she said a prayer instead when she went to the front of the room, thanking heavenly father for letting her be baptized. It also includes Sister Bella; the new Relief Society President who was baptized in March, 2012. She is a single mother and both of her children have grown and gone off to their own lives. She has a Suzy Cushing enthusiasm to her that makes everything more fun and everyone happier. We sat after church in the chapel discussing name by name the less active sisters in her new 'society.' It also includes Brother Hector who says: “I just have a lot of questions about Gods plan for me and can’t find answers in the Catholic religion; maybe you have answers.” He is 20 years old and he came to church with two of his friends who are preparing to serve missions. Each Sunday he is the first one there; waiting outside for others to arrive. We entered the church doors on Sunday to find him helping set up the rooms; Book of Mormon in hand. That 20 year old boy with questions now has a baptismal date for August as parts of the truth gradually come to his memory.
I have been turned inward this week if I am honest. I have been thinking about how I am not able to do all that I need to. I feel that it is too difficult, for me; that I can’t do it well enough. Yes. It is difficult. Yes, there is much to be done. But, it really has nothing to do about me. It is about the beautiful dark eyes that I meet each day. And I am not doing this on my own. There is a power far greater than anything that I could muster lifting me and carrying me forward.
As Alex Boye sings, “there’s a peace I’ve come to know. Though my heart and flesh may fail; there’s an anchor for my soul. I can say, ‘Its His will.’ Jesus has overcome and the grave is overwhelmed. The victory is won. He is risen from the death. And I will rise when he calls my name. No more sorrow. No more pain. I will rise on Eagles wings, before my God fall on my knees.”
I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that this is his work. I know that it is not easy, and that it’s not supposed to be. It’s not easy for us as missionaries. And it is not easy for the leaders, or the recent converts or the investigators. But as the lyrics to this song say – we will rise. I am grateful for the opportunity to spread this message of peace and hope. I hope you are all safe and well. Have fun at the beach, eat a TK for me. I love you.