Sister Rosenberg from Australia
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Skirts was on the move again this week. We had interviews with President on Tuesday morning and then Wednesday morning we were off to Labo for exchanges. Then Thursday we worked in our area and then back on the road again for Vinzons’ exchanges.
Me and Sister B
In Spencer’s email he mentioned how he meets missionaries out here that have given up a lot to be here. That is something I have found as well. Good young men and young women who make incredible sacrifices for the work of the Lord. They are such strong examples to me. This week we have been using the video about John Tanner for our lessons about consecration and seeking first the kingdom of God. John Tanner was a self-made wealthy man when he met the missionaries and from that day on he gave financially to the church, helping to pull them out of debt, saving the Kirtland temple and then moving to Salt Lake where he was called on a mission. He never expected any reimbursement but gave and gave saying that he would forever be in debt to the Lord. He never asked why to give or complained but did what he could willingly. At the end of the video it says that this faithful man found the Pearl of Great Price and didn’t bother to think about the cost.
We have an investigator right now who regularly reads the book of Mormon and prays and was all ready to come to church when her husband said “don’t you bother taking our kids with you to that church.” She thought of how if she joined the church she would be alone and she doesn’t want to be in a religion that isolates her from her family. I thought a lot about this as we walked home in the rain. I kept asking myself the same question over and over again in my head…. Hanggang saan ako? Or where are my limits? Do I have a limit to my testimony or commitment to God? Is there a point where I would say…that is too much? I believe in this church only until point ‘x’? I kept wondering, and reflecting. I love my mission more than I can put into words but it is hard. It takes work every day to be exactly obedient and continue to be a diligent missionary. I know there is a time that I will go home….If there wasn’t that date, would I still be so willing? Would I bother to worry about the cost? All in all I was wondering what I was willing to do to know God better.
At one of our appointments with a less active member, her non-member son came in to sit in on the lesson. We began the lesson and after about a solid 2 minutes he jumped in and it was clear we weren’t going to get much more. This man went off about the Book of Mormon and how Joseph Smith was a fraud. At first I was offended and my first instinct was to fight back with words. But I sat silent and so did Sister Bersola. We sat calm. Even when people have other beliefs, people are generally kind here. This was the most intense situation I have been in on my mission due to the things being said and the level of his voice. As he went on and on I thought how with every word he spoke, my testimony only grew stronger and stronger. Before I came out to this island life I had a testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith but now “I know for myself, independent of any other person” that it is true. We smiled at this man and gave him a copy of the book of Mormon and told him to test it, read and ask God.
President Hinckley once said that there is a great power that comes from our faith and it quietly whispers, “this cause is true and to you there is an obligation to serve it regardless of the cost.”
I am not a perfect person and I am not a perfect missionary but I do know that this message that we are sharing is true. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and I believe in what he said he did and what he said he saw. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I read it every day and can feel the strength and power from its words. I hope that I can continue to cultivate the Faith required to submit to all the father asks. God does expect a lot from us but that is only because of the grandeur of the blessings he wishes to bestow. I know that I am not perfect but I am going to try every day to give all I can. My sacrifices feel quite small compared to others I have observed.
We went running again this morning. The fishing boats were out with their nets hung over the side and there were surfers bobbing up and down in the waves. As we ran we watched small crabs dig perfect holes in the sand. I am grateful for the beauty of the earth God has given us.
Spence, there is a chili pepper here called sili demonyo which translated pretty much means deamon chili. Haha the elders all have competitions to see who can eat it because it is so spicy. I will try to send you some…. We’ll see if you can handle Bikol Express spicy.
Well I love you all dearly!!! Salamat para sa lahat…yung pagmamahal nyo at suportahan nyo!! Sobrang mapalad ako dahil yung pamilya ko ay napakaganda. Padagos lang po kamo dyan!
Love from the Pines,