Hello my dear family
Thanks for the continuous support and concern about the typhoon. It still is the main focus in all of our lessons and the images of shattered homes and families flash across televisions as we walk by. It is heart breaking but also so encouraging to see people from all across the world standing together to help and do what they can to help total strangers. It is an absolute miracle about the missionaries in Tacloban all surviving. Like Helaman’s armies, none were killed. But they have quite a story to tell. On Tuesday night we were walking down the street when one of the young women in our ward stopped us and told us there was a list of the Tacloban missionaries that were being transferred to Cebu. She pulled out here phone to show us, we scanned and scanned to find Sister B's cousin's name and when finally we got to the second to the last name we started jumping up and down in the middle of main street. It is amazing how through the gospel you can feel so connected to people you have never met.
On Friday night we were invited to a small birthday celebration for an elderly woman in the ward. We are very close to this family and enjoyed spending a little time in celebration of this good woman’s life. As we were sitting around the table they had another friend stop by to offer birthday wishes. They brought a giant birthday card and Nanay (which is what we call mothers here) was so happy. She kept opening and closing the card with a giant smile on her face. As I sat there watching this woman whom I care a great deal about - I received a text message from the Assistant’s telling me that a girl from Goa, my last area had just passed away due to a motor cycle accident. My world stopped for a few moments. This girl was only 22 and an elementary school teacher. During my seven months in Goa she was the only person in her family that was there every week, even though her entire family is in the church.
I thought about the contrast that was before me. A woman who had lived a long, happy life, full of joy, while miles away from me another family I love suffers from the loss of their daughter.
Mosiah 16: 8 - 9
But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
He is the light and the life of the world; yea a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.
I know that the Savior really can heal this sting. It is a sting that many are facing in the southern part of my island home. I know that through the Savior the light can shine through. There is a way to move forward. It is our faith in Christ that can pull us through. In Jacob 2:8 we read that God can “heal the wounded heart.”
In an article I recently read by a cancer doctor, the author talks about how her patients tend to realign their lives. She says, "in the process of healing our priorities change." I think that is how the gospel is too. As the gospel heals us our priorities change. We hopefully become more focused on the Savior and his path which enables us to be more like Him. If we are living the gospel of Jesus Christ our priorities become more focused on things that really do matter vs. things that really don’t.
We had to find a new apartment this week and we literally walked up and down every street in our area until we found something. I was quite sunburned by the end of the day. We ended up crashing on our tile living room floor while we waited for the assistant’s to come and check off the apartment. The landlord is kind and easy to work with which made the new place an easy choice. I think that if we try to be good to the world, the world tends to be good right back.
Green mangos are back in season and the little kids all climbed up and picked some for us after a lesson we taught. It is also the start of my last transfer tomorrow. Sister B is being transferred to a new adventure. Well, I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.