This week has been a good one. Sorry we're just emailing. We had Elder Bowen from the Seventy come visit our mission this week, and so we were in Laoag Monday until last night. We thought it was going to be on the 23rd, but it got moved up for some reason. Whatever it was, it was a really good couple of meetings. Monday afternoon we got there and went and bought some stuff that we needed that you can't find in Sta. Ana (Shaving cream, a new long sleeve shirt, etc) and then we had dinner, then went home for the night. Tuesday morning we spent getting ready for Elder Bowen to make it. We helped out a little bit in the office in the morning with some stuff they needed done, and then at 3:30 we had a meeting with President Bowen at the mission home. He gave a lot of really good advice for us, and addressed some of the problems in the mission. But one thing that he kept on repeating and focusing on was 'Honor, Integrity and Character'. He talked about how those three things are what should always be present in our lives so that God can trust us. He talked about how each one of us missionaries had made sacred covenants to the Lord, of our own free will, and it was our obligation to follow through on them. He shared a scripture that I really liked. It was in Ecclesiastes 5:4-5
4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.
I think that it is so very important that we follow through on our promises to God, so that he can follow through on His part. The promise is sure that if we do our part of the promise, the Lord has said that he is even 'bound'. But when we do not follow through on our promises, God cannot give His part. We talked a lot about covenants and the importance and power of them. It was really good.
Then the next morning (Wednesday morning) we had a meeting with Elder Bowen again, this time with 3 other zones of missionaries at the stake center. It was also really good. He is definitely inspired. He shared a scripture from Abraham Chapter 2:8 It reads, "My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee." And then he asked the question, why is it important that we know that God knows all? The answer is so that we can trust Him. If God did not know all, His promises would no longer be sure, because there may come a time where He learns something new, and our covenants to Him would be made void. But because God knows all, we do not need to worry that there will be any changes of rules, and changes of promises. When God promises, we know that it will happen, because He knows all. He knows the end from the beginning, and He will be true.
It is so important that we understand the true nature of God, and what he does for us. This is the only way that we can obtain real faith in Him. Much of the Christian world believes that God is a mystery, incomprehensible and unknowable, but we know that through knowing God, we shall be saved. I have seen so much joy and peace come into the lives of those we teach because of them coming to know the nature of God. As we understand who God is, we will understand who we are, and as we understand who we are, we will have a greater desire to follow God and His laws. I know that that is true.
Other than that, I don't have tons to talk about. We have some really good investigators here right now. Hopefully we will be seeing some baptisms in the coming weeks. I'll try and tell you a little more about them next week.
Have a wonderful week!