We have had a really good week this week. Its been a busy one as well. We did taught a lot of lessons this week. I don't know how it goes in other missions, but here, we rarely run out of people to teach. We have our focus investigators, and then we have some back up investigators (ones that aren't really progressing yet) and then if both of those fall through, you can basically talk to anyone you see and they will let you share with them. I am blessed with my mission.
This last week we have been focusing on a sister named Jessabelle. She is doing really well in her testimony of the Gospel, and her baptism should be this next week, hopefully. She just needs to get up the courage to ask her father if she can be baptized, and then she should be all set! Pray that she can speak with him.
We also had exchanges with a couple of elders this last week, which makes time go by quick. I always enjoy exchanges because there is so much that I learn from the missionaries we get to work with. It is always a pleasure. We were also able to help find a lot of new investigators with some real potential. One thing we have been focusing on this week was a challenge from Elder Bowen. He challenged us to have 30 of what he called 'testifying contacts' every day. Testifying contacts means that we talk with someone new, and bear testimony of the truths of the gospel with them. Getting thirty is kind of difficult between all of the teaching appointments and such, but we have been doing our best to give time to just talk with people as we go from one lesson to another. It is fun! I have really grown in my testimony of the Lord's hand in this work as we have been doing this. I'll give a quick example.
We had exchanges with a couple of Elders in Laoag yesterday, but before we went out to work, we stopped by macdonalds first for lunch. As we were waiting in line, one of the Elders we were with, Elder Basa, began to talk with one of the workers there. As we talked with her, it turned out that the worker's father was a member of the church, and that she had been taught by the missionaries before, and she was more than willing to be taught again. She was very kind, and for me, I think that the Lord has been preparing her, and placed her in Elder Basa's path because He knew that Elder Basa would talk to her. We see stuff like that again and again. I have a testimony that as we show that we are ready to share the Gospel, God will place people in our path that are ready to hear the Gospel as well.
So that was the highlights of our week. But I have been thinking a lot about one thing this week. Faith. It all started with Elder Maroket sometime last week. I don't remember what day. Elder Maroket is still a trainee, and is a very good missionary, but was having some doubts. He was wondering if he could really every become the kind of missionary that God wants him to be, and if he could really achieve some of the goals that he has set. So we were talking and as we were talking, we came up with the answer to everything. This is what we decided it is: 'just have more faith'. No matter what we are feeling, what we are going through, if we increase our faith, we will also increase in peace, joy, and every other good thing.
When we increase our faith, we will begin to see the grand scheme of things. Through our faith we will see past our limited, mortal view of life, and understand what God's plan really is for us. Our doubts and fears will flow away as we realize that with God, we really can do all things. We will grow in our motivation to do our best, because we will understand that that is all our Heavenly Father wants, is that we do our best. Through our faith, we will come closer to God, and that is the greatest blessing.
So for anyone who ever wonders how they can grow in faith, the words of Alma the younger in Alma 32:27 are the key.
But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
All we have to do is try it out. Repeatedly God has invited His children to try Him, to test Him to see if He really will follow through on His promises. I testify that He will. He is reliable. He will pull through and give us the blessings we need right when we need it. I have seen His blessings repeatedly in my life, and I know that every time that each one of us follows His commandments, if we watch with eyes of faith and humility, we will see so many blessings that come as a direct result of our faith and obedience. And wouldn't that increase our faith?
I know that God lives and that He loves us perfectly. I know that He speaks to us through the words of the scriptures, and through the words of our living prophet, Thomas S Monson. I know that this is God's church that was restored through Joseph Smith, and that if we abide by the precepts taught in this church, we will find hapiness and peace in this life, and exaltation in the life to come. I love you all!