Hey everyone! Have I seriously been in Labangon for 2 months now? Wow, time goes by faster and faster every week!
Last Thursday we had a great ZTM (Zone Training Meeting) which is where our awesome zone leaders Elder Buque and Elder Jacobs gave a great workshop from President McCurdy about obedience...about how as missionaries it is our duty and obligation to be exactly obedient...it was a great reminder and as part of our mission motto "Exact Obedience Brings Blessings", we held a mission-wide fast last Sunday for obedience and for the strength of the mission. It was a really powerful experience for me and for all of the other missionaries, I'm sure. How blessed I am to have such a wonderful and inspired mission president! President McCurdy really is the best.
Last Friday we had the opportunity to go to the mission office so that my companion could talk to President McCurdy and get a blessing (once again, my mission president is the BEST!) and guess who I saw there? SISTER AGAWIN! Do you guys remember her? She served with me in Toledo! She went home and was released two weeks ago, but came back to visit and I was lucky to have seen her.
Saturday was the day that I have been looking forward to for a long time...Elsie was baptized! In the past year I have been on my mission I have learned that in the Philippines, things don't always go as planned. Let me explain...the baptism was supposed to start at 6pm, but Elsie got there at 6pm exactly, and her family was still at home! Well by the time we got Elsie changed into her baptism suit and took some pictures outside, it was about 6:30 and the baptism got started. It was considered a stake baptism because there were 3 baptisms, there was another older lady and a little boy, but of course Elsie stole the show. She was SO EXCITED to be baptized! Our district leader, Elder Knutson (from WA) baptized her. After she came out of the water, she looked at the crowd (while she was still in the water) and did two big thumbs up, and said, "oh, yes!" Classic Elsie.
Also, after she changed back into her skirt and shirt, she came back into the relief society room and our Zone Leader, Elder Jacobs was giving a spiritual thought. He was still talking as she walked in, but she just kinda interrupted him and turned to the audience, and once again...did two big thumbs up. LOVE HER.
Her testimony was so powerful. Her birthday was August 10th (the day after her baptism) and so she told everyone how the greatest gift she could get for her birthday is to be baptized. The next day, Sunday (August 10th) we were with Elsie and her family again as we celebrated her 63rd birthday! It was a fun dinner and I loved getting to know her family, and being in the Tecson's home is always a fun time.
Here's something funny. So the Relief Society President asked me to teach the RS lesson on Sunday, about...Eternal Marriage. What?! Well I did it anyways because I love her, and it actually turned out to be great! The sisters LOVED it! I took all of my friends' wedding invitations and pictures and pinned them on the board, and I asked the sisters what was similar about each of my friends weddings? It is that each of them got married in the temple! We talked about the importance of the temple and that without the temple, our marriages would be worthless. They told me to "keep going" because apparently the lesson was good? So I went 20 minutes over telling them stories about my mom and dad and how they were married in the temple. I also got a lot of questions about if I have a boyfriend and how quickly I will be getting married after my mission. Oh dear... That's relief society in the Philippines for ya. :)
We had great successes in tracting this week. We were walking around in our area, and I had the feeling to go up to a random house, so we did, and turns out we found someone who is super elect! Her name is Ninfa, and she is 23 years old. She comes from a very devout catholic family and has been a very active member of the catholic church her whole life...and then we met her. It's only been a week, but she told us she is now starting to question the things she has believed her whole life. We gave her a Book of Mormon our first visit with her, and the second visit she told us that she was up until 3am reading it because she knows it's true. We committed her to baptism in the second lesson, and she said yes. We are going back to see her tomorrow. The Lord really is preparing people here in Labangon, I am so blessed to be a part of it.
We went on exchanges yesterday and I got to work with Sister Villasis (the companion of Sister Dustin). Sister Villasis is from Bacolod City and is going home at the end of this transfer. We had so much fun together! She was in CarCar Zone with me way back when, and so it was fun to see her again, to work with her and catch up. Good times.
Thank you all for your love and support even though I've been away a year now and I'm kinda different from the girl that you knew last August. Don't worry, this girl is much better. :) Thank you all for trusting in me and believing in me. Please keep me and my companion in your prayers. We will just continue in the work as usual! I love being a missionary and I love teaching someone new about missionary work. I can't believe how much has changed since those days when I was in Sibonga with Sister Tueller. My mission has been full of sweet experiences I will cherish forever.
Love you all, have a great week :)
Love, Sister Joslyn Harris
Love, Sister Joslyn Harris
Elsie's Bday Party
So Proud of you Elsie
Sister Elsie and my companion
Everyone who came to support Elsie
Jowon my cute friend
Sisters in my district
Sister Agawin released
I love Cebu