Tuesday, February 10, 2015

beginning of the end

Hello everyone, things are getting down to the wire for sure! But I am still working hard here and seeing miracles everyday. I still can't believe there's no new snow in Utah but I guess that makes for an easier adjustment for me! :)

It's been a really great week. Last Wednesday after I emailed, we went to the beach for a district activity and we had a Filipino food fight. They don't actually throw their food like in America, but we layed out rice and chicken on some huge banana leaves and everyone just had at it with their hands. An interesting first and last experience for me! Haha.

We've been busy working in Bacong because tomorrow we have zone conference and Saturday is Flor's baptismal interview and my farewell party that the branch is throwing for me.

Flor is doing just great and super excited for her baptism. She loves the gospel and I love seeing her testimony grow. We went to visit her on Monday night and she had put plastic covers on her Book of Mormon as well as every single pamphlet we have given to her. We were teaching about tithing and I asked her if she still has to pay tithing even if she doesn't have a job, and this was her response: "Even if I don't have a job I'll still find a way to pay my tithing because I don't want to stop blessings." Her husband Sandy is really great and supportive too, and it's great having him as an RM active in the branch. Flor has her baptismal interview on Saturday before my farewell party and we are confident that she'll pass with flying colors. :)

We also have some other really great investigators, those sisters I told you about a few weeks ago, Gina and Buena. Their story is a member missionary success story. A member shared a Liahona magazine with them and they liked it and wanted to learn more. Then we showed up! Hopefully they come to church on Sunday.

This has been one of the happiest times of my mission and NOT because I am about to go home, but because I have been able to give away a lot of stuff that I don't need, or want, to people that could use it. The happiest experience I had this week was giving one of my luggage away to Mae, a missionary from Bacong Branch that is just waiting for her mission call. She is the only member in her family and has to support herself for her whole mission. Can you imagine? She is great and she works with us all the time so on Sunday after church before she worked with us, I surprised her with the luggage and to say she was shocked would be an understatement! We took a few pictures and she said that she would have to dream of all of the things that could fit in that luggage. They don't really sell anything like my luggage here in the Philippines. 

Yesterday was my companion's birthday and at first she didn't really want to celebrate her birthday, but I told her that's too bad because I love celebrating holidays, ANY holiday, so I made a big deal of her birthday and turns out that she loved it and we had a great day! Every appointment we had I made sure to tell the people that it was her birthday. Monday after district meeting we got her a cake and sang to her as a zone at lunch. Then last night we went to the Guia's and a few families from the branch joined us for a fun birthday dinner. I guess it was just my way for paying it forward because Sister Wechsler gave me the best birthday ever in Toledo last year!

I have been studying a lot about the Prophet Joseph Smith lately and reading in Joseph Smith History and trying to learn as much about him as I can. From this I have developed such respect for a man who was prepared from before the beginning of time to be the prophet of the restoration. It says in D&C 135:3 that "Joseph Smith, the prophet and seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it." In the last days before the second coming of Jesus Christ we are warned that persecutions of Joseph Smith will get worse but it is our responsibility as members of the church to seek for a stronger testimony of him and his role as a prophet so that we will be firm when persecutions come. As President Uchtdorf says, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." So this week I encourage you all to strengthen your testimonies of Joseph Smith. I love this talk from General Conference about him by Neil L. Andersen: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/joseph-smith?lang=eng&query=joseph+smith

I can't believe that after this I'll just have one more letter to write you all before I come home. It still doesn't seem real. I'll forever be thankful for my mission and everything I have learned here. 

Love, Sister Harris

Celebrating Sis Tonga's Birthday

Branch Presidents Family

Celebrate Sis Tonga's Birthday

More Birthday Party

Branch Presidents family

more Birthday photos

Great Banner

Sister Birthday Girl

Investigators Gina and Buena

giving gramps luggage to Mae

Erica, Julias sister and Me

Me and Sis Tonga

Flor and her husband.

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