Ok, this week I had a few of the best days of my whole life! Last Monday was good. We just went out to work and got 4 lessons, one with Marivel, where we committed her to specifically pray about baptism. Well, we got up and left at 5:30 and went to Cab, then met up with a bunch of zone leaders there and all hopped on a bus together. (I sat by Elders Stenquist and Armatage. LOVE those guys.) After eating and whatnot, we headed to the mission home, where we discussed doctrine until our special MLC with President Ardern, Philippines Area President, started.
|President Ardern, Philippines Area President|
Ok, this is where good becomes incredible. They didn’t have anything planned for us in the evening, so I had the idea to go work in my old area, Tarlac 2! Oh, that was the BEST! I saw Brother Ryan, Brother (now Bishop) Reyes, Jenive (who is now baptized!), Tristan, the Nugan and Mamangon families (less active families that I NEVER thought would return but are now returning), and best of all, Arianne, wherein lies a tale, one of the most precious of my mission. So we went on splits with the elders there, and the first person we went to was Arianne [a teenage girl that he taught and baptized while serving in that area]. She was working in the tindahan. It took her a second to recognize me, but when she did she just lit up and was so excited! She even screamed a tiny bit! Oh, it was so good to see her. I will never forget the look on her face. What I felt was pure joy. I can’t remember the last time I was that happy. I think it’s what it will be like when we see loved ones in the Celestial Kingdom. We shared with her and she’s doing SO good, even better than when I left her. And that’s all I could ever ask for. It was such a tender mercy. It was an incredible blessing to do that.
|Elder Christensen got to see Arianne, who he taught and baptized in Tarlac back in March!|
Well, we had a good time back at the Assistants’ apartment, and then the next day we headed back to Cabanatuan for our zone conference with President Ardern. Again, I learned SO much and there’s SO much I am going to put into practice now. Sorry, I’m not going to write it all here, it’s on the smaller plates. J Anyways, we got in the van and headed back to Baler Zone. We only had time for one appointment, with Marivel. We made a little lesson plan and then went over. It was a good, spiritual lesson, where we gave her two dates, the 6th and the 13th to pray about for baptism. At the end the spirit was so strong and I was able to tell her that was the Holy Ghost and to not forget that feeling! And that’s how maybe the best two days of my life ended.
So as for the rest of the week, Thursday was alright; we helped a family in our branch build a new kitchen, which consisted of splitting and cutting bamboo, which was fun! We also taught our investigator Queen and she accepted a baptismal goal date for September! Friday was good, as we had some good lessons. We taught a less active member, Maria, and we had a surprisingly good lesson. We taught Sister Arlene and she is still very active in the lessons and wanting to know more. She said she would come to church as well. On Saturday Marivel finally accepted a date for baptism! September 6! She finally said she had a good feeling when she prayed about baptism! YEAH!!!!! We got punted from our appointment with April, but we taught one of our somewhat new investigators, Luisa. We taught Lesson 1 until the apostasy and it was just a super good spiritual lesson. She is actually the mother of one of our investigator families, and she has children in other parts of the Philippines that are members. She also has lots of friends in Baguio, where she is from, that are members. She really enjoyed the lesson. She’s pretty hard core Catholic, but we’ll work with that. The Lunds, the couple missionaries, then gave us a lift to Baler for our monthly District Missionary Coordination Meeting with President Clark, which went well! Afterwards, we taught one lesson to a member whose husband is less-active and we were about to teach her friend who seemed interested, as in we said an opening prayer, but then Stan struck in the form of her fussy, shrieking kid, and the lesson didn’t continue. Dang it! We taught the older sister of a less active young man, which went alright.
Sunday was a small miracle as all of our young men that we’ve been working with came to church. All 7! Marivel was our only progressing investigator that showed, which was rough, as we were really expecting more, but I was happy with the miracle that God did grant us. The rest of Sunday was spent working and finding hard! We got a couple new investigators, so that was good! They aren't super avid searching-for-the truth types, but they want to listen, so that works! We taught our Investigator Queen, who didn't come to church. It turns out her mom is against her being baptized, and the mom very nicely explained that to us. It's mostly because she almost got baptized into a different church back in the day and that was a very negative experience apparently. We offered to come back and explain baptism more to them, and they accepted, so we will pray that softens her heart enough to let her daughter be baptized. And that's all!
I've been studying the Book of Mormon more this week, as that is one of President Clark's focuses. I just can't get over how true it is! I can't figure out how anyone could have written it, unless they really were inspired. I LOVE the Book of Mormon. If anyone is reading this and hasn't read the Book of Mormon today, PLEASE go do that. It is the best thing you could do for your soul!
Love you all, the Church is true, the Book is blue!