Monday, April 6, 2015

"Maybe they weren't on your plan, but maybe they were on God's plan"

I’ve reached the point in my mission where I wear a watch not so much to tell the time, but to have undeniable evidence that time really is going this fast.  Monday was our crazy reports day, as in 4+ hours in a computer shop…Glad that’s over with!  We had a family home evening with the Ramos family and JR was there, and it was really spiritual.  The highlight of the day was when we taught Al and he showed us all of his plans he had written down to live the word of wisdom.  *Fist pump here*  Al  is awesome!  Tuesday we started using the “Because He Lives” video the church came out with: targeting people with smart phones and tablets to street contact, giving the link ( along with pass along cards, and testifying of the living Christ.  We also had an 18 year old who is waiting for his call, Brother Isaiah, come work with us!  We taught Teresa, our recent convert, then we taught our last lesson to JR, as he’s moving to Pangasinan, but we committed him to listen to the missionaries there, and we’ve already referred him.  Wednesday was actually really good.  In the morning we actually found the Fiesta family, who are like a part member-semi active family.  It’s funny because about a year ago I interviewed their youngest, Evlo (pronounced YOLO) for baptism!  Anyways, we shared with them about sharing the blessings of the gospel with others, so we can follow up there in the future!  We shared with Lolita, our recent convert, then for the first time with her less active neighbor, Armando!  We were finally able to teach a golden contact, Jonedd, and he had lots of good questions and accepted a goal date for May 9!  We taught Al again and he’s still doing ok!  We taught Carlo again and he hadn’t read the reading assignment and he is moving next week actually…I don’t get it with all of these people moving! 

Thursday we had interviews with President and workshops with the assistants!  The workshops were really fun and interactive, and I found a lot that I need to work on!  And my interview was awesome.  I opened up about my recent frustrations about our investigators not progressing and all of our plans falling through.  I shared with him about how last Saturday we improvised 4 lessons because not one name on our plan/back up plan accepted us.  And here’s the dialogue:
President:  “And that bothers you?”
Me:  “Yeah!”
President:  “Why?”
Me:  “Well, because we made lesson plans for them and we really wanted to teach them.”
President:  “But you taught four lessons.  Maybe they weren’t on your plan, but maybe they were on God’s plan.” 
Not gonna lie, that kind of blew my mind a little bit.  I had somehow convinced myself that my nightly plans were God’s plans, and if they didn’t come to pass, somehow I failed as a servant of the Lord.  President said that sometimes we try really hard to make good plans, and God kind of chuckles as He has a completely different plan in mind for us.  President encouraged me to try to look and see God’s plan in things, and I have been and it’s been awesome!  I’m happier and more optimistic now, and I’m just so grateful that in some small way, I get to be a part of God’s plan as a missionary!  What a tremendous blessing!

Anyways, when we finally got back to work we taught a nice old Nanay with her brother Isaiah and she understood next to nothing.  In her closing prayer she gave thanks for the three prophets (us?) that visited her.  Alright!  But after that we met and taught the Puno family, a less active member couple in their 60s or so that have tons of kids and friends who are not members.  I’m excited to help them, as they’re very receptive and still have strong testimonies, and I’m sure they’re going to be a big help to us in this new area.  On Friday we walked a lot!  We visited the Fernando family and the Pare family as well, and they’re working out people to refer to us, so it’s starting to look like these visits will pay off!  We also taught Harvey, our recent convert, and the Victorio family.  We just really need to find out a way to teach the mom with them, so eventually they can all get to the temple! 

Saturday we had district meeting in the morning and then we had a gazillion change of plans and we only ended up teaching two lessons….BUT one was to this super prepared father of four!  We found him by going door to door, and he had so many good questions and concerns, like about false prophets and whether one could go to heaven or not, even if your religion was wrong.  His name is Anthony and I think we just found the father of a golden family!  It was SO awesome!  Also, about a year ago I met a Chinese-American kid named Matthew who was dumped here by his parents.  Anyway, we found him and I’m really excited to help him out! 
Picture of Elder C with Matthew, taken a year ago!
Sunday was a really good day.  Ami and her investigator husband, Marvin, came to church!  So that was exciting!  Church was really good and afterwards we had some meetings and got a lot of stuff done!  In the afternoon God’s plan overtook our plan, as we had hoped to teach almost all investigators, and instead we taught almost all less-active members!  We also taught the Echanes family who are active, after they fed us, and they said that they’re working out a couple of families to refer!  Yes! 

Overall life is really good. I’m so blessed to be a missionary and to be a part of God’s plan for his children every day.  It truly is an adventure!
Elder C and the kabahays sporting their ties and moustaches on St. Patrick's Day  (from a few weeks ago!)

-Elder Christensen

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