Life is good in the Philippines.
we had a baptism this last week. it was sister J, and she has officially joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! she is amazing! the day she was confirmed, she went with us to an appointment, shared her testimony about the Book of Mormon, and she told us she has a referral for us of one of her friends. sister J just talked with her friend about the church she was about to join, and the friend was super interested! we will contact her next week, when she gets here to start school. She is one amazing person. of course, I will add a photo.
at our zone conference, we had the chance to have a very special guest. It was the mission president of President Maurer, who served in Manila, and this man was also the first missionary called to serve in the Philippines!!!!! he shared about some of his experiences, his time here right after Typhoon Yolanda came through, and how he succeeded. this man was a sight to behold, and the spirit he brought with him filled the room. He expressed gratitude to us for being bold enough to come on a mission, and told us that we need to be strong, work hard, and simply share with people the great message we have about the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. it was a great experience. the zone conference after was just as memorable, and taught me some things I needed to hear. the food was good, I saw lots of my old missionary buddies.
I have had the chance to see lots of people, and I am convinced that there isn't a single person in the world who would NOT benefit from the gospel of Jesus Christ. everyone needs to hear about it. I have tried to think about this as I talk with people about the gospel.
Palo is such a great area. it is a HUGE area, with lots of members. In fact, We are talking with the stake president, who says that Tacloban is almost ready for another ward, and in a couple months, could even split into 2 STAKES!!!! the church is growing so fast in region 8. the 98th stake in the Philippines was just opened over in a place called Palawan, and the stake president wants to be a part of the growth. just another reason to get the missionaries in my zone moving and baptizing, so we can help as many people as possible and be a part of the amazing things happening in the Philippines.
this week, at church, I had a little surprise. in addition to the members, in walks a family from Sta. Margarita! they were visiting family near by, and decided to come to church here in Palo! it was so good to see them again, and to hear that a person I found there, L, was baptized recently! such exciting news!
I have heard that down south, in Mindanao, Marshall law has been declared. These are the last days, and we can surely expect that the world will get worse and worse. There are many missionaries and members there, and it is sad to think of them being in those dangerous circumstances. however, I am confident the church will role on and the gospel will continue to spread, until the Savior returns. I know He will, because He said He would.
I still love the work. It's such a blessing to work with my current companion, Elder D. He works, has fun, and is such a good time to be around. miracles do happen here, the Lord still loves us, and wants whats best for us. I have a great testimony that this is the way, and It is such a pleasure to share it with others. I feel my own growth as well. I am not the same as before. I feel so much better in every way.
I love you all, and look forward to hearing from you all
P.S. every missionary here says "fetch." every. single. one. Even me, I started, and it's fetching ridiculous. :)
Blake's email to Morgan:
just a short little email to tell you HAPPY BIRTHDAY (because I can't do it ON your birthday, this will have to do) 16 is a very special age, because you have lots of new privileges such as driving, dating, and others. I encourage you to drive your heart out, Date away, but never betray the trust of the Lord, or mom and dad. as you do these things, be smart, be honest, and you will both enjoy and endure this tough time of high school.
Love you sis! I wish you all the blessings you deserve! just one more birthday, and then I will be seeing you in person again. Here's to a good year