Dear Family and Friends,
Our transfer day was this last week and I'm pretty sure I mentioned it in last weeks letter, but I and NOT being transferred this cycle! Wahoo! I have another cycle with Elder Pandaog in Cauayan, so I'll be going on 6 months in this area. But we had a really busy transfer day, however, the best part of all of it, was being able to stay and watch the transfer meeting with the trainers and their new "Anak's" or trainees. Its really a humbling and an excited thing to be able to see new faces and their energy and enthusiasm for the work, its CONTAGIOUS! But along with this time, we had to say goodbye to some friends. One of my best friends in the mission, Elder Monilla finished his mission and is home now... Crazy to think how fast time goes! When I met him, he wasn't even a year in the mission yet!
But Brother Francis Gonzales is on FIRE!!! He is such an awesome guy! We met him probably about a month and a half ago, just contacting house to house one night and he was super excited to meet us that night. I had a feeling that we should go back to him afterwards, but we got busy and things happened, that we weren't able to return for about a month. Then one day as we were walking down that street again, we had a feeling again to follow up with Brother Francis. Again, he was very excited to see us! Since that day, he's come to church twice (once for District Conference with the District Presidency and President and Sister Rahlf speaking) and has been keeping all his commitments! One of the most important, however, is that he is consistently reading the Book of Mormon. That really makes it or breaks it for people! THAT IS THE TOOL the Lord has given us for conversion in these Latter-Days!
Something that Elder Higgins taught from one of our MLC's has really stuck in my mind. There was a story of kids playing football in the field every day. They loved football so they would play as much as they could. One of the kids liked football as well, but HATED playing in the dark. There were trees and rocks and creeks in the field that when he would go out for a pass, because it was so dark, he would run straight into the tree. Even though his head hurt pretty bad, he didn't want his friend to think of him as a wimp, so he just brushed it off and kept playing. He would suggest to his friends that they should go inside and do something else when it got dark, so he wouldn't get hurt, but they just said, "its not that dark out yet." He needed to find a way to get them out of playing in the dark. No matter what he said or suggested, they still did not want to go inside and stop playing football.
One day he found the solution. Instead of suggesting anything else to do, one day when it was getting dark he said this, "Hey, we've been playing hard! I'm a little tired and thirsty. Lets just take a break and grab some juice from inside. Then we can go back out and play." Of course the boys were all for that. They were thirsty as well and juice sounded really good! So they all went inside for juice. After that as they went back outside. All the boys started saying, "Wow! Its pretty dark already! It'd be hard to play in this." That little boy was happy that he wouldn't get anymore bruises on his head. What was the difference? As the boys went inside into the lighted house of their friend, they were exposed to the light. As they were playing outside, the light gradually got darker and darker and darker. Because of the gradual decrease, the boys hardly even noticed it was dark. But when the boy took them into the light and showed them brightness again, they then realized the dark surroundings they were playing in.
I've noticed this pattern in my own life. There are times when we can get complacent or give into just little things or bad habits until we become numb to it and don't even notice it, like the gradual decrease of light on the field. We can take others into the light. Show them that it is so good live as a disciple of Christ in His restored church! That light is discernible
"That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day." (Doctrine and Covenants 50:24)
I love this work and I know it is true! I see miracles so much in the lives of the people around me! A recently returned member of the church talked to me about his family who is starting to come back to that church, "I don't really understand what's so different, but we are so much happier at home..."
Have a great week!