This is my last email as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
This week was full of surprises. We've seen a lot of miracles as well as many challenges to overcome. Evidence that no matter what, the work will continue "until the great Jehovah shall say the work is done." Brother Jack has really been doing well. He's continually reading the Book of Mormon and his comprehension of the book is great! He has a lot of questions about doctrine, but I feel he is overall satisfied with the answers we're giving him. He's developing a desire to be baptized, but has many hurdled to overcome before that can happen. At first it was pretty discouraging for him, but I know with the Spirit, he'll feel that no matter what the cost, it'll be worth it.
Last night, we had one of the saddest/most powerful moments of my mission. So Brother Greg, with his recent struggles, showed some bigtime faith with one of his decisions. We had encouraged him to ponder and pray about whether or not he should stay in Ilagan, which is where most of his temptations were coming from. A few days later, he left his job in Ilagan. Big step of faith to follow the commandments. Then last night we saw him heading home on the road and he signaled us to
talk to us. Him and his son looked really sad as we spoke with them. And then they said that his wife, Cristina, had just left to work abroad... At first we didn't believe him, but he kept on saying that they had just dropped her off. We found that out that she would be gone for 2 years. We had a very emotional lesson with Brother Greg... Its so hard to have families separated like that... Makes me think of how important our families are. Not to necessarily look down too much on working abroad, but its so hard on a family. Heavenly Father wants our families to be together!
We started off the lesson by singing, "How Firm a Foundation" and the Spirit hit us like a brick wall! We made not to sing the 7th verse:
I know that the Lord will not forsake Brother Greg, just like He won't forsake each and every one of us. We must also NEVER FORSAKE HIM!
This mission has been the best two years of my entire life so far. All I feel is just overwhelming gratitude to Heavenly Father for every single day that I've been able to serve Him in this capacity. I can honestly say that I LOVE the people I serve. My heart just jumps for joy whenever I reflect on what has happened over these last two years. Even though it was very hard at some points, I know that He has been giving me a crash course on the rest of my life here on earth and the rest of my eternal life after this mortal probation is over. I've said it probably a million times in these emails, but I know this is the work of the Lord and He needs all to do their part and "labor in His vineyard." There is much more work to be done. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and evidence that Joseph Smith is a prophet of the Lord and called to His sacred work in the Last Days. We have a living prophet in Thomas S. Monson and it has been made known to me over and over by the power of the Holy Ghost that this is true. I invite all to seek this witness from the Holy Ghost just as I have over my life and over the last two years. I promise you if you will do this "with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things." (Moroni 10:4-5). It has been made manifest to me.
I love you and I love this work! I wouldn't trade anything for the experiences I've had here in the great Philippines Cauayan Mission!
Mahal ko kayo!