Tuesday, January 7, 2014

5 January 2014 -- Learning Life Lessons

Alright! So this week was..... AHH!!...really, really good and rough at the same time. As is life, haha. Let's start with the rough... which I am just going to summarize because I don't really want to relive it again. First was that as we were proselyting and visiting members this week we ran into quite a few that are smoking and drinking. These are members that are endowed and active in the church sooo that's been a rough problem for us. We have been praying for guidance on how to help them because it's becoming more and more of a problem. We love these people so much so it breaks our hearts. The other situation is ahh!!!! sdjfkdsfsdkljfskld jfdlksjfiskedjriowsej BLAN!!sfrsdjfsdi H! Summary is that we went to teach an inactive member and met him for the first time. His wife had given birth to a baby girl only 7 months along and the mother is sicker than I have ever seen a human being. The baby died two days ago and we visited last night and I am pretty sure the mom will be following her daughter here shortly. I've learned a lot from this experience but I don't really want to talk about it. I tell you so that we all can be reminded to not take for granted PRIESTHOOD and our health -- hospitals, doctors, family that loves us, food and water, Hope! We should never take these things for granted. 
   So New Years we just did our normal work, but we could not sleep, haha, because the music and fireworks and trumpet horn things and everything was SOOOO loud. It was insane! These people know how to make a party- that's for sure. 
   Ok now for the GOOD NEWS!! 
So we had three baptisms this week!!!! WOOT WOOT! Mark, Hurt and Joseph. They are sooo amazing! They love the gospel and they are bishops in the making. I am so glad I had the privilege of being an instrument in their process of coming unto Christ.  The service was beautiful! The spirit was so strong! AND their mom came!! She is not a member but she was in tears as her sons bore their testimonies... it was perfect... everything missionaries dream of. I'm so happy!! We have more baptisms coming too. I don't know why the youth in this area are the white of the field, ready to harvest but they are. 

Baptism of Mark, Hurt and Joseph
   The second amazing good news is the way I feel and what I learned this week. Man! So... we had Training back in Bacolod and our President spoke a lot about the different ways we can feel the spirit- from Elder Bednar's talk. And something he said was that "we should never doubt the spirit is with us" .... WOW! How amazing and simple is that? I know you are thinking that's ridiculous Sister Ralph, how could you not have known that. Well... of course I "knew" that... I say it all the time to my investigators but then I realized in my prayers I was always asking for the spirit to be with us. Why?? BLOWS my MIND! The spirit is with us! Always! It just clicked! And so now I tell myself all the time that I am happy because the spirit is with me. I feel it so much more- or I recognize the subtly of the spirit now. How gentle it really is and yet how peaceful and beautiful it is. I am soo grateful to be baptized and have THE GIFT of the Holy Ghost. I no longer doubt if its with me, I know it is. I just have to trust. Heavenly Father will not let me go astray as long as I heed to that spirit. Oh man! I love the gospel so much! It's perfect!

   Another thing... I'm reading about the stripling warriors and look at what I discovered...
"Alma 56: 47  --  paraphrased...
   "Now Sister Ralph never had taught the Gospel as a missionary or lived in the Philippines, or spoken Cebuano, yet she did not fear death (you can replace this word how you would like); and she did think more upon the salvation of the people in Escalante than she did upon her own life; yea she had been taught by her mother that if she did not doubt, God would deliver her" 
    WOW! How incredible is that? I am striving to make the first part of this scripture a reality every second of my life. Because the longer I am here the more I realize just how real this work is. This is salvation! There is no greater work on earth and I am so grateful to be a part of it! 
    I love you all!! Be safe and know that you are loved! 
Sister Ralph

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