Wednesday, August 13, 2014

3 August 2014 -- The Book of Mormon is my Strength

And THIS.... is my third Child (anak). Her name is Sister Besiera and she is from Davao which means she is cebuano speaking!! WOOT WOOT! Im so spoiled! She is 24 years old and the 7th of 8 kids.
Wow, grandpa and grandma are so sweet. Please tell them I love them so much! Are you exhausted, it seems like you all are always having a blast with family! So is the reunion over or not yet started?
Exciting! It's slightly ridiculous how much work that duplex requires. But I'm glad you have family bonding time. So are Liz and Austin still in Utah or?? How are you feeling? How are the kids? Did you leave Benjamin at home or is he with you?
Mom does this shirt look familiar?? We were shopping at a ukay ukay and my companion pulled this out and said Look Its sooo cute!... HAHAHHA I DIED of laughter..... hahahahahhahahahahah MY MOM HAS THAT SHIRT HAHAHAHAHA. Sorry mom, I didn't buy it. But if you really want I'm SURE I still can... only special people wear shirts like that, hahahahaha.

No mom, I am quite content with these shoes...
I'm determined to make them last 3 more months.
This is my shoe before I had an angel sew it up (=  

Alright so let me share a little bit with what happened this week. We went back to the Demeterio family- this was the super poor family with the triplets. The eldest is 5 months pregnant and she was in A LOT of pain when we showed up. She was moaning and crying and I talked to her and tried to help but I have no idea what the problem is. We called the zone leaders and they came and were able to give her a blessing. It was beautiful and full of faith. They were DRIPPING sweat when the blessing was over. We still need to go back and see how she is doing.
   We have had lots of little BEAUTIFUL miracles this week, and it's been an adventure getting to know my companion. She is great! The first two days we were together she cried and cried and cried.... really really hard. And I talked to her and the reason she was crying is because ONE she said she is a mommy's baby and this is her first time being independent- of course it's a hard transition but the biggest reason she cried is because of me. She is from Davao.... that part of the Philippines there are no foreigners and her biggest fear is being put with a foreigner.... and WALA! She got me. So it's weird because I'm the problem but we love each other at the same time and everything is going well... she just has to adjust to the white skin, haha. She is wonderful though and it's going to be so good having her as my companion- we will really be able to focus on our investigators.
This is the son of one of our investigators.
He fell asleep while we were teaching (=
   Ok so let me tell you about some of our investigators and things that have happened this week. The Quijano family is coming along slowly. They did not come to church because baby had a fever and her husband broke out in rashes and a fever and is itchy everywhere. They have read a little from the Book of Mormon and they just have a really hopeful spirit about them. They opened up to us about they are worried that if they come to church then their neighbors will "talk" and so we are working on helping them build their faith to face that trial- we are so excited for them to make these small steps toward making covenants with God.
   Another good news is the Rafael family! They are doing sooo good! They got their marriage papers worked out and are just waiting to be assigned a date that they can get married and then BAPTIZED! You should see how excited brother is.... he can't wait! They are already reading in the Book of Jacob and yesterday he asked me who are the covenant people? WOW! I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! Missionary work is just the best!
   So another one of our investigators is Sister Nildie...sister of Brother Rafael- she is AMAZING! Seriously she just has the most clear understanding of the restoration and the Book of Mormon and she is just so spiritual! She CAME to church yesterday and was INTENSELY listening to every single testimony. She makes me soo happy! Brother Panciano is finally now returning and he bore his testimony yesterday and got interviewed for a calling and preparing for his mission! AHH! I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!

Yesterday was an amazing day for me! We had so many people work with us! This picture is the Tunada family. The gospel has completely changed this family. Brother used to be very violent and a drunk and it was just an ugly situation. The missionaries found him and He changed everything about his life! He now is the sweetest man ever, he has incredible faith, brings his family to church, reads the scriptures, provides, is so gentle with his kids and is going to work with us missionaries next Sunday! The Gospel sometimes seems like a fairy tale but it's not. It's simply God's plan of happiness for us. It's simple, not easy. But perfectly real and rewarding! How I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. The members were so excited to work with us and it just ah!... It feels like home. I love these people so, so much! I'm so grateful to my Father in Heaven. He is just so good to me. I can barely keep all these blessings under control.
   I have recently started over again in reading the Book of Mormon and ... honestly I just can't describe how much I love the Book of Mormon. Honestly I think my love and commitment to the Book of Mormon has been the biggest thing that has changed from my mission, for me personally. Like everyone else I have days where I know that Satan wants me, days when I just don't want to smile, I just want to eat chocolate and be alone, days when I feel unloved and just angry for no reason.... The worst is days when I get those thoughts in my head.... really? I believe in God? A personage who knows me better than I know myself? Someone who loves me perfectly? There is a God who supports me in all my trials and is perfectly patient with my weaknesses and faults? Sometimes I feel those things... But every single time.... I go back to the Book of Mormon. I am beginning to understand. Beginning to see ... the Book of Mormon is the Keystone of our religion. It is everything to me. I feel the power of this sacred record. I read a talk recently that said eventually we will have to do more than tell the stories of the Book of Mormon,.... we will have to live them. I am a witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
   The Book of Mormon is my strength. It gives me the courage to continue and to become more than I am. How I love the Book of Mormon.
   Yep, I've been chatting with Benjamin a little- give Beka a hug for me! Cge... you all are going to want to chat it up. I will let you go at it! HAPPY FAMILY! We are so so blessed! I love you all!
   Sister Ralph

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