Monday, January 25, 2016

Magapit/Cagayan Week 73

Magandang Hapon Francis Family,

This week has been of stories I will never forget and memories that I will treasure forever. So this week was great for me and Elder Lobaton.  We are preparing our investigators for baptism next week. Sister Sola is 32 years old and her young daughter Cristel is age 8.  They are so excited to be baptized and follow the example of our savior and they know that this is the true church.

We taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ and how Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and he suffered, and died for us and through his Atonement we can be cleansed and forgiven but we need to have Faith in him and believe in him and always trust in him.  I used an example of wind and how we can't see it but we can feel it, that's faith where we can't see our heavenly father and Jesus Christ, but we know they are always there for us because of their love towards each and every one of us.

Repentance- It is a way for us to come closer to Christ and feel the power of the Atonement in our life.  Through repentance and praying for forgiveness we can be forgiven of our sins and become clean. Baptism- following the example of Jesus Christ and being baptized entering into a gate way for us to return unto our Heavenly Father. The gift of the Holy Ghost- A constant companion to us to guide us and keep us safe from sin and it is there to testify of the truth of the gospel.  And last of all Enduring to the end- always continuing to live the gospel of Jesus Christ in our life, continue to live god's commandments and continue to keep the covenants we make with him.  That is the gospel of Jesus Christ. So that was a really great lesson for us.

On Wednesday we went and took pictures at the bridge at lunch time and had a blast but I was feeling a little sick and I had to go to the bathroom.  I was near a huge river and a forest of trees, so i decided to go deep into the woods and do my business and I really felt the difference with the culture here in the Philippines and America is and that is the first time ever in my whole mission to use the bathroom in a forest of trees hahaha,  But I really and truly love the Philippines.

Also this last week we had two Funerals, one here in Magapit.  A member's father died and then also one in Gattaran.  When I went on exchanges with Elder Peck I was one of the speakers for both of the Funerals and we got to dedicate the graves, that was my first time ever doing that, so that was a cool experience to have and feel the spirit with us while we where dedicating the grave. But our talks were on the Plan of Salvation (Ang Plano ng Kaligtasan) and I gave my talk on where we come from and why are we here on earth.  I talked about how we as God's children came from him and he loves us all and knows all individually.  He wants us to be happy and return unto him, so he gave His only begotten son Jesus Christ to Atone for the sins of the world.  I really focused on the part of how God  loves all of his children and he wants us to be happy always and wants us all to return unto Him. Then our life here on earth, God gives us tests and trials to test our faith in him, but we are never alone, he wants us to prepare to come back to him by attending church, reading scriptures always and praying to him. He wants us to be happy so he gives us a family to have but when we put Jesus Christ at the center of our life and family, we will be happier, be as one with him, and we will always be guided throughout life and we can always look unto him. So that's what I talked about and I know it to be true.  I know how much God loves us all and his plan for us to return to him.

Also this week on Saturday (I did have Dengue two weeks ago) the symptoms came back and I really felt sick.  I had headaches, body aches, warm body and sometimes really cold, coughing, and my temperature was 40 which I think is 100 something.  But I just need to take pills every day and just get some rest and just to keep praying for help from my Heavenly Father.  He will help me and he will give me strength to overcome this sickness.  I am doing fine now and fighting my way through this obstacle and just focused on the Lord's work and why I am here on a mission. I love what dad sent to me "Strive to build a personal testimony of Jesus Christ and the atonement. A study of the life of Christ and a testimony of his reality is something each of us should seek. As we come to understand his mission, and the atonement which he wrought, we will desire to live more like him ". That is very true and when we build a testimony on Jesus Christ and His Atonement we start to live more like him and start to put our faith and trust in him.

 I love being a missionary of the "THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS", because I know this to be the church of God and how much the gospel makes the difference in each of our lives.  I love being able to share about Christ and his Atonement and  being able to help people repent and become baptized and come closer to him. I know that missionary work is not easy and it will never be easy, but it's worth it helping others understand God's love for them, baptizing someone and seeing them in the after life and how much love and happiness they will have for you. 
I have had so many miracles and memories here on my mission the last 17 months and I will continue to have more. I thank you guys for all the love and prayers you give to me and helping me become the missionary I am today.  I will continue to be the missionary that Heavenly Father wants me to be. These are two quotes that I have heard the last couple days that I love and I will always remember

1. "REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU STAND FOR"  I love this quote -  always remembering I am a representative of Jesus Christ and his church and being a member of this church and my family also, and what I stand for, my beliefs and knowing what's best for me.

2.  "WHAT YOU ARE AFTER YOUR MISSION WILL REFLECT THE THINGS YOU DO ON YOUR MISSION." That always helps me to strive to be exactly obedient to the mission rules and God's commandments. Because the things I learn here on my mission I will take home and the attitude I have for the mission is the attitude I have for my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ.  So I need to make sure to watch the things I do and things I say, and strive to be an obedient missionary. Thank you all so much and I love you all too.  I miss you all so much and pray for you all too. Take care and stay safe Francis family.

Mahal ko kayo
Elder Francis 

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