Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas in the Field! Caroling and Baptisms :)

 Helllllooooo from the Philippines!!

This week has been fantastic!  I got to skype with my family for Christmas, which was absolutely AMAZING.  It was so good to see all of them!!  It made me wish we could skype more often lol.

Christmas eve we had an early curfew, so it felt like we only had half a day of work.  We were planning to give service to our investigators and help them even out their yard, but when we got there they were already finished.  They didn't want us to do anything to help, but we just were persistent and found something to do.  They use wood fires to cook, so we found their scrap wood and their machete (they don't use hatchets here) and started chopping wood.  The machete was really dull, so it was a good thing that most of the wood was rotten lol.  It was difficult if we got a hard piece; I felt like I was trying to chop through a rock lol.  But it was fun to be able to help them :)  After our work that day, us four sisters had a Christmas FHE.  It was so much fun!  We even got to see a couple of fireworks before we went to bed.

Christmas day was so good!  We had our weekly planning in the morning, then got invited to one of our members houses for lunch.  Then we met up with the elders in our district, did our exchange gifts, and went out caroling to our investigators.  It was so fun to do that with all 8 of the missionaries in the district :)

On Saturday, we got the best Christmas present... Our investigators got baptized!!  It was so amazing!  They're life is so hard right now, but when they bore their testimonies, they talked about how they were starting to feel the blessing of the gospel in their lives.  They both cried when they were confirmed, and in Sunday school, the husband told all of us how grateful they were for the blessings they're feeling.  I love being a missionary :)

1 Nephi 17:50 And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.

God never loses sight of our eternal potential, even when we do.

I love you all!!  Happy New Year!!
Sister Pectol

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Conference, Mudslides, and Counting Down to Christmas!

Hello everyone!

This has been a really busy week, but it has been so much fun!  We got to go to our Christmas Conference on Thursday, which was great!  We had some spiritual thoughts and then got to play games.  We all got tshirts with our names on it, which was awesome, but I was a bit of a dunce and ordered the wrong size.  So I just looked like I had a hoodie on over my dress lol.  All the zones there did a conversion skit, and as part of ours there was a little bit of a love story.  So, guess who got called to be the main character?  Yep, yours truly!  With my district leader as my "fiancee"...awkward!  Actually it was really funny, but I got stage fright so bad I almost forgot everything I was supposed to do lol.  And then watching President Revillo join in the games with us with Sister Revillo directing was the best!  

Because it's close to Christmas, we've been dealing with the normal Christmas weather here--namely, pouring rain all day everyday lol.  It wouldn't be too big of a deal, but we have a lot of investigators that live on mountains.  I have definitely been practicing my hiking skills the past week haha.  We've had fun slipping and sliding all up and down our area XD sometimes by the time we get to their house, we're almost soaked through and have mud splashed up to our knees.  (Sometimes I think the elders have it easy, because they climb too, but they at least do it in pants.  Sometimes it's really hard to hike up a slick mudslide of a hill in a skirt....)  But, all the hiking is totally worth it because we have investigators that are going to be getting baptized on Saturday!!  We have worked (and climbed) really hard to help them be ready, and now they've had their interview and are ready to go!

Believe that God is in control.  There is no need to be stressed out or worried.  This quote is a little ironic to me because I got it off of a glass plaque that I accidentally broke in the store (I'm so smooth) then had to buy.  But, I think it's really true :)  He's taking care of everything, so if we do our part then there's no need to worry :)
Deuteronomy 8:3  Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.

Love you all!!  Take care! And MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Sister Pectol

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Happy 12 Days of Christmas! Caroling and Aswang Stories

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!  It's a little early, but I'm excited :)  I can't believe that yesterday was the first day of Christmas; time is going by so fast!
Because it's December, a common thing here is that people will go caroling to get a little extra Christmas change.  So yesterday, us missionaries and the YSA group here went caroling.  But, of course, we weren't asking for money.  Instead, we told the people that we had something to give them.  We would sing our Christmas song, then me and Sister Cuales would go forward and introduce ourselves and give a short introduction of our message.  Then we gave them a Restoration pamphlet and scheduled when we could come back.  It was a lot of fun, and was a great way to contact people; we were able to get several return appointments for next week, so we were very excited about that :)
I've also been hearing a lot lately about the Philippines legendary monster, the Aswang.  Sister Cuales is from a part in the Philippines where supposedly there are a bunch of aswangs, so she's told me a lot about them.  Most of the time the stories don't bother me too bad, but we were in an appointment with one of our less actives and she started talking about a trip she'd taken when they'd heard the aswang and so were all scared.  No big deal if it was daytime, but it was our last appointment.  Which means it was well after dark.  And then we had to walk through a pitch dark forest to get back to the main neighborhood!!  Sister Cuales made me walk first so that if there was an aswang it would eat me.  I'm telling you, I felt the love.  Luckily, there weren't any aswangs, so we made it safely XD
God does not ask more of us than we are able.  You will be surprised at what you can do because the Lord has called you.  This is so true!!  All of us have a special calling in life, and all of us are here because we can help someone else.  Sometimes it's really hard, and we don't know how in the world we can make a difference.  But I know that we will never be given a challenge or a task that we can't do with the Lord's help.
Moroni 8:21  I speak it boldly; God hath commanded me.  BOOM.  Yep, that's what we missionaries do :)
I love you all!!  XOXO
Sister Pectol

Sunday, December 6, 2015

New Companion! Hiking, Lost Transfer, and Looking for Boyfriends....


Hi all!

This week I learned that when you're talking to Filipinos, it's not a good idea to tell them you're single, because they will instantly tell you that you should marry a Filipino and that they know some great guys.  Yikes.  That's not quite why I came to the Philippines lol.  Maybe I'll just start pretending James is my boyfriend.  What are little brothers for, right? XD
I had a bit of a tragedy this week too.  I lost last tran

sfer's planner :(  For those of you who don't know what a missionary planner is for, that is our calendar for an entire transfer, and it has all of our lessons and the information of those that we're teaching and notes and all sorts of stuff.  I'm pretty sure dropped it when we were in a tricycle and didn't realize until later.  It's pretty much heartbreaking; I feel like I lost all of last transfer!  I keep praying for a miracle that somehow I'll be able to get it back.

And I met my new companion this week: Sister Cuales!  She's super sarcastic so I think we'll have a great time :)  but I think I about killed her the first couple of days.  Our area is very mountainous, and we do a lot of walking.  I'm used to it by now, but she isn't.  And for her, my walk is very fast (it's so weird to always be the tall one), so she's really been getting a workout the past week haha.  Our area is huge, and I only had one transfer to learn it, so honestly we've spent a lot of time lost just trying to talk to people to get new investigators haha.  Oh the joys of missionary life XD

Exodus 4:12  And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.  I started the Old Testament last week, and as I was reading the story of Moses I was really hit.  Moses wasn't an eloquent speaker; it was really hard for him to be able to really communicate to people.  But this is what God told him.  I love this because it really shows that no matter what, He won't leave us alone.  I have experienced that here on my mission, too.  I know that when we are doing His work, He will be with us and He will guide us in our speaking.
Everyone, regardless of his or her decisions, deserves our message.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone.  No matter what our mistakes are and no matter where we've been, I know that through the gospel we can change and become our best selves.  Heavenly Father gave us this gospel so that we can return unto Him, and this isn't just for people who are perfect.  This church is a hospital that helps us heal our spiritual sicknesses and wounds, and I know that when we do our part, we can gain that new start.
I love you guys!!
Sister Payton Pectol

Monday, November 30, 2015

Payton: Transfers! Thanksgiving, Sickies, and Laundry Skillz

Our zone activity - bowling.

We went to the birthday dinner of one of our investigators, and yes, that is a whole pig.

What happens when I forget that I actually have an extra pair of shoes.

Same dress but different days; last night we taught a lesson to one of our poorer member families.

Hi everyone!!

This has been another great week in PQCM!  But our transfers are tomorrow, and we got a call from the zone leader this morning saying that Sister Mainit is going to transfer :((((  That's the good and the bad thing about transfers.  The good thing is you meet lots of new people and learn a lot from them, but the bad thing is if you and your companion have an awesome transfer together, it's hard to have a transfer.  But I'm also excited to learn from my new comp :)
So, it was Thanksgiving this week...yeah I really couldn't tell.  It's not exactly a thing here, so we just went out and worked our normal schedule.  And because of how hot it still is here (always), when I saw it was Thanksgiving it didn't really even register lol.
We had the opportunity to give service to one of our investigators this week, which was a lot of fun!  Which is a little surprising, because our service was helping her wash laundry.  I can definitely say that even though I'm not Filipina status yet, my paglalaba (laundry) skills have definitely improved lol.

I had a lovely cold this past week, so that was oodles of fun.  And let me tell you, even though it normally is just fine to shower with, cold water is definitely NOT healthy for headcolds lol.  That wasn't very fun.  I actually ended up boiling water to add to the bucket for my shower.  It felt great; I'd almost forgotten what a warm shower felt like hahaha.
Last week I finished the New Testament!  As I read the accounts of the Savior's life and the miracles that He and His apostles performed, I just felt so grateful to be a part of His restored church, that has that same priesthood authority to perform miracles. :)
The yearning you feel for something better is a yearning to come unto Christ.  President Henry B. Eyring

Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Sometimes we can't physically see the Lord working in our lives, but I've learned that if we just take a step back, we'll be able to recognize that He is truly in control, and that all that He does is for our benefit.
Love and miss you guys!! :)
Sister Pectol

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I Shook Hands With Apostles!!

Hi all!!

It has been another amazing week here in the Philippines Quezon City Mission.  We had a special treat this week; we had an apostle/missionary meeting, and had the opportunity to meet Elders Neil L. Andersen and Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  As in, I SHOOK HANDS WITH TWO LIVING APOSTLES!!!  Experience of a lifetime guys.  Both the apostles and their wives spoke to us, and it felt like everything they said was exactly for me.  I got to participate in the choir, and we sang a really pretty Tagalog/English rendition of Called To Serve.  It was an amazing day.  The picture is us four sisters that live/work together here in Morong Branch :)  It was the only time that all of the PQCM missionaries were together in one place (even the Mindoro missionaries got to fly in to the mainland for this), so the apostles agreed to get a picture with us.  I unfortunately don't have a copy, but maybe it's on Facebook :)

And I also gave myself a haircut for the first time!!  We never have time on pdays to go to the salon (and I'm kind of paranoid), so I just did it myself, Filipina style!  It didn't turn out too bad, actually.
I found out last week why being a nurse is not my calling in life.  Sister Mainit had a headache, and asked me for some Paracetamol--you know, Tylenol.  Well, being the genius that I am,  I mixed up the generic names.  So, instead of giving her pain medicine, I pulled out an anti-diarrhea from my medical kit.  Then later that day, when I gave here the right medicine, she asked my why it was different 😱

My quote this week is, of course, from our meeting with the apostles.  At the end of his talk, Elder Andersen told us, We will testify in your behalf before the bar of God one day.  And then he ended his talk by blessing us all.  It was amazing to hear as he blessed all of us missionaries collectively with the things that we need to hasten the work of salvation.

I had the opportunity to give the workshop in our district meeting on Wednesday (yikes!)  and I decided to give it on the stripling warriors, which is one of my favorite stories.  As part of it, I read from Alma 57:25
And it came to pass that there were two hundred, out of my two thousand and sixty, who had fainted because of the loss ofblood; nevertheless, according to the goodness of God, and to our great astonishment, and also the joy of our whole army,THERE WAS NOT ONE SOUL OF THEM WHO DID PERISH.  I chose the stripling warriors because I think that they are such an example to us of the kind of people that we need to be in order to be our best selves for God.  And the reason that not one of the stripling warriors was lost was because of their obedience, diligence, virtue, and humility.  They were faithful and strong in what they knew to be true, and they stuck to their covenants.  I know that as we do thise things as well, we will be given strength too; so that so matter what trials come, there won't be a single one of us who will perish.
I love you all!!  Have a fantastic week!
Sister Payton Pectol

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Short on time & email issues

Payton wasn't able to get her general email to us this week.  Here are some comments from her reply to our weekly email to her.  She sounds good!

So let me just say it's a bit of a miracle I'm emailing right
now...the computer shop is packed, so it wasn't letting me email, even
though I could read.  I finally clicked the "load basic HTML" to get
it to work, but I don't have a lot of time.  We have a missionary
apostle meeting tomorrow which I am so excited for, but I have choir
practice at 12 at the mission office (and Morong is the farthest
area).  We tried to withdraw our support this morning but literally
all the ATMs are broken, so we were later than we'd hoped, so I'll
have only limited time today.

I love having four in the apartment; it's actually way more fun than only
two.  I planned to take pictures this week but that didn't happen, so
next week I will.  We're nowhere near the ocean, i think the only area
that is is Mindoro.  But Morong is the farthest area on the main
island.  Yes we have good places to shop; the mission has started
doing meal planning, so the companionships take turns planning and
cooking lunches. And the grocery store here is really nice too, so
it's all good.  It's a lot like at home, actually.  Yes, we're still
walking a lot. I always feel so tired by the end of the day, but then
every morning i'm ready to go again, so it's good.

I literally have no time to email, so I'm logging off
right now...I started a general email but then the dumb thing deleted
my draft :P so there will just be extra next week.  Please just let
everyone know that I love and miss them and even though there's no
update this week I'm doing good :)

Monday, November 9, 2015

HALFWAY! Kung Fu Chicken, Fireflies, and Stars

Hi everyone!!!

It has been another fantastic week here in Morong, and as of November 4, I am officially HALFWAY!  Definitely not trunky, but definitely excited to see everyone :)  the other sisters kept sticking notes and even gifts and a bite size cake on my desk...I thought it was my birthday lol.  It honestly is really shocking to me that I'm already halfway...I kind of feel like I just got here.

So this week, I got to see fireflies for the first time!  At first I thought my eyes were losing it when I saw a random tiny blinking light floating alongside the path, but it's been fun to see more of them when we're in the foresty parts after dark.
We also experienced cooked chicken coming back to life this week.  There's this really yummy  restaurant here called Mang Inasal that does rotisserie chicken, so when you get the chicken on the plate it's still on a stick.  Well, I was trying to get my chicken off it's BBQ stick so I could eat it, but it wasn't cooperating.  So I pushed a little bit harder, and out of NOWHERE my chicken came to life and shot off the stick and across the table, landing on Sister Mainit's plate and splashing soy sauce onto her and the table.  We stared at each other in shock for a split second, and then even though I really did feel terrible, I couldn't help but busting up laughing.  The other diners must have thought we were nuts; an American and a Filipina cracking up together, with soy sauce dripping off the Filipina and splashed across the table.  Oh the adventures we have!

I also experience what it feels like to have an affro this week.  I had my hair in a braid for our district conference, but because we mostly walk it's too hot, so it went back up into a ponytail to work.  And as we were walking, I could see in my shadow that my ponytail was literally an affro.  A big red fluffy affro.  Yay for humidity!

Alma 56:46  Behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall.  I had another lesson taught to me this week about trusting in God.  Honestly, this area is difficult.  There are so many less active members here, and we've struggled with finding new investigators and getting them progressing.  But as we've walked to and from our last appointments in the evenings, I've reminded myself to look up.  I look up and I see the stars, and I feel the peace and the reassurance that Heavenly Father is just right here with us.  Even though I feel a lot of pressure to help this area and don't really know what I'm going to do, I know that He knows what it is that I need, and what it is that this area needs, and I know that He really is the one in control.

If I make this choice, what will happen?  --Elder Robert D. Hales
I love this because it's definitely something that's helped me here.  If I make the choice to open my mouth and talk to someone, what will happen?  They might end up accepting the gospel.  If I make the choice to not open my mouth because of fear of men, what will happen?  Those people that I pass might not ever hear about the gospel, and they won't be able to experience the joy and the peace that I get to experience.  We never know how much of a ripple effect our choices will have on those around us.
I miss and love you all!!  Ingat po palagi!
Sister Pectol

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Happy Halloween! Zombie Missionaries, Packed Cemetary, and Province Scenery

Hello all!

  First of all...Happy Halloween!!  It's actually not really a thing here in the Philippines.  There were a couple of groups of little kids that got dressed up to do parades, but that was basically it.  We, however, celebrated it to its fullest a couple days early.  Because we still weren't quite recovered from the several hours we'd spent in jeepneys to and from our sisters conference, we spent the day before Halloween as zombie missionaries!!  We didn't even need Halloween makeup.  I'm pretty sure we were so exhausted we looked the part!  We definitely struggled in teaching that day lol.  Then when we went home, I felt like I was literally dragging myself up the long hill to our house.  We texted the district leader that his zombies were home safe, and he ended up calling and teasing us for it.  Rude.  Thank goodness we're recovered now :)
Even though October 31st isn't a big deal here, November 1st definitely is.  It's the day that people go and visit the cemetery and all their dead relatives, with food and candles and flowers, and sometimes even sleep at the cemetery.  Our chapel here is right across the street from the cemetary, and the street was PACKED with tricycles and cars.  The pollution was so bad!  It hurt my eyes to have to walk down the street.  And because there was basically nobody home, we literally got punted the whole day.  Yay.  But we ended the day with a delicious meal appointment at a members' house, so that worked out ok :)
So the nice thing about being in Morong is that even though there's still a city here, it's much more manageable.  A lot smaller, and actually most of our area is out of the main city part.  It's so nice!  I'm still excited to come back to my Utah mountains, but this area makes it so I don't miss them :)

My quote this week comes from President Revillo (because he's awesome).  Sayang lang ang paghihirapan ni Jesus Christ if we are not repentant.  In English, the difficulty of Jeus Christ is wasted.  I think it's so true.  I've noticed here that I have so many weaknesses and so many faults, but if I'm prideful and say something like "Well that's just how I am," then it's impossible to change.  But if I am able to have that humble, repentant attitude, and willingly give myself to my Savior, He can change me into more than I ever thought possible.

Alma 49:28.  And it came to pass, that on the other hand, the people of Nephi did thank the Lord their God, because of his matchless power in delivering them from the hands of their enemies.  I love that it says "matchless" here.  Because really, God's power is matchless.  There is nothing that equals it.  Whatever our enemies are--whether it's people or situations or addictions or our own human frailties, I know that God has unbeatable power, and that He really can--and will--deliver us.
Thanks for all of your support!!  Love and miss you!
Sister Payton Pectol

Monday, October 26, 2015

Welcome to Morong! Bucket Showers, Province Views, and Inability to Teach

Hello all!!

Well, I'm back to having interesting weeks again, and boy was this one good!  I got everything packed up and ready to go Tuesday, then went and said goodbye and took pictures with everyone in Taytay.  It was so hard to say goodbye to my recent converts!!  But I am excited to meet new people in Morong :)  As we were riding the taxi there, we wound down a mountainside.  It is beautiful there!  There are acres of rice fields and big chunks of forest/jungle in our area, and it is amazing!!  It's so nice to be in the province!  I definitely feel more at home OUT of the city.  Funny thing about our apartment though: we don't have a shower head, so we do it Filipino style and scoop the water out of a bucket!!  The toilet also doesn't have a flusher, so that's bucket as well :)  It actually isn't too bad, kind of fun to experience.  But I think I prefer actual showers lol :)  I also met my new companion; Sister Mainit!  It's kind of funny because "mainit" is "hot" in Tagalog, so a lot of time she just gets called "Sister Hot!"  I'm glad I got another Filipina though, because I still have a nosebleed in Tagalog :)

But, sadly, even though I have a nosebleed in Tagalog, I discovered this week that I can't teach in English either.  We had a little boy we were teaching that basically speaks English, and during the lesson both me and Sister Mainit were struggling!  I haven't forgotten any English (there's a lot spoken here), I just don't know how to teach the missionary lessons!  It made me giggle a little bit when we were done :)

Me at 4:45 am :)

We had our sisters' conference earlier today, and it was so much fun!  The sisters in our mission are amazing, and everyone was there except for those assigned in Mindoro.  We did Tae Bo and played games and ate Jollibee and even got to watch a movie.  Plus learning about cooking, facials, and makeup :)  It's been fun, but Morong is one of the farthest areas on the mainland, so we actually slept last night at the Sister Training Leaders (STL) apartment.  But we still had to leave at 5am to be here on time...we're all pretty tired :)  we're emailing from a computer shop near the mission office, and then we'll probably be in a jeepney for 2 or 3 hours to get back home...yay for traffic :) but maybe that will just be our pday naptime, so it works out haha.

I heard a quote this week that really impacted me:  If you don't ask, the answer will always be no.  I love this because I think that it's so true no matter what you're doing, but especially in missionary work.  I've learned that when we have choices before us, a lot of times, Heavenly Father won't give us that guidance that we need unless we show Him through our prayer and actions that we are ready to receive and willing to follow the promptings He gives us.  But when we do those things, He is always there to help guide us :)

Alma 37:47  And now, my [daughter], see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober.  I read this just last week, and it stuck out to me so much because of how simple the commandment here is: look to God.  That's all we need to do: look to Him, and trust everything to Him.  And when we do, everything just works out perfect :)

Mahal ko po kayo!!

Sister Pectol

Monday, October 19, 2015

Goodbye to Taytay: Miracles, Chicken Pox, and Aliens

Hello all!

Sadly, this was also a bit of a boring week, because the chicken pox prevented us from working until Sunday.  Yuck.  The worst part of that was I didn't even feel sick...I just had to stay in the house because I was still contagious!  That was boring.  But Saturday, we were able to go to Maricel's baptism!!  That was truly a miracle.  Her husband is a recent convert and has been wanting his family to join the church, but none of them wanted to.  Actually, before, if we went to their house Maricel wouldn't even acknowledge us.  As soon as she saw us, she would either leave or go upstairs.  But then we had a family home evening there with some of the ward members, and after that we were able to teach her.  It was amazing.  It was literally a complete change of heart for her, and we were constantly amazed at how well her lessons went.  She was so progressing and so invlolved, and she told us that when she got confirmed she felt like she was sitting in heaven.  I am constantly amazed at the miracles that I see as a missionary!  Now I am excited for them to be able to be sealed in the temple together!

I got a call from the zone leader this morning, telling me that I would be transferring out of Taytay :( after 3 transfers here, it doesn't surprise me, but I definitely have mixed emotions.  Even though I am definitely excited to experience what it will be like in Morong, I will miss it here.  There are a lot of recent converts and members here that I feel so close to, and it's going to be hard to leave them.

When me and Sister Udarbe were thinking about how the transfer would work out, I told her that she would end up training.  She told me I wasn't allowed to say the "T" word again XD  she said "I could train if we had normal investigators, but our investigators are aliens!!"  😕  Well, alrighty.  Yes, some of our investigators are really intense, but I had never thought of them as aliens before...so I will be going to a new area, and my companion will be teaching "aliens" hahaha.  I'm excited to hear how the investigators continue to progress with her and her new companion :)

My quote this week is one of my favorites, from Jesus The Christ by James E. Talmage.  [Man's] word of command is but a soundwave in air, except as it is followed by labor.  I love this one because I've really recognized the truthfulness of it since I've been here.  We can talk and talk all we want, and say all the good things we want to do.  But until we put forth our effort and our work, it doesn't do any good.

D&C 112:10  Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.  Sometimes I think that this is something that I really need as a reminder.  One of my weaknesses is that when things go well, I get the attitude of "Oh I've got this, I don't need any help."  Well, let me tell ya, it doesn't work like that on the mission!  Even if things are going well, it's so important to remember WHY they're going well.  It's because of Heavenly Father.  This is His work, so I can't even say that it's because of me that things go good.  I am here only as His instrument.  An instrument can't do any good by itself; it needs the Master.  I am so very grateful that I get to be here and truly experience what it's like to be an instrument in the hands of Heavenly Father.

I love and miss you all!!
Sister Pectol

Our street, apartment complex (we have no outside windows), and main floor.  Upstairs is just the bedrooms.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Lord's Time: Chicken Pox, Baptism, and Lessons Learned

The Hospital

How we watched general conference

Hi all!  I would like to say the usual--"This week has been interesting"--but that would be lying.  Because this week has literally been the MOST BORING week of my entire mission so far!  Let me start from the beginning...Sunday night my feet started to hurt, and by Monday they were so swollen and in so much pain that I couldn't walk.  Well we went to the hospital, and the doctor took one look and told me it was chicken pox.  I was so glad to finally know, because with as much pain as I was in and everything it was scary not knowing what was going on.  But after knowing it was chicken pox, all that was left to do was sit in the apartment and try to get the swelling to go down.  The picture was of the worst day...ready for a pedicure anyone?

The hard part for me was that, being stuck in the apartment, I felt like a completely useless missionary.  I was so frustrated, and generally depressed.  I am here on the Lord's time to do His work, and being stuck in the apartment isn't how we get His work done.  After once again crying to my companion about how frustrated I was, I went upstairs and said a prayer.  I told my Heavenly Father how confused and frustrated I was, and that I didn't understand what was going on.  When I'd closed and waited for a minute, I had my epiphany.  I was exactly right--it is the Lord's time.  Which means He is the one that's in control.  So even though it was hard for me to not be able to work, I needed to trust in His divine timing and in His plan.  I still didn't like being cooped up in the apartment--I think I've gone insane from boredom--but I do have an increased testimony of the fact that the Lord truly is in control of everything.  Even though it's been really hard to deal with that, He's in charge, and it's Him I trust.

We also had the baptism of Brother and Sister Ramos!!!  We have been working so hard to help them prepare for this!  At first, they really were some of our most difficult investigators...their questions were so intense, and it was sometimes very difficult in the lessons.  But while teaching them, I gained a testimony of the gift of tongues, and of the Lord's promise that when you are on His errand, you will not be confounded before men.  Me and my companion both cried when we saw them get baptized.  Brother Ramos hadn't attended any baptism before because he'd wanted it to be a surprise for him when he got baptized, and he was able to go first.  The absolute joy that I saw on his face is indescribable, and gives me such a sense of wonder.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ truly is the greatest blessing that we could ever have, and I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to be here sharing it to my brothers and sisters.  Best job ever!!

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God.  He is God, and He will always give us the things that will, in the long run, be for our benefit :)

A negative thinker sees a difficulty in every opportunity.  A positive thinker sees an opportunity in every difficulty.  I just had to get my thinking turned around so that I could fine the opportunity :)

I hope you all have a great week!
Sister Pectol