It's only been a couple of days since my last email so not much has happened, but there was one really cool experience that I had while on exchanges that I would like to share. We had the opportunity to work with the sisters assigned in Sumulong 2, my very first area. The sisters are magaling and it was a really good exchanges, but there was one specific part that really touched me. As I was planning with one of the sisters who is assigned in the part of the area that I was assigned in, she said that we would be visiting a recent convert who's name I recognized. When we got to this old tatay's house, I recognized him as one of the investigators that we had tried to teach when I was still new. At that time, he didn't want to be taught. He was old and sick so he couldn't really run, but I remember so distinctly that whenever he would see us he would hobble as fast as he could to try to hide from us or pretend he was busy. He's healthier now, so as he led us back to his house I asked him if he remembered me, but he didn't until his wife reminded him that he used to hide from us. He looked so embarrassed, it was cute haha.
He showed us the pictures of him at his baptism, and as he told us about how he had quit smoking and drinking and is now going to church every week, and about all the changes and blessings that he's seen in his life since he's been baptized, I was so touched by the things that he said and so glad that we got to visit him. I remember that when we were trying to teach him, I honestly never thought that he would be baptized and that it was kind of a waste of time--if we did manage to catch him, he wouldn't even listen to us. But I'm grateful that Heavenly Father let me visit him again, because it was such a lesson to me of the power of planting seeds. I never saw any progress with that tatay, but maybe because of the seeds we helped plant in his heart other missionaries were able to help him gain his conversion. I am grateful that even though I wasn't there to baptize him, I was still somehow a part of it.
Daniel If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. I know that sometimes our trials and challenges can feel like we are in the "furnace of affliction" (shout out to Maddie), but whatever our trials are--physical, spiritual, emotional, whatever--Heavenly Father truly has the power to deliver us, if we trust in him.
Too much of anything can put a life out of balance. So let's just stay balanced peeps :)
Love you all!! Have a great week!