Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December 2, 2013

 Pics from our hike earlier...my camera was out of batteries so Elder Mosquera took a couple for me. I'll send more next week. 

A photo after we performed for the stake presidents in the mission home. I'm in the back right...you can't really see my face. 


Dear Family, 

I'm sorry if this email is so short...we went and hiked mount Arayat today and it took a little bit longer than we expected. It was actually a really hard hike...almost straight up through thick rocks and jungle. I came about three inches within dying...I was coming back down from the top with another elder and I guess I came a few inches a away from stepping on a snake. The elder behind me saw it come out from under the leaves close to where I'd just stepped. I saw it too...it was a little black one with white stripes and a red tail...way poisonous. At least it wasn't a cobra though, or I probably would've been bitten for sure. 

I've had a pretty good week. One of Brother Jensen's colleagues brought the package by so I've been taking vitamins and stuff now. The guava tea has been helping a little bit but there's still a lot of weird stuff going on, so I'm hoping that the drops will add some more strength to the mix. Please tell Brother Jensen thank you so much for me. That package probably wasn't easy to bring down and I appreciate it so much. 

I was also roped into a performance this week...President and Sister Martino held a dinner for all of the stake and district presidents and a few missionaries were chosen to perform musical numbers. I played the piano part in a vocal/piano/violin arrangement of Saviour, Redeemer of my Soul. We also sang some Christmas songs and then afterwards went Christmas caroling to some of President's neighbors by the mission home. They were all way rich...one of them is actually the aunt of the current president of the Philippines. It was a great experience to be there. 

I have been having some awesome experiences this week.  Two of the less actives  that we've helped return were just called as high counselors in the Stake, and we were able to extend some baptismal goal dates to several investigators for January. I bore my testimony too on Sunday and said goodbye to the members. I'm really going to miss this ward and all of the great people here. It has been a huge blessing to be assigned here. 

I fasted on Sunday that I would be able to receive inspiration for the trials that I am facing right now. My goal is to become more sanctified, and I know that this can happen as we overcome trials and do what we can to improve ourselves. That same day we also went to visit a Sister. She has been doing so good...she has tons of friends in the relief society and is coming to church and loving it. She has been struggling though with smoking. She wants to be baptized in December, but needs to be able to go without smoking for a whole month before that happens. She had been making good progress before, but it was coming too slowly to make her baptism in December possible. We had set goals and plans and felt good about the 28th of December for her baptism, and President Martino also encouraged us to help her be baptized in December, so we weren't too sure what to teach about yesterday. When we got to the appointment though, we felt like sharing about faith and miracles with her. We shared the story of Alma and Amulek and the trials they went through, and then the miracle that the Lord provided for them afterwards. After we had read it and talked about it, I felt inspired to ask her if she had the faith to overcome her challenges with smoking, and she said yes. We also felt to give her a blessing, and after the blessing was over she looked at all of us and said, "That's it. I'm not smoking anymore." 

I don't think I've ever felt the spirit so strong in a lesson. It was like I knew exactly what he wanted me to say and it all worked out. It was a miracle for us.

That was the best part of my week. I love being a missionary and I know without a doubt that God loves me and is watching out for me, even through my trials. I can feel more and more the strength that he is giving me. 

I love you guys and I'm so glad that things are going so well at home. I wish I had more time to email now but we're rushing a lot. Tell Josh to get better for me. 

Love,
Jared. 

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