First off, Happy Happy Father's Day to the best one out there!!!!!! - I was thinking about you all day Dad. Hope the girls did something fun or made you food. You deserve it and much more:)
Second, I hit the halfway point.....what???! That just came too fast. I'm on the downslope now and I know it's just gonna fly by.
This week has been a great one. Who knew I'd be learning all this stuff that I am? This week I have learned how to dance the traditional dance of Samoa - thank you Sister Matautia. And, I'm learning sign language. Yeah, add that to the languages I've got all jumbled in my head. There's a girl here in our area that is deaf, so she's been teaching me so we can communicate. Hopefully I'll learn enough to figure out what her name is:)
There are two people who's stories have touched my heart this week and I want you all to know about them.
The first is our recent convert - Michael. He is amazing. Such a strong testimony and love for the gospel. However, the poor kid has had it rough these past couple months after he was baptized. He's 20 years old and shortly after his baptism he had a bad encounter with some mobsters and was stabbed! He went to the hospital - but he might has well have just stayed home. The doctors here don't know what to do for him. He got it sewn up, but some vital organs have been damaged and he hardly sleeps each night from the pain. He can't even get a normal job because the pain is often just too much. He's been struggling in his faith because of it; wondering where Heavenly Father is in this trial.
The past month in lessons with him he's said there's just no spirit in his life anymore. He just feels like giving up. He hasn't been reading or praying or coming to church...until....this week! He's back at it. He said he's coming back, he's been doing the things he needs to and not only is he back, but so is the spirit in his life. He's strong and we hope he sticks with it. Sometimes following the commandments is just plain hard. But at least for him, he realizes the difference of what was missing in his life. And he realizes there's a reason or a lesson in all of his trials. He's amazing!
The person who touched my heart this week was Nanay Gina. She is a member who we both didn't know very well, but invited us over this last week to teach her husband who is a nonmember. Her husband never showed up but that's okay because we were meant to be there for her. She opened up about how hard it is having a husband who doesn't know the gospel in his life and he doesn't support the family either. Her kids are all active and all she wants is for them to be sealed to her in the temple. It was a crying night for all of us and we all became super close. She wants nothing more than for her daughters to marry worthy priesthood holders in the temple so that they don't have the struggles she is going through now. She honestly is just the cutest sweetest lady in the world and she absolutely adores the missionaries. We will be visiting her much more often. Love her!
So on that note, I would like to invite each of you to attend the temple this week. We are so close. There should be no reason we don't go at least once a month. The people here work hard so that they can make the expensive flight to go to the Cebu temple, and they usually only have that opportunity once a year because it's pricey. So take advantage of the temples near our home. We are SO lucky! There's much to learn and much revelation to receive and our spirits need it. So go to the temple! Go go go!!! And while you're there, feel free to try the roles in the cafeteria, I hear they're really good:)
LOVE you all so much~! Much more than words can say! And I can't wait until I see all you're faces again! These next 9 months are going to go insanely fast. I feel like June just started yesterday and it's almost over. I'm trying to enjoy the mission as much as I can and work as hard as I can while I'm here.
Try to enjoy you're lives as much as you can. It's gonna go insanely fast. We're only here for a short time compared to eternity to enjoy your family, enjoy the little things, know that everything is always going to be okay if you put your trust in our Father in Heaven. He's much more a part of our lives than we often realize.
Center your life on Him and the Savior and you'll feel the strength in anything you must go through.