PHILIPPINES TACLOBAN MISSION:
Sister Madison May Healey
Philippines Tacloban Mission
511 Maharlika Highway
Tacloban City, LEYTE 6500
Monday, February 22, 2016
I hope you all had a great week and were able to help brighten someones day.
This morning we went to a beach in Biliran, Biliran with the zone! It was so pretty!
The Candido Family accepted Baptismal dates for! They are really progressing and it makes me so happy every time I see them wearing the CTR rings I gave them. :)
This week has had a lot of ups and downs! Sadly, the Encina family dropped us. It was really hard, but I still have faith that one day some other missionaries will be able to return to them again. Right now is just not their time. Of course we respect their decision. We do not force people. As missionaries we invite and help others come unto Christ through the restored gospel.
That day was rough, but I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers. He knows each and everyone of us. When I was feeling down, blaming myself for what I could have done better, we had a Family Home Evening at the Abrigo family's house. I felt inspired to have the lesson be about all of our testimonies. Sister Pongyan and I shared ours, then I opened up the time for all those who attended (almost all of the youth plus the Abrigo family) to share their testimonies. The spirit was SO strong. Everyone cried and all of our hearts were touched by the spirit.
Just when I was feeling down, Heavenly Father helped lift me back up, especially when it got to Kim's turn. He was one of the last to bear testimony. He is a recent convert to the Church. To be here and to have known him before when he was still investigating, until now, when he is a worthy priesthood holder, involved in church activities, passing the sacrament, and sometimes even working with us, brings me so much happiness I never could have imagined. As he bore his testimony of the restored church, of our savior Jesus Christ and of how he is thankful for the missionaries who taught him and helped change his life, I just felt like this is why I served a mission. To help others receive the same happiness that I have received from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it was not really me who did anything, it was the spirit who taught him and softened his heart. I am just thankful and blessed to have been able to serve here in Naval and to serve the people here with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength.
If I go my whole mission with only one baptism, I will still count that as a success because I was able to help Kim. But more importantly, I was able to be a tool in God's hands.
That is missionary work; bringing others happiness through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ because He is the true source of all of our happiness.
Billiran, Billiran with part of the zone
The beach at Billiran, Billiran
Exchanges with Sister Asug
Sunday, February 14, 2016
And Happy Valentines Day! For us Valentines day was yesterday, but for all of you on the other side of the world it is still today! So Happy Single Awareness Day! haha
The bathroom is now fixed! That is a miracle and I am so grateful. You know things are bad when you start praying for your toilet, BUT all is well. We no longer have to run outside and we didn't have to pay any expenses. One day it just started working again. :) By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.
This week we had exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders in Biliran, Biliran. It was a lot of fun! We ate lunch at a member (Heidi's) house! We ate fresh crab, shells, seaweed, fish, chicken, and fresh coconut milk, and of course, rice. It was so good. haha I ate so much I thought I was going to throw up. It was so cool because Heidi is a "pilot" which means that she can climb the coconut trees to get the fresh coconut. There are tiny little grooves cut out in the tree and she just goes up bare handed with a machete tied to her waist. Later we ate some ube ice candy. Lets just say, it was a good day.
The Candido kids went to church again yesterday!! They were late because they had no ride, but they came anyways!! Their mom didn't come again, but hopefully one day she will come as well. The kids were so excited, their mom said that they got up early and were ready to go 2 hours before church started. It just makes me so unbelievably happy to see them progress and to watch their faith grow.
My whole mission has been a trial of faith. Day by day, having faith that we will be able to find someone prepared to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ; having the faith to extend commitments to investigators. Having the faith to walk out the door and speak this foreign language and pray that they can understand me. Having faith in Christ that we can fulfill our purpose to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, Baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. If you ask almost anyone about their mission they will say, "It was one of the hardest things I've ever done." BUT they will also say, "It was the best thing I've ever done." They are not lying. I have learned SO much and my faith a grown tremendously. Without opposition we cannot grow. I am SO thankful for my trials and for my mission. I am SO lucky that I still have a year left here in the Philippines to continue to learn and grow.
We had a specialized training in Ormoc. It was about faith and how to achieve our goals. We read and discussed a talk by Elder John K. Carmack, "Lord, Increase Our Faith." Look it up. :) It's great.
I know that faith without works is dead; that if we have faith and complete trust in the Lord, NO DOUBTS, miracles can happen. Miracles WILL happen. So go forward with faith and remember,
"Faith is not by chance, but by choice."
I love you all. I know that the Church Jesus Christ established while he was on the earth has been restored again on the earth today. I know that that church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I know that anyone one in this world can find out for themselves if it is true or not through their faith in Christ and their good works. If they pray and ask God, the true source of all good things, they will come to know for themselves through the Holy Ghost, that this is the true Church, that Jesus is the Christ, and that through Him, His gospel, and OUR works, we can receive eternal life.
Sister Pongyan and Sister Healey
Heidi climbing a coconut tree
Sunday, February 7, 2016
How are you all?! I'm doing great! BUT my bathroom is still broken.. haha so that's fun. It has been pouring rain almost everyday here which makes it really hard to walk out in the wilderness because it is so muddy. haha Sister Pongyan almost fell so many times. I almost fell over laughing watching her try to navigate across the slippery slopes.
This past week we have a few new progressing investigators! We have a part-member family and some of them went to church yesterday! The Candido Family. They have been going through a lot lately and the two young men who are members, Leobeth and Leomar have been preparing to serve missions. Their family were some of the laziest uninterested investigators who never kept their commitments. Sister Pongyan and I started from the beginning all over again and they are excited about the gospel!! When I saw them at church yesterday I almost started crying, I was so happy. Plus the 2 members were So happy to have their siblings go to church for the first time with them. Next week hopefully their mom will go as well.
The other day while we were out proselyting some girls started taking some selfies so Sister Pongyan and I photobombed their pictures. As soon as people saw us, everyone around us just started taking so many pictures of me. Haha it was like being surround by paparazzi (at least what I imagine it would be like).
Fast and Testimony meeting yesterday was SO good. I cried for almost the whole meeting, and it was NOT because I was hungry.The spirit was so strong. One member who has not been able to go to church for over a year because his family won't let him, Victor Birdida, CAME TO CHURCH! That is really what made me cry. When he walked in all of the youth, his friends, were so unbelievably happy. He goes to seminary, all the activities, is basically active, just doesn't go to church. But he came yesterday. I know that fasting is a commandment of God and that if we "fast and pray oft" that Heavenly Father will help us and see our sacrifice.
I am in denial that I only have a year left. But I am going to make the absolute most of it and work hard. To give these people Heaven. (Not hell). haha
I love you guys. Hope you are all doing well. Until next week. :)