Good day! Belated Merry Christmas and Advance Happy New Year to all!
Anyways, this was a week of pondering for me.
First and foremost, Brother Zs baptism last Friday was a success! It was a great experience for both me and Elder Panti. I really felt the Spirit so strong during that day.
That day, I was pondering so much about what my bestfriend told me before I went on my mission, that great feeling he had when he saw me receive the Gospel, baptize me and see me progress more. He told me that it was the best feeling he ever had just like what Doctrine & Covenants Section 18 says. I was so excited to feel the same way that day. It made me excited as each minute pass by. During the baptismal proper, I can see Brother Z's excitement to be baptized! Also, since I am the one who will baptize him, he kept asking questions to me, which made me happy because he is really showing his desire to be baptized. It took me 3 times to properly submerge him though since it's really my very first time to baptize someone in my whole priesthood life. The feeling was great! I can't explain it. It even grew more when Brother Z testified. He related his conversion story to those who are present for his baptism. He said that before, the reason why he goes to church is because he wanted to be with Sister Honey (his wife). He actually thought that church stuffs are all talk and stories. But he still continued to go with that in mind until he was referred to us by the Vaguchay Family (Sister Honey's family). At first, he was hesitant and a bit surprised because he doesn't know what to do. But as we taught him, as he kept the commitments we gave him, and most especially, when the day of his baptism drew near, he became closer to God. He regained his faith. He wanted to hear more! He's always excited to see us and teach him the lessons. It just made me even happier! Now I know what my bestfriend felt when I became part of the Church. More importantly, to see me progress. I know that Brother Z will be a strong member of the church. Elder Panti told me that of all the people we are teaching, he likes Brother Z because we can see his conviction and determination to go back to our Heavenly Father's presence. What a great experience indeed, to see how the Gospel change people's lives. From then on, it inspired me to have more baptism, so that more people will be blessed and more people will be able to receive the blessings and happiness Brother Z felt.
As for our work this week, we had low stats. Also, Elder Panti was not feeling well again last Sunday. Though this was a less-stressful week for him, he was dizzy so I let him have some rest. While he was resting, I was actually pumped up for work, but I know that I need to take care of my companion first. Even though I'm fired up for work, I can't force him to work. Still, we had a great experience this past week which just made us more optimistic for the coming days ahead. Nevertheless, we still need to exert more effort in the coming days. We've already anticipated that people will be very busy this part of the year.
Anyways, as for Christmas, I was only able to talk with my mom for a few minutes because she was a bit busy though. It was hard because she is really persistent in telling me to go home when I reach my 1-year mark. I understand her since she's not a member. After our short conversation, I just realized how I want to be here. I just realized my sincerity towards this work and my view towards it. I really love this work. I actually can't believe myself that I was able to do the things beforehand just to go on a Mission. I know this work is hard. There are discouragements, trials, mistakes, and such, nevertheless, the feelings of joy, contentment, the opportunity to serve, and fulfilling my duty and such can never be compared to anything in this world. As a Missionary, I deeply felt why I am called to serve here. I am so much grateful for my co-Missionaries who always uplift me and inspire me. I am really grateful for my bestfriend and my MTC companion who always inspire me and to strive even harder even hard times comes. President's messages always inspire me to work, work, and work more. Here in the Mission, I felt the love of our Heavenly Father even more stronger than before. It's a testimony that I always bear and I'm grateful for it.
This coming week before transfers, Elder Panti and I will strive to do more, stretch ourselves more and grow more doing this work. I always tell him to think in advance and just do the work so he won't be stressed out. For some reason, I actually learned to consider a blessing the stress and exhaustion I get being here in the office. Haha. Maybe because, it makes me feel that I'm doing my work although I'm still not there yet. But, I will do my best and work hard despite trials that would beset me.
With regards to our work, it really is important to work effectively. I have seen its effect with me and Elder Panti. Work's not that much but its effect is so big. What more if our work efforts will increase, bearing in mind work effectivity. That's what I envision for us. Hopefully, it would transpire in the coming weeks.
Thank you guys for all you do. Thank you for for the support!
Wish you all the best! I love you!
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission