Dear family, friends, and fans,
This week has been great! Although it went slower compared to the previous weeks. It has been challenging as well, in the sense that we are now preparing for a baptismal service for Sister Althea which will be on this Saturday.
Please forgive me for not reporting about my investigators often! Sister Althea is the 10 year-old daughter of Sister Rhea and the brother of Brother Rodgler whom Elder Maglasang and I baptized in late March. When I arrived in the area, she wasn’t ready in getting baptized yet; she feared of leaving her reluctant father behind when she commits to do so. However, after much persuasion and waiting and loving, she finally agreed to receive our missionary lessons. As pertaining to her commitments, she enjoys going to church and participating in church activities.
Preparing Sister Althea for baptism was not really easy nor difficult. In fact, it was challenging because she had a lot of questions regarding the gospel doctrines we teach her and the sectarian doctrines she learns from school. It took some time setting forth the doctrines which she must believe in order to gain eternal life.
The advantage of teaching a child is that the situation allows you to teach simply and clearly, not that so everyone can understand but that everyone cannot misunderstand or leave room for doubt or question. In teaching Althea I was able to introspect and examine my teaching skills, which then caused me to focus more on reading Preach My Gospel as I have written in my previous weekly letter.
Another miracle is that the less actives whom we have been teaching attended church again. They just kept coming in! And it makes me feel as though I am on a spiritual high. When we get punted we resort to visiting the homes of these less actives and teach, and when they don’t have time we simply drop by and remind them to come to church or follow up on these commitments which we have extended. I have seen the miraculous fruits of such efforts.
And that leads me to district business. In the opening of this cycle’s first district meeting, I was inspired by the Holy Spirit to make “humility and pride” the theme of the meeting. In the previous district interviews which I have conducted, most of the concerns they expressed to me basically boil down to the sin of pride. Interestingly, the prior weeks before the aforementioned meeting, I was engaged in developing Christlikes attributes for myself. I listened to President Ezra Taft Benson’s classic general conference talk, “Beware of Pride”. After much prayer I decided to give to Sister Sianava, a sister missionary serving in my district, the assignment to deliver a talk on this topic. As she addressed the district on that Wednesday morning, we felt the Spirit which confirms that the Lord desires us to be humble in our missionary efforts; that we must beware of pride in companionships; and that we must be humble so pride will not hinder our progression.
That applies to me personally, too. With the present calling in which I serve, I have learned that pride can be a great stumbling block to any missionary leader. Once a leader ceases to listen to whisperings of the Spirit or to suggestions of his colleagues by gratifying his pride, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved, “and when it is grieved, Amen to the priesthood or authority of that man.”
I love this work. I love the Lord. His humbling grace is real and sufficient. I don’t lead this district; He does. And it’s completely up to me whether I look up to Him for guidance and give to Him the glory, or I turn inward and gratify my pride and thus fall.
Philippines San Pablo Mission