Sunday, January 17, 2016

December 16, 2015 - Kamputhaw, Cebu

So I'd like to report what's happened this week. CSP, Baptisms, Work, and Testimony.

We had 5 baptisms in our zone this last Saturday. It was a wonderful day.

Yesterday, I was given the opportunity to attend and be a part of my Batch's farewell testimony meeting. They had all come in to the city on Sunday night,and on Tuesday afternoon was held this testimony meeting in the President's home. I had the chance to go out and work with my housemates, Elder Toani and Elder Rice before, and so I came running up to Presidents' house about 10 minutes late and entered to find the batch of 26 waiting for me. That was nice of them. 

As the meeting started, I had in my mind a lot, that I wanted to be able to take something away from that meeting that would guide my next six weeks of life. It also dawned on me that I'd likely be given the chance to bear my testimony, so I prayed that I would say what I need to say, and that I would learn what I need to learn. Just before me spoke Sister Iongi, a poly from Sacramento area. She spoke a very powerful testimony, and as part, she said that President was a powerful leader of our mission, the one who carried the power of God to lead our mission. After her testimony I bore witness of this as well. I said that one of the lessons I have learned from my mission is sustaining. I know that President McCurdy is the man who can receive revelation for our mission, and that if we as Cebu missionaries do what he asks of us, then our mission will prosper. And I know that Cebu mission has been prepared and will continue to grow. That's what I said.

During the meeting yesterday, I had an impression of something that I should do. In the Missionary Handbook, on the first page, it says to "Learn and live the higher law as taught by Jesus Christ. (see Matthew 5, 3 Nephi 12)" I realised that's not a study suggestion, it's a commandment. And so I've decided that that is what I will do. In these last few weeks of my mission, I will focus my studies on the Sermon on the mount.

I started today. I got to Matt 5:1-4. 

Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for their is the kingdom of heaven, and blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

I learned that the poor are blessed if they are pure in heart and their spirits are contrite, for they shall be delivered (D&C 56:18). This is because they will have the Gift of the Holy Ghost. (2 Ne 31:13) I learned that those who mourn mourn because that's what happens in life. The earth is defiled and cursed, and all people will mourn because of this curse (Isaiah 24:1-6) However, the day will come that we shall "sing for the majesty of the Lord, and glorify His name." This is because it's all part of the Lord's plan. The heavens will vanish away like smoke, and the earth will wax old and die. But His salvation will be for ever. He will redeem us. Just as He dried the Red Sea so that ransomed Israel could be delivered, the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come singing into Zion with everlasting joy upon our heads, and our sorrows and mourning shall be no more. What that means is, although we mourn today, although our life is hard today, that's okay. That's the way it's supposed to be. What we need to make sure we do is hearken unto the Lord. Have His law in our hearts. Fear no man, but trust in the Lord's salvation. I know that if we do this then we will not have fear. We will not have to worry. We do not have to be hopeless. Though we mourn, we will be comforted. I know that this is true. I read it in the scriptures, and I felt it in my life first.

Our mission president is a different kind of president. He doesn't spoon feed us. He tell us what we should do, and lets us do it. I have said often that President wants to teach us doctrine, it's just up to us if we would seek and learn. He makes us as missionaries be accountable to learn for ourselves what we would learn.

I liked what you said about your programs, mom. I remember back in the day, how it was cool that you had a Hebrews song in your program. I know that it is essential that you keep those kids singing Christmas songs. You make a big difference, and you make Lowell Joint School District brighter. I want to share what my favorite Christmas hymn is. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. I love the last verse. 

"For lo! the days are hastening on, by prophets seen of old, when with the ever-circling years will come the time foretold, when the new heaven and earth shall own the Prince of Peace their King, and the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing."

I read this a while back and the thought came into my mind; as a missionary, my purpose is to teach the world to sing. 

I will miss Elder Garcia so much. He is full of love and good ideas, and I'll miss him.

It's a new transfer. Elder Wayne the Lamanite is my new companion. I have zero white companions on my mission. I am so happy. Elder Fuimaono and Elder Pascua are District Leaders. Elder Espiritu is training. It's a really exciting transfer. I love this mission, and I love you. I'll be calling you.

Elder Dunford

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