The Power of Testimony and Prayer

6-13-16 (Monday)
I just really enjoyed today. We had a Zone activity today, because Elder Garate goes home this Sunday, so we were able to have our big zone party with him. It’s going to be weird not having him around anymore. He’s the only one left in my District from when I first got to the mission field. I guess I really have been here in Aguilar for a long time.. But even though Elder Garate is leaving it’s all good because I’ve still got Sister Miller here. I really hope she doesn’t get transferred.. I’d get so bored at home without her. She’s definitely my best friend in the mission. 

And for the sad news of the day.. We saw J and asked if we could share with him and he was his normal excited self and said yes. So we followed him to his house, and his older sister came out telling us to not come back anymore. Apparently their Aunt in America doesn’t want them to become Mormon. I don’t know if that’s really why they don’t want us to teach them or not, but I’m pretty bummed. I really was excited for them to be baptized. Especially J.. He was so accepting and ready for the gospel. I guess now just isn’t his time. Hopefully when he’s older and doesn’t need parental permission he’ll be able and willing to accept the gospel again. But.. On the bright side, we were able to teach all the other boys and even some new ones, even without J and J. It’s crazy how happy you can get, after just having your heart broken through diligent missionary work. The secret to missionary work is work. I know that to be true. I live it and experience it every single day. (:

Sisters Miller, Arquiola, Alpino, ako
6-19-16 (Tuesday)
Today I saw a firefly for the first time in my entire life! Oh my word, it was so cool! It was so pretty! It was pretty funny though, because I saw it flying around with it’s cute little blinking flashlight bum and I saw it when we were singing our opening hymn for a lesson. I was so excited to see it that I stopped singing without realizing and Den noticed/figured out what was happening so he jumped up and caught it for me. Then he opened his hands to let me see it up close but it flew away too fast. But it was so fun! I couldn’t stop thinking about my Raymond [Dad] back at home. (: I’ll always be Raymond’s Evangeline! [A reference to Disney's The Princess and The Frog movie] Yeah.. Other than that, nothing really note worthy happened today. (;

6-15-16 (Wednesday)
Today was a fun happy day. It was just a normal day, but it was a very successful happy day. (: I’d say the best part was our lesson with M. He was so excited that we came to see him because he was so excited to tell us that he hasn’t drank or smoked since the night we went to see him and he was drinking. It was just a very uplifting lesson for me to see how sorry he really is for drinking. It really uplifted my spirits. It was nice to have a good happy, fun, and spiritual lesson with him to help cheer us all up. He just really means a lot to me and I would do anything to help him find and understand the happiness I have because I am a member of Christ’s Church.

6-16-16 (Thursday)
Today Sister Alpino and I went to Urdaneta for New Missionary Follow-up Training. It was a lot of fun. Mostly because I got to spend most of the day riding a bus.. That’s still my favorite thing to do here. (: It was also pretty fun to be able to say goodbye to Elder McBride. Even though we weren’t really friends in high school, I still loved that I got to see someone from home so often while on my mission. And Sister Naua’s leaving too.. I’m going to miss her a lot! Most of my favorite experiences on my mission so far were with her. She’s just so fun to be around! 

Anyway.. We only had one lesson today because we traveled to and from Urdaneta all day. I love getting to travel like that, but it would have been better if we didn’t have to wake up at 4:30. (;  We all know how much I like my sleep. (; But one thing I did learn today is how much I like to tease the boys here. I was having so much fun on the bus today. I mean, it’s not unusual to have boys stare at me or do double-takes here, because I’m white. But today when they would do that as we were driving by them I’d just smile and raise my eyebrows at them and sometimes even wave.. Their reactions were the best! My favorite was when it was a group of friends and I’d make eye contact with one boy and he’d hit his friends and point at me. I’m going to hate going back to America because I won’t be a celebrity anymore. ;D

Sister Alpino, A, J, G, ako [me]
6-17-17 (Friday)
Our lessons today were so powerful! I really enjoyed the Spirit we felt in our lessons. I’m starting to realize just how powerful it is to share a personal experience for an example or how I came to know something. It really helps people understand that I was in their situation at one point and I had to take the steps that I’m asking them to take. And because I took those steps and leaps of faith.. I came to know the truth. And if I was able to gain a testimony of this Church, they can too. It just helps people understand better when they realize that I’m a normal person too, and that just because I’m a missionary doesn’t mean I didn’t have a normal life just like them before. Plus.. Bearing testimony during a lesson ALWAYS strengthens that testimony. When you bear a testimony in an environment with the Spirit that strong, the Spirit also testifies to yourself that what you’re saying is 100% true. 

Also! M is the best! He hasn’t smoked or drank since last Saturday! Woo baby! :D And… In our lesson he bore such a powerful testimony of prayer. Oh man, he makes me so happy!

6-18-16 (Saturday)
Today ended up being a good fun day! Mostly because J sat in our lesson with G and R. I LOVE J! He’s literally the best! I asked him if he still reads the Book of Mormon even though we’re not really allowed to teach him anymore and he said yes. Woo baby! I asked him where he’s at and he said he’s in Alma 41 now, so I asked what he liked about what he read and he talked about how we’ll all be resurrected. Oh my word, that made me so happy 1.) because he actually understands what he reads and (2). Because I actually knew what Alma 40 is about so I knew he understood correctly. (;  Then at the end when we were giving them commitments I told J he could still come to church, even though he isn’t allowed to be baptized, if his grandma will let him do that. Then later when we came home for the night, J ran up to us saying “I have good news! My lola said I can go to church tomorrow!” I honestly don’t think I’ve been so happy in my life 1.) Because he can come to church and (2.) Because he was so happy that he’s allowed to come to church tomorrow. And to make it all better, when he prayed in our lesson he prayed that he would get permission to come to church.. I hope he better understands and realizes the power of prayer. Because I sure do! (:

6-19-16 (Sunday)
I’ve honestly gotten to the point I don’t like writing in my journal anymore… After nightly planning I just wish I could be done for the night, but nooo.. I have to write in my journal, make dinner, do laundry, and obviously get ready for bed. It’s a good thing we have an early curfew.. (; But.. Lets be honest, most of the time I just write in my journal and get ready for bed. I really do need to do my laundry though.. My outfits are getting to the point they don’t really match anymore. (; 

Anyway.. Today was pretty dang awesome! Nanay Alejandra was confirmed AND we had NINE investigators come to church! 9 investigators! Oh my word, I was so happy! There’s nothing better than seeing the fruit of your labors. (: I love the people I teach so much. It just makes me really excited to see how much more I will love teaching and getting to know people when I can actually have a normal conversation with them. (;