Monday, November 10, 2014

The End of your Comfort Zone

On the beach with Sister Parina

We ate octopus! 

Doing my own laundry

Hello Family!!
They always say that your growth begins at the end of your comfort zone.  This is so true and I am so lucky to be here in the Philippines and be stretched out of my comfort zone again and again!! 
This week, I lost my trainer!! Sister Parina and Sister Lacsamana are currently in the mission home.  Their teeth pains continued, and so President Ostler had them go back to the mainland so they could see a real dentist. (The doctors/dentists here on Palawan are pretty much all really sketchy..)  It turns out their wisdom teeth were what were causing all of the problems! (so Sister Parina didn't even need that tooth pulled, I don't think...). So they got their wisdom teeth pulled and have been recovering at the mission home! Sister Delaitubuna is my temporary companion, and we work with branch missionaries everyday to cover both of our areas. So, I went from having a trainer leading the lessons and the area, to me leading the area and pretty much teaching the entire lesson and just using the branch missionary as someone who shares experiences and testimony. Wow! Transfers are on the 19th, and I don't know if they will come back before then or if we will just work with branch missionaries until then.  But, I have grown and learned SO MUCH. I definitely left my comfort zone, but Heavenly Father has strengthened me more than I can express. My language skills are improving even more quickly as I teach, and I am really connecting with my investigators more than before; specifically Elena, and her friend Rina that we started teaching this week. They are like my new best friends here. I love them SO MUCH. And they are both progressing and have so many questions. Keep them in your prayers!!
This week, we also had zone meeting, and the big focus was OYM, or Opening Your Mouth.  President Ostler wants each of us as individuals to talk to 10 new people every day, have a connection with them, and then invite them to church or to learn more. We had so many miracles just this week that came as a result of our new goal to OYM. Despite the fact that I fell very short of 70, I felt happy at the end of every day as I really tried to open my mouth to everyone. We would try to talk to every trike driver, every person sitting next to us on a Jeepney, and take time between appointments to talk to people on the street. We invited everyone to church on Sunday and gave away many pamphlets. When Sunday came, I wasn't really expecting any of these OYM's to come to church. I wasn't even really thinking about them at all. But after branch council, we came out to find Vicente waiting outside the chapel, holding a pamphlet that we gave him in a trike!! I didn't even recognize him, but as he talked to the elders, he pointed at me and said that I had invited him to church. I felt so excited and happy that 1 of the many people that we talked to throughout the week really did listen and was touched by the spirit to come to church. 
Another really great experience we had with OYMing was after district meeting, Sister Parina and I went to work talking to everyone. We didn't seem to have much success, but at the very end of the day the last family we OYMed told us they were MEMBERS! They had moved into our area and nobody knew it. They are less active, but we now have found a new family that Heavenly Father was ready for us to meet and bring back to church. 
So, I would encourage you to do the same thing!! Dad is already a pro at this, but just be friendly and meet new people everywhere you go.  You don't even have to formally share the gospel, but just by being happy and excited to meet new people you can make a huge difference in someone's day (: I love it when someone is on a Jeepney looking sad, and then just by smiling and saying "hello po! ano pangalan nyo?" their faces light up (: 
Other investigators you can keep in your prayers this week are Mayra, Aiza, Elena and Rina, the Costodio Family, the Lopez family, Ethan, Haydie, Himaya, and the Bascongada Family. Ah- I am so lucky to teach all of these amazing people!! I am really feeling myself getting lost in this work as I am coming to love them all so much. Yesterday after our lessons I didn't want to go home, I just wanted to keep talking and connecting with these people!
I know that Heavenly Father has specific experiences planned for me on the mission that will help me stretch and grow.  Even though losing Sister Parina and working with the members has been a challenge, I am so thankful for a Heavenly Father who trusts me enough to give me this experience.  My language, teaching, listening, and connecting skills are just multiplying from this.  God pushes and pulls us out of our comfort zone because He loves us.  Every experience in this life is given to us because He loves us and wants us to grow. 
I am so thankful for a Father in Heaven who loves me enough to push me out of my comfort zone.
I love you all SO MUCH!
It makes me so happy that you are having FHE and doing morning prayers! In conference they really stressed how important those little things are and I know that protection and power comes from those things.
Sister Lacsamana also took a picture of me washing clothes. She and Sister Delaitubuna are my angels. They helped me wash my clothes one night before bed when they should have been eating! it was so cute they kept laughing at me and saying "shes so cute" hahaha.
Sister Lockwood
ps. i learned how to wash my clothes by hand this week because the lady that usually comes and washes them wasn't able to! Its actually not too bad (:
pss. Oh yeah, our zone split this week! So we are now the Santa Monica Zone, and as of right now Sister Delaitubuna and I are the only Sisters in the whole zone. 
psss. If we leave our tennis shoes out at night, when we put them on in the morning we find frogs sleeping in them (: hehehe gross.

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