Sunday, December 7, 2014

Life in Paradise!

The skirts we bought last week!  Aren't they so cute?! Sister Teo and I are both former shopaholics
and really bad spenders...oops!

Here is a lovely image of the lizard that I found in my cup yesterday when I went to pour water in it
to drink.  Yikes!  I wish I could just show you a video of Sister Teo and I's reaction!  Hahaha!

Here's a picture of a basketball hoop here.  I thought the boys would like that one!

Hello Family!
So I know that everyone has been super worried about this typhoon Ruby, but it is still sunny and beautiful here in Puerto Princessa! There's a legend here on Palawan that typhoons never hit here, and its always just paradise. I didn't believe them, and we prepared big time for this typhoon, but apparently they were right! It hasn't even rained here at all. I am SO LUCKY to be here! Not only am I living in a missionary bubble, but the bubble of this paradise as well (: But, thank you so much for all of the prayers and concerns! It means so much! There is such power in prayer, and I feel the strength from all of your prayers everyday. 
Other great news, the figurative typhoon that I was feeling last week is gone! My hair is falling out way less, I'm not feeling stressed and overwhelmed, and I am just so happy to be a missionary doing missionary things! Again, I feel peace from all of the prayers coming my way back home. Some days I wonder "how am I doing this?!" And the Spirit reminds me that its not me, but strength beyond my own, and I know that that comes in extra abundance because of your prayers. I am the luckiest to have you!!! 
This week was so much fun. Sister Teo and I are growing in unity as a companionship and just as really great friends. Its so fun to get to be companions with someone who's a good friend! She is such a hard worker, and so dedicated to this work! Other than the language, it really doesn't feel like I'm training her.  
Our huge focus this week was finding. Everyday all week we prayed and searched for people who were ready to receive us. Our prayers were answered!! But sadly, most of the people we found for some reason or another don't actually live in our area, or are leaving the area soon. One of these people that we found was a couple that we ran across who are basically nomads, and travel by boat to all the islands of the Philippines. Despite the fact that we may or may not ever see them again, they were SO prepared!! When we taught the restoration, both brother and sister were in tears and so excited to finally have found what they were looking for! They said that the churches they've found all have leaders and founders that claim to be the Savior, but are corrupt. When we told them that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints wasn't Joseph Smith's church, but is God's gospel that started with Adam, they were so happy! Lessons like that just give me a high and I just leave saying "This! Is why I'm a missionary!!!" (: 
Another tender mercy we are experiencing are prepared less active members! Sister Chua and Sister Segovia especially have been angels to me here over the past couple of weeks. They were both less actives that we visited for the first time a few weeks ago, and both of them are coming back to church!! We have such a special bond with them, and every time we see them they express their thanks and love to us. Sister Chua is even coming to work with us this week. And Sister Segovia told us that when the branch members asked who it was that finally got her to come back to church she said, "It was the 2 beautiful sister missionaries." What a sweet feeling it is! Here in the Philippines, returning a less active is just as amazing as baptizing someone for the first time. Keep the Chua's and Segovia's in your prayers!! Ah, I LOVE them! 
So, now our focus this week will be continuing to find! We fasted yesterday to find a prepared family that lives in our area. Now we just have to have the faith and diligence to find them! This morning in my personal study I read a lot about faith, and one thing that stood out to me was patience.  No matter how long Heavenly Father takes to answer our prayers, faith means to NEVER give up and to always hold on and know that He will eventually answer them. Joseph's Smith's answer in the scriptures in James 1:5, is preceded in James 1:1-4 with PATIENCE. After we let patience have her perfect work, then Heavenly Father will give us a witness of our faith. 
Another scripture I really loved this week was Hebrews 12:1 "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." 
I don't know how long Heavenly Father will take to answer our prayer to find a family, but I know that he WILL. 
I am still just loving life here! I love you all so much! Thank you SO MUCH for your prayers and love. The power and blessings that come from them are literally felt as I receive strength beyond my own. 
Also I got your christmas cards, and we have zone meeting this week and the DL told me I have lots of mail.
I'm pretty sure I'm like known in the mission for getting the most mail hahaha. I HAVE THE GREATEST FAMILY EVERRR
Sister Lockwood

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