Monday, December 15, 2014

Trust in the Lord

With my group on Palawan Island 

Companions and best friends 

Hello Family!
I know I say this every week, but it blows my mind how fast Monday comes again and again! Christmas will be here so soon and I'm so excited to talk to you! I'm really glad President told you about the no chatting thing.. I was nervous that you would be sad. But- I do know that miracles come from exact obedience!! And obedience always boils down to trust. If we trust that Heavenly Father loves us and really wants what's best for us, then we will keep His commandments, and we will trust that everything that we go through in this life is truly just to help us grow. Every experience we go through provides an opportunity for us to be better after than we were before.
It was another great week full of missionary work! This week we were really focused on finding. As a companionship, we pray a dozen times in a day. Every prayer this week, we asked Heavenly Father to guide us to families who are prepared to receive the gospel- and He did! After A LOT of rejection and walking and sweating and "tao po-ing" (what we do instead of knocking on doors or clapping, a couple of the days, it seemed like everyone we talked to had some sort of excuse or lie for us. There are so many excuses in the language of Tagalog that I LOATHE. Like "Casi may lakad kami ngyon" or "ah, casi pumupunta kami ngyon" or "bukas na lang sister."  That is one thing that I remember Mom saying about her mission... the people lying. I totally understand what she means now. BUT-after all of the lies and rejection, we found 3 new families this week!! It took a lot of searching, and a lot of rejection to get to them, and we still aren't sure if these are the families who have been prepared, but we are excited to keep teaching them and helping them progress. We are continuing to pray and really to SEARCH everywhere. I am continuing to learn what it means to trust in the Lord and to wait upon him.
AND- on our long days of sweating and rejection, Heavenly Father also sent us so many tender mercies. One of them was one day, the day where we literally walked and walked all day- a guy driving by on a motorcycle started chanting "Sis-ters! Sis-ters! Sis-ters!" Hahahaha, so hilarious! He wasn't even a member or anything. And then, later that night, we walked past a big group of boys and they all just broke out into applause. It was simple-but it was a tender mercy and a reminder to me that Heavenly Father is cheering me on! There are ALWAYS tender mercies if we look for them (:
This week, after hearing the sad news about Ben Parke, I immediately was sent to study again the Plan of Salvation. How amazingly blessed are we as members of the church with so many answers! As I read the basic doctrines that we teach almost every day on the Plan of Salvation, I found a whole new personal love for the truths of this restored gospel. We truly do have a GIFT to share.
While the gospel does provide us with so many answers, I was also reminded that not having answers is part of our life here on Earth. We know so much from the gospel, but God still withholds a lot from us so that we can learn to have faith in Him and really trust Him. In Proverbs, it reads that, "Happy is He who trusts in the Lord." We can be happy as we look up because then we know that we don't have to know all that is in front of us, but rather just trust in He that does know all of the answers.
It reminded me of how last week, as missionaries, we were completely in the dark with what was happening with the typhoon! We couldn't see where it was or where it was going or when it would hit. But, we knew that President Ostler, as our mission president knew. He could see the typhoon, and because we trusted him and knew that he loves us, we knew that as long as we stayed in communication with President Ostler, we would receive the information we needed to keep us safe.  
The gospel gives us so many answers, but the biggest answer is the direction that the gospel points us-which is upward. When we look up, we don't need to have all the answers and understand everything. We can simply trust in the Lord. 
I love you all so much! I am loving this Christmas season as a missionary! Despite the fact that there is no snow, no Christmas decorations, no family, and no Christmas food, I have the opportunity to experience Christmas as the Savior himself did, among the poor and humble. It will be a Christmas that I never ever will forget. 
Have a great week!! XOXOXO
Sister Lockwood
ps. We are having our Christmas party on Palawan tomorrow and President and Sister Ostler will be there and they might bring more, but I'm not for sure yet. 
Also- the quote of the week from Sister Teo "We are gonna try this 'budget' thing." Hahaha last pday we were like "we'll just go upstairs and just check it out" because upstairs there is a shopping store above the grocery part where we always shop. Hahaha when we got up to the place with all the clothes she goes "We should not have done this." And we both ended up spending way too much money and time. Hahahah but this week we really are going to try this budget thing! Hahaha I LOVE YOU!
pps. Sister Chua is almost reactivated! And we can't find her baptismal records so she might be being rebaptized soon! Yay!
And Sister Segovia is doing great and so is Sister Joy (: - all LA's
So you can keep them in your prayers!
AND HAVE THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!! I will sing to you at 10:25 pm my time, so 9:25 am your time? 

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