Monday, July 6, 2015

Who We Are

This is Brother Paul and his family! SIster Fermin was on exchanges with me when we taught him. 

I got my kabahay to wear red white and blue for the 4th of July (:

This is Melonie and Chris

Dear Family, 
This week I am so thankful to be a missionary and to be in the Philippines!! I had some really amazing experiences this week with the people we have been working with. 
So last week, we taught Robert the Word of Wisdom (health code) for the first time, and he said he wasn't sure if he would be able to give up coffee because he just started to work night shifts, but that once his body got more adjusted that he would try. I really felt prompted to fast for him to help him be able to make this change! But I really didn't want to wait until fast Sunday so I decided to fast for Him on Tuesday. That day, we taught him, and he told us that he really felt like he was going to live it this week! Then on Friday, he texted us and told us that he went the whole week living the word of wisdom!! Ah, I never thought I could actually be this excited about someone not drinking coffee before.. But the joy is real. 
Another sweet experience for me was Sunday at church. When I came to the area, back in Feburary, Sister Soifua took me to an old less active member's home that she had worked with when she was assigned here last year. They are Melonie and Chris, long time members, and I instantly fell in love with them. I have gone back to their home with my companions ever since. Sister Dewan and I visited them, Sister Narag, and now Sister Pamesa. Last Sunday they came to sacrament meeting for the first time in over a year, and they came again yesterday!! When I went to give Melonie a hug, tears came to her eyes and she said, Thank you for never giving up on us." It was a moment that I will always remember. 
This week was also really great because I had my first exchanges as a Sister Training Leader!!  I worked with Sister Tiongco and Sister Fermin, and they are both AMAZING! Awe, I seriously feel so lucky to get to work with them. They are both the cutest little Filapinas who have rock solid testimonies. With Sister Fermin I was able to take her to one of our lessons in English, and she shared for the first time, her testimony in a different language. It was so cute, and everyone was touched. 

This week I was also just so extremely grateful to be teaching the Plan of Salvation. It is a lesson that we have been teaching a lot lately, and even though it is something I have heard my whole life, the truths are such a blessing for me to know. We know that we are sons and daughters of God, that we came from His presence to this Earth so that we could learn and grow. When we left, we wanted more than anything to return back to Him. Everything that we experience here in this life is for our good, to help prepare us to return to live back with Him. We can live with Him with our families for eternity if we choose to follow His son Jesus Christ. When we help people understand these things for the first time, it is just so exciting to watch them come to understand who they really are. I know that Robert and Melonie and Chris and every person that we are teaching is loved and known by God. I know that all He wants is for them to return to Him.

I don't really know everything that is going on in America right now... But I heard enough in my international ward to know that things are pretty crazy! This morning in my personal study, I studied a lot about the temple.. and about life in the latter days. We are living in a crazy world that is drawing nearer to the second coming of Jesus Christ! That is why we are called Latter-Day Saints. Heavenly Father has saved us to come to the earth at this time to prepare for His coming. We are SO lucky to be living now! It is a time to stand with courage for what we know to be true, and LOVE those around us. Sometimes that's a hard thing to balance, love and acceptance, and righteousness and truth. But I know that that's what we were called to this earth to do! Its all a part of Heavenly Father's plan for us.

I was reading in 1 Nephi 14 this morning and thinking about how much crazier the world still has yet to get. I feel like when I look at it from the beginning to the end, and remember that all this madness is going to end with the coming of Jesus Christ, it kind of seems more like an adventure and challenge that we get to live on the Earth at this time. I would definitely recommend those chapters when Nephi talks about our day. 
This verse was my favorite: 
 14 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.

In MLC this week, we talked a lot about temple covenants and the protection that comes with it. We read this talk by david a bednar..
He talked about the reality of the protection that comes with keeping our temple covenants. Just like the saints who left Nauvoo, we leave the temple armed with power! We have nothing to fear because we are promised protection! Just like the Saints who held on to their covenants and were able to cross the plains, we can hold on to the promises that have been made to us to survive in this world of craziness. I know that persecutions may come, but we will always be on the winning team! It really brought me a lot of peace to remember that my family is protected. 

I love being a missionary!! I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I love knowing where I came from and where I want to go. I am experiencing so much joy helping others to know the same. 

Have a great week! I love you!!


Sister Lockwood

ps.  Oh yeah, I also got to see Sister Te'o this week at MLC! It had been WAY too long! 

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