Sunday, September 6, 2015

My purpose as a missionary.

 The Arias Family was baptized on Saturday, Sep 5th!

The Deloroso Family was baptized on Saturday, Sep 5th!

It is officially Christmas season in the Philippines! September 1st is when trees go up, and when music starts playing! They call it the start of the "ber" months (SeptemBER, OctoBER, NovemBER, and DecemBER). We also are starting practices today for the Christmas choir, which I somehow ended up as the director of.. So, Merry Christmas from the Philippines!  (I'll be home for Christmas! :)

 Missionary Leadership Council

Sister Te'o!  Friends and roommates from the MTC! 

Dear Family,

Hello from a very happy missionary!! This week was just wonderful. I just can't even believe how much Heavenly Father has blessed me. When I left my for my mission last July, I couldn't even have imagined how many amazing experiences waited for me. I knew that my mission would be hard, but I didn't know it would be this joyful, too.

Of course, this week was so happy for Sister Lagrimas and I because the Arias family and the Doloroso family were baptized! They both have been on a long journey to this point, and it was so much fun to just watch their faces fill with light as they finally made it here. But, I was most happy not because they finally made it to the finish line..but rather because they finally made it to the start! As I watched Apple receive the Holy Ghost, I thought of the guidance and help she would now have in raising her children. When Y'vonne was confirmed, I listened as they promised her amazing blessings, a future filled with the gospel. It made me ponder all of the baptisms and confirmations that I have changed my life. If Dad had not made the decision to be baptized when he was in his 20's... I know that my life would not be what it is today. If Grandpa hadn't joined the church, I definitely don't know how I would have the gospel in my life. Both of their decisions not only changed the course of their lives, but the course of the lives of all those who would come after them. The day of a baptism marks the day of a new beginning, a new life as a follower of Jesus Christ. It is just the beginning for Apple, Yvonne, Liezel, Camille, and Michelle, and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for them!

As I have written these letters home.. I have often thought about what people who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints think when they read these letters. Most people think of missionaries that go to foreign countries as missionaries who help build houses, and who bring people clean water. However, readers of these letters soon figure out that my work as a missionary has a lot more to do with helping people come to church on Sunday! While helping those in need and doing service projects has been a part of my missionary service here, my purpose as a missionary is to invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel, through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I am here to help children of God make the steps they need to return back to Him one day.

I remember in my missionary preparation class at BYU, Brad Wilcox talked about our purpose as missionaries. He said that others may be confused why I would go to a place like the Philippines, and not spend my time helping the people temporally. He said that we have a higher cause. What I am bringing to the people here, is the ONLY thing that I can give to them that will last forever. Any other help- food, shelter, money, is temporary. Of course, they are so important, but my work helping others to enter into the waters of baptism, is even more important. 

Jesus Christ taught, "Except a man be born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." I love the people of the Philippines! I LOVE the Doloroso family and the Arias family. I want them to be happy.. and most of all, I want them to be with their families, and their Heavenly Father forever. I want them to be saved in the kingdom of God. 

This is what I know to be true. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that He is our Savior. He came into this Earth to give ALL of us a way to get back to Him. That way is through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. His gospel was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that it is true, because I feel the peace and joy every day as I embrace this gospel in my life. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that families can be together forever. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints truly is the Lord's church here on the Earth. 

I am so blessed to proclaim HIS truth to all the world. Jesus Christ's last words to his apostles were:
19 ¶Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

That is what I am here to do. I love it! I am SO thankful to be a missionary. I will forever be in debt to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to have such beautiful experiences here. 

I love you! Have a great week!!

Love, Sister Lockwood

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