Monday, November 30, 2015

SO Thankful!

Visiting a family with Sister Mata and Sister TuaTonga 

With Sister Mata and Sister TuaTonga

Dear Family,

Happy Thanksgiving! There actually is no Thanksgiving here in the Philippines..but I really took some time this week to think about the blessings that Heavenly Father has blessed me with over the past year and a half in the Philippines. I think that gratitude has been one of the biggest lessons I have learned here. Before I served here, I always thought of gratitude as something that we felt because of our blessings. I was grateful for my family, my home, my country, my health. Of course, that it a big part of gratitude. But what amazed me when I came to the Philippines was meeting people who were filled with gratitude who had none of those things. There are families here who live in homes with no electricity.. who all sleep on the floor crammed next to eachother. There are missionaries here serving with me whose families have disowned them for choosing to serve a mission. So many people are just living from day to day, praying that God will give them a way to eat that day. But yet these people are the happiest people I have ever met! They give thanks to God everyday and are grateful to be alive! The Filipino people have changed me. I hope that I have become a little more like them since I have been here.
One of the blessings that I was especially grateful for this week was my companions! As missionaries, we are always assigned a companion. We stay with them 24/7. Even if we come from different places or are different ages, they become your best friends. This week Sister Veras got sick and so I was assigned to be with Sister TuaTonga and Sister Mata. They are just such a blast and they have made me thankful to have the opportunity to meet so many different sisters from all over the world. From Fiji to Canada to Singapore, these girls have truly become my sisters.
Another blessing this week was our new investigator Christain! Missionaries are happy all the time (well, except when people don't come to church...), but we are most happy when we have investigators like Christain! He has been wanting to become a member of the church, and he has been like ward hopping for weeks trying to figure out where he was supposed to be! This week I attended Sister Mata and Sister TuaTonga's ward where he showed up and told us that he lives in St.Joseph! That is my area! We introduced him to the bishop and are so excited to get him started on his path to baptism.
There is SO much to be grateful for. Always. Even when it feels like our world is falling apart... I know that we can always chose to be grateful because I have seen that example in the people here, and I have learned it for myself. We are so blessed to be living at this time.. I am so thankful for the knowledge that I have of a loving Heavenly Father. He showers down tender mercies upon each of us every day. We just have to be humble enough to look for them and recognize them. 
I love you! I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving! I am SO looking forward to having a Merry Christmas with you!!
Sister Lockwood
ps.  This week will be good! Its transfer week... And we have going home activites tomorrow. So you can look for me on the mission blog!
Then next week we have a mission tour.. so Elder Bowen will be coming to talk to us.. and then the next week we have the Christmas party and I come home!! Eeee I'm so excited!!

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