News: Transfers- I get to stay here, but Sister Luyong is leaving :( But I'll see her often- she's in Toledo and will get to be the STL for Sis. Cuajao! My new companion is Sister Tandiman from Indonesia! We get to figure out this STL thing together because she's just new, but it's going to be the best!
Happenings of the week: Brother Jun quit smoking! Now for follow up!
Brother Buen continues to teach himself the doctrines of the gospel, we just kind of sit in awe and try to aid the process
We went to Dumaguete- a 5 hour bus ride- for an all island Zone conference to say good bye to President and Sister Schmutz. I want to be a better person, and I already am because of them.
We went up early because Sis. Luyong and I and some other missionaries sang the musical number. We sang I believe in Christ- I loved practicing with people who do believe in him, and enjoying other missionaries and the love of the gospel, and then as I looked out on all of those missionaries, I didn't sing. I literally couldn't sing for two verses because I was so full of joy and belief. But with all my heart, to him I'll sing.
Oh, I haven't told you about Carmel! This is an incredible story that got better this week! On transfer day (6 weeks ago) at the temple, a member overheard that I was going to San Carlos and gave me a referral automatically of a recent convert who'd moved there and gone inactive. In my first week here, we contacted dear Carmel and she came to church that first week. Honestly, she just needed support and the hand of the Lord. When we first visited her, her mom had passed away two weeks earlier and she was so weak. But she's doing so well now! She's missed church for the past couple of weeks but this week, we got to really talk to her. Somehow, we went from "why weren't you at church?" to "Do you think you should go on a mission?" to which she said Yes! But wasn't sure yet.. Don't worry, the Spirit came to the rescue, she read a scripture and looked up with the biggest smile on her face- she's this cute little skeleton of a 23 year old girl and says, Yes really!. So Carmel, despite all odds is going on a mission.
I've been thinking a lot about commitments recently. Of course, we're trying to help Bro. Jun really quit (he seems to be doing well, but we need constant vigilence to conquer Satan!) and help people read the Book of Mormon daily, and commit to come to church even though they've been offended, and that's our whole missionary purpose! But I realized this week how important it is that we personally make commitments to God- of course, there's the big ones that we call covenants, and I can never belittle those. My realization this week though was that we must constantly be making and keeping commitments to God- I have to commit to talk to every person in my path and then do it, or to memorize scriptures and then do it, or any number of things. It's completely changed my view- I was so able to understand how to help others come to Christ through commitments that I forgot that it's a necessary daily process to me. And as I've made commitments to sacrifice more, and then kept those, I can testify of the real blessings that come! The title means Commitment, nothing will be lost, which is something Brother Buen told us this week, in nice contrast to every well meaning Filipino person who says, well, I can't promise, I can't commit because then I might sin if I break it. People, the whole point is that we commit so that we don't sin!