Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014


I have good news and bad news. Good news is that Sister Trina was baptized and it was an awesome experience. Bad news was that it wasn't in the ocean. Yeah I'm still bitter about that. I swear I better baptize someone in river or something before I leave. 

I've tried so much weird food. I remember mom trying to make me eat her enchiladas because when I'm on my mission I'm going have to eat gross food. Let's just say I'll eat enchiladas any day. I finally tried "bulot." Look it up. I'll throw up again if I talk about it. 

Gosh I'm loving it here. I know my area really well now. I know most of everyone's name, which I thought was never going to happen. My Tagalog is really progressing and I'm almost done with my training. I truly love all the people we teach. I love the members in the Aringay Branch. The members go out with us and it really has strengthened my testimony that this church is true. We had an experience this week;

Elder T and I found these 2 moms, Sister Jenny and Sister Carol. They both have kids and are good friends. We've been teaching them for about 2 weeks and Sister Jenny is planning on getting baptized in December. Well we've been trying to get them to go to church but because of financial problems and peer pressure from there friends they haven't gone. Well on Tuesday we brought Sister L from the branch to come with us to teach. Now Sister L is a no-nonsense, God fearing woman, loving and full of spunk. She's worked 3 jobs to get her kids on missions and she's such a strength for our small struggling branch. Sister Lorenzo brought her 2 friends with her, Sister J and Sister L. So for our lesson we showed the the Restoration DVD and afterwards, Elder T and I just lost control of the teaching situation. Sister L, Sister J, and Sister L taught Sister Jenny and Carol. They were saying things like,"Sister this is true, and it's for you!" "Sister come to church, I'm in the primary we'll take care of your kids." "Sister come sit with my family at church on Sunday." (of course this in all Tagalog) As a missionary my heart was touched. So after all these invitations we found out the real problem of Sister Jenny and Sister Carol not going to church. They told us that they don't have any church clothes or any nice clothes in general that would be presentable to go to church. Sister L then went and grabbed Sister Carol's hand and said,"Sister you don't have worry about anything. I have plenty of blouses and skirts at my house. You and Sister Jenny come over and we'll take care of you." It was hard to keep in the tears at this point. That's better then what Elder T could have done. I was full of gratitude of Sister L's service and example of charity. Every member is a missionary. Moments like that makes the mission worth it.

I'm grateful to be a missionary here in the Philippines. These people have taught me so much. The Lord is involved in this great work. People are being prepared. There are so many people out there are looking for the truth and have questions of soul but, they don't know where to find it. I bear testimony of Jesus Christ that He is our Savior. I know that God is a God of miracles. Not just in the Bible but today as well. I've seen them. We have a prophet of God and the proper authority, His Priesthood. I'm grateful for the tender mercies and many unworthy blessings I have received. I found in a scripture in Jacob 2:8 and it talks about the "pleasing word of God," and how it can "heal the wounded soul." That's why I'm here. To find those people who have wounded souls and give them the antidote. I'm grateful for all of you. Thank you for your prayers. Keep doing the little things. I'll be home before you know it but I have work to do. Till we meet again. 

Your Valiant Missionary,
Elder Strader

P.S. I'll probably Skype y'all on Dec. 26. But that's Christmas for you. I'll let you know more of the details when I figure them out. 

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