Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My Peeps,

How was Conference and Easter? Here in the Philippines we watch Conference a week later so I'll see it this weekend. I am so pumped! I miss ya'll so much. Wow! What a crazy week. Elder Y and I got a call from our mission president and he wanted to work with us in our area. Probably the most intimidating things ever when your mission president comes and works with you, but it was a great learning experience. President Balledos is an awesome teacher. We found this one less active member that we've never taught before and she hasn't gone to church in over 10 years. Well she spoke a different dialect and it happens to be one of the 5 languages that President Balledos knows, so he took over. We're not sure what he said to her but all we know is that she showed up to church on Sunday. The church is true. 

We had a big leadership meeting with all the zone leaders in the mission and I got to see Elder T! I'll send the picture. Gosh I miss him so much. 

Well I had an awesome spiritual experience this week. It strengthening my testimony how God knows EXACTLY what we need and when we need it. 

The last couple of weeks have been pretty stressful. It's a combination of a lot of things and it felt like my positive nature and sense of humor wasn't carrying me like it use to. So I went on my knee's asking my Heavenly Father to give me just a little extra love. I know that He loves me but I was feeling really low and I needed something to get my fire back. I thanked Him for helping me so far and for the undeserved blessings that I've felt. I prayed for other things and tried to pay attention to the Spirit as I poured my soul to my Heavenly Father. After my prayer I put a smile on my face and went to work. Knowing that the Lord heard my prayer and I just had to wait and see how He was going to answer it. So Elder Y and I started to working in our area, when we ran into an older man. He was very kind, with deep blue eyes that just pierced your soul. We talked to him and answered some of his questions. He seemed very impressed of what we do as missionaries, of how we leave our families and don't get payed and so on. Up to this point we were speaking in Tagalog and then all of a sudden the man looked at me with those eyes and said slowly in his broken English,"Jesus loves you for doing this." 

My heart burned and the Spirit testified the trustfulness of that simple statement. That Jesus Christ cares about me and that He loves me for what I'm doing. As I wiped the tear from my eye I thanked the old man and we went on our way. As we walked away my heart flew to the heavens, thanking the Lord for answering my prayer. For reminding me that He's always there for me. For giving me that extra spiritual boost. Another tender mercy. A confirmation that I'm doing what my Savior wants me to do. 

I want to bear my testimony and special of Jesus Christ. He lives. I've never seen Him in person, but I've seen His hand in my life and others. I've felt His love and mercy. I'm so grateful to be a missionary. The life and the heavenly lessons I've learned are priceless. It's not easy but in those moments of discouragement or when I want to give up, I hear the words of the old man...

Jesus loves you for doing this.

Till we meet again.

Your Valiant Missionary,

Elder Strader

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