Monday, July 14, 2014

Miracles have not ceased

Words really can't explain all the change and miracles we have seen this week. God is real. He loves us. He hears and answers all our prayers, often through our study of the scriptures. Its incredible and exciting that we can communicate with the Creator of the Universe. He knows us individually and always answers, almost always in the most unexpected ways. This week I learned in so much greater depth the power of prayer. Like I said last week, everything has just become so much more real and it just continues change for me... nearly all of this growth and change centers around the Pagunsan family. 

Sister Loo and I have spent the last few weeks fasting, studying and pouring our hearts out to the Lord for this family. We have been praying they would understand why their father, Brother Butch's, baptism would have to be postponed, and that they wouldn't let this prevent them from receiving all the happiness waiting for them. There were so many nights that we didn't know what to do or how to move forward, but one day I turned to the scriptures and found my answer in 3 Nephi 18:30-32. I read that we were to continue to love them, serve them and that the Lord knew when and how they would receive the gospel. Every time I started feeling anxious and doubting I just reminded myself of the answer the Lord had given me and its happened...Sister Sally (Butch's wife) as well as their two sons will be baptized this Saturday and Butch is beginning the process to allow him to enter the waters of baptism. I am so grateful for this family. They have truly changed my life. I am in awe of their humility and desire to follow the Savior. Sister Sally is reading the Book of Mormon everyday and LOVES it. This past week she shared with us that when she was 8 years old her dad got a copy of one somewhere so she read it. However, she never understood it because it was in English. So when the missionaries came back into her life as a mother and wife she recognized the book and wanted to know more. The Lord truly is preparing His children to accept this message. 

Speaking of individuals who are prepared, last night Sister Loo and I taught one of the most prepared individuals we have ever met. His name is Brother Rodel Gabieta. He was taught by a previous set of missionaries once or twice and we have been trying to get back to him for about a month. Although we haven't been able to teach him he has continued to attend church and last night we finally heard his story. Everything he said just made our jaws drop so I am going to just kind of throw all the facts at you. When he was a teenager he was introduced to the missionaries, but didn't really give them the time of day. Now as a husband and father of 3, a friend invited him to attend church and he did. He loved it and attended several times before the missionaries introduced themselves to him. It turns out he was attending at the wrong chapel so they took his information and promised to send missionaries to him. He waited 2 weeks and no one came so he went back to church and asked them to send missionaries again. He then tried to find another of our chapels on his own and still ended up at the wrong one until he came to us in Pangarap, finally the right chapel :) The missionaries who went to him in the past left him a Book of Mormon and he is in Mosiah now.... he takes it to work with him everyday and reads. He said that sometimes he gets thoughts that he shouldn't go to church, but he reads the Book of Mormon and those thoughts go away...He asked if we experienced that or know why... we couldn't wait to answer! Then we told him we would be happy to share more with him about the church and where the Book of Mormon came from and he just light up and said, "YES!" He said he knew it was another scripture sent from God, he just didn't know why or where it came from. Then to put the cherry on top of the whole lesson, the member we were working with mention the temple here in Manila and he said, "I know where that is! I used to drive my motorcycle there when I was stressed. I would just look at it and over the city and clear my thoughts because it was so peaceful there." Rodel and two of his children have accepted baptism dates and we are so excited for them. The work is being hastened. Its almost tangible. You can feel! People are being prepared. Each of us are simply called to find them... or like Brother Rodel they find us :)

I love you all!!

Love always,
Sister Porter

Filipino Fun Fact:

Filipinos' sense of danger is pretty much at a zero. This week we are driving down the highway in a jeepney full of people when I heard a women gasp and we came to a stop. They were doing construction and a huge telephone wire had fallen across the road, with traffic stopped in a line in both direction. Everyone just sat there not sure when to do when a man at the front of the line started inching forward and drove over the wire... nothing happened so the next motorcycle went and soon a car and then a truck. Suddenly our jeep started inching forward and Sister Loo and I just looked at each other like...OH NO! We watched as cars went across and suddenly heard a pop and flames shot out of the wire when one car drove across...but our jeepney was still moving towards it!! Needless to say we survived but Sister Loo and I closed our eyes and squeezed hands as we crossed then let out a sigh of relief when we made it.

 Sister Sally cleaning the church with us after she found out she passed her baptism interview :)

 Sister Sally cleaning the church with us after she found out she passed her baptism interview :)

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