Hope you all had a nice week! This week the Sisters' area in our ward closed down and they were both transferred out. Since our area is next to it, we took over the whole thing! So this week has been super crazy trying to meet their investigators and recent converts in their area. We've had a little trouble finding everything but luckily it went pretty smoothly since the mission just had a huge map project not long ago. We got their area book and big map with pins marking where people live and it's all worked out alright! They didn't have too much going on though so we still spent most of the week in our original area. It will be hard for me to get this area memorized now that it's bigger. I still have no idea where we're walking when we're over in our area in Brgy CAA haha there are literally hundreds of streets and buildings. Hard to explain it haha you'd have to be here to see!
We got a text from Bishop one night asking us to go visit a less active the next morning. This less active is named Kimberly, she's 17 years old and was baptized in the province a few years ago. The crazy thing though is she got in a big motorcycle accident with her brother a few months ago and forgot everything about her life! Her name, family, schooling, and everything about the church. Now after a few months she's doing better and started going back to school. We showed up and started from the beginning, teaching about God and Jesus Christ. She showed us a picture of her baptism and couldn't remember why they were wearing white! We then decided to watch the 20 minute Restoration Video. It ended up being a super cool experience I won't forget. Throughout the whole thing she was watching it intently but still all of it was new- until it got to the first vision! She got a big smile and looked over and told us "I remember this!!" It was a cool thing for me to see. Someone who literally forgot everything but when the first vision came, the spirit was powerful and she recognized it. I know that Joseph Smith saw our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and that the fulness of the gospel was restored through Him. Even though he was young and unlearned, God works by small means to furthur His work and bless His children here on earth.
We had exchanges this week and I got to work with Elder Dequito here in our area. He is from Davao and goes home in about 2 months. Our focus was on finding and different things we can do in order to find. We didn't have many appointments set so we had plenty of time to just go around meeting people. I'm not super pro with directions so lots of the time we weren't exactly sure where we were at but we had a fun exchange and I learned alot.
There's a homeless man who is always on the side of the road that we walk on to get to our area. Every single day so far when he sees me he gets a huge smile on his face and says "Hey Joe!!" He then laughs the exact same laugh every time and for some reason it gets even funnier for me every time he does it. When the other Elders pass by he always asks where I'm at i guess haha. I love the people here.
We had Stake Conference this week and it was a really cool. The theme or focus was on conversion and the main scripture was Luke 22:31-32. Conversion for me is something that we will be working on throughout our whole lives. It's continuous and consistent effort doing our part to change and become more Christlike. It happens through our small choices that we make every day. By doing what God would have us do, we are strengthened and when we strengthen ourselves we actually are automatically strengthening others around us! I think of people in my life who are trying hard to become fully converted and I know their influence and example has affected me. In my personal study later on Sunday I was reading in Alma 60 and verse 23 stuck out to me. "Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also." This is Captain Moroni speaking to Pahoran about the government needing to be clean in order for everyone else in the land to be the same. But I think it also can apply to our personal conversion. Once we are converted we can lift up those around us. But, if we are struggling with our own conversion we won't be able to focus on helping others and plus we can't give what we don't have! As we become more converted we will have a brighter countenance that people will start to notice.
So, this week I challenge you all to do those small things to become converted! Be an example of the believers especially in your conversation! The words we use and conversations we have shows the person that we are. It shows what we value and what's is important in our eyes. It shows where our heart is. If we start with good thoughts, everything else will fall together for the good.
Love Elder Reber
**Park didn't send any pictures this week so I decided to share a few from our recent day at the Provo, Utah MTC open house. We had a great time touring through parts of the old and new MTC buildings. It was so fun to get a glimpse into where Parker began this journey and where many more will end up through the years. It was a beautiful building with an even better spirit. We loved the windows, bright hallways and especially the amazing artwork. What an amazing place to start a wonderful experience.
|I have seen this map so many times throughout my life. It was fun to see it with my own eyes with some of my favorite people. Sadly Rick was at work and had to miss out on all the fun.|
|They change out the many flags each day to represent each one on a rotating basis.|
|Where the Beanboozled fun took place.|
|Love this future Elder Reber|
|Again, the artwork was breathtaking. Such a beautiful place to learn.|