Hello from Elder Thurber--who serves in the Philippines Manila Mission

Hello from Elder Thurber--who serves in the Philippines Manila Mission

Monday, August 18, 2014

Coming Unto Christ; Quick to Observe (August 11th and 18th blog posts)

Mon 8/18/2014

Coming unto Christ

Hello, everyone!

Since I've been reading Jesus the Christ, my thoughts have been constantly drawn back to Him this week. In the lessons, in my studies, with my companion, I'm drawn back to thinking about Him. 

You may remember how I said that four people *for sure* would be baptized. Well, only two turned out: Sister Cruz and Brother Jonathan. Sister Cruz, being the vivacious 73 year old she is, was undeterred by the crazy rainfall coming to the far-away chapel. She mentioned that she had doubts as we first started to teach her the lessons, but as she started to read the BoM regularly, she felt like she was coming unto the Savior. And right now, she's reading in 3 Nephi! On top of that, she's fed us basically every time we've gone to her house, which is usually 4 times a week.

I had the pleasure of also baptizing Jonathan and Queennee, (who is the investigator of Sister Romero and Jones). Jonathan, in his testimony Saturday night, mentioned how when we had taught him repentance, was so touched that Jesus could be so willing to make the sacrifice for our sins when we repent. He mentioned that he felt spiritual confirmations of the things we had taught him after the lessons. 

Can I make mention of the other two people that didn't get baptized? I am happy to say that they have also come unto Christ through faith and repentance. Baptism has to wait, though,  due to very new rules by the area presidency: they're too young, and their parents aren't members. I'll mention Kay-ann first. Turns out, her parents are strongly against her being baptized in the church. And since her baptism didn't go through, she decided to go back to her parents, who missed her. I never got to say good-bye, but she now lives in Pasig, Manila with her sister, going to school. Sister Cruz says that she still reads the Book of Mormon and is persuading her sister to come to church. 

Lastly, I'll mention Abhie, who hasn't been meeting with us after I informed her that her baptism couldn't go through. She would constantly reschedule appointments. On Friday night, we dropped by because she lives by the Ward Mission Leader. She was there and agreed to let us teach. We didn't have any plans, so we just started the lesson not knowing what to teach. I used my picture book I bring along, and showed her the photo of Jesus calling his disciples who were fishing. I explained that Jesus called them just as he called the Twelve Apostles who called Area Presidency who made the rules.  If you really love Jesus, you'll do what he wants you to do, just as the fishermen did, leaving their nets and following after him. I asked her why she loved Jesus Christ. She responded because He provided the gospel and has a plan for us. I then asked if she could wait. Tearfully, she said she would do it because of her love for the Savior.

This blog entry is getting lengthy, so I better close. For you, what do you notice about the people I talked about? How did they come unto Christ? It doesn't just mean baptism, but personal conversion to what we have learned and prayed about. It makes me think how important the calling is to "Invite All to Come Unto Christ." 

First, a few pictures. We had a district activity at President Ostler's home! 

Mon 8/18/2014

Quick to Observe

I'm learning lately how important effective finding people to teach can be as a missionary. And since members are missionaries as well, I s'pose this week those members can gain something out of my blog as well, because finding is hard. First off, you can ask yourself the question: what makes YOU excited about the church? For me, I find that the people are fabulous, and I can easily befriend them. Also, I feel the spirit constantly as I learn and hear the gospel, as well as live it. Also, I know my family is blessed when they focus their lives on the gospel. There's a great responsibility for every member go gain his/her own testimony. And so, as I've been finding people to teach this week, I've been focusing on those members and those people who know it's already true.
We had a baptismal service on Saturday for Melanie, who's the Sister's investigator. It was a great service, and many investigators attended. And this coming Saturday (*trumpet sound*) we'll have 3 people be baptized in the ward! Queennee, Sister Cruz, and Jonathan! They’re all very well known people, so they're going to invite all of their friends to the baptism! We've contacted many of them, and they're excited to come. I'm looking forward to people experiencing the joy that comes from the gospel!
Or, another way to find people to teach  is to do a service project. All the missionaries in the district served the neighborhood association with Sister Cruz and Sister Manantan, the Relief Society President. We shoveled some gravel, and got to meet many people, exposing them to missionaries in a more casual way.
Or, you could follow the example of Sister Manantan, who referred this new couple who just moved in 10 seconds after meeting them. They live next door to them. She gets her hair done at the salon they have. She is one of the best missionaries because you don't feel like she's pressuring anybody to do anything, but simply inviting and being her friendly self. She also lent one of her dresses to the wife so they could come to church yesterday, because she doesn't have her own dress. And then they went to church with their other neighbor, who also served a mission!
I just really want you all to become finders, because it's easy--if you do it right. Nonmembers just need to be invited the right way for things to become a success. Think of Moroni, as being "Quick to Observe." He was blessed of the Lord because he thought things out. As we find those interested in the gospel, think about it first, and then act! And then we will realize the miracles God has in store!

Pictures: Elder Suquib turned 23! 

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