Sister Marlene was baptized on Saturday and it was beautiful. I've learned a lot since my last baptism about going with what I call the 'Filipino Flow'. :) Filipinos have their own way of doing things and usually that way is not too focused on schedules and timetables. I've learned not to expect anyone to show up early, let alone on time. I've learned that it's okay if bishop shows up 10 minutes after the baptism was supposed to start, as long as he brings the baptismal clothes. I've learned that it's okay if the little kids are running up and down the isles and crying during the service as long as all the speakers show up. I've learned that it's okay if there are a few dead cockroaches and flies floating in the font water, as long as it gets filled. And it's okay if the baptism starts 30 minutes late, as long as the ordinance itself happens. Sister Marlene was glowing with the Spirit as she bore her testimony after her baptism. She is so ready and so excited to be an official member of the true church after so long. The thing about baptism is that it's not just about becoming a member of the true church of Christ. On Saturday she made the first step towards eternal life. We were so happy to see her make that step!
We had exchanges this week with the Binmaley sisters, so I spent Friday and Saturday in Binmaley with Sister Gomez. Talk about a happy sister! I don't think she is ever not smiling. Their area is definitely a lot different than Lingayen 2A. A lot of rich people with closed gates, doors, and hearts. We did a lot of walking and I was a little 'home' sick for my area where the people are generally receptive and it's easy to reach more than 30 lessons a week. All is well though. His work is His work no matter how difficult or where it get's done. My dear trainer would always say, "It's not about where you serve. It's HOW you serve that matters." true 'dat!
It's transfers this week and I'm 90% sure I'll be leaving Lingayen. It's hard to see my beloved first area go. I've spent the last 4 and a half months here, serving my brothers and sisters of the Lingayen 2nd ward and barangays Pangapisan Sur and North and Aplaya. It's really going to hurt to have to leave them, but I will go where He wants me to go. It occurred to me during sacrament meeting yesterday that I will go where He wants me to go, not just on transfer day, but every day and every minute and every hour. He has prepared and is placing people in my path each and every day that I specifically need to talk to. As we rely on His Spirit, we are guided to know where to go and what to do. I will go where He wants me to go, and not just here on the mission, but every day for the rest of my life. I am His daughter and I love Him so much.
I love being a missionary and I love all of you!
Sister Gustafson with Shine who will be serving in the Manila Mission.