Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Another Week in the Refiner's Fire :)

Hello All, 

And when I say refiner's fire... I mean it. Weather-wise and spiritually, we were in the furnace this week!

Our bowling zone activity this week :) Sister Roberts and I rockin' our bowling shoes!

Last Monday we got to go bowling at a mall here in Dagupan :) It was a great break from the norm and i found out that I'm still not good at bowling here on the other side of the world haha..  :)

Sister Lapura also taught me to wash clothes last week... and it turns out I'm not too good at that either. She got quite a kick out of watching me awkwardly scrubbing and wringing out my clothes.. and it took a really lonng time too. I decided I'm fine with paying 275 pesos per week to have someone do it for me :)

Last Monday night we were walking to try to contact a referral and I was looking in my bag for my flashlight and the next thing I knew, I was on my knees in the MUD. It was sooo slippery and I couldn't stand up and Sister Lapura just laughed at me. I laughed too, but was covered in mud from knee to toe. Luckily, we met a nice brother who let me use his water pump to rinse off before continuing on our way :) Lesson learned: watch your step! I'm just glad i didn't fall into a fishpond haha :)

On Tuesday I had exchanges with Sister Fronk! It should almost be illegal to have exchanges with a batchmate - it was just way too much fun :) We've both seen a lot of growth in each other since the MTC - with the language, teaching, and spiritually. She is an amazing Sister and just teaches with her whole heart. I love her as my mission Sister! What a blessing to have exchanges with her!

On Wednesday I saw a miracle that was a direct answer to my desperate pleadings to Heavenly Father. I testify that he knows each one of us and the desires of our hearts. He loves each one of us SO much. We were waiting outside the Nagpalangan Barangay hall for our assistant branch mission leader to come work with us, but there was no sign of him. He doesn't have a phone, so we couldn't text him. I started feeling a little discouraged with the way our day had been going, the way our lessons had gone and the ominous clouds that started to gather overhead. I started silently pleading with Heavenly Father to help me to have a good attitude, to be filled with love for everyone that I still needed to interact with that day, and to look on the positive side. All of a sudden, a tricycle pulled up with a less-active member in it who agreed to come with us to our next appointment. Sister Dung and Sister Delia hit it off just great and it was such a blessing to have a member at the lesson. (And by the way, Sister Delia is down to SEVEN cigarettes a day! :) We are so proud of her!) I know Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. He loves me enough to give me a member to come with us right when we needed her :)

We also had great success on Saturday when Brother Arcenio and Sister Delia came to an 8-year-old baptism we had in the branch :) We know they felt the spirit and they are getting excited for their own baptisms in the coming weeks!

The rain has been BAD this week- every single day. But singing hymns in the rain is the way to go :) and it is possible to be a happy missionary even when you are soaking wet and walking through floods up to your ankles or calves- just try not to think about rats or snakes... :)

I wish I had time to tell you all about the other miracles and prayers answered I saw this week. Sister Lapura and I have a goal to look for the hand of the Lord in each day and share it during our nightly planning session and I'm amazed that every single day there are miracles! Look for the hand of Lord in your life. He is there! 

Mahal ko kayong lahat :)

Sister Gustafson

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