Monday, November 10, 2014

Blessings in Bayambang

With my new companion, Sister Sarte

Hello everyone :)

This week I said goodbye to two companions and got one new one. :) Sister Sarte is my new companion! :) We've always had a special connection ever since the day we arrived in the field together. We met on the bus on the way from Manila to Urdaneta and have kept in touch ever since then :) She was the one who bought me my first coconut shake and first made jokes about my poor Tagalog and my American accent at first. She is 23 and from Bulacan, about 4 hours away from where we are, close to Manila. she worked at the international airport in Manila for 3 years, so she speaks English better than she speaks Tagalog haha. She is loving and loves to tease me and works so hard :) She is a leader through and through and has been an STL for 4 transfers now, so I know I'm going to learn a lot from her! :) 

I need to tell you about a really special investigator, Sister Mylene. Sister Mylene was a referral from a member and was referred to us because she has lung cancer. When we first contacted her, we walked into her tiny one room bamboo shack and could only stand because her bed takes up the only space there is. She is so frail and couldn't talk to us. She used a tattered notebook and pen to write short phrases and words to communicate with us. We learned that she is 32 years old, has three kids and was left by her husband. She now lives with her mother. I was so humbled by her circumstances and could barely speak through my emotion as  I testified to her of the power of the Atonement and the hope that comes from knowing Heavenly Father's plan. 

The second time we went to her, Sis Mylene was not doing well. She was hooked up to oxygen and had an IV going into her arm. She couldn't speak and all we could do was sing her hymns and pray for her. She couldn't communicate to us what she felt, but her tears said more than words could. I will never forget the look of gratitude and longing in her dark sad eyes... It broke our hearts to walk away from her house that day, not knowing if we would ever see her again in this life. 

We went back to her this past Thursday and nearly cried tears of joy when we approached her tiny house and heard a woman's voice coming from inside, It was Sis Mylene, sitting up on her bed and talking on the phone! MIRACLE!! She was able to get some medicine that gave her a lot of strength and is helping her infection. It was such an answer to our prayers!! :) We taught her and her mom and her nephew about the restoration and how families can be together forever. She cried again and told us that she though that families would be separated after death. We were so happy to see her smile and have hope for a better world after this life :) 

But the biggest miracle of all happened yesterday when Sister Mylene came to church!! She could only stay for the first two hours, but she was there! It's amazing to me to see the faith of this humble and sweet investigator. I love Sister Mylene and am so excited to see how the Gospel can change her life!
I want to be a better, more consecrated disciple because of her example :)

Have a great week!
Sister Gustafson

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