Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Blessings :)

Sister Gustafson with some of her "batchmates," those who started their missions together 15 months ago, at the Christmas Conference in Daugupan.

With Sister Brown, my MTC companion
Hello Everyone,

I really learned this week that where Heavenly Father gives trials and struggles, He will always add blessings and miracles. He will not leave us alone.

The construction site continues to be a place of miracles and is bearing so much fruit for us in our work. We received the name of a man, bro Abel who works there and contacted him, only to find out that his wife is an investigator we taught a few times last transfer and then lost contact with, sister Gina. This was two weeks ago and we really felt that the Lord led us back to Sister Gina for a reason. This past Friday we extended a baptismal date to her and her two oldest kids and her husband and they all accepted. It's an amazing testimony to me that Heavenly Father really knows and cares about each of His children and knows when the right time is for them!

We had a great baptism on Saturday, Sis Tanya and Yeschia, 10 and 11 years old. It's so wonderful to see how happy their mom, sis Emma is to finally have another member of her family as a member of the church. She cried tears of joy as she watched her two adorable dark haired, dark-eyed spunky daughters being led into the baptismal font and baptized. Sis Sarte and I have grown quite fond of them as well and have enjoyed learning how to make the gospel exciting and applicable for two very active 10 and 11 year old best friends and sisters. Love them!

Sis Merly and Bro Romeo, and Bro Carlos all passed their interviews for baptism yesterday. It has been such a privilege for me to find and teach these three fine adults. Bro Carlos has three sons who are members, one on a mission, and one preparing to serve. He's been taught for more than one year by missionaries, but it just wasn't yet his time to be baptized and with his hectic work schedule, it just hadn't yet worked out for him. I've learned from Bro Carlos that the elect really will be patient and the right time will come for them to be baptized :) Sister Merly and Bro Romeo (the Balansays I referred to in past emails) are so excited and so ready. We knew from the first Sunday that they came to church and watched general conference that they were prepared by their daughters who are members and by Heavenly Father for us. They are two of the kindest, sweetest husband and wife I've ever met and it's been a great blessing to me to be able to teach them and watch them give up their old habits of coffee and drinking for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether or not I'm still here in Bayambang on Saturday to see their baptism in person is not important. It was enough for me to teach them and to be an instrument in God's hands to bring them to the knowledge of the truth :)

I really am so blessed and there's nowhere else I'd rather be this Christmas season. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father is allowing me to serve here. I LOVE my mission, my companion, the area, how I'm growing, and my Savior Jesus Christ. It is only a short 12 weeks and I will be back home, so I'm doing my best to treasure every single moment here :) I looked back through my nearly 1000 pictures earlier today and I was just remembering how happy I am. In retrospect all of the trials and hard days and crying moments fade into the background when compared to the pictures of baptisms and dear friends and members and investigators I've loved and served :) There's nowhere else I'd rather be!

I love you!

Sister Gustafson 

Bayambang Zone at our zone activity earlier this afternoon - capture the flag and a catered lunch with a gift exchange :)

 with my housemates

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