Monday, February 16, 2015

The Joy is in the Journey :)

Me at the beautiful Manilla Temple

The words to one of my favorite YW songs have been going through my head nearly every day this week... "The joy is in the journey, the joy is learning to become like Him..." I think He has been sticking that song in my head because He knows that I have been praying for that very thing this week- JOY in the journey and happiness in my last weeks as a missionary :)

I definitely felt that yesterday when Sis Marissa, our deaf investigator passed her baptismal interview. I am so grateful to Elder Balane our DL who is in tune enough with the Spirit to be able to communicate with her and discern that she is ready to be baptized. She will be baptized this coming Saturday! :) 

Joy is also the only word to describe what I felt when I saw Bro Sonny, a man that Sis Fui and I baptized last August (his family has since joined him as members), stand to be recognized in Stake Conference to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. He was just beaming in his white shirt and tie. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing him becoming a leader and lifetime Priesthood holder in the church! :)

Bus ride to Manilla
It was great going with my batchmates to Manila this week. After a long fingerprinting, paper filling out, signature signing couple of hours at the immigration office, we got to stop by the temple for about 5 minutes to take pictures and got to get Subway (YES, real true American- style SUBWAY!) and Krispy Kreme (YES, that Krispy Kreme). It was basically a long day of sitting in traffic on the bus and van, but it was a great bonding day with the Elders and Sisters that will head home with me in a few weeks. It also made me so so so grateful to be assigned in the province area of the Philippines and not in the city itself where things are a lot more busy and dirty. I was happy to cross back into the Pangasinan border about 8pm and hop off the bus and hug my dear companion. It felt a little bit like coming home :)

Exchanges with Sisters
Something I learned this week was about the true meaning of faith. I'll be honest- it can be a little stressful to lead my area twice a week on exchanges with sisters from other zones who come to Villasis to learn how a "model area" should look. I had an exchange on Friday and all of our plans seemed a little "iffy" I wasn't sure what to expect for the day or how things were going to work out. I prayed, set the plans, texted the investigators and members we were planning to see, and headed out the door with my companion for the day, Sis Ramsey. But I still found myself doubting a little bit, worrying that maybe it would be one of those challenging days and we would struggle to teach. I should really know better by now though, that exchanges mean MIRACLES. We were blessed with 3 new investigators and a completely full schedule with 8 lessons and all our goals achieved. It was like Heavenly Father was teaching me to stop worrying and just relax and do my best and set my plans and just leave the rest up to Him. He taught me that true faith is not fearing or worrying when I have done my best and am being exactly obedient, but that true faith is expecting miracles in every day. So this week, do all you can, then expect the miracles. They will come according to your faith!

I love you all,
Sister Gustafson 

Breakfast with Sisters during a recent exchange.

Valentine's Day breakfast I made for the Sisters on exchanges.

Love these beautiful Filipino children!

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