Monday, March 2, 2015

Sister Marissa's Baptism

February 22, 2015

What a miracle filled week!

Sister Marissa with her family on her baptism day
Sister Marissa was baptized on Saturday. She is such a miracle. We know that it was not us that taught her, but the Spirit of God. Sister Marissa could not hear or read anything that we taught her and at times we were at a loss of how to communicate the doctrines of the lesson to her, but we relied on the truth that the Spirit is the one language that can communicate the truth to anyone's heart who is willing to accept it. And sis Marissa is one of the most humble, willing to learn investigators that I've met on my mission. She was simply glowing after her nephew baptized her on Saturday. We went in the back afterward to congratulate her and she signed to us that she didn't want to stand in the front because she motioned that she would start crying she was so overcome with emotion. :) The biggest change in her countenance however came after she was confirmed a member and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Sister Molina and I both noticed, Sister Marissa really is different. She smiles more and just seems to have this glow about her countenance. It's the light of Christ that has just grown with in her. We couldn't be more happy for her and the increased joy and peace that this step has added to her life!

We also had a great miracle and surprise last night when we showed up at Bro Carlito and Sis Priscilla's house last night. They have been members of the church for only about 3 months and are experiencing some trials right now which have prevented them coming to church lately.. We expressed this concern to the ward leaders during MLC and requested a visit from the ward leaders to help them resolve their struggles and show the support and love of the ward. We were shocked in the best possible missionary way when we showed up at their house last night to find not one, not two, but SIX ward leaders at their house talking with them and sharing a message with them, including Bishop and his wife, the RS Pres, and the EQ president. Three separate couples from the ward had decided to take time from their busy day to visit a struggling RC family. It wasn't even planned that they would all go and visit them!! And Bro Carlito and Sis Priscilla felt the love and support of the ward. Bishop gave Bro Carlito a priesthood blessing and blessed him with strength to keep the commandments and overcome their trials. We are so grateful for these truly consecrated members who did something so simple to show their love for this family! That is true Christlike love and ministering service!

Something I've been thinking a lot about lately is the blessing of challenges. A sister asked me this last week what the greatest blessing I received on my mission was and after thinking about it, I told her that the challenges I've experienced are definitely the greatest blessing I've received. There's nothing like being challenged and pushed to your limits mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually every day for 18 months to drive you closer to Heavenly Father and to grow to become more like His Son. I'm so grateful that He loves me enough to push me and allow me to grow! I'm learning to love the challenges every single day :)

Sister Gustafson :)

Two RM sisters who served in our mission showed up at church yesterday!
The lovely sisters of the Mangaldan Zone :)

Us with the Mapandan Sisters after exchanges last Wednesday
A house on a truck! :) Moving... more fun in the Philippines! :)

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