|Ochona Family on the Baptism Day....July 4|
July 9, 2012
So...this week has gone by soo fast! I know I say that every day...but more so than ever! It has been quite an adventure, and really great actually getting to know all of these new people taga carmen east and exploring the new area!!!
Wednesday was probably the highlight of my entire week, first we got to go to Urdaneta again to meet with Pres & Sis. Monohan, our new Mission president here, and they are SOO great, ah I just LOVE them! They just went one by one and hugged everyone and just said "mahal kita" or love you! They're soo friendly, and Sis. Monohan, the first thing that came out of her mouth when she read my name tag "Sister ALLEN!!" then she ran over and gave me a hug and said, "you know, you have the best parents in the whole world. How did you get so lucky?" And I just said "I know, I really do have the best parents, I don't know what I did to deserve them". She then just said how much she LOVED Mom & Dad, and then that she gave me that big hug from my parents, and that it was fun to be able to see them before she came here. They're soo sweet. Pres. Monohan well...you can tell he is a lawyer...and a good one at that. He is soo great, and soo kind! He just talked about how before the focus of Pres & Sis. Jensen was to help us focus on Christ, making Christ the center of everything we do and helping us grow and draw closer to him. He said he wants to take things a step further, He wants us not only to focus on Christ, but to let Christ's light shine through us. He just said that evrything happens for a reason in our lives, and that there are no coincidences in the gospel. His spirit was just really strong as he spake to us, I can tell that he is really going to do great things here for the Baguio Mission.
After conference, we went to our baptism! The Ochona family! They are soo great. At the end they of course shared their testimony, and brother cried as he just got up there and said how much he knows that this is the true church. The spirit was very strong....they really have a great firm testimony. They have had a lot of challenges, the place where Brother Ochona works which is the resteraunt at SM Mall, he is a chef, and I guess they had the other 2 chefs transfer to other locations and one quit this week- so he alone is there and so his shifts are crazy. He said he really didnt know if he was goig to make it to the baptism wednesday, they really didn't know how, but somehow, God took care of it. They had a lot of challenges right before their baptism! Then on Sunday they made brother work to cover for the missing chefs, but somehow he worked it out so he could go to church and receive his confirmation. Just, the Lord works in mysterious ways.
This week, one thing Pres Monohan talked about to us is Faith and he used of course the famous Alma 32 but he used the IF...THEN statement, if we see great miracles, then we'll believe and the problem there. He challenged us to, if we encounter mga less active or investigators, that we should use the tactic and put them to the test then and there, ask them to kneel and pray and ask then and there and promise them they'll receive an answer. He said we have authority to do that, if we feel it. I thought...wow that is really bold, I don't know if I can do that. Well that night, we went to brother Ryan Marzan, who has a bap date of Aug 4 and he is having a lot of problems. His schooling, which is a baptist school is holding his record and won't let him transfer until his debt is payed off, but he has no way of paying it off, especially because his father just left his family, so his mother, who has 8 kids is providing for them and taking care of them. She is also a returning member now, I just Love sis Edna. Anyways, he has the option given him to go to baptist school and they said if he was active there they had a quarters for him to live in and also pay for his food and tuition if he would just be active. I asked him what he should do, he didn't know. I told him the Story of Joseph Smith again, I don't know why, but that's what I did. haha then, I asked him to pray then and there and use what Pres Monohan had told us earlier, and asked him to ask God to help him feel that this was the only true church, and that his decision was correct to be baptized, even though the offer was very tempting at the baptist school. Anyways, the spirit was SOO strong, tears started streaming down all of our faces, and needless to say, he is continuing with his baptism. Later he said to me, out of all the missionaries that have taught him, that's the first time that anything like that has ever happened, that he's ever been challenged to pray right then and there, he said he was taken-aback when I actually wanted him to do that. haha I'm just grateful that he actually did it :)
Funny story, bro. Sammy Gamboa lost his key to his tricycle, his son misplaced it. We were just passing by and I asked him, "did you pray and ask for help to find it?" they just laughed at me...I just said "I'm serious...haha" Then he said huh ok, maybe. kind of shrugged it off, he didnt'want to do that. haha Anyways he said later on to me that he was desprate the next day, when he still couldn't find it, and so he actually tried it, and prayed. He said he immediatly had a thought pop into his mind, and he was able to find his key!. hahaha We just kind of laughed, he is a returning member, in progress so I think that helped his faith, even the simple, tender mercies that God gives us! :)
Anyways, a great week, full of great experiences, and hard times too...not really knowing how to do this whole 2 area thing now. It's beautiful though...the new area, and the people are great!
I love you all and have a GREAT Week!
|Pres. & Sis. Monahan, New Baguio Mission Pres.....July 2012|