Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Week 14: Cold Weather, Purifying Ourselves, and Testimony of Prayer


How is it in the cold weather out there? As for me, it is winter as well in the Pino Islands, but it is a brisk mid 70s at night and a cool mid to high 80s during the day. Even the locals recognize how cold it is here and wear hoodies during this time of the year ;)

Anyways, this week was fun and trying...We went to a member's house a few weeks ago to pick her up so she could work with us. She wasn't home but we met her younger sister  Nela. She is 22 and very shy. We taught her cleansed from sin through Christ, and it was an amazing lesson. She was baptized when she was 8 but never went to Church or knew anything about the Church. From the lesson we taught she gained such a strong desire to come to Church. She has attended four straight weeks! Last week we gave her an assignment to read 1 Nephi 1; Nela read to 1 Nephi 13! She apologized and said, "I just like reading the Book of Mormon so much!" We looked up her record and for some reason she was baptized when she was 7. So we need to rebaptize her, which is no problem. Unfortunately, some members heard about it and were teasing her. She texted us crying about how she is really trying to do the right things, but why are people being rude to her for following Christ? It made me so sad. It also made me realize we must clean the inner vessel first; in this case, the ward. But on a personal level we must sanctify, or purify, ourselves to become better. We can't expect to be in the service of God without first being clean ourselves (and, yes, we are all His servants!).  I am really re-evaluating myself these coming months to look for way to improve my obedience and be a better and more proficient laborer in the Lord's vineyard. As I do so, I will be able to be more spiritually sensitive to opportunities to serve, and help others come to Christ. I pray we all can do the same that we will take this special time of year to evaluate ourselves and look for ways to better serve our family, neighbors, work associates, and even strangers. I know as we pray for way to improve the Lord will tell us what needs to be done and provide a means for it to be accomplished - 1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way fro them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

 I also want to testify of the power of prayer. This week I got really sick. I finished the day of work but it was difficult and interrupted by frequent hurling and bathroom visits...without toilet paper... Anyways, I was in really bad pain all night and tried to go to sleep around 9:30. At around 4 am I still hadn't been able to fall asleep; and as you may know, I fall asleep like it's nothing. I was just rolling in bed because my stomach hurt so bad. I decided to pray. This time on aloud and on my knees. I first thanked him for the opportunity to be on a mission and serve. I explained my desire to serve and fulfill my purpose here in the Philippines. I then expressed my thought on how this sickness would prevent me from working and serving Him. I even stated that I am entitled to help as I am on His errand as promised in D&C. I ended the prayer and fell asleep with no pain in less than 5 minutes. It was amazing to go from severe pain to peace so fast. I know that our prayers are heard and that He cares for us.

I love you guys and hope you are able to listen to the Christmas devotional. It was awesome! But take to heart the Prophet's message "Remember and celebrate Him who gave us purpose to live" - Russell M. Nelson

Love you all and send my warmest Christmas wishes through this email!!!
Hopefully we'll all figure out Skype haha :)

-Elder Watkins

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