January 12, 2015
Minamahal na pamilya,
We had a great week last week! Dad is feeling much better -thank you so much for all your prayers and fasting. I know that it helps and strengthens us and we could not do this without them!
Nothing out of the ordinary happened, really, such so much joy in doing this work here! We visited another family about preparing to go to the temple and they seemed really excited, and we are so excited for them. We will visit them again. I have thought so much lately, about the blessings of an eternal family. That is really why we are out here - YOU are the reason we are out here. It is so hard being away from you, sometimes my heart hurts so bad, but we are so thankful that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the principles and ordinances of His gospel, we are able to have an eternal family if we are faithful and true to our covenants, and we are so thankful for the opportunity to share this message with the people here in Narra District. This is the divine plan of our Heavenly Father for all of His children. We are part of His eternal family and He wants us to return to Him and to have our own eternal family. When I think of the love that our Heavenly Father and our Savior had for us that made this whole plan possible, it is overwhelming. There are so very many people in the world that do not have this knowledge and understanding and it is our responsibility to share it - by example and by word.
I think often about what Sister Tana (the amazingly prepared family that was recently baptized) said, that growing up, really most of her life, she has just been kind of discouraged and depressed because she was taught that when she died that was the end of family. She said she told her religious leaders that she would cry without her family and she was told that God would wipe away her tears and her memories. And she said the memories in her heart could never be wiped away. She couldn't believe it, but she didn't know anything else, until she heard the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Everyshe is so happy! It is a deep happiness that fills her whole being! Sometimes, I think - I know that I have taken the gospel for granted. The knowledge that I have had all my life that so many people have no idea about. And what a different life we would have had without that knowledge.
Brother Pamulag, another of the families we are working with (he had a stroke and is in a wheelchair) said at our last visit that if he had not had the stroke he never would have found the true church. When he had his stroke he was Catholic, and when he faced the possibility of death he was terrified. That made him open to the gospel. And now, he says he has no fear, because he knows our Savior and our Heavenly Father, and he knows the plan. He said having his stroke was all part of God's plan for him. They are very poor, but so excited about going to the temple that they bought, I think 4 piglets and are raising them to sell just before they go to the temple so that they can have the money they need.
The gospel blesses us so much, it changes us and brings so much happiness, peace, joy and hope into our lives. We still have struggles, sometimes maybe more than others because Satan is working harder on those who are striving to become an eternal family. It is so important that we do all that we can to strengthen our families, to love them and help them come to know and love our Heavenly Father and our Savior, and to really desire to follow Their plan and keep their covenants. We need to always remember our covenants. They are not just rituals - they are promises with our Heavenly Father. They are the means whereby we can become an eternal family and gain eternal life. I am just go very grateful for Their perfect, wonderful plan. I love my Heavenly Father so much because all that I have in my life that matters - which is YOU, the gospel and His great plan of happiness, which are inseparably connected, He provided for me, and for all of us, through the sacrifice of His Beloved Son. We can never repay Him or our Savior, but we can bring joy to Them by keeping our covenants and helping others to be able to return to Them also. We are so blessed!
Dad has a new High Council assignment - he is over Family History for the WHOLE district! That means seeing that the district and branch positions are filled, training all those who are called, and overseeing the Family History work in the District. They want to have 20 name submitters from each branch and people to do indexing etc. What we both know about Family History together could fit in a thimble and still have room for a thumb, but this IS the Lord's work, and He will help us, and there are a lot of training videos etc on line. Dad is feeling a little overwhelmed, and the self-reliance may have to take a back seat for awhile until he learns what he needs to learn and gets organized, but it will all work out.
Again, we really appreciate your prayers!
Our new branch presidency is great and we are looking forward to things really moving forward. We will be starting our English class the first week of February, and I want to teach an English Book of Mormon class, but that may have to wait for a month till the dust settles with Dad's new assignment. We will see. I think things may get a little crazy around here for awhile - but that's ok. We're used to crazy!
Well, we love and miss you all. We hope you are all doing GREAT! Keep us updated on your busy, hectic lives!
Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma