Saturday, April 25, 2015

Another Week

April 13, 2015

Dear, dear family,

We love you all so very much! We are so thankful for each one of you!

It seems like I just wrote, but maybe it was. I can't remember if I emailed last Monday or later in the week. In any case, it was a good week. 

We had a great zone meeting! We have really good zone leaders who put a lot of preparation into the training, and we always learn so much! We were not able to visit in Bagong Sikat because Brother and Sister Gattud were in Puerto to see the doctor. We are actually really concerned about both of them. Brother G. said he had just been peeling a banana and then he couldn't do it, he couldn't coordinate his hand to do it. He thinks it was a mild stroke. And we think Sister Gattud has Alzheimer's. We of course have not said that to them, but she is doing some of the very same things that Grandma Wirthlin started doing when we noticed problems. Bro. G. is really concerned about her. It is sad because there is medication that can slow the progression of Alzheimer's, at least that is what I was told, but they could not afford it, even if it was available. We just keep praying for both of them. 

English class was good. I've been having the Elders come and help and they are a lot of fun and the class really enjoys having them. I'm not sure if we will do another one when this is over. We will see. 

We are really hoping that things will be in full swing with the SR project. The property has been cleared and we got water to it, but we have to wait to have it tilled and that has to wait till we have a lot of rain. We really haven't had any for a LONG time. 

Thursday I had a cooking class just with Sister Abrigo because she wanted to make a birthday cake for her husband. It worked out good because we had 2 elders' birthdays on Friday so we made those two cakes. Then on Friday I made another one for Marina, our little helper here, because it was her son's 1st birthday on Saturday. Friday night was fun because it was also Aries Magsino's birthday. He is the older son of the Magsino family that was baptized last year that we have been visiting since we got here. I'm not sure how old he is, 14 or 15 I would guess, but not sure. Anyway, it was Elder Magno's birthday also and they are in his area so they had a party there Friday night. I don't know if I've mentioned it, but they love videoke. They rent this machine that has a TV screen and it plays music and shows the words and has different pictures or animated people dancing to the music etc, and they just take turns singing. Whether they sing well or not doesn't matter. They are not shy about it and it is so fun. However, it is not so fun when it is our neighbors and they play it all night long, and into the next morning. I guess usually they rent it for 24 hours so they get good use out of it. Anyway, we had a good time. 

We were able to watch Conference on Saturday and Sunday. It was so GREAT! I am so, so grateful that we have living apostles and prophets that teach us the things the Lord knows that we need to hear. Their messages are so timely and relevant. Maybe it is just me, but it seems like several in the last conferences have address the issue of leading with your faith, not your doubts, not giving up what you DO know because of some things you do not yet know. I think that Satan is working so hard to cause doubt, distractions, deceptions,and discouragement among strong, active members. I was just reading today where Christ says, "Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth." We are just little children, especially when we compare ourselves to our Savior, and we can't and won't know everything now. And there are times that we have questions and concerns, but we need to lead with our faith. We need to remember the things that we have known and felt. And we need to continue in sincere prayer, to study, ponder, pray about, and live the scriptures, and serve and answers will come. Sometime, for me, at least, the answer is just peace. I don't really receive a direct answer, but I feel peace and know all things are in His hands. I think that we as a people are facing these challenges because we need to be strengthened for the trials that are to come. And we need our faith strengthened. We do walk by faith in this life, even to the end. I remember Elder Mark E. Peterson saying, at a Stake Conference in Elko, that through the years he and his wife have had many questions. And after praying, pondering and studying it, if they didn't receive answers they would "put it on the shelf". He said through out their years they have put many things on the shelf. They have been able to take many things off the shelf, as they learned and received answers, but there were also many things that have not been taken off, and he believed may not be taken off the shelf in this life. I have always remembered that, and I continue to remind myself of that. I often compare it to like, understanding the technology to Skype for instance. That is so amazing to me that that is even possible. I cannot even begin to comprehend it or understand it. But I KNOW that if I was devoted to learning and understanding it, eventually I could understand it. It would probably take years  because I would have to start at the very beginning, and I am sure there are so many principles involved that I have probably never even heard of, let alone have any knowledge of. But still, I know I could understand it. The gospel, the plan of salvation, all of the universal, eternal truths can, and will be understood in time, according to the Lord's time and our diligence and sincere desire. We cannot understand everything with a finite mind. But if we are dedicated, if we sincerely strive to do all the things we have been commanded to do, even though we continue to fail, I KNOW that eventually, in the eternities, we will be able to understand all things. But, because in this life we walk by faith, we need to lead with the faith we have and the testimony we have, and we need to continually strengthen our faith and testimony.

Anyway, I didn't mean to go on and on. When I sat down to write I thought, well, this will be a short email because we didn't have a whole lot happen, just kind of the same things. I guess I should know myself better than that - me, write a short email???? I know, I can just hear you laughing after you read my thought that this would be short. You said to yourselves, "Mom, write a SHORT email??? Not possible!!!! Anyway, I LOVE the gospel! I am so thankful for it! Yes, I have had questions, but I KNOW that this is the true gospel and the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. And I KNOW that we have living prophets and apostles that lead, guide, direct, and teach us as the Lord would have them do. And I KNOW that THEY KNOW our Heavenly Father and Savior personally and they KNOW that this IS His true church and that the things they teach us are His words, and that knowledge gives me great comfort. And I KNOW that each one of us can come to know Them just as personally if we are willing to put forth the effort. For me I know it will take a life time, but I believe it will be worth the effort. I also KNOW that if we do not take our eyes off the prophet, if we are absolutely committed to following him, no matter what, even if it doesn't make sense or we don't understand or don't like what he says, if we do that, we will always be safe and secure and we will be able to return to our Heavenly Father and gain eternal life. I KNOW these things.

I also KNOW that we LOVE you all so much, and we are counting on being an eternal family with ALL OF YOU, and all of those yet to come!

Love,
Grandpa and Grandma
Dad and Mom 

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