Wow. A report about my mission?? [I have to give a report on Tessa's missions so far in sacrament meeting on Sunday] I don't know. Probably one of the most important things that I've learned here is the importance of conversion. Conversion means to consistently live what you know even when it's not convenient. There are so many examples of conversion here in the Philippines. There are people that walk an hour or more just to go to church. There are families whose "income" is food, and they spend all week looking for ways to collect a few pesos to pay for a tricycle ride. But there are others who live across the street from the church building and are less-active. So it depends on conversion. I have to ask myself, if I had to walk an hour to church, would I do it? I hope the answer is yes.
We had zone conference this week. It was great! I think we needed it to get through this week. Sister Ortiz and her co-STL, Sister Ve'ehala talked about locking your heart and serving with all your heart. They quoted from a talk called "The Fourth Missionary" by Elder Lawrence Corbridge. They really taught with power and authority and I felt the Spirit.
Sister Ortiz's surgery on her foot went well. The thing that was in her foot was bigger than I thought it would be, although I still don't know what it was. It was white, curved, and curled. My closest guess is a shell. No idea how it got in there, but it was imbedded in the tendon. She is still in quite a bit of pain, and it hurts her to walk, kneel, etc. She has been a trooper this week though. I love her topic of study this morning in personal study: the enabling power of the Atonement. She said she needs to be enabled since she's disabled. Haha!
I have been trying to really start studying the Book of Mormon from the beginning again, but slower. I have been studying 1 Nephi 16 and 17. I noticed how self-reliant Nephi is, especially in chapter 16. In verse 17, I noted the word exort and studied in footnotes about that word. Paul exhorts us to exhort each other every day, while it is still today so that we will not be hardened by sin. I really love that. That means we really do need to restart, refocus, reset every day. I also loved verse 18 of chapter 17:
"And thus my brethren did complain against me, and were desirous that they might not labor, for they did not believe that I could build a ship; neither would they believe that I was instructed of the Lord." I likened that to my mission:
"And they didn't want to work because they did not believe in the Vision or that they could achieve weekly baptisms. Neither did they believe that the mission president was instructed of the Lord."
The Vision is a vision that we have as a mission, and the first thing on it is weekly baptisms: each companionship is baptizing weekly. Even though we haven't had weekly baptisms YET, I believe in them. If we're doing everything that Preach My Gospel says to do, it would be impossible NOT to be baptizing every week. I really believe in that. But yet I really believe in Mormon 9:29, which warns us not to be baptize unworthily, and I'm proud to say that we've already pushed back many a baptismal date. Because I want my converts to be converted. Not to be obvious, but that's why we call them converts. That is why the gift of discernment is so necessary for missionaries. We have to discern if someone is ready to be baptized, which is pretty huge. The baptismal covenant is so sacred.
I love you all!! Have a great week.