My goodness family, I have some crazy, fun, and spiritual news for you this week! Of course this week is transfer week so I will tell you all about the call that I received yesterday. But first, after I emailed you all last week, we had our zone activity, and this is what it turned into...a flour fight! There are so many fun games here in the Philippines where they use flour, but of course it always ends in a flour fight! It was so much fun, I will miss this zone so much :(
, I was asked by bishop to speak in Sacrament as well and I would like to share my talk with you. It was about members and missionary work. I will write it in English, but I spoke Tagalog while I gave my talk, the gift of tongues is so real :)
So yes, I will be leaving this area. After district meeting yesterday, the AP's called me into the office and they told me, "Sister Latham the Lord has called you this transfer to train a new missionary." So 2 things went through my mind...okay maybe I am staying in this area again...or I am white washing which means that we completely switch with two other missionaries so there is nobody to lead the area. Well, it turns out that it is neither of those. The AP told me that me and my new companion would be opening up an area that has been closed, its called an "open area". That means that my brand new companion and I will go into an area, we won't know where we are, who the members are, there are no investigators, so it is our part to start the area. Of course I was freaked out when they told me this, but I also had it confirmed to me by the Holy Ghost that the Lord needs me to do this. I also know that the Lord only calls those who He qualifies. So I am still nervous, but I know that this is what the Lord wants and that He will be there to help me through it all :) Next week I will update you all on how it is, my new companion, the work, everything! All I do know is that it is part city and some province, but it is a clean city and there are trees and fresh air, so I am excited for that!
The Love of Missionary Work:
I am grateful for this opportunity to be able to speak today to you all. Last week I was asked to share about missionary work. As I have pondered this week about what I want to share about, I thought about why I do missionary work? Why did I come here to the Philippines? What does the Lord want me to learn? I realized why and there is one simple answer and that is Love. Because Heavenly Father loves me, because He loves you, and He wants me to gain a greater love for Him, Jesus Christ, and His children.
As we think about the greatest missionary and example that we know, Jesus Christ, we know that He did everything He did, because of Love. He healed the sick, because He loved them. He told people to repent, because He loved them. He established His church, because He loved them. He restored His church because He loves us. He sufferred, He bled, He took upon himself all our sorrows, sicknesses, and sins, because HE LOVES US. This pure love is called Charity.
WE need this charity, this love, to share the gospel with people. It says in Doctrine and Covenants 5:4 "And faith, hope, charity, and love with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work." We need this love to be able to share the gospel. Heavenly Father says himself that it is a requirement that qualifies us to share the gospel. I have a personal experience I want to share. When I first came into the field, it was so so hard. I did not know the language, it was hot, I could not understand the people. I told my mission President that I wanted to go home. He told me that there was one solution. He said that I needed to pray and develop charity for the people here.
It says here in PMG that "Charity like faith leads to action." As I began to pray everyday for charity and do things our of love for the people here, I began to see change happen in those I taught, in my attitude, and my desire to serve them and the Lord. The Lord has called us to act, to share the gospel. He has not just called the full time missionaries, but all the members of the church. President David O McKay said, "Every member..a missionary." We are invited to show our love to the Lord by sharing the gospel with those around us. As we missionaries do visits at the members houses, we are always asking for referrals or someone they know that we can share the gospel with. We know that through members, the work of the Lord is more successful. We want you to give referrals and gain a strong desire to share the gospel with other, not because that is what we want, but because you love them, you love the Lord, and you desire their salvation and eternal happiness. I know that as we all strive to develop the pure love of Christ, our desire to share the gospel will increase. I know that as we follow the example of Jesus Christ by showing our love to others, people will see that we represent Him and His church.
I know that if we do this together, members and missionaries, then we will hasten the work of the Lord in our ward and the Lord will bless us individually and as families. We can't do it without the member, and the members can't do it without the missionaries. Our purpose is one and that is to invite others to Christ. I love Him and that is why I do His work.
I hope that can give you all some inspiration to share the gospel back at home to your friends, families, and those that you meet everyday. That is the best Christmas gift that we can give to someone. It is a gift that will never break, never vanish, but can forever stay in their hearts.
I love you all, and I hope this Christmas season we can all remember the true meaning of Christmas :)