Sunday, March 16, 2014

Letter #41 (March 11,2014) Sister Melrose gets baptized-Obedience beings happiness! never forget it!

This week was a little bit crazy. We found out last week that we wouldn't have pday until today (Wednesday) because of our training tomorrow with president in Bacolod.So most of today will be travel to Bacolod. Everything is going okay, but I'm a little bumbed we will miss our on some of our great appointments today and Thursday. But...I will get over it! I'm way too excited to know where Ally is going on her mission... you better just come to the Philippines with the rest of the family :) I love you and know that wherever you go will be for your benefit and for the benefit of the people there!
On Friday we were having a slower day because none of our set appointments followed through. We found a lot of back-up appointments with Recent Converts and Less-active members and were able to do okay, but it's always harder for us at night time because there are a lot of areas we are advised to stay away from at night (as white sister missionaries). We were on our way to a less-active member when my stomach started hurting and my head started buzzing. I asked Sister Remund if we could stop for a second and she asked if I wanted to go home. I said no (because I hate going home) and looked around for somewhere to sit for a second. Just then I saw a Tyungge ( a little store in front of homes). Something just told me that if I could just buy and drink some water than I would be okay. We went over, but the lady said they didn't have any bottled water, I thanked her and we walked away and paused for a second, then she came outside of her house and offered some of their personal mineral water inside. Normally I don't like to take things from people, but for some reason I said yes and we walked inside. We started talking to their whole family who was just sitting in their front room and found out they were members in the church but had been less active for 10 years. She said they switched to Catholicism because there were less commandments, but she noticed there was something missing in her life. We were able to share a message to their whole family and they received it very well. The miracle, is that immediately when we entered their home, all of my sick symptoms vanished.and we were able to help this family.  If the lord needs to make me sick to find his children, that is okay with me. As Sister Remund and I left the house, we felt the spirit strongly testify to us that this was a miracle from our loving Heavenly Father. I am so grateful to be a missionary at such a miraculous and urgent time. The Lord is aware of all of us.
We had a baptism on Saturday for the Irene and Arbylyn and another sister, Melrose. When we arrived at the chapel, Sister Melrose was already there. (She is the one with the horrible family situation. He father didn't even know her birthday or any of her information, and we were just glad he signed the papers) Melrose is 12 years old and is responsible for her own food and needs every day. She has never had school, but faithfully runs her fingers across the letters in the Book of Mormon. Even though she invited all of her friends, no one that she knew showed up for the baptism except for our Young Women President and some other members  who were there for the other candidates. We were heartbroken when she said she had gotten to the chapel at 6:00 in the morning, because that is the cheapest time to come into the city. She had been waiting out front for 10 hours but was still as happy as ever that she was going to be able to be baptized.  When the members started arriving, one of our strongest investigators, Sister Mia (who will be baptized this saturday) came with some of her member friends to witness a baptism.  She saw little melrose and immediately went to help her. (Mia is the one who told us last week that she wants to be a teacher and wanted to start now by teaching Melrose how to read).  Mia is only a teenager, but went over and told Sister Melrose that she was her family, and she stuck with her the whole day, even for the picture sesson before the baptism. Sister Melrose felt the love of Sister Mia, but more importantly, we were all able to learn a lesson about the love our Savior has for all of us, and how he shows us this love through others.  It was a particularly memorable baptism for me as I felt undeniably in my heart the love that the savior has for sister Melrose and for Mia and how happy He is when we become more like him. I hope I will always remember this example in my own life, as we all continue to strive to be more Christlike every day and continue to repent as we change our attitudes, hearts, and desires to be more centered on Christ. I am so grateful for this time in my life. I'm also grateful that some of my sisters will be able to feel of this spirit and this love too! Especially Ally in the coming months. I love you all and hope you are doing all you can to keep the spirit in the home and keep being obedient. OBEDIENCE BRINGS HAPPINESS! never forget it :) I love you all!
Love, Sister Smoot

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