This week has been realization week. Just realizing a lot of things. We had a really great zone training meeting. I am so grateful for the missionaries who prepared talks and participated. It was a really good meeting because it was a discussion! Everyone was sharing thoughts and insights and hoe they have committed to be more obedient. I also had 2 really neat experiences with prayer this week. Baguio Luis hit town yesterday but we are all fine here in Quezon. I have been doing a mission wide OYM challenge that has really pushed my companion and I to talk to literally everyone we see. It is such a great way to find, and had better helped me understand being a Representative of Jesus Christ. We have also been gathering information from the ward to help us understand their expectations for us. It has been really insightful and sometimes surprising.
While I was reading Preach My Gospel on Wednesday in chapter 9, i noticed something cool. It says that we should pray to be aware of opportunities to use family history in finding. On our way out of the apartment that day, I prayed for that. Then i put my family tree in my bag. After our first appointment, we were trying to find this less active family. So I went up to the man who was outside the house and asked, Hello, excuse me, is your last name__? Then he said: No my last name is Gaspar. I was like WHAT. ME TOO. And i pointed to my name tag. He said that's my name! And I immediately recognized it as an answer to my prayer. I pulled out the family tree and we talked about why we do family history work. He was not really interested after that, but what a cool faith building experience Heavenly Father let me have, right?! The other experience was as I was praying for direction for the work in my area and how to better help the sisters that have been struggling here in our zone. I was feeling really anxious and overwhelmed. Then I opened up to Alma 29 which was exactly what I needed. Alma talks through being happy and content with his calling and glorying in the fast that in magnifying his calling he was following a commandment of God. His example really helped me want to humble myself in that way. Heavenly Father listens to us! I really know that He does, and he will answer us. Every time we open our Book of Mormon we are opening the window to revelation.
Second: The expectations experiment
So President Mangum is SUPER smart. He has asked us to ask members what their expectations are of missionaries. They expect us to be hard working, teach by the Spirit, be kind and loving and things like that. But we also have been finding out the effect it has on the ward is missionaries do not meet the standards of the members or if they are not living the mission rules. It's hard also because we have been finding lots of concerns the ward has had about us and are just now being open about it. Sometimes wards feel overwhelmed about their responsibilities. And having hard working missionaries seems like it's adding to the plate. So we are working on a good balance of supporting them and helping. Takes patience! I am just so grateful that we have been talking to them about these things, it will really help us become unified. Also I have been really second guessing my expectations for them. It's helped me realize some of them are probably unrealistic.
Have a good week all! Sorry for the lame week without pictures. Thanks to aunt camille, uncle carlos, and eliza for the emails! I will respond in letters. Ayos ba?
Sister Gaspar de Alba