Friday, January 23, 2015

Week 68

Week 68

Another great week here in Rosario. It was a little colder this week which was surprising! This week we had some wonderful faith building opportunities. I've also been full of gratitude this week for just the simple things in every day that we get to do as representatives of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Like talking to anyone and everyone. Also, I realized this past week how inspired our finding has been. I am so grateful for the power of the Spirit in the work. Last month we fasted and prayed to be lead to potential completed families, specifically for potential worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holders. I realized that last night from going to almost all of our investigators being women, this week we realized they are almost all men. Answered prayers. 

First I wanted to share a cool miracle that happened. About Brother Ernani. We found him 2 weeks ago and last week began teaching him. He has a brother who is a member so he knows a little bit about the church and has been reading the Book of Mormon for quite some time. He has insomnia and has tried different medications but always has come back to hard liquor to help him sleep. Needless to say, committing him to live the word of wisdom took a lot of faith on our part and his part. He committed and our ward mission leader came with us to give him a priesthood blessing on sunday. He slept that night but monday he drank again, on tuesday we taught him and recommitted him. I felt a little doubt in our practice teaching so that entire day we focused on trying to strengthen our faith in God's promises dound in D&C 89. He did not drink that week and did not sleep for 3 nights- huge test of faith! Then after teaching him on Saturday, he really wanted to give up. We had a powerful lesson and later on our way home felt prompted to go back and see him again. When we walked in, he offered to give us a ride home in his trike. Then as we were driving, I felt prompted to give him the herbal tea i use to sleep sometimes and the essential oils my mom sent a few months ago. The next day he was 30 minutes early to church and told us he had slept for 6 hours for the first time in almost 4 years. Tears came to my eyes as a scripture came to mind from Isaiah. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord."

Training is going great! I love Sister Viloria more and more every week as I see her grow and reach her potential. This must be a little taste of what our Father in Heaven feels for his children. I had decided before training that the thing that helped me the most at the beginning of my mission was just learning the gospel doctrines and deepening my conversion through diligent study. I have tried to show her that and lead her to do the same as we have done training together. I noticed this week how powerful her teaching is because of our studies together, and just conversations as we are walking. She gave a talk in sacrament meeting and it was wonderful. So simply stated about the Plan of Salvation. I was so proud, she has come so far. And the best part has been coming with her. 

Have a good week! Love

Sister Gaspar de Alba

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Week 67

Week 67
Yesterday we had the baptism of the Pantaleon Family. They were so happy and excited to make these sacred covenants. They were about an hour and a half early! The miracle of that was that Cellany's parents agreed at the last minute. We talked to them the night before and invited Cellany to share her testimony with them. As she did, the heart of her father was softened and he said he could see how going to church was helping her not hurting her as he initially thought it would. Prayer is an amazing thing! 

Sister Viloria is doing great. We gave our first workshop together and she took the lead. She was so nervous when the Assistants showed up. But, I reassured her it was okay to involve them because they are elders just like all of the other ones. Just a little more mature! 

This week was a little more challenging than the last few. But it was a good opportunity to show a little more faith. On Tuesday, I was feeling really frustrated because of a headache I have had that has not seemed to go away. It has come and gone the past few weeks but Tuesday it was pretty bad. Anyway, then something happened in the house and I lost my patience and I reacted poorly out of frustration and anger. I felt awful and disappointed in myself and got really down about it. Then a question popped into my mind that I know came from Satan: Have you really changed enough in the last 17 months? And I began to think really negatively. Then as I prayed and asked for guidance and comfort, I felt prompted to just open up to my companion with how I had been feeling. I told her about how I am scared and feel like my faith and hope has been faltering a little bit. And how I felt so attacked with temptations to think negatively. Then a scripture came to mind from Alma about praying always that we will be able to conquer temptation. So I prayed again, this time with increased faith, and I felt like this huge burden was lifted off of my shoulders. I know the power of the Atonement is real, and that Christ will lessen the burdens placed upon us. I am still struggling with negative thoughts, but I know that in His strength, I can overcome this. As I have put forth more of an effort to be positive, I can see it is affecting the work, my companion, and my housemates in a good way. But despite the challenges that I feel like are being thrown at me harder and faster than ever, I am super happy. We are just having the best time in Rosario enjoying every day. (: 

My super adorable companion

Yay! (: I am so happy for them. They are so great!

Everyone that came out to the baptism

We got to have a little reunion last night at the stake center for the broadcast across the philippines.
Have a good week all! Love, Sister Gaspar de Alba

week 66

Week 66
Well this week was pretty normal. I didn't take very many pictures because I have been so exhausted! This week was really good for teaching, we didn't have any meetings for once in like 2 months. We focused on some investigators that will be baptized this coming Saturday in preparing them for their interview. Our big miracle this week was 2 of the potential completed families we are teaching came to church. Our investigator class was huge, almost as big as gospel doctrine. We were so happy to see how good these investigators felt at church. We had a great testimony meeting. 

This past week I've been working on developing the attribute of Hope. As I've been studying the life of Christ I've noticed how hopeful He was. Despite how little followers He started with, He was fully confident in the plan of His Father and the way that plan was brought about. I feel like that is something I really need to work on. Sometimes I feel like my faith falters because I can't see the bigger picture. I loose trust and hope in Heavenly Father's plan for me. But I've realized that agency and faith go hand in hand. With faith, I need to choose to press forward trusting in the revelation I have received. I'm working on it!

We focused our training this week on the Book of Mormon and it's role in bringing others to Christ. It is literally the most satisfying thing just watching and listening to my companion teach our investigators with power and full of the Spirit. And watch the effect it has on them. She has grown and improved so much. I am continually trying to step back and just let her shine. She has been such a blessing in my life and taught me a lot about faith. 

We have a busy week lined up with new investigators and big plans with the ward! Our Ward Mission Leader is on fire and just got everything organized for the ward mission plan that will be coming soon. Our members are wonderful.

Have a good week!

Sister Gaspar de Alba

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Week 65

Week 65
It was another great week here in Rosario. It started off with Christmas conference which was so good. Then we had Christmas Eve with some really powerful lessons with our investigators. Christmas day we talked to our families and went to the baptism of the zone leader's. Then work and more work. It's gotten colder here! Last week I was walking around with a sweater on. 

The work is going super well here. Even with challenges, we are seeing miracles thanks to the faith and diligence of the members here. This past week one of our investigators(17) who is supposed to be baptized with two of her siblings (29 and 27) has had a really tough trial. As the baptism has come closer her parents got nervous and now will not let her be baptized or take the lessons. :( we are so sad. She told us she's been crying a lot. We have been praying non stop for her to be able to be baptized. 

We had a really neat finding experience this last week. A sister who was recently re-activated was excited to have her husband taught. He has been in re-hab for the past 10 months and has developed so much faith there. So we went to their house and taught their entire family (who will be a completed family in march next year) and it was so cool. The Spirit was so strong as this man shared his testimony of the atonement. After rejecting the gospel for years, he has excitedly accepted the invitation to be baptized in March. They cannot wait to be sealed! In Jesus the Christ last week I was in the chapters about the beginnings of Christ's ministry. And it struck me pretty powerfully how if Christ was found among the sinners, publicans, and the unclean where should i be? Among the people who need the gospel the most. As missionaries, we sometimes expect our investigators to be "golden" or maybe as members we think people might not be "ready" for the gospel because of things in their lives that may not be in harmony with what the gospel teaches. But I realized, this is the gospel of REPENTANCE. Which is changing our natures to become more like our Savior. Those "sinners and publicans" are the ones that need it the most. And they need it now. I really have a testimony of the power of the Atonement working miracles in the lives of others. No matter how far off track they seem, they can always come back. Like Alma and Nephi talk about, His arms are extended still. 

Have a great week to all! I loved seeing my family this week especially getting to see all of the primos and the grandparents. Thanks to ally, and all my other siblings that made it a really great Christmas morning! 

Lunch at Christmas conference with my companion

Playing games at Christmas conference

The best zone leader and the two best sisters in the mission!

Picking magoes

Christmas dinner- fish and rice

Christmas lunch with some really great members 
Sister Gaspar de Alba