This has been a great week! I have realized that my emails have been getting more and more vague, due to the fact that so many things happen, and I merely do my best to summarize! This time, I will tell you about my day, yesterday. It was a wonderful day, like so many others and we saw many tender mercies!
Yesterday, September 6th, was my first Fast Sunday in the Philippines! Sister Lappay and I fasted as a companionship for many specific purposes, and may I just say, that fasting with a purpose is the most strengthening feeling! The day before, we were able to teach two lessons about the law of tithing and of fasting. One to the Toloy family, a golden family preparing for baptism, as well as the Abano family, who are preparing to enter the temple. They are so full of faith and willing to obey the commandment of the Lord to the best of their ability with a full and honest heart. We invited Jessa Abano, a sweet girl who is also 19, she was baptized in May, and she has the desire to serve a mission, to bear her testimony during the testimony meeting. She was so nervous, but we promised that as we act on our faith, the most difficult things will become easy. And as well, we can do all things through the strength of the Lord. How true it is! We were so happy when she acted on her faith and bore a simple, powerful testimony.
After church, we taught Estella, her 12 year old daughter, Antionette, and her friends, Kimberly, Angel and Flora Belle. They are the sweetest girls and so full of faith! They love learning about Jesus Christ and his gospel. They have many questions for me about my family, about America and I am happy to answer! Haha, I love their curiosity! Then we taught Daisy and Paquito. When we came, Daisy was working in her simple garden. It was so cute! I love the Philippines! Everyone has a garden, no matter how small and simple. They are less active, and are embarrassed to come back to church because it has been so long. We shared with them a scripture and a spiritual thought to help them realize that they are always welcome at church and that we must act on our faith! This is a common theme throughout the whole church, I believe. It is easy to forget the importance of action to faith, the first principle of the gospel.
We then attended choir practice for the district choir, we are singing I Know That My Redeemer Lives, and a few other primary songs in English. It sounds a bit different in their cute Filipino accents. Afterwards, Sariah, a member from the branch, joined us to visit Kenneth, another less active member. He is struggling with money and with his health, but he is still reading the scriptures. He surely appreciated our visit. Then, we taught Stephanie and her two children, with the help of Jessa, about prophets. She was much more receptive and confident than last time, and I am grateful! All together, a great day! We returned home and took some of our leftover soup to our neighbor Narra, who is from Korea. She hardly speaks and English, and even less Cebuano, so I feel for her. She was so touched by our kindness and by offering that service, Sister Lappay and I were so full of joy that we could hardly think of our own dinner! Service is the cure for anything! It was a wonderful day and we definetly saw many tender mercies, even more than I have time to write. The Lord loves each of us, no matter who and no matter where. Our prayers are heard and it is usually through the act of another, that our needs are met. Be that person! Turn outward and serve! It has the power to heal any broken heart. Thank you for your love and support! And for your faith! Continue moving forward! With faith in every footstep and a smile on your face! I love you all
Sister Shanna Stanley