Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, and Cole Family,

In the midst of these challenges of mission life, I have really come to know my Heavenly Father  and of His divinity and endless love.  Again this past week Elder Ursua and I have struggled to find people to teach and we both have been extremely discouraged.  I can tell you that there is almost nothing more that makes a missionary feel discouraged than writing a zero in his planner for lessons taught.  Last week we were only able to teach two lessons the entire week after doing all that we could to share the gospel.  It seemed like everything we did wasn't effective at all.  The missionaries who opened Minalabac did the same thing as we are doing so of course in my mind I think that it should work for us too.  But I am trying to see what lesson the Lord needs me to learn because the missionary experience isn't exactly the same for every person.  Some missionaries see instant success, others don't see success until after they are transferred, and maybe on a rare occasion they won't see anything at all until after they have returned home. Earlier in the week I was studying in Helaman  about Nephi and of how much adversity he faced before people believed that he was a prophet of God.  He  prophesied about the death of the chief judge and people still didn't believe him after sharing that revelation.  He must have been pretty frustrated because of the hardness of the peoples hearts; I know I would have been.  But the example of Nephi shows me that no matter how hard the work may seem, or no matter how hard the hearts of the people may be, if we give the the Spirit the opportunity to work in the hearts of the people everything will work out.  It may not be now, but it will happen.  

Also this past week our district joined together in a special fast so that we can have miracles happen in our areas; and I can already see small and simple miracles that are taking place.  This past week Elder Ursua and I taught a recent convert family that hasn't been able to attend church for two weeks due to financial problems so we taught from Moroni 6:4 about baptism and the baptismal covenant.  In short that was one of the most powerful lessons that we have ever taught as a companionship.  At first we focused on the contents of the scripture but the spirit eventually led us to talking about the importance of church attendance and then about the sacrament.  After the lesson we both looked at each other with the look of "That was awesome".  Miracles don't have to be large in order for us to recognize that they are miracles, but miracles are blessings that come after an act of faith.   

Things at home continue to look well and it's crazy to think that General Conference is next month!  Honestly I have grown to love General Conference a lot more here on my mission; no longer is it nap time but I have found that General Conference is the time when the disciples of the Lord help give answers to the questions of my heart and direction to my life.  I would encourage you guys to take notes and really try to listen to what the speaker is trying to say.  Even just one time, I promise you that you will learn something new.  And again.... I can't believe it's "almost" Christmas.  Well mom I think that it would be alright if you guys didn't send clothes this time because it's really hard to get the package to my apartment.  I'm grateful that Elder Savage brought me my birthday package when I was in Ragay because it won't fit on jeepney's.  For now I have no idea of what to put in the package so again... just surprise me.  That's always fun!!  Maybe a basketball hoop or a new shirt?  I don't know.  Well I love you all and I wish you the best of luck with everything that you do.  Oh Maddie, don't let the lice back!  Mahal na mahal ko po kayo!!!  May God be with you till we meet again.  P.S:  I might have another boil!!!!  Thankfully we caught it in enough time so it won't get so big.

                                              -Elder Cole

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