Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9, 2013

Hello family! Thank you so much for all of your emails, it really is uplifting to hear from you every week to know you're doing well, especially with living the Gospel. That's way great that Nana and Barbara are closer to us! I really want to talk to Nana about doing some family history work after the mission. Demi sent me a bunch of pictures she just looks so much different! But i can tell she's very happy, which makes me very happy. She shares with me about her Book of Mormon reading too, it's so awesome, she's really gaining a solid testimony! Drake is still funny as ever no? Let Sam know i love him too, and to shoot me an email i'll try to reply to him. I would love to see Drakes senior pictures too, i bet he looks great!

This week is transfers again! This last transfer was definitely the fastest that's ever happened. Elder Peralta and I are the only assistants now. I'm so excited as well, we've worked together before and I really felt the Spirit strong working by his side. Elder Rakuro was a great companion as well, I definitely had a memorable 3 weeks with him, we saw miracles in the work, especially with finding new and prepared investigators by the Lord. We are right in the middle of making all the calls for transfers, calling the missionaries and telling them where they will all go and meet up. We don't make any decisions with the transfers, President does it all himself between the Lord, we just make the calls. It's been such a great blessing though lately to get to learn more about how to administer as a leader, it's been a great learning opportunity. We have lots of trainings coming up soon with the new missionaries coming in, very excited. I love welcoming the missionaries and listening to their burning testimonies.

The work is still hastening! We are really focusing on involving the members, and the Lord has been blessing us for our efforts! Last week we held a movie night, just kind of put it together in 2 days, and 35 people came! With 10 investigators! It was truly a miracle. We also have all other sorts of ideas to present to the ward, to really get them involved. We are also visiting their homes in short amounts of time, just trying to leave the Spirit in their home so they really will recognize us as servants of the Lord. I feel like thats something i really have understood on my mission, the power and authority of my calling. That's what Dave taught me before i left on the mission, and that has become the core of my mission. Every training i give, every other missionary i talk to, that's really what i base everything off of. Dave said to me before, 'You know Dal, every missionary is given the authority to preach the Gospel, and administer the ordinances.. but not all missionaries are given power. You can receive power through your obedience.' Those words have just been super glued in my head my whole mission, and I've seen the fruits of it for sure. I really know and understand that through exact obedience i show my faith to the Lord, and that's when we receive miracles. I will be forever grateful for what Dave told me that night we were up in our room, i will never forget it.

One miracle that happened last week was the baptism of the Tan Family, and Bolonia. They're all children ages 9-14, there's 5 of them. They were actually former investigators that just lacked a follow up, and the Lord guided us to them a month ago. They progressed so fast, and were baptized this last saturday. The miracle here, is that the 3 bolonia children were abandoned by their parents when they were babies. Then they were taken over by their aunt and uncle, and raised in their home. Even though they were abandoned, they are the smartest children i've ever met, and their testimonies are so strong. One of them, Johna Mae (9) stood up on fast sunday, and bore her testimony. And it wasn't just a 'i'm thankful i was baptized' one like the others, but the first thing she said when she stood up was, "Kabalo ko na matuod and Book of Mormon.." I know the Book of Mormon is true. She went on and bore the rest of her testimony, and half way through, she began to cry and testify that this church was true. I was overwhelmed with tears. I just put my head down and watched the puddle build up on the floor, i couldn't hold myself back. That this abandoned little girl, who probably felt like she wasn't worth much at one point of her life, came to the point to where she knew with out a shadow of a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true, and that she is a daughter of God, a potential queen in His kingdom. When we followed up with them as well after their baptism, they said they all want to serve a mission when they grow up.

I just have such a great testimony that Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of His children so much. I don't understand fully how much He really does love us, but i'm getting there. I'm so blessed to be sent to this mission. A member of the seventy came here last year and told President Lopez, 'Your mission will become an ensign to the entire Philippines.' I believe in that 102%. Many say that it's strict, or there's no fun. I do agree, there's no fun, but there's complete joy. I don't need to have fun here, i just need to forget about myself and the Lord has promised the joy that will come through embracing this great work (D&C 18). I love these people so much. If you ever have a doubt of how much Heavenly Father loves you, read, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon and you won't worry any more. I love you family, I know Heavenly Father will watch over you while I'm in the service of Him.

Elder Doane

Ps- this is the Tan+Bolonia Family. Johna Mae is the 2nd girl from the left in the picture without me.

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