Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 19, 2014

Dearest Family,

So good to hear from you all, sounds like everyone is doing well, especially Dave at BYUI! That's exciting. This time has been so great at Cauayan, it's almost been a week! Unbelievable.

Elder Doane eager to
work in Cauayan!!!

Right when i got to Cauayan I just went in the house searching for our names we had prepared for baptism. I didn't see many, and could tell we had some work to do! My new comp. is Elder Perez, he's so great! He's been in the field almost a year now, he's from Cavete Philippines. The first thing i said to him was, "Elder, I don't expect anything from you except exact obedience." And good thing, that was his same expectation for me. The first few days we had to work in Cauayan really does testify that exact obedience brings miracles. We found 27 new investigators last week, and 21 of them who we are preparing for baptism in the next coming months! The branch members are so nice, and so loving. Our branch president, President, Himaya, is amazing! He's the most humble person i've met, and when i met him for the first time i was so excited i almost jumped on him. But I'm so excited to work with him. President Lopez says he sent me down here to really sustain the work, and to keep it from falling, because that's what it was looking like a couple of weeks ago. With looking at last week's key indicators, I'm sure the Lord will keep this area solid and help it to grow through Elder Perez and I.

We had a baptism last week too! Sister Albesa, she is so amazing. At first she would never listen to missionaries, but then she said she was just so touched by the Spirit that the old missionaries brought into her home, and she could not deny it. Her husband and son came to see the baptism as well, and they loved it. They will also be baptized in the coming months!

I was studying in 3 Nephi 9 last week, and the Savior said, "O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?... Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life." Here the Savior is inviting me, as His servant, to repent and come unto Him. He is asking me to return unto Him! Meaning, I literally need to turn myself 180 degrees, and come back to Him. I must become converted to His Gospel, changing my ways to fit in with His, and He will heal me. Then He promises.. Elder Doane, if you will come unto me, ye shall have eternal life. What does eternal life mean to me?

Eternal means never ending, or it could even mean, 'weekly'. Life? What is life for me in the mission? Well I know that my missionary purpose is my heart. And life is measured by the 'heartbeat' of a person. So life is my 'heart beat'. Meaning He will give me a weekly heartbeat here in my mission. Centered to my purpose is baptism, and every time I have a baptism, my heart beats.

The Savior is literally promising me here weekly baptisms, if I will repent and come unto Him. I need to drink that part of the bitter cup, and He will work through me as His servant, to keep a 'steady heartbeat' all the way throughout my mission! I know these things are from God my dear family, I know He will qualify me to do this work as i qualify myself! We may ask ourselves, what is our 'heartbeat'? Is it worldly things that we're relying on to live? Is it money? Is it work? Or is it our Savior Jesus Christ, who promises to give us milk and honey without price.

I know this church is true! Every time someone tells me it isn't it only makes my testimony stronger. I love you family!

Elder Doane

A BIG ELDER, under a BIG TREE, with an even BIGGER HEART!!! 

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