This week rolled by pretty quickly even though our success in the field was limited. We worked hard but it just seemed like everything was against us this week and we got punted continuously from set appointments. However we did have some great highs and lows in terms of the progression of the San Jose Ward.
On Wednesday we had the opportunity to take an online grammar assessment for our language study and I did surprisingly well. I scored a 73% which is not half bad considering how poorly I speak and understand Tagalog. I often dream of the day when I'll be able to speak in Tagalog without having to translate what I want to say over from English in my head. I've been in the Philippines for just over 3 months now already so hopefully by the time I've been here for 6 months, the language will start to click.
Thursday was my second and last follow-up training. Which was way fun because I got to see everyone from my batch one last time. We had two workshops from President Sperry, one from Sister Sperry, and one from the APs. Every time President gives a workshop not only do you learn a lot but you really feel re-energized and motivated to get back to the Lord's Work. Of course the best part about the day was the Poppa Johns Pizza they fed us for lunch. First pizza I've had in the Philippines and it was so delicious I could barely swallow it, I was so afraid if I did I would never get that taste back again. Anyways it was sad to leave knowing I probably won't see some of the guys in my batch for the next 20 months, just because our batch is so big and they rarely allow missionaries to get together. Elder Krueger P and I keep planting the seed for President to put the two of us together before he leaves in August so we'll see what happens, fingers crossed.
Friday was the coolest day of the week. We wandered all day about the city but to no avail as opportunity after opportunity to teach seemed just out of reach. After laboring with little success Elder Jensen felt we should try the Aguilar family. At the time it seemed extremely unlikely that they would even give us the time of day, but we thought why not give em a shot. It quickly became apparent we were on the Lord's errand. This family had accepted the gospel but when persecution or callings became too burdensome, rather than turning to the Lord, they turned to another Church. While in the prayer Elder Jensen and I both felt prompted to share the Book of Mormon. As we read through the introduction we came upon the last paragraph. Before reading I was compelled to ask in pathetic Tagalog if Sister A. believed in the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. She could not deny that she had received a witness of its validity. Then she read the last paragraph and with all the courage I could muster I spoke boldly with the Spirit, exhorting her to come back to the one and only true Church of Christ. Then sharing Mosiah 18:21 and expounding the knowledge of 1 faith and 1 baptism and 1 church unto her, she was cornered with both reason and the Spirit, and could not fight it. Elder Jensen then told her how the Church needs her family, but even more so her family needs the Church. As we knelt and Sister offered the closing prayer an undeniable testimony came upon me that the Savior knows His sheep personally. He knows each and every one of them because He has numbered them, and any sheep given to Him by the Father shall not be lost in Him. It was a powerful experience and not one I will soon forget, nor can forget. He knows every one of us personally, and He is the good Shepherd willing and able to suffer the 99 in search for the lost 1.
The Lord uses us to bring to pass His purposes not because He cannot do so without us, but rather because He delights in blessing us with growth. Every opportunity to serve is a blessing directly from Heaven to grow in the Kingdom. So when we share the Gospel we are not merely building the Kingdom of Heaven from a numbers standpoint, but rather we are strengthening and building upon our own testimonies and knowledge and therefore building our kingdom and His kingdom. For our kingdom and His kingdom and the Father's kingdom are all one and the same. We are all players on the same team just on different levels. This therefore means that every action we pursue has a direct consequence, either we build the Kingdom of Heaven or we build the Kingdom of the Devil. There is no in between and there can be no spectator. I heard in a talk someone say, "Satan does not have to get us to do bad, all he has to do is get us to not do good". To simply do nothing is as condemnable as doing bad. In all times and places it is our duty to stand and build the Kingdom.
Elder Krueger T