I suppose one of the best perks of the Pilipinas is getting to email twice in a week because of a hurricane! hahaha I can now say that I not only survived a hurricane but basically slept through most of it, which is pretty cool. I gotta just say that the shear power of God is marvelous and magnificent. Picture the entire sky, as far as the eye can see, completely black with clouds and hundreds of bursts of lightning going off every minute! And all the while knowing that God is completely in control, was actually quite comforting, I slept like a baby through the whole night. Although once the power went out and we hard no electric fans it made things a bit worse haha. This is just the very start of the season so I wouldn't be surprised to see another perhaps bigger hurricane come again.
We had stocked up on food before the storm but I didn't realize that the typhoon would knock out the power so we had no way to cook anything. So we pretty much just chowed down on bread and uncooked chicken and cornbeef for a couple of days which was not my favorite but I've had worse. Nothing too terrible happen in our area except one of the only trees in all of Kalookan fell down next door into the apartment across the street. It was fairly entertaining watching like 300 Filipenos try to figure out how to cut down this tree.
In other more important news we had stake baptisms last Saturday and 6 converts entered into the Kalookan Stake. We represented UH Ward with Sister Hazel. She is awesome and has been a spark to her whole family to return to activity. Through teaching her we have also been able to reactivate part of another family and they should hopefully be getting to the temple soon to receive their endowments and sealing.
I had to give a workshop on the topic of promptings because apparently there has been a little confusion in our district claiming that "the Spirit" has been saying to chastise the local Bishop and also break mission rules, so we had to set the record straight about the actual role and promptings/feelings that come from the Spirit haha.
The spirit is almost impossible to put into words because I think it comes in different forms for different people. I think sometimes our spirit recognizes the Holy Ghost so it sends out a physical feeling like a warmth or for me usually a chill. However lately I've noticed the Spirit working more so within my thoughts, something that's hard to describe but the ability to recognize just comes over time with practice I guess. I love when Bednar said that answers and revelation come in two ways, the light bulb being turned on (very rare) and the sun rising (very common). Most often our answers just come over such a long period of time that we hardly even notice them working within us. Read Alma 32 about the seed and letting it grow. In order for a seed to grow you have to weed the garden, or pluck out all the negative thoughts and doubts first, then water and nourish the seed and look back at its growth.
As we know that there must be opposition in all things, it seems sometimes that the better we become the harder it gets and the more responsibilities we acquire. But with the added weight comes added help from the Lord and that's when and how progress occurs. The saddest thing I've seen repeatedly over the course of my mission are the investigators, as well as less actives, who start out so strong and obtain testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel, but like the parabole the Savior gave, become choked by the the weeds and fall away by the way-side. Remember the the Tree of life and how some partook and cast their eyes about ashamed, and for what? They tasted of the Gospel and didn't even realize how great it was. Instead they traded their inheritance for the great and spacious building. It seems it is the nature of man to always be discontent with our plot in life. This can be a positive when it pushes us to become more like our Savior and continually get better and progress, but more often in the world today I feel that these kinds of feelings have become a burden and a problem. We constantly think that once/if we get that job, or finish school, or get this, or get that, or finish this then we will be happy and content with life. However once we finally obtain these things we find we are no more happy than we started, in fact, usually all we want is more.
The best lesson I have learned on my mission is just being happy and content with where you are at no matter what the circumstances may be. We have very trying obstacles and standards of living in the Philippines, yet I am happier than I have ever been. It is because I have the peace that I know what I am doing is right and my mind is not centered around what could be better. I don't know a whole lot, but I do know without the shadow of a doubt that the church is true and Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. The trick in this world is not knowing but remembering. Before the world was we all knew exactly who Jesus Christ was and even chose Him as our Savior. Here on Earth we can receive witnesses that He is real and that this is His restored church. The Devil doesn't have to convince us the church isn't true, he just has to get us to forget that the church IS true. The reason thousands of RMs go less active is because of how easy it is to forget. Read 1 Ne chapter 7 when Nephi asks his brothers how they "forgot" that they had seen an angel, and so many countless miracles of the Lord. My advice would merely be to try praying not for signs or a stronger testimony, but do as the sacrament prayer suggests and simply pray that you might "always remember him". The more often we think of the Savior, the closer we draw, and the more we want to become like Him. Desires lead to action, and action leads to change.
Elder Krueger T