So this week has been as great finishing week of the transfer. We had some ONLY in the Philippines moments and the above line is from one of those. They seriously sing karaoke here at people’s funerals. And everyone comes. Like pretty much everyone in Liozon just says to us, “Oh haven’t you heard?” So and so died, we will be at the funeral for the next 3 days so you can’t come teach us then. I think if I was darker I could maybe sneak in and eat the food.
Well anyway, on to more serious notes. This was the last week of the transfer so Sis Emps already left. Kowawa, (feeling sorry). Umiyak ako contilang, (I cried a little). I will miss her a great deal. She was an amazing trainer for me and such an example and we got to be good friends too in the short time we had here together.
We finished the week strong though and we had a few really great moments this week too. We had an amazing lesson with Sister Arlene. It was the kind of lesson you dream of before leaving for a mission. She is really receptive and has been thinking over the things we taught her really seriously lately. But she has been having a hard time praying. As we taught her I imagined what it would be like to pray for the first time. To let words form around your deepest desires and questions and then to bring them before your Maker. That is truly what prayer is. I can understand how the unfamiliar would be scary. Sis Arlene has lived her life to this point as a Catholic, she has mostly said memorized prayers up until now so starting to pray the way we are teaching her is hard. And I can understand too that she might be afraid of the answer because it might require her to change. How it would be difficult to leave what you and what is comforting to you and choose to believe that doing something deeply uncomfortable will be in the end equally rewarding. I thought of what I felt before I prayed about going on a mission. Ayaw ko, (I didn’t want). I didn’t want to know the answer because I already knew the answer. I was stubborn and I wanted to let my will be the Lord’s will. Eventually, I understood what the Lord already did–that this is the experience I need in my life right now. I shared with Sis Arlene this experience and then at the end of the lesson we invited her to pray .
At the end of the lesson, after some coaxing, she prayed. It was beautiful. I cannot tell you the way it feels to hear an investigator pray for the first time. It is like hearing a child form the words for the first time. She was so earnest, so sincere in speaking with her Father in Heaven.She asked about whether she should change her religion if she should join the Church or not. After hearing her prayer I have been trying to keep her in my own prayers and in my heart too. I know if she will pray, she will feel it in her heart. Most of the time it takes more than one prayer. But I know eventually if any of you are trying to pray and get that answer, you will receive it. I invite all of you to pray this week. if you have never tried praying in this way, try it. If you are already a member, try praying more sincerely this week. The best way to show someone you love them is to be willing to invite them and share with them, so this is to let all of you know that I love you. I pray for all of you.
Note from her Inay, (mom): Marissa wanted me to explain how to pray the Mormon way. The lesson I remember and ponder now is that we model it after “The Lord’s Prayer” Matthew 6:9-13. We are encouraged to kneel. We bow our head, fold our arms, close our eyes, and start by a salutation to our Heavenly Father. We ponder in our hearts about the blessings we have and we thank Him for it, we ask Him for all the blessings that He may provide whatever the spirit moves us to ask for, you might start with something for yourself or for those around you or for those that make the biggest difference in the world. You may think about the atonement and what it provides, the comfort, the repentance process, and you close by saying good bye, that it is in Jesus Christ’s name, we humbly say these things. You say prayers to talk with our Father in Heaven and build a relationship with Him so that when you see Him again you and He will know each other so very well as if you are one with Him.
Being able to pray during some of my biggest struggles is such a great comfort and blessing in my life. It is a constant reminder that I have so much to be grateful for and He does always answer your prayers though it may not always be in your timing or in your way. He knows you better than you know yourself and He knows what is best for you. I know this to be so very true. Amen