Hey hey hey! How was your Thanksgiving? I thought my thanksgiving wouldn't be a real thanksgiving but it actually was. I'll tell you about it later.
Last week we got to go to the temple! Enjoy the picture of just me... Sister de Leon and I have no friends to take a picture of the both of us! But that's okay, we've accepted that... parang wa pakels sila sa amin. Anyway, the temple is the best. I'm so happy we got to go.
Then, we had mission tour! Elder Echo Hawk from the 70 and his wife came and spoke with us for almost the whole day and it was an awesome experience. Those two have such strong faith. Sister Echo Hawk also told us a lot of stories of what happened to the missionaries in Tacloban. It's so crazy. But all 204 of them were safe, even though no one knew where they were for a time. Elder Echo Hawk also told us a really inspiring story about how he was blessed to observe Elder Christofferson in the process of receiving revelation for where missionaries are to serve. He said there were two television screens, one with a profile of the future missionary and one with a map of the word. Then Elder Christofferson would ponder and choose, completely by revelation. He said there was one time that a future elder popped up on the screen that had it all. Leadership experience, excellent grades, everything. Elder Echo Hawk was sure that he would be called to the hardest mission in the world, wherever that is, because he was obviously so talented. He was called to Iowa. Elder Echo Hawk thought, "I'm sure that's not the hardest mission in the world..." Then Elder Christofferson paused, as if to question the assignment, then said, "When this future elder receives his call, he will be disappointed. But he will accept the call and serve a very successful mission. He will be an instrument in the hands of the Lord in converting someone that will be a great asset to the Church in these latter days." BAM! It was an awesome testimony builder to me that we are called to serve in specific areas, not because we're super talented or because we aren't, but because the Lord has prepared specific people that He knows we, with our specific talents and personalities, can help. Awesome.
Anyway, that was thanksgiving day. We had a huge lunch with TONS of food. Then, surprise, the mission leadership (The sister trainer leaders and zone leaders) are invited to a secret meeting with Elder Echo Hawk at the mission home afterward. It was a mind blowingly spiritual experience. He told us tons of secrets about things that are going to happen and specifically said, "This doesn't leave this room." Hah. It was awesome. Then, we ate thanksgiving dinner with Echo Hawks and the Stuckis. And it was real thanksgiving dinner. I ate mashed potatoes and stuffing and turkey and ham and green bean casserole and olives and it was crazy. It was also hilarious to see my philipinos tasting American food and being freaked out by it. Because usually it's the other way around. But I didn't get any pictures because it was a secret meeting and even I didn't see it coming.
I wanted to share another blessing. Sometimes, as a leader in the mission, most missionaries are afraid of you because they know the Stuckis are just a text away and they think if they mess up in front of us they will get in trouble. So, sometimes they aren't too excited when we tell them we will be doing exchanges with them. But, the other day we saw two sisters that are both really new in the mission, one just finished her training and is now training the other. We had a really awesome exchange with them and they are great missionaries. But when we saw them, they said, "We have something we need to tell you." And they were so serious and we were nervous. But then the trainer went on a huge tangent about how they applied all the things they learned from us in their work over the last week and had the best week on their missions and experienced so many miracles and then, with tear filled eyes, sincerely thanked us for our time and willingness to go on exchanges with them. It was so great because we had the opportunity to see the fruits of our efforts and to learn from their amazing example of gratitude. That's all.
This week was also a great week of work! One day we were walking down a street that we used to go to all the time but since we moved houses, we don't. They we saw a man with an adorable baby so of course we talked to him. Instantly he said, "Are you Mormons?" YES WE ARE! Then he said, "Follow me." We were super confused but we followed him. He led us to a small home and he beckoned the inhabitant. A young woman, probably in her 30s, answered the door. Her face lit up with joy when she saw us. She said, "Pasok kayo!!!" emphatically. we had no idea what was going on but we entered her home. She then explained to us that missionaries had taught her mother 3 years ago and she kept thinking about that for some reason so has been praying that the missionaries would come back. Then she asked her friend, the man I mentioned earlier, to bring the mormon missionaries to her if he ever found them. BOOM. She came to church the next sunday and will be baptized in January. The Lord totally prepared her for us, we barely did any work to find her. Then, another day, we were beckoned by a man that looked a little drunken, so we didn't stop to talk to him. (I hate to say, but we have to be a little picky with who we talk to because there are a lot of drunken men that beckon us daily...) But then we walked a little way, then we both stopped. We had to talk to him. So we went back. Turns out he's a member that hasn't gone to church in ten years but has wanted to return lately but didn't know where the church was here. So we told him. He came to church the next day. It was awesome. That's all, I know if we are obedient and work hard, the Lord will literally place people in our paths who are ready for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I hope you are all well. This was a super long email. Enjoy.