Monday, January 12, 2015

Kamusta! (How are you?)

Hello again everyone!

This week was such a powerful and such a great growing experience! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!
Let's start off with the people that we have been concentrating on...

So we've been teaching John Neil and Cornell through out the week and we're wayyy too excited for them! After one of our lessons while we were walking back from Barit (Our farthest point of the area) Elder Risenmay told me the first time he taught Cornell with his trainer was a bad day for Cornell. Come to find out Cornell hadn't just been inactive for a little bit but has been inactive for over 20 YEARS. The first lesson that they taught him he had a hangover and was completely out of it. They only went back once after that, and my first couple of days here was his 3rd lesson. But my first Sunday was his first Sunday back. Now, he's fully active and IS GOING TO BAPTIZE HIS CHILDREN. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?!! That is NOTHING short of a miracle!!! It's so evident how the atonement has played a role in his life for the last 8 weeks. I'm so excited for them!!

There's some things that happened to Allen Rae this week. His parents don't completely approve of him being baptized. They want him to make sure he knows EVERYTHING in the church before he is baptized. And his mom's advice is really good she said, "If he gets baptized I don't want him to fall away from the church right after but I want him to be a faithful member." That made us really happy but she said that he needs to wait until after 15 years old. That really really hurt me because you can see and feel that he is ready.He's done EVERYTHING he needs to do to be baptized and has already read 3/4 of the Book of Mormon. But when we started the lesson you could see how scared he was of making the covenants of baptism. The look of fear in his eyes reminded me a lot like myself when I was 14 years old talking to the missionaries about my own baptism. I was scared to death. I didn't know if I was ready. But when I shared with him my sacred and personal experience of baptism I truly feel like I felt "the pure love of Christ" for him. I felt as if I was the missionaries teaching myself when I was 14 years old. So often times when I study for Allen I ask "What did I need, and what did I need to feel for me to be baptized" I love that guy so much!!!! The spirit was the strongest I think i ever felt in that lesson and I don't think I EVER loved someone as much as I loved him at that point in time. I truly looked at him and saw him as a child of our Heavenly Father who NEEDED this to return to His presence again. And...HE WENT TO CHURCH :) he liked church so much that he went to the area broadcast after but left early because an investigator going to an area broadcast is probably very very confusing haha. I love that family so much!!!

When you learn to put aside all other thoughts and worries back home, and what's going to happen after this mission, and truly become a fully consecrated missionary is when you feel the purest joy and the most love for the people who you serve for and with. I don't think I have ever developed such amazing relationships with other people in my life and ESPECIALLY developing a relationship with the Savior.

I'm seriously too blessed to be here speaking this language and helping others be able to return to our Heavenly Father. THIS IS THE LORD'S WORK!!!

The love you're able to feel for other people is incomprehensible, you really really really want them to experience the fullest amount of joy in their lives...and take it from me...there's NOTHING that brings greater joy than the gospel :)

Miracles are happening in the Philippines and I'm SO excited and blessed to be apart of it! The work is just the beginning in the Philippines!!! :)

Well that's it for me here this week! I love you all and hope you all are finding joy in your lives as well!!!! :)

Mahal kita,

Elder Oslund

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