Well this week has been pretty busy! And I'm dead tired! haha but its been a good ride! (literally) We had a great week we have been doing a lot of preparation for our mission tour this coming Tuesday-Thursday. Elder Echo-Hawk of the Area seventy will be visiting our mission this week. And we get to drive him, and what not. Also we have an interview with him for 45 min! haha Its a little nerve wrecking but Im excited to learn from him, and hear what he has to say. He will be doing training with one half of the mission on Wednesday, and the other half on Thursday. Elder Rindlisbacher and I will be conducting the meetings. And I think we both have to speak a little bit. haha itll be my first time to speak to the whole mission. Its pretty crazy! But this week should be a pretty busy one!
Another thing that happend this week. Was we got a suprise email saying that we had to get 67 of our foreign missionaries who are going home this year. To Manila for fingerprinting on Saturday morning at 8am. We got that email Thursday afternoon. So it got really bust and crazy trying to inform all the missionaries and get them to the office, and then get them to Manila. It was a pretty hectic process! haha But it was a learning experience. I have really learned a lot, and strengthened my testimony and learned more about christlike attributes and leadership. I have grown in patience, and diligence, and love for others. Its so great to be in a position to truly just think of others, and ways to serve and help missionaries forgetting about yourself. Ive seen and had a lot of spiritual experiences with Elder Rindlisbacher.
Our work this week went well. Because of many distractions and things that came up, including fingerprinting. We didnt have as much work as we had planned and liked to have. But we gave it our all with the time we had. We have specifically been working with Brother Raymond, a referral given to us my first week here. He has been progressing very well. He willingly excepts the doctrine we share, and reads the assignments we have given him. He has attended church 3 times in a row now. This past week we were able to focus on the restoration and the Book of Mormon with him. We invited him to pray about it. And at our next visit he told us he believes that Joseph Smith was God's called Prophet and he is now reading the Book of Mormon. This last Sunday we saw him at church, wearing Sunday's best, and he was earlier than the members who were supposed to pick him up. He is a great prepared son of God. And when his wife gets back from work in a another part of the Philippines he is going to share it with her. He lived a very different life in the past, a life that he expressed he never wanted to go back to. Once he gets a strong testimony of the gospel, and atonement of Jesus Christ. Hes going to be baptized, and become a great leader someday. I just know it. Through all the busy stressful times. Teaching the gospel to him is a breathe of fresh air.
One particular experience we had was this past Saturday. Its was pretty crazy from Friday night, to Saturday afternoon. Having to pick up the mattresses from Carissa, the help missionaries get to their apartments for the night. And then waking up at 3 so we coukd pick up missionaries and get them to the office on time. Well we didnt get much sleep. And we were pretty weak by the end of the day. We finished with the fingerprinting and dropping of missionaries around 5. And we were beat, with only 3 or so hours of sleep we were pretty tired. We just kept getting the feeling of just going home and resting for a bit. But we knew that we might miss out on time to work the field and that it was not the right thing to do. I kept thinking of the word of Elder Holland to the missionaries in brazil, "Just reach down, pull up your socks, and go to work. Start fast. Run hard, and to the tape! You can rest later." So with a prayer in our hearts for strength, we went to work tired,and half asleep,:) But we ended up having a great experience of being able to find one of Gods prepared children. We taught her a simple overview of the gospel message and invited her to read. There was a great glow on her face, as she accepted the invitation to read. And that next day, after just one short lesson. She came to church! Can you imagine what would of happened if we didn't go to work? If we just rested? We might never have found her. And that would of been on our heads. I'm grateful for that spirit and blessing from God to give us strength for that day. He knows us, and he knows our strengths and limitations. He knew we were close to that limitation. But he knew we could do it. He blessed us with just enough strength to carry on. And the results were positive. He really is mindful of his missionaries. Its been a good ride:)
Love, Elder Collins