Tuesday, July 30, 2013

When All Is Said And Done

Yes you were all right. mixed emotions and all that fun stuff ha. This last weekend was about all i could ask for to finish off my service here in roxas. We had planned a half day mission that we put in a lot of effort to to support member missionary work, train home and visiting teachers, visit less active members and then we finished it all off with the baptism of Jovelyn Nosuelo. Things were PERFECT. Ive come to love the chaos and anxiety of not knowing how things will go or if people will show up on time or even at all but this weekend was a tender mercy of the lord and Im very grateful for how it went. 

I'll give you my final thoughts now (: just like most of them here in roxas its related to gregorio manzano. (the stroke victem that cant talk anymore) 

            We havent been able to pick tatay up for church for a long time because they adjusted out PEC to mornings and tatays family had said hes now too weak to come to church he cant make it up the stairs or even hardly around the yard (he is the only member in his family) ...
so we were completely surprised when we saw him arrive at sacrament meeting. members from branch 1 had helped him make the climb up the stairs. His family thought he was sitting in his wheelchair in the shade but he had given them the slip and pushed his wheel chair to church. (He is very very weak I dont know how he made the trip alone) but he did. by the time he finally sat down the meeting had already started. 
after the meeting we helped him down the flight of stairs down to his wheel chair and we were going to take him home, but he pointed do his pocket and then to an envelope. He wanted to pay his tithing. 
          tatay cant write very legeable so we wrote on the tithing slip for him and this is the part that melted my heart. He pulled out 2 bills. a 50 peso bill and a 500 peso bill. As we all know tithing is 10 percent and we were astonished when he handed us the 500 pesos. We handed it back to him and asked him if he had made a mistake but he shook his head and assured us no mistake was made, he then pointed at the 50 pesos and made a hand gesture telling us that the 50 was for his food. 
           I dont know why this affected me so much. but It was just such a mind opening experience and i was so touched that a man in such horrible circumstances would push his wheelchair by himself wearing shorts and a t shirt he had drooled on and spilled on while he was walking would find a way to give an overly generous offering. Noone had follwed up with him about tithing, It didnt come from us teaching him or anyone visiting him, He simply wanted to give what he could to the lord. 
           It made me think of how utterly pointless when all is said and done to spend our life in search of material gain. How painful it must be at the last day to have wasted away your days building up worldy riches but neglected to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, lift up the hands that hang down. When sickness comes and old age sets in how much are all these "things" going to really mean when in the mean time we have neglected to take care of our friends that need our help, or to follow the example of john tanner and build up "treasures in heaven."
            I like to just think of the time the lord has given me here as the fast version of life. I have a certain ammount of time alloted to CHOOSE what I will do. I have a time of preparation before we come and theres a time where I will return home and account for my use of that time. What a blessing to be able to see this and I think Im the most blessed person in the world for how things have turned out. I think the best way to describe this experience is ether 12 27. Ive strived to stay close to the lord, Hes shown me how weak and helpless i am in my own strength, and hes also shown me that through him, all those weaknesses can be made strengths. 
           I remember president carlos once said to me that at the end of the mission the only way you can really judge if you were succesful or not is if in the end, can you say.. "wow i learned a lot. Ive grown closer to the savior, my testimony has increased, My love for the scriptures and prayer has increased. I can love people more and Im more humble. if you can say any of those things you can say youve been a successful missionary." 
            Well Ive grown a lot. My testimony has increased and I have learned more of how much i completely rely on the savior for everything and without him Im nothing. I love the scriptures and I finally learned how to pray. I learned to love a people that at first i didnt understand and although prides my biggest weakness Ive come a long way. Ive done my best and Im ready to come home and live what I have preached.
               If ever there comes a time that I dont live up to the standards I have set for myself through all these letters i have sent, please be patient with me. (: But i will strive to live worthy for the blessings I have recieved. The song from 17 miracles "Savior Redeemer of my Soul" describles how I feel....

 Savior, Redeemer of my soul,
Whose mighty hand hath made me whole,
Whose wondrous pow’r hath raised me up
And filled with sweet my bitter cup!
What tongue my gratitude can tell,
O gracious God of Israel.
 Never can I repay thee, Lord,
But I can love thee. Thy pure word,
Hath it not been my one delight,
My joy by day, my dream by night?
Then let my lips proclaim it still,
And all my life reflect thy will.
 O’errule mine acts to serve thine ends.
Change frowning foes to smiling friends.
Chasten my soul till I shall be
In perfect harmony with thee.
Make me more worthy of thy love,
And fit me for the life above.

Well all is said and almost done. I love you all. see you in a few days. 
love... elder landeen

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