Sunday, June 28, 2009

Missionaries Fireside: Importance of Retention

Before heading to our appointment we gotta strike some pose first while waiting for Elder Ontoria to finish that second set of pancit after munching on the baked macaroni. Who said work is supposed to be always serious?

Birthday girl Sister Faith Rose Jagodilla, Me, Sister Jenny Jungco (she will be serving in the Philippines Laog Mission by Friday) and Sister Michele Joyce Araneta

Jaro 2 Ward Missionaries together with our Bishopric and FT missionaries

Sundays are always best time to contemplate, relax and learn new things. We had a full-time missionaries and ward missionaries fireside yesterday together with Elder Ontoria, Elder Ford (they are the FT missionaries currently serving in our ward) and we also had guests missionaries from the Iloilo Stake, Manduriao Ward--Elder Canas and I'm sorry I forgot the name of his companion that has the eyes like that of Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell of Prison Break. I meant that as a compliment because not everyone has the eyes like that of a I'm just joking. I mean not everyone has the eyes like that of a celebrity.

Our resource speaker was Elder Canas (I'm sorry my ALT+164 wouldn't work so I can't type "enye" like that used in Spanish words like "Nino", "Nina) but his name is pronounced as "Canyas". He's such a very moving speaker. He always emphasizes to "Do Not Underestimate..." the power of our example, the capacity of every sister, the worth of every soul. I think he's a really powerful and humble servant of the Lord. He talked about the importance of Retention.

I almost forgot, our FT missionaries gave a report of the progress of the investigators in our area and it's so cool to know that our investigator, Brother Jordan Deslate, is about to be baptized this coming July 4th! His mom and sister were baptized by Elder McCook (now he's in Canlaon) and they're indeed cool investigators preparing nosh whenever we visit. Other progressing investigators include Maryvel (she's the cousin of Sister Carla), Jenny(lives in the same house with Carla and Maryvel), Brother Detsusa, Patong Herrera (when we met him we envisioned him to be a great and just cool YM President), Catahay Family, Hontoria Family in Linao Balabag, Baclas Family. Those are just some of the names of the investigators we're helping out in going back in the true and restored gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Elder Canas quoted President Gordon B. Hinckley, "Serving a mission is the best training a woman could ever have in her preparation to becoming a mother". I felt the veracity of the said statement and I know that the Lord will help me better equipped in the many challenges motherhood would ever give me through my mission experiences. He also gave a brief account of his conversion and how the sister missionaries were able to help him become converted in the Church. He was a former pastor in another denomination and he was helped to be converted in the restored gospel through the efforts of sister missionaries that were assigned in his area in Davao.

IQ Test in Greece

He then related a story about how IQ test was done in Greece. He said that a person with an average IQ, when tasked to take all the water in a fish pond would automatically respond by bringing a pail and using it, take all the water out of the pond. However, a person with a wiser and comparatively higher IQ would stop the source of the water and then take the water out of the pond using the pail. It's about stopping the cause of the problem before focusing on the visible problem. Also, it's a matter of resolving the problem from the roots instead of just giving solution to the problems in the leaves or the stem.

Saving the Star Fish

A man was observed carrying the star fish from the seashore and throwing it back to the depths of the sea. One man who's been observing him doing the same thing over and over again couldn't help but approach him and asked why is he trying to save the star fishes when there's a lot of them being tossed by the waves in the seashore and they will eventually die. The man replied while holding the star fish in one hand, "With this, I can make a difference".

Most of the time we underestimate the power of the difference we can make in the world because we seem to be the only one doing the thing we're doing or probably because of the fear that we won't make a big impact or change in the world at all. Well, we should think again. If all the people who would like to make a change would be overpowered by such thought Satan is trying to put in our minds, we will definitely wouldn't change a thing. But if we will all strive to do what we think is right even if others cannot, then in our little ways the world will change little by little day by day. I like it better to think that I could make a single though little difference in the world for the better than to think that my life is just a wasted opportunity. I'd rather keep in my mind a positive perspective that my Heavenly Father has commissioned me to do marvelous things in my little capacity and that with His grand help I could accomplish a lot of things, than to just think miserably or stand idly without doing anything at all. You see, we all have the capacity to do great things as we start working on our own little circumstances as from small and simple things great things shall come to pass.

Correlation of the Evils

One day a group of evils wanted to thwart the work of the Lord and stop the members of the Church to continue praising their God and serving their Lord. They wanted the members to become inactive or less active in attending their sacrament meeting or attending their Sunday service. One of them suggested that they would kidnap the leaders. They all laughed at the idea since they couldn't possibly do that since they do not have bodies. Another one suggested that they would kill the leaders. They all laughed at the idea since they again couldn't do that since they are bodiless. Another wisely suggested that they would just whisper in the ears of the faithful members that going to the Church is useless or that listening the the sermon or talk of the speaker would do them no good. At that, they all agreed would be the best thing to do.

The soldiers of Satan are doing the best that they can to prevent us from doing what is best for us and in the progress of the work of the Lord. They know that if we stop in our regular attendance in our sacrament meetings we will eventually become weak and so does will the army of the Lord. They would like us to feel that our little actions of kindness will go unnoticed in the eyes of the Lord and that attending our services every Sunday will do us no good because the talks and sermons will all be the same and repeated over and over again. But the truth is, all the simple things we do are building blocks in keeping us nourished and strengthened so we could fight all the temptations and trials that could come in our lives. Just as cements are made of pebbles, sand and little stones. Without the accumulated little things we do we won't be able to create something really big and strong.

Elder Canas then concluded that it is easier to retain than to retake. Indeed it's harder to convince someone the second time around though others take that love is sweeter the second time around. But you see, the path to righteousness is much more difficult to trace when you have to do it again because the expectation and the challenge is much greater.

It was also Sister Faith Rose Jagodilla's 18th birthday yesterday. She's a lovely and faithful daughter of God. She's always open to learning and very humble in all she does. I gave her a pink key chain I bought from our little escapade in Boracay.

Afterwards we visited families Silan, Patong Herrara and Trixie. The work was fun again because we were fed with highly uplifting and spiritual stories. I know that it is our duty to help ever new members and investigators to grow spiritually in the knowledge of the truth and that we should help and guide them all the way as they strive to have a deeper testimony of the truth. I've been through that stage in my life wherein I needed a confirmation that what I know is really true. My friends in the Church have helped me in the journey and I would be eternally be grateful to them for all the support and love that they've let me feel during that vulnerable and critical phase in my quest for truth.