Friday, February 28, 2014

--ROLLER COASTER MISSION LIFE--

Aloha yall!

This week was transfers and my new companion is Elder Gaerlan from Davao. I couldn't be happier. He is so so great. In only 5 days, so much has happened. We stopped to talk to a woman, Michelle, on the street and she invited us to come teach her family. She came to church on Sunday!! We went and visited her and she has a mute child that knows sign language. sweetest child. I felt bad I couldn't communicate with her. So the next day, I had one of the sister missionaries in Valencia, teach me sign language because she knows it. We went back and I literally had a full conversation with her. When we walked up, she signed energetically that she was happy to see us and she wants to go to church and we talked back and forth, it was incredible. I believe in the gift of hands...hahah.  In our lesson with Michelle, we explained how we had a feeling to go back and talk to her on that first day we met, and we told her that that was evidence that Heavenly Father loved her. She cried and cried. It was a really touching experience. 

The other day, we went to go teach Brenda and she was so happy to see us. Sometimes she's nervous because her husband doesn't like it when we come, but he was out of town. We were about to read a scripture, when all of a sudden, the door swung open and there stood her husband with fire in his eyes. My stomach dropped. He yelled and kicked us out.  It was the hardest thing of my life. Please pray that his heart will be softened. 

This life is really emotionally trying. It's incredible to see people feel the Spirit in their life and accept the gospel, but it is so hard to see the persecution and trials that some people face. I find comfort that all hardships will end and we may rest someday. It's a good motivation to 'seek the Lord' in all our doings. Pray and love deeply. 

Congratulations Mara!!! happy wedding!

I love yall,
Elder Mahaffey

Saturday, February 15, 2014

"A Change Gon' Come"

Hello!

Brenda walked all the way to church (like 2 miles) with her two kids on Sunday, but when they got there, she thought it was too late and didn't know where to go in and we had already gone inside, so they just walked home. They texted us later what happened and we couldn't believe it. So after church we went and picked them up in a trike and came back and gave a her a tour of the chapel. It was so perfect, it seemed like we practiced it haha when we walked in, there was a member from every auxillary that fellow shipped them. It was a great experience. She's reading the book of Mormon every day and her life is changing-- she says her prayers are more sincere, she feels happier even with all the trials in her life. 

This week is transfers, and Elder Laureano is being transferred to the city for his last 6 weeks. I'm
ma miss him and his singing, and I know that Valencia will too. I feel bad for him because he is so sad to leave this area. There really is something different and sacred about it. 

One of the best things about this island is that it's volcanic so the soil is the most fertile which makes the fruit sweeter. Jack fruit, mangoes, bananas, ramputan, lansones...ah the best. It's a garden of Eden. 

Hope everyone is happy and healthy! I challenge you to make your prayers more sincere this week.

love,
Elder Sum

Valencia Chapel

With Elder Laureano and sweet sister from Valencia Ward

Going to miss this companion ! 

Trying my hand at plowing the good earth.







Tuesday, February 4, 2014

F I N D I N G B R E N D A--

Dear Family,

You wouldn't believe our week even if you were with me.

Last Thursday, we set out to find the woman from the cemetery that I told you about. She had given us vague directions to her house in the mountains, but we prayed fervently that we'd find her. We finally came to an open field and an old man came out of nowhere, smiled a toothless smile, shook our hands, and then motioned to follow him, without saying anything. We followed him until he led us to a wooden house in the a clearing of trees, then he disappeared around the back side. We knocked on the door, and it was Brenda (the woman from the cemetery), and she saw us and grinned and clapped her hands and welcomed us in. "I've been waiting for you!!"....I don't know how I can stress enough what a miracle it was. First, that we met her, Second, we found her house...and third she loves the gospel. Oh we've been back a couple of times and she is great. The most receptive. We told her about baptisms for the dead and temple sealings and she said "This is the first time i heard that! That's amazing!" God is good.

The next day, we decided to take a motorcycle up into the mountains where we've never been. When we got there, it was quiet and peaceful and foggy. The first house we went up to, we were talking to a woman and she knew Elder Laureano. She was a less-active member who was in his ward in Davao...WHAT?! These are not coincidences. This is the Lord's work. Later, we tracted a house and they received us in and people came from all around and sat down and listened. They treated us like kings. It was incredible.

Saturday was Brother Hermano Montinod's baptism and it was perfect. He was humbly excited, just squinted-eye smiling. After the baptism, he got up and shared an eloquent testimony. It shocked us so good. Ah the best!! 






I love this land more than I can say. Words ain't enough. Heavenly Father is really a God of miracles. I'm grateful for the Spirit in our lives. Although he "does not always tarry" with us, he can certainly be with us more of the time than not. Continue to let his influence bless your life and guide you to the "heavenly city" every day. Let the presence sanctify you and guide you to those in need. I believe all of us have a "Brenda" in our lives who might be quietly suffering and waiting for us. We can be the vessels to bring the healing gospel of Jesus Christ to them. No effort is wasted!

Love,
Elder Mahaffey