Happy New Year! Happy New Beginnings!
Kamusta? Como estas? How are you? We had a wonderful week. I enjoyed talking to my family on Christmas eve (Philippine time). I so miss my family and I was happy to see them on skype! I'm grateful for the technology! :)
I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas with their families and loved ones! December has been a very good month for us missionaries since most people we talked to were just very receptive to the Spirit. We have also seen some progress in reactivating some less actives. Some of them started returning to Church again after many years of absence.
Our companionship is going pretty good. I think one of the strengths we have as companions last week was to be able to study well before our appointments. And also I'm still learning the culture here so my companion is helping me with that too.
Yesterday, I had an opportunity with my companion to speak in the sacrament meeting for the 15th ward. I talked about the "importance of hope in the wicked world." When we got a text from our bishop asking us to speak, I already thought of "hope" as my topic and surprisingly he gave that as one of the choices. So I would like to share some of the highlights that I shared in our sacrament meeting yesterday.
For me, Hope is easy to define in our everyday language but it's hard to understand and apply its principles especially in this world where wickedness and darkness exist. I love how hope is defined in "True to the Faith." It is defined as "sure, unwavering and active." The Hope that everyone must have is this HOPE in the LIGHT OF CHRIST.
In my talk I shared a personal story of how my family survived the heavy flood we had a few years ago after a super typhoon hit the Philippines. And I told them that it was our hope (which is sure and unwavering) that helped us overcome our despair during those challenging moments. I shared that it was really hard to swim in a dirty water and it was harder to evacuate our house but I was impressed of how my parents handled our situation. I love how Filipinos stand up again every after a storm.
I know that the darkness I experienced during the typhoon is a metaphor of life. Part of our life is to feel as though we are surrounded by darkness such as trials, unrighteous influences, fears, sickness, natural disasters, doubts and many more. But we have to remember that we are sons and daughters of our kind and loving Heavenly Father. We have great potentials. WE CAN DO HARD THINGS! There is a need to be hopeful every day, even after we fall, because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. He made it possible for us to be forgiven if we repent and if we turn our lives unto Him. We should follow Jesus Christ who said "I am the light of the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12).
I know that one of the best ways we can understand the principle of hope is to accept that darkness (trials, fears, wickedness, etc) exist but we should not dwell there. We must remember that there is also light that comes from Jesus Christ and WE SHOULD dwell there. And as we walk in His light, we can be able to cross safely the storms of life.
I am grateful for the opportunity to speak yesterday to the congregation. I am grateful for the Spirit that everyone felt when my companion and I shared our experiences and our testimonies. Our mission president and his wife were also there with us and were very happy to hear us speak. It was an amazing experience. A lot of people came to us after the sacrament and told us that they cried and felt the Spirit. Some people called us after and thanked us. I know that I was not able to touch the hearts of these people without the spiritual strength I got from my loving Heavenly Father. I'm grateful for the Holy Ghost in my life and for the perfect love I continuously receive from Jesus Christ.
This New Year's I invite you to always look forward for the blessings that Heavenly Father has stored for each of you. As you do so, you also have to strive to walk in the light of Christ and share the gospel's blessings to your neighbors. I know that the Heavens are open to everyone. We need to seek those who have strayed away from the gospel and those who are still searching for truth.
Thank you for all your Christmas cards and letters! I received soooo much gifts and letters this Christmas! Like our room was filled with gifts on Christmas day. I'm blessed to receive so much love from the people here in Twin Falls!
Love you all!
- Sister Taguba
Recap from last week:
1. We had a white Christmas! My prayers were answered! :) (picture attached)
2. I get to spend Christmas with some family members. Got to make ginger bread house and play as a shepherd during the nativity scene as part of their family traditions. (picture attached)
3. Went to see Christmas lights around Twin with some members; made caramel apple and pie crest. (picture attached)