“Iron Rod..will safely guide us through”

Kumusta aking Pamiliya!!

Thank you for your emails!!  =)  I’m glad to hear the good things going on there!
So today, of course, is Preparation Day!  And I had a list of things that I would like to get done…but I only got a handful done.  Though I got my full hour of personal study in and 1/2 hour of language study in, and then a few other things.  Even though it might seem like I only got a handful of things completed, I feel successful and renewed!  I know that is because I made the choice to put the Lord first and get my full studying in as best I can, and the Lord granted me His Spirit.  Everything is always better with the companionship of the Holy Ghost!  =)
I know that there is GREAT POWER in exact obedience, especially in putting the Lord first.  I suppose that’s why Missionaries are asked to study in the Morning and ‘protect the morning schedule’.  I feel like I’m making steps in the right direction to better become the Missionary who the Lord wants me to be.  I feel more humble – seeing my deep need for the Lord – and I know that He will help me!  I’ll do whatever it takes in order to receive that help, cause without it – this work simply cannot be done.
Yesterday I was reading in Helaman 5.  I think that is one of my favorite chapters.  As I was reading, it occurred to me of how the Lord was working in his vineyard alongside Nephi and Lehi.  So then I read the chapter and underlined in blue the things the Lord did and in green the things the missionaries did.  And lo and behold – what the Lord did was so much greater than what the missionaries did.  Though it started with the missionaries – their commitment and obedience to the commandments to the Lord, doing good works for the right reasons, and remembering the Atonement and conditions of repentance, even what that means for people and their salvation.  These missionaries went forth doing just that and went forth and did speak, take courage, stand forth and speak again…  And God provided along the way and through the Spirit touched and guided the hearts of these people home to Him.  And then I LOVE verse 36: they ‘lift their eyes to heaven’ and ‘attitude as if talking of lifting up their voices to some being who they beheld.’  This kept them sure as God’s missionaries.
There is certainly opposition.  I love how one person called it the “front lines” in this spiritual battle.  And I suppose that’s what grants missionaries such a great opportunity for growth.  I feel like I’ve struggled quite a lot since October 10, 2012.  But I am NOT alone out here – especially Spiritually.  The Lord “just thought [I] could use a little more refinement” which I have certainly needed.  Sorry that this email might not be so much about the people or the culture (unless I have time to add more – but I’ll restart it next week), but I need to share this.  I feel like my little degrees of pride and worry have bubbled to the surface so that they could be done away with once and for all, as long as I continue to come unto Christ.  I feel like we haven’t had much external success since I’ve been in the field, but like the Lord told me when I first got to the Philippines: that if I learned how to work well with my companion, then it would be a success.  And through that I feel like I have grown on the inside – It’s much more peaceful inside me, I worry less, I feel like I’m understanding the Lord’s ways more, and feel his love for me.
So Thank you all so very, very much for your prayers - missionaries need them!  But I feel like this is/has become a key turning point in my life.  I KNOW that this work is WAY over my head, but EVEN MORE SO:  I KNOW THAT WITH GOD NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING,  IS IMPOSSIBLE!  He always opens the way to those who seek it and especially to those who seek Him and to do his will. (D&C 84:88)
If there is something in my life, without which I would still be very spiritually lost and struggling in “mists of darkness,” it is the Word of God.  ALL meanings of this phrase, including the Book of Mormon and words of the modern day prophets, prayer, the Holy Ghost, and my Savior’s power through the atonement (Helaman 5:12).  If I’m learning anything, it is that it will be soon nigh impossible to find our way (#1 spiritually, but perhaps temporally too) if we are not “holding fast” to the iron rod.
I love the definition of feasting given in our Pasay Stake Conference by Sister Teh: that feasting has connotation of being ‘delicious’.  If the food wasn’t delicious, I would not eat it!  So too with scripture reading and the word of God!  It must become “delicious for us”. There are many tools that we can use to help make our scripture study (not merely reading) delicious to us.
She then listed lds study helps, lds.org, dictionary/thesaurus, and encyclopedia. She then gave some examples and it was neat!  One example was that she read about sheep goats in the scriptures and then looked up about the habits/characteristics of sheep and goats and it was very eye opening.  Perhaps many people struggle to get into the scriptures because they don’t know how to feast from them…
Anyway, I love you all very much.  I am growing much…  ;)  I pray that we never let go of the iron rod, for any reason.  And lately I’ve been learning more about slowing down and realigning myself with the Lord – because then the rate of my success will increase!  Because I’m thus on His Errand by His Spirit in His way, and there is nothing better.  =)
Mahal na mahal para walang hanggang,
Sister Hayden

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