God is with us, then why should we fear…

Kumusta minamahal Pamilia ko!!!

FIRSTLY HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM, LARISA, AND MARK!!!!!!!  I thought about it this past week and last two Preparation Days, but forgot when I was emailing!
I am doing well!  =D  Thanks for all your comments and emails!!  I feel like I am on a serious learning curve!  It’s great, and I feel like my spiritual vision is becoming more and more clear, and Heavenly Father is granting me experiences to learn along the way…and sometimes they’re really hard, but the Atonement is carrying me more than ever before!  I am not alone out here – help is always available (D&C 4:7).  I remember that one of my Stake Presidents commented that on a mission that I would have wonderful experiences and real challenges.  It’s True!  But more and more I’m grateful for both!  I’m working on the attribute of Patience right now.  On Sunday I followed the counsel given to ‘use Preach My Gospel to meet your needs’!  And so I did, and it was wonderful – looking back I now realize that I was led to this attribute, though I didn’t know it at the time.  And I’ve needed it.  It’s amazing how patience calms everything inside and enables the Spirit to enter and stay with you and direct you – I guess that’s why one scripture says, “In patience ye possess your souls”.  I have definitely had challenges, but I’m learning more and more to appreciate them as treasures, because I’m getting to experience in the tiniest degree how our Savior felt and walk as he walked.  One, as I read the Book of Mormon, it was opened to my eyes some of what was ahead of me – and I thought “Oh no,…I’m not so sure if I can do this…” (it would be so alone) and so I cried in my heart to God and said a prayer (explaining my feelings, but my desire to do what He asks), and I felt comfort, even an unseen angel sent to give me comfort and strength, and I am counting my own will but naught and am going to serve the Lord!!  It really opened up to my view and made me SOOO grateful for our Savior and that He went through with the Atonement for each of us.  I am grateful for opportunities to better come to know my Savior, though painful they may be!  Truly the Atonement will carry each of us, especially missionaries if we’ll just do what our Savior asks of us and let Him into our lives – and after the moment of hardship, if we continue in Christ, there always is the glorious and joyful dawn!  My faith is growing, and when times get hard – I’m coming to see it more and more as an opportunity to redouble my faith and to be refined by the Hand of God for Celestial Glory that will be mine as I continue!
One experience I had today, I was on a Jeepney and I started chatting with all those around me – some I received an address for missionaries to come by, others I referred towww.mormon.org, and I committed to be more bold and just share about the Restoration as it says in Preach My Gospel, and as Elder Holland said to missionaries – “GO ASTONISH SOMEBODY!!” (And it IS exactly like Mosiah 27!!  So I chatted and then shared that there are 12 Apostles again on earth, then I shared my testimony (following the principles of The Restoration lesson) and invited her to read the Book of Mormon to find out for herself.  She was amazed, and at first scared but I assured her not to be and further explained.  She was ‘amazed’ you could say and was willing to pray and ask God.  THAT is the missionary work that God has been trying to lead me to do.  It reminds me of an experience I had with my companion: we were going out and after she showed me a text that was sent before that an activity was cancelled.  I had brought stuff for that activity that I was now hauling around for no reason!  Why didn’t you tell me?! So that I could prepare.  I would have done differently if I had known…  And so this experience was in my mind and sitting pondering, it clicked (and the Spirit taught me):  These people deserve to hear the truth – just like me and the stuff I brought, they too would have prepared differently if they had just known…
So, as I promised a little more about the Philippines/answers to questions:
How are you?
 - Good, but to be honest tired.  It’s amazing though how the Lord sustains and gives strength and energy when one obeys the mission standards, counsel from leaders, and commandments.  So I’m doing well, my health is good!
From your experience as a missionary so far, what is the best way a member can share the gospel with others?

How is your weather?
 - Hot/warm… It’s good.  I don’t mind it.  My body really did adjust well, and I know that it was God’s power and my striving to eat/live healthy, and the things you sent me with Mom!
How is the work?
- It is good…I’m beginning to understand things better.  Like what the Lord means when he says HASTEN the work!  The need to be worthy/obedient, the need to work with members, and follow the Spirit.  I’m learning that Practice Teaching (Learn the doctrine, demonstrate, practice, evaluate, re-practice  is crucial to receiving daily revelation and really improving as a missionary when working with others.  We were chastened at our Zone Conference for living under our privileges - including with Obedience!, Faith in Jesus Christ, Diligence, and Mighty Prayer!
Have you been anywhere exciting?
What do you usually eat at home?
- RICE, RICE, VEGETABLES/FRUIT, RICE w/ toppings…  Hey, I found brown rice!  And I’m finding better places to find fruits/veggies here.  If there is one thing I miss it is real whole wheat bread…all the wheat/bread here is like pastry type stuff.  And the apples aren’t quite the same here compared to Washington…  =)   But other fruits foods no where else are AWESOME!  Especially ube!
How often do you eat w/ members?
- Every once in a while…It’s not really planned so well here.  The wards/stakes aren’t quite as established as the US, and the culture is different.  Hopefully working with members will improve – or rather it will!  Because that is the counsel!
So I’m out of time, but I love you all, and I’ll continue to share experiences/answer those questions in the next weeks!
Love forever (& more than ever before),
Sister Hayden  ;J

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