Friday, September 26, 2014

22 September 2014


We have been so blessed this past week! And I will just share with you my highlight. Desiree was baptised! Desiree is really special - I know she looks really petite but I promise you she has so much inner strength. After her baptism, during the baptismal service, we gave her the opportunity to share her testimony and although normally she is a little shy, she really opened up! And she shared her conversion story and how she had denied the faith of her childhood for more than a decade but when typhoon Haiyan came she saw God's power and she thought she was going to die and the kitchen had washed out and she saw some scriptures float out of a hiding place her mum put it in (her dad was not a member of the church and did not approve of any church literature) and it was covered in mud but otherwise undamaged and she knew through these personal trials, her family trials, the trials of her whole city that it was time to go back to God. And you could see how much it meant to her to be baptised this day into the Lord's church and to have the opportunity to start again, to literally be reborn and ... that was the highlight of her baptism. I've noticed for baptisms of different people, different things stand out. I remember for the first baptism I had on my mission, I felt the Spirit really strongly as she walked into the font and went under the water and came back up again - because she was glowing. And it is just such a privilege to be able to help people make changes in their life to bring them closer to God, and such a blessing to be able to watch their journey. My own faith is fortified so much in this journey, everyday.

And I am so excited for my little sister Eliza - soon to be Sister Magallanes - who has been called to serve in the Philippines Quezon City North mission - right next to my brother in Angeles which is super cute. I know she will have many more such amazing stories and meet such a wide diversity of people from which she will learn so much from - and my experience with Desiree from the Philippines is like a taste of their missions haha. But each mission is so unique! And I ponder sometimes why I've been sent to Adelaide and what I can do for the people here and some personal reflections just include that: the Lord needed me to keep up my English for whatever reason, the Lord needed me to learn how to do missionary work in such a way that I can apply it pretty much straight off the plane when I get back, I needed President and Sister Carter, I needed my companions, I needed the people I am teaching and meeting everyday, I needed a "hard" mission - one with lower baptismal statistics and people not so open or friendly on the streets (the ironic Adelaide city of churches has a lot of non-church goers it seems - but there are many church buildings! I can testify to that!) because only in this kind of environment could I learn the lessons I need to, could I find courage and faith and extroversion even. So, those are a few of my reflections.

I love this work! I truly do. With all my heart. And I can't believe how quickly time flies but I love being in the middle of my mission and as far as I'm concerned, I intend to stay in the mindset of the middle of the mission as time ticks on. I love serving in Christies Beach! I'm really beginning to suspect that Christies Beach is Zion because people literally turn up to church who live in our area - and our chapel building isn't even in our area! Isn't it cool how the Holy Spirit works, prompting those who are ready? My prayers are answered to lead us to those who are searching for us or to lead them to us.

It's just so great. Words cannot express it. I think it is so great partly because you give up all that you have to be here. Not only all that you have - but all that you are. And as you lose yourself, I've seen the promise of the Savior to be true - I have found myself.

Love to you all! So excited to hear that the work in humble Hassall Grove ward is booming! ZAAM it up family! I hope everybody that reads this will be able to see the miracles in the everyday. Because they are there! And a grateful heart is step 1 to seeing the tender mercies of the Lord in your life that Nephi speaks of. 


Sister Magallanes

Friday, September 12, 2014

8 September 2014

As usual my brain is scattered and thoughts fly everywhere but I did note down during the week things that happened that I thought would be good to note down and share and so, here we go!

There's a new Mormon Message that I thought was really powerful. An Elder described it to me as a "James Bond" Mormon Message and naturally, my curiosity was piqued and I can see the James Bond (because of his suit and his hair being too long for an Elder) but I really, really loved the cinematography of the Mormon Message - the mis-en-scene and how minimalistic the setting was. Unfortunately I can't remember the title but bear with me!!! It is about an Atheist man and his journey to finding God. Favourite scenes include when he is literally walking up and down that desert terrain - reflective of the ups and downs of life. The bbq in the middle of the desert also made so much sense to me because that is how ... jarring or dissonant those happy families and faces were to his life. And little things like the slow motion rewind of the water in the pan representing his fast. The overall message was that perhaps it isn't that the Lord doesn't speak to us, He speaks to us all the time. The real question is are we listening? Are we recognising that things come from Him? Are we even at a point in our life where we are able to? And no matter where we are on our journey of faith, just trust that God knows where you are and He will lead you back to Him. Trust in Him. Trust that there is more, trust that you will receive (or recognise) the answers to your prayers...
Maybe Eliza if you could attach the Mormon Message then people could stop scratching their heads about this video but it is great! We've shown it to a few people. 

Other things... last week I finished reading the New Testament!
I love drinking from the written word. To be honest, a lot of it was a bit hard for me to understand but after Revelations and realising things are meant to be taken symbolically a lot of the time and things are hard to understand without the context of the time period or culture then that helped. it also strengthened my testimony that although I love the Bible, a lot of plain and precious truths have been removed - I can see that, and it strengthens my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I am up to Alma now in the Book of Mormon (I read things concurrently as you can see...) and I just read over chapter 5 and this is my favourite chapter because if you are in the right place, the Spirit can be felt there and it really convicts you. I love how bold Alma is and I'm so grateful that his powerful testimony and example is recorded and that I have access to it! I'm able to learn and hopefully apply it in my daily life. 

This past week my companion and I were also very blessed (my companion was especially blessed! She's so funny - have I ever told you about her wry sense of humour?) to give training in district meeting! We shared some scriptures I'll share with you briefly (by the way, if I start talking with too much jargon - feel free to ask for an explanation. I think my email is on the webpage somewhere). In John 21:13-18 Jesus asks Peter if he loves him three times. Peter says, 'Yes Lord, you know I love you to which Jesus responds 'feed my lambs'. And then the second time and third time Peter says yes, the Lord tells him to feed my sheep. I would refer to the scriptures themselves for a more accurate reading... but in any case! The mandate from Christ is quite clear! Feed the lambs! Feed the sheep! But who are the sheep? In terms of missionary work, sheep are all around us. And they make the tenuous steps back into the Good Shepherd's fold when they first accept the invitation to listen to the message of the restored gospel. And this leads us to another scripture. Ezekiel 34 and vs 2 of that says 'Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?' and then the Lord goes on to reprove those shepherds in that verse. Woe be to the missionaries that feed themselves and not the sheep.... And with the adage 'every member a missionary' perhaps woe to a few more other people also..... Giving training on something we were struggling with (finding new investigators) really helped to open our minds. So with more determination we set out to properly follow up those who had accepted an invitation to listen to the restored gospel. And many blessings followed! And one of them was a Filipino lady and her beautiful young family. She's been through a lot and because she's Filipino - it always reminds me of home. Not in a homesick way - just in a that her accent, her children, her household even is all that little bit familiar. And we are going to visit them again next Tuesday!
So, not sure why I shared that. Maybe to help me remember in the future to feed the sheep (find the lambs, feed the sheep! Gordon B. Hinckley, 1999. that reference was awful but it was a really good talk!) or to help me to remember to trust in the Lord more. He will see us through. That I have definitely learnt!

We have another beautiful (everybody in Adelaide is beautiful by the way) sister preparing for baptism in the upcoming weeks! Her testimony is so tender. I feel very blessed to have been a part of her journey into the restored gospel. 

Other fun things - I'm still baking! (there is a picture. sorry, it is the only picture I've taken lately...) Today is P-day so I made banana bread and I'm going to experiment making some kind of pizza (thanks Tita Tasmin for the recipe!) for lunch. And it is always great fun being able to share the spoils of my labour. 

Isn't the gospel beautiful? Isn't the world beautiful? How blessed are we to live in a day and age where the secrets to peace and happiness are not so secret after all! I know that my Father in Heaven loves me. I know that my Saviour, even Jesus Christ, loves me and atoned for me personally. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored in these latter days and I am so blessed to be able to represent that church, to represent even the Savior in preaching the gospel to the world (one person at a time.....).

Love to you all from Adelaide!

Sister Magallanes