Monday, August 4, 2008

August 3rd

Pala is a word that simply expresses surprise, kind of. There seem to be a lot of words like that in this language. I keep trying to think of words in English that do the same kind of thing, and don't have an exact translation. But, I can't think in English very well right now. Yesterday, Sunday, I went with two of the older sisters in our ward to teach the visiting teaching lesson to some less active sisters. The lesson was about our divine qualities as daughters of God and two of the five we taught to ended up in tears with the rest of us... I really felt the spirit with those sisters and felt like it was easier to teach in Tagalog than it had been all week. My health seems to be mostly better now... it went from being a strange head ache and fever to being a stomach issue with some LBM and now I am off the soda (hoorayfor a good excuse) and only eat very little but more frequently if possible... that seems to help the most. If it doesn't keep getting better I might have to go see a doctor, but hopefully I just got some bug and now I'm getting it out of my system. Thanks for the stories, some of which I remember slightly and others not so much. It's too bad more people can't try to look for the good in people always, if we were all striving to do that more often and not think of ourselves at all the world would be a lot better place, but we all tend to take time to think of ourselves and see bad in others. We all have that bad to notice also... but we all inherently have divine qualities also that are just in an infantile state (as it says in the visiting teaching lesson) so that potential needs time to grow up and we can't be the cause for someone’s lack of growth -- no stunting of spiritual growth :) I want to be very focused on our work, I want to do my very best and find all the people hat need to hear us right now even if right now is not their time to be baptized maybe in ten years it is but they need to hear it from me now... but in my concern for that and my concern for our lack of doing that sometimes I had the thought come to me that my companion needs to be saved just as much. There are enough returned missionaries here in the Philippines that go inactive that I should be very aware of her spirituality and how to love her no matter what -- easier said than done when I already think I've done a good job of not losing my temper like I might have not very many years ago... even when she does. I see in her a lot of things I know I used to do and still fight against (and now I feel like I'm Dad saying, it hurts even more because I see in you what I don't like bout myself). You know, kind of like that. It makes me feel even worse about my short temper, controllingattitude, slow to forgive kind of ways. There is no room for pride even if you are right, even if you have been wronged. There is only enough time and room for being Christ-like. Investing in any other emotion is just a waste of time. Sometimes before I go to bed I try to read Jesus the Christ, it's so good but kind of deep sometimes. I wish I had taken time to try to read it before and study it a little more but maybe I wouldn't have appreciated it quite as much before. I'm reading about an interesting concept. Talmage is talking about the miracles of Christ right now and in relation to science. Sometimes I find myself confused about faith, about priesthood and miracles etc. and I don't worry too much about it realizing my brain just can't grasp it but the one thing that really concernedme was that I have a strong testimony of the fact that God works by natural means. I eventually realized that idea was going against some other aspects like faith that I don't understand. Talmage explains it so simply I feel ridiculous for not having put it together myself that of course Christ turning Water to Wine was still within natural law, but it's a higher natural law than our science understands, than our brains grasp, but it's still natural. He explains a similar thing with the conception of Christ being part of God's higher law -- and necessary of course for him to obtain the characteristics to die from his mortal mother and the characteristics to live from his immortal father. So many more of Mary and Christ's actions from the bible, the small stories we have make sense the way he explains them... about Mary's slow realization and reminders that she was raising the Son of God and Christ's growing line upon line as anyone else and coming to understand his own divine role and what he must do to follow his Father's will... his time in the wilderness alone to prepare for this fully and even his explanationof the temptations Christ overcame and what that all means. Remembering his mortal social life and understanding it better helps to realize the true perfection within him but the choice to be that way and what things are regular aspects of life that we will all, including Christ, experience. I can't really explain that but I feel close all the time to Him, not making less of who He is but it makes Him to be even more to realize how human he was, what he submitted Himself to as the rest of us did and we all must slowly grow in stature and develop understanding of who we are and what mission we need to fulfill... then submit to doing it and do all we must to make sure it happens. Anyway, this keyboard is really terribly difficult to type on I think I will not come back to this store again :) You should try reading Jesus the Christ if you have not and enjoy all the other things you are doing. I will hopefully send a letter tomorrow with pictures that I am printing right now. Not very many and they seem to be all about food here :) But, they are pictures :) In the middle of my sickness last week we were walking home and someone was playing music -- someone is always playing music loudly here, and footloose came on. My reaction was impressively fast, the first couple of chords only had played but I knew what it was and I was crying because I miss you all. But, I don't think about it unless taken off guard :) haha. I hope your play goes well, "sayang, I will miss it!" The word sayang means waste, kind of :) haha it's all a “kind of” when I try to translate. Thanks for everything. Love from me -- oh and here I have no choice if someone wants to walk down the street (meaning one of the women from relief society) and hold my hand the whole time or rub my back as we sit there or play with my hair. That's what happens so I think I will suddenly become a more touchy person when I come home because I just have to be used to it here. Britney