This week I have realized a huge miracle in my mission. In the Book of Mormon, we read the story of Nephi and his family as they journey in the wilderness. Throughout their rough journey, they saw many mercies of the Lord come to pass. One in particular occurs in 1Nephi 17. Before my mission, I would read this chapter and think little of it. Now that I have experienced a certain tender mercy of the Lord in my life, I appreciate Nephi's experience so much more. In verse 12, we read the Lord's words saying, "I will make thy food become sweet." BAM! That's it!
Let me take you back to my first week here in the Philippines. Now anyone who knows me knows that I often rave about how delicious food is in Kansas. It's the best! So I found myself eating a plate full of rice (yuck!) with fried corned beef (yuck!) with ketchup they make from bananas (I'll admit the ketchup was alright). Is this how I was going to be eating for the next year and a half? I was going to starve!!! Then I was introduced to real Filipino food. One word...YUCK!!! I honestly disliked almost every meal we ate. I remember one meal in particular. We were at a member's house and they made sinigang. This is a very sour soup with vegetables and a little bit of meat. I distinctly remember nearly choking down the soup so as not to offend my hosts. It's safe to say that, for the first one third of my mission, I lived on candy bars and chips. Eventually I found things that I could cook that were semi-American. Until about a week ago, I could honestly say that I was not a fan of Filipino food!
Then something miraculous happened. My companion, Sister Cagata, made sinigang! I thought to myself, "Oh great....I'm going to be hungry all day now." As we sat down to eat, I took only a little bit of the soup, remembering my past experience. I took one spoonful and slowly brought it to my lips. I took a sip. "What? This is delicious!," I thought to myself. Maybe it was just a fluke so I took one more bite. It was so good! This week I have been trying everything again and I love it all! As big or as small as this may seem to you, it is truly a miracle and a tender mercy of the Lord in my life. I know that He knows us and is always watching out for us. Whether it be our safety (or just our tastebuds!) He only wants what is truly best for us.
I love being a missionary here in the Philippines. I now love the food here. :-) I know that this is the Lord's work and that we are changing the course of people's lives. I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to spend the last 16 months focusing on others and their needs. I would call it a sacrifice but I don't feel like I have sacrificed anything at all. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything!
I know that this is the only true church here on Earth and that through living the teachings of the Savior, we can all return to live with our Heavenly Father.
With nothing but love,
|Thanksgiving dinner with the Whites!!|
|We have to cross a river to get to certain appointments.|
Luckily, the water wasn't too high this day!
|When we are really tired, we look for a ride....the Filipino way!|