This week we were able to have a zone service project in a barangay (neighborhood) in my area. We were able to see how the Lord used us to serve His children here in the Philippines!
The opportunity came when we were teaching a lesson and a man walked up and sat down to listen to us. Now that doesn't normally just happen, so we were excited at the opportunity to have a new investigator that showed true interest in our message and wasn't just listening to us to be nice. When we finished the lesson we set up a return appointment and the man told us that he was the barangay captain. It's basically the mayor of the area. We had been looking for service projects to do as a zone of missionaries so we asked him if there were any needs that we could help meet in his barangay. It just so happened that they were having a service project as a barangay council that very Saturday. The whole zone came, a total of 22 missionaries, and helped clean up the streets by pulling weeds and other general landscaping. Through a hard days work we were able to build relationships with all that were involved. We all had a good time and were able to schedule appointments to go and teach the barangay officials and their families.
It felt good to be able to give of ourselves in order to help meet the needs of others. We could feel our love and the Saviors love for the people amongst whom we served. I have a strong testimony that service softens hearts and opens doors for missionary work. Not only were we able to find new people to teach, but the barangay captain was so touched that he came to church the next day to see what we taught and why the missionaries were so ready and willing to give service to complete strangers. In Mosiah 2:17 we read, "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." As we serve others we are truly serving our Father in Heaven. We are repaying just a slight part of all He has done for us.
Derek A. Cuthbert said changes people. It refines, purifies, gives a finer perspective, and brings out the best in each one of us. It gets us looking outward instead of inward. It prompts us to consider others’ needs ahead of our own. Righteous is the expression of true charity, such as the Savior showed." I love giving service because as Brother Cuthbert said, all who involved are blessed!
That is something that I love about being a missionary. We are literally called to serve. We serve in the sense of sharing the Gospel. We serve others through small deeds everyday. And we serve our Heavenly Father by helping His children here on Earth. I love the feeling of love that comes from serving others. I am firm in my dedication to serve, even when I take my missionary name tag off. I know that is what God wants for me.
I know that service is how we show our love for the Lord. I am so thankful for this church and all the service that is done here. I know that this is Christ's church here on Earth as restored through Joseph Smith. I know that we are led by a living prophet, Thomas S Monson. I love being a missionary and focusing all my time and efforts to help progress the Kingdom of God here in the Philippines!
I love you all so much!