MISC: I. was. so. sick. last. week. I had a high fever consistently for five days and was in constant contact with the mission nurse every few hours because they suspected I had Dengue Fever. I also had every other symptom you could think of, including a rash all over my body. I felt like I had leprosy. I’m doing better now but my energy still hasn’t fully recovered. The conference in Dumeguete was good. It was great to see Zac and weird to think he’s going home this transfer and that he’ll see my family sooner than I will. But it will be great to have someone speak Cebuano with after our missions.
PEOPLE: We’ve been visiting the Fortunado family the whole time I’ve been here. I’m not sure if I fell in love with them or their humble home on stilts right on the ocean first. They are a less active family (members of the church but who haven’t come back to church for a long time for whatever reason). Eva, the wife, has been wanting to go back for awhile now but has just been waiting for her husband Jerry to make the decision as well. He hasn’t been back to church in 13 years! We had a lesson on faith and asked him to share an experience when he had to exercise his faith. He said he was out fishing one day and there was something wrong with the boat. No one else would get in the water to fix it because there was a shark. But he told us he said a prayer and had faith that God would protect him as he fixed his boat. We asked him to continue to exercise his faith. Anyway, I just about cried when he and Eva came to church on Sunday! It was so special to see him partake of the sacrament after so many years. Such a blessing.
SPIRITUAL: This past week we have been visiting a bunch of less-actives. As I listen to their souls’ complaint, many of them feel God has forgotten them or they blame God for the trials they experience, therefore, they turn away from God even more. I testify that God and the Savior are always with us–in good times and especially times of adversity. 1 Nephi 21:14-16 has really been helpful this week:
14. “But, behold, Zion (us), hath said: The Lord has forsaken me and my Lord hath forgotten me (sometimes our response in times of hardship), but he will show that he hath not (If you look with your spiritual eyes, you will see tender mercies during your difficult times)
15. For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they (us/His children)may forget, yet I will not forget thee (God/The Savior cannot forget us), O house of Israel.
16. Behold, I have engraven thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me.
The Savior cannot forget us. Our names are literally imprinted in His palms by the sacrifice He did for us. He died for us so how could He forget us? Sometimes, in life, (even in our weeks), we pull away from Him whether because of sin or even just by becoming too busy. But He is always there. My challenge to you this week: Do something a little extra to think of Him other than just on Sunday. Take the electronic device out of your hands for a few moments and trace your fingers along the palms of your hands and remember that you are literally engraved in the palms of someone who could never forget you, even when you forget Him. He is there. Always.
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE: “If you are too busy to read your scriptures or say your prayers, then you are busier than God ever intended you to be”