Well, as my family was well to remind me today, I only have four months left in the mission field. That is quite an unsettling thought for me, however I am very excited for the future that awaits me as I go home.
This week I had one of the most amazing and memorable experience on my mission that I will try to relate to you the best I can. It is hard to put in words but something I will never forget.
I was able to look eye to eye, shake hands with and sing for and listen to the words of a living prophet, seer, and revelator. President Russell M. Nelson!
On Tuesday about noon all of us missionaries waited anxiously on the front lawn of the chapel in Tarlac as a van pulled in to the parking lot, as the car parked and the door opened and President and Sister Nelson walked out of the car. Everyone was dead quiet and I just felt the Holy Ghost like a wave rush over me, and I knew in that moment that he was a prophet of God. After we took a picture, he asked if he could shake hands with all of us 220 missionaries, starting at the back row of missionaries, and because I am the tallest missionary in Angeles mission I was the very first to shake his hand! His smile was very warm and you could just feel the spirit while you were with him.
As I sat down in the chapel, I watched as 220+ missionaries came in to the sacrament hall and felt the overwhelming power and strength of our ranks as part of the Lord's army. We have never had the whole mission gather in one place before, mostly for security reasons and so it was a wonderful reunion and edifying to see all of us missionaries together.
I had the chance to be a part of the mission choir of about 16 missionaries. I stood directly in front of President and Sister Nelson (talk about pressure hahaha) But it was incredible. The spirit was overwhelming during the whole meeting. We sang " If the Savior stood beside me" and then the choir and the congregation sang "We thank thee O God for a prophet" Sometime during the second song I had the thought that I believe came from the spirit: If this is the joy that I feel when in the presence of an apostle, how much greater will my joy and rejoicing be when the Savior will come and reign as King of kings when we will all dwell with Him and every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world!
I know that the Savior lives! I know that this is His church. My testimony was strengthened as I learned from an apostle of the Lord. I also realized that although that Pres. Nelson is a man of God, he is not perfect and also is aging. But he is very humble and is bold in his testimony of Jesus Christ and taught to us about the Abrahamic covenant and temple marriage and families. It made me think about my priorities when I get come. And I suppose as soon as the airplane lands my duty is to find my next "companion" according to the Lord and His divine timing.
The things that President and Sister Nelson talked about most was family and marriage and how important that is and how central that is for God's eternal plan for His children.
It makes me excited for my future as I use these last months in the mission as preparation and a launch pad into my bright future.
I love you all so much. The church is true. It really is. I know that more now than I did a week ago, and my testimony grows stronger every single day.
Remember to "fear not, only believe!"
You are in my prayers
mahal ko kayo,