What a week it has been. Two highlights will do, I think.
1. Sister Obrado. You've met her and her family. Well this week the Alaminos Ward held a temple trip (wards often do here.. every other month or so). She was interviewed by Bishop and the Stake President, and was found worthy to enter the temple and receive her endowments! That was a shock to hear on Sunday last week, but the Stake President surely came and gave her a recommend. That's a first for my mission.. to see my converts or less actives get to the temple. What a blessing.
She spoke with us Sunday night. The Bishop had asked her to prepare her financial means for the trip (bus ticket, food, garments). I don't know how much to share, but this I will. They were hungry that Sunday because she had been faithful and paid tithing. I have not seen such faith among any of the people we teach as I have in Sister Obrado. We met with her on Saturday and she just had a rich glow about her. This is repentance! This is the plan! For every son and daughter of God to make it back to His Temple and have His Spirit endowed upon them!
2. We spent Thanksgiving with President and the senior couples of the mission. Twenty of us met up at the Manila American Cemetery to remember the lives of men who served our countries (USA + Philippines). I can't describe this one in words either. The grounds have a sacred, holy feel to them. The Spirit of the Lord has sanctified that cemetery. There lie the bodies of over 17,000 servicemen. All of a sudden the world seemed to stop, and my heart seemed to burst. It all became so real... The lives they sacrificed, the wars of the world, the war we fight now in the mission field; it all became real and I understood the plan.
Sister Wagner commented that it helped her understand the wars in the Book of Mormon, and I gained that understanding as well. It is all real. The Book is true. Though we were only in the midst of 17K, I could feel the truth of the millions of lives the Book of Mormon speaks of. That feeling translated to the billions of lives that need to have the truth, and we are fighting for their lives. What an honor to serve in this army.
3. OK so there are three highlights. Remember a couple weeks ago when we got punted hardcore right before Church? Well, we finally got to teach the father of that family on Saturday, and yesterday morning HE SHOWED UP FOR CHURCH!! That was incredible. Thanks be to my Lord for hearing my prayers and softening his heart. Without doubt the Lord had also heard the prayers of the man's wife and kids as they desperately desired for him to return. The process has started: we will continue to work with him; there is much repenting to do, but it can be done; he will return to the temple hand in hand with his beautiful wife and family. There is nothing better!
I love you, my family. I really, really do. I cannot describe the joy I have felt in seeing your pictures this week, looking into those mature faces and realizing that we will one day be reunited. Again, I feel the truth of the plan. This reunion is only to bridge a two year gap, but the reunion we will have with our loved ones that have gone ahead will be so much more joyous. I've got a bit of time still appointed me, it's time to get back out to work!
Love, your son and brother,
Elder Trevor Todd Brown
PS. Pictures to come.. later tonight. Promise (:
Hey family. We made it back from a good list of errands. I'm glad that I have attained the necessary Filipino Driving Skills (FDS) to make those errands.. If y'alls could just see the streets here it makes Need For Speed look like driving school. haha. Anyways the pictures:
1. Cemetery. Left to right, Elders: Eyre, Navarro, Delos Santos, Brown.
3. It was a pretty solemn place.. hence the face.
4. Beautiful grounds.
5. Again, beautiful grounds.
6. Picture from baptism two weeks ago. The little one by me is Lynsie Obrado.
7. Remembering the Browns. Do we have anyone on that list? The list on the army side of the cemetery was double that number of Browns.
Elder Trevor Todd Brown