Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014-- Email #47

We received this message last night:

Dear Families of our Missionaries,

The Typhoon Luis has passed over the northern end of our mission bringing wind, rain and some flooding, as expected.  It did hit as a Category 2 and thankfully all our missionaries are accounted for.  Thank you so much for your prayers.

Sister Honeycutt
Philippines Cauayan Mission Office

Then we received Jordan's email just a few hours ago...much later than normal.

September 15, 2014
Tuguegarao, Philippines

Dear Family,

This is an unusual time for us to be emailing today, but the power was out in the city earlier due to Typhoon Loui, so here I am. Two other Elders hunkered in with us. We are all fine; the typhoon was actually really lame. I was expecting more. But as you've pointed out, we're pretty well protected here in the inland. The worst we got were some leaks in the roof, and the power outage. The next morning featured an intensely red sunrise which was absolutely stunning. I also did not get pictures of it, because during the course of the night one of the Elders in our apartment had implemented the use of my bag as a pillow, which contained my camera. Sorry, sunset. Next time nalang. 

Tuesday morning during planning, we were deciding on a spiritual thought to share with an on-and-off less-active family, the DelaCruz family. I asked Elder Glassie if he had a scripture in mind, and out of the blue he opens to Alma 38:5, which reads: "And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day." Elder Glassie kind of looks at it with a confused face, and then adds "Yeah, I don't know why but I think we need to share this one." We recognized it as a spiritual prompting and jotted it down in our planners. When we arrived at the appointment, we found sister DelaCruz and her single-mother daughter in great distress. They've had a reoccurring feud with their neighbors that escalated to a very dangerous point. It took a bit for them to calm down, and we assured them that although we might not be able to solve all of their problems, we could share the words we were inspired to share with them, and then let the Lord strengthen and protect them in ways no one else could be capable of. 

When we told them to open up to the scripture, sister DelaCruz happened to find she had her bookmark on the exact page we had chosen. The lesson was full of reassurance from the spirit that we were not the first ones to go through hardship, and that we simply needed to trust in the Lord, and the provisions He has promised will arrive just in time. During the course of the lesson, we testified of the Atonement of Jesus Christ; how a man, perfectly innocent, was put under false charges, passed through a completely unlawful trial, and executed in a most gruesome way. He, who had been prophesied of from the beginning, was rejected by His own. The very ones who had known of and awaited His coming were the ones to hastily convict and crucify Him. It's sobering to think of the great blindness that can come over us in this mortal test. But I think it is no coincidence that Jesus, our Shepherd, was a man known to cause the blind to see, if they had faith sufficient enough for Him to do so. 

I've got like zero time left so I'd just like to express gratitude for the many moments I've had this week, whether in personal study or companion study or in a lesson, where the spirit teaches me a knew truth that penetrates so powerfully into my heart as to, as Nephi, consume my flesh. I hope we can all have miraculous moments like this, frequently.

-Elder Kocherhans

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