Monday, January 7, 2013

Plano ng Kaligtasan

January 7, 2013

Dear Family,

I'm so jealous that Josh will be going to the temple soon!  After going once a week in the MTC I have really missed it here on Palawan. :)  I am grateful for the greater appreciation it gives me and hope to take it home with me and always look forward to going.  I wish I could be there to go with Josh but we will just have to go together when we get back! Something fun and spiritual to look forward to. There a couple of families here who are working towards going for endowments or sealings during a temple trip the branch will take in April.  It is so exciting.  I really hope they can all go and enjoy the incredible blessings contained within the temple and the covenants we make there.

So it is hard for me to think of what to write because it feels like a very long time since last Monday and a lot has happened.  First let me just say I love teaching the Plan of Salvation and I have gained a much greater appreciation for it this week. There is an elderly couple that we visit twice a week.  The brother has been suffering with cancer.  We usually just say hello to him each time we visit and then share a message with Sister.  She has the most beautiful smile and spirit.  I have come to love her so much.  Well, on Saturday, Brother passed away.  We attended the funeral on Sunday.  Sister was quite positive and I think everyone was glad he wasn't suffering anymore.  A wonderful gift was that Brother had requested the sacrament months ago but through miscommunications and what not he hadn't been receiving it.  However, 3 weeks ago,the members started delivering the sacrament to him every Sunday.  Well this week they "just happened" to bring it on Saturday afternoon at 3pm.  Brother was able to partake of the sacrament and then passed away at 5pm.  It of course would've been fine had he not received it but what a wonderful gift that he could partake of that ordinance and be extra clean before entering the spirit world. :)  I know he lives on and that right now he is better learning and sharing the gospel in the Spirit world.  It is so wonderful.  I actually spoke at the funeral. Thanks to Heavenly Father, everyone I think understood me and I was able to say the things I wanted to express.

  Also, as we sang the closing hymn I was thinking about how I don't want life to keep moving forward.  I thought of the John Mayer "stop this train" song and about how I don't want my parents to get any older but immediately following came the thought that I actually don't want to slow down this train.  It's a great journey but that's all it is.  A journey.  This life is a time for us to enjoy the good times and constantly work to improve ourselves to be more like Christ.  It is such a short time and then we will be reunited with everyone we love forever with no fear of death and no trials of sick physical bodies.  I know we will all one day live again.  Let us all prepare well while on this earth, for this short time, so that we may rejoice in the afterlife and spend eternity with our families.

  Oh yea, we realized the other day just how small the island of Palawan and our area is when we came to the ocean...again.  We haven't yet done it but I think we could walk from one shore to the other in less than an hour. haha.  Its crazy!
 Congrats Nate and Ty on your great basketball games.  I miss playing basketball, definetly my favorite sport to watch and probably to play (other than ultimate frisbee of course. :) ) Thanks for the updates dad. :)

  Thanks mom so much for the purse in my Christmas present. This week we got caught in super bad (or great depending on how you look at it) rain twice.  The first time it rained so hard that even though my umbrella kept my face dry I was absolutely soaked from the mid-thigh down. It was actually really funny.  And I have a new favorite excuse from people about why we can't teach them.  When we asked if we could share a short message a woman told us, "Not right now because it's raining."  I honestly laughed out loud after we walked away. haha.  It was a nice change from "busy".  Anyway, the second time it rained pretty steadily all day and I was sharing an umbrella with the ward missionary who didn't have one so we both got pretty wet and my purse which had been pretty waterproof was all wet and very damp inside.  So I used the purse you made for me the next day.  It was perfect!  It dries fast and will be easy to wash and it's cute.

Thanks so much. Love you.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve a mission here.  Some moments are REALLY hard but... There are moments when my heart feels like it's going to burst with happiness and gratitude. (more of those moments)  Heavenly Father seriously works miracles everyday! Literally everyday.  Sometimes we see them, sometimes we don't but I know they are so numerous. I have witnessed Him working miracles by changing me and my heart and giving me strength beyond my own, "strength such as is not known among men" (D&C 24:12) and working miracles in others through the Spirit.  It's so great.  Have a wonderful week and remember that without the hard moments we wouldn't grow and without the sad times we couldn't know happiness.

Sister Hamm  

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