Wednesday, March 30, 2016

San Isidro Group, Kuliglig and Exercising Faith through Action

On January 24, 2016 Theron and I were asked by Elder Ator and Elder Mikaele if we could join them in San Isidro and teach "My Path" to a group of members and non member investigators.  We were lovingly welcomed by a group of 15 Brothers and Sisters plus 8 Ward Leaders. We started teaching the principles of "My Path" and we were greatly touched by their willingness to accept the principles we were teaching.  We worked on their self-assessment but realized that they needed a greater understanding of why they needed change.  We committed to return within the week and teach the second step of the self-

We knew of the burden caused by the distance to travel 25k into town to attend meetings. 
The Bishop had committed them to attend on the first Sunday of the month so they could partake of the sacrament.  The assessment asks that we partake of the sacrament weekly.  As we talked about faith and trust in the Lord I was prompted to tell them that if they showed their desire to be obedient to attend church they would be blessed with a way to get there. I told them that the Lord had blessed them with two able feet to step forward in going to church. I challenged them to prepare themselves on Saturday and make themselves ready to go on Sunday morning even if it meant using their two feet to get there.  I told them they would be blessed in a way to make it possible for them to prove their desires.  I went so far as to tell them they could even ride on the farmers kuliglig.  For a week I worried that I may have said something more than I should.  My faith was weak but theirs wasn't.  

On Sunday morning they all gathered onto the farmers kuliglig and proceeded to church.  They proved their desire to be faithful and they were provided with a blessing that it could happen.  Not just one week but they attended four weeks in a row.  

The Brothers and Sisters of San Isidro have now been blessed with the forming of an official Group in their own area where they can partake of the sacrament and the burden of travel to church has been lifted.  San Isidro has 3 new convert members and we are praying for many more.

I now quote from Elder Ator and Mikaele's account.  "Who could have thought that the often ignored and farthest barangay was a gold mine?  

December 2015... the time when the members of Rosales 2nd ward, together with the missionaries, decided to visit and hold a family home evening in their farthest area.  That evening sparked a light of hope for the missionaries and members to take courage, that they could mine souls.  But, one problem occurred, in order for the investigator to be get baptized they needed to attend Sacrament in Rosales 2nd Ward Chapel, 25 kilometers away, unfortunately their barangay is lacking in a regular public transportation, save you are willing to pay expensively.  And since most of the people in that barangay are farmers they can't afford to pay for it.  Then, one scripture gave hope to all of us where it states; "For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith."  Ether 12:12  So we took counsel what we could do and an answer came.  Go to the chapel with your "kuliglig".

After they did, Sister Teresita Mina, an investigator who was recently baptized said, "while we were traveling with our kuliglig for the first time, a few kilometers from our barangay our tire went flat."  They didn't know what to do, they were in the middle of the rice fields and they needed to keep moving to get to the chapel on time.  Then one of them said, "let's pray".  They prayed, pumped the tire with a hand pump, started the engine and made their way to the chapel.  We all saw a miracle that when when the tire held for the entire trip to church and home again.

Because of the faithfulness we can see the hand of the Lord manifested on that area.  

Sister Rachelle Abalos her baby and Elder Mikaele
Elder Mikaele carries Brother Bulatao across the uneven ground

One of the sweetest experiences we had was to hear their testimony after their baptism.  Sister Rachelle Abalos said, "because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I found my life and it completely changed me."

And because of the faithfulness of the people in that area, On February 28, 2016 the San Isidro Group formally formed with its first Sacrament meeting.  Sister Vilma Bulatao, a recent convert says, "Truly the Lord remembers everyone and no matter where His sheeps are, when they hear His voice, they will come."

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