I really like the article by Elder Uchtdorf about light and how darkness exists but we need to stay in the light. But sometimes things we see as a mess up or mistake we view as dark when it was a great learning experience and a way we have learned to rise up and do the Lords will. Even if you gave it your all the Lord has different plans for us, and we need to be willing to see it and say to ourselves "Ohhh so this is what the Lord wants for me, or Ohhh this was His plan for me" instead of tearing ourselves down. The reason for the Atonement is so that we would be allowed to make mistakes and instead of demanding immediate perfection, the atonement pays for the immediate demand for perfection to justice and sets steps(the gospel of Jesus Christ) along with mercy and agency to allow us to choose and develop and mess up and learn and repent as we learn and eventually gain perfection and eternal life. Wow how simple and amazing that is.
That does not give us an excuse for not trying with our all because some people use the atonement as a way of saying they don't need to try so hard or give it all their effort because they are supposed to mess up, but that is not how it works that is abusing the sacred gift of our time here on earth and not a true gratitude for what the Lord has done. As long as we give it our all, the atonement will take full effect on our lives according to what we give and we will have no regrets but a symphony of joy and learning and understanding. It is so amazing being able to bring the atonement into the lives of others. I know that God has power to forgive and to save, and as we trust in Him we will receive those blessings and joys that we so long for.
As far as the work we are having tons of success and we can hardly reach everyone in one day. Hopefully we can get going on splits this week and every week in order to reach everyone we need to teach in one week. It is going to take serious revelation to discern who is serious and who we should drop and make sure we keep the people who really want to change their life. We are helping one family and it's going amazing. The mom is an alcoholic and we are helping her quit and pray and she just loves the gospel so much. She and her husband were about to split up before we started teaching them. But, because we taught her at that day on that moment her husband and her did not split up and she humbled herself and stopped drinking. So far it has been a week and she usually doesn't go 2 days without drinking and so its so amazing. We just loving teaching people who want to know, who ask questions and are seeking to learn and to change:) Her eyes are so filled with light now. Before she looked so sad and now she is constantly smiling and there is no way to describe how that feels as a missionary; to actually help the Lord to become a part of their lives. All I want to do is give something to the Lord, that is my pursuit and goal is to somehow every day be a benefit to the Lord for having breathed and lived another day. I feel so indebted to Him for His sacrifice that He willingly and lovingly gave for me and for everyone. I truly do stand all amazed as I ponder it.
(This is a reply to a question from Mom about if they were getting ipads or laptops to help with their teaching)As far as the new technology I cant imagine that ever getting to the Philippines and I talked to the area president over the Philippines, Elder Teh (who turns out to be the uncle of one of my friends from EFY). He lives in my ward and he said they are going to do the technology upgrades one mission at a time, and I might be home before that happens to us. I can't of myself imagine how that would fly walking into a house with an i-pad, where they can't afford chairs to sit on. So for our mission it might be different, there will be a for sure advancement of technology but the amount of it and who gets to hold it and use it, I think will depend.