Dear Elder Howell,
I sincerely apologize if it took me (or us) this long to send you an email! I've been meaning to send you one but frankly, I don't know what was stalling me from doing so. But hey, I finally am sending you one! Although, I have to warn you, this might be too long and your eyes might get all exhausted and stuff. I guess just have a lot to share with you! (since I'm also writing in behalf of my whole family as of the moment)
First of all, I would just like to know how you're doing! I hope you are carrying on with touching the hearts of people with the Restored Gospel just like you've touched ours! I never got to really thank you for it, so please, allow me to express my utmost gratitude to you, in behalf of the Madike Family, for having given all your time and effort, into helping us discover the True Church! I guess it's safe to say that we've never been happier! We are looking forward to being sealed at the Temple. Just a few more things to work out. Like Charmaine, I think she's warming up to the church! She has come to church with us about 3-4 times now! I just hope she can find time off from her schedule so we could have some missionaries over to teach her! And yeah, my brother is somehow deviating himself from the church. Sometimes he's so eager to come to church with us, but on other days, he gets sort of, lazy, I guess? If it isn't too much to ask, do you mind sending him a little personal message aside from your response to this email? I bet he'll appreciate it, big time!
Also, I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a jolly New Year (even if 3 days have passed since the 25th xD)! I really hope you're doing fine! Please also greet your companion, the other missionaries and members as well!:) We've actually been planning on sending you a token of our appreciation but we were not aware of your exact whereabouts that's why we couldn't have it sent YET. How does that even work?:D
Okay so allow me to update you regarding what has taken place after your transfer....:
Elder Elkington took your place. He's a really cool missionary! He's from New Zealand. You've probably met him hahaha because I assume all missionaries know one another:D. He's got a real cool Kiwi accent.
I joined the Young Women Stake Choir! yay! My mum also gave her testimony about how she found the church at the Saturday session of the stake conference.
On Sunday, November 16th, 2014, at approximately, I gave my first ever talk at the stake conference about letting one's light so shine before men. Gosh, I was SO NERVOUS before then! Especially when they led me to sit in front with all the stake leaders and President Bertin and his wife. I kept on praying to the Heavenly Father to alleviate me from me feelings of anxiety. The Spirit's influence on me was so strong, that the moment I stepped foot behind the pulpit, I was overwhelmed by feelings of peace! It was also at that moment that I decided for myself that I WILL serve in a mission! I've always been thinking about it but that moment, that single moment, made me finally confirm it. I am looking forward to my mission; and wherever the Lord will send me to, I will put in my whole being into following after your example and touching the lives of my future investigators!
I've also been practicing how to teach. I tried teaching my teacher, and he accepted the referral card I gave him! I even gave him a Book of Mormon!
I've also decided that I'll be going on my mission, probably when I'm around 21-ish. :) SO EXCITED!!!!!
On December 5th, 2014, I ENTERED THE MANILA PHILIPPINES TEMPLE FOR THE FIRST TIME!! I had my Proxy Baptism Ordinances performed at the font and it was AMAZING! I was able to help save 6 of my ancestors, and 4 of another's from dwelling at the Spirit Prison. And I must say that the temple is literaly the most beautiful place I've ever laid eyes on! The interior of the temple is so solemn that I was moved to tears because I felt the presence of God within. Thinking about it now makes me recall the time when Jesus Christ accepted the Kirtland Temple as His house when he revealed himself to Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. (seminary reference wooo)
Really though, every element of the temple is so beautiful!!!!!
So I guess that's it. Once again, thank you for all you've done for me and my family and all those other lives you've touched! (for the umpteenth time!) If ever there are times that you might lose inspiration, just know that we will always be praying for you! So don't ever be sad!! Once I figure out a way for you to obtain it, I'll give you a little "something-something", nothing big. Hope you like it!
BTW How many more months do you have left until you can call yourself a "Returned Missionary"?
and please include a short testimony on why going on a mission is awesome so I could write it in my journal!:))))
THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!! UNTIL NEXT TIME!
Sheryl Chisom Paz Madike
P.S: Sorry if it isn't formal!