This is a copy of my email to one of my best friends who is currently serving as a full-time missionary.
DEAR SISTER DELOS SANTOS,
DEAR SISTER DELOS SANTOS,
Guess who's writing an e-mail using MYLDSMAIL.NET to the most beautiful missionary friend?
ME! Sister Mary Lou "Marai" Acosta!!!
Guess where she will serve?????
PHILIPPINES CAUAYAN MISSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!! Where my beautiful missionary friend came from!!!!!!! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!! I love my mission already!!!! And I love it even more because you were from that place!!!!!
I will be set apart on October 22, and I report to MTC on 24th!!
This is it!! We are now called! At kung nakalimutan mo, tinext mo sa akin dati na sana sainyo ako ma-assign. Eto na oh!
Hindi man natupad yung prayer mo na maging magcompanion tayo sa Butuan! Eh exchange naman tayo ng lugar!
YOU IN MINDANAO.
I in TUGEGARAO!
Yahooo! By the way.. I have been here in Metro Manila since September 15. At dahil idol kita, every week ako nasa temple! And guess who was endowed already? MEEEEEE!! Because you are there at Butuan, I went to the temple alone. Hahaha.
Ito picture ko nung endowment ko. Kasama ko si Sister Cathy, from Nueva Viscaya! (Part of my mission hehehehe)
She's endowed as a preparation for the everlasting covenant of marriage. LOL. Sa Salt Lake Temple siya ikakasal. And she's now in California.. And I hope and pray na we, too, shall experience the blessing of marrying in the temple after our missions. Hehehe. But for now, let's pour all our energies, heart, might, and strength in this 18 months!
I love the temple so much! It is really the house of the Lord. It is a house of revelation! Whenever I am inside, I can feel that the Lord is buhay na buhay! That He is not pipi or bingi! He hears and answers prayers!!!!
I remember going to the temple with you last year before we took the board exam. I opened the temple scriptures and there I have found the Lord's words . . .
After reading those verses, my heart shouted for joy. I felt so much comforted. I know that those were the words from the Lord. He wanted me to cast all my fears away, have the courage and take the board exam. He told me that He had heard my prayers---my 4 years and a half prayer. And He told me that all the things I had gone through from first year to that October 2013, shall work together for my good.. and to His name's glory.
And it did. It truly did.
I am grateful. Super grateful for His loving guidance throughout my life.
You know Sister delos Santos. While I was waiting for my session in the temple last Sept 27, there was a woman, in her 50s, and she kept on smiling at me. She was beautiful. Her hair was brown and short. She had a fine skin. And what made her more beautiful was the smile on her face.
I was sitting in front of her when suddenly she asked me how old I was. She was surprised when I told her I was 21. She told me that she had noticed me kasi mukha pa daw akong bata to be endowed. I told her I am going on a mission, that's why I was endowed ng maaga. She asked me if I have already graduated. And I said "Opo". She asked me what course I took, and I said... (in the most humble way and tone that I knew) "Accountancy po."
Her eyes grew big and she said "Wow!!!!!!!!!!" Then she told me "So hindi ka muna mag boboard exam??" I told her, again, in the most humble way and tone that I knew "Tapos na po"
Her jaw dropped. She became excited. She went beside me and asked me if I passed. And I said "Opo" again. She then became more excited. She held my hands softly and congratulated me..Then she asked me kung mahirap ba daw..
I told her... "Naku po. Ang pagkapasa ko po ay isang miracle.."
Then I told her about our exam in TOA. I told her that the review center gave us THICK PILES of hand outs for TOA, for us to read in 1 WEEK. I told her that because of limited time, I randomly took ONE handout from that thick piles of handouts. And I told her "Alam nyo po sa isang hand out na yun, 10 questions ang lumabas sa sa subject ng board exam.. Sa ibang handouts walang lumabas. Alam ko po na hindi po aksidente yun. Alam ko po na ang Diyos mismo ang nag guide sa akin para mapag aralan yung hand out na yun."
And then I told her about our MS Subject. I told her that all those 85 questions in MS were all foreign to me. WALA AKONG NAINTINDIHAN. Of course I tried to understand the questions pero hindi ko yun napag aralan in college nor in review days. I told her I didn't know how I passed that subject. Pero dahil sobrang mabait ang Diyos, pinapasa Niya ako.
After I spoke, she cried. I was shocked. I put my arms around her and asked her why she was crying. Sabi ko sa sarli ko "Patay ako nito. Bakit umiiyak si Sister"...TO TELL YOU, I WAS SO TERRIFIED. She removed her eyeglasses, wiped her tears, held my hands, and told me "Ang lakas ng faith mo."
AND THEN I STARTED CRYING.
I asked her not to cry anymore. Then she told me of her daughter, na kasing edad ko.. and the problems they have right now.
AND I CRIED EVEN MORE. I could feel her love for her children. As well as the pain of a mother. I felt sorry for what I had heard. And I felt sorry for the times I have had misunderstanding with my mother. I WAS CRYING AND CRYING AND CRYING. I didn't know what to say. I just told her to keep on praying because there's always a miracle.
Then a temple attendant came in to tell her it was her turn for session. She stood and bid me good bye. I wasn't able to ask her name. AND I WAS LEFT ALONE TO CRY.
I am just grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and what it brought to my life. It has blessed me in all and every aspect of my life.
I am grateful for the atonement. I am grateful for its redeeming power; we are allowed to change for the better. I am grateful for its enabling power; we are given strength beyond our own natural ability to endure and accomplish things.
I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of it, I never feel alone wherever I am in the world. As long as there are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints anywhere in the world, I find family. Because of the gospel, I found my best friend. I found you.
Okay. So this has been a long e-mail. I LOVE YOU SISTER DELOS SANTOS.
I hope everything is well with you there. I miss riding MRT with you but I know we have the rest of our life to do that after our missions. So give all that you've got there.
I LOVE YOU AGAIN. And I hope you are always safe.
With all my heart,