Archive for January, 2013
Well it looks like your all seeing that I’m on early again its just easy for our schedule to email before we go shopping in the morning. So sorry if it doesn’t work for your schedule. Anyway a lot of changes this week. First off I will tell you the big news first I expected to go to transfer meeting and come back with my follow-up trainer but nope instead I’m the trainer. He just barely came from the MTC and beacuse they only spend 19 days in the MTC hes still in his first month of the mission. Not only that but hes the very first 18 year old to go through the MTC he doesn’t turn 19 until may 24. So we got a lot of work ahead of us but at least he can speak Tagalog. His name is Elder Villador which is really close to the name of my last companion Elder Viloria. Its good though cause he at least has a sense of humor and I think we have a little more in common than my last companion. So thats number one challenge right now. He is a little homesick though I can tell but everyone needs time to adjust to missionary work its busy.
So Lately we have been teaching a 17 year old boy who is the son of a less-active that hasn’t been to church in 10 years. She not inerested in returning to church but her son sure is. Hes an honor student and top in his class. He is so crazy smart I think he has read the bible all the way through which I haven’t even don’t he said though other day hes not going to stop reading the book of mormon until he understands it. When we first met him three weeks ago he said unfortunately hes never met is biological father but he prays every night that someday he will. Well guess what last week he saw him they didn’t talk but he saw him for the first time. Hes trying to really figure out his life. The other day he told me in English he has a lot of HATERS. Because hes so smart I think his class mates are pretty mean to him and hes super nervous to come to church cause I think hes scared hes gunna get bullied. Were just trying to help him take all these things he knows and turn it in to faith and trust. One example of how he acts for himself is that before he was going to the catholic church and then he read in the bible not to worship false idols…he understood it and applied it in his life he understands that the catholic doctrines are wrong.
Anyway Elder Viloria got transferred to Baco, Mindoro one of the islands hes now a trainer of an american again hes reopening the area and hes district leader so when I think I have a lot on my plate I think about how much he has to do. The works going good and i’m excited for a fun transfer ahead of me. Well let me know whats been going on the last little while.
So im coming up on 6th months already in the mission field and now that Brittany’s departure date is moved back I hit six months before she leaves so I will be back in Idaho not before her thats still crazy. The weeks been good still havent moved into our new apartment were waiting on the payment from the mission home to get here before we can move in. Elder Viloria doesnt even want to move now ha hes coming up on 6 months here so guarunteed hes gunna be transferred transfer day is on the 25th so by the time we move hes leaving anyway. But thats ok the ward already said they would help and the Relief Society even said they are gunna clean the apartment for us before we move in. I decided when I get transferred in the future the first ones I will make friends with is the Relief Society. They do the laundry for us they are the ones that cook and give dinner appointments plus they are the best fellowshippers. Of course we make friends with them all.
We have actually been getting a little bit more help from the branch this last week. There efforts really show when they help us out. All the investigators/less-actives that came to church this last week were people that have been fellowshipped by the branch and all those who havent been fellowshipped didnt. We actually had an area presidency message here for the Philippines they have set out specific goals that they are trying to reach. The presidency gave different numbers for how close we came to reaching our goals last year but they are really saying that they need members help. Last year one of the goals was for each member to rescue a less active. If this happened it means the the weekly church attendance in the Philippines would double from 120000 to 240000 but they didnt quite make it.
This week we did make some changes though that President Peterson told us we need to start doing from zone interviews. So I told you in the past that we never ever go tracting well supposedly we are supposed to but he says a problem he finds sometimes in Philipinos is they are to shy. So we started tracting 2 hours a day last week. We not only found a lot more investigators but we found more less-actives than we ever have before just from people saying “oh I know a mormon they live over there” and come to find out they are on the membership list and havent been to church for 5 or 6 years. Thats whats hard about the work we have records of people but we dont know the address. The closest thing to an address here is people live in different Baranguays which is just a small section of the city so the city of Nasugbu is seperated into like 15 different baranguays.
Anyway theres a lot of different things I can tell you about the Philippines but I want to tell you about this dream of one of our new investigators this week. Her name is mae and shes 30 years old. She is like a maid for one of the members who referred her to us. In her dream she was standing between two churches the Catholic church and the Mormon Church. WHen she looked toward the catholic church no one was there and it was dark and when she looked at the mormons there were all these people greeting her. Its a crazy dream talaga whats even crazier is she had this dream before she was the househelp for the members and she has never had a lot of contact with mormons or anything she just knows it as another religion. We have taught her twice now and she even accepted the baptism date for the 16th of February already. She has concerns about her past life and says she really wants a change. These are the people I have been praying that heavenly father will prepare for us to teach. They are not all this easy. Of course its not particularly easy but she accepts the message is what I mean by easy.
P.S. Grandma I got your package thank you very much for thinking of me during christmas 🙂
Well Im glad to see you all were able to write me this week thats a big surprise to here about Juan’s mom and its good you were all able to help them out. Well today for P-day we spent the time in the zone leaders area for zone P-day we went to a beach resort and played some beach volleyball and other games. Its nice to just get together with everyone else and find out whats happening within the mission since the zone leaders live 2 hours away we had to get up at 4:30 this morning. I think my mission might be the most sleep deprived two years of my life. But im hoping since the new apartment we found and might be moving into this week is more in subdivision type area and a little richer neighborhood I wont have a rooster waking me up at 4 every day. The new apartment is actually really nice though and were excited for a bigger house.
This week we had our first convert baptism. His name is Arjay and hes 14 years old his older brother is a member and getting ready to put mission papers in. But they are the only two members of the family. We have been trying to get there parents to come to church with him and join the lessons but they are a little hard headed. Maybe thats why it says so many times in the scriptures become humble as a little child. They need to be more like there children ha but now that hes baptized were going to turn our focus and work with them.
Interesting story about them I just remembered this week. They actually live way up in the mountains in this little village on a hill. We usually ride a tricycle up there to visit them. So we went up there the day before his baptism to get his parents signature and have all the papers ready. And then we ended up staying and eating dinner with them. By the time we finished it was late and time to go back to our apartment. But by this time there very few tricycles going back to town so we waited on the side of the road to get a ride but it never came all the members with a vehicle that we could think of either didnt answer or said they were out of gas or something so at 9 o clock at night when we were supposed to be in our apartment we started walking through the mountains. After maybe 4 or 5 miles up and down a tricycle finally came by and we got back to our apartment about 10:30 at first I was all stressed out about the situation but after we started walking it was actually pretty enjoyable to be up in the mountains with fresh air finally.
Other than that the only other news I can think of and have time to tell you about is that we had zone interviews with President Peterson this week and at the same time the AP’s and ZL’s have workshops. Our focus on the mission right now is about teaching doctrines. Doctrines are the simple unchanging truths of the church that are the basis of everything we teach. If we think about it every question we ever have links back to a doctrine like the godhead or priesthood. The church of Jesus Christ is truly gods church of order I have come to find. Even way over here in the Philippines the church is the same we have perfect organization (at least the church does maybe not the people with in it. Because the church is new here we actually lack a lot of organization from the members.) Im glad to be a member and be called to serve in the Philippines. The opportunity to learn a new language and culture has been an opportunity for me to really find out how to seek help from heavenly father and open my eyes. Im doing great here and am working hard. Until next week.
Good morning 🙂 Well we have kinda a different schedule today because theres a curfew at 6pm tonight that we have to be at our apartments instead of going proselyting. So im emailing you first thing this morning. I can tell this will be unexpected because I already noticed that no one has had the opportunity to write me yet…sayang. Thats ok well I will let you know how the holidays have been here. Mahirap which means difficult. Everyone punted us. In the Philippines missions when you get denied at your appoints or they say oh next time na lang we call it getting punted. We got a lot of punts talaga. Its kinda different because they dont really celebrate christmas on a specific day here from DEC 24 until the 1st of JAN they kinda just have little get togethers and eat a lot of food. But we kept working anyway and last and striving for our goal.
Last night we got done with our dinner appointment at 8 o’clock and had an hour to get one more lesson to meet our 25 lesson goal. Wherever we went we couldnt get in and finally we remembered a less active that lives pretty close to our apartment so we went there and she wasnt busy at all. Previously its been really hard to get her to let us share a message. But really what had made her so accepting is that a few days earlier the branch missionaries had gone caroling to her. Our lesson was completely different from all the other previous lessons because she actually had an open heart a desire. It really helps when we get the cooperation of the branch with little things like that. It reminds me of a scripture I have been sharing with a lot of less actives lately in Alma 37:6-7. By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. I like to share this because the majority of less actives here open up and let us now about all there problems there are facing. But they wont show even a little bit of faith by reading the reading assignment we leave or come to church. Its a struggle to show them they can get help but not until they do there part.
We do have one Family thats progressing right now though. They were one of the three lessons we were able to get into on christmas day. Everytime we teach them is a great experience because you can feel the desire they have to learn about the gospel last time we were there the mother started crying actually so hopefully we can get them committed soon and keep building on there faith.
I am really finding out from all these experiences that really Heavenly Father is just waiting to help us find our way give us guidance and show us how to truly become happy. But what hes waiting for is small and simple acts of faith or kindness. I started reading from the start of the Book of Mormon the day I got to the Philippines and I just finished it this week. I have never read the Book of Mormon like I have been the last few months I was truly searching for answers to all the questions people were asking me and i found the answers they are there and really its laid out so simply for us. I have a strong testimony that the Book of Mormon was written specifically to become the key of the restoration. We as missionaries we not be able to teach any of these doctrines with out it. Happy new year and set some strong goals
I baptized the little girl in this picture last week. Her parents our members but her dad is working overseas right now so he wasnt able to baptize her so she asked me to. Also the other one is more christmas