Archive for April, 2013
The week has been swell. As you see in the pictures we finally got brother jessie in the water. Next week should be brother Crisanto and then so on and so on. Were doing really good in to work both me and Elder Valdez got a lot accomplished this week. We went exploring a little bit this week while we were tracting and found some pretty remote little villages. Its truly a tropical jungle here.
Similarily to what Brittany mentioned in her letter we went on a streak committing people for baptism we got 5 people committed for baptism on June 1. One of those people is an older man who sales Balot on the streets for a living. Balot is a boiled duck egg that has already formed an embryo inside. Anyway hes a very ineresting investigator and is and worked for 30 years in Saudia Arabia as a guard. Now hes just retired. We gave him a book of mormon and the next day he said some one stole and he asked for another one.
The other investigator that I like to talk about is Tatay Jack his favorite lesson is Word of Wisdom. He takes the word of wisdom pamphlet with him all over the place and always reads it. Last week we gave him a little banner that we had a print shop that says “come unto me and I will make you fishers of men” then the picture is Jesus Christ in the boat with Simon Peter and Andrew. I really hope these people truly learn to live the gospel in there lives.
Well thanks for the support in all im doing here.
Your emails were all very ineresting it seems as though the worlds falling about in america but at least they caught the terrorists and everything. The work here has been good and continues to progress we had Stake Conference in Lopez so our ward hired a Jeepney to take everyone to the stake center because church was so far away we only got three of our investigators to come with us but it was a good experience. I dont really understand it here with all the languages the higher class people with good education usually know english fairly well and can speak pretty good so one of the members of the Area Presidency came and talked for about 40 minutes hes a really smart guy and was pretty good at speaking but 80 percent of his talk was English so I dont know how much our investigators understood and even the members. They should just speak Tagalog and make it simple but it was a good experience.
The other day we went to go visit one of our investigators who we hope will be able to be baptized this coming saturday the problem was he wasnt at his home he was up in the mountains where he owns a little bit of land and has a little hut so sometimes he even sleeps up there. Since we really needed to teach him we had his little girl show us the way to his land so that we could go up there. It ended up being a big hike up and down the mountains and we were so tired by the time we got up there. But he fed us coconut and the view was awesome.
The other day Elder Valdez did his laundry and hung up all his cloths outside on the terrace. The werent dry yet when night came so he just left them out there. The next morning all his garments were gone two pairs of basketball shorts and his bag. But they left his socks and white shirts. Its crazy all the thiefs here they climbed over our 10 foot gate that has pointed tips at the top just to steal his garments but I let him borrow a few pairs from me and President Peterson sent the office elders to Manila to go buy some new pairs.
Were doing great in the work and we had a good time tracting actually this week hopefully we get a lot of those new investigators to become progressing investigators. Brother Jack one of our investigators right now has been doing really well and just recently got the funding to get his fish ponds back in business. When we taught him the other day about the Word of Wisdom he told us all about how he gave up drinking years ago and that his house is sacred and he doesnt let anyone gamble or drink or anything. So last night we went by his house and him and his business men were so drunk he started telling us how he lied and hes really a drunken master but his house is sacred and he never drinks inside of the house. Oh the people we meet here. Probably the biggest problem is Word of Wisdom because thats what all the men do for entertainment. Its rough but its the mission life. We do hopefully have 2 Investigators getting baptized on saturday though who both overcame Word of Wisdom problems. Theres always hope.
I finished the Book of Mormon again this week as we read our focus was supposed to be on the Atonement. I learned a lot about teaching the atonement to people and strengthening their testimony in jesus christ doesnt just help people receive the power of forgiveness but really the power of the atonement gives people spiritual power to do hard things. It strengthens us in our weaknesses and raises us up to a higher plane of thinking. At times when were teaching people that have the biggest trials in life and things that I have never had to experience I feel inadequate to be able to promise them that they can overcome those things. This is when I remember that the person I represent, Jesus Christ, has experienced those things. I know that this is Christs church and we are all blessed to have the gospel in our lives.
just crossing our next obstacle to reach our next appointment. 🙂
Well I finally watched conference also conference here was also in Tagalog but they had an english version in the relief society room. So we went in there. As for me and Elder Valdez we only got 2 investigators to come to conference part of the problem was we had to ride a bus thirty minutes to the stake center in Lopez to watch conference and a lot of our investigators were busy but it looks like we got out worked by the sister missionaries in Peru with 10 investigators. Its seems as though me and Brittany are in similar situations with the washing cloths the relief society president here in Calauag actually washes my cloths though. Conference was great it felt really different to sit in a air conditioned room and watch a tv screen though. Its really good to say that wherever you are in the world you can listen to the prophet.
It was transfer week actually this last friday neither on of us were transferred but we got a new zone leader. Right now in the whole zone me and Elder Saunders the missionary from Pocatello are the only americans of about 20 missionaries in the whole zone. Its really a good thing actually it means the church here in the Philippines can support itself because the majority of the missionaries are not foreigners but Filipinos themselves. Speaking of transfer day and things thanks for all of the dear elders you sent I got them all in a the other day. Really at first it seemed yeah Dear Elder is slow but people are always going back and forth from the mission home so it works out just fine.
So far I dont think I have told you to much about where we live in this area. The house we live in is owned by one of the richest men in the town who is a dentist we want to go to his house and tract him but it has a big gate all the way around it. His personal home is huge its crazy how much some people have here and so little others have. Anyway the pad we are renting from him is kind of spooky it looks like a funeral home and is all tiles even the walls with big pillars and chandeliers it kind of seems like Draculas home or something. Anyway it has two bedrooms and three bathrooms so one bathroom never gets used the main room is big also its where we study eat and I even jump rope in the morning. The rat that we had a couple weeks ago I think is dead now.
Right now there is a lot of campaigning going on for mayor and councilors and government things. Its crazy how big campaigning is here. Peoples faces and posters are plastered all over all the buildings and they have big ol vans that drive around with intercom systems that play songs singing vote for Pialo or somethings. Very much different from the way they campaign in the US. Because its summer right now and super hot the power company has been shutting off the power a lot of times at night I dont quite understand why but we ended up doing our end of the day planning under candlelight recently.
The work here keeps pushing on and little by little. My favorite investigator at the time is Tatay Jack who loves to speak english to me. At first we thought though only reason he lets us in is because im american but he really is inerested in learning about the church he is so funny sometimes the way he acts. He says before you know it tomorrow I will be a mormon and he is very attracted to pictures. The works going awesome thanks for your support.
I feel as if I was just writing you all yesterday. The week went good me and Elder Valdez made chicken adobo for our district meeting last wednesday. We got haircuts and I cant believe im saying that I know prefer short hair to long hair but thats mostly because short hair is so much cooler. We found a lot of new investigators. Theres one less-active that we found the other day where only the father is a member. He was super active before for almost four years Im not sure why he stopped he didnt open up totally. Part of the problem is that his wife wont ever go with him and so he usually takes a few of his kids but he can barely afford to fair in order to go each week. Hes a fisherman for a living and goes out on the ocean in his little one man boat everyday. the boats here are ineresting they have big long cross beams on them to keep from tipping over. Almost 90 percent of population of men here either drive a tricycle for a living or they are fisherman. Anyway the other day I fasted for him because we can see a lot of potential in there family if we can get him active again and this time the whole family can be going to church together.
Another one of our investigators, who I have mentioned before will be baptized as soon as his marriage papers get done, has thirteen children. We are also focusing on him and his family. One of the main focuses of the San Pablo Mission is “completing families” which means we convert the whole family and not just one or two members. Well his names Crisanto he was in an accident a few months ago and went blind in one eye. Yesterday we in class we taught the investigators about adam and eve and how they had two commandments multiply and replenish the earth and dont eat the forbidden fruit. Then in the next class Bishop Clark was talking about the talents that everyone has. So he asked our investigator what talents he has and so Brother Crisanto thought for a minute and then said well I have 13 children so I guess im good at replenishing the earth. Our investigators our way funny. We have another investigator that we are trying to get him to commit to a baptism date he hes just a funny old man he makes this herbal tea from leaves everyday and swears its the best medicine there is. Many times we have ended up teaching him outside on the side of the street in nothing but his boxers.
One of the most frustrating things the last few weeks is we cant get any appointments at night because everyone is drinking. To be completely honest this is a pretty rough and corrupt city. Next week I will tell you about Brother Boddy who has been an investigator for almost a year now and is fully converted but he cant be baptized yet because he needs permission from the first presidency because he has had a lot of rough background. They robbed banks and he stabbed a lot of people.
Im excited to listen to all the conference reports next week a week behind ha but thats ok Conference will be a great opportunity to teach our investigators about prophets and really see how the lord organizes his church. Earlier today I was reading about how Mormon only wrote a one hundreth part of all of Jesus’s Teachings in America alone because the lord sees it fit to try our faith by not telling us everything but telling us just what we need. Theres lots of things we dont completely understand about and we wont until after our faith has been tested. So for the time being strenghthen your faith for that day when it will be tested.
Another week down in the planner right now I have my 6th planner of my mission which means it is the sixth set of six weeks. I dont know why you would be interested in that but its an ineresting fact for missionaries to say how many planners do you have. Anyway something you might be inerested in is the way Philipinos celebrate Easter. There is actually no thing called Easter but they call it Mahal na araw which means the important days. All people do is close there shops and if you are deep rooted catholic its not allowed to walk a lot or really do anything but just sit in your home. Which made it really hard to tract because everyone just wanted to be lazy and not listen to us> If you are a super deep rooted catholic there was a few people that hung themselves on crosses and other people had themselves whipped. They believe that if they go through the same suffering they will be forgiven of sins. Which of course is untrue because the sacrifice for our sins was not a human sacrifice nor was it a sacrifice of food or animal but it was a perfect sacrifice paid for by a perfect person>
So we had a baptism this week of sister Maricar and I will send you some pictures of it in another email if the computer keeps working here right now we its being very slow. We had a lot of eventful experiences this week and also had exchanges with the district leader. It was ineresting and the crazy thing I just thought of was that I have yet to work with an american on my mission yet. There is another american in our district though who is actually from Pocatello (Elder Saunders). Other than that the week has been good. I was thinking when Brittany’s P-day is so that I can also hear whats going on in Peru. Its funny because the things she has mentioned thus far are not a whole lot different than it is here. People talking to you through there windows and even the cat calls. We met an Australian the other day and he said that god told him he needs to go to the Philippines but he didnt know why. He was just full of a lot of non sense he said that he is a prophetic man but hes not a prophet and then he told my companion that there was “something on him” then tried to tell him like his future or something and told him theres something big he needs to think about and that he cant trust his family. Oh it was a lot of nonsense. One thing he said was that our message was bogus because he talked to the mormons in Australia and they had a different story but he couldnt tell us what that story was. This was my first taste of what you would call “Bible Bashing” but it was a good experience all in all to see how in order the church really is and to know that it is the same message whether we are in the Philippines, Peru, or Australia.
One more story that I want to share is about our newest investigator we have a mission goal or minimum that we are to have 4 new investigators. The newest one is named Alfredo he says hes ready to really find out if there is a god and thats why hes listening to us. His wife asks him sometimes is there a god? We have only taught him once but we have a lot of hopes for him. He told us that he felt something different when we talked to him and when we asked if we could come back he said we should come back everyday so he can learn better. Its awesome when you find investigators like that they are just what we call hungry for salita ng diyos(word of god). I know theres a lot of those people out there just waiting just like lost sheep. Its crazy to see that god really plays a part in helping us find them one minute people will people running into there homes when they see the “Mormons” walking down the street toward them and the next you stumble over someone who just wants to know the truth.
Your favorite missionary (Sorry Brittany)
P.S. I wish I could get the pictures of the baptism downloaded but its not working next week na lang
Masikip at makitid na daan
I dont usually reaveal what those Tagalog words mean that I always place in the subject but today I will let you know it means the straight and narrow path. Today we all met as a zone and went to some water falls. We had to hike for almost an hour to get in on a path that was not neccassarily straight but it was narrow. The Philippines are awesome.