pilipinas landscape

pilipinas landscape

Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 13 - marvel moments

Hey Family and friends!

This week was overall a great week and went by so fast! It feels like yesterday I was emailing you all! We have been doing well here in Cabiao and love the little miracles that make it all worth it. Wednesday was our transfer meeting. Thank goodness me and my trainer will be staying here in Cabiao! I love this ward and quite honestly would be content if my mission call changed to Cabiao mission.:) The members here are so willing to help with the work and we are seeing more success when we tag team with the members. I am finding how important referrals are and really suggest to all of you to share the gospel with your friends because member referrals have a much higher chance of leading to baptism and activity in the church!

So we are teaching this little family named the Yakat family, they have three little girls that are so cute and always smiling. They live in a humble little shack a crossed the street from the chapel. When we first started teaching them we made the mistake of going on auto pilot and didn't teach them to their needs. It wasn't until we got to the Book of Mormon that we found out that Sister Yakat didn't know how to read! Later when we taught her about the word of wisdom she asked who Joseph Smith was. We quickly learned how slow her understanding was and adapted our teaching! This was really discouraging and we realized our mistake that we were just teaching the lesson and not the people. We fixed our error in our planning and teaching and challenged her and her daughter to enter the waters of baptism on Oct 25. I am learning to be humble with my weaknesses and willing to recognize and fix them.

 I know that God is in the detail of our lives and that he love us and will guide us if we let him and are humble enough to become what he wants us to become . I often wonder and find it so amazing that God trusts 18-21 year old young men and woman to do his work! It is amazing. Many times I feel inadequate for this work. What do I know, I am a young white kid from Utah who doesn't know Tagalog ! But then I remember that it really isn't about me and that I am armed with a great power, that is the Holy Ghost. I don't need to worry because if I do my best, God will make my weaknesses become my strengths. I know that when we are willing and humble that he will mold us like clay. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes the heat of the furnace seems unbearable to bear, but through the atonement of Jesus Christ we are able to all things that seem impossible. I am seeing these little miracles in my life as I apply the atonement to my life. I have moments I would like to call marvel moments, where I marvel at what comes out of my mouth, The thoughts and impressions I receive and little miracles that are frequent in my life when I am actively look for them. It is amazing to see these little things happen. It strengthens my testimony that God is a loving parent who wants to give us those blessing and all he requires is for us to ask and knock and it shall be open unto us! I love my work here and want all of you to know that you are in my prayers. I know that as we pray to see those marvel moments and those blessing that God already gives to us, we will begin to recognize how much the hand of the lord is in our lives. 

I love you all so much and am so grateful for all of you! You are stronger than you think and have impacted me in ways you don't know. Missionary work is not just done by full time missionaries but is most effective when we all do our part to hasten the work of salvation! So let us do our part and prepare the way for the second coming of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ! I know that the work will go forward, so lets be on board when the boat leaves so to speak!

You rock! I pray for you,

Mahal ko kayo!


Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 12- Come what may and love it!

Hey Family and Friends!

This week was great! We saw a lot of success this week as we worked hard and applied what we learned in Preach my Gospel and the Book of Mormon and I can testify to you that those two books are so powerful! Especially the Book of Mormon. I have really taken my study of the Book of Mormon to a new level and it has really helped me become a better missionary.

The language is coming easier for me, I still struggle sometimes but it is amazing to see the progress I have had. I give all credit to the help of heaven because I don't know how else I could be learning this crazy language! I gave my first talk in church yesterday. It was really scary and I was given a really hard topic of protecting ourselves from pornography. I got this assignment from the bishop two days before sacrament meeting and I was really stressed. I just prepared the best I could and prayed very hard that the congregation would be able to understand me. I spoke in Taglish and it went well. I felt the spirit strongly and really felt that I had strength beyond mine own. I am glad I am learning Tagalog I wouldn't want it any other way, I feel born to speak this language! :)

This week I learned a lot about patience and not sweating the small stuff. Last Monday I was at a zone activity and we were playing dodge ball and I ran into another elder and "pulled a a Madie" and sprained my wrist. I was more embarrassed than anything but it hurt really bad and I could barely move it, it eventually began to swell and so we got some ice for it and ibuprofen and I put an essential oil on it and it was amazing after a few days my wrist healed. it still hurts sometimes but it really healing.

 I am so grateful for the blessing that I receive in being a missionary. This experience taught me to just laugh and just enjoy the journey and realize that every moment in life isn't going to be pleasant. I read a really great quote from Elder Wirthlin that says: "Come what may and love it!" I am really trying to do just that to love the hard things and trust that things will work out the way that they are supposed to. Sometimes missionary work has is unexpected moments, like when drunk people confront you and dogs chase you or like when we have to walk through flooded streets to our knees to get to an appointment or  the frustrating moments when all of our appointments seem to fall through. Even when we don't know why sometimes these things happen  I am a firm believe that God is in charge and he knows better than we do,

I love those moments those little missionary moments when it goes right, when the spirit confirms that this work is real, it is not a church built upon fictitious imagination but is true and is real! I love it when we teach families and get a glimpse of how this gospel could bless their lives. It is a wonderful feeling.

I know that life isn't always easy and sometimes it seems too hard to bare. But I know that God is mindful of us and will strengthen us and give us the challenges that we need in this life to reach our full potential. I am not afraid of the future, I am not afraid of what is to come because I know that my savior is walking beside me every step of the way. I know that each of us can receive the strength we need to fully trust in the will of God and so that we can say come what may and love it!
Alam ko po ang simbahan natin ay totoo!

I love you all and am so grateful for all of all the prayers and emails! 

Mahal na mahal po ko kayo!

ingat lahat!


Monday, September 15, 2014

WEEK 11- new found strength and faith


This week was great! It is so weird but it all is starting to blur together and it is hard for me remember what is this week and what was the week before. I can't believe that next week is the last week of the transfer and I have already been here 5 weeks! I love it here!! Especially the ward! I am definitely feeling more and more a part of the culture here! The members love feeding us! :)

This week started really slow, and really hard. We were struggling to meet our goals and had a really hard time staying focused and work our very hardest. Honestly we got a little lazy and was going through the motions. We haven't had any baptisms this month and so it has been a bit discouraging and I felt like I was pulling more than my weight sometimes. I have prayed so hard for my companion that he would know the best way to train me and that he would have that desire to work his hardest. One day it was amazing he just snapped out of it! He worked so hard ! We applied preach my gospel and planned more than ever before. He talked to everyone we met and taught the lessons with a new found power, it was hard for me to keep up with him!  We got three new baptismal commitments that day! And three more the next! I marveled at the change that we had! I know that as we are dedicated and do our best God will lead us to those that are ready to receive the gospel.

I would love to share an experience we had that strengthened my testimony:
Lately it has been raining a lot, when I say a lot I mean a lot! Like flooding the streets, and so sometimes it is really hard to get to appointments. On Friday night all of our appointments fell through and it was really discouraging. It was about 8:30 and it was raining so hard. Everyone we went to visit was either asleep or not home. We were really tempted to just go home because we were wet, cold, tired, and hungry. We decided to just visit one more Recent convert. When we got there the father offered us coffee (which always makes me chuckle inside) and we found out that the young man we came to visit wasn't a Recent convert! The records were wrong an he never got baptized! So we taught lesson one to him and his sister and challenged them both to be baptized. They accepted our invitation! If we would have just went home we would have never had that opportunity! I am so grateful that we stuck it through and endured to the end. It reminds me of my cross country days when I would run hard work outs. Sometimes I wanted to give up close to the end, but if I gave up close to the end then I never would cross that finish line and I never would get any better.

I know that the grace of Jesus Christ and his atonement is real and that if we pray for his help he will help us, we just have to ask and be humble enough to let him guide us. I had an exchange this week with our zone leader and I was expected to lead the area. I was really nervous and didn't think I could do it, but I had faith and trusted that I would be able to navigate through these crazy burungays and streets. I was able to lead the area and was able to navigate! It was amazing.  I know that it is through Jesus Christ that our weaknesses become strengths, he fills in the holes of our imperfections!

I love you all! Thank you for your prayers and your emails!  I pray for you!
Until next week!
mahal kayo,


Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 10 "Pinoy ako!"

Hey everybody!!

This week was an adventure! I learned a lot and have been trying to practice patience this week with myself in learning Tagalog! I am progressing I can feel it. Its really cool when someone asks me a question in Tagalog and I just naturally respond. It is really cool! I love the people here, they are so nice and always feed us! I really do like the food here! The weather here is crazy it is always so hot! Sometimes it just out of nowhere it starts raining. On Wednesday  there was a rainstorm and we were out tracking, we had to go seek shelter and we went in to Patriarch Dizons house. They just so happened to be painting their front room and so we decided to help them! It was fun, we were in our shirts and ties and so it was a challenge not get paint on them, but it was really fun and no I didn't get any paint on me! :) Afterwards, they fed us and we ate kamayan style, (with our hands!) it was actually not as uncomfortable this time. I have come up with a motto for me when ever I feel discouraged and like I can't do something or learning the language, that is "Pinoy ako!" or I am Filipino! This helps me and gives me the courage to embrace and love their culture. I know that we become what we think we are, so its so important that we are positive with ourselves. Sometimes I feel like my head is barely above the water and I am barely breathing, but I know that God is with me and that through the power of the atonement I can do all things!
 I also learned the power of specific prayer this week! We have been praying to find a family this week, one with a father and a mother and children that are ready for the gospel. And on Tuesday we found a family! When we were walking home, I was really focused on getting home to enjoy a nice slice of bread with Nutella, when a lady from her door way smoking a cigarette yelled "hey joe! (referring to me being an American, a very common thing I hear). I said Magandang Gabi! back to her and continued walking. My comp stopped and said to me that we should go back and talk to her. So we did and she introduced us to her family! They had 5 kids over the age of 8! This was after a really hard day and so it was a tender mercy! We learned that it is so important to listen to the Holy Ghost or else we could have missed that opportunity. I know that God answers prayers and that the more specific we pray the more specific the answer we get! God loves us and is so aware of us! He wants to bless us but respects our agency enough that we have to ask! You all have a great week and remember your Pinoy Elder
Mahal ko lahat kayo!


Here is a picture of me with a bunch of kids on the street.
This is mount Ariya, the people here sometimes call me Murdock Ariya because the Tagalog word for mountain is Bundok which I guess sounds like Murdock.

Monday, September 1, 2014

WEEK 9 Weird food, Exchanges and the Rice Bucket Challenge


This week has been a challenge and been full of meeting more of the members and investigators here in Cabiao. On Thurday, I went on an exchange with Elder Slavania a really cool Filipino elder who has a solid testimony. We went to his area that only has about 20 members. They don't even have a branch yet, a very new area! We taught a less active who got baptized 30 plus years ago, all about the word of wisdom. It was really cool to see the spirit in the room as I changed them to stop selling cigarettes in their Tindahan. I am so grateful for that power that comes with the spirit.
At the end of the day we ate Balot! hahaha, yes I tried balot this week. MMMMM! It actually is pretty good. Balot is a old duck egg with a fetus inside, here are some pictures.
Me and my companion have been working really hard to find new investigators to teach and have been focusing on doing open your mouth. (OYM) These are simple street contacts in which we share the gospel to strangers around us. I am learning that if we are prepared and willing, those opportunities will come to us. The most challenging thing for me is the language. It is so hard for me to adapt to the different culture and what is acceptable here. People litter constantly and garbage is everywhere, it is really sad and boy do these people need to see Dr. Murdock! :)
I know that we all can OYM. All we have to do is be willing and have faith that God will bless us and gives us the words to say in the moment we open our mouths. We must be willing to be his instrument!
Our ward has been working on hard at emergency preparedness and have come up with a Rice bucket challenge. (named after the ALC Ice bucket challenge) Each day members are encouraged to put one cup of rice per member of the family into a bucket as food storage in case of a typhoon. I think it is so cool that the efforts of the church are the same wherever you go!
Everyday I wake up and remind myself that each day is a gift from God. And that one of these days, I am going to wake up and be in Utah and look back on my experiences. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve. The most rewarding thing about missionary work is seeing people change. I am so excited to see this change in people in the months to come! I challenge you all to OYM this week and know that you will be blessed in your efforts and courage!
You have a great week and remember your favorite missionary in Ang Philippines!