pilipinas landscape

pilipinas landscape

Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 41

Hey everyone!

Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes! You are the best! I just want to thank each of you for the impact you have made on my life! maraming salamat sa inyo lahat!
This week was long just because everyone was in the bukid or the rice fields. Right now is harvest time and so everyone is in the fields! When I say everyone I mean anyone that can hold a pangapas or curved knife they used for harvesting rice. Men women and children are in the fields all day everyday for the next few weeks which unfortunately means Sunday as well. Even those with higher calling in the church like Elder's Quorum President and Councilor to Bishopric don't go to church and work the whole day. It really is sad. They say that if they don't work they don't have food for their families, that is hard to argue but it is amazing to see the faith of those who do go to church! 
One of our investigators works in the bukid until late into the night everyday all day, but on Sundays he goes to church! It makes me so happy to see the sacrifice and faith that he has shown. 
I am learning not to judge these people but to love them. It is so sad to see that their poverty has bound them, but I believe that God will always provide a way for his obedient and faithful children!
With the harvest of rice going on it has been hard to find people to teach but I am learning patience and long suffering sometimes we only teach one or two lessons a day. As I do all I can I have seen so many little blessing is my life.

I love you all so much and want to thank you for your support!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 40!

Hey family!
This week we had a baptism! It was really great, I can definitely feel the love of Heavenly Father for these people and for us missionaries as we are able to witness their baptism! It is interesting how things worked out with preparing the font. In this area we have a font that is outside, in like a cement box about 9 feet by 9 feet and is required to be squeaky clean for baptism. Well, when we uncovered the font we found that ducks have been swimming in it for the past few weeks so lets just say that it was a bit messing and took us a while to clean until it was suitable. There was a lot of feathers and duck poop and the water was a gross green color. The smell was awful and I wish that you could have seen my companion's face, it was so funny! Our last baptism here also had a lot of preparation with the font. We had no water! The water faucet was broken. We didn't know what to do but the neighbors were very nice and let us use their water pump at almost a impossibly slow pace.  We had help of some of the young men in our branch and we worked in an assembly line to use the neighbors water pump and buckets to carry the water into the font. It took us 2 1/2 hours to fill the font!. Both of these experiences were memorable and made things a lot more interesting!
All of this reminds me of the work and spiritual preparation that us as missionaries take to help those we teach prepare for their baptism and the enduring conversion we must have. As missionaries we do all we can to help people clean the "duck poop and feathers" teaching them how to use the atonement and clean and scrub and rinse out the bad habits and affects of sin. We teach them how to repent and stay clean and then filling up the clear clean water of their testimony, bucket by bucket. Helping them learn to always retain a remission of their sins. It is definitely our choice if we will keep the water in the font clean or invite the ducks to come swimming again. But I know that as we live the gospel we will continue to feel clean and be worthy to receive the blessing of the temple and eternal life.
Anyway, It is wonderful to be a missionary! Even when things are hard, even when things do not go as planned. I know that Christ is always there, no exceptions. He loves us and will help us. He teaches us and blesses us according to our faith, desires and obedience.
I know that God is very aware of each of us and our needs!
I love you all so much love your emails and support! 
You are in my prayers,
mahal kita,

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 39

Hey Family!

Man. I loved Conference!!! I know you are probably wondering why I am giving old news but actually for me and the rest of the members here in the Philippines and this side of the world we watched conference this week because of the time difference. Man how lucky we are to have the knowledge of and be guided by LIVING apostles and prophets! For me it feels me with joy and gratitude! I woke up feeling this way and actually started to OYM (open your mouth) to the tricycle driver and tell him that we were going to the church to listen to a living prophet of God, he kind of just shrugged it off and started talking about other stuff wanting to avoid the topic. It made me a little sad to see that he was failing to "Hear the music of the Gospel" I know that the knowledge we have of the Restoration is true and that we really have living prophets on the earth, How amazing is that?
This week was a little hard still as we had a few of our investigators quit progressing or wanting to listen to us, nevertheless we have seen the hand of the Lord as we have done our best to invite others to come unto the Savior. 
All week we had seen things happen that had made us come to the haunting reality that we were not going to come close to our goal of 7 baptisms this month. At first I was a little discouraged, I wondered what I was doing wrong. We were trying to be obedient, we were trying to have faith, we were studying and doing all we could for our investigators. Why did this happen? Where did we go wrong? But as I did some praying and pondering I came to the realization that I need to humble myself and worry more about the people-- children of God, that I was teaching more than my goals and desires. I needed to put my pride and will away and love them and let the Lord do his work. I felt a little like I was giving my all and not getting anything from it. I think I was missing one of the most important and crucial part of missionary work true and Christ-like LOVE! I found out what was missing a Christ-like attitude. Man there is a lot to learn in the mission! That is one thing that never changes is that there is always something new to learn.
I still am loving my Tongan companion! He is so amazing and is teaching me a lot about service and that true Christ like love I was talking about.
On Saturday we went to teach our investigator named Rose. Rose is really amazing and loves the Book of Mormon and is really progressing. She has a goal to be baptized on the 18th of this month.
Before we could teach her she told us that she was moving back to Bulacan and that she doesn't want to be baptized anymore because there is no church there and she wants to return in a few years and get baptized. I was both shocked and a bit devastated because she was one of the two that we were planing on getting baptized this month. I had no idea why all this was happening. She told us also that she could come to church the next day so I had no idea what was going on. I told her to pray about it and that we would talk the next day. That night I talked to my Father in Heaven and asked him to change her heart and speak peace to her soul. 
In the morning we got a text that said that she was moving. which made me sad, I didn't know what was happening and felt a bit discouraged. As General Conference started we got a text that said she was going to church that morning! It was because of the awesome members in our branch who went to pick her up that morning. Later we taught her and she said that she decided just to take a vacation there and come back in a week and that she still wants to be baptized! It was a wonderful reassurance to me that the Lord can do his work. I am so grateful for her desires and the joy I have felt in helping her experience conversion.
I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week and read the Book of Mormon, everyday, everyday, everyday!!

Your Missionary and friend,


Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 38

Hey Everybody! 

This week was "Holy week" and was full of interesting tradition as here in the Philippines there is strong catholic roots. Especially on Friday night we saw a lot of really interesting things. Lots of candles and tents where people sing prayers and lots of statues and interesting depictions of the Savior. They also had real people carrying crosses and being nailed to crosses as what members have told me, but thank goodness I haven't seen any of that! :) 
 It was a neat experience but It was a little bit sad how there was nothing about the Resurrection. I know that Jesus Christ lives! I know that he lives not because I have seen him but because I have felt his influence in my life. He has always been there and has lifted me up out of spiritual sorrow and darkness. His power is what will allow each of us to overcome both Physical and Spiritual death.
I know that he is the Redeemer of the world. He is the Light and because of His Light we can find peace in a dark world.
I love you all very much and know that Because He lives we all can live again.

This week honestly was a testing one for me. We have had many disappointments this week. It seems very likely that we will be far from reaching our goal. We have many investigators that are making choices that make my heart sad as I know that they will not bring them happiness. We have been doing all we can but it seems like we are not getting anywhere.
I have been trying to strengthen my faith and have been studying faith this week. As I have been praying for the strength to be faithful I have received some great insight from the Holy Ghost through the Book of Mormon.
In the Book of Mormon it talks a lot about faith, I invite you all to look in the index and start reading and you will be surprised. It is really insightful.
As I started reading verse by verse I found a interesting pattern of word usage, many prophets in the Book of Mormon used words like: Perfect, Steadfast, Immovable, Firm, Unshaken, Everlasting, Unwavering, Rooted Faith in CHRIST. I know that He is the source of our faith and that we must have faith in Him no matter what happens. I know that as we root our  lives in his doctrine and become his disciples that we will truly be able to command in His name. (Jacob 5) I have by no means perfect faith and as I read these verses I realized that I need to have more faith no matter what happens or how my investigators chose to use their agency. I know that according to our Faith in Christ, he will perform miracles in our lives and the lives also of others!

mahal kita,