pilipinas landscape

pilipinas landscape

Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 56

Hello Family and friends.

This week was a wonderful one, Bro. Paulino's baptism was so filled with the spirit. I just felt the most indescribable amount of joy. This brother was so ready for his baptism, and waited a long 7 months for him to prepare himself and fully repent. He read the book of Mormon 3 times and half of the Doctrine and Covenants. This man just fully defined the qualifications of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. The Lord has blessed us greatly. It is difficult to explain the joy I feel but I know that that joy comes from the Spirit of Promise sealing and testifying that the ordinance was acceptable to our Father. 
It reminds me of the covenant we all make to always remember our Savior, to be His witness in all things and to follow His example of obedience to our Father in Heaven. I love the opportunity to partake of the sacrament and renew my personal promise to follow Jesus Christ every week. Seeing Bro. Paulino take this new covenant in such a sincere way made it so special.
God knows our hearts and our desires. We will not only be judged by our actions but also our desires. Watching this baptism made me evaluate my own dedication to my covenant and helped me see things I can do to improve.
Our Father in Heaven is very merciful. The arms of the Savior are open to us, we just have to let him in to our lives. I humbly testify to you that Jesus is the Christ and that he paid the price, no matter how far we feel we have gone, no matter how many mistakes we make- the road to true happiness, repentance and forgiveness is always available.
I am so grateful I am here in Paco Roman. The coming weeks will be the harvest of our labors here and I am so filled with gratitude to the Lord for his mercy and his spirit which has been poured out to these people.
Let's all lift up our light which is Christ and help those within our reach. Each soul is so precious to our Father. Let's be faithful to our covenant and be His witness.
I love you all, I miss you all but feel like I am near by when I read your letters thank you for them. I won't have a lot of time to reply anymore but please know I do read them and each one of them makes me smile and gives me strength. I am so blessed to have so many wonderful family members and friends. You are strong. 
Go and conquer,


Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 55

Hey Family,
So this week was a super happy week. Honestly, I thought I was transferring but the Lord's ways are higher than our ways and no I am not transferring which is really happy! I feel peace and love from God in knowing that I am exactly where God needs me to be. He has work yet for me to do here. I am just at peace.
So the missionaries here have taught this man named Paulino for about 7 months now which is a really long time! I have really grown to love this man. He has struggled with cigarettes for a very long time, 45+ years but now he has changed.  He will be baptized this week and it makes me so happy to see his great change. He cried so hard after his interview. He was so happy and excited for his baptism. I think the biggest lesson i learned from him was patience. Conversion is not a cheap experience, sometimes it takes time for us to really become converted. I am excited to be here for others of our investigators baptism. This transfer will be a wonderful one I can feel it, God is so good. He blesses us immediately after we repent and come to him. He wants us to change and come unto us but is completely up to us if we will use the Atonement. Repentance is such a wonderful gift. 
I love you all! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 54

Hey family and friends. 
I had a great week this week and as I have said many times, I wouldn't want to be doing anything else.:)
This week was a great week for our investigators, and we met with and taught this really neat man named Rudy. I had talked to this man in months previous and opened my mouth to share the gospel with him. He was a bit reluctant because he said he had his own religion but he invited us in to teach him. Although he told us no promises that he would change his religion. As we started teaching him the spirit filled the room  and his heart began to become more open to the gospel. He accepted the invitation to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. Sadly for two months we lost contact with this man. I was a bit disappointed. But, this week after a bit of hesitation I felt prompted to return to him. When he came out of his house he was really happy to see us and welcomed us in to teach him. He felt the spirit testify to him of the truthfulness of our message and particularly the Book of Mormon. Before we had the chance to challenge him to be baptized he told us "Elders if this book is true, I want to be baptized because I have never felt so happy and at peace than I do right now."
My companion and I just looked at each other with amazement.. I looked brother Rudy in the eye and said: " Brother it is true, and you can know this truth for yourself." This brother has now committed to live the word of wisdom and came to church for the first time yesterday. I believe it was because of the power of the Book of Mormon in his conversion that changed his heart and allowed him to accept the truthfulness of the gospel. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I encourage all of you to read it, to renew your own testimony of its truthfulness. I know that as we use it in our families it will bring us closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. For any who may be reading this letter that has not yet sincerely read and prayed about the Book of Mormon, I plead with you to try the virtue of the word of God. It has power even greater than the sword or any other thing. I know that as you you read it, it will change your life in ways that are indescribable. I know that because I have been trying to study and live the words of the prophets in the Book of Mormon.
 I love you all! I am grateful for all you do and the great influence you have all had on me in my life.
I pray for you and know that you are in the Lord's hands!

Sorry I didn't have time to edit it because they have now cut our computer time from two hours to one hour.
I love you all. Until next week. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week 53

Hey family and friends,

Well this week was good. We got a ton of rain and in the area where we are, and it is the start of the planting of rice which is interesting to see as I see miles of flooded fields as they plant the rice. It reminds me of my job everyday of planting the seeds of the gospel in the hearts of the people here. It is interesting how many receive the word in their hearts but then fail to nurture it and it withers away and dies. That is always sad to see happen, but over all the people here are so humble and willing to listen to us and very rarely show any disrespect to us. Unlike most areas of the world, we are very fortunate that people do not yell at us or slam doors in our faces. I can't recall once of anything like that happening to us. It is just not the nature of the people here. The only problem is it sometimes makes it hard to know who is genuinely interested and those that just want to be entertained by two Americans. 
We did have a crazy thing happen last night, someone broke into our house! They broke the dead bolt on our back door and stole my money for the month which was about $150 and our portable d.v.d player that the mission gave us to watch instructional videos. It was a bit of a shock! We had the "police" come but the thieves were long gone, I guess they jumped over the wall and then kicked our door open. We are safe and nothing was stolen that can't be replaced so it is all okay.
I actually feel the worst for those people who felt desperate enough to steal from us. I just feel bad at the misery that their consequences will bring to them. It really reminds me of what is really important and that as we seek the kingdom of God we will receive much more than anything we could buy here on earth.
Love you all! 
Light will prevail!

A tasty lunch of crickets with soy sauce! 

                             Burning my shirt for my one year mark!