pilipinas landscape

pilipinas landscape

Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 78

Hello everybody!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Man am I so grateful for the new year ahead.
I am excited to tell you about Christmas in the Philippines as I am sure many of you may be anxious to know how Christmas is here.

Well in short the Filipinos love Christmas! Christmas time is marked here by paper star decorations and kids caroling in the street, lights and karaoke and lots and lots of good food! 
It is such a fun time and a great time to be a missionary as I don't think I have ever had more food in my life! hahaha.
The people here are wonderful. I wish that I had the chance to bring you here and see the wonderful lessons that they are teaching me of service and of love and of humility and faith.
Yesterday, I spoke in sacrament meeting. As soon as I walked into the sacrament hall President Somera asked me if I would speak in 5 minutes. I was a bit worried, I had no time to prepare but I prayed. I asked that I would be able to speak with the power of the Holy Ghost and that I would be able to touch the lives of the people. I had no idea that I would be the one that would learn from the words I would say. 
I shared the story of Christ walking on the sea of Galilee and Peter following him. It was a very tender experience for me as I realized the trials in the lives of these faithful saints who travel so far to go to church. Sometimes they have to chose between having money to get to church or money for their meal that night. It is such great faith I see that makes me marvel. I love them so much.  And as I spoke, I felt a glimpse of the pain and heaviness that they feel and I started to get emotional. I know that just as the saints here in Gabaldon, no matter the sacrifice and the pain we go through now, that the joy and peace that will come here after is so much greater!
God loves us and He is guiding us as we choose to look to him!

As we look to a New Year let us strive to grow and become better servants and disciples of Christ. I know that as we do what we can and look to our Savior Jesus Christ we have no need to fear, but can believe! I love the joy of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I love you all!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 77

Hello Family!

Merry Christmas! I hope you all find peace and joy this week! "For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulders and his name shall be called: Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isiah 9:6) I love that scripture! It makes me rejoice in the Savior that He was born to save you and me and all men from sin, sorrow and death! 
Well this week was crazy. This week we experienced some really crazy weather.  Typhoon Melor was supposed to hit the lower part of the Philippines but also made some heavy impact up here in central Luzon. We experienced alot of heavy rains which caused a lot of flooding especially in the the parts close to the rivers here. Many houses were damaged and flooded and we even saw two that were swept away.  Some people had to evacuate to higher ground because their houses were flooded. The effects were pretty bad but not as bad as typhoon Lando this last October. One obstacle that we had this week was that on the other side of one of the rivers here in Gabaldon live most of the members and all of our investigators. The bridge was broken so we were unable to cross. For most of the week we were unable to visit our investigators, even until now. Most of our members couldn't even come to church because the water was to high and fast moving that they couldn't cross the river.
As bad as this seems many good things happened this week. I hope that this email is positive and uplifting as that is my aim.
First we had the baptismal interview of Levi! The day before the storm, He is so ready! I am so pleased in the change we have seen in him. Even though we couldn't cross the river we were able to call our investigators a few time to check how they are doing. Aiza one of our wonderful and very progressing investigators with great faith has struggled to decide if she was ready for baptism. When we called her this week she told us that she feels ready now and wants to be baptized with brother Levi. Also we are teaching this elderly man who just radiates with spiritual power his name is Seriaco and he is the father of the relief society president here. He will also be baptized with them! I am so happy with the work here. One other little miracle is we are teaching a brother who is very influential here in Gabaldon and was the mayor for 20+ years. He is reading the Book of Mormon and came to church last Sunday! I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost. 
What a great day to be alive! What a wonderful season to be a part of God's work, What a great time of light and opportunity to live in, with modern revelation and technology! We live in a time of wickedness and disaster but also a time of great light! I am learning lately in my mission to look of the good in every situation.
I know that just as the flood victims sought higher ground to escape danger we too must do the same to escape the flood of wickedness that is over the earth. Lets seek higher ground, the Temple, and also seek ways we can help others get to the temple too. 

I love you all so much! 

Maligayang Pasko!


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week 76

Hello Family and Friends!

This week was great! It went by so fast!
Elder Dala and I are working very hard and have been blesses with some great investigators. We are enjoying the Christmas spirit which is very prevalent here in the Philippines! One thing that I love about being a missionary at this time of year is that I have the chance just like the shepherds who saw the angel and share the glad tidings of great joy! I have the privilege to be a servant of a King and serve Jesus Christ. I think of all of the giving, receiving and service associated with service and it reminds me of a wonderful passage of scripture: 
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:37–40.)
Bro. Levi is getting ready for his baptism this week. He is so strong and is very excited for his baptism. He told us how many times he had met missionaries because his daughter joined the church before him but every time he talked to the missionaries he didn't want to change. But this time he let the spirit witness to him the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! We are looking forward to his baptism.

Sorry things are short on time but I just want you all to know, All is well! This is the work of Salvation! 
Go help those that are hanging down!
I love you all,


Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 75

Hello Family and Friends!

Maligayang Pasko! That is Merry Christmas in Tagalog. It is a great time of the year to remember Jesus Christ and man do Filipinos love Christmas time. It is really fun to see all the decorations and the lights and hear the little kids carol in the streets. Christmas is here. Us missionaries are having a lot of fun sharing #isinalangangtagapagligtas (what a long hash tag, haha) A Savior is born! I love the video! It is even more beautiful in Tagalog! If you haven't seen the video yet, you can watch it at christmas.mormon.org. I invite all of you to discover why a Savior was born. For me, he was born to give me hope, peace, forgiveness, and joy and the list could go on, I could fill a book! But the truth is, words cannot describe the gratitude I have for the gift the Savior gave me and you, the gift to change through the Atonement.
Speaking of change, here is a story about one of our investigators who is preparing for baptism in the next few weeks.
Bro Levi is a retired solider and a father.  He loves his family very much, and wants so much for his family to be guided by God. We invited him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and he did so hesitantly at first but then grew to love the Book of Mormon. Often in lessons he testifies to us of the power it has and how it has changed his life so far. Before he was very shy, and had a hard time speaking his mind but now he is so different and has a great confidence. You can see that he is truly happy now. He is living the Word of Wisdom now, and he loves the Book of Mormon and has encouraged his wife to read it and she has started to read the Book of Mormon too! It is so wonderful it is hard to explain but you can just see the change that happens as people live what they learn!
I know that adversity comes as we live the gospel but through adversity we grow and we become closer to our loving Heavenly Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ. No power or influence on this earth or beneath can separate ourselves from the testimony we treasure unless we willfully give it up. 
I love Christmas! I am grateful for all of you!
I encourage you all to share the Gift with those you love! The Gift of hope that God gave us, Jesus Christ!

Until next week,