pilipinas landscape

pilipinas landscape

Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 87

Hello Family,

I have so much to say but like always I am short on time! :)
We had a really great baptism this week, it was a really spirit filled baptismal service.
We had one of our other investigators attend the baptism and afterwards she told us that she was very excited for her baptism this week. Her name is Elvie and she is the sister I that wrote about that I talked to on a jeepney! We are praying that her less active husband will come to her baptismal service and that he feels the Holy Ghost and that it will be the start of his return back into full activity.
Another sister we are teaching came to church for the first time! She is active in her church and the time for church is the same. She has taken huge leaps of faith and knows that the Book of Mormon is true. The concerns that she has is that she is afraid of leaving her church and is afraid of what others will think of her. But I am confident that she will make the right choice! She told us that she will be baptized but she cannot yet commit to a date. I just have gratitude in my heart, I have seen the spirit soften her heart a little at a time. I ask that you pray for her.
The last cool thing that has happened here in Bulaon is that last week we started a new branch in a area that is remote to the chapel. The area is called Northville and has about 100 members that live there but are less active. We had our first Sacrament meeting there last week in a little one room store house. I was honored to be the first speaker. As I spoke I felt the Holy Ghost so strong regardless of the noise outside the store.
I know that this is how our church was reorganized in our day, little stores and houses were the first meeting places of our members. The spirit filled the room and I remembered the promise written in the New Testament: "When two or three are gathered in my name, there shall I be in the midst of them"  Our little branch of 30 or so, I believe will someday grow into a ward. This is the start of great things!

I love you all my brothers sisters and friends!
I love your emails.
Mahal ko kayo,


Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 86- Visit from President Russell M. Nelson

Family and Friends!

Well, as my family was well to remind me today, I only have four months left in the mission field. That is quite an unsettling thought for me, however I am very excited for the future that awaits me as I go home. 

This week I had one of the most amazing and memorable experience on my mission that I will try to relate to you the best I can. It is hard to put in words but something I will never forget.

I was able to look eye to eye, shake hands with and sing for and listen to the words of a living prophet, seer, and revelator. President Russell M. Nelson!

On Tuesday about noon all of us missionaries waited anxiously on the front lawn of the chapel in Tarlac as a van pulled in to the parking lot, as the car parked and the door opened and President and Sister Nelson walked out of the car. Everyone was dead quiet and I just felt the Holy Ghost like a wave rush over me, and I knew in that moment that he was a prophet of God. After we took a picture, he asked if he could shake hands with all of us 220 missionaries, starting at the back row of missionaries, and because I am the tallest missionary in Angeles mission I was the very first to shake his hand! His smile was very warm and you could just feel the spirit while you were with him.
As I sat down in the chapel, I watched as 220+ missionaries came in to the sacrament hall and felt the overwhelming power and strength of our ranks as part of the Lord's army. We have never had the whole mission gather in one place before, mostly for security reasons and so it was a wonderful reunion and edifying to see all of us missionaries together.
I had the chance to be a part of the mission choir of about 16 missionaries. I stood directly in front of President and Sister Nelson (talk about pressure  hahaha) But it was incredible. The spirit was overwhelming during the whole meeting. We sang " If the Savior stood beside me" and then the choir and the congregation sang "We thank thee O God for a prophet" Sometime during the second song I had the thought that I believe came from the spirit: If this is the joy that I feel when in the presence of an apostle, how much greater will my joy and rejoicing be when the Savior will come and reign as King of kings when we will all dwell with Him and every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world!
I know that the Savior lives! I know that this is His church. My testimony was strengthened as I learned from an apostle of the Lord. I also realized that although that Pres. Nelson is a man of God, he is not perfect and also is aging. But he is very humble and is bold in his testimony of Jesus Christ and taught to us about the Abrahamic covenant and temple marriage and families. It made me think about my priorities when I get come. And I suppose as soon as the airplane lands my duty is to find my next "companion" according to the Lord and His divine timing.
The things that President and Sister Nelson talked about most was family and marriage and how important that is and how central that is for God's eternal plan for His children.
It makes me excited for my future as I use these last months in the mission as preparation and a launch pad into my bright future.
I love you all so much. The church is true. It really is. I know that more now than I did a week ago, and my testimony grows stronger every single day.
Remember to "fear not, only believe!"
You are in my prayers
mahal ko kayo,


Pic: I am at the far back right corner. eyes closed just like my mom :)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 85

Hello family and friends!

Boy do I love emailing all of you! You make me smile and give me added strength.
This week was great. We are preparing 3 of our investigators to be baptized in the coming weeks. It has been amazing to see the growth and change in them.
Elvie is doing so well. She is the one that I told you we met on a jeepney (if you don't know what that is google it :)) From the moment I met her I knew she was being prepared by the Lord. It was a divine mercy that we were lead to her. Her husband who is a inactive member is now coming back with her and you can just see the light that is returning to their countenances. 
I also had an odd experience that I wanted to share with all of you when I went on exchanges.
So there is one area in Angeles zone that is notorious for being like Las Vegas in the United States.There are so many old American men that go there for not good reasons. While I went there for a day to visit the area and be with one of the missionaries who is assigned there, we saw so many "Joe's" or old American men. That day while we were walking down the street we saw this big white American man that looked like Mr. Incredible from the Disney movie Incredibles. He was riding a scooter. As he turned the corner he saw us and stopped us and asked if we could have a picture with him. He said he was a member, but we would tell by what he was saying that he was not currently active. He spoke in a thick Boston accent. As we sat and talked to him, I had the impression to ask him if he was reading the Book of Mormon. He replied that he was not, So we helped him download the app on his phone, he agreed to read later that night. As we were about to leave he stopped us and said: "Aren't we going to pray or something?" We smiled and then he offered to give a prayer right there on the busy street corner. His prayer was something I will not forget, he prayed in gratitude that he saw us and that he knew that it was God's will and divine providence that we our paths crossed. As he prayed I felt the Holy Ghost bear witness to me of God's love for this man, in addition I felt the sweet assurance that I was where I needed to be at that moment. I will continue pray for this man.
I know that God puts us in the path of His children, especially as we are anxiously ready and willing to serve. We can help rescue those souls around us. We can pray for those opportunities.
Tomorrow we have President Russel M. Nelson coming to our mission! I will have the opportunity to shake hands with a living apostle! What a blessing!

I love you all,

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 84

Hello Family. This week was so great!
We had miracles happen this week when it comes to finding those people who the Lord has prepared for us. In this area I have seen a lot more diversity of people and have seen a lot more rejection than I have my whole mission. At the same time we have see great things happen as we have kept pressing forward.
Two weeks ago we met a lady on a jeepney. She immediately identified us as missionaries and wanted us to teach her. She had been taught by missionaries before. She was so excited to be taught and told us that her husband was a member but had been inactive for 20+ years. As we taught Sister Elvie and Bro.Fred as a couple you could just see that they felt the spirit and they want to know more. Sister Elvie just asks so many questions and they both just radiate with light. We have had the members help us as we are working to help Fred return to activity and Elvie be baptized this March! We are so excited for their progress and the great things that we are seeing here. The work is moving forward.
I am grateful I am apart of the work here in this mission.
Our Zone is doing well. I have loved learning to be a more Christ-like servant and leader to these missionaries. I have really started to see them more like Heavenly Father sees them. It is very rewarding being a leader, even when it is stressful and has hard experiences. I pray for you all, and ask for you to pray for the people here.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 83

Hello family and friends,

Today we are a little heavy on reports, but I am so happy that I had the chance to receive all of your wonderful emails! I love receiving your words of encouragement and know that you are all  doing so well. I hear that there is a lot of snow! That is so different as now it is getting so hot here! It is about 40 degrees Celsius(104 F.) all the time! I miss the snow! I especially miss snowboarding with my little brothers! Next season Jacob and Kaden... But in truth I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the whole world. 
On Wednesday we watched a broadcast for all the missionaries in the whole world. It gave me power to think that I was singing and gathering with 75,000+ missionaries all singing Called to serve in all different places in the world from Hawaii to Finland. It makes me feel overjoyed to be apart of a noble army of God. Many apostles and general authorities spoke and they even had a part of it feature missionaries from the Ogden Utah mission! It was a joyful experience.
The Lord is blessing us. I am starting to just love the people here. I feel right at home in the ward here and the members are so strong. We have been blessed with much support from them. We have received many referrals and also had members willing to be brave and share their testimonies along side ours as we have helped others come unto the light of the gospel. It has softened many hearts.
We also have had people put in our path as we have opened our mouths.
Being a missionary is so amazing. It is definitely a marvelous work and a wonder. I wonder all the time what I am going to say next and then bam!, I just know. I am so weak and young and inadequate, I can speak the language functionally, but sometimes I still am reminded I am not a native.  I have never experienced what most of these people are going through or feeling... But as I have been humble enough to realize my weaknesses and had faith that despite them, I can succeed if lay aside myself and let Him take me by the hand and make me equal to every task He gives me.

I encourage you all, to continue to do what you are already doing, lift others up, be an example. forgive and see beyond others weaknesses. Apply the Atonement everyday, whether if you made a mistake that needs erasing or need comfort to make it to tomorrow. I am learning that the Atonement is something intended for us to use generously because it never runs out-- ever! 
I have been pondering these verses lately :

28 ¶Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
As we take His yoke upon us, we will find rest to our souls. That yoke require sacrifice but the reward is bliss.
I love you all so much! I pray for you always

tandaan niyo mahal kita!