Monday, January 28, 2013

Week 10--Miracles from God

Dear Family and Blog Readers,

How's it going everybody? Just another busy week in the Philippines for this Elder here. I would like to make a correction. Last week I mentioned that it wasn't that hot and that I was used to the weather or whatever. I found out that it's winter here. So yes, it's going to get hotter. So, that should be fun I guess. Not very excited, but yeah, I'll enjoy what I have right now. The wind is usually a steady blow and a lot of the time just an overcast. So it's really nice now and not too hot. I like winter here. I miss the cold though actually, and of course, the snow. I sounds like the boys basketball team is having a rough time. Sorry for that, I wish I could come back and play, haha, but there are bigger things at stake (like other people's salvation), than playing basketball right now. Even though I miss it and I still haven't played since I've been here, there's a lot bigger work that's needed to be done here on the island.
Bacolod Philippines Mission Goals
Our Investigator Ryan is doing really well. Elder Doverte and I were trying to prepare him for baptism for this Saturday, Feb. 2. However, we still need to teach a little bit more. So we've moved his baptism to next Saturday, Feb 9. So we're really excited for that day. We've already gone over the baptismal interview questions with him and he's ready. He's going to be a great member of the church. He's asked his uncle to baptize him, so we're really happy on his decision.
It's good to hear about people's decisions to serve and it sounds like there's going to be a lot of good missionaries going out. Brock leaves this week is that right? He's going to do great in Fiji. I actually met a couple people from Fiji at the MTC when I was there that were going to serve in missions here in the Philippines. They were way nice people! So cool. So I hope that he has a great time. So good luck to him. Go save some souls buddy. I'll miss golfing with him, but hey, it's only 2 years right? Also Ryan goes next week? Wow, that's fast. I can't believe that. Ryan buddy, I love you. Good luck. Your mission is going to be fantastic. It's amazing to hear about close friends doing great and serving the Lord. I wouldn't ever change the decision that I've made to be where I am right now. Yes, it's hard. Yes, there is a lot of down times and that's just when I read about Alma and the son's of Mosiah. When they were ready to turn back, the Lord told them that he would comfort them and they were comforted. The Lord knows everything and knows what we need and when we need it. I know that for a fact. I've been receiving so much help in everything right when I need it.
This week I also got a package from Grandma and Grandpa. Thanks so much. The food is amazing! Thanks for the Oreo's and of course, the Werther's! I think that's how you spell it. They're so good. So thanks so much! The box was BEAT so bad. Looks like it went through a hurricane, but everything in it was fine :) I even made the soup for lunch that day. It was so good. So thanks so much. I hope that Grandpa had a great Birthday. Did you get my letter? I sent it maybe 4 weeks ago, so I hope it got there by his birthday. I tried.
Ashlyn and Sam sound like they are having a fun time with school and things like that. Sam's a good driver? Weird... didn't expect that. HAHA! Just kidding! So y'all want to hear about my week?:

P day, gani. So just the regular things. However, we had a Family Home evening set up and everything and then we received a text and they cancelled, so then we were left with nowhere to go. We went and tried to visit a couple people, but nobody was home. It was such a sad night, so that was no fun at all. We just went home at like 8 because we had nowhere to go and nobody to talk to on the street because everyone goes to sleep, so that wasn't a really good day.

Tuesday was not a very good day either. Elder Doverte wasn't feeling that good so while he rested after our studies I just read "Our Search for Happiness." I actually just finished it, like 2 days ago. It took me about 4 days. It's a good book. It really opened my eyes a little bit and gave me a little extra boost in my own testimony. The things that Elder Ballard testifies in that book are great. And now I've moved on to the big monster. Jesus The Christ. I'm on like page 25 and wow, it's a rough read. So many things to try and understand, but the notes that he makes at the end of each chapter really helped. I learned this morning that the Jaradites actually landed in California. I never knew that. I always thought it was somewhere in South America. But in the notes at the end of the chapter 2, i think, tell us that it was California. Cool huh? Okay, so after Elder Doverte started feeling better we went to South Bacayan and taught some less actives out there. It was fun actually. We taught one family about the Atonement and how it covers literally everything. Physical, mental, and spiritual pains. Anything that you can possible think of. The reason that Christ did that was that so he knows how to help us. He felt the pain that we felt and know he knows how to help his people. (See Alma 7:12&13). So that was a good lesson. The family is having a really rough time right now and so I hope that the scripture that I shared helped them somehow. The sister that we were teaching kept asking questions and so I think we ended up talking for about 2 hours. So long. However, as long as she was edified and so were we, then I think it's okay. Then we had a family home evening at the Demandar's house. That was so much fun. We played some really great games that I can't wait to play with y'all back in America. It has fire in it! You get to pass fire around. Cool huh? We'll play in a while. I gave the lesson at the FHE. It was so fun. After everything was over the daughter Grace had a question about the spirit world, and so we ended up teaching the Plan of Salvation right after Family Home Evening. So yeah, that was a fun night. Then we ate some food and drank some drinks. I love tang. They have a mango flavored tang here that's soooo good!

Wednesday is the day that we had to go to Bacolod for the specialized training. Was there pictures from it? We were trying to fine an Air Con bus to Bacolod, but couldn't find one. So we had to ride a regular bus. Such a long ride, well sort of. We're actually pretty close to Bacolod, but the bus always stops to pick up more people, and the road here are about 100X worse than the roads in Utah. Weird huh? I never thought I'd say that, but these roads are SO BAD! So be thankful for where you live. So the training was fun. It's always good to learn things from President Lopez. He's always making me want to be a better missionary. It was all about how they can make training better, how our training and things are going, so it's pretty good so far. Training is just a lot of learning and a lot of studying. We get an extra hour of companion study while we train, so that's nice. It's so that you can learn more at the start and really get a boost on you knowledge and teaching skills. We then went to work in Canetown and got punted from everyone. Either they were busy, there was no male so we couldn't enter their house, or they just weren't home. I was a little upset and very tired from traveling to Bacolod and back home.

I had exchanges with Elder Bermudez. Do you remember him? I went with him last time to Manapla. Well this time, he came to my area to see how I did as a missionary. He barely did any of the talking, just really seeing what I did. Let's just say this was one of the most fun days I've ever had on my mission. All these weird little miracles happened that were just, wow! So we went to South Bacayan and taught the usual family that we always teach there. Anyway, usually when we teach it's only mom and the daughter. But this time the whole family was there. Wow. So we took this opportunity. It was fantastic. Then after that, we went to the Pagaput family and he husband wasn't home. We're not allowed to enter so we didn't, so we just had a prayer outside and then we went on our way. The we went to Sister Pelloquerro's house. Her sister told me that she wasn't home and so then I just thought to myself, hey, let's teach you. So I asked her if we could share a message with her. She was hesitant at first,but then finally said yes. So I was really happy about that. Then, we went to Canetown. Last week I think I told you the story about the man that invited us on his porch and we taught him and it turned out he'd been taught in the past. Anyway, so Elder Bermudez and I were "knocking" at his door. We actually just yell, "Tug Balay" meaning, like, people are here come outside and let us in, or, where's the owner of the house kind of thing. So we were doing that, the this voice comes from behind me, a female voice. "Mormon's Kamo?" meaning, are you Mormon's? We were like, Yes were are. She's maybe 14 or 15 years old. Anyway I asked who she was and she told me May Mary. I then asked what her last name was. She told me. I was like, Oh My Gosh! Do you remember how last week Elder Doverte and I walked for 3 hours to try and find some less actives and we couldn't find any of them. THIS WAS THEIR DAUGHTER! She found me! She then told me that they had moved to Canetown. I was like, you've got to be kidding. This is a miracle from God. So now I know where they live and holy cow, just what a spiritual moment. If we wouldn't have met the man that used to be taught, we wouldn't have ever returned, and I would have never met May Mary. Just wow, what a day. And it gets better. After that we went to Bo Palma, which is just next to Canetown. Do you remember Reneme? We used to teach her then we kinda of stopped because there's never a boy at the house, usually just her and a lot of kids. It's the place that I held the bird. The Liza family. Anyway, so Elder Bermudez and I went to visit her and she said, "Where have you been?" I told that we were really busy and sorry for not coming back. But we've come to say hi and see how you're dong. Then right after that she told me that she promised to go to church on Sunday. I was like, um... Okay. I didn't even commit you to that, yet, but okay. If you promise okay! Awesome. Sunday. She was a church even before we were. How amazing!

Friday we went to North Bacayan and taught some less actives there. Then tried to find another family that's around that area. We weren't able to find them. People around the area said that they were all at work or something. So bummer. Then we went taught the less actives dad and mom. They live about maybe 1/4 mile away. They don't believe Joseph Smith say God. They say yes, Jesus, but not God. However, Dad is active. Mom is not. Both are members. We asked if they think that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. They said yes. However, we don't think that Joseph Smith saw God. Their evidence is John 1:18. Which is actually really bad evidence. Just a little lack of faith. We tried to teach about faith and wow, there was just no spirit. Once Joseph Smith was brought up it was all a fight. No man can see God, this that, oh what a fun lesson. So that's the highlight of my Friday.

We went out to the Mirasol family to see how they were doing. They're doing good. Mom and the son came to church on Sunday and so that was good. The son's actually our Ward Mission leader. He's active. The rest of the family is less active though. So it was good to visit them. They're the one's with the pigs. Then we went to Pelloquerro family. We taught Sister Ribon, the Recent convert of 2 years from Hong Kong, and then her nephew. His name is Meynard and his friend. They both came to church on Sunday. How awesome. I also got the package from Grandma and Grandpa on Saturday so it was a good day.
Sister Ribon's house where she served him Tang and a snack!  Happy Elder!
Such a great Sunday. We had 5 less actives at church, the best we've ever had. 12 recent converts, the best we've ever had. And 6 investigators at church, the best we've ever had. So yes, this week was fantastic. We taught Ryan after Church and he's ready to go into the water on the 9th. So we're excited for that. Then we had to go to Elder Garner's area because Elder Doverte had to do a baptismal interview. There was no buses that had room because of a big festival in Cadiz. So we ended up taking a tricycle! All the way! so far! It was so expensive, but we actually rode it with Joy and some of her friends, so we ended up not paying for it. haha. So yeah, if you know what a tricycle looks like, a 45 minute ride wow. That was so much fun. Then it was Sister Ynayan's birthday so they wanted to us to come over for dinner. So we went over and said hello and ate some Baboy! (Pig) Super good. And this mango gram cracker thing, that was so good. Then talked about the gospel! It was a great Sunday.
Victorias district

I've had a really good week. I hope that everything is going well with y'all back home. I know that his Church is true. This work is so tiring, but at the same time so rewarding especially when you see people progress. It's so hot, so fun, so sweaty, so spiritual, so tiring, and all the above. Sad, happy, up, down, everything! I'm doing good! :) I'm happy here on my Island. It's good. The area is growing. We're trying to find a new house right now because currently our house isn't in our area and the bills are starting to get expensive (water and current) So we're looking for a new one right now.
Manila Philippines temple taken by Bro. Brian Edwards
I love y'all. Keep being good and choosing the right. Read your scriptures and say your prayers. Those are two things that are the most important.

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