Monday, March 25, 2013

Manalpa Exchanges

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been really good. Thanks to all my family members for emailing me. Y'all are great and special to me all the time. Thanks for all the prayers that come my way. Just know, mine goes your way as well. I will try and respond to all your emails, but I do have a limited time, so if you don't get one, don't be upset :) I'll write back eventually. However, I think I did mail all of you that sent me one. I hope that this email is finding everyone good and happy. This week has been pretty good actually. We had the highest number of less actives taught in the whole zone. Our less active teaching accounted for 1/4 of the zone, said Elder Doane. So, that's pretty cool I guess. This week is transfer week. I'm sure I'll stay here and continue to train, so that means 6 months here in Victorias. So let's get started with this week|:

P day: We went to Bacolod, because Elder Matamata needed something.  We aren't allowed to go to the mall unless we have a very good reason.  It is very different from my area. There's an actual mall, that's pretty legit too.  That evening, we came home and we decided to try and get off to a really good start by getting some good teachings in on Monday night. We were able to teach 3 less active families. It was a good p day and it always goes by so fast! PDAY (pirme dasig adlaw yeah) That's Hiligaynon for "Always fast day, yeah" haha. I learned that from Elder Bermudez.

District meeting as usual which is good to have. We learned lots of things that we can do to help our area and how to help the people that we need to do.  We studied and did the necessary things and then went to work. The AP's were on exchanges with the ZL's so we had an AP at our apartment all Tuesday and Wednesday morning. We learned that one of our less active families husband is a WOMANIZER! He's got like 4 other girlfriends and other kids. This man used to be Elders Quorum President and now he's doing all these bad things. We have no clue what to do.  He's stopped providing for the family and it's just such a mess. Of course, he's inactive and I don't know what to do. It's sad, but like I said, nothing we can do. Then we taught the Perez family and they started telling us that maybe they will go to church on Sunday. We were really excited! So I'll tell you about that on the Sunday part.

I had exchanges with Elder Bermudez in Manapla. It was so awesome. I love Manapla. It's such a nice ward and a beautiful area for that matter. I left the SD card at the house (DARN!), so next week I'll be sending pictures of that. It was cool because we taught some people that I taught last time I was in Manapla and now that I know the language they were super shocked. It was great. I love Elder Bermudez. He's an amazing missionary. He wishes we were companions someday and so do I!  He's got a great spirit when he teaches. We had this part where all these kids were following us and we decided to sprint away and it was just so fun. Manapla has some great people. The spirit is so strong in our lessons and I love it. Manapla elders also just moved into a brand new apartment that their members built for them, so it was nice and still had a fresh paint smell.

Exchanged back and just went straight to work. We had a lot of teachings and so that was a really good thing. I love teaching people. We taught the LA family with the dad who has all the women... he was "sleeping" in his house so we spoke up a little louder and taught the law of chastity! It was so funny and I was like trying to gear everything towards that dad. We taught the Perez family again and they said that they were going to come to church on Sunday.

Weekly planning takes forever it seems, but really only about 3 hours, in which we plan everything out for our week. We taught brother Delante and he's a great man. He's less active and I've yet to see him at church, but he's nice and always invites us in. He was stabbed by his neighbor in the arm, so we were really concerned for him. He's actually moving away today to Luzon, just like Manila. He was saying that he really wants to come to church, so it was really good. We referred him to the other mission there so maybe he can return to church there somewhere. We just gave it to the mission headquarters here and hopefully they'll take care of it.
Delante Family
The busiest day of the week. We had 9 teachings in this one day. All our investigators either weren't home, or had a baby. All except one, who is new. Bro Olleberos. He's a catholic, but says he doesn't believe that God is in the church. We taught him for an hour and a half, which usually doesn't happen, but he had so many questions. At first we were like, he's so golden, but then he didn't come to church, so we're not sure what happened. We tried to visit him last night, but he wasn't home. He speaks English so we teach him in English. It was awesome. We also taught a lot of other people in addition to the LA's and invited them to church...

Okay, running out of time. The Perez family came to church! How awesome! The whole family came and it was so great. I love them.  After church, we visited bro Delante and told him that we will miss him a lot. He told me that he would miss me too!  We then taught some more people. We had 7 La's at church with 0 investigators, because the church is so far away!


That's my week! I love you guys! The church is so true! Keep pushing on everyone. and keep reading. I love you all. My family is the best! Endure to the End!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Zone Conference March 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Cadiz Zone
Hello everyone from the Philippines! This week is week two of the rough patch, but it is okay. I'm still keeping a positive attitude and am assured that everything will be okay eventually. This week we had Zone Conference and Stake Conference, so there was a lot of traveling and a little less work than we normally do. The funny thing is our numbers this week are better than last week and yet, we worked about 20 more hours last week. Zone Conference was amazing and so was stake conference. We were only allowed to attend the Sunday session, but now I know why. Stake conference is a broadcast from Salt Lake. At this stake conference, there was Elder Holland, Elder Hales, Elder Evans (of the 70), and Sister Cook (1st Counselor YW). It was super fantastic. It was all in English so I'm pretty sure I got more out of it than the people it was intended for. It was all on missions and things. They need more young men here from the Philippines serving and so it was really on that and focused towards them. It was amazing, I have so many notes from them. Jeffery R. Holland challenged us to read Sections 121,122,123 of the D&C which talk about Joseph Smith. I read them this morning for my personal study. I've read them before of course, it's like 3 of the best sections of scripture!  Things could always be worse. If I'm having a bad time I think of Joseph Smith, then Job, then Jesus Christ. I also read Job this morning in the Bible. That was crazy... he's an amazing man.

This week I'm just going to tell you about some families that we've been working with. The Perez family have been less active the whole time that I've been here and they even admit it. They know that the church is true and they have a testimony, but there is some type of problem that is going there. I'm not sure what it is, so we're working hard to figure it out. This week we taught them twice and both lessons were just amazing. Brother said that they will try and come to church, which he's never done that before. I love their family.  Brother is awesome and I hear he's really good at basketball. I just wish we were allowed to play with members.

The next family is the Pagaput family. They're also less active, but we don't have many opportunities to teach them because Brother is always gone at work and we can't go into a house without a male over 18. However, this week one time, he was home! It was awesome. He was bearing his testimony and the spirit was so strong and I just love them. I love their family. They have a way cool spirit and they are sealed in the temple. What an amazing blessing!

This week also Sister Teresita told us that she was going back to staying Catholic, but we've made a plan and I'm pretty sure she's not going to say that again. We're going to keep trying to get her to come to church and to do the things that we know will bless her life. It was hard at first, but now I think we've got something that will just bless her--The Word of Wisdom. We found out that she drinks and smokes, and so now, we have something to work with. It's interesting how the Lord works. So we're going to try and get her to see the blessings of quitting.

 The Demander Family
The Montano family
This week there a HUGE Festival going on in Victorias. We live a little near the plaza. A couple blocks away, but we can hear the music all the way from our house. Last night they were singing Journey and all this stuff while we were trying to sleep. I was dying. It was good though. There's a huge concert tonight that starts at 10pm and we go to bed at 10:30, so tonight should be interesting.
 Filipino custom to remove shoes before entering!


This week we had our Zone Conference in Bacolod at the mission home. It was great. I took my blanket this time so I totally didn't freeze my tail off with the air con. I'm use to the heat now, so it's pretty cold in the mission home now. My feet were really cold just sitting in the chair. It was really cool and we did some practice teachings, I think Mom you saw a picture of it on President's facebook. It was way fun. We have good zone leaders. Also, I ate ice cream! I love ice cream and we had a lot of it at the mission home! The food was also fantastic, meals that I don't get here in the mission other than at the mission home so it was really great! I love our mission president. He's a truly amazing man!

 EDPER with Elder Wilstead.

 Group EDPER

 Helping in the kitchen!

 Ice Cream!

Chocolate Rice Porridge for breakfast
The church is true. Sorry this letter is a little shorter. I love my family. Y'all are the best family in the world! Thanks for all the support and the prayers. I couldn't do it without you! Keep up reading the Book of Mormon and see the blessings :)
The new friend in our apartment!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Desire to Teach

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been... interesting. It was all downhill this week. Last week was super great. Our numbers and teachings were super high and I was so happy. This week everything went downhill. All of our numbers are about half as good as last week. Its been a rough week. Every time we'd go to Sister Teresita's house she was never there this week, except on Tuesday, so we only were able to teach her one time this week and she didn't come to church this week... :(  We don't know what happened. We heard that she had work all week. We actually had 0 investigators at church this week and 0 recent converts. Yesterday was a terrible day. I'll try and put some good stuff into this week though. It was pretty much walking and trying to find people to teach and trying to get people to listen to us.

Monday we taught a less active that I've never met before and I was super happy and excited about that. We taught her and she said that she always wakes up late and that's why she doesn't come to church. We told her sacrament wasn't until 10:30 and I know she's up by then, so then she's like... "oh okay. Maybe I'll come". Didn't come to church though, so that was rough. She was the only person we taught on Monday. Nobody else was home. However, we found a really cool new place to eat called Wengweng's Lawn.

Tuesday we had district meeting which we always start our day later because we still have to study after district meeting.  District meeting is so great. It's such a good time to throw our investigators and less actives on the table and discuss them. After that, we went to teach some less actives but most weren't home or they had no priesthood (male) there so we can't go into the house if that's the case. So it's pretty rough. However, we had FHE at the Demandar's so that was way awesome. I love them.

Just another terrible day. We found a new investigator, Sister Beverly Grace. She's 19. Pregnant. This week she found out her and her "husband" aren't married, so now we're trying to figure out all that because they need to get married before she can get baptized. Also, we've never met the husband.  Our goal this week is to meet him and hopefully be able to teach him. Our teachings were very low and I was not happy.

This was probably the best day of the week, not even kidding. We had 3 lessons with a member present. However, one of our investigators says she can't be baptized because her husband won't allow it. MAN!  We're doing everything we can there. She's totally ready too. Her name is Jealous. haha. Cool huh? We're doing our best. She has a daughter that can be baptized too. They're ready, we're waiting on the Lord to provide us a way.

1 teaching. 1. Not even joking. Brother Delante. He was drinking coffee when we came up and visited him. He's just chilling outside his house. Then he says, "Elders, this is "Bawal" right?" Bawal means forbidden. We're like, "Yes brother, so why are you drinking it?" Then he went on about how it's okay because he only does it sometimes. THEN I PULLED A DOUG ELLIS! I said, okay brother, So it's okay for me to sometimes Kill people! HAHA! he said, no of course not. Then we're like, yeah, exactly. This is the same. They're both sins. It was so funny. Other than that, the people that we tried to go and visit were not home or were "busy."

We taught 1 less active family, the Mirasol's. They live pretty far and that's why they can't go to church a lot, but they're still a cool family. After that, we went and just tried to find some new people to teach. We teach this one guy and he wouldn't even let us speak. He was so crazy. Quoting things he had not a clue about and really made himself look dumb. I felt bad for him. He'd stand up from his chair and start yelling. I was laughing so hard and he got pretty upset at it, just because it was so funny. The spirit totally wasn't there, but it was just funny because he started telling us we don't believe Jesus is the Savior and I was like hm... weird. What's the name of our church brother? It was just honestly funny. I was having a great time with him.
Ivy Rose....Isn't she cute?
No teachings. Nobody was home. Nobody was at church. I honestly wanted to just lie in my bed with my fan and just sleep. However, we had 10 less actives at church which is like AMAZING! So that was good I think, but other than that, it was a terrible Sunday.
 Lizards are the new "in" thing!

I hope you don't take this week as me complaining. It was just a terrible week. I still love being a missionary and nothing is changing about that aspect of things. The church is still true. I'm just going through what Ether taught about the trial of faith in Ether 12. That's all. Everything will work out in the Lord's time. This is His work and not my work. Everything will work in his hand, not mine. I am nothing but a voice for my Heavenly Father and an instrument is his hand. He's the one who is guiding me to do this work. I love it.

I love you all. The church is so true. I just want to tell you that. I love this work and I love being a missionary. And there is so much happiness found here on this island with the Filipino's. I really love them. I'm seeing them how the Lord is seeing them, not how I see them. They're totally awesome people and they know what's up. Their lives are so hard, but they are awesome and amazing people to talk to. They have some good stories about life. I hope everyone is still reading the Book of Mormon. It's so amazing. I finished last week. It's true! Just wanted to say that. The Book is true!

I Hope that you are all having a great Sunday back home. It's Monday here. Have a good week. Love y'all.

Monday, March 4, 2013

I Love Being a Missionary

Dear Family,

HELLO! I hope that everyone is doing fantastic and that y'all have had an amazing week as I have had. The Philippines is doing well and fantastic as always. I love the people and the culture here. The people are so fun to joke with, only after you understand their humor, especially when they're drunk. The people will tell you anything you want when they're drunk. So we usually get their address and things and then give them a word of wisdom pamphlet. It's honestly so much fun. I never thought I could have this much fun being a missionary. I've always heard it being the best 2 years, but I think I'm starting to get a slight glimpse of the why. This week has been super busy. I feel like every week just get busier and busier. Since I'm training a new missionary we have about 2 hours of additional study the we need to do, but then we just go out and work super hard. It's super super fun and I've never really felt the spirit more in my life.
On Monday we had a family home evening at the Mirasol's family. However, it was only Mom, Dad and the Son's wife (live in not married), and she's not a member, so that's 3 people for a family home evening. It was interesting, but the spirit was there and that's the only important thing right? Right. They fed us some really good food too, so that was a pretty good family home evening, even though there was a lack of people.
Tuesday we had district meeting which always sets our study schedule back and so we always get out later than we want. Tuesday we only had 3 teachings, which is not what we wanted because we set some pretty high goals for this week' however, we picked up a new investigator and taught her the plan of salvation. There was a woman the had a miscarriage next door to her and it was like a sad time for the neighbors I guess, so Plan of Salvation it was. After this, she asked us to come back! How cool!  Unfortunately, every time we went back this week she was never home, so we're hoping this week is a little better.
Wednesday was a really good day. Since our goals were high we were like, man we've better get some teaching done this week. Since our area is so big and we do some much walking, it's hard to get a lot of teachings. Needless to say, this week we've had the highest teachings and key indicators I've had since I've been here on my mission. I was super stoked. Okay, so on Wednesday we found 2 new investigators-- One, Beverly Grace we just talked to and then we asked if we could teach her and she said yes. She's 19 and pregnant, but says she has a husband. (hopefully married, praying so hard that they are) She said we could return! She seems ready and lives pretty close to the church.  Wednesday was a good day. Taught a lot and found some people to teach. Like Preach my Gospel says, there is no work until you have someone to teach, so finding is HUGE and HARD!
Thursday was also a really good day. We had a lot of teaching as well. We met a woman named Sister Teresita and we taught her the restoration. Right after the lesson she told us that she wanted to come to church. We're like, SWEET! We actually taught outside her house because... well... she barely has a house. It's like a roof with some sticks around it-- Totally bad situation. She lives in Canetown; however, on Sunday, she was at church! WEEE!!! I love when Investigators come to church. It makes us happy, our President happy, and also the Lord of course,which is why we do everything that we do.
Friday we had our weekly planning session, so of course that takes forever and we don't get to really work a lot.  We also went to the SOOOO FARRRR place again. Hda Felicia. However, we met a less active for the 1st time and he was baptized like forever ago. Anyway, we asked him to say the closing prayer after our lesson and in his prayer he was saying that he wishes that he could return to church and please bless him that him and his family can return to church. Elder Matamata had no clue until I explained it to him since he didn't really understand. No new investigators, I don't really want any that far out, it's nearly impossible to get to the church. We walked about 6 miles just to visit these people.
On Saturday we visited all our investigators. Well, the ones that were home.  We had a lot of teachings and are so close to all our goals. We gave the Sumatra family a baptismal date, however, they didn't go to church. We did the date for 5 weeks ahead though, so it's all good. If they'll come to church they can still get baptized. The other family that we met out in that area the Malagom family said they don't want us to come back. They said that they are fighting about the gospel and that it's not good to fight. "GANI!" Pero, it was still so funny and I was like, the gospel will bless the both of you and the sister just kept telling me she needs to respect her husband and they're going to stay catholic. So, Oh well.
Yesterday, Sunday was fantastic. Sister Teresita went to church and I'm hoping that she had a good experience. It's always hard to tell because they don't tell you everything, but we're going to follow up and make sure that everything was okay. We'll give her a baptismal date this week, probably tomorrow. Also, Ryan's sister, Grace, didn't come to church, but she read the reading assignment we gave her and Ryan said that she said it was good. He said she might come to church next week, so we're hopeful for that.
This morning we found woman that will wash our clothes! President changed the rule! Now we only have to wash our garments, which are easy and take like 30 minutes to do. We're really happy about that, so now I won't have sore back for like 3 hours! WEE!
I hope that everyone is doing good and obeying! I got 2 packages this week from y'all and from Grandma and Grandpa Ellis. Thanks so much. Thanks Grandma Shirley for the money that is going towards my new scriptures :) Also got a letter from the ward Activity Day girls for Valentines that was forwarded from the MTC. Thanks! Oh and I got 1 dear Elder from Court written on FEB 5.  Letters take forever in this place!
I've had a great week and I know that the church is true. I challenge everyone to keep reading the Book of Mormon. It's so amazing. I'm 37 pages away from finishing for the 3rd time on my mission. I'm learning just so many new things. 3rd Nephi is probably the most amazing chapter and Mormon too--just 2 amazing books in the Book of Mormon. Please keep reading it. I know this church is true and the Jospeh Smith was and is a true prophet of God.  I love being a missionary. I never thought it'd be this way. The days are so hard and trying to get people to come closer to Christ is the hardest job I've ever had to do in my life, but I've never had more fun doing something like this. It took a little bit to get to this point, but I'm loving it!
I love y'all back home. Keep up the good work!