Sunday, September 17, 2017

September 11, 2017

Hey Everyone!

So, this letter is going to be pretty short.  I just have some pretty great news!

First off, my new comp is awesome! He is from Paronoque, Manila and him and I get along swimmingly! We definitely edify each other in teaching and companionship study and we are going to have so much success together!

Secondly, Remember that family that promised to teach us how to make sticky rice in return of listening to the gospel? Well, they came to church this week!!!! They sacrificed working on Sunday and kept their promise to keep the Sabbath Day Holy! 

Lastly, I would just like you all to remember that you are loved by your Father in Heaven.  He is always there for you if you need Him.  Trust in Him, and He will guide you through your trials and heartaches.

Mahal ko kayong lahat!
Until next time! 

September 3, 2017

Magandang araw ang aking mga minamahal kapitid!

This week was transfer week, and I'm staying here in Camalaniugan with my new companion, Elder Ronquillo! I will be meeting him tomorrow and I can't wait to see what we can accomplish!  There is so much potential here in Camalaniugan and I can't wait to tap it! 

Sorry for the short email, but I'm kind of out of time. Next week I will have pictures, I left my camera at home today. Sorry haha.

However, I would just want to share this quick thought.  With transfers, it is always an adjustment.  In life, we have adjustments. Constant adjustments.  We need to always remember that God has a plan for each and every one of us.  His ways are not our ways, and we need to seek out the lesson He has planned to teach us in every moment of our life.  If we remember that God is guiding us, no trial is too hard for any of us.  Keep trusting the Lord and everything will work out.

Mahal ko kayong lahat!
Until next time!

Pictures-- August 27, 2017

August 27, 2017

Magandang araw mga minamahal kong kapatid!

This week was fantastic! We had exchanges with the APs where I learned many things on how I can improve in my work.  On our exchanges we had to take one of the missionaries to the bus station to go to manila because he just finished his mission! He was released a week early to start school on time, and it was such a strange feeling seeing that missionary get on the bus and seeing him for the last time as an Elder.  Weird.

Also, we had two baptisms this week! Rea and Precious were both baptized! Sadly, however, they weren't confirmed because they had an emergency happen where they were unable to attend sacrament meeting.  However, they should be confirmed in the upcoming weeks, completing their baptisms!  Even without the confirmation, the Spirit was so strong at their baptism and you could see the change in their countenance as they came up out of the water into the new life as a disciple of Christ.

Other than that, nothing else really happened.  We had a typhoon this week, but it was just a bunch of rain. No damage was done and we are all safe.

I would like to share one thing from my personal study this week.  I was studying Jacob 5, the allegory of the olive tree, and The Articles of Faith concerning the dispersion and gathering of Israel and also the Primitive Church.  As I was studying, I realized that there is so much physical, historical, and 'worldly' evidence that can prove the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  But even with all of this evidence, there are so many people who reject it.  This greatly helped me understand the principle that truth can only be received through the medium of the Spirit.  If a person is not willing to accept the testimony of the Spirit, that person will never gain a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon regardless of how many other things are presented that concretely prove its divine claim.  The only truly effective way to prove the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon is for one to follow the promise of Moroni; to read, to ponder, and to pray with real intent if these things are true.

I exhort you to follow the words of Moroni, even if you have already gained a testimony of the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon.  If you have doubts about the Book of Mormon, what is there to lose if you earnestly seek to find the truth.  If you have a solid testimony, enforce it even more by gaining another assurance of the truthfulness of this message.  I know that God lives and will answer all those who pray unto Him through the Holy Ghost. 

Have a great week everyone,
Mahal ko kayong lahat! 

August 20, 2017

Magandang araw mga minamahal kong kapatid!

This week was pretty great! We had three of our investigators interviewed to be baptized on the 26th and two of them (hopefully three) are indeed going to be baptized this week!  Their names are Rea, Precious, and Romnick.  We are so excited for them and we will do all that we can to help all three of them be baptized this week!

Other than that, however, nothing else too exciting happened this week.  The Elder who contracted Dengue is recovering and should be returning to his area today or tomorrow!  It's really hard to see missionaries get sick and have to leave their area for a whole week to recover.  You really don't see the difference one missionary companionship makes until they're gone.

Our new house is still great.  We have an interesting water situation though.  When we first moved in we saw that we had two choices for getting water to the house.  One was a manual water pump and the other was a motorized one.  We were so grateful when we saw the motorized pump because, to be honest, pumping water by hand gets pretty old pretty fast.  So we turn on the motorized pump and our shouts of joy quickly turn to cries of disgust.  The water from the motorized pump is... brown (tagalog: kulay tsokolate).  As we realize that this water just won't make the cut for our bathing, dish washing, and laundry needs, we turn off the motorized pump and turn our hopes to the bumba (the manual pump).

I felt like repeating the words of Princess Leia in Episode IV, "Help me [manual water pump], you're my only hope."

We get pumping...
And to our joy...
The water is not brown! It turns out the two pumps have separate water sources! There is only one draw back...
The water is the color of urine. 

But hey, I've washed my whites twice and they haven't turned yellow!... yet :)

That's it for this week everyone! I hope you all have a fantastic week and remember the Lord's blessings.  Especially look for the things you may take for granted, like clear, clean, drinkable water from a tap.  Seek to have an "attitude of gratitude" in all things and the Lord will continue to shower you with blessings.  You will be more content with life and live in peace as you come to appreciate all of the little miracles that happen in this world everyday.

Mahal ko kayong lahat!
Sa susunod ulit! 

August 13, 2017

Sorry everyone, but this week I won't be able to send my usual weekly update because we had to take one of our Elders in the zone to the hospital because he got.....

So yeah, I'll just give a longer update next week.  I love you all and don't worry, I'm safe and sound!

August 7, 2017

Grabe talaga marami akong ginawa sa kabilang linggo.  Pagod na pagod ako pero masaya pa rin :)

Magandang araw mga kaibigan at kapamilya ko

This week was quite eventful.  We had exchanges with one of our new district leaders in the zone in their area to help train him and to help their area as well.  We also had two baptismal interviews this week on the same day in different areas, which was great as well (they passed!). Then we had to travel to Laoag on Sunday to get to the Missionary Leadership Council and now we are here! Phew! We were also able to squeeze in some very valuable hours of work in our own area as well.

An update on our investigators: The Umbrero Family (the one who is teaching us how to make suman) is doing well.  We are reading with them out of the Book of Mormon and this week we will be working on getting them to church.  They are super busy and they work everyday, so we have to help them understand how blessed they will be if they sacrifice for one day to keep the Sabbath day holy and come to church.  But they love hearing our message and learning from the Book of Mormon, so we are confident that they will continue to progress.

We were also able to extend another Baptismal Date this week.  His name is Romnick and he and two of his friends are doing great in progressing.  We weren't able to extend a Baptismal Date to his friends because they weren't at the appointment, but Romnick is just great, he is already reading the Book of Mormon by himself and we haven't even known him for a week! He loves the gospel and ponders the teachings that come from the Book of Mormon.  I'm so excited to help him continue on the right way towards salvation.

In other news, we move to our new house tomorrow! I'm so excited! It's such a great, clean, and cockroach-free home and I can't wait to get settled in! I will have pictures next week! 

That's pretty much it for this week.  I just want to let you all know that this church is true.  Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of the world.  Without Him, we would have no hope of returning to live with our Father in Heaven.  I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to represent my Savior in this great and marvelous work.  I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and through him the Gospel was restored in its fullness. I also know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and it is the truest book on this earth.  I know that we have living prophets and apostles today and I'm so grateful to live in this last dispensation.  

Mahal ko kayong lahat!
Have a great week! 

July 30, 2017

Magandang araw sa inyong lahat ng aking ka-maganak at kaibigan ko!

This week was very busy.  We are currently trying to move out of our current apartment because, quite frankly, it's not safe anymore.  That being said, we spent a lot of time this week working out the contract for our new home, which is now secure! We will be moving on August 10 and, let me tell you, our new home is gorgeous! I'll be sure to send pictures when we move in!

This last Saturday we were invited to attend the baptism of two children of record in our branch (meaning their parents are members and they are being baptized at the age of 8). Well, this baptism turned out to be a once in a lifetime experience. The baptism went well and the ordinance was performed as normal.  After they were baptized, time was given for the two kids to bear their testimonies.  The first of the two kids confidently went up to the front and stood there for about 2 minutes, trying to think of what to say.  Then, quite suddenly he bolted out the door while shouting "Umiisboak!" which is Ilokano for "I'm Peeing!" haha.  It was definitely a one of a kind baptismal service.

But the best thing that happened was we found yet another family that wants to be taught.  So, Elder Andon and I were walking to an appointment and suddenly we hear a nanay who is sitting out on her porch making suman (sticky rice), yell out, "Hey! Where are you going? This is my house! You found it!"  We were both surprised considering she spoke English and that she acted like she knew us.  We approached her and assumed she was talking to me because I'm the white English speaker.  We asked who she knew between the two of us and she pointed to Elder Andon.  He was very surprised because he was absolutely certain that he had never met her.  Anyway, long story short we meet the family and we make a deal that we would teach the gospel if they would teach us how to make suman.  It's a pretty sweet deal (pun intended) and we are returning to them tomorrow.

That last experience just goes to show that no effort in missionary work is wasted.  Even though my companion couldn't remember meeting this person, at one point they had opened their mouths and testified to her about the gospel, which at least made enough of an impression for her to call out to us as we were passing by.  I know that this work is the greatest work in the history of the world, and there is nothing I would rather be doing.

Mahal ko kayong lahat!
Have a great week 

July 23, 2017

Magandang araw sa inyong lahat!

This week was quite... interesting.  So, we were supposed to have a baptism this week, who was the grandson of the first counselor of the branch presidency (his name is Steven). All of his lessons had been going fine, and he had been reading the Book of Mormon and has a testimony of the gospel. He passed the baptismal interview and everything was scheduled to go.  On the day of the baptism, however, my companion and I felt something was off.  We went to pick up Steven to make sure he was ready.  We get there and he's dressed in basketball shorts, a cutoff tee and watering plants.  We realize something is up and we say we will come back after we talk to his grandma, the Relief Society President.  We get there and they tell us everything was ready to go, they went to the church and found out their grandson wasn't there.  They go back home and find out their grandson is hiding at his other grandma's house (He's 14 by the way).  

After learning about what happened, we return to his house and we try and talk with him to just learn why he suddenly changed his mind.  We sit there patiently and encourage him to help us understand but he doesn't say anything for the 40 minutes we were there.  We then felt it was time to leave, so we let him know that we would always be just one text/call away if he needed help with anything and we left a prayer for him.

Hopefully his time will come shortly.

However, this does have a silver-lining. We found a new part-member family who really really wants to be baptized so they can eventually go to the temple and be sealed! They are awesome! They all have a baptismal date for the 12 of August and they are doing very well!  

This rollercoaster of a week has really helped me appreciate the strength that comes from the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Our Savior did not just suffer for our sins, He also suffered for all of our heartaches.  All of our pain, both physical and spiritual, He has felt.  He understands exactly how to comfort us, all we need to do is seek that comfort and He will be there to give it to us.

I know that my Redeemer lives, and o what comfort that sentence gives to me.  I love my Savior, and I know He loves me too.  

Until next week,
Mahal ko kayong lahat 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

July 9, 2017

Magandang araw mga kaibigan at kamag-anak ko!

Well, this week was super busy.  We had three different exchanges this week and have two more coming this week.  We had a lot of great lessons this week, even though our investigators got a little confused why my companion kept changing every time we came to teach them.  However, I think the change in companions was really helpful for the investigators because each missionary teaches and testifies in his own special way, and it was a great experience for the investigators to have so many unique testimonies shared with them.  As a result of our hard work, we were able to have 6 investigators come to church, which was definitely a blessing.

However, the best experience I had this week was while I was on exchanges with Elder Vincent, the companion of our district leader.  We went to teach this group of investigators who are progressing. In total they are 8, but one was absent when we taught them.  Anyway, we were able to teach them the entire Restoration of the Gospel and committed them to pray and read the Book of Mormon to come to know of its truthfulness.  They willingly accepted those commitments.  After that, we then extended a Baptismal Date to all of them and they...
... Rejected it.

So, we hopefully would have had 7 more baptisms scheduled for August, but I'm actually grateful that they rejected it because it helped me understand that they are true investigators and they want to understand for themselves if this is the right decision for them.  I know over time, if they really put in the effort to come to understand, they will receive that witness. 

Other than that nothing else really happened this week.

I hope you all have a great week and a fantastic day!

Mahal ko kayong lahat! 

Elder Anderson

July 3, 2017

Naimbag nga aldaw dagitit kakabsatko!

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!!!!  I hope you all celebrate this beautiful day of freedom and remember the price that was paid for this amazing country!

This week was pretty busy.  We held exchanges with the District Leader in Lal-lo and I was with his junior companion in our area.  I had a plan already to go and then Elder Saplan (My exchanges companion) tells me he has never, in his four months as a missionary in the field, done a solid finding activity, causing me to move some of our appointments and have some good tracting and street contacting that day.  Here in the Philippines, tracting is actually pretty effective because most people here are very friendly and will always let you have a first lesson with them.  We did all the finding activities and came up with 15 new investigators that day!  At the end of the exchanges, Elder Saplan told me he was so exhausted, but also so happy with our experiences that day.

Later in the week we were able to teach Josh, he finally came back from his trips in Manila and Tuguegaro.  We asked him about his scripture study and he told us he had brought his scriptures with him and studied them as much as he could while out of town! It was so great to hear!  We continued following up with him and we discovered his concern on why he was reluctant to be baptized.  He told us that he is someone who likes to analyze and comprehend all aspects of something before acting upon it.  He told us he loves reading and studying the word, he just has a hard time applying it in his life because he hasn't examined every possible aspect of it.

After this, we shared an analogy with him to help him understand the difference between simple belief and knowledge with faith, action, and application.  Josh loves basketball, so we used that to show how we need to apply things rather than simply studying about them.  We shared how someone who wanted to improve their basketball game could spend all of their time and energy studying about basketball, different shooting techniques, different plays, different ways to handle the ball, and different formations.  However, all that time and energy would simply be wasted if he didn't apply the knowledge.  That someone needed to practice, use his new knowledge and act on it based on what experts say is the best way to shoot, the best formation, the best way to handle the ball.  After acting on his knowledge and practicing the things he studied, he has improved.  He now can say that knowledge he has is true and good, because his game got better.  (Sorry if the analogy doesn't make sense, it's easier to talk about it than type it).  After this analogy, Josh said he was enlightened and said he felt like he understood more about faith and applying knowledge to himself.  We invited him to read Alma 32 and we will be returning to him tomorrow to follow up on the assignment.

That's all for this week, I hope you all have a great linggo!

Mahal ko kayong lahat! 

Elder Anderson

Sunday, July 2, 2017

June 25, 2017

Magandang araw mga kamaganak at kaibigan ko!

This week was a pretty busy week. We had exchanges with our District Leader and I was able to work in their area, which is just in the other branch in Camalaniugan, but I was surprised at how different the people were just across the street haha.  I realized that I am so blessed in my area, even though it's the farthest area in Camalaniugan.  The people in our area are so humble and so friendly. Next week we have exchanges with another District Leader in our zone. Hopefully we will be able to see the weaknesses in our zone so we can help them become strengths as we continue to work in the other areas in the zone.

We were able to extend three more baptismal dates this week and found thirty-six new investigators! The three baptismal dates are all part-member investigators and they are lined up for baptism in three weeks.  We are excited to see them progress. Josh wasn't able to come to church this week because he was still out of town. This week we are going to try our best to teach him so he can be baptized soon.  

One of our new investigators shared a great experience with us.  All of her life she had been told by her aunt to just pray and God would give her anything if it was His will.  So she wrote down all of the things she would pray for, and when the blessing came into her life she would put a check next to the blessing on the list.  Then, after she got married, the doctor said she could not have kids. However, she prayed and fasted for a whole week, and after that week she found out she was pregnant.  Her son is now 7 months old and he is the happiest kid I have ever met.  

The power found in prayer and fasting really works.  If any of you are going through a trial or seeking after a specific blessing, I would challenge you to study about fasting and prayer, and then fast and pray based on what you've learned.  If it be the will of the Lord and if your faith is great enough, the blessings that will come will be greater than anything you have ever experienced.

Mahal ko kayong lahat!

Until next week! 

June 18, 2017

Hello everyone!

This week was extremely busy, so I don't have any pictures this week. However, this has also probably been one of the best weeks in my mission.

Elder Andon and I arrived in Camalaniugan last Tuesday and as soon as we drop our stuff off at the apartment we went out and worked.  We found some members and we contacted the investigator of the previous elders who turns out to be an American from Washington D.C. who is here for college. His name is Josh Anderson, and he is great! However, he doesn't speak any Tagalog, so I get to teach in English which is quite refreshing but also a different challenge because my companion doesn't speak too much English.  But, the lessons we have had with him have been THE BEST lessons I have ever had on my mission.  I always come away from those lessons refreshed and energized with the Spirit.  He is scheduled for baptism on July 1 and we are both confident that he will be getting baptized on that date!

So the people here in my new area are quite possibly the nicest people I have ever met.  Also, one of the Elders in my apartment is Elder Anuat, who was my second companion! It's been cool to catch up with him.  He's also my District Leader. 

Oh, and our apartment is pretty gross.  I'll have pictures next week but it's nasty. Our water is yellow and we have to get our drinking water from a filtering station.  It's infested with cockroaches as big as my palm. 

That's all for this week!
Mahal ko kayong lahat!

June 11, 2017 Pictures

June 11, 2017

Magandang araw!
This week was pretty great, but a rollercoaster of emotion.
First off, transfer texts came this last Saturday and I am being transferred.  This was pretty hard for me, I have come to love this area and the people here so much that I don't want to leave.  However, I know that God has a plan for me and He knows better than I.  I am ready to perform His will and know that I can accomplish all things with His help.
My new area is Camalaniugan, which is in Aparri Zone. My companion is Elder Andon and I have actually met him before.  If I remember right, he is from Micronesia and he is quite possibly the happiest Elder I have ever met!  I'm so excited for this new area, even though we are both new to the area.  Also, I have been called as a zone leader, which is what the subject line is referring to.  I am extremely nervous but also very excited for this upcoming assignment and I know that, no matter what my weaknesses may be, if I trust in the Lord everything will work out.
This week was pretty alright in the work though.  We had exchanges this week with the District Leader and I worked in his area with his trainee.  We had a good time, and some great lessons! We found one sister who had been an investigator a long time ago, and half of her family got baptized.  We taught her about the Book of Mormon and how important it is for all of our lives.  After we testified, she promised she would read the Book of Mormon and we set a time for us to return.
It really is true how important and vital the Scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, is for all of us.  I always feel the Spirit so strongly as I study the Scriptures, and I'm so grateful for the guidance and knowledge they give me everyday.  I hope all of us will make time to read the Scriptures everyday.  I know they are what give us true direction and knowledge in our lives!
Have a great week!
Mahal ko kayong lahat!

May 28, 2017

A letter to James for his birthday:

Hey Dad,

So, this letter is going to be in a bigger font because I know you don't like to read small words haha.  But I know it's your birthday, and I felt like I should write to you personally.

First off, I want to say that I love you.  I'm proud of you.  You are the greatest example to me and the kids.  You have always sought out what is best for me, and I thank you for that.  And even though I was pretty hard-headed sometimes, you still loved me.  Thank you for always supporting me and helping me become a better man and priesthood holder. 

Thank you for always magnifying your calling and also taking time to help the family.  Here on the mission, I've really learned the importance of priesthood duty and family.  They are inseparable, and you have done a tremendous job in balancing both of those vital roles as a father and priesthood holder.  I know that sometimes you feel like you aren't quite doing as good as you think you should be, but let me tell you that you are the greatest dad a son could ask for.  

You are a mentor, a teacher, a leader, but most importantly you are a father.  You take on so many roles, but you never forget that the most important is that of being a dad.  You care deeply for every one of us kids.   Here on the mission, I've definitely realized the many times where you have shown your love for me.  I've realized the time you taught me how to drive a manual, the many times you tried to teach me how to be patient, or whenever you made time to come to my band concerts, those were all instances where you did something because you loved me.

Now, I'm sorry if my English wasn't too great in this letter (speaking a different language with a completely different grammar structure kind of erases all of the things learned in AP English) but I hope you got the message that I love you.  You are the greatest example to me.  I am so lucky that you are the father that the Father has blessed me with.  Thank you for all that you do for me and the family.

You are amazing Dad,
I love you,

May 21, 2017

I'm not sure what happened to the group letter Luke sent us on this week, here is one he sent me:

Hey Mom,

It was great to talk to you, and yeah... the internet cut out here. But it was probably easier for us than to say goodbye. 

Your week sounds nice.  I'm glad you got to go to the temple. I really miss the temple, and I can't wait to go back and attend after the mission.  It's amazing to me that people become less active after going to the temple. It's such an amazing experience and the Spirit is poured out from Heaven when you attend the temple, how can people turn away from that?

Anyway, this week was pretty great in the work, you'll be able to read about it in the group email. But the baptism went well :) She gave a great testimony and she is going to do all that she can to help her family accept the gospel too :)

That's really kind of it for this week.

In the package, I could use more airheads, sour patch kids, and some nice ties (Hopefully Jerry Garcia ties) But other than that I don't have anything I need.

I love you so much Mom,

May 14, 2017-- Mother's Day

Our second phone call with Elder Anderson came on Mother's Day.  He told us he would be calling at 8:00 pm our time.  Our excitement crescendoed as the time approached, but we were disappointed when 8:00 came and went, then 9:00, then 10:00 pm.  Around 11:00 pm, I started to panic a little bit as I had visions of a car accident, or something worse, happening to the elders as they were going to the internet cafe.  I wasn't sure what to do other than pray for comfort.

Finally, at around midnight, Luke made contact with us.  The internet on the entire island had gone out that day.  We woke up all of the kids and gathered around the computer anticipating the call.  Our connection this time, as opposed to Christmastime, was much clearer.  It was so good to hear his voice and see his face.  We had a great chat for nearly an hour and a half.  As the time came to say goodbye, the internet cut out again.  I counted that as a tender mercy.  I've realized that the goodbyes are always bittersweet.  It was easier to just have the internet hang up on us all.

Talking with Luke was such a blessing.  It was apparent from his stories, his mannerisms, and his spirit that he has given himself to the work and is growing in ways that only the Lord can help him grow.  I am so grateful to be a part of his life and this experience.

May 7, 2017 Pictures

Batac Zone

Investigator Family

May 7, 2017

Hello everyone! 

So, this week was pretty great. we had a great week of serving others and teaching.

First off, we had an awesome experience with an investigator this week.  His name is John Mark and we had met him a couple of weeks ago through finding. We found him at his aunt's house though, so we weren't able to return to teach him at his home (in the Philippines, there aren't any addresses). However, while we were walking to one of our appointments, he stepped out of a house which, believe it or not, was his, and called us over. At first we were a little scared, most people don't call two teenage boys in white shirts and ties just to chat, nevertheless, we approached him. He smiled and asked us to share with him. We sat down, opened the lesson with a prayer, and began talking about Christ and His love for him.  We asked him how Christ had helped him in his life and he relayed a story about a motorcycle accident he had.  He told us how he thought he was going to die, but he woke up in the hospital. After he woke up, he resolved to follow Christ, for he believed Christ had given him his life to give him a chance to change.  He told us how he knew the message we had would help him come unto Christ, and he was excited to hear more about it.  We felt prompted to extend a baptismal date and he accepted for June 3.  We set a return appointment for this week and we are excited to see him progress.

Now, for the service. This last Saturday was the National Day of Service here in the Philippines, and our ward decided to go to an elementary school and repaint the desks and chairs of the students. It was a fantastic experience and I'm so grateful for it. However, my body hurts. The reason why is because of a stance called the Filipino Squat (you can probably look it up). Anyway, I was in that position all day while painting and, afterwards, my body wanted to kill me for it.  But, hey, a small price to pay for service right?  

I hope you all look for opportunities to serve this week.  Even if it may be painful, or you may be sore afterwards, remember that serving others also serves God. We are all brothers and sisters, so show your love for your siblings through some service this week! There is no better way to help others feel God's love!

Mahal ko kayong lahat!

April 30, 2017 Pictures

This is a gagamba fight, it's like pokemon here in the philippines. Me and my companion looked for some nice big spiders while walking home from our last appointment and we had a battle in our apartment.

San Lorenzo Missionaries

April 30, 2017

Magandang araw mga kapamilya at kaibigan ko! 
Time flies so fast in the mission.  That's right, another transfer gone, just like that.  It feels like yesterday my companion and I entered San Lorenzo for the first time. It's hard to believe we've already spent six weeks there.
Anyway, this week was pretty alright.  We had more appointments cancel on us because it's school vacation right now, but we had some solid lessons as well. First off, we had a great teaching experience with our investigator, Norlene.  She has been praying for a while to find out whether or not the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.  We had already taught her about prayer and how to receive an answer to her prayers, but she had never felt like she had gotten one.  Then, in our lesson this week we followed up on her prayers (PMG chapter 11 to all my missionaries out there) and she told us she knew that The Book of Mormon is true and she knew Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the gospel here on the earth in our time.  We told her that was great and shared our testimonies as well. Then something amazing happened, she asked to be baptized! We set her a date on May 27 and she is looking great to progress.  I can't wait to see the changes that will happen in her life.

Also, Nanay Selly is doing great. She came to church again this week and she is on track for baptism on the 20th. She is so excited about the gospel and we feel that she is converted and ready for baptism.
That's really all for this week. Keep studying the scriptures everyone, especially the Book of Mormon. It really is the key for continuing conversion (thanks for helping me understand that Dad :) ) Even if you are an active member of the Church, your testimony will become dull if you do not continually sharpen it with the Word of God. Daily, strive to feast upon the words of Christ, for they truly tell you all things that you must do.
Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

April 23, 2017

Naimbag nga aldaw iti kakabsatko,

I honestly have no idea if that was write because that was Ilocano, but I feel like it was good.  

This week wasn't very eventful.  We had many many appointments fall through. But we had a great experience with one of our investigators.

So we have an investigator named Sister Valdez. She was the one I talked about with the "points system" that will get her baptized.  She has been meeting with the missionaries for a while now, but she has been avoiding a baptismal date because she simply isn't ready to make a decision. She keeps telling us that "everything has it's right time."  Well, with this in mind we looked for a scripture that would help resolve her concern. We came across Alma 34:31
31 Yea, would that ye would come forth and harden notyour hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and theday of your salvationand therefore, if ye will repent andharden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan ofredemption be brought about unto you.
We shared this and told her that we knew this was her time. She knew the doctrine, she was reading the Book of Mormon and praying everyday, she had a testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel, she just needed a push to 
help her make a decision.  We extended a baptismal date for May 20 and she was a little surprised at the date. We asked her why, and it turns out that May 20 is her birthday! So... we found that her right time was now, and the scripture was just for her.  She attended church yesterday and she has committed to prepare herself for baptism on the 20th. I'm so excited to see her progress and I know that the Lord helped us find that scripture verse to help her realize that her time is now.

I would also like to testify that the scriptures are meant for all of us.  Find that scripture verse that speaks to you, find the verse that will guide you in your decisions, help you in your trials, and strengthen your faith.  I love the scriptures, especially The Book of Mormon, and I know they can help us in all aspects of life.

Have a great week everybody,