Sunday, March 12, 2017

March 12, 2017

Hello everyone!

This week was pretty busy. We had to prepare for the baptism of Keyen this week and we helped the zone leaders in their area because they planned a barangay movie night and we had to help them set it up. We also had to go on splits with them like three times to cover their lessons with their baptismal candidates because they hadn't finished their lessons yet but were being baptized on the 12th.  So, not a lot of work in my area, but we helped the work of the Lord progress nonetheless. 

We have a General Authority visiting our mission in May, which I'm very excited about. I know I will be able to learn a lot on how to improve my work as a missionary.

The baptism was fantastic.  This was my first baptism and I'm so grateful that Keyen decided to be baptized.  Funny story though, the member who was asked to baptize Keyen didn't show up, so everybody was like "ikaw na lang" which means "I guess you're the one to do it even though you didn't bring baptismal clothes and the ones we have don't fit you, good luck with that" (ok, I took some creative liberty in the translation, but you get the point).  So the Elders in the Area of the chapel we were at ran home and get a pair of baptismal clothes that, miraculously, fit me perfectly. It was stressful, but the outcome was amazing.

I absolutely love this gospel and I can't wait to continue to invite others to come unto Christ.  There is no greater work than this.  I challenge you all to help further this work and invite others to hear this glad message. I have seen the change it brings in people's lives.

Well, I hope that was detailed enough for my Mom. Transfers are this upcoming week, and I will let you all know what is happening. My companion goes home next week as well, so I know for sure I will be getting a new companion.

Take care everyone,
Mahal ko kayo

March 5, 2017

Hello everyone!

So my Mom has informed me that I have been a little light on the details in my emails, so I will try to do better in including more experiences.

This week was pretty busy.  We had District Conference and Interviews with President Andrada this week so we had to travel a lot and not a lot of work was done. However, I do have some things I would like to share.

First off, I have a miracle investigator.  I was on exchanges with Elder Nichols (from Utah), the companion of our district leader, and we were doing some finding.  It was the time of day where no one is outside but we had no appointments, so we were getting a little down because tracting here is not very effective and we didn't want to do it.  So, I said a quick prayer and asked God where we should go to find someone.  I immediately felt an impression to go and try this one house behind a tindahan (look that up). I came to this house and there was a bunch of ladies playing bridge or something, but there was one girl sitting off to the said and she looked at us as if she was surprised to see two white people wearing white shirts and ties in her home.  We asked if we could share and she said yes.
We shared the entire lesson 1 and were about to close when she stopped us and asked us if we had a small, blue book to give her...

We were shocked, we hadn't explained what the Book of Mormon looked like but she described it, telling us how thick it was, the color of the words on the front, everything.  We pulled one out and she pointed at it saying (in Tagalog) "Yes, that's the one!". We asked her how she knew about this book and what she said next amazed us.  She told us that she had had a recurring dream about two white men wearing white shirts and ties bringing her a blue book with gold lettering on the front.  She had that dream every year around Holy Week, but she could never figure out who the men were or what book it was.

So, we gave her the book and she said she would read and pray about it. We extended her a baptismal date in April and she accepted.  The only problem is we haven't had a chance to come back because she has been in Manila with her spouse these past couple of weeks, but we will be returning this week.  

Next, an insight from the Priesthood Session in District Conference.  We had an area seventy come and teach us how to honor the Priesthood.  He gave a great talk on how to honor and magnify our callings as priesthood holders, and while he was teaching I realized that Priesthood work is no different from missionary work. The work of the Priesthood is to Perfect the Saints, Proclaim the Gospel, Redeem the Dead, and Care for the Poor and Needy.  The work of the missionaries is the exact same, but full-time. So, missionaries are simply doing the work of the priesthood. However, you don't need to be called as a missionary to perform this work.  Of course, missionaries are called to do this work on a full-time scale, but members of the church are given the same duties as missionaries.  We are to strengthen our wards/branches. We are to share the gospel, find people for the missionaries to teach.  We are to perform family history work to find those who need to have ordinances performed on their behalf, and then perform those ordinances. And, we are to care for those who need through fast offerings, service, and home/visiting teaching.  
So, brothers and sisters, let us not forget our duty and privilege as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Let us remember whose name we bear.

Finally, I would just like to share my witness of the truthfulness of the gospel.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the one and only true church on the earth. I know that Christ is the head of this Church. I know that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and though him the Gospel in its fulness was restored on the earth for us to partake of its joy. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, and I know that it is the most correct book on the earth.  I love this gospel and this work. I love my God, and I know that He loves all of us. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Pictures from March

Sunday, March 5, 2017

February 26, 2017

Hello everyone!

This week wasn't very eventful.  We have a baptism all ready to go on March 11, and we have others scheduled for next transfer. Hopefully I will be here still in Sta Ana.  

One of the things I'm happy to report from this week is that we had 110 people at sacrament meeting this week.  This is a HUGE improvement from when we first got here with 40+ members.  The branch has been progressing with members returning from inactivity and we are on course to receive a chapel here in Sta Ana.  This is seriously a miracle and we continue to see growth.

I would like to remind everyone to do your home and visiting teaching.  I know that it sometimes seems like a chore, but that is not the right type of mindset. Once we understand that home and visiting teaching is charity, we come to understand why it's important and how we are supposed to do it.  We don't simply share messages, we edify, be with, and strengthen our fellow members.  I have personally witnessed the effects on the people when home and visiting teaching is neglected. It is devastating. I know that there is true power in home and visiting teaching.

I love you all and I will talk to you next week

February 19, 2017

Hello everybody!

This week we had an awesome experience to travel to Laoag and have a devotional by none other than Elder David A. Bednar!  It was great and I learned a lot! It was similar to the time he came and visited at the MTC, at first he gave a talk and asked questions to the missionaries about their thoughts, what they learned, and what the Spirit was teaching them. The main focus on his talk was about being an agent in your life, not being acted upon but being an actor.  He talked about making your life the situation you would like to be in because the power is in all of us to change our lives if we are willing to put in the work and trust in God.
Then, after an hour and a half, he switched it around and had the missionaries ask questions to him!  Many missionaries were able to ask questions and were given fantastic insights by Elder Bednar.  I learned many things that were said but more amazing were the things I learned that weren't said, but that I felt from the Holy Ghost.  It helped me realize that there truly is no better teacher than the Holy Ghost who guides us to the knowledge we need and the blessings we are seeking after.  
There wasn't much work done this week due to traveling, but our investigator Keyen, is on track for baptism which should have been happening on March 4 but we have district conference so it will be on March 11! Keyen is one of the kids who was in the pictures I sent a while ago.  

For my spiritual thought I would just like to reiterate what Elder Bednar said about becoming an agent.  In all of God's creations, there is a division between two things. Actors, and things which can be acted upon.  As literal spirit children of God, we all have the capacity to be actors, and we have been commanded to do so in the Scriptures.  We must strive to be proactive in our lives, not just simply letting the current push us around, but actively taking a stand to improve our lives and our situation.  I know that as we exercise our agency righteously, with an eternal perspective on all of our decisions, God will give us blessings and our lives will improve, even if it is not immediately seen.  I know that God loves each and every one of us, and wants us to choose the correct path that will lead to Him.

Have a great week everyone
Mahal ka kayo!