Friday, January 27, 2017

January 22, 2017

Things don't always go as planned...

Last week ended off really well. Elder Feiloaki and I really endured to the end of the week to reach our goals. We hit all of our goals that we had sent. It was a good week and we ended it with a lot of new people to teach. We have been blessed a lot with people to teach, lots of people that are interested in hearing about the gospel. But there are never too many people to teach. So after of the week Elder Feiloaki and were just beat from the hard work, we did so much finding, knocked on so many doors. On saturday we had a good day planned but everything just kinda fell through and we ended up having to do more finding for about 3 hours. It was discouraging to be honest. But we didint give up, even though it was dark, and no one wants to listen we kept knocking. We had a goal to get 8 investigators at church yesterday, lots of people made promises. We were confident because of our last week attendance of 6. So we went to church and we waited and waited and only 1 of our investigators showed up. We were very happy to have her there, and she is making great progression, but still it was sad to have all the promises and they didint come through. But that is how it goes so there is no need to get down on it. We will keep trying and following up with those investigators that we teach. We have been teaching a great investigator who is very receptive. Ferdinand is his name he is about 50. He said he was going to church but he texted us Saturday night and said that he doesnt think its the right time because his family is hounding on him a bit because they are all pretty die hard baptists. Here in the Philippines people really want to be people pleasers and not make you upset so they will do whatever so no one is mad. Even if you are a 50 year old man with children they dont really make their own decisions for themselves. They just want to make others happy. Which is not always a bad thing but sometimes it is taken too far. I was mostly upset when our investigator Brother Fedi didint come to church with his family. We have been teaching them for a few weeks now and he is making great progress and he came to church once before with his son. We taught him last saturday and introduced him to some more members and then when Sunday came around he didint come :( We are going over there later tonight so we will see what happened. But he is making great progress and applying the things we teach in his life. We also found another great family. It is actually kind of a cool story. So one night last week my comp and I were knocking on doors. We were walking down this street we have been on hundreds of times and one night we walked past this alley type thing covered by a big gate, it was opened so we went down it and found lots of houses. We talked to the first guy we saw and he invited us in to teach it was a great lessons and we have had a few more with him and his wife, after that I went to the apartment next to his house and we knocked on the door and this lady came out about 30 years old with 2 kids. I introduced ourselves and she said oh yeah I met some of you back in my province, then she grabbed a lesson 1 pamphlet and a book of mormon from her house! Hahah she had been taught years about, about 6 years ago. So we set a time to come back because there was no male present. So we came back and taught her with a member and had a great lesson, then she said come back next time and teach my husband as well so we did and we taught them both and they are both super interested and we will be going back to them tomorrow.
Even though things dont always go to plan, there are always some sort of blessings you just have to find them.

I love you all! Thanks for being the best:)

Mckinley teaching at Zone Conference.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

January 15, 2017

We went swimming

just kidding

So this transfer so far has been going really well so far. The work gets better each and every week. We are seeing the improvement in the area which is what I have been praying and asking for is that the area will just improve. We are starting to work with the ward more and were getting some great new people to teach. The first sunday this transfer we had 2 investigators then 2nd we had 4 then yesterday we had 6:) So some good things are happening. We will see next week if we can get 8:) But we had a fun time working this last week. We did A LOT of tracting. We kinda have to because there just is not that many members or less actives around that can be taught often so we just have to find find find. I can definitely tell a difference in my finding now compared to about a year or so ago. I feel like now I have a better idea on how to do it more effectively and how to find better people and not just wasting time to people who dont want to hear about the message. I have shared The Restoration over 1000 times. I love that message but you want to get deeper into the lessons and share more of the other great lessons we have. 

Now that the rainy seasons is not here I have not been carrying an umbrella around with me but there are still those occasional light rain days. The other day we went out to work and it started doing some light rain, it light rained alllll day. Elder Feiloaki and I really enjoyed it from about 1pm-5pm. People were just shocked we were out walking around still working even though it was raining. But once it hit 5pm the sun went down and it started to get cold... and we were very wet.. Then it didint get so fun haha.

The other day we did a lot of finding. We are really trying to stay close to the chapel so that investigators will not have any hard time coming to church. But the area around our church is pretty difficult. There are 3 huge catholic churches in that area so there are a lot of solid catholic people. Haha its kinda annoying when we talk to people and try to introduce our message and they just say "yeah yeah yeah, were catholoc". The other day we approached this guy in his late 30s probably washing his car, in the Philippines the priesthood is pretty weak so we didint miss the opportunity to talk to this guy. So we did a pretty simple approach, "Hello, we are missionaries from the church of jesus christ of latter day saints" He then says that he knows about us and tells us he is closed catholic. which basically means "go away". So i said "oh that is great! Well I have a question for you, and I asked him if he believed that we had to be baptized in order to enter the kingdom of god and he said yea, then I asked him what about those that have died that didint have the chance to baptized. Then we just straight up ignored us haha he wouldnt even look at us, then my companion tried to continue talking and he wanted nothing to do with us, so then we walked away and said okay thanks, and he just laughed and said yeah, maybe next time! But life goes on.  

We have this new investigator her name is Zosima. She is 65 haha. It is the oldest investigator I have ever taught. She is a best friend of another member. But she is super interested and really wants to be baptized but its kinda hard for us to teach her the lessons because she doesnt understand very much very quickly and she has a hard time reading but she will eventually get it. We have been teaching our other investigator as well Freddy. Sadly he couldnt come to church yesterday because he had work but he is still making great progress. We taught him the Word of Wisdom the other day and he agreed to live it so he is definetley making steps of repentance in his life and coming closer to the Savior.

I have been trying to increase my scripture study this new year and really try to get more out of it and build my testimony about Christ and learn more about the scriptures. So the other day I was studying about a topic that I never really understood before and that kinda caught my attention. I studied about Jesus Chris about being our advocate. I really liked this because it helped me better understand that Jesus Christ really wants us to succeed and return to live there. He will plead our cause with Father.

I love you all and hope you have a great week:))

Monday, January 9, 2017

January 8, 2017

So this week was pretty great, we finally convinced this guy preparing a mission to come out and work with us and it was a good time. I am actually shocked at the dedication of the young men and SA here in the Philippines they will honestly walk with you and work all day with in the heat and do a good job as well. It kinda makes me feel bad on how bad I was at going with the missionaries before my mission. I didint really get how helpful it is for the Elders. Try and get noah to work with them. But yeah we have been blessed with a few great new investigators, also "blessed" with a lot of open time not really knowing where to go. Those are the hardest parts when you just honestly have no one to go to but thats when you toughen up your knuckles and go knock on doors. Well in the Philippines I guess we dont really knock we just stand outside their house or gate and yell "Tao po" 

We had a pretty solid experience last monday. So both my comp and I needed to get a hair cut and usually go to this place right outside our subdivision but there were so many people waiting for a hair cut and we decided it wasnt worth the wait so we decided to catch a jeep going up more into our area to go to another place. But when we arrived there it was closed. So then as we were leaving wondering where to go I remembered this other place kind of by some houses in our area close to where we were and when we work I always saw a sign there that said "Barber, this way" So we decided to go there. We walked down the alley and saw a happy guy just there cutting hair. So we got our hair cut there and while he was cutting my hair I was talking to him about the gospel. He said that we could come back sometime and go teach his whole family. So later on that night when we went out to work we went back and taught his whole family of 5. It was awesome. They now have a Book of Mormon and are reading it. I realized how important it is even to stay focused on Preparation day because the Lord is always preparing people for you.

I havent been eating too healthy lately... My comps parents sent him a huge package of food from New Zealand. Chips, cookies, canned foods, and heaps of chocolate. Soooo we have been pigging out on cookies and chips these past few days. Its hard to eat healthy here in the Philippines and stay in the budget. But this week I am going to start doing some more cooking. I have been getting okay at cooking I have learned to make a few Filipino dishes. I have gotten used to eating rice with basically everything. I really like it. It is going to be really weird to go home and not have rice with the food.

I love you all and hope you have a good week:)

January 1, 2017

2016 in the bag

Hey everyone! I hope you all had an awesome time during new years and Christmas and were able to eat a lot and set some new goals that will hopefully last longer than up to February only:) I know I am really excited for 2017 it is my home coming year. Which is really surprising, the time has gone ridiculously fast. I am super excited for these last few months because it is going to be the best part of my mission, well I will make it the best part of my mission. I have a few specific goals and an overall general goal is that I just want to do my best and go home with no regrets of my service. So I am excited and I will see you all in about 5 1/2 months:) To be honest I dont know if I will call on mothers day. I was thinking maybe I will call in March on my birthday but we will see, but I think id rather just wait to see all of your faces again until june:)

New Years eve was pretty crazy. The work is pretty non existent on those days, we could of gone out and done finding but we tried to just fill our schedule with appointments so we didint waste too much time. My area is in the fire work capital of the Philippines so there are firework shops EVERYWHERE and that is not a joke you can seriously see one everywhere. So on New Years eve there was tons of people in the streets buying fireworks, lots of traffic. Then we went home at about 6ish after we taught a member family. THen we kinda just stayed in the house and listened to all the loud fireworks going on outside. We didint see too much because there are some big trees around our apartment and we didint bother to go outside. SO it wasnt very eventful. The next day we had church, and that morning was alsmot the opposite of the night before. It was quiet, and not many people outside. New years day this year was way different than last year. Last year we had our Pday so we didint have any work, but this year we had work the whole day and it was another difficult day of work because after church people started celebrating again and there were parades and lots of stuff going on, but we still taught some good appointments. So that was my New years holiday! Exciting??

The Thursday and Friday before the holiday Elder Feiloaki and I had some cool experiences. We really strengthen our testimony on the importance of members and missionary work. So I have been in this area now for 3 months and we have worked with the ward and tried to get them involved but maybe didint do our best with it. Also most of the members we think would be good fellowshippers area always at work, very busy people. But we took the advantage of the holiday break to invite our elders quorum president to a specific appointment at a specific time  on thursday and the 1st counselor in the bishopric on thursday. So when we met up with our elders quorum president, Brother Arvin on thursday we were excited to take him to an appointment we had scheduled with a family we have been teaching. When ever you get someone to come to an appointment with you, you are always a little scared that for some reason the appointment might cancel but that day we were confident and we were ready to go. So we got to the house and we went up to the door and there was a little note that said "To Elder, next week na lang po" So I was a little bit crushed inside but on the bright side it was really nice of them to leave a note, it means that they were at least expecting us. So I asked Brother Arvin if he knew any less actives in the area that we could visit, and he said that his own mother and sister are less active and they live jut a tricycle drive away. Soo I was very excited! Because not once in my 3 months has he said anything about them to us, and we didint know about them. SO we went out there and had two great lessons with his loved ones and he was there to support and we even met some new investigators. So it was great. That really helped me to know that there really is no such thing as a missed appointment, god has something else in mind that may be better. On friday almost the same thing kind of happened. We went with the 1st counselor to another family that we have been teaching and he was kind enough to take his only day off to come with us. As we came to the door of our scheduled appointment and they werent there, I felt awful. We went across the street and taught a less active family and it was a good lesson, and we got the family to open up their concern to us. I was saying a prayer in my heart that we would be able to go back to the house of our scheduled appointment and that our investigator would be there and we went back and he was! I was so happy and so grateful.Members seriously make such a huge difference in the lessons and the work. I almost dont want to work without them, we need them in the work or we wont have much success. I really realized that they just help the progression of the investigator move along so much better. I am grateful for those 2 days.

I love all of you and hope you had a great time these past few weeks. Have a good week this week. I love you and miss you and will see you soon!

December 27, 2016

Hello everyone! I hope you had an awesome Christmas! Sorry if I didint get the chance to talk to all of you but dont worry I am not that interesting anyways:)

So its a good thing the new year is approaching because I have a lot of changes that I would like to make and one of them is writing better letters each week because I know mine are not too great right now. I kind of do poor planning and then monday comes around and I have nothing to say in the letter because my mind goes blank kinda like right now. But it was awesome to talk to you guys! You all seem great and having a good time. Even though I am not around this year for the holidays I want you all to know that I am really happy here I have a great mission and a great companion. I know how important my calling is as a missionary and I need to do a better job this upcoming year to better fulfill my calling. I was happy to get some great tips from my dad on what I need to start doing to get more out of the mission. I know how important it is to be obedient on the mission and really just do you best. I have had times on my mission where I have been really obedient and worked my hardest and I have time where I havent and been kinda lazy and I can most definitely tell the difference in my mood and the progression of the area. It is always the best to work your hardest and be obedient.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of 2016 and make some goals for the new year! I will write a better letter next year! Love you all:)

December 18, 2017

Snow in the Philippines!

Just kidding, there is no such thing.

HEY! How is everyone doing today? I am sure you are getting ready to open gifts, chill inside, drink some hot chocolate. Sounds like a good time. 

What is a does a Filipino Christmas consist of?

Well at Dairy Queen I think they sell frozen hot chocolates because drinking hot chocolate here would be ridiculous. 

Lots and lots of karaoke, mostly repeated songs like "let it go", "Zombie" by the Cranberries, and some good ole Filipino folk songs.


Roasted pig

Little kids Caroling asking for money

Its pretty dang fun, I enjoy it. I will be missing the snow again this year. I reached into our freezer and pulled out some ice and I thought of Minnesota. Haha oh man. We actually havent really been able to work the past couple days. Elder Feiloaki got really sick and we even had to take him to the hospital yesterday. But he is slowly recovering so hopefully we can go out tomorrow. We took him to the most famous hospital in the Philippines, St Lukes. There is a bunch of rich people at that hospital and I was surrounded by peoples iPhones all day. It was quite the temptation but I got through it.

This past week was pretty good. It hasnt been really pouring rain but it has been doing some drizzling which is enough to make our area very muddy, I wanted to get some brown shoes but looks like I dont need to now, the mud makes them look brown enough. 

The other day we got a pretty cool opportunity, we got invited from a member in our ward to give a short inspirational message at her Diabetic Club christmas party. It was a cool idea and I give her props and reaching out to share the gospel in a cool way. But the club is pretty much full of 60 - 70 year old people but it was still a cool opportunity. We shared about Light the World and shared the video. It was pretty cool and maybe a couple of them will be interested in hearing from us in their homes.

The other week I was kind of realizing that I need to do better and showing and feeling love for others. So I have been praying like it says in moroni 7 in order to receive that Christ like love for others. The other day as we were out working I really listened to those that we were teaching and I put myself in their shoes and I could feel something. I just felt more close to them and understood them better. That is something I really struggle with is loving other people, but I know that God can give us that love. He wants to give us anything we ask for that is according to his will.

One of those people that I felt the love for was this less active named Basil. He hadnt been to church in 3 years but I could feel that he wanted to go back. He was so happy that we found him and now we are excited to keep going back and start teaching his family.

So last saturday was the grand finale of Christian Clutario! HE was finally baptized! What a great day. All that hard work, prayers, fasting, hoping. It all came together and with Gods help Christian can now join his family and once ready and worthy enter the temple and be sealed. It really is wonderful all of the blessings we have. All because of Jesus Christ. During this Christmas I am excited to be teaching about Jesus, giving back for all of the amazing gifts that he has given us. He gave us eternal life, what can we give back to him? I am so glad I have come out here to try and give back, but it is impossible to give back to Him. We are eternally indebted to Him. We just have to serve him all the days of our lives.

Not too much to report but thanks for all the love, keep the love, share the love.

Merry Christmas! Let me know if you got my cards

December 11, 2016

This week was skuxxxxx:)
It was wayyy astig:)
So this week is was good, pretty normal week. Elder Feiloaki and I were out on the search for some new investigators. We found some good ones. One of the ways we found them was kinda funny. We went to go teach a member and when we got to the her house we were asking her if she knew anyone that would be interested in hearing our message and she said no. Kept talking and she had no one in mind. Then I looked in her house and saw someone walking around and I said whos that? She said it was her sister in law and asked if we wanted to teach her and we said of course so we taught her and she turned out to be pretty receptive so we set a return date and when we went back she wasnt there... Then we found another good investigator it was actually a husband and wife and we shared with them the Light the World video. We then set a return appoint with them so we got excited and went back a couple days later ANNNDDD they werent there... So yeah times are a little frustrating right now. Every time we find some one and teach them they want us to come back then we go back and they are just not there or busy. ://  But hey keep moving, keep believing right?
On the bright side... Christian passed his baptismal interview!!!! He will baptized next week. We are way excited for him:)) He is a way cool dude. The other day we were teaching him and his family. His wife kept thanking us because before Christian didint want to be baptized. So I said "Hey christian what changed your mind to be baptized?" he said "When you first came and taught us" I felt so happy inside. That is the first time I truly felt that I really met the person that was waiting for me. It was a cool feeling. I have made a strong bond with that family and it will last for life. It is good though because they have tons of fellowshippers at church so they are not just  a missionary convert. Lots of blessing come from the mission.
Speaking of blessings, last week we had our zone conference and both of my trainees were there:) The picture below of us 3. Elder Diso, Elder Webb, Elder Feiloaki. I am proud dad. ELder Diso is a zone leader and man he has grown a lot since I trained him. He is an awesome dude and it was cool to see him there along with my current trainee Elder Feiloaki. I have served a satisfying mission:) I gotta keep pushing forward though and serve harder. The mission is cool:)
Any ways love yous all:)