Monday, February 13, 2017

February 12, 2017

Well here I am now in my new area of San Jose Del Monte, SJDM zone. I never thought I would make it out here but I am here. This zone used to be called the "promised land" back in the day when I was new. I used to always wish I would come here and even better to have it as my last area, and it has happened. Upon arrival it is actually not too much of a promised land after all hahaha. But it is still great. The area just needs a lot of work and some help. It seems like thats what my President is doing, he just tossing me into areas that need help. Well hopefully we can do some good things here. My new companion is Elder Miranda! He is way awesome hahaha. He is super funny. Most of my other Filipino companions have been a lil awkward or quiet. But me and Elder Miranda have got along really well already. He is new, so I am following up his training. Elder Miranda is actually assigned to the Gilbert, Arizona mission so he is just waiting it out here to get his visa, he will most likely leave in about may. The area is kinda in a rut right now and it is kind of a struggle because we only have a meeting house and the church is far from where most of the members are and so its hard to find investigators that can make it to church. But everything is going to get better from here. I dont like being new in an area but it is also fun. This mission is cool because EVERY area is different in some way. Different, lay out, different people. different style of living, and even a different way of speaking sometimes. So it is cool to explore a new part of the mission. This will most likely be my last area. Most of the time a missionary will stay in an area for about 4 months and the longest is usually 6 or 7 but since I only have about 4 months left I will most likely finish off here. My experience at church yesterday was quite interesting. The meeting house is on the second floor building on top of a hardware store right next to a main road so it is kind of noisy. We are still a ward so a lot of people go to church but you can barely here the speakers because the inside is so loud with people being kind of disrespectful and talking and the normal occasional kid running around and being loud. We didint have any investigators at church yesterday but I got news from my last area and we had 8 there! So it makes me happy to know that I left that area in a good spot, now I have to do the same here.  

I am kinda running out of time but I love you all! Thanks for being the best:)

February 6, 2017

So this week was a good week, I have made some awesome friends here in the mission from missionaries, members, and investigators. I have had a lot of fun being with Elder Feiloaki, Elder Peterson, and Elder Kirifi. Some awesome friends that I will never forget. I will be transfering tomorrow to most likely my last area:) I have met so many great people in my area here in Bocaue. It has been difficult but I can confidently say that I have left the area better than when I found it. That is one way you can measure success as a missionary, not by baptisms, or by how many people to teach but just by helping the people and building them up. (then all the baptisms and such follows) I didint have too many baptisms my 4.5 months here but we mostly definitely set up a lot that will come this month and in March. Hopefully about 6. One of them being a family that I have come to really love teaching. They are very sincere family and want to know the truth. But they basically have all of the barriers of being baptized they are not yet married, they smoke, drink alcohol and coffee. But we knew that they could over come them. So we just kept teaching them the basic lessons Restoration, and Plan of Salvation and they have been reading the Book of Mormon and building their faith. Then yesterday we dropped the word of wisdom on them. BUt it was a great lesson. They were pretty surprised when we named off all of the things that are not allowed. But as we went on and told them how it was a commandment coming from GOd and that we need to live this in order to return back to God and they understood and accepted to live the word of wisdom in their own individual lives. Who would of thought that a white american 19 year old with a tongan 19 year old would go knock on these random peoples doors enter their home and then return about 3 times a week and ask them to change their lives. Well it definitely is not us because that is not possible but it is God the Holy Ghost working through us. You may not always feel the Holy Ghost super strong with you and feel like speaking for you, but he is there. There is no way two 19 year olds could just go and do that, it doesnt make sense. It is the Spirit of the Lord. Just look back on your life and dont focus so much on "why am I not feeling the spirit, why dont I feel like them" Just look at all the miracles and changes in you then you will know that God is in your life. We met this other huge family the other week, we went knocking on doors and found this whole extended family that wanted to listen to us Grandma, daughters, sons, grandchildren, aunts. THere was like 12 of them. So we taught them and went back a few more times. I was shocked because they listened so well during the lesson even though it was a lot of them. Then as we kept going back man I was so shocked, the little girls ages 10, 11, and 12 are reading the Book of Mormon like crazy. We asked them to read 1nephi chapter 1-3 and they laughed at us and told us that they were already on chapter 8 hahah. I was so surprised. They really wanted to go to church the other day as well, but sadly we had stake conference and it was way to far for them all to go, but this upcoming sunday I expect them there:) I have had so many cool experiences here and just feel bad sometimes because I think I took it for granted. But God really just did bless us and me so much and I am very grateful. I will be leaving tomorrow morning for my new area in San Jose Del Monte. Which used to be back in the day the best place in the mission. They called it the "promised land" It has since then kinda gone down but I am excited to go there and hopefully help it come back to being the promised land again. I need to do all I can this next next area I only have 4 months left and its scary, I hope I will become the person that Heavenly Father expected me to become. I need to finish off my conversion as a misisonary, help others become more converted, I need to love others more than myself, I need to leave it all on the table. I love you all. Thank you for all your amazing words and pictures. Have a good week:))) 

January 29, 2017

So we have some big stuff going on in the mission. I am so excited to say that David A Bednar is coming to speak to our mission on February 23! What an awesome experience. I was so blessed to have Russell M Nelson come last year and now my 2nd favorite apostle David A Bednar (first being Holland) It will be awesome to hear him speak and meet him personally. Also there are some big changes happening with our schedule and rules. Missionaries are now allowed to go swimming! Just kidding that is not happening. But yeah so here in the Philippines we always had to be home at 9 to do 30 minutes planning and then in the morning we have personal, companionship, and language study then we leave the house at 12. But now the whole world is changing it to where there is no more 30 minutes planning at night it will be in the morning (which I love) and now we have more flexibility in choosing how we do our work and taking lunch breaks. So I am excited for the new schedule.

This last week has been pretty good. We had our zone conference last friday. It was a good meeting. It was focused on how to get investigators to come to church, how to give better commitments, and also about teaching the people and not just teaching the lessons. I gave the workshop on teaching the people not lessons. It was alright I think. I talked about how listening is a huge part. We have to listen to the investigator and not just let our minds wander. Which is one of my biggest weaknesses sometimes is that I have a hard time just focusing completely. But when you have the spirit in the lesson everything gets easier, that is why it is so important to have the spirit in the lesson. So Brother Fedi came to church yesterday. He came by himself because all 3 of his kids have chicken pox right now. But he knew it was important to come so he came and he is making some awesome progress. We also have this family that we found. Well they arent married yet but they live to gether and they have 2 kids. We teach them every tuesday, thursday, and saturday at 4pm. They are pretty awesome and they love the lessons and they are making good progress. We had a great lesson with them last saturday about Plan of Salvation and they said they would FORSURE come to church the next day. But Brother has a tough schedule because he works the night shift at his job. So he is super tired in the morning around when church is but he said that he would force himself to go. So we told them we would wait outside the church for them on sunday morning. So we got to church at 8:40 and waited and waited but they didint come:( It was disappointing but its all good I bet they will come next week. 

I have been doing some personal reflecting and I want to learn more about love and patience before I head home. I want to be the most loving to others that I can be, but I am not the best at it. So I have started doing some scripture study on it. But if any of you have any scriptures or talks that you wanna share with me about loving others I would love it.

So this could be potentially my last week in this area and that means that I will be heading off to my last area next week!! Crazy stuff. But we will see it is not for sure yet.

I had a cool study earlier this week. I have been looking into the Atonement on how important it is as an event in the whole plan. So I was reading in Mormon 9: 11-14 and I realized how important the Creation and the Fall is to the Atonement. If there was no creation, there would be no fall, if there was no fall there would be no need for atonement and that means we wouldnt be resurrected and we wouldnt be able to be judged and exalted at the last day. The fall happened because Adam and Eve transgressed. If they did not transgress then there would be no sin and Jesus Christ wouldnt be apart of the plan. So that is a little something that is becoming more clear to me.

I love you all! Thanks for being awesome!