Thursday, October 30, 2014

I've been working on

This week has been busy but good.  Sister Shrack arrived on Tuesday and we got right to work.  I have know Sister Shrack for a long time, so it is fun to get to serve together.  My companion has gone through a lot.  Only a few months ago, her mother unexpectedly passed away.  She did not go home.  She went to work because that is what missionaries do.  We leave personal matters behind, however important or devastating they are, because we know our responsibility of serving the Lord for eighteen months, outweighs all else.  I am inspired by Sister Shrack.
This weekend we got to attend General Conference.  Because of time change and distance, the Filipinos of the Church have to wait a week to listen to the Prophet's voice.  But it was great to hear what the apostles and prophet had to share with us.

Our area in Laoag seems to be getting harder and harder.  Even though Sister Shrack and I try our best each day, we have many disappointments.  Lots of appointments that fall through, people who are interested that move away, and blistering heat.  But something that is great is that there are always blessings.  They come in different forms and sometimes it takes time to notice them, but they are always there.  Blessings are good at hiding themselves, but it is our personal attitude of gratitude that helps us to find where they are. 
I have heard a lot of you talking about the new movie, Meet the Mormons.  I am excited to get to watch it myself when I get home, but for all of you living in the first world, I encourage you to check it out. I am glad that those of you who are not members of this church have an opportunity to learn more about us and what we do. 
If you would like to learn about some of our basic beliefs, check this out:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blood, sweat, and tears.

While Sister Pututau and I were talking this week, she said, "Man, we have put blood, sweat, and tears, into this area."  I responded, "Yeah, that is true."  So today I will tell you how this week alone, we put our blood, sweat, and tears into this area.
1. Blood
I stubbed my toe in the apartment.  It hurt so bad.
2. Sweat
It is hot and we were on a service mission this week.  A member had a project for school and needed a specific size box for it.  He had one day to collect the boxes and he needed 6 more.  Without telling them, we went from store to store to store hunting down this very specific sized box.  30 minutes later the mission was accomplished and many calories were burned.  
3. Tears
Missionaries cry a lot.  This work is hard and even though we always try our best, we do not always reap the rewards of our labor.  Sometimes we do see the rewards, as small they may seem.  We had an amazing experience with one of our investigators this week, Gemma.  Gemma knows what we are teaching is true because she has had many unanswered questions for many years.  She told us how has she has been praying that she will know her children in the next life and not forget who they are.  We asked her many questions like, "God gave us families as a gift for us on earth; do you think he would take it away in the next life?  Why would we have a family here on earth if we were not able to continue living with them in the future?"  Of course, she agreed that God loves us and knows us and wants us to be with our families forever.  Her prayer was answered. 

Gemma will know her children in the next life.  They will be a family for all eternity!
I will miss Sister Pututau.  She is headed off to a new area and I will continue the work here in Laoag with another good friend, Sister Shrack.  We will continue in helping others become forever families and follow Jesus Christ.  Stay tuned for our next adventures.  

Frog on a leash.

It rained really hard a few times this week.  During one downpour, we were walking around and found a lady with a large frog on a string.  I am not sure how she tamed the frog and got it on a leash.  She walked that frog around like it was a dog.  You have to love the Philippines.

This week our investigator, Nanay Monette, shared with us a funny story.  Nanay is poor and old.  She cannot work anymore because she is weak and she has no money.  She often struggles to find money to buy food.  One day she had no food so she thought of a grand idea-  she would sell her old typewriter that was worth 6000 pesos when she bought it over 50 years ago.  This typewriter is big, heavy, and clunky, but nonetheless, Nanay toted it from neighbor to neighbor trying to find a buyer.  She was having no success until she found a merciful neighbor down the street.  Her neighbor kindly explained to her that they use a computer now and have no need for a typewriter.  She siad, "But  even though we will not be buying your typewriter, you may have this bread and drink."  Nanay did not accomplish the task she had set out to do, but she did find what she was looking for.  We are all grateful for the Good Samaritan that kindly gave her bread and drink to get through the day.

Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life.  Sometimes we find ourselves in need of physical nourishment, but we are always in need of the spiritual nourishment that He offers.  I am grateful for those that follow Him and help all of us to come closer to Him.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

typhoon tyFOOD.

Well Mario, the typhoon, came to visit this week leaving us stuck in the apartment for yet another day.  This week our 72-hour kits were running low from the previous week's typhoon, so we got creative in making meals of the little food we had.  We stayed safe in our apartment and no large damages were incurred.  On the other hand, Elders living close to us were evacuated from their apartment when it flooded over 5 feet.  When the trees violently sway outside and the homes of our friends, we remember the words of Prophet Joseph Smith:
"No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall   say the work is done.”

Learn more about WHAT I am doing and WHY I am doing it:
Sometimes is is hard to go out and work when it is cold and rainy and windy.  The other day we worked in torrential rains and high winds.  A woman, quite worried, stopped us on the street and told us to go home because we were not safe.  We smiled off her invitation and continued on our way.  The Lord protects us.  We work everyday unless there is a legitimate typhoon.  If there is no typhoon, we know we will be safe enough and we work.  We spread the gospel because that is what we were sent to do.  We were not called as missionaries to have fun and play games.  Were were not called to take naps.  Were were called to serve the Lord and that is what we do.