Friday, October 23, 2015
I am having a great time serving here in Palawan! We had a hard time finding computers today so I am going to have to make this quick.
Yes, meeting in a different church building was just for general conference and district conference.
This was a pretty good week. Not totally normal... but I don't think I have actually had a totally normal week since being a zone leader out here. Elder Burgos transfered early to receive the training he needed as the new assistant to president. So I was in a threesome with Elder Wake and Panugao until yesterday. Then I got Elder Eteaki becuase his companion is going home. So that is who I am with right now. He is a big Tongan guy. I tried to lift him up the other day and I could only get him about an inch of the ground. That's how big he is. He has a scholarship to play for Oregon State when he gets back home. I get a new companion on Wednesday, Elder Sorronda is his name. He was a district leader last transfer. I will be training him to be a Zone Leader. That is all I know about him really.
We didn't have any investigators at church this week, which is a bummer. But we had a lot of less actives come today. I guess I am good at helping people come back to the fold. We will definitely have some investigators come this next week. I am excited! We are teaching a lot of really nice people.
So here is my spiritual insight for the week.
This comes from President Ostler. I have been trying to work on being less prideful. I told President in my last interview with him that this was one thing I was working on. This is a great quote he gave me to understand pride better.
"The first trait of a truly great man is his humility. I do not mean by humility, doubt of his own power...[but really] great men... have a curious feeling that... greatness is not in them but through them... and they see something divine in every other man... and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful." - John Ruskin
To be humble does not mean that we have to give up the power that we have. We can still exercise the power we have been given. The key part is that this power has been endowed upon us and is the gift of God. Mercy is one of the greatest attributes of a truly humble person... For example, after cooking dinner, do we say to ourselves or others, "I cooked dinner, I don't have to do the dishes now." OR in other words... " I am so good because I cooked the food. Someone else should have to do the dishes now." The example is not perfect, but it helps us to see how we can have pride in even the most simple of things. I invite you all to see the pride you have, identify it, and try to improve yourselves, whatever it may be.
Thank you for all the emails! I love you all!
Friday, October 16, 2015
This week was another really great week! The work is moving fast and God is blessing us a lot! Sometimes we feel frustrated with the work and decisions of others, but it is just so great to be able to serve here again! I am loving every single day and feel very fulfilled in the work I am doing here.
Yes, I met the Wolcotts! They seem like a super nice couple. I have only talked to them for about 30 seconds so far but they were smiling and happy so that's a good sign.
Darn... I am just too sad, I missed out on cleaning the pool filters... next time I am there, I will help.
Oh and about the choir. So they had callbacks (beacuse the list of those accepted needed to be revised), which I was a part of, but I couldn't get there since I am in Palawan. So it looks like I won't be able to preform in the Choir. oh well... haha.
Yeah, Kyle told me that he has a heavy load this semester. He will do well though. As long as he has got half of what my brain is worth. Kidding. He will do well!
Make sure you tell Grandma that I wish her a happy birthday. I love her a ton!
I am really excited for Kyle and Cathy!! Make sure you take lots of videos and pictures and stuff so I can see what the wedding reception is like and everything. And I better get a wedding invitation even if I don't get to come.
So as for the area, we are having lots of success. A lot of new investigators every week, a lot of oyms, a lot of work! We have two baptisms this week and I was able to interview another baptismal canidate in our ward this week. So we are going to have baptisms this week in our branch! We also have some other "conversion indicators" coming up that will be a great strength to the ward as well.
Elder Burgos and I are also going on exchanges this week up in Taytay, which is a 5 hour bus ride from here. So tomorrow we are waking up at 4 to get on a bus in order to get to taytay in time for their district meeting. I am excited because taytay is like way out in the jungle. It is like a province of the province. It is a small place. I am really excited to go work up there though. It will be a good experience.
And for the spiritual thought of this week I wold like to talk a little bit about pride.
One great scripture that I found this week is in Psalm 10:4."The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek God not in all his thoughts" When we are prideful, we put our will over the will of God. We need to submit ourselves to the will of God and always strive in word and action to set ourselves parallel with the will of God. One great example of this is Ammon, as he rejoices in being made an instrument in the hand of God to bring about the great missionary work that God accomplished amoung the Lamanites. Here is an excerpt of what I sent to president this week.
This week I learned a lot out pride and humility in my own personal studies, our proselyting and in church. One specific thing that impressed me is the words of Ammon in Alma 26. He says, "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things." I hope that one day I will be able to proclaim this without pride in the works of my own hands. I see my own pride every day. When I was called to be a district leader, trainer, and zone leader I felt pride in my own accomplishments. Now I am trying to see that the work of the hand of God is the only way in which I was called to this responsibility. As I am trying now to remove my pride little by little, I am learning a lot about what true leadership means, and I am better able to see the endless number of improvements that I can make.
I invite you all to read Alma chapter 26 and ponder where your pride is. Do you have pride in being more humble than others? Do you study the scriptures to gain recognition from others? Find your pride and pray to God that he will help you to remove it, That you may glorify God as did Ammon.
I love you all and thank you for all your love,
I am going to be in Manila on October 1. The first Thursday of every month we go there.
We have a super super busy week ahead of us. We are leaving on Wednesday to Manila, coming back Thursday, then we have interviews with president Friday and Saturday back here on Palawan, and district conference meetings all weekend. So we will have very little time to work this week. Just Tuesday pretty much.
The new senior couple out here, the Wolcott's are going to be working with Elder Burgos and I later today and I am excited for that.
Oh and going up to Taytay this week was super great! total of about 9 hours on buses. We had district meeting in the meeting house up there which was great! There are two new missionaries serving in Roxas, so we got to do some practice teaching with them in tagalog. I am SO grateful that tagalog is easy for me now. I forget how hard it was in the beginning haha. They are doing great though and picking it up really really fast.
So with general conference, we are actually watching it the week after next week (and we might be up in taytay actually.... not sure yet because we have an interview that we have to do for the district leader out there)...
We had two baptisms this week! It was great! A mother and her son! Her husband would have been baptized as well but he got a job that doesn't allow him to be able to go to church. Since his wife has now been baptized and confirmed, this man received the strength and inspiration to be able to ask his boss to change schedules. So there is a high likelyhood that his schedule will get changed and he will be able to go to church again. We are really excited!
Sorry, I am almost out of time. For a spiritual insight this week, I want to talk a little bit about Works and faith. We all know that faith without works is dead as said in James 2:17. According to Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: the gift of God:
We are not saved according to our works. But we are saved through the works of God, or in other words, the atonement of Jesus Christ. So what role does our works of faith play in our salvation? According to an additional scripture in James 2:20-24,
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith withoutworks is dead?
Thus we know that it is through our own works of faith that we are JUSTIFIED unto receiving the works of God unto our Salvation. We are not saved through the works of our own hands, but we are saved by our Master and Savior. But we are only justified to receive salvation through make decisions between good and evil. I invite you all to read these different passages and ponder the atonement in your own life. Additionally, read 2 nephi 25:23 and ponder the relationship of our works, the atonement, and the divine plan of happiness.
Love you all!
2. Taytay meeting house
3. harvesting corn!
Hello Family!getting off the cancelled flight waiting to shuttle back to the terminal
You got new furniture!? It looks good as far as I can see.
This was a great week! Super super week. Busiest week! I think I have ever had in my whole life. So this is how it went:
Monday-preparation day and 2 lessons.
Tuesday- district meeting and a few more hours of work.
Wednesday-went to Manila and had exchanges with Elder Beagley and Elder Stratton.
Thursday-MLC all day. We were supposed to go that day back to Palawan but the flights were getting delayed. As we were waiting for three hours, we talked to a ton of people in the airport and shared the gospel a little bit. We also decided we would get together in a group and sing a few Christmas songs, since christmas starts a little early here. So we went and got on our plane at 7:30 or something like that. And as we are sitting there waiting to take of we get an anouncement from the captain that we will not be able to go to Palawan because the airport in Palawan closes at 8:30 and it is an hour and 20 minute flight. So what we did instead, according to the words of Sister Ostler herself, we "partied" at the mission home that night. We got to play with some remote control tanks and helicopters and eat icecream and cookies. Slept with Caleb in his room with Elder Burgos of course. (oh and President and Sister Ostler, Caleb and the assistants were with us)
Friday-woke up at 5 to get to the airport for our flight at 8. Sang some more Christmas songs in the airport. Some people actually took videos of us haha. When we landed we went straight to the church and started the interview schedule a few hours late. So Elder Burgos, the assistants, and I had to figure out a schedule that would work for everyone to get everything done in time for meetings later that day. So we spent the whole day at church doing area books and other things.
Saturday-also interviews. busy all day at the church doing training classes and checking area books, this time without the assistants help (they went back to Manila on Friday). Elder Burgos also gave a talk in a special training meeting for the district.
Sunday-District conference, more meetings, and a few more interviews (me being the very last of all Presidemt Ostler's interviews). And then 2 hours of proselyting and weekly reports and follow ups.
It was amazing that we got everything done this week.
One, we had one our investigators show up late for district conference (we knew she would be late because of her schedule). But she was too shy to go in by herself when she showed up late. We found this out Sunday nght when we went to go teach her. Member fellowshippers are super important to have to be able to progress this work! If she had a friend there then she would have gone in.
Anyways, for my insight of the week, it is about a series of quote things that i heard. This is how they go. It is about 4 different groups/audiences. Everybody, somebody, anybody, and nobody.
"There was an important job to do, and everybody was asked to do it. Anybody could have done it, but nobody did it because everybody thought that somebody would do it. Somebody got angry because everybody was supposed to do it. It ended up that everybody blamed somebody when actually nobody asked anybody."
Ask yourself, Where do I fit in this story? And what could each of these parties do to prevent the problem from happening? Could it be solved by one? Or does it take many? How and when does this happen in your life?
I invite all of you to find out where you fit in this in a certain aspect of your life and do your part to fix the situation, regardless of what others do.
I love you all!
p.s. excited to watch conference!
On the way back to Palawan (love my son's smile)
Mission Leadership Council
This is how I cooked my breakfast this morning, we ran out of gas for our stove.
I forgot to tell you last week, but we were walking on our way to catch a multicab to the church, and as I am walking I see something long and kind of shiny on the ground right in front of me.... then I realize... oh okay huge snake.... right as I halfway try to jump/extend my stride to miss stepping on it.... but it was all too late and just slightly too slow. I stepped on it. A four foot cobra just laying there right in the morning sun. I about gave everyone a heart attack when I jumped about 30 feet in the air after stepping on it. I think i sounded like this "woahhhhaghagaahhha!".... so that was an interesting experience. I dont know who was more surprised, me or the snake... I obviously didn't get bit or you would have heard about that story much much sooner... so I am all good. No worries though. (oh and the picture of the snake at the end of the email is a different snake. Just thought I would send it to try and set the mood for my story)...
Other than that the work has been great!Haven't had any investigators at church for the past two weeks, but we have some real potential. And the reason why they didn't go to church was mostly just because the last two weeks were at malvar chapel instead of santa monica. so people didn't want to take to time to go all the way down there.
And we got to watch conference this weekend too! All 10 hours! It was so great! President had us prepare questions or concerns to have ready as we listen to the conference. So I came up with 3 questions and 3 concerns. All unique, and all of which could not be answered just by using the Gospel-only by revelation. Personal revelation received by me through the Spirit working through inspired men of God. It was a great experience and really uplifting to have the Spirit work through them and through myself to answer those questions that I had.
Here is a small excerpt of my report I sent to President this week.
One of the answers I received in this general conference is what I would like to share with you this week. I had the question, "how can I help more people?" Two experiences shared answered this question better than I could have imagined. One, David Bednar's experience when watching over Elder Hales' recovery, Elder Bednar learned from Elder Hales that as our physical capability decreases, we learn to do that which is most important. I still have great physical capability, but what he said taught me a lot about priorities. Also, the experience shared about a young Relief Society President. Her Bishop told her that the strong will be able to support themselves together, and that sometimes we need to leave the many, in order to go after the one, like in the parable of the lost sheep. I learned that I need to not worry about how many people I help, but who it is that I am helping. Similarly, I do not need to get caught up in how great my capacity is to help others, I just need to do all that I can and try my best, and the Lord will do the rest.
And here is my insight for the week.
A line from a hymn sung in one of the sessions impressed me. Praise to the Lord the Almighty (72)... it says in this hymn "Safely his Saints he sustaineth. Hast thou not seen How all thou needest hath been Granted in what he ordaineth?" Sometimes we tend to think that our needs can only be met by God himself. That there is no other way our problems in life may be solved but by a miracle from God. One thing that comes to mind when I think about this tendency that we all have, and this line of hymn, is the divine revelation in "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." It states, "The family is ordained of God, and is central to the Creator's Plan for the eternal destiny of his children." In every need, doubt, struggle, or lack we have, God has provided a way already through those that he has ordained, and for every one of us, part of that ordination is the family. If you are waiting for a miracle from God to right a wrong or to fix a problem you have, you may be looking too far. God is all powerful and certainly can do it if he so choses, but he has likely already provided a way. We need to love our families and be more united together with one another. As we do this, we will experience that miracle that we are all searching for to fix that wrong or to solve or problems. I invite you all to find one new way in which you can draw closer together as a family and to make it a tradition.
I love you all! Thank you for all you emails and your love!
this is a picutre of a snake we found... i am not actually so sure if it was a snake or not... it may have been whats called a legless lizard.