|In the cab! 4 of us in the passenger seat!|
|We got a record in the Ford ranger! 20 people! 11 people in the back, and 9 in the cab! hahah Filipino style! |
|Missionary work is hard but it has its good moments, are you jealous? haha "Thou shalt not covet!" |
|Our big Family Home Evening!|
|On the boat!|
|Elder Bituen I took a tour of the Church being built in our area and we are standing on the Baptismal font! haha SWEET!|
|Elder Bituen and I chillin' at the Beach! Again!|
Hey everyone I am alive!! Again!! Just battling those Typhoons like a boss!
I know you are all expecting details, stories, pictures and everything but the truth is... there is nothing to tell.. haha. I guess on the Island of Mindoro we were truly blessed because we had about 1 hour of hard rain, and wind, thats about it haha... sorry... Leaders kept calling us and asking us to get preparations and they sounded so serious, and we got it all and nothing ever happened! We heard what happened on the mainland and it was pretty bad, houses are washed away, torn down, and destroyed, no power, no service, no work... kuwawa sila (They're unlucky) We have been blessed and we able to continue our work, and finalize our baptisms! Which are still happening! Whoo! So I report on that next week, which will be fun! I can't wait!
So My birthday is coming up soon, and I can't believe that I am going to be 20! I still remember being in the car with my dad when I was in 7th grade driving through the drive thru at Wendy's talking about graduating High school and how far away that is, driving a car, being a senior, getting a full time job! Its all gone by so fast! and Now I am no longer a teen I am getting into to those man years! Which fits perfectly with the topic of the e-mail that I chose today. I read this scripture a couple days ago, and it seemed really fitting because as a missionary if you like it or not, you constantly think about the changes in your life, things that are changing, and things you will change because of the mission, and what we are experiencing. I don't know about others but this happens to me all the time, and I constantly think what I need to give up, what do I need to change, and what do I need to sacrifice to become a man, and a Priesthood holder. For example, most of you know me back home as the gamer! Oh boy did I love to play those games, even the really nerdy ones (That one is for Mike Taylor) haha, and I found great joy in it. It was fun especially with friends, and since I did it so much that was almost the only thing I was good at, other than getting swoll at the GYM! haha joke lang... but as I think about it... that time I spent playing games all the time effecting my school work BIG TIME! Probably one of the biggest regrets in my life, but it also effected my ability to get out and do other things like learn how to play the piano! Play the guitar! Sing! learn how to fix an engine, put together a sound system, stuff like valuable skills in life instead of trying to get 99 woodcutting (for those nerds out there that know what I am talking about) So the battle I have inside myself is, am I going to give up video games? because they still sounds so fun to me haha but I know what a complete waste of time it is, and I know myself enough that I probably wont be able to control how much I play! That is one example among many other things; careers, schooling, marriage, etc...
One thing has helped me is learning about our eternal potential, and if our actions are helping us climb up the ladder of exhalation or are we climbing down that ladder? Our whole purpose in life is to become like our Father in Heaven, and obviously we can't do that in the mortal life because we are not perfect, but! We can definitely do our best! So what we need to do is ask ourselves constantly "What lackest I yet?" find what we need to improve on and improve! Once that is done we go to the next thing! I say this now but as I return home from my mission I know for a fact that Its easier said then done! So I hope that the doctrine will be so ingrained in my that at an early age I can accept this eternal principle, and try and climb as high as I can on that ladder in this life, to give me a head start in the next!
You know... people asked me why I wanted to serve a mission, what caused me to have the desire to serve. At first, I had no idea how I got out here, I had no answer for them. I was un-prepared, I never paid attention in Seminary, I never read the scriptures with any real intent until I got into the MTC, I never went to mission prep classes, and I didn't understand what I was getting myself into! and I definitely proved the challenge those first couple months in the mission field when a missionary asks you "What is your favorite scripture about the Atonement?" and your reply is "I don't know any scriptures about the Atonement." its a very humbling experience, and also very discouraging. Just like the many praises of the Prophets in the Book of Mormon I thank my God for all of his goodness, and strength which he has given me. It is because of Him that I am now able to share with you many scriptures about the Atonement, and teach about them with detail! It is because of Him that I am still here, striving to be Obedient. It is because of Him that my life has taken a 180 degree turn for the better, and for eternity. I don't know where I would be in life if I hadn't made the decision to serve a mission, and I am scared to even think about it. Because is my mission is when I received true conversion to Gospel, even like unto a Miracle. After deep thought countless days I finally figured out how I got out here being so unprepared, and technically not ready to serve. At first, I served a mission because Its what everyone wanted me to do, its what everyone expected me to do and I couldn't take the disappointment if I didn't go. Second, I had problems before and I thought that through 2 years of of serving the Lord, and doing his work would turn me for the better, which I was absolutely correct. but, you can't run from Satan's temptations even if its 5,000 miles around the world, and it definitely followed me into my mission. All those who are planning on serving missions DO NOT start a mission like I did, you are not going to last very long, or you are not going to enjoy your mission. Prepare yourselves as much as you can, pay attention in Seminary, and in Institute! Go to missionary prep class and participate because I promise you if you don't you will regret it like I did, learn from my mistakes!
Like I said through the wonderful grace of God, and the power of the Atonement by which it comes I am still here. Through personal experiences, revelations, and through trial and error I found my purpose, I found the Gospel, and I found my Savior, and oh is it so sweet to the taste, and to the soul! And its only been a year, what more am I to become in another year!? Its exciting! Its Love! its God's plan for all of us! and we can all do it through the Atonement! I know that the Lord truly calls people in their weaknesses so that he can strengthen them to become what they were destined to be in the Pre-earth life, that is a fact, tested and proven! I can not explain the gratitude that I have for my mission and how much it has blessed my life, and how much more blessings will come through a life time of diligent Church Service,
So as missionaries we give a lot of commitments to our investigators. I have one for all you. I want you to all study about the Atonement of Jesus Christ even if just a little bit, and send me an e-mail of something that you have experienced, learned, or has changed because of this study. I know as you will do so, something will happen to you as it has happened to me... You will find your Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ, and feel closer to Him. I look forward to hearing some of your insights.
Again, thank you to everyone for their love and support that is unfailing! I feel it all the time, and I can't wait to see you again! I love you all!
-on the Lord's errand-San Pablo Philippines Mission