Sunday, February 7, 2016

Week Full of Exchanges

Hey Family! 

It was a busy week here in Sablayan- a wonderful week for me as a missionary! 

On Tuesday my Tatay (trainer) Elder Santiago came and he got to work with us as a TA(teaching assistant)! It was so awesome to be able to work with him again! I realized how much I actually missed him and how amazing a trainer he was for me. Teaching with him again brought back all my memories of my first 6 weeks here in the Philippines.  And now I've almost been here for 4 months! Of course I learned a lot from him. I'll share a few things I learned from his evaluation. He told us to become a VESSEL for the Lord. He then named attributes that will help us become the vessel- worthiness, exact obedience, cleanliness, and valiant (diligent)! I'm striving to become the vessel for the Lord so the spirit can speak through me and I can help my investigators.  Elder Santiago is like a discernment machine. He's the best missionary in the mission field and I hope one day I can be the kind of missionary he is.
On Thursday Elder Asetre (my Zone Leader) worked with Elder Pedrosa and me. He's a great missionary. We have a lot in common (he likes basketball), and he's like the nicest Filipino I've ever met.  I really appreciated this exchange. I learned that shorter lessons (less than 30 minutes ) is what we need to be striving for! I also learned to find out the concerns of our investigators right away so we can know how to teach them the doctrine. He uses the scriptures really well. That's something I'm trying to improve on in my teaching- using the BoM every lesson!
Friday Elder Espinili and I had exchanges! This was interesting...2 Americans that have both been out in the mission field for less than 4 months.  It was so great! I had the opportunity to lead the lessons and lead as the senior companion for the day. It was such a humbling experience. We both relied on the spirit and our day went really well. Luckily we had a member present, so that was a nice help as well. I learned a lot- mostly that my Tagalog is pangit haha. But I'm trying my best and I know it'll come.
So bad news family. My investigator brother Jasem that was supposed to be baptized on February 13 will not be baptized. Long story short- he made some poor decisions with a member who is supposed to be a good example to him but they're both pasaway. I'm really sad and disappointed, especially knowing that this transfer we will go without a baptism again.

Some better news is brother Nilmar who I've been teaching since October since I've been here told us this week that he believes this church is the only true church on the earth! He Believes, He Knows! When he told us that I couldn't help but smile. I was truly filled with joy. This is what it's all about. Although it took 4 months, we kept on ministering to him and he finally knows for himself the truth. I love this guy. I know one day he'll be baptized- probably in April.
This week I've come to know more of my Savior Jesus Christ. I know he lives. I know he loves each and every one of us. I studied more of His Atonement for us. It's truly incredible. Through Jesus Christ we can return to live with our Father in Heaven again! I know this gospel is true with all my heart, and this is the way to the celestial kingdom- why I'm here serving a help people reach exaltation!  

Iyan lang pamilya ko

Elder Johnson

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