Monday, September 19, 2016

Almost 20 years old :)

Kumusta fam?,
I can't believe it...I'm almost 20 years old! Weird, huh? I'm no more a teenager :( haha. I'm getting old, but I love that one scripture verse in the Bible (I forgot where) that says when I grew up I left my childish things behind! So true! Anyway, we plan on partying this week for my birthday... for me that means helping my investigators receive the restored gospel!
On Tuesday I gave my first workshop as a Zone Leader at our Zone training.  Elder Vergara's and my calling is to relay the information, plans, and vision of President Koster and help our zone catch that vision. We gave a workshop about the importance of the members and where each Ward needs to be in order to baptize 4 people every month = weekly baptisms. We talked about the stages of missionary work with the members. Stage 1: missionaries doing all the work. Stage 2: members helping the missionaries. Stage 3: missionaries helping the members. The workshop went pretty well. Elder Vergara and I felt like there was something missing (may kulang). We are somewhat pleased, but not even close to satisfied. We feel that we needed to do more. Hopefully next zone training we can improve. The commitment to the zone was to help each member in their ward become PMG (Preach My Gospel) members. That's our focus right now. Because of the lack of support and leadership here in the Philippines, we as missionaries must take initiative and help the members understand their role and how they can help share the gospel. The ideas that we have is to share PMG with the members and help them apply the principles that the Lord has set so that we can achieve the expectations in this mission of one family baptism every month. We can do it! The hard part is helping the zone feel they can do it as well- putting faith into action!
Thursday we had zone conference with President Koster. It was great, I always love the conferences. They are like a boost of excitement and eagerness to succeed in this work. The spirit taught me a lot; many things that I need to repent of. I'm grateful for the verse that President read Alma 26:12 about not boasting of ourselves but of our God. I've realized the importance of teaching by the Spirit and the things I need to do to feel the spirit every lesson. This week in our work we really worked on that and we noticed a huge difference the past few days. Every lesson was powerful. Not just 1 or 2. The faith that we have is either growing or it is weakening. I especially feel the need of increasing my faith, purifying my heart, and relying on the Lord to succeed in my area and calling here in Pasig.
Our work in the Pasig 4th ward is improving. One family is progressing - the Sta Ana family! They have really felt the spirit and the blessings of us sharing the Gospel to them. Last night we taught them the correct way to pray to our Heavenly Father and we're excited for them to come to church on Sunday. We just need your prayers family that we can achieve our goals and have a baptism this month (brother Ramon).
It's a little frustrating coming into this area and expecting to have success right away, but it's just the opposite. I would have thought that the zone leaders' area would be on fire, but again, it was just the opposite. My whole mission I have felt the responsibility of like starting over and helping the area get going. It's okay though, I must stay positive and happy :)
i love you all and miss y'all! Have a great week !
Commitment ko sa inyo : help the missionaries in your ward by giving them a referral and working with them! Our friends need the Gospel!!
Elder Johnson
P.S. I worked with a new missionary this week who's from Utah. It was cool, 2 white guys in the Pines! Also, I struggle with English now! Tagalog all the way now! haha

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