It's been a busy Preparation day and a pretty normal week family, so I'll keep this letter short :)
On Tuesday I really strove to have a successful and effective exchange with one of the district leaders in my zone (Elder Almasin). With the guidance of the Spirit we had such an awesome day of work and we both became better missionaries. As a leader in the Pasig zone and representative of Jesus Christ I've really been focusing personally on leading like the Savior. I felt the Lord's hand during my exchange as I truly felt love towards Elder Almasin and wanted to him to succeed. It made me so happy when I learned in my follow-up call a few days later that he had applied the things he learned from our exchange and how he thanked me for the things I inspired him with. I'm grateful for my mission. There's no other place where we can just focus on developing Christlike attributes and help these wonderful people live His Gospel.
I had a spiritual experience with the Priesthood this week where I had the opportunity to bless one of the sisters in my zone. She's suffering with depression so I didn't know what I was supposed to say. But the blessing was from Heavenly Father, I testify it was.
Nothing much has changed with the area of me and my companion Elder Vergara. Leonila will be baptized in November, most likely the 12th. She's so awesome. It's been incredible to be a part of her conversion. Her testimony is so strong! It's the best feeling when an investigator expresses to you how grateful she is for us and the Gospel of Jesus Christ we helped bring to her life. She's so happy, she glows for real haha. The trial is, she has bleeding problems so we need your prayers family!
It's been nice this week getting new potential investigators from the members! We are staying faithful here in Pasig and still visiting the members, introducing Preach My Gospel with them. It's been effective, just a little process. But success will come!
Until next week.. ingat! Have a fun Halloween over there in the states.. I'll be celebrating Day of the Dead here in the Philippines!
P.S. I joined the mission choir!! We are performing on December 4 and we practice weekly. It's so fun! I got the tenor part..I gotta share my talents kasi ;)
I don't know if I've told y'all about the Manuel family (recent converts here in Pasig). They're so awesome and literally the nicest and most humble people I've ever met! We have FHE (Family Home Evening) at their house every week and it's such a wonderful activity that we as members get to participate in. It brings the family together and strengthens testimonies. For us as missionaries it's a perfect opportunity to invite non member friends to hear our message of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. I've seen the blessings come from FHE and we've gained new investigators because of it. So I challenge y'all to have FHE weekly! and invite your friends!
On Tuesday I had an exchange with one of our District Leaders, Elder Binhaon. The day was interesting to say the least. It started out well, the lessons were on and off, but then he got sick and threw up so the rest of the night was not as planned and we weren't able to have a successful evaluation. I wish I could just redo the day haha. But oh well, it's time to just move on. Heavenly Father keeps testing how I will respond to delays and things not going my way, because this week I got a little frustrated at my other DL who is having a difficult time with his district and with leading. So I've been working real hard on being patient and loving him like Christ. I continue to have the question come into my mind, "Do the missionaries in my bahay, and zone feel my love?" This is something I'm really striving to improve because I'm far from perfect.
Unexpectedly we found ourselves at Aurora chapel doing service most of Wednesday and Thursday. It was cool though, I really enjoyed serving in a different way than just teaching. We carried heavy boxes of food and packed canned goods for the parts of the Philippines that have been hit by the typhoons. It was definitely a successful service project :)
Saturday was a throwback day for me haha. We had the opportunity to do MTC exchanges! So if y'all remember last year at this time when I was in Manila MTC for a few days I went out and worked with one of the missionaries in the Manila mission. Ya well that's what I got to participate in again! This time, I was the old guy in the mission draggin around 2 new white boys from Utah serving in the Bacolod mission haha. Our experience was awesome!! At first I asked them what they wanted to accomplish and what were their goals for the quick 2 hour exchange. Their response was one I'll never forget.."I just want to help these people and help them feel the Spirit." What a simple yet amazing response from an excited missionary ready to serve the Lord. It brought back memories of what I felt last year and my excitement to just go out and help these wonderful people! I really felt the spirit and I learned so much from these 2 Elders. All I desire is to help the people come unto Christ and help them feel the Holy Ghost!
Our area is struggling pa rin.. it's starting to get really frustrating looking up our board of baptisms and seeing no projection for October and a weak 1 lang for November. The Lord expects more from us here. Elder Vergara and I are just figuring out what else we can do to reach weekly baptisms. For now it's just prayer and fasting for miracles.
My companion and I Elder Vergara prepared our workshop on Monday night and really relied on the Spirit to guide us the whole way. We prayed with more faith and felt confident in the Lords promise that "if you are prepared, ye shall not fear!"
Zone training came and we were so excited! The Sister Training Leaders in our zone gave a little workshop first about teaching repentance to our investigators. It was awesome and set the stage for our workshop to our Pasig zone! We focused on one of the steps of the inspired teaching cycle: listening, observing, and discerning. The focus was to help the missionaries become effective teachers. How? By LOVING our investigators. It's all about love and charity. Anyway, we believe that the zone felt the spirit and I'm just so grateful for the promise of Heavenly Father gives in the sacrament prayer.."the spirit shall always be with you."
On Wednesday we had a "new leaders training meeting." This was the first time PQCM has done this, and it was absolutely amazing! The objective was to train us as the leaders how to be successful in our callings. I'll share with you the thoughts given from President and Sister Koster to us:
*In order to achieve a new goal, we need to change what we're doing, do something new! *
*Be a spiritual blessing to the missionaries in my zone- how should they feel after they talk with me?*
*Leave my calling better than I found it, be a better person, train those DL's to become a better ZL than I ever was! *
The spirit taught me many more things as well, in order to become an effective leader. One thing that I'll never forget is just what I mentioned kanina. Do I really love every missionary in my zone? Do I love my investigators? How do the missionaries in Pasig feel after they talk with me? Am I inspiring, blessing and uplifting them? I've reflected on that and I know that charity is an attribute that can only be obtained just like Moroni said, through prayer and through the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ.
Elder Vergara and I are doing well. We are still constantly striving to make our area the model area. Heavenly Father is testing us with patience for sure. He's also trying our faith.
The Apid family (one of our progressing investigators who really understood the doctrine) just told us yesterday that they are moving out of our area. The Sta. Ana family was progressing but now we are seeing no progression at all. Rolly has problems with his sins and keeps telling us that he can't turn away from it because he wont survive.
So that's the frustrating part haha. But we have so much positive coming our way! Leonila came to church so her baptism will be on November 5! And yesterday we had 3 miracle investigators come to church so we are excited!
It really all comes down to faith. I've really come to know that on my mission...have faith!
Well, I love y'all and thanks for your prayers. Have a great week!
I'm so grateful for this week that I had talaga. It's been such a spiritual, motivational, and inspiring week here for me. Because of the Missionary Leadership Council, and General Conference, I'm back on track ready to conquer anything the Lord places before me.
I'm also so grateful for my companionship that I have with Elder Vergara. As missionaries, and companionships, we must have the spirit to be with us. If it's nonexistent, we cannot do this work. With both of us noticing our need to change, we were able to communicate and discuss what we must do in order to be powerful and unified. We are so excited for this transfer and it's already off to a hot start!
On Friday we had the monthly MLC with President Koster and all the leaders in the mission. This was my second one so I knew what to expect and how to prepare. Man this meeting was powerful let me tell ya! The spirit is undeniable and it wouldn't be the same without our wonderful mission President and his wife. From the start, they bring a sense of fire and excitement that gets us (as the leaders) pumped up and ready to inspire our zone. President Koster wants changes in this mission, not just the usual average baptisms every month. Heavenly Father has high expectations and it is our responsibility to carry out the work! Our zone training workshop tomorrow is gonna be sick. The zone will feel the spirit and hopefully catch the desire and vision of what we can accomplish. Please pray for me and my companion as we prepare our workshop! salamat :)
Quotes i loved from MLC from our leaders: "There's nothing better than what I am doing which is 'Declaring Repentance!'" (D&C 15 and 16)
"Be excited, go out to teach and baptize!"
"I am successful when I feel the spirit in my work and desire the salvation of others."
"Keep going, don't stop, don't ever give up"
"Listen differently, with my heart, not just my ears"
" Gods plan is eternal, not everything will be accomplished in these 2 years."
I couldn't have been more excited to watch General conference! It was awesome!
I bear testimony that Thomas S. Monson is our living and true prophet on this earth and that this church is Christ's true church. I felt it, and I know it to be true. How lucky we are to have this Gospel that brings us JOY! Do we feel that joy now?
I could write for days about the things that I loved from conference, but I'll just share a few:
"Pray with your heart, not just your lips."
"Have Faith in Jesus Christ!"
"If we read the Book of Mormon every day, we will never go astray...it's impossible!! We will be converted to the Restored Gospel."
Are y'all reading the Book of Mormon daily? Do you exercise your faith in your Savior Jesus Christ? Do you have joy even in the midst of your trials? Are you praying with your heart?
Well family this week was pretty rough for me. Not much has happened this week in our area or in our zone. It's transfer week and Elder Vergara and I are looking forward to continuing to lead the Pasig zone.
Our week was okay with the work. I think we lacked something and I'm not sure yet what it is. I feel like things need to change; I must change. For some reason I've gotten frustrated this week with little things that have happened and I haven't found happiness in this week's work. It's been a lot of personal pondering and self reflecting for the past few days. But although it's been hard for me, I know things are going to get better as long as I lose myself again in the work. The Spirit is constantly telling me to remember that again, not focusing on myself, but on others. I look forward to bouncing back and getting back on the road to conversion.
We Baptized Ramon Del Gallego on Friday!! haha It went so well, he's the funniest old man. I wish y'all could meet him... hes awesome. You'll see in the pics that I'll send :)
We've had a set back with our investigators which has been a little discouraging, especially for our October baptism goals. We just need y'all to pray for Leonila, Rolly, and the Sta. Ana family!
I'm excited to lead the Pasig zone again this transfer. We've got some new District Leaders who are coming in which will really help. Also, we met and had a meeting with the stake leaders here and discussed what we need to do to hasten the work of salvation. Only positive on the horizon!!
Sorry this letter is short, but I love and miss you all! I hope y'all are keeping the commandments because you love the Lord. I love my Savior, I know Heavenly Father lives, and loves all of His children.