Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 11 Quezon City

Ang bilis ng panahon!
On Sunday we had a miracle baptism! We baptized Alice Bajenting, the 9 yr old from a part member family. To be honest I don't even know how it happened, so crazy haha. It was cool too because her uncle, who is preparing for a mission, was able to perform the ordinance and also her extended family attended. 

These past few days, my companion and I have had a hard time with the ward, basta it's okay. We press forward, continuing to do our job which is to baptize and confirm converts. Even though it's been solely all missionary efforts, the Lord is blessing us for our hard work.

We found an absolute golden family this week: the Acebuche family :) It was like the experience with Mark where a lola came up to us and told us she's mormon and that she wants her anak and grandchildren to be baptized. Such a miracle. There are 5 of them and they have a baptism date for May. We're so stoked for this family!
We're doing our best to prepare Gemma to be baptized on Saturday the 29th. We need your prayers! She's the best :)
Zone conference was sweet this past week. Elder Enari and I gave a workshop about using the Book of Mormon in teaching- using it every lesson. There's power in the BoM, and we can only access it's power if we ourselves are feasting upon the words of Christ, pondering continually the words of eternal life! The BoM is true- I know it through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Elder Johnson

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 10 Quezon City

Magandang hapon po!
It's been pretty wild for us this week. At one point, the Lord helped us bring back all 4 investigators to be baptized still in April, and then His will changed after church on Sunday... Rowie told us yesterday (he didn't come to stake conference) that he isn't ready to be baptized, so we moved his bapt. date to May. 

Adrian's parents got mad at us this week (because we've been persistent of course preparing their son to be baptized).. let's just say they aren't the most open people to other religions haha.  But Elder Enari and I have faith and we know they'll sign the BCR this week.. sana haha.

We found a miracle part member this week (thanks to my awesome companion who listened to the prompting of the Holy ghost) who's ready to be baptized now.  She's 9 years old, her name is Alice :)

And now.. Sister Gemma! Man, her progression is incredible. We love her so much! It makes us so happy teaching her. She's ready...she's just afraid of baptism. She loved stake conference yesterday. Especially the choir.. she's gonna join one day haha. It's makes us so happy, we can see the light that she has, she craves it, she knows it's true..we're just working on getting her to accept a baptismal date :)
We went on exchanges with the APs yesterday. I worked with my batch- Elder Fano! He's such an inspiration. He's been one of the best missionaries I've ever been with. Our exchange was so sweet! We found 11 new investigators and 3 new families! It was power! I learned a ton, and I'm so grateful for the things I continue to learn and apply. This work is the greatest. There's nothing better.
I'll never forget what the 1st counselor of the stake said to us this week (he worked with us once). He said "go all out, leave it all out on the court, "mission field". He continued by saying, "remember that you are the only person on this earth (missionaries) that have the authority to save souls! Rock Out!! "
Let us all "rock out" as we share the gospel. Don't be shy, we know it's true. This is the only true church on the face of the earth. 

Elder Johnson

Monday, April 10, 2017

Quezon City Week 9

This week took us by say the least. As you know we were planning for weekly baptisms this month. All of the sudden, out of the blue, all 4 of our projections are now gone. We can't believe what happened and Elder Enari and I still are asking ourselves why. 

Nelia and her anak Melaine texted us this week and told us (they were out of town visiting their family) that they don't want to join the church anymore. Adrian's mom and dad do not want us to baptize Adrian, and Rowie hasn't showed us any desire to do the commitments that lead to baptism... we are now left desperate for at least 1 more baptism in April and with no investigators at this moment. It's kind of discouraging, but hey, that's the mission.. it's glorious! We couldn't be happier though, especially with the amazing general conference and with the success of our other zone mates. We are happy and as of now putting our trust in God and doing His will. I've understood that God knows best, He has a plan, we just need to be willing to humble ourselves and follow it.
We have been teaching the relative of Mark Gobrez.. (she's like his Lola but not really) her name is Gemma...she's awesome let me tell ya! Her heart is telling her to be baptized but her mind isn't. We are trying for April 29. We need your prayers! 

General conference was incredible and life changing. The church is true. I continue to ponder on the things that Heavenly Father wants for me to do as I come towards the end of my mission. I had the great opportunity to go to the temple today and ponder in the celestial room. I love my mission, I love the Philippines, I love these people. I love my Savior Jesus Christ.

Elder Johnson

Monday, April 3, 2017

Start of Weekly Baptisms

Happy spring! (summer in the Philippines.. haha it's really hot right now)

Last monday night was so perfect...we had an FHE (Family Home Evening) at the rooftop of a condo where one of the Seventy lives (one of the leaders of our church)! Brother Pagaduan offered to have an FHE at his place where we could bring investigators. At first we thought Nelia and her anak weren't going to show up. We were praying so hard, and at 8:30 pm they finally came! It was a short, fun, and spiritual FHE where 6 of our investigators were able to experience the fun of a FHE.

We were led "not knowing where to go" multiple times again this week. It's been amazing. The Lord just continues to guide us to his children. We met Marie, who's husband worked as a driver for all the seventys, mission presidents etc. He died last year but always tried to get his wife Marie to come to church. We were led to her house this week, taught her about eternal families, and she cried with joy knowing one day she'll see her husband again.

Another time was Saturday night, it was 8:30 pm as well. We were sure the member was home, but they weren't. Elder Enari and I were so confused. We thought this was where Heavenly Father wanted us to go, we both felt prompted to go to this specific area, and all of the sudden as we walk down the stairs we walk by a less active (who usual hides or doesn't talk to us). Surprisingly he calls to us, "Elders, I need your help." Long story but this guy has been going through some trials where he feels trapped by Satan. He's done some things and he knows he needs to come back to church. We were able to give him a blessing and he came to church yesterday!

I testify of Jesus Christ's power. Through Christ's Atonement, we can be made free. We can feel forgiveness, peace, joy, and God's love for us. I know that we are all children of God, and he loves us all. I also testify that God knows us, and he has a plan for us. We may not know "why this? why that?" But God knows best. We just need to trust Him. It's been humbling this week for us. I need to trust in Him more and rely on Him more. He will lead us back to his kingdom one day if we simple let Him and follow Him.

We baptized Christian Rollo Valentin yesterday! It was awesome, the whole ward stayed and supported. Because of Mark, his friends are also receiving the Gospel. Rollo is amazing. I can't wait to see him serve a mission and be sealed in the temple one day. 

Next week we will baptize sister Nelia! 
Adrian is preparing for the 15th. We need your prayers for who will be baptized on the 22nd. We are also teaching Rowie (young men referral) and sister Melaine (anak ni Nelia) and are preparing them for April 29. It's going to be a solid month of work, we couldn't be doing better! :)

Elder Johnson

Mark's Baptism