Magandang tanghali sa inyong lahat! Pupunta kami sa Palawan mamaya! (We’re going to Palawan later today!)
It has been an amazing and crazy week! We only really got to work on Tuesday and Saturday because of office stuff on Monday, New Leader Follow Up on Wednesday, and Zone Conferences on Thursday and Friday. On Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Parañaque Zone Leaders. I was with Elder Boshard from my MTC batch. I wanted to share about one of the lessons that we taught that day. We OYMed a guy named Elias outside of his house and he let us in to teach him about the Restoration. After our short lesson he told us, pretty harshly, that he did not want us to come back. We just bore our testimonies of the truthfulness of the message and told him that when he is ready we would be happy to share with him again. He still didn’t want to hear any more so we left. It interesting because after the lesson both Elder Boshard and I made the comment that we had felt the Spirit as we shared. I ended up sharing this experience the next day with the new missionaries. We used it in our lesson about “Becoming a Successful Missionary.” In Preach My Gospel it says that our success “is based primarily on our commitment to find, teach, baptize, and confirm people…” (Chapter 1 Hannah) I know that Elder Boshard and I were still successful as missionaries even though we were rejected. We did all that we could to help Brother Elias come unto Christ and we bore our witness of the truth.
Zone Conferences this past week were amazing! President and Sister Ostler talked about Goals, Faith, and staying connected to Christ (John 15). We taught about working with members and some of the Sister Training Leaders taught about planning. We hope that the missionaries will all apply the things they learned. One kind of unique experience though was what really had an impact on me. It was during President Ostler’s opening remarks in the Friday Zone Conference. From where I was sitting I could see all of the missionaries and how intently they were listening as he spoke about some of the prophecies concerning missionary work. After a missionary read a quote from Elder Ian S. Ardern (the Area President of the Philippines) about “many more temples in the Philippines, I remember that President Ostler said, “Many more temples in the Philippines means a temple in your province.” Many of the missionaries here come from the province where they have to travel 10 hours by bus and sometimes days on a boat to get to the temple. After he said that I looked out at the missionaries and saw Elder Arninio sitting on the front row with a huge smile on his face. As you know I was in the same apartment as Elder Arninio for four transfers in Pasay and now we see each other often in the office. Back when he became companions with Elder Appleby he was able to do the family history and temple work for his father. I remember the day of our temple trip and how happy he was that those ordinances had been performed for his dad. The smile that he had then was the same smile that I saw when President mentioned a temple in his province. I felt the Spirit and Heavenly Father’s love for me and for His children in the Philippines and I know that he is helping the work progress here. I know that the prophecies are true. The gospel will be preached to all people and the membership of the church will reach the millions here in the Philippines. I’m so grateful to be here and to be a part of this great work.
Lastly I just have an update about Brother Jonald. He is doing great and is now in Alma (around chapter 40) in the Book of Mormon. The Sisters in our ward had a baptism this last Saturday and Brother Jonald attended. When we saw him as we came in he asked us, “Elders, puwede ba akong magbahagi sa inyo? Ang dami kong nabasa dito sa Aklat ni Mormon.” (Can I share with you? I have read so much here in the Book of Mormon.) That’s usually the question we ask him. It’s great to see his progression and that his testimony is continuing to be strengthened as he reads more and more.
We have to get some things ready for the Palawan Zone Conference, but I love you guys and I hope that you have a great week with lots of missionary opportunities!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!