I want to really thank you Mom for the letter that you wrote, it really meant a lot to me. It spoke to me how I am feeling at this time, it's the same time problem that I've been facing my whole mission, the same probably any religious person faces, and what the ancients wrote and trifled with for years and years. That problem boils down to really, Knowing what you should do, and failing to do it. Or knowing God's commandments and just disobeying. Or knowing the mission rules and not following them. I was lucky enough to be assigned with Elder Scow in Marinduque he taught me a lot! He taught me the good side of being obedient. I recieved a letter from a Sister Missionary here that had some good knowledge in it. Basically said "A person can only be obedient to the mission rules for the love of the lord, mission president, investigators, etc. For any other reason is really just for pride. To say that you are obedient and hold it over someones head is just wrong and hypocritical. The reason I want to be obedient is of course I love the Lord, the Mission President, but I suppose mostly because I hate the feeling I get! You know what I'm talking about, that guilty-knowyourgoingwrong feeling. That presses itself upon you and makes you feel uncomfortable feeling. The feeling and thoughts you get that make you think...wait I gave all this away so that I could become this kind of missionary? I'm not confessing here that I have gone off the deep end. I still work hard and I follow the mission rules, however with my new zone I dont feel as comfortable as I did, and that's scary haha. I never thought I was weak to peer pressure, but theres a lot of pressure. But I will stand strong and I plan on not doing that which I know is wrong or should do. Like leaving the mission area, not working hard, slacking off, hanging out , emailing on non-p-days. Now one thing I want to make very clear. I have never corrected anyone here for what they've done or scolded them. I don't believe in that. In fact the Lord said one should only rebuke when the holy ghost tells them to. I still consider them good people, I just don't like the feeling I get when I do those things. I pray with the Lord that I may stay strong and do what he expects me to do, what I signed up to do, what I promised I would do when I wrote a prophet of God accepting my mission call. I want you to know I am not perfect, never will be in this life, but I try my best to follow most of the rules (the ones I think are reasonable--in a companionship its a give and take relationship) It's probably going to be a trial for me, but don't fear I will be true and faithful until the end, even if I have to outright say "No, I'm not doing that, that's not what I signed up for...think what you want...You guys can go do that, I'll go do something else"
In the end, I'm just going to be me. I'm going to be myself and myself likes to listen to music that sometimes isn't appropriate, and myself likes to work really hard, myself likes to see the change in peoples lives, and myself likes to be myself. So I won't let them change me. Myself is still learning and growing. That's my motto I suppose, I'm myself and I'll be obedient and keep on keepin' on, because I feel good when I go to sleep and wake up in the morning. Don't worry about me!
My new area is Calaca, Batangas and old area of Elder Yeatz (they all still know him weird!)
It's a great area, president said I was really lucky to go there and yesterday at church I learned why. The branch is so strong there, it was a bit of a shock coming from Boac. I didn't have to do anything but listen in Church and then after teach the Single Adults how to introduce lessons in missionary work. About 100 people came to church, there are a ton of Return Missionaries, who actually know there stuff and are really helping the Branch. There is this one RM named Brother Noche, who is AMAZING! He is setting up the branch missionaries to work and tract FOR US. He said "Well in my mission I really hated tracting and finding, so...WE'LL DO IT FOR YOU! haha so i'm stoked about that and here im really excited to work! My new companion is Elder Painagan from Davao City, Mindanao. I love the kid, I was his District Leader in Sto. Tomas! We worked together for a day 4 months ago and now im his comp, weird huh? What's awesome is Elder Centeno my old companion is in my district again!! I get to see him every P-day and Wednesday at District Meeting! I'm stoked to be in this area it's amazing honestly I absolutely love it! I'm still district leader, I don't really know how long I'll be here. Perhaps I will become ZL next transfer. Elder Hansen is so amazing! He's training now! he's a stud for sure!
I don't have many stories right now. But I still wake up everyday and I love this work. I'm still being challenged, and I'm still learning a TON. Thank you guys so much for everything honeslty you've taught me. But theres nothing I could have done to really prepare for this mission. It's like everyday is a new adventure. Everyday is different for sure. I love the Lord and I love you all so much, thanks for your letter again mom, thats one im gonna print off and keep in the scriptures!
Hope zach recovers from the Kissing disease, Tiff survives in china, jessica keeps being masipag or hardworking, you have fun in LA/San Fran man what I would give for a vacation haha! (Or really just to sleep in a place with air conditioning!) Curt keeps having fun and waking up really early in the morning when my friends and I are just returning home haha
Thank you guys so much, I really cannot explain how much I've changed and experienced here. Looking in Hindsight, it's as if I've never really done anything but waste time when I was back at home. I'm begining to truly find out who I am, when I come back I want to sit down with you all and have a great conversation. I can't wait till then. Only about 13 1/2 months....who's counting?
Love you all,