Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5 2010


Thanks for your email this week! This week has been crazy, so much travel and just doing things and at the same time difficult. Monday, we went to Nasugbu (the sisters area) and we hung out on the beach, I was really tempted to ride a horse but I decided to be obedient ;). Tuesday, I went on a split in Balayan (Elders area) with Elder Centenio my old companion back in Sto. Tomas, then we met up with the Elders in Batangas at night to sleep there. Wednesday, we had to travel to Lipa for Zone Conference, it was a great time. I really cannot explain how happy I was. I can't describe how much love and spirit was there, It was perhaps one of the happiest days of my life, truly a Zion mission we are all united and just love and care for eachother. And Presidents message on Sanctification and becoming better than we are really motivated me! Thursday- we had weekly planning so I finally got to work in my area on thursday and we only got 3/4 lessons that day. Friday, we had service in Nasugbu we helped the sisters moved because their apartment was a joke...haha literally it was made of Cawauyan (bamboo) and hallow blocks, Then Elder Parilla and I split so that I could interview their candidate for baptism. Saturday, my comp didnt show up in Lemery (area of the Zone Leaders) until about 10, so I had to go home shower and get ready, but when we arrived I said Elder lets go we have appointments! so we worked the morning with out showering...let's hope our investigators didn't mind ;). Sunday, we went on splits and worked with our investigators. We went to Correa family, we watched the Restoration DVD (movie about Joseph Smith) I bore strong testimony on how I knew it was true and that God brought forth the book of mormon for our time. However, they seemed to not even want to read it. I challenged them to read the book of mormon, they started giving us excuses as to why they couldn't do it. I challenged them to 5 minutes a day, they continued to give excuses I then said "1 verse a day" and then they told us how they believe whatever church they are in it's okay, as long as they pray and be good people, "religion doesn't save a person daw". I said exactly, your exactly right, but heres the thing, lets say everything I've said is true, and God really did bring forth this book, why would you not read it and pray about it? It's simple we aren't here to debate tell you you are wrong, we are here to invite you to read and pray about this book. I was a little defeated, because they were so kind to us, they had amazing questions. But when it came down to them having to keep their commitments, they backed out. That's not the first time and definately not the last time. A lot of our investigators, seem to not be keeping their commitments, and it's frustrating. I suppose it's comparable to raising children (don't worry I don't have any yet). But Mom you've always know what was good for me and what would truly make me happy, and when I didn't do the simple things like spend time with family, get good grades, have good friends it hurt you. You could see the end of all my choices, it's the same here. I've seen my life change and everything good that's come to me, and I want to share it...however some people are stuck in their daily routine, but that's life, thats the way salvation is, thats what God knew man would do when he gave them their free agency. Is it depressing? sometimes. You get really close to these people promise all these blessings, then you hear the same excuses over and over, and a lot of the time they just lie to you. But I am still hopeful, I'm so happy that I was able to teach and meet Nanay Bello (the 55 year old we baptized) because of here and the things that I hear are happening in Santo Tomas, keeps me excited. I hear of the converts that we made there are still active save 2, and the families of some of the part members that we taught are coming back to church. Elder Centenio baptized Nanay Bello's son and he is planning on serving a mission. Although it's depressing and defeating, the Lord continues to strengthen me. In other new with my companion, I've trying to stay hardworking, it's hard sometimes...somedays I don't feel, others days my companion doesn't. It irks me sometimes when I go on exchanges and I hear they only had 1 RCLA the whole day (Recent convert or less active lesson)--which are the easiest to get because they are members. But I have to be patient and long-suffering...haha thats the hardest for me...and yeah and trying to kill my pride, he keeps coming back ;).

I'm way excited to see the house, the pictures look incredible really! and Glad to hear that Ellen and Rob made it safely to Colorado.I actually forgot it was 4th of July, but I think we are planning on burning some neckties soon....because it's my YEAR MARK! haha :)

Mom, don't worry about your condition, I know that whatever happens the Lord will take care of you. I fasted for you earlier this week. However, we will see what happens. Just one thing I want you to know is that I love you and I thank God everyday for you guys and for this wonderful opportunity I have to serve. I know that he needs me here, and I know I need to be here. Please just keep that in your mind, that I love you and think of you continually.

I'm going to try and send pictures later, we are going to Fantasy World later today!



Friday, July 2, 2010

June 29, 2010


Thanks for your letter. It's truly always good to hear about any updates from home, but I suppose when I come home I won't even recognize the place. Oh, well we get transferred enough I've yet really to get settled in and feel quite at home. As long as there is food, spacy room, and a comfy bed I'm happy. This week has been extremely good for me! We've been teaching a lot and I've been trying to work even harder. It gets really hard sometimes when missionaries get stuck in the groove of things. When all they had were lazy trainers and follow-ups they don't like to work too hard. But I guess that's all on me! I've had some really great experiences this week. I wish i could send some pictures home of Calaca it's amazing...but as always the internet shop has no card reader. We've been working and teaching a lot of families; Sinag, Aporbo,Correa,De Reyes, and Sale. Sinag is such an amazing family, they aren't married yet...that's the huge problem here no one wants to get married. They have a baby girl a young couple and we are working with them to get them married and to stop smoking so that they can qualify for baptism, it's frustrating at seems that sometimes they have no DESIRE..That's the thing I want to talk about today....DESIRE. There is a saying in Tagalog :"Nasa Tao Ang Gawa, Nasa Diyos Ang Awa"--which means roughly haha 'God has the grace/mercy and people do the work' It's really interesting, these people who have been taught for about a year now, they believe in our message, they go to church, but they don't want to rid themselves of the vices and things in their lives that make them struggle. It's sad...we teach and encourage and bear testimony that these things aren't good for them and God is willing to help them change but then they go running back to it. It hurts to see the pain that's in there lives, but at the same time we are filled with so much joy when we see them overcome their weaknesses! Aporbo is a older lady and her whole family are members, but she's struggling with smoking. At sometimes I get really frustrated because they are pretty poor, but she continues to spend $ on cigerettes. We've set the goal only to smoke 3 ciggerettes a day then move on from there. I mean the Tindahan (store) is far away from her house, yet she still walks over there and buys them when she's passed three...but I still haven't lossed hope. Correa is such an awesome family! They live by a lot of members and have always seen americans walking around in neckties but didn't know why, so we decided to tract her. This lady is always waaaaay nice and feeds us all the time. We've taught her a few times, but when we taught her husband last Saturday it was amazing! At first he was kind of shy and just asked us basic questions, like "What things aren't you allowed to do, who is mormon? what do you believe, etc" After we answered a few questions, we asked if we could start the lesson. Elder Painagan and I decided to teach about Prophets up unto the apostacy (where we believe Christ church was taken from the earth, because people rejected the prophets/apostles and changed the original doctrines of the church) I couldn't deecribe how well the lesson went, everything seem to fall into place, the tagalog came smoothly the pages opened up to what we wanted to share, the questions and answers were perfect. The spirit was so strong, then when we left we set a return appointment and the father said. "Sige sa sabado sanay babalik kayo" or okay on saturday hopefully you will come back! Over all awesome lesson! The De Reyes family was a referral of the neighbor we were teaching, The neighber way nice, but her husband doesn't like when we come by the house, in fact he doesn't even speak to us haha....Lets hope it's just my Tagalog ;). Anways we went and taught them, same thing happened they just seemed to be super interested and nice! I'm so excited to teach and help them progress through the gospel I have alot of hope here in Calaca...the field truly is "white all ready to harvest!"

On another note, last wednesday was very trying. It was San Juan day! Or in other words the Catholic celebration of Juan Bautista's Saint Day. Haha did you think it was anything Holy? Nope infact it's everything that's not Christian haah. So this is what takes place on this day. Whoever you are, old or young, police, army, or office working or missionary ;), if you go out side people will soak you with beer and freezing cold water. All day, they even stop the buses and board them and throw water at you. You cannot leave the house or you will get wet. Well, that day we worked of course! We actually went to Balayan for lunch for the "Paradan Ng Lechon" Festival and to withdrawal $. Or basically this festival is everyones drunk throwing cold water, live music and a ton of Lechon baboy. Which is roasted pig, it was amazing and the first time I tried it! (This week I was close to trying dog, but decided not to....too bad) Anyways, we got soaked going there to the festival...which I didn't mind I thought it was fun I even got in on some of the soaking, when the people would run up to us while we were in the jeepneys I would take the bucket from their hands and pour it over their heads. The time I got upset was when it was about 4:00 we were teaching and everything seemed to calm down. (In Maynila the soaking stops early around 12-2pm but in Batangas it never stops daw) We were walking on the seashore going to an investigators house, then all of a sudden this drunk guy comes running up to use screaming with a bucket and stops right before us. I look at his pitcher and it's field with dirty, disgusting sea water, it was mud colored. My companion said "Huwag Na Po, hindi pwede kaming maging basa" or Please don't we aren't suppose to get wet. But sure enough, he looked at us then his water and threw it all over us, my shirt was covered in black spects and I was wet again. I kind of lost it with him, and in Tagalog chastised him. and his response and those around him was......

'Wag Kang Magalit totoy, ganoon talaga dito"

Don't get mad, boy (What you use for little kids) it's like that here.

Haha looking back I suppose it's funny, but I was pissed haha. Of well we went to a members house and deliver. Jason Lucernas' mission call to him. (Yeates knows him) He's going to the Cawauyan Mission! The videos hilarious I'll have to send it to you.
It was the most uneventful opening of a misson call every in a very silent voice he just says "Cawauyan?"

Other then getting a little sick from being wet all day! Life is good here in Calaca! :) This week we have Zone Con! I'm stoked, Good food and we get to go to Lipa!
Glad to hear Tiff made it back safe from China, Zach's magaling at football, jess is enjoying herself, and you guys are still working hard on the house...I guess this means
you won't be getting a farm for horses?

I love you all very much and miss you more than every,

Don't worry about me you can trust me out here...I'm safe

Faithfully your Son,