Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29, 2010


so just so you know i got another horrible keyboard this week everytime i press the shift button on the right it makes a 1 and everytime i press the shift button on the left it makes a 4. so please excuse the hard to read letter im about to send. this week has probably been the best of my mission. it was tiring, exhausting, i felt really trunky, i got mad, i was extremely happy, i was motivated, i was humbled many times, i repented, i was forgiven, i was tormented, i rememebered, i missed home, i missed you guys, i missed my amazing best friends, i missed good food, i missed being able to throw my hands in the air and yell "screw this", i read, i studied, i cooked, i worked out, i got stuck in mud with the truck, i got 3 elders covered from head to toe in mud, i repented, i listened to music, i slept, i dreamed, i had amazing conversations, i met amazing people, i did amazing things, i realize how many miracles the lord has allowed me to perform here with my own hands, i realized how weak i am, i realized how strong i am with the lord. i realized how amazing my family is, i realized how desperately fallen i am, and i realized i could do this forever....why on earth am i going home in 8 months?

so this weeks numbers were really low because i can't seem to deal with all the added responsibilities we have here..its insane and next week we dont get to work till saturday...this is what next week looks like.
monday: today for me we are going to naujan visiting an ostrich farm with the zone then we are driving back to calapan and having a fhe at the couple missionaries house elder and sister jones everyone is sleeping at our apartment tonight
tuesday: tomorrow monte and i are waking up early going to the gym, then studying till about 9 30 we have district meeting and lunch and then we leave to lipa city which is gonna take us till 5 to get there and we're meeting up with sister smith, sister spjute, elder laudato, mace, olsen and the other aps and cool kids in the mission and having dato's last dinner at shakeys
wednesday: is christmas zone con all day then we travel back to the island..i sent a bunch of pictures for fun for the slideshow
thursday we are getting monte's license and then going to work in the night till 9
friday we have to drive all around the island and interview people for baptism
saturday we are waking up early and driving out to the bueno family..they are interesting i'll talk about them ina bit
sunday it's church again and we have meetings with the branch president and branch mission leaders and we have to start getting a workshop prepared on the new branch mission plan to teach on dec 19th to the district presidents and the all the branch presidents in mindoro.

i realize that none of this makes sense to you...but im gonna email in a bit in my next letter im gonna explain again how i got stuck in mud, found an amazing investigator, taught a family just like us,,,,gotta run love you guys so much!

Now to continue what i was typing earlier...

don't worry we went to another internet shop and this keyboard is horrible too...haha oh well i can't complain my days been good so far. So earlier today we woke up i washed a tshirt and basketball shorts because i have no clothes..the rest i gave to the branch president to wash for me and i should get them back you think this sounds lazy and uncalled for....wait till you watch me do it when you guys come pick me up...i promise you will be shocked i can wash clothes by hand...i suppose this is a foreshadowing that i'll be a scout leader one day...i'm sure i won't be able to top case or fletcher but i can sure try! we were planning on going to an ostrich farm this morning in naujan so when we went to go pick up the sisters in calapan their apartments like 5 minutes away...we were coming out of their brgy...and the streets in this country are honestly made for motorcycles...theres no possible way 2 cars can fit on a street side by as i'm coming out this guy thinks he can shove his way in on his side so he squeezes in even though there is a huge dirt mound and i have to swerve out of the way and the 2 right tires fall into a drainage ditch thats about 2 feet tall. at this time im a little ticked off...i've gotten the truck stuck like 4 times this week haha its not my bad driving its just why on earth would the church give us a 2wd truck in a muddy rainy climate? anyways the guys drive off fast...obviously they don't know this brgy because they went straight into a dead when they try and come out we are standing in the street so they reverse back and hide for a good 2 minutes...monteclaros and i are pretty livid but we humbled ourselves...we started looking for boulders to stack to make a ramp out of this giant pit..meanwhile everyone finds it funny to come outside and laugh at the 2 foreigners stuck in a pit. (they think monte is a foreigner because he speaks english fluently and has a nz accent). meanwhile the guys who knocked us into this pit finally get enough courage to come back and they get out of their car and start ordering us around and telling us what to do...again we humble ourselves and don't say a word. i was actually really scared monte was going to kill one of them...haha you don't do that kind of thing to a soldier like him. anyways they tell us basically what to do, no one helps us carries these giant boulders..i climbed down into the pit that smelled like feces and rat urine and it's pitch black it's just so gross haha..we build up a ramp and get the truck out...they i get in the truck and start leaving and people start screaming and yelling..and tell us to take away the stones we used to climb this time my pride and anger is screaming and begging me to come out and say a bitter i just opened the car door..not made any eye contact climbed back down in the pit ..move the boulders got in the car and left. that was extremely hard..but i was happy that elder monteclaros and myself had our name tags's hard to scream and yell and fight and curse when you are wearing The Saviors name on your we head back to the apartment i jumped in the shower again..and we went off. we got to naujan and visited these weird catholic church in the mountains and this nice cave...we all got together practiced singing for zone con and just got back to calapan now! overall it was a good day!

Earlier this week we had zone interviews with president! I forgot to tell you my buddy Elder you remember him from the mtc and earlier in my mission...he became AP last transfer so i got to see him at the was really special we haven't had interviews in over 4 months because of a new curriculum that came the interview i said "Pres, I feel like dropped the ball...last transfer was kind of a joke...we didn't get to much work done it was a little difficult with my last companion..he was going home so i know how that is..." and president said. "Nope i think you're being just to critical i think you're doing a great job!" As little as that was it made me feel great! I honestly cannot believe how much time is consumed having to take care of everyone else kills me i can't just focus on the area...but i guess thats the reason why there are 2 sets of missionaries here in Calapan City.

So far as investigators in the position that i was 4 transfers ago when i got to batangas. the missionaries before me just really taught the same old non-progressing now monteclaros and i have to find brand new investigators and get them ready for someone else to's all good I've lost my pride about caring about numbers and how many baptisms i've gotten. it seems like its been like that my whole mission...get to an area and it's complete crap...oh well i'm glad the Lord trust me. As far as working with elder monteclaros i am learning so's interesting...the whole 16 months i've been here...i was always the one who started the lesson, taught a lot, spoke a ton, answered all the questions..because my companions were pretty quiet or just didn't wanna i really like the way monte and i teach...we are both each jumping down the investigators throat because we get excited and wanna's very good for's also humbling because i can't teach the way i want to all the time...but i love this guy so much!!

So as far as the people we found this week. I wanna share a miracle that happened to me this week. So one morning we had planned to visit investigators that live close to us so we don't have to use the truck we are running low on gas haha....what else is new i never used to put gas in my old truck back at home! we were returning the mop and buckets we borrowed from the jones...they live like 6 houses away from us...and as we were leaving to work i had an impression "You should visit that brother down the street" I remember i had been to the house one time and he was really nice..but before i could do anything my mouth opened and said "Monte, that's go over here and visit this guy first" So we were off..we walked up to his house...this guys house is HUGE and he has a car...that is really hard to come by here...if someone has a car they are doing VERY the first time i tracted this guy was with elder perry and he said thanks so much but my wife is this time was the second..we went up to his gate and rang the soon as he opened the door i saw him...he came straight to the gate opened it and said COME IN! I was taken back...we walked right into his massive house and sat down on the couches...i was still taken back haha i was unsure what to say..i just met this man 2 minutes before.. so we started talking about his family and stuff...and this is where the miracles happen. Somehow religion got broughten up...and he started telling us how he has read the whole bible and wonders why there are so many churches when the bible teaches christ only had one...when he said this monte looked at eachother and said we have just the message for you! He kept going...he said and why Did Adam and Eve have to sin? did they even really know how to multiply weren't they mouth dropped again....he then brought up you know where in the bible it says that you can look for signs of the followers of Christ and know who they are like speaking in tongues, being bit by snakes, drinking poison...he said i can't imagine the priest down in the bayan (town?) could do any of that ....and we were like yeah we could also teach you about authority...monte got so excited and testified that i was a living example of that sign...i'm this big mexican american that can speak tagalog was such an amazing experience...the spirit was so his last questions was how do we know that the bible is true there are so many at last we pulled out the Book of Mormon...and every single questions he had we answered with it...we testified of its validity...we testified so strongly and boldly saying...we promise you in the name of Christ if you pray about this book you will come to know that it's true...if you come to know that it's false...please ask us to leave and never come back...because if thats the case we are teaching lies and deserve to burn in was so amazing...His name is Brother Nestor...such a humble and nice man...the best lesson i've ever taught...the best part about it was when we hour later he texted us and asked a questions about the pamphlet he was reading..I can't wait to go back and teach him..he's extraordinary! the only problem is haha his wife is pretty catholic so we cant teach him if she's home is what he said haha...the other day we texted him to see if we could come over and he replied "Not now! The Mrs is HERE!" I love teaching people i wish i could sit down and tell you all the amazing people we are teaching...i love it here and i love to see the change in all these wonderful peoples lives...i just wish i could be in an area for another 6 months so i could see them baptized... now i wanna tell you about the Bueno family!
So the Bueno family is a lot like us...they are non members but there son is serving a mission right now..they live waaaaaaaaaay out in the bukid..which means like rice pattys farms? sorry i use a lot of tagalog in my speech now :/ so anywho as we went over there and taught them i could only think of you guys..I wanted to cry when i saw how much they missed their son.. the father was crying and upset..he didn't really understand but knew it was important to serve our heavenly father...I want so much to help in their conversation and get them baptized...i want to see them all sealed in the temple to live with eachother for time and all not have to fear death or being seperated but to grow so close together and never take eachother for granted...that's everything i want and more for you guys. It's one of my greatest desires that one day you will all find the peace and joy and happiness that i have found. I learned that day how hard it must be for you guys..and that makes me so so so grateful for how much you are sacrificing by letting me be here..i love you guys so much, i cannot understand the love you have for's insane and i am so grateful for your trust in me and in the Lord by letting me follow my dreams our here amongst his children...even when they laugh at me when im in poop filled water stacking stones to get our truck out.. i love em the same! I love this place so so so much i love everything i am doing here..i've witnessed so many miracles and have seen the hands of God here. I cannot tell you all the amazing things i've witnessed...I can't even begin to tell you the evil i've witnessed too. that's not just including the evils of this world...elder montesclaros and i had a run in with spirits the other night but that stories for another time. i love you all so much and miss you.. there will always be a hole my heart until you pick me up in just 8 months!!! I LOVE YOU!!!

Your Son,


Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22, 2010


that was such an amazing letter it was so info packed! i loved im gonna apologize in the first place my typing is going to be terrible this keyboard is has keys ive never even heard of!!! so this week was really good...i spent all week in batangas with elder lotima this tongan who im way close with and we have so much fun!! we had to wait for transfer days...i also got to work with sister smith and some other of my zone mates...i got to hang out with monteslclaros and my anak was really good to go to batangas...REALLY GOOD. So when friday rolled around it was transfer day and i had no idea who my comp was gonna be and i was terrified...i thought it was this one elder who would honestly drive me crazy! he is amazing and hard working but i dont know if he knows how to have fun...let alone laugh haha so i wasn't too excited.. but then i heard my companions name called and i couldn't believe was a sister now im the only elder who's companions with a sister...its kind of weird but we both share a house and its confusing..haha no thats not true...Elder Montesclaros became my companion!!! MY LAST ZONE LEADER AND WE WERE WAAAAAAY CLOSE. i honestly cannot tell you how happy i am..and how much fun we are having, hes a bit older 23...and he's actually from Cebu city in the philippines but moved to new zealand when he was 16...and served in the NZ Army for 5 years before he got out and served a mission. I cant tell you how much i love this now this transfer is just gonna be filled with working out, working hard, finding people, learning ninjitsui and how to become a ninja, driving really far, and loving everything and everyone. this morning we cleaned the whole house and invited the zone over to help us...the house is completely changed....before i didn't realize how bad it was but wow it's changed!!! i mean there are still holes in it and you can see the ground from the bedroom and we're still raging a war with rats and cockroaches and we just discovered a family of rats in our looks GREAT! So after lunch we decided to go search for we went to baco about 30 minutes away found this absolutely beautiful falls...had a REALLY REALLY GOOD time. as we were leaving....these 2 mangyans (the native tribe here in mindoro they sometimes wear loinclothes and are really primitive and dark) stopped us and told us there was a 40 pesos the time i just looked at them strange...i saw the blood red liquid they spit from their mouths from the tobacco they were chewing, the smell that they hadn't showered in a few days, the uneasiness of one when i looked him in the eyes and said "is there really a bayad or entrance fee?", and the dirty clothes they wore. They continue to tell me there was but they would let us go by just paying 20 pesos. So i said you know what monte and i will go back to town and ask if there really is and we'll come back and pay if there really is just dont really know these days. So we drove back to town asked around...and people told us there is absolutely no payment to go first i was upset and i said " Hmm i knew they were lying" as i made our way back monte looked at me and quoted a verse from the 17th chapter of matthew which is

"24 ¶ And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay atribute?

25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?

26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.

27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee."

We reasoned together and he told me that...look...they are mangyans....what we will pay em will probably feed them tonight..its only 20 pesos bro...what do you think? If we go back and just pay it will be charitable and there wont be sin on there hands...and plus its alot better than going back and calling them out...In my head thats exactly what i planned to do. I felt really really humbled I said yeah we can do it...but inside I fought it...I thought but what they are doing is wrong..and here is where the lesson came. Monte said "besides bro, the meek shall inherit the earth...if you are arrogant and prideful and difficult even when your right that still makes you arrogant prideful and difficult...lets be better than all that." To which it finally set in and I said "okay, but lets not tell there others that there actually isn't a payment...This was a hard lesson for me to seems everything inside of me told me to fight with them thieves, ridicule them, demand an apology....and raise hell...but why? Why on earth would i be entitled to that? i am nothing...i am worse than the dust of the earth...because the dust follows every command that comes forth out of the mouth of the Master. It was humbling to realize how incredibly far I am from what I need to incredibly selfish and prideful I am. but im not losing so grateful for this experience because now i can improve myself with His help..When we got back to the trail..the rest of them were walking back and said they had already paid...the price was no 10 pesos..those mangyans waved to us from afar and we never approached them. Wow i need to be better. This is such a difficult thing for me to swallow pride and admit im still learning but i pray that God will help me rid myself from pride and realize that humility is the key to happiness...when one is humble everythng follows. it reminds me of a verse in d&c Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers

I LOVE you all so very much and im grateful for my companion he's teaching me so much and not just how to be and fight like a ninja i an honestly say that this is the happiest time in my mission..i miss you all more than you can ever realize..but hey 8 months only...thats like whaaat 5 transfers?

i love you!!


Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010


Wow this was so extremely fast! I suppose I'll tell where I'm at! I'm in Batangas again with my Tongan bud Elder Lotima, I'm here till friday then I'll go back to Mindoro with my new companion! Transfer day is friday and yesterday Elder Etcitty and I left church after Sacrament in Calapan traveled on a boat and a tric and a bus and ended up in Lipa, had lunch with the Elders Laudato, Olsen, Toleda, Lotima, Etcitty and Sister Smith and Spjute then Etcitty left to the mission home with Tuazon and they were gone. Now I'm working in Batangas till Friday. Other than that I feel really good. I feel so hopeful I love you guys!!!!! but I really love the work! We met this AMAZING family here the other day. They are the Lucerno family. The Couples Missionaries Elder and Sister Jones always say this guy at the gas station at his they befriended him and one day they took us out to dinner and then brought us to the station to meet this guy. So when we met him he just seemed like such a humble and wonderful young man. We set up a schedule and here is where it totally became a golden investigator. We get to his house and find out his Father is the Elders Quorum President at the Baco Branch...a town about 20 minutes outside of Calapan. So that was a good shock. we talked to his Wife and we asked if they had read the pamphlet I gave him at the Gas Station..and he did! I asked his wife if she read it too, and she said she didn't but she liked to read stuff like that...I asked her what kind of stuff and before I knew it she pulled out Liahona's which is .. The churches magazines...and sometimes she reads the Book of jaw just dropped...I said "Uhh, yeah that's great you see that blue book that says Ang Aklat Ni Mormon....yeah read that thing!" So then I got the impression to share about temples. They have the cutest baby girl 1 year and 1 month. So we started the lesson, it was so powerful...I asked if she read the new liahona with all the temples...and she said "Yeah! I love that one! actually when i was in manila I'd always go to the temple over there I just didn't know it was the mormon a catholic and I go to church every sunday with my daughter" "I really love going to the temple its so peaceful there" at this time my jaw hit the floor and bounces back about 4 times. So we taught the lesson on Eternal Families and how spouses are able to be sealed for time and all eternity so the family can continue after this was so strong..and we asked them after the lesson if they had anything to which they replied "That was such an amazing, explanation and we both want that..we think it would be amazing to be together forever"
So then on the first visit...Elder Etcitty and I looked them both in the eyes and I said...Brother Marc Lucerno and Sister when you find out that this is The Lord's restored church and that he reached out again in love and mercy towards us and called a Prophet and through this Prophet revealed his law pertaining to eternal marriage...will you be baptized...they both looked at eachother and said...yeah we will...I then replied... we will you follow the example of jesus christ and be baptized on Dec 11th? when I first said this they didn't seemed shocked....and replied well we haven't been to church yet we're not ready we still have to decide...and I said brother and sister I promise you in the name of jesus christ if you read all the things we assign you, go to church, and pray you will come to know in every fiber of your being that Jesus Is the Christ, Joseph is His Prophet, and This is His Church. Then they both said...we will.

That was probably the greatest 1st lesson I've ever taught!

I love this work, I love the feeling I get when I see peoples lives change, I love you guys so much I hate i'm coming home in 8 months....I love skateboarding...I love you guys so much! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! i LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH



Monday, November 8, 2010

Photos November 8, 2010

November 8, 2010

This week has been so great! We left Monday morning at about 4:00am to go to Lipa and sleep there for 4 days for a training meeting we had. I got to hang out and work with ELDER HANSEN and VANDERMYDE my best friends in the mission. We stayed in San Pablo City tuesday until we left on friday. The training was really awesome, the Spirit was so strong and I was so eager to teach after we learned all day. We got to go out and find people to teach. We found this one amazing lady. She first "englished" us or basically spoke to us in english and we responded in nothing but Tagalog...but we asked if we could share a message about Jesus Christ. We talked about the Restoration and how sometimes our faith in Him diminishes and the Lord will send his messangers to help her back like the 99 sheep. Well it didn't take long until she really opened up...she began to explain the trials in her life, Elder Vandy and I were a bit taken back but we bore testimony of the truthfulness of our message and if she read the Book of Mormon prayfully she'd find comfort. At the end of the lesson we had her praying and thanking Heavenly Father for sending us to her and asking that we'd find our way back. she was amazing! A more up to date on a family we are teaching are the Garcia family! So when we found them they were really polite and we taught them kind of what we were there fore...who the mormons are why do we walk around outside in ties even when it rains and why are we two gwapo na americans? It was a really good lesson we shared about how much our Heavenly Father loves us. Then we came back the next week and we walk in and a TON of people are there....we find out that it's a showing...or someone in their family died and the body was lain in a glass casket for viewing they ususally keep the body in the house for a bout a week or more so everyone can see it. I walk over to this tiny casket and see a cute 2 year old baby hurt to look at. their granddaughter died from Menigitis. but they weren't there so we stopped by talked a bit and let. we came back yesterday and taught them about how families can be togehter forever through the temple and about The Plan of Salvation...where we all came from, why are we here, and were we are going..sure everyone says well if your good youll go to heaven, or bad you'll go to hell...but what really is God's plan, what happens to those who dont have the chance or never heard of Christ, where do we go before Judgement, why does Paul talk about 3 many heavens are there,,,what's this about Mormon's believing they'll become Gods and all those good quesitons! the lesson went great! It was so strong and we invited her to pray to know if what we taught her was true. I realized this week that the time that i enjoy the most or the time where I am actually 100% is when I am teaching people the truths that save. Sure I could waste my time and drive around or go to nice beaches or hang out with elders...but in the end i'll only have myself to blame. I am so grateful everyday to be a missionary and I cannot explain my joy when we get to work and help people! I LOVE THIS PLACE I absolutely love it!
In other news...Etcitty is going home soon! I'll be getting a new companion and im excited to start getting to work really just getting totally lost in the work! I'm so exhausted we just came back from a nice white sand beach...i completely wreak and i want to go take a shower! thank you so much for my birthday present and all that you've done for me...i love you all so so so so so much
I've never been more grateful to have a loving family than every before, you guys strengthen me through the REALLY hard stuff, I'm so grateful to my heavenly father and his Son Jesus Christ through his atonement i've figured out what life is all about it and I cant wait to share it with you...the only way to have a happy and fulfilling life, the only way to be with your loved ones after this life! I love our messagE!