Monday, November 28, 2011
It’s Monday right now, 8:45 am. I am waiting for my suit coat to be finished and then I will be heading to Iloilo. 5 pm is my interview with President. Then Tuesday we have a workshop to help us learn to write a resume and stuff. Then I will hit the skies on Wednesday. I love you all. See you in a few days.
I was sitting in Sacrament yesterday up on the stand behind the piano, it was really weird thinking that next week I would be sitting in our chapel with you guys. CRAZY thought. Well Love you all! I’m excited to see My FAMILY!
Good bye na.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
DAAA.... It’s really close now. It doesn't really seem real though yet.
I don't think it will until I step off the airplane in Salt Lake City. It is always so emotionally....bending to have a big Changing moment in your life. My feelings right now slightly reflect the feelings of leaving the MTC, or saying bye to you when you dropped me at the MTC. I remember it being so scary flying over the different islands of the Philippines for the first time, and not knowing what in the world to think. "Would I be preaching the gospel as soon as I got off the plane?" "Would I be able to understand the people?" It was just so unreal and nerve racking. I remember the Flight was really clear so you could see down to the islands. It was super beautiful. It was like I was in a dream. Then I saw smoke everywhere, and it looked like there was a war going on...which I learned later was just the burning of sugar cane. Anyways....after the whole experience and emotions are over....hahaha. It was like nothing happened. I was there now living in the Philippines and it felt....normal....ish.
That is pretty much what I am feeling now. And even though it really feels weird now...as soon as I have slept in my own bed a few days :), it will be all just like a big dream. It is weird to think that..."the mission" that I pondered about and thought so much of as a kid, and always saw myself going on,...is now over. Haha, I never imagined my life after "the mission". It was always just up to the mission. Haha now I have to clue in where to go in my life. :) joke. Anyways.... there is a little bit of my thoughts about going home, aside from being excited to see...ya'll.
Here is a little update with the Lord’s Work. Alfonso will be getting baptized this week. I am super lucky to be the one to baptize him. So yeah Father! We will be baptizing on two separate continents. That is kind of cool to think about. The work of the Lord will go forth boldly and nobly until it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every nation, and sounded in every ear. It is cool that we are fulfilling that prophesy ....at the same time. :)
I am so happy to live in this time now. And I am so happy to know these gospel truths, that so many people would die to have, if they only knew it was there. I love you all and am so glad that we will be together forever. It amazes me how God provided the way for his Gospel to be restored. I am so grateful to know that with all my heart. And I am so lucky to be one of the Lord’s missionaries to preach that...It is true.
I will see you in....A FEW DAYS FAMILY!
I forget to tell you that we got caught in this crazy Flood on Tuesday, and ended up swimming around helping people cross this place with a heavy current so they could get home to their flooded houses. Here is a few pictures. Oh yeah, and we were on the radio. Mmmmhmmm. Our clothes were filthy when we got back four hours later. The other picture is our district today going on a hike. Enjoy.
Friday, November 11, 2011
This week flew by. And now I only have like 3 weeks left. I am super excited to see home again. But I am going to be super sad to leave this.
Me and Elder Buluran are having a lot of fun. We are working hard and just having a lot of fun teaching and meeting new people. I am super glad he is going to be my last companion. We both help each other out a lot. Elder Buluran is bad at getting up in the morning and the same with me. So we set a goal this last week, where we put our mattresses side by side and when the alarm goes off we wrestle and smack each other around. That sounds kind of....Fruity, but so far it has worked great.
Kristine will be baptized this week. Our branch is really excited. After her baptism we will be having a fireside where we will be watching the movie of Joseph Smith. She is doing just great. She is well into the Book of Mormon and is teaching her family a lot. We have been able to teach her family this week too, which was great.
Alfonso is doing great. He is a funny man. This last Sunday our Gospel Essentials teacher, who is pretty much a bible scholar, taught the lesson. He taught about gospel principles in a really simple and exciting way to help the new converts. It was a really good lesson. He has a lot of love in his voice. Bro Alfonso really looks up to the Gospel Essentials teacher.
I just asked my companion if anything crazy happened to us this week. Then I remembered....We ate DOG. Sorry if you’re a dog lover. We had DOG for our new converts daughter’s birthday. It was really hard to eat, but I wanted to try it. As I was eating it, my thoughts couldn't help but wander to the many loving dogs I have known in my life. I will just leave it at that.
Mother, I found a woman who is going to make an "Americana" Suit Coat for me. Not yet sure how much it costs.
Welp I am keeping it short.
I Love you All!
Friday, November 4, 2011
I'm freaking out reading all your letters. "Garrett your coming home soon, Garrett, Garrett" Ahhhh. Haha. Then hearing about Caleb getting home. Ah man. Tell that man Hi for me.
So my comp right now is the bomb. We have been having a lot of fun working together. He kind of reminds me of a mix of Caleb and Josh, he randomly makes high-pitched animal sounds and says random funny stuff. Then his Josh side of really sincere looks you in the eye and smiles. Yeah he is pretty good at English.
Today is Halloween. There are lots of little kids running around dressed up as Aswangs - A mystical creature who during the night his upper half of his body dislocates from his lower half, sprouts wings, and flies around stealing little babies.
The Filipino belief is Aswangs can get a little out of control. We had an investigator that would put salt around all the doors of the house. Then she had little red bags with garlic and other crazy things pinned to her kids. Whenever we went to her house she would tell us her latest encounter with the Aswangs. We were able though to help her with belief in Jesus Christ, and she told us she started praying when she was scared and not doing other rituals and stuff. (as I am typing this a little kid is talking about an Aswang next to me.)
We have had some awesome progress with Alfonso. Actually later tonight I will be cooking Ginatang Pukbet na may Baboy. (a coconut vegetable soup with pig) and having a Family home evening over at their house. We will be playing a round of Scrabble, that is for sure. He is doing great. We gave him a blessing that he would remember the scriptures when he was tempted to smoke. The other day he told us that he was having a big craving to smoke and a scripture popped into his head. The scripture was about setting aside every sin. Every sin. It motivated him enough to conquer the craving. He will be ready for Baptism soon.
I have been reading Jesus the Christ lately...Yeah it’s pretty much>....Mind BlowING! I am almost half way done with it. I have planned it out so I will be done before I am done with my mission.
Kristine is doing awesome! She will be baptized on the 12th of this month. She says nothing will stop her. We had a family Home evening for her birthday on Friday night, and invited her family. Her dad and brother came, that helped a lot. We will be visiting her family this week also.
Well I am doing great, preaching the gospel, becoming a chef, and loving this branch. I love you all. Till next time
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Here is the update fam!
I have a new companion as of last Friday, Elder Buluran. He is a Filipino. He is from Manila, but also lived in LA for a little while. We get along great it is way nice. It has been a fun few days with him. We have already had some crazy experiences. One of which we were inches away of being struck by lightning.
I will "DIE" here in Makato, meaning this will be my last area. Elder Buluran will "Kill Me". I am excited though that this will be my last area. I am glad that I didn't get transferred for my last transfer. I absolutely love this branch and will love them till the end. The Branch is so awesome in fellowshipping our investigators. This Friday is the birthday of one of our investigators. They are using their auxiliary budget to throw a little surprise birthday party for our investigator, Kristine.
I don't think I have told you about Kristine yet. We met her at an activity we planned last week. She went to the activity, the following day she went to church, then that Sunday we taught her and committed her for baptism. She pretty much asked us if she could be baptized. What a blessing. We are so lucky. This last week it is just amazing how she is gaining her testimony. For a long time Kristine has been trying to get work. She told us that she finally got accepted to work at a pretty popular restaurant. She was way excited and it was a pretty big blessing for her. The next time we saw her we taught her about keeping the Sabbath day holy. We told her to read 1 Nephi 3, and seek guidance from the Lord. You can never come closer to the Lord and be an investigator without trials. Today was p-day. As we were at the shopping center, Kristine ran up to us. She was holding her Book of Mormon, with it’s protective case she made. Who does that? Who runs around the Mall reading the Book of Mormon? She is just on fire. All will work out.
It has been an awesome week with investigators. New investigators coming to church and just the spiritual experiences with them has been amazing.
Now...we were teaching at Bro and Sis Antoja's house. I was holding the Book of Mormon explaining something, Elder Buluran was watching me. Our ward member and the wife of Bro Antoja sat across from us. All of a sudden (we put together what everyone saw) a lighting bolt entered the house from outside through the door and hit Elder Bulurans watch. Sister Antoja and our member said the stream of light exploded off his watch. The explosion is what I saw, nothing else. Following the explosion, Elder Buluran, Sister Antoja, and our member saw a stream of fire, Red-violet and orange on top go in between me and Elder Buluran. Elder Buluran was watching me teach but all of the sudden lost sight of me because of the Red-violet light that went between him and me. Sister Antoja said the light went directly to my face then all of the sudden dodged my face then left the room. Everyone’s mouth was open as we stared at each other for about 2 seconds. Then the loudest thunder...that sank into our souls...came. All of us didn't know what in the world just happened. We put what happened together in the next 30 minutes. We decided we were pretty much protected amazingly. The weird thing is no one felt anything and Elder Bulurans watch was working fine. I believe we had some heavenly assistance. The next day we went to one of our investigators that lives close by and they said that last night they saw a big bold of lightning hit something a few houses down. We all smiled and then told them it hit us. The lightning that night was ridiculous. We were pretty much running home scared it was going to chase us home.
So there is my new experience of being inches away from being hit by lightning.
Well Life is good here in the Philippines. Yes there is lots of rain, and I might add lightning also. But the work of God will go forth boldy and nobly until the great Jehovah shall say....The Work is Done!
Love you all
Monday, October 17, 2011
Akong Pinapalanggaon na Fam.
Crazy Week this week. It starts off with a crazy bagio/tropical storm, followed by a new found awesome family, 3 branch combined activity, then to top it off with Erma's Confirmation...
I'm not sure if you heard any news about the tropical storms here in the Philippines, but earlier this week was we had a scale 1 ( it’s 1 out of 3, 3 being the worst) tropical storm hit Panay. It started to rain on Wednesday early in the morning. The rain was super heavy. You know when the rain hits so hard on the roof that you can’t hear anything. That was it. Well the rain continued like that all day. Elder Verzo and I got out our umbrellas and put our scriptures in ziplock bags and headed out. We got soaked as soon as we stepped out of the house. As we were walking to our appointments, we walked by a river that was unusually high and almost coming up onto the road. That was about 5 pm. Later that night coming home we saw a bunch of people gathered on the side of the road. The water that is usually way below the bridge was almost spilling over. The houses right next to the river had water about 5 feet high. There is nothing you can do when there is a flood. The people just watch their houses being filled with water. They took out some furniture and other things so they didn't get wet, but anything else was under water. One house that we saw was at least one story under water. Our apartment was fine because we don't live close to the river so that was fine besides a few minor leaks. But most houses are just bamboo with bamboo leaves for the roof so they got pretty wet. The following day we helped one of our members of our branch take down all their rice that had been put up high as to not get wet from the bagio, so they could eat. All in all it was the worse tropical storm that I have been in, and I guess it wasn't even all that bad. My comp was just like "yeah, whatever, this is normal". There were other areas that were hit worse, and in Iloilo I guess there were a few kids that were washed away by the current of a river. Pretty sad.
We met a way awesome family the other day. We had no set appointments for that day and we were close to "turning around and going back". We were talking about what we would do next. We were standing close by a house on the side of the road and so I just walked up to it and said "Tag Baeay!" That is when we met a new awesome family. The most awesome family ever! We taught just the dad the first time and then set a schedule to come back. The second time we taught the wife and a few of their kids. They have I think 7 kids. The dad said to us "I usually don't let people like you (missionaries) come to our house." But he said "I don't know why I let you in, maybe it’s time" The lesson kind of went long and I was thinking...okay I will just say the prayer, but I thought to bare my testimony and ask the father to say the prayer...and he did! He gave an awesome prayer. We have had a few more lessons with them and some other way awesome experiences but I don't have time to share them all. But the last time we went we asked their daughter to give the closing prayer. Without resistance, ahaha, she gave the prayer. She gave the best prayer. She said. "Thank you God for all the things we learned, thank you that we have another testament of Jesus Christ, God we hope that we can go to church." Boom. Yeah I am way excited about them.
We had a combined activity with the three branches in our ward that we planned. It went well and we were also able to find some people to teach from it. We will see how that goes. Best of all Erma Dangautan was given the Gift of the Holy Ghost this last Sunday.
Welp I love you all and thanks for your letters, videos, and ....love. Talk to you again next week.