Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28

Hey everyone!

Its been a good Christmas here in the Philippines, and hopefully it
has been for you too.  Hopefully you remembered what was really
important about the Christmas season and found a way to serve someone
else.  I have found a lot of joy in serving others, and I know that
that is what Christ wants us to do.  In Mosiah King Benjamin tells us
that "When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only
in the service of your God"  and God will bless you for that service!
Service is a great way to be happy!

We had a pretty cool experience this week.  In our mission conference
this week, our mission president told us that we ought to focus more
on the center of our areas, close to the church.  So me and my
companion talked about that and decided to try it out.  In the past we
hadn't done that much work in the center because people are richer and
less willing to listen.  But we went and started knocking on some
doors and we found some cool new people! A lot more people were
willing to talk with us than I expected, and I definitely felt guided
by the spirit as we walked.  I know that Heavenly Father is guiding
each and every one of us as we try and follow His commandments, and do
His work. I love you all!  Have a great week, and a happy new years!

Elder Childs

Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21

Hey everyone!

It's been a good week here in the Philippines!  Sunny still, so that's nice.  Sometimes it doesn't feel quite like Christmas without the snow, but I don't really love the cold so it's alright that it's warm still.  The other day it got down to 60 ish and that felt pretty chilly.  But still no snow.  This week I have been reading a little about the temple, and the importance of it.  We are trying to prepare a couple of families in our branch for the stake temple trip this April, and as I have pondered the blessings of the temple I have really come to realize how incredible of a blessing the temple is for us.  The temple is literally the house of the Lord, and he has promised many blessings from it.  He has promised us that thousands will rejoice in the blessings of the temple, and that He will appear to His servants there. (D&C 110:8-9) The temple is a place where we can go to receive solace and guidance and relief in this crazy out of control world.  The temple is a place where we can go and forget about all of the things of the world, and just focus on the things of the Lord, the things that matter most in life.  One family that we are helping to prepare to enter the temple is the Marcos family.  They are a returning less active family, and they are some of the nicest people.  They have  a great desire to become better, and be sealed as a family for eternity.  One of their daughters, Hashley was able to go to the temple this last week to perform baptisms for the dead.  They went for three days, and were able to just spend time at the temple with some of the youth from the stake.  When she came back from that experience, she was a different person.  Me and my companion were talking to her mother and she said that before Hashley went to the temple, she wasn't always willing to do chores, she spent a lot of time just texting, and she wasn't always consistent at reading the scriptures.  When she  came back though, she had changed.  She became more willing and diligent to help out around the home.  She no longer cared that much about the phone, but more about the people she was with, and she could often be found just sitting and reading the scriptures.  As sister Marcos related the story of her daughter's change to us, I couldn't help but be grateful for the blessings of the temple.  Before I left on my mission I took the temple for granted far to often. It was only fifteen minutes away, and I could go whenever I wanted, and because of that, I never felt a strong desire to attend.  When I did attend, I many times took the whole experience for granted.  I never allowed the temple to change me in the ways that it could have.  So, that is my challenge to all of you this week.  Go to the Temple of the Lord. As soon as possible. Spend some time there just thinking about your blessings you have received, all that you are grateful for, and any problems that you may need help with.  Spend some time to just become closer to God.   Forget about all worldly cares for that time, and just focus on things that matter most.  I promise all of you, that if you do this, you will be uplifted.  You will be able to become closer to God.  You will receive more of the Spirit in your life.  You will be happier.  That is my promise to you, and that is the Lord's promise to you.  I love you all, and have a wonderful week.

Elder Childs

Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14

Hey Everyone!

I think that I have said that almost every time that I've written, but that's alright.  Things are great here in Banna!  Elder Ganzon is my new companion and he is from Hong Kong, but he is 3/4 Filipino.  He has been out for a little over a year and he's a cool guy!

Random things about the Philippines:

A normal family here has 4 ish kids. But it varies a lot. If there is only one child in the family people kind of pity them, but families are usually the whole extended family. Everyone lives together here in the Philippines. People don't really move away from home that often. And when they do they just spend a lot of time figuring out when they can get back to their families. 

Today we ate at mang inasal, it was pretty tasty. I had pancit with a shrimp thing on top. and a halo halo. which is delicious. In the morning we had rice and scrambled eggs (:

I don't know how hot it gets really. There aren't a ton of thermometers here. Its hotter in the city center than it is in the Bukid. (I don't really know what a good English word for that is. Its the rice fields, but its also the country. ish.) But the heat isn't really a problem for me anymore. I just kind of got used to it I guess.

Here in the Philippines the Christmas is more like Thanksgiving.  They eat a lot of food.  We had our branch Christmas party this week and it was pretty fun!

This week has been really good!  I have felt a lot of the Savior's love for me.  At the start of the week I was really trying to find the Savior's love.  I have the strongest testimony of that love, but sometimes I feel that I lack that love in myself.  So I was trying to learn about it, to help that love grow within me.  I read a lot of really good articles in the Liahona about the Savior and his atonement, and I felt really uplifted by that, but I wanted to really just feel that Christlike love for someone.  Anyone really.  So Sunday rolled around and I still hadn't felt like I'd received an answer to my prayer.  So during the sacrament I just prayed to Heavenly Father and really tried to find ways to make myself more ready to receive my answer.  I went away from the sacrament feeling uplifted and ready to go.  When we went out proselyting we first went to a less active named Maximo Tauyan.  He has a disease, OCDP I think.  I'm not 100% sure what it is, but it makes it so that he is weak.  He has had it for 8 years, and for many of those years he could not walk.  He could not do much for himself.  He was literally nothing but skin and bones.  He spent more time in the Hospital than out of it, and had an all around hard life.  I have always been amazed with his testimony, and he continues to amaze and uplift me.  Through all of the trials, Tatay has never complained, but every time he talks about it, he talks about all of his blessings and how they come through God.  But this particular Sunday we talked about the Savior's atonement and how great a gift that was.  We shared our simple message and bore our simple testimony.  At the end, right before I was about to end, (I had literally started saying and we would like to leave....) I felt I should ask him to bear his testimony of the Savior.  So I stopped mid sentence and asked if that would be alright.  He agreed and then paused, as he tried to gather his thoughts.  When he was ready he looked up at us and began to tell the story of what he thought would be the last day of his life.  He was in the hospital and his condition was really bad.  All of his vital signs were low, and he was sure that he was not going to make it to the next day.  The doctors informed him that he would need a special gas mask to preserve his breathing, because he could only take very very shallow breaths.  As they put the mask on he felt a voice say, "Don't" but he let them put it on for a few minutes.  His breathing got worse and so he called the nurse.  He asked if he could have a normal mask, and after some argument, the nurse consented.  They put the new gas mask on and he began a deep prayer.  He prayed to Heavenly Father that he would be given the opportunity to help his children in this life.  To see his family converted to the true church, and to help them receive the blessings of that.  As he prayed, his vital signs slowly got better.  He became healthier, against all odds.  He was literally given the gift of healing through God's grace. He continued on to tell us about all the blessings that followed in his life, and that he continues to receive through the love of our Father in Heaven.  As Tatay Tauyan was telling his story, I felt such an outpouring of God's love for him.  I truly felt that I was able to see him as the Savior did.  
I just want to bear my testimony that Heavenly Father does know us and all of our needs.  He knows how to help us and we will receive answers to our prayers.  I know that this is the Lord's Gospel, and that through it we will all become happy.  I love you all, and have a great week
Elder Childs

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 6

I have been using the advent calendar you sent.  I have been turning each day's picture over, and then reading the summary, and then if I have more time, I find that event in the scriptures as well, and then if I have even more time, I read about that part in Jesus the Christ as well!  It has been a really uplifting experience.  Thanks for the Advent Calendar!  It helps me to remember to learn about the Savior's life this Christmas season!

You asked me to tell you about someone in my mission.  There is a lady named Sister Annelyn, and she is awesome!  She has a great desire to read and pray, and she is really starting to gain a testimony.  The other day we visited her and weren't able to teach because her husband was gone and we didn't have a fellowshipper, but we talked with her and before we left we followed up on her reading and prayer, and she had done both,  and then we felt we should ask about her testimony...whether or not she had received one.  There was a long pause, and she looked down at the ground for a while, and when she looked up she said, "I believe everything that I read in the Book of Mormon.  I believe it is true.  I don't know yet, but it is more yes than no."  The spirit was so strong as she said that, and I really appreciate her understanding of the word faith.  Hopefully I can get better at faith!

Its been a great week here in the Philippines, and I really truly love getting to share the gospel with the wonderful Filipinos.  They are some of the nicest people out there.  Hopefully I can become more like them.  This week I have been thinking about prayer a lot.  I remembered a quote from Elder Holland this week.  I don't remember it exactly what it says, but its something like this.  "Everything that you want for your investigators to do, Heavenly Father wants you to do as well.  You want them to have better scripture study, well he wants you to have better scripture study.  You want them to have more meaningful prayers, He really wants you to have more meaningful prayers."

I have thought about that a lot.  Many times I go into a lesson just hoping and praying that when we follow up on their reading and praying, they have done it, and really learned something from it.  


I think that that is something that I really need to get better at as well.  Especially the prayer part, and so that has been my focus in connection with Christmas.  I'm sure that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ don't want to hear just a rushed prayer at the end of the day because I'm tired, but they want me to talk with them.  Council with them.  Just tell them how I feel.  What I'm grateful for.  
Through this, we are blessed, we are given the help and blessings of God.  This week every night and every morning I have tried to take the time to just talk with my Heavenly Father.  To let him know how I feel, and to gain His help, and I have really noticed the difference that that makes.  I have seen blessings and guidance in my life, at times when I was not even paying particular attention.  

I just want to close with a quick quote coming from President Benson.  He said,
"Man does not stand alone.  Or at least he need not stand alone.  Prayer will open doors.  Prayer will remove barriers.  Prayer will ease pressures.  Prayer will give inner peace and comfort during times of stress and difficulties.  Thank God for prayer."

I know that this is true, and I know that as we try and make our prayers meaningful, we will be blessed.  As we try and really talk with Heavenly Father, he will talk back, and He will bless us with the comfort and guidance that we know.  I know this, because I have felt it.

I love you all and have a wonderful week,

Elder Childs

Sunday, November 29, 2015

November 29

Hey everyone!

Its been a good couple of weeks here, but a little bit rough as well.  I missed emailing last week because I was sick.  On Monday morning I woke up and didn't feel to hot, but we went to eco park and wandered around.  It was gorgeous, but I also didn't feel so great so that put a little bit of a damper on life.  Then when we got home I really didn't feel good, and so I just slept the whole day.  I didn't feel like I could get out of bed until 5:00, when I felt like I could go out and do some work.  We went to a couple of families, then I came home and collapsed in bed for the night.  The next day I felt even worse, so we called the mission presidents wife, and she told us that we should go to the hospital.  So we headed to Laoag for a checkup.  We spent most of the day in the waiting room of the hospital, and I grew to dislike hospitals.  But finally at the end of the day they set me up in a nice room with a nice IV, and air conditioning.  And that was where I stayed until Thursday.  So that was fun.  But I felt good at the end of it and no problems now, so that's good!  As for the rest of my week, we have been trying to figure out how to help people progress.  We have investigators, but they don't always want to follow their commitments, and yesterday, everything just felt down.  I knew that I was staying here for the next transfer, and I didn't know how I was going to help this area grow, but during my personal study the spirit taught me a few cool things.  The most important is a bout the love of Heavenly Father, and about prayer.  I realized how much Heavenly Father loves us all.  Everything that he does is to help us grow and become like him, and that really is the central message of our gospel.  And if we have this Heavenly Father who just wants to help us, why wouldn't we talk to him.  Why wouldn't we tell him how we feel.  Why wouldn't we thank him for everything that he has done for that.  That is the central message of our teaching, and that is what I should be teaching.  I know that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us, and he wants to help us grow an become like him.  I know that through following his will for us, we can become like him, and become happy here on the earth.  I love you all!  Have a great week.

Elder Childs

P.S.  In answer to your questions, we didn't celebrate Thanksgiving.  Its not a thing here, and I completely forgot about it until everyone emailed me and asked about it haha.

This Tuesday is transfer day!  Elder Daclag is leaving, and I'm staying here.  My companion has already been here in Banna before, so I don't have to worry too much about leading.  I'm excited to meet him!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November 15

Hey Everyone!!!

Its been good here in Banna, Its been hot, but good.  We had meetings with the Branch this week, and really figured out with the branch what we wanted to do with our branch to help the situation with the less actives.  We have upwards of 200 members here in Banna, but only 50 or so that attend church every week, so we've started to work out a home teaching program that will help the less actives return, because sometimes the missionaries just can't do it on their own.  I hope that it will help out!  Other than that during my studies this week I had some really cool insights, but one was about Lehonti, in Alma.  He was a man, at the head of the armies opposed to attacking the Nephites.  For our purposes we will call them the members of the church.  There were some armies that wanted to force them to fight the Nephites, headed by Ammonihah.  We will call him the adversary, with his armies.  Lehonti had gotten to the top of a mountain and had a lot of weapons with him.  With his armies, he outnumbered Ammonihah.  He was a pretty safe guy, and he knew it.  Ammonihah wanted him to come down from his mountain, presumably just to talk to him.  Lehonti, being smarter than your average joe, refused.  And so Ammonihah, being the persistent fellow his is, asked again.  And again.  And was refused both times.  But far from being frustrated, Ammonihah came up with a plan.  First he went up, almost to the camp of Lehonti, and asked again.  Lehonti thought that this would be ok, and so he went down.  Just a little, to talk to him.  Ammonihah gave him what sounded like a great plan to help him capture his (Ammonihah's) armies, with no blood shed, and so Lehonti agreed to go down, with his guards, to the camp of Ammonihah.  The plan worked and now Lehonti had captured all of Ammonihah's forces with no bloodshed, and all ammonihah had asked was that he was put second in command!  Great right?  Not really.  Ammonihah then came up with a plan to kill Lehonti, and because of that, came out at the head of the forces of Lehonti, with no blood shed.  Hmm that turned around quick.  In our lives, we are sometimes the same way.  We are up in the mountains with our forces.  Doing the things we should, following the commandments, and if Satan asks us to do anything big, we of course say no, so satan only asks us to be a little disobedient.  To do a little wrong, and that leads to a lot of wrong, and eventually our spiritual death.  Moral of the story, don't ever let your guard down!  Always do everything you know you should, without exception, and I promise you that your life will be so much easier, and so much happier, because you will have the lord on your side.  I love you all!

Elder Childs.

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9

Hey Everyone!!

Its been a good last couple of weeks.  Last Monday it was The Day of the Dead, and everyone, and I mean everyone, went to the cemeteries for that. Basically they all just go hang out and eat food and have a good time hanging out with the dead people.  It made work a little bit tough because people celebrated it from Friday until Ruesday or Wednesday, so it was hard to find people to teach, but it was fun to see so many people in our little town of Banna.  We had a mission conference with Elder Haynie, one of the area presidency here in the Philippines, and that was really good.  I learned a lot from him.  It was so cool to just get to listen to one of the Lord's ordained.

One thing that really impressed on my mind as he talked was the doctrine of first impressions.  He talked about how many times in our lives, we will be walking down the street, or to our next appointment (for missionaries) or to work or school (for normal people) and we will see someone, and think, I should talk to him.  Or I should help her. Or even sometimes, walk over there, cross the street, the possibilities are endless, but basically, a simple impression that comes simply to our minds.  Elder Haynie instructed us that this is the Spirit. That many times it is a simple thought, that we then talk ourselves out of.  We have places to be, they don't need our help, other ways that we convince ourselves that it doesn't need to be done.  I really liked that, because since I've gotten here in the mission, I've realized how bad I am at listening to the spirit.  And I've been trying to change that, but sometimes feel like I don't have much success at really becoming better.  But as he talked I began to reflect on my experience here in the mission so far, and some of the best teaching or finding experiences that I have had have been when I just follow my first impressions.  Its cool how simple it is to follow the spirit, and I think that that is something that could really help all of our lives.

Other that that, not too much exciting has happened in my life. We're teaching some good lessons, loving the work, loving the Filipinos, and loving the 90 degree weather in November!   I love all of you,and have a great week!

Elder Childs

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 25

Hey Everybody!!!

This week has been good!  We started out the week with a bagyo (typhoon)  and it was awesome!!!  I love the rain, and here in the Philippines the rain is nice and warm too so that was nice.  We got to go and visit some investigators and members and just check up on them and make sure they were alright.  It wasn't too bad here in Banna.  We had some pretty good rain (it rained from Sunday to Friday morning) and it got pretty windy one night, but other than that no problems.  It made it a little bit hard for the work though.  During the bagyo, people just sleep.  So they don't want to listen to us too much.  But we did have a couple of good lessons, and found some new investigators, so that was good.  

My favorite teaching moment was with a member this week.  She is really sweet and kind, and committed to the gospel, but her children are begining to go inactive, and her husband has issues with the word of wisdom.  It's really hard for her because she wants so badly to help them, but she doesn't know how because they don't want to listen to her.  We were able to talk to her and comfort her a little bit, and then we shared about agency and how important this life is for learning and growth, and though we can't always control others' actions, we can always love them, and that is what she should continue to do.  I have really come to know that love is most important here on this earth.  If we don't have love for others we don't really have anything.  

The highlight of the week was for sure the fact that I had my first baptism!!!  Its was so cool.  Her name is Khyla and she is only 10 years old, and probably one of the shyest people that I've ever met. I got to be the one to baptize her and it was so cool to get to participate in her first saving ordinance.  We baptized her in the river and that was fun.  It was nice and brown because of the bagyo, but that was where she wanted to do it.  After the baptism, normally the newly baptized will bear their testimony, but we didn't think that Khyla would, because she is so shy.  When we tried to practice with her a couple of days before she ran and hid, so we were a little bit concerned, and decided just to skip it.  But when the time came for the testimony, we looked over at her and she was so ready to bear her testimony!  She stood up and bore her testimony in front of the whole group, and it was simple, but powerful.  Thats the real key to testimonies.  It doesn't matter how good you are at speaking.  All you need is to bear a simple testimony of things that you KNOW are true.  That is how to get people to feel the spirit through you.  

I want you all to know that I know that this is God's church.  I know that the Holy Ghost is real and it is there to help us and comfort us throughout all of our trials in this life.  I know that the Savior's atonement is real, and through him we can all become clean.  I love my Savior, and know that he lives, and I love all of you.  Have a great week.

Elder Childs

PS One of my friends shared with me the symbolism behind Christ washing his disciples' feet.  Its really cool!  But it will mean more to you as you study and learn about it on your own, so try and find out! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19

Hey Everybody!

We are in the middle of a typhoon (literally today we're in the eye of the typhoon) but it's not too bad.  Banna is on a signal two, out of four, four being the worst, but we haven't actually gotten a lot of wind or rain, so I'm kind of disappointed about that.  But it's still going to be here for another day or two so there is still hope haha.  The typhoon is named Lando, and so far we're all safe here.

Its been a good week here in Banna.  We had an investigator interviewed and passed off for baptism this Saturday!!!! So I'm pumped for that.  And then there we had some good service projects and lessons and finding and some exchanges.  All in all a good week.

During the exchanges, I had a thought.  Me and my companion usually cook using this stuff called magic sarap.  It means magic delicious in English.  Its pretty good!  It makes it easy to cook, and it is pretty delicious, but my companion for exchanges, man he knew how to cook.  He had been cooking since he was in fourth grade, and he was good at it.  All of the sudden, I had all sorts of new delicious flavors that were awesome!  I loved it.  I think that a lot of the time our life can be like this.  We get stuck in ruts, doing the same thing over and over again, and that's alright.  The magic sarap of life is pretty ok.  But as we try to find ways to use new spices (find new ways to study, new ways to serve, new ways to grow closer as a family) our life becomes so much fuller.  Many times we read our scriptures the same way every day, do the same things, do family home evening because we know we should, but as we try to change it up sometimes, and do everything a little bit better every day, we will become so much happier.  The church is there to make us happier, but we have to put some effort in.  Sometimes it takes a little bit more time to do these things the way they should be done, but the joy that it brings is so incredible its all worth it.  I love you all, and have a wonderful week!

Elder Childs

Answers to Dad's Questions:

How is the teaching going?  How many appointments do you have each week?  Teaching is good.  We're averaging a little more than twenty lessons in a week, but the standard of excellence is forty, so we're working on bumping that up.

Do you have any baptisms scheduled?  We have four investigators with a baptismal date, one this week!!!  But only three of them are progressing.

How many baptisms does your mission do in a month?  The mission standard of excellence is 4 baptisms per companionship per month, but we're not very close to that.  I don't know exactly what, but hopefully its growing!

Do you ever eat with the members?  We eat with members fairly often.  Not every day, but a couple of times a week.  Its always delicious whatever it is, and I really like the rice.  Which is good haha.

What is your favorite food so far?  I don't know.  I really just eat whatever.  I like the adobo, oh and they have this really delicious thing, its called ube.  It's like a purple yam that they use in baking breads and cookies and cakes a lot.  I don't know if there's any of it in america, but you should see if you can find it and try it.  It's awesome.

Answers to Mom's Questions:

What is the most interesting thing you have learned about the Filipino people in your area?  How do they differ or how are they the same as you?  Philippinos are loud!  That's what I've learned most about them.  They're so crazy, but its fun.  And they're very family oriented and kind.  I love being around them, but their sense of humor is a little bit different than in America.

Do you do your own laundry?  Do you have a housekeeper?  We do our own laundry and everything, We do have a washing machine.  No housekeeper though.

Sonda Smith said she taught a lot of Filipino people on her mission.  She said back then the women were always very interested in the church but the men didn't want to have anything to do with it.  Do you find this to be the case in Banna?  It is a little bit like that.  We have about fifty people that attend sacrament meeting regularly, and probably 10 of them are men.  The rest are women and children.  But we've got some really good investigators with the whole family interested, it's just sometimes hard to meet with them because of work.

Do you do any service projects there?  What are they?  We do do service projects!  I'll send some pictures of the two that we've done so far.  They're fun stuff!

This was our service project this morning.  We cleaned up the lot of the future church.  (With machetes.  So basically the coolest)

We built this for one of the members last week.  Its an extension to her kitchen.  It actually turned out pretty well!

We had a birthday party and this was the delicious food!  Those are hot dogs on sticks with marshmallows, just in case you were wondering (:

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12

Magandang Tanghali po!

Its been a good week! My favorite day was Friday.  In the morning we went to the San Nicholas Chapel, and by we I mean me and Elder Torion, because we had done splits the day before.  We went to the San Nicholas Chapel because on Friday we had interviews with President Andrada.  I met up with Elder Daclag and we did our weekly planning there at the chapel, until it was time for our interviews.  Elder Daclag was first so I played the piano while I waited, then I went into the interview.  It was great!  I love President Andrada, he has such a strong spirit and is definitely inspired of the Lord.  After the interview we went back here to Banna for our tracting.  We went out when we got back and taught the Augustine family first.  They are two girls, recent converts, fifteen and thirteen, with a father and mother who are still not baptized.  And had a good lesson there about enduring to the end.  Then we went to Jan Jan.  He's a 12 year old boy that is investigating the gospel.  He's so cool.  He reminds me of Neal a little bit.  He is always at his uncle's house and their family is cool.  The father, Brother Joen is the second councilor in the branch presidency.  Then we gave a member training lesson to the Marcos family, so we just taught them about how to share the gospel, and then we went to the Contawi family.  They're returning less actives and they are so nice.  They kind of remind me of the Gibsons.  Just younger (:  They fed us dinner and I don't remember any of the names and then we went home and planned!  Its so fun to get to teach the gospel to others.  There is such a strong spirit that comes into your life as you testify to others of the simple truths that you know.  I love this gospel so much.

 I got to see General Conference this Sunday, well the Sunday morning session at least, and it was so uplifting!  I love getting to listen to the words of the prophets!  There was one insight that really hit me while listening to the words of President Eyring, that I want to share with all of you.  He talked about his father, and the testimony that he had.  How he had an absolute conviction that the Gospel was true, and was practiced at listening to the Spirit.  But his highest position in the church was a High Councilor.  I'm sure that at times he was tempted to pity himself because of that.  I'm sure his desire was strong to serve the Lord, and he may have felt higher callings could have helped him give greater service.  But what I'm sure he didn't know, is that while he was living every day, he was raising an apostle.  His every action word and deed contributed to who Elder Eyring is today.  In my life, and maybe in yours as well, we question the Lords plan.  It may come from a righteous desire, but what we need to always remember, is that the Lord's Plan is so much greater than our own.  That our job is not to try and be a space ship, if the Lord has called us to be a truck.  As we follow the Lord's plan for us, and trust in him, no matter what happens, we will find so much peace and joy that come into our lives.  I know that this Gospel is so true.  There is nothing like it, and the happiness it brings is real.  Always remember that.  I love you all and have a great week!

Elder Childs

PS, if you're looking for any good study material, 3rd Nephi 13 is a great chapter, and the Will of God is a great Mormon Message.

I hope you like my pictures, and I hope you keep living the dream!

This is our Zone right now.  They're pretty cool.

This is me with our BML.

Everyone's always asking about the apartment (who knows why) .  :)   So here it is!

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5

Hey everybody!!!

So I didn't actually get to watch General Conference this week, but next week.  And it will be in English!!  We thought Tagalog, but we were wrong!  So I'm happy about that (:  I'm excited to see who the new apostles are.  I know they're gonna kill it. 

It's been a pretty good week!  We had a lot of good lessons, and I love Banna!  The people here are so nice. They are all so happy with so little. It's inspiring to me, and there is such a strong spirit that comes from sharing the Gospel.  You all should try it!  I think that people get scared a lot about sharing the Gospel a lot, but this week I realized how silly that is.  Imagine it this way.  You have a recipe for the most delicious cookies in the whole world, and you know you're friend will love it.  And so you offer to share the recipe with them!  Who's gonna be mad about that?  Even if they don't want it they're not going to be offended that you offered.  And I know that there are so many blessings that come from sharing the Gospel.  You just feel good when you do it.  

We taught a lot of lessons this week, to investigators and less actives.  We don't have any recent converts here in Banna that aren't less active.  But hopefully they'll be coming back.  And we find some on our own, but a lot of our investigators come from member refferals.  We have a couple of really solid members that help out, but we're trying to help all the branch to want to help with missionary work.  

I would like to talk about one investigator that we have here in Banna, because I think that we could all be a little bit more like her.  We found her through one of the members and she sat down and we did a little bit of the small talk, and then she got right into the meat of gospel discussions.  She had so many questions for us about what the Book of Mormon is, what our purpose is, how she can fulfill that, and so many other things.  She sincerely just wants to know what God wants her to do, and is willing to do the work needed to find out.  We all have questions, and we all want to do what's right, but sometimes we fall a little bit short of the mark when it comes to really studying and finding out.  So my challenge to you this week is to get better at studying to find the answers to your questions.  And to help you with that, I have a suggestion from Elder Bednar.  Its not an exact quote, but its the right meaning.
He said that anytime you have a questions, buy a cheap little blue Book of Mormon, like what the missionaries use, and then read it from cover to cover, the whole time marking it according to your question, and then afterward write a half page summary about what you learned.  
I've started to do that, and I know that Heavenly Father gives us so much guidance through that.  It's made my studies so much more effective and I love the help I get with my question.  I love you all, and have a great week!

Elder Childs

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September 28

Hey Everyone!

It sounds like you've had a good week!  Thanks for the recipe, it sounds a little complicated, but hopefully we'll have some time to try it out.  As for the food, I don't know what your recipe was for otap, but what I've had looks like dried bananas, with some sugar stuff on it.  I don't know though.  I'll take a picture and send it next week (:  And the Ginataan stands on its own.  and its super tasty.  I'll learn how to make all sorts of tasty foods out here and then when I get home we will have a feast.  Because its all super cheap.  Me and elder Daclag buy all of our food for the week on 20 dollars.  And we eat a LOT.  I love all the food here.  I am loving the Phillipines.  There is no place that I'd rather be.  My week was pretty standard though.  Me and Elder Daclag are really trying hard to just help our investigators progress, and to find some more.  The people here are so kind, and I know that the Gospel can help them so much. I love working hard, and giving everything to the Lord, because I know that he gives it back two fold.  Tell Neal goodbye for me, and wish him luck.  He's gonna need it.  The mission is like nothing you ever expect.  But in an awesome way.

Its always good to make it to Monday and have a chance to reflect on my week and see how the Lord has blessed me.  And this week, I am grateful for gratitude.  Sometimes, its a little bit rough in the mission field.  Everyone knows that.  Things don't always go as planned, and companions aren't always easy, and investigators don't always do the things that they need in order to be happy.  Waking up is hard, and the heat is hard, and cooking is hard and so is washing clothes and cleaning and walking walking walking.  The list could go on and on and on.


Lets look at it a little bit different.  You go out into the mission field, where Heavenly Father blesses you with his guidance to help you be effective.  He gives you a companion so that you always have someone to lean on.  Someone to help you.  He gives you the incredible loving kind people who are trying so hard to be better.  To grow closer to the Savior.  He gives you food to eat.  He gives you clothes to wear.  He gives you a body that can do incredible things!

Now, all these blessings are coming, when you are supposedly supposed to be serving the Lord.  Before my mission I thought that that was so real. You go on a mission in order to give back to the Lord, and to give him something.  Now, I don't know if I believe that so much.  I look at all the blessings that Heavenly Father is giving me now, and will give to me in the future, and has given me in the past to prepare me, and I feel like missions are all for us.  If Heavenly Father wanted he could have the whole Phillipines baptized in an instant.  He doesn't need some 18 year old boy to do it for him, but Heavenly Father wants to help me out.

I don't know about you guys, but the second mission that I described sounds like a lot more fun than the first, while the first is just a waste of time.

And thats what I learned this week.  I spent a lot of my time thinking these sad, selfish thoughts, and it was a hard week.  But as soon as I started looking at the positive side, looking at the things that are good about life, I had the best week!

Brothers and sisters, it really is all about perspective.  In life, things are hard, and there are many trials.  There are many hardships that we cannot see the purpose of, but when we look for the good things, instead of the bad things, we will be happier.  There will always be good things, and there will always be bad things, it just depends on what we choose to pay attention to.

I know that when we look at the good things in life, look at what the Lord has given us, we will become happier.  Our lives may not change that much (though I believe a change in attitude will change actual events) but it won't matter.  We will be happy with the things the Lord has seen fit to give us, that will be enough.

I love you all, and I hope all the blessings in the whole world upon you.

Elder Childs

Monday, September 21, 2015

September 21

Hey Everyone!

It's still awesome here in Banna!  It's so gorgeous and all the people are so kind.  I don't know what the population is, but there are seven-ish different barangays in it, and there's a pretty good number of people.  There are some really cool families here in Banna.  One of them is the Marcos family and they are so kind and loving, its fun to be with them.  I am really tall for over here.  It's tough sometimes because all the clotheslines are hung right at my eye level, so I have to be careful, especially at night (:  But I like it.

You asked about breakfast and lunch.  We usually have rice, and Ulam.  Which is basically anything haha.  We'll have hot dogs, or a stir fry, or eggs.  Lots of delicious stuff (:

I ate Balut, and something that I think might have been the throat of a pig all cut up (:  They were pretty tasty!  I've learned most of the time its better to just eat it and enjoy haha.  One thing that I think you guys would like is called bannana otap.  Its really good!  You should see how tough it is to make, and if its not to hard try it!  Also could you look up how to make ginataan?  Its really good, and I don't think too hard to make.  If you find a good recipe, send it to me (:

There is one district in Banna and we are the only missionaries in the area.  As far as the ward goes, there are a lot of less active people.  Our church attendance is very low, we had only 54 people at church, and many of them showed up for sacrament meeting only.  Our teacher for priesthood was late, and after waiting for 30 minutes for him, I got to teach a lesson.  So I taught about the spirit and choice.  I hope it was alright.  I got to give the standard missionary talk in sacrament so that was good.  Church meetings differ here in the essence that sometimes they just don't happen, because teachers don't show up, or they are usually late, but me and Elder Daclag decided to change that one, and always be ready to teach on Sundays so that we can start on time.

I know that this is where the Lord needs me.  I have learned a lot this week about the need for meaningful personal experiences wih the gospel.  There are a lot of members here in Banna who, shortly after they are baptized, fall away for whatever reason.  There are many specific reasons, being offended, not desiring to spend their time doing the things the Lord has asked to name a couple, but the real reason for all of them falling away, and for every less active in the whole church is this.  They have not had their testimony burned into their hearts.  Into their very souls.  In my opinion, this is a problem world wide that needs to be fixed.  But how do you help others have this testimony in their souls?  The answer very simply is this.  You don't.  You will never ever be able to give anyone a testimony.  You can't just wave your hands and they have a testimony through no will of their own.  It is the Holy Ghost that gives people their testimony, but even he only carries it "unto the hearts" Without a decision from the person to act, there will be no conversion.  and so Elder Daclag and I have really been trying to focus this week on helping people make and keep commitments that will help them to have these experiences.  So my challenge to you is this.  Take some time to sit down and look at your life and find one way that you are lacking in things that you know that you should do, and make a specific plan to become better at this.  I know that as you do this, your testimony will grow, and you will come to know the love of our Heavenly Father for you, through the Holy Ghost.  I love you all, and have a great week!!

Elder Childs


Me and the Rice.

Me and one of the members.

Monday, September 14, 2015

September 14


Thats how pretty much all the kids say hi to me here, so I thought that you guys would like it too haha.  This has been such and awesome week!!!!  It's been so cool to finally get out into the mission field and start doing some work!!  My area is called Banna, and its so gorgeous.  Green everywhere, and there are some really pretty mountains around as well.  If you ever want something pretty to look at, find a picture from a Philippines mountain, looking down into a valley of rice.  Gorgeous let me tell you.  Everyone tells me that this is one of the toughest areas, but I personally think that the previous missionaries just haven't worked their hardest, because everyone here seems so happy and so willing to help.  I may not speak the languagevery well, but I've got big plans for this place. We've met some cool people, and I love them all so much.  This is where I am supposed to be.  We're working a lot with less actives, trying to get them fellowshippers, and get them to feel the love for the gospel again. 

It sounds like the wedding was a blast!  It was sad that I missed it, but I'm so happy to be here in the Philippines, and I'm so happy for them that it was hard to be sad.  I have been really trying to focus on being as selfless as Christ, and so every time that I started to feel sad, I just thought about how happy they must be.  

I love my companion so much!  His name is Elder Daclag, he is from Tacloban, and he is super cool. He is such a loving guy, and has helped me learn so much about the language and the culture here in the Philippines.

I love the food! There's lots of rice, but I love it.  Its a good easy food, and cheap too.  Some restaurants here have unlimited rice, and we went to one and that was fun.  I ate so much rice haha.  One side note though...chicken fingers at McDonald's here have all the bones in them still, so that's weird.  I don't know if I already said that or not haha.  

The language is going alright, it's still hard for me to undersand sometimes, but I've improved a lot since I got here, and I plan to keep improving.  I can usually get my point across,  so thats good right (:  We have bikes, but couldn't use them until today because I didn't have a helmet, so we took jeepneys and trikes to our lessons if they were far, and walked ifthey  were close.  Members feed us a lot so that's good, but I don't like it because sometimes we sit at a member's house for half an hour forty-five minutes just chatting.  Think about how many lives we could bless in that time hmm!  

The apartment is good, and we rent a washing machine so that is nice.  I've come to love my dinky little desk, because I always get so much inspiration there during studies. (and theres a fan, so thats nice ;) 

A pretty typical day for me goes likethis.  Wake up, get ready, proselyting at 8, come back at 12, eat lunch, do our studies, then back out from five until nine, then dinner and bed!  after planning of course. 

I want to leave you with my testimony. I know that this is the true church,and through following its teachings, we will become so much happier than any other time.  I know that there is power in missionary work, and that when you share the gospel, you get such a huge increase of the spirit. Iknow that there is no other better way to feel peace than to read the book of mormon and pray.  I love this gospel so much, and I love you all.

Elder Childs

Thursday, September 3, 2015

August 31, 2015

Hoy Mga Tao!!!

Its a good week in the mission because I got my FLIGHT PLANS!!!!  I'm officially leaving on the third of September to go be with my people!  I can't wait!!  The only down side is that I have to leave at three in the morning haha.  But thats 5 in the afternoon Fillipino time so no worries right? Other than that it has been a pretty standard week.  Just class and then more class and then some personal comp and language study, and then some more class.  Thats about all that I can remember.  I love the MTC, but I'm so ready to just get out to the field.  The other day I was at a devotional and this poem just kinda came to  me.  Its not that great, but I like it, so maybe someone else will too!

Down this path of trials and tears
There comes a joyous ray
a ray of hope, shining through the years, 
The hope of a better day

If we look to that ray
With eyes turned to his might
We can be sure that God will guide
Our footsteps with his light

"Walk in the light though blessed child"
Our Savior wants to say,
"and guide them home, home to my love,
"the ones who've gone astray."

That is really the sum of what I've learned this week.  I know that when we look to our Lord, with real faith, real hope, he will show us the way to help others, and help ourselves at the same time.  I know that this is so true.  God guides us, and if any of you are ever feeling down, look for a way to serve someone.  Any simple thing, and when you do that, you can know that you will be lifting yourself up while you do it.

Well thats my normal jumbled mess of the week, I hop that you all have a wonderful week, and find a way to serve someone around you this week.

Mahal ko kayo!

Elder Childs

Saturday, August 22, 2015

August 22

Hoy Kaibigan ko!

This week has been a good, but sad week.  I had a lot of my really good friends leave the MTC this week, and the two very coolest elders that I've met while I've been here are now gone, so that's sad, but I'm so excited for them, and now I'm only two weeks(ish) out!  Half of my District got their travel plans this week, but for some reason the other half (me included) were put down as leaving on the 9th, even though we should leave on the 3rd.  So that was disappointing, but I talked to our branch president (who is awesome by the way) and he said that he would work it out and we would all leave on the third like we should.  So that'll be good.

The language is coming really well!  The thing that helps the most is just SYLing.  Which stands for speak your language, and that practice is what really helps.  Well that and the gift of tongues (:

To answer one of your questions, me and my roommates are good about keeping our room clean. We've gotten commendable on every inspection, so you should probably be proud (:  and for me , the real motivating factor is that I'm a missionary and the white bible says to keep it clean.  I know that the more obedient I am the more the Lord is able to bless me, so I try to keep it clean.

One super cool experience that I had this week has to do with prayer.  Me and Elder Porter were teaching a progressing investigator, and things had not really been going too well.  He had stopped keeping our commitments, and all in all could no longer really be considered a progressing investigator.  But during one of our lessons I got the prompting to just pray to know what to say in the middle of the lesson, so I said a quick prayer in my head, and then after that I felt like Heavenly Father was pouring in the revelation!  Our investigator is now moving forward nicely, and things are going smoothly again!  I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers, and that we can all be given personal revelation in our lives.   It's so cool to see all the blessings that Heavenly Father has waiting for us, if we just reach out and ask for them.  A scripture that relates to this is 2 Nephi 33:1. Look it up.  Maybe do some studying.

I love this Gospel so much, I know its true, I love you all and have a great week!

Elder Childs

Saturday, August 15, 2015

August 15

Hey everyone!

Here are the answers to some of your questions Mom:

Where are all the people in your district from?  Everyone in my district are from Idaho, Vegas, Utah, or Arkansas.

If you had to pick one or two favorites, who would they be and why?  There is a sister in the district that really reminds me of Morgan, so obviously I like her, and Elder Porter is super awesome!  He is always so patient and willing to work with me and things that I need to do.

What is your favorite time of day in the MTC?  I love mornings.  I don't know why, but the mornings are the best (:

Have you seen a lot of people you know while in the MTC?  Yeah I see some people that I know, but we don't have a lot of time to hang out and talk.  My district is my new family (:

Is the training in the MTC about Preach My Gospel similar to Mission Prep here in our stake?  In what ways is it similar or different?  The MTC training is a lot better, because we do a lot more role plays. Teaching is the best way to learn. It's pretty nice (:

We are getting ready for a new school year and trying to figure out schedules, etc.  What would you recommend for family scripture study topics?  Based on your three weeks of study in the MTC so far...I've really enjoyed studying about the atonement and the spirit.  Those two things are always the best. They can give so much comfort to our lives.

This week a lot has been the same, and so I will make this a short blog post.  Mostly the moral of the story is that I'm coming up on two weeks till I'm in the Philippines!  I can't wait to get out there and serve those awesome people!  The language is coming along and I love my district!  They're all such cool people and I am so glad that the Lord allowed me to be put with them.  I just want to finish out with a testimony on the power of the Holy Ghost.  I know  that the Holy Ghost is there giving us guidance and direction on what we should do and how we can become better.  I have felt the Holy Ghost in a couple of ways this week.  First I know that he gives us guidance to help us with our problems.  I was praying for some answers this week and he told me what I needed to do, not in a visit from the Angel Moroni, but in simple thoughts and feelings.  The second is the comfort that you can feel.  When you're feeling down and that you've gone as far as you can go, the Holy Ghost will be there to life you up and carry you farther that you would ever be able to go on your own.  I love it. I love you guys, and have a wonderful week

Elder Childs

Me and Porter and Sherman and Olson--some of my room mates.

Me with my first zone leaders, they're pretty awesome guys! 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

August 8 2015

Howdy Everybody!!

I am loving being a missionary.  We pretty much do the same stuff every day here at the MTC, but the spirit is so strong here and I am learning so much so fast.  The gift of tongues is so real, let me tell ya.  We were reading in Job this past Sunday, and there was a scripture that I came across that I liked so much that I wrote it on the back of my notebook, and it has become my motto. Before I tell you what it is, first let me tell you a little about Job.  He was super successful in life.  Like the millionaire of the Old Testament.  He had everything you could ever wish for, sheep, cows, fruit trees, you know, the finer things of life (:  And Heavenly Father decided to test Job's conversion to him, and so he allowed Satan to take stuff away from him.  First his cows, then the rest of his animals, and all his children, and then he got boils all over his body.  Some really nasty stuff.  And this is where my scripture comes in.  This is in Job chapter 23.  After all of this bad stuff that has happened to him,  he says, "When the Lord has tried me, I shall come forth as gold."  How cool is that??  After I read that it became my goal.  Every trial I get, for the rest of my life, I want to have enough faith in My Lord, that I can have the attitude of Job.

President Nelson came on Sunday and it was super cool to hear him speak.  He is such an inspired man, and I know he's who the Lord wants here.  And on a side note, Me and my companion Elder Porter went and bore our testimonies to random people during our language study during one of the days this week.  (I don't know which one, time is not normal here in the MTC :)  and after we finished bearing our testimonies I felt so good!  Even though it was to a bunch of missionaries who obviously have a strong testimony, and it was in a language that they couldn't understand, the Spirit was there and it was awesome.  There is such a strong spirit that comes with sharing the Gospel with anyone.

I love you all and hope that you have a great week,

Elder Childs

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August 1

Hey Everyone!

Its crazy that I'm already writing my second blog post.  I am always busy and it seems like ages since I've gotten here, but it also seems like no time at all. As I've been here I've learned a lot about a lot more than just Tagalog.  The most important thing that I've learned is that the Spirit is the most important thing in missionary work.  If I can speak Tagalog like a native, but don't have the Spirit, I will never be an effective missionary.  So this week I've focused a lot on the Spirit and finding new ways to bring it into my teaching and my life.  I love being given this opportunity to serve the Lord, because there is no way to better have the Spirit in your life. One really cool experience that testifies of that.
It was my second lesson with an investigator named Marlon, and I was teaching and didn't really know the language, so I had some things written out that I wanted to say, but when we got there, I started and the spirit told me to speak on a different topic, and so I started talking about that.  As I did, it felt as if I was being given all the words that I needed, even if it was still broken Tagalog, and I was able to understand what he meant when he responded, even though I would only catch one or two words.  I know that the spirit was helping me out and that was awesome.  I have really come to love the Holy Ghost as I've been here at the MTC.

When we strive to serve the Lord and to serve others, that is when we really grow.  Service is amazing, and we cannot reach our full potential without it.  I love you all and have a wonderful week!

Elder Childs

Saturday, July 25, 2015

First Email!

Kumusta po tayo!!!! 

My first week at the MTC has been pretty good! I have learned a lot since I got here.  I can pray in Tagolog and bear my testimony as well, but most importantly I've been learning to rely on the Lord.  I am a pretty proud person as you know, and this has been a humbling experience.  The first day I tried to rely on myself, and it felt like I was being knocked down again and again, but as I learned to rely on my Heavenly Father I was able to overcome that and grow more than I thought possible.  My companion is named Elder Porter and he is a pretty cool guy. He comes from Las Vegas for the last year, and Idaho the rest of his life before that.  He likes to be outdoors, and he is really cool.  I really appreciate his spirit that he's got with him.  We've been putting a lot of time into studying the language so that we can become fluent.  We have set a goal that we will will learn forty new words every day, which is going to be tough, but we've got the Lord on our side, so what can go wrong? (:  Other than that there isn't too much to talk about!  Classes are good, and I'm learning a lot, and they keep us really busy here.  Its tiring, but awesome. 
Yesterday, (Friday) we taught our first investigator.  His name is Marlan and he is really interested in the Gospel, but a little unsure of what it is.  He is really interested in the meaning of life, and why he is here, and the Book of Mormon also.  The language barrier is hard to overcome though, because we don't know very much Tagalog, and he doesn't know any English.  We had the opportunity to testify to him of the power of the Book of Mormon and the spirit was there and I know that he felt it.  He told us that he would read out of Mosiah 2 (That is a really good chapter by the way.  You should check it out) before we come back on Monday and I think that he meant it. I love the Lord and I love His gospel.   This is the Restored Church and I know for myself that the Lord answers I prayers and helps us when we are in need.  He has done so much for us, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be serving Him for the next two years in the wonderful country that is the Phillipines.

I love and miss you all!


Elder Childs