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