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

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