Sunday, December 25, 2016

December 25!

Report On Our Skype Session with Alex:

The connection was amazing!  In the past, Alex has had to Skype at an Internet cafĂ© and the picture has not been very clear, it was dark, he was wearing great big headphones, and there was a lot of background noise. This time, he was at a member's house. The service was great and we could see him clearly. He was sitting on a porch with a breeze gently swaying the abundant foliage in the background.  The setting was perfect for our visit.  We loved the cute orange house, and he said yes, most of the houses in the Philippines are very colorful.  Alex has developed quite an accent over the last few month.  It was so fun to listen to him!

We began by talking about how Christmas was, what everyone got, how the search for a new car was going, etc. It was good. But then we started asking him questions about missionary work and it became great. He became very animated as he talked.  We asked him to tell us about how the work was going in Santo Domingo. He said there are so many very prepared people there. He told us first about an older couple. They began working with the husband first and now they are working with the wife too.  The husband struggles (as do most men in the Philippines) with alcohol and tobacco use.  Alex says it is a very social thing.  The men get off work and get together to smoke and drink for a while in the evening.  He asked us to pray that this investigator might be able to give these thing up so he can be baptized, then said, "He can do it!  He just needs to believe that he can!"   He also said that not only are they finding people, but people are finding them too.  Just a couple of days ago a man came along while they were talking to some people and this man has such a complete knowledge of the Bible.  Alex said he has never met anyone who knows the Bible as well as this man does.  AND, he was interested in finding out more about our church.  They will be meeting with him soon.

Ever since Alex has been with his current companion, Elder Roche, he has said what a great missionary Elder Roche is.  We asked him what makes him such a great missionary.  He said that it is teaching people according to what they need, not just teaching lessons.  He said Elder Roche is great at discerning the needs of individuals and preparing lessons just for them.  He also said that he is great at studies, has a hunger to learn and know more all the time, is trying to finish reading "Jesus the Christ" before he goes home in 3 months, etc.  Alex has really enjoyed learning from Elder Roche and is sad that yesterday was transfer day and Elder Roche is heading off to finish his mission as a trainer in another area.  Alex's new companion in Santo Domingo will be Elder Jones from Utah...his first American Companion since he has been out.

Alex encouraged all of us to be involved in missionary work.  We asked him what he would do if he were the girls...or better, what he would do if he was in high school again knowing and feeling then what he knows and feels now.  He said that as a high schooler, he didn't think of others much.  He only thought of himself.  That is the first thing he would do...get really good at thinking of others.  The second thing he would do would be to pray to always have the spirit to be with him so that when he was walking around at school he would be able to discern who around him needed a smile or an encouraging word, or a friend, etc.  He encouraged the girls to do this and promised that if they would, they would have opportunities to share the light of the gospel with members and non-members alike.  We asked what his advice would be for those of us who know nonmembers, but the nonmembers seem know as much as they want to about our church and don't have an interest.  He suggested after some thought that we should follow Elder Holland's advice, which is to listen more than we talk.  Find out what THEY care about, what THEY love about their church, what is on THEIR minds, and as we listen, we will have opportunities to share what we love about the gospel and help them to see how it might add to what they already know and believe.  Great advice for all of us!

Alex wanted to know before he hung up what each of loves most about the gospel.  It was a tender and sweet moment as each of us was able to share our testimonies and how the gospel blesses our lives.

At the end of our conversation, Alex wanted us to speak to Elder Roche, who is practicing his English.  We were able to speak with him for a few minutes.  He told us Alex is a great missionary, and it was fun to see the camaraderie between them.

We also spoke a little with the Sisters that are serving in the same area with Alex and Elder Roche.

 We encouraged Alex to finish strong...keep being a good missionary, and he said, yes, he would do that so he could have a pretty wife.  We were clueless, but he explained that that is a missionary joke...that if they are good missionaries, Heavenly Father will bless them when they get home by sending them a pretty wife, which was met with eye rolls all around.

As we said goodbye we charged the missionaries with keeping  Elder Childs from being too crazy.  Without missing a beat, one of the sisters (who is from Perth, Australia) said  "Too late!" which made us all laugh.

It was fun to see him in his element and have a good visit with him.  It's like you fall in love with your missionary all over again every time you talk with him.  Letters just aren't the same, but they will have to suffice until Mother's Day!

Monday, December 19, 2016

December 19

I have had a good week, but we don't have tons of time today. We're back in Laoag today for a Christmas party with all the missionaries.  Earlier we had some games and then later this evening we will have a dinner.  Its fun!  Tomorrow we will have a Mission Conference, and it is only once a year that we actually get all of the missionaries together in one place, so it's good times.

We have had some success as well in the field.  We found some really nice new people.  One day we were finding, and we were guided to a lot of people that were really ready for the Gospel.  We actually found a lot of people who had a lot of good experiences with the missionaries or other members of the church, and they seemed like they were ready to accept the invitation to learn more about the church.  Hopefully we will see some progression in them in the next couple of weeks.

There was also some big changes in the mission this last week.  Until now, the schedule for the mission was work in the morning, studies from 1 until 4 and then work again, but starting this last week we all changed back to the normal schedule.  So studies in the morning and then work from 12 until 9.  It was good, but a little bit hard on some investigators.  A lot of them were clear in the morning or in the evening, but when it was around lunchtime, a lot of our investigators were not around.  So we did lots of finding!  So it was a blessing as well.

Christmas here in the Philippines is mostly just family time!  There are a lot of Catholic traditions, but the other than that there isn't a ton.  They just do family stuff.  We will probably have to be in the house at 6 oclock because sometimes Christmas can get a little crazy in the Philippines.  Especially with all of the alchohol.

Other than that it was a good week!  There isn't much else to say.

Elder Childs

Sunday Lunch with Some Members

Saturday, December 17, 2016

December 11

Questions and Answers:

We want to know about your new area!

o Tell us about your apartment

My apartment is set back from the road, and its a nice apartment.  The water all comes from a well (but has an automatic pump so we still have running water) which means that we don't have any water bills, and the water is pretty clean too.  Its a good apartment.  It has 3 rooms, a kitchen and a living room.  I like it.

o Tell us about where you do your shopping

We usually do our shopping at the Market, which is just where everyone goes to sell vegetables or fruit or meat or whatever kind of thing they want to sell.  Its really fun, and really cheap too.  We also do some shopping at  a supermarket called two brothers.  Its basically walmart a tenth of the size (:

o Tell us about where you do chores like laundry

There is actually a member here that does my laundry for me. She picks it up every monday and then brings it back on tuesday.  She is really nice.

o Where do you typically eat?

We usually eat at the house, but if we're going to eat out, its usually at places called carenderias.  Its basically just homemade Filipino food.  I like it more than any fast food there is.  And its cheap which is always a bonus.

Hey Everyone!

I have had a good week.  We were busy, but it was good.  We had our monthly Zone Training Meeting on Thursday and it was good.  We talked about a lot of good stuff that will hopefully help us become even better missionaries.  Me and Elder Roche also had exchanges with the APs after the ZTM.  It was really good.  I got to be with Elder Earnest, who is one the best missionaries in the mission (Makes sense he's and AP (:) It was fun I learned a lot.

We had one cool experience. Me and Elder Earnest were walking.  It was already past dark, but as we passed one house, we both just looked at it was we walked by, and even a little after we had passed it.  We both felt something, and so Elder Earnest said, "lets go talk to those people."  So we did!

They were super nice!  Both the Father and Wife came out, which is a rarity here in the Philippines.  The men usually take  a little more warming up.  They seem really excited to learn about the Gospel, and accepted our invitation to let us come back to their home.  It will be fun to see where they go.  Listening to the Spirit really does work!  It was a really good exchanges.  I really love being a missionary.

That's about all I've got for this week.  I have felt a need to have better goals.  I don't always do the best job of looking forward to see what God wants me to be in one month, or one year or however long.  I want to be better at that.  Its my new focus this year.

I love you all!

Elder Childs

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 6

Hello Everyone!

I have really enjoyed this last week. There were two great things that happened this week.  The first was that Jerome and Lydia both got baptized!  They had their baptism Saturday evening and it was a wonderful experience.  There is nothing like getting to see someone cleaned of all their sins, and then hearing their testimony afterwards.  They always amaze me with the heavenly things they say.  

The second was that we had interviews with President Andrada.  He really is an inspired man.  He always knows just how to help me be a better missionary.  For these interviews he had prepared a little slideshow with some questions entitled "Becoming a lighthouse missionary."  It was really good.  He asked a lot of questions about my efficiency as a missionary, and gave me a lot of good suggestions on how to improve.  One of my favorite things that he said was about magnifying callings.  He said that magnifying your calling means doing things that are not written in the manual.  If you want to magnify your calling, you need to do those things that are written in the manual or handbook, or whatever sort of guide is given, and then you need to find other ways to serve those you are called to.  Find more things that you can do to make the world a better place.  We need to remember the counsel that the Lord has given that  "He who is compelled in all things... is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore, he receiveth no reward."

If we stop at what the leaders of the church have given us, we can't yet say that we are being wise servants.  The Lord has entrusted us with our agency and he expects us to use it to make this kingdom a better place.

I'm not saying that we need to devote our whole day to doing things for our calling.  The Lord knows that each one of us has a busy life.  He does expect that we do put a little bit of extra effort into our callings.  They don't have to be that difficult.  I have a couple of examples to help express some things that can be done.

The first example is of a stake leader who decided to memorize the names of every youth ages 12 to 18 in his stake.  He made little cards with their names and faces on them, and carried them with him to work and other places.  He quickly memorized all of their names.  He was magnifying his calling.

The second is of a sister who was called to serve teaching a class every sunday.  Instead of limiting her studies to the material in the teachers manual, she sought out other materials that would compliment those given by the leaders of the church and help impart increased understanding to those in her class.  She was magnifying her calling.

The third is that of a home teaching companionship.  Under the leadership of the Senior companion they would make the monthly visit to each of their assigned family, but would also remain in contact with the family throughout the whole month.  Following up their needs and offering help.  Often times visits would be repeated within the same month to help these family with needs ranging from fixing a DVD player to helping with landscaping.  They were magnifying their calling.

The last is of a man called to be the Secretary of a young mens presidency.  He fulfilled all of his assignments and also made himself available to his brethren in the Presidency and found little ways to make their loads lighter.  He was magnifying his calling.

My brothers and sisters, Magnifying your calling need not be difficult, but I promise each and every one of you that as you try and expand your service to the Lord, every small deed of goodness that you do will be noticed by the Lord and will be returned unto you ten fold.  It was once said, "You cannot give a crust to the Lord without receiving a loaf in return"  I want to leave this as my testimony to you.  I love you all.

Elder Childs

Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28

 Answers to a few questions:

(We asked about seeing where he lives on Google Earth) We don't have an exact address for our house.  All you will be able to see is the roof, but it you find two brothers in sto domingo, go down the street to the south east until you see a house with a blue roof on the corner.  Behind that house is a house with a green roof.  Thats us!

We speak Ilokano a fair amount here.  I won't say I'm fluent yet, but I can communicate on a basic level with people.  Sometimes we have to teach lessons in Ilokano to older people and I make it through.  Hopefully I will get it down though before I go home.  Elder Roche is teaching me a little bit of bisayas as well. (thats his native language.)

There are 4 missonaries in Sto Domingo.  Us and then the STLs.  Its good!  There is lots of progression.  We attend District meeting in Cabugao most of the time, but every once and I while we go south to Vigan to visit the Vigan district.  Zone meetings are held in Sto Domingo.

Hello Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have had a normal week!  We had some good finding and a fun FHE with a part member family in the ward.  It was another good week!  The members in Sto Domingo are really nice and ready to help the work go forward.

I hope you all had a wonderful wonderful Thanksgiving!  I really did enjoy getting to think about all of the wonderful thing that God has done for me here in the Philippines and I hope you all were able to feel the same peace that I did from remembering our blessings.

This week we have seen lots of miracles as we have been helping people come unto Christ.  One thing that was an especially large blessing for me was with Brother Jerome Dominguez and Lydia Bautista.  They are two of our investigators that we have been working with to help them prepare for baptism and they have been really progressing!  They were interviewed yesterday by our district leader and they were both passed!  They will be baptized this coming Saturday.  I'm so very happy for them!  It is such a blessing to see people receive the Gospel.  There isn't anything that I would rather do.

I have also been thinking this week about how important it is that we are always acting in such a way that we can be guided by the Spirit.  It is our effective Golden Ticket that will help us pass anything that we need to do in life.  There are some missionaries who really struggle to learn to teach with power or connect with their investigators, and the thing that I have noticed is it ends up being a problem with their spiritual sensitivity. They don't follow all of the commandments that God has given to prevent our sensitivity from being dulled, and they feel the effects of it.  But when we do everything in our power to stay in line with the Lord's perfect plan for us, we will be able to accomplish everything the Lord gives us.  It is really just as simple as that.

I hope that we all can always find ways to be more receptive to the promptings of the still small voice, and I pray that all of you will come ever closer to our beloved Heavenly Father.

Elder Childs

Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21

Hello Everyone!

We have had a really good week here in Sto. Domingo.  It is a really fun area with lots of really nice people.  I have had a lot of fun getting to work in the area for the first time this week.  I have met some really nice people here.  Lots of investigators (some of them new to just me, and others new to both of us) and lots of members too.

As for our investigators, they are all doing really good.  We have found some new people with real potential.  One former investigator that we have been working with.  His name is Jerome, and he is only 14, but he is wise beyond his years.  He really wants to be baptized, and all that he is waiting for is that spiritual confirmation that this is God's church.  He is such a cool guy.

One other family that we have been working with is the Bautista Family.  They are so nice and ready to accept the Gospel.  We taught them the Word of Wisdom this week and they accepted it so readily without any questions.  They commited to stop drinking coffee, and the father comitted to stop drinking alcohol and smoking cigarrettes.  They are really coming closer to our Heavenly Father, and it is so fun to see.

A family that we were able to find this week as well was the Takla family.  They are super nice as well.  We met Franklin first, the father of the family.  He was in front of his house drinking some alcohol and he was the one who actually called us over.  At first I thought he just wanted to talk about useless things, but it turned out he wanted God's help.  In his words he wanted to "Change his bad attitude."  We were able to set a return appointment to come back later in the week and when we got there, we met Franklin's wife Josie as well.  She had been exposed to the missionaries before 2 years ago when her family was being taught, but was too shy/busy before to talk with the missionaries.  Josie is also looking for God's help because their family life is not always ideal, and she really wants her children to be happy.  They committed to pray as a family, and they said they would come out to church next week.

Life is going really good.  I am really progressing a lot with Elder Roche's help.  He is a really good missionary!

Have a wonderful week,

Elder Childs

P.S.  The area is good.  It is about 2 hours away from Laoag but only half an hour away from Vigan (a big tourist spot in the Philippines).  We do have lots of investigators, but we still find a bunch because finding is super fun and really easy in the Philippines.  Everyone is usually at least willing to listen to your message.  Finding is my favorite.  The branch is really good.  They are supportive of the missionaries.  Which is always a bonus.  There have been some really good missionaries who have left the area, so the members have trust in the missionaries.

Monday, November 14, 2016

November 14

Hello Everyone!

I have had a good week!  This week was a good week.  It was also transfer week, and I got transferred!!!  What??  I was super not expecting that.  I thought I was going to be in the office until February.  But I guess I was either a bad office elder or God needs me here in Sto. Domingo.  I'm half glad and half sad that I'm leaving.  It will be nice to be able to  just focus on inviting others unto Christ full time again, but I will miss all the nice people in the Laoag 1st Ward.  My new companion is Elder Paulo, and he is super nice!  He is really good at playing the Piano!  He is a Filipino from Cagayan De Oro (in the south of the Philippines.)  

Not much exciting happened last week in Laoag.  We got audited, so we had an accountant (President Ardon) in the office all  week looking through everything in the finance stuff.  He was a nice guy, and we got some free food out of it, so I guess it was alright.

One cool insight that I had during my scripture study this week was from 1st Nephi in Lehi's dream. After Lehi went and partook of the fruit himself, he began to look around, and one of the first things he saw was his family "Standing as if they knew not where to go"  He obviously wanted them to taste the fruit as well, and so he called to them, and soon they were there with them.  One thing that the Spirit whispered to me as I read that was the importance of the role of fathers in families.  They really are supposed to be the leaders of their family, and the other members have a responsibility to listen to him, and give him the respect he deserves.  It has changed my view about teaching families. A lot of the time in the Philippines the wife will want to listen and learn about the Gospel, but the father is busy, and to some degree indifferent.  But this week that I realized that that is not God's way.  

One of the strongest RC families that we have in Laoag was baptized because the father first had a desire to investigate the Gospel, and then he invited the family to come with him.  I hope that I can help more families be like that, and so I have now decided to place more of an emphasis on helping the father's see the importance of the Gospel in their lives as well. 

Have a good week!

Elder Childs

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 7

Hey Everyone!

We have had a really busy week this week in the office, but it was good too.  I told you last week that Elder and Sister Kohls left last week right?  Which means that me and Elder Nuada are stuck in the office by ourselves, and that makes for busy lives (:  We got stuck in the office a lot this week.  Right now the biggest thing that Ive got to work on (that Im really dreading) is a video that the mission makes for all the departing missionaries with some pictures in it and such.  I am not creative enough for that kind of stuff.  But Im sure it will work out.  They're not expecting a professional quality job hopefully because I don't know if I've got that kind of a job in me.  Pray for me :)

We also got to go get our drivers licenses yesterday and it was good!  It was a really easy process.  We showed up around 8 o clock, and they first had us take a little 40 question test about signs and rules of the road.  (My favorite question was:  What should you do if you come up on produce (IE corn, rice, etc) being dried right on the pavement. Its a real problem in the Philippines (:)  When we finished that they gave us the pass without even looking at the test.   Then they asked us if we had brought a vehicle to the office, which we had so they told us to go get it.  Elder Nuada drove taking it there, and when we got to the back of the office, (less than 100 meters from where we had parked) and when we got there, they told me to drive and then they passed us off on our driving.  Then we were done!  We got our licenses!  Cool right?  I thought it was fun (:

One thing that Ive been thinking about a lot this week is how very very vital it is for us to read in the scriptures every day.  We were really busy in the office this week, and my scripture study ended up taking a back seat.  I didn't read as often as I should have, and at first I didn't really notice, but yesterday, I was just feeling really off.  I just didnt feel like I could function as normal, and after I pondered for  a little why,I realised that I had not been giving the importance to my scripture study as I should have.  I soon found some time to read,and after I had done so, I immediately started to feel better.  I really have a testimony that scripture study should always be a priority.  It will make whatever else that we have to do so much easier. 

I love you all!

Elder Childs

Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31

I have had a good week this week.  But it was pretty boring.  The saddest part was that our friends the Kohls left. :(  They had to go back to Manila to get to work in the temple.  So it is now just me and Elder Nuada in the office.  On Friday President took us all out to dinner at a hotel and restaurant. It was really good.  They also had some live bands playing and they were really really good! I was impressed!  There was one singer that really impressed me.  She was super spot on on all of her pitches and she had a really good voice.  It was fun.  As far as work goes it was a pretty normal week.  One highlight though was with Brother Dennis.  He hasn't been coming to church very much lately because he has been harvesting rice and that is an everyday job here in the Philippines.  It is hard to get a day off.  But he said that he had decided that he missed going to church so he talked to his work mates and told them that he wasn't going to come in to work on Sunday so that he could come to church and they said ok!  So we were finally able to see him again at church!  He will hopefully be baptized this coming December.  One person that needs your prayers though is Sister Michelle.  We haven't been able to talk with her for a long time, and we're not sure where she's at.  Since her mother passed away we haven't been able to talk to her that much.  Hopefully we will find an opportunity to share with her again this week.  Keep her in your prayers.  


Elder Childs

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 25

We have had a really busy week.  It was pretty sleep deprived too.  But God gave me lots of strength so I made it through alright.  I'll try and give you a good run down.

Monday was a normal day.  We were just in the office.  We had heard a little about the typhoon, but nothing about president's plans for the missionaries.  Tuesday we had our P-day and then we went out to work, but after our first appointment, one of the AP's called and said that there was an emergency and we needed to go back to the office right away.  We got back to the office and found out that the emergency was that all of the missionaries north of Laoag (there was 82 of them) were going to be coming to Laoag and we needed to get ready for them.  So we spent that night getting their sleeping all arranged, and then we planned for what was going to be happening for the next 3 days until the Typhoon had moved out and everyone went home.  We had the first batch of missionaries come in around midnight, and we shipped them off to bed.  Then we talked some more, ate some McDonalds, and then talked some more until 3:30 when the last batch of missionaries coming in that night made it to the office.  We helped them on their way to bed, and then we got to finally go to bed ourselves.  By the time we rolled into our beds it was around 4 in the morning, then bright and early the next day (6:30) we got up to go and run some errands to get ready for the incoming Typhoon.  Wednesday was the day that the typhoon was supposed to actually roll into Laoag so we spent most of the day getting ready for all of the everything that needed to happen.  President Andrada had some people come in and cater for all of us, so that was pretty tasty (:  We got back into the office around 6, and talked with President and the AP's some more.  Wednesday night we were on a signal number 5, which is the highest that the signals go, so we were getting ready for a really really strong typhoon.  We went to bed on time that night.

Around 2 in the morning I was woken up by the wind.  It was super strong and really loud in our room.  The wind was blowing so hard that it was changing the pressure in the room so that my ears were popping over and over again.  I sleep by the window and was a little bit worried that something would fly into the window and it would break and shatter glass all over me.  But I got back to sleep despite all that, and we rolled out of bed the next morning to get back to work.  The wind had slowed down some and we were only a signal number 2, but the rain was still coming down really hard.  We went over to the office and spent the first little while there running around the office tying things down in the yard around the mission home.  By the time we got it all taken care of we were pretty soaking wet.  After that there wasn't much left to do.  By thursday evening the typhoon had moved out of the Philippines area of responsibility and we were back to normal.  There wasn't tons of damage in Laoag because when the typhoon hit the mountains between Cagayan and Laoag it slowed down some, so that was a blessing. Thursday afternoon we went to one of the churches and helped pack some bags of relief goods.  They were bags with 5 Kilos of rice, some canned goods, bottled water, and some noodles for families who were affected by the typhoon. Thursday evening we still didn't have any power.  On friday we shipped all the missionaries off to their respective apartments and then starting making plans for what to do when a missionary's apartment is no longer there, or damaged so that it can no longer be lived in.  After that life was back to normal!  We didn't get power back until yesterday (Monday) Morning, so Saturday and Sunday night we slept in an apartment above the mission home.   And that's all she wrote!

We did do a little bit of service yesterday at a member's home.  Two of their walls had been pretty battered by the typhoon and some of their roof had been blown off.  We helped them put in two new walls, but weren't able to help them with their roof.  We ran out of time and had to come back to the office.

The real damage is in Cagayan.  They all lost power, and are just barely starting to get power back again.  The good news is that there were only 3 sets of missionaries that had to move apartments because of damage. Two were flooded, and one had its whole roof blown off.  There were also relatively few casualties because the government did a good job of warning everyone so that people were able to get prepared. It will take some time though for Cagayan to really recover from the Typhoon.

So that was my week!  But this week I have been thinking a lot about life. (we had lots of down time.) and one of the things that I've pondered was procrastination.  Its one of Satan's best tactics.  We always just assume that we can put it off to the next day or the next time, which doesn't always work out.  Sometimes you do get off with it, but not always.  A cool thought came to me the other day while we were running some errands.

People often wast their lives
Reading up on how to live
Only planning what they want
Coming up with plans to give
Readying all their perfect tools
And never really acting
Setting all the pieces in place
Thinking out the perfect move
Indefinitely planning
Nourishing their armies,
And never really acting
This life is the time for us to act
Its every hour is precious
Our good works are greatly needed now
Now is the time to act

I just think that its so important that we just do something with our life.  If we are moving, God will guide us into the right direction.  But if we just stand there and are too afraid to take the first step, then God cannot help us.  When we choose to move forward in life, to try new things, to try and learn (which is the whole purpose of this life), we will be blessed, and if we do it with our hearts in the right place, we will have Heavenly Father's guidance, and we will know where to go and what to do.

I love you all!

Elder Childs

Monday, October 24, 2016

Hurrican Lawin Update

This is to inform you that the typhoon has passed-by. All missionaries are safe.

Missionaries assigned in Cagayan areas returned back to Cagayan last Friday. It has been reported that there were no damages in their apartments. Cagayan areas have no electricity at this time. It is projected that this will last a week or two. Also, some areas do not have internet connectivity. If in case you don't receive an email from your missionary it is because of this reason.

Each missionary in Cagayan was given a solar lamp.

Thank you very much for all your prayers. Rest assured that your missionary is in his or her finest condition. Sister Andrada and I love them very much. Please continue encouraging them to be the best missionary they could ever be and to be the kind of missionary the Lord wants them to be.

Best regards,

President and Sister Andrada

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hurricane Lawin

We received this following letter from Alex's mission president this morning:

Dear Philippines Laoag Mission Family,

I am writing to inform you that we are to be impacted by a super a typhoon named Lawin. This typhoon is very destructive. The Church has been observing this storm for days and has made numerous preparations for its arrival.

The main track of the storm is projected to pass over the areas of Laoag Mission and mostly to the Cagayan areas. Current forecasts show it as a Category 4 Typhoon and it is projected to reach land Wednesday night and clear land by Thursday night.

All of our missionaries assigned in Cagayan, Bangui and Pasuquin were all evacuated yesterday and they are all here now in Laoag City. They are all check-in in a hotel just across the mission home. All of them are safely gathered-in.  The rest of our missionaries are just here in Laoag City and nearby towns. Their apartments are located in flood free areas and are far away from the sea. These apartments are strong structures and can withstand the typhoon. We alerted all of them to store sufficient drinking water and food to last through Friday. They are advised to just stay in their apartments from Wednesday afternoon to Friday morning.

In the mission home, we have stored sufficient diesel fuel for our generator. We have sufficient food storage to feed our missionaries for one week.

We pray that we will be safe and protected as the super typhoon passes by in our mission. 


President Robert M. Andrada


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October 17

I bet you're worrying a little bit right now cause I didn't get to email earlier.  Don't (:  We're fine here in Laoag.  There is a typhoon coming but the eye isn't coming through here.  Its gonna miss us.  I don't really have tons of time to email right now, but I just want you to know I'm alive and well, and that you shouldn't worry.

Love ya!

Elder Childs

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October 10

Hey Everyone!

This week we got to watch General Conference!!

General Conference was really uplifting.  One of the themes that I saw from conference was that of God's love for us.  I really felt that all our Heavenly Father desires is for us to just be happy.  We are His children, and short of taking away our agency, He will do everything He can to get us on His team, and keep us there.  He will line everything up for us, He will make anything happen that needs to, just so that in the end, we can return and live with Him again. After the conference I decided that I want to be better at helping everyone around me feel His love.  Its one of my goals for the next couple of weeks.

Yesterday we had a cool experience.  There is a member family in our ward that is really poor, and they started a house fifteen years ago, and have been unable to finish it since.  So they have been just living without floors, windows or doors, and with a roof only over one room of the house.  But last week a member of the stake presidency told us that there was a foundation that was going to pay for them to finish their house, and that they wanted us to come and help out.  So when monday morning rolled around, we headed over to the Regpala home.  When we got there we started looking around to see what we could do to help, and as we did, I saw through the broken walls of the home, a big white guy with a full beard walk up and start talking to some of the children playing in front of the house.  At first I thought he was a preacher from a different religion, but when we went over to talk to him, we found out that it was actually an RM that served in the Baguio mission!  There were five of them that came, and they were the ones who were running the foundation that had paid for the Regpala home.  They had come over as well to help out with the building.  It was fun to get to talk with them.  I was so so grateful that they were helping out my friends with their home.  If there is anyone who deserves the help it was them.  they are the nicest family and their faith is so strong, but they come from such a poor background that they haven't had tons of opportunities in life.  I was so grateful to those men, and to the Lord, that the Regpala family was receiving some much needed help.  And now their house is nice and complete and they are that much happier and safer.  God really does bless His faithful children.

So in the Spirit of God's love for everyone, I think that service for everyone would be a good goal for me.  Serving in any way possible, whoever it is.  I have really noticed the relieving power of service in my life.  Whenever I get stressed or feel like I can't go anymore, it only lasts until I stop being so self centred, and start looking outside myself.  When I do that, when I find someone to serve, somehow, all of my stress or my fatigue seems to melt away like the snow under a warm spring sun.  God comes into my life and gives me new strength, and a new perspective.  But it does not happen until I decide to be more than just the natural man.  So serving everyone will be my new goal.  I really like the Proverb shared in General Conference,

"Ye lift me, and I'll lift thee, and together we'll ascend, eternally"

I don't know, it just seems like my life is getting so full of blessings, that Heavenly Father is giving me so much more than I deserve.  I haven't always been the most grateful person, but I am beginning to see the infinite reasons for me to be grateful.


Elder Childs

Monday, October 3, 2016

October 3

Hello Again,

We were pretty busy in the office this week getting ready for transfers and auditing, so we didn't get to go out as much as I would have liked, but we did still have some good experiences.  Maybe I'll just share this one.

One of my favorites was with a new less active.  He randomly texted us on sunday evening and just asked if we could come and talk with him.  He thought that our number was still the number of an old missionary, but he was still glad to talk with us.  So we went over to visit him, and he came out and was really nice, and ready to talk about his faith and coming back to church.  He said that he had been thinking a lot about him not getting to go to church, and he said he really missed it and wanted to go back.  He is a manager at a restaurant and they aren't allowed to have a day off on sunday.  He hasn't been able to go back to church for a long time because of it.  But he said that he talked to his co-managers and they were willing to let him have the closing shift on sunday so that he could go to church.  It was really fun getting to talk to him and it was a testimony builder for me because he had realized that he needed to change, and had done his part, and God had done the rest.  Now he will be able to go to church every sunday,and he will be able to get ready to receive the priesthood, and eventually be married in the temple.

Sometimes following Christ takes courage, and we have to take the first few steps on our own, but then after that, after we really show our desire to do what God wants instead of what is easy, God will give us wings and take us the rest of the way.  Just remember that following God is not always easy, but is always worth it.

Love you all,

Elder Childs

Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19

Hey Everybody!

I have had another good week.  We were a little bit busy in the office, so we didn't get to go out tons, but almost every day we did.  One thing that I've thought about though is how important it is to stay completely away from any sin.  We were teaching Dennis the other night about the WOW, and it was good.  He had heard it before and he knew it all, but he still would sometimes drink alcohol with his friends every once and a while when they came over, but he said only a little, and he felt all right about that.  Truth be told, it probably doesn't really have that big of an effect on his health, if it really is only rarely, but as we tried to explain it to him, the thought came in to my head that there are some times when we keep the commandments, not for ourselves, not because there is any visible worldly benefit, but because we love our Heavenly Father and just want to do what He wants for us.  There shouldn't always have to be a reward for us.  Sometimes it is enough that our Heavenly Father has asked us to do it.
When we really understand that principle, we will really feel the blessings of God's love in our life, and we will really become happy.  But when we try and justify just a little sin, because its not really super against the commandments, we will be missing out on so many blessings.  So I've been working on willing obedience, willing strict obedience to God's commands, because that is what He asks of me, and because he loves me, and I love Him.

Thats all for this week.

Love, Elder Childs

Monday, September 12, 2016

September 12


I have had another really good week!!  We were a little bit busy in the office, but it was alright!  At the end of the week Brother Edwin Tesora was Baptized and confirmed, so I can't complain.  It was so fun for me to see him make that step.  It was something long awaited, and worked on by three different bishops, but now he has a strong testimony and is now geting ready to make his temple covenants and be sealed to his family for forever!!!  It was a real pleasure to witness.

Elder Nuada's birthday was on Sunday, and the bishop's wife's birthday was yesterday, so they invited the missionaries over to celebrate.  It was delicious!!!  The bishop and his wife are so awesome!  Sister Simeon (the bishops wife) has cancer right now, and has been going through chemo therapy, but despite that, she is still such a happy person and does all she can to serve. Its a great example for me.  Its so easy to turn inwards in those times of trials, but she is really turning outward.  The bishop is just the same way.  They are awesome.

Other that that we didn't have too much of an exciting week.  We were pretty busy in the office getting ready for the upcoming zone conferences, but now that's all taken care of.

I have thought a lot this week about something that some missionary sometime put into my phone.  Every time it would turn on it said, "What we love, we give time."

Since I've gotten into the office, our time is really on demand, and the scheduled hours of study are not always there.  Or even often. And at first, my studies really suffered.  But I noticed that there was a lack in my life, and when I thought about it, it was not super hard to figure out.  So I really started to make that a priority.  It wasn't always easy to find time, but I made ways, and I really saw the blessings.  I saw the guidance of the spirit, I saw personal revelation, and I saw peace.

When life gets busy, our scripture study always seems to get put at the bottom of the list.  It is always a thing that can be done "later".  Unfortunately, in the busyness of life, "later" often never comes.  But when we show God that we really do love and appreciate the scriptures that he has given us, that we value the opportunity to receive personal revelation, we will be guided more than we can imagine. So hopefully personal scripture study will be at the top priority of everyones list.  That we will schedule our life, around our time for studies, and not the other way around.  If we do that, we will see blessings.  I love you all,

Elder Childs

Brother Edwin Tesora's Baptism!

On Our Way To a Family Home Evening After the Baptism

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September 7

Hey everyone!!

It has been another good week here in the Philippines Laoag Mission!!!  I hope you have had a good one this week as well.  Some updates on life, we will be having a baptism this Saturday!!!  It is the baptism of Brother Edwin Tesora!  He is the only one in his family who hasn't been baptized, and now he will be baptized and headed to the temple next year!  I am so happy for him.  He has really embraced the Gospel and is ready to live these sacred covenants.  We also have some baptisms that should be on the way.  If you guys ever wanted to pray for them it would be a huge help!  The first one is Brother Dennis.  He had a son that passed away a couple of months ago, while the missionaries were teaching, but instead of turning from God, he is turning to God, and is really trying to find out if this is God's church.  He is super nice, and such a joy to talk to.  the second is Sister Heil Aguino.  She is a 15 year old and is getting ready for baptism, she should be there in a couple of weeks.  The second is sister Michell.  She is so smart and goes to church every week, but she just really wants to know for sure that Joseph Smith was a prophet before she is baptized.  She is really doing some study in the BOM right now, and hopefully she will be baptized this month!  The last is Sister Marites.  She is so nice and has really seen the light of the Gospel come into her life, but her husband died a year ago and she is struggling being the sole provider of her family.  She is trying to find a job, but if she can't find one here, she will be going to Manila.  Please pray that she will be able to find good work here in Laoag.

This week I have thought a lot about change. Change should be a regular thing.  Whether you are ten, fifty or one hundred, change should be something that we do every day.  A thought that came into my head as I thought about this was this,

Stagnant is the pool of water
that remains in a single place
always it must be moving onward
to retain its cool clear taste.

Our lives are just like the water.  We must change.  We must grow.  Every day that we live is a day to become something better than we were yesterday.  We don't have to do it alone, we have the atonement, but we do have to do.   Something it says in the true to the faith is that repentance is not an easy process.  It isn't just something that you say sorry and then everything goes away.  We must really feel sorrow, and then make changes in our lives and in ourselves to reflect that sorrow. Change is essential.

Another thing that President Andrada said while we were eating one day was that these days, many people are too smart to commit outright sins.  There obviously are people who do, but many people in the world, and especially in the Philippines are really trying to do what God wants.  So Satan has changed his tactics a little bit.  Instead of outright sins, he gives "time wasters"  We are not helping the kingdom grow, or preparing ourselves for the Celestial Kingdom, if all we do is sit in front of the TV all day.  Or Play video games, or whatever other kind of time wasting device you can think of.

We really need to be careful, be diligent that we are always trying to change, change to become more like our Savior and if we do, we can look back at the end of our lives and say that we've done something important.  We will be able to say that we've helped others grow closer to Christ and done so ourselves, and we will be happy.

I love you all,

Elder Childs

Answers to random questions:

We have a laundry machine right now.  You put it in the wash and when that's done you drain the water and put some more in for the rinse, and then when that's done you put it in the dryer, but it doesn't dry it all the way.  It just spins super fast so that the water all gets wrung out, but then you still have to hang it out for a day until its all the way dry.

We don't have house help.  That is sadly something that was done away with a while ago.  Not super long ago though.  I'm not really sure why it stopped.

In the office it's just me and my companion and then the senior couple.  I'm in charge of all the supplies, my companion is in charge of all the money, The senior couple takes care of records and travel stuff.  They're a fun bunch!  The senior couple always buy us food so that's good!

We do eat with members but not every day. They make good food.  There are lots of ward family home evenings too so that's good as well.

Monday, August 29, 2016

August 29

Hello Everyone!

I have had a good week!  I have been super busy here in the office.  I am the supplies manager, and so I have been busy taking care of everything that needs to happen in the transfer.  I am in charge of all of of the supplies for the mission.  Ordering and distributing.  I am also in charge of making sure the apartments are safe and well equipped, which is sometimes a hassle because sometimes missionaries want things they don't really need, but its ok.

My new companion is Elder Nuada.  He is from Manila and is a joker.  He is a really nice guy though and really hard working.We got to hang out with some of the new missionaries that came in, and we got to eat out a lot with president because of it.

We usually spend the morning in the office, and then the afternoon we proselyte.  But last week we didn't proselyte too much because we were super busy getting everything ready for transfer day.

Our area is still in Laoag but kind of far from the office.  We ride bikes to get there and there are lots and lots of progressing investigators there.  We will be having some baptisms this september.

Our apartment is close to the office.  Its two stories and has air conditioning, which is really nice, except its also really expensive.

I have been learning lots of good life skills here in the office, like prioritizing, which I have  always been really bad at.  Hopefully I will be able to use that in my studies after I get home.

I have been learning a lot about the need to change though lately, so I really liked the quote that you sent.  I think that if I can change even a little bit every day to be a little bit more like the Savior, I will end up being alright at the end of my life.  So I hope that I can really follow through on that.


Elder Childs

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August 23

I have really almost no time today.  I am going to make this a quick email.

I have gotten transferred into the office, and right now, we're getting ready for all of the new missionaries coming into the office.  I'm back in Laoag again and I'm glad to be here.  We haven't really stopped since I got here, and its been an adventure trying to adjust to everything really quick.  But I have seen a lot of really great miracles as I have been doing it.  There are four of us here.  Me and my companion and then a senior couple here.  The Kohls.  They are from Colorado and they are super nice!  Their mission is actually in the temple, but it is closed right now, so they are here with us until November.  They don't really know Tagalog so I have been practicing my English.  Sister Kohls always laughs at me because I speak Tagalog to her and she has no idea what I'm saying.

My companion is Elder Nuada and he is from Maynila.  He is a super nice guy and I think we will get along really well.  He loves to play basketball and be outside and all that great stuff.  He is actually going to be going home at the same time as I am so that's pretty cool!!!

Thats all I've got. This is a picture of me and brother Kohls.

Monday, August 15, 2016

August 15

Hello Everyone!

I have had a great week!  The two biggest things that I have learned this week are this.  First, The importance of Self Evaluation.  The second, is the importance of family history.  I will talk a little about the first first.

We were having a little bit, or maybe a lot a bit of a bad week.  We hadn't been able to teach hardly any lessons and it was getting us a little bit down as a companionship. So one night in our nightly evaluation, we decided to think about what we were going to change in order to make a change in the work we were able to do.  We decided to give it a day to just think about and receive revelation, and then the next day we were going to talk about it.  Me and Elder Ibanez thought about it for the next day, and were taught by the Holy Ghost.  Then when our companionship study came around we were able to set some solid goals and plans for what we were going to do. Then for the rest of the week we tried our best to apply the things we had learned, and we ended up doing so much better.  We were able to really meet people and talk with them about this Gospel that I love.  It really made an impact on me, and I know that just taking time to evaluate yourself is super important.

As for family History, we started working with one of the YSA (Dante Baltazar) to help him connect his family tree together.  He started with absolutely nothing, and we have been just working on getting his parents and grandparents, and great grandparents entered in, with all of their children.  The thing that really impressed me was the spirit that I felt as we were working on that.  I know that it was the Spirit of Elijah that was promised, and I love it.  There really is such a power that comes into your life as you work to complete saving ordinances for those who cannot do it for themselves.  It was fun for me to feel again.  I challenge each of you to do something with family history this week, and I know that you will really feel that same spirit.

I know that this is the true Gospel, and I love it.  I love you all,

Elder Childs

Sunday, August 7, 2016

August 7

We finally got our power back after five days.  It turned out that our meter had been completely fried, so they put a new one on and it was alright!

We still don't have water, but our landlord says that he will be fixing that soon.  We have a toilet, but there just isn't any water in the tank.  We just have to put our own water into it.  I didn't actually know you could do that until I got here in the mission, but it flushes just fine like that.

My daily routine goes like this.

6:30 Wake up, carry water upstairs.

7:00 ish.  Take a shower

7:30 eat breakfast.  Usually eggs and rice or ramen and rice or anything, as long as it has rice (:

8:00 leave!

12:00 come home eat.  See breakfast for what (:

1:00-4:00 STUDIES (so so so important)

4:00 leave again.  Work work work!

9:00 come home.  Sometimes earlier, depending on appointments.  We can't always stay out till nine, in which case we come home around 8

then we eat write in my journal, sometimes extra studies, or talk or whatever.

10:30 go to bed.

The other night we visited our investigator Princess, and she has been struggling to know for herself if the church is true, but last week we committed her to read every day.  She did it and this week, when we taught her, we talked about her upcoming baptism on august 20 and if she had received an answer, and she said that she had.  She said that she believed it was all true.  It really strengthened my testimony that we really need to read the Book of Mormon.  It really will strengthen our testimony and spirituality.

I won't list all of our investigators today. We have almost 40, but they are all doing good.  The progressing investigators are Menalyn, Ednalyn, and Princess.  Some others that have lots of potential are Bong, Nilo and Nirio.  They could all use your faithful prayers.

I love you all!

Elder Childs

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July 31

Hey everyone!

I have had a good week here in the Philippines.  I just love it here so much.  There is really no place that I would rather be.  One of the exciting things that happened this week is there was a typhoon that passed by our little Gattaran.  It wasn't too bad, but it did get pretty windy, and the power went out in the city.  And then came back, just not at our house.  Hopefully we will get it looked at today.  We think the power line to our house probably just got severed in the wind.  We'll see though.

Other that that, we got to visit some less actives, find some new investigators, and teach some good lessons!  At the end of the week, we had some of our investigators to show up to church. All in all a missionary week.

 I have made a goal to be better at my journal writing.  Its my goal to have a journal entry for every day until the end of my mission.  Then hopefully I will keep on going.  I was impressed with President Wilford Woodruff.  He said that after he heard Joseph Smith say that we should be a record keeping people, he never missed a single day, and because of that, we have much valuable church history.  Hence my new goal.

I have thought a lot this week though about how important the temple is for our life.  For one, it is the only place in the whole world that we can be sealed to our family for time and all eternity.  For another, there is so much guidance to be received if we will just enter the walls of that sacred building.  The third, is that we can just be closer to our heavenly father if we will just enter the building that has been dedicated is as His home, here on the earth.  I have seen the temples be such a motivation for so many people, but the sad story is, after we have been a member for how ever many years, we start to forget the sacredness and importance of that holy edifice, so my challenge to all of you, is to make your temple worship a regular event.  If you can only go once a year, ok.  As long as you make it regular.  If you can go more than that, great as well.  It just needs to be regular. Heavenly Father has promised us so many blessings if we will just go enter the sacred ground of the Temple.  The temple, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful words in all the english language.  It will be the greatest blessing for your life.  I love you all, have a great week.

Elder Childs

Me making coconut shavings!! It was actually fun.  I hope I get to do it again sometime.  Basically all you do is crack open the coconut, and then they have a metal thing that you use to scrape all of the meat out of the coconut.  Then you use it in ginataan!  Tasty (:

Sunday, July 24, 2016

July 24

I don't have tons to say today, but life is going good.  We got some rain, we met some new investigators, and we have some progressing investigators.  What more could you want in life right?

One of the new people that we met is named Nilo Singson.  He's a really nice guy.  He is one of the government officials here in Gattaran, and he is super nice.  We got to talk with him about the gospel.  He has a really big love for his 3 daughters, and he really wants them to be happy.  The first time that we met him, he spent at least 15 minutes just telling us about his daughters.  You can really tell that he loves his family, and so the gospel will be perfect for him.  We got to share with him about the Prophet Joseph Smith this week, and we gave him a book of mormon to read.  I think that he will be a good investigator.  He really values the word of God, and wants to learn if the Book of Mormon is really scripture.  Hopefully he and his family will all be baptized in the coming month or two.

Another fun experience we had was with finding.  We were in one part of our area called Newagac, and we decided to talk to all of the houses on this one path.  So we started and we didn't find anyone who was really ready to listen.  But on the very last house on the street we met a couple of really nice ladies named emily and july anne.  They were very willing and ready to listen to us, and were especially excited about the book of mormon.  They said that their whole family would want to read the Book of Mormon.  They also will hopefully be baptized in the next couple of months.

Thats about all I've got!  Life is good, life is happy.  I don't have any complaints.


Elder Childs

Sunday, July 17, 2016

July 17

I guess I'll answer your questions real quick...I don't really feel much about being out 1 year.  Still loving missionary work, still don't want to come home (:  

The baptism was in a font, thank you for all of your prayers, it went great!

Our other investigators are doing good, we will hopefully have some more baptisms the first week of august.

The piano is in tune and being used!  I play, but most of the time only the right hand.  I'm practicing though, and hopefully I'll get it.  I have a really really hard time with hymns for some reason.  But thats ok!

I have had a really good week!  for one we had a baptism!!! It was super fun! I love getting to see the smile on peoples faces after they come out of the baptismal font.  And then no matter how shy they are, they are always able to stand in front of everyone and bear a beautiful testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Baptism.  It is so much fun for me.

This week I have pondered the Parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 in this parable the master gave his servants each responsibilities, according to their individual abilities, and left, without giving any instruction.  One received five talents, one two, and the last one.  the first two did what they could, and because of their diligence, each doubled their talents.  The last though, was afraid, maybe believing he was capable of less, because he had been given less, seeing his fellow servants many talents, and his 1.  Whatever the reason, he took his precious talent, and hid it in the earth.  After some time, the master returned to receive his talents.  He first spoke with his servant to whom he had entrusted five talents, and was pleased to see that five had become ten.  The master said to him, "Well done thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the Joy of thy lord."

Then the master spoke to his second servant, who had received 2 talents, and was also pleased to see that he had worked diligently as well, and had produced two talents more than he had been given.  The masters response was the same, "well done good and faithful servant.  Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.  Enter thou into the joy of thy lord."

But when he went to speak with his last servant, he was disappointed.  He had known all of his servants weaknesses and imperfections, but the master also knew his servants abilities, and had expected him to use those abilities.  When the servant returned the talent he had been given, still unchanged from when he had been given it, he heard a different reply.  The master spoke unto him saying, "thou wicked and slothful servant.,  Thou knowest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed, thou oughtest threrefore to have put my money to the exchangers and then at my coming I should have received mine own with [interest].  Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness.  There shall be weping and gnashing of teeth."

Do you think that if the last servant had worked his hardest, done what he could, and produced one more talent, he would have received any dfferent of a response from he who had ten talents?  The answer is no. because the master was not looking at the quantity of talents, but at the quality of the hearts of his servants.  Had the last servant returned two talents instead of one, he would not have been any more or less favored than he who had returned 10.

So it is also in this life.  We are not in a race or a competition with our fellow man.  We are only racing againgst ourselves, trying to be just a little bit better today than we were yesterday.  It is however, the unfortunate disposition of the human family to look at our neighbour and feel like we are not good enough because the "jones'" have more cars, or a bigger house than us, or are better at this or better at that than we are.

I am writing this today to request that we allchoose to discontinue this bad habit.   When Judgement Day comes, Heavenly Father will not take mr jones, stand him in fromt of us and say, "well child, Mr Jones got all of this, and you didn't.  Go to outer darkness."  That is not how God works.  He does not compare our symbolic 1 talent to someone elses symbolic 5 talents.  I believe that the conversation on Judgement Day will will go a little more like this.  "My beloved son/daughter, I am so glad we get to speak again.  What have you done with the precious time I gave you on the earth? Were you able to improve yourself and learn?" And if at that day we can look our Father in Heaven in the eye and tell him that we did improve, that our 1 talent became 2 or our five became 10, or that we have grown and have used our time wisely, that we did not waste the marvelous gift of moreality, we shall hear the words, "well done though good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things, enter thou into the rest of thy lord."

So if your neighbor seems to be doing better than you, be happy for them, and then focus on being a little more like christ today than you were yesterday, learning a little more, doing a little more.  I fwe do that, we will look back on our lives and see that we lived lives full of love, peace, joy, and achievement.  On the other hand, if we choose to spend every day feeling wortheless because someone else is doing better than we are, we will look back and see that we lived a worthless life.  As long as you strive to be the best you that you can be, everythign will work out.  THis is my testimony to you, I also testify that our Heavenly Father loves you more than you can imagine and is always there to help and support you.  I love you all,

Elder Childs

Sunday, July 10, 2016

July 10

Hello everyone,

I have had another great week here in the Philippines.  We had one of our investigators, Angelica, interviewed for baptism, and she passed!!  So she will be baptized this next saturday, july 16!  I am so excited for her! She has seen the help of God in her life.  Before she met us, she never really learned about God or about a church or the bible or anything.  She had a belief in God, but he wasn't really a part of her life.  But now she has this great desire to read and pray and learn everything she can about God.  We gave her the restoration video, and she watched it 4 or 5 times because she loved it so much.  It is such a joy for me to see these people really come unto Christ.  I'll send pictures of her baptism next week.

Other than that we have had a pretty normal week.  We found a couple of new families this week.  One was when we were buying some soft drinks, we met a really nice guy, and we got to talk to him for a little while, at the end of which he accepted an invitation to meet with us!  He has a lot of love for his family, especially his 3 daughters, so he should be a good investigator.

The second was when we went to contact a refferal.  We went and the referal wasn't actually interested, but she had a friend at the time, and she was interested. We got to set a return appointment, and this last week we were able to meet with her husband.  They are both really nice, and should be good investigators for the church.  Hopefully they are able to be baptized before I leave Gattaran!

I have also learned a lot about repentance.  And the definition that I have come up with for definition, is a change of heart.  Choosing to give our will to God.  Becoming what God wants for us.

When we repent we truly choose to become happier, to become better, to become more like God.  And who doesn't want that.  So my challenge to you, is a life long one.  Never delay repentance.  Never wait to right your wrongs.  You will be better for it.


Elder Childs

Sunday, July 3, 2016

July 4

I have had a good week!  We see miracles every day.

This week started out slow, because we had to go to Laoag on Monday which is about 6 hours away, and we were there until Tuesday, and didn't make it back to our area until Wednesday in the morning.  But we started working, and we started to see some success around Thursday.  It all started with a vision.  Not like Joseph Smith's vision though.  Just one of those visions that you make for where you want to be in life.  We talked about how we need to have a vision for the area,  a goal of what we are going to do to help God's children come into the fold.  So we started brainstorming and that is where things really picked up.  On Thursday we were able to teach some really good lessons, and met some new people.  On Friday we had a very productive weekly planning session, and were able to teach some good lessons to some investigators, who have since started progressing, and on Saturday we were able to find a lot of new investigators that have a lot of potential!  On Sunday when we got to church we had a lot of our investigators make it out to church, and they all had a really good experience.  It was so fun to see. I have really grown in my testimony of the need to really set a goal, and then work to achieve it.  It makes life move by so much faster.  I'm just sad that it took me so long to learn this simple lesson.

Angelica is doing good, we are just trying to finish all of the lessons before her baptism.  Her baptism is on July 16 hopefully, as long as we can get through all of the lessons before then.  But she is super excited for her baptism.  She is the only one that we have been able to talk to in her family.  Her parents are always in the rice fields when we go to her house, but we are hoping that this week we will get to meet them.  She was a refferal from one of the members.  He actually got her and her friend to go to church!

It was just the internet that was out last week, not the power.  But power outages are pretty frequent here in Gattaran.  Sometimes its just five minutes, sometimes it's longer.  But you learn to deal with it.  We aren't in the house most of the day so it usually isn't a problem.

The water that we get from the well is all of our water, except our drinking water.  We buy drinking water separate. We don't really have running water in our apartment.  For showers we have a big bucket, and then a little dipper that we use to pour water on ourselves.  That's pretty much how it is in the whole Philippines.  Well at least the Laoag mission.

As for budgeting, we withdraw all of our support on the first Monday of the month, and the I just use envelopes.  I put 1500 pesos in every envelope for every week, and set some money aside for water and electricity bills.  It's easier to budget when you can look at all of your money.

Thank you for all of your prayers, I pray that the Lord will bless you in all of your life.

Elder Childs