Sunday, February 21, 2016

February 21

Good Morning!

I'm still doing great here in the Philippines, but unfortunately its transfer day.  One of my companions is leaving, so it will just be the two of us now! I'm excited for the next transfer!!
This week though, I've been realizing something about life, and it goes a little bit like this.
"And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil, to act for themselves and not to be acted upon." (2 Nephi 2:26)
Many times in my life, I go into spiritual things, such as scripture study, church attendance, temple attendance, stake conference, general conference, etc, without any purpose.  In essence I am just hoping to be acted upon.  Waiting for some nice feelings to run my way or for someone to say something that will change my life.  I realized this week that although that isn't necessarily bad, it is not our purpose here on earth.  We are not here just to wait around for things to happen to us.  When we go to church, or study our scriptures, we should go with a problem that we want worked out.  A question that we want answered, and then as we do our spiritual things, we will receive our guidance, and we will know what to do.  
That is one thing that I have learned while I've been out here in the mission.  I can't tell you how many times I have come to the end of the week feeling down, or not knowing what to do about a certain investigator, and as I attend church with that problem or investigator in mind, I receive very specific, very personal guidance through what the speakers and teacher say, and through the promptings of the Spirit.
So that leads to my challenge to each of you.  Don't just wait to be acted upon.  That isn't what we were made for.  We were made to be go getters, we were made to find for ourselves what we need in this life.  As we strive to do that, to find our answers, Heavenly Father will bless us with guidance.  He will give us the help that we need.  Our lives will be filled with so much purpose, that is a promise. 
So this next sunday, or the next time you read your scriptures, don't just wait for things to come to you, but give a question to God, and see if he won't give you all the guidance you need.  I promise you that God can answer every one of your questions, and he can help you through every one of your trials.  
I love you all, and have a wonderful week,
Elder Childs

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 14

Happy Valentines Day!!!

Its been a good week!!  On Saturday I saw someone carrying a dumbbell made out of red and pink balloons, so that was pretty fun. For my birthday, We had a member that made some good food, bulalo, which is cow foot.  Its really good.  And some other delicious stuff.  They also bought me a cake, but I haven't had time to eat it yet.  We've been really busy.  It looks tasty though!  Here in the mission, for me at least, a birthday is just another day.  I didn't really feel any different, and we didn't do many different things either.  There are still tons of people who need the gospel, even on my birthday (:

You asked about what my biggest struggle and best moments have been so far...the hardest thing in the mission for me has been working in unity with my companions.  I have a kind of dominating personality, so its been good to work on being more humble and trusting in my companions instead of just taking the whole lesson.  I'm doing a little better at that though, so that's good!

The best thing is just getting to see people change their lives.  There is a very literal light that comes into peoples lives as they try to live the Gospel.  The feeling in the home of someone who is adhering to the first principles of our Gospel is very different from someone who isn't, and I love seeing that light come into peoples lives and homes. I didn't realize how different it was until I left Utah.  Now I realize the true blessings of the Gospel for a family.

 I have learned a lot this week.  But I think that I can sum up all of my learnings by telling you about one person.

His name is Bobby.  8 years ago he was a black belt in karate.  He taught lessons to large classes and was fairly successful.  He had a body that could do whatever he wanted it too, whenever he wanted it too.  He had life going pretty good for him.  Then one day he got Typhoid.  The sickness left in its path a body that could no longer move, and a life that appeared to be broken.

To other people at least.  To Bobby, he knew where his trust was.  He knew that it was the Lord that was his guide, and that his life was in the Lord's hands.  And so he didn't let it get him down.  He just had faith, and continued to do the things he could.  For a long time he had to have someone cook, clean, and wash for him, because he could not do it himself. Slowly, because of his faith and miracles from the Lord he began to regain his strength.  Today he can walk, but only slowly.  The right side of his body still doesn't work for him, but he can do some simple things such as wash his clothes and cook his food.  He has come so far.

The thing that impresses me most about Brother Bobby is his attitude through all of this adversity.  He is one of the happiest people that I know.  He always has a little joke or a fun story to tell, and he loves to laugh.  He doesn't let anything get him down.  One day he was telling us about his day, and we saw a stain on the back of his shirt.  He told us that he had fallen down as he was walking to his therapy, and had to have some people come help him up.  As he told the story, he just laughed at the memory, and it made me smile.  Bobby understands that no matter what happens, we will not be left alone.  All we have to do is to reach out to the Lord, and he will carry us.  We will see miracles.

I just want you all to know I love you and appreciate you.

Elder Childs

Sunday, February 7, 2016

February 8


I got your package this week!!!  It was tasty.  I may or may not have opened it early and eaten everything.  I have missed Reeses.  That was my favorite part, but we made a cookies and cream shake and that was pretty good too.  Thanks mama!  I liked all of your cheesy valentines day cards.  They were pretty good.

This week has been a great one!  We were able to meet lots of new people, and help some people get closer to our Savior.  We had one baptism on Saturday and that is always a great experience!!!   It was Charily, she is thirteen and is living with her aunt and uncle here in Laoag.  She has the strongest testimony and such a desire to just do what is right.  Her parents are on the road to getting baptized as well.  Their whole family is really cool!  I love getting to see people start down the path to our savior, and the joy that comes into their life because they do.

So I must admit that I have enjoyed this week a lot more than I enjoyed the last one, and I know exactly why.   This week I just had a better attitude.  In weeks past I have been kind of a downer.  I would approach certain appointments or areas with a bad attitude.  I just figured it was going to go bad, and we weren't going to get to do anything.  And that is what happened.  But this week I really just tried to look at everything and everywhere with a good attitude.  Have faith that I am not the only one working with these investigators, but my Heavenly Father is too.  I learned a lot from that.

The first thing is that when you smile at the world, the world smiles at you.  Things just start to go your way.  It obviously isn't always that way, and probably a lot of the time nothing actually changes.  That leads me into the second thing that I learned.

There is always something that you can do.  There is always a way to help someone out, to make something good out of your day.  When everything in the whole world seems to be working together to stop you from doing the good things, there is always a way to still do good.

One story to illustrate that is this,

One day we were in our far area, Barit, and we were getting punted (not getting to teach) over and over and over again.  At first I just got down, but then I remembered that I was supposed to be having a good attitude, so I just put on a smile and headed to our next appointment.  We were almost to the house of our next investigator, and my companion saw an old lady cleaning up her yard and went to talk to her.  She was super excited to talk to us and invited us in to teach her and her family!!  She was so excited about our message and they were all so grateful for the blessings that God had given them, even if they may have seen small in the eyes of others.

If me and my companions had just gotten down on ourselves and decided that we were just going to get punted, we would have never talked to her, and wouldn't have had such a wonderful opportunity.

Moral of the story is that we should never give up.  There is no point where we can not do something to lift someones day, to help someone out, or to serve the Lord.  In other words,

Have faith

That is all we need in this life, everything else naturally follows as a product of our faith.

I love you all,

Elder Childs