Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28

Hey Everybody!

We had a good week.  We had a good district meeting!  We had the sister training leaders and the district leader from another district come and do some training, and it was really good!  I learned lots from them.  We have some really talented missionaries.

I bought another camera today.  It is pretty nice.  And isn't going to break.  Hopefully (:  

We taught a lot of investigators.  It was good!  We had some members work with us and it was good!  I love when members work with us.  They always add such power to the lessons, it is great.  You should work with the missionaries (:  

We also had one investigator who is starting to really let go his cigarettes!  For the longest time he has been at one cigarette every day, and that is just how it was, but this last Wednesday he stopped until Sunday!  I don't know how he is doing now, but hopefully he's still going strong.  He also started reading the Book of Mormon this week.  Connection?  I think so.  

The predominant religion here is Catholic.  They all celebrated Holy Week with lots parades and church attendances.  All that good stuff.  We had some Iglesia ni Cristo that went and did some marches around town as well.  

It got kind of chilly the last couple of days, but we made it.  Showering in the morning was a little bit rough, but I'm still alive, so it must not have been that cold. (It was only like 80 degrees, but it still felt pretty cold.) Other than that, my week went by super quick, but I still learned some good stuff!

We had a training in our ward about keeping the sabbath day holy, and I learned a lot of good stuff!  It was a discussion with some of the leaders of the church, and maybe some of you have seen it, but I really liked it.  One of the things that talked about is how we can make the sabbath a delight.  I liked that one because that has been something that has really been on my mind.  I sometimes feel like I don't really make the sabbath day a delight.  Elder Bednar related the Sabbath day to a cool drink of water after a long day of work in the sun.  It SHOULD be a refreshing day that keeps us going the rest of the week, but it sometimes just gets lumped in with the rest of the week.  But they talked about a couple of things that we can do to really enjoy the Sabbath.  To really make it a delight.

The first was that we could make sure we go to our meetings early and get settled in.  The suggestion of Elder Christofferson was that we take seven minutes before every sacrament to just ponder the Savior and what he did for us.  Listen to the prelude music and just let the Spirit teach you.   

The second one that I liked was just take time with your family and share what you learned with your family.  I remember that my parents were always really good about making sure that at dinner we all took time to share what happened at church, what we learned, what we liked, and that kind of thing.  I remember those conversations were always a pleasant experience, and it was fun to hear the simple testimonies of my family members as they shared their experiences.  

The last one is to keep it simple!  I know a lot of times on sunday we want it to be a super special day, and so we try and do all sorts of things.  Have a fancy dinner, go somewhere special, that sort of thing.  But the truth of the matter is, that isn't the purpose of the sabbath.  Multiple times the apostles and other leaders talked about how they felt the most time should just be spent with family.  Work together to make a simple dinner.  Then do some simple activity together that can become a Sabbath tradition.  Elder Cook said that he and his family would always sing together after they ate.   It wasn't all hymns but did include some, and was a time of peace for him and his children.  And it required no extra effort on their part!  Another suggestion that one of the sisters had was to spend time doing simple service!  She said that her daughters always made cookies sunday afternoon, and then prayed about who needed the cookies that day, then they delivered it to whoever they felt was right!  Simple ways to serve and be together, but surely memorable and joyful.

I think that as we really try to make the Sabbath day more of a delight, we will be more happy.  The Sabbath day can truly become our strength in life, it we let it.  If we strive to give the day to God and our family, we will be happy, and we will find more purpose in our life.  That is my testimony to you.  

I hope you have a lovely week,

Elder Childs

Monday, March 21, 2016

March 20

Hello again!

I have had another good week here in the Philippines!  We were able to contact a lot of our investigators, and have seen some real improvement in many of them.  One of them is named Reynier.  We taught him twice a long time ago, and then we never could find a time that worked with him.  He was never around.  But on sunday we got to go back to him and visit with him.  We ended up teaching him about Joseph Smith because he had a lot of questions about Joseph.  Reynier was super willing to accept everything that we said this time, and he really wanted to learn for himself that Joseph was and is a Prophet.  He has been reading in the Book of Mormon, but hadn't yet prayed about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, so we challenged him to do that.  We also found out that his sister has been reading in the Book of Mormon as well, and I don't know if she was reading from the front straight through, but she had a marker in half way through the Book of Mormon!  I am excited to meet Reyniers sister as well and help them come closer to our Heavenly Father!  They are definitely scattered Israel, and ready for the Gospel.  

This week I have also learned a lot about obedience.  It is called the first law of heaven for a reason, and I know it is one of the most important things for us.  But sometimes it takes a lot of faith right!  How do we find the faith to do the right thing, even when it is hard.  Well that puts us into a little paradox!  You do the right thing!  I have a firm testimony that the best way to gain a testimony about the laws of God is to follow them.  If we follow the little rules every day of our lives, we can be like Abraham, who when he was asked a hard thing of the Lord, simply went and did as the Lord commanded, without question or complaint.  (Genesis 22)  It is my prayer that I can obtain that level of obedience, and that I can see my family and friends achieve it as well.  I love you all, and i know that God is watching out for each and every one of you.  I know that he wants to help you succeed in your life.  All we need to do is trust His will above our own.  

Elder Childs

Sunday, March 13, 2016

March 13

Hello World!

Its been another good week!  I just want to start out by saying that Heavenly Father blesses us when we focus on Him.

At the start of the week we went to the computer shop to email, and I left my flashdrive there.  The one that has all of my pictures and music and basically everything.  I didn't realize it until after the computer shop was closed, but the next morning we went back to the computer shop, but it wasn't there.  I was super depressed, but decided that I just needed to focus on serving others, not worrying about myself, so we went out proselyting.

We went to Barit, which is the farthest part of our area, and went to talk to our investigators.  It had been a while since we had seen one of our investigators, but we saw him and got to talk with and teach him, and that was super great, but then after that, we were walking on a little bamboo bridge over a river, and my camera decided to fall out of my bag right there, and into the water.  Super depressing right?  I went from lots of pictures, to none in 24 hours.  I wasn't quite sure what to do.  But I tried to keep doing what I should, and not blame the Lord.  I don't know how many times I said to myself, "The Lord tries his people.  The blessings are better at the end"  It was a lot.  But around lunch time our zone leaders texted and said that they had found the drive.  I was super grateful for that.  I knew that it was a blessing from the Lord.  And to be honest, I thought that it would stop there.  But it didn't!

A couple of days later we went back to Barit, and when we went back to the house by the bridge, we talked a little bit with the lady there, an then she said, oh wait just a second!  and went inside, she went inside, and when she came back out, she had my Camera!  They had found it on the bottom of the river when they were swimming, and saved it for me.  The camera was super dead, but when we tried the SD card later that evening, it worked just fine!  I got every single one of my pictures back, and I am grateful for that.  The Lord truly does restore to us the the things that we need. 

Other than that its been a good week!  I learned some really cool things from the Lord.  I know that he loves each and every one of us, and when we have trials, we need to remember that it is for our good, and that if we endure it well, we will be given blessings.  More blessings than we can imagine.  That is the Lord's promise to each and every one of us.

Elder Childs

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

March 6

Hello Everyone!

I've had a good week this week!  I have been learning a lot about love.  I feel like every week Heavenly Father teaches me about love, and every week I don't get that much better, but maybe I'll make it someday.  The ultimate goal, of course, is to obtain the perfect Christlike love.  I pray that I make it there some day.  But this week I think I got just a little bit closer.

The first thing that kicked off my learning this week was the Teachings of Joseph Smith.  My Zone Leader gave it to me to read, and I am loving it.  But there was something that really stood out to me in it this week.  One man told of a period of time the early saints had when they were living in Nauvoo.  He said that they began growing closer and closer until there was a period of about a month that they didn't even feel the temptations of the Devil.  How cool is that?  Can you imagine having a whole month of life where Satan just isn't even present in your life.  You feel nothing pushing you do do that which is against the will and commands of God.  Joseph Smith talked to the saints about this time, and told them that the sole reason of their wonderful month, is the love that they had for each other.  He also told them that if they did not continue, if they let even a little contention come in among them, all of that would crumble.  And the words of the Prophet, as they always do, were found to be true.  There arose a small contention, and soon after, there were large dissensions, and many apostatized.

But how important is that perfect love, if it could create that kind of a society.  A society where the Devil cannot even come close to the hearts of the people.  Love.  It will stop temptations.

Then during the week we talked with a member family.  They are worried right now that their daughter may have cancer.  They have had a check up, but they still haven't heard the result.  But when we went over we had a lesson planned for them,, but as we started teaching this plan, the Spirit helped  me realize that that was not what they needed.  Instead of teaching about fasting and prayer, we just talked about the love of God.  We talked about how he is our friend and our helper.  That he wants us to receive nothing but the very best in life.  As we spoke with them, the Spirit filled the room with a sense of peace.  They relaxed as they realized the love that God has for them, and all that he wants is for them to be happy.  They understood that, and so they were able to just leave it in the Lords hands.

As we realize the love that our Heavenly Father has for us, it will bring a sense of peace into our lives, and we will not worry as much about the daily problems.  We will be able to focus of what we really need to do in life.

Then yesterday during church I was thinking about the Savior and His answer about the greatest commandment. He answered in Matthew 22:37:

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

And then he teaches us about the second commandment in verse 39,

 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

So the first two greatest commandments out of all of the commandments, ever, are about love.  First for our God, and then for our friends, associates, and even strangers.  So that means that we need to love unconditionally.  No matter what anyone else does, we must love them.  If we choose to dislike someone because of their sin, who has the greater sin, us, or our neighbour?

"But Elder Childs, that is super hard!  People do a lot of bad things!  How am I supposed to love them?" I know, its hard, but luckily for us, we have a prophet that has given us some advice.

And now my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of His son. (Moroni 7:48)

We also Have the advice of the very Son of God

Pray for them which despitefully use you. (Luke 6:28)

So there you have it.  If we want to have more charity, all we need to do is pray.  Pray for ourselves, pray for those around you, pray extra hard for those that you don't like, and you will be blessed with charity.

I know that as we strive to find love for everyone around us, we will be able to create a society like existed in the days of the nephites after Christ appeared unto them,

And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.

and there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredomes, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.

And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; (4 Nephi 1:15-16,18)

My brothers and sisters, I promise that there is nothing happier than loving people.  That as we strive to find more love for everyone around us, we will find new meaning, and a new spirit in our life.  We will have strength to do all that we need to, and we will be blessed.  I love you all, and have a wonderful week!

Elder Childs

Friday, March 4, 2016

February 28


Its been another good week here in the Philippines.  Its been getting hotter, but that's ok.  It's better than the cold.  My companion is from Aucland. Its in the south of the Philippines, and he is pretty cool! He has been out here in the mission for almost a year, and likes to play the guitar as well! He's a pretty nice fella. Oh his name is Elder Pareja.

One of my investigators is named Sabell. She is super cool and has spent pretty much her whole life searching for the true church. A couple of years ago she was in Isabella, and she got to meet with the missionaries there. She liked the church and was even going to church, but then she moved here and never met with the missionaries again, until now. We found her last week and she's pretty cool! She really wants to know about the church, and hopefully she can make it to her baptism as well!
Last Friday we had a young man work with us who is getting ready for his mission.  His name is Fernando, and he got baptized last July, and since that time he has really been striving to do everything that he can to follow the commandments and be ready to serve the Lord.  As we were walking at one point in our day, I realized how much Fernando reminds me of one of our investigators.  

As I compared the two of them, I realized how much the Gospel changes peoples lives.  I noticed a large difference in the attitude of the two.  Fernando is one of the happiest hardest working people I have met.  I also realized how much the Gospel helps enlarge the mind, and give light to our lives. I noticed a million other differences, but those were two of the ones that stood out to me. 

Many times before I came here to the mission field, I forgot how great the Gospel was.  Many times I didn't feel it was super important to make sure that I followed every command with exactness.  But since I've come to the mission field I have noticed the peace that comes from the Gospel, and the help in every part of my life.  I have learned how much I need the Savior in order to be truly successful in this life.  
So hopefully this week you will all do your best to live every part of the Gospel.  Don't let any little thing slip through, because who knows what kind of blessings we're losing!

That being said, let us not forget the Atonement as well.  When we are not perfect, when we do make wrong choices, the Atonement is our safety net.  If we turn to the Savior, we do not have to be afraid of falling, because we always have someone to pick us back up.  

I love you all, and have a wonderful week.

Elder Childs