Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 24

I don't have a ton of time this week.  I think I'm just going to answer your questions and then thats all.  Sorry! I'll try and write a better email next week.

The church buildings here are fairly similar.  A lot of time they are two story.  They always have a basketball court out front.  They are sometimes air conditioned.  All the windows have bars.  But its still a church.  Its not that different.

The church in the Philippines is still really young, and so a lot of times wards are still getting on their feet, still trying to figure out what to do, so I can't say that there are a ton of similarities in the way programs are run in Utah.  But it is still the church, and it still blesses lives (:

The farthest members are maybe five kilometers away. But we live maybe two blocks away from the church.  So thats nice.  But in other areas its a lot farther.  Thats only here in Laoag.

The ocean is really close, but I still haven't seen it.  Its not that close to our area.  But maybe 20 minutes and your at the ocean.  But we haven't found time to visit.  I'm not actually sure if its allowed.  

Filipinos eat all of the normal meals, and then they usually have a merienda or two.  One at 10ish and one at 3ish.  But that depends on how much money they have.  If you're poor, you only eat once or twice a day.  

My favorite treat is called Halo Halo.  Its just shaved ice that they put a bunch of stuff in.  It depends on where you buy it, but its got stuff like sugar, sweetened and condensed milk, beans, flan, ube, melon, corn, etc.  Its really good!

I love you guys!  Have a wonderful week!  sorry about my lame email!

Elder Childs

Me and my companion on his birthday. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 18

Hello world!

It has been another good week here in the Philippines.  We have been working hard, and we had two baptisms in the district this week!  I got to spend some time with them just talking, and they are super cool and super ready to be baptized.  They both have really strong testimonies and a desire to follow Christ.  Thats about all you need right?  The one finished the book of Mormon in about a month, so thats pretty cool.  I love the two of them.  Its always good to see people enter in to the church.

You asked about people's acceptance of the Book of Mormon. We don't usually get a ton of questions about the Book of Mormon.  Usually they will hesitate for just a second, but usually they will accept the Book of Mormon, and commit to read it to know for themselves.  There are some who when they see it, and hear our testimonies, just believe.  Thats one thing I love about the Filipinos, they are super good at super simple faith.  

We had to say goodbye to our district this week.  Well only two sisters really.  But the district will be different next transfer.  We will be getting six new sisters, so our district is big now!  Its got 12 people!  It will be fun to see again/meet them.  Sisters are always the best, so it will be fun to have new ones.

This week I have been thinking a lot about love and patience, and how essential that is to every part of life.  I'm sorry to any of you who are sick of hearing me talk about love and patience.   I know I do it a lot, but its something I'm really trying to get better at.  But to spice it up a little bit this time I have  a story!  

Its not actually from my experience.  It is about a lady in the area of our zone leaders.  She is an active member, with less active husband.  She has been let down by him repeatedly, and has over and over again felt that she just wants to quit.  To leave and just be done with it, and almost everyone else is telling her to do the same, but what she told to our zone leaders is that every time she gets her heart broken, every time her husband does mean or stupid of thoughtless things, she just decides to give him one more chance.  One more chance for him to change, because maybe he will change this time. 

If that isn't Christlike love, I don't know what is.  God loves us enough to pick us up however many times we fall.  However many times we reject His help, he is always standing there, just waiting to let us repent, if we just want it.  Over and over again.  Every day, every night, year after year, He is there.  He will not let us down, if we just turn to Him, we will be able to experience His joy, but we must go to Him, He will not force Himself upon us. 

I also believe that if you want that kind of forgiveness, we have to give it, and forgive those around us.  Forgiving does not mean condoning, but it means loving in spite of the weaknesses and flaws of others.  And it comes from God.  

As we have patience with others, forgive them again and again, until "seventy times seven" we will receive peace and joy in our life, and we will see those around us change.  This is my testimony to you, and I know that it is true.  

Have a wonderful, forgiveness full, week,

Elder Childs

The District

Me in front of a fountain. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11


I got to watch General Conference this week, and it was great!!!  I love getting to hear the words of the prophets.  They are so inspired and I testify that President Monson, along with the other members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 Apostles are called of God.  One theme that stood out to me is that we are all children of our Heavenly Father, and we all have incredible potential.  I would like to add my testimony to that.

I have seen here in my mission that no matter what people look like on the outside, when you really get to know them, really start to understand their life, you cannon help but loving them.  Why is that?  That is because when you really meet the core of a person, you are meeting a God in its infancy.  Every person on this earth has potential to become like God.  Everyone has that seed of God hood in them, and if they carefully nurture it, we will become like God in the next life.  

Whenever we feel alone, we can turn to the ultimate Father.  The one who loves and understands us more that we understand, more than we can understand in this life.  We can go and receive peace from His presence, and we can receive guidance from His Holy Spirit.  I testify that each and every one of us is a child of God, and will be helped in our times of need.

But that means that if everyone does have that spark of Godliness within them, we ought to treat them like it.  We cannot treat others unkindly, because we do not understand what they can become.  But if we do treat them kindly, we can be part of their path do Godhood.  If we take the time to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and help those around us, we will see those around us grow, and we will see our love for them grow.  And the best part is, through that service, we will see our own spark of Godliness becoming bright.  We will see a difference in our lives, as we look for that spark in every person.  No matter what they look like, no matter what they are doing.  On the inside, we are all the same.  We are all just waiting to become like our Heavenly Father.

I know that that is true,  I know its kind of jumbled, but those are some of my thoughts from conference. 

But I just want to share about one cool person that I got to meet this week.

We found a lady that was super nice and really ready for the Gospel!  Her name is Crisensiya, and when we first went to her house she just said, "oh I'm born again christian."  But we told her that that was ok, and that we just wanted to share our message with her.  That it was different, and would help her life.  So she let us in.  We shared the message of the restoration with her and at the end, she opened up with her about her son, and that she was having troubles with him.  He had gotten into a fist fight and because of that was in trouble with the Barangay officials (its the government.  Like the neighborhood government.) and every time they had tried to talk to the Barangay Chair he refused to talk to him.  But we told her that if she prayed to our Heavenly Father and asked Him for help, and then read in the Book of Mormon, He would answer her prayer.  She said she was going to do it!  We will hopefully get to go back to them later this week!

Other than that it was just another week in the mission!  Time goes super fast!  This transfer is almost over, and I'll be sad if I have to leave.  But God has a plan for all of us right?  

I love you all, thanks for all your prayers!

Elder Childs

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April 3

Hello Everyone!

I have had a great week!   

I feel like the language is coming along ok. I'm just trying to learn more vocabulary.  Thats where I usually get hung up.  So I have a notebook and anytime that I hear a word that I don't know, or think of a word in English that I don't know in Tagalog, I write it down and look it up later.  Hopefully that will help me get better at Tagalog.  I also am trying to learn some Ilocano, but Ilocano is tough!  We'll get it though I'm sure.

My current companion is Elder Pareja and he is from the Southern Philippines.  Auckland to be specific!  He is nice!  He likes to sing and play basketball.

The season right now is the tag-init.  Or the hot season.  There are three seasons.  The tag-init, the tag-lamig and the tag-ulan.  or the cold, hot, and rainy seasons.  The cold season gets down to like 70 degrees and everyone pulls out their jackets.  If you are in Cagayan, the rainy season means that it rains every day instead of every other day.  But here in Ilocos it doesn't actually rain that much.  Its rain shadow.  I don't like it very much, but hopefully I'll make it over to Cagayan the next transfer or two.

We don't have hot water.  We don't actually have a shower.  We have a bucket and a scooper.  Its great (:  I love the Philippines.  Sometimes around 1 or 2 the water gets pretty hot because the tank of water is on the roof, but other than that, its just cold water!

I haven't watched conference yet.  But next week we will.  I'm super excited!  And it will be English.  They don't play the Tagalog here.  (I don't know if it gets translated into Tagalog or not, but I've never seen or heard of it being in Tagalog.)

I have a lot of investigators that you could pray for.  Maybe we'll go with just 3 though

Rogelio, he is trying to stop smoking.  He has a great desire to be baptized, but he is having some struggles with the smoking.

Ian, we just need to find a time to meet with him.  He is willing to meet with us, but he is super busy.  His wife is a member and she really wants him to accept this Gospel, but we have a hard time finding time in his schedule.

Eldrick and Marianne.  They are two people that are super ready for the Gospel, but we have only been able to visit them once.  We need to get back to them.

We have gotten to go back to meet with reynier, but we haven't yet been able to meet with his sister.  We hope to find time this week though.  You could pray for them too if you would like (:

I have learned a lot this week about being fully committed.  We could even say consecrated.  I want to share a quick quote with you about that.  "Consecration is the only surrender which is also a victory" That is from Neal A Maxwell and I want to testify to you that it is true.  The only way to true happiness in this life is to surrender ourselves to the Lord.  

I have been watching the District a little bit lately as well, and it is super good!  I love the consecration of the missionaries in there. They always focus on how they can improve, on how they can become better teachers, and how they can help their investigators, and it really shows how in the way they teach and testify.  It is powerful, because of their consecration.  

Becoming consecrated though, can sometimes be super difficult.  But this week as I have been pondering the subject, I have found one thing that I feel is key.  Filling our mind with uplifting things.  At the start of my mission, when things slowed down a little bit, my mind would often turn to my entertainment from before the mission.  Shows that I watched, and games that I have played, and that actually became a hindrance to my consecration.  But as time has gone on, and I have put more and more good things into my mind, things of real value, I have been able to ponder on those, and on how they will help those I am serving, I have seen a change in my life.  That could never happen if all that was in my mind is dumb TV shows, and other things.  But as I have fueled my spiritual fire, Heavenly Father has really helped it grow.  I can't say that I'm perfect yet, that I only ever think of the things of the Lord, but I have seen a big difference in my life from the little changes that I've made.

I just want to leave with one more quote, from one of the early clergymen of the Christian church, William Law, "If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead."  I really like that and I know it is true.  If we strive to focus our life on building up the Kingdom of God, becoming consecrated, we will become happy, and will receive eternal rewards.  If we choose other wise, we will in the end, be unhappy.  I love you all, and I know that you all have incredible potential to move this work forward, if you strive to give everything to God, and follow His plan.

Have a great week!

Elder Childs

Me in front of the Ilocos Norte Capitol!

This is the Service project we did.  We ripped the roof off of a house and then raised it back up.  It was fun, it reminded me of the weekend I spent in Wyoming roofing houses for Grandma and Grandpa!