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!
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!