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