Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28

 Answers to a few questions:

(We asked about seeing where he lives on Google Earth) We don't have an exact address for our house.  All you will be able to see is the roof, but it you find two brothers in sto domingo, go down the street to the south east until you see a house with a blue roof on the corner.  Behind that house is a house with a green roof.  Thats us!

We speak Ilokano a fair amount here.  I won't say I'm fluent yet, but I can communicate on a basic level with people.  Sometimes we have to teach lessons in Ilokano to older people and I make it through.  Hopefully I will get it down though before I go home.  Elder Roche is teaching me a little bit of bisayas as well. (thats his native language.)

There are 4 missonaries in Sto Domingo.  Us and then the STLs.  Its good!  There is lots of progression.  We attend District meeting in Cabugao most of the time, but every once and I while we go south to Vigan to visit the Vigan district.  Zone meetings are held in Sto Domingo.

Hello Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have had a normal week!  We had some good finding and a fun FHE with a part member family in the ward.  It was another good week!  The members in Sto Domingo are really nice and ready to help the work go forward.

I hope you all had a wonderful wonderful Thanksgiving!  I really did enjoy getting to think about all of the wonderful thing that God has done for me here in the Philippines and I hope you all were able to feel the same peace that I did from remembering our blessings.

This week we have seen lots of miracles as we have been helping people come unto Christ.  One thing that was an especially large blessing for me was with Brother Jerome Dominguez and Lydia Bautista.  They are two of our investigators that we have been working with to help them prepare for baptism and they have been really progressing!  They were interviewed yesterday by our district leader and they were both passed!  They will be baptized this coming Saturday.  I'm so very happy for them!  It is such a blessing to see people receive the Gospel.  There isn't anything that I would rather do.

I have also been thinking this week about how important it is that we are always acting in such a way that we can be guided by the Spirit.  It is our effective Golden Ticket that will help us pass anything that we need to do in life.  There are some missionaries who really struggle to learn to teach with power or connect with their investigators, and the thing that I have noticed is it ends up being a problem with their spiritual sensitivity. They don't follow all of the commandments that God has given to prevent our sensitivity from being dulled, and they feel the effects of it.  But when we do everything in our power to stay in line with the Lord's perfect plan for us, we will be able to accomplish everything the Lord gives us.  It is really just as simple as that.

I hope that we all can always find ways to be more receptive to the promptings of the still small voice, and I pray that all of you will come ever closer to our beloved Heavenly Father.

Elder Childs

Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21

Hello Everyone!

We have had a really good week here in Sto. Domingo.  It is a really fun area with lots of really nice people.  I have had a lot of fun getting to work in the area for the first time this week.  I have met some really nice people here.  Lots of investigators (some of them new to just me, and others new to both of us) and lots of members too.

As for our investigators, they are all doing really good.  We have found some new people with real potential.  One former investigator that we have been working with.  His name is Jerome, and he is only 14, but he is wise beyond his years.  He really wants to be baptized, and all that he is waiting for is that spiritual confirmation that this is God's church.  He is such a cool guy.

One other family that we have been working with is the Bautista Family.  They are so nice and ready to accept the Gospel.  We taught them the Word of Wisdom this week and they accepted it so readily without any questions.  They commited to stop drinking coffee, and the father comitted to stop drinking alcohol and smoking cigarrettes.  They are really coming closer to our Heavenly Father, and it is so fun to see.

A family that we were able to find this week as well was the Takla family.  They are super nice as well.  We met Franklin first, the father of the family.  He was in front of his house drinking some alcohol and he was the one who actually called us over.  At first I thought he just wanted to talk about useless things, but it turned out he wanted God's help.  In his words he wanted to "Change his bad attitude."  We were able to set a return appointment to come back later in the week and when we got there, we met Franklin's wife Josie as well.  She had been exposed to the missionaries before 2 years ago when her family was being taught, but was too shy/busy before to talk with the missionaries.  Josie is also looking for God's help because their family life is not always ideal, and she really wants her children to be happy.  They committed to pray as a family, and they said they would come out to church next week.

Life is going really good.  I am really progressing a lot with Elder Roche's help.  He is a really good missionary!

Have a wonderful week,

Elder Childs

P.S.  The area is good.  It is about 2 hours away from Laoag but only half an hour away from Vigan (a big tourist spot in the Philippines).  We do have lots of investigators, but we still find a bunch because finding is super fun and really easy in the Philippines.  Everyone is usually at least willing to listen to your message.  Finding is my favorite.  The branch is really good.  They are supportive of the missionaries.  Which is always a bonus.  There have been some really good missionaries who have left the area, so the members have trust in the missionaries.

Monday, November 14, 2016

November 14

Hello Everyone!

I have had a good week!  This week was a good week.  It was also transfer week, and I got transferred!!!  What??  I was super not expecting that.  I thought I was going to be in the office until February.  But I guess I was either a bad office elder or God needs me here in Sto. Domingo.  I'm half glad and half sad that I'm leaving.  It will be nice to be able to  just focus on inviting others unto Christ full time again, but I will miss all the nice people in the Laoag 1st Ward.  My new companion is Elder Paulo, and he is super nice!  He is really good at playing the Piano!  He is a Filipino from Cagayan De Oro (in the south of the Philippines.)  

Not much exciting happened last week in Laoag.  We got audited, so we had an accountant (President Ardon) in the office all  week looking through everything in the finance stuff.  He was a nice guy, and we got some free food out of it, so I guess it was alright.

One cool insight that I had during my scripture study this week was from 1st Nephi in Lehi's dream. After Lehi went and partook of the fruit himself, he began to look around, and one of the first things he saw was his family "Standing as if they knew not where to go"  He obviously wanted them to taste the fruit as well, and so he called to them, and soon they were there with them.  One thing that the Spirit whispered to me as I read that was the importance of the role of fathers in families.  They really are supposed to be the leaders of their family, and the other members have a responsibility to listen to him, and give him the respect he deserves.  It has changed my view about teaching families. A lot of the time in the Philippines the wife will want to listen and learn about the Gospel, but the father is busy, and to some degree indifferent.  But this week that I realized that that is not God's way.  

One of the strongest RC families that we have in Laoag was baptized because the father first had a desire to investigate the Gospel, and then he invited the family to come with him.  I hope that I can help more families be like that, and so I have now decided to place more of an emphasis on helping the father's see the importance of the Gospel in their lives as well. 

Have a good week!

Elder Childs

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 7

Hey Everyone!

We have had a really busy week this week in the office, but it was good too.  I told you last week that Elder and Sister Kohls left last week right?  Which means that me and Elder Nuada are stuck in the office by ourselves, and that makes for busy lives (:  We got stuck in the office a lot this week.  Right now the biggest thing that Ive got to work on (that Im really dreading) is a video that the mission makes for all the departing missionaries with some pictures in it and such.  I am not creative enough for that kind of stuff.  But Im sure it will work out.  They're not expecting a professional quality job hopefully because I don't know if I've got that kind of a job in me.  Pray for me :)

We also got to go get our drivers licenses yesterday and it was good!  It was a really easy process.  We showed up around 8 o clock, and they first had us take a little 40 question test about signs and rules of the road.  (My favorite question was:  What should you do if you come up on produce (IE corn, rice, etc) being dried right on the pavement. Its a real problem in the Philippines (:)  When we finished that they gave us the pass without even looking at the test.   Then they asked us if we had brought a vehicle to the office, which we had so they told us to go get it.  Elder Nuada drove taking it there, and when we got to the back of the office, (less than 100 meters from where we had parked) and when we got there, they told me to drive and then they passed us off on our driving.  Then we were done!  We got our licenses!  Cool right?  I thought it was fun (:

One thing that Ive been thinking about a lot this week is how very very vital it is for us to read in the scriptures every day.  We were really busy in the office this week, and my scripture study ended up taking a back seat.  I didn't read as often as I should have, and at first I didn't really notice, but yesterday, I was just feeling really off.  I just didnt feel like I could function as normal, and after I pondered for  a little why,I realised that I had not been giving the importance to my scripture study as I should have.  I soon found some time to read,and after I had done so, I immediately started to feel better.  I really have a testimony that scripture study should always be a priority.  It will make whatever else that we have to do so much easier. 

I love you all!

Elder Childs