Sunday, January 29, 2017

January 29

Hello Everyone!

We have had a great week here in Santo Domingo.  There were two big announcements that came in.  The first is that Elder Bednar will be coming to visit our mission on February 18!!!  I can't wait to be able to hear what his guidance is for our mission.  I hope that I can be ready to receive all of the things that he has to share with us.

The second big announcement was that the church has dropped most of the key indicators that we have been reporting.  Before we had a big long list of stuff to track and report, but now it is just 4.  We now track Baptisms and confirmations, Investigators with a baptismal date, investigator sacrament attendance, and new investigators.  I feel like it is the missionary department putting a lot more trust in missionaries to do what they need to do to get people out to church.  I feel we are moving closer every day to doing the missionary work the way it was done in the time of Ammon, or in the time of Paul.  Hopefully we can get the same results that they did as well.  Pray for us!

Other than that, we had a pretty normal week.  We had interviews with President Andrada, and it is always a joy to get to speak with our mission president and his wife.  I have no doubt that they are called of God.  He is always such a big help to our missionary effort.  We did have one good new find this week.  Her name is sister Josephine, and she is widowed, with three children.  Her oldest has moved out of the house, but the second is still there, and her youngest suffers from cerebral palsy.  She is super nice though.  She always reads the Bible, and really loves it.  We were able to share with her about the Book of Mormon and the power that is has in our lives, all the help and the peace that it brings.  The spirit was very strong in the lesson, and she recognized it there.  I believe that she will read in the Book of Mormon and feel its power for herself.

This week, I just have felt that I really love the Book of Mormon.  It really is such a power in our lives.  We have one recent convert who just loves the Book of Mormon so so much.  If she ever comes with us to fellowship she bears powerful testimony of how much the Book of Mormon has changed her life, and it makes everyone want to listen.  In my personal life I have seen the power that the Book of Mormon gives.  God gave us scriptures to bless our lives, and they will, if we just take the time to open them and read.  God has promised us it is true, but we don't need to just believe blindly.  Anyone who wants can put that promise to the test for themselves.  If you're not sure, take a problem to the Lord, and then read the Book of Mormon.  The help will come.

I love you all, and hope you have a wonderful week!

Elder Childs

Here are some pictures from the last week.  It's us at the beach, us with some string beans from a member's farm, and a little bamboo bridge that came pretty close to breaking with us on it.  Or at least it felt like it (:


Sunday, January 22, 2017

January 22

This will just be a quick email today.  Not lots of time again.

For me this week, we had a pretty good week.  We started out with a lot of people missing their appointments, but in the end it was all alright.  We had a couple of investigators come to church for the first time so that was good!  Their names are Rose Vic and Lorna Semana.  They have been investigators for about a month, and it was good to finally see them come out to church.  It was their first time to go to any church anywhere except for a catholic church.  But hopefully they had a good time.  We got there fifteen minutes early, and there still wasn't anyone there except for the branch president.  They felt a little bit awkward about that, but after a little bit some members showed up.  In the end it was all ok.

Other than that, we had a pretty boring week.  We had some issues that we had to deal with in the area and zone, but everything is mostly ok now.  Hopefully this next week everything runs a little bit smoother.

Elder Childs

Here are some pictures.  The one is me being super lazy and letting one of our investigators pull me on a water buffalo sled.  They use it to transport rice and such.  Then there's one of us at the beach with some fellowshippers.  It was fun!  Then the last is a cool road we walked down the other day.  I don't think very many people actually use it, but it was a cool little shortcut!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

January 15

Hi Everyone!

We have had a good week this week!  We did experience an earthquake, but nothing broke here in Santo Domingo.  It just felt a little bit like we were on a ship for a while.  It was good though.  That was probably the fourth or fifth earthquake that I've been through.  They're fun (:

We have had some progress in the area.  Last Wednesday we had exchanges with the elders in Vigan.  It was good!  I had the opportunity to go to Vigan to have some work.  (They're having the miss universe competition there in a the coming weeks.  Just a fun fact)  It was good.  We had a lot of fun times, its always good to go out and learn from other people.

We met some new investigators here that seem like they're going to progress.  Hopefully they will.  Thats the biggest problem in the Philippines.  We can get people to listen to us, but they don't always want to change their lives.  We heard a lot this week that people just wanted to stick with their traditions.  It is sometimes frustrating, but it is also true that change is hard.

But one thing that I've been learning a lot about is commitment.  In Preach my Gospel commitment is defined as "the act of obligating oneself to a course of action and then diligently following through on that decision."   It is essential to repentance.  So many times as missionaries we hear, well I don't want to promise because I might not do it.  Usually this ends up as a problem with priorities.  If going to church is a priority, it will happen.  You will feel alright about committing to go.  But if going to God's house is given a lower priority, then you actually going there is just by chance. The same thing applies to every aspect of the Gospel.

If we want to come closer to God, to repent of our sins and become clean, we have to commit.  It must become a top priority in life, and then we will receive the help that we need.  But only when we are truly committed will that happen.  Repentance and salvation never comes by chance.

I pray that we can all come close to God, and feel more of his love. I love you All!

Elder Childs

We went and almost got eaten by a tiger, so that's fun right??

Sunday, January 8, 2017

January 8

Hey Everyone!

I have had another good week in Santo Domingo.  We have been working with some really good investigators, and hopefully they will be getting baptized in the coming weeks.  We have one family that has really been our focus.  We really feel they are ready to be baptized.  It is the Tabutol family, and we were able to visit them a couple of times this week.  They have been doing their reading and praying, we just need to get them out to church!  Pray for them that they will be able to get up on Sunday morning (:

I have been learning a lot from our investigators though.  There are different levels of investigators.  There are some who seem to just have this real desire to learn, and there are some who are interested, but not a whole lot, then there are the ones who are basically just listening to us to be nice.  I've noticed that the ones who really desire the knowledge understand our message a whole lot faster than those who are just listening to be nice.  The same applies to all of us.  We can't expect to understand the Gospel if it is merely a curiosity for us.  Just as Abinidi said to King Noah and his priests "Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding, therefore, you have not been wise."  How much more would all of us understand if we would just apply our hearts to understanding.  To really hunger and thirst after those eternal truths.  I pray that we can all feel that thirst in our lives, and then search until we find the "living waters" that can quench that thirst.

I love you all!

Elder Childs

Monday, January 2, 2017

January 2

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

This week has been a little bit crazy and a lot of fun.  On Monday my companion, Elder Roche, left me, and Elder Jones my new companion arrived.  He is my first American companion so far, and it has been a lot of fun.  We draw lots of attention on the streets, which is great for missionary work!  We also have had a fun time working in the new area.  We spent most of the week just getting Elder Jones a little familiar with the area and introducing him to some of the investigators and members.

I really liked that quote that you gave me Mom about receiving personal revelation from the scriptures.  I think it's so true.  One thing that my last companion shared with me once was about the liahona.  He talked about how the writings on the liahona were changed from time to time according to their needs.  He said that the very same thing happens with the Book of Mormon.  You can read that same book one hundred times, and get something new from it every time.  The verses in the Book never change, but through the spirit, we receive new light and understanding, and the verse does become a new verse for us.  I love the Book of Mormon.

One thing that has happened this week that has stuck in my mind was with one of our investigator families, the Tabutol Family.  We were at their house and I was talking with two of their daughters, and as we talked they said that they both wanted to be baptized in this church.  My response was an enthusiastic, "Thats great!  Why don't you come to church?"  And they told me that they were just waiting for their mother to come to church and then they would go too.  This example is the sad truth of life. Many times in the course of things, children have the righteous desire, but the parents are not always ready at the same time.  So my plea to all the parents out there is to try and be better.  I know you do everything that you can for your children and love them to death, but just strive to apply the atonement daily in your life.  My plea to all those who are preparing to be parents in the coming years is this:  Live your life in such a way right now, that when you are parents, you can tell stories from your childhood to inspire your children, instead of having to hide it from them.  The preparation that you do now, will mean everything for your families in the coming years.

I know that Heavenly Father loves our families and wants them to be successful. But one of the greatest tragedies is when parents don't live up to the expectations for their families.   Jacob Chapter 2 Verse 5 accurately explains the pain that will come into families when parents don't live up to their responsibilities.  It is sure to follow.  But for those who have not lived up to their responsibilities or may even feel that they cannot, Psalms  147:3-4 offers blessed reassurance.  "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.  He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names."  Heavenly Father is there and he loves us.  He knows you and your challenges, and he will help you live up to everything that is expected of you in life.  Go to Him, receive His healing, and then leave everything in the past behind, and become a new person.  I know it will happen for you, because it has happened for me.

I love you all!

Elder Childs

A Fishing Gun...We didn't use it, just took pictures with it.

Santo Domingo!