Monday, February 27, 2017

February 27

Hello Everyone!

We have had another great week here in Lal-lo.  I feel like I say that a lot.  It's because its true (: We have been working this week on getting some referrals from members because it makes the work move so much quicker that way.  We talked with some members and they are going to work on it. One young woman invited some friends over to her house to meet us, but they were super shy, so nothing has happened there quite yet, but hopefully in the coming weeks we will get to meet again and build a relationship with them. We also have a couple of referrals we are going to try and contact this coming week, so hopefully we will see some progress there.  Many times here in the Philippines the people are ready to believe the message, they just have more of a problem on the social aspect of things.  So we are always looking for people who already have friends in the church.

We have been working lately with a part member family, the Vergonia family, and they are super nice.  There is only one boy who isn't a member yet.  His name is Wilson and he is 21 years old.  He was going to church before I got to the area, but in my time here I haven't seen him come out yet.  He says he wants to be baptized, but he has been busy lately with school, and so he hasn't been able to read his scriptures lately or go to church.  Hopefully in the coming weeks we will be able to help him with that.

Whenever we get cases like this I think of Mary and Martha when Jesus visited their home. There were things to be done around the house, and Martha diligently went to work.  Mary on the other hand chose to sit with Jesus and listen to Him teach.  Martha felt it unfair that she should be the only one doing the work, and complained to Him.  Jesus' simple reply was, "Martha Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things, but one thing is needful and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

I feel so many of us just get so worried about this chore and that job and everything else that we begin to feel we have no time to just learn from the words of the Savior.  But in the end, we are just being worried about things that do not have eternal significance. In the end, there is only one thing that is needful (our salvation) and when we do things that help us return to God, that will never be taken away from us, and God will bless us for it.  That is a promise.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Elder Childs

Monday, February 20, 2017

February 20

Hi Everyone,

I didn't get to email last week because we were in the hospital. But not for me this time.  Elder Pamaran had amoebiasis and so he wasn't doing to hot.  But now everyone is alive and well.  My whole week was just sitting in the hospital, until saturday, so we'll talk about that one (:

Saturday is the day that David A Bednar was going to show up to the Laoag Stake Center for a meeting with the missionaries from 1 to 4, and then with the YSA from 5 to 7. We had been told on Friday that we weren't going to be able to be discharged from the hospital on Saturday, but they would give us a 'check out' slip so that we could attend the conference.  Sister Andrada wanted Elder Pamaran to be discharged, and was pushing for it, so on Saturday at around 10 o'clock they informed us that they would just discharge us, as soon as the doctor could get in to have one last look at Elder Pamaran.  The doctor didn't get in until around 11 o'clock, and by that time I was feeling a little bit nervous about getting there on time because we were supposed to be there at 12 to prepare for the meeting.

The doctor said that we were all set to go, but before we left they wanted to give Elder Pamaran  one more dose of antibacterial something or other through his IV, and that didn't get done until 12:05.  After that I thought that we were clear to go, but it turned out to not be so. We still had to get billing all taken care of.  So I ran Elder Pamaran's medical insurance card down to the billing section and they told me to just go wait in our room and that they would call the nurses station when they had contacted the provider and everything was all taken care of.  So I returned to the room and we waited.  12:30, no call yet, so I went down and talked with them again, and they informed me that they had called the provider, but they were waiting for a call back, and it would probably be around an hour until it was done.  I was really nervous by this time.  I asked if we could just come back for it after the meeting, but they told me it couldn't be done like that.  We weren't allowed to leave until everything was all paid for.

I went back up to our room and knelt down and prayed. An Apostle of the Lord was coming and I really wanted to be able to make it to the meeting on time.  After I prayed, I got the feeling that we weren't going to make it on time, but that also came with a feeling of peace that everything would be alright.  So we kept waiting.  Finally at around 1:30 I went to find the Chief Nurse of the hospital. He had been our friend and helped us out a lot, so I figured that he would be able to help again.  It turned out that I was right.  He talked to the billing people and got everything all squared away.  The insurance still hadn't been cleared, but the Chief nurse just got our number and said that he would call if there were any problems, and he also got us an ambulance to take us over to the stake center, bless his dear heart.  

We went to the stake center with lights and sirens on (which was a good thing because there was a lot of traffic) and by the time we finally walked into the meeting it was 2:00.  When I first walked in to the meeting, I was stressed and a little bit dissapointed, but after we sat down, I looked up at the podium and saw the face of David A Bednar standing at the pulpit, all of the stress melted away and I couldn't just help smiling.  The spirit was so very strong in that room.

I learned so much from Elder Bednar that day, but one of my favorite learnings was about learning.  He talked about how the spirit and the great blessing of knowledge we were feeling was not just because there was an apostle in the room.  He said that we do not need and Apostle to learn like that.  He reminded us that each and every one of us had been baptized, and because of that, we had the right to constant access to the third member of the Godhead.  The very Holy Ghost would teach us, if we just would open our hearts and prepare ourselves to receive it.  Elder Bednar promised that if we really prepare ourselves, we would have access to that power every day of our lives.  Every time we need to learn, the spirit would be there, and we could have great blessings of knowledge every time.

Afterwards, Elder Bednar announced that we would all now get to go shake his hand. This was also a tender mercy of the Lord because I had assumed that that had taken place before the meeting started.  I cannot begin to describe the feelings of gratitude and joy that I felt as I had the opportunity to shake Elder Bednar's hand, and look him in the face.  It was a wonderful day.

I would just like to bear my testimony, that after being in the same room as an apostle, and hearing him speak, I know that the leaders of this church are called of God.  They are inspired and they love each and every one of us personally. I know that President Monson is the prophet of our day, and the 12 Apostles act under his direction, and are also inspired of God.

I love you all,

Elder Childs

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 14 - Happy Birthday Elder Childs!

We didn't get a letter from Alex this week, but one of the members in his area posted a bunch of birthday party pictures:

Sunday, February 5, 2017

February 5

Hello Everyone!

This week has been a good week!  Since the announcement of the new more focused key indicators, we have been having more focused work, and it has been good.  It is nice the freedom that the First Presidency has given the missionaries.  Because of the new focus, there were a lot of improvements in the zone.  This week, every single companionship had someone come out to church.  Even the companionships that have been struggling a little bit.   I think it is because excuses had been eliminated.  Before you could say, "well, even though I didn't have anyone out to church, we still taught a lot of lessons."  But now that doesn't fly.  Its fun.  I think that the work will move forward a lot faster now here in Vigan Zone.

The only bad thing is that I won't be here in Vigan Zone to see it anymore.  Last Saturday night the APs texted and told me that I will be transferring.  I'm now headed back to Cagayan!  My new area will be in Lal-lo. I'm excited!  It is a good area.  I came from an area right by that, so now I'll get to go to Lal-lo too!  The bus ride will be a little bit long, but I guess I can read or sleep or something (:

Yesterday after church we were talking with the YSA representative here in Sto. Domingo, and he told us he had seen a post on facebook that said, "love even when you have no reason to."  I liked it.  I think a lot of times I'm good at loving people when they want to listen and be taught, but when they reject us, my love for them kind of goes away.  So thats something that I want to focus on more.  In Moroni it says that charity never faileth.  So we must love everyone.  If we say we have charity, but there is one person for whom we have angry feelings, or have a grudge towards, or any other sort of resentment, it means that we do not yet have the charity that we need to become like Christ.  The charity that is spoken of in Moroni 7:48.  The charity that if we possess at the last day, "when He shall appear, you shall be like Him".  Thats the kind of charity that I am hoping, striving and praying for.  Because in the end, the two greatest commandments are all about love. 

I love  you all!  Have a wonderful week!

Elder Childs