Monday, March 27, 2017

March 27

Hey Everyone!

We have had another good week here in Lal-lo.  It has been a little rainy which is really nice, and the work has been good.  We have some baptisms coming up this April, which will be great.  Hopefully we can continue to have success here in Lal-lo.  On Saturday we went to visit one of our investigators, and they were busy harvesting rice, so we got to jump in and help them a little bit with that!  It was fun!  We also were finding, and we met the parents of one of the professional basketball players here in the Philippines, so that was kind of cool.  We also were able to teach Brother Ireneo and his kids.  I'm especially glad to be teaching him, because Brother Ireneo's wife is already a member, but working overseas.  When Brother Ireneo and his children are baptized it will complete their family, and when his wife gets back from Saudi Arabia, where she is currently working, they will be able to go to the temple to be sealed as a family.  And on the theme of temples, one of our recent converts will be going to the temple this Wednesday for her first time to do baptisms for the dead.  I'm so very excited for her.

Lately this week I have been missing the temple a lot.  With the Aparri District having a temple trip this week, I have been thinking about the peace that comes from the temple, and all the blessings that come along with it.  When I was still at home, I took the temple for granted a lot.  With the temple being so close, I often let other things get in the way of my temple attendance.  But since I've gotten here in the Philippines, and don't have the opportunity to visit the temple because of the distance, I have realized what a blessing it is.  In the temple we are promised peace and safety,  and if we regularly visit and live up to all of our covenants, we have the promise of success and guidance in every part of our life.  Inside the temple we can come closer to God in a way that is personal and profound.  I can't wait to get back to the temple.

For this coming week, we just need to finish preparing our investigators for their baptismal interview this coming Sunday, and we hope to see some more progression in some of the other investigators we have.  There is a lot of potential, but a lot of times people let the busyness of life get in the way of their reading and church attendance.  Hopefully we will see more progression in our other investigators this week.

Love you All!

Elder Childs

Thrust in Your Sickle With All Your Might!

Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20

I have been doing good, but honestly the days seem to be flying by here in Lal-lo and I have a hard time remembering what I've already told you about and what I haven't.  But let me think of a couple of good experiences that happened this week. (or at least I think this week) (:

One day we had splits with some members, and I was working with our Branch Mission Leader, Franklin. We went to visit a less active family, but when we got there we could tell that they weren't really in the mood for us to share with them, so instead we just asked them who they knew that we could visit and hopefully share with. They only mentioned one name, Brother Mendoza, another less active member close by their home.  We showed up to his home, and saw Brother Mendoza sitting out on his front porch in a hammock, cooking his lunch on a little fire.  It was such a purely Filipino scene.  A 78 year old man used to a slower pace of life, and at peace with it.  The hammock and cooking fire just completed the scene.

When Brother Mendoza saw us the first thing he said was, "Why is this the first time you've made it out to my home?"  We started talking with him and it became clear that Brother Mendoza was very close with the missionaries before, but because of his health hasn't been able to come to church always, and has been needing some help.  He can no longer work, which means he has no source of income, and relies on the kindness of his neighbors to get food to eat.  But despite all of that, he is still such a nice man, and still has a testimony of the Gospel.  Hopefully the branch will be able to give a little bit of help to him in the coming days to help him through his day to day life.  I believe that the Lord sent us there to visit him that day, and hopefully we will be able to continue to help him.

Another experience was with an investigator, Shella.  She is a 17 year old we have been teaching, and she has such a strong testimony.  It definitely comes because she does such a good job of studying the things we leave with her.  She really reads and prays until she understands, and then the testimony follows.  She has been a joy to work with.  One of the only problems was her Father.  Because she is still 17 years old, she needs permission from her parents before she could be baptized.  She was unsure of how they would react to her asking to be baptized because her parents have had some negative experiences with the church in the past.  This last week she was finally able to work up the courage to ask her parents if she could be baptized and they said yes!  She will be baptized this coming April 8th.  Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us and our investigators.  I believe that it truly brings miracles for us here in Lal-lo.

That's all I can think of today!  I love you all!

Elder Childs

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March 14

We do have a little bit more time today so I'll try to write a little bit better of a letter.  We'll see.  I feel like I never know quite what to say.  But I'll give you a little rundown of how the week went, and then I'll see what kind of a spiritual message I can come up with.  Its actually been pretty crazy week.

As you know we had interviews with President Andrada last Monday, and that was wonderful.  After that we just came home and did some studies because our curfew here in Cagayan is currently 6:30.  Tuesday we traveled back to Aparri for zone conferences.  We were blessed to hear from President Andrada and the AP's, and we learned some good stuff about how to help others come unto Christ.  That lasted all day long, so again we went just went home and did some studies.  The next morning we woke up early and headed to Laoag for some exchanges with the AP's.  It was a fun 6 hour ride through the mountains.  Its really pretty actually, I'll send some pictures.  Then when we made it to Laoag we spent the day with the AP's.  It was fun getting to work with Elder Paje (one of our APs right now) and especially fun because the AP's area is my old area (Laoag 3) so I got to see a lot of the members there that I'm friends with and such. It was a good exchanges, Elder Paje had some good advice for us as well on how to improve our proselyting.  It was fun.  Then next morning (thursday) we woke up and headed back to Lal-lo.  Yaaaayy for bus rides.  When we got home we went out and finally did some proselyting in our own area.  It was good, I really missed our investigators here.  There are a couple that are getting really close to baptism, there are just a few little problems left to work out before they get baptized.  Friday was another good proselyting day, then Saturday we had a wedding in the morning which I played the piano at (way worse than playing the piano in sacrament meeting by the way. I was super nervous)  then we got to go visit one of our progressing investigators before we went to a baptism in Camalaniugan. I also ended up playing the piano there as well.  As bad as I am at piano, I am in high demand right now in the Aparri District.  Sunday showed up and we went to church in the morning, then straight to Magapit Junction so that we could get on a Van and head to Laoag again.  We had a meeting with President Andrada so we got to go back again.  The good thing is that while we were waiting at Magapit Junction a member from Laoag came up to us and asked us where we were headed and then if we wanted a ride.  So we got to ride with the member in their car to Laoag which is a little bit nicer than the van we would've ridden.  Faster too.  Yesterday we had meetings all day with President Andrada, then celebrated Sister Andrada's birthday afterwards. She's turning 47 on Saturday.  Then we went to the bus station and hopped on a bus home.  We ended up making it into the apartment and into bed at around 2 AM, and that brings us to today!  What a fun week right?  It was hectic, but I learned lots.

One thing in particular I've been thinking about is quiet dignity.  Just being like the Savior would be.  I have been experiencing the importance of this principle.  People make judgments about us and the church from the minute they see us, and if they just see a bunch of 19 and 20 year old kids, they will be less likely to listen to us.  On the other hand, if they notice the difference in us, there will be more of a desire for  them to listen to us.  This principle applies to everyone, because whether you know it or not, there are people watching you to see what you will do in every situation.  Eyes are always turned towards each of us, looking to see how we will react, will we remain in control of ourselves, or will we let the natural man inside take over.  These are the things people knowingly and unknowingly look for all around.  Our goal as members of the church is to make sure that when people look at us, they see people who are something more than the world.  To use the Savior's words, they need to see people who are "in the world, but not of the world".  Those are the members of God's church.

This quiet dignity affects every aspect of our lives.  As we keep control of our emotions and actions in every situation, we will gain the discipline to avoid and resist temptations.  As we remain clean from sin, our lives will be filled with the Spirit of the Lord.  Through that Spirit, we will be blessed with success in our endeavors, whether it be at home, work, school, or anywhere else.  And through that success, we will gain more opportunity to be a blessing to the lives of those around us.  And in the end, that is all God wants for us.

Through our quiet dignity, we can be a great part in God's glory of "bring[ing] to pass the immortality and eternal life of mankind."  I know that this is true, and that this will bring more peace to our lives than we can imagine.  I love you all, have a wonderful week!

Elder Childs