(This letter sent Feb 25th)
How was your week and how is everything in California? Thats sweet about the new missions that they are creating. And the California Irvine Mission, thats awesome. I was just looking on LDS.org at the list of all the new missions and theyre creating 4 new ones in the Philippines, so nuts. There are so many missions now in the Philippines haha. Thats sweet about Sui and thats so nice that you gave him a camera. I bet he was so stoked. When does he leave again? I bet he's dying to leave haha. Tell him I miss him a ton and he should email me or write me or something! Also, Elder Tafiti, the new elder in our house, reminds me so much of Sui its awesome. He does random funny stuff like Sui and he's just hilarious and he wears a lava lava all the time its great. The only difference is he has a New Zealand accent but he's Samoan so thats like Tongan haha. And i'll tell him that you guys want to go to New Zealand. I want to go there too so dont go without me. that would be so fun! Sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun at home getting everything ready for them to move in. Should be fun to go up to Utah this next week for the last time for awhile. I bet you guys are way excited to have Rachelle, Scott, and especially Bash move in.
So this last week we split our area so it was way different. We focused on finding new investigators this last week so we did a lot of tracting. And luckily our work was good and we were able to get 14 new investigators! We received to referrals from a member in the ward and the rest we got from tracting. So Elder shingleton and I are way stoked about all of our new investigators and we are excited to teach them this next week. But this last week was A LOT of hard work. We taught 31 lessons this past week so we were waayyy busy and we were working hard. So we just had a super successful week, I just wish every week could be like this haha. So we were able to teach Rodil twice this last week and he went to church so that was great. We started teaching his son and daughter too. Also, he hasnt drank since the last time so we were super happy about that. We taught Ronel twice this last week and he still has been drinking a little coconut wine here and there so we have been trying our best to get him to stop. And he said he was going to come to church but he didnt come. It was so frustrating! I thought for sure that he was coming this week, such a bummer. Then we were able to have a great lesson with Jennifer. So last lesson we taught her about the Book of Mormon and we committed her to read 1 Nephi 1 and pray to know if the book is true. But unfortunately she didnt do that. So this last lesson, because she didnt do it, we just read 1 Nephi 1 with her a few verses at a time and explained it to her and made sure she understood it. Then once we were done reading that, we committed her to the 1 Nephi 2 and to pray to know again. The Spirit was so strong in the lesson and I testified with all my heart to her that the Book of Mormon will change her life if she allows it to do so. And she saw the importance of what she needed to do and she seemed committed to read, ponder, and pray so I really hope she does, and that she gets an answer! She's a great investigator, I'm super bummed that she has to leave in a few weeks! But we have new investigators that we got that I can already tell they are going to be solid investigators, so I hope!
Last week for Pday we just played basketball and it was way fun. I dont know if I told you this yet or not but Elder Del Mundo, that guy Rachelle emailed me about a few weeks ago is in my district so I see him all the time. I talked to him about Stacey and how she baptized his family and stuff haha it was cool, such a small world! So this last week it rained a ton. We had a bagyo, or a typhoon pretty much all week. We had to walk an hour on Tuesday to get to the area where our investigators our and it was pooring rain the whole time so we were soaked. Hah my socks and pants we soaking wet. And I can home that night and took my shoes off and left them there, thinking they would dry. But I went back the next day and looked in my shoes and there was mold on my insoles it was great haha. So I have to wash those off and hang them out to dry. Seriously everything gets molded here so fast because its so humid it stinks. And its hard for things to dry because its so humid haha its just so fun. So after Tuesday, it rained pretty much everyday, but it wasnt as bad as Tuesday was. So I was just wet and muddy all week it was great haha. Also, we had some leaks in our house so our tile floor was wet like everywhere in our apartment it sucked. But the owner of the apartment came and put a new layer of cement on the roof so cover those cracks and holes. So hopefully it will be fixed now!
Well, thats pretty much all about my week. We were just super busy all week and the week flew by. But I love this gospel and the happiness I receive from this gospel. I was just thinking yesterday that I have never been this happy in my life. Thinking back to high school or college or any other time in my life, I have never had this much joy and peace in my life. And I know that that is just one of the fruits of serving a mission. I am so grateful for this opprtunity I have to serve a mission and the joy I am receiving from working here in Iloilo! I know that only through this gospel and through Jesus Christ you can receive true happiness. The worldly things that surround us every day will only give you short moments of pleasure and not happiness. If we follow the counsel of the prophets and apostles, read the Book of Mormon daily, go to church, and pray to Heavenly Father daily, you life will be so great and you will be so happy. Well, I hope you all have an awesome week. I hope you make it up and back from Utah safely and that all goes well. I love you guys and I love getting your email everyweek! Halong kamo!
Palangga ko kamo!
(Email sent Feb 19th)
Just want to start by saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! What are you 30 now? haha I hope you have an awesome day and that those ribs and pie is delicious. So this last week we had a pretty good week. This last week I just had a lot of fun because I finally feel comfortable with the language and now I am just conversing with people so its way easier and more fun now. Im finally able to just joke around with members and investigators and what not so it is a lot less stressful now. But It was super busy because it was transfer week and we had to get the apartment ready for 2 new elders so everyday we had deliveries from different places with all different kinds of furniture and we had to move everything around in the apartment, so that took a chunk out of 2 of our days. Then on Friday the new Elders arrived to we only got one lesson in the day because we had to meet them at the bus stop and help them out. So that took another day out of our work so we werent able to teach as many lessons as we wanted this week, so that was a bummer. So the 2 new elders are Elder Sparks and Elder Tafiti. Elder Sparks is training Elder Tafiti and Sparks was in Elder Shingletons batch in the MTC so they know each other pretty well. Also, Elder Tafiti came into the MTC a few weeks before I left the MTC so I know him from the MTC so its way fun because we all know each other. Elder Sparks is full Filipino but he's American from Idaho and Elder Tafiti is from New Zealand and he has a sweet accent. Tafiti is just a huge rugby player, he's was strong. But so far it is a lot more fun having 4 elders in our apartment so I'm excited for this next 6 weeks. So this week we werent able to teach Rodil because every time we tried he was gone so that was lame. But we taught Ronel twice this last week so that was good. He didnt go to church this week again which is a bummer but he really wants to its just he has to babysit his newborn because his wife works on Sundays. But he is progressing well and reads the Book of Mormon everyday so its going well with him. Also, we taught Jennifer once about the Book of Mormon and committed her to read 1 Nephi 1 and pray about it in order to know the Book of Mormon is true so hopefully she will do it! We'll probably teach her again on Tuesday or Wednesday. But the problem with her is that she leaves in a few weeks so there's no way we can baptize her. Right now we are still struggling to find new investigators. We have been asking everyone for referrals and talking to everyone but no success yet. So this last week we taught to a lot of less actives and a few of them came to church yesterday so that was good. Lito has been super frustrasting. He is slowly getting worse and worse its bad. We werent able to teach him at all this week because whenever we tried he always said he was busy, and who knows if he was busy at all. Then yesterday before church we went to get him at his house and bring him to church and he was just sitting out in the street with some of his friends and he said he couldnt go to church because he had work, but he didnt have any work he was just sitting doing nothing. So yeah its really annoying and frustrating with him.So for Pday today I think we're going to play basketball so it should be fun. Elder Stacey transferred to theres no one to play catch with here anymore so im super bummed about that. Im going to miss that every week. Thats sweet about both the Coopers speaking. It seems like you guys have had a missionary speak in every sacrament meeting for like the past 2 months haha thats awesome! So the investigators here have to go to church for 4 straight weeks before they can be baptized and I think they have to do a service project, im not sure though. Thats crazy about Mckenzie Mccormick. Its still so weird to think she is married haha but her reception sounded like it was fun. Were you guys able to go to the temple with Sui? If so, how was that? Also, can you send me matt and louies emails please? Thats awesome about your fashion show too. Sounds like a big success, hopefully you get a lot of business out of it. So this last week Elder Shingleton and I ate soo well. So Thursday we made Curry and it was so delicious, then Friday we made Chicken Adobo (a popular Filipino meal), Sunday morning I made chocolate chip pancakes using the M&Ms you sent me, then Sunday for lunch I made chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn haha it was like a sunday dinner at home it was so great. So yeah this week was awesome with all the food. Im going to come back and be a master chef haha so watch out mom. I'll come home and make so delicious Filipino meals haha its going to be great. Well, I forgot my camera to so I cant upload any pictures so sorry about that. But next week you will have a ton of pictures to look at it will be great. Well Thats all I have to say today, not to much for this week.
I love this Gospel and I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve a mission here in Iloilo. Just this 3 months of missionary service so far has brought me so much happiness and joy, I cant imagine how much happiness I am going to receive in these next months. I cant wait! I know that true happiness comes through living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As it says in Mosiah 2:41, " I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and a happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are bblessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual". I know that this is true. If we keep the commandments we will be so happy and blessed. I love you guys and I hope you have a great week! And dad have an awesome birthday!
Palangga ko kamo!