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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Week 72: Brackets and Testimonies

AJ: Hey Dad! How's it goingf? Can you send me an NCAA bracket??
DAD: Hey AJ, How's it going? (sent bracket)
AJ: Mabuti. Good! YUN! That's it. Got it. How was your week? Has my money run out yet by the way?
DAD: Yeah, your money is gone, but that's OK. Grandma is helping and we have paid off the cars so we can afford you ;-)
AJ: To be honest, I probably ate more than 400 dollars a month in food and milk when I was at home right? Is there any money in there right now if I used a bit this week? I am almost out of money and we don't have money till Thursday. I think I can make it, but just in case.
DAD: Yeah, there is some, but not sure how much. You will be OK, we wouldn't let it run dry. At home you were at least buying some milk and eating your own cereal. I remember your stash of sweet cereal in your room.
AJ: Now I don't drink milk or eat cereal, haha.
DAD: Yeah, you poor guy. Ah well, I do enough for the both of us. Tuesday night BYU plays and everyone will be gone. Dallas and Bryce on their trip, girls at Gma's and your mom at work.
AJ: One man BYU fan. I would rather watch the BYU NCAA tourney game then go to Disneyland – c'mon bros!
DAD: They never quite got the fan fever bad like you and I. They like BYU and the Jazz, but not hardcore.
AJ: Yeah, that's too bad. I'll do my bracket and take a picture of it and send it to ya next week so I can be in the family contest. I guess the selection just got announced earlier today, right?
DAD: Yeah, they just announced today. BYU was lucky to get in. But that's six years in a row. So what do you get if you win? We can't take you out to dinner. Want me to eat a big bowl of Reese Puffs for you?!
AJ: They probably got in because they still remember how awesome the Jimmer was. I don't know what can you give the man that has already has everything?
DAD: Yeah, u have it all, u dog! We need to get you a couple of wins for BYU!!!
AJ: Oops, I guess you could teach me how to speak English again. My English was totally terrible, haha.
DAD: By the way, we went back to daylight savings time, so now you are 14 hours ahead, instead of 15. It is 1 a.m.
AJ: Oh man, you got less than 5 hours till you go to work.
DAD: Yeah, well, sleep is overrated, right?
AJ: No way, sleep is awesome.
DAD: Do you sleep good there in the heat & humidity?
AJ: Always. Here on the mission I am always so tired I could sleep anywhere. No, but it usually cools off a little bit and we have electric fans. In Tuguegarao back in the day it was bad. I just remember you get out of the shower and immediately start sweating, you crawl in bed and turn on the fan full blast and it just blows hot air. It is supposed to be almost as bad here in Roxas when the hot months come. I'm gonna be here till at least May, so I'll probably experience it. So we'll see if it gets bad.
DAD: Haven't read your letter yet, but I see you sent it. Must mean you're leaving and I am going to bed. Love you tons, AJ, and am so proud of you. Be good and be SAFE!
AJ: Alrighty, LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Dearest Family,
Wow what a week!!! So this week was awesome. Let me tell you about it.

On Tuesday, we went to brother Moredan. He is the brother that I told you we had a great lesson and then we went back a few times and he was never there. So we went back again and he was there and had another great lesson. But when we went back, he wasn't there again. Anyway, he is doing a lot better. He has been reading and praying, but he is just kind of flaky. He really seems to have potential, though. He also was first contacted a few months ago when he was in Nueva Ecjia by an elder in Angeles Mission (south of Cauayan mission) that was in my district in the MTC, Elder Witt. Anyway small world I guess.

Later that day we had appointments with the Tan family and the Gabaldon family and Elder and Sister Shaners worked with us. With the Tan family we had maybe the greatest lesson I've been in on my entire mission. The spirit was strong and we taught about baptism and the Shaners were awesome. We gave Sister Feyma (the one that had a rash) a baptismal date and she accepted, so she has a date on April 21. Anyway, she told us again about her answer to her prayers and she has really had a cool conversion. So the younger brother of Sister Feyma was the one who came back to church (he was already a member) and really started the whole thing, has decided he is going on a mission and has just turned in his papers and interviewed with Pres. Carlos. After the lesson at Tans we went to the Gabaldon Family w/the Shaners and had another amazing lesson! It was really terrific.

Then on Thursday night President Carlos texted us and asked if he could work with us on Friday afternoon. So President Carlos came up and worked with us while Sister Carlos worked with the sisters. With President Carlos we went and taught the Tan family and then he was able to answer sister Feyma's questions. Anyway it was super cool to have President Carlos work with us. After that we went and President Carlos got to meet the Gabaldon's dad and one of their sons.
So whenever I am in an area I try to figure out why I was sent there and with that particular companion. These past couple of weeks I have seen some of the reasons why I've been sent here to Roxas. It really kind of blows my mind when I think about how some of the people may have been those I promised to find in the pre-earth life and then I meet them and they have just been prepared by the Lord – it's awesome. Those kind of eternal friends. Its blows my mind to think about it.

Oh yeah, on Sunday Sister Feyma said some really cool stuff in our Gospel Principles class. It was the chapter in GP about the Restoration and we read some of the truths that were restored though the prophet Joseph Smith. After we read the list and we discussed it, she just said she had an addition and she talked about how at all the other churches she had been to, this is the only one where she learned those things and she now knows the truth. She said those were things that she has wondered about her whole life and that what she just read completely fits and has already given her peace of mind that she hasn't had her whole life. It was really cool.

I guess we as members of the church sometimes take it for granted that we know these great things because we have always had them. She has been really cool. We have a Family Home Evening at the Tan family later and they invited some of their other siblings so we might get some more cool investigator when we meet them.

So here in Roxas there is this 13-year old kid named E.J. He was baptized maybe 6 months ago. Anyway he is super awesome. Every time we see him he drops everything, changes into a shirt and tie and works with us. He always bears his testimony and stuff and goes to church early and is the only member in his family. He is really a big kid, too. The first time I saw him I thought he was Samoan or something. I love that kid. He is totally not shy, he shares his testimony and always has like really great personal experiences to share with investigators. He is such a stud. He truly has wisdom beyond his years. I love talking to him and stuff. He truly and completely enjoys living the gospel and is so happy he was able to be taught it. So, we have been teaching his parents and his Grandpa and Grandma. His parents have started reading and are doing all right, but we cant get them to church. His grandma and grandpa are kinda old and a don't really fully get it all, but the grandma is pretty interested. The grandpa hasn't seemed too interested yet, but he always listens. The Grandma has been reading and stuff, but she is kinda half crippled and says she reads and understands what she reads but then she always forgets. But anyway, she came to church on Sunday early and stayed for the whole block and loved it. It was really cool. EJ is such a cool kid, I really want his family to follow his example.

On Wednesday we went to Cauayan for Zone Leader Council and Leadership training meeting. The food was really awesome as always. For breakfast Sister Carlos made waffles and for lunch we had ziti and garlic bread. It was amazing, of course!
We also learned about how to teach more effective lessons and about object lessons and stuff for district/zone meetings.

Man, the mission is great. Every day just goes by so fast I can't even comprehend it. And most days I just hit the bed exhausted and just so happy and I really wouldn't choose anyplace in the world to be right now. It's great to just work hard and then at the end of day pray and hit the bed tired and do it all over again. It's amazing. The church is true!

Love you so much. Thanks for your prayers and your sacrifices, for your letters and your example to me. I love ya all so much! 

Love YA!!! A.J.

The "Chocolate Hills" near Manila, Philippines

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