|Zone Conference trust issues.|
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
|Elders with the Gabaldon family|
Wow whatta week!
So we had a great week and on this coming Wednesday we will have a training with Elder Teh of the Seventy/area presidency, then that evening he will being doing a fireside in the Rojas chapel so we are trying to get all our investigators excited about because it should be awesome. Elder Teh is also planning on doing lots of interviews and also visiting a bunch of missionary apartments so the mission is on red alert to clean up and play straight this week haha.
And just earlier when we opened our email we got a big surprise that in august that Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Bishop Dean M. Davies of the Presiding Bishopric and Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Seventy and Area Presidency will be visiting and doing special training with us in august. President said and hey you thought you were an isolated mission. I was pretty surprised about that so that's awesome.
So about the Gabaldon family, I haven't really been talking about them lately because I was super sad as they had only come to church a few times since they were baptized and have been super busy so we could never teach them anymore but this week we had a huge success with them and it has answered months of fasting and prayer. So this is what happened.
After their baptism they just got way super busy with work and they another house in mallig so we had the mallig elders go and teach them a few times but mostly they were just way busy. In the period of the last couple months they've only been to church a few times. So we kept trying to set times to teach them and they were busy and wouldn't really give us a time and some of the other times we set and they just forget or weren't there and just overall being kind of flaky. So I was really way bummed about them and was like thinking if we should've postponed their baptism back in the day or if there was something else we should have done but these last few months we have just been persistent in going by there house when we had extra time and saying hi and looking for time when we could teach them. Finally this last week we were able to find them at their shop and we were able to share with them and then we set a FHE with them this last Monday and it was great. We talked about faith in Alma 32 and we planted really mustard seeds of faith:).
Then we were able to teach them again on Friday about Eternal Families. They were really repentant and sorry about not continuing to be active in the church right after they were baptized and they said that the Eternal Families is what really helped them to be interested in the church at the beginning and then they promised us and Heavenly Father in their prayer to change and to go to church, read their scriptures and pray as a family more diligently. Then this Sunday they came to church and came early! They had a great time in gospel principle and Father had a great time in priesthood. They were also interviewed by President Munoz for the Priesthood and Satay promised president to change and that he would diligently be at church from here on out.
I have really just been just depressed the past few months about the Gabaldon family and have been thinking maybe we should of postponed the baptism or maybe their was something different we could have done but its been a huge testimony builder to see months of praying and fasting answered. They are such a great family and I want so bad for them to be an eternal family. I cant describe how happy I am this week with the progress they've made.
We also had a baptism this week. Mark Deiter is really good kid. We have been teaching him the past couple weeks and Mark Deiter has quit selling ice cream on Sunday, been reading diligently and going to church and was baptized this last Saturday by his cousin Dominic. It was a cool baptism . Another cool note, his uncle who is less active and is his employer with the ice cream and all followed Mark Deiter's example yesterday and didn't sell ice cream either and went to church with his family. It was cool.
Also one of the coolest things that happened to us this week was that we have this investigator, Karen(about 22) that is a friend of Sister Fema Tan and we have been teaching here for a while now. At first she was being taught with Fema and she got a really cool answer to here prayer but then she went to Manila for like a month and then we found out she was back so we started teaching her again. She has been doing way awesome and has been coming to church and keeping all the commitments and this last Sunday she didn't come to church and she texted one of the members and said her dad forbade her to become aMormon and for us to not visit anymore. So since it was texted to a member we decided to go visit it her and have her tell us what was going on. Anyway we got there and she told us that she really wants to be baptized but her dad forbade her. So after talking to her for a while we felt prompted to challenge her to get on her knees pray and then go and tell her dad what was in her heart. Over those few days we prayed fervently for her dad's heart to be softened and for the spirit to be with her as she did this. And it was awesome because on Sunday she came to church said she did what we challenged her to do and that her dad said that if that's what she wants to do that it is all right! At the end though she said that she got a job in Sta. Rosa, Laguna (like 12 hours away which also happens to be the hometown of Elders Valdez and Fantony) and is going to start Tuesday and won't be back for 2 months (UUGH!!!) She said she will go to church in Laguna and that she will find the missionaries when she gets there. She also isn't sure exactly where she is going so we can't send the missionaries after her. I really do think she has the desire and the testimony to go to church there and find the missionaries. I just wish she was staying here because it was such a huge breakthrough!
By the way Sister Fema Tan is doing awesome, she is teaching seminary and is thinking about applying for a mission or to BYU Hawaii. Cool.
We ate at the district president's house last night. It's pretty funny, they are both RMs and their kids are named Mohonri, Moriancumer and Jared... Do you get it?
Also very cool this week we were coming back to Rojas from an area a few miles out of the town and oddly there were no rides back for a good ten minutes(there are usually rides back within a minute or so) Then a car came down the road with 2 old Americans in it haha. It was a Couple! Elder and Sister Gottfriedson (spelling -- they are pretty new, last weds is the first time I've really talked to them) were headed to Rojas to help sister Fema with BYU Hawaii application so we were able to show them the way and after they did their business with sister fema they shared really great testimonies with Fema and her sister in law(our investigator as well) about the great blessing of forever families. (by the way Elder Gotfiedson is a former Mission President and was serving as patriarch when he was called on a mission) This whole week it seems like what our investigators and less active families that we are teaching have just needed to hear about eternal families.
So if there is one thing I learned this week is what a great blessing it is to be sealed as a family. Thanks mom and dad for living the gospel and being married in the temple. I know that families can be together forever. I love you all tons. My love for each of you has especially grown as I have been away from you and I am so grateful to be in such an awesome family.
I love you tons. Have a great week and good luck with the house!
|Mark Dieter (right one in white) was baptized last week by his cousin Dominic.|
Monday, July 9, 2012
|Roxas Zone Leaders Elder Delector and Elder Griffin|
Wow what a great week. Hope you had a great 4th of July and Go America!
So it's been a quick week. First of all, my new comp is a stud. Elder Delector is 27 by the way. He is a convert to the church and before his mission had been an elementary school teacher (he is already finished college). He is such a nice guy -- very obedient and hard working. We had a great week here in Roxas. One thing I've learned from my mission is that whether you use time wisely or poorly and whether you have an attitude to be happy or sad, the time still flies by at an unbelievable rate. So it's a lot better to use time wisely and be happy no matter what your situation is because it goes by so fast.
For about 4 months or so we have been teaching Mark Deiter, 15-years-old, that lives with a member family here in Roxas. At first he was having a hard time getting what we were teaching (he has a hard time with Tagalog, he is Ibanug), but has been doing great and we really feel he is prepared now for baptism. He is the one I told you about selling ice cream on Sunday thing. If things go right this week he will be baptized by his cousin (a priest) this Saturday.
Also, the couple that got married like a month ago is doing really well. Brother Mobydick has been like 2 and half weeks without drinking and has been doing great. I really have come to have a great friendship with their family and also with other families as well. Eternal Friendships. Anyway if he can keep it up he will be baptized on Aug 4th.
This week as well we had a meeting in Cauayan on the 4th of July. To be honest, I totally forgot it was the 4th of July until lunch when Elder Valdez (my companion last Christmas) said "Hey, isn't America's birthday right now?" I was like, holy cow it is! Luckily the Carlos had our back and made awesome Sloppy Joes to make the 4th of July complete. By the way, Elder Wooden become Zone Leader this last cycle and Elder Valdez has been a ZL for a couple months now. They are studs.
Earlier today we went to Ilagan and played football and had Macdos. It was awesome of course. We got to see and play ball with a lot our buddies in the mish and even though it was super hot, we got to play some awesome pigskin action. Then we topped it off with Macdonalds and shopping at the huge Savemore in Ilagan. One of the best P-days ever.
So this week we had some fantastic lessons and new commitments with some of the investigators that are interested, but have not gone to church yet and 3 investigators promised they would go to church. On Sunday we were just so convinced that this was the week they would take the big step, but we were just crushed waiting at the church and they never came. Its a weird feeling, like we just want them to find true happiness because we love them. Sometimes I get frustrated with some people we teach and as A.J. Griffin I want to just say let's not go to them anymore or drop them, they dont deserve any more chances. But then I think about the Savior and what he would do. The Savior would never give up on them, the Savior would always give them another chance. The Savior would love them.
I am so grateful and humbled to wear the Savior's name and share the Savior's great news to the world. I have so many weaknesses and I am so lacking for the job. It's amazing and a miracle to imagine that the Lord calls upon the weak and unlearned to do his work.
I know the prophet Joseph Smith really received an answer to his prayer and I know that God does answer prayers. I know that the Savior did do the atonement because he loves us so much. I know that the atonement fixes everything that is unfair in life. I know that the Lord is a lord of forgiveness and mercy and how humbled I am to share that with the people here in the Cauayan Mission.
|These next few pix are from Elder and Sister Shaner's website. The above photo |
is Sis. Shaner and a new member of their branch.
|Working the rice fields.|
|Elder Griffin and Elder Shaner go head-to-head in cotton ball volleyball|
at zone conference.
|Rumor has it Elder Shaner won the match despite AJ's best efforts.|
Thursday, July 5, 2012
|AJ's sister, Katie, and a friend.|
DAD: There is only one flight from LA each day. There are like eight from SLC every day.
AJ: Someone was telling me there is like direct flights from Manila or Hong Kong to SLC but I don't know. I guess it doesn't really matter though. They'll figure it out.
DAD: Yeah, Delta does a direct from Honk Kong (Paris too). Talk about a long flight! But then you would just be an hour from home. Or we could meet you in SLC.
AJ: I'll see if they can do STG but SLC is just fine too.
DAD: Friday might be bad during football season ... but we'll make it work.
AJ: So I guess down in Nueva Viscaya, some missionaries were involved in a serious accident earlier this week.
From President Carlos:
“Miracles come to our mission in various ways. To many missionaries, miracles come when they find an investigator who is ready to be taught. To others the miracle happens when an investigator starts keeping commitments and has a change of heart. On Tuesday June 26, another type of miracle came to our mission.
Elder Romano Valdez was doing a companion exchange with Elder Tadena. A fellowshipper was working with them. The three of them walking abreast on the busy road. Elder Valdez suddenly felt impressed to step behind Elder Tadena and move over closer to the side of the road. Just as he stepped over he felt something whiz past him and ruffle his pant leg. He looked up to see a motorcycle speeding ahead and plow right into Elder Tadena and the fellowshipper. The motorcyclist continued on down the road, hitting two students before flipping over the cycle. In the end the two students, the driver of the motorcycle and his passenger were all killed in the accident.”
Elder Tadena was bruised from head to toe, had a severe broken leg which required surgery but is expected to eventually fully recover. The fellowshipper received lacerations and a broken collarbone. Elder Valdez was unhurt. Yes, on Tuesday our mission experienced the miracle of protection. Praise the Lord for watching out for his missionaries!
|Colorado Springs fire.|
DAD: Wow, lots of miracles this week. Here are a couple more Colorado Springs pix. Very sad and scary.
AJ: Did people die in Colorado Springs? Did it literally take out that city?
DAD: A couple of people died, but most got evacuated before the fire hit homes. Nearly 400 homes were destroyed. This last pic shows it. It's been 72 days since we had any measurable rain here. AJ: Wow, that looks like something out the movies. By the way Balaich wrote me a letter he said the only time he gets to use Tagalog is on Facebook and he is at the Y.
DAD: Oh, that's too bad. Well I know we have three or four RMs in the ward that went Philippines, but don't know where. Bro. Miller knows Tagalog.
AJ: I am still shocked all the time at how many stinking languages there are in the Philippines. In our little town there is Tagalog, Ilakano and Ibanang and others as well. My comp speaks Cebuano, Illongo, Tagalog. And there are tons of tribes and if you go 30 mins down the road you can find even more different dialects. And it's like that all the way through the Philippines.
Anyway gotta run love you!!!!!!!!
Wow so what a week. First of all, on Tuesday I got the infamous "trunky letter" and am now considered to be "Pauwi na" or "on the way home" (people have already been doggin me for like 6 months that my mission is almost over).
Second of all, we had transfers on Thursday and Elder Velez was transferred and I am staying here in Roxas for at least another cycle (I am now 6 months in Roxas) and my new companion is Elder Delector from Bacolod City in southernish Philippines. He is 13 months or so in the mission and was the ZL is Bambang (we used to go to district meeting there when I was assigned in Aritao). He is a stud. Super hard working, kind and obedient. He is awesome. It is cool to be with someone fairly young in the mission as well.
Anyway, work has been great and we have awesome investigators here in Roxas. One young man named Mark Deiter, 15, that we have been teaching will be getting interviewed this weekend and baptized on 14th. He lives with a member family and this last Sunday was really cool. Last week we taught him about the Sabbath and keeping it holy and then Sunday at church I was talking to him and asked him what time we could go and teach him later that day and he said that he probably couldn't listen until late because his uncle (member, but inactive) was going to make him sell ice cream after church. So I asked him if he could try to get out of working and he said he would probably get scolded for it. But I said he should try and I thought he was going to be too shy to do it. But when we went to his house later that day he was just chillin at and I asked him why he wasn't selling ice cream and he said that he told his uncle that he doesn't want to work on Sundays anymore. I was so proud of him!
Well I got a bunch more to tell you, but we gotta get going. Love you tons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
|Griffin property in New Harmony.|