Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, September 24, 2012

24 September 2012

Elder Reyes and Elder Nay

Elders Nay, Landeen, Needs, Zeigler and Rostedt
"Nearer My God To Thee"

Magandang Hapon po!

Kamusta po!
Wow! What a week. After spending half a day with the Shaners to get the new apartment set up, they rewarded me by delivering your package! Although it was great to see the eggnog, money, jerky, frosting, and other goodies, I couldn't help but laugh when I saw Milo hair stuck to some of the stuff. That guy really is nothing but a hairball. Transfer day was fun because the 5 of us batchmates re-performed a version of Nearer My God To Thee that we had organized into parts and made our theme song and havn't been able to re perform since then. It was also a surprise to find out that there are now an additional 4 new elders in our zone because of new areas. My first area Cabagan was split in half, and so was our area of Tuguegarao 2. It was really weird going to church on Sunday with 4 Elders in one ward. They are planning/in the process of splitting the ward because it has an average attendance of 175, and as soon as the new branch or ward is organized Me and Elder Reyes will go with it. With the new Elders coming, also went all of our investigators, baptismal dates, and less actives we were focusing on. The worse part is that our dinner apartments were taken too! Haha. We've had to spend the last several days working with them and showing them where all their houses are. This week will be interesting because Me and Elder Reyes have spent very little time there and as a result, don't really have any investigators or less actives to go to. That also means we will have to travel about 15-30 mins everyday just to get to our area until we find another apartment that is closer. I feel like all I ever do is look for apartments now! Basically, we are opening up a new area. It will be a fun experience.  
We had a great baptism on Saturday with 2 of our Investigators being baptized. They are both really awesome because they both have a solid testimony and knew that this is what they wanted to do. One of them has been coming to church/an investigator for 3 years but hasn't been able to be baptized until now because of problems with her live in "friend" not being married. In the end, she was excited when her live in friend recently separated from her so that she could be baptized because she has been reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church for so long she knew it was true. The other one is the girlfriend of a returned missionary here and she had to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover before deciding she would listen to missionaries.

Elder Nay and Rashel Gavino

 We have one investigator is the wife of the nephew of the stake president, and she is probably one of the most solid investigators I've seen. Her husband has been inactive for many years now but recently decided to come back because he missed feeling the Spirit at church. She has been reading the Book of Mormon, starting from the title page, and said that she doesn't understand why she cries every time she reads it. She said there is some kind of power radiating from the book that makes her want to read every minute she can. During church and every time we teach, she actually takes notes and makes highlights in her scriptures. She invited herself to the baptism on Saturday so that she can see what happens there. The day after we asked her to pray to ask if Joseph Smith is a true prophet she excitedly announced that she was answered in her dream. Their 3 year old boy is one of the cutest little kids I've ever seen and after he met us he pestered his parents to buy him missionary clothes so he can be a missionary too. And wouldn't you know it, when he came to church yesterday, the only thing he was missing is a name tag! haha. We told him that in order to be a missionary he needs to learn to pray and he said he would practice. After we told them the new missionaries will be the ones to teach them from now on, they asked us if we could finish teaching before we left to our new area. Unfortunately, it doesn't really work that way... 
Well, I think that's it for this week. Thanks for being you!
Mahal Kita,
Elder Nay

Monday, September 17, 2012

17 September 2012

Magandang Hapon!

Kamusta po sa inyong lahat!
Well, I did have about an hour worth of  message typed until some little teenager switched off the power box to my computer in an effort for him to play his computer game faster. Kids are addicted to computer games here in a way I didn't think was possible. But, I guess worse things have happened.
This week has been pretty intense trying to find an apartment for a new set of missionaries. On Saturday, it came down to me and Elder Reyes wandering around and looking for the nice houses and buildings, then asking if we could rent. With help from above, we finally found one available because the person living there moved out the night before. Talk about perfect timing! It was interesting on Sunday because President and Sister Carlos came to our sacrament meeting. Of all the possible other branches and wards to go to within the mission, they chose ours which is a 2 hour drive for them. Of course they were asked to speak and they gave great talks. Afterwards they looked at the apartment we found and signed the papers to have it rented out. Today we had to help the owner move and arrange her stuff to make room for the mission stuff. She is an old lady so it was fun because everything was a much bigger deal than it had to be and worrying about everything. Haha. Can't wait to be old...  Tomorrow the Shaners are coming to deliver all the stuff and on Thursday, our area will officially be split. Not any time to waste! I honestly don't really know what to expect for transfer day because of the new areas being opened and such, so I may or may not stay. Guess I'll find out later this week!
That is crazy that there are 146 stakes just in Utah County and it is to a point of just watching a broadcast for stake conference. I can't even imagine what 146 stakes would be like in that small of an area. I think there are 5 stakes in the whole mission, except the typical wards here have an average attendance of 120-150. Anything much more than that, and it gets split. And there are only about 6-7 units in each stake. It will be weird to see Church back home.
It was interesting to return back to Cabagan this week to work for a day. Not only was it great to return to my first area to work for a day, it was great to be with Elder Landeen for a day. It was especially exciting teaching to one less active family. I first met them back in January or February after being punted from an appointment and decided to just do an OYM (open your mouth=talking to someone random) instead. It turns out the whole family are members of the church! They just havn't been to church in many years. At first, the only one that would talk to us was one of their kids about 22 years old. Nanay and Tatay would always run away from us because Tatay had a serious addiction to cigarettes and alcohol. After finally being able to talk to Nanay and teach her a few times, she said she has wanted to come back to the church for a while but just felt too embarrassed because of her husband. Back when I was there, they kept few commitments and never came to church. When Elder Landeen said we were going to not only teach to them as a whole family, but they were going to feed us lunch as well, I was shocked and had to make sure we were talking about the same family. I asked Elder Landeen what he did to get Tatay to stop running away from missionaries and actually sit down for a lesson and he said they happened to catch him outside working in his garden one day and when he said he was "busy" and couldn't listen, they said they would be "busy" with him and started pulling weeds out of his garden for him, to which he finally caved in to let them talk. Haha. We had planned a lesson to get Tatay committed to asking his boss for sunday off of work so he could go to church with his wife and kids (which finally started coming a few weeks ago), and during the lesson we could feel the spirit very strong as we saw Tatay thinking of what we were saying. Towards the end, he was the one committing himself to our committment. He said, "I remember the days of when we went to church as a family. We were always happy and it was fun. It has been a long time since that has happened. I need to talk to my boss tomorrow to ask Sunday off of work. After all, he isn't my boss because God is our ultimate boss and he is saying go to church." Wow! Couldn't have said it better myself. What a cool change to see in someone that wanted absolutely nothing to do with us about 9 months ago. Being persistent pays off. It was also fun to look back on the days that we couldn't speak any Tagalog and think about where we are a year later. 
Well, thanks for everything you do! Ingat po kayo,
Mahal Kita,
Elder Nay

Monday, September 10, 2012

10 September 2012

Magandang Hapon po!

Good to hear from you all again! Sounds like a good time was had by all at the family reunion. Especially the part of being pelted with hail in the middle of the lake. Sounds like a typical thing to happen on a Nay outing. Glad you could all find enough time to get together and have fun for a few days. Especially exciting that Kyle could make it back in time to join. 
This week was just a typical week of traveling a bunch for meetings, appointments, and interviews. On Wednesday we "got" to wake up at 4:30 in the morning in order to make it to Cauayan on time for training and meetings. It is always nice to be taught by President Carlos, but I thought I had died and went to heaven when Sis. Carlos pulled out a blueberry and peach cobbler topped with ice cream. I also wondered how I will do when I get home with sweets because I was disappointed that I couldn't down as much as I could in my olden days. 
It was a weird first for me this week as I had the privilege of conducting my first baptism interview. Even though we were in the back section of a house of dirt floor and grass roof with the privacy of a few curtains, it was fun to listen to her (at the age of 14) bear a simple testimony about of all the different churches she has been to, this is the only one she has actually felt the Spirit in which is why she wants to get baptized as soon as possible. 
We also spent a great deal of time this week looking for apartments to be able to rent to split our area. With the increase of missionaries coming in next week, they need to go somewhere! It is really hard to find places to live here suitable for missionaries to live in. We asked the ward and stake to help us look, and with each house they told us to look at, we immediately knew we had wasted time and money looking at it. For some reason, people have a hard time understanding how picky we are by not being willing to live in a place with an open/tin roof and no kind of security bars around the windows. 
Earlier today we took a nice splurge to relax and celebrate my one year of being in the Philippines and went to a nicer restaurant to order a huge pizza and onion rings. I think those were my first onion rings since being home, so I enjoyed every one of them. Insane how fast time goes by.
Thanks for your support and everything you do/have done for me! May God bless you always,
Mahal Kita,
Elder Nay

Thursday, September 6, 2012

3 Sept 2012

To Mothers of Missionaries--A Poem

To Mothers of Missionaries

I see the son whom you cannot watch
He arrives exhilarated and confused
Sleepy from 2 a.m. packing
And long flights next to strangers who stare
He wears his name and religion on his chest
You would be so proud
To see what I see
I want him to be my son too

He is born again into a life of discipleship
Learning to walk in the shadow of Christ
Not flinching at slammed doors
Returning good for evil
And letting the Spirit place his steps
He bends his will through discipline and pleading
And closes his eyes to rest counting
Scriptures like sheep

Waiting for divinity
He opens his mouth
With words of rescue
To an uncertain world which churns
Aching hearts
You would be so proud
To witness his love
For those who reveal their hope to his faith

It doesn’t seem fair
I see these things and you don’t
You having walked through that valley of shadows
And death for this boy
Replaced lost CTR rings, imprinted his name on scriptures
And called Seminary more than once.
Yet I see his refining and fire
Burning dross and forging honor
All his good manners remembered
And you are at home on your knees

I may understand how you feel
I too, have sent sons to foreign lands
And trusted another woman to watch over,
love and protect the boys I so loved.
I pledge to do my best to guard your son
and I will join you in my home away from home here in the Philippines
on my knees praying for your son’s well being—because I love him too!

Part of a poem by Sister Kathleen Nilsen –Columbus Ohio LDS Mission. Last stanza is an addition from Sister Brenda Carlos—Philippines Cauayan Mission

(Borrowed from Sister Carlos's mission blog.)

3 Sept 2012

Magandang Hapon po!

Kamusta na po kayo!?
Weird to think I am emailing you again. Seems like I just barely emailed you! This week was interesting because it was my first time having to be the one to train a stake presidency and all the bishops in the stake. It was just weird to be in charge of presenting information and training to people with callings like that. It was all good though and now hopefully the new converts will be better off because of it. The stake president here is way cool and we are at his house several times a week eating and coordinating missionary work with him. 
I also had the fun time of experiencing my first earthquake. It was kind of a cool feeling to be sitting down and feel everything move for a second. Luckily it wasn't very big and lasted only for about 5 seconds, but now I can officially say I've been in an earthquake. I know mom is really jealous right now.
This week will officially mark my one year in the Philippines. Pretty crazy to think I have officially been living here for over a year now. Before I know it, I'll be home again! Time only goes by faster and faster the longer I am out. Makes me appreciate time a lot more-it doesn't last very long so we better make it count while it lasts. 
While trying to hunt down a less active this week, we found a new investigator family and the dad enjoyed every second of our visit because he couldn't believe that 2 people like us would do nothing but go around telling people that we have a God that loves us, families can be together forever, and we have a prophet to help guide us. He told us several times how grateful he was to be able to find out how his family can be together forever and how we truly bear "good news" to people. Little does he know, that is the definition of the word Gospel! It truly is good news for people to hear something as basic as those 3 principles. 
Well, not sure what else to tell you that I havn't told you before. I'm assuming that you are all alive seems how I havn't gotten any emails, but keep on keeping on!
Mahal kita,
Elder Nay