Philippines Cauayan Mission

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

18 March 2013

Magandang Hapon!

Well, it has been yet another week of being able to witness small miracles. We attended the baptism of the Sisters in Burgos, in which we were able to feel the testimony that this new convert has gained. Even though it started rather late because people weren't there on time, it still went rather smoothly and had the great addition of prelude music on the piano (an accommodation that is hard to come by at baptisms here) to help invite the spirit. On the same day, we also traveled to Mabini so I could conduct a baptismal interview for a kid being baptized next week. Id apply them before other people do, but piece by piece, testimonies are formed to a big solid piece. 
President and Sister Carlos also attended Sacrament meeting with us in Gamu on Sunday, which is always a pleasure to hear them talk. It was kind of funny to see the reaction of all the members when he walked in seems how usually they only see him at district conferences or interviews or other big meetings-never in a sacrament meeting. Sister Carlos gave an interesting talk about how to "scatter our sunshine", or do acts of service.  always love to see other people being converted as they feel and gain their own testimony piece by piece. Testimonies are just like a big puzzle-some people will gain testimonies of certain principles an to cheer up others. 
I also ended up staying in Catabban for 2 days while on splits. It was only supposed to be one day, but seems how Elder Villania had to be rushed to a dentist in a southern part of the mission because of severe tooth pain, I ended up staying 2 days. While there, there was a really strong and cool storm that came through. We were trying to teach a lesson, but eventually just had to call it quits after the rain being so loud on the roof we couldn't even hear each other. There was also some really powerful winds that came through, which destroyed a lot of little huts meant for drying tobacco plants and even flattened some corn and rice fields. Pretty fun to watch. :) 
That is way fun to see that much growth in the missionary work-and how lucky you are to be able to participate and train them! 
Very exciting to know that shortly after getting home, I will have a new nephew. Congrats to Kyle and Aimee! 
And mom, just like I told you a while ago, I really don't need nor want very much stuff in my next package and would much rather put that money towards other things when I get home.... But, of course, I wouldn't complain if I had some eggnog and cashews. :) Also another bottle or 2 of drugs to last until I get home. 
Maligayang paglakbay sa Cambodia!
Mahal ko kayo,
Elder Nay

11 March 2013

Magandang Hapon po!

Sounds like a busy schedule for the new President and Sister Nay at the MTC! Haha. I am glad you now get to experience those devotionals on a weekly basis. You are now considered a lucky group of people! I didn't realize that President Nally is the new MTC President, he was a counselor when I was there. If you havn't yet, you will hopefully get to experience the special version of "Called To Serve" that his wife plays on the piano and involves everyone standing up partway through. I only experienced it a couple times while I was there, but every time it was super awesome and it invites the Spirit like nothing else. Hopefully you get used to giving those talks and training-but at least you usually know when you are going to be speaking, unlike the missionaries having to give impromptu ones. I remember having to do that once. Good times. But, after being out in the mission for so long, I'm just used to doing a lot of stuff impromptu now. And preparing for talks and trainings now is a lot easier than it was before. One of the extra blessings of serving a mission. :)
Just last Saturday Elder Villania and I gave a special fireside for the YSA here in Gamu (most of which are preparing to leave on missions within a year) about the Book of Mormon and how important it is in all of our lives, especially in their lives preparing to become missionaries, because that is the best tool we have to use while teaching. The Book of Mormon literally is the keystone of our religion. No wonder the Book of Mormon had to be published before the Church was actually restored in 1830.
It is definitely starting to feel like summer again here. Earlier today while I was washing clothes, sweat was dripping off of my forehead onto my clothes as I was scrubbing them down. The drips of sweat coming from the folds in the elbow and knees are always fun too. I can't wait to see how much hotter it gets in a few months!
President Carlos just announced today that the Church Missionary Department has changed its policy in the White Handbook regarding email restrictions, and now we are able to email all family AND friends, as longs as they are not in mission boundaries. So, that makes it quite a bit easier to try to stay in touch with people! Seems how I have about 0 free time to hand write letters to friends, this will be a great opportunity for me to actually write to people I haven't written or replied to in a long time. So, for my friends who are still reading these letters and want me to write them, send me an email so I can be able to reply.
Last week's Family Home Evening at the Lapitan family home was really fun. Seems how President and Sister Carlos came, along with the Assistants, it was quite a rare thing to have such a family home evening. But the 14 year old Lapitan sister gave a really awesome lesson about sacrifice, and even tied it in with how it is a big sacrifice to try and keep the Sabbath day holy and paying tithing. She was the one that even volunteered to give the lesson when she found out President was coming and spent quite some time before trying to prepare. She, along with her 2 younger brothers, are certainly going to be awesome missionaries in the coming years.
One of the greatest privileges of being a Zone Leader is being able to go on frequent exchanges with other Elders to be able to help train them, and most of all, be able to learn from them. Even though we all teach essentially the same lessons out of Preach My Gospel, it is interesting to see that every missionary has their own teaching style and emphasis on certain things. As part of the exchanges of course, it is also a great time to ask the missionary how they are doing and how their companionship is doing. This week while on exchanges, an Elder opened up many different concerns and problems about how he was struggling to be a good example and find the joy in the work. By no coincidence, what I read just a few minutes earlier in the Doctrine and Covenants in my personal study was able to help him out. One small example how the Spirit directs this work and helps all of us when needed.
Mahal ko kayo. Maraming Salamat para sa inyong support sa akin.
Ingat palagi!
Elder Nay
D&C 24:8

4 March 2013

Magandang Hapon po!

Sounds like a good time was had in Colorado and seeing the fishies with Kyle, Aimee and Gracie. Lately I have seen a bunch of the cutest and funniest little kids about 2 years old and can't help but think that is how Gracie and Jenna are. 
Elder Teh, Elder Hallstrom, President Carlos and wives
As I mentioned last week, we had Elders Teh and Hallstrom visit the mission and give training to us. It was super weird seeing Elder Hallstrom at first because he was wearing a suit! Haha nobody ever wears a suit in the Philippines. As expected, it was an excellent opportunity to be taught by not only 1, but 2 General Authorities, and 3 within one week-counting Elder Ardern last week. They heavily emphasized the importance of studying the scriptures and how to make the most of study time. Then of course is the last and hardest part-applying what you learned that day into your everyday life. Elder Hallstrom also emphasized that even him as a General Authority can’t make anybody change. Nobody can make someone change except for one's self. Of course, people can offer advice and all the training in the world, but in the end it is all up to our own selves to apply everything and change. It made me do a self re-evaluation of what I had to do in order to become not only a better person, but a better missionary. Life is like the stock market-there are ups and downs (sometimes very big downs), but generally speaking, we should all be on an upward scale.
Anyways, sorry to cut this short but President Carlos is attending Family Home Evening with us at the Lapitan family and he is waiting for us. So, have a great week and thanks for everything! Oh, and happy B-day Nat!
Mahal ko kayo,
Elder Nay