Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, April 29, 2013

29 April 2013

Magandang Hapon!
It has been quite the busy week for us here in Gamu! This week we had the annual "specialized training" activity called Amazing Grace. Sister Carlos really is amazing at creating and pulling off fun and interesting activities and trainings. It was a spin off of the tv show Amazing Grace, but held just in the chapel. Then a couple days later we were back in Ilagan to have the privilege of receiving a special training by Elder

Nielson of the Quorum of the Seventy and counselor in Philippines Area Presidency. I believe this is my 3rd time being able to meet with him. He had us all read an article by Elder Bednar about the Atonement before we came, and that was his main topic. I realized that the Atonement isn't only for people who have sinned and need to repent to become clean again, but it is also just as important for the "good" people. The main purpose of the Atonement is to make bad people good, and good people better. Throughout our whole life, we need to be using the Atonement to receive the enabling power to exercise our agency wisely and apply all the Christ like attributes. Rather than asking God to change our circumstances, we need to ask Him to help us with the strength we need to get us through problems. He also gave some interesting training as he emphasized that we need to spend more time finding "people with cars"-because pretty much every where on the roads traffic is crazy packed with cars, but on Sundays, very rarely are people with cars at church. He reminded us to not be intimidated or afraid as we approach the really nice houses that sometimes require talking to security guards and big gates to get into. It was also interesting that he actually encouraged us to use English more often, because it will lead us to the richer/more educated people.
We also spent a good chunk of our time trying to find an apartment in order for our area to be split in half, possibly by sisters. With how many times I have looked for and made arrangements for new apartments, I feel like I could take over the Shaners job of apartments! Haha. We finally found a place that is much nicer than the one we are in now, but still not sure if President has decided to split the area yet or not. I guess we'll find out next week on transfer day! Crazy to think that another cycle has gone by. I also received what is known as the "trunky letter", or the paper asking to confirm where we are going home to. That was weird. I'm guessing they'll email my travel plans to you within a month or so.
The branch here is really supportive of us and missionary work, and every Sunday we are able to go on splits with members so that we can go to more people. It is such a great help when people are willing to work with us and at the same time it is a great opportunity for the people working with us to learn more seems how most of the time, I feel like I am teaching our fellow shippers just as much as our investigator or less active. Haha.
I will greatly appreciate when the Philippine Election day is over in a few weeks, because the trucks driving by all the time blasting songs and campaign information are starting to give me a headache. It is funny to see how different elections are here compared to back home. For most people voting, they will will just vote for whoever gives them the biggest chunk of money. Elder Sulla told me he got 1,000 pesos once for voting for someone. Haha. Awesome. 
You should also be getting a package within a few weeks of some wood carving stuff I ordered. I spent about an arm and a leg on it and packaging (which was over 100$), but it should be worth it. Unfortunately the Captain Moroni carving didn't work out, but I bargained a little and got some other things.
Thank you for everyone that wrote and glad to hear everyone is doing well. 
Mahal Ko kayo,
Elder Nay

The following is "borrowed" from Sister Carlos' mission blog:

Each year we have had fun putting together a Specialized Training that focuses on an important aspect of missionary work and presented in an "out of the box" way. This year we decided to focus on Elder Bednar's talk "Becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary." In his talk he speaks of 5 Requirements. We developed 5 energy-driven challenges-one for each of the 5 requirements. At the end of the challenge zones  participated in a 5-minute debriefing session where they looked up scriptures, read quotes and discussed in detail each of the 5 requirements.

Burgos Zone

During the activity, zones collected a puzzle piece upon the completion of each requirement challenge and debriefing period. The first three teams to gather their puzzle pieces and find the Winner's Mat won prizes.

Requirement #1(The Gottfredson's)
PMG Missionaries Understand that they serve and represent Jesus Christ
Activity: Scripture Search for names of Christ/ Word Search to find those names
Requirement #2(The Assistants)
PMG Missionaries Are Worthy
Be Ye Clean—Members are given a rag with a stain. Each member must take a turn to wash it clean. If they can’t do it after so many minutes they can ask for a clue. (For the clue they knew they had to find their priesthood leader who could help them--It was President Carlos who traded their stained rag with a clean one.)
Requirement #3 (The Shaners)
 Preach My Gospel missionaries treasure up the words of eternal Life. This requirement will be a treasure hunt.

As you complete each activity you will earn a scripture clue. After you’ve earned all six scripture clues you will huddle as a zone and solve the scripture puzzle. Give your answer (which will be a scripture reference) to the hosts and if you are correct, you will receive your Debriefing Card
Requirement #4 (The Mills)
PMG Understand the Holy Ghost is the Ultimate and True Teacher
Missionaries were given a host of objects and a few minutes to use the object to help investigators overcome a concern. Then role play in a spirit-filled exercise.

Requirement #5(The Lakers)
Preach My Gospel Missionaries: Understand Teaching is much more than talking and telling.

Activity:  3 Minute to Win It Challenges and a debriefing session to help missionaries understand this important concept. The challenges were: Open Your Mouths (oreo challenge); Lift Up Your Voice ( Panty hose with orange in one leg knocks over bottle with words under it. One missionaries calls out the words while zone unscrambles the words and forms a sentence) and Quick to Observe (study a table full of 20 missionary related items and recall as many as you can)

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