Monday, January 26, 2015

So grateful to be in His service for "a little time" here in the blessed nation of the Philippines

Well, here we are again! Last P-day was okay, but I just felt lazy in the morning and it affected my whole day. I've noticed that if you don't wake up as a missionary with a determination to get stuff done, often you don't! But Monday was still good. We taught Mia about prayer and then we had a dinner at Noli’s. We did that one lesson about the apostasy with the pyramid of plastic cups, which was fun. Tuesday was a way good day! We taught agency to Tatay José visited the Jamlig sisters again. We taught a man who was half- American named Albert Tucker ( you don't really come across names like that here), but he believes it is evil to change religions so I'm not sure if he's too open. We taught Sally about The Book of Mormon, which was good. And her girlfriend also listened in. Interesting! We talked to D and he seemed really ashamed. We talked about forgiveness, God's love, and obeying the commandments. We tried to show as much love as possible, and it turned out okay! We taught JR! He still hasn't had his surgery, but he got some sort of makeshift splint on there! We talked about baptism which was really good and we set a date for February. 

Wednesday was fun! For district meetings it used to be that the whole zone would get together and then we would split into districts at the church. Well now, we just meet as districts so the district leader runs the show more. We had an activity where we practiced sharing one minute lessons in finding situations, and then we had a workshop on the atonement. I think it went pretty well all in all! Then I went on exchanges with Elder Gementiza in his area! We found Ally Zone, a young man who really open up to us about his problems! We taught a woman who had really good soul-searching questions like “When people die young, is it because they sinned?”  We took a roller coaster- like tricycle ride to the mountain for their interview and their two baptismal candidates passed! All in all, a great day and really good exchanges!

Thursday was an amazing day, as Elder Palabrica and I had a great companionship study, then I had a District Leaders Council in Cabanatuan. Pres. and Sister Clark gave us excellent training. I have so much to do and to work on. We got out to work a little bit late so we didn't get as many lessons as we would have liked, but the lessons we did teach were powerful and spiritual. Friday we taught Nilo, a new investigator who really understands the restoration and accepted at goal date for baptism in February, so that was good! We visited Bien, who is still doing well, and his new house is way nice! So that's fun! We also had a really good lesson with Mia about the true church… It was very spirit filled. 

Saturday morning we went and played ball with Nathaniel, our next-door neighbor/branch missionary, and Renz, a less active we've been fellowshipping.
Early morning basketball
As for David his friends… I don’t know what happened there… We had some good teaching that day too! We taught Danny, our less active that is super humble, has good questions, and is almost always in Cabanatuan for work. We taught the first part of the plan of salvation and it was way good. We taught the Jamlig sisters again and invited them to come to church, but they are active members of a very strict church that requires that if they miss church that they provide a written explanation to their pastor. I told them there wasn't a better explanation than that they were trying to find out the truth for themselves, but at the same time that's a tough situation. After that we did some visits to commit some other people to coming to church on Sunday. Then we made our way to the church, because the branch had a farewell party for Elder Tufele, as he's finished his course and kept the faith. It was good fun and there was a lot of food! Lots of people were crying (even Elder Westover and he doesn't cry!), and it was a nice gesture and a good way to say goodbye.
Kabahays at branch farewell party for Elder Tufele
Afterwards we only had enough time to teach the Llamas family. We haven't been able to teach the parents in over a week, just the kids…

One last picture of the kabahays before Elder T goes home
Sunday was a bit tough again! We went to pick up Mia and she wasn't feeling well so she didn't come to church… And yet again we had so many people promising they would come to church, but again no investigators. Man! Before, we always had like one or two investigators at church, but no real progressing investigators. Now we have tons of good progressing investigators but they are just not coming to church! Oh well, we did have two less actives return though! José Abunan and Jeffrey Pascua!
Elder T and Elder C

After sacrament we went to Cabanatuan to drop off Elder Tufele. While we were there I just started to not feel so well. When we got back to the apartment I just crashed. And when I woke up to eat lunch I wasn't exactly feeling a ton better. My companion was pretty sad about Elder Tufele going home. I remember what that was like when my first zone leader Elder Owen went home. But we both bucked up and went out to work. We had solid lessons with Mariel and then Mia. Then we taught Jesse, our progressing investigator, Alloy’s brother-in-law. He's way solid! After teaching about Joseph Smith he asked the golden question: "How can I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet?” The Book of Mormon, my friend!  We then taught Alloy about the 3 degrees of glory.

Overall this week was a really good week. We've been studying about the atonement and repentance a lot this week. I'm so grateful for the atonement, which made my agency possible. Because of that I am a thing that acts, and I don't have to be a thing that is acted upon! I'm so grateful that I not only have access to the power to become cleansed from sin, but to be strengthened to resist temptation! Christ really is the only one, the only way, and I'm so grateful to be in His service for "a little time” here in the blessed nation of the Philippines.

-Elder Christensen


Elder Palabrica's new comp
Chapel at night

Night planning session

Elder P and his hot cocoa

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