Monday, January 26, 2015

New Investigator

Dear Family and Friends,

     We had another great week here in Socorro.  Our work is progressing well and the members' involvement in the work is starting to grow.  This week we had the great opportunity to work the whole day with our two recent converts.  It was the first time in a while that we have been able to have a member present in the lessons.  All the members in our group are always so busy with work, they never have any time to work with us.  They both have really strong testimonies of the Book of Mormon and prayer.  We also found a new investigator while we were tracting and she's awesome.  She seemed really interested when we talked to her outside of her house.  We gave her a Restoration pamphlet and set off down the trail that we were walking on.  When we came back about 30 minutes later, she came running out and said that she had finished the pamphlet, she had a lot of questions, she wanted to see a Book of Mormon, and she wanted to come to church.  My companion and I were absolutely stunned.  It really helped me to know that there are people prepared to receive our message.  All we have to do is open our mouths.

     I would encourage all of you, especially the young men, to work with the missionaries in your ward.  It will really help them, but I know that it will also help you build your faith.  That's something that I wished I had done before my mission.

     Everything else is going great, and we have our interviews with President this weekend which means a lot of jeepneys and one really long boat ride.  We really are out in our own little world.

     Thanks for all of your support!  I appreciate everything!  Things are going great here in the Philippines!
- Elder English  

Monday, January 19, 2015



Dear Family and Friends,

     It's been another great week here on Mindoro.  Our group is continuing to progress and we can see the members getting excited about the work.  The brother that I talked about last week who was always drunk, but is coming back to church is doing amazing.  He has even started bringing back other inactive priesthood holders with him.  He is really helping the work progress here.  I have gained a very deep appreciation for the priesthood here in Socorro.  It is so simple, if there is no priesthood, there is no church.  I've really come to the realization of how real and how powerful the priesthood really is here on the mission.  

     This last week, we also had the opportunity to attend the Philippines area broadcast.  The Philippines area presidency presented the new goals and vision for the church in the Philippines for 2015.  They are really focusing on the Philippines becoming self-sufficient.  They said with the amount of members in the Philippines, there is no reason that we should have to rely on the general church fund or pull from other countries for temple names or have foreign missionaries here in the Philippines.  I guess that means no Elder English.  They're just trying to tell church members that the church is strong here, but it could be so much stronger.  It is awesome to know that these leaders are receiving revelation directly from God for the church in the Philippines.

     Our work is going great in Socorro, and we have been finding a lot of potential investigators, now this week is all about following up.  It's exciting to see our hard work paying off and the members' excitement also.  When we put the Lord first, everything else will always work out.  Thanks for all of your support!  Excited to get out and work hard again!
- Elder English

 What we walk on all day in Socorro.

It floods quite a bit during December and we have to be prepared.

Monday, January 12, 2015


Dear Family and Friends,

     Another week has gone by on Mindoro and things with the Socorro Group are going great.  Our group is really progressing.  This week we had a great miracle.  Every day we walk by one of the member's houses in our area who has not attended church for a long time.  One day, we walked by and he started yelling at us (like he often does) because he is usually drunk when we see him.  We always ask him if there is anything we can do to help him and when we can visit him.  When we asked him he said, "Elders, don't worry.  You can talk to me at church this week because I will be there."  We left not really taking him seriously.  We showed up on Sunday and saw him with a new haircut, he was clean shaven, and he was wearing a white shirt and tie.  We don't know why he decided to change, but we're sure glad that he did!  It has really strengthened my testimony to see the way that he has changed and he is really starting to realize how happy the Gospel can make us.

     There has been a lot of buzz around the members lately that our group will soon be becoming a branch.  I realized last week that we have no organized quorums or auxiliaries in our group.  It has been bothering me since I first came to Socorro.  I said to the group leader that if we want to become a branch, that is something that we need to have.  He said ok and that we would have a meeting for all the members after church.  We were really excited and we got up in the meeting and told the members about these things.  I didn't even realize that most of the members didn't know what Relief Society, Elders Quorum, or what Gospel Principles class was.  They also didn't know what area they fell into.  We had to go through and tell everyone individually where they would go for the second and third hour of church.  It was definitely a new and eye-opening experience for me.  So that means that this last week, Socorro had its first organized Relief Society, Primary, and Priesthood meetings ever!  Right now, all the priesthood just meets together in a little side room, but there really is a power in the way the church is organized and it was exciting to see the friendships of the priesthood holders, the youth, and the Relief Society grow stronger.  We had another successful week of finding and we have a lot of new investigators to return to so we're going to take a break from tracting and focus on the members and their families for a few weeks.  

Everything's going great on Mindoro!
- Elder English

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year - New Challenges

Pamilya at mga Kaibigan,

     Well transfer day has come and gone and there have been a lot of changes taking place on Mindoro.  About three fourths of the missionaries on Mindoro were transferred and they were all replaced with experienced trainers training new missionaries.  Let's just say that the island kind of has a reputation of not having the most obedient missionaries and President is really trying to change things here.  My companion and I are both really excited for the coming transfer.  

     Our work and our attendance really reached a climax around Christmas and now it seems like things are starting to fall back to where they were.  We are just trying to figure out why.  We've been working really hard on finding for the last week instead of our regular visits to families and then our attendance really dropped at church.  We were a little disappointed but now we can see that we need to find a balance in our work.  We worked on it for a quite long time in our weekly planning session and now we are really excited for this coming week.  

     We've had some really good experiences this past week with tracting and had the opportunity to teach the Restoration quite a few times.  I've been focusing really hard on learning the first vision in Tagalog.  I really make sure that I pronounce every word correctly.  When you recite the first vision in the lesson, the spirit is always so strong.  We're really excited to go back and continue teaching these people. 

     December was full of a lot of just traveling and waiting so we're excited to get back into the swing of things.  Thank you for all of your support!
- Elder English

(He couldn't get the computer to upload his photos again this week so hopefully we'll see some with his next e-mail.)