Monday, June 29, 2015

Pet Monkey

Dear Family and Friends,

     Another great week has come and gone in Tanauan.  We have really been focusing on increasing our teaching pool, and we found a lot of new people to visit this week.  One of the funny stories this week.  We were tracting and all of a sudden I saw this monkey tied up outside of one of the houses.  I told my companion that we had to baptize that house because they had a really cool pet monkey.  We walked up to the house and it turns out that the mother in the house was very interested in our message.  She said that she has been a member of a certain religion her whole life and feels like she's doing something right by going to church and reading the bible, but still feels a little lost.  It was really fun to explain to her how we have the fullness of the Gospel on the earth today.  Pictures with the monkey will definitely follow.

     My companion and I are getting along great.  I'm just getting him to push outside of his comfort zone a little bit more.  More members are starting to work with us and now the elders quorum and high priests are going in groups and visiting members every Sunday morning since sacrament meeting starts at 1:00 for us.  The area is progressing and our work is getting a lot more productive and fun.   

     I am now coming up to a year in the mission and the days are flashing by.  It's really fun and startling at the same time.  I'm just trying to make the most of the time that I have now.  Thank you for all of your support and encouragement!  
- Elder English 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Missionaries Are Human

Dear Family and Friends,

     We had another great week here in Tanauan City.  My companion and I are getting to know each other better every day and our work is getting better.  We had the opportunity to go out and talk to a lot of new people and found a lot of new members that we didn't know about before.  For example, we were teaching one of our investigators when another woman walked up and asked if she could join the lesson.  Of course, we said yes and then she turned out to be very interested in us.  It's interesting how the Lord sometimes takes us to people, and sometimes the Lord just saves us the work and brings them to us.  We were able to find a few new investigators this week and really focus on the members and those that we don't see at church every week.  

     We have 5 investigators who should be getting baptized soon.  They are all experiencing a lot of trials in their lives right now and sometimes we can see that they're not sure why they are going through all of these things.  I was a little bit impatient at first, but now I'm excited for them.  I'm excited for them because I know that if they can work through these things, they will be an even stronger member of the church. 
     We also had the opportunity to teach a woman on the spot while we were tracting.  She has two kids and her husband just disappeared.  She said that he left for work about 4 months ago and still hasn't come home.  She has an amazing attitude about it and harbors no bad feelings about her husband at all.  That was the biggest thing that impressed me about her.  We basically told her that we are only teenagers and we have never gone through an experience like that, but we know that the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone.  I've realized that it is really important for others to see us as normal people.  They see missionaries and automatically think that we aren't human.  It's really fun to connect with people and to help them see that I'm a normal person.  My companion is still having trouble speaking and I'm applying a little more pressure every lesson or OYM.  I know what he is going through and I know that the only way that he will improve is to make mistakes.  He will learn even faster if he makes all those mistakes really fast.

     Everything is going well and we are excited to get a lot of work done this week.  Thanks again for all of your support.  Happy Father's Day to all of the tatays, especially to Danger Dan!

- Elder English

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Sweaty Season

Dear Family and Friends,

     I've noticed that the biggest point of conversation for all the missionaries in our mission is the weather.  We are technically in the rainy season right now, but it won't actually start cooling off until September.  So all of the missionaries have come to an agreement to call it the sweaty season.  

     Other than that, our work is going well and we are continually finding more people to share the gospel with.  We met this little kid while we were walking the other day.  He told us his name was Jackpot.  We didn't believe him so he said we could even ask his parents to prove that it really was his name.  We said ok and he took us right to his parents.  We found out that his name really is Jackpot, but more importantly, his family was really interested in our message and we were able to teach them about the Restoration right there.  It really was a testimony builder for me to know that God is preparing people to hear our message.  Sometimes he even has people like Jackpot to take us right to them.

     We have had a lot of time to just walk around and talk to people and it has really helped me come to love the Philippines and the people here.  The work doesn't even feel like work anymore.  We just get to go around all day and share our message of happiness.  Of course there are discouragements, but I've found that they just fade into the background if we are just out working hard.

     Everything is going well and hopefully we will have some baptisms coming up!  Thanks for all of your support!

- Elder English