Monday, July 27, 2015

Transfers :(

Dear Family and Friends,

     I mentioned last week in my letter that I am really happy in Tanauan and would love to spend a long time here.  I guess Heavenly Father thought otherwise.  I am being transferred to Bauan, Batangas.  It is only about an hour away from my current area.  I was very disappointed when I first found out that I was being transferred, but I'm slowly getting more and more excited about it.  My companion will be Elder Leon.  I haven't met him yet, but I do know that he is 6'8" and that he's from Australia.  He has been in the mission for about three months and I'm really excited to work with him and get to know new people. 

     Our work this last week went really well as we focused really hard on making sure that the recent converts have a smooth transition into the ward.  It surprised me of how protective I feel about them, and how it's been a little hard not to visit them as much as we did before, and to also let the ward missionaries and the visiting or home teachers take over.  

       The focus of our mission right now is finding the faith to find and follow revelation.  Our mission president explained it really well when he said that there are only two types of people.  Those who accept revelation or those who reject it.  It has really made me think of how every decision that we make shows if we accept or reject the revelation that we have received personally or from our prophets and leaders.  Right now, I'm striving to be one of those people who accepts and follows all types of revelation.

     Everything else is going well, except for the fact that I have to wash all my clothes and pack.  I hate packing, and traveling in the Philippines.  It can be a very stressful experience, but I'm also excited to get to know all the members in Bauan, and to have the same kind of experience that I've had in Tanauan.

- Elder English

Our last Sunday with the Mabini family.

Monday, July 20, 2015

More Baptisms!

Pamilya at mga Kaibigan,

     This week was another great one.  It's hard not to have a smile on your face when you have a baptism to look forward to.  This week the Mabini family was baptized.  They were the first family that I started teaching when I came to Tanauan and I feel so blessed to have been here long enough to be able to see them get baptized.  They are an awesome family and have awesome support from the ward.  Their baptism went off without a problem, which I was really happy about.  I have noticed that before a baptism, I get really stressed and I have a tendency to be involved in every part of the preparation.  This baptism, it was really hard for me to not prepare everything for it and to let the ward do its part.  It was really nice to show up and have everything already taken care of.  

     Four of them were baptized.  The mom and her three kids.  The youngest girl had a really hard time keeping her feet underwater.  After the fourth time,  Elder Hodges asked if it was allowed for him to step on her feet.  No one could find anything wrong with it, so that's what he did.  They already have a goal to be sealed in the temple.

Mabini Family

     Without focusing on the baptism, we were also able to get a lot of great work done this week.  One of our investigators had a great experience reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and has told us how much the book has already changed her life in just the one week that she's had it.  She said something really cool in our last lesson.  She said, "Pagkatapos lahat na kaya kong gawin, may kulang pa. Pero, cinicompleto ako ng Aklat ni Mormon."  (After all that I can do, it still isn't enough. But the Book of Mormon completes me.)  She currently has a baptismal goal date and is doing great.

     Everything is going great, and I really don't want to be transferred yet.  I haven't been able to spend a long time in an area yet, and I really love it here in Tanauan.  But it's not really up to me!  Thank you again for all of your support and advice.  Things are going great!

- Elder English        

My new companion.

Monday, July 13, 2015


WEEK 52 
Dear Family and Friends,

     So to start things off, we had a great week and two of our investigators got baptized! Even if you are having a horrible week, a baptism just makes all of the disappointments fade into the background.  Sister Charito was baptized and so was Sister Raine.  Sister Charito has been waiting for a really long time to be baptized and you could see the relief in her face after she was baptized.  It was a really special experience because President Mangum was the one who interviewed her.  This meant that I had the opportunity to sit in on the interview as the translator.   It was an amazing experience to see her progression and to have the privilege of relaying her answers back to the mission president.  I was also the translator for Sister Sunny who will be getting baptized with her family next Saturday.  It was definitely an experience that I will never forget.

     The baptisms went great and they were both confirmed on Sunday.  When we found Raine's family, they weren't active in the church.  We started with her family and then found out when they were coming to church again that Raine actually wasn't a member.  So her baptism has been a goal of mine for the whole three transfers that I've been in Tanauan.  She's a really smart little girl and it was a really fun experience to see her be baptized.  It  was also really fun to see Elder Hodges perform his first baptism in the mission.  It was funny to see how nervous he was and to think of how nervous I was for my first baptism. When he performed the ordinance, we all closed our eyes as he said the prayer.  Everything went really well and we were waiting for the "amen".  Instead, we just heard Raine getting dunked in the water.  He was pretty embarrassed when he realized that he forgot to say amen, but it all still went smoothly, after I ran around to the bathroom and told them that we needed to do the baptism again.

     All of our work is going really well and we are continuing to find new people to teach.  My companion and I are getting along great even though we have exactly opposite personalities and from our conversations, we decided that we probably wouldn't have been the best of friends in high school. It's a mutual feeling that we both agree on, but we're not in high school anymore, and everything is going great!  I really have no complaints at all since it has been raining for the past 2 weeks straight.  I still haven't gotten sick of the rain besides the fact that it is a little harder to find people to talk to.  My only wish now is to not be transferred.  I've loved serving in Tanauan City and really want to stay here for as long as possible.  

     Thanks for all of your support and advice.  I heard that Moonshine has finished his mission.  I was completely caught off guard by the news, but I just wanted to tell him, Congratulations!  

- Elder English 

Baptisms of Sis. Charito and Raine with Elder Hodges.

Welcome Home, Bryce (Moonshine)!
(Bradyn's friend from home since childhood)


Monday, July 6, 2015

The Rain Begins!

Dear Family and Friends,

     Another great week has come and gone in Tanauan City.   Almost all of our investigators are progressing well and the days are going faster than ever.   We had a great experience teaching one of our investigators.  She used to be a big time blues singer at the Shangri la hotel in Manila.  Everyone here tells us that it's a really big deal, but I don't really know.  We had a great lesson with her and she accepted a baptismal goal date in the first lesson.  The spirit was really strong and she even said that she had been waiting for something like this for a long time.

     Other than that, the weather has been awesome!  I wasn't sure how many more weeks of heat I could take, but this whole week has been cloudy and raining.  Apparently there are three areas of low pressure headed towards the Philippines that could potentially become typhoons. The mission is keeping us updated, but for now it just means dark skies and pounding rain.

     We also have our mission tour coming up and Elder Ardern from the area seventy will be coming to speak to us.   I am really excited.  Elder Ardern has a reputation for being very talented at chastising missionaries, so everyone is definitely getting prepared.  Other than that things are going well. Our baptisms for this week are up in the air right now because President is the one who will be interviewing them, and his schedule is pretty crazy right now.  Hopefully, everything will go as planned.

     My companion and I are getting along well and we are both loving the rain!  Thanks again for all of your support and encouragement!

 - Elder English