Friday, January 29, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

                It has been another great week here in Alaminos.  We started it off last pday by going on a hike.  We really had no idea where we were going, but we called one of the YSA young men and asked him to take us to the best bundok (mountain).  He hesitantly agreed, because I think it came across as a really weird request.  He took us to a really random mountain and then we started hiking.  We got to the point where there wasn’t really a trail anymore and we were just climbing over rocks and pushing our way through these vines.  Brother Edward was really confident though and just kept going forward.  We ended up making it up and back down with only a few scratches.  We also weren’t able to get a tricycle back to Alaminos City, but some really nice guys stopped and let us hop on the back of their construction truck that had a bunch of cement in the back.

                Elder Benosa and I have also really been working on trying to get things organized in the office.  The other day, we spent about 3 hours in our supply closet trying to get everything organized.  It had kind of turned into a place for everyone to put all the stuff that they had no idea what to do with, so it was quite a task.  We also found a lot of interesting things.

                We also had a great lesson with one of our investigators this week.  We found her while we were out behind the mission home and she seems really interested.  We taught her a very quick message on the Restoration.  She said that she was intrigued by the fact that we weren’t telling her what to believe, but that we were inviting her to come to know for herself.  She was really excited by the idea of a Restoration. 

                Things have been going well with the other families that we visit, and we’re really trying to focus on the Book of Mormon with everything.  It truly is our most powerful tool as missionaries and as members of the church.  We have set a goal as a companionship to use a verse from the Book of Mormon in every lesson.  It sounds really simple, but I did notice a few weeks ago that we taught some lessons without reading from the Book of Mormon. 

                Everything else is going well and I have absolutely zero complaints.  We’re moving apartments tomorrow so we’re really excited.  Mostly because the shower in the new apartment has a cool little electric water heater.  Once you get one of those, you join a very select group of missionaries.  We’re already planning out how we’re going to have to time each other so that we can all get ready in time.

                Thanks again for all of your support and advice!  Things are going great!

-Elder English

Our district.

We decided to hike up this mountain for our pday. 
It was really intense. 

There were no tricycles on the way back, 
so we got a ride on a construction truck.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Dear Family and Friends,

                It’s been another great week here in Alaminos, and it’s really hard to believe how fast the days are flying past.  We had the great opportunity to get out and visit some families this week in our ward just to check up on them and to see how they’re doing.  It’s amazing to see all of the sacrifices that they make every day to be able to live the gospel.  We talked to one brother who simply doesn’t eat lunch so that he can have enough money to take his family to church with him every Sunday.  He said he just thought about something that he doesn’t absolutely need so that he would be able to follow the commandments.  It was a really cool experience.

                We have just been sticking to our regular routine and traveling around quite a bit to make sure everyone has clean water and that they have all of the supplies that they need.  We did have the opportunity to travel out to Lopez, Quezon (about a four hour drive) to drop off a new refrigerator.  That means that I’ve traveled the whole mission except the island of Marinduque.  I always try to tell myself that we’re lucky to be able to see the whole mission while we’re going through the long hours in the truck.  It does get really tiring sometimes though. 

                Things have been going great and everyone here is just really excited for Elder Nelson’s arrival.  It’s still not for another month, but I think everyone is realizing how special of an opportunity it is.  There have already been a few security checks at the mission home to make sure that everything is up to par.  We’re all super excited! 

                Everything is going well and we’re continuing to see miracles every day in every aspect of our work.  Thank you for all of your advice and support!

- Elder English    

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Insanely Excited

Dear Family and Friends,
     It has been another great week here in Alaminos.  The biggest highlight was probably the area broadcast that we had the opportunity to watch on Sunday.  The Philippines Area Presidency reviewed all of the things that were accomplished this last year and then presented the new are goals.  There were three main goals that all had specific numbers behind them, but they all had one word to focus on.  The three words that they really focused on were obey, covenant, and establish.  They put these up in a graphic that looked like a circle.  They explained that as we obey the commandments, this will lead us to make covenants, which will in turn help us to establish the church wherever we may be.  I thought that it was a really cool visual and how we’re all in different spots in this cycle, but it never stops.
     Another one of their focuses was on the Sabbath day.  President Mangum always asks us, “What is the next gospel ordinance that every member of the church needs?”  People always say things like baptism and temple sealing and totally space the sacrament.  I think that it’s important for us to understand the importance of the sacrament.  It was just a really good experience to see how the church is all connected together and how our leaders are constantly receiving revelation to help us progress.
     We also received the news that President Russell M. Nelson is coming to San Pablo for our stake conference and to do some leadership training.  We are all insanely excited and can’t wait.  Also, he will be staying here at the mission home for a few days.  I guess none of the hotels in San Pablo met the security requirements that they needed, but the office and mission home are apparently very secure.  I’m really excited for the opportunity to see him and to hear his plans to help the church and mission here in San Pablo.  Can’t wait!!!

     Everything else is going well and transfer week is happening again.  It’s always a fun experience to be in the office for transfer week and to see everything happen.  Thanks again for all that you do! 

-Elder English
We celebrated Elder Allen's birthday and splurged a little at Shakey's
We go biking around San Pablo Lake for our pday sometimes.
(Bradyn is the one in red.)

Our zone motto, "We are one!"

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Transfers Again!

Dear Family and Friends,

     Well, another transfer cycle has flown by and it's now transfer week again.  My companion, Elder Benosa, was notified that he is not going to be transferred.  This means that we're going to be spending six months together as companions.  It's a really good thing that we get along with each other.  This also probably means that I will be spending seven and a half months in the office.  Not very many changes happened here in San Pablo Zone, so things are going to keep going about the same way that they have been.

     We also had the opportunity to attend MLC this past week.  The main focus was on planning.  They asked everyone how they can see God's love for them.  There was a whole different bunch of answers.  They talked about how all of these trace back to the fact that Heavenly Father has a plan for us.  In other words, the biggest way that our Heavenly Father has shown His love for us, was by making a plan for us.  This is also the biggest way that we can show our love for those that we visit and share with.  The more we plan for something, the more entitled we are to receive God's guidance and help with whatever it is that we're doing.  

     We've dropped back into our regular routine of going out and changing filters until the afternoon, and then coming back and doing office work, and then getting out to work in the time that we have left.  

     New Year's was also really fun.  There were a ton of fireworks, but those weren't even the noisy things.  Everyone who owns a scooter or a motorcycle (which is about 60 percent of the people) all got together and took their mufflers off.  Then they would all get together and drive around very slowly while revving their engines.  When you could hear a group coming, people would literally start running the other direction, or run into their homes covering their ears because it was so loud.  It was definitely a different experience and it got to the point where you couldn't even hear the fireworks.  They were just more of a visual thing.  The Philippines keeps surprising me with the things they come up with.  

     Everything else is going well and the mission is excited to get going on this year's goals.  I know that we'll be able to accomplish them and probably even surpass them.  There's a lot of energy moving through the mission right now and it's just an exciting time to be involved in the work.  Thanks for all that you do and for all your advice for me!
- Elder English