Monday, October 10, 2011

The Best 2 Years For My Life

[
Regarding Elder Matthew O. Richardson's conference talk during which he referred to his mission as "the best two years for my life"]

I did notice the phrase that the president of sunday school used 'The best two years for my life'.  In our district meeting that is what i bore my testimony on. And that is what paul had shared with me before i left. Trust me i would not consider this to be the best two years of my life. I feel i have had better moments, but everything i have done here is unforgettable and helped me learn and grow so that makes it the best two years for my life. I honestly have learned more in the Gospel then i could have anywhere else. I learned teaching skills that will be used my whole life afterwards. I have definitely learned to be more Christ like then i actually thought i could be, Especially in these last weeks.

So this is my last week i get to be a Full Time Missionary but i know it will not be the last time i do missionary work, and even so i know i have work to do. We will celebrate {my birthday] when i get back. Thanks for the birthday wishes and all the support everyone has given me along this journey. I thank those who helped in ways that were not necessary but wanted to help anyways, you for sure will receive those blessings you are in need of for your charitable works. I know the greatest thing i learned here was to "Learn of Christ, but do not just teach of Christ, Teach by Christ" If we teach by or with Christ we will teach his pure Gospel and people will grow faster and stronger. Help people exercise their free agency by moving towards Christ. Free Agency is a Great Gift of God, to choose to love Him and be more like Him. He gave us this Gift to experience life, but not only to experience life but to Choose to Love him and Follow him by our own Free Will. Because we know that when we do things that we choose to do we enjoy it a lot more, and when we choose to do the things the Lord asks, we will Enjoy being with Him even more. I know that those who feel far from the Lord or do not believe that he exists, Only have their eyes closed, backs turned, hands clenched and just need to open their eyes or turn around or open their hands to be accepted of Him or Believe in Him, because he is waiting and is willing. There is a scripture that was quoted in Conference i know it is also found in D&C 88: 63 but i think there is a better verse in the Bible, not sure of the reference. "Draw near unto me and I will draw near[er] unto you;..."  If we but take the chance to come unto Christ and Heavenly Father even if we take One step, i know that they will gladly take Two steps towards us. I challenge all who read this to take a step towards Christ and Heavenly Father. Whether it be Believe that they are Real, or Read some more in the Scriptures, share your beliefs with another, or even invite them to listen to the Gospel. Come unto Christ everyone and be perfected in him. I undoubtedly know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the one and only true church on the Earth, that has living Prophets to guide and help us return to our Heaven Father if we but choose to Follow the Counsel of the Lord in all our Doings. I know that no man is forgotten by God but man will forget God, and when we forget Him we need only to humble our selves and ask him for forgiveness and we will Gladly forget our faults, wrongs and Short comings. I plead as Prophets of Old pled for people to come be Followers of the True Gospel and Teachings of Jesus Christ, to learn how to obtain everlasting happiness, and I do so humbly in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Still Lost



yeah i went to the meeting house locator... Northville is on the map but the roads are not charted. We had a member work with us but we got lost and did not make appointments.  i once had 8 lessons a day now it went down to 3.

General Conference will be shown this saturday and sunday. saturday morning is priesthood session then after that will be the first session

Monday, September 26, 2011

Annoyed and Lost

just reallllllyyyyyyy annoyed at a lot of things..
why i am so mad right now is [the mission president]  just transfered Elder Cruz... Elder Cruz has been down and out for a week and a half.. i have worked in my area for no more than 8 days tops.. My area is a freaking maze. i get lost just trying to get home from church... and church is around the corner! and now i have to get a new companion and magically get us home on thursday. Last thursday me and Elder Cruz got lost in Angeles City trying to get home... we ended up going around in Circles for about 2 hours! We have an area that is just horrible [to find your way around] that has all of our investigators. We tried to send members to visit them.. they came back reporting that they couldnt find their house...our area we work in is Northville and its a maze really. i am looking at maps and can not find my own house. i literally know NOTHING about my area.

well we have to go because we have this JUBILEE thing about the church..  we have to sit in a room and wait for people to talk to us. we can not even be missionaries there [proselytize] but our president demands our presence.

Monday, September 19, 2011

More First Aid, Please!


So talk about my new area.. I am in Bulaon, Angeles... i am in the middle of two giant cities  San Fernando and Angeles. I am not in a City but its not a farm area either. i love walking around in my area we have two places called.. Saudi and Mexico. We do not work in Mexico, but we work in Saudi. the people are nice so you can tell people there are area missionaries working in Saudi...(philippines)   hahahaa but yeah work is good we have a lot of investigators which is nice!  My companion is also preparing to go home in two transfers so we are veterans and just get out and do work.

I bought a new knife for our kitchen.... you probably can see where this story is going if i am telling you about a new knife. hahaha the Ironic thing about all of this... i also bought  some tongs for our kitchen... Elder Cruz was washing the dishes and he went to wash.... no not the knife.. the Tongs and cut his thumb! so i was like just put alcohol on it and i have a band aid for you... and then the time came.. I was cutting up some Cabbage and i wanted to cut out its heart (if that is what its called) the hard part at the base... and i asked elder cruz what the word for sharp was... he tells me... i restate that the knife is very sharp... then i turn to cut out the heart of the cabbage... and OOPS.... i cut open the base of my index finger on my left hand... hahaha i laughed and told Elder Cruz not to look cause he probably would have passed out if he saw the blood. so I wrapped my finger up .. and yeah i finished cooking.  anyways my finger is all healed up it is really sore though but the skin is closing up. That was friday night i cut my finger. So all is well. 

Well i do not know what else to say. our apartment is really nice actually we have a little balcony that we hang out on at nights and talk. I am just enjoying the time i have left here that is for sure.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Traveling Around

we went out of town...  my companion had to take a test to get into byu hawaii so yeah i have been traveling around and sitting around we just got back to our area and so we were just emailing to let our families know we are okay and that we will write more next week okay!!! soo yeah love my new area and comp... more to read next time!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Transfers, Scones & First Aid

i am getting transfered to Angeles Bulaon area  i will spend my last 5 weeks there working. So this will be a nice little last area. Well a lot of good things that i am leaving behind here... Investigators coming to church and preparing to be baptized which should happen in Oct. I am also missing out on the opening of a very nice chapel that will be used on the 25th of this month. 

But this was the week of SCONES!!!!! Yeah i ate scones several times this week.. sadly no chili but it was great. There is this bread place and the bread they make is basically the scone dough we use. They bake their bread so i just asked to buy the dough.. this was new to them and a string of questions followed. I told them i was going to simply fry the bread. In this culture if there is a way they do something then that is the only way you can do it. Once someone becomes adventurous and tries something different.. they will normally take a lot of crap along the way. Non believers and what not but then when they try it and its good they are like wow this can be done! So i just was like yeah i am going to fry it... yes it tastes good really good. hahaha and it did! 

[what I learned] while on exchanges with a fellow american Elder from utah.. he was outside with a machete opening coconuts... when he comes into the house stating "Houston we have a problem..." and goes to the sink... instantly  i knew he chopped his finger.... so i state.. "yep you chopped your finger didnt ya?" and he was like "yep".  Now this Elder is a down hill mountain biker and has a good amount of cuts and scars now from his past days. And being the walking hazard that i am, of course blood and things like this do not phase me at all. So we needed to get this wrapped and apply pressure. It was a pretty nasty gash in his index finger lots of blood. I was like well i need something to wrap this with.. he tells me to grab that sock.. yes it was clean. so i destroy the sock so that we can use it as a good wrap. Tell him to put his hand above his head. After 20 mins he needs to shower. so i told him we will get it all taken care of afterwards.  so now we use the second sock to tie it down. the Elder did have a first aid kit so we had gauze pads to use as well and med tape. we needed to wash the cut because the machete was nasty and rusty looking... so alcohol was needed to clean it.... i grabbed his kitchen knife and told him to bite on the handle... he refused as if he could handle it... I told him he needs to or else it will hurt a lot more...  so he was like okay. so i poured the alcohol in the cut... it obviously hurt a whole lot. But after i got it all nice and bandaged he was surprised that there was no pain at all. And now it is nice looking and no pain. He really needed stitches tho it was really bad. but it healed up nicely now and he will be okay. so that was this last week! 

well love ya all and see ya all in 5 weeks 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Rain, Rubber Boots & Pizza Hut

Yes it has been rainy but its not bad or anything. There was some strong winds but nothing serious. Yeah this typhoon [Nanmadol] is way strong but it does not effect us. and if so we all have 72 hour kits we had to make and so if i was stuck in my house, we would survive. so no need to worry

my shoes are still usable but i do not use them because they are just CRAPPY looking! so i found a pair of rubber boots and then cut about a fourth off from them and put flip flops that are nice and soft inside them to make them comfortable. I wear them everyday and never have wet feet! and they look cool!

Got my flight plans last week so that is cool to know but whatever. its a holiday here (National Heroes Day) for like 3 days. We just went to the Mall earlier and it was just packed with people... wayyyy fun! Ate pizza hut. we have a new investigator we just met and he came to church... nice guy! thats what we have been doing in short

Monday, August 22, 2011

Two Experiences

Well last saturday night I helped dress a deceased member with a white shirt/tie and suit coat... i held up shoulders and arms. So because he is an endowed member, after the service and before he goes to the cemetery, we dress him in temple clothes. But yeah that was a great experience this week, watching the Plan of Salvation give support to a family. So yeah that is about it for the adventure. On the sad note one of our investigators who is supposed to get baptized would not ask God if any thing we have shared and taught is true in order to be baptized. But that is how mission work sometimes goes. So that is about it this week!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Hike

well we went on a hike.................. I WALK ALL DAY........... I hated every moment of this stupid hike.. and now i have marchers foot... my feet feel really heavy.. so yeah.. it was planned and then all the plans failed and then when we left it was already noon and........ just not how i like to spend my p day's so yeah thats about it......
oh we have been told we cant really talk about investigators specifically when we email home because people are posting blogs and are not taking out names and things (world wide problem) so we cant tell you names of investigators or talk about their concerns.. so yeah our emails are pretty much vague and pointless now! hahaha but every area got DVD players to study PMG DVD's for personal and companionship study that was cool. We will all get cellphones soon so that is a nice help with communicating with other missionaries which is HORRIBLE! Today would not have been so bad if we had cell phones

Monday, August 8, 2011

Not Much to Share

not much to share. week went by pretty fast, nothing new and exciting just talked to some people and taught some others. Investigators are okay.. could be better i hope in the upcoming week here. Also bad news- the New chapel will not be finished until the last week of september [and] transfers fall on the 2nd week of september! and i will probably get dumped in a new area for one transfer and that will just be lame.. but whatever... do not really have a choice or say in the matters about that!

okay well i think i am going to head out. we have some shopping and a meeting to do later today. Love ya!

Monday, August 1, 2011

All is well and happy on this side of the world

awhile back i heard people randomly playing strauss music and just was like oh man i can not escape strauss festival! anyways sooooooooooo yeah all is well and happy on this side of the world... very rainy... i scored this blanket that is a blanket not a bed sheet that was left at the missionaries house.. Now i sleep with an electric fan blowing on me and i am now all cozy in my blanket and bed sheet, I Sleep like a LOG! hahahaha Love it! so yeah what else.... i think that is all i got right now.. i am actually going to go shopping for food and then i have a meeting to attend later on! so i am off! love ya!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Mission President!

anyways, it is transfers.. i did not get transferred and all the transfers are just CRAZY right now. new president must have received some crazy big revelations because there are a lot of things that are not normal. Like new greenie americans training that do not speak very good yet. So whatever... we had a good laugh at the craziness.

President Martino is nice.. different.. but nice. he actually is learning tagalog he studied before he came he served a mission in italy so he is picking up tagalog really fast. President Martino is from texas sounds like George W. Bush... its funny. Sister Martino is really nice and fun to talk to. All their kids are married and have their own families. That is about as much as i know. Just got to visit with him shortly. They came in on june 30 or something i forgot.. so they are still very new. I have done a lot of english assignments here... i imitate their english very well... and now my english is just as bad as theirs! hahaha

This picture of Elder Declaro and Elder Grow was taken July 27, 2011 at about 11am. (That would be July 26, 8pm for us) This was just a little less than 2 hours before he emailed it.
The signs in the background indicate there is "isadahan here." Elder Grow explains, "they are just like signs from other places in the philippines. they just mean there are fish in the water and if it was a real isdahan you would actually fish for your food."


we went to this place (its like a restaurant) and we walked around then as we left we saw that they have one of those things where you buy plates and stuff then you can break it... so i did i bought a 16 peso plate and frisbee'd it at the wall.. that was fun! [If you play the video frame by frame you can read the signs on the walls.. which say, "for effective release of anger shout tacsiyapo before smashing your plates" and the "targets" say things like "professors, classmates", "mother-in-law", "boss", "mahjong / poker" etc.]

video

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Day in the Life

Our week was just busy and tiring but nothing out of the normal. a normal day is waking up early, 6 am, because there is a recorded prayer that plays on a megaphone from the catholic church a block over from our house. when that rude interruption is over i tend to go back to sleep and wake up again around 630. i walk around to wake up, go to the bathroom, shower, sometimes i cook (Pancakes or french toast or eggs or noodles or hot dogs just depends). 8 am personal study, 9am companionship study, 10 am work, (here in Anao the only people left home are OLD PEOPLE that only speak ilokano and do not understand us.. or maybe they do but they just speak ilokano to us so work in the morning has never given results because its the time for people working in the fields and they are just not home in the morning) So we just study more just to help elder declaro practice teaching and knowing what to teach. at 12pm its rest and lunch time until 2pm then work again until 9pm so that is a day summed up for ya. we walk a pretty good distance because we just work in like a circle. so we go out one way then circle around and come back. We cover a lot of area that way. Lately breakfast lunch and dinner has been the same foods... elder declaro bought a kilo of chopped pork and he is just trying to be conservative with money.. he is a worry wart about that stuff. So i am sick of eating at home. we have eaten at members and what not. We have had members with anniversaries so that was good food we got to have. we have had a funeral service to attend, that was good food so yeah we get a good variety. So yeah that is about it...

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Work

anyways the work has been picking up here in Anao and its been nice. We are still struggling with some investigators and being able to teach them again [return visit]. Here in Anao people are out working in the fields or Bukid and are just not at home or are asking us to come back a different day. This is nothing new here in the work but it becomes discouraging to new Missionaries that do not have different aspects of Missionary work. The people we are teaching are very good and are interested. just have a few hurdles to work with, like one investigator met missionaries long ago and was not interested at all. but now, after she felt she needed to read the book of Mormon one day and happened to read Alma 32, she has seen how a seed had been planted and is growing now. She can not come to church because of her work schedule and it has depressed her but hope that it is not permanent and it will be changed. We have one investigator that is new and is struggling with changes but she is making efforts like wanting to try to pray and she is making the steps to come to church just has not continued. All in all the area is starting to become great, we are planting and waiting for the Harvest. Well that is how the work is going. as far as the companionship-- it is good. Elder Declaro will be a fantastic missionary once he gets out of his head more and focuses on the doing part. He is trying to obtain every ounce of knowledge but is missing the simple things he needs to teach and share. He does make improvements everyday and has already made changes and is becoming great. He is very enthusiastic about the work but he does get depressed when things do not end up the way he thought and it bothers him. he will need to learn that he does not have control of their [investigators] agency. as long as he knows he gave them a chance and tried his best to share and explain its [the gospel's] importance, then he has successfully done his part in the work. Once he understands that, then his teaching will have so much meaning and feeling behind it and people will feel the Spirit telling them what he is sharing is true. that is what I hope will happen for him and his mission that he is serving, to gain that importance of the Gospel in the lives of others and in especially in his own life, much like how I realized that while I have been here. So yeah that is whats gone on this week in the mission. this transfer has gone by pretty fast and only a few more left.. not that I am counting or anything... but I am getting excited that is for sure!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Rice & Training

i am good... And yeah i am amoeba free! i just do not like eating rice anymore... i have loved it my whole life! but now it makes my stomach hurt.... so i just eat it at lunch only and a little at night. rice is great and i love it... i just cant stomach it now... but i am sure i will want rice once again

what do i do as a trainer... i try not to make him [Elder Grow's companion] want to go home. I have to teach him how and what to teach. I have to teach him how to talk to people and just be normal. Its a whole lot of stuff i am not good at because i also cant just go and do everything myself. i have to let him try and then of course he fails and gets depressed but he keeps on trying to do things he just is not an adjustable person. He is a busy-body [always working] (which apparently he was not before the mission). and that is causing him to stress a little, because he is trying to do everything at once. He is homesick and can't get it out of his mind and he just does not always focus in lesson and annoys me a little. But i do my best to keep him occupied and sometimes it works and other times it doesnt but the members are helping as well. so i just do my best not to tell him to just go home because he is not ready... but then i have to think that one day he will be ready and if he just gets out of his head and follows the Spirit more, then he will finally understand everything he needs to know, do and feel in order to teach people. so yes that is what is going on with my companionship... that is training apparently

our work here is just slow and its rough but its not discouraging just normal so it doesnt bother me

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rain

so we just ended a WEEKS worth of rain. It has rained non stop and it was like super strong rain and would not stop. So yeah we were not in the storm but the storm was pulling all the clouds and rain and it was passing all over us. But all was good. work was very slow for us but we were at hitting it hard and just getting wet and doing our best to try and find people who would let us teach them. That is still not going well its always come back another day and they are not there on that next day! So yeah but my new comp is getting a lot of good practice with trying to talk to people.. but he is doing his best to get work done. So yeah that is what is the newest news here from Anao, Tarlac, Philippines!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Good Feeling

So there is nothing new to add from last week except my new companion is Elder Declaro he is fresh from the MTC excited and Nervous about a whole lot of things. He is running way too fast and trying to just know everything within one week so that he will not hinder the work. He is a really nice guy born in the church and is just wanting to serve and be a missionary. So happy father’s day to dad totally forgot about fathers day really.

JUST FIND OUT THE FAMILY I WAS TEACHING IN MY LAST AREA WAS BAPTIZED! The Father, Mother and one of their Children! man that is a good feeling. Now just hope they stay strong in the church!

well yeah that is about all we have, a lot of work to do this transfer in my area. so that is whats up now

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Still in Anao

its transfers tomorrow so we had a sleep over and that was just fun. you go over to the elders house and sleep... normally you mess around all night then on p day you are tired all day! its awesome! so anyways i am sleepy

i am still in Anao. What i know about the transfer is that elder abuan is going to my second area which is very close to our area so he will not be going far (but he will be traveling to far places to go back the other direction).

i will probably have a whole lot of new things next transfer to talk about. there is nothing to talk about now because i do not have investigators or anything

Monday, June 6, 2011

Big Bowl of Popcorn

yeah i am good now!

so... i got a letter that i will be training this next transfer... i am staying (in Anao)

i cooked a big bowl of popcorn on friday night... i always get this crazy look when i am like, “no i am just going to eat popcorn tonight or in the morning”.. i have to explain that is what i learned from my dad hahahaha

i think i have described it [Anao] before... its got a lot of houses that are next to each other and its kinda like downtown sacramento... but its not really a city, its just out on the outskirts of Paniqui city... its a nice little place. We just have no investigators and its reallly annoying. all of our investigators are like old investigators that are like done listening and are not reading or coming to church.

we have to go to Paniqui every monday, so we shop here. its like 30 minutes by tricycle [Go to blog entry December 2009 "Pictures" to see photo of a trike, then imagine 2 Elders in the sidecar on a 30 minute ride!!]

well i am off ... it is waayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy HOT here!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Healthy Again

I am healthy again. i got some drugs to flush out amoebas and after i took it i got energy and my poo normalized again the next day. so either it was an amoeba or just got healthy again the following day

sister puzey gave [the medication] to me after i complained some more. i asked her if it could be possible if i had an amoeba and she said she don't think so.. i responded (respectfully) you do not think i do but youre not positive if i dont. She then said she was going to give me medicine. and now i am okay!

[while sick and confined to home] i learned a lot of cool verses to teach with from the bible about apostasy and other principles with the bible... i rarely use the bible in teaching so i just do not have my scriptures marked up like my BOM is... so yeah i gained knowledge there.. my sickness made great conversation with people... “what do you think i have?”... anyways i do not know exactly what i learned [from this experience] but i really hate just being in my house not being able to work!

the meetinghouse [in Anao] is actually a house turned into a chapel. [The meetinghouse being built] just got the steeple and its coming together. it will be finished maybe in august. Yes i have gone to the site i have walked around it and looked at all the blueprints. They just asked locals who have experience that live near the site to work [on building it]. Members and non members [work together and we] help share the gospel with them.

[regarding recent tornado activity in California] what is going on over there!!!!! that is not normal! and actually our weather is not normal as well. its more relaxed than normal around here. But we have been having rain a lot at night! OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I SAW LIGHTENING STRIKE THE GROUND!!!!!! i did not see the bolt but i saw the splash of electricity. i was watching this crazy storm that appeared in minutes through a crack in the wall from inside a house. and BOOOM it was about 10 yards or less from the house. then lightening struck a few more times close to the area!! it was awesome!!!!!! i saw this BIG OLE BAD BOY STRIKE but i was behind trees a good ways away so didnt get to see it actually hit [the ground] but it was awesome!!

nothing really new to talk about but i am loving this area so i am happy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Doing Better

okay i am doing better but i am not fully okay. i am able to get out and do work but i get fatigued really quick. so yeah i do not have any idea what it is... yesterday i literally hurt all over my body and drank so much water then sweated a whole lot. i do not know if i have a fever because i took Tylenol so that would have reduced my fever if i had one. Sister Puzey has given me all the advice she has for me.. tomorrow maybe i will get permission to go to get a check up and find out. oh and no other missionaries are sick like me."

My comp is great. he is new and just happy all the time.. we are out teaching people so yeah work is going slowly but it is still going.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Mother's Day Call

Elder Grow was able to make his "Mother's Day" phone call on May 13th (May 14th in the Philippines). Here is what we learned:

Elder Grow has been ill for over a week and is confined to his apartment. Sister Puzey (the mission president's wife) thought he might have a type of stomach flu. He is in good spirits, laughing and joking but is anxious to get out and work. His new companion has only been serving about three months and is enjoying Elder Grow's poor health because he has a keyboard from the church and can practice his piano playing (he was worried he would not have any time during his mission to practice!)

The city of Anao (pronounced An now' ) where Elder Grow serves is in the Tarlac area. He arrived there on May 5. Here is a link to a google map: http://www.maplandia.com/philippines/region-3/tarlac/anao/
You can zoom in and see the houses and the street names! Since Elder Grow has not been able to get around the city, he is not exactly sure where in the city he is located! He thinks he is close to the Cuyapo side of Anao. Anao has a ward but there is no chapel yet, it is being built. If you are interested in learning about this city visit Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anao,_Tarlac

Of course we had Elder Grow on speaker phone, so when Dad asked him to speak in Tagalog we all heard him. I must say, he speaks quickly and confidently. We were impressed. Many words in the Philippines are Spanish words and many Filipinos have Spanish ancestry. Elder Grow also has some Spanish ancestry and the people have noticed how his hair, eye color and skin tone is similar to theirs. But they don't understand why he has such a long nose! You would think his height would be the most noticeable difference, but no, it's his nose.

What new adventures in eating has he had? Dog. He said it tasted VERY good. How was it cooked? Adobo, of course! Actually there is a law against cooking dog, but some people do it anyway.

What made Elder Grow laugh the most during our conversation? Our "American accents" as we tried to pronounce the names of cities or streets or anything else Filipino. He thought Ryan's idea of naming the twins "Luke and Leia" (if they are a girl and boy) was very funny. (Uh, I don't think Chelsea was laughing!) What made us laugh? When I asked if he needed us to send him anything, like razor blades for instance, he replied, "No, I have about 10. That should last me to the end of my mission." Wondering how 10 blades could last 5 months, Ryan asked, "How often do you change blades?" The reply: "About once a month." Ryan's retort: "yeah, I guess you can do that when you only shave your upper lip and chin!" Then, surprise..."hey, I've got hair growing on my cheeks now... kind of blotchy.. but yeah, I shave [more than he used to]." The Grow brothers aren't really good at growing full beards or even sideburns!! So we had to laugh at Elder Grow's new found whiskers.

What does he expect when he returns on October 19th? Well, before he leaves the Philippines, he should arrive in Manilla on the 18th and hopes to go to the temple there. He will leave the Philippines on the morning of the 19th and arrive here on the 19th due to crossing the International Time Line. He is looking forward to: Mountain Mike's Pepperoni pizza for dinner, A big birthday party with bar-b-qued food, and beef that doesn't come from a dairy cow! He has often written that he really misses In and Out burgers. Oh, and he hoped the twins would not be born on his birthday... not his actual birthday... the day of his birthday party!!!

Ps to Jordan-- Thanks for receiving the call and conferencing us through!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Transferred

i am getting transferred!
i am going to be transferred to the Paniqui area and that will be fun i hear the area has a brand new chapel and the area is really nice, so yeah that is about all the news i have other than may 8 or around may 8 i get to call home and talk to everyone for mothers day my last phone call home!

well monday will be pday again so i will email again and talk about what we are going to do about the phone call! yeah i am one day ahead of you! your sunday is my monday! so i will email you on monday and call later that day or week. We have one week after may 8 to call home on any other day because of the time change... This has been the same thing we have done the last 3 times i have called home... I have one week to call like always
okay love ya

Monday, April 18, 2011

Q&A

Question from Dorothy:
I just found out that this is the 50th anniversary of the Church in the Phillippines.....I wonder if [Elder Grow's] mission is going to do anything special in recognition of that?
Answer from Elder Grow:
I do not know if they are doing anything special for it.. i do not think so.. I have known about it since my first area”

Question:
Missionaries that return from poor areas tell us about church members who have very little but are still happy. Do you experience that in your area?
Answer:
“Yeah we have families that live in very very SMALL houses but they still have a tv, cell phone and what not. Sometimes they do not eat great food just veggies or canned sardines but i think if they did have money for food they still would eat those things with their rice cause they like to eat that. some houses just have dirt floor or rocks. They are happy for the most part but will always complain about rich people.. so yeah desires of the heart play a big role around here.”

Question:
Anything in your area that you will miss when you leave?
Answer:
“There will be a whole bunch of things that i will miss around here hands down. Most likely the things that we do not have in america but life will go on! There will also be a lot of other things i will not miss. Anyways i still have a good amount of time to enjoy life here thats for sure!”

Question:
Have you had a Halo Halo? Is it the season for that delicious drink?
Answer:
“yeah its that time of year and yes we did have them. We have been eating mango and making shakes “

Question:
What is Easter like in the Philippines?
Answer:
“it is a big day in the Philippines they do weird things... like whip themselves or some will puncture their hands and feet.... they do this in remembrance of Jesus.... yeah i can not see one thing that is good about doing that. it is so sad that they do not understand”

Monday, April 11, 2011

Conference was good

Conference was good... We did have investigators came to church on Sunday morning session.. They struggled with the english [Conference is shown in English to the Philippines wards and branches] but still stated that they did notice or felt a difference in the way their [conference speakers] voices sounded and facial expressions. Most people when they hear that leaders of a Church are going to speak [they think that] it will be a Chastisement Sermon with Shouting and Condemning, also with the need to be scared of God and prepare. That is always one thing i do not like when parents tell their children to fear God and obey. I always share that we should not fear God but Love him by following his Commandments and following his teachings. I normally will ask, if they would like their children to fear them and be forced to say I love you, to them. They all say no They would like them to just do the things which would help them and would want them to do with out having to ask. I then ask, do you not think Heavenly Father would want the same things from his Children? And of course they will agree and probably think of things that they said or commanded their children to do and ended in bad results. I always hope this will make them want to do and keep commitments because it is what Lord would want them to do. I think that one thing i realized in conference was the way Apostles and Prophets teach us is with Love and how much they Care for us because it is how much the Lord loves and cares for us. We have a choice to Show our love by following what they are teaching us (which is coming from the Lord). I shared the story of The Sons of Mosiah to a less active member. I shared the part about how they wanted to do whatever the Lord asked them to do to be forgiven of what they had done. He told them to Go amongst the Lamanites and teach them. They were scared but the Lord Comforted them and told them to go and have patience and bare the afflictions because your work will be worth it later. Then i continued to the Story of Ammon where the Flocks of King Lamoni where being scattered and unable to drink the water. Now i had no idea why i was teaching this.. Why did this part of the Story enter my mind and how can this story help these people. After reading an explanation or expounding of these things enlightened me maybe more than them. In the Story we have Ammon the servant who wants to help. We have the servants of the king who failed and are scared to return to the king because of Death. We have the sheep who are scattered and can not drink the water. We also have the enemies of the king who are scattering the flock. Now we can find ourselves in this story so very simply. Most people will say i am the sheep that is lost because of the robbers or temptations from satan and Need to be found. But i noticed that most of us are the Servants who are scared to return because they will die. Few of us are the Ammons who will go and do things to save our fellow brethren (who he just recently met and calls them his Brothers) and helps them to find the sheep and bring them back to drink the water (or our desires to follow the Lord and partake of his offering repentance) Now who would you want to be, Ammon the one who helps save the people with inspiration from the Lord, The Servants who are to afraid of death, to just go find the sheep that they have lost, so they can be welcomed back, or the Helpless sheep that have no choice but to just run and be lost waiting to be found. There are people that DO [want to be like Ammon] and people that DO NOT, we know that. But there are People who DO things not for themselves but to help their "Brethren". Such a great insight that was given to me by the Holy Ghost. So which one are you and which one do you want to be?? and what are you going to do-- be that one or not be that one? The simple little stories that have great values.. most of the time we will just focus on the Awesomeness of Ammon chopping off the Arms of the enemies which is just awesome! hahaha Well love the work and the simple insights i have gained.

Monday, April 4, 2011

New Investigators

my week has been good. we will watch conference on [next] saturday and sunday sooo that will be nice days

This week we taught and found [investigators] and had a lot of successes. We did not however have investigators come to church. We followed up with our investigators who were positive that they would come to church and ended up having personal things to keep them from attending. We did have some great spiritual lessons earlier this week that really helped our investigators in keeping commitments about reading and praying. They explained their feelings when they had read and prayed and how they felt something different. We helped them understand that what they had felt and they have started to be more direct with wanting to keep commitments, especially like wanting to come to church. We have found a good amount of new investigators that are continually becoming more and more interested. They are interested in the Book of Mormon and have a lot of questions about Church and Baptism. Most of our investigators in certain areas are acquaintances of each other, so hopefully that will help them have someone to come with them to Church. I think some of the hardest parts [of serving a mission] is when you slowly move away from old investigators that have just stopped in progression, because of [their] personal issues or [they are] just too busy, to teach new investigators that are becoming interested. There is always that moment when you walk by the house of an old investigator and you are not going to visit and it’s just hard. But I know that there will come a time when they will be more ready for the Gospel. Elder Tandas is an awesome teacher and is really good with talking to people. At first he was a little hesitant a few times but now he just talks to people more openly. He does a really good job with helping people understand why we are here and what they expect from us. Well hopefully we will see the fruits of our labors in the up coming weeks with lots of investigators who want to come to church. Well still having fun out here loving my area i am in. The members help keep things fun even though we are bummed about our investigators struggling to come to church. Well thats about it for this last week Love ya all thanks for the support as always!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A New Companion

We had rain this morning which was nice. It has been really hot in the afternoons but it gets cold at night and i am waking up every morning blowing my brains out! and then i will sneeze for like 10 minutes.... so i do not know what the deal is... it is only in the morning..

Well my new companion [Elder Tandas] is a very good companion. He is very nice and a very good teacher. He talks to people very nicely which helps with new people letting us teach. We have a lot of new investigators that i like to call TIME EATERS they just eat up our time which is good and bad... because they end up asking way too many questions that just end up distracting the lesson and trying to get them back on track. All of their questions are great, our lessons will give them the direction they are looking for but we continually have to explain to them that we will answer their questions another time because it is part of another lesson we would like to share in a later visit. (Insurance that we have a return appointment). Well we are working in two different sides of our area every other day and then in the mornings we go to another area and work. Sometimes in one of our areas we end up walking for about 40 minutes to our last appointments because there are no more jeepneys. some times we catch a tricycle which is normally when we are about half way to the last area. Well sadly we did not have the success that we should have had with investigators coming to Church because of situations that had occurred. 2 of our investigators who committed to come to church, even if they were going to come by themselves, ended up having something happen with their dad, which didnt allow them to return later that night to come to church the next day. 1 of our other investigators, his fellowshipper (who was going to come the morning of and take him to Church), got Shingles. He is in pain and didnt believe me when i told him he has shingles. 2 other investigators promised to come next week because they plan to have people over for her birthday on [this] sunday so they did not come of course. We did have one investigator who is 11 years old that is a part member family who did not get baptized because she is too shy to answer questions and did not answer any of the baptism questions when she was interviewed. She has started to answer simple questions that i ask now which is good. So hopefully when the time comes she will be ready for her baptism. So that is about what is going on in the work around here. we have a lot of new people and some that we havent been able to revisit because of loss of time at appointments or they just have not been at their house. So we are just going to try and get down to business with these people and teach them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pogs!

yeah, we dont talk about any of the disasters cause we are so far inland its not a big concern.

We heard about the big moon but it was going to be at 1 in the morning. although i woke up, i did not want to go out side... But [do] you remember that one night we were at payless and came outside and the MOON was Huge but when we got back home it had become small. If you can find pictures that were taken on the internet i would like to see them.

Anyways... when brother garcia left, the couple missionaries took him back to his home which was far away but i got sent to the area with the zone leaders so just a, "well good bye and good luck" But the night before, we ate well and enjoyed our last night together. he returned this morning to visit the members before he enters the MTC. So i got to see him for a few minutes but because i will not be in kalikid i wont see him later tonight.

Well the zone leader here became the next assistant to the president and so the last AP is working with us. He was my zone leader back in Victoria Tarlac. So it has been fun working with Elder Scott and Elder Landingin but i miss my area and my members and i am excited for my companion to come tomorrow so that i can get back to working with my investigators and what not. My new companion is Elder Tandas he has been out for a [long] time. He replaced me back in Guimba when i left. We did work in my area and we had good success with 3 of my investigators who i hope will come to church! anyways Elder scott is obsessed with Pogs... do you remember pogs? they were those cardboard disc's that i had like 4 tubes of?? well the kids around here play it here all the time. So back when it was cool to have pogs no one new how to play them... WE KNOW NOW! hahaha you can buy pogs anywhere around here and they are 3 for one peso... so we bought like 15 pesos of pogs and play them at night before we would go to sleep. Life in the Philippines is different that is for sure but you always have two choices to make... Hate it and complain all the time or Jump in and just enjoy it all! I will be coming up on 6 months remaining right? I best continue to enjoy life here!!

hey i am getting out of here now! I am done and tired of sitting at the computer and i think Pizza hut is calling me! And people are singing Jim Croce in the Videoke restaurant (videoke is Karaoke) its like the 5th song in a row! hahaha yeah i probably will never play pogs when i get back!! hahaha okay love ya!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Re: Ryan & Chelsea's twins

twins... really.... that is just "two" much! haahaha well they will probably be born on my birthday! and that will be okay it doesnt really effect me! just means MORE CAKE! hahahahaa well congrats to them!


Well Brother Garcia will be leaving on thursday and i will be heading out to another area for a week until transfers then i will go back and work! so yeah that is the plan i was told... so other than that there is nothing new.. it is just in the next area its not far they said i will go back and work in my area with them a few times so that i do not have to pack a lot.. also they want to use my hot water!! hahahahha

okay i am leaving!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Q&A

Question: What's new?

Answer: nothing really.. just getting work done like always! we have a lot of investigators that.. are not going to church! but they are very nice and actually reading the book of mormon! so yeah that is all.. i went to find a flag of the philippines-- i found one... it was crappy quality and expensive so i did not buy it... that was my adventure earlier! Brother Garcia is doing great i am going to miss him when he leaves!

Question: You sent some pictures from baptisms and have written about them but you never mention if you have performed the ordinance. I know that here the family member holding the priesthood is encouraged to do the ordinance work.. is it the same there?

Answer: Yes we are encouraged to invite members to do the baptism to exercise their priesthood... we were told not to perform the ordinance but they give us the chance now to do so.. But i would much rather have someone in the ward perform it so that they have a connection with the member. so i have not done so.

Question: Of all the areas you have served, which area have you liked best? And why?

Answer: Every area has been different and i have liked them all. They all have their differences. In Jaen it was all the youth that made the area funny and welcoming. (I saw one of the youth at the Mall earlier and just talked real quick.. that was cool). In Guimba it was the relief society that made that area great. all of the nanays and their jokes and good times. In Victoria it was all the single adults that made it feel like home. Here in Kalikid its just the members that are nice and all of the work here that is making this area great. Even tho i hate all the gossip stuff and problems that was caused a year ago that broke the branch into two and things havent been back to normal and all i hear is stuff that i do not care about. But i still love the area, all of my areas! I do not think one was better than the other!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Something Wonderful

I asked Elder Grow to tell me something wonderful about this past week and this was his response:

Something wonderful-- i love my companion and i am going to be horrible sad when he leaves! But we are cleaning up this area and just getting the work done! I do not have much else to tell except we have a lot of new people that we are teaching and meeting so we are just having a good time!! anyways we are leaving now! Love ya!

Monday, February 14, 2011

One Happy Little Dude

i am freaking good! my companion is a short term missionary. He will enter the MTC after this transfer and he will be serving his mission in Baculod. He is BROTHER Garcia, he is not an Elder but i LOVE this kid!! hahaha he literally has ZERO experience in missionary work but he tries even though he fails horribly he doesnt just want to give up. And because this kid makes me laugh like ALL DAY LONG i do not even care that i have to teach whole lessons because he is just awesome! We also had some great lessons that we taught with a strong spirit! The work is awesome and probably because Brother Garcia is just an awesome kid that gets nervous when he speaks and yet tries! Anyways Elder Grow is just one happy little dude here! We almost got to see a cow give birth but it was TAKING my whole life and just got to see the first start to come out! Then we left.. hahaha We had a baptism on saturday and it was awesome, When he was invited to bear his testimony, he gave a very sincere testimony and expressed how this was everything he wanted and knows it’s all true. Like always when I get to see people make a commitment to Heavenly Father, I get to feel how important this work is and love to be a part of it!
Yeah the pictures here are of: people who work with us; the baptism on Saturday; things i get to see... like GIANT spiders! hahahaa also fighting spiders!

yeah you gots to love the philippines just like i do to truly enjoy living around here! Well i love you all and thank you for the support and prayers! They actually help! ;)

Baptism, Saturday February 12, 2011
Brother Garcia, Elder Grow, and the couple missionaries at the baptism
Brother Garcia and Elder Grow, February 13
Brother Garcia and 2 members of the ward that work with the missionaries.
Monkey in a tree
Elder Grow teaches Monkey in a tree!
Things Elder Grow gets to see.....
and touch!
Fighting spiders

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kalikid - Bongabon

Bongabon is nice, no complaints here! seriously we do not use the AC sadly! But the little tiny water heater for the shower works and is amazing!! Shoe goop gets used all the time! my shoe i think will just have a layer of shoe goop protecting the outside because i love that stuff! hahaha... I am in the process of finding shaving cream.. the soap mug is empty... hahaha

transfers are going on and i am going to be training a Short Term Missionary... so, just excited for the new changes! Elder Timbas is transferred it will just be me and Brother Garcia.

Anyways life in Kalikid is going good. Members are awesome and we are always having good laughs. I love the RM's we have here. Talking to them and listening to stories about crazy experiences they have had on their missions is always great! We will also have a baptism on Saturday and that will be nice to have. We will be working on finding some new investigators and helping some of the new ones we are teaching find their answers and prepare to be baptized. Well i will be having a child here in the mission.. but its more of a premortal existence child. I will be taking an intelligence and giving him a spiritual body! hahaha I will be training a Short Term Missionary as he wants to receive his mission call. So it will be me and Brother Garcia. This shall be fun! =D Well I really do not know what else i need to inform you all on! I am like hungry all the time... could this be a sign that i have a stomach dragon?? hahahaha Actually its just normal for me to be hungry all the time! Anyways all is well in the Philippines except it is getting Hot! Maybe i will have to use that A/C after all ;) hahaha Thank you for the love and support!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Shoes & Dr. Pepper

yeah i totally left my boots and other shoes in my last area... gave the other pair that i never used to a recent convert... they were not COMFORTABLE for walking! but its okay. [Regarding the shoe shine kit and Shoe Goop was sent in Christmas package] the shoe shine.... it was dry... ahahah but the SHOE GOOP is AWESOME! love that stuff. yeah i have one pair of shoes but they will last. they have like a new sole so they are good! [How did he use the Shoe Goop?] i had a hole on the side of the shoe... i used it for that! and i fixed my companions shoes... he had no reaction

I got these pics from the new elder in the mission he is just all full of naivety and excitement! which makes me laugh and yeah so i am just doing the work, getting stuff done! Totally used the air con in our room the other day... it was FREEZING in our room! that was awesome! anyways we might have a baptism in 2 weeks that will be nice so we are excited about that... well i am excited.. my companion i think has zero hope for people and just thinks the worse in all things! he is weird... but hey it is part of the mission life! anyways that is about all the excitement right now. a whole lot of walking is what we do!! Well thanks for all the love and hopefully i will have some nice long letter next week! love ya all!

Ps
i totally drank a dr pepper like 3 weeks ago!! it was a 7.5oz can of DELICIOUSNESS! that is the size of their drinks around here... it was just a normal dr pepper... but it tasted so good! it was the last can in the gas station

Jan 2, 2011
Jan 7, 2011
Jan 21, 2011

Jan 21, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Short message

Anyways so work here is nice we teach a lot... like this is the most teaching i have done my whole mission! We are just out trying to find some new investigators but we seem to be just planting seeds.. which is okay one day they might sprout!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pics

Sorry for the delay, pictures will be in place soon!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Transferred

I am in the Bongabon zone... in the Kalikid branch (although it should be a ward probably) its interesting... a lot of 'bukid' or farm land... but we work in like little subdivisions... so it feels like i am in places back in sacramento... these people are pretty well off.. there are a lot of car owners here =D hahaha we are just one jeepnee ride from the central city of cabanatuan. we have two malls. this is the area where i first ate at a pizza hut and that will probably happen again! haha

my new companion is Elder Timbas he is extremely nice... he was the companion of Elder Gregorio in the MTC and they are as different as night and day hahahaha elder timbas is a quiet kid who asks a lot of doctrinal questions... so no jokes or pranks probably

Christmas was just another day. New Years we could not leave our house so i really got bored with reading (although i am reading the Great Apostasy by Talmage) I just couldnt take anymore and Elder Timbas is just a unique and curious kid so he had a whole lot of little things to do to keep him entertained..... while i slept.... hahahaha

still new around here and trying to get my bearings straight! next week [the blog] will be more interesting! and [I'll send] pictures because this computer shop is cool and doesnt ask to scan things and bug me about attaching my camera!

its kinda of cold here... oh i have aircon in my new house my new house is WAY TINY but it has air con and a broken water heater for the shower.. i could probably fix it... oh the sad thing is... that because it is cold here.. i have no need for this air con! hahahaha oh the irony!