Quezon City Mission

Quezon City Mission

Sunday, April 27, 2014

MAGANDANG HAPON mga kapatid, 

This week was AWESOME. I wish I could just gopro my mission sometimes to better explain to you life here in the Philippines. If anyone wants to ship me a tie clip spy camera, feel free haha. But seriously, this week was just awesome, and I am so pumped to be able to stay in Baesa for another transfer, because to be honest, I wasn't too thrilled. 

I was ready to get out of the city, and prayed really hard how I could help this area out, because to me, it just feels stuck. I don't know how to explain it, but we have lessons and stuff, but it doesn't feel like it is moving a whole lot. I felt that we needed to get the members going. We work about everyday with our ward mission leader, and sometimes the ward missionaries work too, but the thing about ward missionaries, is they feel that they have to work all day with us. I am impressed to be honest, but it actually isn't effective though, because they should be used for fellow shipping, so I want to hand pick which appointments they go to. Ward missionaries are super important (Dad, I think you are a ward missionary) and they can be so much more effective in lessons. People just seem to listen better when they talk and can relate so much better. So that was one thing I felt. The other was setting goals with the ward, because I realized I didn't know what the goals were.

Goals are probably one of my favorite things to set, and when it comes to doing it, that's different ha. But I have learned that goals are so meaningful, and SO important in life. It helps give a purpose, and you can plan on how you are going to achieve it. So I talked with my companions because I have two now, it's super fun, and we agreed we needed goals. In our meeting with bishop he didn't really have any, so In our meeting with the Ward Mission Leader we went over so much stuff and discovered the stake had a goal of 50 baptisms per month, or about 8 per ward! This ward has only had 6 so far! So we helped make plans to get referrals from members. Members are the key to missionary work. The missionaries are there to help the members in teaching, because we have been set apart to do so. If the members share and have people interested, we can just teach and it is way more effective, because they already have a friend, and it's not as weird. 

I loved President Uchtdorf's talk, "Are you sleeping through the restoration". He says, are we rolling up are sleeves getting into the work, or are we just an observer? I really hope that members will get more serious about missionary work, and I know it's just being repeated over and over, but it is seriously important, and the Lord will help us. It's time to get going if you are not already doing so, and set a goal for yourself, and then ask the missionaries for ways to achieve that goal if you are uncertain! They would love to help you! 

This week was also awesome because Perla is progressing so much. She is the one that has been investigating for a long time, like 2 years, and has a solid testimony, but smokes. She had cut down from 4 cigarettes to 2 a day, but even though that was progress, I knew she could do better. She wasn't trying her hardest, because there was something missing. So we shared with her about the atonement, and all Christ has done, and if she would give up smoking for 24 hours, and we went back the next day and she had. We shared another short message and recommitted her and she did this whole week. We visited her everyday committing her and she told us the other day, "Elders, I'm not smoking anymore" kind of annoyed we kept asking haha, but I'm so excited, and we gave her a baptism date. 

Another cool experience was sunday we had an investigator come I did not think, I'm sad to say, she was actually going to come. And I didn't even recognize her because she looked so different. The difference, She was happy! We teach her friend, and she will be there in a lesson not really interested, but the other day she started crying because she felt so down and trials were burdening her, and it was such an awesome lesson. Then on sunday we went by before church to invite her, and she seemed way better. And then at church she was so into everything! She seemed like a completely different person! Oh I love the gospel! It's just so true. And I love missionary work. It is the absolute best feeling. It beats everything else. 

I challenge everyone to pray and look for opportunities, even if you already have before and it worked out or didn't work out. Remember Edward Dube's talk, "Don't look back, there is still so  much more to do." I know there is so much work to do, I am so pumped to help this ward hit these goals we set with them. I want them to just catch this vision that missionary is possible, and those 2 experiences were just 2 of the awesome miracles we had this week. So much happened and I am starting to see that miracles are so real. I want to thank everyone for their support, and I know that this work is true, and am so grateful to be a part of it, especially at this time.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hello Family and Friends! 

I am so glad to hear that everyone had a great Easter, I am still really bummed I missed out on Elder Ballard! How awesome! 

This week, as you might see in the title, was Holy Week. Everyone decided to get super Catholic, cause 60 percent of the people here are. So for like 4 days most everything is closed and people take it off as a holiday, but sadly, they only use it as that, a holiday. So thinking that everyone would be at home with their families, I thought this week would go great, but in reality, it wasn't like that at all. Everyone was gone! The streets were empty, I thought I was in a ghost town or it got evacuated. It was weird. Then on Easter you would expect everyone to go to church, but not so. So thus the title, Holy week, not so Holy, but holiday lang.

Despite the challenges faced of the Holy week, we were able to get some lessons in. My favorite by far was meeting a lady named Perla, who is 56 but seriously looks 55. haha just kidding she looks really young though. And she said she has great grand children, but I don't think that it is possible, am I right? But she is what we call an 'eternal investigator' and the reason why, she has a problem smoking. It was actually kind of cool because I was thinking just on monday of the same week, that I have not had any problems with people smoking, even though EVERYONE smokes here. And then I met her. I was really excite to help her, I am really excited to help her I mean. I have so much energy, especially because she wants to stop in order to be baptized. I really respect her too, because she understands that she needs to stop, so she can truly repent before she makes the covenant of baptism. So I will update you on how that goes! We have so many plans to help her! Exciting! 

The next thing I wanted to share was from church the other day, from the High Council member. He shared Mosiah 2 about keeping commandments, and while he was sharing I was reading it on my own and think it might be one of the most prophetic chapters in The Book of Mormon. It is amazing. But interesting. It says that if we keep the commandments the Lord will bless us. It is really straightforward, but as he shared that, I was reading, and king Benjamin points out that we as humans are really nothing. And in the first place, he created us, and gave us our lives, so we are indebted to Him, which really struck me. Sometimes, I think anyway, we may keep commandments to receive blessings. But we are indebted to Him. So shouldn't we want to pay him back, and show Him we love him by obeying His will, rather than obeying, expecting results. As I pondered that I think that when we start to obey out of a sincere love, ("if you love me keep my commandments") we won't expect blessings. We will obey because that is what he asks. But because he is so loving, he gives us blessings too. How great He really is.

Overall we had a great week, and Elder Padua and I will be staying together another transfer, but we are also going to be adding one elder, Elder LanSiu, Samoan from Australia. He was in my zone before and is super awesome. And they said one of us will mostlikely get transferred midway through. So it should be a fun transfer! 

One other thing I wanted to share, I now know why on the instant baked goods there is a time limit. Ex: We went to the mall and I bought Betty Crocker Cookie mix since the choc chips alone were twice as expensive. We had the opportunity to bake them last night, and first off, DELICIOUS. But the funny thing was as I was checking them the nanay was telling me not to worry, it hadn't been 11 minutes (that's what the box said). I assured her it was time but she wouldn't haha. They turned out good, but it was so funny how she pulled them out, RIGHT at 11 minutes haha. So those times are for Filipinos haha. 

I hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Oh man, this week was awesome! We had conference, and it was like the best conference ever. And I will clarify what I said last week about watching them, I always watched them when I was young, but I don't think I ever appreciated them as much as I do now. Like it was so so so awesome. The sad thing was that like none of our investigators came, because it was at a different chapel far away, and it was kind of annoying, they didn't have a Tagalog version showing, so I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have understood anyway. I don't know how many of the people that actually showed up at the stake center understood, but I guess making the effort to go is what counts. But I thought every single talk was just awesome, and I especially liked the priesthood session, it was too good. I don't know why, but something about Henry B. Eyring's talk really touched me, the spirit just overwhelmed me when he was talking, it was super neat. And of course how do you go wrong with Elder Uchtdorf, oh and then you have the 2nd counselor in the YM, and Hallstrom, oh man, All of them were awesome!

This week my patience was tested time and time again. We had so many appointments set and we went and nothing. The people were either not there or busy, and it was so frustrating. But we just kept working. We visited a lot of the Less Actives which was really cool, because we challenged them to go to conference and try to get answers from the Prophet and Apostles. I totally felt the spirit in all the lessons, and I was pretty sure they did, but none really ended up coming. It was just so frustrating, and I just want to stop wasting my time on them. I prayed really hard this week to know what to do, and to help me love them, and listening to conference I think really helped me. The Lord loves them so much, and because they might be struggling, I need to always have hope in them and help them. And I realized that is why I want them to go to church and read, because I love them, and know how much that it will help them. I get no gain for them going, I just know that it will help them. 

Something I really like from conference, was that I noticed that they talked about the basics a lot. I'm pretty sure they do every conference, and some people get annoyed with that, but I can really attest to that belief. The basics are what keep us on the right path. When we don't read our scriptures or go to church and partake of the sacrament, pray, family home evening, and so on, that's when we start to slip. I have been thinking about it for a long time because so many of the people here are in financial trials, and they expect this immediate help, but the promise is if we keep the commandments we will be blessed, and after the trial of our faith will we gain a witness. So if we aren't doing the basics and then a trial comes our way, how can we expect help and be bitter, when we weren't holding our end. The Lord will ALWAYS hold His end. 

This week too, I found all this stuff I love here. One is Buko Juice. I invite all to try buko juice. There is this guy that sells it, it is the best ever, and it's like 5 pesos, I don't even think that has a real cent value because it is so cheap. maybe like 12 cents. Oh it is the best. The next is this street food called Fish balls, it's like fried stuff and in the middle is fish I think, I can't really taste it, they have this sauce, oh it's delicious. And today we went to the mall, and I had to get a Jamba Juice, that's just awesome I found one, and we found a cold stone! but I was never a huge fan of it back home so I didn't spend my money on it. But we found a store too that has so much stuff from back home, but it's all so expensive it's so sad haha. But they had Milk. Real milk. I could not even believe it. But I didn't buy any haha, next time. It was crazy. And they had tropicana orange juice. That was cool too, oh man I miss real food haha. One of our members has an oven so we were going to buy the ingredients for cookies, but the choc chips alone were doubled the price of the duncan hines cookie mix, so we just bought that. Things are really weird here, price wise. Like I could buy 3 t shirts for the price of those chocolate chips, and I could buy a whole cake for the price of those chocolate chips. I could buy that old guys buko stand for the price of those chocolate chips haha just kidding, but it's weird. 

I couldn't really think of much this week except conference. Prophets and Apostles are so essential for us. We had them in the Old Testament, we had them in the new testament, and is fundamental for Christ's church. I know that this church is truly lead by Jesus Christ through His prophets and apostles, and I encourage all to read the talks and study them, that is when we really receive the blessings from conference. I hope that everyone has a great week! And try to remember President Uchtdorf's talk, and be grateful in our circumstances no matter what, not just for things!

-Elder Rock

Monday, April 7, 2014