Quezon City Mission

Quezon City Mission

Monday, June 30, 2014

Hello Everyone! 

This week was another week here in Baesa. I think I mentioned it last email, but if not, we moved apartments, well switched apartments, with the sister missionaries in our district. So we live in their area, and they live in our area, and that means we have to take a 15 minute jeepney ride to get to our area. 15 minutes doesn't sound that bad, but one you have to get on a jeepney, and usually they are full at that time, and there is traffic, so sometimes it just adds up. Plus at night everyone is going home, so there are almost no jeepneys, it takes 15 minutes just to wait for one. So that was frustrating getting used to, and kind of wasting our time, but we keep on going. The new house is pretty nice so at least there's that.

This week was kind of challenging because the investigators we had been focusing on weren't keeping their commitments, and it gets kind of hard to teach when they haven't done anything we invite them to do, because they don't really show that they think it is important, or they don't understand how important is. We can't really convert people, they have to do that part on their own, which is kind of frustrating for me sometimes, because I know how important it is, so why can't they just see that? So that was kind of hard, I always think about what I could do for them, how I could help them better, but ultimately, it is always up to them. It is just sad sometimes, and I want to get discouraged sometimes, but maybe it just isn't their time yet, even though it would be so great to see them embrace the gospel in their lives. 

The other challenge we are facing in this area is the many less active members we have here, and so many of them we are discovering have been offended by other people of the church. That is seriously the hardest thing for people to overcome here, and the thing they don't understand is that people are not perfect. The church is truly perfect in it's organization, but Heavenly Father works through imperfect people, and as Jeffrey R. Holland said "That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we." (Jeffrey R. Holland is the man) I truly sympathize with the people that have been offended, but they don't seem to understand is that people don't even mean to say anything to offend them. We are the ones that ultimately choose to be offended by someone. But the other thing, is as members, we need to evaluate ourselves, and do the best we can to always welcome people. Some people, especially ones coming back to activity or new converts, feel out of place, so when we notice new people, we should reach out to them, and show them that we really care for them. Take the time to see who might be feeling a little awkward or out of place and help them out. 

I have been reflecting a lot on the challenges in the area, especially with baptisms. I was thinking about a simple solution, and then bam! We realized that a teenager we had taught once was going to seminary with his friends, and had been to church a while now! We had been trying to teach him with his mom, who is a less active member, and she had been canceling on us. So we just decided to teach him after seminary! BOOM, simple. So that is something really exciting, being able to help the area, but there is seriously so much work to do. There are SO MANY PEOPLE! They need to know what we know, and ulit, the members are the key to the work. I just can't stress that enough. 

And just a cool little side note, we got a new investigator who lived in Washington state, and then in florida, and now here, and only speaks english, so that should be interesting. It was so weird talking to her in english. I talk to other missionaries fine in english, but when it comes to getting to know someone, asking them questions and things like that, I have no idea what to say, because Tagalog is so different and there is a different way to be polite which is so much easier than english. I can just ask any person on the street if they are married, how many kids, how old they are, where they live, ect. without being rude. It's the best, but in english, hindi pwede! It's annoying ha! 

I hope everyone has a great week! Thank you for all of your support! 

-Elder Rock

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Kumusta po kayo sa inyo lahat! 

This week was so incredibly long, and so tough, but I can say I have learned so much. This week I experienced more negative things against the church more than maybe my whole mission up to this point combined. And I was so drained at the end of each day, but as I was just thinking about it this week It just strengthened my testimony to how true this is. How every question can be resolved through the gospel, and how much comfort this gospel brings. 

We taught a lot of great spiritual lessons this week. Me and Elder Lang Siu get along so well, and both really enjoy the new 7-11 that got put it haha, and are trying to rely more on the holy ghost in lessons. This last week we had someone tell us that the Book of Mormon is not true, and listed this and that why it isn't. I was really nervous what to say, and I just felt complete peace as I answered back, testifying of it being true. And to be completely honest, it just makes sense that it is.With so many religions people really want to know which is true. And instead of listing of this scripture and this scripture proves this and that, the most powerful answer anyone can receieve, more powerful than seeing an angel, is from the Holy Ghost telling you, and I know that if anyone reads the Book of Mormon that wants to know if it is true can receive that witness. I know with all my heart. 

We taught one lesson with a less active member, who was going to go on a mission about 11 years ago when he was younger, but didn't for some reasons, and now felt that he couldn't come back at this time. We have been teaching his non member wife, and she wants to come to church, but he doesn't feel 'worthy' to go, he has a lot of guilt. But he said that he will eventually come back. My heart cringed for this man, because he is carrying around so much sorrow, and is waiting. We told him, WHY WAIT? He is always going to have it, so why not just start now, and use the atonement. Jesus Christ atoned for all of us, and if we don't repent and come back, why did he do it? We don't have to have so much guilt and sorrow burden us. It was such a powerful lesson, and words just starting filling my mouth, and I felt that we should offer to give him a blessing and he accepted. I gave the blessing and I have always been terrified to give one in Tagalog. I have given one, but others in english because they could understand, but I did it in all tagalog and it was so neat. I know that he felt the spirit, and felt Heavenly Father's love. 

I also wanted to talk about Faith. Faith is the first principle of the gospel. We need faith in Jesus Christ. But we cannot just believe. We cannot just say we believe, say we love him, and expect that will be enough. If we truly had faith, we would act. We would show our faith, if it was a true belief. "Faith without works is dead" Oh how true that is. We have to act in order to grow and progress on our mortal journey here on earth. I don't really understand what our purpose on this life would be if we only did need to believe. We wouldn't progress nearly as much, if at all progress, with out works. We are not rewarded for our works alone, we don't do just do things to get credit. True faith means works come as a consequence because of a true, sincere desire to serve and love the Lord. I know that is true. 

I know as well that Satan is a real being, and my thoughts have been so concerned for the youth. The world is so wicked. I am so grateful to be a missionary and be able to be away from everything. I am just in a little bubble and am shocked when I am exposed to the wickedness of the world. The youth are exposed even more, and it is getting harder and harder to protect them, but they have a personal responsibility. They need to find out that this is true, and when they do, they need to live the gospel. They have to show their faith, and keep the commandments, that includes the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet and following all the standards there. I loved Elder Robert D. Hale's talk, about picking and choosing which commandments we obey. We cannot do that! We believe that we have a living prophet, and this is what they are saying. Think of olden times when the prophets gave commandments and the people rejected, and what happened. They are there to help us I know it, and I know by heeding the counsel of a true and living prophet, we can be guided and receive help and comfort. 

To end, I know that this church is true. I know that "God will not do anything, save he revealeth his secrets unto his servants, the prophets" and that the same church that Jesus Christ established is back. Jesus Christ established a church for the us, to help us, because we need help. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and I know everyone can know it is true. And I know that the atonement of Jesus Christ is for everyone, but we have to put effort on our part. And I know that we are all children of our Heavenly Father and he loves us and has given us so much to better feel his love. He has given us a plan that if we follow, we have his promise he will help us in all things. And I want to leave this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

I hope everyone has a great week! and has another great one! Good luck to my mom going to Yosemite! I still don't know how that really happened! Way to go dad! 

-Elder Rock

(And based on no one liking the Heat here anymore, I guess the Spurs won! All the filipinos are on the spurs' bandwagon haha) 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Magandang Umaga sa inyo lahat!

This week was another great one, it was kind of hard to adjust back to having 2 missionaries, and some of our investigators were a little weirded out there was 2 of us because they met us when we were 3, so they didn't know that there is usually just 2 haha. But teaching is way smoother with just 2 people, I love it way more. The hard thing is that both me and Elder Lang Siu are not great at Tagalog, so it makes us really rely on the members. Elder Lang Siu is pretty good, he has been out for 11 months now, so he can understand a lot, but speaking is still hard, and for me I can speak faster, but about the same level. But this week actually was pretty smooth, and we taught some really neat lessons. 

One lesson I learned this week was the importance of the area book, and how the Lord really does prepare people. We were kind of running out of investigators because either they weren't progressing or they got baptized, so we went to the area book and I saw some people that seemed so awesome and the only reason the missionaries stopped going was because the people were too busy or they were on vacation, so we tried to contact as many as we could, and we found one lady, Joanne, who is 23 and her sister in law is a member, who is really awesome. So we went and she let us in and was so excited we were there, she had been in Bicol, (legaspi mission) and had the missionaries over there teach her, the only problems is that she isn't actually married, which is such a common problem. It was so awesome getting to know her and she knew so much, usually people forget but she basically taught us everything about the restoration and why it is so important and how she knows it's true. She just hasn't come to church because she feels guilty about not being married, but we just told her it's not a problem, and she kind of got teary eyed and she committed to come, and she wants to get married so she can get baptized. How awesome is that! 

The other thing I did this week was pray for spiritual experiences. I was kind of feeling that missionary life was just getting into a routine, which it kind of is, but I was losing the power of it, and so I prayed to have spiritual experiences, and it helped so much, because I was actively seeking them. In a lesson I looked for the Holy Ghost a lot more, and it helped me realize the things that I was doing. I was always trying to have a spiritual experience so I would try to make it more spiritual. We taught this one lady who we have always passed by and said hi to and we have asked to teach her and she said sure but we never really followed up because she is pretty solid in another religion, called 7th Day Adventist, I'm not really sure what they believe but I know they do the sabbath day on saturday, hence there name. But anyway we taught her and I gave her this list of questions to pick from (I made this list of questions from PMG, called Questions of the soul, and laminated it and have people I talk to pick one sometimes. Another elder did it and it is pretty effective, because you get to figure out what they want to learn) 

So she picked how to make her family stronger and  as we started talking to her at the beginning, just getting to know her, she was just not super interested, and then she started changing and then opened up and we didn't bring up the question that she picked, just getting to know her, but she brought it up and started just opening up to us. It was so awesome. I can't wait to go back.

The thing I realized this week, was that spiritual experiences are always there, we just have to look for them. I think it was Henry B. Eyring that gave a talk, so long ago, but I think he made like a journal and every night he would write in it specifically for blessings he received that day. I think it was like that, but by doing so he realized how much that the Lord blessed him. It really depends on our perspective. 

I'm loving it here, as always, it's so awesome. I always want to write funny things that happened to me, but always forget ha. One thing I do remember is that a member who lives across the street from a church said that he heard them singing songs from the Hymn book, but they sang 'Praise To The Man' haha. One thing is it's harder for me to understand English when Filipinos speak it, because sometimes they pronounce it so different. Example, my ward mission leader was saying that he like the ookla college basketball team, pronounce like ookla or ukla. I could not figure out what he was talking about, maybe oklahoma? but he was saying Ukla, and I asked him to spell it, and he says UCLA hahaha, so UCLA is Ukla ha. The other word was raw. A couple was telling us about some kind of fruit and in tagalog said it wasn't ripe yet, or still raw. And so I asked what that meant and they said row after thinking for awhile. Me and my companion were so confused, we thought they were talking about fruit and then they say row like rowing a boat, haha, and then we asked them to spell it (I should do that a lot sooner) and they spelled it, raw. Haha, still raw or not ripe. 

Maybe those aren't that funny, but to me, so funny. I hope everyone has a great week!

-Elder Rock 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hello Everyone! 

This week was awesome! for starters we had the baptism for Perla, who was the one that had been an investigator for about 2 years, and was having a hard time giving up smoking, and she did it! She gave it up, and was baptized, it was so awesome! A lot of the ward came out as well to welcome her and I knew she felt the spirit at her baptism, it was awesome. So that was definitely a highlight. 

Another thing that was really cool was a dinner appointment we had with the former bishop of the ward. It was actually kind of weird because we wanted to do a little activity to invite them to refer a friend to the missionaries, and the bishop just said, oh I already know it, so my wife will just do it.. and he talks kind of loud for filipinos and really fast, so he kind of scares me, so I was just like, okay.. and so the wife did it, and then the bishop really did know it, I thought he was bluffing, and so he ended up just talking about his mission and a bunch of other stuff, and we never got to finish the activity haha. But, it was okay, because he talked on some really cool points. He said that when he visits people, he tells them that he is there because he loves them and they are his brothers and sisters, and no other reason. I thought that was super cool because it is so true that we as missionaries don't visit people for any other reason than because we love them and want to help them. We don't get a prize or anything if they listen to us or read. We only do it because we love them. 

The other thing he said which maybe people already know, but I thought it was super clever, was he said that Faith Allows Impossible Things to Happen, And I just thought it was an awesome acronym. It was an awesome visit, and I learned so much from it, even though it didn't all go according to the plan. 

This week I have been really trying to focus more on the spirit as Elder Christensen taught us last week and it was pretty cool experience, because I prayed each morning to really focus on my actions and think about what I am doing, and try to feel the Holy Ghost more, and it was really cool. Before I did stuff I would get a thought that maybe I shouldn't or do it another way, and really control myself. It was awesome, and in lessons I really tried to focus more on what I should say, instead of what I wanted to say, and I feel like they were better able to understand. I am still learning a lot, and trying to get the hang of it, and really learn to rely on it, But it is really amazing at how much the Holy Ghost can help. 

The Philippines finally got the May Liahonna on sunday, (And the June edition, how does that work?) And I read Elder Robert D. Hales because I remember it was kind of hard to understand him, so I really wanted to read his talk and get more out of it, and I thought it was so awesome. I think it applies so well to everyone, and how sometimes we really do just pick commandments we want to follow, and commandments we don't want to follow, while still professing that we love God. If we love Him, we will obey all of His commandments, not just some. And I realized that for our investigators, we need to focus things more on commandments, versus anything us, and if we really love God, we will go to church, because that is the hardest thing for people here. And some people show so much faith in going, like this one man who had a stroke, and walks so slow, is probably 60 and walks to church every sunday, and even goes to the institute (I think it's institute) on saturday evenings. Where as others don't go and they are upset they have trials. We really have to show our love by willingly going to church, and show our faith. 

I hope everyone had a good week. I will be here in Baesa for another 6 weeks! It's going to be a good transfer! 


-Elder Rock