Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 40 (April 20, 2015 Guimba, Philippines)

Hey Mom :)

(The comma key isn't working on my keyboard so that's why there's a bunch of run on sentences and such)

I actually was able to write a bit in my Journal this week so hopefully my email will actually have some content for once.
On Monday night we went to one of the farther parts of our Area to end a Funeral Service. Last Friday a little 5 year old boy was playing near an irrigation ditch with his little sister and fell in. No one else was around and the little boy drowned. The little boy's dad is a member but is inactive but the Branch President requested that we go and support them. When we showed up the dad asked Elder Llona and I to share a message so I shared about my experience with Great Grandma's death and my testimony about the Plan of Salvation.

On Tuesday President Lina asked us again to support the family and attend the burial service. We were told by the family that it would start at 8:30 AM so we showed up at 8; two hours before anyone else did. At about 10 they showed up and we were able to find out where the Burial plot was so we could dedicate it. I don't know if it was valid because the Missionary Handbook says it is supposed to be performed under the authority of him who is conduction the service. We were the only active members there except for our chauffeur who is the 1st Counselor in a whole different branch.

Nothing much happened on Wednesday. Usually we would've had our District Meeting but Elder Gemelo had a District Leader's Conference so the District Meeting was delayed until the next day.

Thursday was our District Meeting and we were privileged with the appearance of our Zone Leaders: Elder Hedman and Elder Magallanes. They had to interview an investigator of our DL for baptism so they just decided to come early and attend our District Meeting. After the interview Elder Hedman and I went out to eat while Elder Llona and Elder Magallanes went to the apartment to rest. When Elder Hedman and I walked into the apartment Elder Llona was lying on my bed and I saw him slip my journal back under my pillow where I leave it. He didn't notice that I saw him and I don't know if he was actually reading it so I don't want to confront him about it. It probably wouldn't do anything anyway.

On Saturday I had to take a quarterly language test. It's 13 topic prompts and all I have to do is speak Tagalog into a microphone and respond to the prompts. After I did the first 10 prompts I started talking to Elder Llona and raised the mic on my Headset. When I returned to the test I forgot to put my mic down and didn't realize it until halfway through Prompt 13. While still being recorded I just lowered my mic and said "My Microphone was raised...." And then I blanked and let the last 60 seconds of 3 minutes run dry. Epic Fail :)

In terms of progress in the work... things are super slow. The majority of the people we're teaching are female and we're not allowed to teach them with out another adult male with us. Because the branch is too busy playing basketball and volleyball all the time we have no one to work with us except for Sundays. However we do have a few really good investigators. One of our SA members (RJ Valdez) is the only member in his family and left for his mission last Friday. After 7 years his Mom now wants to be taught by the missionaries. When we were teaching her about families we asked what goals she had for hers. Her reply was "I want to be sealed to them in the Temple." This was during our first lesson by the way and we hadn't taught a single thing yet. We also began to teach about Prophets and introduced the topic by asking if she new of any. Some people will say "Yeah like Peter James and John." Others will mention Isaiah or Noah and Moses. But when we asked Sister Valdez she said "Like Nephi and Lehi and Mormon and Moroni right? Or do you mean like Joseph Smith and Thomas S Monson?"
Yeah I'm super excited for her :)


The Scripture I want to share this week comes from the Isaiah chapters of Second Nephi.

From 2 Nephi 18

11 For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying:

12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.

So I don't know exactly what these verses mean and I'll probably relate them wrong based on the context of the whole chapter but I still learned something from what I did understand.
These verses make me think of Elder Lynn G Robbins talk "Which Way Do You Face?" I personally feel like the Lord is instructing Isaiah to avoid falling into the ways of the people of world and to not be afraid of standing up to them. I like how Isaiah writes "the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand... ." The image I think of is a father bending on one knee looking his boy in the eye and grabbing hold of his shoulder firmly but lovingly to give guidance and counsel essential to his son's well being and safety. Sort of specific but that's what I see. The Lord loves us but is firm in his commandments and direction to be sure follow him in order to achieve that Eternal Salvation he promises.

I don't really know how to end my thoughts. Sorry.

Love you Mom! Thanks for your letters and support. I'll write you again next week.

Elder Syphus

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