Sunday, May 10, 2015

Week 43 (May 10, 2015 Camiling Philippines)

Dear Mom,

I had a great time talking to you all. Thank you for your love and support. Happy Mother's Day again :) I love you! And tell Grandpa White Happy Birthday.
So what are your plans for Mother's Day? Are you and Dad going out on a date or something tomorrow? Or was that yesterday? What did the kids get for you? I remember the Madrigals used to always put some money together, and then we would buy something for Mrs. Snow. Usually a Gift Card to Barnes and Noble for like $100+ but it was always something she really loved and appreciated, no matter how many of them we gave to her :P

President Clark's Mom died last December, so this must be a pretty hard time for him. Maybe just keep him their family in your prayers.

We actually have a couple of Investigators that seem to be potentially progressive.
Joseph Torres is about 25 or something, and was actually a referral from a friend of his in our branch. He got the flu yesterday, though, and wasn't able to attend church. However, we have him goaled for Baptism on May 30.
Jonathan Villanueva is only like 14, and he's also a referral. Jonathan seems pretty interested and happy to be taught, but his parents are both Catholic. His mom was sort of against it at first, but his Dad talked to her and convinced that this was probably going to be the best way to make sure he grows up to be a good person. That's something I've noticed a lot out here. The adults aren't really interested, but they want their kids to be taught because they know the Mormons are good people.
Franklin Diaz is best friends with Jonathan and is sort of in the same situation. However, even though the parents aren't interested in being baptized, they'll still listen to us when we teach, so that's a plus. Hopefully we'll be able to show them how greatly the Gospel can affect their lives.
Rey Anthony and Rey Angelo are twins, and they're both 13. They're the nephews of a Returning Less Active in our Branch, who is super receptive and ready to return. Angelo is also pretty receptive and is a really nice kid. However, yesterday was his first time attending sacrament meeting, and I think he may heave been a little bored. Afterwards, he say that his chin hurt and then he wanted to go home. I think he may have just been super shy plus a little bored, but his chin might of hurt too... :P However the problem with them is that they'll only be here for another week or two. They're just here on summer vacation, and then they'll be gone. Hopefully we'll be able to refer them to the missionaries in their town, but it's in a different mission even, so not quite as easy. We'll see how it all works out though.

We've got this other Recent Convert / Less Active kid that reminds me of Peter Pan from Once Upon a Time. His name is Nelson, and he's 10, but he's got quick wit and he's quite the pest. I like him :P He's not necessarily disruptive when it comes to teaching, he just pretends he's not listening and doesn't care. I still like him though... For now :P

I think the biggest bit of extra news though this week is that I've learned how to cook, as I told you guys :) So far I've only cooked 4 dishes, two of which are college level.... by which I mean that two of which are the kinds of dishes pour college students live on. I can make Pork Adobo, Porksteaks and Eggs, Sardines and Eggs (pretty good, but college level), and then Ramen and corned beff (college level :P). I'm hoping to make Caldereta and Mechado in the near future, so we'll see how that goes :) There is also this really good stuff that our Branch President's Wife made which is called Bucayo, which is sort of like a Coconut Molasses. I don't know everything in it, but I know there's brown sugar and freshly grated coconut meat. Apparently, Swig has made Coconut Hot Chocolate the next big thing, so I'm going to try to make the real thing. They sell these chocolate bars here that are PURE Cocoa. No sugar, no preservatives, no nothing. Straight Cocoa. So of course, it's super bitter, but I'm going to try and add a whole bunch of Bucayo to sweeten it up and add that coconut flavor. It's going to be awesome :P

But anyway, I think that's it for this week. The Scripture I'd like to share is one that I think may have been shared in a previous General Conference or something. Sorry if my thoughts aren't all that unique, but they make an impact on me, so I'll share :)
From Mosiah Chapter 2:

1 And it came to pass that after Mosiah had done as his father had commanded him, and had made a proclamation throughout all the land, that the people gathered themselves together throughout all the land, that they might go up to the temple to hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them.
5 And it came to pass that when they came up to the temple, they pitched their tents round about, every man according to his family, consisting of his wife, and his sons, and his daughters, and their sons, and their daughters, from the eldest down to the youngest, every family being separate one from another.
6 And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them;

After I read these verses, I thought of Lot from the Bible in Genesis 13:

12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.

Lot pitched his tent, but not towards the temple as did the people of King Benjamin. He pitched his city toward Sodom, where the people "were wicked and sinners before the Lord."
In Chapter 14, it mentions what became of Lot.

1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;
2 That these made war with... Sodom...
12 And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

Notice that part of verse 12 that you can't miss, because I bolded, underlined, and italicized it. Abram no longer simply faced Sodom with his tent, but there he dwelt, and was taken prisoner of war because of his choice. He joined in the city of sinners and wickedness, and suffered the consequences.
And now, returning to the people of King Benjamin, we read in chapter 5:

1 And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had thus spoken to his people, he sent among them, desiring to know of his people if they believed the words which he had spoken unto them.
2 And they all cried with one voice, saying:...
5 ...we are willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days, that we may not bring upon ourselves a never-ending torment, as has been spoken by the angel, that we may not drink out of the cup of the wrath of God.
6 And now, these are the words which king Benjamin desired of them; and therefore he said unto them: Ye have spoken the words that I desired; and the covenant which ye have made is a righteous covenant.
7 And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.

These righteous people set their tents towards the Temple and the Teachings of the Prophets.They were taken by the Hand of Righteousness and were "called the children of Christ."
This now brings me once again to Lynn G Robbin's talk in October 2014 Conference, about "Which Way do You Face?" Do we face God and His holy house and prophets, prepared to receive the blessings associated? Or do we face the sins and abominations of Sodom, prepared only to pack up tent and move in?
It is my personal belief and testimony that our Spirituality is not and never will be dynamic. We are constantly progressing or digressing. We cannot walk towards the Temple and then stop to look at the Sodom we left behind without beginning that return trip.
If we do what we we have been counseled and encouraged to do by our modern day prophets in obeying the commandments of the Lord, it is then that we set our tents towards His Holy House, and the eternal blessings granted within to those worthy to receive.
This is my testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love you so much!!!!!!

Elder Syphus

Milo is their Hot Chocolate thing here in the Philippines. It's not as good as Swiss Miss, but it's high in Nutritional Content :P I bought a kilo of of Milo, and got a little ball with it.

But then the ball fell in a puddle and TURNED INTO A TOWEL :O Just kidding... I put the ball into a wash basin full of water and then it TURNED INTO A TOWEL :O He's just a little guy though, like a Hand Towel.

Chapel before the storm.

So.... my companion made me take a selfie. Apparently, I "don't know how." Psh... Please.... And is that a bad thing?

Porksteak and eggs, take one. Super Delicious :D

Definitely planning on remaking this with them after I get home. Until then, though, I'll practice with the Filipinos ;)

Pork Adobo. Little too much water, but not enough sauce. No worries though, take 1 as well :P

My comp was dying when I made adobo, so I cooked for him as well according to the diet he was told to follow.... Bon appetit :D

Shaving Creme is my new favorite thing. Smells nice and feels good :) (And he says I don't know how to take selfies....)

​Pork Steak Take 2. Nope, not burnt, just smothered in the deliciousness of Mama Sita's Barbecue Marinade. Bomb Diggity.

Love you so much Mom! Happy Mother's Day!!!

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