Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 48 (June 15, 2015 Camiling, Philippines)

Hi Mom :)

Tell Mark thanks for me. I always love the letters that he sends and the pure faith that he has. He's an incredible example to me of what counting your blessings really means.

Elder Ortega and I are doing well :) We take turns cooking, and he even helps me out with cleaning the apartment, so that's definitely a plus ;) He has some sort of speech impediment (a really bad stutter, or maybe even minor tourettes), so people think he doesn't know how to speak Tagalog. I feel bad for him sometimes :/ I think he's better than I am at speaking sometimes, but he doesn't seem to understand very well. That or he just doesn't listen :P But all in all, he's a good missionary, and I like him a lot.

Sounds like Katelyn is still rocking the gospel :) One of my favorite ways of looking at faith is how Christ sort of described it in the Bible with his parable of the Unprofitable Servant. It's hard for me to put into words, but it's a really powerful lesson. We sort of show our faith in Christ by showing Him that we realize that no matter how much we do or have done, we still haven't done enough. Our entire salvation is dependent on His Atonement. We can never say we've done enough to repay such an act. As we continue to serve, and love, and act in diligence, and charity, and virtue, and obey his commandments, despite the private or public trials that we may be facing, that is how we show our faith in Him and His Eternal Sacrifice. I can't put it very well into words, but read Luke 17: 5-10. It's awesome.

Apparently, Pentatonix are in the Philippines right now, preparing for a concert this Wednesday and Thursday in Manila. I sort of died a little bit when I heard about it. I want to VIP to a couple more of their concerts after I get home. Definitely worth the money, I'd say. Just as long as it's not like, every month. Maybe 3 or 4 times year at most, but I'd be happy with even just 1 :P Tell Kendyl that I said she needs to go. It'll probably be a once in a life time thing for her. Plus they're Pentatonix :)

Congratz to Katelyn!! That's awesome! I actually like the rose ring a lot, but ya, doesn't really look like something to put on the wedding finger. And I see Clel is still rockin' the boots. That's cool :P I've always been more of a Sneakers kind of guy, but I know Shaun likes Boots as well, so I'll respect that :P I think I may have to get a pair of Vans when I get home and try those out, cause I like those too. I've just never owned a pair. And that's how you go from an engagement announcement to shoes in less than 5 seconds! :D Ya, I still get distracted super easily. Anyway, I'm super excited for them. They're incredible together :P So (hushed tones), has anyone started placing bets on whether or not Erik will be the last to marry? Poor guy :(

Anyway, this week was fun :) On Monday night we had a family Home Evening with the Navelgas family. Frances and Mary Angel Navelgas are our investigators, and their step-mom and step-aunt are our Less Actives. Frances is 13 and he's really cool. He's the youngest and most progressing in their family, yet he struggles with praying about Joseph Smith. He still wants to be baptized, but I don't know if I want to go through with it if he has no testimony. So that's our main focus for him right now. We have him goaled for July 25. Should be good :) We also celebrated their step-mom's birthday last Saturday. She turned 25, so it was a quarter century blow out sort of thing. Fun times :)

Joseph is still progressing pretty well, and he's coaled for next Saturday, so I'll tell you about how his interview went next week. However, he has now birth certificate apparently, so I don't know how that is going to work :/
Ivy is..... interesting. We haven't seen her in a week, because she says she's sick. She hasn't gone to church twice now, and we weren't able to teach her all last weak. Hopefully things will improve and I can give you some more updates next week.
Kate is still good and interested, but is still too shy to attend church without Ivy, so she hasn't gone for two weeks either. We've been able to teach her though, so things are still going well :)
We also found another potential Investigator that could be a SUPER strong convert if we could just find out how to meet with him. His name is Rhomel, and he's 18. He's super good with the Bible, but claims no religious affiliation. He doesn't try to debate with us, but has lots of questions. We've only taught him once, and when we were sharing about the Prophet/Dispensation portion of the Restoration, we slipped up on accident and mentioned too early that we have a living prophet right now. Most people don't take any note, but Rhomel isn't most people :P He immediately say "Wait. You just said we have a living prophet? Like Moses? And Isaiah?" We said yes, and he asked "Do you have proof?" I sort of told him about how Christ did a bunch of Miracles and stuff and people still denied him as the Christ, so physical evidence wasn't going to force him to believe anything he didn't to believe. I said the only proof he could ever obtain was a personal testimony through prayer and study. He smiled and said okay, then told us to continue. I like him. However (there has to be a however... yuck), his mom isn't a big fan of us, so we're not allowed to teach him in his house, and we can't find any other place to go. Kids are noisy in his compound, the church is too far, he says, and he's too shy to be taught at a member's house close by. He texts a lot though and asks questions, but we're not allowed to go to his house, or anywhere near it, so it's sort of like a forbidden relationship.... Ooooo, scandalous! :P Ya, I feel uncomfortable too :P

Anyway, love you so much!!! One Year left?? O.o

Elder Syphus

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