Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 63 (Sept. 27, 2015 Talavera, Philippines)

Hi Mom :)

The week has been good, even if the work continues to be a bit of a struggle. We're still making a lot of progress with our Investigators though, and we may even have a few interviews this week! Anthony Valdez and Roger Arcilla are both doing a great job keeping commitments and everything, and so we'll have a mock-interview to review principles and commandments and see if we can get them okay-ed for baptism either on the 10th or the 17th. Maybe the 17th because of Conference on the 10th and 11th. So ya, super excited :D For both General Conference and for Roger and Anthony. I REALLY hope I'm still here for their baptisms, and I've got a feeling I still will be, but if the Lord has any different plans for me, I guess it'll just have to be "Come what may, and love it" :P
So, here's a day-by-day rundown:

Monday: We had a really fun Zone Activity and just played a few simple games like signs or Missionary Tag, and then Elder Chand and I headed off with the Zone Leaders to do some work at their house and then just did the typical P-Day stuff with them. We went to Greenwich, which is the really good Pizza Place, and then got to do some shopping in SM! SM is THE mall here in the Philippines, and it's awesome. This one was only a MegaCenter, so it wasn't full-blown SM status, but an official one is opening on October 9, so that'll be fun :P I spent most of my time inside looking at watches and not buying anything, but it was def a good time :P After we got home, we went and taught Kathleen Cababat, a Part Member in the area. We don't focus with her because she doesn't really progress, but she's really nice and welcoming, so we stop by every now and then to share a message and hopefully get her to become more committed.

Tuesday: We had exchanges with the Zone Leaders, and I was with Elder Johnson, which was awesome. He's really good at Tagalog, and so I was able to get a few pointers from him, and he gave me some advice about helping the Elders in our District, which did a LOT. It was a lot of fun, and we ended the Night with a Ward FHE which is basically a couple really crazy games and then the Relief Society dances to a sketchy song that they don't understand :P It's actually sort of funny, but really uncomfortable at the same time. Oh, Philippines :)

Wednesday: We got the news about Elder Richard G Scott :( It's crazy to see how many of them are going, and in such a short amount of time, but it's a huge blessing knowing that their work here on Earth is done, and that our Father in Heaven is preparing to bless us with 3 more inspired men that he has called or will call as Prophets and Apostles. It's making General Conference a lot more exciting :P

Thursday: We had a Stake Open House which just means that the Stake Center is open for 6 hours for people to come in and learn about the Church Groups and Organizations. We invited Anthony to come and he of course said yes, so we accompanied him and went through for about an hour and a half. The Priesthood and Auxiliaries weren't all that well set up or maintained, but the PEF, Job Help, and Family Search Presentations were awesome. The 1st Counselor in the Talavera Bishopric talked about Family History, and the Spirit was so strong, just testifying about the importance of the work and blessings it will bring to both us and those we do the work for. Anthony is really excited to try it out and has already throwing done names and dates on paper while he waits for access to a computer. Cool stuff :)

Saturday: We were able to get a lesson in with all of our Super Investigators in a single day, so that was awesome :) Roger, Anthony, and Frank Valdez's family, and they're all responding incredibly well to the Gospel, which isn't surprising in the least. It's a HUGE blessing to be able to work with all of them, especially at once, and really helps with the struggles we're facing in other areas of the work. Things are really looking up for these people, and we're doing all we can to help them gain that lasting conversion and be committed to the Restored Gospel. They all attended Church on Sunday as well, and so we're looking at getting interviews set and scheduled to move them on towards baptism :)

So, that's the week, and the rest of my time, so I'll write some more again next time :) LOVE YOU!!!!

Elder Syphus

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 62 (Sept. 21, 2015 Talavera, Philippines)

So I decided to throw the Pictures down first just to make sure they get there :P
Dear Mom,
I love you :)

Love, Elder Syphus

PS. We had a pretty good week this week. I actually wrote about it in my journal. But I didn't bring my journal :P I'll tell you what my planner says though-

Monday- Elder Silva's Birthday. He's from Sri Langka and was baptized about 2 or 3 years ago. He's 24 now (we had to give him a hard time about being the old man in the mission. All in good fun :) ), and so Elder Chand and I decided to get him something, so we stopped by a bakery and bought him a birthday cake. Lucky for me/him, I just so happened to have a box with exactly 24 birthday candles (thanks Mom!!), so we made it extra special for him :) He seemed to enjoy it, and the cake was good, so we all had a good time :)

Tuesday- We had exchanges with Talavera B. Elder Valdez and I were in our Area with Elders Silva and Chand in theirs. Elder Valdez is an awesome missionary and it was really cool to work with him. When it comes to contacting people I can get a little stressed, especially when they're in big groups. I attract enough attention as it is, and when passerby see me talking to a fellow countryman of theirs, they feel it their obligation to come in and interrupt us. However, Elder Valdez was excellent at just going for everyone, even if it was a group of like 10 grown men cock fighting. He showed me that I didn't need to worry about the people, and just remember exactly why it is that we talk to them. Good guy Elder Valdez :)

Wednesday- We started teaching the Manuel Family again because their son who is an active member in the Ward is now living in their home again, so we have some very needed member help :) Sister Manuel was baptized just as I came into the area, but she's in Saudi Arabia right now for overseas work :/ Right now we're teaching her husband and 2 sons who haven't yet been baptized. They're really receptive and do a good job at reading the things we give them, but haven't attended church yet because of Brother Manuel's Job. The thing is that hes his own boss though, so it's truly just based on whether or not he wants to. We're focusing right now and helping him understand the importance of church attendance.

Thursday- We got 2 new investigators, Kevin and Jonna. Good people so far :)

Friday- I got to deal with a missionary not wanting to take up till 1 PM. Silly disobedience, always causing problems :) (It's alright now, though. We got him some good help.)

Saturday- We taught our 2 super investigator families, which was wonderful. The Frank Valdez Family, the Anthony Valdez Family, and Roger Arcilla. All looking towards baptism in early October :D I hope I don't get transferred!!

Sunday - Bishopric got reorganized. That was exciting. The old Bishop is now on the Stake High Counsel. Cool stuff.

Sorry that Thursday through Friday were so short, but O've run a bit short on time again :P Love you though!! Next week!!

PPS. Do you want a clay carved scripture case? It's almost like a combination of Book binding and pot making classes. Really cool.


Don't know If I already sent you these pictures, but I bought $18 shirt the other day for $1.50. It's a Fish Tank. Get it?

My new super Sandals.

Want a pair Erik? They've got Really nice tread and they have kinds with ankle straps so they're basically open everything shoes. Really good quality and really popular in the Pinas.

We had a Zone Activity. Here we are :)

Before the Zone Leaders showed up.

What a little cutie :P

Old watch

New Watch

Queen Caterpillar

Demon Caterpillar

A Zone shirt design I presented. This is it on paper, thanks to an Elder in our Zone.

I bought some awesome face towels, but the Persa Gel bleached them :( This is what they looked like before they got ruined.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Week 61 (Sept. 13, 2015 Talavera, Philippines)

Dear Mom and Dad​

The Sabbath Day really is such a misunderstand and important principle, so I can definitely see why it would be such a focal point for discussion. It's been huge as well in Mission and Stake Conferences as well, so you know the Lord wants us to understand, haha.

The basement sounds awesome!! I don't know if I want pictures, or just to be surprised when I see it when I come home. That's crazy though, how much is happening!! Sounds like Kratelet and Clel will enjoy a bit of permanent residence for a while :P

Monday: We ate at this really nice Pizza Place called Shakey's for my companions 1 year mark. Highly recommended, though I don't know if it's in America. Sort of like Pizza Hut though :) I also bought a new watch from Seiko, because my old one broke. Loving the watch too :D

Tuesday: Elder Johnson the Zone Leader did exchanges with one of our housemates so it was fun talking to him and getting some advice from him about teaching and finding and things. Alway helpful

Wednesday: We taught a really cool investigator for the first time in two weeks after his long recovery from the Flu. Still a little weak, but he's glad to be back in Action. His name is Roger Arcilla

Thursday: Celebrated the actual year mark of Elder Chand by eating at Jollibee for lunch and him catching a giant frog for dinner. After the hour trudge home in the rain with the thing constantly trying to escape, our house mate told us it was poisonous, so we disappointedly dropped it off in the field behind our house :P

Stake Conference was yesterday and we had a few excellent talks on the Sabbath and Tithing from the Stake Presidency, Mission President Clark, and an Area Seventy. Awesome stuff :)

Love you so much!!

Elder Syphus


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Week 60 (Sept. 6, 2015 Talavera, Philippines)

Dear Mom,
The Elders from India serve for a year in India, then they are sent to a mission here in the Philippines, but it's not always the same one. This even happens to any Foreign Mission Presidents. However, what happens is that they'll wait for a while, typically no longer than 6 months, and then a new visa will arrive, and they'll return to their new mission without delay. Which means if it happens in the middle of a transfer, I'll be companionless for a while . Ya. Pretty scary stuff :P As to learning Hindi- I'm not sure how far I'll be able to get their, but I'm going to focus more on it from now on. I have an actual speaker of the language, so why not? Lately I've been jumping between learning Ilokano, Japanese, or Hindi, but I think I'll go for Hindi first, and then for Japanese when I get home. Ilokano will probably be the easiest just because it's a Tagalog dialect, plus has a romanized writing system. Cool beans :)

This week has been really fulfilling in terms of Progressing Investigator FAMILIES :D It's two different Valdez families, and they are SO awesome! Frank Valdez and his wife with their 2/4 children are a member referral from Frank's older sister, and they all attended church yesterday!! I say 2/4 kids because they each had a kid before they got together, and they've had two kids since then. Their names are Frank, Isay, and then Isay's daughter, Raven, Frank's son, Justin, and then the couples two daughters, Francine and Casey. They aren't married yet :/ so that's definitely a concern, but the bishop should be able to help us clear it up in no time :) They really are an awesome family, and have plenty of family support because of siblings that are members, so we've decided to set them on goal for October 3. So exciting! :D
The other family is the Anthony Valdez Family. Anthony is actually the oldest kid in the family, but he's our main connection. We are teaching him, as well as his mom and younger sister Elaine. The dad is waiting to see the changes in the family before he joins in, so he'll probably be joining soon, because they're changing a LOT :D It's incredible what the Spirit can and will do if you just give Him the opportunity. President Clark said something really cool in a DLC. He said that as long as we're worthy, the Spirit will be in our lessons. Getting him there isn't the hard part. It's giving him the time and environment to speak and be heard that we struggle with. Since then, I've been trying SO much harder to work consciously work with the spirit in working with the people. It's beautiful :) They're also on goal for October 3, but Anthony maybe in September, just because he's been investigating longer. Happy Days Ahead :)

Love you so much!!

Elder Syphus