Sunday, December 27, 2015

Week 76 (Dec. 27, 2015 Talavera, Philippines)

ELDER ARMATAGE IS DATING MAILEA??!?!?!?!?! THAT'S INSANE AND INCREDIBLY AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! Elder Armatage is pretty much super Missionary 4 lyfe. He trained 4 people, and probably would've been Assistant to the President if he wasn't too busy raising the next generation of super missionaries. Dang. I can't even get over how crazy that is. I only ever met him once, and not much was said, but he's a crazy good/ dedicated missionary, whether it be in-field or out, I'm assuming. Chuka friken Hamnida.

Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the gifts! Do Shaun and Clel's belts fit

Rosalina Mariano Ambos Turalba was baptized on the 22nd of December and confirmed on the 27th. She's the sweetest little old Nanay ever, and I love her so much. We always catch her in the act of reading the Book of Mormon, or trying to get her less active friend to come :P I was supposed to baptize her, but I forgot a change of clothes (oops :P ), so we had Bishop Manucot do it. She's the coolest!!

Love you Mom!! I miss you so much! 6 Months for the Lord!!!

Elder Syphus

PS Maybe June 16th. or the 17th. Just to be sure.

Rosalina :) We took two pictures of us 3. My eyes were closed in one. Elder Chand's were closed in the other. I had to do fancy computer stuffs to make it work :P WOOHOO!!

Pictuer picture, pag may time! (Photos for the Christmas Conference)


Sister Shipley before she goes (She's prolly like the female version of Elder Armatage.)

Christmas Dinner, thanks the Mendoza family :)

Jhomel Dela Cruz

"Wocky!!" (Filipino tradition... I don't really get it yet :P )

Mga Pogi kasi :P


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Week 75 (Dec. 20, 2015 Talavera, Philippines)

Hi Mom :)

Last week was awesome. We had a few more interviews for baptism, so between the 2 companionships in the District we'll be having 6 baptisms this coming week, and 22 as Cabanatuan Zone. Talk about White Christmas!! The baptisms were originally planned for Saturday the 26th, but then ward had the awesome idea of performing them right before the Ward Christmas Party tomorrow, so that's what's going to happen. It so's exciting, haha!
One of the interviews I got to conduct was super beast, just like last week. It's easily my favorite part about the assignment. This week's highlight interview was Jackielyn Cara, Teresa Cara's daughter (Teresa is the one I mentioned last week). She's just like her mom, haha. It was so awesome just being able to sit down and talk with her for half an hour!! Her testimony is already crazy strong, and you can just tell by looking at her how dedicated and devoted she is. She shared with me a bit of her backstory, and it's the coolest thing to see how far she has come. She is still facing bits of persecution and doubt from so-called "friends," but she's fighting hard and winning. Gahhh!!! I LOVE THE GOSPEL!! It's ridiculous how much it changes the lives of so many people, yet there are still so many who reject it!

"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature." - Ezra Taft Benson (from a talk in 1985, "Born of God" - READ IT!!)

This quote means so much more to me now, and carries so much more truth that I just used to look over. I literally can't express how insanely perfect this all is!! So I'll just leave it at that :)

In our work, we have a really strong investigator being baptized with the others on Tuesday as well. Her name is Rosalina Turalba, and she's just a little old Nanay, but her Testimony is solid :) She has four kids, and we've tried to teach one of them, but she's not too interested. Hopefully she'll attend her Mom's baptism, and feel the Spirit there. Two of her other kids are always gone, either at work or play, and the youngest is still too young, but we let her listen and participate in the lesson when she's feeling particularly daring ;) So basically, Christmas is just going to be pretty much awesome :)

Now, less related to how awesome being a Missionary is (but still sort of related), I'd like to tell you about Elder Martel :) I actually first met him because of Sister Dalley. She ran up to me during a Zone conference and said "Elder Syphus! I just found someone who looks EXACLTY like you, except he's Canadian!"
At first I was like "Uuuuuuuuuuuuhhh... okay. I guess that's cool," but what I should've been like is "CANADIAN??!! You mean the master race of all mankind?! WHERE??"
So yeah. Elder Martel is my Zone Leader right now, and he's super awesome. He's the one that conducted Roslina's interview, and he's teaching me how to speak Canadian with words like "Wheeling." So ya. We're pretty much besties now. #nbd

And that's really all I've got for today :) I think we'll just do it how we've always done it, maybe around 10 am here or 7 PMthere? I'll send and email before I call you guys, and I'll find out if I can Google Hangout. Love you!!!

Elder Syphus

During their Christmas Conference, they also celebrated the December Birthdays.  
Glad he was recognized :)

I don't know if this is all of the Angeles mission, but I'm thinking it is?  What an amazing army!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week 74 (Dec. 13, 2015 Talavera, Philippines)

Dear Everybody!!
My name’s Elder Syphus, and I’m a missionary. Cool, huh? Being a missionary, we got to do some pretty cool stuff this week (we as in my Companion and I… I got one of those ‘cuz I’m a missionary). Starting with our Day of Preparation (a Day to prepare for the rest of the week), here’s how it went:
On Monday we got to go the Mall! It’s the NE Pacific Mall in Cabanatuan, and we actually went there for the sole purpose of getting Elder Chand’s (my companion’s) camera fixed. We didn’t do much but wait for the technician AND buy a month’s worth of food. This is worth mentioning, because as missionaries, we typically only get a week’s worth of food every week, but to rid ourselves of the weekly shopping hassle, we did the whole month’s shopping in a single day. This is what that looks like (on a Missionary Budget J )

Looks good, huh? ;) We actually typically eat better than just tuna, noodles, and oatmeal, but we wanted to see how much we could save by trying things a little different this month. So far so awesome :D

On 2s-D (Tuesday in a Utahn accent), we actually did some stuff worth mentioning to missionaries! We have an investigator Rosalina Turalba, who is very readily accepting the things we share with her (namely the Gospel of Jesus Christ- our main message as Missionaries!), and is progressing quickly to the point in her discipleship where she can make covenants (binding promises) with our Father in Heaven, specifically Baptism. Our concern, however, is being able to teach her as often as we would like with the fellowship she so rightly deserves. Our Elder’s Quorum President, Brother Malicdem (Local leader of all men ages 18 and up), though, was kind enough to clock out of work for a bit and teach a short lesson with us, before heading back. He’s probably one of my favorite members in the Ward (local congregation). He’s always super willing to take a short break and help us out in fellowshipping those we teach.

We were able to teach a few other of our progressing investigators on Wednesday. Sunil Shahani is strictly Indian by Ethnicity, but was born in raised in the Philippines. He’s insanely fluent in English and Tagalog, and is really smart, but also very religious and open. We’ve been teaching him for a while, and he keeps his commitments, but is currently struggling with testimony (a personal conviction of the truthfulness of our teachings). He’s very kind and brings us containers of traditional Indian food on a weekly basis, but has a hard time fitting in with the members. Not too social, but shows a lot of promise if we can just work out his concerns.

We were also able to teach Paul, a newer investigator of ours who also shows a lot of potential in progression and conversion, but is sometimes busy at work, planting onions. We found him during a contacting run one night, and he as very excited to listen. He is vigorous with his reading of the Book of Mormon, and truly believes in the Restoration of the Gospel through Joseph Smith, but has yet to attend church and struggles with daily prayer. He’s very welcoming and very spiritual, and it’s a huge blessing to be able to teach him. Ya, he’s pretty much just the best :P

On Wednesday, we also had a meeting with the Zone Leaders who had just gotten back from their Mission Leader’s Conference in Tarlac. They shared with us a bit about what was discussed in terms of strengthening the work and preparing for the Holidays. It was a really cool interactive meeting, and we left with a new drive and a few gifts and letters from home (thanks!!! :D :D )

Thursday, we got to meet the Gadores Family. The parents were baptized about 16 years ago, but have since fallen away from the church. They’re very welcoming, however, and we are currently in the process of teaching 2 of their children who have yet to be baptized, Alfie and Aiko.

On Friday we had exchanges with some Elders in our District. I got to go work in their area and interviewed a few of their investigators preparing for baptism. One of these was Rina Cara, a young Mother who heard about the Church from a friend. She’s INCREDIBLE. The Spirit was so strong while talking with her and her Testimony is Amazing. She has seen so many miracles in her life since she began receiving the lessons, and grown so much closer to God. She’s super excited and prepared, and just talking to her for those 45 minutes was probably one of the most spiritual experiences my whole mission. She’s “super great” J

We spent all day Saturday in Sibul and Caputican working with Newly Baptized members of the church. One of them says she has been hearing voices and seeing things, so we gave her a blessing, and things have seemed to calm down a bit since then, which we’re extremely grateful for.

Sunday was Sunday, an awesome day of Spiritual growth and enlightenment J After Church was over, we headed out on a contacting run and met this old couple who had a Pamphlet that we give to people hanging on their wall. We starting talking to them, and got permission to take a look at the pamphlet. It was given to them in 1992… Whoa. It was covered with but still intact, and they recognized us as those who gave it to them originally. They were really excited to listen to us again, but their age keeps them from doing too much besides sleeping and eating. We shared a short message with them though, and promised to visit on occasion. It was really cool J

So, sorry this letter sort of changed styles halfway through :P I don’t know what I was going for at first, but realized I wouldn’t be able to keep it going, so I cut it out. Interesting twist though, right? But ya! That’s my week! Let’s do it again sometime :P

Love Elder Syphus

Birthday Celebrations :)

Christmas = $4

Hi Mom!

Ya, I got the packages. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE OVALTINE!!!!! I mixed it with some hot powdered milk, and it tastes exactly like Stephens as far as I can remember. SUPER delicious :)
The Choir Tour sounds awesome! Can you send me some pics of all the Madrigals in their outfits? I've yet to see it, except for the pictures Kylie sent me.
Give my love to Zami and Kack! That's so awesome for them!! Has it already been 9 months since Kami got pregnant? It seems so fast!! That's crazy!!

That's sad to hear about Bro Fairy and Bishop Bennett. It does seem like it seems to be making its way around :( Kind of scary, but it's good that they're generally able to fight it efficiently enough. Send them my love as well.

Skype will be like always. Christmas evening for you, morning on the day after for me :) I'll let you know the specifics next week. Love you!!!!

Love Elder Syphus​

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Week 73 (Dec. 6, 2015 Talavera, Philippines)

Dear Mom of Mine,

Thanks for the birthday wishes! I haven't received anything yet, but maybe on Wednesday. We'll see. If they arrived at customs on the 24th then I'm not as worried. I though it was back in October or something that they got to The Philippines, that's why i got a little concerned. I trust this ladies reputation though, so all should work out :)

Rosalina is still going strong. She attended church again yesterday and whenever we stop by her house to say hello and check up on her we always catch her reading the Book of Mormon. She really love the story and everything, and will definitely be going places.... if we could ever teach her :/ That's the probably the hardest part of being an Elder, and by that I mean not being a Sister. It seems like the majority of people who are actually interested are female, and we ca't teach them as Elders unless there is another male adult present. Rosalina was originally goaled for baptism last Saturday, but we weren't able to teach her all week, and so we still technically can't have her interviewed because of lack of completion in terms of lessons. We try to have members come work with us, but they always flake at the last minute, so it can get kind of frustrating. She's not losing faith though, and that's all that matters :)

Ariel hasn't made much progression. He still isn't smoking, but he's also still not coming to chruch. We try to set teaching appointments with him, but he always leaves right before we show up to run different appointments. He actually is really busy, so it's not like he's lying to us, but it's just hard because he lives so far away, and the only way to get to him is to walk. The rain and stopped a bit though, so now we're just walking through dirt instead of mud. We'll see where we can get him though.

Roger is still really discouraged :( He's having Physical Therapy, and they've seen little bits of movement on his left side, but it comes and goes. He has one of those things that Kylie used during her shoulder recovery, where he grabs a handle with his dead arm, and then pulls another handle with his good arm, and then a Pulley System will move his dead arm up and down for blood flow or something. He's still always happy to see us, and the incident has put so much innocence into his... aura? Haha, I don't know what word to use for that :P Anyway, he's still going strong :)

We found new investigators this week!!! We went really hard on findings, and almost broke 100 contacts but got stuck at 99 when curfew struck last night. Grr... But the investigators we found this week are actually pretty promising. We haven't been able to teach any of them a second time yet, but I'll keep you updated on their progress. Paul, Mark, and Nanati are the most potential. Things should be fun :)

Anyway, love you soooo much Mom!! 19 days!!

Love Elder Syphus

Trying to be Ninja with one of my ties. Apparently, this is how Ninja outfits actually work. Just one super long piece of fabric that you just keep wrapping around yourself. My tie wasn't quite long enough :P

This is Sophia, right before throwing me the letter. I chose to send this picture because of her dachsund in the Background. Asterix :)

Here's a better pic. She's so funny and makes me feel like she would be a perfect sister for Linkon and them. Haha. Fun fun fun :)