Sunday, January 10, 2016

Week 78 (Jan. 10, 2016 Gabaldon, Philippines)

Gabaldon is a really beautiful area surrounded by Mountains and forests and such, and has a few really neat rivers that we get to baptize people in :P
(I asked Joel if he was able to attend the baptism of his MP's granddaughter who had come with her family to visit in the Philippines....she was baptized near a waterfall)
We knew about Sister Clark's Granddaughter, but weren't able to attend the baptism, because it was during the middle of our church meeting. That's where all 18 of them were supposed to attend church, but traffic held them up, and they got there about 30 minutes late, right as I was going up to introduce myself to the Branch and bear my testimony. I got super nervous that there were a bunch of white people watching me speak Tagalog (ya, I don't know why either), but President Clark says I sound like a native speaker, so that's cool I guess. I don't know how much he actually understood though, so.... :P
President Clark was, however, able to share a thought with the branch before leaving after Sacrament Meeting, and it's something that I Really, Really liked a lot. He took it from Lehi's Dream in 1 Nephi 8:
5 And it came to pass that I saw a man, and he was dressed in a white robe; and he came and stood before me.
6 And it came to pass that he spake unto me, and bade me follow him.
7 And it came to pass that as I followed him I beheld myself that I was in a dark and dreary waste.
8 And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.
9 And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field.
So, we read in those verses that Lehi was lost in a "dark and dreary waste." What's interesting, however, is what he did to end up in such a place. A man in a white robe (whom President Clark refers to as Christ (and the footnote leading to David suggests so as well)), called for Lehi to follow Him, which he did. It is there that Lehi was caught up in such a rough and uncertain part of his journey. President Clark taught us that, yes, part of following Christ will sometimes be trails and tribulations in our lives. The world in general and the Devil specifically will do everything they can to bring us away from the path of righteousness, and the Lord allows these temptations and trails as ways to prove ourselves, but more importantly, to overcome and grow from. In His infinite wisdom, our Father in Heaven has literally cast down Satan and his forces as the ultimate refiner's fire of our lives, all in preparation of our eternal exaltation and glory. Pretty cool, right? :)

So yeah, all of that was yesterday. We also had an Area broadcast discusses goals for the next year, which was really cool and exciting, but we weren't able to put in any proselyting efforts for the Day so that was a bummer, but I still feel like it was a good Sabbath day.

I had had a pretty hectic morning a few days back, and so by the time we went out to work at 10 AM, I realized I still hadn't touched my Book of Mormon. The whole morning was findings, just talking to people and inviting them to listen, so we didn't teach any lessons. The whole time, though, I was just in a really dead mood, sort of lost from the work, and it was driving me crazy. Lunch and language study were sort of the same, like I had left a part of myself behind somewhere. On the way to an appointment after lunch however, I cracked open my Tagalog Book of Mormon and started reading. I immediately started to feel better, more calm and at peace after such an empty first half of the day. When we got to the lesson though, I closed my Book of Mormon, and the emptiness sort of returned. I used it however to share some scriptures during our lesson, and the Spirit was there again, all of a sudden. That seemed to happen throughout the day- me feeling empty without the book, but then complete again with its words in my hands. I just want to testify of the power of the Book of Mormon, and the peace it can bring to our lives as we seriously ponder upon its teachings.

The work here is good. We've got a few people progressing for baptism this January. Tatay Siriaco Anolacion is for the 23rd of January, but he's really old and has trouble remembering the stuff we teach him. Jonalyn and Alyssa Alfonso are both for the 30th, and they're moving a long, but weren't able to attend church yesterday, so we'll see need to do to help them attend every week. We also just recently found a family of three, and they live pretty close to the church and our already close friends with some of the members, so we've got high hopes for them. It's the Ferry family, and we're teaching the parents and one of their daughters. Gabaldon is fun :)

Some pictures I took coming into the area.

Investigators back yard. This area is covered in green.

The watch for Greg


Turkey's are nasty. Ya. Yucks.

We had a Zone Activity earlier today and went high up on this look out point/ zoo kind of place. It's got a neat view.

Croc cage.

I don't know what this thing is, but it kept attacking us. It was actually kind of funny. He's a grumpy bird.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaiiiit for iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.......

Boo yah :) Guy was heavy, and he kept trying to slither away from me. This picture cost me 50 cents.

This is our entire zone. All Elders, no sisters.

Letter is a little short, but hopefully my Journal will be updated by next week and I can send something longer :) Love you Mom and all!!!

Elder Syphus

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