Sunday, February 28, 2016

Week 85 (Feb. 28, 2016 Gabaldon, Philippines)

Hey Mom!

This week has been another good one, as they pretty much all are, haha. That's awesome to hear about the Basketball team!! It seems like Dixie is just taking off lately. Definitely Flyin' that much higher :) It's crazy how much everybody has changed in 2 years!! I didn't even recognize Tyler in the pictures, and the one of Aaron Leonard from last week blew my mind! Gaaah!! I think that's the one thing I hate most about being gone for so long. Just not being there for everybody growing and changing. I feel like time has sort of stopped for me, and that I'll go home the same (physically, not spiritually), and everybody else will just be crazy different. Example, LINKON IS WRESTLING?? Daggum, that means he's already like 3x manlier than I am, and he's 5! (I think... How old is Linkon? 7? Maybe?) Well you know what, Linkon? I lift. Boom. (I actually do lift weights now. An Elder Lewis in my District is sort of Super swole, and so when we went on exchanges this week, he gave me a bunch of pointers on how to build rather than tone.) Ya, so that's sort of my rant for the week. Sort of refreshing, if I do say so myself :)

So, stuff happened within the last 7 days!
First, we got a LOT of new investigators, 8 to be exact, but we're not completely sure how well they'll progress. A few of them are part members, others are referrals, and some we just found on the streets. I'll give you more specifics in the upcoming weeks based on their progress and testimonies. Hooray for Missionary Work!

Something not quite as awesome is an old lady who may or may not be related to one of our prime potential baptisms for the upcoming months. The investigator is Shervie Yape and the old lady is her grandmother. But I still don't KNOW if they're related. The Pilipinas is weird like that. Basically Shervie is afeared of her granny, because granny is a seventh day adventist and thinks we're sinners because we go to church on Sunday. Shervie has a testimony, but won't stand up for it! :( Ya, it's a bummer thing

I got to ride a bicycle this week. It was ridonk/ the best. I miss bicycles :P

Also, we bought a jackfruit.

Sorry, the letter lost detail REAL fast, because no more time. Love you!!

Elder Syphus

Look at me bein all suave drinkin out of a coconut shell like a man.

Silly Moses. Those are Roman Numerals.

Cause why not :)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 84 (Feb. 22, 2016 Gabaldon, Philippines)

Hey Mom :)

Aimmy sounds like a champ. That would be rough to go through. I cringed a little just reading it. Eee...
Glad to hear that Kami's got loads of love and support from friends and the Fam! I'm excited (but not trunky) to be a part of it in a few months!

So, as you know, President Nelson's visit was the highlight of the week. He shared a lot of interesting stuff, and it was rally cool to get it specialized to such a small group as a mission, rather than the whole church. He passed out a few topics, but marriage strangely seemed to be a big focus for most all of the speakers.... :P I think what President Nelson hit the hardest, however, was sustaining your leaders, especially the Mission President. It was a really good meeting, and I got a deal out of it. Oh ya, and I got to sing to another Apostle. That's four now :D

Love you Mom! I'll have more time next week, hopefully.

Elder Syphus

PS. Ya, I think two americans is kinda rare.Don't quote me though :P

Here are some pictures that I found of Joel during Elder Nelson's visit on the Angeles Mission Blog. It is so good to see him so happy. He's been such an obedient and hard working missionary. Very grateful for him!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Mission Trainer

Week 83 (Feb. 15, 2016 Gabaldon, Philippines)

Hey Mom!
Thanks for the picture! I do!! :D :D
I'm training now. His name is Elder Stebe from Arizona
It's hectic but tons of growth... and fun too I guess ;)
I love my sisters, their the coolest.
My brothers are pretty as well, no worries. no "other" brothers out there ;)
still in gabaldon
lots of part members coming through the system. all got lots of potential.
rose alde not working for feb. didn't go to church.. march na. with her husband and a bunch of others hopefully
pray for:
andy alde
rose ande
rose bermundo
jhonel alfonso

Love you!!

No time soz

Elder Syphus

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 82 (Feb. 8, 2016 Gabaldon, Philippines)

Hi Everyone!!!!

Updates this week are more than not, because I actually wrote stuff down today :P

The Galvez family is sort of gone now :( We are still teaching Lawrence, the 16 year old, but his Dad left town for work, and the Lawrence's two brothers are never home. Lawrence isn't making too much progression as of now. He prays, but won't read the Book of Mormon except for on Sundas because he says he's busy at school. He's yet to go to church, even though we've tried multiple times to accompany him. We won't give up though. He could still make it if we just really push with him. All things are possible with the Lord's help! :D

All is not lost, though. We do have a sort of super investigator right now. Her name is Rose Alde, and her father-in-law is the Elders Quorum President. We actually taught Rose for the first time my first day in the area, but her father-in-law kept telling us not to waste our time with her, and she didn't seem all that interested when we taught her anyway (but now that I look back on it, it's probably because her baby started screaming and crying about halfway through the lesson. We sort of just ended after that). However, last Sunday, she randomly showed up to church with her daughter, and so when we started to try and teach her again later that day, she said how much she loves Sacrament Meeting because it's like her all her problems go away, and that whenever she reads the Book of Mormon, it's like reading road signs down the path to Heaven or something (she used a lot of short cuts in her text. Tagalog texting linggo is a lot more confusing then english texting linggo.)

There's also another investigator named Rose who is also sort of the coolest. She was a former investigator who was almost baptized, but she moved and so wasn't able to baptized. However, she's returned and she still really wants to be taught and baptized, but the problem right now is her job. Sometimes she can't make it on Sundays, but if there's a will, there's a way, right? She loves the Gospel, and lives with a member family, so we should see some awesome stuff with her. February... A month of Roses ;)

Times up, next week! Love you!

Elder Syphus

Carabou :)

Tatay Ceriaco

Like Abnegation from Divergent

Elder Dala's love life ;)

Super ganda ang area namin

2 Nephi 1

23 Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the chains with which ye are bound, and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust.

24 Rebel no more against your brother, whose views have been glorious, and who hath kept the commandments from the time that we left Jerusalem; and who hath been an instrument in the hands of God, in bringing us forth into the land of promise; for were it not for him, we must have perished with hunger in the wilderness; nevertheless, ye sought to take away his life; yea, and he hath suffered much sorrow because of you.

Awesome scripture I found during my personal study. Nephi is an awesome typification of Christ. Sorry. My companion is getting mad at me. Gotta go. Love you Mom!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 81 (Feb. 1, 2016 Gabaldon, Philippines)

Dear Mom,

You're completely true in what you say. TIME MOVES TOO FAST. I'm just super stoked for when eternity starts. I think. Do you think Heavenly Father gets nostalgic? I hope not. Because that would mean that becoming like Him wouldn't necessarily get rid of nostalgia. I think I've become more pensive again since I got to Gabaldon, just because of how much the scenery and area remind of Pine Valley and home in general. Not a sad, homesick sort of pensivity (that word's not real), just a state of being where my companion worries about me because I stare off in the distance and don't say anything for a really long time :P

Anyhoo, we had baptisms this week!! When the day of the baptism actually showed up, I started thinking about how much you already knew about these lucky three who were about to make eternal and saving covenants with their Father in Heaven, and then I realized you don't know ANYTHING about them yet!! Oh no!! The reason I didn't write about them in previous weeks is because they were just so awesome right off the the bat, there was no super noticeable growth to share about! Sersly, though. They're the coolest. But now that I think harder, you may know a little about them. I'll tell you more though.
The first is Tatay Ceriaco! Ceriaco Del Moro Anulacion is 76 years old and was baptized on January 30, 2015. His Grandson-in-law was supposed to baptize him, but didn't show up because of work, so they asked me to do it. I was honored, of course! I love teaching old people, especially because of how much they surprise you! You teach them and they're old so you think they don't understand, especially because they're really pensive as well, but then you ask them about their testimony and you get blown off your feet! That's what Tatay Ceriaco is like. Plus he's got a great smile :)
The next is Alyssa Delos Santos Alfonso, whom I also had the pleasure of baptizing. She's 12, and still struggles a little with remembering everything we teach, but that's just part of being a kid I guess. She's really happy and fun, and she has great family support, because her Mom was also just baptized! Jonalyn Delos Santos Alfonso (Alyssa's mom) actually wasn't where the missionaries goaled. Alyssa was a referral from her aunt, Jonalyn's sister (who is also the wife of the Branch President in Baler), but Jonalyn also got really interested in the discussions. They both have beautiful testimonies, and already have great member relationships, which will keep them strong in the church. Elder Dala got to baptized Sister Jonalyn :)

The best part about the whole experience? They were River Baptisms. Boo yah! Haha! Joke, that of course wasn't the best part, but is pretty bomb to perform baptisms in a river. The current was actually stronger than any of us expected, and Tatay Ceriaco is kind of stiff from his age, and so after I dunked him and was bringing him back up, my foot slipped on the rock beneath me, the current dragged my other foot out from under me, and after shoving Tatay on to his feet, I went under... It was awesome, and technically not swimming because it was an accident. Plus Tatay made it through the whole ordeal without a scratch, so everyone wins! :D

So, that was the main focus of the week. Quick update on the rest: Tuesday was Zone Interviews with President Clark. Awesome as always. Wednesday was a WORLDWIDE MISSIONARY BROADCAST. The first in a decade, and that wasincredible try to find it on if you can. After the baptisms on Saturday, we went up to Dingalan to interview one of their baptismal candidates, who also has a rock hard testimony and will be baptized on Feb 6. And then earlier we spent 4 hours deep cleaning our apartment! So ya. In short, I love being a missionary, the gospel is true, and EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!! :D :D :D

Love you!!
Elder Syphus

PS Maybe one or two more Persa Gels, but honestly, don't worry about it. I don't want you to keep spending money on me when you and Dad already sacrifice so much. I'd honestly much rather you to buy me a gallon of milk when I get home :)

Ceriaco, Alyssa, and Jonalyn :)

We also were able to go up to Dingalan and witness the baptisms in their area, just this last Saturday. I didn't get any pictures of the actual baptism, but the area was beautiful