Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 89 (Mar. 27, 2016 Gabaldon, Philippines)

Hi Mom,

Amparo and her husband did go to church yesterday, and they LOVED it!! We made sure nothing happened to them, and the members were especially loving and helpful. Their main concern however is actually their relationship. As in, they're not yet actually married. They need to get all these different form and records, and are afraid they won't be able to afford it, plus the expenses of traveling all the way out to Cabanatuan to get it all, but Elder Strebe and I aren't getting up on the them. We've talked to a bunch of different members about how much each form is going to cost, and working to find someone going down to the City for an errand in the next few weeks that can take Amparo and Mateo with them to get their records. We've had a lot of discussion with Amparo and Mateo about how it's all going to work, and built a little plan for them to save up the money needed out of the small income they actually get. Their diligence and determination is just so inspiring and I love it!! We've moved their goal date for the 23rd, hoping the extra week will give us the time to iron out any other wrinkles, and get them safely and worthily into the waters of baptism. Missionary work is the coolest! :D :D :D

In less exciting news, I got a letter form President Clark today. Basically it's just a letter reminding me that I'm going home soon :( It was actually really depressing and kind of nerve wracking to leave. I'm not ready yet!!! I'm kind of freaking out, trying not to remember the upcoming date and event, but then he starts sending me stuff like that and BOOM! Dream world shattered. Bennett Olsen sent me a letter last week about how he made sure he completely forgot about it until like 4 days before and then it hit him like a ton of bricks. I've still got quite some time left, and I already feel like that. Nooooooooo!!!!!!

We're still having a good time here in Gabaldon though. We had exchanges again with Dingalan elders, and I got to work with my old pal, Elder Fresnoza. It was a fun time, and we got good stuff done. The mission is great, and I'm going to miss it like crazy, but not yet!!

Love you so much Mom!!! Next week!!

Elder Syphus

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 88 (Mar. 21, 2016 Gabaldon, Philippines)

Haloo Mum,

We have a lot of kids from Australia in our Zone, and we totes​(Australian slang for 'totally')​ just hung with them at the beach earlier today. It's okay though, we didn't go swimming because that's bawal
​(taboo in English)​. But ya, we are ​back to Dingalan with the Zone and hiked up to the Light House again! It was really high and windy and I loved it. Took lots of pictures, and I'll try to send them if I've got time. We got back a little late, so... Haha, ya.

The work here is BOOMING!! You still remember the 30 Testifying Contacts? Course you do, cause you're my Mom :) Ya, we got it, every single day this week. I don't think I've ever made so many friends in my life in such a short period of time. We're teaching a few of those 220 people we contacted (exceeded our goal by 10), and they seem like they could really progress. We have one family that we're focusing on right now, the Pamintuan Family, which is Jemmalyn, Imelda, Marrita, and Virgillio. Virgillio had a stroke and can't walk very well, but he likes listening, and is sort of the driving force to get the family going. They were supposed to go to church this week, and we had made plans with them and everything to bring a tricycle to their house so Virgillio could come too, but when we got there, they were all surprised and said "We thought that was next week!" ..... ...... ..... Ya, I don't know either. We were just like "Okay" and then left. We were late for church :(

Wanna know who DID come to church though? Nanay Amparo and her husband!! Nanay Amparo went last week, but this was her Husband's first time. It wasn't the best of times for them, however, and my blood still boils just thinking about it. They sat in the very front row, like we encouraged them to do, so they would have the best experience. Because we were late however, we weren't able to sit next to them, and so Nanay and Tatay had to endure the entire meeting listening to these two little kids right behind them talk about how bad they thought our investigators smelt. As soon as Sacrament was over, Amparo and Mateo bee-lined for the stairs and left before we could talk to them. We went to their home later the evening to see how it went, and Nanay just opened up to us and started bawling. I felt so ashamed... We testified really strongly of Heavenly Father's and Jesus Christ's love for them, and promised we would never let anything like that happen again. They committed to go back to church, which I think is a miracle in and of itself just because of how they were treated, and really shows how committed they are to this, despite being really poor and struggling in life right now.

So those are the main highlights of the week. I still get really frustrated thinking about those kids, but Nanay asked us not to worry about, and not go to confront anybody. Grr.

Anyhoo, love you Mom!!! The Mission Life is the coolest!!!\

Elder Syphus

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Week 87 (Mar. 13, 2016 Gabaldon, Philippines)

Hey Mom!

Sounds like you're all having a good time down there in St George :) We're making a lot of really good strides here in the area, and we're excited for April and May :) Jhonel is sort of progressing. He'll make it to his baptismal date, but the concern is his conversion. Granted, I wasn't necessarily converted, per se, when I was baptized at 8. I mean, how many 8 year olds are? He's 11, and spends most of the church block running around outside, and his Mom just lets him, but as long as he understands the doctrine.... what more can you do? Ugh.
Shervie is a different story :/ Her dad isn't any support, nor an example, because apparently, he never actually gave up smoking or drinking, and was baptized a few weeks before I got here. We want to talk to him about it, but he just barely left town to go paint a building for a few weeks. We actually learned from his non-member wife about his problems. No wonder she doesn't want us to teach her. She obviously doesn't see much of a change in her husband. :( Back to Shervie, though. She's still stuck in her current faith, the Sabadista religion, which is basically a whole church built around Saturday worship.
We do have some good news, however. Both Amparo Laguna and her brother, Alberto attended church yesterday!! We were so stoked!! We've been trying forever to get them to go and solve all these other concerns and everything but nothing ever worked. The miracle though, wasn't even with them. Remember the whole 30 Testifying Contacts a day? Well, I haven't been doing that as well as I should have been, ever since we got the counsel to do it. This week, however we changed that. I don't know why we changed it. We just knew we weren't doing what we were supposed to be doing, so we changed. And it's incredible the blessings the Lord gives!!! A bunch of our investigators attended church (some still only potential, not necessarily progressing), we found a bunch of people willing to listen and everything is awesome! Woohoo!! :D SO ya. The Spirit's the coolest, and I love the Gospel. We just have to do our part, and then the Lord is bound on His :) Yup. I <3 Missionary Work. All day 'ery day.

Just another quick news item, is the Zone Conference we just had. A bunch of super awesome workshops that helped a bajillion, and a good time to reminisce with old companions. Hooray for.... for everything, haha. I don't even know; I just wanna cheer and celebrate. "I've got the Holy Spirit in me!" (Name that movie) Love you!!!!

Elder Syphus

Prize inside my cereal box :D

That's a jackfruit. It's big :)

And tasty after you get all the alien fruit pods off the tentacles.

Cause why not :P

Love you agian!!

Elder Syphus

PS Happy Pi(e) Day :D

Zone Conference Mar. 9, 2016

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Week 86 (March 6, 2016 Gabaldon, Philippines)

Mom! Guess what!! I love you! :D

This week was enjoyable because our District is the coolest :) Remember how a few weeks ago (during last transfer), the Dingalan Elders were really struggling with the work? Ya, apparently it's because one of them just slept all day and refuse to leave the house unless it was to go to the Cyber and play computer games. Froop. Howevs, the District is carzy super awesome now, because that Elder is no longer plaguing us with his disobedience, and instead we have Elder Lewis from Springville Utah who is pretty much just ridonk dedicated the work and the Lord. He's exceeded the whole "30 Testifying Contacts" thing and is going for more like 45 a day. It's insanse (yup. insanse. with a se). So ya, we're pretty much the coolest #mnb #superhumble

So, Shervie went to church yesterday, as did Jhonel. Our BIG BIG focuses right now are those two, as well as Amparo and Mateo Ibarra. They're the coolest. Not married yet, casue they're poor and old, but when we told them it's God's way of blessing and helping our families, they were all like "Deal. Tomorrow." It didn't happen on that \'morrow but they'er still working to make it happen. Plus they really really really realy want of go to chgurch and are trying so hard to find a way to get there/ Sorry really fasdt type no time to correct. I love you mom so much!! I love being a missionary so much!! I dhad a dream that i was home already and it wat the worest!!!!!! I lvoe it our here a tons!!

Elder Syphus

(Cute email to Shaun and Katie)
Happy Anniversary Shaun!!!! You're sort of like a legend here in the Mission. Everyone knows you as "Elder Syphus' super Pogi brother."

You know what's awesome? I know for a fact that you and Katie have been married for exactly 2 years today, March 7th. Because 2 years ago yesterday, I opened my Mission Call, and then we went to Red Robbin (yum) for Dinner. I just told the waiter guy to give me whatever you ordered. Didn't regret it.

Anyhoo, you're the coolest and I love you!! Plus I was totally the fist person ever to tell you and Katie to get married. Don't believe me? I'll tell you when. You, Dad, and I just finished listening to the Priesthood Session of conference and we went over to Marv's afterwards for Dinner. You invited Katie to eat with us as a strictly "we're just friends, nothing romantic, cause we're besties" kind of hangout sesh. Then we ate and we're on our way home, and I said Hey Shaun, Marry her. You said, no we're friends. And then you got married :) You're Welcome.


Elder Syphus