Monday, September 28, 2015

Week #50 - Now a trainer and in a new area

September 28, 2015


Well this past week has been awesome and an adventure! Opening an area and training is something that really is a challenge but I have been enjoying it thus far! We are in Alang-Alang which is in Tacloban zone! I am in my very first ward!

My new companion and my trainee is Elder Clark. He is from California and he is so excited to be here in the mission! I have been so impressed with him so far! He has no fear to speak the language and speaks at every opportunity he gets! The people here love it!! He is chill and easy going and really just rolls with everything!  Also this morning I had the opportunity to teach my companion how to do laundry! Every time I look at him I am reminded of myself about 10 months ago! (that's weird to say) It's really hard having to lead everything as a trainer because the trainee doesn't really know anything. But Elder Clark is catching on so fast!

So yeah the work here has been pretty hard the past few days because we have had to find everyone in the ward! We have done a lot of walking and talking which has been great for Elder Clark who says he wishes we had a car because we walk so much! We have found a lot of the members and along the way we found a lot of new investigators also! This area is so awesome! Just this morning someone we talked to on the street texted us and said he wanted us to come visit him and his family. He even said he was going to invite his parents also! So we started off the day happy! Yesterday we had some ward missionaries come work with us and the ward mission leader! So they took us on pretty much a tour of the entire area! So hopefully this week we can do a little better is teaching lessons and not just getting lost!!

We had a couple good lessons this week but there was one that really stuck out to me! We were teaching an RM and her recently converted husband. Their son is currently in jail because he was a member of a gang that assaulted a minor. He wasn't involved in the assault but he was watching. Anyways the mother is having a really hard time with it so we shared Elder Clark's favorite scripture verse, 2 Nephi 22:2, and taught her about trust and that God knows our pains.

But yeah that's pretty much it for this past week. I love you all!

Elder Child

*The picture is of Brett and his new trainee, Elder Clark.  He currently has a brother serving in the Kennewick Mission and is working in Pasco right now.  Small world!
*The Ward he serves in now had 123 in attendance on Sunday, which is quite a change from previous areas.
*He said his new apartment is awesome, but didn't elaborate.

*He got his hump day box and opened it already (Stinker!!).  Thank you again to everyone that sent a picture or wrote a note of encouragement for him.
*The bottom pictures were posted on the Mission facebook page when the new missionaries met their trainer

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Week #49

September 21, 2015


Well this was definitely the happiest week of this entire transfer!! I got a new companion for a week. His name is Elder Simona and he is from Samoa. I met him in the MTC and he was in my zone.

So this week is transfer week. Me and my companion are both transferring and I will miss this area so so much :( I just received a call from the mission president as I was typing this and I will be training a new missionary in a new area. So that's pretty exciting!!

This week was good and we had a lot of success in the work. Our sacrament attendance shot up like crazy this past week and I was so happy to see our meeting house bursting with an outstanding 50 people!! My comp is an amazing teacher and he has really been backing me up in lessons which is a change from a few weeks ago! I'm thankful for the short amount of time I have had to serve with him and I have learned a lot. But bad news. We will have to extend the baptismal date for the Alcala family because they are not yet ready to be baptized sadly. Hopefully the next missionaries can work on that!

The branch is very sad that I will be transferring. I have been here for 4 months and everyone here is like family. I will miss this are a lot and I hope I have the opportunity to return here again. Today we have about 17 dinner appointments so let's hope I can walk by the end of the day.

Well that's pretty much it for the week! My spiritual thought comes from the sermon of King Benjamin again. In Mosiah 2:22 we can learn that all God requires of us is to keep his commandments and if we do this we will be blessed and prosper.

I love you all!!!

Elder Child

*He will be transferring to a new area on Thursday and will be training a new missionary for the next 12 weeks.  I asked if he would get to speak the same language and he joked that the missionaries there call that mission the "Tower of Babel Mission."  President Maurer told him that he would continue speaking Waray Waray so that is a relief.
*Pic 1 - from last weeks district activity hiking and eating coconuts
*Pic 2 - With Elder Castillo in the hospital.  Brett was there for three days with him and made a bed out of those two chairs.  He said they were happy to be in a ward there that had air conditioning.
*Pics 3-6 - With his new companion, Elder Simona.  Picture 4 is a plate of adobo ng baboy, basically pig.  Brett said he cooked that meal and it was basically a plate of fat that was "so so good."

*Pic 7 - Combined zone conference last week.  You can see Brett on the end of the left side.

Week #48

October 14, 2015


Well this week was crazy and I don't even know how to start off.

My comp went to the hospital. Actually three different hospitals and now he will be going to a fourth one in Manila!! He had three seizures. It happened on Wednesday night. We were all done with work and we had just eaten dinner at a members house and we were about to head home when I look over at my companion and he is completely stiff and crying. So thinking quick, like I always do, I picked him up. I don't have any idea why. But as soon as I picked him up he went unconscious. So we shoved him in a tricycle and took him to the Gandara Hospital (really just a hole in the wall place) and they told us they didn't know what was wrong with him. Thanks a lot. But while we were there he had two more seizures each progressively getting worse. So they shoved an IV in has arm and said we had to go to Catbalogan because they have better equipment! So we climbed in an ambulance and went to Catbalogan. Then when we got there and we got out of the ambulance and we were all in the hospital they told us we had to go to Tacloban because they didn't know what was going on either. So we climbed back in the ambulance and went to Tacloban. We arrived at the hospital in Tacloban at about 2 in the morning! Then they fixed the IV in his arm cause the people in Gandara didn't even put it in right! Then we went to sleep! The next day he had a CT scan and a neuro test. They found no cause for the seizures but did find an oversized lobe in is head. So on Wednesday he will be going to Manila and I will be getting a new companion tomorrow!

My spiritual thought comes from the Missionary White Handbook. P.53 "In all ways be wise and mature in your conduct". The First Presidency is very bold.

Well that's it for this week! Haha thanks for everything all of you do! I love you!

Elder Child


He could not upload any pictures this week so hopefully he gets a good computer at the cafe next week.  His district went on a hiking activity yesterday and picked coconuts.  They drank the milk then made shakes out of the coconut meat.  He said it was very sweet and delicious.  While at the hospital he got to sleep on a "bed" made out of 2 chairs.  Super comfy for a tall guy!  The sister that he apologized to accepted his apology and acknowledged that her intentions and words were not meant to be kind.  The Alcala family continues to progress.  Before his companions issues on Wednesday they had a great few days working.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Week #47

September 7, 2015


Well this past week has been full of ups and downs but mostly downs.

To start off with the daughter of the Alcala family and her fiance broke up and they will not be getting back together. The ex-fiance will no longer be getting baptized. That was a night full of sadness to find that out. Also a less active family told us that they will no longer be going to church. Reason is because the mom and dad don't want to set an example for their kids and they feel like the kids just need to figure things out for themselves. The parents told us they don't need the Gospel in their lives and the kids don't need the Gospel in their lives. To be honest I got angry. My patience has been very short this week with everything going on. I chastised the parents hard core, and the Mother even started crying. I feel so bad and we will be returning today so I can ask for forgiveness. Not good.

On the bright side we did set a baptismal date for 5 of our investigators on October 3 so hopefully they can keep going and make it to that date!!

My spiritual thought this week can be found in Mosiah 3:19. We need to put off the natural man and be completely submissive to Gods will.

Sorry for the short letter but my brain is fried right now! I love you all and thank you for your support!

Elder Child

#1 - Gandara - he sure loves this area!
#2 - Brother Tan - he is the first counselor in the Branch Presidency.  Brett says Bro. Tan is his favorite person there.
#3 - pretty hills
#4 - monkey boy!
#5 - Brett's zone
#6 - another picture of his area in Gandara

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Week #46

August 30, 2015

Hello! (week #46 according to my mom but who's counting?)

Well this week has been awesome! I feel like I say that every week but it's true because every week in the mission is awesome in one way or another!! It was also very busy! Loaded with exchanges, weekly planning, and a specialized training given by President and Sister Maurer and the AP's!

But before we get to all that boring stuff I have some awesome news! So Juvielyn Alcala and her boyfriend are getting married this week!!!!! And the grandpa and grandma we teach are also getting married this week!!!! This family is so amazing. We actually found out Saturday night and the first thing they asked is "When can we get baptized?" This family is so amazing and this is exactly how investigators should be! Them dragging the missionaries to baptism and not the other way around! So last night we started reteaching them again just to refresh their memories and to start preparing them for baptism. We taught the Restoration of the Gospel and it was an awesome lesson! Something I have realized on my mission is that every time we teach about Joseph Smith the spirit is there without fail! It's an awesome feeling! Also I learned something during the lesson! One of the investigators asked nga "If we pray and ask god do we receive an answer straight away?". This was my learning experience and this is when the spirit is so so important in missionary work. I didn't know the answer. So I just trusted the spirit and started talking and it was so amazing how the spirit guided me in answering her question! I realized that we can receive an answer right away but it also takes FAITH and WORKS. If we don't prove that we really want to learn then of course we won't receive an answer.

This week all the missionaries assigned in Samar received a training from President Maurer and the AP's. The training they gave was on teaching skills. They based their training on the teachings of Ammon to King Lamoni in Alma 17-18. So much is learned from the example of Ammon. Also they based their training off the example of Peter when he trusted in the Lord and walked on water. They taught us that as missionaries we have to be willing to jump out of the boat. When we are in our comfort zone there is no change. When there is no change there is no progression and, in essence, perfection and we can't possibly become those missionaries Heavenly Father needs us to be.

Well that's it for this week! Thank you for all your love and support!!

Elder Child

Pic 1 - Brett and his District
Pic 2 - some, but not all, of the investigators that they had at church on Sunday
Pic 3 - "some pretty cool kids"
Pic 4 - Brett is a little tall compared to the Filipino people
Pic 5 - he ran into his first mission trainer