Monday, November 30, 2015

Week #59 - Happy Thanksgiving

November 30, 2015


Well this week was the second Thanksgiving I haven't had with my family but as I was thinking about it I realized I have 3 more to go! Sad thought. But this week was absolutely awesome and we saw so many blessings in our work!!

To start off with we had 3 amazing baptisms this past Saturday! But it was a challenge. Everything that could have possibly gone wrong on Saturday went wrong! I think satan didn't want for these people to be baptized. The baptisms were scheduled to start at 11:00 Saturday morning so naturally my companion and I showed up at 9:00 to make sure everything was ok only to find that the water in the font looked like pond scum. So of course we thought let's just empty it then refill it but because it's the Philippines the water was just plain nasty coming out of the faucet. Then it started raining. Hard. Then we figured we might as well just do it in the next town over but then everybody would have to pay a fare to get over there. So of course we tried to find rides to get everyone rides and eventually we got two members to lend us their tricycles! Then the missionaries in the next area over texted us and told us we couldn't be there till 2:30. Basta a lot of things happened but the baptisms were a success and the spirit was so strong! Our converts were so grateful and it was a day I will always remember.

So this week was Thanksgiving right? So of course we decided to teach a less active family about giving thanks for everything and we even told them about Thanksgiving in America! So guess what they did! They told us to come over on Thursday night and that we were going to be celebrating Thanksgiving together! They even taught us how to cook!! We had a delicious combination of chicken dishes, pork dishes, and vegetables! So delicious and we even went around and said things we are grateful for!

Also this week I had the opportunity to help out at the dental mission that was here in Tacloban mission. They came to help people with their teeth and stuff all for free! Anyways on Tuesday we got to go and work as translators and I even got to help one of the dentists with an extraction! Coolest thing ever! I can't wait to be a dentist! Also dentistry in America is a lot different compared to here. While we were there a mom brought her kid in to get an extraction. The girl was about 10 years old and did not want to get her teeth pulled out. So of course they asked me to hold her down because I just happened to be the biggest person in the building. I kindly told them to get someone else because I was not going to hold the girl down. So I watched as some other people held her down as she was kicking and screaming so they could give her numbing shots and then pull out her teeth. People, be thankful you live in America!

All in all this week was so successful and we saw so many blessings. Elder Clark is now leading a lot of the lessons and he is doing so good in every phase of the work! We continue to get along great and sometimes we even tell each other jokes... haha just kidding there is never a serious moment between us! Basta you are all the best! Ginhigugma kamo nakon! 

Elder Child

Pics 1-2 - my future Dentist
Pic 3 - Jonas "our investigator; he is a funny guy and so awesome"
Pics 4-5 - Thanksgiving feast
Pic 6-7 - baptism

Pic 8 - the font full of "pond scum"

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week #58

November 22, 2015


Well this week was awesome and as you can see it was also full of exchanges!! So many learning moments and fun times! Also Elder Clark got to lead the area for the first time this past week! He is growing up so fast... haha

Anyways this past week we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders and our district leader. The were so awesome and I learned a lot! Especially from the zone leaders! One of the zone leaders, Elder Reynon, was my companion. He is an amazing teacher and he challenged me to do a couple things to get better at teaching! The first is to memorize the First Vision in Tagalog, one of the three languages I am trying to learn. I saw how effective it was in our teaching and it really helps to have it memorized when we go finding for new investigators. The second is to improve in teaching the 4 minute executive summary. The 4 minute is an amazing thing to use when you are out finding and everyone is just so busy that they only have like 5 minutes to listen to you. It's a summary of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we teach the 4 minute summary it invites the spirit to testify to the people that we are teaching that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God. We have so many blessings as we have tried to improve in this phase of the work.

Well Ryan Morfe, Elba Ancheta, and Pauline Ancheta have all gotten interviewed for baptism and they passed!!!! They will be getting baptized this coming Saturday and we are so excited to see them continue on their path back to our Father in Heaven. It is so amazing to see the gospel at work in peoples lives and the blessings they receive from it. As I see others gain happiness from the Gospel it boosts my testimony and makes me happy also. Missionary work is so amazing and I can't think of anything better I could do with my life than to serve the Lord.

This week we got a new investigator named Jerom. He is 18 years old and is currently going to college for banking. He is amazing. On our second visit to him this week we found out that he had read the entire pamphlet that we had given him and believed everything in  it. He is doing amazing and hopefully he continues to progress. We also have a progressing investigator right now named Jonas. He is in his early 20s and is an amazing man. When we first started teaching him he didn't take anything seriously and thought it was all a joke. But we have seen a huge change in him. He now reads the Book of Mormon regularly and believes it is true. This past week we committed him to baptism and he told us that he needs time to prepare himself and to repent before he gets baptized! The Lord is truly at work in his life.

Well on Saturday as we got home we discovered that the keys to our apartment had fallen out of Elder Clark's pocket as we were out working. So we tracked down where it was (a members house) and set off to go get it. As we were walking our cell plan expired. Then as we were walking home some kids decided to throw rocks at us. Good times in the Philippines. And I also almost stepped on a baby cobra. Snakes love me.

Well that's it for this week! My spiritual thought comes from Luke 15. The story of the prodigal son is an amazing story and I encourage all to read it and ponder it. Thank you for all you do!

Elder Child

Pic 1 - Elder Child and Sergio
Videos - taken during Zone Training Meeting - it's so fun to hear him speaking!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week #57

November 15, 2015


Well this week has been hard. Everybody this week has been busy working out in the fields harvesting their rice so it's been a lot of work for us but despite the trials we did some good work this week!

To start off with our Sacrament attendance jumped up again this week! We had a skyrocketing 141 in attendance with 3 less active families and 6 investigators!!! It was amazing! The Lord really did bless us for all of our hard work this past week!

So about our investigators. Ryan Morfe is still doing amazing! He can now read brief passages in Tagalog and remembers things way easier now! We taught him about the 10 commandments this past week and he had all of them memorized in less than 20 minutes! This is a huge improvement since 2 weeks ago where it took him a long time just to memorize 4 things! The Lord is really helping him in his life and we can see his testimony and faith growing every day! The Ancheta Family is also progressing fantastically. This week I think something finally just clicked for them and their desire has increased and they are doing so much better than before!

Something sad happened this week. Zyra told us that she no longer wants to keep investigating the church. But on the bright side her sister, Katherine, is very willing! Katherine is doing so awesome in her progression! She has already prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true and she said that she has received an answer!! She has gone to church twice and says she loves it! This week she even invited one of her friends to come and listen also! Its amazing to see the change that takes place in peoples lives as they learn about the gospel and feel the spirit! You can even see it in people that no longer want to investigate the church! They feel something different in their lives and they have tasted of the truth. It's just not their time.

So funny story! This week we got some amazing referrals from a member! The Lord must have seen that we were struggling so he gave us some awesome help! This week we will start teaching the Mayor of Alang-Alang, a woman that owns hotels and a jollibee in Tacloban, and her husband that owns a ton of jeepneys (a good source of income here in the Philippines)!!! We are so excited to start teaching these people! They are future leaders of the church and hopefully they can see and feel the truth of the Gospel.

So just some things that happened this week! One night as we were walking home after an appointment it was quite dark outside! And as we were walking I almost stepped on a massive anaconda that was just chilling in the middle of the road. Luckily I saw it because a motorcycle just happened to be passing by and its headlight pointed it out. But I guess people here in the Philippines don't really like snakes because the guy started running over the thing until it got away into the weeds. Second, Elder Clark attempted to cast out spirits.

Well that's it for this week! It's been good and the work is amazing! This truly is the Lord's work and I am so happy to be His representative. 

Elder Child

Pic 1 - that cat fell asleep on Brett's feet as he was teaching
Pic 2 - this is a combination picture of Brett on the left and his companion, Elder Clark, on the right
Pic 3 - Brett in goggles
Pic 4 - "We are just too gwapo"
Pic 5 - meeting with a member who has just returned from inactivity

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week #56

November 9, 2015


Well it's been a long time since I last emailed (not really!). But it's been fun! Oh yeah and our apartment is haunted.

Well first of all I want to start off with a quote from our amazing investigator, Ryan Morfe. So on Saturday we committed him to go to church again and he said, "Elders I already promised God I would go to church every Sunday". Of course he said that in Waray-Waray but it was still a legendary quote given by our best investigator! Also we had an amazing turnout at church yesterday with the attendance jumping up to 132 and with 7 investigators attending church! We are seeing blessings every day and we can really see the Lord's hand in our work!

So we have some new investigators that I have probably already told you about. Their names are Kathrine (21) and Zyra (19) and they were some referrals from a less active. Actually he became a fully active member this past Sunday! Basta these two girls are awesome and they are so interested to learn about the gospel! They have even been inviting their friends to come and listen to us also! We have set a baptismal date for December 12 so let's pray! Also we had a super spiritual lesson this past week with the Ancheta family. We taught about conversion and really learning for ourselves that the gospel is true. We shared Mosiah 5:2 and talked about having a change of heart. The lesson was amazing and you could feel the spirit testifying to everyone in the room. Including us. 

Well that's all that has pretty much happened this past week. We are still surviving and life is going good in Alang-Alang!

Elder Child

Picture 1 - Brett received his Halloween/Thanksgiving box just in time!
Picture 2 - a recently converted family and Sergio, a young man that is preparing to serve a mission and works with Brett & Elder Clark every day
Picture 3 - he said he sent this "because I just like it"

Friday, November 6, 2015

Week #55

November 3, 2015


Well this week has had so many miracles it has been amazing! Our work has been booming and the Lord is truly at work in the lives of the people we teach! Also the 1st counselor in the bishopric snorted pixy stix this week.

Well to start off with we have 2 more investigators on date! These are two referals from a returning less active that we are teaching! They are two sisters named Katherine and Zyra ages 21 and 20 and they are both in college for cooking so we can be expecting lots of delicious dinner appointments in the near future!!! Basta they are awesome and so receptive and we commited them to baptism on the first visit. Hopefully we can make that goal!

Also about our other IBDs. So I would like to start with Ryan Morfe! Ryan Morfe is our 23 year old part member who has a 5th grade education. He has been taught before but because he has a bad education he doesn't remember anything. But he has been improving so much! So this past week we were planning on teaching him the word of wisdom and the law of chastity but when we started teaching him he remembered everything and it was pretty much a review for him! He is being helped so much in his learning and knowledge! And then the Ancheta familly. These people are still progressing at amazing rates and they have such good motivation! Sadly we might have to move their baptismal date due to complications but no worries!

So some interesting things that happened this past week! To start off with there is a married couple in our branch that are both returned missionaries. So anyways we were talking to them one night and all of the sudden they told us that they have cousins in ISIS. So yeah that was kind of a shocker! Also I almost stepped on a cobra yesterday. A cat tried to get into our house so I kicked it out. We found some work out equipment and now Elder Clark and I are getting huge muscles. And we had a ton of less actives and inactives at church on Sunday!

Elder Clark is still doing great! He continues to impress members with his fast learning and is already and amazing teacher in Waray-Waray! We continue to work great together and have so many fun and faith building experiences! I can't believe we are already half way done with our companionship!

Well that's it for this week! Thank you so much for your love and support.

Elder Child

Pic 1 - "It started raining, so I used a leaf"
Pic 2 - the counselor "snorting" pixie stix

Pic 3 - Brett with Ryan Morfe and some kids