Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Week #63 - Merry Christmas

December 27, 2015

Merry Christmas!!!

Well this past week has been so fun and my companion and I really enjoyed our Christmas together. It truly was the most wonderful time of the year!

So we are finally getting adjusted to our new area. Albuera is literally the best place on earth and we are so learning so much here. I don't think we have been hungry since the day we arrived here due to the kindness of the members here! We get fed every day and it's a little bit too much every day. I think I have gained at least 10 pounds... Blessings!!! So speaking of blessings we saw a lot this past week. First was the multi zone mission conference that we had on Wednesday. Half the mission got to come together and celebrate Christmas. Also every body here in the mission got a package for Christmas. Everybody was so so grateful for the kindness of the people that put together gifts for missionaries. 

Then Christmas came! My companion and I woke up at about six and went crazy opening our packages. Skyping was so fun and I am happy I got to see all of you! Then we had the ward Christmas party! I think more people showed up to the party than actually show up to church! But it was still awesome and filled with karaoke, dance contests, and a massive gift exchange.

Work was awesome. The ward we are currently serving under has placed their focus on less actives. So we have been helping them with that and we have also found less actives that nobody knew existed!  

My spiritual thought this week comes from 1 Nephi 4:15-16. This takes place when Nephi is commanded by the Lord to go back to Jerusalem so he can retrieve the brass plates. As he is there contemplating he remembers these things. I would like to relate it it our lives. The scriptures are our guide. We learn of the the law of God by reading them and studying them. If we do not read then we cannot learn and we cannot possibly follow.  We need to make reading a priority in our lives!

Well that's it for this week! I love you all! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Elder Child

A little taste of home??

Brett & Elder Villanueva at the beach

 At the Mission Christmas celebration with his follow-up trainer

And with and Elder from his batch drawing a Thank You picture for the gifts that were sent over for all of the missionaries

With his companion, Elder Villaneuva

Elder Child with his Christmas boxes.  He actually set out his stockings for Christmas morning and waited to open his gifts - quite a change from last year!

from Brett: "We ate the goat!!!  This is the delicious thing while it is being skinned"

 Enjoying a ride with a Ward missionary in the back - funny!

From Brett: "A super decorated house.  The only one like this in the entire city"

 Being silly!

 The Albuera Christmas tree

We sent him this Christmas tree - here are the before and after pictures

 Elder Villaneuva with is Christmas box

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Week #62 - Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2015


Well not much time has passed since my last email so I will try and make this work!!

This area is awesome! I think I mentioned in my last letter that it's paradise but it really is! It's so beautiful here and it's awesome to be able to walk out of the apartment and look out over the ocean! The roads here are lined with Christmas lights and you can just feel the spirit of Christmas here! 

The work has been a little difficult in the past few days I have been here. Everybody is really busy and they just don't have the time to listen. But we got to visit a lot of less actives this past week and a lot of them even came to church! Speaking of church it was awesome! The members here in Albuera are so kind and willing to help! They have been so good with showing us around and helping us this past week! We appreciate their help.

Cebuano is awesome! It's kind of similar to Waray-Waray but not really! It's been a challenge learning it but I can now do pretty much everything I could do in Waray-Waray! The gift of tongues truly is appreciated! Especially when it helps you learn a language in a week! Only in this mission do you have to be worried about being transferred to a new language.

Just got this from some sister missionary:

     I am one of the sister missionary who received the gift you made. Thank you for the service and time for          preparing that thing for us- it will really a big help for me for teaching the people. 

     This Christmas, may the Lord bless you a bountiful blessings. May you always feel the Spirit of Christmas in    your heart. Thank you. and may God bless your family.

     Love, Sister Marcos

Well that's pretty much all I have for this week! I will have more next week!
Quote: "Obedience is something you do. Righteousness is something you are" -Chad Lewis

Elder Child

*The sister missionary who sent a thank you note must have received a Plan of Salvation kit that we made last year.  Brett had signed some cards before he even left for his mission and one mission must have had some left over and gave them out this year.  So sweet to get a thank you letter!
Pics 1-4: Brett with his former companion, Elder Clark; pictures of the Alang-Alang Branch at the farewell party for Brett

Pic 5: Elder Child and Elder Villaneuva, his new companion

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week #61 - New Area & Companion

December 15, 2015


Well this past week will be a week I probably will ever forget!! Everybody in Alang-Alang knew I would be transferring so they all prepared for it. This past Friday we had a ward home evening which they dedicated to me. They all took moments to say goodbye to me and then to end it off with a bang the closing prayer was "God be with you till we meet again". It truly was an amazing experience and I could feel the love in the room. Then this past Monday we had a family home evening at the Rapajon family's house. They prepared a song for me and it was an amazing experience. I will truly miss the Alang-Alang ward.

So I am now 14 months into my mission and I have family been assigned into an area that speaks the language stated in my call letter, Cebuano!!! I am now assigned in Albuera. It's a small little town on the side of the ocean but also really close to Ormoc City! Our apartment overlooks the ocean and it is so beautiful! My companion is Elder Villanueva and he is so awesome! I am happy to be assigned with him. He has been in the mission 18 months! It has been a long time since I have been a junior companion so I am happy for this opportunity that I have to be taught instead of teaching!

Just a quick update on Alang Alang since I have been in this area for less than 24 hours. This past Sunday we had the highest attendance that Alang-Alang has had in over a year! 160!!! It was so awesome to see so many people there.

Elder Clark and I really enjoyed our last week together! It was a sad day to split up but I know he will do awesome! I learned so much from my companionship with him!

Well that's it for this week. My spiritual thought this week comes from the story of the brother of Jared in the book of Ether. When he was commanded to build barges he encountered a large problem. They had no light to travel in. So he prayed to the Lord for help and the Lord pretty much told him to figure it out for himself! So the brother of Jared made rocks and asked the Lord to light them. The moral I get from this story is that we don't go to the Lord with questions. We try to figure it out for ourselves first and then we go to him with solutions and ask for his help!

Oh also Elder Adern of the first quorum of the Seventy came to the mission last week. He taught us as a mission and called my companion and I out of everybody to teach President and Sister Maurer in front of the entire mission. Then he evaluated us. So yeah just another fun thing.

Well thank you all for your love and support! I love you all!

Elder Child

*No pictures this week because the computer he was on had a ton of viruses.
*We will get to skype with Brett on Christmas Eve - just 9 more days!!!

Week #60

December 7, 2015


This week there was a beluga whale having a seizure on my bed. A dog somehow got onto our roof. And a one and a half year old kid smoked a cigarette.

Well this week has been quite eventful as you can see from the first paragraph. But of course a lot more spiritual things happened to pass by! Including but not limited to helping a man solve his word of wisdom problem, a dropped investigator that out of the blue decided to be baptized, and random people deciding to join in on lessons!

So lets start with the first. Tatay Macasil is a less active that was baptized last July. This week as we were out tracting we just happened to see him out on the street smoking cigarettes. So next time we visited him we of course taught the Word of Wisdom. Turns out this man has been struggling with this problem for like 20 years and he really needs help solving it. We could see a desire in him to change so we helped him create a plan to stop. He readily agreed and hopefully it all works out!! Second is about Katherine. So she was a referral from a couple weeks ago but decided she didn't want to listen anymore due to no family support or anything. But this past week she told her member friend that she wants to be baptized because she read the Book of Mormon! Brothers and sisters I would like to testify to you all of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The words contained in those pages are powerful and have changed and will continue to change lives. Let us make reading the Book of Mormon a priority in our lives. I promise that families will be strengthened, faith will grow, and miracles will happen. I encourage you all to develop your own testimony in the Book of Mormon. Third, random people wanting to listen to lessons. This week as we were teaching a part member, a man was walking by and we just shot a quick hello to him and he decided he wanted to listen. He had lots of input and even asked if he could go to church. Sadly he didn't show up but it was an awesome experience!

Alang-alang is still progressing amazingly!! Oh have I mentioned that alang-alang literally means to meditate? Just a fun fact! Our branch continues to do better and they are all becoming more and more involved in the work! Sadly this will be my last week in this area so I better enjoy it!

Elder Clark and I are killin' it here and it feels so good to be in a working companionship! He has truly been a blessing in my life and has taught me so much! He is going to do great in the mission!

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

Elder Child

Pic 1 - his "gwapo companion" Elder Clark
Pic 2 - dog on the roof

Pic 3 - a returning less-active family