Thank you for your wonderful emails! I enjoyed mom's about helping youth to understand that we are all children of a Heavenly Father and King. I never doubted that I was, but times still come every now and then where I forget what that means. We're especially blessed as members of His church to have modern-day prophets and apostles who remind us of our duties and responsibilities as His children. Herbert, as our mission prep. teacher in the past, showed us a really cool talk called, "Why the 1820's", which I got a copy of here in the mission and listen to every now and then. The speaker, Hyrum Smith (not that one), shares facts and his testimony as to why he believes the Gospel wasn't restored until 1820, so many years after the Great Apostasy began. Towards the end he spoke to the audience and reminded them of their divine relationship with God. He said, "If you knew who you were before you came here, it'd scare you" and "we don't have the right to do all that dumb stuff" referring to the immoral & unclean problems that people face today. We're more important than we think! Imagine how God feels every time He sees us, having so much potential, give-in so easily to temptation.
I also love that story you shared, dad. Easily one of my favorites that you shared with us as kids. I also shared that a couple times here in the mission, whenever it felt right to share. Sorry, I should've asked your permission first. It is a sacred experience and it's the coolest thing to be a son of such a spiritual giant. I like that you pointed out the covenants that God makes with us. I forget more than often that the covenants He makes with His children will always stand as long as they keep their covenants with Him. I'll make it a goal this week to take that extra step of faith everyday. And I hope that that story is used to strengthen the testimonies of others and their desires to act on faith and attend the temple more regularly!
As for me and Elder Doctolero, we're doing really well. Did I tell you guys about how my anak, Elder Umpat was so quiet? Elder Doctolero is the same haha. He's not very shy, just not super confident when speaking. Sometimes I almost flip-out because I can't hear him, but other than that he's the best haha. I love working with and learning from him. He's easily one of the most humble companions I've had and teaches very sincerely. He's also on-time with literally everything which I'm hoping rubs off on me by the time we split.
Our work here continues to move forward. We're finding new people and are figuring out who of them are and aren't ready to continue in learning about the gospel. One of our progressing investigators, Ryan, opened up to us in one of our lessons last week. He was really progressing a couple months ago, going to church every week, praying, reading, etc. But because of his Word of Wisdom problem he got shy and stopped asking us to teach him. The other day he told us that he still hasn't overcome his problem fully but realized that he won't be able to do so by distancing himself from God. I thought that was such a cool thing, and the true definition of a man. A real man will acknowledge his weaknesses yet stay close to the Lord and trust that He will help him to become better.
Alright sorry, this computer is super slow and our time is up. One quick thing though. I met a nanay yesterday who had just returned home recently after spending 6 months in Hawai'i! They were in Kona but visited Hilo many times. It got me missing home pretty good haha. We also got to share with them (her and her sister & friends there) the gospel and our purpose as missionaries before leaving. Hopefully they'll continue to listen to us.
I love you guys! Thank you again for the emails and for being so firm in the faith. I should be the one strengthening you guys but it always seems to be the other way around haha. Have a great week!
Mahal na mahal ko po kayo,
Splits with the assistants