Kumusta po family!
Thank you for the emails! That's actually pretty awesome that an article was written about Herbert & Jazamin, brought back many memories. Herb's a stud! I hope jogger pants is still a thing when I get home because I bought like 6 and can't go back now haha. Congratulations too to everyone else!
This computer's a little weird so I may not be able to send pictures this time. But Elder Marquez and I had another great week! On Wednesday I attended a New Leaders Training meeting in Cauayan where President & Sister Hiatt and the Assistants taught us our responsibilities as new District, Zone, and Sister Training Leaders. Something President Hiatt said that stood out to me was having "simple faith". Sometimes we think too much about what to do or how to act. If we can just simply be obedient and do what we know is right, things will end out okay. This is what he said about simple faith/obedience, "It's easy, and it's safe. You'll never go wrong." I'm trying to implement that better in my own life since there are many times when we think one thing is more important than a "simple" mission rule.
Did I tell you guys there was a Hawaiian here? Brother Ken Arima, a member from O'ahu, owns a company here in our area! What's super cool is he only visits the Philippines for about a week, about 3 times a year, and I just so happened to be here when he visited! It's cool since there aren't any other Hawaiian missionaries here. What are the odds? It was actually a testimony builder for me that God does have perfect plans for everyone. Brother Ken said he doesn't come here to make money, but to help people. He's known in that whole area as someone who just gives and gives and gives. He'll look for those in need and help them in any way possible. I heard he's even given houses to people. From what I understand he also played a big role in the building of a chapel in our area. He's a great example of someone who has charity, which is the pure love of Christ. Something funny I realized while speaking with him (side note) is that I now speak English like a white person. I thought I was out here learning Tagalog, but I guess I learned English too haha. Not gonna lie though missed the pidgin and will love hearing it every day again. Brother Ken gave a great talk yesterday on the Atonement. It's not fair that Christ died for us. It's not fair that because of our sins He had to suffer. It hurts every time I think about the Atonement and remember that He felt and paid for every single dumb thing I've done and will do. But I love Him for that. I hope the branch understood his talk and made changes or will now make changes in their lives.
Another sister gave a great talk as well on complaining. She said, "The more we complain, the harder life is gonna get." There's this pattern I've noticed about myself where I'll always fall back into an attitude of complaint every now and then. On Saturday I was hit, for the first time, with the thought that someday I won't be remembered here. I'm now one of the older missionaries and members tend to care more about welcoming and helping the newer ones. I can imagine that being one of the reasons those going home tend to stop caring; because it seems like others stop caring about them. What's sad is it's almost normal for older missionaries to become disobedient just before going home, so the members kind of just expect it sometimes. It makes it a little harder to have the desire to keep going hard, but it'd be dumber to give in so that's not an option haha. Anyway I complained about that pretty good to the Lord but thanks to Him and that talk given by the sister I was lifted again.
Later on we'll be looking for less-active families we haven't met yet. The verse we're planning to share is Moroni 4:3, where the sacrament prayer is found. I dug deep into that verse earlier so I can teach it clearly, and I learned some really cool things. We recognize Heavenly Father as the father of everything, being the most powerful. We converse with Him in the name of Jesus Christ since Christ is the key/ the only way to get to Him. He sanctifies the bread and water we partake of as a symbol of Christ's life and Atonement. We promise Heavenly Father that we will take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, always remember Him, keep His commandments, and endure to the end. And He promises in return to bless us with the Spirit always. If we're not feeling the Spirit at all times, we should evaluate ourselves and see if we really are staying true to our promises. I know what I need to work on and will do that this week.
I love you guys! Thank you again for the emails! Oh also, what time do you guys wanna skype? Let me know :)
Mahal ko po kayo,
Elder Marquez, me, brother Ken, Elder Tabucol, Elder Wadsworth