Sunday, November 24, 2013

Busy week in the Philippines

Hello everyone! 
This week was a really good week. It was one of the busiest and craziest weeks of my mission, but it was fun and so that makes it all worth it! For this week I'll give a day-by-day recap: 

Monday: P-DAY!! And then we had to get ready for our Zone Training because we had a TON of information to cover in 1.5 hours. 

Tuesday: We had a big service project with half of the mission (Elders only) to help repack relief goods for the people in Tacloban. We partnered with a tv company here that is called ABS-CBN, which is the second biggest tv company here in Manila. One of the actors for the network's name is Eruption and he is a returned missionary/ cousin to one of the ZL's here and so they invited us to come work with them. It was really cool to do the service and be on tv, but we also got to meet a bunch of celebrities and some really really pretty Filipina's (actresses.. :)) Haha and then later that day we had our Zone Training which worked out well. 

Wednesday: Zone Conference with President Revillo, which took almost the whole day and then my companion and I travelled with one of our DL's so we could do a baptismal interview for their investigator. That was my first interview! 

Thursday: We worked for most of the day, but at the end we were working in a dark area of our area and I couldn't see anything and we didn't have a light and I accidently fell into a gutter and if you know anything about the gutters here, they are gross. So I had to go wash off at a member's house (the bottoms of my pant legs, socks, and new shoes) but they smelled so bad that we had to travel like an hour back to our apartment so I could change.. 

Friday: Weekly Planning and then we had a working day and it was really good. 

Saturday: Service project with the Sister's in our zone to help one of their investigators rebuild a part of their house and then a Ward Missionary activity in the evening to train our ward missionaries (put on by us). 

Sunday: We had 14 investigators at church, including 10 YW age girls and so that was stressful trying to find people to fellowship.. Then we had a Stake meeting that took forever and we have another one this Sunday. 

Crazy week! 

Love you all! 

Elder Head

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A good week in the Philippines :)

Hello everyone! 
This week was a pretty good week! Monday and Tuesday were normal proselyting days because of P-Day/Temple Day on Wednesday. The temple was good and P-Day is always good and so that was fun. Thursday was a good day because we had MLC (mission leadership council). 

The meeting was good. We talked a lot about the mission obviously and the things that need to be improved. The big topic was about obedience (who would have thought that?). Haha it was good though because obedience is so important. One of my favorite scriptures I rediscovered this week was D&C 82:10. " I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." I really love what the Lord says here. As missionaries, and Church members in general, we have so many promised blessings if we will just be obedient. The Lord Himself has stated that He is "bound" to give to us the blessings and promises that have been declared unto us. What more reason to be obedient than that? 

A cool experience happened this week after MLC. The meeting lasted almost the whole day and at 7:00, my companion and another couple of Zone Leaders were walking together from the Mission Home to the Manila Temple because it is easier to catch a taxi from there. As we were walking down the road, a van stopped and asked us if we wanted a ride. They looked friendly and so we decided to get in the car. Sitting there in the seat in front of us was none other than Elder Ian S. Ardern of the Philippines Area Presidency and also of the First Quorum of the Seventy. (That's why didn't hesitate to take a ride from a stranger. Don't worry Mom, I still remember the phrase "stranger danger".) 

It was a really cool experience. He asked who were new Zone Leaders and me and the other ZL said that we were and then he proceeded to give us some advice and counsel. It was SO cool. As soon as he opened his mouth, the Spirit filled the van. I know that he is called of God. 

As he was talking and telling us a little bit about what happened in Tacloban -- he and the Area Presidency had just arrived back from Tacloban -- he stated that all the missionaries coming to the missions off the mainland Philippines would have to learn a new language because the language spoken in that part of the country is different than where I am. Then Elder Holden, the other new ZL, said something to me about having to learn a new language in the middle of your mission. President Ardern asked what he meant and then I told him that this wasn't my assigned mission. He was surprised!! Haha and he gave me some advice and then asked some questions about India. Then he dropped us off. 

It was so cool! Then on Saturday was the Adult Session of the Marikina Stake Conference and President Revillo was speaking and after the meeting he came up and asked about our experience on Thursday and he laughed and then told me that I had obviously said the right things because earlier on Saturday Elder Ardern called President Revillo about some business and he told him about our experience and that I had made a good impression on him. I was so happy! 

The Stake Conference was good. It was long, but the messages were good. We heard from the Manila Philippines Temple Presidency, among other speakers. Other than that, the week was pretty boring. We were expecting to receive Sister missionaries from the Tacloban mission in our Zone, but we are only getting 16 Elders from the Tacloban mission. Their experiences are really touching to hear first hand. It must have been so traumatizing because every time they talk about it they begin to cry. 

I'm so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. All of the people who are affected by the typhoon here are not alone, because the Savior has felt their pain. I testify that as the people in Tacloban, especially the Saints there, accept the Atonement in their lives and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, all of the unfair things about life can be made fair. 

Elder Head

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Yay!! Finally an email from the Philippines :) :) :)

Hello everyone! 
First things first, we are fine up here in Sumulong. On Friday night, the mission president had all of us in the Quezon City Mission stay inside because the storm was supposed to land that day. It did "land" and brought with it a nice drizzle and a few sprinkles. Haha that was all that happened up here. It really was so crazy down south though. The area it hit is called the Tacloban mission and all the missionaries in that mission were evacuated from all the areas to the main city in the mission and then yesterday they took a boat and then a bus ride and they are now staying in the MTC and the Temple Patron House. It's crazy. Most likely, all will be reassigned here in the three missions in the Metro Manila area. However, a lot of missionaries serving in our mission were affected by it. One of the missionaries in my house is from a place called Laete, which received the worst part of the storm. His family is not able to be contacted because the phones are all down there -- cell and landline. His family is still unaccounted for and so PLEASE keep him in your prayers. His name is Elder Gam. 

We had another Sister in our zone whose family was affected by the storm. Her house and all the family's possessions were lost in the storm. Her family is okay and safe though, which was good. 

Sorry that I'm emailing so late in the week. We had temple day this week and so we were able to go to the temple again and that was amazing like usual! I love the temple! 

This week was pretty uneventful other than that. Nothing too special went on. The ward here is cool. They all speak pretty good English so I can communicate with the people here which is nice. We are teaching an investigator who has a member boyfriend in California and she speaks PERFECT English so that's cool. The ward missionaries all speak in English, so its fun. My companion is pretty cool. He is weird, but I can deal with weird haha. 

Thanks for all you do! Be safe! Love you!

Elder Head

Here is some of our exchanges with Ryan tonight:

Well you have a lot of experience helping out trunky comps :) Have you seen any pictures of the typhoon affected areas? Unbelievable!! We will continue to pray for the Filipinos and especially the elder/sister in your area. What else do you have planned for today?

We are going to buy new clothes, because I donated some pants, new garments, and some shirts to the missionaries from Tacloban mission. They had to leave suddenly and so they were not able to bring their luggage and so most of it they assume is either gone from the storm or stolen. So will you make sure that I have some money in my account? 

I talked to some missionaries from the Tacloban mission today. Many will be reassigned here.

I'm surprised they don't temporarily assign the missionaries in the Tacloban mission to serve a service missionaries.  

It is really really bad and unsafe there right now. For the safety of the missionaries, they will reassign them for a time until things settle down. It still is a really low pressure area there because of the storm and so they are afraid that there will be more storms and so they don't want to risk the safety for the missionaries or the sanity of their families. 

We are so happy and relieved to finally hear from Elder Head :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Big News this week :)

Hello everyone! 
Big news this week!! Probably the most unexpected and crazy news of my mission haha.. 
I got transferred to a new area....... AS A ZONE LEADER. 
Hahaha it was so funny because this isn't even my mission, I don't speak the native language, and I'm still considered "new" in this mission. It was a really funny way that it happened too. Sunday was fast Sunday and it was super hot here and way humid and we worked like dogs all day and so I was just beat. We had a dinner appointment with a family and then went home and planned. I was just beat so I wrote in my journal and then went upstairs to take a shower and right as I was soaping up, all the Elder's in my house ran upstairs saying that President Revillo was on the phone and wanted to speak to me. I thought for sure that my visa had come and that I would be going back and then he told me that the Lord wanted me to serve as a Zone Leader. It was so crazy. I could hardly believe it. 
I feel really blessed though. I feel like the Lord really does know me and my heart. I never wanted to be a Zone Leader -- especially not here... But I know that the Lord has His hand in all things. I will do whatever He wants me to do. I just hope that I can pull it all together and be somewhat effective as a ZL. 
Other than that, the week was pretty average. There was a lot of drama in the ward with other missionaries in a different zone, so that made it a really interesting and long week. But we all knew transfers were coming up so it wasn't too bad. I will be going to an area called Sumulong. My companion here in Antipolo just served in that same ward (different area) but says it is an awesome ward and they speak pretty good English. I'm so happy!!! :) Haha I can actually do things now and be effective! (hopefully) 
I'm so grateful for missionary work and everything that it makes me. 
Love you all! 
Elder Head