On sunday night I got to watch a talk by elder bednar called recognizing the
spirit and he answered the question "how can I recognize the spirit?" in the
best way possible i think. he said, "Quit worrying about it, be a good boy or a
good girl, keep your covenants, follow the commandments and press forward
working hard with faith. then the spirit will be able to talk to you." he then
went on to explain that the spirit talks to us and we may not even notice it at
all, we will do something and not know why but always with hindsight we will
notice that it was the spririt talking to us. such a good talk and I wish you
could all hear the whole thing, he told some really cool stories and he is so
funny outside of conference. After i thought back to when dad and i were looking
for pams car. dad you had no clue where to go and she gave a very vague
description on where she could of left it, but what i know was the spirit, we
were guided right to it and that guy just happened to be there when we needed
him, that ain't no coincidence. Also when i teach, I literally just open my
mouth and i have noticed that my tagalog is best when in a lesson, i don't
really get strong feelings on what to say or anything, i just listen to the
investigator and open my mouth and it is filled like it says in D&C 100 (i
think). Also this morning I found a cool analogy between repentance and christs
atoning weekend. So sometimes we have to step in gethsemane and feel the pain
for doing wrong and we will be pressed down and feel lower than anyone. We might
be mocked or ridiculed for what we have done like christ was, we will have to
carry our cross to the hill like christ did and then sometimes when we confess,
our sins are hoisted up for everyone notice and then we feel even more pain for
what we have done. And after we have sunk to the lowest pits and felt the worst
pain and guilt, then the natural man to commit those sins dies just like christ
died. Then our heart changes and we bury the natural man in us. Then sunday
comes and we are renewed. We partake of the sacrament and we fully feel the
atonement work, then will the bands of sin be broken and although they may be as
scarlet (like all the blood christ shed) they will be as white as snow (christ
wore pure white when he was ressurected) Sunday always comes. Although
repentance should always be happening we should continue to press forward with
faith and try to be better cause then the atonement can work within us. I have
found that my analogy part of my brain has been working full time and I have
come up with tons of analagies while here, some simple so I can teach
investigators. others more complicated for full members and for district lessons
and such. Anyways, I get my travel plans on friday!
we just got back from cleaning the temple for three and a half hours, we wore like all white scrubs and I got to wear my kobes in the temple. Our job was to clean the windows on the outside, so we got to go onto the roof and clean all those windows. It was cool to be on a temple roof in all white. Then we got to see how they clean all the chandeliers in the temple. They lower them down with a motor and then clean each crystal by hand, apparently there are like 10,000 crystals in that temple and only sisters clean them so thats a lot of man hours they put in. It was a good experience this morning. so this week had its ups and downs, last week for devotional was Robert L. Steur an emeritus 70. he talked about being good missionaries and knew latin so he broke down like every major gospel word into it's latin root and explained it to us. sometimes he was a bit dry but it was still pretty good. For fireside on sunday we had jenny oaks baker who is a world class violinist, she talked a little bit and played a whole bunch of songs. It'd be interesting to see elder oaks in his parenting duties, he looks strict. she has a mormon message on the website thats pretty good, her kids played that song for us. I taught district meeting on sunday and my lesson was on the book of mormon, so I had everyone get out their scriptures and I gave them 15 seconds to look up a scripture to answer a question that an investigator would ask. They weren't very good. So I gave them some practice on using scriptures in their teaching instead of the gospel according to elder or sister so and so. My branch president and second counselor sat in on it and afterwards them and their wives said that that was the best lesson they have heard in a district meeting and they were both mission presidents! apparently not many people have lessons like our priests quorum at home cause I thought it was nothin to it. Also we get new missionaries in our zone tomorrow, it'll be interesting to see how new I was six weeks ago and to see how much someone can grow in just six weeks. it's weird here because when we have gym at 1:30 the weather can just be like a normal summer day and then at 3:30 when I look out our window, it can be way dark and all stormy, it's weird. we also have gym at 8:10 on thursdays and saturdays and there have been a couple storms that have forced us inside, and with the gym closed all we can do is go back to the residence for an hour. lame. Other than that things are going well, getting along with my companions and learning some patience and humility. we had a good lesson on teaching with the spirit last night and had no time to prepare so i just let it take over and taught really well.
On the fourth we had a fireside at 8:30 where a judge from provo talked to us about how freedom allows us to take the gospel to the whole earth and that it is something we should never take for granted and then after the fireside we got to go outside and eat ice cream and watch the stadium of fire, I didn't get to bed until like 11:30 so I was exhausted the next day. Devotional last week was by Yoshiko Kikuchi and emeritus 70 and he gave a really good talk on what we should take home from this mission and that is a knowledge of the atonement and a personal relationship with Christ and a thankful heart for all that he has done. At the end he bore a powerful witness of joseph smith and the atonement which was really good because he couldn't speak english really well but we could all feel his spirit. So this week, elder haskin left and now elder nery is with elder phippen and myself so we are a three some. Since he knows tagalog pretty well the lessons have been better and I feel as if my knowledge is coming faster. I just have a limited vocab and it takes a minute to form a sentence in my head but that comes with time. Only a month left until I am in the field! that story that I read of my mission last night was really cool, it is amazing how the spirit watches out for the lords servants. I have been trying to recognize the promptings of the spirit more this week and am surprised to see how much it talks to me. during my studying and teaching i get random thoughts that i feel i should share and when I do, it always turns out to be the perfect thing for myself or the lesson. So work on being tuned to the spirit, it will never lead us astray. I also read D&C 68 verses 1-5 and it is a very powerful missionary scripture and makes me want to work harder to have the spirit always, so go read that. Thanks for the new scriptures, it will be fun to see how they look after two years of a mission. BBall is going good, I am still the black mamba and such but they are closing the gym for ten days next week so I'll have volleyball for a while. I've made it a goal that if I can either get a discussion or an inactive member go to church by beating them in basketball then my mission will have been very successful. I found out yesterday that church attendance is 20% in the philippines and so there is a lot of reactivation work going on there so I feel like I could have a big part in that. I know that after one month of my mission my conversion to the lord has definetly grown stronger and my testimony has solidified. Everyone should go to church because they have the chance to remember jesus christ and that he suffered for every pain either physicall or emotionally that we will ever have and sunday should be the day to remember that and keep in mind that the atonement is the most personal part of the gospel and that he wants us to use it in our lives and become clean and stay obedient. think of that on sunday. Keep me updated on everyones summer!
Mahal Ko Kayo!
Elder Robertson and the Kings
Last week Elder Robertson ran into the Kings who just left for their mission in Russia.
Last week for devo ten of the quorum of the twelve were here. everyone was here except for packer and hales. L. Tom Perry spoke about how the church is a lifestyle and he gave a whole bunch of statistics from studies and such. It was pretty good just not what I thought it would be. Sundays fireside was by ted gibbons who is some writer and he portrayed willard richards who was with joseph smith in carthage jail. He spent an hour talking about josephs last week on earth and there are a lot of things he talked about that I had no clue happened. At the end he bore a powerful testimony of the prophet and then we sang praise to the man and everyone just randomly stood up at the same time. It was powerful and pretty cool! By the way, fast sunday was slow. The worst was the temple walk and it was like 100 that day and we couldnt get a drink after so the last like 4 hours I suffered. but the night before my zone and I ate like that whole thing of cinnamon rolls haha. Tagalog is coming slowly, I can almost speak a sentence without having to pause in the middle for like a minute to plan what I want to say. i still don't understand much of what the "investigator" is saying but I think I can get the gist of a conversation. The only thing that can help me now is being immersed in the language. So elder haskin is leaving tomorrow, he is going to dallas english speaking and sister vea needs heart surgery, if she does not get it soon the she will also probably be transferred out. quite interesting. I got a letter from quinn yesterday! sounds like he is doing pretty good! I was worried that he would be all homesick and what not but it sounds like he is doing fine. brennen sounds like he is doing pretty good in his new mission as a zone leader, at least he gets a car. only AP's get cars in my mission. So the fourth of july is tomorrow, are you guys gonna light fireworks? all I get to do is go to some devotional thing for an hour and a half. hope the package is a good one because I am going to miss lighting fireworks. Oh, I saw the kings yesterday, they looked happy to be on a mission and I can't believe they are here for only a week then they are off to russia. It's gonna be hard enough to be here for two months then off to the philippines and I will still have no clue what is going on.
Kumusta Pamilya! We watched a talk by elder bednar that was about the character of christ. How he was always focused outward about others and never inward about himself even in his times of greatest pain and sorrow. He said that as missionaries we also need to focus about others and not ourselves. He said that if we are on our missions for a reason other than bringing souls unto christ we won't have success. but if we focus solely on others, our own conversion and testimony will grow just because of the effective tool that the savior has molded us to become. He also challenged us to buy one of those cheap copies of the book of mormon and think of a question that we have. then write the question in the front of the book then read it all the way through highlighting and marking verses or phrase that can help answer our question then when we are done to write a paragraph about what we have learned. I decided to take him up on that and asked the question how can i be the best missionary I can be. so it wil be interesting to see what my answers will be in my summary. Tagalog is coming along, it is still hard to comprehend what everyone is saying and what not and it is still hard to teach with the spirit but i was able to answer a question yesterday without hesitation or looking at the book so that was cool. I can pray in tagalog mostly and can bear my testimony. the lessons are simple still but now its just speaking and listening to the language more and more often so I can get it down. This week was mission presidents week, i guess on sunday the whole first presidency and quorum of the twelve, except Packer and Hales, were there speaking to them. everything in the main building is closed off and we only have one food line instead of four so that has been a nightmare. hopefully we will get an apostle tonight for devotional. it is pretty amazing how easy it is to feel the spirit here. last night we had a lesson on sincere prayers and the spirit was so strong especially when we roleplayed challenging investigators to pray. the church is so logical and easy to understand sometimes and the only thing that keeps investigators from being baptized and people going inactive is sincere prayer. The more sincere we are the more converted we become. when we teach we back people into the wall of faith, they can either pray and ask to know the truth of it or not it is entirely up to them, I just show them the way. elder Nery was baptized a year ago and he told us his conversion story. that guy knows without a doubt that it is true. the way he said his life has changed has been like night and day. I know my conversion and faith has really grown in just two weeks so it will be interesting to see how it is in two years. keep the letters and packages coming, I really appreciate them. it's nice to have letters and packages to look forward to at the end of the day.