Wow I sure do love my family so darn much.!!!! Pops, thank you so much for this wonderful email, I am sorry if you have ever felt left out, I just really only have time to write back to you or mama, so maybe you both can switch off every week on who writes me because It is acually different for me to email mama back then email my pops back so I would really love that if you wantetd to do that:) SO to start, life seems so great at home and i am really happy to hear about my siblings! As i have looked back on my realationship with my brothers, i am so blessed to have them and they are my two best freinds and the best part about it is that i know they both feel the same way. i bet yall are just so excited for the family reauninion! those are the best. The family reunion i hope goes great, it always does! I will keep praying for those individuals in our family. I know things will all turn out the way GOd has planned for us. MAMA and PAPA, i am super happy for you to both to still be in love and notice that you have such a great relationship! something i thought about the other day was just how important it is to have the gospel in the home because my testimony as a child was your testimony and then finally i grew my own. If it wasnt for your testiomonys of this gospel, i probably would not have one at all and if i didnt have one then i wouldnt be waking up everyday with a smile on my face ready to serve my heavenly father. I absoulutley love the mission and all the blessings i recieve from it. It is the hardest thing that i have ever done and there are trials everyday but what a blessing it is for me to know that my savior Jesus Christ knows exactly how i feel at all times and that he has gone through the same situation to exactness that I have gone through! WHat a blessing the Atonement is in my life and our lives, without Jesus Christ, none of GOds plan is possible and the happiness we feel through our obedience and the Gospel, just wouldn't be there without our Savior. I do have a testimony of this CHurch and I do know it is true and I do know that God wants the best for me and I know that through him and by following the example of Jesus CHrist and his teachings, I can be the man that Heavenly Father has set out for me to be:) THe mission is great and I love it.
So about the philippine LIFE!!!! Well we have 5 new baptismal dates for august 24! i am way jacked about all of them and teaching them all is so fun. WE also have 3 potential baptismal dates hopefull to come up! the work here in Bangui is progressing fast and i think people are starting to talk about us missionaries, it is so great. Grandma left and moved back to Hawaii buit thats okay it was great to have her while we did. THe first week we got here, church attendance was back in forth between 25 and 30 and now church attendance is up to 65!! Elder M and I are also really trying to focus on the less actives here, there are kinda a lot but 3 bretheren have came back to church since we have vistied them so that good! Brother E is a less active and he is the one that speaks very good english so it has been such a blessing to teach him and get him reactivated! Before grandma lieft i was able to give her a blessing and oh man it was truly powerful and it was a really speacial moment for her and her less active family that were present during the blessing.
So the language, it truly gets better everyday. The hardest part is that we speak english in the apartment and i just need to make tagalog my first language and english my second. But at the same time there are a lot of people who understand english here so taglish is used a lot. Tagalog is a great language and it is blessing to be learning it, i am getting to the point where i can roughly teach the lessons and the spirit is there and the investigators understand me. Also in church yesterday i participated a lot in class and for some reason my tagalog was just on fire and I was speaking all tagalog and it was just flowing. So some days are a lot easier with the language then others but i do know that i know a lot, but for me its just a matter of remembering or having confidence in myslef that i really do know a lot. Also just regualr conversations are pretty hard for me because they arent normally words that i have studied but its all getting a lot better and I am over the 3 week mark which i guess is the really hard part of the mission. Well just really all 6 weeks but hey i am feeling good. Elder M is a great trainer and he seriously is such a great teacher with the lessons. His struggle is just getting in the door but once he gets sitting down and starts to teach, he is so good and i have really learned a bunch from him! its great to have him as my trainer. Also, you know me, i am not scared to talk to anybody so i talk to so many randon people a day, well at least i try haha but it is so fun just to say hello to people, especially because i am white and they all just stare at me ahaha especially if i am out in the jungle areas! i love talking with people and tagalog really is coming a long now that i think about it. For example we had a district meeting on Thursday and those meetings are all in english and I said the prayer in english and it was very difficult for me to pray just because i am so used to praying in tagalog, and as i write this emial i think of the words in tagalog and then wrtie in english, it is kinda wierd but i love it! Nobody has cars here, everybody drives scooters, trycies which are the motor bikes with a side car and then jeepnies which is just like a bus type of thing haha i dont know how to explain it. I will send a pic of us elders inside of one. THe life as a missionary in the Philippines is so great, we went on a hike this moring to the ubang falls and ill send some pictures but it was like a 30 minutes walk up the jungle and it we were led to just these beautiful water falls and i cant even describe how beautiful it is here in the philppines. Walking through the jungle to an investigators house is such acool feeling, and it is so green here and the people are just amazing. ON saturday we had a service project at the church and presidnt nelson the branch president climbed up the tree in the back of the church and sliced down 5 cocunuts and the second clounsler just took his machete like a peno would and just sliced it open and handed the cocunut to me and told me to drink haha! it was delicious or as in tagalog, masarap! Ill send some pics.
Pops, thank you for showing me how to work hard and the blessings that can come from working hard. I have been raised by some amazing parents and i cant thank you enough for how much you have prepared me specifically for my mission and for the life ahead. I love you two both so very much and your son is doing great here and he is happy! What parents want is for there kids to be happy and on the right path and I am letting you know I am so happy and I am so glad i have been raised in this Gospel to know Gods plan for me and our family.
I challenge all of you to share the Gospel with one person this week. I wanna hear feedback, haha you have no choice but to accept.
Mahal ko kayo at maroon kayo ng mabuting linggo at ingat kayo palagi!!
Happy Day, All is well!
Masaya Araw, Lahat ay Mabuti!