Monday, March 23, 2015

Piddig Week 32

Kumusta Francis Family,

This week has been a really great week.  On Tuesday we had zone conference with all the mission in Laoag, so I received some really good inspiration and motivation.  I am super excited and I love the things I learned. They talked about how hard a mission is, and how we all have hard times and we all really struggle and we all get frustrated sometimes, we just need to be patient and pray hard and the Lord will help always.  Something else I really liked is that God has a work for all of us to do.  That's true, God has a work for everybody to do, and mine is to bring others unto Christ and baptism. One of my favorite youtube videos I've been watching is the Atonement and Missionary Work.  It really uplifts me when I am down and just have no hope. 
 This is some of a talk from Elder Jeffery R. Holland and he says:  I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary. For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.
If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” 16 then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.

It really is so true.  Missionary work is not supposed to be easy because salvation is not a cheap experience.  I just need to think about the things the Lord has done for me and I need to do the same back, give all my time and effort into this work and just do the best I can. This week really has been a better week and I have been praying a lot more and relying on the Atonement a lot more and thinking Jesus Christ has felt and suffered all of my trials and my afflictions and wants me to be happy and to do the best I can. 
Thank you for all of the advice, I will just be patient and pray a lot, transfers are tomorrow and Elder Aribbay is getting transferred to Cabugao and I am staying here in Piddig with Elder Liska as my next companion.  He is crazy and really loud, but the most hard working missionary ever, he finds at least 50 new investigators a week, he really is very MASIPAG, and he loves the work. So I will learn a lot from him and enjoy being his next companion. 

It sounds like you guys been having a fun week, Emily and soccer, and school, dad didn't have to travel this week, and mom is enjoying staying home.   Go out as a family and have fun for Spring Break, go take a break from work and go have fun, take the family and all go do something fun. Emily is so close to being done with school that is so crazy and how fast school year has gone by and how fast summer is coming. Dad is enjoying work and enjoying time off, and mom is off work for a little bit, go take a fun trip somewhere.  Have fun like I am here in the Philippines.  I love being here and am enjoying the work and being a servant of the Lord and being able to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people here in Piddig.  I know that this church is the only true living church today, and even if my language is still not that good, at least I can share my testimony with others and that it will touch the hearts of those I teach. 

I really miss you guys a ton and love you all, 
Ay-Ayaten ka or Mahal Kita 
Elder Francis 

Piddig Week 31

Me on top of the carabao, the ride was fun.
 Me trying to get on a Carabao, it would not stop moving, it was really hard.

 The elders and the brothers killing the chicken for our picnic.

The brothers and elders at our picnic, Elder Liska, Elder Rigonan, Elder Aribbay, Me, Bro Ramsel, Bro. Mario, Bro Freding, and Little kid Adrian.
Kumusta Francis Family,

This week has been great, and bad. This week we had a lot of lessons - 41 lessons this week, and we found a lot of new investigators this week, 24 I think. So the Lord's work is growing like crazy and the harvesting grows daily. Our investigators are progressing a little bit.   Jennifer came to church again, we really need to teach her, she has been to church 4 times, so we really need to teach her all of the lessons and she will probably be baptized soon. But none of our other investigators came to church.  It's sad, but we will keep working and inviting and extending commitments to them.

This week I have been kinda frustrated with myself and the Elders in the apartment.  My language is still not that good, I feel like I can't really teach too much, because I am not that good with the doctrine and I am just really struggling.  The elders are always asking me come on lets trade ties or I will buy that from you, and they are always yelling and getting upset because I don't understand them, and they are always getting mad, and saying he doesn't understand anything, and I have learned that Filipinos and Americans do not get a long that well.  It's very true, and it just is very hard. So I have been taking some time by myself and studying scriptures and Preach my Gospel and praying a lot.  I am still really trying my best and working hard.  I am hoping that my next companion will be American or somebody I can get a long with a little bit better. I kinda like Piddig, the people are all really friendly and kind, but when you don't know the language too well they laugh.  I really do miss Santo Domingo so much, that was such a good area.

Tomorrow the whole mission has a meeting in Laoag, so I will get to see a lot of people I know, and Elder Aagard.  I am going to ask him how Santo Domingo is and the people.  I printed off a lot of pictures of the people and investigators in S.D. so I will be giving it to him to give to them. So I am super excited for tomorrow to see all of my friends and a lot of people I know. Right now we are teaching a little boy named Adrian his dad is a recent convert,m Bro. Freding and he wants to baptize his son.  The baptismal date is April 4th for now, so that will be really exciting, and a lot of other people we teach like Ivy, and Rochelle, Monalisa, Helen, Nyebes, Lea, Lizel, Jennifer, Roy, and a lot of other people. We have a lot of people to teach and are working hard.  I am hoping that my language will get better. I am studying really hard the doctrine so I can teach and help Elder Aribbay, and we can build a relationship. 
We have had a really fun week. 

Some of the things I did this week:
1. I got to ride on a carabao, which was really fun and the carabao was mabaho (smelly/stinky). 
2. We had a picnic today, with some of the members and recent converts of ours. 
3. For the picnic I got to witness them kill the chicken, and I got to eat the chickens feet, and the heart of the chicken. 
4. I got to pick some grass, leaves, herbs, and other green stuff for our picnic.  Here in the Philippines we can eat anything really we want of the trees or bushes or in the bukids. 

It sounds like you guys kind of had a good week, like dad going to Sacramento, and Emily having a fireside.  How was that, what did she learn from it?   And it sounds like your  school is getting really close to being finished. Keep having fun and be safe and keep me updated, and check my Facebook and see if anybody else added me, or you can talk to some of the people I taught in Santo Domingo, they are really good in English so you can talk to them. 

How is the family? How is the Ward? How are the dogs? How is Utah, and the weather?

Mahal Kita o Ay-Ayaten ka 
Ingat Po Palagi
Elder Francis 

P.S. I need some after shave, shampoo, deodorant, some of my favorite snacks, and my favorite drinks like jarritos, or gatorade. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Piddig Week 30

In a Jeepney traveling to Laoag
Me doing something with a buko nut

Kumusta Francis  Family and Mabuhay,

I can't believe how fast the mission goes by - it's crazy fast!  I have almost been out for 7 months.  I feel like time shoots by, but every day is a day I give myself to the Lord.  I love serving a mission and helping others.  I see how poor and such a hard life people have here in the Philippines, it's really sad but I see how much love and hope they have and they are really the happiest people ever. I love going up to people and saying would you like to hear a message about Jesus Christ, and they say yes, and then we talk about Family and how God has a plan for all of us to return back to him, and the center of that plan is The Atonement of Jesus Christ. I love seeing how much people's lives change and their happy faces after we teach them. 

This week was a fun and hard working week like always.   It's still really hot as always and I am always dying, but it does not keep me from doing this work to build up Zion. Some of our investigators are progressing but one of the Sisters has come to church for the last 3 weeks so we will be focusing on her a lot. Her name is Jeniffer, she is super Mabait and very willing to listen to our message. So we will keep working hard and trying our best to get our investigators to church. 
Our house is always loud and crazy.  Sometimes they yell at me or somebody and I have no clue what they are saying and they are always screaming and yelling. But I love them, they are really a fun group of Elders and very Masipag and Mabait. This morning we went and played basketball, which was a lot of fun, but holy cow Filipinos are too good at basketball and I am really bad, but I tried my best. It was a lot of fun and really hot and we got really sweaty. 

That's so cool to hear about the Mission Calls.  I am super excited and that is very cool to hear about two in our ward, tell them all that the mission really is the best decision ever, and you get to share a message that we know to be true and get to change others lives forever and bring a happiness to them. I really love serving a mission and changing peoples lives forever and being a servant of the lord and bringing others closer to Christ. Tell them to study Preach My Gospel and the scriptures daily, that's what you will be teaching the people and to love the people now and be excited to go out. 

I love hearing about all these fun things that you guys are doing and how much fun you are having and hearing about the Aggie basketball team and Emily and the family.   Keep me updated with the Family and Friends, and the ward. I really miss you guys a ton and love hearing from you every week. I will keep doing my best and remember that I was called of the Lord to serve here in the Philippines and "God Has A Work For Me To Do." He has a work for all of us to do. 
Love you guys and miss you a ton. 

Ay-Ayaten Ka 
Elder Francis

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Piddig Week 29

Our district in Piddig

Our 2 story house

Our living room

Eating Balut


A Jeepney

Real street ball - or dirt basketball

Working in the tomato fields

Hello po Francis Family, 

I am doing fantastic and loving it here in Piddig and the Philippines but it's so hot here.  I am always sweating twenty four seven and I feel gross, but my sweat towels help a lot. 
This week has been a blast.  We have been working hard, got 42 lessons this week, same as last week, and we have been crazy in the apartment with three Filipinos and one American. It gets loud and crazy, but I love the Elders.  They are so Makulit, Mabait, Masipag. We are teaching a lot of people we have three girls that we teach that we are focusing on because they have baptismal dates in April.   Sis. Ivy, and Sis. Rochelle, and Sis. Monalisa -  all very Mabait, and willing to listen.  Our biggest problem is getting them to come to church, but we will keep working and the work will be done if we are exactly obedient. 
I love the Elders in my apartment.  They try to scare me a lot like last night me and Elder Aribbay got home and I thought the other elders were not home so I go upstairs and open the door and there is Elder Liska  - Booooo!!!  It scared me so bad, but I love them, they really are helping me a lot with the language and I'm loving Filipino food - like rice three meals a day. 
This morning we did service in the Tomato Field, it was a lot of hard work, it was hot, but it was pretty fun seeing what Filipinos jobs are. Then me and Elder Aribbay were waiting for Ivy to be done showering, she has a dirt basketball court outside her house, so we did some dunks and tried to do some cool tricks.   I have eaten some weird food this week like pig intestines, Fried Pork blood, and BALUT again. The Philippines really does have some weird food and it's different from home, but I love the food and the people. 

Sorry I can't write a lot - we have a little bit of time, but it sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun and getting new things for the house and enjoying home. I love you guys and miss you a ton, Tell the family I say Kumusta na po kayo and the ward too. Tell dad to stay safe when he travels and Emily to keep working hard in school take a family vacation when it comes to summer. 

Ay-Ayaten ka o mahal kita
Elder Francis 
P.S. Thank you for the boxes, I don't use the light because I have no bike, but it will come in handy for a flash light. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Piddig Week 28

This is a house we teach in.  An old tatay that is 85 years old lives in there. 

Me with the green bukids and bundoks behind me.

A crowded Jeepney

The Laoag sign.  It's really exciting to see.

It really is more fun in the Philippines.  Old tatay riding a carabao.

Me being scared of this trail that leads down a dark path.

Elder Arribay and all of Laoag.

Me with a carabao, scary and it smells mabaho.

Me and Sister Arancis, close to Francis.  It's really funny and she is really mabait and pretty cute too.
Magandang Hapon Francis Family,

I am doing Fantastic.  I am loving my area here in Piddig, it's really beautiful with so many bukids, bundoks, gubat. I love it how green everything is. We walk through bukids, and gubats every day.  I love serving here in Piddig, the people in the branch are super mabait and very friendly to me. 
This week was a huge success.  We had 42 lessons like WOW and YEA!!!, the goal is 50 lessons a week, but that is the most I have ever had on my mission so far.  So we are working hard, but we will work even harder and harder every day. We will not give up until the work is done and the Lord is pleased. I lov
e being a missionary and a Representative of Jesus Christ, and thinking what he has done for me.  Sa pamaigitan kanyang pagdurusa, kamatayan, pagkabuhay na muli ginawang posible ng tagapaglitas mapapatawad tayo. I don't know if the spelling is right but that is true, Jesus Christ is our savior and he died for us so we can Lumapit sa kanya. The Atonement is such a huge part of my life and how much he really loves each and every one of us.   "Salvation Was Never Easy", like "Missionary Work Is Never Easy", but it's worth it at the end, and we are doing the Lord's work.
 I love it here in the Philippines.  I'm taking some really fun pictures with Carabao and in bukids and Bundoks too. I am getting on really well with my companion and loving the other elders and the language is coming better. 

Today we had our zone activity at Marco Stadium in Laoag.  There were 3 other zones too, so we had a lot of missionaries there.  I played basketball, football, and rugby with the big boys or the Polys and Tongans and Samoans. It was scary and crazy, but it was such a blast.  I think Polys scare me when they scream and slap each other really hard and punch too. But they are the nicest people ever. So everything is going really well for me and I am doing great and enjoying life.  It's still really mainit (hot), but everything is going really well. 

It sounds like you guys have been having a lot of fun, Emily is having fun with friends and school, soccer, and skiing. And dad is enjoying work and The Aggies are winning and The Sky View Boys and Girl teams are doing great. Everything is going well for you guys at home. 

How are the Dogs?   How is the Family?  How is the Ward?   How is Logan?

I really miss you guys a ton but I am doing a great thing and that is serving the people here in the Philippines and doing the Lord's work. "The Lord has work for all of us to do" from Pres. Barrientos. It's true, the Lord has work for all of us to do, we just need Faith in Him. 

Ay-Ayaten ka o Mahal Kita
Ingat Po Palagi 
Elder Francis

P.S. I would like some more deodrant, shampoo, and gummy bears, worms and Peach-o's too, and Salamat po for the last box.