Sunday, November 29, 2015

Batac Week 66

Naimbag nga bigat Francis Family,

This week as been great and full of memories.  We did some fun things you can only do here in the Philippines. On Sunday I gave a talk in sacrament meeting about Choose to Believe by L. Whitney Clayton and he talked about Jesus Christ being our light and it made me think of a scripture in Mosiah 16:9 and it reads "He is the light and life of the world;yea, a light that is endless,that can never be darkened;yea, and  also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death." So I related it to our life and how throughout our life we have trials and obstacles that lead us away from the light of Christ and we always need to look for it. Everyday we have tests to face.  Will we choose to believe him and allow the light of his gospel to grow within us, or we will refuse to and keep traveling in the dark. But the savior provides his gospel to be our light if we choose to follow it and obey the things he says. So that's what I talked about and how the gospel of Jesus Christ is our light and it will guide us back to him.  But if we choose not to accept it or not to follow it that's when darkness comes into our lives. 
Through the savior's teachings and example it makes it a pathway to us. So this is what I shared with the members and talked about how important the gospel is to our lives and how we need it at the center of our lives and it will guide us safely through the temptations that come towards us. Something I liked that Elder Clayton said is "Belief is something we choose- we hope for it, we work for it, and we sacrifice for it." So I took that to my missionary life and how I believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and can make families happier.  I sacrificed my life, my studies, and my family for two years to share this happy message with others that can bring families closer together. Like a girl that me and Elder Farrales found named M. Jose.  She really has a story to tell of her life, because her mother died when she was young and she has one older sister and seven younger than her.  Three years ago her father died and so she had nobody to take care of her and we found her one time outside her house and so we decided to talk to her and she just wrote me a letter and how much her life is better because of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how she knows Christ and Heavenly Father is always there for her. Elder Farrales is the one that baptized her, but I loved receiving the letter from her and seeing how happy she is now. That's why I love being able to serve a mission and see how much the gospel can change others and be a light to others. 

Also this week we had the opportunity to plant corn in the Bukids and it was a really fun experience.   It really was hot outside and my hands got blisters because of it, but seeing how much work we did and helping out a brother and his family, he can see how much the missionaries love to do service.  We had to dig a hole and put four kettle corn (seeds) into each hole and then put water over it so it was really Putik (muddy), and I felt how masipag the Filipino people are and how much work and sweat really goes into this work and it is not easy. 
So that was a really fun thing I did this week. Then yesterday we had MLC meeting with the Zone Leaders and Sister training leaders and got to hear trainings from President and Sister Andrada.  I really liked some of the things they talked about being obedient and having a good attitude in this work and for others. When we have a good attitude in missionary work we start to see miracles, The attitude we have in missionary work is the attitude we have for our Heavenly Father and his son. So I took that as we need to love our areas and our companions even if the area is really hard and nobody wants to listen to you, just love the people and show kindness to them.  With companions, just be patient and loving and help them, even if they are different everybody is different in their own way. 
So I really am enjoying the mission life and being companions with Elder Tago.  We are having a lot of fun and working hard and transfers will be next week, so we don't know what will happen but I am okay with it, I had a good 18 weeks with Elder Tago and have learned a lot from him and we got along really well and I'm just excited to see what happens. 
The Philippines is still always really hot but hopefully in December it will get a little cooler.  It is Christmas here too, so just loving the Christmas cheer and the Christmas lights here. So I just can't wait till the parties we will have in the branch and mission activity we will have.  As a zone leader I have to help my zone make a skit and our topic is virtue and make some songs and also I need to get zone t-shirts for Christmas. 
So I am really excited and busy these next couple weeks. But it sounds like you guys are doing great and loving life and everything is going good for you and you will have a fun thanksgiving.  So Thursday is thanksgiving here and we will probably go out to eat and have our thanksgiving, but it won't be like thanksgiving in America hahaha. I will miss you all and hope you guys have a great thanksgiving. 

Ay-ayaten ka 
Elder Francis

P.S. I really need some socks and maybe a Christmas tie like with Santa Claus on it or snowman or something like that, and also I would like cherry seven up or cream soda for Christmas. And also can you send more ctr rings that I can give to people for a gift and just some of my favorite candy and roasted almonds. Agyaman or thank you. 

Batac Week 65


Naimbag nga Bigat Francis Family,

This week has been a great week.  During one of my studies this week I read in True to the Faith.  I  read about testimony and faith and this is what I  read. Faith- Relying completely on Jesus Christ and in God, trust their infinite power.  Faith is like a muscle in our arm, when we exercise it, it grows, but when you put it in a sling and leave it there, it becomes weak. So this is what I learned about faith.  We need to rely on Jesus Christ and his Atonement and believe in him, and when we trust in him, he can help us with our trials in life. We need to always exercise our faith everyday through reading our scriptures and praying and attending church every Sunday.  
These are ways to exercise our faith. Testimony- The quest for a testimony begins with a righteous, sincere desire. Testimony comes through the quiet influence of the holy ghost and testimony will grow through experiences.  We need to share it. That is so true about a testimony it does begin with a sincere desire to find the truth or a little foundation of a testimony like god loves us and his children and Jesus Christ is our savior and he lives. Our testimony grows through experiences like reading the scriptures or through other people's testimonies. 
So that is something I learned this week in my studies. This week we didn't have too much happen and everything is going well.  Transfers are coming up soon and we don't know what will happen. The picture with bandages on my feet was because I had bad blisters on the bottom of my feet and I wrapped them up so it would heal a little bit better. I am still enjoying the mission life and can't believe how fast it goes by.  I can't wait to skype you guys on christmas. But it sounds like you guys are having a great time and Emily is enjoying drivers ED and being able to drive, like wow that is crazy and Thanksgiving is coming up soon. I hope everything is going great for you guys and you are all safe. Love you all and take care. 

Ay-Ayaten ka at mahal kita
Elder Francis

Monday, November 9, 2015

Batac Week 64

Naimbag Nga Pascua at Naimbag nga Malem Francis Family,

This week has been really good because we had meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday in Laoag.  A quorum of the seventy came here to talk to us, Elder Allen D. Haynie came and we as zone leaders and STL's had a meeting with him on Tuesday night and I really learned a lot from him and especially about being a Strictly Obedient Missionary and obeying all the rules of the missionary handbook and the commandments.  These rules are guidelines to keep us safe, and when we step over the line or do a little pasaway (disobedient) thing it leads to bigger things.   So we need to always remember to be Masunurin (obedient) to the rules. Also he said to be yourself.  It is okay to change -  you can always change something. I really took that to myself to be myself.  I can become a more Christlike person, and try to become like him. 
The last thing that I can remember is are we doing the lord's work our way or his way? Being a missionary, am I doing what the Lord wants me to do?  Am I being exactly obedient to the mission rules?  Am I being a representative of Christ's Church and being the best example I can be to others? He said so much that really caught my attention, that makes me to become a better missionary - not for myself but for the Lord. Remember this is not our work, it is the Lord's work and we are building up Zion and its Foundation.  We are a light for others that are looking for the truth and light, so we as missionaries and members need to do our part and bring others to Christ, like what Jesus Christ did for us.  He suffered and died and bled from every pore for us. I really respect him for that - being our Savior and Redeemer, taking all of the sins of the world because he loves us all. 
This week me and Elder Tago taught a lesson to two girls named Lucky and Prischelle about reading the scriptures and when we read the scriptures we come closer unto God and through the Holy Ghost it testifies the truth to us.  Then she asked us a question about our church and why we have a steeple on top, and we didn't know why. So after the lesson we found out what it meant.  The reason our church has a steeple is to draw one's gaze or eyes upward toward heaven, remembering to always look to God. So when we had church yesterday I looked up at the steeple on the church and it made me think that God is always there for us and he made this beautiful world and universe for us. Then the temple, when it's dark, the temple lights come on and that is to keep the worldly things or the darkness and temptations out and keep the light and happiness inside and that's when we come closer unto Christ and God.  When we are closer to the temple or always looking for the light, just remember when you step out of the light or sin,  it doesn't mean that you are lost you just need to take a step back and come closer to the light of Christ. 
Serving a mission really is a blessing even though it's really hard and how much work work work it is, it really brings me closer to my Heavenly Father through prayer and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  They know how we feel and they know us one by one.  I can see how much the Gospel of Jesus Christ can help others understand God's plan for us all.  The center of his plan is family and the Atonement of Christ and I love being able to share this message with the people in the Philippines and seeing a spark light in the heart.  The fire starts when we share the gospel with them.  As members, all we need is our faith and testimony to share the gospel and the spirit will testify to them of the truth. As a missionary I love this work and love being able to serve the lord. 
This is something I have been trying to practice on my mission.  It is the First Vision in Tagalog, and it really took me a while to memorize it or I just didn't really try my best to memorize it.  But one day I decided I wanted to learn it and memorize it and so I did and this is it in Tagalog: "Ako ay nakakita ng isang haligi ng liwanag na tamang-tama sa tapat ng aking ulo, higit pa sa liwanag ng araw, na dahan-dahang bumaba hanggan sa ito ay pumalibot sa akin, nang tumuon sa akin ang liwanag, nakakita ako ng dalawang katahuan, na ang liwanag at kalawahatian ay hindi kayang maisalarwan, nakatayo sa hanggin sa itaas ko, ang isa sa kanila ay nagsalita sa akin, tinatawag ako sa aking pangalan, itinituro ang isa at nagsabi ito ang aking pinkamamahal na anak, pakinggan siya." That is the first vision in Tagalog and when I share this with others I love to see their reactions and see the spirit testify to them of Joseph Smith.  I can see the tears in their eyes and see the spirit working through them, then us testifying of this event and how we know it to be true. This really is a testimony itself and it can brings others closer to God.  Through praying to God to know that Joseph Smith saw god and his son Jesus Christ. 
I know that this is the true living church on earth, with President Thomas S. Monson as the prophet and tagapagsalita sa atin (I forgot in English hahaha), and I love being able to share this with others. I love you all so much and miss you too. Emily you are too young to drive my little sister that I love very much, but you know what? We all need to grow up in life and you are growing up and becoming a Beautiful daughter of God.   Remember to always be a light and example for others, because there is someone always watching you looking at your example. Emily, mom, and dad you are all good examples to me and I thank you for that and I love you all. Take care Francis Family. 

Ay-Ayaten ka 
Elder Francis 

P.S. I would like some shaving cream and some souvenirs from Utah, and some cream soda too. With some of my favorite candy. Thank you for the other two packages. Also I need deodorant and body spray. Last of all money to on my card, because these next two weeks we will be traveling a lot to Badoc and Batac and Laoag for meetings, thank you.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Batac Week 63


Naimbag nga malem Francis family at Naimbag nga Pascua

I am doing great and enjoying the mission life and everything I do as a missionary, sharing the gospel with others and seeing how much the gospel changes the lives  of others, and seeing how much the atonement can change the lives of others and seeing that through the atonement we can be cleansed from sin and be forgiven of our sins. 
This week was really fun.  We had a Halloween party at the church with the branch and we got to see the skits and dances they did and I loved it.  We did the limbo for ours and danced too.  The branch all laughed at ours and probably at the funny dances we did. Wednesday we had exchanges with the Ap's and I got to go to their area in Gabu and I worked with Elder Peterson.  We rode bikes while we were there and I got really tired really easily, but when we were riding our bikes Elder Peterson crashed on his bike when we were going through the bukids and I started to laugh.  Then I threw up a little because of how hot it was and being so tired from riding bikes so long. 
Also this week in Paoay they have traditions they do - they have a thing called Tumba Tumba and it's kind of a haunted house that we will be going to tonight and we are really excited to get scared and have a good Halloween.  Here in the Philippines it is  All Saints Day, so nobody is at home they are all at the cemetery so it makes it hard to find people to teach. 
The talk I gave was in Tagalog and in English too.  I talked about the light of Christ and how Jesus Christ is our light and what things we can do to get closer to him and the farther we are away from him all we need to do is step into the light and we will be getting closer to him. 
It's really crazy to hear that Emily will be driving like no way, she is too young for that, but now she can drive me around when I get home, hahaha jokelang. But it's good to hear you guys had a good Halloween and had a fun week. We are the good luck family when we go to baseball games, that is so true. I love you all so much and I am doing great, just enduring and working hard and trying to remember my purpose as a missionary. I love you all and miss you too. 

Ay-Ayaten ka Francis Family 
Elder Francis