Monday, May 23, 2016

Laoag Week 92

Dear Francis Family,

This week has been really great.  I got to see some old friends from Piddig and some of my old recent converts came to church so I was super excited to see them and see how much their faith has grown and their testimony has grown and what a good example they are to me.  I really saw how much the gospel brings happiness and joy to others.  When we live the gospel, by it's teachings, and do what is right and follow gods commandments  -  not because we have to but because we want to and because we love him  -   we will receive blessings. 
We had stake conference last Saturday and yesterday and I received so much revelation.  They really focused on Faith in Heavenly Father and in Christ and also in His Atonement. I felt like my testimony really grew about Jesus Christ and his Atonement and a quote I remember that I heard here on my mission is "All of us need the Savior's Atonement to heal us. All of us are lost and need to be found." I would like testify about this, that I know that through Christ's Atonement we can be healed.  He knows we are not perfect.  The challenges and trials we have bring us sadness and hopelessness but through the Atonement that our Savior went through for us we can be healed and cleansed from our sin. 
I know that Jesus Christ gave his life for me and you because he loves us and he loved his father and he was willing to take all of the world's sins on him and was crucified for us.  I know that Jesus Christ is our savior and Redeemer because he gave his own life for us.   I know that salvation was not a cheap experience and no one else could have gone through so much pain and sorrow except for our Lord Jesus Christ. So that is what I learned from our stake conference. 
This week we talked to Precious and Richard and they really want to get baptized, but we need to talk with their parents and see what they say.   Hopefully they say yes. We are praying for them and we will be talking to them tomorrow so we will see what happens with them.  If they say yes we will have two baptisms on Saturday. So we are really excited for that. So the mission has gone by so fast.  I have like 12 weeks left.  Like wow,  I can't believe it and my last 12 weeks I just want to go hard every day and just give it my all and to be able to come home with honor. I want to give the best I can and  know that missionary work is not easy but it is absolutely worth it. Missionary work really is hard and it really requires a lot of prayer, fasting, and hard work. I have seen so many miracles in my last 21 months and have seen the blessings.  When I saw my recent converts yesterday getting ready to serve a mission or enter the temple, it made me cry and I was so happy to see them and how much  the gospel of Jesus Christ has changed their lives.  So that was my good week that I had and I am super excited to see how the next 12 weeks go.  I will continue to endure to the end and be the missionary the Lord wants me to be. I love you all so much and miss you all so much too.  Take care always and stay safe. 

Mahal ko kayo at ingat kayo palagi. 

Elder Francis

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Laoag Week 91

Dear Francis family,
This week it was great to see you guys on skype.  You are all looking great and it sounds like life is going great for you all.    I was super excited just to talk to you guys. 
Well this week was pretty good.  It's usually the same  - we are trying to prepare for Richard and Precious baptism hopefully this week,  but the only problem is that we need to get the parents approval and their parents are Catholic.  They will let us share with them but I don't know if they will let us baptize them, so we will see what will happen with that. We are praying for them and will fast for them this week. But we are still focusing on teaching the less actives and trying to build up the ward here in Laoag 5.  We are trying to get more members to attend church. So that is really what has been happening around here this last week. 
Today for p-day me and Elder Andon went to a museum and it was so cool inside and super historical.  We took a lot of pictures and I bought some earrings for Emily and they look really cool. But being inside there I got to see the culture here in Ilocos Norte and what the culture is like and the historical life. So that was really fun to see and this week we will be having stake conference so I get to see all the members from Piddig again and maybe my recent converts.  I am super excited for Saturday and Sunday. But me and Elder Andon are doing great and are trying to get a baptism before transfer day in two weeks and we are finding new people to teach and building the ward here in Laoag 5. 
I also gave a talk last Sunday on prayer and it went really well. I talked about really what prayer is -  talking with our father in heaven -  because we are his children and he loves us and knows us and our needs.  He wants us to communicate with him through prayer. When we make this a habit, always praying to him, we will come to know him and draw ever nearer to him. We will be able to see blessings that he gives to us when we ask in faith. So that was the talk I gave on prayer and I think it went really well.  I think I helped the members understand the importance of prayer and when "A family prays together they stay together." So I helped the members understand the meaning and importance of prayer. So that was really what happened to me this last week and I am still surviving and enduring and enjoying the mission life.  I am excited to see how this week goes. I love you all so much and miss you all so much too.
Mahal ko kayo at ingat kayo palagi!!!
Elder Francis

Laoag Week 90 - Mother's Day :)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Laoag Week 89

Naimbag nga bigat kabsat o magandang umaga po Francis Family,

This week has been great and been a lot of hard work.  It has been super super hot and I am always sweating and really tired. But this week me and Elder Andon are focusing on two less actives Tatay E. is one of them he is super funny and when we share with him we talk about missionary work and Christ being our light and how him being the only member in  his family he is a good example and a light to others.  We listened to him bear his testimony to us about Christ being our savior and how he knows Christ lives. His testimony is super strong and he really is a good example to me and his family.

The other less active family, the M. family, we are trying to prepare nanay and tatay for the temple so they can be sealed together as a family and we shared with them Helaman 10:7- and talked about being sealed together here on earth and after life.  I testified that families can live together forever and "A family that prays together stays together." I told them the center of God's plan is the family and he wants all of us to be happy and return to him.

So that was our focus this last week. We have two investigators who are both children who we are trying to focus on.  Also Sister P. C. and her brother R. C., we are almost done teaching them the lessons.  We are really trying to build their faith in Christ and their testimony -  trying to make it stronger. When they put their trust in Christ and have faith in him they will feel the love of God for them and they will see the blessings they will get from him.

Also this week we taught a boy named I. M.  He is a less active and he really has a messed up life and hasn't been to church in two years and we shared with him about Enduring to the End and talked about how we need to be steadfast in Christ and how we need to endure to the end, by keeping God's commandments, keeping the Sabbath day holy, praying always, and reading the scriptures every day. At the end of our lesson he gave the most beautiful testimony about CPR and he said this quote to us I will never forget "It's easy to become a Mormon but it is hard to live it." I really took this to myself and really thought about what he meant and as a member of this church others look at us as good examples and the things we do. We need to choose the right and when we make a mistake or choose the wrong, others see that.  We need to live the gospel everyday and when he bore his testimony about attending church, reading the scriptures to know the word of God and to gain a testimony about our savior and praying always for help and guidance. It was a beautiful lesson and the spirit really took over him and he shared his own testimony with us.

So this week was really good and full of miracles and blessings. When we are obedient it brings blessings and we can start to see the miracles happen. I am really trying to focus on that the most these last couple months of my mission being obedient and doing the best I can and giving my whole heart, might, mind, and strength into this work. When I come home I want to feel like I gave my best effort and I really did the best I could. This week I read a good scripture that I would like to share with you here in D&C 6:36- "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." I would like to share my testimony with you that I know Christ lives and he is our savior.  I know he is there for us when we look to him we will find the light that shines through the darkness. I know this is the true church and I know the Book of Mormon is true and I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. I love being a missionary of the true church even though I get criticized or even mocked or made fun of for being a Mormon.  I know this is the true church and the blessings I have seen throughout my mission and all the memories I have had. I love you all so much and miss you all so much too. I can't wait to skype you next week and cant wait to hear your voices. Take care always. 

Mahal ko kayo at ingat kayo palagi. 
Elder Francis