Friday, June 24, 2016

Laoag Week 96

First of all,  HAPPY FATHERS DAY DAD!!! I love you so much dad and wish you a Happy late Father's Day.   Thank you for being the best example to me and always encouraging me to do the best I can and always being there for me through the hard times.  You really are the best dad anyone could ever ask for. 

Well this week has been great and I really am enjoying my studies every week because I have been reading in the Liahona lately and been uplifted by the talks that are given.  I feel the spirit really talk to me and I really enjoy reading the words given by our Prophet and the Apostles. So something I  read this week which tied into what President Monson said about Choices, I read a talk from Elder Neil L. Andersen and he talked about "Faith is not by chance, but by choice." First of all he asked two really good questions to us all.  The first he said was 1. Where is your faith? The second was 2. How does the savior see my faith? So I took these two questions and really applied them to myself.  Sometimes during the mission life I put my faith in myself and say I can do this by myself and I get selfish or sometimes we put our faith in the worldly things and we lose our faith in Christ and Heavenly Father. 
I really liked what it talked about and the second question how does the Savior see our faith?  Do we really trust in him and do we really love him?  If we do we are showing our faith in him? When we keep his commandments and serve him we are showing our faith to him. So serving a mission really has made me realize me that Jesus Christ lives and he is there and I really believe he is my savior and Redeemer. I believe that through Christ's Atonement we can be forgiven of our sins and Jesus Christ went through so much for us.  He knows our pains and troubles.  I really apply this to my mission life when everything seems so hard and when everything is so stressful and when I pray I can feel his help and when he had to carry his cross it makes me think he is carrying the challenges and trials I have had here on my mission and he is always there for us when we need him. 
Something else -  I like what he said about Faith: "Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from Heaven that comes as we choose to believe, and as we seek it and hold onto it. Your faith is either growing stronger or becoming weaker, and The Future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice." I would like to talk about this last quote he said about faith is not by chance but by choice, how we live our lives increases or diminishes our faith. When we pray always and are obedient, honest, and pure in thought and deed,  these are choices we have to make to either be obedient and obey God's commandments and receive the blessings he has in store for us or disobey his commandments and miss all the blessings. Being pure in thought and deed is a big one.  We need to always let virtue garnish thy thoughts and always pray to have clean thoughts and always make sure that we are keeping God's commandments and always and doing what is right. 
Something I liked that somebody said to me this week is "it's easy to become a Mormon but hard to live the gospel." He said when he was baptized he knew it was true, but living the gospel is the hard part - always enduring to the end and always keeping God's commandments.  I like the phrase take T- Take upon his name A- Always remember him K- Keep his commandments E- Endure to the end. That is what we need to do always remember this is his church, his work and we are just instruments in his hands to help him do his work and bring salvation to others.  Always attending church and partaking of the sacrament and renewing our covenants we have made with him, always keeping his commandments even if it is hard, always repent and keep trying and enduring to the end. Always living the gospel standards, do what the lord want's us to do. 
So that is what I have really been applying to myself these last couple of days and I read this quote in a book about missionary work which I really liked and it reads " Something wonderful happens in a missionary service when he or she realizes that the calling is not about him or her; rather, it's about the Lord, his work, and Heavenly Father's children." That is my new motto: this is the Lord's work and we are here to serve him with our full heart, might, and strength, to do the best we can. Also I  read this also too "When i asked you to be a missionary, it was forever. When I asked you to see this through to the end, it was because it's not over 'til it's over, we're in this 'til the end." I want to say this to you:  we are all missionaries in the work of the lord, we have committed our life to him and serving him and helping him in his work by being a good example to others, sharing the gospel with  others, by living the gospel and the happiness and joy it brings to you when you serve him. I know that my mission has been hard and full of challenges and trials and it's really not easy but it's so worth it and I really would not miss this chance to serve the lord and serve the people here in the Philippines and show my love for others.  I know this work is true and this is His church and we are to bring the lost sheep unto him. I love being a missionary and love every moment of it. I'm enjoying the last 9 weeks I have left and am doing the best I can. I love you all so much and miss you all so much. Take Care always and stay safe. 

mahal ko kayo at ingat kayo palagi 

Elder Francis 

Laoag Week 95

Hello Po Francis Family, 

Everything is going great. I had a fantastic week this last week and I had some interesting things happen to me when we were working. Some things that I really liked this week - we taught this less active tatay name Tatay P. Mamasig and we focused our lesson on family and temple sealing and really explained to him how family is the center of the gospel and how families can be together forever.  We shared Helaman 10:7 with him and talked about being sealed together as a family and and we really opened him up and he started to cry and he testified to us about how important the gospel is in his life and he is glad that he became a member of the true church.  We will keep working on him to build up his testimony and try to get him active again. 
So that was a cool experience that happened this week.  Also on Thursday me and Elder Gabuyo went on splits with two of the members and I worked in Lataag, one of our far areas and while I was out there I was getting rejected and yelled at by Iglesia Ni Cristo members.  I had some people say some mean things to me but I stood strong and my testimony of the gospel is getting stronger every day.  I told them I know that our message was true and I would not sacrifice two years of my life if I  did not know it was true.  Some of them listened to what I had to say and that's when I gave my testimony about the gospel and how it brings joy and happiness to our lives, centering it on Christ and his Atonement. I had some of them really thinking and interested in our message, so that was a cool experience that I had and the spirit really took over and guided me and told me to stand strong and to not give up. 

I read a good talk from last general conference by President Monson.   I really liked when he talked about Choices and he had two quotes that really stuck out to me and this is one of them.  "The choices we make determine our destiny."  I really liked this quote because it makes me think the choices we make here on earth will require what will happen to us after our life and for me as a missionary the choices that I make here on my mission will determine what will happen after my mission. So we always need to make the right choices and use freedom to choose the right way and we will see the blessings that Heavenly Father has for us. The second quote was  "May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong." I really took this to myself also and even some of the harder things that are in store for us or the hard things that Heavenly Father has in store for us are usually the rights things for us and the simple easy stuff is usually wrong and can lead us into doing things that we should not be doing. Here on earth we have two paths we can take the right path which will lead us to happiness and peace in this life or the wrong path can lead us to strange paths and into the darkness of the world. 
Something else I really liked in his talk is when he talked about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. He really had a good point I liked and he said that when Alice came to a crossroad with two paths before her and each stretching onward but opposite directions. Then she is confronted by the cat and Alice says to the cat "Which path should I take". The cat answers back to her "That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn't matter what path you take." So I really like what it said and then President Monson said unlike Alice we know where we want to go, and it doesn't matter which way we go, for the path we follow in this life leads to our destination in the next life." I would like to focus on this principle here.  We as members know which path we are on and which one we need to take back to our Heavenly Father, but we have obstacles that can lead us away or distract us from our destination.  When we have strong faith in Christ and put our trust in him we will be guided in this life and on the right path to our Heavenly Father. 
So that was some of the spiritual things that happened to me this week and I feel like even though I  am closer going home I am enduring to the end,  and it is still hard and really hot but it is absolutely worth it and I will never regret making this choice of serving a full time mission. I miss you all so much and love you all so much too and hope you have a great summer.  I hope you are all safe.  I am praying for you always and can't wait to see you in 10 weeks. Mahal na Mahal ko kayo at ingat po kayo palagi at Patuloy kayo manalangin sa diyos para sa tulong nya sa inyong mga pagsubok at tukso at patuloy lang kayo magbasa sa book of mormon malamanan ninyo ang mga salita ng diyos at anong dapat ninyong gawin na makabalik sa piling ng ating ama sa langit, at patuloy lang kayo magsimba para sa kapayapaan at kaligayhan sa buhay po ninyo. 

Mahal ko kayo
Elder Francis 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Laoag Week 94

Naimbag nga bigat 
Magandang Tanghali po Francis Family, 

This week has been really great and full of working really hard an having some cool experiences and memories that I would like to share with you in this e-mail. So this last week is the week Elder Gabuyo arrived here in Laoag, on Tuesday, and then we went straight out to work and he got to meet the members.  We talked about where Jesus talks to Simon Peter, one of his apostles, about feeding his sheep.  I really took these scriptures to myself and I love what Jesus says to him "lovest thou me more than these?"  I thought about my mission life and how sometimes we can easily get distracted by the worldly things.  All the trials that are out there in the world can pull us in, even when we  feel homesick or we are doing something that makes us not what the lord wants us to be, that is putting the worldly things first, then God.   So I need to take this scripture and remember to always put Christ first and always do what he wants me to do and show my love for him by being obedient and being diligent and doing His will, not mine.   I also like when he says well, "Feed my sheep." That is our responsibility as members to rescue the less actives and bring them back unto Christ and do all we can to help them feel God's love, and help them understand how important the gospel is in their life and help them return to Christ. 
So that was one cool experience we had this week.  We found a less active and we talked about these scriptures and explained about how much God loves him and when we put God first we will be blessed.  After we shared this scripture, he said he felt a warm peace or joy in his heart and he felt different -  something like he has not felt in while. So the spirit really talked to him and told him how much God loves him and how important the gospel is in his life. 
This week my testimony strengthened more about how the blessings the gospel brings to our lives.  I know God loves each and every one of us.  He knows what we are feeling.   He knows what is in our minds and hearts, and he is the only one that can help us feel happy.  Through prayer we can talk to him and we can express our love and gratitude to him and he can help us overcome our challenges and problems that we are going through. 
I've also been reading some talks lately and there is one that I really liked.  The topic was "Obedience Brings Blessings".  It says "There is no need for you or for me, in this enlightened age when the fullness of the gospel has been restored, to sail uncharted seas or to travel unmarked roads in search of truth. A loving Heavenly Father has plotted our course and provided an unfailing guide- even obedience. A knowledge of truth and answers to our greatest questions come to us as we are obedient to the commandments of God."   So I would like to say when we obey all of gods commandments and show our love to him, we will be blessed spiritually and we will receive the answers we might have to our concerns in our life and we will feel the love of our Father in Heaven. 
So that is what has happened this last week.  I have been enjoying these last couple of days and yesterday I got to do splits and work in Piddig.  I got to see my recent converts again and feel their  love for me and see how much their testimonies have grown.  They threw a party for me and we had a huge lunch at the Benito's home. So that was really exciting for me and I am just enduring now and really trying hard to do my best and enjoy my last 11 weeks left. I love you all so much and miss you all too and can't wait to hear from you next week. 

Mahal ko kayo at ingat kayo palagi 
Elder Francis 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Laoag Week 93

Happy Happy 12 WEEKS NA LANG Hindi ako trunky excited lang. I am going to enjoy the next 12 weeks left of my mission, it will go by so fast, and I really want to do the best I can and to go home finishing strong and go home with honor. 
I am super excited for my new companion Si Elder Gabuyo.  He will be my last companion and he will be killing me here on the mission.  I was his zone leader in Batac and he is super friendly and kind and I am super excited to have him as my next companion. 
So I am happy to see what will happen the next 12 weeks and I really have that attitude every day:  did I do my best or give my best. I want to take that as my motivation.  I was listening to a song lately and I heard this quote I really like what it said "live each day like it's your last". I want to work so hard and to do the best I can like it is my last day in the mission field. 
Well the area is good and we are really focusing on the less actives and reactivating them and building up the ward.  That is my focus right now because Richard and Precious's parents said no they cant be baptized, which is sad but I won't give up on them.  We have two kids Ram and Bj D. they are part member, their mom is less active and we will be focusing on them and hopefully they will be baptized in June or July. So that will be exciting for us and everything is going well.  I don't have much to say this week, but next week I will have a lot. I miss you all so much and love you all so much and hope you all enjoy the summer break. I can't wait to hear from you guys next week. Love you guys. 

Mahal ko kayo at ingat kayo palagi 

Elder Francis