Monday, July 18, 2016

Laoag Week 100

Francis Family, 

This week has been a really great week for me and Elder Gabuyo.  It was full of blessings and miracles.  We have been really praying a lot for our investigators and also finding new investigators that are ready to accept the gospel or listen to us.  What happened yesterday is that we had 7 investigators come to church and that was such a blessing to see them come and hopefully we will be having a lot of baptisms in August.  Sister Carol is doing great and came to church again. She told us what she is going to wear for her baptism and what time she wants it at.  She is super excited for August 6th and will invite her friends and family.  
We have just been finding and found three girls ages 14 to 16 -  three girls named Cristine, Rosalyne, Rendalyn are sisters and when we found them they were really interested in what we had to share with them and willing to listen to us. So we will see what happens in the next couple of weeks. 
I had a funny story happen to me this last Tuesday.  We were going to one of my areas  to visit one of our investigators named Myla Fernando and to get to her house there is a little bridge that is made out of wood and it goes over a little river.   My companion was going first and stopped because he said he felt the spirit speak to him that it was going to break and he told me "well, you go first" and I said "no you first" and he said "no you go first" and I was like whatever I am going so I went and I took two steps and the second step, my left leg fell through the bridge and I ripped my pants and I was bleeding and had a huge purple and blue bruise.  They asked what happened to me when I got out of it and I think  to myself that God is testing my faith and my companion was just going to see if I was going to really do it and I did and I fell through it.  When we got to one of our investigators homes, her name is Sister Elaine and her husband is a less active but she always comes to church, she saw the rip in my pants and said "I can fix that if you want me to" and told me to take off my pants.   I told her "but I don't have a towel or shorts to put on" so she gave me a lava lava and I had to wear that for an hour and two lessons that we shared which was so funny.   I felt like the missionaries in Samoa or Tonga that get to wear lava lavas.  I know now when there is a sketchy bridge not to take it and I need to make the right decisions. So that was a funny thing that happened to me this last week. 
So now I am recovering with my huge blue and purple bruise on my leg.  I am starting to feel better, I just need to be careful what I eat and hopefully won't get sick again.  I need to also watch what I drink. So that is what happened to me this last week.  I am just enjoying the mission life and working hard and will hopefully have four baptisms before I come home.  I am really praying for it and fasting for my investigators. I love you all and miss you all so much too, take care always and stay safe. 

Love your best son, 

Elder Francis 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Laoag Week 99

Francis Family,
I am down to my last transfer or 6 weeks in the mission.   Like the mission goes by so fast I can't believe it and especially now it is time to go hard and to give it my best, because I only have 6 weeks left of being a full time missionary.  The mission life really is hard, but the memories, miracles, stories, and people and culture I have adapted too, that I don't want to leave. I love the Philippines and love the people and I i am going to miss all my friends I have made here.  I  am going to miss the culture also. I am going to enjoy these last 6 weeks I have left and remember to live each day like it is my last day in the mission field.

Well this week we had a amazing experience happen to us.  We were finding in one of our areas and we were both out of the mood, like I was thinking I want to go back home and not work and I was just mad.  My companion was mad also and not in the mood then he said to me sige der saan tayo (okay elder where are we going) and I pointed to a house and he said okay lets try it so we went up to the house Tao po and a woman came out.  We started to talk to her and she was so welcoming and said please come in and we started to talk to her and she said she has been praying and looking for the truth, so when we shared with her about the Restoration she started to cry, especially when Joseph Smith restored the gospel.  She completely understood our lesson and she said Brothers a lot of missionaries have come to my house like Catholic, Baptist, and others churches, but we are the first Mormons to come to her house and she said that our message felt different and she felt happier and she said to us I love your message.  Then we committed her to baptism and she was like okay. She wanted to be baptized that next day and we were laughing and said to her okay but we told her August 6th sister, and she is like okay.  She came to church yesterday and she had a beautiful experience and she said to us Elders I think I have found the truth and she started to cry.  I would like to testify to you that I know this is the true church and I know the Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God because I have prayed to God to know and I have received multiple answers and it said to me yes he is. Her name is C. Pascual and she is 51 years old.  So three days after my birthday we should be having a baptism. So what a cool experience.

So that is really what happened to us this week I don't have too much to say because I am close to coming home.  I have to give a talk this week in church on Go Forward in Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. So I am super excited for that and I will see how this week goes for us. I love you all so much and miss you all so much too. For my package I would like my favorite candy, also my favorite drinks, also any souvenirs.
Mahal na mahal ko kayo lahat
Ingat kayo palagi
Elder Francis

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Laoag Week 98

Happy 4th of July or American Day!!! 

Well this week has been really good for me and my companion and been full of good memories and miracles.  One lesson that we had this week was really spiritual with the Mamasig family.  We shared from the bible and we shared from St. Matthew chapter 19  from verses 16-22.  I really like these scriptures because we can apply them to ourselves.  In verse 16 it talks about a lawyer talking to Jesus Christ and he said what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life. Then Jesus Christ said to him in verse 17 to keep my commandments. But verse 20 is a scripture I really like when he asked "What lack I yet?" Then in verse 21 Jesus said to him if thou will be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. When the man heard these words in verse 22, it says he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. So I really liked these scriptures that we shared with them and that is a question for all of us to ask ourselves:  What must we do to have Eternal Life?   That is to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.  First to have Faith in Him, second Repentance, third is to Be Baptized, fourth is to Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and the fifth is to Endure to the End. If we do this we can receive Eternal life, and also by keeping God's commandments. 
The question I really like is "What lack I yet?"  That is a good question to ask ourselves:  What do I need to do to become perfect or become like Christ and be able to accept the gospel into our lives. Sometimes we have great possessions like the lawyer in this story, and we need to give them up to keep God's commandments or be able to do what God wants us to do. So when we shared this with them tatay Mamasig was really open with us and said he feels like that when he doesn't pray or read that he is going further and further away from god, and especially when he doesn't attend church, he doesn't feel the spirit and he feels like it is so hard to come back because he as gone so far away. I told him that is what Satan wants us to do is to push off the easy things like reading the scriptures and play basketball or watch t.v. and when we say "ohhh I'm too tired to pray or just don't want to."  We are pushing what God wants us to do and doing what Satan wants us to do. So I told him through Christ's Atonement, which I know is real, and when we apply it to ourselves, we will never lose hope and we can come back no matter how far we left the path to lead us to Eternal life. So we as members need to do this always - live the teachings and gospel of Jesus Christ - it is the help and the light for us through the darkness of this life.  Before my mission darkness came upon me and the trials and challenges that I went through  - even still on my mission - the hard times and the times I feel hopeless and want to give up, I am grateful for the gospel that God has given to us to be happy here on earth and we can become more like him. 

So that was the cool experience I had this week and I am still just loving the Philippines and I'm trying to endure to the end and enjoy every moment I have left until I come home in August. I miss you all so much and can't wait to see you in 8 weeks like wow that will go by so fast and I can't wait to hear everything that is going with you guys. Love you all so much and take care. 

Mahal ko kayo at ingat kayo palagi 
Elder Francis 

Laoag Week 97

Magandang Hapon po Francis Family, 

This week really has been really spiritual for me because we had our zone conference last Tuesday and the trainings that were given and the testimonies that were given were so touching and I really felt the spirit. Some things I learned, like what you said, we might remember our past sins that we and they might weigh us down or we might weaken our faith in Christ.  Sometimes it is hard to be focused, but I can tell you that The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and I have felt it here on my mission.  Especially when times are rough and I feel hopeless and want to give up because everything is too hard, or I am tired of working, I really think to myself I am not the first one to ask why is this so hard, or why is it so hot, or I don't want to work.   I think what Jesus Christ did for me and how he bled and died for my sins, he was bruised and whipped for our transgressions and afflictions, the reason he did it is because he loved his father, just like me I love my Father in Heaven and I want to do the best I can to serve Him. I don't want to upset him in anything I do.  I want to serve him to the best of my ability and give these two years of my life to him and really focus on my mission, especially these last 8 weeks I have.  
I really want to focus on the Savior and serving him, and really think about what the Savior did for me.  I need to do the same by giving my two years of my life to sharing the gospel with others and that is what the gospel is - to invite others to come unto Christ and bring them unto repentance and the waters of baptism to follow their Savior's example.  The gospel leads us to become more like him and will lead us to eternal life. We are saving souls, and especially when i have a baptism and they say thank you, it makes me tear up and especially when you get to see them again and see them active in the church and preparing for a mission and going to the temple.  What amazing experiences they are having because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I really want to take this time as a missionary - it is not a long time -  it goes by so fast like what it says in D&C 58:16- I only get to serve a full time mission once and I won't be able to do it again so I need to live every experience like it is my last day in the field.  
I really have gained such a strong testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and seen lives changed because of it.  I have seen families sealed together because of the gospel in their lives. 
So that was my fantastic week.  Still enduring to the end and not letting down and still teaching the gospel to anyone that is willing to listen to us.  I miss you all so much and love you all, have a fun trip to Canada and dad have a good 4th of July and stay safe. 

Mahal ko kayo at ingat kayo palage. :)

Elder Francis