Friday, November 11, 2016

Mashed Potatoes and Teaching a Treasure Hunter!

Hello Family and Everyone!

It was a good week here in Cauayan! Elder Schmootz and his wife came and had a mission tour in our mission.  Elder Schmootz gave us a lot of great advice that I will take with me through the mission.  Throughout the meeting I could feel the spirit soo strongly and I couldn't help but smile.  

I feel like since I have been in the office i haven't smiled as much because I am always so busy and don't really have anyone else to talk to in my small cubicle, but I still find ways to have fun every once in a while.  Elder Schmootz taught us the importance of our calling and told us about how we need to review the commitments we made as a missionary and renew our vigor in the work. I felt more joy enter my life as I remembered again the most important reasons why I went on a mission.  

Another favorite part of the meeting was having mashed potatoes and pasta but that is another matter entirely ;).  It was quite a busy week in the office!  I had to do many reimbursements for missionaries as well as order some stuff for the mission, but I always have fun while I am there! I also believe that I am an addict to burgers now.  Any burger joint I see, I try and get my hands on a burger.  I may be at a point in my mission where rice won't do it anymore!!!! Haha. 

On a sadder note, I think my American investigator may pass away soon.  His health hasn't been doing well and he has started to rely on other sources to relieve his pain.  I have been praying and fasting that he may get well soon.  He was a great man to have discussions with. I could always tell he had a desire to change, he just never knew what path he should take.  

We have been reteaching our Recent Convert and she is awesome!  She is really helping the family she is staying with.  They have been less active at times, but now they are becoming more and more active as she comes closer to Her Savior! Its amazing to see the change that has gone within the family.  Every time we come over they seem more genuinely happy and just a little more silly! Hahaha. I love them and hope that they continue to grow in the gospel together.  

We have our other American investigator and his family who we are really trying to start pushing to come to church.  We hope that we will start seeing them.  He has a very strong background in religion and has a good understanding of who is Savior is and the importance of him.  On top of that, he is a treasure hunter!  How many Americans do you meet in the Philippines that are treasure hunters?!? He told me a little bit about it but basically he is hunting Spanish bullions that the Japanese hid all over during World War II I believe.   I may have already said this but its just soo cool!  Now I just gotta get his family to church!  

Well I love you all, and btw I have now been here 16 months in 3 days!  Remember to show your love to others and be of service to all of those around you!  Oh how great is the work!!!!

Much love,

Elder Warren

Finding Charity

Hello All!

So this week was busy busy busy!  I was stuck in the office for a long part of the week.  Sister Zeena, the newest member in our branch is doing well.  She has some great influences around her.  She has been accepted into an active member family who has been a great example to her.  I love seeing them every week and being able to teach them.  I have to say they may be one of my favorite families, like every family I meet in the field!  Haha.  

It was a little bit of a stressful week this week.  We received over a hundred boxes of supplies at the office yesterday!  We were just about to go out to work when we were bombarded with the shipment and it took an additional two hours just to stock half of the new supplies we got.  Some of the stuff we didn't even order, actually I mean a lot of it haha.  It was a moment though where all you could do was laugh it all.  I mean somehow we ordered over 300 White Handbooks!  For those of you who don't know, a missionary usually only needs one handbook their entire mission, and we just got around 400 of those... 

One of the greatest things I have had the opportunity to study while I have been in the mission are the attributes of Jesus Christ.  Any one who knows me knows that my attitude at times throughout my life hasn't been the greatest.  My favorite area to study in while I have been in the mission field is charity.  I feel like I have talked about this before but thats because it is such an important concept to understand.  

If we have charity, we have everything.  If we don't have charity, we are nothing.  Charity is the pure love of Christ.  In it, all things are made perfect.  It is impossible for a man to achieve perfect charity while we are in this life, because it is the PURE love of Christ.  In order to obtain more charity, we must think more like Our Savior.  This requires understanding where another person is coming from.  Not judging them, but trying to understand there past, who they are as a person, and the struggles that they have gone through.  Doing this takes A LOT of work.  It is so easy to judge someone instead of actually trying to understand them as a person.  Understand there thoughts, feelings, and actions.  But one thing I have noticed is that when we view someone as a child of God, our ability to have charity increases exponentially.  

If we see everyone as a child of God, then we understand what our Heavenly Father ultimately wants for them and their families. Eternal life.  We understand that they need to know the plan that their Father in Heaven has created JUST FOR THEM.  Charity, is by far on of the most interesting concepts to understand.  But it is also one of the greatest.  

As I continue to work daily on having more charity, I continue to become more happy, more friendly, and less angry, less frustrated, and less judgemental.  Let us all become more charitable this week.  Lets try to think of someone else for a change and do something kind for a random stranger.  Because I know its what Christ would do.  

I love you all, and I will inform you next week of how the mission tour with Elder Schmootz was!  

Love you,

Elder Warren

Typhoons, Car Accidents and First Baptism!!

Hello Family and Everyone Else!

So you would not have any idea how crazy of a week I have had.  The week started off like any other.  I knew I wouldn't be having a preparation day, so I just got into my work schedule.  Everything was all fine and dandy, until out of nowhere, Typhoon 2 in a row appears on my screen!!  

One of my duties in the office is to keep track of typhoons on the way to our mission.  When I saw what was coming, I knew our Mission Tour would have to be postponed.  It was a category 5 typhoon.  Anyone who doesn't know what that means, it means that the winds exceeded 156 mph.  To be honest,  at one point in time the winds were 170 mph.  

Our 3 North Zones had to be emergency evacuated, which led to my appartment housing 8 Elders total!  Haha it was a little crazy, but was also fun to see familiar faces!  We ended up not having water for a day, and were without power for 3 days.  The wind was pretty bad and there was some flooding, but it wasn't too bad.  The storm only lasted for about a day and a half, then we could begin working again.  

When I went out to work was when things got even more interesting.  On my way to work, I was on splits with Elder Alecha, one of the Elders sleeping with us at the appartment.  Now, usually I sit on the outside of the tricycle, but this time, I was in the inside, so I faced the right side of the road, saw everything just off the road.  About half way to my area, I saw something that didn't quite register in my head.  A car that was on its side.  Suddenly, and quite shockingly, I realized I had just witnessed a car accident.  And a pretty bad one.  After I saw the car on its side, I saw the top of a mans head underneath the car and to my horror, I saw his crushed tricycle wrapped around a telephone pull.  

Now I knew I needed to stop.  Instinctively, I yelled at the driver to stop.  And before he had even stopped I was out of the vehicle running to the scene.  I was the first one there, so I grabbed the first Filipino I saw and told them to call the police.  Then I called over other Filipinos to help me push up the car, so I could pull the body out from underneath the car with his clean hand.  After that, I went and checked inside the vehicle.  I could make out 3 girls in the car and tried to open the door from the top, but something was wrong with them.  We grabbed a tricycles seat and used it to smash the back window out and I helped grab the three little girls from the car.  

Afterwards, I knew it was time for me to go out to work and that my help was no longer needed.  Before I left, we found that the driver had just left the hospital and still had the IV in.  I don't know all the details but sadly it seems that the driver was definitely not fit to drive and something had happened to the driver while driving, either they passed out or passed away.  Now although it was a very saddening situation, I was thankful I was able to help those girls who were trapped in the car that was stuck in D3.  

That day I was able to teach both of my American investigators and to testify with more power about the Plan of Salvation and how great it is that the people who passed on were now in a better place.  On Saturday, I have a surprise for you...  I GOT MY FIRST BAPTISM!!!  Now I was sooo shocked that it really was happening.  I mean, I had never seen the fruits of my labor until this point, so it was very amazing.  Now, I have to be honest,  I was definitely a litte awkward with my investigator before I baptized her.  Haha I just didn't know what to say to comfort her, because I myself was beyond nervous, I was sweating up a storm!!!  But it was a very spiritual experience.  

As I baptized her,  I felt the joy that she must have definitely been feeling from her Father at the moment.  I was so thankful to share in her special experience.  She looked especially happy at church yesterday.  It has been so great to watch her progress and become happier through my time as her missionary.  She will become a great strong Sister in the church and I am excited to see where her life will go!  

Overall, I have to say I had a pretty crazy but good week.  Its a great day to be a missionary!!!!  

I love you all,
Elder Warren