Sunday, May 24, 2015

I will end my mission with a wedding and baptism!

Dear Family, Friends, Loved Ones, and Others,

Well 1 week left... Holy cow... It still does not feel that way. I still feel like I will be here for another well... forever! Haha! This week has been a week. I will admit I almost feel not ready to leave. I love the people here so much! I am just.... I don't have words to describe... 

Well Jetro and Lovlov are on track. They passed their interviews. Their Wedding is in order and we are all set! I will end my mission with a wedding and baptism! They are so amazing and I just love them to death!

Brother Dudes wearing my Tag!
 Well last week I talked about the Less Active family, the Auigerre Family. Yeah so they are now our biggest help! We have just received 2 solid new investigators, both husbands of the women in the Auigerre Family. Both of these men, Brother Onyong and Brother Jori, accepted to be baptized with in the first lesson. They are super awesome and willing to work. 

Still coming to church!!
WOOHOO GO AUIGERRE FAMILY! 

Well we had some pretty fantastic experiences this week teaching wise. One crazy experience is our investigators, the Gargarita family, have been investigating for 6 years and they have not even attended church once... Well this last week we got the Dad to come and yesterday he said he will bring his kids the next week! Huge blessings! 

Well I don't have lots to say... I just love the work here. I am working hard and sprinting to the finish. I am glad to say, "I will see you all next week!" I know this church is true and I know this work is the most important thing on the face of the planet! 

Love you all! I will see you next week!

Love,
Elder Minson





 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

They were the miracle I needed from Heavenly Father.

Dear Kazoku,
Sorry I ran out of english/illongo words to put as the title... I have been here that long! I figured a tribute to Dads mission language would suffice! :) Well this week was amazing... just amazing! There is so much good that came out of it! I have so much hope that this ward will progress now! 

So first I will start with our great search for well... anything. Our teaching pool has litterally been decreasing so fast. I have no idea how or why... well i have an idea, but anyway... The whole thing is the ward felt like it was collapsing around me! We have been working so hard, every day, all day... and very little was happening. Well we went in this compound next to our 2 great investigators Lovlov and Jetro (Which I will talk about later). Supposedly all the houses there are filled with less active members... We decided to visit the biggest family there, the Auigerre family, and teach. Well they let us in and we had a great teaching. Well there are like 5 daughters all with like 3 children each, and then you have the mother, all less active. Well 3 of the daughters went to church and grabbed some of the other less actives next door to come. We increased sacrament attendance by 20+ people! And that wasn't even the whole family. Tonight we will be having an FHE and it will be huge!! I think we will bring back the wards attendance at least to a reasonable amount for being a "ward." Man they are so great!

Well another blessing I said earlier was Jetro and Lovlov. They will be my last baptism here in the mission. They are flipping their whole life around! They are living in but have decided to get married through the church on May 29th and will be baptized right after the wedding!! They are the cutest couple I have ever seen here in the Philippines! They push each other to be better and become saints! It is amazing! They were the miracle I needed from Heavenly Father. I think I am going to buy some food to help with the wedding, they are still really poor so I figured that is a good way to show that I love them! Is that alright? 

Well on Saturday we were suppose to have a reactivation clinic... well only 3 people showed up! Sister Reggina Barroca(YW Pres), Janice Jereza(YW Counselor), and Brother John Alverez (Ward Mission Leader). Well in the end we went through the list of members and realized that the ward is only 25% active... Well they got a determination to work and that is what we did! It went real well and like I said earlier, Members are coming back. I have super firm solid testimony that members are the key to this great work. Not only did they help with LA's but also our investigators and I am expecting this to become a great area as long as we build the church upon missionary work and loving one another. 

Thursday we had a great Zone Conference. It was spiritual and the messages were all great. The worst part about it was though... I had to bear my final testimony to all the missionaries... I did not cry... I was close... but I didn't... Haha! It was good, but heart breaking... I love my mission. The people are so great here and I am going to miss them dearly! 

Well I love you family. Don't got much else to share! Send some pictures! Not just family but all my friends too! I LOVE PICTURES!! haha! Keep those shoes on, because i sure am! 

Love,
Elder Minson
 



 
 
This is my Naynay crew!! They all waited outside the chapel after I gave my last talk to get a final remembrance! :)

The huge amount of people is the Auigerre family/the other members and investigators in that compound that I told you about. That is how we do true missionary work ;) 

And this is a fresh and delicious mango!
 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

I have 3 weeks left and THE WORK MUST CONTINUE ONWARD!!

Dear Everyone Else and Family,

So just talked to my Family and man do I love them to death! I guess I will see you all in the next couple weeks! I only got 3 of them left! I am planning on making them all count! I would like some prayers for Brother Jetro and Sister Lovlov. They will probably be my last baptisms here in my mission and I really would like to see them in white! They need to get married then baptized!! So please pray.

I had a fantastic week of being able to go on exchanges in Ma-ao and Sagasa and Bago 1st ward (all are in one area), I got to see former investigators who are now all baptized and preparing for missions like Sister Shiela Grace Laus and Sister Rhea Villiaflor. I also got to see Jeanelene De Leon who I just love to death still her and her  2 boys. BJ and Daniel. And of course it would not be a day in Bago 1st Ward if I was not eating dinner at the Alajar family's home. I love that family with my whole heart and I miss them so much! They are my family away from family and they will always be in my heart.

I got to baptize a man this week for the sisters in Bago 2nd ward. For 2 weeks I served in that area and the Mom of this man remembered me. So when I interviewed him for baptism he wanted me to baptize him. His mom was stoked that she was able to get remembrance with me before I leave! 

This week was a week to RECOMMIT. I am recommitting myself to the mission! I have 3 weeks left and THE WORK MUST CONTINUE ONWARD!! Well I love you all! I will see you all soon! Keep those shoes on! 

Love,
Elder Minson





Sunday, April 26, 2015

My body has never been so tired.

Dear Family Pirme sa akon Paminsaharon,

Well this week has been very average... Sorry to say. Nothing to amazingly fantastic came. Well I might have a couple more things! ;) I will try to explain them the best I can.

Well this week was kind of a fixing week. We have been really focusing on getting the auxiliary leaders working and the area functioning before we went finding again. We are in a bit of a pickle here. We could use many prayers for the leadership here and for the members to preform and magnify their callings! 

Luckily for us we had a couple great referrals from our amazing recent convert Sister Nida! She has 3 families she is fellow shipping all at the same time! They are all really amazing too and willing to listen and do the things we ask! She is also trying to get her whole family in on the action in the church! 

Well one of the referrals is this older couple, the Robelo Family. They are a great family. Brother Robelo is half paralyzed. He had a stroke year ago and half his body on the Left side is not able to function. His wife is the only one who can provide. Well we visited them once and left them the pamphlet. The next time we came back we asked how things were, they told us they read the whole pamphlet! It was shocking and great. Then they told us a bit of a story. After they read the pamphlet they decided to pray about Joseph Smith, and they said the next day they received the blessings they needed with money and everything! They are gaining a testimony for themselves and will be great members of the church. 

Other then that we have been just working hard on reactivation and other things. We need all the prayers we can get for Brother Ceasar Mondejar and his family. They didn't come to church yesterday and their baptism should be this week.We really need to know what is going on there. They have a livein situation, but due to laws in the Philippines I don't know what to consider it. Just pray things will work out for this great family. 

Well other then that nothing else really happened! Just keep praying I need strength. My body has never been so tired. I really need to be able to function and do all the work that is required of me! 

I love you all I miss you and I hope you are all enjoying your lives. Mom I am so proud of you on your final exam! Brody keep on being gwapo and singing. Brigham you keep running and look gwapo while doing it! And Dad I am so proud of you and your example you have given to me! Keep those shoes on! 

Love,
Elder Minson





 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Well this is it, my last transfer in the mission, I am coming home in 6 weeks.... I know this gospel is true! I love the work and I love the people of the Philippines!

Dear Family of Spiritual Giants,

Well no transfers have happened! Officially Elder Shumway is my last companion in my mission! I am in Pulupandan 1st and this is where I will die as a missionary! Just to be resurrected and be hard working member missionary back home! Well this is it, my last transfer in the mission, I am coming home in 6 weeks. Well these next 6 weeks will just have to be the best I can possibly do! 

Well this week Sister Christine Gargarita was baptized. What an amazing thing it was to see. She was the first investigator I met in this area and I told Elder Shumway after the first night that I thought she was going to progress. Well she is now baptized. She is struggling with some family issues still and could use all of your prayers though to help her. 

Well Sister Nida De Leon is a spiritual giant. Just went to her house yesterday and she said that she will work with us and help find new investigators. She is almost done reading the whole Book of Mormon and she was only confirmed yesterday... SHE IS AMAZING! We just got a text from her that she has someone she wants to be taught tonight! Just crazy how prepared she was by God. 

Well the next people to be baptized is the M. family. Brother Ceasar, Sister Nida and their 2 grandchildren Renelyn and Rhealyn! They need lots of prayers that they will pass their interview. They have a weird living situation and President Ferrin needs to interview them because technically they are a live in, but due to laws here in the Philippines they have been together longer then 8 years and can be considered legally married. It all depends on their interview with President. 

We then yesterday had this Less Active show up to church, his name is Brother Erroll Villiaflor. He is a great man and is an RM. He had lots of difficulty before and that is why he went Less Active. Well last night he invited us to his house for dinner and he was the nicest man ever! He fed us well. He saw my pretty beat up watch and gave me a really nice new one that he said didn't fit him... and he said he will help us in the missionary efforts here! He is amazing!

Well this week was good overall. We need lots of prayers this next transfer to find new investigators and figure things out with the ward. We need to get things working! Please keep Pulupandan 1st Ward in your prayers! 

Well thats all for the week! I love you! I know this gospel is true! I love the work and I love the people of the Philippines! Love you!! 

Love,
Elder Minson
 





 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Am I really more gwapo if I work harder at my calling? I hope Sister Burton was right there!

Dear Amazing and Very Trunkie Family,

Well this week has been a lightning fast one.... Holy cow I have no idea where the time has gone..... Well this week did not have too many crazy amazing things happen. We had a baptism, we had General Conference, and we have some pretty amazing investigators!!!

Well first the baptism was that of Sister Nide De Leon. She was the sisters in Pulupandan 2nd Ward, but she lives in our ward so they had to pass her off to us! So yeah she was just totally elect and is amazing! She is so pumped up for doing missionary work! She attended General Conference which just pumped her up even more!! Anyway she is just an amazing lady and wants God to be in her families life! So that is our next goal! 

Next about my last General Conference here in the field... IT WAS AMAZING!!! I mean I was getting a little trunkie, not a lot, but I was a little because of the Saturday Session and the focus on getting home and getting married for all time and ETERNITY!! Haha! Man it was awesome! Am I really more gwapo if I work harder at my calling? I hope Sister Burton was right there! I hope to be more gwapo ;) I loved President Monson's talk in priesthood session! It probably was my favorite! It was so inspiring! Same with Jeffery R. Hollands and the story of the Brothers! It was just an amazing conference! 

Lastly we should be having a baptism this week as well! Sister Christine is an amazing single mother. She is really struggling with family issues and really opened up to us yesterday! She needs all the prayers she can get this week so that she can be ready for baptism, we might have to postpone it another week.

Brother Ceasar Mondejar and his family are just super elect, they are the ones we met through Sister Christine, and man are the progressing! They live in some of the poorest conditions but are so willing to live the gospel and become Saints! Every prayer Brother Ceasar gives is for us to find new people to teach and spread the gospel to the world! He even joins us in all the teachings over by his place! It is just amazing! 

For Spiritual thought to Everyone in the World:
This last week in District Meeting I trained on Our Missionary Purpose. I felt so spiritually edified to share how we need to be inviting correctly and we need to make sure our investigators are receiving correctly. I see to many times on my mission, where missionaries are getting 40+ member presents but only 2 to 3 are going to church... The reason why is because missionaries are forgetting their purpose!!! FAITH is first and they cannot get to baptism without it, second is REPENTANCE and we cannot allow our investigators to be baptized unless they have fully repented! If I could I wish I could share that to the whole mission. Our weekly baptisms needs to be 100% quality if we want to say that we are the best mission in the world. I have been pushing really hard with the whole zone to make sure that the numbers and statistics are not interfering with our true calling. We are here to INVITE others to come unto Christ by HELPING them RECEIVE the Restored Gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End. There are 3 key words Invite, Help, and then they will need to Receive. 

Well I got nothing else to really say... I just love you all to death! I can't wait to see you all! I hope things are going well! I mean I got like 7 weeks or something like that! Haha! Well I love you!

Love,
Elder Minson

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The field is white already to harvest! We are instruments in the Lords hands trying to accomplish an amazing work!



Dear Eternal Family,

 aWell this week has been a quite one for the books. It was Holy Week here. Back home we call it Easter. Where we are all from, Easter is to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and to bolster our faith in him. Here they celebrate Holy Thursday and Good Friday and parade around with huge statues of idols and Jesus Nailed to the Cross... It was a hard week for teachings due to this. The other religions here hold such a strong grasp on the people, but that does not discourage me because we have the truth! 

This week nothing I can remember too crazy happened. We worked hard. Got really tired and then worked some more! We just have kept in perspective that this work is going to be hard. We are really starting from scratch here, but we know as we work hard slowly the Lord will help us find his lost sheep! 

My companion, Elder Shumway, is a great man! He keeps a great attitude and really tries to keep positive and pushes really hard to be a great Elder. He struggles with the language (don't we all), but he does not let himself get down about it. He is improving everyday! 

We had 6 investigators show up to church and they are all our next couple baptisms. We have 1 this week and 1 next week and maybe one the week after! And on May 2nd we have a whole family of 5 being baptized that are totally elect! The field is white already to harvest! We are instruments in the Lords hands trying to accomplish an amazing work! 

I don't really have much to share. I got the package! Thank you to all who wrote me and for the candy and oils! :) I loved it all! I am strong and healthy and doing all I can to focus on the work! My feet are fine, I am having to go at a slower pace... Which I do not like, but will deal with it. I am happy! I love the work!

I miss you all cannot wait to see your faces! Thank you for the pictures! Please keep me updated on what is going on! For all my friends who read this, I would love to hear from every single one of you too! I just want you all to know I know that this gospel is true. That our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Atoned for our sins and is our Savior! I love you all thank you so much! 

Love,
Elder Minson









Sunday, March 29, 2015

God needs us to be obedient to do this work.

Dear Family I will see in a single digit number of weeks,
Haha, crazy to think time has flown by so fast. Just yesterday I was in La Carlota completely oblivious to everything and now I am training someone in the same situation! haha!
Well let me just get right into the good stuff of the week. Well this week has been one of the hardest weeks I have ever had when it comes to teachings! We walked and talked and tag balay-ed all over the place, but yet our investigators were not there... In total this week we had 13 lessons taught with a member present. Now I said let us get into the "good stuff" so I will explain.
Last week I talked about the Uncle and Aunt of one of our investigators, Sister Christine. Well we had a day with very little going on so we just planned a finding day. This was really rough for us do to the fact that I have a new companion and sometimes it is hard to OYM, but he was a stud and did a great job!
We found out that to get to this area we got to walk on the beach front. So as we are walking. There was this family outside making a small house. I said "Maayong Hapon" which means "good afternoon," and one of the girls (around 20 years old) kind of made fun that we were there. So what do I do? I turn around and introduce myself in the best Illongo I could muster and it pretty much broke her brain for a good 5 minutes. Well this family actually ended up being a great family, the Pancho Family. They are pretty golden and love talking with the missionaries. Sadly they did not show up to church, but we have only visited them once so I cannot complain!
Next we go to the Uncle of Sister Christine, Brother Ceasar Mondejar, and he comes out with a smile on his face with his wife and they invite us in. We share a great lesson on prophets and invite them to church and they accepted. We came back last Satuday, sad ot say brother wasn't there, but his wife was and his grandchildren. We taught them as well! They all said they will come to church and guess what? They did!!! Brother was sick but his wife and grandchildren went and it was awesome!
In total on our search for new investigators last week we came out with a total of 23! They are all quality too! They are not just people we taught once and never will again, but people we have come back to already and are super prepared! In total 9 investigators came to church. Sister Christine, Sister Pamela Martinete (long time investigators that just had her first time at church, expect great things from her), 4 from the Mondejar family in our far area, and 3 others that joined members that I still do not know but will know soon!
Well there was one more very humbling thing this week... I want to be better from it... For a while we have struggled with the Martinete Family. They didn't take much serious. They are a great family and there are many Recent Converts so we need to keep coming back... Well Saturday we recieved a text from the teenage girl Fritzel. She told me how I am to serious and need to relax and stuff the week before which put me in a bit of a bad mood. Well the text came from one of her close memeber friends which pretty much said that, We made a mistake/did a sin to Fritzel and we need to visit her house. My heart sank when I heard this text because I was just struggling so bad with them before and I did not want to have any more problems. I will admit I got a bit hot headed and said things I shouldn't have... Well went to her house, we nailed a sweat lesson on the reason why us as missionaries were there. Why we are so "serious" and things. Well after words we prayed and sister Fritzel looks at me and says "sit there we are going to have dinner!" The kids in this family cooked us a meal that night, they just were playing a prank on us... I have never felt so bad for getting mad before. I pray every day I did not offend..... They planned this meal for us and showed such love. I am really wanting to change. This family has proved to me that the gospel changes people, and that if these people are truly are elect. No matter what you do they will accept the gospel! I love the Marinete Family.
Well that was my week. At least the things I could remember. I guess our mission is going down in obedience which is crazy sad. So our zone training last week was focused on pretty much chatizing and i loved it! Please if you are in contact with parents of missionaries here, please have those parents remind their children to be obedient! God needs us to be obedient to do this work. This week proved it. We got 13 lessons with members and 4 other lessons, but we found 23 new investigators and 9 went to church! That was because we were working as hard as we possibly could and being obedient!
I love you all so much. I miss you and am excited to see you so soon! Please if you have any questions or anything let me know! I love you!
Love,
Elder Minson





Sunday, March 22, 2015

It was just a testament to me that God answers prayers!

Dear Family of Heroes,

Well this week was a very hard pressed week of work. Summer time is now in effect and I am not in the same place I was last year in the mountains. I am now in the city and it is El NiƱo this year, which means no rain... Just SUN!! So yeah it is pretty hot right now. We are striving to work as hard as we possibly can, but we are also trying not to die do to the heat! haha! 

So this week has been just a constant battle for lessons and new investigators. All week I was praying for new investigators, and to find a new teaching pool here. The week was really rough in those 2 aspects... Graduation is coming up which really hammers on our ability to get many teachings. So many people are working or at school or doing other activities right now. So it was a bit rough!

Well we have been having great teachings with some of our investigators and we were feeling a good week coming up. He though that many would come to church! Well Sunday arrived and no one showed.... It was heart breaking really. We thought for sure things were going great! 

Well we had this one investigator show up half way through Sunday school. Her name is Christine Gargarita. She is a very short woman, she is around 24 or 25 years old and has a 5 year old son. They have been being taught for a while. The first night I arrived here in Pulupandan we taught her. I remember specifically saying "she is going to progress." Well this is the second week in a row she has come to church. Well the missionaries have only been teaching her at her friends house. We finally decided yesterday to go to her house! We went and she acted all shy of her house because it is not that big of a house and she doesn't have much. Well while we were teaching her all of a sudden her dad walked in wanting to learn, then 5 minutes later her uncle and aunt walked in wanting to learn. And after bearing testimony on families we could tell they were elect. We set a plan to visit with them again. We found out the uncle and aunt lives in a place that no missionaries have really gone too... sound an awful lot like what happened in Cadiz! It was just a testament to me that God answers prayers! All week asking for new investigators and even though not many went to church the one that did was the key to a whole new world of investigators! The weekly baptisms are beginning! I am excited, I really think this is a start of a new world! 

Well another thing that is happening is that EJ's Mom, the one who was kind of the reason she was not getting baptized, she is now listening to us. Not only that she is actually enjoying it all! She gets us food and drinks and we talk and joke and have a good time. I think we will get that whole family back into this church!!! 

Well other then that not much else has happened! I am just loving the work! Working hard doing all I can to set a good example for my companion, other missionaries, and all of you back home! I know this Gospel is true! God hears our prayers and he provides for us! I love this work! 

Love,
Elder Minson








Sunday, March 15, 2015

It was a miracle and was very emotional.

Dear Family that is Trunkier then I am,

Well what a week huh? This week has been a very interesting experience for me. I am training an American. It is really hard for me. Like yeah really hard, but I love the challenge. I am having to teach a language, teach the lessons in the language, and try to fellowship everyone! It is awesome! Haha! Loving the challenge. 

Well this week was filled with hard work. Every day getting out and figuring out the area. Poor Elder Shumway had a terribly disobedient companion... it was not a good way for him to be introduced into the Philippines. Now we are working to find new investigators, and show the members we care for them and the ward. I think we are succeeding. Even though we knew only like 5 investigator families we have tried to build and work from there. We are trying to find previous investigators of the missionaries before us. There are many part member families so that is our work. 

Well we had 3 baptisms this week. 2 were Brother Christian M. and Brother Rudy M. The other was a miracle. Sister EJ S., this is the one I baptized. She has been an investigator for an extremely long time. She has been active in the church for over a year now. She is 17 years old. Her dad is a member Melchezidek Priesthood holder. He is less active. His mom his very catholic. I heard about this family from Elder Mower because he met EJ and heard her story about how her parents will not allow her to be baptized. So President Ferrin and Elder Mower went to their house personally to get permission. They thought they did from the dad, but the week before I got here she still was not allowed to according to her Mom... we visited them all this week trying to figure it out. It took 3 visits, one with EJ to figure out the situation. Second she had a head ache and we taught just her Dad, Brother Tommy was with us who has a voice of an angel and sang for us and the dad said he would not get in the way of her being baptized. The third was with EJ's mom, she was the one in the end, stopping the baptism. We ended up talking, and I just joked but taught at the same time. She gained trust with us and the next day the Baptismal record was SIGNED!! After 1 year of elders coming and teaching, with all the combined effort here the Lord finally allowed EJ to be baptized. It was a miracle and was very emotional. Our next goal is to get the whole family in the church :) 

Saturday we went to Manila to get travel things done. So yeah I am officially getting close to leaving. Sadly the temple was closed, but we get to go when we are coming home. We did visit The Philippine/American Cemetery where Gordon B Hinckly opened missionary work to the Philippines! Very spiritual experience! I loved it there. I also got to have Jamba Juice and Wendy's... I loved it!!! Excited for the food back home! 

Well great week. Hope to see things continue onward and see the blessings come in. Don't have to much longer. We cannot just blow this work off we must do all we can to be able to share and become part of this gospel! I love you all I got to go! Will see you soon! 

Love,
Elder Minson