Sunday, July 27, 2014

If you have the gospel as the center focus in the family it helps bond the family closer together!

Dear Family over 7000+ miles away from this country,

Alright so this week was pretty dang good! We had a lot of teachings and a lot of great investigators preparing for baptism! We have been doing real well with finding those who are elect and are willing to come unto Christ! I also had exchanges with Elder Howell and we went to the middle of the wilderness to visit his super elect old lady that I will talk about later! 

So first I want to update you all, Sister Angeles Aliponga will be baptized on August 9th! She is super excited and is now super willing to do all she can to become a member which is great! She brought her 3 Grandchildren this week to church, which 2 of them are also able to get baptized this next month as well! :D

The Padua Family
The second update is the Padua Family! They are so amazing and by far our biggest blessing! We have been teaching them as a whole family now! At first it was just the mom and 3 of her daughters, but now it is the entire family all 8 of them! All of them are age 12 and above! The dad is a trike driver to get out to that particular part of our area! So we can stay in our area later at night and they will just take us home! It is just awesome because before it was really hard for us to teach many people out there because it is a far area and we would need to come home early from out there! But now we can be out tell 8:30 and get 6 teachings in that area a day! Besides the blessing of the trike, the Family is one of my favorites! They live in the same area as Sister Analyn Marce, who was my favorite baptism by far! So this area is just filled with my favorites and the most elect! The 8 of them are Sis Rosie and Bro Padua (they are the parents) then there is Ann(25), Bebelyn(23), Joffery(21), Charry(19), Stephen(16), Kimberly(12)! They are so awesome! Sister Bebelyn has been to church 3 times and might be baptized on the 9th as well or she will join her mom on the 16th! After that it will probably be sister Kimberly and Charry and then it will take some time to get the others because they are all really busy and have to find their faith still, but you can really see the progress in the family!

Actually we have a real funny story from that family! So I guess before we started teaching the family always had fights between siblings and things like that! (like an average family) But sense we have started teaching the family has stopped fighting with one another! They always tell us this story! Then yesterday we were teaching them and Sis Rosie was telling us how their pastor came by the house right after we left the night before. I will admit I got worried. Then she told us how after he came by the next morning her 2 kids got in a fight over a chicken! Then she bore her testimony how this church brings families closer together unlike other churches! HAHA! I thought it was so funny but it is totally true! If you have the gospel as the center focus in the family it helps bond the family closer together! 

Well we did have a baptism this week! Sister Encarnacion Rodriguez! She is a sweet old lady that is a bit crazy at times! But she has been in 12 different churches looking for the truth and she says now it is final! This is the truth! She is awesome and now we are focusing on her husband, daughter, and her grandchildren (which the grandchildren are the smartest kids I have seen!). 

Me and Elder Howell had exchanges as well this week! It was crazy! We went to the area that is the farthest I have ever traveled! It is 40 minutes on a trike and then a hour and a half walk to get to this place. This old nay, Sister Evangaline, lives up there! Now this are is impossibly far! And this nay has been to church 8 sundays in a row! She has little to no money to pay for getting food let a lone getting to the city, but she does every week! I love it so much it is just amazing! We had some good times out there in the bukid! I will send pics of that later! 

Well I don't think I am forgetting anything... Mom I haven't got your package but it will be alright I bet I will get it soon! Boys keep being those studdly men that you are! I am sorry I have not got any letters yet, well except Cydneys and that took like 4 weeks! I guess the mail is slacking lately! Dad I am so proud of you, I loved thos pictures of the baptism! Now i know how you feel when I send you mine! Haha! Well I love you all if you got any questions or anything let me know! You are all amazing! I love you!

Elder Minson
We Found this Picture on Elder and Sister Mowers Blog

Elder Kase Howell

A fruit called Marang

Brother Epoy and Sister Jinkey!

Monday, July 21, 2014

I have seen all types of rain, just like Forrest Gump, sideways rain, rain coming from the ground, big rain, little rain....

My Dear Old Missionary Family,

Alright, so this week was a very good and rainy week! We have been having lots of low pressure so we had a couple really huge storms this week! The weather here is so unpredictable some days it is scorching hot then the next, the whole world seems to be in a tornado! It is so cool, I have seen all types of rain, just like Forrest Gump, sideways rain, rain coming from the ground, big rain, little rain, and all of the above! It is so cool, literally "cool" I sleep so much better now haha! 

Alright, so this week had some amazing experiences that are just so awesome! My investigators are coming to the light! First let me talk about the P. Family! They are a huge family of 8! There are 5 girls (including the mother) and 3 boys (including the father). At first we were thinking they were just all bark but no bite! They listened well, but they didn't act upon it for awhile! Well on the 13th of July the 23 year old daughter went to church and said she loved it! Well yesterday she came with her Mom and they both felt the spirit! Elder Cusili and i went on Member exchanges yesterday and he was telling me stories of teaching their family! They all know it is true and all believe that this is the true church on the earth! They all want to be baptized, but only 2 went to church. So, their mother chastised them and said "How do you expect to get baptized if you don't go to church!" HAHAHA!! So hopefully this next week we will see all 8 at church!! 

Now about Sister A.A. She is an older Nanay, like 60+ years old. At first she was the most stubborn person! She was born catholic, like most people are, and she didn't want to change. Well We have just slowly been teaching her, and just tried helping her understand the needs of a true church. She was understanding, but she was trying to avoid saying we were right! Haha (she is as stubborn as I am)!! So we finally just begged her recent convert granddaughter to try her best to get her Grandma to church  So last Sunday, July 13, she came to church. And do to weather conditions and other problems we weren't able to go to her house all last week to follow up about it. Well she showed up to church yesterday and she came up to us and talked to us and looked at me and said, "Elder, Okay lang ko na." I was kind of confused, what does she mean by she is now okay? Well then she said that she received her answer. After church she went home and read the Book of Mormon and prayed, she said he answered her with an amazing bright light! She says she knows the church is true!!!! I was so happy for her it was unbelievable! She loves the church now, after being the most hard headed person, she even received an answer! That is just a testimony that this Gospel is for everyone big, small, or between! This gospel is the most amazing thing ever! 

Other then those 2 experiences nothing much happened! We are getting lots of new investigators from our recent converts and we are just sifting through them and finding the elect! That is how finding works, chapter 9 in Preach My Gospel. The first 2 points are Gods Family and the second is Find Those who are "Willing" to Except You. So that is what we have been doing finding those who are willing! :) 

Well other then that nothing else happened! It was a good week! We will have a baptism this week so next week you will see me all gwapo in white ;) We are doing well! I love my companion Elder Cusili! We have such a good sinc when it comes to teaching and we love the people! I am so glad to be here teaching in Cadiz! I pray transfers will pass be me by! I will keep going strong no matter what happens! I love you all I miss you so much! Keep up the good work! Keep those shoes on! :) 

Elder Minson

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Oh the blessings that come from service! I love it! :)

Dear F abulously A mazing M ost I nsanely L oving Y amily,
(I couldn't think of something for "Y")

Man this week was awesome! I have regained all of my desire to work and to focus and study and do the best I can do! :) This week we got the branch missionaries to start working and kicking it into gear! We ended up this week with lots of success in a lot of areas! 

First I want to start with our baptism! Yes it went through and I am so glad it did! We have been working really hard on trying to get Weekly baptisms and maybe in 2 week we will begin that journey! (If i don't transfer first...) It has been great here and  Cadiz and I want to stay so badly! But one day I will have to leave... Luckily Sister Rose Ann Sayam Baylon was baptized before that happened! :)

Well other great success was in the investigators attending church... WE HAD 9 COME TO CHRUCH!! It was awesome! And for the most part it was only part of each family and they told us the rest of their families will join them next week!! Oh the blessings that come from service! I love it! :) We have been working really hard for this and now that we are getting several families progressing more and more people want to listen as well! We have so many new investigators it is just crazy! :) I hope for it to continue! 

Great week, I was glad to finally see the fruit of our labors! I am so glad you all had a good week as well! Brigham you are the best and I am so glad you are enjoying your summer, but stop hurting yourself... I will smack you ;) Brody all that sounds pretty exhausting you have so much more will power then I do keep it up for your mission!! :) Mommy I am so proud of you, I love hearing these stories and am so excited to see you in your career field! 2 years left of school and you will be changing lives everywhere! Dad I love you and miss you so much, I am glad to hear the work is coming through and you are sounding like you are enjoying it which is even better to hear! :) You are always in my prayers I miss you all so much! Keep those shoes on and i will be home before you know it! :)

Elder Minson
These are new investigators we found in the middle of the jungle, one of our investigators is a cousin and we asked if we could teach! Their home is amazing!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

I just love seeing the spark! ...

Dear Family in the Promised Land,

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!! :D Man I will admit I was really trunkie on that day haha! Luckly we are in the best city in the Philippines still!! CADIZ!!! I was so lucky to be here because here in Cadiz they also celebrate the 4th of July!! It is the day Cadiz City was born so they celebrate with parades, fireworks, and parties!! :D The work was very little because everyone was celebrating, but I went and bought some ground beef (which is expensive here, but worth it) and made some burgers for me and Elder Howell! It was real fun! :) 

Well this week we had a lot of good investigators start coming to the realization of the gospel! We were hoping to have them all come yesterday but... they didn't... It was heart breaking, but we will live! They will come this next week! 

We are teaching a lot of great people! One is Sister M! She is 15 years old and she goes by M! HAHA! :) She is such a sweet person and has the kindest heart! It took a lot of convincing for her to get to church and when she got there she totally realizes the truth! I jut love seeing the spark! Now we just have to get her to understand there is only "One Faith, One God, and One Baptism" -Eph 4:5. It will all happen in due time! :)

Then we have Sister Ma. We just randomly went to one of our investigators daughters house and when we got there we met Sister Ma. She is a very religious and spiritually in tune person! At first she was really hesitant about doing things because she is super learned in the Bible and didn't really want to at first. We left her a Book of Mormon and a lesson one pamphlet and the next time we came over she had so many questions and read very well in the Book of Mormon! It is amazing and she said this week she will come to church! She is recognizing the missing pieces in her life! 

We do have a baptism this week! An 11 year old girl that lives with her Grandma, because her parents abandoned her! She is really awesome and annoying at the same time! She is like that little sister I never wanted... I will be baptizing her so this will be exciting! :) 

Other then that nothing is real new... I am doing good...! :) I hope to just keep sharing to people and keep on going! Transfers didn't happen here so we have another month in Cadiz! I am really excited to see what more I can do here! :)

I love you all so much! Brigham I am so proud you and your big game! Brody... stop being old... you gwapo son of a gun ;) Mom you are the best I am so proud of you I love seeing you stand in front of people and talk to them, you are just so strong that way! :) And Dad I love every letter you write me, I miss you tons and i am so proud of the great example I have!! I miss you all tons! I just am keeping my shoes on and I keep moving forward! :) I love you all!

Elder Minson


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Every week feels like a day and the days just feel like hours!

Dear Baskog ang Pamiliya ko sa espiritu,

Well sorry the enter key is broken so don't expect lots of
paragraphs! Well this week has been really good! I did have a baptism and it went real well! Sister Meryl Ogahayon! It was real good and on the 12th we should have another and the 19th we should have 2 more and the 26th we should have maybe 4 more! That just tells you how things are going here! 
So time is going extremely fast now! Every week feels like a day and the days just feel like hours! I have been working really hard so
time can just pass by! I have seen lots of progress lately! Our Recent Convert Sister Analyn Marce is jsut the best! We have like 16 investigators she is fellowshipping in her neighborhood! We are going to her house for an FHE later! It is just awesome! :) 
Well nothing much happened this week... lots of work and lots of work! Oh we taught that brother that just randomly came to church! Brother Rominto Martinez! He is just the coolest investigator EVER! He is so enthusiastic about the gospel and despite what the other people in his family says he just wants us to visit all the time to teach him! He is jsut awesome, and he just so happens to be the referral from sis annalyn! It is just the best! :)
Well nothing much other then that... I am glad to hear you all had fun at that Stake Youth Conferance! I am so glad they put that together! That just seems like the best thing ever for the youth now a days! I totally want to be apart of that! I hope they do it again while I am home and before I get married ;) haha! Just kidding, but seriously... HAHA!! :) 
Anyway I hope you all know I love you! I know this gospel is true and that this is the only true church on this Planet! I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer and if we rely on him we will be able to feel his spirit and blessing surround us! I promise that as we read, pray, and try our best to become worthy for the temple our testimonies will grow and be the greatest blessings in our life! I love you all keep your shoes on! 


Elder Minson

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

...sometimes you just got to jump into deep water and pray you find a floaty close to you :)!!

Dear Family of AMAZINGNESS,

So this last week had a lot of weird and great things happen! First we had training as I am 100% sure you have seen on Facebook because there were about 100 pictures of just the Elders in my apartment! It was really good I really enjoyed it! There was a lot of things that I learned that was really great! Answers don't come through faith alone... You have to act upon those things, even if you have doubts about it sometimes you just got to jump into deep water and pray you find a floaty close to you :)!! 

After that we came home and we taught the D. Family. I just want you to know that this is my family that I love with all my heart! They are the best Recent Converts in the whole entire world! They are fellow-shipping and giving referrals for like 5 different families! She tells me all the time when go over there that she was starting to get hungry for the Word of God! HAHA So she goes and teaches with us and pretty much converts people through her testimony alone! She read in 3rd Nephi and that converted her so fast! About the apostles in the Book of Mormon she loved it and totally talks about it all the time! :) Sadly her daughter A just moved back with her dad in Angeles... But she has our number and always texts us! HAHA They are amazing people and I love them so much! :) 

Well lots of investigators that are slowly progressing! Some faster then others, some really slow! I love them all though! :) We have a baptism this week! Sister M.O.! She is really awesome and she really is smart! We also had a 8 year old boy come to church! He is a nephew of a once really active member that is now LA! We have not taught this boy, I have seen him once and waved to him while he was on a Caribaw(water buffalo)... Sister A. D. talked to him about church. He came by himself with his little brother! It was amazing! We are praying he keeps it up! I love it we will be teaching him tomorrow! :D 

Well I went on exchanges with Elder Howell this week and it was pretty good! Considering it was thrusday... My year mark!! We got some lessons in then went home and celebrated with Lechon(slow roasted)  Chicken and Coke.... It was really awesome! Elder Howell has pushed me to work out a lot harder to and I am starting to get a little toned! So Brody you better be working out a lot harder or I will be tougher then you ;) 

Well Family I got nothing else to say, but I love you! I love your comments and all your amazing things that you do for me! Please keep strong and always keep your shoes on! I know that if we keep the gospel close in our lives we can do anything and know anything that we want to! :) 

Elder Minson
Questions for Brock
1. What is the exchange rate from american to Pesos 
Usually 44 pesos to 1$

2. What can you get cost wise like 10 pounds of rice = $XX 
Well we do kilos here... 440 pesos for 10 kilos or 10$
3. How do most people make a living?
Well here in my mission it is either they drive a trike or a jeepney or some form of transportation, or they work in the sugar cane fields. Both make little to no money... Trikes make a decent living, jeepneys make a better living, ceres/bus drives make a very good living, sugar cane workers make little to nothing for some of the hardest work in the world.
4. What is the average monthly income for a family in dollars
There is no average... all I know the sugar cane workers make 100 to 200 pesos a day of super hard labor. That is all I know the others are up in the air depending on the day because most are free lance.
5. What is the format or agenda of your district meetings
Well hymn, Opening prayer, spiritual thought, white hand book thought, announcements (about the mission business), accounting (which is talking about 1 investigator family and 1 Less active family and their needs), training by the district leader, closing hymn, closing prayer
6. How do you great people (in Japan it was different depending on if it is morning Afternoon and Night time)
Good morning(1 am to 11:30 am)- Maayong Aga
Good Noon (11:30am to 1pm)- Maayong Ukto
Good Afternoon(1pm to 6pm)- Maayong Hapon
Good Night(6pm to 1 am)- Maayong Gabi 
7. What are most of the homes like, What are the made of How many rooms bedrooms kitchen dinning room living room etc.?
They are huts, 1 room usually with no bathroom with no kitchen they jsut have pots and a place for a fire to cook. The higher class have cement houses with usually 3 rooms and still no for sure kitchen(maybe a dish washing area).
8. Are there public restrooms and do they have toilet paper
All of nature is a bathroom here and unless you like leaves there is no toilet paper. If you do find a CR(comfort room) usually you wipe with water and your hand.
9. Are the church meeting set up just like here in america\
They are nice and big, but htey are a lot smaller then american churches and they are more locked up then a jail! 
10. How is a branch different than a ward
Branches are more humble here. THey have a real desire to become a ward. 
11. You mentioned not knowing about districts and zones, what do I need to explain? 
Everything... how they work, leadership roles, how they differ, and what they cover! 
1. What is it like having a companion hanging around all the time?
It is all good! You just get use to it! It is nice having someone to talk to. and you have to learn to love all your companions! If you don't life will suck in the mission! You just need to love them and just do what you can to make the best of it.
2. What have you found to be an effective approach when you meet someone and do OYM? Is there a message that makes people stop and talk to you? Or is being an american enough?
Well usually being American is all I need. Usually I just like to blend in with the culture do things that, for Filipinos, Americans would never do. Like go to a inasal/bbq and just sit and make some bbq. Then when someone notices you, you talk to them and then you use F.O.R.M: 
This is the best way to get to know someone and really just show them you care! Then always for the message I share is usually found in chapter 10 of preach my gospel "How to Begin Teaching," but you must show you care for them and you don't need to do it like a robot. Apply what you learned during FORM and figure out their week point! :) 
3. Strange things you have eaten? Have you had dog yet?
I have not had dog, but Elder Howell has. I havn't been in an area that poor yet. This one is averagely poor. I have had bbq chicken intestines and adoboed chicken organs and cows skin and stuff! It is really good! for the most part! 

June Mission Presidents Training