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










 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

NOW THAT IS TRUE FAITH!

Dear Family of that is AMAZING in this World!,

Alright, so my week has been one of the most interesting, confusing, great, sad, and mind blowing experiences of my life. So this week started with me in the office. I have learned, pretty much the job of the clerk, but certain circumstances happened and I got thrown into an area Mansilingan 3rd Branch. 

This was an amazing area, filled with great investigators and great success! We pushed so hard to make the area show progress. Me and Elder Winward, who is leaving in April, were companions for the whole week. We taught many amazing people and I want to share about one. 

 So first is Brother Joey. He has a terrible terrible case of arthritis or something like that, where all the joints in his body are stiff and hard to move. He hurts by doing anything. Well we arrive at his house and every time he just starts crying! He is so happy to see people visit him and share the gospel he cries. His wife is a member and so are 2 of his daughters. We asked if he wanted to go to church, even though it is extremely difficult, and with the energy he could muster and with his small voice he slammed his hands on his legs and said a quite yes, with tears in his eyes and everything. He did go to church the members helped and got him a way there. This is a 2 story Church building and he climbed all the way to the sacrament hall to attend church. NOW THAT IS TRUE FAITH!

This area had lots in it and I became really close to the members. We were at one members house when she got the call her husband died. We comforted her we had the members come be with her the whole branch was functioning like it should and everything. It was such a beautiful area.

Well as we all can tell though in the margins above I am not there anymore. I am actually now in Pulupandan which is back in Bago Stake. Just got the call yesterday. I was very sad. Our area got pulled out, because there were 2 sets of missionaries in the area and very few Missionaries are coming in and they need us in another ward. We were disappointed and really bummed about the whole thing. 

I am okay though, I have a new test in my mission now, one which will help me grow. I am follow up training. My companion is Elder Shumway. He is from Richfield, Utah. I just picked him up and don't know much about him but I think this will be good! It will be interesting being with another American, and also having to be the voice and the teacher and everything. I am excited and I feel like we will learn from one another! This will be good...  I am worried just a little bit, I need your prayers. This is going to be an experience. 

Well I love you all! I am praying for you all. I Pray for Guidance everyday. I have been taught such great things and I hope to apply them for all time and eternity. I love you keep strong, be of courage, be not afraid, and keep those shoes on! 

Love,
 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I am strong and can walk and can work and do anything the Lord asks of me again.

Dear Panimalay ko,
So I am guessing you are all so curious what has been happening this week. I am sure that all of you right now are like staring at the computer screen trying to find out what is happening with me and with my life and what is going on and who is my companion. Where is my area. How is my feet and how things are going. If I need to cut my legs off and stuff. All you are really worried right now and me prolonging this is driving you all insane right now because you are all just so worried about me and my health. BAHAHAHA!!
Alright so this week has been great! I am almost now fully healed. I have been on some heavy duty antibiotics and using all sorts of creams to heal the wounds on my feet. Well now I can tell you it is almost gone. The sores are all healed. The infection passed. The only thing now is I still got baby skin on my feet. So I will be in the office this week still. I am strong and can walk and can work and do anything the Lord asks of me again.
This week has been in the mission office doing anything that is being asked of me. They actually have put me as the missions recorder right now, and have been teaching me how to do all this fancy stuff on the computer to get the mission organized and do all that is required to fill out reports. There is a big chance I might just be in the office the rest of my mission. We still have a proselyting area and we get to work almost every night from 5pm to 9pm. We also work all day Saturdays and Sundays. So we are still working hard. I am not sure if I will be here or will get transferred back this next week. I am strong though so what ever the Lord wants I will do!
Me and Elder Templeton have been companions all week. He is from New Zealand and he goes home in April. We are in the same apartment and office with Elder Powell, Elder Fraire, and Elder Asuncion. These Elders are the best and they keep this mission going! If you could try getting in contact with their parents I am sure they would love to hear from all of you!
So I got what they call the "Trunky Letter" this past week. It tells you all the basic things about the travel plans and things like that. So do to being a foreigner we will be returning home on June4th around 4pm. I work in the office so I will help book our flight plans. The thing is we fly to Manilla then stay the night, and the next day we get on the flight to America. So June 4th with be the day I get there. I am getting my passport photos today so I can go to Manilla in the next couple months to finalize flight plans, and hopefully have time for a temple session. So that will be exciting! :)
This week we had some great teaching experiences one was yesterday. We went on exchanges so I can interview a baptismal candidate of Elder Powell's and Elder Fraire's. We arrived and he wasn't there, but there was this lady talking to this candidate's neighbor who is a member. She talked to us and asked who we were and why we were there. She said she needs religion in her family because her husband is abusing her and she showed us the bruises. She said she needs a place to get away and go to for help. So we taught her. Half way through she said she wants to leave with in a couple weeks to get away from her husband. She says she is from Kabankalan and I asked her "where in Kabankalan? I just came from Baranggay Tabugon." and she almost passed out. She is FROM Baranggay Tabugon! She asked if the church was up there and stuff and I said that it is being established up there now. What a miracle, no? I served in Tabugon, got sick came to Bacolod, then went on exchanges to interview, and in the end we are teaching someone who desperately needed help and was able to establish a good relationship because I knew exactly where she lived! Great miracles that happen at all times!
So other then that this week has been typing records and traveling in cars. I bought a new camera. It is almost like my old one. Nikon and still great picture quality. I will send pictures maybe later in the office so I don't get a virus on the card. Other then that not much else. Well thank you for all your emails an prayers. I have been fasting to keep the work going, I do so every month here. I have a big testimony of fasting and being able to receive blessings from it at any time! I love the work and I love all of you! Thank you so much for all you do! :)
Love,
Elder Minson

Sunday, February 22, 2015

I may not be able to literally put my shoes on, but spiritually they are on!

Elder Minson With Friends in Bacolod
Elder Minson and our long distance friend Micheal Dacutan
Dear Family of Worries,
Alright so here is the thing. Last week was good. We worked hard Tuesday and Wednesday. We taught tons of people on Tuesday and saw great new families coming out of the wood works. One being the Barannggan Family. They were a referral and they were super nice. The first contact was with the Mother and her kids as of 2 weeks ago. They seemed only somewhat interested and we were not sure how they would progress. Well we went back on Tuesday because we only have so much time in a week and they are pretty far out there. When we went back we got to meet the father and man oh man he is awesome! Such a great father figure! He has a great presence about him and he seemed extremely interested because we were focusing on the family! Saddly I am not sure if he went to church or not...

Sadly I have a terrible sense of judgement when it comes to myself. Because I woke up Wednesday and thought "maybe I should rest... nah!" So we went out and no one was home!!! We walked and walked and walked and little success came out of it! So yeah it took a hit on me. I woke up thursday and I have big sores all along the side of my foot and tips of my toes. Sorry no pictures, if I could I still wouldn't send them to you. I AM FINE!!!! The reason I am on bed rest is the whole foot got hit by infection.I was trying to keep it healthy but my area just did not have medical care to do so. So I am here in Bacolod with the office staff the next week. I will be typing in baptismal records and helping with supply!
My feet are healing right now though. I have drugs consistently going in me and I am doing much better.Walking is still a struggle but I can walk! I will be okay by the end of the week! President Ferrin and the Mower Couple is taking great care of me and I love them for that!
This just taught me a lesson in life! We can't push to hard, the Lord will still accomplish his work! He would rather have resting servants then Dead servants! I know he is helping me now though! Everyday my feet are getting stronger and better and I am more desirous to work! I love this country and the work here! I love you all keep strong! I may not be able to literally put my shoes on, but spiritually they are on! Miss you and love you!
Love,
Elder Minson




Sunday, February 15, 2015

I love the work and love my mission! This truly is a blessed and holy place!

Dear Family that is Perfect for ME,

Good week. Lots of good came out of this week! We had 8 investigators come to church and every week is just getting more and more! The week was nice, lots of teachings lots of great people i got to me and see progress.

One being Sister Merna Palma! She is this sweet single old lady and when we first got this referral we thought she was a bit crazy... which she is! In all the right ways though! She loves the gospel of Christ and is such a great spirit! She loves to laugh and have fun, but also loves to read and understand the gospel. She has been approached by many religions but they all pushed her to hard and scared her. She says she loves this religion because we come just to help and the members are so kind and welcome her to everything! She is just the sweetest person ever! She will be baptized on March 7th

We then had this weird lesson to this other old lady. She is 80+ years old and is crazy in a crazy way. She has had weird dreams of pretty much Satan and stopped coming to church in Decemeber. Well we decided to go back and teach her, but it is more like a call to repentance haha! I feel like a prophet in the Book of Mormon when we teach her. We really have to just say, "Repent, go to church, and Baptized or you will got to.. imperno." It is harsh, but for this old Nanay Daguhoy it got results! She went to church and accepted to be baptized on March 21! haha! 

So through out this week I have been really trying to work hard, and for some reason every night after the work I would sit there and think about my feet and how they hurt... and I realize now how selfish I was being... This morning we were riding on this jeepney and when we were riding I have never seen so many nice things happen. It was hard this morning with people making those sligh remarks saying "hey joe" and other things that just prick at the nerves... as we sat on this jeepney my attitude was not so good. I looked around and started to see something though. The people were talking and complementing eachother and talking about their kids and things. These things I have not seen very much sense I have been here in in the field. Well as we were on our 1 hour trip to get to Kabankalan so many people were cramming on this jeepney. I think we had a good 30 people on the inside of this thing and others on top of it. Well even though we were crammed there was this old man around 70-80 years old and the people squeezed together so tightly just to fit him on. As we were on I looked around and saw this old mans feet... and it was something that I will never forget. It really took me back a couple steps. This man had large sores on his feet from his whole life of hard labor in the Sugar Cane fields. I thought of my feet and how though I too have painful sores on my feet, I at least of good medical care and money and means to fix it. This man had on flip flops and his feet were dirty just from walking around in the dust. And after about 5 minutes I noticed that he was looking directly at me, not in a weird creepy way, but it in a way like he saw something different about me. Not like I am an American in the Philippines either. The way he was looking at me made me feel as if I had something that he didn't. I think he saw the Spirit and Priesthood of Jesus Christ. I am a representative of Jesus Christ, who suffered everything in the Garden of Gethsemane. I can make this without complaining! 

My goal this week is to do all I can to be a better person and spread this gospel and just keep a smiling face! I love the work and love my mission! This truly is a blessed and holy place! 

I love you all and miss you! Email me send me pictures and questions and I will try respond the best I can! I love you! Keep those shoes on! 

Love,
Elder Minson 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I think the mission is a clear reflection of how we will be in life and how obedient we will be to the commandments of God!

Dear Family Lapit na ko makita,

Well this week has been filled with the same ole' same ole'! Haha! It was a good week! We started it off with our MLC and had a great experience! We trained on it and it went well, I think. We taught many people this week and it seems the area is starting to progress.

First, about MLC! So it was fantastic! I love our new Mission President, President Ferrin and Sister Ferrin!! They are super kind and are spiritual giants! I love them just as much as I love President and Sister Lopez! They had great training's and for the most part of what i got out of all of them was Obedience. I think the mission is a clear reflection of how we will be in life and how obedient we will be to the commandments of God! If we can be obedient here we can be obedient after! It really gives you great perspective on how important the mission really is for the young men of this world! 

Before training, last Monday Brother Michael Dacuton took us to dinner! He treated us and he was so nice too! It was not a cheap meal! We went and ate GIANT BURGERS!! It was delicious and I just love that man! 

Well after we had a good training. We kept the focus of obedience to help make this zone strong. This zone consists of only 6 companionship and all are Elders.... So pretty much a district and not really a zone. This zone has struggled for a while in baptisms and things. So that is our goal while we are here is to push the work forward and make this a better and stronger zone! 

Well the teachings are going well. We have a strong companionship when it comes to teaching! It is a bit rough here.The work before we not progressing to well. We are getting it picked up though! We had 5 investigators at church and we hope we can keep them coming! We feel like by the end of this month the area will be at full speed! 

Well not much else to tell. We are working hard and trying to stay obedient! I love you and please keep your shoes on! Keep strong and focused on the Lord's work!

Love,
Elder Minson
 


















Brock is cooking on fire due to a lack of propane.
He said he now has charcoal and hopes to have propane soon