Sunday, November 29, 2015

My Second Area, San Jose

Hello Everyone!

So today I was transferred to my new area San Jose! I'm so excited to be here. So my new assignment here in San Jose is to finish the training of a new elder because his old companion is going to the office. So in other words, I'm training again for the next eight weeks! I'm so excited and can't wait to see what we learn together as a companionship.

So let me quickly expound on what I've heard about the area and what I've seen. So my area is more provincial than my old area, Bato. BUT we have the ocean in our area so in the coming weeks, hopefully, you'll get pictures of it. But yeah we have to walk about two hours to get to our area so... I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing? Good because I might be able to walk off all the weight I gained in my first area or bad because... well... I'll be walking.... a lot... HAY NAKU! I'll let yo know. I can't believe I'm training again. This is SUPER exciting. My companion, Elder Almario, is a little quiet but I think he'll open up once we get to know each other a bit better. Thanksgiving for us was a blast! we cooked a pot of rice and four cans of corned beef. It was awesome and I can't wait to experience that again. That is the best example of true missionary life here in the Philippines. Anyways, I'll update you all next week about how my new area is. Ingat po kayo palagi!

-Elder Bondoc

Sunday, November 15, 2015

"Pagtututo" (Learning)

It's that time of the week again!

So this week was pretty awesome. Before I mention anything else, I just want to let you all know that I've been here in the Philippines for about six months now! WHAT THE HOLY OH MY. Yeah I'm surprised I've made it this far. Anyway this week was pretty cool. We were able to work with some of the YSA members here in Bato again and boy are they the best. We as missionaries are so thankful for them and their desire to help us. It was a pretty hard we again this week. Despite their help, we were punted a lot again from many of our appointments. But that's okay. I'm not letting that bring my spirits down. I just have to keep pressing forward.

So what have I learned this week? Well maybe that's what I'll talk about in this post. The power of learning. I'm currently reading a book that my parents sent me titled Standing for Something by Gordon B. Hinckley, a former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The book is organized in 10 sections, each explaining the importance of a certain virtue that we all tend to neglect. One virtue that President Hinckley mentions that I cherish is learning. Every day here on the mission we get an hour to study. I mean, how can we teach if we don't even know the doctrine, right? So we study, discuss what we studied with our companion, and then we apply what we learned to the lives of those we teach and meet. That same principle applies outside of the mission. No matter what stage of life you are in, those who are going to study, are currently studying, or have finished your studies, I implore you to continue in your pursuance of knowledge. Find something that intrigues you and just search. Discover. I've found when I apply that mindset to my scripture study every day, it becomes much more meaningful to me.  I love this work and after the mission I can't wait to get right back to school. Maybe I should ask my parents to send me a textbook or something? That's all for this week everyone. Take care!

-Elder Bondoc

Sunday, November 8, 2015

If You Want to Know How My Week Was, See the Attached Picture


So I couldn't think of a witty title for this week's post, so to effectively describe how my week was, just see the picture below.


ANYWAY, this week was awesome. This week we had the chance to work with some of the young single adult members of the branch here in Bato. It's an absolute privilege to work with members who have a desire to help us as missionaries. I'm so glad that some of them also have a desire to serve missions! Even though the work is physically trying at times, they didn't waiver. We trudged through rice fields as always and continued on with our appointments. I'm also very thankful for the members here who are kind enough to feed us when we don't have food or aren't as good as them at cooking. We are super lucky. My umbrella stayed in tact this week, too! 

So this week I a little something about humor and how important it is in my life. So a lot of the times when we teach, more often than not, the mood of our lessons becomes serious. I'm not saying by any means that that's a bad thing. But sometimes a little laugh or two helps invite the Spirit into our lives. I testify of that. A sense of trust is built when we share a laugh a two with a classmate or colleague, right? That same principle applies here. I love laughter and making others laugh. Maybe I'm obnoxious. Maybe I overdo it just a little (or way) too much. But as long as those who I associate myself with are happy, I too become just as happy. 

 "They won't notice a thing.."

If rice plants had faces, they would look like this. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Hard Work and "Failure"


This week we were able to meet new people who seem very receptive and open to what we have to share with them. The people here are awesome. This week we had the chance to experience (partially) what they call here Ang Araw ng Mga Patay, or the Day of the Dead. They celebrate it on the day of Halloween, but it's not really like Halloween at all. On October 31st, people join together at the local cemetery to remember their loved ones who have passed away. Some even choose to sleep over at the cemetery. Houses lined on the streets have lit candles on their front porches or windows if they don't get the chance to go to the cemetery. It's amazing how different cultures in the world are. This week was also probably one of the most tiring weeks of my entire life. We worked as usual, but this week we literally pushed ourselves to the limit physically. This week we attempted to get to every potential appointment that we could. Obviously, things don't always go as planned. That's just how life goes. But we pushed through, walked about 5 billion miles and eventually went home to plop ourselves on our beds and restart the process the following day. But it was incredible week. 

Anyway, this week something that I've learned is the value of hard work and the even greater value of "failure" if we even choose to regard it as such. So we worked hard this week and we expended every ounce of energy to teach and share with people. It's hard when people blatantly don't want what we share and it's even harder when people deny us right before we can even get a single word out of our mouths. But despite that, I choose not to call situations like that failures. They're just attempts that ultimately end up differently than expected. At the end of the day, I can truly say that I did my best. I value that and will cherish every attempt that I have made. I can't say that it's the easiest of things to just get right back up and keep trudging on, but I can say that it is the most fulfilling feeling to actually do it. I love you all and can't wait to hear from you again next week! 

-Elder Bondoc

Sunsets are a cool thing.