Sunday, January 24, 2016

Guess Who's Training Again?

Hello Everyone!

So this week is transfer. My companion, Elder Almario is being transferred to Pasacao, under Pamplona Zone. And as you've probably figured by the heading of this blog, I'M TRAINING A NEW MISSIONARY AGAIN! I'm so excited to help another missionary learn what it really means to be a missionary. It's truly a blessing and privilege. I understand what it feels like to be a new missionary, and to be honest, I'm still a new missionary. But I can surely tell you that I'm doing my best to learn and grow from every companion that I've had, have, and will have. 

So from this oncoming experience, what can I say? Well I can say this much... Missionary work isn't just about helping investigators, less-active members, or even members themselves. Missionary work also includes our companions. Every day I strive to understand my companions. I pray for them and truly ponder what I can do to make their experience here on their mission an unforgettable one. How can I love the people I meet if I don't even love the person that is at my side 24/7? (Like a brother sort of love, mind you.) Empathy is SO important here on mission. When you get someone like me and put that person on the other side of the globe, you can't say that empathy isn't key. I try to put myself in the shoes of everyone I meet, attempting to feel what they are feeling. But Christ knows us. He is the perfect example of empathy and I carry his name on my badge every day. I am His representative and am willing to do whatever He would do if he were here. I love being a missionary. I love the challenges that being a missionary brings. I love the people I meet. I hope you all have a wonderful week. Ingat kamo!

-Elder Bondoc

Picture taken after a community service project we had last week. I'm living on cloud 9! 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

"O be wise.."

Kumusta po sa indo gabos!

Hello everyone. Thanks for taking the time to email me this week. You're all the best. Anyways, this week was pretty awesome. My companion had the chance to lead the area and boy did he do a fantastic job. I'm so thankful for him and for his desire to become a great missionary. This week we had so many opportunities to meet new people to teach and share the gospel with. I'm also SUPER thankful for the support of the members here in San Jose. They are so kind, it's kinda ridiculous. I've never met such kind people in my entire life.

So something that I learned this week actually comes from a verse in the Book of Mormon.

"O be wise; what can I say more?" Jacob 6:12

So I'm a 19 year old on the other side of the world. At times I have absolutely NO CLUE what I'm doing. Other times, I face challenges that, at this point in my life, 19 year-olds probably shouldn't be facing. But whenever something like that comes my way and I have to promptly think of a solution this verse always pops in my head. Every day I learn so much about others and even myself. Let us all be wise in any endeavor we face in our lives, even if some of us may be 19 year old punks without a clue on the other side of the globe. Stay classy everyone, and hope you all had a great week! 

-Elder Bondoc

Sunday, January 10, 2016



Hello everyone! This week was awesome. I can't really explain everything that happened.. quite frankly because it's the same thing that we do every day. We walk about 4 hours every day to get to and from our proselyting area. Which is great. (It's hard to express sarcasm in words so just bare with me here.) Anyways, it's been a tiring week but a super fulfilling one. Elder Almario and I have decided to push ourselves to our limits and try to teach as many people as we can and meet as many people as we can. It's hard, but I know we can do it. So here's something cool that happened. Two days ago, Elder Almario and I decided that we would try our VERY best to attain all our goals for that given day. We did and it was probably the most fulfilling feeling in the world. So after our last appointment, it was time to go home. It was about 7:30 PM and we were beat. Ahead of us lay a 2 hour walk back home which seemed impossible. Around that time, the road is absolutely empty. No vehicles. Just us and the stars. SO we started our trek. Not five minutes in, a public transportation vehicle pulled up next to us. The driver proceeded to yell "Der! Sakay na!" which translates to "Elder! Hop in!" What a blessing. The 2 hour walk turned into a 15 minute break. 

This week we talked to a lady who is now 85 years old. She's hilarious. She is also easily startled. For example, I could probably startle her about 12 times in about 15 minutes, without her expecting it. Sometimes we even tease her and every time we do she shouts "AY KABAYO!" which is absolutely hilarious.I don't know her name because we just call her "Nanay" or "Mom." Anyways, she walks about four miles every day just to say hello to her great grandchild and sometimes does it without shoes. The road isn't paved and super rocky. She's really a trooper. But yeah. When an 85 year old without shoes would be willing to walk four miles just to say hello to her great grandchild, I wonder what I would be willing to do for my family. We struggle every day and sometimes take for granted those who raised us and are always willing to be there for us. I love my family and would do anything for them and I know how important families are. That's why I'm here in the Philippines. I want to testify that families truly can be together forever. 

Anyways, that's all for this week. Hope you all have a great one and I'll talk to you again next week!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A New Year to Look Forward To

HELLO! Before I say anything...


Thank you all so much for emailing me. This week was awesome for many reasons. Let me describe our week as briefly as possible. So let's start with December 31 and January 1. Let me tell you, the members of the Church here are so nice. And I mean SO nice. On each of those days, we had four different families that offered to feed us and, of course, how can missionaries, such as us, reject such kindness? So off we went. We thought we could handle it. We were mistaken. So these eating appointments came one after the next without any time to rest or... for lack of a better term...unload. So by the third appointment, we weren't even enjoying ourselves anymore. It hurt. Like it literally hurt to move any appendage of my body. But despite that... It was fun. 

But the highlight of my week was my first baptism. I had the opportunity to baptize a 12 year old kid named Raffael. Let me explain why I cherish that experience. So a lot of people have this conception of missionaries of our Church as deceptive, persuasive, and snide 20 year-olds looking to baptize anyone they see in sight for the sake of... well who knows what? Whatever the case may be, a lot of people have this weird misconception of us. Our responsibility, as missionaries, is to serve anyone we meet and share with them the message that we have. That's it. We invite people to make certain commitments and they, by their own free will and choice, choose to keep those commitments or not. But let's get back to the question I mentioned: Why was being able to baptize Raffael such a momentous experience? well firstly, it wasn't even for me. It was for him. I saw at first hand the progression of a young kid who truly believed what we taught. And I was able to participate in a life-changing experience that surely changed the trajectory of his entire life. I know that through continued diligence and support from members of the Church here in San Jose, Raffael will do incredible things. I am SO thankful that I can say that I was part of this kid's life. 

But yeah. That was my week in a nutshell. My stomach still hurts a little bit from being literally stretched to its limits, but I can still say that at this point on my mission, I'm still as happy as ever. It's hard. But it's a happy sort of hard, if that makes sense? I hope this 2016 brings us all of us joy, success and maybe a little bit of growth. (And I literally mean that because I don't think I've grown half a centimeter since I've left.) Thank you all for all the emails and I'll talk to you all again next week!

-Elder Bondoc