Sunday, February 28, 2016

Happy March!


I CANNOT believe that it is already March. Time is flying by SO fast, I can't even really grasp the fact that I've been on my mission for 9 months. Weird. Anyway, this week was awesome, just as every week here on the mission is. We've met many new people who are so interested in the message that we have to share. It rained super hard a couple of days ago and our shoes got SOAKED. It was great. Nothing like wet and muddy shoes to end a day. What a super fulfilling feeling.

But this week I learned how important companionship unity is in missionary work, and eventually in life as a husband and a wife. So here on the mission, we're required to be with our assigned companion for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with exceptions when it comes to bathroom breaks and showering. But I've found that when I'm with Elder Duero or any of my other past companions, the work progresses if we work in harmony, despite our differences. Isn't being a spouse also like that? To the husbands and wives who are reading this, I TOTALLY understand (okay well not totally... but you get the point) and respect you. You tolerate one another, respect each others' differences, and most importantly give your unbounded love to one another. We do that here on the mission too, in a more Christlike/brotherly sort of way. Elder Duero is an awesome companion. He's such a great missionary and I know he has potential to be a VERY effective servant of the Lord. Hope your week was great. Stay classy. Stay rad. Read the Book of Mormon. It's true. Love you all!

-Elder Bondoc

*NOTE- Sorry no picture for this week. We're at a computer shop that doesn't let us plug in our USB's. Next week for sure!

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Maray na aldaw!

Hope your guys' week was ridiculously awesome. Mine was great, as usual. Can't complain. First off, I'd like to express my gratitude and sincerest love to my parents. They sent me this HUGE package in January that I probably didn't deserve, and I just got it on Friday. That blew me away. I thought they packed my dog in there and shipped him over here. It was actually that big My parents are the coolest. The worst part about this week, however, was that my companion got super sick with a fever. So we stayed home for a few days so that he could rest and fully recover. He's all good now and back on his feet! Thankfully he didn't have dengue. We all remember how THAT was... But anyway, that brings me to my topic for the week.

Resilience. So being at the house all day, I had a lot of time to think. Like a LOT of time. I guess you could say that I related my sick companion and his recovery to our day to day lives. We get sick. We struggle. That's truly how life is. It's impossible to avoid those things in this life. Last week I focused on optimism and the importance of thinking of solutions to our problems. This week I'd like to note that we do fail. We mess up. There's no escaping the fact that we make mistakes every day and are eventually burdened by that fact. But like my companion, his sickness came to pass and quite frankly, he is now stronger than ever. So like him, we just have to pick right back up and keep on keeping on. As missionaries, we teach that our purpose in life is gain experience and ultimately prepare for the day when we meet our Maker. So I've mentioned this in previous emails and will repeat it because it's THAT important. We MUST be resilient. I know that we learn from our mistakes and grow from our weaknesses. As long as we press forward and continue in righteousness, I know that at the last day, we'll be able to say that we truly did our best. That's why this gospel that we share is so beautiful. We aren't perfect. God knows that. But he expects us to strive for perfection every day, to become a better me than I was yesterday. That's my message for this week. I love you all and hope you had a great week. Thanks to those who emailed me this week, I loved hearing from you! Talk to you all again next week!

-Elder Bondoc

​The San Jose Elders

Sunday, February 14, 2016

When Study Time Turns into a Bird Chase


Hi everyone. This week was fantastic. Elder Duero and I are doing great here in San Jose and continue see the blessings of the Lord in our lives. Hmmm.... I think I'm just going to get straight to the point and talk about why the title of this blogpost is what it is. So every day as missionaries, we are required to conduct what we call companionship study. In two hours we review our plans for the day, discuss what we learned in our personal study, and prepare to help those we are to teach later on. Every companionship study we open and close with a prayer to invite the Spirit. So here's where it gets interesting. Elder Duero was giving the closing prayer to our daily planning session when all of the sudden, literally out of nowhere, a bird about as big as my fist and a half just zoomed, and I mean ZOOMED into the room. Elder Duero yelled "what the heck?!" and I followed with, "what in the- where did that come from?!" Not two seconds later a second bird flew in. After we closed our companion study, we spent about an hour trying to catch these two birds in our house. How did they enter, you ask? Well there are screens on the second floor windows in our apartment. The apartment is kinda old, so those screens have holes in them. MY question, however... What on earth possessed these birds to just fly into our apartment? Anyway, after that hour we caught the birds, rejoiced in our victory, and of course, set them free. 

But anyway. On a more serious note, Elder Russell M. Nelson, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, visited the Naga mission and gave a beautiful and encouraging talk to all of the Naga missionaries. It was such a privilege to hear a true servant of the Lord speak to us and give us an inspired message. What did I take from it? Well something he addressed to us was that we as missionaries or, in general, as human beings, when faced with a challenge or problem have a responsibility to be part of the solution. I believe that as people we have this tendency to be overburdened by the challenges that we encounter from day to day. We complain, we blame, and ultimately we lean towards giving up. I can relate with that 110%. But let me say this. But if we change our mindset. If we think of ways to solve our problems, rather than being set back by how daunting those challenges are, I promise that they become easier to bear--to overcome. Life becomes almost like a game with an objective in mind. If every day, we strive to combat our problems with optimism and true intent to solve those problems, I know we can. I love being a missionary. I love encountering new challenges. Without the Lord's help, I would literally be helpless. Missions are awesome. I LOVE being a missionary. Hope your week was awesome and that anything with wings didn't enter in your homes. LOVE YOU ALL! 

-Elder Bondoc

PS: I don't know if any of you remember, but a couple of months ago a cat got into my bread in my first area. A little over a week ago, ANOTHER cat got into my bread. Coincidence? Hmm... We'll see in my next area. 

​On Tuesday, my companion and I were able to help the mother of a member repair the roof of their house. Service is a cool thing. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Missionary Life Can be a Walk in the...Mud?

Maray na aldaw sa indo gabos!

So this week was hilarious and so fulfilling. Elder Duero and I have been having a blast lately as I've been teaching him the ropes of missionary life. So two days ago, he and I were walking through a rice field to our next appointment. This was the first time that I had gone this way and figured it would be a pretty effective shortcut... which it was! Don't get me wrong we made it to our appointment a bit early.. but there were consequences. SO imagine this. The path that we took was an uneven, 10 inch wide, mud path and on both sides of us were rice crops with about a foot of soft mud on either side of us. So we walked. I thought it would be an easy fifteen minute walk. It ended up being a 25 minute walk that included me tripping in the mud about twice. It was like we were walking on a tight rope made of mud. We couldn't stop laughing. Missionary life is the greatest. I still can't believe that I literally trudge through rice fields every day on the other side of the planet. What a blessing! 

But this week I learned the importance of planning. As missionaries, we are taught to plan every day and every week. Because of that, we see the fruits of our labors. That's something that I want to apply to my life after my mission. Something that I learned from my dad is that you should always have a plan, a back up plan, and a back up plan to that back up plan. Here in the field, we always have a goal. Whether we accomplish it or not, it doesn't matter. It's the fact that we strive every day to stretch ourselves and meet our potential. Even our Heavenly Father has a divine plan for us. If He can plan for us, there must be  something divine about planning for ourselves, right? I hope you all had a great week. Tita Ludi! Salamat po sa package na ipinadala niyo! Sobrang maganda po ang bag tsaka yung mga t-shirt. Salamat din Naomi sa mga bimpo. Laging ginagamit ko yung mga iyan. This work is awesome! Love you all! Have a great week and I'll email you again next week!

​Ward Home Evening two weeks ago. It was a blast!

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Power of Listening


I absolutely cannot believe that it is already February. I'm actually shocked that time is flying this fast. Thanks for all the emails this week. So what's new in the life of Elder Bondoc? Well I'm so glad that you asked! Firstly I have a new companion! He's fresh out of the Missionary Training Center. His name is Elder Duero. He's from Cebu and 19 years old. He just finished his first week on his mission and is an absolutely incredible missionary. He always asks me questions about what he can do to become a better missionary. 

But this week I learned how important listening is. Let me explain. So as missionaries, our main purpose is to teach other about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we have this tendency to become a little... talkative. So this week I tried to improve my listening skills and this is what I learned. No matter how much you say, your words will only go so far. You'll only get to know a person so much. But if you wait for a moment and just listen, you'll find out what truly lies in the heart of a person. What his or her spiritual needs are and what you can do to help them... At least that's what I do. I find much more excitement and happiness in listening to the people I teach rather than actually teaching them. Why? I can't really say. I just know that through listening I show that I truly love those I teach. And  yeah. To be honest, I really love the people I teach, the people I meet, and even the people I haven't met yet. That's why I'm serving a mission. Anyways. I LOVE YOU ALL! In a matter of 4 months I'll have been on my mission for exactly one year. That blows my mind. Take care. Have a great week and I'll talk to you all again next Monday!

-Elder Bondoc

My companion, Elder Duero