Sunday, April 24, 2016


Good Day!

Wow what a week. So as I write this post, I sit at a computer in my new area, Labo, part of Camarines Norte. What an experience getting here from San Jose. We had to take a two hour bus ride from San Jose to Naga. Then we waited for a bit, and THEN we took a four hour bus ride from Naga to Labo. It was probably one of the most uncomfortable experiences I've ever had, but it was totally worth it. My new area is awesome and my companion, even more so. His name is Elder Maquimot. He's 19 years old, from Rosario, Cavite and is just a crack to be with. Love it. So here in Camarines Norte, specifically in Labo, there are absolutely no more Bicol speakers. It's pure Tagalog, which I guess is a good thing because my Tagalog still needs a whole lot of brushing up. Anyway, other than that there are only two of us in our apartment, so I'm so lucky that we get along. This is such a great experience and I can't wait to see where the next couple of weeks take us. 

Anyway, something that I learned in the last week is how important it is to be patient. Ever since last Tuesday, until now my patience hadn't been tested to this degree until now. This is a pretty difficult area and sometimes we don't even know where to begin to help the work progress, but in just one week, Elder Maquimot and I have seen actual progression that we didn't even think was possible. In the Lord's time, according to His will, things will ultimately work out. It's so difficult sometimes, but what else is there to expect? Life is just one long adventure where we learn and grow from the challenges we face daily.  I've learned that we most often have to trust that God really does have a plan for His children. It's just up to us if we're willing to trust Him or not. I can't wait to see what's in store for us here in Labo. Until next week! Love you all!

-Elder Bondoc

The Legends of Labo

Sunday, April 17, 2016

I'm Being Transferred! Next Stop, Labo!

Hello world!

So it's been a week since I've talked to all of you, as usual. SO I guess I should update you all with transfer announcements. I'm being transferred! Tomorrow I start a six hour journey for my new area, Labo, under the Daet Stake. It's pretty exciting and pretty nerve racking. I'll have to adjust to new faces and a new companion all over again, but such is missionary life. So I'm thankful. Elder Duero is going to do great here in San Jose. I know that the ward is being left in good hands. I'll miss the people I've met and the relationships I've made. Missionaries come and go as the Lord sees fit. My new companion's name is Elder Maquimot. I don't know much about him, but I'm sure we'll work well together.

Anyway, this week I learned a whole lot. But this week I learned the value of prayer and how important it is to me, as a missionary. So when I was younger, missionaries would frequent in our ward. I can't tell you that I remember their names or what they said to me, but I remember seeing them as angels. Valiant men and women chosen of God to proclaim His gospel. But now that I've been a missionary for some time now, I have realized that I, and just like them, am just human. To be honest, sometimes I don't know what I'm supposed to say or what I'm supposed to teach. But through prayer and the guidance of our Heavenly Father, I trust that he continually guides me to fulfill His will. It's hard sometimes. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much. He wants to hear from us. He loves us and wants to know what He can do, just like any loving and caring father would. 

Well that's all for this week. San Jose has been great. It's time to say goodbye and look forward to new challenges and new adventures. I love you all! I'll catch you next week!

-Elder Bondoc

See you later, San Jose. This view will definitely be one for the books. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

God's Abounding Love


So this week was chalked full of some great experiences which I can hardly wait to explain to all of you! First and foremost, we were blessed to have the opportunity to watch General Conference. What a privilege it was to hear from prophets and apostles of the Lord. Calling it spiritually refreshing would be a complete understatement. Only here on my mission have I realized just how important and how refining it is to watch and learn from those who have been called of God to lead and guide His Church. Other than that, this week Elder Duero had the chance to lead the area and all teaching appointments, which he did outstandingly. Through his efforts we found new investigators in Tambangan, a neighborhood in our area that hasn't been visited by missionaries for a long time. Super cool. I love my companion. 

Anyway, this week I'd like to share a quick message about something that I learned from a talk at General Conference. The talk is called "Tomorrow the Lord Will do Wonders Among You" by Elder Jeffery R. Holland, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In his concluding talk of General Conference, Elder Holland emphasized that sometimes in times of spiritual highs and peaks, that we inevitably have to "...return to earth, so to speak, where sometimes less-than-ideal circumstances again face us." It is a saddening truth to know that we can't always be the person who the Lord wants us to be. The fact is we fall short. But there is hope. No matter how many times we fail, no matter how many times we get back up, the Lord is always there cheering us on. Elder Holland made a great statement that I'll never forget:

"My brothers and sisters, the first great commandment of all eternity is to love God with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength—that's the first great commandment. But the first great truth of all eternity is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength. That love is the foundation stone of eternity, and it should be the foundation stone of our daily life. Indeed it is only with that reassurance burning in our soul that we can have the confidence to keep trying to improve, keep seeking forgiveness for our sins, and keep extending that grace to our neighbor."

As children of God, we are obligated to love Him and show that love to Him. He is our Creator, that Almighty being that knows each of us individually. In order to show that love, we strive to be obedient to His commandments. But there is a comforting truth that always resides with our Father in Heaven. He loves us. He grieves when we grieve and rejoices when we triumph in righteousness. He truly is our Father in Heaven. A loving, caring, being who awaits to help us in our times of struggle. So no matter how hard the circumstance, how challenging life may be, God is there cheering us on. He wants to bless us and yearns for our eternal salvation in His kingdom. He lives and loves us so dearly. And that is something that we should never forget.

Man, I love being a missionary. It's stuff like this that helps me keep on keeping on. I hope your week was a successful one full of happiness and peace. Though I may be on the other side of the world, know that I love you! All of your support and prayers mean the world to me. This truly is a great and marvelous work. Until next week. 

-Elder Bondoc

Sunsets are a great thing. 

I figured I'd attach a picture of my shoes. I've worn these shoes just about every day for close to a year now. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Just Because You've Seen a Fish Your Size Doesn't Mean You've Seen It All

Hello po!

This week has been a real good one. We had interviews with our mission president which was really nice. I learned a lot and can't thank him and his wife enough for everything that they do for the mission. Elder Duero and I are still doing awesome. He's going to have the chance this week to lead the area and all planning sessions, which is super exciting. I know he can do it and have complete faith in him. This week, Elder Duero and I ventured into a barangay (neighborhood) called Tambangan, a place that hasn't been visited by missionaries in years! We hope to find less-active members and even new investigators. Anyway, what else? This week I found this puppy and took a picture with it which was pretty neat. We also saw this HUGE fish called Malusugi, or as Americans know it, blue marlin. These guys go for about 20,000-30,000 pesos per fish because they're just SO HUGE. Anyway. That was a neat thing. We did an extra lot of walking this week to get to all of our appointments. A great week in general.

So this week we had the chance to teach a part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which, as members know it, is called the Plan of Salvation. We believe that our Heavenly Father has created a plan for us to return back into His presence. Think about. We're born to our families, we live a short time, and in due time, the end of our lives come. I can say with all of my heart that there is something more that we have to expect after this life. I know that our Heavenly Father offers us the chance to obtain eternal life in His presence. He loves us. Like any loving Father would, I know that He wants to give us everything that He has, that one day we may become like Him. It's up to us, however, if we accept that plan or not. I love being a missionary. I've learned so much thus far. I've learned how to cope with challenges I never thought I would face. I can truly say that I've acquired such a better understanding of our life and purpose as children of God. Of course, thanks for the emails this week. I love you all! Until next week again!

-Elder Bondoc

The fish.

Manly men LOVE puppies, am I right?