Monday, May 30, 2016

One More Transfer in Labo!


So transfer announcements came today. Looks like Elder Maquimot and I will be companions for another six weeks! I'm super blessed because I know he and I have a whole lot more work to do here. Hmm. Cool things that happened this week? Well I totally forgot my umbrella on a rainy day so I thought I was going to get absolutely drenched by the rain. But this is what happened. I rode on the top of a tricycle thinking I would get rained on. Nope. Not a drop. So we went to our first appointment, expecting to get rained on. As we were teaching, the heavens started weeping. At that point I thought to myself, "I'm done." But just as the lesson ended, the rain stopped. AGAIN. That pattern continued for about three lessons. Blessing? Definitely. Either this was the craziest coincidence and that my luck was at its peak or that God just really had my back that day. Either way, a miracle was definitely witnessed.

So what can I say I've learned this week? Hm. Well. I don't know. I guess something that I've mentioned in posts before that I'd like to mention again is how sometimes expectations aren't met. This week we tried to set appointments with some people that we met last week. We were hoping to have at least some follow through, but sadly almost all of them fell through instead. So yeah. It was rough. But that's totally okay because life has its ups and downs. If we appreciate the small things, it becomes much much easier to accept the negative and just move on. Missions are cool. This next transfer is going to be the BEST. Have an awesome week everyone. Stay cool. It's hot out there. 

-Elder Bondoc

Sorry guys no pictures this week. I totally forgot to bring my camera with me to places. Sayang. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Guess Who's Been On His Mission for One Year


SO I have SO much to say but so little time to say it so sorry if my thoughts seem super scattered. So here's the downlow. I've been on my mission for a year. That's right. I have now been in the Philippines for one year so in one year's time, I'll be going home. WEIRD. So in one year I've learned so much and can't say that I can put all of it in one email. I've been on some sketchy bridges. I've been rained on. I've learned a new language. I'm like a new me. It's great. The mission has taught me so much and I would never take this time back for anything in the world.

So now what can I say. I guess I can that something that I've learned in my one year of service as a missionary is how important it is to be open to learn and grow. I look back at myself as a missionary in my first year and can honestly say that I was a pretty prideful person. Sometimes we get this feeling like we're always right. That we know everything. But sometimes we just have to admit that we're wrong, and it kinda hurts. I do it daily. But we have to. I've seen so much growth in the work, myself, and in my companionship with every companion that I've had. Missions are great. Onward and forward until the end. 

-Elder Bondoc

On exchanges this week, we walked on this bridge in the pitch black. It was awesome.
Labo District... Being a District Leader is really a weird thing. 
One year nalang!

It was rainy. I wore plastic bags over my socks so my feet wouldn't get wet. Not even sorry.

A fashion disaster.

Our district activity this week at the church. Totally killed it. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Project Calabasa (Project Squash)


SO this week was a pretty fantastic week. No joke. Elder Maquimot and I did some crazy finding. Let me explain. So over the past week, Elder Maquimot and I focused on some of our farther areas. Over the past five or six years, missionaries have been going to the same neighborhoods, to the same houses time and time again. Progression stagnated and led me to change our plans. So what Elder Maquimot and I did, we went to one of the FARTHEST neighborhoods, a barangay called Calabasa, or if translated in English, squash. Yeah. Kinda weird. ANYWAY, it takes us 45 minutes just to get there. But here's the thing. Every person we met (literally everyone) let us into their homes and let us share a message. It's been a nice change from regularly having doors slammed in our face. People are super duper nice and hopefully in the next few weeks we'll get the chance to share with them again. SO blessed.

Which brings me to my weekly "The Thing Elder Bondoc Learned." So I guess something I learned this week was how important it is do get out and do something new. So as missionaries, in all honesty, we do almost the same thing every day. We wake up, study, eat, proselyte, sleep, and then do it all over again. So every day, we find new things that bring joy and adventure in our lives. We literally adventure into the forest to preach the word of God. HOW AWESOME IS THAT. My life is greatest. Every day in this life, there's something new to discover and a reason to be in awe. I'm so happy that I'm a missionary. Oh yeah. This week will be my one year mark on the mission. One year from now I'll be back home. Crazy. HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

-Elder Bondoc

Me, Elder Maquimot, and a less than pleased caribou of us taking a picture. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day


So this week was awesome, mainly because I got to Skype my family again on Saturday. It was awesome to talk to them and just see their faces such a blessing. So here's something super cool guys, I go home in LESS THAN A YEAR which absolutely blows my mind. I cannot believe that I've been here for this long. One year down and a whole lot more to do. Onward and forward, This time next year, I'll be seeing all of your wonderful faces again. As for this week, what's been going on? Well a cat got into my bread again, which was awful. As you all know this far, in literally every area on my mission a feline felon has gotten into my bread supply. It has not been pleasant, but actually pretty funny. This week Elder Maquimot and I had the chance to walk about 3 miles in the blistering heat of the Philippines in some of our farthest areas to find new people to teach. It was great. Those super far areas have a lot of potential to progress. We'll see how everything goes next week.

Mother's Day- a time to respect and rejoice in all that is motherhood. On Saturday, I got the chance to Skype my Mom and greet her Happy Mother's Day. Before I entered my mission until now, I have realized how much I love and appreciate my Mom so much. I LOVE HER. Moms are the best. Promise. They sacrifice their everything for the well-being and safety of their children. I love my Mom and don't think I could even express how much I love her in a forty minute Skype session. To all the mothers out there, and specifically my own, you're the greatest. Know that you are appreciated and loved beyond belief. Everything you do doesn't go unnoticed. I love my Mom. If it weren't for her, I would literally not be in existence right now. Thanks for everything. You're all the greatest. One year down. Time to make these last few moments last. Until next week, everyone.

-Elder Bondoc

My beautiful mother and my not-as-beautiful but still pretty handsome father. 

This family asked me to cook spaghetti for a missionary's birthday. I don't know how to cook spaghetti. The end result was a masterpiece. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Lord has His Ways, Even When You Don't Expect It


This week was GREAT! So Elder Maquimot and I focused all our efforts on getting new investigators this week. We were losing a lot of hope because a whole lot of our appointments were falling through at the beginning of the week. But closer to the end of the week, people were actually coming up to us asking to be taught. I was SO surprised and knew that at the most unexpected time, we were blessed. TAKE THAT SATAN! Thought you'd keep us from saving souls, didn't ya? Anyway, other than that Elder Maquimot and I have met so many more people this week and have thirteen new investigators to teach this coming week. On top of that, we plan to go to go to some of the farthest barangays (neighborhoods) in our area to find more people that we haven't taught before. We'll see how that goes. I'm so excited! This has probably one of the hardest things that I've ever done, but am so thankful and so ready to take on this challenge!

That brings me to something that I learned is to just trust in God, even though at times it feels like He's completely absent. We sometimes ask ourselves why life is so hard or why we face the challenges we do. If God loves us, why doesn't he just fix all of our problems in the snap of the finger? Well that's just it, actually. It's because He loves us that he tries and tests us to allow us to grow and become more and more like Him every day. It's because of our challenges and trials that our faith is strengthened every day. So in essence, I'm thankful for the trials I've faced and the mistakes I've made. If not for them, I couldn't say that I am the person that I am today. As far as this week goes, I've learned that God has a plan and it's up to us to trust Him and just let Him do His thing. Thanks everyone for a great week! This week I get to Skype my parents! GAAAAHHHHH!!!!! SO EXCITED! I'll talk to you all again next week!

-Elder Bondoc

If you guys ever wondered where pineapple comes from, it literally just pops out of a plant. This little guy was about the size of my fist when we saw it.

​Welcome to the gubat (forest). While trying to find new people to teach, we stumbled across this tiny paradise.