Sunday, June 26, 2016

Goodbye President and Sister Reeder! :(

Hello po.


Too bad I can't be there to celebrate with you, but I know you guys will have a great time.

This week was incredible. First and foremost, Elder Maquimot and I have been doing great. We've pushed ourselves this week to find more investigators and less-active members in some of the farthest parts of our area. We found an investigator, brother Gyson, who was a former investigator in Daet, a neighboring city. Ever since he moved here to Labo, he said the missionaries never got the chance to teach him. So we showed up at his doorstep and he was more than welcoming. He's one of the most genuine people I've ever met and I can't wait to continue to teach him and help him come unto Christ. We also had our last interviews with President and Sister Reeder. They go home this week and the new mission president and his wife come in. It'll be very sad to see them go because I've learned so much from them, but I'm very excited to learn and hear from the new mission president and his wife. It's also rained here every day for the past week, but I've somehow managed to not get my feet wet this week. I'm truly adapting.

Other than that, something that I learned this week is how Christ's Atonement can be applied to missionary work. Imagine. Jesus Christ, the most perfect person to have ever walked on the face of the earth, was spit upon, rejected, and blasphemed. As perfect as his teaching was and the gospel that he shared, he was despised. As missionaries, people don't always accept us, especially when we're doing our best; when we're at our peak. But it's at those times that Christ is at our side. He knows what it's like. Elder Jeffery R. Holland noted in a talk regarding this that as difficult as missionary work is, in order to become the least bit consecrated or to know who Jesus Christ is, we have to go through these things as missionaries. It's hard. People say no and we don't know why. But I know that if we have Christlike love for those we teach, nothing else matters. I love being a missionary. I hope all of you have an awesome week and I'll talk to you again next week.

-Elder Bondoc

My last picture with President and Sister Reeder. :(

​We got the chance to teach a group of students the other day. That was a neat experience. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

I Can Cook! ... Well... Sort of.


So this week has been a pretty busy one. On Tuesday, we took a four hour bus ride to get to Naga for a workshop by President Reeder and the assistants. Then on the same day we took that same four hour ride back. Then we had exchanges two days ago with the Zone Leaders in Daet, the neighboring city of Labo. SO the past couple of days has been full of travelling and learning, which is the best. I love it, as much as it hurts my puwit to sit for four hours, it's worth it to learn and grow as a missionary. This morning I cooked... well not really cooked, but made this Filipino food called kinilaw for lunch. It's raw tuna soaked in vinegar with calamansi (small lime-lemon type fruits), ginger, salt, pepper, and onions. My companion and I woke up and 6 to go to the public market just to buy this fish. It took about two hours to prepare, but was SO worth it. It's like a Filipino version of sushi or ceviche. It. Was. Delicious. And on top of that, we found a whole bunch of new progressing investigators that are so interested in the gospel. I'm so excited to help them in their progress in the Gospel.

So this week I learned how important it is to..well.. learn. Of all the things that happened this week, I've found out more about my weaknesses and the things that I can improve in myself as a missionary and person. I don't think we value knowledge and life skills enough. We get comfortable with what we have and, most frequently, aren't willing to learn, change, and grow; to stretch ourselves. It's hard to say that we're wrong, especially when we KNOW (or knew) that we were right, but doing such is part of the learning process and becoming better people and, most importantly, children of our Heavenly Father. I love learning and won't stop until I die. That's all for this week everyone. Hope you had a good one and can't wait to talk to you next week!

-Elder Bondoc

Elder Howard said he wanted to get on the blog. That and we were wearing matching ties. This one's for you my friend. 
Too pogi to handle.

The preparation process and final result. 
SO HAPPY. I can make food now.
The others were happy too.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

At One Moment You Think You're Safe From the Rain, and Then...


Wait for it... Wait for it....

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, DAD!!!(this upcoming Sunday, of course) Hope it's a good one. Do something extraordinary, okay? Dads are cool. Mine, specifically, is the coolest of them all. 

So it's been a great week. This week we focused on the new areas that were given to us by the sisters, and boy was it awesome. We have found a lot of investigators that continue to surprise us with their desire and urge to come unto Christ. I love it! It's been raining here in Labo every day for the past three or four days now, so I've currently gotten used the squishy feeling of the shoes beneath my feet every step I take. The best. So my funny story for the week; We were walking to one of our really, really far barangays the other day in the bright daylight of the sun, which was awesome. After about 15 minutes of walking, to our surprise clouds had engulfed the what seemed to be cloudless sky. That was awesome. But then the cloudy weather turned into drizzly weather which turned into rain which then consequently turned into a blistering rainstorm. So here are my companion and I walking in hurricane-like conditions (I'm over-exaggerating. Mom. Dad. Don't worry.) thinking "This is nuts." So we found shelter under the roof of an Iglesia ni Cristo on the side of the road. So here are two Mormon missionaries, soaked from head to toe, standing at a church that isn't theirs, in the middle of a forest, without any clue on what they're going to do next. Only in the Philippines, right?

Something that I learned was how to control our emotions. So life as a missionary, isn't easy. That in itself is an understatement. Even if with the nametag, we're still punk 19 year-old kids without a clue. Promise. So as human as we are, we get frustrated, we worry, we get annoyed, all this really really bad stuff. So the work we had this week was pretty challenging. I was frustrated and a bit annoyed for a moment, then I thought "You know. You have the choice to stop being frustrated, right? It would probably be better if you were happy instead." And at that moment all negative feelings were gone. Everything was back to normal. SO in times of challenges, though we have the total right to be sad and angry sometimes, we have complete control over what we feel, think, and do. No one controls us. No one forces us. So be happy. Be sad for a bit, sure, but then be happy again. It's as simple as that. This next week should be awesome. I go to Naga tomorrow for training, Should be great! Everyone have an awesome week!

-Elder TheWeatherCan'tBeatMe

We got the chance to help a sister in the ward, who's a teacher, paint the outside her class building. 
Here in the Philippines I guess elementary-age children are taught about drugs. Sometimes I guess we really just have to ask ourselves, "What is drug?"

Monday, June 6, 2016

Adventure Time, Round 2


Hey guys. So it's been a rainy week and the absolute opposite of last week. So here's what went down. Instead of us being punted out of our mind, we got a lot of really good lessons and have a lot of potential of progressing. HOWEVER, we got dumped on by the tears of the skies. I mean it. And even better, I remembered my umbrella. So despite the whole "I'm prepared. I'll NEVER GET WET!" mentality, we got POURED ON. I loved it. When we walk on rainy days, our shoes make this squishy noise that can't really be described. Loved it. And we also had a lot of planned and unplanned appointments! That was awesome! Blessings are a real thing. 

So one thing I learned today is how important it is to just accept change and go with the flow of things. Yesterday, we and some other missionaries discussed what we could do to help the Labo Ward progress even more. We decided that it would be a benefit for the whole ward and the work if we gave the sister missionaries some of the our areas that are closer to the center of the city while they gave us the farther areas that haven't been visited by missionaries in a long time because the areas are just so far. So to put it simply, Elder Maquimot and I are starting at zero again. We have about 6 or 7 new neighborhoods. I'm super excited. It's a challenge and actually kinda sad to give up some of the areas that we've worked so hard on. But that's a part of life. Adjusting every day... Missionary life is the coolest. I hope you all had a great week. Thanks for the emails again! I'll catch you all next week!

-Elder WetFeet

The "gubat" or jungle. I am now a certified adventurer.