Sunday, April 30, 2017

I'm Going Home!


So this week was great. We found a whole lot of new investigators and some of them even got to come to church which was awesome. I love the Cotnogan branch and am so thankful that I got to stay there for a short period of my mission.

So as you've read in the title, I'm going home. It's been a VERY quick two years. I know that this work is the work of the Lord. I'm so thankful... like SO thankful that I got to serve the people of the Philippines for a short period of my life. I can hardly express with words all the things that I've experienced here, but all I can say is this. God loves us--each and every one of us. Through the Gospel, we can feel that love completely in our lives. Life goes by fast. May we make the most of it and enjoy it to our fullest. Thanks to each and every one of you for your support and love. See you all soon.

-Elder Bondoc

Monday, April 24, 2017

Climbing Mountains, Being a Missionary, And Enjoying Every Last Moment! (1 Week)


This was awesome. We had a district activity this morning. We climbed this really tall mountain with our district and some members. It was hot. We played some games and I think I sweat like a gallon of body fluids. Loved it. This week was also great. Elder McNabb and I are doing awesome. He's such a good missionary. Love the dude.

This week I learned about the importance of being optimistic. Over the past two years I've learned a whole lot. Something that's really helped me enjoy everything about this two-year experience is choosing to enjoy the work. We all have agency to be happy or not. No one ever WANTS to be angry or sad, so I figure I would be much better of just enjoying myself and every part of being a missionary. I'll talk to you all again next week (for one last time before coming back home.)

"Rejoice evermore." ​1 Thessalonians 5:16

-Elder Bondoc

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Priesthood Power


This week was great. We had a choir performance at SM Naga! About 40 of us missionaries got to sing some songs about Jesus Christ which was great. Easter Sunday is such a blessing. It's definitely a time to remember Christ's death and resurrection which will happen to all of us one day! Isn't that great? I think it is. Elder McNabb and I are doing great. He's the man. 

We had a lot of great experiences this week. I learned about the importance of the priesthood authority that God restored to the earth through Prophet Joseph Smith. The priesthood is essentially the authority that God gives to His children in order for them to be able to act in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ. Over the past two years I've seen so many miracles through the priesthood. God's power is here on the earth today. This is what seals families for all eternity. This is also brings peace and consolation to anyone in times of hardship or need. I love the Gospel. I love being a missionary and helping others come unto Christ. Thanks for all of your support and I'll talk to you again next week! 

-Elder Bondoc

The members of the choir!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Planning for Eternal Goals

Hey everyone! 

This week was great. We had zone conference. I had to give my departure testimony in the same chapel where I gave my arrival testimony. That was super emotional. But great! The zone leaders and President Zapanta gave some awesome workshops about our purpose as missionaries and how to really become a "successful missionary." Then we had the chance to watch general conference. It's such a blessing to hear from living prophets and apostles. 

Which leads to what I learned this week. I've shared about this a couple of times but figured that I'd talk about it again. Elder Russell M. Ballard gave a great talk about goal setting and planning. As time runs short, I've pondered about what I really want to get out of my life. Our Heavenly Father wants us to be an eternal family. Thus He has provided us a plan, that through His Only Begotten Son, this can happen. So if Heavenly Father thinks that our families are that important, why shouldn't I? Over the last two years a lot of things have changed, and a lot of things are still going to change. But one thing is for certain. I've learned that everything that I'm ever going to goal or plan for will be for my family. We must have our eyes focused on eternal peace, happiness, and ultimately salvation. If we plan effectively, following the Spirit and His promptings, I know that the we will be guided until we reach the eternities with our Father in Heaven, His Son, and our families. I love this gospel. Until next week.

-Elder Bondoc

​Zone Conference! (Elder Dela Cruz didn't make it... Haha!)

Sunday, April 2, 2017



This week was great. Brother Mark Anthony got baptized! He was baptized in the Agos River. It was so cool. He's such an inspiration. He's sacrificed a lot to get where he is today. We had two sets of exchanges this week. One with our district leader and one with the zone leaders. We got the chance to work in my first area! That was so cool! I got to see a whole lot of members that I met in 2015. A lot has changed. But it was nice to see old faces! Then we had zone training in Iriga. Busy, busy, busy. But soooo fun!

This week I learned just how importance baptism really is. Christ has commanded us to follow His example to be baptized, not only because it's a commandment but also because He wants us to become clean. Through the proper priesthood authority, we can all become clean and return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. Think about it. Christ was perfect, but was still baptized. How much more for us, right? I'm so blessed to be able to share this with everyone I meet. Missionary life is awesome. Life is great with the name tag. I'll talk to you all again next week!

-Elder Bondoc


The man himself.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Nasa Bundok....Ulit.


So my new area is great. My new companion is great. And work here is going great. I have no other way to describe it. My companion is Elder McNabb. He's straight out of Idaho. He just finished his training and is really good at speaking Tagalog now. Our area is literally in the middle of the mountains. We walk about 30 minutes up a super steep hill/mountain thing just to get to the church. But it's great. The members here are awesome. The people here are so nice too! No matter where we go people are super willing to listen to us. Super thankful.

Something I learned this week... Ummm... OH! The importance of the Book of Mormon. I've read it. A lot. Literally every day for the past two years, I've read some portion of it. It's true. Read it. You'll find out too.

"I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth..." -Joseph Smith

Hope you all had a good week. Have an even better week next week. Every week should be better than the last, now that I think about it. Anyway... INGAT! Until next week! 

-Elder Bondoc

Me and my heritage. I've trained three of these missionaries, and they've trained two more. 
The new area.
My companion dipping an oreo in milk because he's just that much cooler than you. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Last Transfer

Hi all. 

First and foremost...


I'm being transferred! I'm going to be spending the last six weeks of my mission in Cotnogan! This is the farthest area south in the mission. It's literally all bukid which is completely different from my current area here in the city. My companion is going to be Elder McNabb! He's from Utah and going to be my first foreigner companion, last foreigner companion, and last companion overall. Crazy right? TIME FLIES. He just finished being trained by one of my trainees. So I'm going to be his follow-up! I'm so excited. Our area is part of the first district that I had on my mission. I even get to visit my first area for exchanges before I go home! AAAAAH. 

But alas, as you may have read in the title, this is my last transfer before I go home. I have six weeks left to buck up and do as much as I can before taking off the name tag for good. Something that I've learned to really relish on the mission is time and how sacred it is as a missionary. The Lord provides guidance and help for us, we just have to willingly accept it into our lives, especially as missionaries. I've seen so many miracles in the past couple of months and I've learned so much. I still have so much to learn. I CAN'T WAIT!

"But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God." (2 Nephi 9:29)

Missionary work and just life in general are all just a big learning process in which we should all be open-minded and willing to submit to the counsels of the Lord. I love being a missionary. I will cherish these next six weeks with all my heart and soak in everything that I can. Until next week!

-Elder Bondoc

​This is Hungry A's, a new restaurant in our area that has probably the best American-style hamburgers that I have ever tasted here in the Philippines. SO GOOD!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Book of Mormon


This week was super busy. We had Missionary Leadership Council on Tuesday. All the missionary leaders were able to gather together here in Naga and discuss the needs of the mission. Then we had Zone Training on Friday where President Zapanta was able to attend. Then we were able to have a service project on Saturday morning. We helped someone cut a whoooole lot of grass in his front yard (if you can even call it a yard. It's kind of like a lot I guess.) Anyway it was super fun and busy week. Loved it. We also had a district activity this morning. We just spent time together as a district at the local institute building. Good times!

This week I learned about the converting power of the Book of Mormon. Of the times that I've read that book in the last two years, I've truly felt just how important it is. God lives and continues to guide His children through living prophets and apostles and through the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Over the past two years, I've realized that the book really is true. I know it. God knows it. Because of that book my life has changed, and so have the lives of millions. Read it. Pray about it. You'll see what I mean. I love being a missionary. It doesn't get any better than this. Talk to you all again next week!

-Elder Bondoc

Our district activity this morning.
After the service project!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Have Ye Inquired of the Lord?


This week was AMAZING. Sister Marilou and Sister Desiree were baptized on Saturday! And our recent convert, Brother Rexon, also got to baptize! It was such a special moment, and something that I'm never going to forget. We also met a whole lot of people this week that are really interested in the gospel. We'll see how everything goes next week.

So something that I wanted to share this week was something I came across during my studies this week. I just recently finished the Book of Mormon again, so I started all the way back at the beginning. Here's a verse that I probably shared a loooong time ago, but it's totally something worth sharing again. 

"And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord?" 1 Nephi 15:8

Prayer is a powerful tool. Every second of our lives, we have the opportunity to convene spiritually with our Heavenly Father to express every concern, emotion, and thought that we have ever thought or felt. I know that He listens. Through prayer and our faith, God works miracles in our lives. I've seen that here on my mission. I'm super blessed and couldn't be more grateful. I hope all of you had a good week. I'll catch you again next week.

-Elder Bondoc

Sister Marilou and Sister Desiree!
Everyone who attended the baptism!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Being an Agent


This week was awesome. It was jam-packed with so many things, I don't even know where to begin. Well first and foremost, we had a baptism! Brother Harold was baptized! It was such a blessing and honor to be part of his conversion. Next week Sister Marilou is going to be baptized! We're super excited for her. Elder Bednar also came and gave a talk to all the missionaries in the mission. It was awesome. We also had stake conference on Sunday. About 900 members from all over Naga showed up. That was super cool also. 

But Elder Bednar's talk was actually the message that I wanted to share this week. Something that he emphasized frequently in his time with us was about becoming an agent in our lives, acting out of our own free will and agency, instead of becoming  objects, merely acted upon. That's totally true! It's so much easier to just do things because people tell you to do them instead of being accountable and just taking charge. I believe that our agency is such a blessing from our Heavenly Father. He knows that we'll learn and grow from our mistakes, making us the people that He wants us to become. Cool, right? 

"And now remember, remember, my brethren that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free." Helaman 14:30

If we use our agency with righteous intentions, I know we'll be blessed. Hope you all had a good week! Until next week.

-Elder Bondoc

The baptism and everyone who attended!
Brother Harold!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Making a Bad Hair Day into a Good Hair Day


Sister Xyra was baptized on Saturday! It was such a successful baptism. A lot of people were able to attend. It was such a spiritual experience. Loved it. We have another baptism this upcoming week. His name is Brother Harold. He's been taught by the missionaries for a really long time and is ready to be baptized! Super excited. Another thing. So I totally forgot to mention in my last email that almost all of my hair got chopped off. But yeah it happened. And now everyone who I ever run into tells me that my new haircut takes about 12 years off what I currently look like. That makes me an 8 year old in a necktie and name badge sharing the gospel. Kinda weird. But we had exchanges with the Assistants and the Calabanga District Leader. That was awesome. I love learning from other missionaries during exchanges.

But yeah. The whole haircut thing. So that leads into what I learned this week. Sometimes we get those really  bad haircuts in life. Even though we give the clearest instructions and planning to get a good haircut, the outcome sometimes is SO far from what we expected. But when you think about it.. the hair GROWS BACK which is kinda like life. No matter what happens things work out. So I guess I was kinda rattled this week, especially every time I looked in the mirror and saw "8 year-old me" but I'm over it. Life is awesome. Sometimes you just gotta laugh at life and all the bad haircuts you ever get. It'll grow back. I know it. I have no doubts.

 "Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven."-Judges 16:22

There's hope.

But really. This week was awesome. No complaints. I'll talk to you guys again next week.

-Elder Bondoc

Sister Xyra! And 20% of what was left after the incident.

Some of the other baptismal candidates and some of the members that attended. a blast!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

True Repentance


So this week was awesome everyone. I'm going to be straight to the point. This week was awesome. My new companion, Elder Lanuza, is the MAN! He's from Cainta, Rizal and is my batch going home! He's awesome. We get along super well and have really high expectations for our area and the mission. He's super humble too. Anyway, we were able to work this week and found a lot of success. We're hoping to see the fruits of our labors in the coming weeks. We also had a community service project. That was awesome. We helped a member haul huge sacks of dirt into their house to help level the flooring in their house. They're extending their house, but needed some man power so we were happy to help.

Something that I learned this week actually has to do with repentance. This was a recurring topic in many of the lessons that we taught. Something that I learned is that repentance is an ongoing process. It's not merely stopping the sins that we've committed. In order to say that we've fully repented of our sins, we must accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, that through Him and only Him can we fully overcome our sins and shortcomings. It's cool to think that there's someone who's 110% willing to lift us and strengthen us every step of the way. I love that. Christ loves us. I know it. "...Repent, for except ye repent, ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of heaven." Alma 5:51. 

Love you all! Until next week!

-Elder Bondoc

​The District

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Things Will Work Out


No time so this is gonna be quick. Sister Diane was baptized! That was awesome. We also had Zone Training. The missionary schedule has changed! We now have flexibility with our current schedule. Sweeeet. Overall a really good week, just like any other week. I'm also not being transferred. Elder Tabasin is being transferred, and I'm staying here for another six weeks! My new companion is going to be Elder Lanuza. Super stoked.

This week was awesome. I got to read a couple of talks by President Gordon B. Hinckley. He always had a great attitude and outlook on everything. He would always say "Things will work out." And it's true! No matter how hard life gets, in the long run, God's plan just unravels. Life is great. Hope you all have a good week! Until next week!

-Elder Bondoc
The baptism!
Cool sunset.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

May Our Weaknesses Become Our Strengths


This is going to be another quick one. So Brother Owen was baptized this Saturday. That was cool. Sister Dianne, another one of our investigators, is being baptized this upcoming Saturday which is super exciting. We also have Missionary Leadership Council, Zone Training, and exchanges with Elders Powell and Christie this week which is super awesome. We had a district activity earlier this morning at the local institute building and totally had a budol fight which is pretty much just a big group of people eating food off of a banana leaf with their hands. It's awesome. It makes me feel like a real man.

So this week was super successful and super humbling at the same time. Something I really tried focusing on this week was connected to a verse in Ether 12:27 which says that we all have weaknesses and that only through Christ and being humble, those weaknesses become our strengths. Missionary work is so awesome. It really helps me understand who I am as a child of our Heavenly Father and what I can improve on. Such a blessing. Such a privilege. Until next week everyone! Thanks for everything!

-Elder Bondoc
The District.
Brother Owen's Baptism!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Love One Another

Maray na buhay sa indo gabos.

So it's been a busy week and we don't have much time (again) so I'm going to make this one short. We had Zone Conference. That was cool. We had exchanges with the Camaligan District Leader and his companion. That was also cool. And we should have a baptism this week and next week, which is the coolest. Can't wait.

Overall, something that I learned this week was about respecting others. I was able to give a talk at church yesterday about the importance of sharing and uplifting those of other faiths. As missionaries, we aren't here just to baptize people, but to really help them understand the love that Jesus Christ has for each and everyone of us. I think that's awesome and I applaud those who hold on to what they believe and am willing to defend their freedom to do that at any given moment. I love being a missionary and sharing the love of Christ with everyone I meet. "...Love one another, as I have loved you." John 13:34 God abhors conflict and contention, but praises and encourages empathy and support between those of different faiths. He loves all of us. And with that.. Love you all! Until next week!

-Elder Bondoc

*sorry. No pictures again this week. I've been slacking with the whole picture taking thing. I'll do better this week. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Miracles on Miracles


So this week was awesome for a number of reasons that I can't really explain in a timely fashion, so I'm gonna make it quick. We met a whole lot of people who have potential to be baptized. We also did a whole lot of community service work for people who were affected by the typhoon. It's been 3 weeks or so since the storm passed through, and until now people are still recovering. So we're trying to help them in any way that we can. It's great and such a big blessing. On top of that, we had exchanges with the Calabanga District Leader and his companion. It was super fun. I love exchanges because I get to learn from other missionaries and apply those things in my own mission. This upcoming week is also gonna be a really busy one. We have two community service projects, Zone Conference, and exchanges all lined up for this week's schedule. So pumped.

Which leads me to what I learned this week. It's a short one. Love your neighbor, even if you don't know them. Any service rendered to others is one of the ways that Christ uses us and makes us blessings in their lives. So yeah. You never no what kind of impact you might have on the life of someone else. That's one of the reasons why I love being a missionary so much. It's such a blessing and privilege. Thanks for the emails everyone! Talk to you again next week!

-Elder Bondoc

Just a picture some other elders and I took after a CSP. Love these guys. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept


So this week was awesome. We were super busy with events. We conducted a zone meeting on Friday, had about two community service projects, and still managed to somehow teach some really spiritual lessons, leaving only enough time to sleep and eat. Gotta love missionary work. The people here in Naga are doing great. They're currently in the process of rebuilding from the damage that was caused by Typhoon Nina so hopefully, everything will be okay in the next couple of weeks. We were able to help a family tear down the remains of their house on Saturday morning. The house was literally blown to bits. So we helped cleaned up. It was a great experience. As of now, we're just doing our thing. Loving it. 

Something that I learned this week is how to take every challenge we face one step at a time. When we're faced with a huge obstacle, sometimes we just don't know where to start or how to take it on. If we look at the big picture and slowly manage our concerns, the solution slowly begins to become much clearer than we expected it to be. 

"For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom;..." 2 Nephi 28:30

God will provide a way, just not all at once. If we trust in Him, follow His commandments, and continue to repent and improve, I know that He'll help us become more like Him every day; loving, understanding, and diligent. We must be obedient. Only through that do we become worthy for the miracles He's preparing for us. Hope you all had a good week! We couldn't be better on this end of the world. Until next week.

-Elder Bondoc

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Super Typhoons and a New Year


So I wasn't able to email last week. You're all probably aware of the signal #4 super typhoon that went right through Naga. It was insane. Christmas night, we were on lockdown. I've never experienced such a strong storm in my entire life. Windows were shaking because of the strength of the wind and some water even got in our apartment. After a night with no electricity and just about no sleep, we woke up to heavy wreckage. Trees had fallen left and right. Even power poles (is that what they're even called?) were leaning on the tension of the wires that were connected to them, just on the brink of falling in the middle of the roads. It was nuts. So for the past couple of weeks, we've been trying to recover. But it's been a great experience. The Filipino people our so resilient. No matter how heavy the trials get, the people here are just so ready to pick themselves back up on their feet and keep on doing their thing. It's great. It's such a humbling experience to be here right now. So I hope all of you had Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year's. We definitely had one for the books. 

So my message for the week is about resilience and faith. Every waking day of our lives, we're battered by physical, emotion, and spiritual storms that sometimes we give up. But I know that through our faith in Jesus Christ, we can get back right back up. No matter how heavy the damage. 

"And now my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his might storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build, they cannot fall." (Hel 5:12) 

So if we humble ourselves and submitting to the will of the Father, through our firm faith in Jesus Christ, we will not fall. Cool, right? Man I love being a missionary. I'll talk to you guys again next week. Sorry, we can't use flash drives or USB's at the computer shop that we're currently at, so I'll try sending pictures next week. Love you all! Until next week!

-Elder Bondoc