Tuesday, October 17, 2017

This has been the best experience of my life

Letter to Dad....


Belated Birthday and Farewell Dinner
haha the trans am looks awesome!  It'll be fun, do you think you can get the back panel and trunk welded in before I get home?  Last night as I was packing I had the worst feeling of my whole life I think...  Later we will say goodbye to everyone and it'll be hard haha.  I'm excited to see you guys though.  The ward had a cool surprise farewell party for me and Elder Lopez.  I have borne a lot of going home testimonies in the last week.  I never imagined when I left home though that it would be so sad to return to you guys.

We were teaching this 21 year old kid yesterday and we taught him all about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  At the end we asked him if he had any questions and he was like "I have one, when can I get baptized?"  It was a good question.  I will miss this more than anything.

Elder Zesiger   

Letter to Mom....

Haha I'm excited to eat a blizzard with you too.  I made the goal to go on a separate adventure with each of you this week.  It'll be awesome.  I packed stuff last night and said goodbye to some people and it sucked.  I was able to fit everything I wanted to take home though in just one bag.  Would you like me to take the other two bags home still for others to use on their missions or just leave them here for other missionaries?  Also, please bring a 12 piece chick-fil-a nugget combo with buffalo sauce to the airport, I have waited a long time.

We saw a miracle this week once again.  Karen was married and baptized.  Elder Billariña and I found her back in like early March and she has been ready for baptism for a long time, but she was very active in her born again church and didn't want to leave it.  Back in August she told us that she'd get baptized right before I left and I was like "no, we don't have to wait that long!"  But she won haha.  It was awesome and her husband will be baptized soon.  It was also a miracle how fast the marriage happened.  On Wednesday we had no plan for the marriage but we were trying, it looked impossible to get it done in time, but everything worked out.  After that marriage, we got to go to a temple sealing of a family in our ward.  It was super cool to see a civil marriage and then a Celestial one in the same day, they were super different.

Tonight will be really sad.  Some of the families we taught have good bye parties organized for later tonight.  I love being a missionary.  I have loved serving here more than anything I've ever done.  I love the Philippines and all the people I've met and served with.  Last night, I was watching a cockroach run around in our house and I realized that I'll even miss that.  This has been the best experience of my life.  Thanks for getting me out here mom, I love you.

Elder Zesiger

Karen's Wedding

Karen's Baptism

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I love them so much and I am so grateful for the people I have met.

October 8,2017

Letter to Mom....

Tell dad that I love him and that I'm excited to work on it with him.

Haha ya I'm glad we've got good siblings too, but I hope you noticed in conference that our family needs to have nightly scripture study now.  President Nelson said that if we did, our family would be "immunized" from bad stuff, so if you do want that, let's get that goin.

That's awesome about Elder Davis's family, it will be cool to meet them.  

We went and visited the Orara family in Las Piñas last night.  They moved away for a couple of months and got into the habit of not reading or going to church.  They just barely moved back so we went to say goodbye.  We taught them about Lehi's dream and then testified that in the Celestial Kingdom, we can be together.  I cried a bit again, but they all committed to endure to the end.  I love them so much and I am so grateful for the people I have met.

I'll send you some pictures, I love you mom.

Elder Zesiger

Monday, October 2, 2017

I am so grateful for my mission and I am super grateful that I still have two weeks left.


Letter to Dad...

Those are awesome stories!  I plan on doing these things forever.  I made the goal to continue to bring at least 1 person into the church every year for the rest of my life.  President Fermanis made that goal with his wife and they have done pretty good.  

We had an amazing week.  One of the coolest parts of the week happened on Saturday before the baptism.  President Fermanis changed the rule so that going home missionaries could use p days to visit converts from other areas.  We went back to Santa Mesa and planned to visit everyone over there, but we got stuck in traffic for a long time so we were only able to visit the Totañes family.  We didn't let them know that we were coming, so it was funny when we walked into their house.  They screamed and then ran around to gather the whole family.  Tears came to my eyes as each of them came up the stairs since I had not seen them since last October.  They are all doing amazing and it was amazing to see them.  I thought that I would be able to control myself, but I cried as bad as I did when I said good bye to you guys haha.

We sang "I Stand All Amazed", prayed, and then bore our testimonies.  Raizo then walked with us all the way back to the car.  As I pondered the experience on the drive home, I realized why the Celestial Kingdom will be so happy.  I will be with everyone that I love.  There will be no separation between the Philippines, or Utah, or Oregon, or Michigan, we will all be together. The relationships we will have is what will make it so happy.  I love these people so much and everyone that I have been able to meet.  

A couple of nights ago I thought about all the people that have been baptized when I was in the area, and then the ones that were baptized when I left, and then the kids whose families were baptized but are still too young, and it was cool.  I am so grateful for my mission and I am super grateful that I still have two weeks left.

I love you dad
Elder Zesiger

Letter to Mom...

Haha that's cool that you get to see all the pictures.  The dad is in Saudi Arabia for the next 2 years but zyra skypes him and tells him about all that she learns.:)

Elder Zesiger and Elder Fiesta with their "baptism ties"  They only wear them when they have a baptism.

It's crazy how amazing the gospel is and how many blessings we have.  It is just hard to notice them if you get distracted with life.  We aren't just going to the chapel, we are going to the conference center next time as a family.  Please tell dad to promise to work on the trans am every available hour in the next 16 days to finish the trans am, his integrity depends on it.  If he does not, I will be in the garage by myself until it is done and you will not see me.

The baptism was fun, they are an awesome family.  David is the coolest kid ever and you should tell Coby his story.  He is only 11, but because he gave a pamphlet to his best friend, their whole family was baptized and now they go to church together.

I'll send you some pictures, I have a lot.  I love you mom
Elder Zesiger

Friday, September 29, 2017

I'm doing good, loving life and trying to savor every day.

Letter to Dad....


Thanks dad, this email is awesome!  Ya I tried to write some goals, but I can't think of very many.  I feel like before my mission it was easier, but now I feel like I have a lot more possibilities for my life and a lot to do.  I know that when I get home I am going to learn how to play the piano in a month.  I had so many cool experiences this week.  I got to work with Elder Davis again and it was cool.  I feel like Heavenly Father has just granted all of my wishes for my mission and I feel super grateful.  

I love being here and all that you said is correct.  I think that it is funny how even though you were in Chile and I am in the Philippines we still had a lot of the same experiences.  I looked through it and I think we even got called into the same callings at the same times haha.

I love you dad.
Elder Zesiger

Letter to Mom....


That's so awesome that you are reading the Book of Mormon so much!  The pictures that I sent are from our Tay Tay vacation/ help the branch working time.  It was the coolest thing ever.  We flew to Palawan on Tuesday and then taught at zone conference in Puerto Princesa on Wednesday.  We then got into a shuttle and drove 4 hours up to Tay Tay.  The branch up there is stuggling with only about 15 people going to church every week.  It was amazing and the people up there are awesome!  We worked there all of Thursday and Friday and then flew back Saturday night.

A lot of miracles happened, but the coolest was probably with this family we found called the Iglesia family.  We were riding our bikes up in the mountains to find a less active guy.  When we knocked on his gate we found that he wasn't home so we started talking to the people on the mountain.  We yelled to one nanay that we were the mormons and this little 7 year old kid named Eman Iglesia said "Hey, I know some Mormons!"  We asked him where he lived and he led us down the mountain to his house.  We found his mom and his 4 siblings in a bamboo hut across the road.  They were super nice, but Elder Dariagan and I weren't able to teach them because we had no third lalaki (male).  We told them to wait and that we would come back with one.  I didn't know where we would find one because Tay Tay is not as populated as Manila, so we went behind the hut and said a prayer.

Elder Dariagan felt that we needed to go ask this member to come with us.  We rode over there but he wasn't there.  By this time, about 10 minutes had already past and it didn't look like we were going to get one, so we started to head back to the family to set a return appointment.  We decided to knock on all their neighbor's doors to try and find someone and finally this tatay answered.  We were like "yes! we got one!"  Our plan was to teach him and let him feel the Spirit and then take him with us.  A little into our lesson, he started fighting us about the Bible and our chances to take him with us looked slim.  Then, all of the sudden Elder Fiesta and Elder Davis walked into our lesson!  It was a big thing because Tay Tay's area is bigger than the entire mission on the mainland, but apperantly they had felt a prompting to turn down a certain road and then they saw our shoes!

We quickly ended the lesson with tatay and went over the the Iglesia family.  By this time, the dad had come home too so their family was complete.  We had a family home evening with them and then taught them about Joseph Smith.  The oldest girl was deaf and dumb and since the other elders were handling the family, I decided to try and teach her the restoration with sign language and drawings.  I circled "Ama sa Langit" and "Jesucristo" and "Joseph Smith" and then pointed to their pictures in the pamphlet.  She got super happy and then did some sign language that looked like she was saying that she was seeing a vision and then pointed to herself.  She then did the sign for Jesus by pointing to the the center of her hands.  I don't know if I miss understood her or if she actually saw a vision, but it was awesome.  When we had to leave I felt like crying, the deaf girl and I had become like best friends, but I think Elder Davis and Elder Dariagan will go back to them in a couple of days. 

It was awesome to see how Heavenly Father guided us to them.  It was sad at the end to say goodbye to Elder Davis.  I love you mom.

Elder Zesiger

Letter to Shelby...

Elder Zesiger thought his brother was himself. 
He must've not had his glasses on haha!
Hello my friend, sorry I am late, President wanted to talk for a bit.  Good job destroying the juniors haha.

I had the weirdest moment earlier.  Mom sent me a picture of Caden and Abby at homecoming and I thought it was me.

I was like, I don't remember having that tie or ever going on a date with this girl, how did mom get this picture? hahahaha it was awesome!

I'm doing good, loving life and trying to savor every day.  You'll understand when you go on a mission but it is the best thing ever.

The people that you meet and the love they have for you just makes ever day the best..

I love you shelb
Elder Zesiger

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

"I love being a missionary"

Letter to Dad....


That's awesome that you've been mentally preparing to work on the trans am for 16 transfers, I believe in you that you can finish it for this last one. Ya, it's been fun working on the BYU stuff.  I really want to go there now, a lot more than I did before.

I had the coolest experience on Saturday.  Back in my first area, Elder Arnejo and I taught a part member family.  The dad was baptized when he was about 14, but he never went to church.  The wife, Jackie, was very interested but they weren't married, so she couldn't get baptized.  We taught them pretty consistently and the oldest son, Jaybert, was baptized the week after I was transferred to Santa Mesa.

Jackie lived as an active member for the next 2 years.  She lived the commandments and faithfully attended church every Sunday with her kids.  She even attended relief society activities regularly.  On Wednesday, I got a text from the Boni 6 elders inviting me to her marriage and baptism.  She was married and baptized and it was awesome.  I got to be a witness.  For the 2nd counselor's closing remarks, he recounted how faithful she has lived for the last 2 years and then said that she is now really "one of us".  She cried.  We started teaching her in my first transfer and I got to see her baptism in my last transfer.  It was awesome and it is really cool how Heavenly Father works.

I love you dad
Elder Zesiger


haha this email is awesome.  That is exactly how it feels.  Last night we were teaching this 21 year old kid that we found and he had already read all the preface stuff and the first two chapters of the Book of Mormon and I thought "I love being a missionary."

We are working with the coolest two families right now, the Hinto and Corpuz families and I love them a lot.

I had a cool experience at MLC on Wednesday.  When we asked President what he wanted us to teach, he just told us to think about nothing and then stand up and say the words that the Spirit would put into our minds.

When I stood up there, my mind was blank, so I just got a marker and wrote two words on the board.  Humility and Integrity because I had been studying those topics lately.  After I had those words on there, thoughts just started coming and we ended up having a 30 min discussion on how we can better work with members and give them as much if not more effort than we are giving to knocking on doors.   It was awesome and a cool feeling.

It is a crazy feeling with 30 days left, especially since we will be super busy for the next few weeks.  On Tuesday we are flying to Palawan and we will work in Tay Tay until Saturday to try and save a struggling branch up there.  I will be with Elder Davis so it is awesome!  After that, we have 3 zone conferences and that will take like the whole week.  Then we have MLC again and then general conference and then I'm home.  It is kind of scary haha.

I love you dad
Elder Zesiger

Letter to Mom....

The little girl's name is Angel.  She is a member of a family that we are teaching right now.  She is actually sister Dole's niece but she lives with them.  I totally thought that grandma z went there for college haha, I guess I'll change it.  But I need you to get all of that High school info and my social security number, and my ap and ce classes and to which schools they apply.  Kaya mo iyan!

Shelby's birthday looks awesome!

I had a really fun week.  It was transfer week and we took the last batch ahead of me home, it was weird.  At one point, because of logistics I ended up in a car by myself.  I had no one to talk to and no radio and it was super weird to be alone for the first time in 2 years.  I was driving to the mission home and it was supposed to take about 30 mins.  Since I had nothing to do, I just started singing hymns.  Once I got bored with that I started remixing the tunes.  I got so into my self concert that I forgot what I ended up driving home.  When I got close, I noticed that Elder Fiesta wasn't with me and remembered what I was doing.  I turned around and it ended up being a 2 hour drive!  I was going a little crazy I think from being alone haha.  But it was hilarious.

Sister Turner said something cool about me.  When she saw me working on my essays. she asked me what I would be studying for.  I told that I used to be sure, but i'm confused now between entrepreneur, ophthalmologist, and lawyer.  She told me that I would be a good lawyer because I have a "professional presence".  When I asked what that was she said that I seem secure and confident about myself and that whenever I walk into a room, people look to me for direction, so that was cool.

It was a fun week.  I love you mom, please encourage dad to finish the trans am

Elder Zesiger

Mom, you are the worst pump up crew ever...  ( I told him I didn't know if he'd get into BYU because of his grades haha) Do you remember when Coby wanted to do a backflip on skis and then you talked him out of it with your unbelief?  You need to have faith first and then if there is failure you can give cool comforting words, but don't assume failure, assume success.  That is why we set goals.  😉😎

That's awesome about your Book of Mormon!  That is a cool part, I was there yesterday!  I am trying to finish the Tagalog before I get home and I'm in 3rd Nephi.  

That sounds super awesome about your half marathon!  I'll go running with you whenever you want.  I feel like when I get home I just want to read and study and work and prepare for school haha.  I won't be bored.

I had the coolest experience on p-day.  Elder Fiesta and I watched the Testaments and I think it was like the first time I've watched it since I was like 8.  You should show it to Coby.  We both cried at the end and then I got fired up again on my goal to finish the aklat ni mormon before I get home.  I read from Helaman 2 to 3 Nephi

 after the movie cuz I was so excited.

Later, we went to a baptism and the 2nd counselor gave the coolest remarks that I'v
e ever heard.  He told the story of how, in school, people would ask him if his parents were members of the church too.  He'd say yes and then they'd say, "well of course you're a mormon then, you have to be."  He went and got his own testimony and for the longest time, he said that he was a member because of his own testimony regardless of his parents.  

One day, he was reading 1 Nephi 1:1 and wondering why Nephi would start the book by talking about his parents, why not the Atonement of Jesus Christ, or faith, or revelation, or something like that.  After pondering, he felt that Nephi would not be Nephi without Lehi and Sariah.  He finished by saying that he is a member BECAUSE of his parents.  He has his own testimony but he is immeasurably grateful to his parents for raising him in the church, even though it was hard.

I feel the same way.  I love you mom and I am so grateful for you and your testimony.  I left on a mission because of you.  If you weren't there to push me and fill out the papers, I wouldn't have gone.  I am so grateful for your example to me.

I love you mom,
Elder Zesiger 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Missions are so fun and it is amazing when you can directly see that you were guided by Heavenly Father to help someone else.

Letter to Dad...

September 3, 2017

haha that's awesome!  I love our family, you did a good job.  That is an awesome experience with Bishop too, tell him that I said hi and that I am praying for him and looking up to his example.  The future looks good, but the present is awesome haha.  I love it here and I love all of my friends here.  Yesterday for fast and testimony meeting, one of our investigators who is 13 came up and bore his testimony with me and then after, his mom did and told the whole ward that she wants to get baptized with her family.  I love it here.

I love my mission dad.  Please work on the trans am with your eye single, Caden and the jeep can wait.  I had a bad dream the other day that I got home and it was in the garage the same as I left it. haha.

I love you
Elder Zesiger

What he wants the Trans Am to look like...

Progress so far hahahahahahah! His Dad says he believes in miracles so we shall see...44 days until Elder Zesiger comes home!!

Letter to Mom...

We watched "The Other Side of Heaven" on Saturday for p day and I realized how grateful I am to be here.  I love the Philippines and I love the people here.  I had a cool experience on exchanges the other day.  I was with Elder Petersen, one of the zone leaders from Pasay, and we had a pretty ok morning.  At about 12 we were going to go back to the house to eat and studies, but as we were walking home, I felt like we should take this long detour.  I didn't know why, but we followed.  We ended up going up this alley that I've never been in before and met this family.  They were taught before one time by Elder Fawson back in 2015.

We shared about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and one of the girls started to cry.  Her name is Jacqueline and she is 19.  We asked her why she was crying and she said that she had a lot on her mind.  We prodded her a little more and she said that when her parents divorced, she didn't understand how a loving God could let that happen, so she stopped believing in Him.  Later, her grandma got really sick, so she stopped going to school to take care of her, even though it would really hurt her future.  Eventually, because of her sickness, the doctors gave the grandma a 50/50 chance to live.  Jacqueline prayed to Heavenly Father and said that she would believe if He would spare the life of her grandma.  He did and she survived.  She now believes in God, but she said that she did not know who He was or where to find Him.  She said that as we shared about Joseph Smith, she felt the Spirit and knew that it was true.  We gave her a Book of Mormon and we'll go back to her tomorrow morning.

Missions are so fun and it is amazing when you can directly see that you were guided by Heavenly Father to help someone else.  Geralyn told me that you are chatting now haha.  I love her and her husband Jonel and Nathan.  We just knocked on their door one night and Heavenly Father did the rest, it was hard though some of the time haha.

I love you so much mom, you are the best

Elder Zesiger

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Evangelista Family and brother JM were baptized on Saturday and it was awesome!

August 20, 2017

Letters to Dad...

That's funny about Caden  It was cool to get a picture of him and Coby.  Coby's hair is crazy!

This week was fun for us.  We taught at meetings for most of the week though, but one of them was amazing.  On Friday we had the new missionary 3 week follow up meeting and we tried something new.  All of the new missionaries came with me and Elder Fiesta and the trainers stayed with President and we had a discussion about how things are going.  They all said that things were going alright until this one Filipino said that it has been terrible for him.  He said that he and his trainer never talk to each other, they just walk, and walk, and walk and that he feels so bad.  When he gets to the apartment it is just silent and he feels like the time goes so slow.

He also said that he feels like he and his trainer have nothing in common and that he will never get along with him and that he does not know what to do.  I was able to share about my training.  How at first I didn't understand Elder Arnejo and how we fought.  When I would be in the house at night I would feel super alone too as they were always out in the kitchen having fun and speaking Tagalog and I was by myself.  I later found out when I was like 17 months in the mission that they weren't even speaking Tagalog, they were speaking Cebuano which is why I couldn't understand them haha, I just thought that I didn't speak Tagalog good.  Then finally Elder Arnejo and I talked and I found out why he was doing the things he was and we became best friends for the next couple weeks before the transfer.  We told this young elder that he should have that talk with his trainer as well and that everything would work out.  He was nervous and said that he was too scared to do it, but when we offered to talk to his companion about it, he quickly got the courage to try it himself haha.

Later in the night we got a text from him thanking us and saying that everything was ok now and that he was happy.  It was awesome and it made me think of your letter that you sent me my first p day in the field.  I felt like I was about to die and you told me to remember those times because they would help me help others.  You were right.

I love you dad, please finish the trans am , I believe in you

Elder Zesiger 

August 27, 2017

Ya I've known it for awhile I just haven't told you haha.  It is October 18.  The boat sounds fun, but I'm excited to snow board.  

This week was fun and we got to teach a lot of cool people.  One of the coolest's name was Diyosel.  She is just super prepared and so is her sister and they will go to church this next week.  I feel like Heavenly Father is blessing us more than ever, but I also feel like Satan is working his hardest on me as well, to discourage me and make me feel unworthy to be here.  I do feel like I am closer to Heavenly Father than ever though and He is guiding us in everything we do.

I got to speak at a funeral of our second counselor who just died.  He died of a heart problem and his wife has stage four cancer right now.  Right when I got here, we had an investigator that we used to teach at their house.  For about 3 months I used to go to their house about every other day.  I was texted that I would speak at it about 30 mins before the funeral started so I just got up and spoke by the spirit.  I cried at the end of my talk and the spirit was strong.  Before we left, the family came up and thanked me and it was one of the best experiences of my mission.

I love you Dad.

Elder Zesiger

Letters to Mom....

August 20, 2017

haha ha sounds awesome!  Coby's hair is crazy! hahaha  If I am right then he is going into 9th grade, if that is true, that's crazy too!  I can't believe everyone looks so different haha, this is the first picture I've gotten in awhile that I can see them good.  I think I look exactly the same haha.

We had a super fun week.  The Evangelista Family and brother JM were baptized on Saturday and it was awesome.  You had a part in JM's baptism.  We found him a while ago because of the umbrellas.  We had just gotten them and I wanted to get everyone's attention so I opened it inside the little restaurant that we were eating at.  JM saw it and came over and ate with us and he was just baptized!  So thanks, I'll send you a picture.

Most of our week was spent teaching at zone conferences.  We had a meeting everyday Monday-Friday.  We had pizza everyday too so within the week I had 16 slices of pizza, other than that I just ate rice and chicken so it wasn't a super healthy week.  We were worried that our area would've died since we were gone for so long and we have some really cool families that we are working with, but when we finally got back to our area we were surprised to find that everyone was doing great and that Heavenly Father had been helping them.   

I don't go back to the eye doctor until Sep 22.  You're talk was awesome, I printed it and wrote about it in my journal.

I lov eyou mom
Elder Zesiger

August 27, 2017

That's crazy!  Ya I can take him on a ton of adventures IN MY TRANS AM.  No, I did not have anxiety, I just had a love of sleep and an under appreciation of school.  

We had this cool experience teaching this girl named Coleen.  She is 20 and was holding her anak.  We asked her what was one time she remembers that Heavenly Father had answered her prayer and she said that about a year ago, her dad died when she was pregnant with no husband and her mom disowned her and kicked her out of the house.  We taught her the restoration and the spirit was there.  She wasn't too receptive, but I realized that I've been really blessed in my life and I am really grateful for you and dad always living the gospel.  Love you mom

Elder Zesiger