Thursday, March 31, 2016

This week was kinda hard again.

Email to Mom...
Instead of just Easter, they have Holy Week. No one has work, so every one is just at home.  But everyone just leaves and goes to their provinces, because Manila is kinda just a place where people come and live for work haha.  The Zone conference was awesome.  I get colds every once in awhile and my stomach gets sick all the time, but its no big deal, I can still work every day.  They don't have fireworks for Easter, but tons of people gather at the Catholic church and kind of parade around the town with candles.  Also, in the city of Manila they do crazy stuff!  They reenact the Crucifixion in exact realism!  They actually like whip them and actually drive nails through their hands and feet and put the people up on the crosses for hours!  and they grow their hair like Jesus too, its weird haha.  I told dad, this week was kinda hard and I don't know what to do.  I also saw a picture of Caden and it made me sad because he looks so different and I don't want you guys to change:(

Email to Dad....
I'm good this week was kinda hard again.  At the beginning of the week I saw a picture of Caden on his Instagram, don't tell him but he looks like a totally different person.  It made me sad that I have to miss them growing up, I hate it.  I want them to be the same as when I left them....:(
At the beginning of the week, things were looking awesome. We had 4 investigators ready to be baptized in the next coming weeks and then all of them just came crashing down one after another.  This one girl who I love decided to move to her province and she doesn't know when shes coming back, and her  boyfriend there hates the church.  Then R*** decided to move back to her province too and we don't know when shes coming back.  Why does this even happen?  I feel like I am working harder than ever and the blessings are just right there in sight and then they all just get taken away.
In the Challenging and Testifying missionary, it says that once they have the desire to get baptized, they should get baptized.  With the rules here, its like this:  "i want to get baptized"  "Ok, lets wait 30 days and give Satan the chance to tempt you and if you mess up, we ll start over."  Its stupid.  I know its just my pride but I really, really care about these people and I hate seeing them all fail over and over again.  

Monday, March 21, 2016

It's crazy how Heavenly Father teaches me!

Letter to Dad.....
  I'm getting pretty good at saving money now.  Every month until this one I've been broke for the last 2 weeks, but this month I still have money haha.
Thanks for that story about the temple.  I know that Heavenly Father knows better than me, he shows me that all the time haha, but I still forget it a lot.
This week I had two really awesome experiences.  The first happened on the 17th.  We planned and went out to work and we determined to work extra hard and teach a lot of lessons to show our faith to Heavenly Father.  So, he taught me.  Every single one of our appointments fell through, time after time, for 8 hours straight.  Even our member dinner fell through!  We ended up just oyming (OYM + open your mouth) and getting rejected a lot.  We got 2 oym lessons, but neither of them had the spirit.  We even taught this old Jehovah's Witness missionary and he destroyed us with Bible verses.  By 8 o clock I had a head ache and we were both tired.  So Elder Mangaoang said, Lets just go rest at Jared's house (he is a member that always works with us) I felt terrible so I just said ok.  We were there for about thirty minutes when I started to go insane.  My mind was beating itself up and I felt like I was disappointing Heavenly Father and you so I said: Let's just go oym like crazy for the last 30 mins to show our faith.  So we did.  25 more minutes passed with just a lot of rejections, then finally, I saw a guy playing Clash of Clans on his phone, so I stopped and talked to him.  He said that we could teach him and we started at 8:55 haha.  Apparently, he had found a pamphlet that we had left at his friends house in January and wondered what it was about.  Our lesson was awesome and the Spirit was super strong!  It's crazy how Heavenly Father teaches me.  I went to sleep that night super, super happy haha, even though the whole day, up to the last five minutes I would consider a failure.

My second one happened on Sunday.  We met this guy.  The best way I can describe him is that he looks like he wants to be a rockstar, but he's too old!  Before yesterday I did not like teaching him at all, cuz he just talks all the time and never listens, but this time was different.  We taught him the law of chastity and he said that he had problems with it in the past and feels terrible, so we shared with him Alma 36.  As he read it he began to cry.  We testified and ended the lesson.  After the prayer, he told us that he has met with countless missionaries, from countless religions and none of them had made him feel anything.  He told us how grateful he is for our help and that he will remember us forever.  It was amazing.  I can't believe how lucky I am to be able to witness these lives change and become happier.  From what I've seen from my short time, which is 5 months today, most of the time it sucks and its super hard, but then things like this happen, and it overshadows the bad.  I love my mission.
By the way, nine investigators came to church yesterday! 

Letter to mom....
One time this kid asked me if he was baptized he would get rich like me, cuz everyone assumes that I'm rich cuz I'm American.  Haha I said I don't know.  Dad was right too about the girls, I still get a couple marriage proposals a day haha.
I love you guys, this week was really fun, it was hard, but fast and slow and awesome.  Time and emotions are pretty weird on a mission haha.
We taught Sister Corpus a couple days ago and she was saying that every family has problems.  I thought about that for a minute and I realized that ours really doesn't.  Its weird that I had to come to the other side of the world to figure that out.
I love you guys more than anything, I'll work hard this week!

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Letter to mom....
 I got this wooden top thing called a trumpo that I always play with the kids.  It's awesome I play it on the street with them and big groups of like 50 at a time (I usually exaggerate, but I'm not) surround me and cheer.  Then I yelled Hi Five Kayo lahat! and they all run to my hand like a mosh pit and then we teach their families hahah.   We worked super hard this week, our numbers were higher than they ever have been and then Sunday happened and no one came to church. This made me sad.  the temple was OK..... I don't really have a strong testimony of temples, everyone always says how they feel the spirit super strong in temples but I never do.... I prayed really, really hard today that I would, but I didn't.  

Letter to Dad....

(Jeff asked him if he still feels sick in the morning because he did at home.)

I still feel like that every morning but I can't make myself stay in bed, my conscience like eats at me if I don't get out of bed on time now, because of how important this work is and how many people need it. This week is kinda hard.  We worked super hard and killed it in the numbers and I felt like we had spiritual lessons and I feel like I learned a ton from studying and then when church rolled around, no one came.  Last week we started going before church and reminding everyone to go and picking people up, but everyone was sleeping and no one answered the door, so we pretty much just walked around for two hours.  Then we went to this one kids house and I literally sat by his bed and begged him to come for 30 mins and he wouldn't, he just kept saying next time....  On the tricycle ride back to church I cried, cuz it feels like I'm working really hard and it does nothing.  
We went to the temple today... it was ok, but I've never really had a testimony of temples, my testimony of everything else has grown exponentially but everyone always says that they feel the spirit super strong and learn a ton at the temple, but I never feel like I do.  So I tried to today.  The whole time I prayed like crazy that I could, but nothing happened, it sucked.
One thing was fun though.  Remember that one time where you told me about how on your mission they had those wooden tops with strings that they throw and fight?  They have those here too!  They are called trumpo and they are freakin sick.  Apparently I'm the only missionary who plays them cuz they're for kids, but everyone else is missing out.  They are the greatest oym tool ever!  I play in the streets and literally 50 kids will gather around me and cheer like a rock concert and then I can march them around town like a parade haha. Then we go and teach their families.
Sorry if my email sounds kinda negative, I just really wanted an experience at the temple and I'm kinda mad now.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

"Let Me teach her"

Elder Zesiger and Elder Mangaoang with the Mayor of Makati!

Tell them to work on the TRANSAM we are into the 5th month now and they haven't done anything!  It needs to be done by the time I get back! hahaha    I got the Valentine's and St Patrick's packages, but while I was eating one of the caramel suckers part of my tooth fell off :( I'll send you a picture.   I went to this place called Cartimar last Monday.  Before we left we ate at this little restaurant thing and these three kids came up to me with their hands out.  They were all super skinny and super dirty.  They had old ragged, stretched out clothes and dirt all over their faces.  I told them I didn't have any money, but that I did have food.  So I bought them a meal of porksilog with my personal fund of course so it wasn't illegal haha and don't worry it was only about a dollar, then we started talking to them.  They were 12, 12, and 13 years old, they were all friends and their parents had all abandoned them about two years ago.  I asked them where they slept and they said "kahit saan"  which means "anywhere"  this made me feel really bad....  when they finished eating and it was time for us to go, I shook their little, blackened with dirt hands and told them it was nice to talk to them and good luck.  They said "salamat kuya!"  which means "thanks big brother" :)))  It was amazing and gives me a different reason for wanting to get rich.  I don't need to get rich to just buy tons of cars and stuff, but to help these kids here, they are everywhere and they have nothing and we have so much.  All I spent on them was a dollar and it made them sooooo happy...:) 

 I had two super spiritual experiences this week.  My first one came while teaching R.  She was the very first person that I taught on my mission and her more than anyone else I want to baptize.  She was really progressing super well until she got a job about a month ago and works on Sundays sometimes.   She had 7 church attendences in a row but is now hit and miss and she ended up missing two in a row.  The other missionaries told me that she had to start over, so I searched and searched for where it said that because I didnt want to believe them haha.  I found it in the blue binder of rules that it was true, it they miss 2 in a row, you have to start counting again.  We went to teach her and I was still determined to baptize her no matter what the rules said.  I asked her if she wanted to get baptized and she said yes and I thought in my mind, in the Book of Mormon they baptized people like this all the time!  I even told her that I would text President and ask because she was a special situation.  She said the closing prayer and during her prayer, I prayed and asked Heavenly Father why she had to wait four more weeks and I told him that I was mad and didn't understand the purpose of the rules.  I then heard these words, very clearly in my mind- "Let me teach her".  It was crazy.  Up to that point I had never recieved an answer so clearly, like I acually heard it.  I started to cry and testified to Rose that this was really what Heavenly Father wanted for her and that by waiting these four extra weeks, she could show her faith to God and her testimony would grow exponentially.  It was amazing and I know this work really is directed by God.  Most of all, I learned that this is not my work, it is his and it is to be done in his way.
My second experience happened in Sacrament meeting.  None of our progressing investigators came.  Even though I fasted for it and prayed for it like crazy!  Our 1st councilor bore his testimony on how to obtain happiness in this life.  He began by sharing an article he read recently on what severely depressed people regret most about their lives.  The number one thing was not spending enough time with their families.  He said that we should do everything we can to spend as much time as we can with our families.  Since I was already discouraged, I began to wonder, why am I here instead of home with you guys.  Right as I was contemplating on this dismal thought, a memory popped into my head from about 4 years ago.  It was of our scout camp at Goblin Valley.  One of the nights we had a testimony meeting around the fire and I really felt like I had to bear mine, but I didn't want to because I was a brand new teacher and none of the others had.  Finally, I overcame my fear and did anyway.  After the meeting I was walking back to our tent and I remember that you hugged me and with tears in your eyes, you told me that you loved me and how proud of me you were.  I hadn't thought about that for a very long time.  I started crying right there in sacrament meeting.  I know that Heavenly Father sent the Holy Ghost to remind me that you are proud of me and that he is too.  It was awesome.  It's still hard to see how I can have the success you did.  I have a lot more weaknesses than I realized when I left.  But I love serving the Lord, even though it is very hard.
I'm almost done with Jesus the Christ and the Book of Mormon again.
Elder Fawson was Cole's first companion!

These are some of the youth in Cole's ward.  They work so hard with the missionaries!! Jonas and Abbey are my friends on Facebook!