Monday, June 19, 2017

3 Weeks in the life of a Missionary in the Philippines and his letters home...

Letters to Dad...

June 4th

Hey dad, I had a fun week, we've got to be really fast today cuz we're flying to Palawan later, but I'll read it on the plane.  We had a super cool experience of teaching yesterday.  This lady we oymed just broke up with her boyfriend who she has been staying with for 10 years and with whom she has a five year old daughter.  She has been super sad and can't eat and didn't read her Book of Mormon.  She is super smart and gets all the doctrine, but has not yet asked God if it is all true.

Since we didn't read, we read with her Alma 36.  With every verse the Spirit got stronger and she was amazed that every verse was exactly perfect for her situation.  She asked us how we knew what she was going through.  She always looks at stuff so logically, like we spied on her or something haha.  We told her that Heavenly Father knows all her sorrows and that he guides us to help her through the Spirit.  She totally changed and said that she will read every day.  When we asked her to go to church, she said that she has work.  We shared 1 Nephi 3:7 and asked:  "if God guided us to you at this time when you are at your lowest, and guided us to the right scripture to read just for you, do you really think that He won't also prepare a way for you to get to church?"  "no" she said.  "will you come to church this Sunday?" "yes".  haha it was awesome.  The Spirit spoke through us and it was awesome!.

The trailer looks awesome! That'll be way fun for dirt biking!  I'm still waiting on Trans Am pictures (19 months).  haha I love you dad
Elder Zesiger

June 11th

That's an awesome miracle dad!  This week was crazy for me.  We had an awesome experience taking one of our recent converts to the temple to be baptized for her mom who passed away when she was 11, it was awesome, I'll email mom about it.  My view of the future changed a lot this week though.  Coming back from Palawan, we had the same flight as President and it got delayed for an hour, so we just got to talk to him for like 2 hours.

First, I asked him how he has been so successful with his family, since none of his 7 kids have gone less active, and we ended up talking about getting rich at the end.  He told the story of when his business was doing really well.  He went and bought the nicest Mercedes he could get and told himself that he would drive a Mercedes until the day he died.  He had it for about a year but then realized that his kids kept bragging to their friends that their dad was rich so he sold it and bought a cheaper car.  I told him that I wanted a car collection and a watch collection and asked him if that was bad.  He said that he didn't think it was good.  Then he said a cool quote.  "Things tend to corrupt people, experiences build joyful lives."  

He said what they've spent their money on has been going on awesome vacations with their kids and all their vacations always include some form of service.  One time they were in Africa with no churches around but they still wanted to keep the Sabbath day holy, so they went to this other church.  There were 1400 people in attendance and since they were the only white people, they were invited up to speak, and they taught about the plan of salvation!  It sounds awesome!  I think that's what I want for my life.

When I think of my happiest memories, it's not when i got watches or guitars, but when i went dirt biking with you or skiing or when we worked on the trans am.  it still takes money, but it's spent differently, i also think that we should try to include service in all of our vacations from now on too.  Whether it's going to the temple, or helping someone in Argentina build a house.  Life sounds exciting haha.

Thanks for sharing about your stroke too.  It really built my testimony, i remember seeing you in the hospital bed and I'm really grateful that you're still here too.

I love you dad,
Elder Zesiger

June 18th

Dad, that movie's awesome!  In my first area, the elders were learning English, so I watched it every morning for 5 months and memorized it word for word.  But I'll still watch it with you guys haha.  That's awesome that they are excited for that concert!  That was the first one we went to when I was in like 7th grade haha.  That also sounds cool about the Jeep, I'll be happy to drive the civic as long as the trans am is done.  Just remember that the time is far spent and there is little remaining and you have to finish it before I get home cuz you have integrity.

The coolest thing that happened to me this week was probably at the going home missionary meeting.  Do you remember when I was a zone leader and we had to go get this sister one time who was doing crazy stuff and it was like the scariest day of my life?  Well she ended up repenting and getting back to the work and she just went home as an stl.  Her testimony was so strong as she testified of the atonement and was so happy that she finished strong even though she fell down a couple times along the way.  As I drove them all to the airport, she asked me if I remembered that night.  I said yes.  Then I told her that I was happy to know her and that she was a great missionary and example.  It was a cool spiritual experience for me.

I also went to this place called Tondo.  I went to smokey mountain and happyland.  You should look it up, it's crazy!  Happy Father's Day dad, thanks for always being so awesome and teaching me through your example.  Thanks for going on a mission and doing what was right and for doing great in your calling at church.  I don't understand everything that you do, but as I learn more from seeing people here, my gratitude grows.  Thanks for all the amazing memories and spending so much time with me dirt biking, working on the car, snowboarding, going to concerts, golfing, scout camps, wrestling matches, and even when you just came in my room to here me play guitar.  I love you so much and I'm grateful that you are my dad.

Elder Zesiger

Letters to Mom....

June 4th

Hey mom!  This week was pretty busy with zone conferences and mlc,  but we got to work for one day.  As an assistant, I pretty much plan for and teach meetings and try to fix emergencies with missionaries if they happen haha, but working outside is still when you see the most miracles.  Last night we found a cool new family named the Evangelista family.  They've got 5 kids and they're super cool, we had a family home evening with them.  The mom said that missionaries drop by their house all the time, but they never let any in, but she felt something special about us so she did let us in.

Since it was an fhe and we had games and stuff, we didn't have that long of a spiritual message, so we shared a little bit about how families can be eternal and the dad was like "wait a minute, so you mean that after this life we can still be together?" we were like "ya" it was cool, we're going to Palawan later tonight, so we'll go teach them in a couple of days.

Thanks for all the pictures mom, I love you guys.  Please tell dad to finish the trans am.
Elder Zesiger

June 11th

I listened to the baby blessing that Caden sent, it is awesome!  Thanks for sending me all these pictures!  I love them.  The coolest miracle I saw this week was with our recent convert Danica.  We went with her to the temple on Saturday to be baptized for her mom who passed away when she was 11.  It was super special.  I was a witness and then confirmed her.  As I sat there, Heavenly Father opened my mind up to feel the joy of missionary work.  I remembered that night that we prayed to find someone to teach.  Then when we talked to Danica at her door and asked if we could share a message with her.  Then the first time she came to church.  Then she was baptized.  And then we were with her in the temple and she was doing missionary work for her mother, and the 4 others she was baptized for.  It was an amazing time.

I love being a missionary.  Sometimes it's hard but it's always worth it.  That's so awesome about Andrew!  Tell him to email me before he leaves!  That's not much of a preparation time, he's leaving fast!  Tell him that I'm happy for him and that he's going to have a blast!  Also, tell him thanks for helping me through the Japanese airport!  He's gonna be awesome.  I love you mom and I'm so grateful for you and all you've done for me.

Elder Zesiger

June 18th

Hey mom!  This week was super fun.  We went to smokey mountain with the office elders on Saturday.  We also went to this place in Tondo called happyland, you should look it up, it's crazy!  I"ll try to send you the pictures of our adventure, it is literally the craziest place I've ever been in my life mom.  Geralyn will hopefully get baptized this Saturday, we just have to get them married. We started teaching this new lady who is really cool.  Her name is Maricel, she has 6 kids and her husband died on December 11, 2015.  At the end of the lesson, we had her pray and after she said amen, her head stayed down for a while.  After that she looked up with tears in her eyes and thanked us for coming, and we'll go back later tonight.

I love you mom, you are the best.

Elder Zesiger

Friday, June 2, 2017

Letter to Mom...

That sounds like a great vacation!   I love you guys and I'm still always excited for Mondays to see what you're doing.  I've decided I'm not coming home, just to let you know.  There is nothing for me there.  I think i will just spend the remainder of my days here with the Filipinos.  hahaha

A couple of nights ago, it started raining really hard.  As we were walking, we had the idea to go and visit sister Bill.  She is the one with 10 kids and one in prison.  She has been kind of hard to teach lately because she is always so tired from bringing her son food everyday.  As we squeezed through the 1ft wide alley that leads to her house, we discovered that our umbrellas would not fit, so we put them away and got soaked.  When she opened the door, she was very surprised to find us soaking wet.  I think she felt a little bad which was good, because it helped her to commit to read the Book of Mormon. haha I love that lady, and I really think that she will read it.

Letter to Dad...

This week I got to talk to President a lot and I was asking him how I could stay up high and not get super into the world again.  I told him that lately it's been kind of scary to go back into it all haha.  He told me that when you go home, you don't have to give anything up.  People might think you are weird, but you don't have to give in.  It was cool, I'm gonna write down my standards and stick to them.

The coolest thing that happened this week though was yesterday.  We went over to teach some investigators and when we got there, they were fighting really bad and they wanted to split up.  So we fixed them and then told them that they needed to talk to President Ostler.  I felt prompted to just schedule an appointment without informing President for Sunday.  After the lesson, I realized what I had done because President is super busy.  So I called him and he said that Sunday would work perfect.  We went over yesterday and he talked to them.  Then we ate dinner with them and President's family.  It was awesome!  They are both ok now and want to be baptized and married.  They both came to church too!  I have really been gaining a testimony of fasting from these two.  Every time that they run into a problem, we fast for them and it always seems to work it self out.

I love you guys, thanks for having awesome adventures without me so I don't feel like I'm the only one having fun haha.

Elder Zesiger