Thursday, February 6, 2014

February 3, 2014

 Elder Green and I. He is in my district and has been out for 3 weeks. He met Elder Keaton Welch (from Calgary) in the MTC (he's serving in the Quezon City North Mission).
 Cool flower thing. 

 One of the cool views from our hike.
 Another Cool View.
 Us at the hot-spring place (where we went hiking). Me, Elder Conrow, Elder Green, Elder Bodily, Elder Fatani, and Elder Emilio

 Huge Lizard. I think it's a monitor lizard or something (they call it a Bayawak I think here). They caught it in the river here. When I asked them what they were going to do with it, they told me, "Pupulutanin namin," which means, "we will make him into pulutan (pulutan means food eaten with alcohol)". Poor lizard. 
* Side note...people eat almost anything as pulutan...even cats or owls or other odd things like that. 

 zone pictures

Dear Family,
It sounds like you all had a cool week. Josh is a machine! 33 points! I hope you serve your mission in the Philippines my friend, because they will love you here. All of the men, ages 8-80 spend almost all of their spare time shooting hoops or practicing the moves they see on Youtube. Every chapel here has a full court basketball court beside the parking lot. Even the tiny branches have at least a half-court built in. 

It was also great to see Janae's snowboarding pictures. The snow looks great up there in Castle. Also, nice helmet :) haha. 

This week was good. 13 Investigators came to church! It was also such a huge blessing and a miracle to see some of the less-actives we are teaching come to church. One of them even bore his testimony - he talked about how it has been 8 months or so since he has been to church, but he will always have a powerful testimony of the Gospel. This particular member has some challenges, but he hasn't let it affect his faith. The less-active mother of two of our investigators (who haven't been baptized because their parents aren't active) also came to church, which is great news because it means her children we be able to be baptized if she keeps coming. 

The biggest miracle this week though, as far as church goes, was that Brother F**** came to church. He was one of the first branch Presidents in Pindangan, but he got into some bad habits and stopped coming to church. A lot of his kids followed suit, but Sister F*** *stayed strong and would always be there on Sunday with whoever would come. She would often tearfully express her desire that her family would come to church and become active, so that they could work on a goal to be sealed in the temple. We have tried many times to talk to her kids or her husband, but nothing really came of it. We were so surprised when their whole family walked in on Sunday. Sister F**** bore her testimony and was smiling ear to ear. I don't think I've ever seen her so happy. The Lord really is mindful of all of us, and will bless us if we are patient. 

Today we did a little hike as a zone and had a potluck...every missionary brought something from their home culture to eat. (there are like 67823 different cultures in the Phils, so every native missionary had something different). I tried to make some no-bakes, but they didn't turn out because I tried to use powdered milk. It tasted more like chocolate oatmeal. My companion made sisig, which is basically chopped up pig face grilled, then fried in lime juice with a ton of onions. At the end you mix a bunch of mayonnaise with it. Pretty good stuff. The food was really good - Elder Fatani and Elder Emelio made this Tongan watermelon drink thing, and one of the American sisters even made apple crisp. There was also mashed potatoes from Idaho, no-bakes from Elder Green (ones that turned out), potato salad, grilled milkfish, leche-flan (the best stuff ever), and lots of other stuff. It was a fun activity. 

I think the highlight though of my week was our Mission Leadership Council Meeting. To be honest, I thought I was ready to throw in the towel this week, but I had an incredible experience during the talks. One of the speakers there was a friend of President's who used to be the President of the Texas Ft. Worth mission. President and him both gave some great talks. As Brother Thurston was speaking, he shared a passage from Exodus 18 (13-36) about the importance of different leadership positions. When we came to the 23rd verse, which reads:   
 23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.
When I read this I felt as if it were speaking to me. I read it over and over again, and the words, "Thou shalt be able to endure," echoed through my head again and again. 

The burden isn't all gone, but I feel like I can bear it. Our Savior bore so much more than this and the least I can do is do my best to continue. I'm still nervous a lot of the time, but when I feel that way I can just look back at the prompting I've received and it gives me the strength to push forward. 

I love this work. I love the Gospel. I know that the Lord is helping me be who I need to be, and that he is watching over us all. 

I love you guys. Have a fantastic week. 

Love, Jared. 

***If you want to know the rest of Elder Hubbard's experience he has asked that I share with those I feel could benefit from reading about it. He had a real sacred experience and did not want it published on the blog. Needless to say he is determined to continue to stay on his mission and endure whatever comes his way. Camilla

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