Monday, March 17, 2014

March 16, 2014-- Email #21

March 16, 2014
Cabarroquis, Philippines

Kumusta Kayo!

I've already been planning my Disneyland trip upon my return for quite some time now. That place is just the happiest place on earth. Just kidding. It's just the happiest place in America. The real happiest place on earth is in the Philippines.

Well, it's about time I write about some of our investigators again!

The Yap Family lives across from the closest high school here: CNSAT. If you're wondering how to say that, just say "See-En-Sat". Their family consists of Sister Yap, one younger daughter named Valentine(Valen for short) and another older brother who is studying Computer Tech. Their father died a few years ago. When we began teaching them, we immediately could see that Sister Yap had an understanding of the nature of God, and was well acquainted with Him already. Coincidentally, when we asked her to pray about the truthfulness of our message, she received what she described as a very good feeling in her heart. They still haven't been able to come to church, and truthfully, that is when things will start to change. They are a little weary about joining "another church" after they've attended several different churches in the past. They have everything in place; they feel good about the message, they feel the Book of Mormon is true, they believe in the Plan of Salvation; now they just need to come and meet everyone else who believes those things too! It really is such a blessing to attend church and associate ourselves with fellow saints, besides having the sacred privilege of partaking of the sacrament. We once had it explained to us in the MTC in this way: 

When someone is deciding to join the church, they first enter in a spiritual sphere of conversion, where they believe in the doctrines of God that we've been able to teach through the Spirit. Next, after attending church and getting themselves involved with the various activities and callings that come forth, they enter in a social sphere of conversion, where they feel a deep fellowship with the other members of the ward, and the church as a whole. To be truly converted, we need to experience both of these kinds of conversions! For us who have been born in the church, we started our conversions on the other end, at the social sphere, and then worked our way to the spiritual sphere. If someone left the church after "belonging" to it their whole lives, the typical reason is that they were offended. Obviously, this is evident of a conversion to only the social sphere, with a lack of true spiritual conversion, in which we place our foundations on the Rock of our Redeemer. If someone becomes inactive after being recently baptized, it is evident of a lack of fellowship with the fellow saints; in other words, an absence of conversion at the social sphere. This is difficult for many people, and it takes concerted effort on BOTH of our parts to step out of our comfort zones. It is a necessity, however, and I'd like to refer you to Moroni 6 for further scriptural enlightenment.

We've also recently begun teaching the Malaque family. Their family consists of Sister Malaque, and her husband, and their two children, Glyka(girl) and Rohan(boy). Their family is already very strong in their faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, so it's been an enlightening experience helping them grow stronger faith in Him through the message of the Restoration. Sister still feels hesitant, due to her ties to the Catholic church, but I think she is willing. They are tremendously blessed to have such a close family, and to be living so well in trying times. I really wish for the fullness of the gospel to glue everything together!

Jackie Garcia remembers early memories in his childhood of his grandmother reading the Bible aloud to him. His knowledge of the Old and New Testaments is pretty extensive for his relatively younger age. He's in his twenties. He has been reading the Book of Mormon, and has been asking very sound and specific questions. He's been happier to see us every time we've come to visit. All he needs is to come to church.

In short, please pray for these people to come to church. God is planning things for this area of Cabarroguis. It is on the verge of becoming a Stake in Zion. Please, pray for these dear people. We just can't do it on our own. We are the hands of God.

Let me repeat that last part, for it has been spoken by the mouth of our beloved Prophet, Thomas S. Monson:

We are the hands of God. 

He can't accomplish His divine purposes without our help. We are His servants here on the earth. It is through our deeds, small and simple as they may be, that the great designs of our Father in Heaven come to pass. For musical inspiration regarding this topic, I'd refer you to the Hymns God of our Fathers, Have I Done Any Good, The Morning Breaks, and How Firm a Foundation.Sing them at the top of your lungs! Get an organist who lives near-by! Crank yourself some Mo-Tab on the big speakers! Music and lyrics always help me regain my direction. I don't know if it will help you, but please, help in any way you can!

I'm so grateful for you all, press forward saints!

-Elder Kocherhans

P.S. Still no surprise? Dang. I'll give it another week and then I'll have to reveal the secret.

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