April 13, 2014
Santiago City, Philippines
Yello Family.Well, it's a big move! HA. Just kidding. I just moved to central Santiago city, in the Santiago North Zone. Just an hour away. We came up here for P-days before. So I'll still be seeing Elder Dulaca often and eating at the Makdo(McDonalds) here just as I had before. The apartment here, however, is way better. It's huge, and actually has something distinguishable as a kitchen sink. We have four missionaries in this apartment, too. My new companion, Elder Bautista, is from Tarlac. I think that's part of the Angeles mission, still on the island of Luzon. He just barely finished his training, so I'm his "follow-up trainer". That isn't really a position, but that's what they're called nonetheless. Elder Cruz, whose part of my batch from the Manila MTC, is also in the apartment, with his companion Elder Delaney.
Elder Delaney is from Sydney, Australia. And yes, he is pretty stereotypically Australian. Which means there will be great fun had for all. We were in the MTC together briefly, he coming in behind me. He was originally assigned to the Tacloban Philippines mission, Cebuano speaking. However, Superstorm Yolanda wiped out that mission midway through his training. So he had to start-over his stay at the MTC, being reassigned to the Cauayan mission, Tagalog speaking. I guess it was a pretty chaotic time for all the missionaries assigned to that mission, in which missionaries were reassigned rapidly to different missions all across the Philippines. We've jokingly likened it to the "scattering of Israel". On a more serious note, I'm confident that when storms come, they come for a reason.
There is only one person who has been through everything. His name is Jesus Christ. He has suffered all. And it is in Him that we should put our trust and faith. It is the same Jesus Christ who is leading His church today, and speaking to us that we might know the truth, and not what men claim the truth to be. I hope that adds greater meaning to the phrase: "We ought to obey God rather than men."
I loved the quote from C.S. Lewis "Prayer does not change God. Prayer changes me."
So, I'm anticipating hearing insights from you all soon concerning your study in Preach My Gospel, as Elder Ballard has made apparent is for members' personal study as well as missionaries. How sweet! As they put it in High School Musical, "We're all in this together." (I just remembered that I totally know the dance for that part. Anyways.) I strongly encourage you to pray for opportunities to share the gospel. God wants to be asked. They will come!
Well, I'll leave out with some Tagalog testifying. Alam ko na ang simbahan na ito ay totoo, at nanumumo si Jesucristo niya sa pamamagitan ng isang buhay na propeta, at kakikinig natin yung mga salita niya na parang nagsalita si Jesucristo mismo sa atin. Baka, hindi natin naiintindian ang eksaktong kahalagahan ng iyan ngayon, pero meron naman tayong pananampalataya, at makapagsubok tayo, bale dapat tayo, at hintayan ang saksi ng ating pananampalataya at nang matututo tayo, at makakabalik ang lahat na tayo sa piling ng Ama natin nasa langit, sa kaharian Niya. Alam ko naman na totoo ito, at iniwan ko ito sa pangalan ng ating Tagapagligtas, kahit si Jesucristo, amen.