Monday, April 21, 2014

April 20, 2014-- Email #26

April 20, 2014
Santiago City, Philippines

Sup Peeps (An appropriate Easter greeting)

What an excellent Easter! We had a Zone conference this week, focused on the Passion and the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, which was beautifully done. I need to be honest you, it is a huge relief to have Elder Bautista as a companion. He is so hard working. He just gets it. Last cycle kind of drained me. Now I'm finally getting a rest by working hard. Hah, I love the way that works.

We've had tons of member help in this area. Three members of our ward have been of particular help with our work, almost every day. Lemme tell you about them.

Brother Rusell Dela Cruz(Who is with me right now and just checked the spelling on his name, so now I can assure you it is right) is way awesome. He's sixteen years old, and already has his own name tag made out of cardboard that reads "Brother Dela Cruz". He is super good at the guitar and has excellent taste in music. Consequently, we mesh really well. Among other interests, he enjoys fixing old electronics, especially speakers, and blasting MoTab on them. I've never met a young man more excited to go on a mission than this one. He would put us all to shame. Then there's Jethro Tuzon. It's kind of hard to describe his personality. I guess if you didn't know him, you would think he was gay. Hah. Yeah that's a good way to put it. He's about 22 years old, and awesome as well. We go jogging in the mornings occasionally with him. He is really amazing at teaching; his testimony is very strong, and you can tell that the truths of the gospel are of utmost importance to him. It's very comforting to be friends with someone so devoted to the gospel, despite having tendencies that this world in our day would have us succumb to. Then there's Brother Henry, who's probably close to his thirties. He's pretty much Cole, Cam's friend from the Maeser play crew, in Filipino form, almost exactly. Hence, he is super hilarious, and always has amazing advice for our investigators.

We're running short on time this session, so I'll have to write about our amazing investigators next week. Too bad! I'll leave off with something I learned from the account of Peter in my reading the New Testament recently.

In the gospel of Luke, we read that Peter's mother-in-law was healed by the Master, before Peter became a disciple. This healing created a great stir in the land. People came flocking from all around to see Jesus and to have Him heal their sick and cast out devils. But we don't hear anything about the excitement of Peter. In my opinion, I think Peter was too busy fishing. I assume this based on other instances in which Peter exhibits a love for fishing above many other things. I think that even though his mother-in-law had been healed by this man, and people from the land were coming to Him in droves, Peter was a little preoccupied trying to make his living to notice anything miraculous about Him yet. We then read that Jesus comes to the shore of the Sea of Galilee to preach. This is the morning after a long night of unsuccessful fishing. Probably exhausted, upon the request of Jesus, Peter lets his boat out a little ways off the shore, so Jesus can preach from the boat, being amplified by the water's surface. After the sermon, Peter still doesn't display any outstanding interest. But then, Jesus offers him a little advise. He tells him to try putting the net on the other side of the boat. Peter, now perking up in interest, is probably doubtful to a measurable degree to the credibility of this man when it comes to fishing, but nevertheless, he tries it out. We know what happens next. The fish are so abundant, they break the net, and James and John, fellow fishermen, try to help him haul in the load, only to have their boat as well take in water due to the immense weight. It is then that Peter proclaims "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." Then Jesus tells them He will make them fishers of men, and just like that, they leave their business to the seashore, and follow Jesus.

Peter didn't decide to follow Jesus, even though He had already performed many miracles in close proximity to him, until he had seen the application of the power of God into his own life. The gospel is for everyone because it is a multi-purpose tool. When Peter saw that the Savior could help Peter in his own daily life, he received a witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ. That goes the same for us. If we want to receive a witness through the Spirit that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the World, and that He leads this Church today, then we need to find a way to use His teachings directly in our lives. Now, of course, there was a difference in the calling of Peter; he left his business straightaway, knowing that he was to be a full-time disciple of Jesus Christ. I get that privelidge here as well, being a missionary. I know you all have a lot of things to do everyday. In my opinion, whatever you're doing, it's probably a lot like fishing. And I know that if you look for it, you will find the words of the Savior just as Peter found them, which will bring blessings unimaginable, and a witness of the One who leads us, Jesus Christ. We will be able to implement Him into our daily routine, and we will fulfill our sacrament covenants, that we are to "always remember him". I say this in His name, Jesus Christ. Amen.

-Elder Kocherhans

P.S. A Utahn family, the father being a former missionary here, came to vacation in Cabarroguis, and his sister in law said I could give her some stuff to give to you guys there. But I guess it hasn't reached you yet. I don't know what happened.

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