Monday, April 28, 2014

April 27, 2014-- Email #27

April 27, 2014
Santiago, Philippines

Kumusta aking Pamilya!

Yes, Bernadeth Cruz Borup goes by "Nanay Violet" to us. She is the Relief Society President here, I think? Anyways, she is awesome. And she keeps telling me she wants to facebook chat with you. So here's your new pen pal! As for those things that were supposed to reach you, I gave them both of our addresses and your cell phone number. So it beats me. Oh wait! I think I remember the email address of Brother Johnson! I least I think it's gmail. Just search that in facebook and you'll probably be able to find him, and them. Hopefully we can find out what happened.

Guess what? Mothers Day Skype Call Time! President told us that May 12 would be ideal, but if another day is better, he's told us we can be flexible. Notify everyone and we'll make the arrangements these next two weeks. I'll probably be doing that call from Nanay Violet's house, they have really excellent internet. We'll see what works out.

In other news: I'm starting Jesus the Christ for the second time. Love it, crave it, gotta have it. The prophets and apostles in this dispensation, namely James E. Talmage, are truly inspired servants of God, and by reading their words, I know for surety they come from the Almighty, who speaks to us today. We best take advantage of that. Also, I witnessed the aftermath of a pretty horrific motorcycle accident. I won't go into details for the sake of those who are eating. But it was really bad. Caused by alcohol, of course, the one being drunk being almost unscathed, and the other losing the better-part of his head and brain. Word of Wisdom is true, folks. You'd think it would be more obvious. 

Alright, time for me to break the silence on how excellent our area is, and how awesome our investigators are... This last Saturday, we had 6 baptisms! The Rafael family have been long-time investigators here, so I just came in to finish things up, so to speak. Tatay Nestor, Nanay Vivian, then their children Nes, Darwin, Kim, and Vanessa. They are just amazing. What an excellent family. They have two other children who are still too young, Rachelle and Eileen. Eileen is so freaking cute. She has very little coordination and looks almost Chinese, which makes everything she does all the more adorable. The previous missionaries here have left us with a great area, and the fruits of hard work. 

This coming Saturday, we have two more baptisms. Sister Elvera is an older, single woman. She has also been a long-time investigator, along with her friend Mary-grace Balubal. They both shared the same problem: cigarettes. As of now, however, it is a thing of the past. It has been remarkable to help them through their addictions, and see the healing power of the Atonement do the rest. I'm glad I could be here at this time to witness the hard work of past missionaries pay off, and to be able to prepare these wonderful people to enter the waters of baptism!

Thank you for the poetry. This is something I've learned to much greater depth here on my mission; that all good and truth is inspired of God. 

We had the opportunity this week to talk to an old Doctor woman, who has been a member of the 7th Day Adventists for the majority of her life. We were walking down the street when we heard "Sweet Hour of Prayer" coming from a piano in their house, and we had to see if they were members. Alas, that Hymn is one of the many Protestant hymns we share in our hymnbooks, but it was worth a try. Haha. She works at the many Adventist Hospitals here in the Philippines, where she explained patients receive better care, and more prayer. Despite our differences, she was extremely cordial to us, and offered us a prayer of safety when we departed that was very heartfelt. We talked with her about many different things, but some of the things I'd like to point out are these: She has been an avid Bible student her entire life, and I'm just an 18 year old boy, and even then, I was able to answer her questions fully and detailed, and I could add upon things she might have thought too deep for us. I know I was able to do this because I have been called by a prophet of God, and that I have the Gift of the Holy Ghost with me, which is the very same gift promised by Jesus Christ to His disciples. That very same Jesus Christ is the head of this, His Church, today. But do not be ignorant to the fact that this Church could not have come about were it not for thousands and thousands of truth-seekers throughout history, as exampled by the Protestants, and perhaps the authors to those songs you're singing. The Dispensation of the Fullness of Times is made possible by men and women like this, inspired by the Spirit of God, to fight against falsehood, and break away the chains of captivity and ignorance, which although might not have been done with Priesthood authority, was done by the inspiration and direction of the true and living God. People were being inspired one by one throughout the entirety of that great Apostasy, all having equal part and contribution to the time that there would be a young farm-boy, in possibly the only religiously-free country in the world at that time, who would ask a question in prayer, and become a prophet, holding authority and power from God, which he had been foreordained to do. An excellent example of the truthfulness of the foreknowledge and greatness of God, who has given us the ability to choose for ourselves and gain our own salvation. I refer you to 2 Nephi 2:26. Yes, 26, the one before 27. 27 is good too.

Alright, I'll leave out now. May we all hasten the work, in the best ways we can. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

-Elder Kocherhans

Teresa's editorial notes--
-  I received a facebook friend request from someone in the Philippines.  Since I had never heard the name before,..and she friend requested twice in one week,  I asked about it in my letter to him...thus his explanation at the beginning of the email about Sister Borup.
-  He mentions again the package he sent home with someone from Utah who was visiting the Philippines.  We'd really love to track that down...!!
-  Jordan loves poetry...and writes quite a bit of it himself...including lyrics for the many songs he's written.  I included, in my email to him, some of the lyrics of the pieces we are doing for our Utah Baroque Ensemble Concerts this week.  Since he comments on them, as well as gives his thoughts about all truth and good being inspired by God, I'll include the lyrics at the end of this email for those who might be interested.  By the way, I carry copies of some of these powerful lyrics in my scriptures.  Some of my best pondering during the Sacrament come as I review and memorize lyrics, poems, hymns... so I've been collecting the ones that have become most meaningful to me over the years.

The music that accompanies these lyrics is powerful and expresses the feelings perfectly.  I really love it.  The author of this poem, John Donne, lived a notorious life of sin until he finally converted to Christianity.  Obviously, he appreciates the blessings of repentance...

Hymn To God     Eleanor Daley (1955)  poem by John Donne (1572-1631)

Wilt Thou forgive that sin where I begun, which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin through which I run, and do run still, though still I do deplore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done, for I have more.

Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun a year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done, for I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun my last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
but swear by Thyself, that at my death-
Thy Son shall shine...shall He shines now, and here-to-fore.

When Thou hast done,
Thou hast done-
I fear no more.
This piece reminded me of our missionaries :-)

How Beauteous are Their Feet   by Charles Stanford (1852-1924)  Lyrics by Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

How beauteous are their feet who stand on Zion's hill
Who bring salvation on their tongues, and words of peace instil!
How happy are our ears that hear this joyful sound, 
which kings and prophets waited for, 
and sought..., sought, but never found!

How blessed are our eyes that see this heavenly light!
Prophets and kings desired it long, but died,
...died, without the sight.
The Lord makes bare His arm through all the earth abroad;
Let every nation now behold their Savior and their God.

We are singing this piece in latin, and even not knowing the translation, the music and words were touching my heart.  We've sung several different versions of this same latin text, but I hadn't really studied the translation of what I was singing until now.  The feeling I was getting makes sense.  Better late than never :-)  This particular musical setting of the text is one of my all-time favorites...

Ubi Caritas  by Ola Gjeilo  (1978-   )  Latin text is 10th Century (French)

Ubi Caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exultemus, et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

Where Charity and love are, God is there.
The love of Christ has gathered us together,
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Let us revere and love the living God.
And from a sincere heart, let us love one another.

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