Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015-- Email #83

June 1, 2015
Bagabag, Philippines


I'm sorry, but this is going to go down in history as the shortest email of the mission! We had to travel to Santiago this morning to fix Elder DelosReyes eye glasses and now we don't have any time! I will say this though: Next email will be in my new area! I'm transferred!

We had a few investigators at church this last Sunday! Jonalyn came with Jupelyn, the young woman recent convert we've been teaching. She had a part in the program so it was really powerful having Jonalyn's fellow-shipper being able to testify at the pulpit about baptism and confirmation! Abish also came with her whole family, and we had an excellent combined class from one of the mission Presidency about the Atonement. It was a great Sunday.

The rest of the week was really good. One thing, that I'd like to go into greater detail on but time forbids, happened on Friday morning. Elder DelosReyes and I were holding a weekly planning session, and began to conduct companionship inventory at the end. Unexpectedly, there arose a great deal of contention between the two of us. Misunderstandings, lack of communication from washing dishes to paying jeepnee fair... etc. After we had spoken our minds to each other, or so we thought, we both looked down at our desks and waited for a considerable amount of time, trying to get a grip on what had just happened. Suddenly, the words stumbled out of my mouth, "are you afraid to get married?" I don't know where they came from, but afterwards, we both looked at each other and realized that we needed to resolve our issues, swallow pride, and show greater love, if we were to expect a healthier relationship when we get married to our spouses respectively. The conversation evolved deeper and deeper, going from effective fatherhood, how many times we'd told our families we love them, gossip in the mission being destructive to our perspectives, preventing future family problems, magnifying our Priesthood, and gaining greater perspective on the Atonement. At the end, Elder DelosReyes was really discouraged in himself for mistakes he had made. I poured out my heart to him, telling him that missionaries like him were hard to come by. Our family is strong in the Gospel, and I thank God every day for it, but his family is broken by adultery and greed, loosing its Gospel ground. Yet, every day, he still goes out and testifies to every ear within reach that families can be together forever, and the Gospel will bless them. That takes real bravery. It's easy for me to say. But for him, it's hard, and much more meaningful. We hugged it out and marveled at the awesome experience we had just had, enlightening one another's understanding and gaining greater perspective. We ended with prayer, asking for forgiveness, and praying for our future families and spouses, that we would be worthy of their trust and be the kind of men we needed to be for them.

I know this work is true. I know that love lasts forever. It is perpetuated beyond the grave. If we give the Lord our hearts, He'll give us all in return. It has been paid, so it is our duty to God to learn to love greater, deeper, more like Christ. I love Him, and I love my fellow brothers and sisters that I've come to know here on Earth, and forge stronger relationships with, to extend into the eternities. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

-Elder Kocherhans

P.S. I saw Jethro and Henry when we were in Santiago! Awesome catching up with them. Miss those guys.

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