Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hello everyone,

It's been a really busy week for me; being the end of the transfer. I went up to the new area that was just opened called Taytay to do exchanges with the elders there. We had a pretty good day of work up there and found a lot of people that will hopefully accept the gospel. We had been trying to find people in one area but had no success and it didn't feel like the spirit was there so we decided to leave. When we were leaving that area, we passed by a house that we wouldn't have passed if we hadn't been leaving. We found two families there which were both interested in the gospel and finding out why we are really here on earth.

We also found some people that weren't interested except to try and argue their point. I had a really cool experience talking with one in particular. She was telling us that we don't have to do anything in this life to be "saved." She said all we have to do it say we accept Christ. I showed her the scripture that says "faith without works is dead" but she said that doesn't apply to us. She explained that we should only use scriptures that are written to us and we can't use the book of James because it was only written to the tribe of Israel. She said to me, "you aren't of the tribe of Israel so it doesn't apply to you." The spirit hit me REALLY hard as I said in reply, "No, I'm from the tripe of Ephraim." The whole atmosphere changed after I said that and she knew that I wasn't joking. The conversation itself didn't go too far, but I received a personal witness from the spirit of my lineage. We really are blessed as members to have the Lord reveal things to us.

In other news, I got transferred to Puerto which is still on Palawan. My new companion is Elder Smith... Yeah people are already making jokes about us. I just can't wait to find a new investigator and say "Hi I'm Elder Smith, this is my companion Elder Smith and we want to tell you about Joseph Smith." People are going to start thinking they have to change their name to Smith after they get baptized. I loved my district and being able to teach and stewardship them so I'm kind of sad I won't get to be as close to my district now. But I'm excited for this transfer, the new changes, and the work we are going to do here.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hello po,

We had some really cool experiences this week especially when we worked with the Teaching Assistants. We just found a retired radio announcer a few days ago who had been taught years ago by the missionaries but nothing really happened. As we taught her, she kept telling us how religions are so wrong because they just want money. She said the only time a church should ask for money is when they ask 10% for tithing haha. We explained to her how things get changed without prophets and people make up their own beliefs.

We told her about Joseph Smith and she only had one concern with Joseph Smith. She was smart enough to figure out that he couldn't still be alive, so we proceeded to tell her about Thomas S. Monson. After teaching her about the restoration we asked her if she would pray and ask God to know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet. She said "Of Course! I'm going to ask if Joseph Smith is a true prophet and Thomas S Monson." It was completely by accident that we found her, but I'm sure the Lord had a hand in it.

We were also led to some new investigators who live right outside our door. I've tried knocking all the houses on our street, but we didn't have any success. One day however, we were walking out our gate when I saw a man sitting on his porch and I felt that I really needed to talk to him. He is a pastor for Seventh Day Adventist but is really nice and opened minded to what we have to teach.

During the lesson, the Teaching Assistant felt impressed to pull out an article of faith card. They read through every article of faith and said that they believe they are all true. While discussing the articles of faith, one of the girls was reading the pamphlet and the Book of Mormon and would answer the questions of the pastor concerning Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the ordinances of salvation. Normally, I don't like teaching pastors of other sects, but I know that we were led to them and that the Lord had softened their hearts to listen to this message.

Thank you for your letters and prayers. It's great to hear how much the Lord is blessing all of you back home.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hello po sa inyo,

We have had a pretty busy week, because we had interviews on Friday and then District Conference on Saturday and Sunday. District Conference was great with Elder Sinamban of the area seventy speaking to the members. He gave a great talk about supporting and protecting your family by serving the Lord and keeping the commandments. It was exactly what the people here needed to hear. I really enjoyed conference, but because we live so far away from the district center, we just stayed there for three days and worked with the Zone Leaders which means we didn't get to work in our area. Although we were only in our area a few days this week, we still had some great things happen.

My companion and I have set some really good goals and schedules to help us be more effective and not lose any time when we could be working. With our efforts, we have gained a lot of trust from the branch members. I've never heard of our branch president giving referrals to the elders or going out to work with them. But this week, he worked with us and gave us an awesome referral to a family who we already have high hopes for.

Thank you for all your prayers, I know they have been a big help.

Love, Elder Smith