Tuesday, September 27, 2011

the opening.

this is a little late. but here is BJ opening his mission call. the best reaction of them all is from his Uncle Bud check it out:)

Sunday, September 25, 2011


3 Apostles in 4 weeks?!?  Yeah, we're kinda sorta the most blessed, luckiest missionaries that ever hit the MTC :)  This Tuesday we were blessed to hear from Elder Russell M. Nelson and his wife.  He was SO cool and down to earth and acted like a normal person with us.  At one point during the devotional he asked for the lights to be dimmed so we could see a slide on the projector screen but after about a minute nothing had happened.  So he said, "What?  Is it against the Word of Wisdom to dim the lights?!" hahaha!  I thought it was quite hilarious :P
He gave a talk about the Book of Mormon.  The Sunday before the Devotional we were each given a copy of the October Special Edition of the Ensign (It's kinda sorta epic, you all need to read it.)  He talked about it's translation, the 4 different editions of the Book, the Book's purpose, and the purpose of our Church.  EVERYTHING is about our beloved Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ! :)  I really liked everything he said about the Book of Mormon, there's just too much to talk about haha.
One of the things I found really interesting was when he talked about the translation of the Book of Mormon.  He said that scholars today, with all of the technology and advanced methods that are available to them, translate scripture into other languages at a rate of 1 page per day.  Joseph Smith, a 23 year old living in the 1800s with no technology and with very little education translated the Book of Mormon at a rate of 8 to 10 pages each day!  He translated the 531 pages of the Book of Mormon in somewhere around 53 days.  What took Joseph Smith around 2 months to translate would take scholars today around 2 whole years!  Isn't that amazing??  How can anyone say that the Book of Mormon was not brought into the world by the power of God?
I know that the Book of Mormon is true.  I know that if you read it every day, with real intent to learn from it, your life will be filled with the Spirit and you'll be happy and blessed.  When I was at home I ususally read the scriptures every night but it was usually just skimming over the verses before I went to sleep.  I've learned here that in order to get a lot out of the scriptures we have to put a lot into our STUDY of the scriptures.  Don't read them study them.  I know that if you pray for the spirit each time before you read, the Lord will give it to you (3Nephi 18:20)
Well, not too much exciting non-spiritual stuff happened this week.  Funny story though :)  Yesterday we were sitting at dinner and Elder Cloward was staring off into space past the Elder sitting across from him.  A Sister walked past and looked right at Elder Cloward, smiled at him, and kept walking past.  His face turned as bright red as a tomato! hahaha :)  I laughed the hardest I have for a while, it kinda sorta made my life haha!
TAGALOG PHRASE OF THE WEEK:  Naramdaman kita pare!  It means "I feel you bro!" haha.  The language is still coming for me.  It's hard work but I definitely have the Lord on my side :)
Well that's it for this week!  Sorry so short!
Don't forget to STUFF my mailbox! :)
I love you all!  Mahal ko sa lahat kayo! :D

Houston, We Have T-minus 1 Month Until Lift-off! :)

Kumusta po kayong pamilya ko at mga kaibigan ko?! :D
I had another epic week here and this Sunday will be my halfway point!!!  Houston we have T-minus 1 month till liftoff! :)  Nagiging mas madale ang mga salitang Tagalog kasama ang pagtulong ng Espiritu Santo at ng kaloob ng mga wika. (The talgalog language is becoming easier with the help of the Spirit and the Gift of Tongues.)  While we were teaching last night the words just flowed out of my mouth.  When I stopped talking I was like, "Wow!  Lots of noise just came out of my mouth and it all made sense in Tagalog!" haha, I'm starting to understand how the Spirit helps us and realizing that by opening our mouths they will be filled and the Tagalog will come :)  The Spirit was really strong while we taught the RM's from BYU in tagalog.  After we finish teaching they write how our lesson affected them and anything else they thought about the lesson.  One of the sisters we taught wrote that after our lesson  she knew what she wanted to do with her life.  Wow!  That was SO cool! :)  Our teaching actually affected somebody in real life!  It was a great feeling :)
So I realized another reason why I like Psychology this week (yes I'm still obsessed:)  It's something that will ALWAYS be useful!  It's the study of how we think and why we make the choices we make.  By learning more about why people make decisions I'll be able to know how to help people make righteous decisions.  Pretty cool eh?  Elder Calinog wants to become a doctor and I was talking to him about it.  He said, "Man!  You're gonna be useful in the Millenium, I'll be useless!  I mean, what's a Doctor Gonna do?  Walk up to people and say, 'Excuse me, would you like me to operate on your perfect body?'"  Hahaha, it was hilarious :)
Last Sunday for our Fireside we did a commemoration for 9-11-2001.  We watched the MoTab program with Tom Brokaw narrarating.  (Man that guy is loud!  Oh well, hindi mahalaga:)  The music was beautiful and so was the Spirit it brought.  Afterwards MTC President Brown spoke and explained that the world has kinda gone through the pride cycle like the Nephites did.  We were attacked, the world remembered God, was blessed, and now we[re all back to being prideful and forgetting God.  He said that the world has kinda gone through the pride cycle like the Nephites did.  He said that we missionaries, and members too, must go out and preach the word of God boldly and bring others to Christ.  Like I said, the Spirit was SUPER strong.  After he bore testimony we sang "Called to Serve".  At the beginning about 3 sisters in the whole Auditorium were standing.  By the start of the 2nd verse people were starting to stand here and there.  I stood up at this point and an overwhelming Spirit hit me like a wave.  It was so strong I almost wanted to sit back down.  Pretty soon everyone was standing and boldly proclaiming our divine calling to spread the Gospel in song.  The Spirit testified to me the I have been called, just like all missionaries, by our Father in Heaven to proclaim His Gospel to the World.  If we turn to Him then he will provide a way for us to accomplish all the things that He asks us (1Nephi 3:7).
So last weekend I read "Our Search For Happiness" by Elder M. Russell Ballard, it's a pretty good book, you should all read it!  I finished the book on Monday night.  Guess who came to speak at our Devotional this Tuesday!  Hmm.....  Jimmer Fredette?  HINDI!  haha, although that would've been cool :)  Elder M. Russell Ballard came and spoke to us!  That's 2 Apostles in 3 weeks! :D  Pretty ironically Astig, eh?  He gave us tons of good advice on how to become great missionaries.  He was a great example to us cuz he was SO kind to his wife.  He helped her walk to the podium and they held hands the whole time they were sitting together.  It was almost like he was taunting us! :P haha jk.  It was great to receive direct counsel in person from another prophet of God.
Just in case any of you were wondering... YES I do have an awesome family, YES they sent me the coolest pillowcase on Earth this week (no seriously, it's cooler than yours.  I promise, you'll see why in a sec:), OF COURSE my sister drew a picture of a unicorn fighting a dragon/dinosaur/the epitome of monstrosity underneath a rainbow.  Just in case you didn't understand all that... it's kinda sorta freaking EPIC! :)  However, I was somewhat disappointed to find that there was no pot o' gold or that leprechaun guy with the Lucky Charms (AY!  Nagnakaw sila ng Lucky Charms ko!!... Google it :P) at the end of the rainbow.  Still kinda sorta made my life 10 times better though haha.
Well, that's enough astig-ness for today.  I hope you're all doing well.  I wanna hear how y'all are doing!  Send me a letter about school or any exciting goings on in your life!
Oh yeah... GO MIGHTY COUGARS!!!!!! :D  (Pumunta Pinakanangyarihan Cougars!!!  I think.... :)
MAHAL KITA! :)  Sa susunod!

3 Weeks Already?? AY GARRABE! :)

Hoy!  Kumusta po kayo ang pamilya ko at mga kaibigan ko?! :)  Another week, another P-day another bunch of awesome spiritual experiences!  This place is the coolest.  Before I came I didn't really understand when people were telling me that days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days here but it's true.  I feel like I just emailed y'all yesterday! haha.  So the beginning of this week I had a day that was just frustrating for me and I was just stuck on  worrying about all of my shortcomings in the language and teaching and stuff.  It was hard for a day or two.  But I learned A LOT through these trials.  I learned that by turning to the Lord we will receive comfort and peace (Tatanggapin tayong kapayapaan at aliw :)  During personal study I prayed for help and these were the times that the frustration went away.  We just need to remember that our Father in Heaven is always there for us.  I really like the picture of the Savior standing outside a door with no handle on the outside, it brings home a great principle.  Our Savior is standing outside the door knocking and pleading with us to let him into our lives.  Not only in our hard times but during the good as well.  If we let him in, the things he directs us to do and think will always be best for us.  I've been worrying a lot about whether I'll be able to teach people well.  Growing up in Pleasant Grove I've had nearly no experience with non-members and sharing the gospel with others.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get across the message that I want others to know so badly.  I was talking to my teacher Bro. Nordstrom about it and he told me that I need to not worry about what I am doing so much and learn to love and focus on the investigator.  If I teach people with the spirit and teach them with love and think about them rather than myself things will work out great.
So I'm kinda super mucho de la excited to continue learning and get into the field.  The language is coming to me really well and I'm enjoying learning so much in such little time with the help of the Spirit.  My teacher said he was impressed with how well I was able to speak during our lesson with a BYU student yesterday, WOOT! :)  Sorry if you think my emails can be boring since they're so filled with spiritual awesomeness, this place is so amazing and filled with the Spirit that I'm not sure what else to write about! :)  Sooooo I heard a certain football team that may or may not be 5 minutes down the road from here won a game last Saturday by 1 point.  1 point?!!  TALAGA?!  ANO BA IYAN?! :)  haha.  Everybody ready for the big game next week?  We figured out that we'll be outside when the game starts against that team-which-must-not-be-named, so we'll be able to hear everything :)  Our building is actually the closest one to campus, we're right across the street from the Marriot Center and I can see the Bell Tower from our window.  Pretty Swelligant :)
Last Sunday all the Elders from the oldest district in our zone left for the Philippines.  LUCKY!  They were great examples and friends and I'll miss em.  Since they left I was called to be the Music Coordinator for our Branch.  WooHoo! :)  I'm way excited!  I get to choose all of the songs for Sacrament Meeting (we sing them in Tagalog), the songs for Priesthood Quorum, and I find someone to perform a Musical Number in Sacrament Meeting.  This week Sister Tebike from New Guinea is gonna sing and play acoustic guitar for us.  Should be sobrang astig :)
So I need all of you to help me with something.  As part of my practice for Tagalog I'm trying to translate quotes from movies and songs into Tagalog.  Stuff like "Magsimula Magsuot Lila Para Sa Akin Ngayon" (EPIC song, check it out on youtube hahaha :P) and "Kahit ano gusto ako gagawin! GOSH!" (Whatever I wanna do! GOSH! Well.. Gosh would be Ay Garrabe but it's not Napolean without the GOSH :)  So I need you guys to start sending me your favorite movie quotes or songs and I'll try and translate them into Tagalog and send them back to you.  Savvy?  Good :)
TAGALOG PHRASE OF THE WEEK:  "Hindi talikodan mo sa ako, Scar!" - MUFASA   "Don't turn your back on me Scar!" :P
Hope things are going well for all of you and you're enjoying prison.....  I mean... school :P  haha  Thanks for stuffing my mailbox!  I love you all!
Mahal ko po kayo! :D

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Kinda sorta FANTIDDLYASTIC week!!

Dear pamilya ko at mga kaibigan ko,
So yeah... this week? Kinda sorta FANTIDDLYASTIC!! :o) We have a General Authority come and speak at Devotional every Tuesday here and usually it's a member of the Quorum of the 70. Not this week though. JEFFREY R. HOLLAND WAS HERE!! Ay garrabe! It was amazing! He didn't prepare a talk for us because he wanted to be led by the Spirit as to what he would say to us, pretty cool eh? I took like 5 whole pages of notes haha. Not only were we lucky enough have an Apostle come but Jeffrey R. Holland is one of the most powerful, bold, spiritual speakers I've ever heard. The thing that stuck out to me from his talk the most was when he spoke of the image that we must uphold as missionaries. When we say that we are Representatives of Jesus Christ that should not just be a pick-up line for investigators :) It is a very real, a very sobering, and a very BIG statement. Elder Holland got very emotional, the way only he does, when he said, "People have EVERY RIGHT to think you are perfect. You DON NOT have the right to damage that image and make them think anything otherwise." What an amazing and humbling responsibility! That applies not only to those of us who have been set apart as missionaries, but it applies to each of YOU! :) You should live your lives in such a way that those who don't know Christ may come to know him because they know YOU. Even those in good ol' Happy Valley Utah can be great examples to those around them by striving to be like the Savior in all that you do. Help others come unto Him and feel of His love through you. Many of you have done that for me and I want to thank you for that :)
OK well enough of that ASTIG (cool:) spiritual stuff. Let's get down to the nitty gritty (Name that movie) :P This weeks been a lot of fun, we finally have permanent teachers! The first 2 weeks we got passed around to like 4 different subs. It stunk! haha. Our Teachers are Brother Lolohea who went to Olongapo, and Brother Doolin who went to.... Quezon City! Bro. Doolin has these awesome Tagalog scriptures that someone in the Philippines made for him. I can't wait to get into the field but I'm loving it here right now. We get gym time every day and I, of course, am stuck on Basketball. A lot of the other Elders like to switch it up by playing volleyball or the INTENSE 4 square that goes on here but Basketball is definitely what I'm stuck on :) Yesterday we taught RM's from the Philippines that go to BYU in tagalog. I asked one of them, "Ano nagaaral po kayo sa pamantasan?" (What do you study at University?) and he said Psychology. I got so excited I just about jumped out of my seat and shouted "AKO RIN!!!" (ME TOO!!) :) haha, it was fun speaking in tagalog to someone who's had some experiences like me.
OK so the Tagalog phrase of the week is: "Tatagin ko po ang ASTIG-ness sa akin??" or sa inggles: "Have I established my COOLness??" :)
I am loving the food Mom. I've even started eating rabbit food for lunch and dinner haha. We had wannabe roast beef and potatoes last week that didn't work for me though haha. LOVE YA! Thanks for all the love and packages and the ASTIG Ammon action figure :) SA SUSUNOD!