Thursday, September 20, 2012

Transfer Time? Received 9-19-12

Hey hey hey! :)
Many hands make light work!!

Sorry I didn't explain transfer week better to ya.  In case you didn't figure it out yet I'm sending this on Wednesday and not Monday :o)  Who's getting transferred?  Drum roll please..............  No one! haha.  All 4 of us in our apartment are staying at least 1 more transfer and only 2 people from the entire Zone got transferred.  Which means not much is gonna change for another 6 weeks :)  Kind of a bummer since I like change cuz it's fun to get a change of scenery but the world's not over.  Just means I'll be given another 6 weeks to help Elder Wu with Tagalog, help the San Ildefonso Branch progress and...... get the Sta. Maria kids in the Baptismal Waters!!! :)  I think their mother's heart might have finally been softened enough and they've finally shown her that they are converted enough to be baptized.  When we we told their mom that I might be transferring she got all worried and said she wants me to baptize them.  We still have to wait at least another 4 weeks for them to meet the requirements but I think that they'll make it this time :)

Elder Wu's doing ok.  I think he's really bummed that he's not transferring but he's made a little progress with his Tagalog lately.  President has asked me to help him get more excited to learn Tagalog and help him out with it so we've started doing our Language study together.  I don't think he'll be transferred to another mission.  It sounds like President expects him to stick it out and do his best.  He's a really goofy funny guy even though he's quiet at times and we're gonna have a blast and learn a lot this transfer.
What a cool family!

No P-day adventures today.  We still haven't gotten word on the ostrich-riding but hopefully that one will work out eventually :)  Me and Elder Hicken have had 12 P-days here so we're kinda running out of EPIC ideas for P-day.  Do you guys have any?  We'd love to hear em!

Soooooooo...... I'm terrible at writing in my journal at this point.....  I write spiritual thoughts in my spiritual journal maybe twice a week but my daily journal has kinda become a monthly journal hehe.  Sorry!  Don't be too mad at me!  I just need to make it a habit like it used to be.  I still have about 700 pages to fill up so I should be good :)  How's you journal writing going?

Waking up at 6:30 used to be tough but over the last 2 transfers I've been doing great at dragging myself out of bed right at 6:30 and coming downstairs and sitting on the couch haha.  I should probably start working out so I don't look like a twiggy tree when I get home but that's another habit I'll still hafta work on.

Haha, the whole reason we made Elder MacMac was to give him to a member.  We had been saving our bottles for 2 transfers when a member said she needed 100 bottles for a class.  We decided it'd be more fun to make a man than just take sacks of bottles to her.  It was pretty great watching people's reactions as they saw Elder Hicken carrying it down the street :)

Scripture of the Week: Alma 8:15
I used this in our District Meeting last week.  I LOVE all the missionary stories in the Book of Mormon :)
Alma Chapter 8 is pretty rough for Alma though.  In verse one it says he's leaving a city(area) where the people were so prepared to listen to him that he was able to speak words to them that could not be written.  In verse 5 he went to another city(area) where people came to him from all borders of the land to be baptized.  In verse 13 he went to Ammonihah...... and got spat on, reviled, and cast out of the city.  In verse 14 it says he was weighed down with sorrow and anguished in his soul because of their wickedness when an angel appeared to him and said this:  Blessed art thou, Alma; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God from the time which thou receivedst thy first message from him.  Behold, I am he that delivered it unto you.
Whether we feel like our work or the things we are doing in our life are successful or not, we can, and should, "lift up (our) head(s) and rejoice" when we are faithful in keeping the commandments of God.

So.... yup :)  Still here in San Ildefonso.  Life feels a bit routine but I know that if I will keep my heart in the right place and do the things Heavenly Father wants me to do that things'll work out amazingly :)

Love and miss y'all tons!!!

Got a bunch of pics with the Brillantes Family since we thought I might be transferring haha :)

PPS-Kinda scary to see how big all the cousins and siblings are getting.  Weird :o)

Meet Elder Mac-Mac! Received 9-12-12

Hiya! :)
BJ and Elder Mac-Mac

Another week.  Another P-day.  Another epic adventure?  Nope, not really :)  We woke up at 3:30 this morning and took a 2.5 hour ride to the temple.  Might not be as exciting as riding an Ostrich but it was definitely worth it :)

Glad to hear you're keeping happy while keeping busy.  That's a bummer that Hunter's team lost but I guess he couldn't go undefeated in all sports for ALL of 2012 haha.  That's alright though, I'm sure they'll bounce back and not lose anymore. 

That's awesome that you saw Sarahy! :D  She really is the coolest.  Also super cool that you got to go to a BYU football game again.  After a year of just hearing results of sports games and never actually watching them I almost forgot that the fun of it all is actually being there at the game haha :)  Can't wait to get back and go to some with y'all.

Speaking of sports.... I'm not wearing red for the rest of this month :)  GO COUGS!!!!!! :D

Happy Birthday to Gma Slater! :D  It's crazy to think that I was in the MTC on her last birthday.  Time flies but drags at the same time haha.

Sorry my thoughts are kinda spasmodic today (woah... haven't used a cool word like that for a loooooong time:o)  I'm kinda sorta super tired from waking up so early.

Nothing too overly exciting happened this week...  Had a few ups and downs with different investigators and less-actives but nothing changed too much.

BJ's District

We're still trying to teach a family but they don't seem too overly interested.  They enjoy having us over but only one of them seems to understand or even care about the message.  Hopefully we can get that 1 and all of them progressing :)

Had a couple cool experiences with Less-Actives opening up to us and expressing their concerns.  With the Less-Actives it gets hard sometimes and we wonder why we're there at times because they don't seem to want to listen at all.  But by following the Spirit a couple times we were able to find the concerns of 2 of them.

We had just finished a lesson with Sister .... again.  She listened and was polite but didn't seem to get out of all our lessons before.  This time seemed the same until the end I felt prompted to ask her if there was anything specific she wanted us to teach her the next time.  Then I felt impressed to tell her that we loved her and wanted to help her.  She then expressed how they felt a little rejected by the branch and she wants to go to church but her husband feels too embarrassed.  Sounds like a simple experience but it was great to make some progress with them.  Now that we know her concern we'll hafta find a way to solve it... oh boy haha :)

Well sorry not to answer all your questions and to cut this a little short but it's naptime :o)  Just know I love and miss y'all tons! I'm sorry I don't get many letters sent to y'all.  I've been pretty terrible with that.  Just know I'm thinking of you all and can't wait to get back and tell you all about it. :)
Love ya!

WOW, now that's some intense creativity!!

P.S.-We saved plastic soda bottles from 4 missionaries for 3 months and..... built a robot/missionary.  His name's Elder Mac-Mac :)

PSS-Don't worry bout me.  No needs as of now, things are going great.  Love the packages and letters you've been sending :) Got a letter from Kylee yesterday.  It was torn open and all that was in it was a torn-in-half picture haha.  Pretty sad story, USPS said it probably got ripped by machinery... Bummer... Thanks for the letter Ky! :D  Also got one from Jason a couple weeks ago.  I'm gonna try and write ya back instead of typing your answer here though OK? :)  Ingat!

We Rode A..... Received 9-03-12

Look Ma, no hands!!

Hiya Guys!

So here's the low-down on the water buckets lady and her family.  She's actually a pretty busy lady and we caught her on her 1 off day for the whole week.  We've only been to them 3 times now but a couple of her children have made some progress. What happens when we have gone there is mom and 3 of the kids will sit and listen to us while the other 2 hide in a back room and say they're tired or have headaches haha.  2 of the 3 kids really enjoy listening to us and have been reading the pamphlets and are progressing. We taught about the Apostasy and First Vision last Saturday and one of them really caught on about the Priesthood.  I felt the spirit while we testified to them and she understood really well.  The "water buckets" lady doesn't seem extremely interested but is very kind and keeps saying "we all believe in the same God" (Jesus Christ). 

We invited them to church but they live kinda far away and don't have money to pay for a ride there.  Their next door neighbor is a member that owns a trike(motorcyle with sidecab) so we said 2 of them could go with her.  Sadly the mom said the 2 hiding in the back room would be the ones to go church :oP  They went to sacrament meeting and left before we could talk to them.  Aww man! haha.  Next week we'll encourage the 2 progressing ones to come to church and see if we can get more of them to come.

I think I saw Elder Bednar's talk in the Liahona a couple weeks ago.  I liked it a lot because as members and even as missionaries sometimes it's really hard to find a good way to share beliefs with friends.  I kinda cringe when I hear people try to force our beliefs on others but it definitely is something we need to open our mouths about.  The September Ensign was all about sharing the gospel and had a bunch of suggestions.

Elder Richardson was your Seminary teacher?? Wow!  He's older than I thought! hehe ;o)  Just kidding ma, your just as young and beautiful as ever haha :)

Yup, I was pretty excited about the baptisms too :)  That would kinda be a problem if both of their parents were still less-active and noone took them to church but they have a 15/16 yr.-old sister that was less-active but now takes them to church each week.  Sounds like the primary loves them :)  Before their baptism they had a primary activity at the Stake Center where the primaries from each branch acted in a play :)  MJ got to play King David, Manuel was a soldier and.... I forget who Jastine played but she loves dancing and got to do a dance too :)

Iza and Alex seem to be doing pretty good again.  Iza is on track to be baptized September 29.  Alex seems to be losing interest a bit and his mom didn't let him go to church....AGAIN!  Guess why this time?  He didn't want to share with a younger sibling. Gaaah! haha.  Their mom is REALLY worried that if they get baptized before their testimonies are perfect then they'll fall away really quickly.  We shared to them about the Sons of Mosiah who, even though they were baptized when they were young, fell away from and persecuted the church.  We then talked about how they weren't converted until FAR after their baptism but because they made that first step they were eventually fully converted.  Then we shared Alma 32:26-27 about faith not being perfect knowledge and how we need to act even when all we can do is desire to believe.  It was super cool and was definitely led to that story and those scriptures.  But.... the mom didn't seem to listen to us and just kept expressing her fear.... BLECH haha.  I'm sure things'll work out the way they're supposed to but I wish she wasn't so hard-headed and I wouldn't let that bother me :oP

Elder Wu's still awesome :)  He's also still struggling with the language but that's alright.  It sounds like he might actually transfer to an English-speaking mission in about a month but we'll see what happens.  The lady in the pictures is Nanay Precilla.  She's a super nice, super cool member that feeds us and works with us on Thursdays and Sundays.  She also washes our clothes for us.

Our shower here is the best I've had on the mission.  It actually sprays at you instead of just drizzling out a bit of water!  Nothing too weird in the food department lately.  I think we ate duck last night.  Sadly we haven't had any mouse hunts this transfer :)  We had a couple epic ones last transfer when Elder Miller was here but I think we got rid of em all.  No pics... Sorry again :oP  Next transfer day is Sept. 20.  Yup, didn't hear anything about the earthquake.  That's a pretty big one though yikes!  I bet none of you know how to pronounce Samar or Cagayan de Oro.... Let alone Panghulo, Baliwag or Meycauayan!  haha, you'll hafta ask Bud :)


I got the package this week! :D  Loved it!  Thanks soooooo much! :)  The beef jerky was gone the first night and I'm pretty sure you know what I'm doing with the caramel :)  I loved that t-shirt!!!  Instead of wearing it I decided to hang it up in my room haha.  That teaching tools book is great!  I'm gonna use it a lot for District Meetings and lessons.  Also loved the comics :o)  Thanks a tooon! :D

Have we had any exciting P-days lately??  Did you just ask that question???  Haha, a month ago we rode a carabao right?  That's kind of inspired us to set higher goals on our Animals-to-Ride list so we went to.... a zoo! :)  
We rode a........
Ok..... We didn't ride the tiger but it was a good thought eh?  Made for some epic pics.  Next week we can hopefully ride an ostrich we found next-door to a member's house... but we'll see what happens :)

Have a great week!
Love ya!
Da Beej

P.S.-They had a sheep herd at the zoo and they let us in the corral.  It's kinda sorta REALLY fun to chase them around hahaha.  Got a pic of Elder Wu as a Sheep-herder :)

P.P.S.-Thinkin I might need to try and ride a moose when I get home :o)