Tuesday, April 30, 2013

This post is from the Pres. and Sister Carlos' Blog


The Philippines Cauayan MIssion was BLESSED!

Our mission was blessed with a visit from Elder Brent Nielson and Sister Nielson, who is in the Philippines Area Presidency. They came a day early for Tuguegarao North Stake Conference which enabled them to meet with all of the missionaries. Doing one session for our southern half of the mission and another the next day for the rest of the mission, they taught so many amazing principles. They focused on a talk by Elder Bednar on the Atonement which teaches that the atonement offers both redemptive power (the power to overcome our sins and be forgiven) and enabling power (which can help us to become better than we could do on our own). He also taught us that we get what we go for and he enlightened as to what we need to do to more fully establish the church here in the Philippines. For close to three hours we all sat at their feet and soaked in the spirit and the wise counsel.

We love Elder and Sister Nielson and appreciate their generosity and time. We were richly blessed by their visit.

Friday Meeting with the missionaries serving in Bambang, Solano, Santiago, Alicia and Cauayan.
Braden is on back row directly behind sister on front row in the (orange blouse)

Zone Conference

We had a mission activity last week in Santiago called "The Amazing Grace"  Each zone was a team and you had to complete all the tasks to win the race.  So we got a picture of the MTC Guys with everybody in their t-shirts.  Elder Malony was the only one not there because he is in Tugugerau which is like 2 hours north of Cauayan.
Winner's of the 2nd Zone Conference T-shirt/Jacket contest


Monday, April 22, 2013

A week in the life

This week has been awesome!  Many many spiritual experiences!  Thank you for all the pictures!  They all looked really great!  Its crazy to think that I have been out as long as I have.  As a missionary, everyday is set.  You know what you will do when you wake up and you know when you will go to bed.  The people and experiences in the middle change from day to day but for the most part you study, you teach, and then analyze.  I really enjoyed dad's observation about not being in a hurry.  The savior always knew where he needed to be and the appropriate time for everything.  We also can know those things if we follow the spirit.  This week I have really started to better understand how important following the spirit really is.  Elder Daluz and I were talking earlier this week and he said something to the effect of, "following the spirit is super easy."  I wanted to disagree with him but then I thought about it...  If we are worthy and open to promptings we will feel the spirit.  That is a promise from our Heavenly Father.  And if we have decided to act upon every prompting we receive then we will be guided in every aspect of our lives, whether we are missionaries or members.  Lauren I really liked that quote you shared. " it's important that we know the church is true but it's more important that we are true to the gospel!"  I'm going to use that.  :)    I really do know that this gospel is true!  I have no doubt anymore.  I have struggled with doubts for a very long time but in my experience as a missionary, if you are really trying to be obedient and progress your testimony then those doubts become irrelevant.  This gospel is true and if we are true to it, we are promised untold blessings in this life and the life to come.  Mom, I also liked what you said about how you know that your family is a blessing.  I also know that.  I miss you all so much(the good kind of missing, not homesick).  Our family is really the greatest, yeah we have disagreements sometimes but we all know that the love that we have for each other will never diminish or wane.  

Thank you for the recipes.  We don't have an oven.  We do have a gas stovetop.  That is where we do most of our cooking.  We have a microwave and a fridge/freezer.  We also have a toaster oven.  The apartment we live in is one of the nicest in the mission.  It's a house, it is a pretty big house for the Philippines (3 bedrooms).  It definitely isn't the same living conditions as the U.S. but its how the people live here in the Philippines so that is how I am going to live for the next few months. 

Grandma:  There aren't many Filipino delicacies.  Adobo and fish are typically what we eat.  (I do eat fish every so often).  I don't really like it yet but I eat it.  I do know if I already told you this.  If I did sorry.  Balut is really good.  It really just tastes like crunchy chicken.  I get one every once in a while.  Blood soup is also pretty popular.  Its called Dinuguan here, It essentially just means blood.  It is also pretty good.  It kind of tastes like bbq.  
Dad: I audibly laughed when I read your story about the 15% project.  That's not the first time that you have seen something that needed to be done years before it actually happened.  Good luck!

We only have two full weeks left in this cycle then either Elder Daluz or I will get transferred.  We should know whats going to happen by next Wednesday.  Other than that not much has changed.  We are still working hard to finish training and to be able to find and teach.  Echague really is a great area.  I feel that I have adjusted and am learning new stuff everyday.  

Last funny story!  Elder Oyardo and Daluz wanted to play ping-pong this morning (ping-pong is a sport here... haha)  And Elder Smith needed a haircut so we went to the barber.  They also do straight-razor shaves so I figured why not.  I would like to preface this by saying 99.9% of Filipinos cannot grow facial hair.  So he laid me back and the shaving cream was essentially just scented water... He then proceeded to shave my face.  It wasn't the most pleasant experience and he missed like three separate areas.  But now I can say I have had a straight-razor shave from a Filipino barber.  :)

Well that is essentially my week in review.  I love you all and hope you will have a most fantastic week.


Elder Cousin 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Conference was amazing!

So this week has been good.  Conference was amazing!  I listened to it all week and then we got to watch it on Saturday and Sunday.  Its kind of a hard thing for the people here because it was all in English and for most it is very hard to understand.  The Book of Mormon is also hard for them because the Tagalog that it is written in hasn't been used for a very long time and many of them don't know or understand the words they use.  One example, An investigator text us last week and said that she had found a word in the scriptures and didn't know what it was.  Elder Daluz didn't know it either so he had to look it up in the dictionary.  The word turned out to be trumpet.  She understood the English but the Tagalog was so deep that they couldn't understand.  I am so grateful for the blessings I have been given.  To have the word of god in my own understandable language and to be from a place where the Word of God is so readily available.  We are so blessed.

I love this gospel.  Its amazing!  It answers all the questions and gives hope and joy to all who live it.  We went to two separate funeral services last night.  I have no doubt that The Plan of Salvation is for each of us Individually and for our families.  It is true and if we follow it we can have peace.  Ultimate worldly peace may never come in our lifetimes but inner peace can by living the Gospel and using the Atonement.  I know this is true.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sister Cherlene was Baptized

Sister Cherlene and Elder Daluz

Elder Cousin, Sister Cherlene and Elder Daluz

We had a baptism this week Sister Cherlene, she has been an awesome investigator and decided to get baptized; we have been teaching her this whole cycle, she has started to beam and it is awesome to see the look that comes into people’s eyes when they figure out that this church is true.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Elder Daluz and Cousin inside a Tricy

I love this gospel

April 8th 2013

So this week has been the best week of my mission so far!  I can't even explain how spiritual it has been.  I tried in my audio clips to explain it... I probably did a horrible job!  But to sum it all up, I love this gospel!  I love the Savior Jesus Christ.  I know that he loves me and that we need to do all we can to help those people around us.

This week has helped me start to burn bright with the love of the Savior!  I know without a doubt that this church is true and I want to shout it from the rooftops!  I am downloading conference from LDS.org right now!  I love the internet!  And I love Elder Holland.  I know that what he said is true!  The amount of our faith is not a problem.  How we use our faith is what we need to focus on.  I really do love this gospel!  

This week please read through the song "I Know that My Redeemer Lives"  Ask yourself if you really have a testimony of all the roles of the Savior.  And does that sentence really give you Joy that is sweet above all else.  It does for me!  I really do know that my Savior and Redeemer even Jesus Christ lives today.

I love you all so very much!