Monday, May 27, 2013

Words of Wisdom

Braden only had a few minutes to email this week, but something he said touched a cord with me and I thought it was worth sharing.
It doesn't matter where you've been, what you've done, or how inadequate you may feel. All Jesus Christ requires is a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Transfers and Training

This is going to be a short letter because we had to go to Cauayan to pick up my package.  It did come !!!  Thanks for the contents.  One pack of Combos is already gone...:)

So this week has been really good.  We haven't had a whole lot of work because we had meetings and two hours of companion study everyday so that takes a big chuck of proselyting time but it is okay because that is what we need to focus on.  Elder Almaras is super awesome.  He is ready to just go out and work and teach and all that stuff that missionaries do. 

I did really enjoy Elder Daluz as a companion.  I have been able to appreciate him as a companion more as I have been a trainer.  Training is hard!  you go from being the companion that follows along; to the companion that has to make the final decisions in just a few hours.  But I know that the Lord qualifies who he calls.  

So pretty much Echague is still great.  

I love you all so very much and hope you are having a fantastic day
Love, Elder Cousin

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Training the Trainer's 50/50 Companionship

Picking up the New Trainee's
Visiting before the meeting

Working as a Companionship to Build Tower

Elder Almaras and I are in the back by the window

Working as a companionship

Pose for a picture with our tower

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Skype Call

    We were able to Skype with Braden on Mother's Day...Everyone was here at the house, except Brent who couldn't come up for the weekend. (he was missed)  It was 6;30pm Sunday night here and 8:30am Monday morning there when we finally connected the call.  
    Lauren talked first to Braden seeing that she had to head back to Rexburg for her Monday morning classes.  She spoke to Braden for about 15 minutes and then said her goodbyes until Christmas and headed back to Idaho.
    Then I was next in line seeing that it was Mother's Day, I just couldn't get over how good Braden looked. He is truly in the missionary roll and is enjoying being in the Philippines and doing the Lords work.  Seeing his countenance on Skype gave me such peace of mind.  (it is always comforting to see your children truly happy)
    Bryce and Samantha were then passed the computer and they visited with Braden.  They told him of their plans about building a home in Herriman and about Baby Cousin (due in Sept)  Sam stood up and showed Braden that she is finally starting to look like she is expecting. 
    Then we turned the computer to Larisa and Colter... for their visit together, Colter was fascinated with watching Braden and I think that Braden was equally as fascinated watching Colter... it was quite sweet to watch the interaction between them.  
    Then it was Larry's turn. the two of them had a nice visit together,  Braden had is in stitches about some of the local custom...which I will not go into now, needless to say our Son is learning that the ways of doing things can work even if it isn't the way you learned to do it.  But when he gets home he will definitely be switching back to the way he learned it here in the U.S. 
    We had such a nice visit we all hated to see it come to an end... 
    After a few more questions and a few more goodbyes, we signed off.  I will tell you there were tears on this side of the world, but they didn't stay long because we know that Braden is doing a great work for our Heavenly Father's and his children in the Philippines and how can you be sad when you know he is engaged in doing good things. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Baptism of Angela and Arlene

Angela on my right, Arlene on my left

Me, Angela, Arlene and my new companion Elder Almaras

Monday, May 6, 2013

Transfers on Wednesday

Elders having some fun. 
This week has been busy.  Many great experiences.  To start out we had our quarterly interviews with president on Tuesday.  The AP's just call missionaries out of district meeting one at a time to meet with president one on one.  So they called me in and we started talking and of course president asked me how I was doing and if I needed anything.  He then followed it up with I'm so proud of you and because of that I think you should train...  I'm pretty sure my jaw was somewhere near my ankles...  So I guess I am training  for the next couple cycles.  Transfers are on Wednesday.

So we were walking down the road near our apartment at the start of the week and I had the impression to OYM an older gentleman who was watering some trees in front of his house.  We greeted him in Tagalog of course and his response was,"sorry I don't speak Tagalog."  It turns out that he is from Missouri and is staying with his sister for a few months as a vacation.  We only had Tagalog pamphlets with us at the time so we told him that we would bring him an English one.  We had to dig for an old dusty English Restoration pamphlet in the cupboard but we gave it to him the next day and set up a return appointment.  When we went back for the appointment, he let us in and had a bunch of good questions.  We committed him to pray about what we taught to know that it was true.  His response was, "Of course its true."  Elder Daluz and I were dumbfounded, we had no idea what to say.  He then followed up with I would like to hear more about the Book of Mormon and maybe be able to read it.  Again we were dumbstruck.  If there were ever a golden investigator, its this guy.  We have an appoint tomorrow to teach about the Book of Mormon.  Hopefully we will be able to get one of the senior couples to come fellowship with us tomorrow.

We also found a family on Tuesday that may also be golden investigators.  I told you last week about OYMing people.  I was on a split and we was a man out on his porch.  We were just planning to give him the pamphlet but he invited us and so we started to teach.  They understood everything and the spirit was so super strong.  They had super good questions.  They are 7th Day Adventists and are super familiar with The Bible.  They would quote verses from The Bible during our lessons and they were all exactly correct.  No false doctrine and everything they said added to the lesson.  We have not had the opportunity to teach them again but I'm excited for when we can.  

We also had a less active family come to church for the second week in a row and the one son even passed the sacrament.  This family really has great potential.  We are really focusing on them because they know its true they just need to continue acting and building their testimony (kinda like all of us.)

 Lauren thank you for your mission story.  I enjoyed reading it.  I'm still waiting for one from the others... :)

Other than that I don't have much else to say.  The Church is True!  I love you all.  And I will talk to you next week

The picture I sent you with the two girls with Elder Daluz and I are being baptized on Saturday.  They have been really great investigators.  The older one is Arlene and the younger one is Angela.  Elder Daluz is kinda bummed that he won't be able to go to the baptism.  I guess that is just how it goes!.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April 29th Letter

Happy Monday, I have attached a picture of our apartment Its actually one of the nicest apartments in the mission.  It’s like a mansion here but it would be considered a starter home in the US...

We haven't heard anything about transfers yet.  Probably tomorrow.  We have our last interview with president tomorrow. 

Request: I want to hear mission stories from those who have gone. 

I've had the best week so far.  We had amazing grace activity in Santiago on Thursday and then a member of the area presidency came and had a devotional with us in Cauayan.  Elder Daluz and I went on a split Thursday night Braden because some of the elders from the far zones slept at our apartment so they wouldn't have to travel so far the next morning for the devotional.  I worked with an elder that used to be assigned in Echague and It was super rewarding because we found a bunch of new people.  I finally learned how to OYM (open your mouth) It’s essentially tracting.  But it has been pretty difficult for me but know I have the mind-set just to get it done!  It’s amazing.   Most people are pretty receptive.  We met one guy from Missouri.  Most of the wealthier people speak English as well, so the member of the area presidency told us that we should be teaching in English if we are teaching a wealthier person that understands.  So it was kind of interesting.

We have just had a lot of success in finding people to teach.  And we had 2 inactive families come to church.  It was awesome because they are both really good families that know all the answers they just needed to act.

To answer your question there aren't any monkies here in this area but they do have them here in the Philippines.  The Blood soup really isn't that bad.  We went to visit a member a few weeks ago and he was skinning live frogs.  That was disgusting...

I'm feeling good.  We have a goal to wake up at six and do some jogging and throwing a football around.  We already did it once and it helped a lot.  We try to eat healthy but it can be hard because we don't have a lot of time to cook.  But we do alright.  Elder Smith and I made Chicken Curry on Saturday, it was delicious.  We actually do walk a lot.  If we have time before appointments we always walk because it gives us time to oym.

I love you too.  Thank you for all your love and support!