Monday, August 26, 2013

A Week In Review

We went to the park to find a fellow-shipper and couldn't resist...

Going to the gym is finally paying off

Branch Activity: "Down by the River"

Branch Activity: Part 2

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Are we feeling the spirit every day, even for a moment?

So August is half way over.  When did that happen?  This week has been awesome.  We didn't have a lot of work because Elder Dionisio has still been recovering and I had a leadership meeting in Ilagan so that took almost a whole day but there have been other blessings this week.  
So on Wednesday we had our leadership meeting.  It was really good.  President Rahlf was a seminary teacher back in the day so he just lays open the scriptures super simply.  He gave a scriptural thought from one of Paul's epistles and it was amazing.  I decided that I am super interested in Paul but I didn't know a lot about him.  I found two New Testament seminary guides and have been tearing through the works of Paul.  I have learned so much!  This week has been the best personal study of my mission.  At night after nightly planning, before bed I try to get through a chapter of Paul.  Friday night I woke up at 4 am and couldn't get back to sleep so opened up The Bible and got through a couple chapters.  I love it.  I found one scripture that really hit me.  It is Acts 21:13.  At this time Paul wanted to go back to Jerusalem but his associates were trying to dissuade him because the ruling body was planning to prosecute and possibly kill him.  A man by the name of Agabus prophesied to him that if he would return to Jerusalem all of this would come to pass. This was Paul's response to them. "Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus."  Paul illustrated a very powerful lesson in this short verse.  Through his actions he testified that he was willing to do whatever it took to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.  He was willing to give up his lifestyle as part of the Sanhedrin, he was willing to give up any personal time that he might have had to serve three missions, he was willing to give up his fortune to live the law of consecration (assuming that he had a fortune, as a ruler in Israel), and lastly he was willing to give his life to seal his life and testimony of the risen lord in his blood.  As people striving to become disciples of Jesus Christ, what are we willing to give up?

Another exciting thing that happened this week is that I had my first baptismal interview as a district leader.  It went really well.  She really has a testimony of the restored gospel.  It was really fun just being able to talk to her and ask her why she wanted to become a member.  

We have quarterly interviews with President tomorrow.  I really enjoy interviews with President.  We just get to talk and I always feel spiritually uplifted afterwards.  That's another self-analyzing question that we can ask our self on a daily basis.  Are we feeling the spirit every day, even for a moment?  It is awesome when it happens consistently.   

Thank you all for your letters.  I enjoyed reading all of them. 

I love you all!
Elder Cousin

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Had to email on Tuesday

Hello Cousin Family,


I am Elder Ilagan, a missionary working for the mission office. I got a text message from Elder Cousin telling me that he couldn't go online because he's taking care of his sick companion at their apartment right now. He wants you to know that he is fine and that you will get an e-mail from him soon. Take care & God bless! :)

So I'm emailing on Tuesday.  Hopefully you got Elder Ilagan's email yesterday.  Elder Dionisio was sick yesterday and we had a class 4 typhoon here.  I don't know if you heard about that.  We were all advised to stay inside yesterday until mid-afternoon.  In my area it was just rain and some heavy wind but in some of the other are apartments were flooded.  I don't think anyone was hurt though.  It came straight through our mission.  This week has been really good here.   We had 25 lessons which is the most I have had in one week.  I feel like my Tagalog has really picked up this week.  Even if I don't understand every word people use and can typically understand what they are saying.  It’s fantastic; I never thought I would get to this point.

On Sunday we had the opportunity to go on splits with some of the single adults and youth.  It was really good.  We were able to teach a bunch of lessons and get the branch involved.

Later that night, we stopped at the branch president’s house and were planning to share but it ended up turning into a devotional/testimony meeting with the SA's and Youth.  It was amazing.  The spirit was so strong.  A few of the SA's really needed something like this in their life so our goal is to organize something like it every few weeks.

So as missionaries we hear from the members about all the other missionaries that have been assigned in this area.  One missionary that everyone seems to remember is from Cedar City.  His name is Isaac Brown.  I was wondering if you or any of the kids down in Cedar know who he is.

We have a busy week ahead so it'll be p-day again before we know it. I will try to send some pictures then.

So that is pretty much what is going on with us.  I hope you all have a wonderful week.  I love you all so much.

Elder Braden Cousin

Monday, August 5, 2013

New Area, New Companion

Alright so I'm in a new area.  The area is Aurora.  It is in the Roxas Zone and it is one of the closest branches to Cauayan.  It is a really nice area.  My companion is Elder Dionisio.  He has about six months left.  He is from Venezuela City which is a part of Manila.  His English is really good so we typically just speak English.  He is a really hard worker, I have already learned so much.  He is really good at making people comfortable and working smarter and harder.  We get along really well.  We are  getting up every morning to play basketball.  I'm losing a little bit of weight which is good.  

The apartment we live in also is the home of many insects.  One night we came home and killed 6 cockroaches and 1 tarantula.  It is always an adventure in the Philippines.  Derek Robinson emailed me today.  He said somebody in their ward is coming to Cauayan.  That's exciting.  I told him to have him email me if he had any questions.  

Alright so something pretty cool happened.  Elder Dionisio and I were talking about requesting to get our area split because there are so many less active members that we just can't contact.  The next day we got a text from one of the senior couples.  It said start looking for an apartment in your area, President Rahlf wants to add a companionship of sisters to your area.  So its pretty cool how the Lord knows what needs to happen and when it needs to happen.

So my district is Myself, Elder Dionisio, A companionship of sisters and the Zone Leaders.  Super Super small.  But we should have at least 4 more missionaries next cycle if I am still here. 

Helaman 3:29  it talks about crossing the gulf of misery.  Even as members or as people that follow the commandments sometimes we will be effected by the gulf of misery our job though is to endure to the end or enjoy to the end.  Things will happen, the world will take its toll on all of us but we have to trust in the Lord and just keep moving forward.

That has been my week.  I hope you all have a good one.  I love you all!

These were our neighbors in Aritao, they are the nicest people;
 they made us breakfast the morning of transfers

This is Elder Needs.  He was an AP that went home last week.  We got pretty close 
and his Brother is actually serving in Salt Lake City South mission right now.

(in our new apartment) 
One night we came home and killed 6 cockroaches and 1 tarantula. 
 It is always an adventure in the Philippines

This is part of the Branch, plus one of the zone leaders

We had a baptism! Me.Sister Venus, and Elder Dionisio