Landon with local farmers

Landon with local farmers

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Don't allow Satan to make you his meal...

Hello to all who may read this! How is everyone this fine day? Good I hope!

Garrison 'pinching out' the last candle!
First off, I would just like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BRO BACK HOME THIS COMING WEDNESDAY! HAPPY BIRHDAY GARRISON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a great day lil' bro. I love you. On top of that, your birthday is on our transfer day. Congratulations!  Your birthday is on the most suspenseful day of each six week period of time.

Speaking of transfer day, We will find out tomorrow who stays and who goes. I think I told you all that President Lopez told me that I will stay and so will Elder Delos Santos, but he used the words "most likely" and "I don't expect a change" so...... maybe he could have received new revelation since then? Haha who knows? You all will find out next week!

Ok, so an update on our two investigator families… two major things happened this week that will be a major setback. It is kind of frustrating. One major thing happened with each family. First, the P family. The ones who need to be married. Umm, so we went to their house to teach them last week and when we got there, the dad wasn't home. We asked his "live in partner" where he is and she said he will be back in 10 minutes… so, we waited for him. So this is where I got irritated. He showed up...... DRUNK! Hammered. He couldn't have walked in a straight line even if he had been holding onto a rod. This is the same dad that we have already taught the Word Of Wisdom to. He totally knows better. He tells us that he wants to get married in the temple and stuff but then he goes and does that... goodness. We haven’t seen them since that night. We go back on Wednesday if none of us transfer. But, one of us will be here for sure.

Now onto the D family, the rule in this misson, and the rest of the missions in the Philippines is you need to make sure your investigators are confirmed the following week after their baptism or they need to be baptized again. I am not sure how it is in the rest of the world, but that is how it is here. And... ya you guessed it. They didn't make it to church on the Sunday after they were baptized. We went and visited them on Saturday and before we left we made sure to tell them what would happen if they didn't make it to sacrament meeting on Sunday. So they did know!  But something happened and they didn't come... who knows what will happen. I will let you know how it goes in my email next week. I am quite sad about it....

So other than that, this week was great. I had a few experiences that I want to share quickly. First, remember that RM that just came home in our Branch this last week? He worked with us a few days back. That was cool! He is still like way fresh off the mission boat for sure!  You could tell he was still new to being home too. His name is RM by the way. In our teachings though, he like made me nervous in a way.  I had not ever taught with someone like him before so it kind of threw me off the first few lessons but I finally just put it behind me and did what I needed to do. I think it was just harder at first because he spoke different languages in his mission so he was struggling to speak Ilonggo that day. So a lot of the words that he said I had no clue what they were. It wasn't until more than halfway through the day that I realized he was speaking words from another dialect. That whole time I thought it was Ilonggo and I didn't know any of the words.. it was discouraging at first, until I realized that it wasn't our language here! It was such a relief. So with that, everyone we taught understood him except for me. Talk about being the odd man out -- totally unfair. But it's all good. J  

Second! Oddly, this happened at the same house where RM lives. We were eating with his family for lunch and randomly his mom is like "Elder Garner how many temples can you see from your house?" My first thought was "they don’t even have a temple on this whole island.... when I tell them, they might tell me to leave…" I replied by telling them that I have been to the temple more times from the time I got my mission call, to when I entered the MTC, than these members have been in their entire lives. It is really sad actually. It is so expensive for them to take a trip to Cebu as well so that is why I feel bad. But, I continued and said "There are 7 temples close enough to my house that I can go to..." and they all looked at me and yelled "lucky!!!"  Our branch is trying to go on a temple trip this April so hopefully they can go! 

Mount Timpanogos Temple
Provo Temple
Jordan River Temple
Draper Temple
Salt Lake City Temple
Bountiful Temple
Oquirrh Mountain Temple
Illustration of the 'Fox and the Bird'
OK, to end, I just want to share a story that RM shared to a less active family as we taught them. It goes like this. "In this story there is a bird, and a fox. Both looking for food before the winter comes. As the bird is flying, he sees the fox on the ground and decides to ask if there is anything that he has found.  The fox replies 'no I have nothing, but I tell you what. You give me two of your feathers every day, and I will look for you’. The bird gets excited and replies 'ok!' So every day this goes on. The bird finds the fox, and gives him two of his feathers. This pattern continues until the bird has no feathers left.  He cannot fly anymore-- making him the fox’ meal.”  In the end, who is the fox? Who is the bird?  Open up to 2 Nephi 28:21.  You will see that the fox is Satan. And the bird represents the people that are willing to listen to him, and fall slowly but surely off the path that would have eventually led back to the kingdom of God. In your lives everyone, be careful of what you do and say. It is so important to realize and think about what you are doing before you do it. As members of this great church, we know what is right and wrong. Just remember that Satan doesn't want you to return to our Heavenly Father and obtain eternal life. "Satan does not have the power to take a life, that is one of the many things he cannot do. But apparently he will take down with him as many as he can to the pit of endless woe." - Jeffery R. Holland

Know how much I love you all. Until next week everyone! Thanks for all you do for me.

Love From The Philippines!
-Elder Garner

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