Monday, February 12, 2018

Busanga and a bucket list check

Heres a special birthday shout out to the newest member of young womens at home. Happy #12 Paisley!! I can't believe you are so old. Paisley and I both have blonde hair, blue eyes and love the best plant, cactus.  I have decided Paisley has changed the most out of all of my siblings since I left.  Love you Pais- hope you had a great day! 
I guess you could say this week was upper dec. Started the week off with some exchanges in our area. I worked with Elder Davis from Oregon who’s been out a transfer more than me. It was kinda interesting because most of the day appointments were falling through and we were finding but not getting much success. I realized at the end of the day that it was the first day in awhile where not much “success” seemed to come. Elder Davis and I were talking about it though and realized it was still such a great day even though we didn’t teach as many lessons and find as many investigators as we goaled for. We just did our best and enjoyed every moment and as President says “Let He who is in charge stress about His work.” We don’t need to worry if we know we’re doing our part. The bright side of not having many lessons is the fact that we were able to give many more people the opportunity to accept the gospel than if we were in lessons with those we’ve already met. We also have had the Priests in the ward work with us a lot. It’s really been awesome to get to know them better. They’re so funny haha and they remind me of what I was like back before I left on my mission.
We got an apartment finally!! It’s literally the closest building to the mission office (the pics we took last the other week were on top of the senior couple’s apartment.) It’s gonna save us lots of time with travel now so we’re pretty excited. Although I guess there is an opposition in all things because another set of Elders in the mission had their house burn down (sound familiar big nick?) Getting a phone call at 1am is usually not good news haha. Their fire alarm was randomly going off 2 days before the fire so they decided to drown it in a bowl of water but hadn’t gotten a new one in yet. If they would’ve woken up 5 minutes later they would’ve been toast. 2 of their neighbors died but other than that nobody was injured or anything like that. I’ve slept in that house quite a bit so it was weird to see it all burned!
From Friday to Monday Elder Mitchell and I went with the Pasay zone leaders to help out down in Busuanga! I’d search it on google it’s an awesome place! :0 It is one of the islands in our mission and the area has only been open for 5 months. There are four elders assigned there right now and two of them have been my companions (my last companion elder fiesta and my trainer elder cibuco.) It was so sweet! At the airport we were talking to some of the workers while weighing our luggage and they pointed to one of their workmates and asked if they were pretty (it’s not weird to ask here if someone is good looking, ugly, fat, etc. haha) We looked over and they were pointing at a transgender guy and out of nowhere Elder Tuiatua just yells “Whatta maaaaan!” then gave the guy a hi-five haha! I think he would’ve been punched in the States but it’s pretty normal to joke like that here. We flew in a tiny plane with those big propellers and got to see some super pretty little islands as we were about to land. The funny thing about the airport there is it’s literally in the middle of nowhere! There were animals flockin around near the runway it was hilarious. The runway is tiny so right as we landed the plane nailed on the brakes. The airport building itself kinda looks like a big shed haha.
Once we drove across the island to a place called Salvacion we got right to work! Friday Elder Mitchell and I were told to just go find new people. Literally I can count the number of people who rejected us on my two hands for that whole day haha! Basically every house we “tao po’d” told us to come in before we could even say hello. The people there are so ready. The crazy part was the surprising part wasn’t how open they were to let us in- it was seeing how prepared they were as we taught them the lessons. They all have such great faith and many great questions that all missionaries hope to hear. The very first lesson we taught was to someone named Mae Daco. When we asked her what she felt and thought about the first vision she just started crying and said she’s been feeling so heavy for the past few years because she’s been wondering which church was true. She told us she knew God would give her an answer because she doesn’t believe God wants His children to be confused. We scheduled to return to her Sunday at 3 but since church went a little long we were late. Apparently she had her whole extended family of 40 who lives in their compound ready to listen to us! Ahh we were so sad to be late but our second lesson with her and her aunt was even better than the first! She will be baptized next month and we’ll see what happens with the rest of her family. There hasn’t been a new religion introduced in this little place in years so everyone seems to know that the “Mormon church” is the new church here. Everyone seemed to want to know more about who we were and why foreigners are walking around their place teaching about Christ.
Saturday morning the Sister missionaries from Coron (other side of the island) came to Busuanga to help us out with an activity. Total there were 12 missionaries and we held a huge activity playing volleyball and basketball with kids. There were about 40 kids there and we were all playing games. It kinda reminded me of playing with kids when I went to Fiji on that HEFY trip with ode. It was about the same atmosphere but this time I could understand the kids haha. After a bit I was wondering if we were just wasting the Lord’s time playing games with kids but lots of parents ended up dropping by and I realized that service is a great thing these people could see missionaries doing. As we were proselyting later that night we would knock on a door and the people would ask “hey weren’t you playing with all of those kids earlier?” or we would see a kid in the family who was at the activity.
Sunday we had church! For Sundays the Elders actually rent a trike and go around picking people up for church. I got to drive for a minute it was cool. Ha it was literally a minute though because I didn’t really know how to work the thing. Either way I guess I can check that one off the bucket list haha. The church is actually a little tarp that hangs off the end of Elder Cibuco/Elder Dial’s house. We had about 30 people there.. 24 investigators and 6 members. Lots of the investigators we had just met during the weekend while we were finding! In the middle of the sacrament the wind blew and water came hurling down from the tarp all over me haha.
This week I was able to work with my trainer Elder Cibuco for the first time since he trained me! It was a big flash back in lessons sitting next to him and looking over at him as he taught. He is such a great missionary mainly because of how hard-working and diligent he is. It was fun to talk about our great experiences over in Tondo. He actually speaks a different language called Cebuano so when he trained me he was also still adjusting to Tagalog. I honestly didn’t realize he was also struggling with the language when I was new because I couldn’t understand hardly anything but he never once mentioned it or complained. Love that guy!
Overall it was a great week to be a missionary. Our district leader Elder Asay said something really cool this week. He said, “We should want to be the guy that when we wake up in the morning Satan is thinking ‘oh no, not this guy again! Nothing seems to be stopping him.’” Wouldn’t it be amazing if he thought that of all of us. I know this is Christ’s church restored to the earth. I know that Christ is at the head and hopefully we can continue to do our best to gain His trust to do whatever it is he needs of us. Have a solid week!

Love elder reber 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Simon Says

Hi fam!
Well there goes another week! I feel like I was just typing up an email haha. This week was mainly in our area which is always tons of fun. Lots of our investigators we’ve been workin with have shown lack of action so we’ve been having to sort through everyone and find who we need to focus on. Although many of our investigators haven’t been progressing we still had such an awesome week finding new people! We’ve been praying to find people who are prepared and were blessed with lots of new people. We’ve seen lots of success mainly with college kids since our area seems to have more of them than normal.
I think my favorite lesson this week was one night with Elder Mitchell and Elder Somosa (an office elder who spent the night with us working.) We met three college kids who live next to one of our investigators. A goal we’ve made lately is if an appointment falls through we talk to everyone around that house for 10 minutes and if we still don’t have a lesson we’ll head to our next appointment. It’s helped us find lots of awesome people who see us walking by their house all the time. Our area is actually super small (you can walk across it in about 10 minutes) but I think especially if I’m ever in a bigger area where we might have to travel more it would be really effective to do this. Haha it’s kinda something we hear we should do as missionaries but I feel like not very many apply it.
We had super fun exchanges with Elder Palmer and Elder Tuiatua. The four of us worked in our area and I feel like I learned a lot of new things. Elder Tuiatua and I knocked on a door and an older lady opened the door and started shaking her head. Elder Tuiatua just started nodding his head saying “yes.” Haha I was laughing and then the lady started laughing too. After getting to know her for a minute she said she was busy but we asked her if we could teach her another day. As she was thinking of what to say Elder Tuiatua jumped in and said, “hey have you ever heard of simon says?” She said she knew what it was so Elder told her to follow him. He then said “yes” and she said the same haha. We then said, “Ok thanks!” and again she started laughing. We have an appointment with her later this next week. Haha he’s a pretty funny guy.
At church our recent convert named Aga told us he has a good friend named Aga who’s been in the hospital for about a month with Leukemia. We were able to go meet him after church with our recent convert. We walked in and met Aga and his family and wow they were so nice! He loves the NBA and penny boards I felt like we had lots in common. It was cool to just give him some company and introduce the Book of Mormon to him so he could have something to do. We were also able to teach him about the priesthood then give him a priesthood blessing before leaving. It was the first blessing I’ve given with a mask on! It was a neat experience for me. I’m thankful for the mission giving me so many opportunities to exercise the priesthood.
I got news this week that Danny Santos’ (first baptism) daughter’s family got baptized! The mom, dad, and two kids. I guess they’ve wanted to be baptized for some time now but were just having problems getting married because of birth certificate issues. It was awesome to hear because I remember meeting them at Danny’s baptism then seeing them go to church for the first time over in Tondo. I also learned that Danny has been the Elders Quorum President for a few months now and his wife Rose Marie is the Relief Society Secretary. The two of them are still looking set on being sealed in the temple this may when then temple opens back up! We were really lucky to meet such great people.
Well other than that I think that’s about all for this week other than the fact my righteous companion Elder Mitchell got a ticket for taking a u-turn on a red light haha. They took his license and it took a few hours at the city hall to get it back and pay the fine. Also, they don’t have garbage cans here in the streets so what you do is put your trash in a pile that has randomly been made by others then some workers eventually come grab it after a few weeks haha. Elder Mitchell went to throw away a juice box-type drink when out of nowhere a dog on a leash literally jumped out of the pile of trash at him. He about lost it and it even scared the crap out of me even though I was on the other side of the road! Hahaha good times here in the mish.
Love you all!
Elder Reber
We think these are pics from the new apartment Wow!

He says the places he has worked recently are mostly these that are just outside the city


Apparently these guys aren't busy enough- :)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Guy from Peru

Hi hi!
Happyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy birthday to the bro Cannon earlier this week! If anyone sees him make sure to wish him a late happy birthday. Hopefully you’re day was a pro one :)
Another busy week! We had two more zone conferences this week. It’s really interesting how different each conference is. President Fermanis is big on going by the spirit and according to the needs of the missionaries. I feel like I’m one who likes to have things mapped out and prepared so I know what I’m going to do and say but I’ve really learned a lot from switching my normal ways of doing things. Elder Mitchell and I show up knowing we’ll be teaching but we never really know what it will be until a few seconds before we stand up haha! as a missionary, trusting in the spirit is a very important thing we must remember. Without the help of the Lord through His spirit, we wouldn’t be able to do this work. But with His help, we are capable of doing whatever it is we’re asked to do.
We went looking for an apartment a few times this week. It’s just been hard because we need parking and cell signal which is pretty much impossible to find here haha. We have a few potentials now so we should be moving in somewhere soon. I still haven’t unpacked since my last area in Las PiƱas haha! We’ve been able to make lots of friends throughout this process though and have found a few opportunities to share the gospel as well. It’s kinda funny because we both have no idea how contracts with renting apartments work but we basically just walk in places not knowing what will happen haha.
We had an awesome experience this week! We were walking in our area and we were confronted by a man from Peru! Definitely have never seen a Spanish-speaker here before. He asked us in broken English if one of us speak Spanish and i said “poco.” (a little?) - like the one word I remember from Spanish classes in high school haha. Well that was a bad idea because he then started going off in Spanish and elder Mitchell and I just looked at each other thinking “ohhh whoa.” We had to stop his snazzy Spanish speaking and got him to explain his situation in english. He’s a super active member of the church who is here in the Philippines working at a call center speaking Spanish (I guess the pay here for Spanish is much higher.) He was in a tough situation but had prayed for help and when he finished he saw us both walking down the street towards him. After we helped him he told us he knows that God knows him and sent us to help him. It was a miracle! After helping him we started off for our destination again and realized we had taken a wrong turn. But that wrong turn was what helped us find this brother!
That’s about all for this week! We went on an exchange in Mandaluyong and I was able to work with Elder Pehacek from Vernal. We found a full family who was watching NBA… it was the first time I’ve seen NBA playing inside of someones house! We were able to introduce the Book of Mormon and they seemed to have a great desire to start reading. The oldest works at a call center and their whole family takes schooling very seriously. Such a cool lesson! In our area we didn’t have much time there last week but this week we’ll have a good amount of time there.. we’re really excited!
Love you all. Thanks for all of your support.
Elder Reber

Park busy doing his thing :)

Love the simplicity of this :)

Streets in Coron

Overloaded Jeepney

President Fermanis and a jeepney

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Narra Palawan

This week was a nice one! Monday we finished up a project President gave us for zone conferences. We printed, laminated, and hole-punched tons of pictures that missionaries can use when they’re meeting someone new as well as in a lesson. We were kinda factory workers working pretty late some nights but glad to get most of those ready.

Tuesday morning we woke up and caught our flight to Palawan! We had a zone conference down there which went pretty well. The main focus was on switching things up as we work and especially as we find. Rather than trying to catch all types of fish with one hook we’re focusing on using different hooks to catch all types of fish. One thing we’re trying is some days leaving the apartment at 7 to meet people you wouldn’t normally meet at a different time of the day. We also are trying to be more effective when we meet people by asking them better inspired questions. Lots of times as missionaries we just have a quick few moments to meet a person so we’re trying to make the most of each situation! We were able to do some exchanges in Puerto Princesa Tuesday night then Wednesday night after zone conference we took a shuttle across the island to a place called Narra to exchange with some missionaries there. It was my first time over to that side of the island. It was a super pretty drive and it’s pretty remote that’s for sure. The people there were super kind- basically everyone you talk to you will let you in haha! We taught tons of lessons and I was able to learn a lot of new things. A neat thing that happened was we were in one lesson in a hut on the beach with a long-time less active. She opened up to us that she was offended and that was the reason she hasn’t been to church in years. She also said right off at the beginning that there’s no way she’d be going back. But President gave us some good counsel for these types of situations. He said that as missionaries we represent the church and we should simply say, “as representatives of the Jesus Christ and His church we’d like to say sorry.” So that’s what we did. We explained that the church is perfect but it’s members aren’t. We said sorry then just sat and waited in silence. She didn’t know what to say haha. I think she realized that she needed to forgive and move on like our Savior does. Elder Nudalo and I were then able to express our gratitude for Christ’s patience for both of us as we’ve tried to be missionaries for His church. Even though we as missionaries are so imperfect, I’m thankful for God and His Son’s perfect patience and hope for each of us. That lesson made me think all week of how thankful I am for Christ and His example. For His open arms and His hope in each of us.

It was super cool sleeping in my old house in Santa Monica again. There’s a little 11 yr old kid who lives next door who I became really close with back when I was assigned there and we got to see each other again. He got some iron man masks for Christmas so before walking into the house one of the nights we were there I had a pretty sweet fight with him. I’d say I took him down pretty good. There’s also a new 5 peso coin here that just came out but only people in the city have seen them. When we were using them to buy things in Palawan kids were freaking out haha it was fun to see.

We had P day over in Palawan which was super sweet! We took a 2 hour jeepney-bus ride to a place called hundred caves. I think I loved the drive there more than anything else! There were no glass windows so we had a nice fresh wind coming through as we drove through the forest and near the coast line. The caves themselves were pretty cool because hardly anyone goes there- we were the only two there for the tour haha. In the cave we saw these huge scary creatures that were half spiders and half scorpions. These caves are in this super remote barangay (little neighborhood/town place) and after we finished we walked through a little and talked to school kids and people from there. It was soo fun because they were in a spot that hasn’t seen missionaries before and the people were so friendly. Most of them were natives so it was cool talking and understanding people who haven’t really left that little spot of the island their entire lives. They had no electricity or cement homes it was really interesting and I don’t think I’ll forget interacting with people over there.

I love being a missionary and I know that this church is Christ’s church restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that you can continue to trust in God in all things. Have a nice week! :)

Elder Reber
Zone Conference

Bowling fun!

The smolder continues

Poor Elder Mitchell getting teased by Elder Burdeos


Hundred Caves

Not your Typical Tourists that speak Tagolog


Coolest house in the mission from what we hear

Awesome views!

Mission tour with Elder and Sister Schmutz 

Mission home knows how to feed the missionaries
Obligatory fast food pic
I have no idea but thought it was funny he took pics- yes multiple pictures of these keys :)