Monday, December 5, 2016

Finished the Book of Mormon

Hello fam and friends,

How's it goin over in cold Ut? Christmas is in full swing here and has been for about two months haha! They love Christmas here and don't have Halloween or Thanksgiving so it's pretty important. They have these stars made out of mountain dew plastic bottles that are hung up on lots of the streets. Haha we always see Nanays sitting around making them. But yeah Christmas has always been my favorite so it's fun to see how they celebrate here. Also since Trump has become pres the filipino peso value has decreased so 50 pesos is now equal to a dollar instead of 47 haha.

It was a pretty fast week. Things have picked up in our area and we did alot of contacting, we have more people to teach now. We're focusing on part member families, recent converts, and less actives alot as well. Funny thing is before my mission I didn't realize we'd be working with less actives so much. I thought it would be always finding perfectly ready families who have no idea about the Plan of Salvation haha. But a big part of missionary work is strengthening members, less actives, part member families, and recent converts. For example, Danny Santos was baptized a few weeks ago and now as missionaries it's our job to reteach the lessons to him, fill out his family history and print out a name for the temple, make sure he gets a calling/home teachers, continues to go to church and learn in gospel principles class, and goes to do baptisms for the dead. In about a year he will be in temple prep class and will hopefully be able to go through the temple. It's cool because baptism is just the gateway or beginning, there's alot more happiness that follows if we continue to endure to the end.

So on Thursday we had exchanges and I worked with Elder Panugao in his area. Elder Baier and Elder Jervoso worked in my area. Apparently when they went to visit Katherine, an investigator we've been helping out since I've been here, they found out she's moving and going to a new college! It's kinda lame because she was going to be baptized on December 17, but as long as she is baptized over in her new area it's not a big deal. She's currently renting a room by Nanay Fransisco, a member who has helped her a ton so I'm hoping her new area will have a fellowshipper to help her out as well.
Erica Yambao is also someone we've been teaching since I got here. She's in a part member family and passed her baptism interview on Saturday and will be baptized this week! She's 12 years old. Should be good and hopefully the service will spark an interest for her sister to also follow Christ's example.

This week I finished the Book of Mormon and True to the Faith! I started the BOM my first day in the mtc and read super slowly and took lots of notes. I would definately recommend taking notes while reading it helps a ton. Also, just taking a few notes when hearing talks, sitting in seminary, whatever it might be will really help. I wish I would've started doing this earlier haha. It helps me stay focused and it's good to look back at the end and see the main things I learned. But anyways I'm super thankful for the Book of Mormon. Personal study is my favorite time of the day. Without it a mission would be nearly impossible! It's funny how such a little thing can make such a big difference in how you go about your day. This week I learned alot about sacrifice and have thought about it quite a bit. When we sacrifice something we value we can have peace in knowing it's for the sake of something of greater worth in the future. The mission has some hard times but all experiences here are for my benefit and opportunity to grow and become a better person. We can't grow in our comfort zone. Sometimes we ask "why?", but we always need to remember that God knows all things and we need to trust in His plan for us. The scriptures have tons of solid examples of people before us who truly had their will submitted to God's will. One of my favorites is Abraham, he was willing to sacrifice his son because he was commanded to do so. He didn't ask any questions, he just did what he was told. Sometimes I feel pretty inadequate and can't believe I'm out here being a missionary. But I know that God really does qualify all of his servants and works by small and simple things. We just need to always give it our all and be an instrument in His mga kamay.

I played some piano at a wedding Saturday haha. Two hymns I've never played before but it went alright;) We were able to fully activate Joshua Dela Cruz, a nice 14 year old kid who works with us missionaries quite a bit now. I'm enjoyin the mission and am super thankful for the opportunity i have to be here. Have a good week my friends, and hit the dab for me a few times:)
Elder Reber

I have no idea- one day we hope he will explain some of these pictures.

For the record, this picture contains more vegetables than I have ever seen Parker consume in his lifetime! 

Can't wait to taste Chef Parkers cooking!

Quite the feast!

Hot Donalds- Parker's favorite

Seriously a whole pig???  Yum?

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