Monday, July 17, 2017

Every member a Missionary

Hello! Things were great this week in the area!!

So in our area we have lots of friends that love to say hi as we walk by but don’t want us to teach them because they’re busy. I guess though we always continue to be kind and smile and ask how they’re doing as we’re walking by. One of these people is named Claire. She’s a mom of 3 kids and her 12 yr old daughter Angel has cancer. Apparently Elders have been trying to teach them for awhile now and we always let her know we can help them with anything. This week they had a big problem come up with her daughter’s cancer and long story short we were able to help solve the problem! The gospel is awesome. We taught their family this week at a member’s house and had a really cool lesson. We were able to give her a Book of Mormon and eat dinner after. She was so happy to get a Book of Mormon and really excited to start reading it. Members can be the biggest help! We were so excited that day we went and talked to everyone after the lesson until the very last minute. We then ran to our car parked in our area and… whoops it wasn’t there haha! We were “coding” which basically means it’s our day we can’t drive from 7am to 7pm. Since we were in the area at 4 our car was over at the office haha! Totally forgot. We had to haul back to the office but we got home late dang. Don’t worry we’ve repented haha. Then Claire was at church yesterday! Her kids weren’t able to go this week but we’re hoping next week they’ll make it too!

Eric is still about the same. Taught him twice and he’s still reading a lot. Every time he’s reading over things he liked with us he skips over the word “baptism” haha.

A highlight this week was teaching our referral I mentioned last week on Saturday! As we’ve been texting and planning our apt she’s been super excited! It’s so fun when someone is just as excited as the missionaries are. She showed up at the church and we had two members with us- Ed and Giovanni. She brought her friend too which was awesome!! Justine is SUPER prepared and we had a great lesson. She’s 18 and goes to institute twice a week with her Mormon friends. She has already read the ENTIRE gospel principles book and even looked up the full Restoration video on YouTube on her own. We taught her and her friend Eloissa the Restoration and gave them both a Book of Mormon. It’s so cool seeing there are people super ready to receive the gospel. She wasn’t at church yesterday because she went to her church with her family. That’s the only problem we’re seeing as of now.. her fam is pretty solid on their church. We’ll just have to teach them one day too when the time comes!

Other random things this week. On July 11 Elder Webster and I ate 7 11 every meal to celebrate that haha. I tried to explain to the different cashiers it’s 7/11 day but they didn’t know what I was getting at. When they finally understood they thought it was seriously the funniest thing haha. They don’t have slurpees at most of them here so there wasn’t any free slurpees L Still a fun memory though. This week we talked to some drunk guys watching horse racing. They offered us beer but eventually they got us some soda haha! I told them I was born in Kentucky where the Kentucky derby is and they thought it was awesome! Lots of people here actually love horse racing so I’ve actually said that quite a bit. We will return to those guys later tonight. We’ve been out in the area super consistent so we’re starting to get more momentum with appointments and stuff. I’m so thankful God is helping us every step of the way. He knows us and He knows every person in our area perfectly. I know there are many who need this important message and many hearts ready to receive it.

I love being a missionary! Remember missionary work is super important for members. Try to help out missionaries anyway you can, it really makes the biggest difference!

Elder Reber

No pics again this week. This is President and Sister Fermanis at the MTC. Parker is having a great time getting to know them. So grateful for their willingness to serve and support Elder Reber!
We made sure to take advantage of the free slurpee day even though Parker couldn't. Glad he was able to celebrate with three meals there that day. Can you even imagine?? Yuck! Excuse me while I feel completely sick!

Elder Rebers sisters and their cute slurpee drinking friend!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Mausoleums and Crematoriums

This week was awesome!

Lots of ups and downs this week! A big rollercoaster week and I like rollercoasters so it was sweet. I’m not sure where to begin so I’m just gonna start with what happened with Eric this week.

We showed up to his house Tuesday to teach him like normal and he has continued to read lots in the Book of Mormon. He is now in Mosiah 5 so he has been reading King Benjamin’s final words to his people. He thinks those first few chapters in Mosiah are super awesome and I agree. Anyways we followed up on his drinking because it’s been pretty on and off lately and we were super impressed! He said his brother came with him to drink both Saturday and Sunday and he had “no desire whatsoever to drink.” Even though his brother bought all the alcohol he still didn’t join! It really strengthened my testimony on fasting and prayer. We’ve been trying our best to pray for him and to help him finally make it to church. He’s getting closer little by little but watching him grow has been really cool for me.

We went and found a guy who used to listen to Elder Webster and his last companion Elder Ahn months ago named Rico. He is super cool because he’s in the FBI!! He has a nice fam and everything it’s just hard to catch him since he’s always at work. We were blessed to pass by his home at the perfect time and we were able to help him really understand the Restoration. It truly clicked in his head why a restoration is needed and how we should have a prophet in our day today which is the best thing ever for a missionary to see. We’ll be visiting him again this week.

Wednesday something super funny happened. Our kabahays (Elders in our apartment) got a referral but when they went to visit him they were told he had just barely moved to the Makati South Cemetery. Well, that’s in our area so we were given his name and went to find him! The cemetery here is SUPER cool they don’t bury the people! They just put them in a cement box and you can basically just go sit on them. Lots of homeless people kinda just hang out there and we kept asking people if they knew the man and they’d just say “Is he still alive?” then laugh super hard haha! Clever clever. Well we finally found him and we asked how he had met missionaries in the past. Long story short I realized he was super familiar and it was actually me who met him outside of our church!! Every Sunday morning before church we go out in front of our church with some ward missionaries and hand out little cards to people who walk by. I totally forgot it was me who put him into the referral system! We were supposed to teach him yesterday but it didn’t work out but we’re hoping this week it will happen.

Friday we had a “meet the President” meeting with all of the mainland missionaries and it was super fun! The Fermanis family is awesome haha. They showed a family video and all of his kids played rugby and were super intense! He has one daughter and she is a boxer! One funny thing that kinda explains his personality is when a missionary asked “what is the main thing you learned on your mission?” He said, “well, lots of aussies are going to hell!” Although he’s super funny he’s also really spiritual. He’s crazy with doctrine and the scriptures and I know I’ll learn a lot from him and his family.

This week was amazing because every day we got out of the office really fast! We had tons of time in the area and talked to SO many people. My patience continues to be tried because we can’t get into a house to save our lives!! Like I’ve said, it hasn’t ever been like this my whole mission. Actually we had very low success the entire week and saw soo many appointments fall through. I think we taught 4 lessons or something this whole week. Things were a little tougher UNTIL Sunday came along!! We decided to stop by AJ, the less active we met a few weeks back. Her asawa isn’t a member yet. She had been in Cavite for weeks but she’s finally back! We had a super cool lesson with her and set a long term goal for her to one day enter the temple with Chistian and be sealed. They also have their first kid on the way. When she was in Cavite she went to church every week! It’s so cool because when we first met her she hadn’t been in about a year. She committed to having us come to teach Christian every time he has work off so they can reach that goal of entering the temple. Also, Sunday towards the end of the night we got a text from some other missionaries in our ward! Some elders gave them a referral but apparently it’s in our area not theirs. She is named Justine and is really close with a Bishop and his family in a nearby ward. She has been to the institute of religion in Sampaloc a few times and is currently reading Gospel Principles and wants a Book of Mormon! We contacted her and set an appointment for this coming Saturday since it’s the only time she doesn’t have school. It’s our p day but we don’t care haha she’s so ready! Totally an answer to our prayers. We got to see miracles come Sunday, the last day of the week after lots of hard work with little success! I know God will always bless us if we do what we’re supposed to do, we just need to constantly be gratefully noticing His hand in our lives!

Have a nice week!
Love Elder Reber

No pics from Park this week so I am sharing a few of ours from the Mission reunion we crashed!  President and Sister Ostler were kind enough to allow us to come by to say hello at the reunion they put together in Bountiful for their former missionaries. We had a great night talking with some of Parker's old companions, the Ostlers- including their awesome son Caleb,  and other missionary parents. We are so grateful for this wonderful couple and their family. 

Was lucky enough to check out one of the infamous mission umbrellas!

What a welcome site! We can spot that flag anywhere!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

New Mission President

Hey everyone

This week is the last week for President Ostler and his family! As a result we had lots going on but many amazing experiences. The highlight this week was our last zone conference with them so I’ll start off with a little I learned there!

President Ostler’s opening remarks mainly talked about sustaining leaders and why priesthood keys are important. I actually read recently a talk by Elder Holland where he said when we sustain our leaders we uphold them and will support them at all times. Not only do we “uphold” them but we also “hold them up” just like we hold up our hands when we sustain them as our leaders. President Ostler reminded us that comparison never blesses anybody and told us not to compare the old President with the new one. Their son caleb and Sister Ostler then both gave great talks. Caleb talked about being a 100%er, giving your best even in the hardest times. Sister Ostler talked about how we sometimes feel we are stuck in a dark hole and can’t get out. Jesus Christ, however, is willing to come all the way down to where we are and offer a helping hand. He reaches out as intensely as a drowning person grasping for air. How we don’t truly understand this until we ourselves truly labor unceasingly and try to help other be saved by the rescuer. I’m super thankful to know this truth!

President Ostler then closed the conference talking about life after the mission and gave some really awesome advice. He focused on how the Lord sees all that we do. He knows our desires and our good works. He blesses us more than ever when we choose right with nobody watching. That is one of the biggest things I’ve learned on my mission. More than anything I want to be someone full of integrity. Someone who does good because they love their Heavenly Father, not because they seek honor and praise from men. He said “When you save face with men, you lose face with God.” We then watched a portion of Elder Holland’s talk a few years ago. After the atonement of Jesus Christ had taken place, Peter and some other disciples returned to their old lives catching fish. Holland describes Christ probably asking Peter something like this, “do you love me more than you love all this?” If we love Him, we won’t love small things in the world but will always be in marvel of Christ’s life and God’s amazing plan. How priesthood authority has been restored to the earth and families can be sealed for time and all eternity. God needs disciples and he needs them forever. He challenged us not to slow down in our missions and definitely not after our missions. I’m so thankful for the Ostlers and the many things I learned from how they live their lives.

The reason I’m emailing today is because of how busy it was yesterday getting a new mission President! The Fermanis family is super super nice. Elder Webster and I were actually the first missionaries to meet them! President Fermanis had an “All Blacks” tie on and is fun to be around. My companion and I had a secret mission to take Caleb Ostler, William (16) & Jared (14) Fermanis, and some of the English ward youth to play laser tag!! Haha definitely lucky on that- it’s super not allowed most of the time haha. President told us Jared is super competitive and to "clip his knees" if he gets out of hand haha! We had a short P day on Saturday so we could help out with that. Elder Webster and I had to stay by each other throughout the games but it built some nice comp unity haha. My skills have dropped though I must say. We then returned to the mission home and drove the Ostlers to the airport! It was really lucky we were able to do that. It was sad dropping them off but they were just real positive throughout it all!

We kept getting out of the office on time to head to the area then kept getting called back to do an assignment haha. We still got a good amount of work in though and met lots of nice people. Still doing our best to find. The area is growing and improving even if it's in small increments. We’ve really seen God’s hand in the work and I couldn’t be more thankful for my mission. Til next week!

Elder Reber







Here is the horse from the Folk. Not sure what else there is to say :)

Apparently the horse likes California Pizza Kitchen

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Horse is Safe

hello everyone

Another great week being a missionary! Definitely the best and most important work in the world. I’m thankful for these experiences every day that have really helped me become a happier person!

Right now I want to talk about my friend Elder Arninio. In our apartment right now we have three Americans and one Filipino. Elder Arninio is one of the funniest people I’ve met.. I’d compare him to Elder Panugao (the one who thought he was Kobe) in my first area. He always just has random funny things to say I love talking with him. He sometimes tries to speak English and it sounds like he’s Nephi because all of his English comes from the Book of Mormon! The other night he received a revelation as he was sleeping. He woke up, wrote it on the whiteboard, then fell back asleep.. Haha we all look at the whiteboard the next morning and it says “Soul to eternal perfection.” None of us knows what it means but now we love saying it all the time haha!

Tuesday we drove President Ostler, Sister Ostler, and Caleb to the airport for their last flight to Palawan. It was really nice to talk with them. They’ve been amazing examples and it’s pretty sad they’re leaving soon. I still don’t even feel like they’re leaving because they’re so focused and things seem the exact same. A funny thing that happened though was on the Skyway (kinda like a freeway.) They have toll stops there where you have to pay and we always try to speak as many dialects to the people in the booths as possible haha. Elder Webster rolled down the window and said something in just normal Tagalog and the girl in there made this weird squeal sound out of surprise and said “ayy tagalog!!” As she handed back a receipt she wouldn’t let go of it! It was sooo funny because the Ostlers were in the back! I made fun of him the whole ride back after dropping them off:)

You know those big umbrellas our mission got that I talked about? I have another story with those haha. It was dumping on us as we were in the area and we saw a huge group of kids walking home from school. We started talking to them and they were super fun haha. 6 of them fit under my umbrella because it’s so big and we just talked as we walked to an appointment. Some relief society members saw us walking with like 20 kids around us and were laughing super hard at us.

Thursday I got a call from a guy from the Provo MTC! He was following up on referrals which I guess is something they’re going to do every two weeks now! The mission department I guess is looking to make the referral database more effective. They had some good ideas for us to do in our mission and it will be kinda exciting here. Referrals are just hard for the missionaries to keep updated here because service is soo bad even in the office and pretty inconvenient out in the areas. It will be fun to see improvements though!

Two other random experiences.. First, I met a 25 year old guy from Taiwan on P day! He is here to teach tech stuff to everyone for free. He wants to help the kids here he was super nice. It was cool to see Elder Cheney’s people they seem really awesome. We could’ve used him for speaking Chinese to this guy haha. Lastly, I’ve decided to randomly roll down Elder Webster’s passenger window and crank up the motab while driving past people haha! They look over at him like he’s crazy and I hold the switch down so he just has to endure!

Eric is continuing to progress and grow. He got super sick last week and ended up relapsing. He’s still trying his best though. He read 2 Nephi 31 which was awesome for him to read. He said it not only hit him in the face left and right, but also up and down haha. He would read a verse he highlighted (2 nephi 31:8 or 2 Nephi 32:4 for example) then say “yeahhh that’s for me!” He said reading the chapter actually made him no longer scared for baptism, but rather happier and more excited for it. I’m glad he continues to read. Right now he’s our only investigator consistent with reading. It’s sooo important even though it’s actually a pretty small thing. My patience has been tested a little more especially this past week. We talked to hundreds of people but didn’t get 1 new investigator!! And it keeps happening for some reason, more than every before in my mission. It’s rough haha! I know though that I’m learning a lot as a result and I trust God will put those who need His help in our path. I’ve learned that even when we don’t understand His way, we can always trust that things will work out for our benefit. What we go through at times as missionaries is nothing compared to those before us, it’s hard to even complain if you have the right perspective.

The more Eric is learning more about how the Atonement of Jesus Christ works, the happier he’s becoming. He is realizing that he can become clean from every mistake he’s ever had. I too am thankful for that. I’m thankful that through Him we may continue to be forgiven, to change, and to become more like Him. I read the other day in Mark and for some reason  stood out to me. It’s cool to think that such a small mustard seed can turn into something so amazing. Through hard work and constantly replenishing the seed it can grow into something completely different than what it was before. That seed is like our hearts. We are so weak but through the Atonement and constant diligence we can change and become strong. Our hearts can be changed and our desires to focus on others rather than ourselves and to follow God’s law will increase. Not only is this amazing for us, but it can also affect others. I’m thankful for those in my life who have continually applied principles of Christ’s gospel to their lives. It has helped me so much and I’m hoping I can continue to grow myself!

Anyways that’s all from me! Hope you have a good one.
 Elder Reber

ps. The horse has made its trip from Des Moines to Makati successfully🤔 Good times await.
Apparently the smolder has to come back out when referring to Parkers friends from home! Parkers friends got this tin horse and sent it with Elder Christensen to San Salvador, he was the first of the boys headed out for a mission. It has since gone to Iowa and now to the Philippines. It has many more stops to make throughout the world and would have quite the story to tell with all it's adventures. So grateful for a group of the best boys for Park to grow up with!  



Monday, June 19, 2017

Smokey Mountain


hey!
Happy father’s day yesterday to all the dads!! I love my dad. I’m really thankful for you dad and all you do for our family. Hopefully you got to go play some golf or drill some really nice teeth or something fun this week. You and mom are the most selfless people I know.

This week was transfer week! Ah it’s always so crazy but we survived. Lots of funny adventures. We had a really good batch of missionaries head home so it was kinda sad seeing them leave. Two of them were in the office in the past and we pranked them with mayonnaise as we said our last good byes. There’s a little spot next to the office that gives you “real mayonnaise” with your hot dog but nobody puts it on so the stash just builds up over time. It’s a long time office joke hiding it in suitcases, stitching it into pants, etc. We totally “naized” them real good this week!

Transfer day was a pretty normal transfer day. We got up at 4:30 and picked up new missionaries. Eventually that day we had to make our way to the city of manila to help situate some mattresses in some apartments. Traffic was pretty bad but we enjoyed blasting “The Lamb of God” as always J That night we had lots of extra missionaries in the house and I was up all night because it was sooo hot and I gave my fan away haha. Luckily I have a crazy itch right now on my arms and neck so that helped me sleep lots better. J

We got to the area a few times but not much has changed there. The best thing there was learning Eric hasn’t had a drink for 13 days! He actually got super sick though later on in the week and he jokingly says it’s because he doesn’t have his alcohol. We won’t be able to teach him until hopefully this Thursday so we’ll see if he’s still staying strong with word of wisdom!

We met a guy from South Africa coming back from the Area Office! I haven’t seen a sweet black guy with dreads and headphones for the longest time haha! I also haven’t started meeting someone by saying “what’s up!?” for awhile either. I had to talk to him. He took off his headphones with a huge smile and we talked for awhile on the side of the street. I told him I did my 6th grade country project on South Africa and he thought that was super cool. He was just soo nice. We found out his sister in South Africa is actually a Latter Day Saint and we invited him to go to the international ward. Also we met a random guy from Utah! He wanted to buy us dinner but we had just eaten!

P day we had one of my favorite activities in my mission! We met with the assistants and started off the day eating Mang Inasal for breakfast. My rice game is still strong even though we don’t eat it quite as much in this area. After that we hopped in the car and headed across the mission to TONDO! We went to a spot right outside of my first area called Smokey Mountain. It’s basically a HUGE mountain that is actually a trash pile. Over time the trash has decomposed and over time grass and trees have started growing on it. Now it actually just looks like a mountain with lots of trash under the layer of dirt but it’s crazy to think that trash was piled up to make a mountain that big. After that we walked through Happyland in my first area because it’s the craziest spot in our mission and the assistants wanted to check it out haha. We actually found a less active there and referred her to missionaries there. After that we returned to the office and went to Burger King. It was a great day!!

On Sunday we pulled the classic nightmare of every missionary and forgot to have food prepared to cook on Sunday. All we ate were snacks but luckily we found pancake mix in the cupboard so we cooked up pancakes in our rice cooker haha! Funny times.

I love being a missionary. There was a great talk in sacrament about how you spend your time determines the type of person you become. If you want to be good at basketball, then you should be playing every day. The stake young men’s president then went on to remind us of the importance of making sure we’re choosing to give enough time to scriptures and service. Doing things like those will make us become more Christlike and happier in our lives. The earlier you start, the better!

Have a great week!
love elder Reber

Not sure what this pose is, but apparently it is a "thing"


Just another chef moment


On the way to Tondo and Smokey Mountain

I found this pic online. It is amazing to imagine this mountain is made up of trash!
View on Smokey Mountain







A friend from high school got to go pick her Elder up from Parkers mission. So fun to receive this pic from her. Great job Elder Roberts-we will miss your letters! Thanks for the great pic Brenda!


Monday, June 12, 2017

Area Broadcast

Hello family and friends!

How’s it goin? Happy summer! It’s funny because dry season just ended here and rainy season is starting. Basically the opposite is happening as far as weather goes! The other night I turned my fan on the medium level for the first time in a looong time.

Funny story about the rainy season. Every missionary in the mission got a new huge umbrella last zone conference from the Ostlers that have wording talking about eternal families. They’re actually for Christmas haha but everything is late here in the Philippines. Anyways a few weeks they were stored in the supply room for awhile and we had to climb over them anytime we were trying to get something. Sure enough the one time we need umbrellas in quite some time we don’t have them with us haha! We walked across all of Makati for about 30 minutes just getting wrecked! Streets turn into rivers haha. It totally poured on us and even though we’ve been around umbrellas for weeks, we didn’t have one when needed. Pretty ironic.

We’re still doing our best to get more investigators. We had quite a few appointments this week that fell through but we still got to teach some new people. We taught three moms with a member named Ed and they all had good questions! They asked why there are so many churches and we had a really good talk about Christ’s church, the apostasy, and the restoration. One then asked how we can really know a restoration happened and we went right into the Book of Mormon. It was fun having a lesson where they understood really well.

Eric is still doing good. He is in 2 Nephi 24! He rereads each verse like 3 times haha he has read over an hour every day for the past few weeks. He still hasn’t been to church which was disappointing! We thought this week was going to be the week. We asked him though what changes he has seen in his life since he has started reading and he said “lots!” The main thing though was that he doesn’t drink nearly as much now. He said the desire to buy alcohol has somehow left him. I’ve noticed his prayers have been super awesome lately too! Even if he’s not going to church yet I’m really thankful we’ve been able to help him out. We are his best friends he said and he looks forward to our two visits each week.

Sunday we had an area broadcast! We got to listen to lots of authorities, including Elder Bednar! He started off by saying “I’m so much grateful for this opportunity to speak with you.” Back when he visited the Philippines (including here in the manila mission) he noticed the term “so much grateful” is a term lots of members/missionaries use here when praying! Somewhat because their English isn’t perfect and they’re trying their best in front of an apostle of God. It’s a phrase I’ve now heard many times in zone conferences and other meetings. But the phrase “so much thankful” is a phrase that really kinda shows how the people are here. Although they don’t have much, they count their many blessings and are willing to give anything to a stranger. I’m super lucky to be serving in such an awesome country with such great people. I’ve learned so much about gratitude on my mission and feel really happy and blessed every day. I know that our attitude will make our day better, not our circumstances. I challenge you all to follow Christ’s perfect example of being humble and loving, no matter what challenges come your way.

Love you all!
Elder Reber

Monday, June 5, 2017

Zone Conferences

Hey!

This week was filled with lots of little miracles! We had zone conferences which is a super busy time for my companion. I end up having to help him cover lots of stuff so I get behind too haha. It’s just a crazy week as far as office stuff. One of the nights we were up with the assistants doing stuff until about 10:45 haha. It’s not against the rules for us to be late if our reason makes sense. But we tried to make the most of all the opportunities we had to talk to people. Tuesday we were going to different stores buying all of their cardboard, pins, glue, etc for the new maps that were handed out in zone conferences. After 3 stores we had all we needed! But one of the stores I was waiting for Elder Webster to buy all the stuff so I started talking with a security guard. Turns out he wants to share messages about God to those around him. I guess he’s actually been looking for a way to share and he’s been wanting to talk to missionaries like us. We talked about what we believe in and some things that make this church different. By the end he said he wanted to work with missionaries!! Too bad he’s in a different area haha but they went and visited him last Saturday. Hopefully he accepts the message. It was kinda small but it was cool to see God put someone in our path. It’s just important for us to always have courage to talk to everyone around us!

Wednesday we were able to sit down and be a part of zone conference. It was a great conference! The focus was family history and how we can better use it in the work. President helped me really realize how important missionary work is. He reminded us that we as missionaries aren’t alone. There have been millions before us who have also sacrificed a little for the gospel’s sake. We, just like them, are capable of overcoming any challenge that might come our way. Our ancestors and our future children pray for us every day. Not only that, our investigators’ ancestors and possible future children are doing the same! Not to mention the millions of prayers from members, prophets, families, friends, and others on this side of the veil. It was a cool reminder. I realized that all of us here on earth are in the middle. There are so many that have come before us and so many to come that rely on how we decide to live our lives. If we are faithful while here on earth, thousands who follow us may benefit and see blessings in their lives as a result. If we are diligent in family history work, we can show our gratitude to those who came before us and suffered for our blessed lives. In my head I imagine us standing in the middle of a huge football stadium with lots of people cheering us on. Just one baptism could affect so many people now that I’ve stepped back and thought of it more. Sometimes we forget how important our time here on earth is!

Thursday we went to MLC. My companion Elder Webster taught a class about BCR’s (baptism confirmation record) and totally roasted everyone there haha. He’s a super funny guy. He has dealt with BCR problems for quite some time now.. he even has dreams of putting them into the system haha. He talked about how other missions are probably getting more new missionaries because they fill out their BCRs correctly and as a result, it looks like they’re getting new baptisms. A person can be baptized but isn’t actually a member until his/her record is put in the church. Funny way to think of it haha! I’ve realized taking time to do things correctly and being organized really will save lots of time. Something I wasn’t super awesome at before my mission I feel like haha. Still workin on it too ;)

I also talked with Elder Niutupuivaha, my last zone leader and “kabahay.” He told me Gerry is being baptized!! I don’t know if you remember him, but we met him two weeks before I left Palawan. I was so pumped hearing the news!!

Another funny miracle was at Burger King! They have one here kinda by the office, it’s the best! We sat down at our table and I looked over and caught eye contact with this guy at the table next to us. I said “kamusta!” and he responded in broken English “hi elder! Where are you from?” I said “taga Utah kami!” He then jumped in and told us how his life was saved by a tall white guy from Utah when he was younger. “I was Mormon awhile back.” In my head I was thinking.. come on man you’re still Mormon! Anyways apparently he was suicidal but a Mormon missionary came right in time and helped him find hope. He now hasn’t been to church for three years. I decided to ask where he was from so I asked him in Tagalog. He then said “what?” so I repeated. He didn’t understand two more times then he looked over at his wife kinda frazzled. His wife bursted out laughing super hard. The man was JAPANESE! I had no idea hahaha. I’ve never had that happen to me in the mission yet, it was really embarrassing! Even though it wasn’t my best OYM in my life, we were still able to encourage a less active to return to church. He kinda avoided giving us his address or number which was too bad but it was again cool to see an opportunity come to lift someone up.

Last little cool experience. We were heading to a new potential investigator’s house. We had met him earlier in the week. Elder Webster has the area perfectly memorized since he’s been here nearly a year. But we accidentally went straight instead of turning onto a little road. We then walked another minute or so and he said, “wait, why did we keep going straight?” As we went to turn around I saw a big pile of gravel to the side of the street. I realized it was an area we had been to once a few weeks ago. Somehow I remembered that it was close to an old family they used to try to teach months ago. I said “wait that one family lives around here right? Let’s go stop by.” This family had started hiding in the past and just wasn’t really all that interested. We went over by their small cement room and sure enough the dad, mom, and both their kids were there! They let us right in (which had never happened so easily!) We found out that the mom and one of the kids had just returned a few days ago from a vacation in a spot in my last area in Palawan! She was so excited because I knew all the little places she talked about! Apparently she was born in Santa Monica, Palawan. In a barangay we’d go to nearly every day called Siksiksan. We have an appointment this Friday to head on back!

We talked to around 200+ new people this week but didn’t get any new investigators. Even though we didn’t get any new, we got a lot of potential investigators that we will try to visit next week with the appointments they scheduled with us. I’ve just seen a lot in my mission that a person ready to hear the message comes at the end of a long day of hard work, or at the very last person you try to talk to. There might only be 1 person who is willing to listen out of a couple hundred. It’s like hundreds of cups upside down, but only one cup has candy under it. Sometimes the only way to find the candy is to flip every single cup! The same principle I feel goes with lots of things in life. Challenge yourself to go a little further and try a little more each day!
“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”

Love you guys!
Elder Reber
Zone Conference

President and Sister Ostler will be leaving in a few weeks. How grateful we are for all of their hard work and especially the  love they have shown to our favorite Elder. He has had an outstanding example to learn so much from. 










One of these things is not like the other.... Notice the large pic is one with Park!





So grateful for a program where we are able to send packages that safely get to Park. Sending a little love from home is our favorite!

Parker tried to explain the heat there during our Mother's Day call. He said you just could not comprehend it without being there. Fans are definitely their friends! He just bought this new fan. It's called "tough mama" :)



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mission Maps

Hi everyone,

Things continue to go well here in Makati!

We’ve been super super busy in the office and haven’t gotten out to work as much. We’re making area maps with two zone leaders for every area in the mission. They will be printed onto big tarps and will be hung in apartments! They’re really nice and will be pretty helpful especially for those fresh-starting an area. It’s taken lots of time though. I’m not really too involved with that project but my companion has done a lot with it. I’ve got other things that keep coming up haha. I guess I haven’t really done the best job explaining what I do! So here are some random things  so you’ll maybe have a better idea- phones for the mission, insurance and anything to do with the cars in the mission, temple scheduling, interview day schedules, English Language tests for Filipinos when they’re about to finish their missions, referrals, ordering pizza or food for different meetings, helping Filipino families send money to their missionaries, plan how to get missionaries their things they left at their old house, moving furniture or supplies to different apartments, conversion indicator reports, keeping track of what time different churches have sacrament and other meetings, missionary calendar, birthday emails, updating contacts and information for missionaries, sending out teaching material for missionary training classes, apartment and address info, transfer board (shows where all missionaries are and how long they’ve been there), transfer day planning, etc. Those are just kinda some of the main things I guess!

But anyways it’s hard for me if we get stuck in the office too much haha. We got out last night and were just going house to house trying to find new investigators. Lots of nice people who wanted to talk but not really interested in the message and wouldn’t let us in. As we were out we got a call from the assistants and we had to drive back to the office when I felt like we had just finally gotten out haha. I was just like COME ON haha that happened basically every time we were in our area this week! It’s alright though, we’ve seen some great miracles in the time that we have had in the area! I’m learning that Heavenly Father knows our situation and will bless us with success in our area if we remain diligent as missionaries. I’ve found myself wondering how our area will ever catch fire, but I’m sure things will all work out if we keep pressing forward.

Eric is still the only person we have set appointments as of now haha. He’s still doing great and it’s so fun teaching him. He’s still bein funny about coming to church. It’s hard because he reads a ton and he knows he needs to change but he’s worried about going to church. We’ve been trying to find his concern but it hasn’t come up yet. He keeps saying that he joined his last church without knowing much and it came back to bite him. He wants to really really make sure he knows this is true and wants to have a super good knowledge of what he might be committing to. We shared again about faith and how we won’t have a perfect knowledge before doing something that might be hard. No faith would be required if we aren’t stepping a little bit into the dark!

I’ve really learned that blessings truly do come AFTER our trial of faith. The children of Israel needed to cross the Red Sea. They stood outside near the banks waiting for the sea to part, but it actually didn’t do so until they started getting into the water! Joseph’s prayer in the sacred grove wasn’t answered right away by being visited by God and Jesus Christ. Joseph said he had scarcely begun his prayer when he felt a power of astonishing influence come over him. Thick darkness gathered around him. But he exerted all his powers to call upon God to deliver him out of the power of this enemy, and as he did so a pillar of light descended gradually until it rested upon him. At the moment of the light’s appearance, he found himself delivered from the power that had held him back. The first step is always a little hard, but blessings will always come.

Something cool though this week was reading Elder Holland’s BYU talk “Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence.” Instead of talking about the trial of faith before success, he talked about a trial of your faith AFTER a spiritual experience. He uses the example of Moses on a mountain where “he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon him.” He eventually beheld all every particle of the earth and also the inhabitants thereof. After maybe one of the greatest revelations that we know of, Satan appeared and shouted equal portions of anger. Even to the point to where Moses feared exceedingly. But by calling upon God (the same phrase Joseph Smith used) he was strengthened and overcame the trial that was given to him. He talks a lot about us having great spiritual moments but how opposition will always eventually come. He said we need to find the embers of our past and remember those, but to forget the ashes. Rather than always longing to be in the past again, we need to just take what we learned and remember it then have faith that God has an even future in store!

I know that we will have lots of good experiences as well as lots of trying ones. They will help us grow and it’s why we’re here on earth in the first place. I always remember that God is on our side and all things are possible through Him. The Holy Ghost will help us face our fears and overcome doubts. As we focus on the blessings and don’t compare our lives will be super awesome.

Everyone have a super great week. Choose the right. That’s all from me!

Love Elder Reber
I spy with my little eye....Parker!!! He talks about this map project- they look great! This picture came from the mission blog. I had to go on a search as Park didn't send any pics this week. Another highlight of this pic is a favorite area he served in, Tondo!