Monday, January 30, 2017

Baptisms for Robbie and Rose Marie!

Hello friends and fam!

First off happy bday to the bro Cannon! You're the man. For your birthday I actually became a licensed driver here in the Philippines.. Excited to drive a nice jeepney one of these days haha. Hope your day was good! Also, happy birthday Nana! Hope you had a great day!

This week was a fun week here in the field. Like I said I got my license one day and I was was able to see my MTC companion Elder Carter for the first time since we've been here! Haha he's still so hilarious it was fun to catch up. I also saw Elder Mitchell who was in my room over in the Provo mtc. Love that guy. Over at the license place we weighed ourselves and I've gained 11 pounds here in my first area! It's alot since i weighed like 78 before the mish haha.

Saturday morning we had the worldwide missionary broadcast where we saw some big changes made! We learned that lots of the "key indicators" in all the missions will be changing. We will no longer report how many lessons we have but instead how many baptisms for the week, new investigators, investigators with baptism date, investigators at church, etc. Basically the focus is shifting to baptism- which is our purpose as missionaries. So far in my mission I've realized that lots of our time has had to be focused on less actives and recent converts in order to "fully activate" them and help them prepare for the temple. This is great and important stuff that we will still be doing but it will be cool to be able to spend more time finding and teaching investigators. We were called to build the kingdom, not to just give it a few finishing touches haha. We also had a few changes in our schedule which will let us use our agency more. We now get to choose what time to do our studies according to when is best in our areas. For example, in Africa they can study in the evening now since it's recommended for them to be inside after dark. Also, daily planning is in the morning so we have more time at night to write in journals and stuff. But lunch is only thirty minutes now. You probably all don't find all of this very interesting haha but it's a big deal for the missionaries to see changes like these. It's cool to see the church adapt as they continue to learn. Elder Bednar said that the past ways of missionary work weren't necessarily bad at all, but as we're here on earth we will continue to learn and grow line upon line and find out what might be better. I'm super thankful for our church leaders and their sacrifice for this true church. They really have their priorities straight. It's cool to hear their insights on how we can be better disciples of Christ!

Saturday at 4 we had two baptisms!! One for Danny's wife, Rose Marie Santos and the other was Robby Perez. It was actually Robby's birthday too! Danny did a great job! It was cool to hear both of their testimonies after too. Their stories are pretty cool and their testimonies were powerful. Rose Marie and Danny were able to get two of their kids along with some grandkids to come to the baptism. Their oldest has been to both baptisms, church a few times, and stake conference as well along with her kids. Her husband isn't too interested as of now but she said she's really liked all of her experiences with the church so far. I'm excited to see the blessings that will come because of the good examples of the Santos couple. I'm thankful that God has given me such a great opportunity to work with all of these people. I'm thankful for saving ordinances here on the earth today that help us prepare to return to His presence. They bring power and light from heaven to this sometimes dreary world. His plan truly a happy and perfect plan!

Lately in my mission I've been trying to be led more by the holy ghost. As missionaries we really rely on the holy ghost for everything we do. Studying, finding, teaching, and working with members requires the spirit if we want to help God fulfill his purposes. I've been trying to learn to gain His trust and be willing to do anything for Him. The more we act the more opportunities he will give us. It's still a work in process, but I know that if we can learn to get out of the way and let the spirit do his work, all things will work out. I realized that at times I focus too much on myself and if my teaching is good enough, if the language is alright, if I sound bold enough. But the more we can just forget ourselves and our pride, the better the spirit will be able to work. I know we will be better instruments for God, and happier people in general if we can learn to love others more than ourselves!

Have a good week!

Love Elder Reber :)
Looks like the Elders found a new custom t-shirt shop! Glad they will have these treasures to remember their time working so hard together. We love Elder Jervoso!

Elder Sumaoang is about to have a rude awakening here in Utah. He will be leaving for the Provo, MTC soon. It is snowy and cold here- nothing like the weather in Tondo. 

You are looking at a licensed driver here! Parker was so glad he was able to see Elder Carter and Elder Mitchell, good friends from his MTC days.

Yes, I do worry about this poor kids arteries. Hot Donalds- picture worthy as always. 

What a wonderful day!! We were thrilled to see Danny dressed in white again. This time he was able to baptize his darling wife, Rose Marie. So happy for the Santos family and very grateful they were able to be a part of Parker's mission story. 

The Santos Family

Our friend Mera, is in the striped dress. I am constantly impressed by the love and support she shows her fellow Tondo 2nd ward members. We are thankful for her friendship and all that she does for our favorite missionary!

Robbie and Rose Marie on their special baptism day.

 Mera was the lucky recipient of yet another custom t-shirt.

I got this one from Mera- I guess the Elders had been out jogging and stopped for lunch. I just had to laugh at the thought of these two twins running through the streets of Tondo with their matching outfits. Hilarious- I love it!

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