Sunday, April 30, 2017

YSA Dinner


Honestly not a whole ton happened this week but I’ll try to make this interesting and cool. This week was busy with lots of meetings, calling people, planning things, etc. Usually we have a funny hectic thing always happen to us every day. Example we had to find lots of car information for all of the senior couple’s cars, the assistant’s car, the Ostler’s cars, and our car. At first we thought it would be a piece of cake. We found out where to look in each car in order to find the info and got through everyone pretty fast.. Until we got to our car. It was all in Korean!! We basically learned Korean for 20 minutes until we were able to gather the information needed haha. One of my comps is Korean but he’s a failure and doesn’t know how to speak his language haha. I call him a fake Korean. Just kidding he’s the greatest, but I guess it would’ve helped a bit:)

We were able to teach Eric again. He’s still doing pretty solid. He read the pamphlet and he had good questions about it. He’s really smart so things were clicking quickly which is awesome. One hard thing sometimes being a missionary is feeling like you explain something really well but when you ask the investigator about the concept you just explained they just go off in a total different direction haha. We taught about the apostasy, restoration, and Book of Mormon and he asked if we had read the book and prayed like it invites us to do in Moroni. We were all able to testify to him and it was really cool. I asked him what he would do if he got an answer and his eyes got all wide and said “Oh dang! I’d be freaked out!!” Haha he explained to us kinda jokingly that if he knows it’s true he will have to start living a better life and would have no excuses! True I guess haha. He went on to say though that it would mean he would need to be baptized and join the church! He wouldn’t commit to a date, but he committed to at least start preparing. He said he would do the things necessary to know if the message is true or not. As I said last week he’s looking for purpose in his life and I know there’s nothing that could fulfill his search better than the message we get to share every day as a missionary.

We had an office meeting and President was able to tell us some cool stuff! We found out that my last area will be turning into a stake! I’m super excited for them! The people there work so hard and they’ve been dreaming of becoming a stake for years. Apparently the district president just started crying hearing the news. It’s so humbling to see people working so hard to build God’s kingdom here in this awesome country. Some spots here are really coming from scratch so it’s cool to see how hard some are willing to work in order for things to progress. So that was really sweet news!

Saturday during P day we went to the missionary recovery center to pick up a missionary from our mission who had surgery. We walked in and the couple missionaries there running the MRC are American. I asked Elder Peel where he was from and he said “Sandy, Utah!” I asked where in Sandy and he said above the library haha. Found out we live like 2 minutes away from each other, he’s in the stake below us. I asked if he knew the Odoms (elder odoms grandma/grandpa) and they’re their next door neighbors! Haha it was super crazy! It all came together, I totally had forgotten I was supposed to keep an eye out for them. I remember you guys telling me about them before I left. Anyways it was fun to talk with them! I think they sent a picture to ode’s grandparents maybe you’ve seen it by now haha. We hadn’t had breakfast yet so Sister Peel gave us cinnamon toast crunch, toast with homemade jam, chocolate milk, etc. I’ve been super lucky so far in this new position haha!

That night we had an activity with the YSA where we ate dinner then shared a message to them. One member here just got back from her mission in temple square so she knows what things are effective for missionaries and what we need help with. She was able to help us plan the activity and it was a big success! We kinda went over Elder Eyring’s recent talk and talked about His love for us and what we can do to help others feel His love and know His plan too. A few of them brought nonmember friends so it turned out perfect! After we finished it was about 8:30 and we realized if we were to head home we’d get there at about nine. On top of that we didn’t really have a P day because we were runnin around doing office stuff. So I kinda thought we were just gonna head home and get there at 9 and finish doing laundry and stuff. But as we got in the car we all decided that we should run to our area and talk to as many people as we could for 25 minutes since there were four of us! We dropped off Elder Ahn and Elder Adawag then went and parked and Elder Webster and I also started talking to people. In 25 minutes the other two taught a lesson and got two return appointments while we got two return appointments and found some people who used to listen to missionaries a year ago! They were really excited to see us and said they’ve been keeping an eye out for elders for awhile now. It was cool because literally the whole week we were having the hardest time finding people for some reason! Just in those 25 minutes we had lots of great success, the spirit really helped all of us realize almost at once we should run over to the area. We got home at 9:28 due to no traffic! It all worked out and I’ll never forget that!

This week in personal study I read some cool things about consecration. Being consecrated is being willing to give everything you have to God for His eternal purposes. In order to make it to the celestial kingdom we must be able to live its laws if called to do so. If we don’t love living the gospel in this life, why would we love it in the next life? This is a time for us to grow and eventually truly love living the laws that God has placed before us. They’re the only way to be truly happy! Living our lives as God wants us to live them gives helps us realize what we can become with His help rather than trying to do it our own way. We will refine our character and find more confidence in ourselves! One thing that stood out to me in my studying was when the speaker said “when it costs us but little to give, the treasure laid up in heaven is a small one.” We must remember that when we truly sacrifice something, God sees is and is proud of us more than we know. Sometimes nobody else will see your diligence except for God. But He has promised to repay us in eternity a thousand fold for our works. That’s a really cool blessing!! I invite you to think of ways you can give a little more to Him who has given you all that you have! The only thing we can really offer Him in order to show our love is our time and choices. As we continue to constantly seek to do what He would have us do I know that we will help lots of people return to Him.

Have a great week!
Elder Reber :)

These look like pictures from Palawon to us. One day Park will be around to explain each great picture. Until then, we will just love seeing his smiley face! 

So more pictures ended up downloading. Looks like he is back in the big city!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Secret Assignment


Well this week was pretty awesome. Lots of crazy adventures haha. Being an office elder is a little different and sometimes I miss being outside more but it’s been good and I’ve learned a lot this week.

So one crazy thing that happened this week was on Monday Sister Ostler stopped by the office and asked if we’d watch over the mission home while they went to Palawan to teach some zone conferences for the week. When she said “watch over the house” it basically meant “will you sleep at our super nice house every night and enjoy hot showers and air con?” We humbly accepted the opportunity to serve. She asked us to do three things- 1. Don’t let anyone rob the house. 2. Feed the fish and birds. 3. Eat ALL THE FOOD IN THE FRIDGE AND FREEZER. It was great. We showed up that night, opened the fridge and found tons of American food. Lasagna, fettucini, pancakes, ice cream, etc. The three of us especially went crazy when we opened their freezer to find 6 leftover pizzas in there. Every night we each had 3-4 pieces haha! We did our best to fulfill Sister Ostler’s commandment. My stomach has actually been trashed all week because it has been trying to adjust back to American food. Usually we just eat 7-11 and some other good spots then at night we ate tons at the mission home. They actually have a scale at the house too and I gained 6 pounds in our six days there. That makes me 21 pounds heavier in total here in the mish. Haha I’m turning into Richard!

Tuesday one of my companions, Elder Webster, had to go to St. Luke’s hospital in Global City. It was like a culture shock going there haha. It’s a really wealthy city with like Ferraris, Lamborginis, turf soccer fields, crazy buildings etc. The AP’s had to go too so we planned to eat Denny’s which was pretty delish. Anyways my companion surivived his surgery thing so that was nice.

We had a cool week in our area. We didn’t have tons of hours proselyting due to planning for upcoming transfers but we got some good work done when we could. Office work stuff has gone pretty good, I’m realizing how much planning really has to go into missionary work. I’m definitely not taking it for granted now haha. Anyways the area actually doesn’t have any people with a baptism date set and only one progressing investigator. We did some sweet bahay bahay finding “house to house” which is always my favorite because you never know what to expect. After a while we stopped and said a prayer to know where to go and as we prayed I felt like we should “tao po” the house right next to where we were praying. So right when the prayer ended I just walked right through my two comps and called tao po to the house. Well a guy came up by the door and like started yelling at us to go away haha. So I guess we were a big 0/1 after that prayer, but we kept goin. A few doors down we had some success. I yelled in their house and used my tallness to my advantage by looking over their little gate. I saw there were people in there and they were ignoring us. At first we were about to just move on but I felt I needed to yell tao po for the fourth time to them haha. A guy came over a little irritated and asked what we wanted then outta nowhere another guy comes flying out looking really excited to see us. His name is Eric. He lived in California for years and refused to speak tagalog to us haha. Turns out though he used to live with his grandma when he was a child and she was LDS! A few months back he had seen Elders at the street corner talking to trike drivers but by the time he had gone in to put on a shirt he came back out to find they had already left. He told us to return so the next day we stopped by. He went on to tell us he’s been looking for direction in his life because ever since getting in a divorce and leaving his family he hasn’t done anything but just sit around sad. He has really good faith and he believed we had come specifically to him for a reason. It was super cool to see. It’s cool on my mission I’ve had so many experiences like this that I can now trust God more than ever before in my life. As long as we’re exactly obedient as a missionary, we can really expect blessings to come if it is God’s will. It’s great to know that even though we aren’t perfect people, we can all be obedient. All of His children have agency to help them learn and grow. It’s important to continue to improve to where we can trust Him more and He can be able to trust us as well. Eric is super cool. We’re very blessed to cross paths with him!

One night it started raining like CRAZY outta nowhere. It was probably the second biggest storm I’ve seen in my mission. We were trying to walk back to our car and at one point we had water up to our knees! It was crazy. Streets here just flood so much it’s kinda hard to explain. It’s like a bunch of mini rivers flowing through the streets.

The dab is starting to get popular here out of nowhere. I don’t know how it didn’t hit earlier but it’s hitting as I write this email. I went to give this little kid a hi five earlier in the week and he totally faked me out and hit the dab. I was laughing so hard haha! I got him back though as we passed by again later on. Idk if you guys have forgotten about that thing by now like me or what- but it’s funny seeing kids starting to do it here.

Favorite thing about the week though was going to the temple for our P day on Saturday. Our P day is actually on Saturday until 4:40 and we do emailing on Mondays. I just love the temple, it’s definitely one of the main foundations of my testimony. Every time I go there my perspective really opens up and I feel my Heavenly Father’s love for me. I think the feeling I have in the temple alone testifies to me how true all of this really is. I’m thankful for this church and for my mission. I know that missionary work is the most important work here on earth and I encourage you all to somehow get out of your comfort zone this week to share the gospel. The first step is always the hardest part, but I know that blessings will always come after the trial of our faith. I’ve seen it over and over again here in my mission even in small ways. Even the other day when we decided to call at the people a few extra times. We would’ve never found Eric! In Alma we learn that the sons of Mosiah were next in line for royalty, but they were willing to leave it all to help their brothers. They had tons of success and none of it would’ve happened if they would’ve never left the kingdom in the first place. After leaving their “comfort zone” they were truly blessed even through the tough times. You will never be disappointed in yourself for trying! You may never know something so small could be so important! J

 Love you all! Elder Reber

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hello from MAKATI!

First off- Happy Birthday Dad!!! Thanks so much for the awesome example you are to me. You have no idea how great you are and how much you have influenced me in my life. Keep doing what your doing! I love you!!

So back to Makati.... Yep that's right haha I got transferred! Right in the middle of the transfer. After emailing last week I got a surprise text from President I'll be transferring Wednesday and will be trained by Elder Ahn to be an office elder. Never in my mission life would I have ever thought I'd be an office elder! But I'm already learning a ton so far and I know that there are experiences in the office and in our area that I need in my life.

So all of us elders were freaking out in Palawan haha. We hurried and went to the crocodile farm since it was my last P day in Palawan. Tuesday we taught lots of investigators and said a quick goodbye to some members. We taught one last lesson with David (from cali) and he shed a tear as i left for the last time. We had another lesson with an investigator we've had for awhile named Boy and we finally got him to agree to a baptism date! Wednesday morning we did some service. We had the sisters in my district take a little trike and the elders decided to jog up the mountain through the forest since there was nobody else to give us a ride. Haha I remember thinking wow i'm gonna miss running around in forests all day trying to share the happiness of the gospel to everyone possible. The hardest part about transferring though was we were having our first baptism as a companionship in that area Saturday! It was the first baptism in that area in a super long time! But I heard Liann was baptized and it all worked out well. I'm just so happy she was baptized and it's not really a big deal i wasn't able to make it:)

Flying back to the Manila area was super weird! I was all ALONE! It was the first time I've been alone like that since July of last year haha. I talked to a cool soldier guy though as we waited to get on the plane and tried to talk to a business lady while flying. Right before I got on the plane though I stood up and saw a guy and his wife wearing BYU shirts! It was super weird! Apparently they were visiting his mission areas again in a different mission in the Philippines then decided to go to Palawan to end the trip on a good note.

My new companions are Elder Ahn (Lone Peak) and Elder Webster (Box Elder) - my first american companions. Elder Ahn is training me to take his place and I'll be companions with Elder Webster. They're both super fun! Elder Ahn is super pro at piano and violin so we might try to do a song together sometime. Elder Webster has been in the office since his training and is the smartest kid i've ever met haha. Our office is in Buendia which is like in the city! Everything is super rich and we have tons of crazy good food options. Our area itself is a little outside of the city but we spend most of our time walking next to hotels and malls haha. We even own a car!! I drove for the first time in months Wednesday night and I felt like a 16 year old! I totally popped a curb it was sick. We had to go on an "emergency mattress run" which was super crazy haha. We got home late and every morning for the most part we actually have to wake up at 5:30. We're super busy but it has been really fun.

Thursday night I got to meet lots of the ward. We had a big ward party where we ate and played ping pong. We could only be there for 30 minutes but it was fun to meet the ward. I'm in the Makati 2nd ward and they're super strong. Our ward mission leader is a stud! My companion Elder Ahn is Korean so of course he's a pro at ping pong. All the filipinos kept yelling "Korean hit!!" every time he had a crazy spinning shot. With their accents it sounds like )Ko ree ahn Heeet!) Haha it was super funny to watch that. Speaking of the good ward, we had dinner on Saturday night at the Pimentel house and they're know throughout the mission for being the family that serves the BIGGEST DINNERS EVER to the missionaries haha. Literally I was in shock walking in and seeing all the food on the table. It was all for us too. The funny thing too is that they literally won't let you stop eating. The wife just stands behind you and every time i took a sip of my juice she would grab my cup and fill it back up to the brim. Literally the nicest family. They have two kids and one is serving a mission right now so they love to talk about him. People in the PHilippines are the best honestly. We didn't even eat until dinner yesterday.

I left early before my last area's baptism but this area actually had a baptism too for Albert! It was the first baptism Elder Webster has had in his 17 month mission and the first one in this area for a while. We normally have to work in the office doing tons of stuff until 4 so it's has been hard to get baptisms in this area I guess. It makes me really motivated to do all we can to get out of the office so we can go find those who are ready! We have another really nice Nanay who's been to church twice now and might be baptized too! Apparently they've only taught her twice but she seems pretty great to me so far. Yesterday she told me "here at your church is the only place where my heart cries!" Haha funny way of saying it but it was awesome to hear!

At first I was wondering a little why I had to leave my last area so fast but I know there's a reason I'm coming here to be an office Elder. I got to have an interview with President and he said he had the same calling as me when he was a missionary! He said it's really blessed him and that I need to remember I'm still doing lots of good things- even if the work is a little different now. I'm excited to work with President Ostler more. I've talked and interacted with him more this week than what would normally happen in a few months! It's been a blessing to see how awesome he really is- I know i'll learn a ton from him. He will be leaving in June and I'll get to see the new president come in too! Should be good stuff.

Love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Reber

**We were so excited to finally receive pictures from Park. Sorry/not sorry for the overload
Rick got the most perfect birthday gift- seeing pictures after all this time was the best!! Love this great missionary!

Love this sign of a hard working missionary!

So glad Elder Reber is able to have relationships with such outstanding people!

I think we would all LIKE PALAWAN :)