Monday, November 20, 2017

The Time Has Come - November 20, 2017

This will most likely be the last big email I'll send out. Next Monday we fly to Manila and also have interviews with President Fermanis, so I most likely will not have time to email.

I'd like to leave you all with my testimony that I know this church is true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is truly the Lord's Kingdom once again restored with the fullness of the Gospel on the Earth. I know that this church, the Gospel, and Priesthood authority were all restored to the earth because of the young boy Joseph Smith who followed the counsel of a powerful scripture and decided to "ask God". I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. There is no truer book upon the face of the earth. By reading the Book of Mormon, we can grow closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and realize our divine potential as children of God. I know that Christ lives. He loves us. That is why he died and atoned for our sins. I know that through the power of Jesus Christ's Atonement, we can change, progress, become clean, and one day return to the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Thank you for the support these last two years.

-Elder Ahn

pics and vids of last week - November 20, 2017

Elder Ahn's Departure - November 19, 2017

P.O. BOX 1997
Makati Central Post Office
0714 Makati, Metro Manila
November 7, 2017
Dear Brother and Sister Ahn,
It has been a privilege for us to get to know your son, Elder Ahn. We can honestly say that we love him like our
own son and are truly grateful for his service.
We offer our sincere gratitude to you for your sacrifice, prayers, love and support while he has served in the
Philippines Manila Mission. He will return to you with a new perspective on life that includes an increased love
for the Book of Mormon, a stronger testimony, and a greater understanding of the gospel.
We have encouraged him to keep his spiritual fire burning brightly by continuing habits of prayer, daily
scripture study, fasting, temple attendance when possible, and full-hearted service in the Lord’s kingdom. We
have counseled him to marry only in the temple, where his marriage will be sealed for eternity. We have
recommended that he study and prepare for a career or vocation that will provide a good livelihood for his
future family. We are confident that as he follows this counsel, he will continue to bless others and build the
kingdom of God.
As you know, it is common for missionaries to take time to adjust to their life at home. Even though they have
missed their parents and family, the change from a very vigorous and disciplined schedule and leaving their
companions and friends on their mission can be very difficult. We strongly suggest that you encourage your
son to stay close to Heavenly Father and to stay busy in both church and daily activities. One of best things he
can do is to enroll in Institute or other church classes and to participate in the LDS Young Single Adult program.
There he will find many opportunities to serve and to make friends with others who possess similar goals.
We again express our love and appreciation to you for the sacrifices you have made in allowing your son to
serve the incredible Filipino people here in Manila. He has made an eternal difference in the lives of so many
brothers and sisters. In our short time here, we have loved him like a son and will miss him greatly. May the
Lord bless you forever for your willing sacrifice.
With our sincere gratitude,

President and Sister Michael J. Fermanis
Philippines Manila Mission
Enclosure: Copy of itinerary; Assignment List

November 5, 2017

Small excerpt from my letter to President this week about Avril and her baptism!

My main spiritual experience this week was helping Avril come to the decision to be baptized, and knowing that Heavenly Father answers our prayers. Like I shared with you in our Interview, Avril still didn't want to be baptized. We couldn't quite figure out why. So later that day on Tuesday after interviews, Elder McCauley came and worked with me in our old area along with Elder Gabi. We visited Avril and he started to talk with her one on one. Anytime we turned our attention to them, Avril would get all shy, so the whole time we averted our attention and talked with her aunt Michelle. But in that 30-40 minute period, Elder McCauley was able to talk her through, comfort and reassure her, and commit her to be baptized the following day after Zone Conference. We were so happy! I had been praying every day and every night that Avril would eventually commit to be baptized, and my prayer was answered.

Happy to report that Avril was baptized on Wednesday and is super awesome!!
Would send pics, but my SD card is doing weird things.

Have a great week!

-Elder Ahn

Transfer Week - October 22, 2017

Good week. As usual it was a busy one. Monday we had to figure out transfer day logistics with Narra and Puerto. Tuesday we had a fun Family Home Evening with the Young Single Adults at a members house to help strengthen some of the neighboring Recent Converts. You remember Jommer? He was the focus of that FHE.
Wednesday was Transfer Day. We helped get all the missionaries from Malvar chapel to the airport and things went really smoothly. Thursday was a similar day. We picked up the new incoming missionaries and sent them to their areas with their new companions. The flight was delayed by like 2 hours, but we were still able to get everyone where they needed to go, despite that and the rain.
Friday morning, we visited a member who was recently admitted into the hospital due to a cerebral aneurysm. We gave her a Priesthood blessing and stayed for a little to support the family, then we went home and began weekly planning. On Saturday we helped set up for the Sister's baptism, which went smoothly. The little 9 year old girl couldn't even bear her testimony because she was crying so hard. Then later that night, we visited our investigator, Avril, and invited her once again to be baptized. She's always been super shy, so it's been hard for her to tell us what would be holding her back. That night she expressed that she didn't quite understand why we were asking her to be baptized. We continued to explain the importance of the ordinance of baptism and told her the promised blessings of it. She said that she'd give us an answer the next time we visited.. so we'll see what happens. I'm amazed at her concern to understand before she really decides considering her age. She's only 9, yet she emulates the attitude of Joseph Smith because she seems to be worrying about the welfare of her soul. On Sunday we went to church, then we took a shuttle up to Roxas to interview a baptismal candidate (who was awesome), and then we returned to Santa Monica that same day. It was 4 hours roundtrip.. so yeah. Lot's of driving yesterday.
It looks like we have a lot more time for proselyting this week. Roxas has been very successful in their work, so we've asked the Elders and Bishop what things they've been doing. We're looking forward to applying some of those things into the work this week.

Well that's it for now. Have a good week!
-Elder Ahn

Updates - October 15, 2017

Soooo it's been a while since I've sent a big email out. My bad.
Palawan is still bomb. We just dropped off Elder Fawson this morning at the airport. He'll stay in Manila until he dies on Wednesday. *tear drop* I'll miss the tall guy.
New companion is Elder Isla Hahahahhaa he's also just my kabahay, or apartment mate... so he's literally just moving over to the other room XD It'll be a fun transfer. He's a filipino (technically) but he was born and raised in Australia. I'll probably go home sounding more Australian than Filipino, so brace yourselves for that.

Here's what happened last week! This is just a chunk of my weekly email to President Fermanis.

This week we went on exchanges in Roxas. They're doing super well... All four of those Elders there are awesome. The Roxas ward has grown so much within the last 1-2 years. Out of all the wards/branches here on Palawan, Roxas always has one of the highest sacrament attendances and they are very involved in missionary work and fellowshipping.
I went on exchanges with Elder Valencia and Elder Hernaez. I started the exchange with the mindset that I would be teaching them something, but I feel like I was in turn the one that was taught. One cool experience came from the events leading to one of the lessons we had that day. We went to the house of a woman that the Elders had talked to before. She opened the door and was about to say that she was busy, but Elder Valencia saw her dirty dishes and said, "Sister, I see you have dirty dishes. We're going to clean up a bit and do some service for you." And with that said, he walked right in without hesitation and began doing her dishes. As that was going on, Elder Hernaez and I began to tidy up their house a little and asked if we could also do some of their laundry. The woman, Nessa, was very surprised and told us we didn't need to, but we insisted and continued helping out. After that, we went to her neighbors house and began helping them with their laundry too. I was both impressed and humbled by the boldness of these Elders. They didn't hesitate when they saw someone who needed help.
Another cool experience... so we were listening to some of the General Conference talks from 2 weeks ago, and Bonnie L. Oscarson invited us to ask God what we yet lack. So I decided to do that and opened my Personal Study that day with asking God the question, "What do I lack? I lack a lot... but help me know where I can start to improve." I read in Ether 12, and as you probably know, it's all about faith. So I figured that was where I needed to start: faith. One of our recent converts, Jommer, had been weakening in his faith lately and hasn't been to church in a few weeks. He told us that he would go to church yesterday, but he never showed up and sent us a text saying that he was busy with something and he wanted to meet with us later in the day and talk about something. So..... I was kind of scared. I was nervous to hear what Jommer had to say. The last thing I wanted was to lose this guy. But being nervous or scared meant that I would allow fear to dominate my faith, so I told myself, "Things will be fine. It'll all turn out alright." Later that day when we visited him, he was super excited to see us and shared with us that he had begun to read the Book of Mormon more frequently again. He shared Alma 29:9 and thanked us for being instruments of God and introducing the Gospel to him. He told us that through us, he was able to meet and get to know our Heavenly Father and understand His plan. Elder Fawson and I were shocked, but we were so grateful, and needless to say relieved that Jommer was alright. So yeah. I had been praying for the last few weeks that Jommer would figure things out, and my prayer was answered and my faith was also increased.

-Elder Ahn

Hi Mommy and Daddy - October 2, 2017

Thanks for the birthday wishes! I'll make sure to celebrate and do something super fun. I'll try to send some pictures too.
We watch conference here a week late, so I won't be watching until this saturday and sunday. But I CAN'T WAIT. I love General Conference so much! Haha and I'm so happy that a large focus has been on reading and studying the Book of Mormon. Keep on reading and studying it everyday! And if possible, as a family! President Fermanis has asked us to read 10 pages every day. Kind of hard at times, but it really pushes me to give my all into understanding and quickly analyzing the Book of Mormon.
Hope you two have a great week!
Thanks for sending the package! I'll let you know when I get it. :)
No audio logs this week. I haven't done last week... so I have a lot of updating to do. XD I'll send some next week though, promise. :) Love you!