Monday, June 26, 2017

"HEY MAH DAD'S MORMONZ..." - June 25, 2017

Another fun week.
Elder Panugao and I have really been focusing on just finding and finding. Ha it's been a toughie sometimes though. Makati is one of the richest cities in the Philippines... so the people that live hear are a little "suplado". But we love them none the less.
Actually, this last week we found more new investigators than we have in the past few weeks, and we know that God's hand was definitely involved.

One of our new investigators is named Vangie. She's a Born Again Christian. She's super great. Why? Because she's curious! She asks questions! She shows a desire to learn! It doesn't feel like we're teaching a brick wall... and that in itself is such a blessing.

Last week we encountered our friend, Brother Bryson. Dunno where he came from... but he kinda just sauntered on up to us and started yelling "YOU GUYS ARE MORMON? MY DAD'S A MORMON. MY DAD'S AMERICAN. I'M DRUNK RIGHT NOW, BUT I WANT TO BE MORMON." and he continued to yell these same statements for about 10 mintues as we tried to have a decent conversation with him. No success there. We just kinda said "Sige Brother. We have an appointment. Ingat." Haha these things happen all too often.

The Merciales siblings, some of our super progressing investigators, were about to come to church yesterday... but their mother won't let them because she doesn't want her kids to "change religion". Bwah. We're going to talk to her and see what we can do. We hope to be able to teach their mother and earn her trust and show her how the Gospel can bless their family.

Well this is about all I got for ya'll. God be with you until... next week ulit. :)
Haha the struggle to speak English is so real. District meetings are supposed to be held in English, but I'm just a mess of broken English and Tagalog...
Love you all!

-Elder Ahn

-OFFICE POSTERITY. Elder Roberts child was Elder McCauley, I was Elder McCauley's child, and Elder Reber is my baby.
-FHE with recent converts back when Elder De Castro was my companion
-Pictures on the roof.

For All Those Fathers - June 18, 2017

I guess I'll kick this off by saying HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

Sorry. That wasn't supposed to send.

Thank you for all Fathers for being providers, protectors, and patriarchs of homes and families all over the world.

Thank you Appa for fulfilling these roles and always magnifying and exemplifying your duties as a Priesthood holder and Father.
I'm so grateful for your loving guidance and example that you have shown to me throughout my life... even though I may neglected your counsel at times in the past.
Thank you for being humble and willing enough to accept the Gospel when you were a teenager. I would not be here in the Philippines serving our Heavenly Father if it were not for you. Just as you have shared with me in the past... Because those missionaries many years ago planted the Gospel seed into you and you nurtured it, I am now that fruit of that tree.
Thank you.

This last week was great.
Transfers happened. My beloved Elder De Castro was transferred to Taytay, Palawan! My new companion is.... Elder Panugao! He's from Bicol and he's super awesome. He's a super hard worker. We're looking forward to a plentiful harvest.

I'll share a cool experience that happened yesterday.
So one of our Recent Converts didn't show up to church yesterday, so we asked her husband why and he said that she was sick. Later that day, I had the impression that we should visit the family and the thought came to me that she might request a Priesthood blessing. So as we were leaving the apartment that evening, I asked Elder Panugao if he had consecrated oil, and he did! So we showed up to their house, asked them how they were, and lo and behold... Sister Marcuelo requested a blessing. I'm grateful for the small impressions and promptings from the Holy Ghost that not only bless us individually, but allow many around us to receive blessings from above.

I admonish all of us to strive to remain worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. It is by His still small voice that we will be guided to do what God would have us do.
One cool thing that Elder Haynie shared with our mission once: First Impressions. We will almost always know that we're making the right decision when we follow our First Impressions.

Well I think this is all I got for this week.
I'll try to remember some of the other random/crazy things that happen. Like that one time I almost watched a chicken get run over by a motorcycle.
Yeah. I'll try to remember more.

Well, love you all!
Keep doing good and serve others around you. Keep being happy! Always remember that happiness is your choice.

-Elder Ahn

Heyo! - June 4, 2017

Ooookay. So I have no time.
Just wanted you to know that it's been a good week and I'm still alive. I'll send some audio logs next week!

I love you all so much! Keep on serving and loving eachother and others!

Have a great week!

-Elder Ahn

May 28, 2017

Let's see.
I'll just jump straight into our cool experience.

So once upon a time... Elder De Castro and Elder Ahn were wandering the dark streets of Bangkal, Makati. It was a rainy night and they weren't quite sure where to go. All appointments had fallen through. So they decided to utilize their resources and pulled out their CMIS. As they scanned the names of the members, a certain family caught their eye: the Alo Family.
BOOM! So that's where we went. On the way to this member's house, we were called out by a woman named Grace. She was a member from another province, and it had been a year since she last went to church because she didn't know where the church was. We invited her to church and asked if we could return sometime to share a message with her and her neighbors who we also met. So that was a super blessing and miracle. After a whole day of little "success", the Lord put us in the path of a Less Active member who wanted to return to church.
Then... we showed up to the Alo household. They're all active members, but I still had not personally met them up to that point. We were welcomed inside warmly, fed a delicious dinner, and shared a small message with them and express our gratitude to them for receiving us into their home. Apparently, our arrival was right on time! Brother and Sister Alo had just returned from Cebu the day before, and that night they were thinking about have a small family home evening.... so in the words of Sister Alo, "Elders, your visit was very inspired." Those were huge words of comfort after a long day.
The scripture we shared with them was Ether 12:6 about how we don't receive a witness until after the trial of our faith. That night, our faith was tried. Haha I'm not going to lie, I was a little bit frustrated with the day... but I remembered the letter from President Ostler concerning perseverance and not giving up, so I held tight to that counsel and kept chugging along. And it was there that I received a witness that even if it's in small ways, the Lord will bless us and always come to our aid according to our faith and diligence.
I think that's all I got for this week.

Sorry! No pictures this time hehe. Maybe next week. :)

Love you all! Don't give up! Keep exercising faith and trusting in the Lord.

-Elder Ahn

Luv Luv Luv. - May 23, 2017

This week was another blur. I'm honestly not quite sure what to talk about.
A couple of things stood out to me this week.

Last Wednesday we had a lesson with the Marcuelo Family! They're a super awesome recent convert family. And they always feed us. hehe. :)
Sister Marcuelo and her son are down south visiting the province, so it's just Brother and their daughter, Lovely, at home. So, we taught them! Before we started, we asked how they were doing etc etc., and Lovely expressed how that next year, she doesn't want to play church volleyball because some of the ward members and coach were a little less that supportive when they lost their last game... She continued to express how she didn't want to play if people were going to have that kind of attitude towards them... which I kind of agreed with. It's a very fickle thing to get all worked up about.
Elder De Castro and I planned to share a scripture with them from Alma, but then I felt impressed to change the lesson and share about..... *drum roll* Charity. We read from Moroni 7:45-47 and discussed the different attributes of a person with charity and talked about how Jesus Christ is the perfect exemplar of someone with charity. He uttered no idle word. He despised no one. He only went about doing good, and loved everyone unconditionally.
I've been praying lately for the gift of charity..... because sometimes my patience can wear thin haha. We talk to someone on the street and they're like "Mmm yeah maybe next time" or sometimes they just don't say anything and stare at us like we're aliens. Haha. Sometimes our investigators tell us "Next time Elders, I'm about to leave" or "Next time na lang, I'm cooking dinner right now" to which I sometimes think "Well that's a lame excuse", but..... that's where I've been praying for charity to fill in.
This last week, I feel like I really experienced the gift of charity work in me. As we visited our investigators and discussed their various situations and they shared their feelings, I could feel my heart opening up to them and I could feel and see how much these precious souls and families mattered to our Heavenly Father.

"The worth of souls is great in the sight of God."
Therefore, the worth of souls should also be great in our sight.
If you haven't tried already, try praying for the gift of charity. I'm not where near perfect, but it has really helped me open my perspective to see the world and see people the way God sees them. Even when they exercise their agency in silly and disappointing ways.

Well. I'm our of words now.

Alright. Until next week! I'll try to keep a better record of the happenings.

-Elder Ahn

-Temple P-Day with the kabahays.
-Sneak peek of the new apartment.

April 30, 2017

So last week.
Did I tell you about Eric? Well. If I did… I’m going to tell you about him again.
So once upon a time, we were proselyting and decided to knock on this door. Or more like peek over this gate because Elder Reber is tall haha. So we knocked and stalked and started yelling “TAO PO” and this guy named Eric came out. He was a little tipsy and drunk, but he was a nice guy and said that he’s met missionaries before and that his grandma was Mormon. So we asked if we could come back and share and he was like “Uhhhh Tomorrow. Come back tomorrow. 5:00.” So we did just that. The next day, we returned, he let us in, and we had an AWESOME lesson. He opened up his whole life story. He grew up in the Philippines, but moved to California to work along with his family who are all also Filipino… So then stuff happened, they divorced, Eric ended up living in his car for a winter, then he decided to move back to the Philippines to take care of his Aunt and Mother. He’s really an interesting guy, and he’s super open and receptive. He really feels like he has “lost his way” and we’re like “WELL. We’ve got exactly what you’re looking for.” So BOOM. Eric. Also, since he lived in California for like 20+ years, our lessons are in pure English. And he has like no filter… For example, we asked him “Eric, what would you do if you prayed and received an answer that everything we’re sharing is true?” and he was like “I’d *bleep* myself.” Ha he’s a hoot. But yeah, teaching in English is super weird, but great. You can express a lot more complex and detailed ideas in English… so it’s a nice refresher. The only problem is that I’m getting super slow with my English and I’ve lost all my vocabulary. I think you can probably tell. Hindi na akong marunong mag-english. Haha ang galling ko.
Well what else about last week.
We had a dinner appointment with all the YSA at the church last Friday. That was super fun.
Hmmm…. Yeah, other than all this, we’re slowly but surely finding more and more people and we have a few good return appointments set so we’re excited for that! It’s always a fun experience proselyting as a tri-some. Especially since we’re all foreigners…. Ha ha ha we have that American/Korean power and it woos everyone.
I don’t know if you remember the Baquiran family, but we ended up kiiiiind of dropping them the other day. They just weren’t keeping commitments or progressing. They were really nice about it… but still. You could tell they were a little said when we told them that we were not going to stop by and teaching them a lot anymore. We also explained to them that these invitations that we extend to them are coming from God and that they need to read the Book of Mormon and go to church to come to know God’s plan for them and change their lives. But. They were kind of full of excuses. So it’s kind of inspired me as well to not be full of excuses. Coming up with excuses is not a Christ-like attribute, but exercising humility and acknowledging our dependence on God IS!
Well, I think this is where I will conclude. Transfer day is this Wednesday. I’m transferring. To where I will go, no man knoweth but God.
I pray that each of you will have an amazing week and that you will do all in your power to have the companionship of the Spirit with you to guide and direct your actions and decisions this week. Keep doing good and serving your fellow men.

-Elder Ahn

I Gave Birth and Albert Got Baptized. - April 18, 2017

First up:
ALBERT PALENCIA IS NOW A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS! Boo ya. His baptism was a success and a happy moment to remember. All us missionaries sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" as an on-the-spot special musical number and the Spirit was strong throughout the whole service.
Another fun thing:
We had an appointment with Albert today at the church, and when he walked in... he had a couple of friends follow in behind him... AND HE WAS ALREADY REFERRING THEM TO US. HAHA! Albert is such a champ. He's super excited about sharing the Gospel and helping others through understanding God's eternal plan for them. I can't really describe my happiness. But just. Yeah. I'm so happy. He's so awesome. God is so good. I love the Gospel.

So HAPPY EASTER! It was a nice Easter sunday. Although, the talks and lessons weren't really centered around Easter a whole ton. Oh well. It was still a good sunday. I ate some boiled eggs so it couldn't have been bad.

OH. YEAH. Right.
So something super fun happened last Wednesday.
I gave birth.
BOOM. I have an office baby. Elder Reber flew in from Palawan on Wednesday and has been with Elder Webster and I ever since. Once transfer day rolls in, I'm being booted out of the office. I'm super excited! Even so, I'll definitely miss the office. I learned a ton... but the learning and craziness will not stop with this next transfer. Woot woot!

Haha so I never know what to put as the "subject header" of my emails... so i just kind of write whatever comes to my mind... then read what I just wrote... then make that my subject header. So there ya have it! I'm a father again and Albert is baptized.

I'll close this email up with my testimony of Jesus Christ and His miraculous resurrection. Since you know... Easter. :)
But really, the more I think about it.. the more I realize that sometimes we don't realize how amazing and wonderful it is that Jesus Christ suffered, died, then rose again the third day. We say it... we teach it... we testify of it... but when we utter those words "I know that Jesus Christ is my savior" or "I know that he was resurrected", do we actually stop and understand the weight and meaning of those words? And do we believe and mean it? I'm going to be honest right now and say that for a long time before my mission, those words were just simple sentences to me. I believed that Jesus Christ was real and that He did lots of awesome things... but I never stopped to appreciate and understand what He did.
Now, I can say with full confidence and with all the energy of my heart that He is our Savior and our Redeemer. He suffered the consequences of our sins and experienced our infirmities. He was crucified to fulfill the perfect plan of our Father in Heaven, and He was buried the rose from the dead the third day. And I know that because He overcame death, we will all overcome death and live again no matter who we are or what we've done in life. I also know that if we live the Gospel and strive to live as Jesus Christ lived, we will not only become immortal, but gain eternal life and exaltation.
So this year, and even last year... Easter is a lot different. I'm so grateful for the life Jesus Christ lived and that through His life, we will also find ours.

I actually wasn't expecting to leave that long of a testimony. Well, that's how I know that it was by the Spirit. Looks like He wanted me to say a little more than I planned. :)

Well, Elder Ahn is out. For this week.

Ingat kayo lahat! Mahal ko kayo! Have a good week!

-Elder Ahn