Monday, July 11, 2016

I'm a Half-Father??

So first, let's start with Monday.
Also July 4th.
And coincidentally the birthday of one of the members. Therefore we ate pizza and cake and I pretended in my mind that we were actually celebrating America's Birthday.

Anyway, my body hated me that day. I had chills, my body ached, I felt like the world was spinning... so after our little celebration Elder Leota and I went home so I could sleep the rest of the day.
The next day I was fine, so it must have been just some random 24-hr. flu/fever.

The rest of the week was a good week. Full of good work and just meeting and talking to lot's of random people. So same old same old.
We have some really awesome investigators who are showing genuine interest in the Church and have a desire to keep learning more. Three of these investigators came to church yesterday, and it was awesome. We were so happy, and we're very excited to see how these people will progress.

Alright so now for the news concerning the title of this email...
Last night we received a text from President, informing us on transfer information.
And I have been called to finish the training of a missionary named Elder Zacarias.

SOOOOO yeah. Also he's a Filipino I think. So it's going to be fun. We'll see how everything goes.
I totally don't feel prepared, but I know that everything will turn out alright. "God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called." That's going to become my eternal motto. Along with "Just Do It" by Shia Lebeouf (spelling again?)

Elder Leota has been called to become a District Leader in the neighboring city, and Elder Sorensen has been called from District Leader to Zone Leader! Haha! We all totally called that one actually so we're all still laughing about it. Except for him. He says he didn't sleep well last night. But he'll be fine.

I think this is all I have to report.
Things are really starting to flood now, and the other Elders have already been walking through water up to their knees, so we'll see what the next month or so brings.
Sige, iyon na lang.

Magingat kayo lahat.

-Elder Ahn



Only one of the missionaries that I live with is an American. We'll see if we can do something here to celebrate. It might just be singing songs and stuff.

Last week was fun. We went to the DMV to get our Licenses for the Philippines. Hopefully I'll never have to use it... They're just doing it now so that if a missionary gets called to the office or as AP, they'll already be able to drive. I just really don't want to drive here though. Traffic is insane.

What else. Hm, this week we got a lot of new investigators actually. All of them are pretty receptive and are asking lots of questions, so I'm excited to see if we can help them to progress.
Other than that, it was just another good week. The other Elders in the district have another baptism of like, 3-4 kids in this awesome part member family this coming saturday, so that will be fun. 

Super cool experience....
So lately my struggle has been with just approaching strangers sometimes. I don't know, I guess I'm still afraid sometimes. Which is NOT GOOD.
So when we were walking out from the Office last week, this random old white guy approached me and just said "Ephesians 6."
I was like "Okay that was odd."
But then later during personal study, I decided to read that chapter. It talks about the armor of god, and in verses 19-20, it talks about "speaking boldly" to share the "mysteries of the gospel". I was like "Well that's what I need. I need to speak more boldly." Then I looked at a footnote there and it took me to D&C 60: 2-3.

I think God is lovingly chastising me.

Pretty much it says that he is angry with those that don't "open their mouths" and "hide their talents" because they're not being "faithful".
So. I learned an important lesson. Who do I fear more? Man? or God?
Of course the latter.

I brings me peace to know that "God knows me more than I know myself" and that he's always watching and helping ALL of His children. Not just a few thousand or a few hundred thousand... All.

Well, this is about all I have for you.

Love you much.

PS  IanTai, I totally saw a kid the other day wearing your same exact flower shirt (the one that's kinda dark on the background and has pinkish flowers) Just thought I'd let you know.

Mahal ko kayo!

-Elder Ahn


So one of the members (who is also preparing to enter the temple with his family) is totally a rapper. His "rapper name" is "Brother Ammon", and he wrote a rap about missionaries. And I now have it on my flashdrive (YES). Ah it makes me so happy.

Other things from the week:

ZONE CONFERENCE! Those are always lot's of fun! We received training from President and Sister Ostler and the AP's. Twas a spiritually fulfilling and uplifting experience. Every time we have meetings like that, I just want to be like Dan Jones and tell everyone "I'MMA COMIN' TO TOWN TOMORROW AND Y'ALL ARE GON' BE CONVERTED." But sadly it's not that simple sometimes. Either way, it was nice seeing the other missionaries and being together and knowing that all of us are 1 in purpose.

We had another baptism this last week! And now they are a completed family! Sister Tanola has been investigating the church (and actually going to church) for like 10 years.... and countless missionaries have taught her. I just feel blessed that I happened to be in the area at the time she got baptized, because it was definitely the work of all the past missionaries and the spirit working with her these past years to bring her where she is today. They're an awesome family.

I think this is all that comes to mind.

It was a good week! I know this upcoming week will also be a good week.
Mahal ko kayo!

-Elder Ahn


Everyone kept telling me that yesterday was Father's Day.
So even if yesterday wasn't Father's Day....
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! I love you Appa! I miss you and your accent and singing Korean karaoke with you and the fam! I also miss you and your random garden of unnatural plants in the backyard! Thank you for all that you do and for being such a supportive father!
Some of the random kids here have started calling me "Daddy" now (I don't know why..) so I think this is just a foretaste of what Fatherhood will be like. XD They're adorable.

Well, I can't recall a lot that happened this week. We had Zone Meeting.. that was fun. These meetings always motivate me to be better and to work harder so it's always a blessing.
We watched a little movie called "The Go-Getter". Really interesting and very motivating. As missionaries, we need to have the attitude to always move forward and give our fullest effort, even when faced with trial and adversity.
I guess it's not just for missionaries, but really for all.

Anyway, I'm almost out of time. Sorry this is a super short email.
The work here is moving forward and we're all doing great here. We have another baptism (COMPLETED FAMILY WOOOOT) coming this weekend, and we also have Zone Conference on Friday, so it's gonna be a bomb week.

Anyway, that's all for now.
Much love.

-Elder Ahn

Thank you Elder Ahn!
You are my P son, proud son!
I am glad that you are doing great in your new area. You are doing so great that kids are calling you Daddy!
I assume that you look mature and great!
We love you and I love you!

Family History

Hey, I'd like to request information on... well first, both of you.
But then I'd also like information on my grandparents and even great grandparents if we have that info.

Also, Appa! Do you know my Priesthood Lineage??

Thankyou so much! Love you!

Oh yeah, I bought kimchee at the store and it didn't taste good. I'm sad.

Love you love you love you!

-The best Son you've ever had (hahahahah) Elder Ahn

I requested the priesthood lineage to the Church office. I will send it to you as I receive it.

Love you,

Grandfather life:

He was bone in July 12, 1933 (Lunar calendar) as the first child in Korea during WW II.
Korea was liberated from the colonization of Japan when he was in the second year of an elementary school.

He went to a traditional school (서당) for about three years because there was no formal schools after the liberation.
He had learned Chinese characters and literatures at the traditional school.
He shared one instance that his parents had to provide many bales (가마니) which were made out of rice straws manually by certain deadlines.
During Japan annexation of Korea, they took rice, wood and all other precious mine materials to Japan.

Korean war took place when he was the fifth year of the elementary school. Korean war lasted about three years with war casualties, 2.5 million people killed and wounded. During the war, communist people came to grandparents’ house (복흥리) and stole a big pig, 133 pound weight big pig.
Raising a pig was like a saving account to get better off for the family at that time. After all, the whole village, including his house, was burn down and had to find a different shelter for a while. I heard that great grandfather was so depressed and stressed by the lost big pig and war distress that he got sickness and he passed away eventually.

His father passed away when he was 19 years old. He became the head of the family at that time.
He was married at age 23 years old and he had to do mandatory military service for three years at age 26 years old (1958, April 10 to 1961 April) even after he was married. When he was discharged from the military, he had managed farming works, taking care of his mother and his siblings at 복흥리. He had lived there until 1979 Spring, then the family moved to Seoul, Korea to provide better educational opportunities for his children.

He was really interested in Ahn family genealogies and family records. He purchased Ahn family genealogy books (Five volumes) for me when I left Korea to go to America for my education. He said that “you are going to America and you will start a new Ahn family branch in America. You will be a founder of Ahn family in America”. The genealogy books were expensive purchases for him but he just did it for me. I was young at that time and did not anticipate the value of those books, but I am very grateful for his wisdom and integrity now. He was a great pioneer for me and you all here in America!  

Another Good Week and BAPTISM

I don't know what else to put as a title. I need to keep a better track of what happens in the week. Because so much random stuff happens all the time.

Anyway, one of our investigators, Mitch, entered the waters of baptism. YES.
She has such a strong testimony, especially on the topic of repentance. She made a mistake in the past, and people kept telling her (friends, family, etc.) that she would never be able to repent of what she did. Ouch. But now she knows that all can change. Clean slates, new starts, everything is possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And she understands that. It's awesome.

Hm. Random thing:
Like I said before, the kids here are hilarious. There's this group of at least 5-6 kids that run to us everytime we walk by... and they all grab on to Elder Leota and call him "DADDY DADDY". Ha it looks and just sounds really weird..... but I just laugh at him. He's great.
Oh  yeah, Elder Leota is the man. Did I mention that before? He's awesome.

To be honest, it was just another good week in the Lord's field. This work is moving forward little by little, and it won't be complete until everyone has heard the gospel in their own tongue, hence, we have missionaries. Yay for missionary work!
Oh yeah, this Tagalog thing has finally clicked in for me. I can finally have conversations and just talk to people without worrying about what I need to conjugate or what the meaning of this or that is. It feels so nice. This box that I've been in has finally opened up.
Of course my language is not perfect and I still have a lot to learn, but my confidence has increased and the trust of members and other people is definitely there because I am able to communicate with them in their own tongue.
The Gift of Tongues is real people. No jokes.

This about concludes what I have to say.
I'll end by sharing a short passage from something I read the other day. It's called the Ricciardi Letter. It's a letter containing a bunch of experiences that an "Elder Humphrey" had on his mission in England, and all that he learned from his experiences. Especially with his trainer, Elder Ricciardi. If you ever get the change, google it or something.... It's amazing.

But I'd like to share this passage that helped me this week. This especially applies when faced with rejection or discouragement.

"The mission experience is to do what you are told, when you are told, to go where you are asked, and know that the blessing comes from enduring what I ask of you. This is not about you, it is about opening your mouth at all times in all places. Doing my (the Lord) will without thought to the end result or consequence... this is what serving a mission is."
Success on a mission is not measured by the baptisms. It's not measured by the numbers.
Rather, it's measured by our obedience to the Lord; to keep going and to keep giving it your all, even when you feel like the work is going no where. The mission is like a test: a test to see if when faced with adversity and discouragement, that you will still go about preaching the Gospel to all people.
It's an awesome letter. You should all read it.

Well, Until next week.
Mahal ko kayo.
-Elder Ahn


Well I finally got transferred.... tooooo the city! The area is Paranaque, or that's the name of the city I'm in.
I feel like I'm in a completely different mission. This place is so confusing.

Some Random Stuff:
The kids here are really funny... They all like giving us high fives, and the other day, my new companion Elder Leota got them all to start chanting his name. Imagine two missionaries walking down a crowded street with a group of 20-30 children chanting a Samoan's name. Yeah. It was pretty funny.
Oh yeah, Elder Leota is Samoan. He's super cool and crazy crazy nice.

More random.... so some kids were doing flips onto an old mattress outside and we went to go talk to them, and so just for fun I decided to show them a quick easy flip. That was fun. Later that night, some of the kids were asking me to teach them more and I was like "nah I can't, I don't know anything".

Spiritual experience!
So one of our investigators asked for a priesthood blessing because she was feeling sick. When I consecrated the oil and laid my hands on her head, I felt this immense, but peaceful power, and a sure faith that she would get better. Later that day, the member who was also there at the blessing told me that the investigator said that she felt "power" when we gave her that blessing, so hey. Priesthood power and priesthood blessings. Pretty awesome.

Well, I'm not familiar with the area and neither am I familiar with the ward or our investigators... but I'm so excited to see what will happen in the next few weeks. We have a baptism next week and we have a lot more planned for later this month!

This church is true. The book is blue.

-Elder Ahn

I'm Transferring.

And I still don't know where! HA. 
I literally found out like an hour ago, and the zone leaders will inform me tomorrow I think.
So that's that.
Anyway, it was an interesting week! I think.
Random thing: So Filipinos are SUUUUUPER hospitable people, so if they're outside eating or drinking, and you walk by them.. they say "Uminom na tayo!" or "Kain na tayo" meaning, "lets drink!" or "Let's eat!" Ha it's awesome. Of course we have to turn them down, but still. It's interesting. For example, two nights ago, some people outside their house were like "Ah, shots!" and we were like "meeeh we're okay, but thanks!"

So the Augustin's!
They didn't go to church the last two weeks..... Nooo...... but the first week they had an interesting reason. So a lady from "Iglesia ni Cristo" has been visiting them occasionally as well and that sunday, as the Augustin's were getting ready to leave to come to OUR church, this lady shows up and literally started crying and was telling them that they HAD to attend their church.... so to appease this pitiful woman's plea, they attended there. Aaaand the Augustin's didn't reallly like that.
So cool!

Sorry I didn't mean to send that.

So yesterday, they didn't come to church because.... they were tired on saturday and didn't wake up on time on sunday (dang it).
But I think they'll be alright, because their understanding of the Gospel and their desire to folloow the commandments and the example of Jesus Christ is so strong. They're just awesome.

We also taught a new investigator yesterday who has been investigating perviously in another area here on Palawan, and she happened to move here to Narra! Yesterday we taught her and she was extremely emotional... so she's been having problems with her husband lately, and she wasn't sure if she should keep investigating the church here in Narra, but the night before she said that she was reading the Book of Mormon and she was praying and listening to hymns, and she decided to come to church. I think she said that she received a text from her husband and he said that he could drop her off at church, so she came to church. Then she said that the first talk was an answer to her prayers, and it was on the topic of Enduring to the End.
Her situation is hard, but she has strong faith and she has strong support from some of her siblings, so we're hoping for the best for her. The Spirit is really helping and comforting her, so we are so grateful for that.

Um I think this is all I have time to share. Or this is all that comes to mind.
Well, we're moving on to the next chapter. I might transfer to the mainland, or I might transfer to another area here on Palawan. We'll see. XD

Much love! Ingat kayo!

-Elder Ahn

I held that spider. I almost died.
Elder Cortez's glorious face.
The Elder's here think that my last name is fun.