Friday, August 12, 2016

Baha. Baha Everywhere.

I swear so much happens in the week, but when it comes time to email, I just literally have nothing to say.
Also "baha" means "flood". Yeah it's rainy here.
It's been raining like EVERY DAY and it's not just like "aw this is cute little sprinkle", but it's like "WHOOOSHHH" and then 5 mintues later the street outside our investigators house is flooded. Ha it's actually super nice because it's not super hot right now! And I'm starting to use a blanket at night time because I'm actually starting to get cold when I sleep; sign that my body is adjusted to the weather here.

Concerning our work, it's really on fire. We have a lot of progressing investigators and we're looking forward to a baptism coming up within the next 2 weeks. Hopefully next week I'll be able to update more.
This week I took the time to read a talk given by Elder David A. Bednar at BYU-I title "The Character of Christ". This paragraph especially stuck out to me.

Perhaps the greatest indicator of character is the capacity to recognize and appropriately respond to other people who are experiencing the very challenge or adversity that is most immediately and forcefully pressing upon us. Character is revealed, for example, in the power to discern the suffering of other people when we ourselves are suffering; in the ability to detect the hunger of others when we are hungry; and in the power to reach out and extend compassion for the spiritual agony of others when we are in the midst of our own spiritual distress. Thus, character is demonstrated by looking and reaching outward when the natural and instinctive response is to be self-absorbed and turn inward. If such a capacity is indeed the ultimate criterion of moral character, then the Savior of the world is the perfect example of such a consistent and charitable character.

If we are to become like our Heavenly Father, we need to strive to become like Christ and gain a "Christ-like Character". Ultimately, my understanding of such a character as said by Elder Bednar is absolute and complete selflessness. This little excerpt from his talk has really impacted my view of the work here, but also how we should always strive to live.
So you know how we always hear "What would Jesus do?"
Well... This is what he did, would do, and will always continue to do. And we must strive to emulate such an amazing character as best we can.

Love you all. Thankyou for the prayers and for your faithfulness to the Lord!
Ingat kayo lahat!
-Elder Ahn

Still Couldn't Think of a Title. Sorry.

I'm not sure what to put as a title for this email. So I'm just going to write it first.... then put a title that best fits my thoughts here.

First of all: MIRACLES. Yes.
We've been finding so many awesome people who are searching for the truth and interested in coming to church and accepting the gospel... it's amazing. I mention "coming to church" because that's one of the hardest things here in the Philippines... People are always either working, or washing clothes, or cleaning, or cooking, or working more, or sleeping (tsk tsk).... that they have a hard time sacrificing just 3 hours to attend church in the morning. But these last few weeks, investigators have been coming to church, and we are so grateful for them and their willingness to come and worship the Lord on His holy day. Yay for Progressing Investigators.

Another Miracle: We've been teaching a part member family, and the mother is less active.. aaaand yesterday she totally came to church. YES.

Another One: We met a couple the other day, and we asked if we could share our message with them... and they were like "Yeah sure! Missionaries taught our family in our province a few years back and we almost got baptized!" and we were like "AWESOME. Now's your time to get baptized!" So we're super excited for this family.
This is all that comes to mind on the recent events.

I just want to bear a short testimony that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church of Jesus Christ restored upon the earth. The prophet Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and God's instrument to restore this beautiful gospel on the earth again so that all of God's children could return back to his presence. The Book of Mormon is true, and just like Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's (great?) grandfather said, "No wicked man could write such a book as this... and no good man would write it, unless it were true, and he were commanded of God to do so."
Heavenly Father loves us. He wants us all to return to Him. We literally came from his presence and we are of heavenly and eternal heritage... and we need to do all that we possibly can to return back to Him.

Mahal ko po kayo lahat.

-Elder Ahn

Ward in Philly

Dear Elder Ahn,

Greetings from Philadelphia! It has been a loooong day.  We left Salt Lake Airport 11:59 on Sat 7.30.16, arrived in Philly at 0600 Philly time. Sat at the airport a little while, got a cab and came to our hotel, could not check in until 3pm so just changed to Sunday clothes in a restroom checked in our luggage only, ate breakfast, wandered in the lobby dozed a little, then got a cab searching for a LDS church. The first address did not take us to church but the second place did. Went in right as the congregation was singing the Sacrament hymn, the service started at 0930 not at 10:00. We called multiple times to ask for the start time but to no avail. The meeting was unique, lots of people of African ancestry with a Anglican race. We were the only Asian. As meeting ended we walked over to the back of the chapel to locate Sunday school and low and hehold we ran intex-Governoror of Utah Mike Levitt, who served as the Secretary of EPA(Environment Protection Agency) under Bush era shaked his hands and told him we were from Utah and asked is remembered Cherie Lyon, who served as a Head of Republican Women during his governorship, he said of course he remembers Cherie and appreciated her work. Philadelphia temple open house is from the 10th of August and he is here to help out with it. 

After 3 hours of church, we took the cab and went to the temple site, the rain came so took cover at the entrance of  temple parking garage, could not find any other place to take cover, there were many huge old buildings but none offered a place for a cover. When the rain weaned a little, we saw the temple from outside the perimeter of the temple, took few pictures then started walking towards Logan Square, then towards our hotel, which took a lot longer than the actual distance. We got lost but thanks to Iantai's phone with GPS, we were able to locate our hotel, Hyatt at Bellevue. We checked in changed into comfy cloths and crashed for several hours. Woke up, walked to Philadelphia Convention Center where AACC conference (Scientific method and Clinical Lab Expo) will be held starting tomorrow 8.1 to 8.4.2016. Then walked more to look at what is around where, went to a Persian restaurant, ate  delicious dinner, then walked around some more and came back to the hotel.

During the 36rd hour of church instructors gave a lesson on the Philadelphia Temple, covered history of Pensylvania,  started out by sharing the story about William Penn the founder of Pennsylvania, who was a Quaker, who demanded freedom of religion  and about Joseph Smith and new church historical restoration sites in Harmony, Susquehanna county, Pensylvania. Susquehanna river is where Joseph and Oliver Cowdry's baptism took place and place of Aaronic priesthood restoration, correct me if I'm wrong. I felt like we were right in the middle of where the story began! Amazing! and yea the lesson in Sunday school was on covenant, whchich is our topic in Highland as well. The gospel is real and as we were driving around looking for our church and the temple, they stuck out, I could not help to think what  a  "peculiar" this church actually is!!! God has plan for everyone and He is the Father of all of us, red and yellow, black and white!!!

Take care children we send our love and prayer to all of you!

I'm glad to hear you're safe and over there on the East Coast!
I had no idea that you were planning to go there. Are you just vacationing over there? Who is with you?
Either way, I'm glad you've been able to tour some of the Church Historical Sites. I'm reading "Our Heritage" about Joseph Smith and how the Church grew from just a few members, to all the members of the church we have today all around the world. This church and all the works of salvation will only continue forward during this Last Dispensation. I find great joy and peace in that promise and knowledge.

Love you! Take care always!

-Elder Ahn

Little Miracles

So lately I've been trying to notice the little miracles and just the little things that the Lord does to guide us in our work everyday.. whether it be in studies, or it be outside proselyting... and I can definitely say that the Lord is ALWAYS guiding us as missionaries. Wait, correction: If we're being obedient and doing what we should be doing, he will always guide us.

Little examples:

Last night: as we were walking back to our apartment, there were these two girls walking next by, so we started talking to them. Turns out, they're actually from Coron, a small island right next to Palawan, and I was like "What are you doing here?" and they were like "Just vacationing" and I was like "Have you met missionaries like us before in Coron?" and they were like "Yeah! They totally invited us to go to church and we went to church there and stuff!" And it turns out that they're returning back to Coron tomorrow, so I told them if they see the missionaries again, they should invite them in and also that they should go to church again there. So yeah... We were tired and on our way home, and we could have just walked past them and not paid any attention, but the Spirit prompted us to talk to them. Hopefully, they follow our invitation to them.

Generally this last week: There are a couple families that we are teaching where the father is always gone... making it hard for us to teach them all.... but this last week, all the times we stopped by, the father/husband was there! WOOT! Little miracles.

And Highlight of the Week: So we visited a member who "just ain't doin' so hot" physically.... she has high blood and her body is weak, etc. Anyway, we dropped by and she asked for a blessing, and I had the opportunity to give the blessing to her. After the blessing, she looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said that the things I said in the blessing were things written in her Patriarchal Blessing. So that was another little miracle and wonderful experience.

Well I think that's it.
I'm not sick anymore (yaaaaaay).
I'm getting so bad at English (yaaaaaay)
I ate like 5 balut this week (yummmmmy)
Because everyone in the apartment is Filipino, we have rice for every meal so I'm totally getting chunky (NOOOOO) But all is well, more motivation to burn the fats.

Yeah for the Pioneers.

Alright. Mahal ko kayo.

-Elder Ahn

No More Americans/Food Poisoning

And no more Koreans.... just kidding, i'm the only Korean in this mission. I think.

But yeah so our "bahay" (house) has 3 Filipinos then meeeee the only foreigner! But it's all good. Because it's super fun and they're all good at cooking so we all good here.
First off: So my companion is not Elder Zacarias. Apparently he is going home due to medical issues. But i'm still finishing the training of a new missionary, and his name is Elder Jovita! This guy is a fireball. super super happy, super super awesome. His last trainers were zone leaders.... so I feel suuuuper inadequate. Hopefully I can help him in some way. I'll do my best.

Random other thing: So remember how my trainer a.k.a my first companion was Elder Macanlalay? HA We're in the same house now! It's so fun seeing this goober again... I missed the guy.

So yeah food poisoning.
Or something.
Not quite sure... All I know is that last Saturday, I started the day fine, then by the end of the day my stomach was turning inside-out. That night I got like no sleep and made frequent trips to the bathroom. but I'm recovering so I should be 100% again within the next 2 days or so. :)

So awesome stuff! This last sunday we had a good number of investigators attend church and it was awesome! Very very excited to see their progression. The Lord has definitely prepared them because they're truly searching for the truth. If they keep up on commitments, they'll definitely find what they've been searching for.

Twas a good week. Sorry i like, never send pictures. I'll try to send some next week haha.
The Lord's kingdom is growing rapidly here in the Philippines and nothing will stop the growth of his kingdom around the world.
The work will only move forward! And I feel so blessed to be a part of this great and marvelous work, along with all my fellow missionaries around the world.
The Church is true.

-Elder Ahn