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

PHILIPPINES MANILA MISSION
P.O. BOX 1997
Makati Central Post Office
0714 Makati, Metro Manila
Philippines
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!

Busy busy busy - September 10, 2017

This last week was really busy. Haha.
We went to Roxas like twice, then Elder McCauley ripped a foot-long whole in his pants, and yeah many other crazy things happened. Haha! I'll just share a couple of cool experiences from the week.

Here is something cool.
Before we left the apartment, there was a brown-out (black-out), so we prayed that the electricity would turn back on so that we'd be able to email... and literally 20-30 seconds after we prayed, the power came back on! Woot! Prayer works folks. We then gathered together and gave a prayer of thanks that the power was back on.

Something else:
It's such a blessing watching the Lord lead us around to people that he's prepared for us to teach and invite to receive the Gospel. Last week, we went to teach an investigator named Safiah. She has two houses and I had only been to one of those houses, and it just so happened that she wanted us to visit at the house that I'd never been to. Elder Fawson thought he taught her once on exchanges in the past, so we went to this little house that he remembered. It turned out that it was not the house of the investigator we were looking for, but we stumbled upon the house of some former investigators that kindly invited us in to share a message with them! They were like "Oh! Come in Elders, come in!" and Elder McCauley was like "Elder Ahn, do you know them?" and I was like "Nope... what do we do?" and he was like "Just roll with it and pretend like you know what's going on." Haha what a beautiful coincidence. They were cool! We shared the Restoration and they seemed receptive. One of them asked what time our church starts, so we're hoping they'll continue to progress!

Looking forward to a great new week. We have MLC on wednesday. I'm teaching. Woot. We'll see what happens.

Have an amazing week!
-Elder Ahn

-The boys.


The Three Amigos. Or Elders - September 4, 2017

Here's a quick one! Sorry, no audio this week fam. I need to buy a new cord to connect it to the computer.
Anyway, this last week was good. We had a little more time to just do some finding, so we were really happy about teaching a few new investigators. Some of them didn't seem super interested. One guy pulled the classic "I only believe in the Bible" card. The others just didn't seem really into it. But we did teach one guy named Jommar who kept perfect eye contact with us the entire time we taught him the message of the Restoration. He was a really kind and humble guy, so we hope for the chance to teach him again.

Do you remember Amalia and Kier Calixtro? Well. If you don't... once upon a time, they are siblings (14 and 16) and they are SUPER MAGALING! And one time, President Fermanis went to Palawan and worked with Elder Ullery and Elder Erwin. When they taught Amalia and Kier, President invited them to read the Book of Mormon and he promised them blessings. One of these blessings was that they'd do better in school. Well. The promised blessing is being fulfilled. Amalia has taken some exams recently, and on 2 of the 3 that she's taken, she scored the top score of her class. How? She's reading the Book of Mormon everyday. It's so amazing to see the simple, yet amazing miracles and blessings from reading the Book of Mormon, and it's even more amazing to see it in the lives of an investigator.


So. Crazy stuff has been happening though. Elder Ullery left for Manila earlier this morning. I'm going to miss him... He was an awesome companion, leader, and missionary. We did a Tongan "haka" at the airport before he left, so that was cool. I think we scared all the other people at the airport. Woops.
So transfer information was just sent to us. We're a Zone Leader Tri-some. Elder McCauley the Texan, Elder Fawson the 6'8" Red Haired Man, and Me. Also, Roxas Zone just merged with our Zone. So our Zone just got massively extended. Holy cow it's going to be crazy. But I'M SO PUMPED.
Update ya'll more next week.
Have a great week!

-Elder Ahn

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Gratitude - August 20, 2017

Awesome week!
Two of our investigators, Michelle and Jommer, were baptized and confirmed members of the church. I could feel that Satan was working double time to plant doubt and make sure we couldn't teach them last week... but no unhallowed hand can stop the work of the Lord.
The day of the baptism (Saturday) was quite the insane day. We got to the church around 1:30 to prepare for the baptism, fill up the font, etc. But when we got there, the doors were all locked and nobody was there. That morning we had been trying to coordinate with the bishopric about getting a key, but when we called and texted them, they were all either at work or busy with something. The ward mission leader also was not picking up his phone nor responding to our texts... so we were in a rough situation. The baptism was planned and announced last week in sacrament to be at 4:00, and we had no way into the church to set up. Luckily the Senior couple, the Porteous's, were there and they helped us get in contact with Bishop Edwards of the Puerto 1st Ward so that we could move the baptism to the Malvar chapel instead of the Santa Monica chapel. It was a stressful day.
Even so, the baptism was wonderful. The spirit was there and the testimonies of the two candidates were some of the strongest testimonies I have ever heard in my time being in the mission. It was such a special day. When Michelle was brought out of the water, she just broke into tears and started saying "Elder Thankyou so much" and I was like "Don't thank me, thank our Heavenly Father. Thank His son, Jesus Christ."
Michelle has always shown an amazing example of humility and gratitude, and it really touched me that day, especially as she bore her testimony with conviction and power.
I'm grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who presented a wonderful plan for all his children to return to Him. I'm grateful for His son, Jesus Christ, who laid down His life so that we too will live again.
I hope you all have a great week ahead of you. Don't forget to let Heavenly Father know how grateful you are for Him and all the blessings he's given you.

-Elder Ahn

PICTURES!
-Santa Monica District
-Cool light rainbow thing
-WE CAUGHT A JELLYFISH
-Our Zone Activity at the beach. Suuuper fun.





-We made district T-Shirts
-Backside





August 7, 2017

PICTURES:
-Nature! Palawan is beautiful.
-District Service Project
-Amalia and Kier (investigators)
-Pho (not real though....)






MORE PICTURES!
-Posterity Photo + Elder Niutupuivaha
-Office Posterity
-Office Posterity + Elder Webster the God Father
-Tower of Packages





Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Gettin' Booted Out - July 23, 2018



Yup I'm gettin' booted out of Pasay. Boo. I love Pasay. This area has been so fun... Haha... Transfers is this week and I got the call from President Fermanis last night. It went something like this....
"Hello po. Ito po si Elder Ahn."
"Hello, Elder Ahn? This is President Fermanis."
"Oh. Hi President. How are you?"
"Good good, how are you doing?"
"Doing good."
"That's great. I'm glad you speak English. Well Elder, I have a new assignment for you if you choose to accept."
"I don't suppose I can reject it so... Haha"
"Haha that's true. Elder Ahn, you're going to be a Zone Leader on Palawan in Puerto Princesa. You fly out on Wednesday."

"........ Uuuuuhhhhhh.........."
So that was quite the punch to the face yesterday. I guess the Lord has different plans right now... I'm going to be completely honest, I don't want to leave haha.. But I trust Heavenly Father. He sees the big picture. He sees potential. I know that all the investigators we have met and grown to love here in Bangkal will progress according to His time table.

I think this is all I have to say for now. I'm drawing a blank.
The next time I send an email, I'll be on Palawan again. "THE WILDERNESS MUST BE EXPLORED!"

Love you all! Have a great week!

-Elder Ahn
-The Mendoza family and more relatives! They're super crazy. We love them.
-Donada District + Elder Pehacek, Eddie, and Jared.
-Another picture. Elder Orpilla (to my right) is going home on Wednesday.
-Nanay Carmen and more ward members! Sis. Carmen fell and rolled her ankle on Saturday, so we blessed her and visited. She insists that I date her daughter in America haha.... sheeee's crazy. I love her.





Miracles and Blessings - July 18, 2017

Cool Experience:
Last Saturday, we were on our way to an appointment when we heard someone calling "Elders! Elders!". We looked around and saw no one, but then looked up to see a sister from the fourth floor of an apartment building calling out to us. She further explained that she is a member and we asked if we could go up and visit. When we arrived, we found out that this sister is actually from another province, but was visiting her less active sister and her family who lived in that apartment. We then found out that one of the daughters of this less active mother is a 14 year old youth who has gone to church multiple times in the province, but had not yet been taught by missionaries and had not yet been baptized... So miracle. Random Less active Part Member family: Found! The Lord put us in the right place at the right time. It can not be sheer coincidence that that sister would be looking out the window at the exact time we were passing by their apartment on a rare day that she was visiting her Less Active sister in Makati... I know that the Lord is preparing certain people for certain times and he works according to His time table. Maybe now is this family's time!

Another cool experience:
Last Sunday was the most investigators at Sacrament meeting I have ever experienced in my mission. Just from our area alone, we had 9 investigators attend church, coming from 5 different families.... If we counted all the little kids too, we would have had 15 investigators at church. Wow. It was a day of much rejoicing, but also a day of much stress trying to manage helping all the investigators around haha! Heavenly Father is very generous and very merciful and I'm so happy to watch Him accomplish His work.

Friends and family, the church is true. Keep pressing forward steadfastly and with firm faith. If you fall, trip, twist an ankle, or fall on your face.... wipe off the dust, stand up, and keep moving forward. God doesn't expect us to stop or cut our eternal journey short. He expects us to make it all the way, and He has promised to help us along the way. Just like His work here on earth, hindrances may occur, but nothing can stop His work.

I love you all! I hope you all feel and know that. Even more so, I hope you all feel and know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's love for you is immeasurable and imaginable.

Have a good week!

-Elder Ahn

Sorry, Another Quick One. July 9, 2017

Hey, I don't have a ton of time. So here's a quick one.
Next week I'll send more audio logs and hopefully a better written email.

Well, this last week was super great.
The Merciales siblings were not able to come to church again because their mother wouldn't let them leave the house.... but she still allows them to be taught by us. I don't know. We're figuring it out. We know her time will come and that her heart will be softened as the Holy Ghost keeps working with her.
Last Saturday, Sister Driz, our super amazing member who gives referrals like candy, introduced us to another one of her friends, and yesterday, her whole family except for her husband, came to church! Sister Im and her 6 kids. It was amazing. I'll tell you guys about it more in an audio log next week. It's a story to be voiced, not written. Haha!

Love you all! Keep doing your best!

-Elder Ahn

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!

Woops.
Sorry. That wasn't supposed to send.

Anyways...
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.

Well.
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

Just An Update - April 10, 2017

Well hey there.
It’s been a while.
Soooooo update!
I don’t know if I’ve told ya’ll about Albert. So I will now tell you about Albert. Albert is fantastic.
You know when people talk about those investigators who are super duper prepared to receive the Gospel and they just absorb and learn everything AND change everything? Albert is that guy.
So how did we meet him? Once upon a time, our Stake President gave referred him to the other Elders in our district... but then they found out that Albert lives in our area! So we ended up teaching him instead.
Honestly, most of the time it feels like Albert is teaching us. In lessons, we ask him a question… then he continues to give a long explanation on what “he think” and like 99% of what he “thinks” or understands the doctrine to be… is right. Never have I seen an investigator who understands the Gospel so well so quickly.
We hit a small rough spot with him though just a few weeks ago. We were teaching him about the Word of Wisdom and explained that coffee is one of the substances that we are commanded not to partake of. This came as a shock to him since… well… he drank coffee to stay up late to finish projects for work sometimes. We explained that we would have to move his Baptismal Date by just 2 weeks in order for him to be clean from coffee for a month. Well... he was a little disappointed about that. But he did not give up! The next time we taught him, we followed up on the coffee and he was like “Some of my friends were like… offering me coffee and stuff and tempting me, but I told them I couldn’t” and we were like “Yeah go Albert! Keep on punching Satan in the face!”
And then…. Just this last weekend, we watched General Conference. But he couldn’t go because of work, and he was panicking a little bit haha. He called us and was like “ELDERS. I promise President Arzaga that I’d go to church… and I also told you that I would, but now I can’t…. and I still want to be baptized next Saturday…. What do I do?!” So we just kind of reassured him that things would work out and that he will still be baptized on Saturday… Haha it was a stressful exchange in the moment, but I chuckle when I look back on it.
And now we’re at the present. We’re trying to schedule his interview tonight, and we’re shooting for his baptism to be this coming Saturday, April 15th.
So what is the moral of the story…
1.       God loves His children and will always provide a way for them to accept the Gospel and receive the blessings that He has in store for them. Why? Because He wants them to return to His presence.
2.       Blessings are reaped when you give your all and do your best.
Being in the office wrecks us sometimes because we don’t get optimal proselyting time. Even so, the Lord has really made up the difference. Elder Webster and I have tried with the best of our ability to get out to work when we can… and the Lord has blessed us because of it. He’s blessed us with the chance to teach Albert and witness his growth and progression. He continually blesses us by giving us little experiences to let us know that He’s there and watching out for us; and that applies to everyone.
So yup, I’ll send some pictures next time probably. Maybe. Haha no promises. I’m terrible with sending pictures. Sorry.
Well, this is all I feel like sharing right now. I wish I could share more about the fun adventures of the Mission Office like frantically buying 100 bottles of OFF lotion or transporting missionaries in a van for 7 hours or moving over 30 mattresses around the mission in the span of 3 days… but alas. There is a time and a season for all things. He he he he he.
Love you all. Mahal ko kayo lahat.

-Elder Ahn