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

A Prophet, Seer, and Revelator - Feb 28, 2017

So super cool.

First off, sorry I didn't email last week. I'll say it again. I'm terrible.
Woops.

But yeah. So.
ELDER BEDNAR VISITED OUR MISSION. AH. It was so cool! He's such a wise, witty, and bold man! I learned so much!

So I'll start from the beginning.
We were all gathered in the gym getting ready to take a picture with the whole mission and the Bednars... so while we waited for them to arrive, we started singing hymns. As we were entering the chorus of "We Thank Thee O God For A Prophet", the Bednars walked in and wowie. You know how sometimes people say, "...and the Spirit entered the room..." Well. Yeah that's pretty much what happened. After we took the picture, we moved to the Chapel and started the meeting off by singing our mission song, "A Marvelous Work", and once again, I can only describe the experience as Hymn #2 describes: "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning..."
I only teared up a little bit.
Anyway, throughout the meeting we discussed many things along the topics of being an agent, not being acted upon, learning by Faith, what Faith is, Missionary Work, the concept of time in respect with Eternity, etc. Lot's of REALLY GOOD stuff.
What stood out to me the most was how the Spirit was constantly confirming to me that Elder Bednar truly is an Apostle; a man who has been called of God to serve and guide His Church. Like literally, during the entire meeting I could just hear the Spirit telling me "Hey. You see that guy up there? He's a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator," and I was like "Yeeeeah he is." Out of all the things I learned at that meeting, the Spirit that I felt is definitely what I'll never forget.

So yeah. That happened. It was awesome.
What else happened these last two weeks...
Well. We spent a lot of time at home the last few days because Elder Webster got sick on Saturday. That poor boy. We were sitting in the office and he was all wrapped up in a strange blanket cocoon in the darkness by his desk and other missionaries coming in were like "Hey you okay back there?" and he managed to kind of groan out "I'm fine. Don't look at me." That was fun.

Well. I can't think of much else that really happened that's worth mentioning.

So here's a picture of a heart because I love you all so much. And because I never said Happy Valentines Day.

But seriously. Check this out. Heart Stoplight. SO COOL. I'm expecting clovers this next month.

Love you all! Mahal ko kayo lahat! Lagi kayo magingat sa lahat ng ginagawa niyo sa buhay!

-Elder Ahn

So That I Don't Break My Promise... - Feb 10, 2017

Remember when I promised that I would email every week?
Well. Here's a quickie so that I can live up to that promise..
Haha!
IT'S BEEN SUCH A CRAZY WEEK. LIKE HOLY COW. I might even throw in some pictures. ;D

I'll send pictures in my next email. I'll send another one on Monday. I just haven't had the time this last week to email so I'm sending this one now.
So why has it been so crazy you ask?
BECAUSE TRANSFERS. And when you're in the office, transfers is one of the most chaotic events you will ever experience. Just a whole lot of driving and managing and trying to boot all the Elders and Sisters out with their companions.

Yeah. I have a lot of stories, but I think I'll send them to you either in voice, or I'll write it in lots of detail when I have time. :) Like last week? Ha. Once upon a time, Elder Webster and I blew over 20,000 Pesos in one day and ran around 3 different malls in Metro Manila searching for OFF Lotion. That was a fun adventure. But like I said... I'll spare you the details for now and tell you another day. XD

Anyway, just want you to know that I'm still alive. All too often, I feel very inadequate and weak at my task because I feel like there is so much that needs to get done, but sometimes I just can't with the allotted time...
Then I remember that I'm not here to accomplish every task perfectly, but rather to just do my best and use what talents the Lord has blessed me with. It's so funny. I think about it all the time... Yeah, you serve a mission in order to help the work move forward and call people to repentance and baptize converts... but I think the main lesson that we're all supposed to learn is just how we can't do anything without God's help. So often I find myself acknowledging my complete dependence on Him, and He helps me through it. For example.... this last week. Transfers. So. Flippin'. Hectic. I can not even describe it. There was just so much to do. But somehow, I was able to make it through without too many things falling through the cracks, AND I EVEN GOT SICK TOO. Like. Haha.... It really shouldn't be possible, but the Lord really does provide.
I'm not good with words. Or just expressing myself effectively. Maybe it's because my English has deteriorated during my time here. But yeah, Heavenly Father really loves each and every one of us and just wants the best for us, whether it be through providing us with desired needs or through loving chastening (I've had plenty of that ha).

Love you all! Not a day goes by where I don't think of you! Take care and serve others!

-Elder Ahn

MORE AND MORE CHANGES - Jan 27, 2017

THERE ARE SO MANY CHANGES.
So once upon a time, we watched the World Wide Missionary Broadcast for the year of 2017 yesterday... and the changes are crazy!
P-Days. We have SO MUCH MORE TIME TO DO STUFF. Super blessing.
Regular Missionary Schedule. We go out at 10:00 and pretty much just schedule in everything how we feel to be best... then 9:00 we get home, settle down, then restart. IT'S CRAZY.
ALSO. Key Indicators. Reporting. There are only.... 4. OH MY GOODNESS.
I don't know if you're all following along with this. But IT'S INSANE. P-Day started this morning at 8:00!! That's like a whole 3-4 extra hours to get stuff done! WOOT.
Mmk. I'm done. But yeah. super cool.

So yeah how are you family? Sorry i've been dead for the past month! I'm the worst. I've been really busy in the office. Just listen to my audio logs and you'll get a good idea of what's been happening. kinda.

Um let's see. So.... what's been happening....
I guess I'll talk about the area! The work is going super good right now. It's so amazing how the Lord blesses us so abundantly, even when we don't get the same proselyting hours as the regular missionaries. Everyday, we're supposed to get out by 4:00 PM to work... so that's like. 4 and 1/2 hours of work a day including dinner right? So that's like... not a lot of time. 
BUT THE LORD CONTINUES TO BLESS US.
We have this awesome investigator named Albert Palencia. He's a referral from the STAKE PRESIDENT. The other Elders in the district were teaching him before, then they realized that he's actually in our area and it'd be easier for us to teach him, so now we have him! AND HE'S AWESOME. Like literally every lesson, we don't even teach. We ask a question.... and he talks.... and pretty much teaches us. And we back up what he's saying and just kind of direct him the right way.... and it's super good. Like literally everything he says could not be more perfect. He's so going to get baptized and enjoy all these blessing that are just waiting for him. HAHA YES!

Another investigator: Rico Cabatbat. HE'S SO COOL. We haven't taught him too much... but he's so solid. He's honestly searching for the truth with real intent and he totally reads the assignments we give to him.. Man. He's just really solid. He wants to be taught first, and then possibly get baptized first as well before his family follows him so that his family can see his good example and see the change happening within him... then he says that we can teach his family. I'm so excited about him. We need to teach him more.

Random happenings:
Earlier we watched Ephraim's Rescue. It's super good. You should all watch it. It would make a good sunday movie.

I just ate a slice of butterscotch flavored bread. It was surprisingly good.

Hmmm..... yeah. days are very sporadic here. I'll let you know more in audio logs or somethin'.

I just want to apologize again for not emailing you all. Know that I love you with all my "puso" and I miss your faces, but not too much because being a missionary is pretty great. XD

BTW still waiting on the package. Maybe it was eaten by rats. Who knows.

Anyway, hey love you! Take care!

-Elder Ahn

It'll All Be Worth It. - 12/18/16

So you know how we have our Mission Christmas Choir? And how it's completely wrecking us? Yeah. But it's been so fun and we've had so many amazing opportunities!
Yes, like no one has been able to get any adequate proselyting time in.. But it's all been worth it!

The last few days have been crazy with coordinating for exchanges and getting the missionaries around to the Choir Performances. It's honestly all been a big blur. AND WE AIN'T E'EN DONE YET. We still have like two more performances. But so far, we've sung at 2 different City Halls, 2 different Stake Firesides, and we performed at a really really big mall. Wowie. But yeah, we're killin' it. Of course we don't sound anything NEAR professional, but we're able to spread the Spirit of Christmas through music and we've been able to talk to a lot of awesome people and families who are interested to hear the message that we have to share.

So random story.
Yesterday I had to drive to a chapel like 20 minutes away from the office. On Google maps it was like "travel time: 23 min." and that's a complete lie because THIS IS THE PHILIPPINES. Always add at least 30min.-1hr. to travel because traffic here is something else.
Anyway, I was transporting a group of us choir members to this chapel... but we kinda got a little lost.. And wound up driving around all these tiny tiny alleyways in a huge mission van... then we got stuck at the top of this little hill because it was a dead end.... and I had to do like a 30 point turn to get out of there.... it was bad. Then on the way home, we got lost again and finally got to the office around like 10:00 PM. Yeah. It's still a learning process navigating here.

Hummmm........ Yeah that's it.
OH. Two weeks ago, one of our investigators came to church and we were like "WHAT??!" because we've literally had like NO time to proselyte so it was such a huge blessing that he came. We really need to get back there.

Well I can't think of much else. Like I said, the last two weeks have been a huge blur.
Well, to end this one I'd just like to share a little bit from President Ostler's email to us missionaries this week:

The Law of the Harvest is simple and there are several ways to express it:

"You harvest what you plant."

"You reap what you sow."

"You get what you give."

So there you have it folks. If we want something, we work to get it. If you want your life to be awesome and happy, you work it get it. You won't get immediate results, but the blessings will ALWAYS come, "100% of the time" if we're willing to pay the price.
Our God is a generous and loving God.

Sige, ingat kayo lahat. Pasensiya nalang na hindi ako nag-email. I'll try my best not to miss another week of emailing. XD

-Elder Ahn

They Just Keep Comin' - 11/27/16

Every single week we have new faces popping up at church... and it's GREAT! We're just like "HEY WELCOME WELCOME WHEN CAN WE TEACH YOU?" Usually they're from other areas, but right now, for example, a member's 14 year old sister in law came to church two weeks ago, and we started teaching her, and then she came yesterday as well AND she's accepted the invitation to be baptized.... it's just amazing. I keep learning more and more that the Lord truly does bless us for our diligence and obedience. Elder Petersen and I have been trying so hard to find the people who are ready and just serve the best that we can, and even now, we're seeing the fruits from our labors, and we will continue to see the fruits far after our time in this area has passed.

BUT HEY GOOD NEWS! Look at those pictures.
Dorian Serra was baptized last Saturday! Man it was hectic at first though. We got there and the font was nasty and filled with "who knows how old" water so we had to drain that out WITH BUCKETS and then clean and refill the font. So we finally started like, 45 minutes after we were supposed to, but nonetheless, it was a great spiritual experience. The spirit was abundant, and Dorian is so awesome. He's super excited to receive the Aaronic Priesthood soon and start magnifying his calling as a "soon to be" deacon. Like... for the closing prayer at the baptismal service, he was like "Can I say the prayer?" and we were like "..Uh. Psh YEAH you can."  He's so awesome.

Well. I don't have a ton of time. We're trying to get home to make an awesome Thanksgiving meal which I will send pictures of next week... But I would just like to invite all of you to take some time this week and ask yourself "What does God think of me?" Then take the time to kneel and ask Heavenly Father what he thinks of you. This last week, I'm not going to lie, I was a little bit stressed and a wee bit discouraged, and I didn't feel like God was proud of the work we've been doing, because it felt like we were trying and trying but nothing much was changing. But a fellow Elder, Elder Parker, told me that we are making more of a difference than we think we are. That we are accomplish much more than we realize. Then Elder Petersen made the insightful comment that "What matters is what God thinks of us." and what better way to find out than to ask Him directly. This week I really felt God's love for me, and I have been blessed with a reassurance that I, just like all other people, have a purpose. There is a reason why I'm assigned in this area, in Manila, in the Philippines. There is a reason why all of you are doing... whaaatever you're doing. Haha. It's all a part of God's large and eternal plan of happiness to eventually have us realize and achieve our divine potential.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Mahal ko kayo! Ingat kayo lahat!

-Elder Ahn



'Murica. - 11/20/16



It's hard to focus on what I'm emailing when I have K-pop blasting in the background. Man.
So let's see.
So the baptism of Dorian is still scheduled for this upcoming Saturday and we are excited! So is he. But wow it's been difficult coordinating things with his mother... she's the only member in the family right now and she just. I... I don't know. She tries to speak English? And then she also tries to speak Tagalog? But either way she just doesn't make sense? Like she's one of those people who likes to complicate saying something that could be said/done very simply. Example: I got the apple. Her: I tactfully acquired the red fruit hanging from the big green plant etc etc. You get it. She's a handful. But we're just happy to finally get her child baptized. wowie.

Also transfers happened.... AND I didn't transfer. Neither did Elder Petersen. We're still rockin' it over here in Manila. Ha this area really is such a handful, but I feel like it really is just this big field and we're just planting and nurturing and organizing bit by bit until it will grow into this big awesome field full of beautiful souls to bring back into the merciful arms of our Savior!

Rolando Passe didn't come to church again.... so yesterday (Sunday) we went to teach him and he expressed how he really wants to come to church, but his boss always calls him at the most inconvenient of times to work. NO. SILLY BOSS. Stahp. We're just really praying and hoping that he'll be able to come to church again. He's reading and searching for the truth and really likes what he is finding from the "Mormons" so that's a good sign.

Random thing: WE ARE ALL AMERICAN IN OUR HOUSE (hence the title). IT'S SO WEIRD. I get home and we're all just these 4 goobers from Utah talking about all this stuff that we all understand. It's funny. My language ability is sure to drop a few notches during this transfer.

Well I can't thing of much else at the moment. I'll send more next week hopefully.
Oh yeah. I tripped stepping off the curb the other day and I rolled my ankle. Nothing bad. Just hurts a bit. I just really felt dumb the rest of the day because I was just limping around like "Hey I wanna teach you." yeah.

Enjoy some pictures. Love you all!

-Elder Ahn

-A MEMBER COOKED DEUKBOKI AND GAVE ME KIMCHI. SO HAPPY.
-BURGER PLACE IN OUR AREA WITH CRAZY NACHOS.
-CUTEST PUPPY EVER.