Friday, September 23, 2016


Mom and Dad together with grandparents met and picked up Elder Navarro on Sept. 9th 2016 at the Cauayan airport. Elders Antenorcruz and Saez was also present.

Landed in Boise, Idaho Sept. 23. Welcome Home Elder Brandon Navarro. Thou good and faithful servant of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for serving and will continue to serve the people of the Philippines. Enjoy these images of his homecoming. "Finding Joy in the Journey" is just beginning.

Monday, September 5, 2016

This is It!

Dear Family and Friends,

This is my last email as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

This week was full of surprises. We've seen a lot of miracles as well as many challenges to overcome. Evidence that no matter what, the work will continue "until the great Jehovah shall say the work is done." Brother Jack has really been doing well. He's continually reading the Book of Mormon and his comprehension of the book is great! He has a lot of questions about doctrine, but I feel he is overall satisfied with the answers we're giving him. He's developing a desire to be baptized, but has many hurdled to overcome before that can happen. At first it was pretty discouraging for him, but I know with the Spirit, he'll feel that no matter what the cost, it'll be worth it. 

Last night, we had one of the saddest/most powerful moments of my mission. So Brother Greg, with his recent struggles, showed some bigtime faith with one of his decisions. We had encouraged him to ponder and pray about whether or not he should stay in Ilagan, which is where most of his temptations were coming from. A few days later, he left his job in Ilagan. Big step of faith to follow the commandments. Then last night we saw him heading home on the road and he signaled us to 
talk to us. Him and his son looked really sad as we spoke with them. And then they said that his wife, Cristina, had just left to work abroad... At first we didn't believe him, but he kept on saying that they had just dropped her off. We found that out that she would be gone for 2 years. We had a very emotional lesson with Brother Greg... Its so hard to have families separated like that... Makes me think of how important our families are. Not to necessarily look down too much on working abroad, but its so hard on a family. Heavenly Father wants our families to be together!

We started off the lesson by singing, "How Firm a Foundation" and the Spirit hit us like a brick wall! We made not to sing the 7th verse:
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!
I know that the Lord will not forsake Brother Greg, just like He won't forsake each and every one of us. We must also NEVER FORSAKE HIM!

This mission has been the best two years of my entire life so far. All I feel is just overwhelming gratitude to Heavenly Father for every single day that I've been able to serve Him in this capacity. I can honestly say that I LOVE the people I serve. My heart just jumps for joy whenever I reflect on what has happened over these last two years. Even though it was very hard at some points, I know that He has been giving me a crash course on the rest of my life here on earth and the rest of my eternal life after this mortal probation is over. I've said it probably a million times in these emails, but I know this is the work of the Lord and He needs all to do their part and "labor in His vineyard." There is much more work to be done. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and evidence that Joseph Smith is a prophet of the Lord and called to His sacred work in the Last Days. We have a living prophet in Thomas S. Monson and it has been made known to me over and over by the power of the Holy Ghost that this is true. I invite all to seek this witness from the Holy Ghost just as I have over my life and over the last two years. I promise you if you will do this "with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things." (Moroni 10:4-5). It has been made manifest to me.

I love you and I love this work! I wouldn't trade anything for the experiences I've had here in the great Philippines Cauayan Mission!

Mahal ko kayo!

Elder Navarro

Monday, August 22, 2016

We all fall down sometimes

This week has been great. There was a big theme that came out of the week: Heavenly Father's expectations are very high for His children and there is no doubt that in this life, we will fall down. One of our recent converts, brother Greg, opened up to us this week that the temptations he had been facing at work have been just too much for him, so he fell back into drinking. He was crying in front of us saying how hard it is, and what makes it even harder is that his relationship with his wife is suffering because of the mistakes he's made. We had a powerful lesson with him about Peter and how even though he was one of the most powerful and strong apostles of Christ, even he fell. We told him over and over to not give up hope and to keep going. He's done so well and he's just going through some tough trials.

Brother Michael Ruiz's baptism was great!! Just like what happened at his wife's baptism a few weeks ago, it rained hard! I couldn't help but think of the cleansing effect of baptism. Just like that primary song "When I Am Baptized." He had asked that I baptize him so I had the privilege of being able to do that ordinance for him. He said afterwards that his life has totally changed since he started taking the lessons and keeping the commitments.

Other than that, we just had splits with some Elders from Tuguegarao. I had that career workshop, which was really all about preparing for a job, teaching us life skills, and also encouraging us to finish strong here in the last stretch of the mission. Elder Jones (Sister Jones' husband) taught it and it was really an awesome experience.

Well... The work continues on. I'm so thankful especially this week for the Holy Ghost. All this week, the Holy Ghost has led us to things we needed. Whether it was a scripture verse, a person to talk to, fellowshippers to come work with us.. anything like that. He's been there for us.

Brother Jack has also made a lot of progress! We taught him again about the plan of salvation and again he had a lot of concerns about the reality and validity of what we were teaching. He said, "That seems very out there to really believe it." But I think we really caught his attention when we talked about the judgement. I think one of the biggest reason he's listening to us still after all this time, is he's afraid of what would happen if he dies and finds out that the Church is true. We asked him, "Brother Jack, how would you feel if you stood before Jesus Christ, knowing that you didn't follow Him, even though you knew you should?" That really made him think for a while. He said he'd be very embarrassed. A little later in the lesson he asked, "What would happen if I am baptized, but I can't live up to the expectations of the church?" We then testified of the Savior's grace. That Heavenly Father knew we wouldn't be perfect and we would make mistakes. So He sent His Son to die for us. It was a powerful lesson. He said at the end, "I won't commit to baptism yet, but you've really got my attention." And by the way... He's stopped drinking coffee as well! :)

It has been a great week! Love you and have a good week as well! :)

Elder Navarro

Monday, August 15, 2016

August 15

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was great. We had interviews with President Hiatt and a baptism last Saturday!

Brother Michael Ruiz has come along so far! We played basketball with him and a lot of other recent converts and they seem to have a really strong bond already! His interview is tomorrow and the baptism is on Saturday. I'm super super super excited for his baptism! Their family is definitely a family that will help build the kingdom in the Philippines!

We're teaching an American investigator named Jack, who is surprising progressing! He's probably 60 or so and has some health problems, but that has actually humbled him down a lot recently. He's an atheist so he doesnt believe in God. Its been a completely new experience teaching someone who has no Christian background and doubts that God even exists, but we've gone to preach my gospel for help and are really focusing on the Book of Mormon reading. Also kind of fun to teach in English.

Its actually strengthened my testimony a lot about even just the simple things about God. Brother Jack asks for evidence and says its hard to believe without it. As we testify of the Book of Mormon, about God, about His creations as evidence, about the Spirit of Christ that he feels, it sometimes feels like I prove it to myself over and over that God does exist and we are His literal spirit children. I know He has a plan for us and this life is ALL PART OF THE PLAN. We're here to "prepare to meet God" and to "prove [us] herewith, to see if [we] will do all things whatsoever the Lord [our] God shall command [us]"

I know this is true.

Have a Great Week.

Elder Navarro

Monday, August 8, 2016

Fun Week

I have no time, but here's an overview of my week: Transfer preparation, transfer day, MLC, exchanges, finding the lost tablets of the ten commandments ;) 

Busy week! But I love the work and love being a missionary! Heavenly Father's hand has definitely been seen this week.

Have a great week!

Elder Navarro

found the 10 Commandments tablets

Monday, August 1, 2016

True Conversion

One of the greatest feelings I've ever experienced in my life have almost always involved others.

The spiritual highlight of the week was definitely Sister Jezalyn Ruiz's baptism. We had it on Sunday instead of Saturday because almost the whole Branch leadership was in Manila to go to the temple. She was so excited and happy to be baptized! Her testimony was super solid as well and what made it better was that her husband and son were there as well. Her husband, Brother Michael is preparing to be baptized this month, so we are excited for that!

She's read the Book of Mormon all the way through already and is starting to read it a second time. in her testimony she that at first, it was hard to believe the Elders when they shared their message, but because of Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost, she came to know that it was true. I have a really, really good feeling about this family and its a privilege to have been a part of the teaching process with them. I've literally seen first hand how God has helped them get to where they are. Even Brother Michael has already made big changes in his life. I know God has been a part of this. There's no other explanation.

Other than that, we have transfer week this week. We've been working really hard this last week and have been really really busy preparing for this upcoming transfer and its brought a lot of stress... but I'm just grateful that Heavenly Father is teaching me on the mission how to deal with this... I'm just afraid it'll be a completely different level of stress after the mission, but I'm not thinking about that. I just trust that Heavenly Father is preparing us for things in the future. I've learned that's one of the reasons we serve Him.

Have a great week!

Monday, July 25, 2016

"A Marvelous Work"

Hello Family and Friends,

This week has been pretty crazy! Had a lot of meetings and were all over the place this last week.

There are a lot of hindrances for those who are very close to making huge steps in their lives. The Ruiz family has been doing super great especially these past 3 weeks or so. They had a plan and were preparing for baptism this coming July 30th, but because of temptation, Brother Ruiz broke the Word of Wisdom or the Lord's law of health.... But the good news is, he's made such huge progress from being a hardcore smoker to being almost completely clean! Its been a big blessing for their family. Because of that, Sister Jessa will be baptized first this upcoming week and Brother will have to follow. Sister Jessa has been ready for over a month and we feel that she should be baptized and receive full fellowship in the church. The real goal is the temple, so they will be able to go there together for sure.

I've been studying a lot about early Church History these past few days and have really just felt refreshed. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God and this is the work Isaiah saw that is a "marvelous work and a wonder" The Restoration of the Gospel happened and this is the Church of Jesus Christ. Have a great week! 

Elder Navarro

1) The "New Missionaries and Trainers Meeting" Just after 4 weeks in the field. 
2) Got to go back to my 3rd area and see some members I knew there.