Monday, April 27, 2015

Tatay na Ako

Well transfer week is over and I have my new companion! His name is Elder Claudio from Cagayan De Oro and he's an excited new missionary! I can already tell that he's willing to work and be obedient which is such a blessing! Transfer week also brought a lot of surprises and super happy moments!!! On transfer day, we got to Cauayan and I was just talking with some people when I heard a voice call out my name! I recognized it and it was Elder Larona!!! (who I found out the day before was coming to TUG South! and was one of the first missionaries I met here in the mission and was my zone leader in Solano) Gosh I was soooooo excited to see him! And then I also saw a bunch of people I knew in Solano! Elder Larson, Saguire, Eudela, Cabaliza, Sisters Koncurat, Akau, Mariano... It was like a super joyous Solano family reunion! It honestly felt like an Alma and the Sons of Mosiah moment I was so happy!

And then also with Elder de Guzman going home I got a call from President that I would be replacing him as the district leader here. So things are getting busy over here!

The work is going well! Here are a few miracles from the week: This whole week I've been having a super strong feeling that we needed to go visit one of our less active members named Nanay Baggay, and we hadn't had time all week until last night! And when we went over there, we shared about prophets and how much God wanted her to go come back to church. She then shared a bunch of experiences from her life and the feelings specifically that she had been having this week that she needed to come back. And when I heard her say that, it was like an instant confirmation of why I had been feeling so strongly that we needed to go visit her! We shared how much we loved her and wanted her to come back. The spirit was sooo strong at that moment!

I also learned how important members are in helping new people feel comfortable at church! We had an investigator come to church yesterday with a lot of little kids. And they had been coming to church for weeks, but for some reason this time, she got really offended at something that one of the youth said or did, I dont know. But then she texted us expressing a lot of sorrow and anger at her experience... We're going over there tonight to kind of help her understand that its really sad but people arent perfect! We all make mistakes sometimes, but its so important to hold on to whats really important as we all try to become "true saints who arent perfect but continue to try to be" as we learned in General Conference.

Anyways. I know that this church is true! And that sometimes people arent perfect, but the worst thing to do when maybe people do offend you is leave the truths that we love and cherish! I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior! He and Heavenly Father want us to understand them in a world where there are sooooo many different views of Diety. The church was restored through Joseph Smith! I know it!

Love you all and have a great week!

Elder Navarro

Monday, April 20, 2015

Transfer Week... at napakainit!!!( too hoooot)

Well, just like last cycle, this transfer day is going to bring quite a few changes! First of all, almost half the people I know here in Tug are being transferred or going home! And then last Monday I got a call from the AP's that I'll be training this cycle! So I'll meet my "anak" on Wednesday! This will be a new experience but I'm excited! I know I'll be learning a TON these next two cycles!

But the work is going so awesome here!!! We're definitely starting to really see some miracles and people are really progressing in the gospel! In fact, yesterday one of our investigators who has been coming to church these past few weeks brought 4 friends with her to church! She has been so awesome! She loves the church! She is developing a really strong testimony in this work! Last week we taught the word of wisdom to them, and she drinks coffee quite a bit but after the lesson she committed right away to live it along with her siblings! Such awesome faith! But the fact that she brought 4 people to church with her yesterday shows me that the gospel feels natural to be shared! We didnt tell her to do anything but its so natural for us to feel a desire for others to taste of the blessings that we have had the chance to receive! Just like Lehi's dream of the tree of life in the Book of Mormon!

Another cool testimony building experience was yesterday. A couple days ago I was informed I would be teaching the Lesson in Elder's quorum about Joseph Smith. So naturally, I prepared a lot, even though I was a little nervous about teaching a full lesson like that in Tagalog. I'm pretty confident in the language, but still I was a little nervous. Then on Sunday, our Elder's Quorum President was late so we ended up combining with the High Priests Group. I admit I was a little bummed I had prepared that much to not even teach... but I had spoke too soon. Our WML leaned over to me and said I was going to teach in Gospel Principles about a completely different topic! I was supposed to teach a few weeks ago, but because of the storm it got cancelled. So this was actually the week I would be teaching! I prayed so much that I would be able to do it and know what to say! So when we started, I got up there and all of the sudden, I felt super super super calm! It was indescribable! Then before I even knew it, I was teaching! Somehow the it just came! The tagalog, the questions, the doctrine, the examples to use, when to read, when to ask someone to explain something, everything! And at the end of the lesson, I just felt the greatest feeling in the world! Not because I did those things, but that it was literally given to me. I have no doubt in my mind that it was the fulfillment of that scriptural promise that if we prepare and "treasure up in [our] minds continually the words of life, ... it shall be given [us] in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man."

This is the work of the Lord. I have no doubt. I love being a missionary and treasure every second as much as I can! The people here are amazing and I really couldnt ask for much more! And its okay that sometimes its hard.. makes it that much more worth it! :)

Love you all and keep the faith!

Elder Navarro

(p.s. I dont think I've sweat as much as I have today! haha it. is. hot. :) )

a part of the other elders area
one of our dinners with the Calabazaron family

Elder De Guzman's farewell get together.
our monkey friend

Monday, April 13, 2015

General Conference

This week has brought a lot of blessing for sure! The work has been full of miracles, surprises, and blessings! This last week we had the chance to extend several baptismal dates! And I think all of them were people that were almost literally brought to us! There's been a lot of focus on finding in our mission lately and there have been a lot of people "found" but its amazing seeing how the Lord has been preparing people in His time. One sister came to General Conference this last weekend! I was a little worried that she wouldnt be able to understand all of the messages that were being said (because it was english) but I trusted that the Spirit would testify to her that what was being said was true! Another miracle was the Inan family! We found them just sitting and started talking to them. Eventually were able to share a short message. Then another sister came in in a later lesson and expressed how she had been taught by missionaries a long time ago, and wanted to be taught again! She then started asking about church services and baptism and living day prophets. We testified of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, of Thomas S. Monson and of the love of God for all of us. She responded by expressing to us that she wanted to be baptized. And that she believes.

This last General Conference was really amazing! I just need to say I ABSOLUTELY LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!! Many of the messages spoke to me very personally! Some of my favorites (and from what I hear the favorites of many) was Elder Anderson's the music of the gospel. So true that sometimes we can get lost in the dancesteps! Another was Elder Causse about if the Gospel is still wonderful to us. Elder Holland about the role of the Atonement for all of us. And Elder Ringwood about being truly good and without guile.

I honestly dont know what to say right now. But I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. The Book of Mormon is true! God listens to our prayers and knows each one of us individually! I know that for sure because a lot of my prayers were answered in listening to the messages of General Conference.

I have seen my weaknesses more than ever on my mission and especially in these last few weeks. Never has Ether 12:27 meant so much to me. I am so thankful for the enabling power of the Atonement. So many times in myself and in others have I seen that power helping people get through struggles and challenges!

Thank you so much for your examples to me. I wish I could be like you for real!

Elder Navarro

Monday, April 6, 2015


So let me start off by saying that we had the funnest P-day activity of my mission so far! We went caving! There's a sweet place here that has awesome caves! We went exploring in the inside (super big and deep) with a guide of course! Literally felt like Lord of the Rings.

But anyways! The baptism we had this last week was the spiritual highlight of the week! Her name is Florimay, she's 20 years old with a child and her family was baptized last November and she joined them this last saturday! The baptismal service was super amazing! I was praying super hard that it would be a spiritual highlight for her and her family, and that prayer was answered! My favorite part was her testimony at the end! She talked about how when the missionaries first started coming, she wanted nothing to do with them. But after her family was converted and she immediately started seeing the change for the better in her family (both spiritually and temporally), she knew that there had to be something! She then described feeling like Enos in the Book of Mormon! Her "soul hungered" and she "knelt down before her Maker" She then described her feelings and experience of coming to know that the church was true! And then the trial of her friends questioning why she was doing what she was doing. And she answered that she knew it was true and had already felt the fruits of the gospel.... she was "hearing the music" as we learned in General Conference! (we dont get to watch it all till next week, but we got a glimpse of it yesterday) Needless to say it was one of the most spiritual moments of my mission so far.

After thinking about that experience I cant think of too much else from our week! haha. But update on the storm over here, we were prepared if something bad happened, but it weakened before it hit over here so we just got a lot of rain and winds. All is well in zion of the philippines! :)

I've been thinking a lot this week about "no regrets" and the concept of the time we have. The time I have on a mission, the time we have on this stage of our eternal progression. My time on the mission and our time in this earth is sooo incredibly short! And honestly goes by sooooo fast! One of my biggest fears is looking back and thinking "I wish I would have done this" or "I should have done that" But I am so grateful for Jesus Christ. We have been given a chance to change.. and opportunity to leave past mistakes behind us and start anew... So maybe we do have a few mistakes, as for me I have a ton! But the invitation is there to ALL, "come unto Christ and be PERFECTED in Him"... I know that this is the "time to prepare to meet God." I want to use the time I have in this life to do the very best I can!

Love you all!

Elder Navarro