Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Well Hello! I hope everyone has enjoyed a great father's day! I for one am very thankful for my Tatay!
What an awesome week! We had 2 baptisms this week! Brother Angel Curioso and Sister Merly Uanang! Gosh I cant even describe how great that feeling is! There is literally a glow in the faces of those who enter into the waters of baptism! Its like such an innocent glow of those who want to follow Jesus Christ in their lives! So they were both just super excited it was awesome! Angel (whose progression in the gospel went super fast!) was especially excited! He has had a lot of support from one of his friends who is also a member and is the one who first suggested to him that he should read the Book of Mormon, invited his mother to come all the way to watch it. Angel is boarding in Tuguegarao, but they're from Quirino province which is 4 hours away! And she came! That was awesome to see both of them together and how much he loves her and also wants her to join. Merly's husband is less active in the church, but in one of our last lessons with her, she expressed to us how much she wants to live the gospel as a family and doesnt quite understand why her husband is less-active. We talked about how that's what we would really focus on with him and helping them work towards a goal of the temple. So brother came to the baptismal service and in my minds eye, I saw them all together at the door of the temple, all dressed in white and sealed as an eternal family with their daughter as well! It was one of the sweetest feelings I've had! Thinking of them receiving the greatest blessing this world has to offer! An eternal family!
But anyway, seeing these people makes me think of one of my favorite stories/phrases in the Book of Mormon when Alma teaches and baptizes at the waters of Mormon "Behold, here are the waters of Mormon, [...] and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of called, and be called his people [...] what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his spirit more abundantly upon you." "And when the people heard this, they clapped their hands for joy and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts." I saw that in these people in our day. God is good!
Anyways, I also saw this week people who have such amazing faith in Christ and in God even though their situation is rough. The Balatico family is one. Their Tatay (father) got into a pretty bad accident that fractured his wrist pretty good. Because they're really poor, they cant afford the necessary operation to fix his hand. When we went and visited them this last week, Tatay's hand was swollen really good! He was just saying "Eh it doesnt hurt that bad! It'll heal!" He's waving it around moving it in all different ways. But we shared a message about The trials of the early saints and especially Joseph's experience in Liberty Jail in D&C. Nanay started crying and saying that it is hard, but immediately redirected her thoughts to her faith in God. I really do love these people and am soooooo thankful that I have been assigned here in Ward 4!
Specifically this week, I've learned a lot about receiving revelation.. Last week I was really wondering where the revelation was! Because I knew I was supposed to be receiving revelation for my district, but I felt like I was just stuck with nothin. I then remembered what Pres. and Sister Rahlf had said about the purpose of the planners and of course, "line upon line, precept upon precept." I started really paying attention throughout the next few days, having my planner ready to write down any thoughts, and what do ya know?? I started recognizing revelation I had always been receiving, but never wrote down in the planner. It came everywhere! In studies, in lessons, and even in the shower! And at the end of two or three days I was looking at the notes section of my planner full of revelation specifically for my district and how to help them! I know Heavenly Father will guide us to what needs to be said or done to better help His children! It was an amazing experience and lesson learned!
I truly am thankful for this opportunity to be a missionary! I love every seconds and it just gets better and better and faster and faster! I also read something President Ezra Taft Benson said about the Book of Mormon... He say's on his mission he "devoured to Book of Mormon" He also spoke about "Flooding the world and our lives with the Book of Mormon." I add my testimony that its true! It is inspired of God and was written and revealed in our day for us. And as we read that sacred book every day, we will see sooooo many blessings coming our way! I know because that has happened to me! Love you all!
Elder Navarro
p.s. yesterday as we were going home I thought "wow I havent seen a squirrel since I left Idaho.. There are no squirrels here haha!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Zone Conference

Well this was a week with a lot of learning!

First of all this last Thursday was our zone conference in Ilagan with President and Sister Rahlf! Gosh zone conference is always the best! We studied and learned a lot about the Nature of God the Father and the Nature of Jesus Christ. Its so amazing the knowledge we have about Our Father in Heaven and the role of Jesus Christ.I know that He is our Savior, the Creator, a Mediator, a Judge, and a million other titles and roles!

We have a baptism this Saturday! 2 of them! :) One of them is named Angel Curioso, a 23 year old guy who is studying at one of the universities here in Tuguegarao and he is the most prepared person I have ever met! His understanding of the things he reads is amazing! He has such a strong desire to follow Christ and do what is right! And most of it he's doing on his own! Its so inspiring to be a witness of the power of the Book of Mormon and the spirit in the life of a person like this! Gosh its soo cool!!!!!!!!!!

Another story I want to share is about a 16 year old girl Aiza. She lives with her Grandmother and is the sweetest girl you'll ever meet in your life! She's read the whole Book of Mormon and has wanted to be baptized since she was 12 or so but cant because her parents wont let her. So right now we're continuing what the sisters were helping her do before they were pulled out.. which is work on personal progress... Yay. Haha jokelang its actually pretty fun. We taught individual worth last time and probably said "God loves you" at least a billion times haha.

Yesterday we had a special Philippines broadcast to all the philippines from Salt Lake City with Elder Anderson of the Twelve, Elder Nielson, Elder Christensen of the Seventy and Rosemary M Wixon, General Primary President. It was so awesome to hear of their experiences in the philippines and the inspired messages they shared about the work that needs to be done in the Philippines.
Another thing we learned in zone conference is that President and Sister Rahlf will have to go back to the states for Sister Rahlf's surgery... She has a problem with her larynx and will have to get surgery in the states. As a mission we'll be fasting for her... Keep her in your prayers. :)

Well I hope you've all had a great week! The time flies by so fast! But I know the Book of Mormon is true... I cant tell you how many times I've had questions or concerns that were answered in the Book of Mormon... exactly where I left. But it is inspired of God and was given specifically for each and every one of us! I know Jesus Christ leads this work! LOVE YOU

The God of Israel Leads This Mission!
Elder Navarro

pics. Got to reunite with a ton of my friends in the mission!

Reunited with MTC companion, Elder Hardy

Monday, June 8, 2015

Still White

Wow! This week has been so crazy awesome! The work in our area is simply amazing! I have never been so excited about the work my whole mission! There are so many investigators who are just prepared!!! And then people just literally coming up to us (friends of members and investigators) that just tell us they want to become a member of the Church! We had several investigators come to church yesterday and 4 of them have baptismal dates and are really excited and devoted! I am just amazed! The blessings of the Lord in this area are very, very easy to see! I just pray that we wont get in the way of the work of the Lord. I've been telling Elder Claudio these past couple weeks that the field is sooooo white! We just have to keep praying for guidance to help us plan and prepare these people who have already been prepared by the Lord! We have a ton of help as well from our Ward Mission Leader and Bishop! So these next few weeks several people could be coming into the fold of Tuguegarao 4th Ward :)

One of them is Angel Curioso and he's just a stud! Gosh everytime we give him something to read, he reads it and takes notes and thoughts on it! Then when we visit him he already knows most of it! haha. But we hadnt been able to get him a Book of Mormon just because we ran out, so he had been borrowing mine. And when we finally got another one, we gave it to him and he was just super super super excited! Like a little kid getting a big ol toy on Christmas! That excited! haha! Another is Merle and Lyka. And they are studs as well! Lyke came to church this last week and afterwards we showed her the Restoration video! She was so into it and eventually, we invited her to be baptized and she didnt hesitate to say yes. Another awesome thing is that her friend, a member, is her biggest supporter and is such a huge help to her to answer her questions and just be there.

Anyways Im just excited! We got to do a lot of CSP activities this last week! and most of it was pulling and chopping weeds. I got a nice surprise when I reached down to pull some weeds and came up with 2 hands full of dog poop! Everyone else got a good laugh out of that one. And then after they fed us and all the kids were watching NBA TV haha! that was a big test of my will power to resist temptation, but proud to say I resisted! Just had to focus a lot on conversing with the kids and eating the food haha!

But I really do love this work... Some of the best feelings in the world are when you know that the spirit has been working with these people we are interacting with. The purpose is to connect them to heaven. I also know that the adversary is very opposed to this work. Every time we watch the restoration video with investigators, its silent the whole time, until Joseph enters the grove to pray. Then things start getting a little wild sometimes. But I know that the work is true! The spirit testifies and works through those who are willing to listen and act. Keep being awesome examples! I'm so thankful in my life for the so many examples I was able to look up to!

Love you!

Elder Navarro

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Field is WHITE!

WOW! I just want to say first how EXCITED I AM THAT MY BROTHER GOT HIS MISSION CALL! Gosh That gets me soooooo happy!

But I'll start with one of our new investigators, Angel Curioso. So he was a referral that came from a different zone in TUG North because he went to church over there, and when we got the text it said, "go to this person IMMEDIATELY!" And the next 2 days we were getting texts and calls from him and from his member friends telling us to go visit him. But just because we literally didnt have time, we didnt get to him until a few days later. Our first visit was only 15 minutes because we had a meeting to get to but we left him with a reading assignment about the restoration and left. The next day he came to our Stake Conference then afterwards later that day we went back to his house. As always he was really excited to see us. Right as we began we closed the prayer and asked if he'd read the assignment and he said he finished it. That was the first surprising thing because that doesnt happen to often. Then he goes on to explain about the apostasy and Joseph Smith with a pretty good knowledge about it. "Okay sweet" I thought "He's got a good idea already" And then as we start talking about prophets and we asked a question I dont remember what, but then he explains in DETAIL the apostasy (what, why, the reason there are so many churches) Hahaha we were shocked!!! I just found myself laughing a little bit! All we had to do was testify to him and then invite him to be baptized! But it was one of the biggest assurances to me that the Lord is preparing His people!

And then the sisters in our ward are being pulled out so our area is getting a lot bigger! And that just means our planning skills are going to get a lot better! But something I've found this last few weeks is that one of the biggest motivations I have to work hard and be obedient is because I want to help these people so bad and the only way I can do that is by working hard, being obedient, and obtaining the spirit! And I have so many weaknesses sometimes its frustrating but I'm so thankful that we're not doing this work alone and we truly have divine help.

We also had a lot of opportunities to do community service this week so thats always a lot of fun! But time is short! I couldnt stop watching my brother open his mission call! I AM SOOOOOO EXCITED FOR HIM!!! When we both see each other he'll be going of in spanish and I wont be able to understand him! haha But I know this work is true! I love it so much and am blessed every day! So humbling to know that. And another thing. I have a testimony of the blessings of the law of tithing and fasting! That is something that was focused on in our Stake Conference. I felt the spirit sooooo strong as our Area Seventy (Elder Coliado) spoke about the importance of this law. The Lord doesnt need our money... but he needs us to show faith in him and show him that we are willing to help others and that He is a lot more important than our money... This is something ive been focusing on in my personal studies and my testimony of it is sure! It is from God!And God wants to "open the windows of heaven" to us! Love you! and keep the faith!


Elder Navarro