Monday, July 27, 2015

Being A Man

Sorry this one is not going to be very long....
But Wow! I love being a missionary! This last week we had an Elder's Conference in Cauayan with President and Sister Rahlf! They talked to all the Elders about what being a real man is. Its not growing huge beards, chopping down trees... (even though we did do that last week in our service project!), or wrestling bears to the ground, but rather it's how you treat women. Its how you magnify your calling as a priesthood holder. Its how you show the Lord your love for him. Its doing the right thing when no one is watching or when everyone around you isnt. That's what being a real man is. Serving God. We also spent a lot of time studying about Ammon and how he was a real man! It made me reflect a lot on the real men I've been able to be in contact with in my life! My dad is a real man. My leaders in youth growing up were real men. President Rahlf is a real man. I hope and pray I can become a real man and continue to improve and change every day!
I honestly have no more time... But next week I will give an update on the people we are teaching and how they are doing! :) which is good! :)
I've been studying about the Brother of Jared and in Ether chapter 2, the Lord says a phrase that I absolutely love "GO TO WORK"
I love this time and I love you! The God of Israel Leads This Mission!
Elder Navarro

Monday, July 20, 2015

Work Progression

Hey Family and Friends!
Sorry, we havent really had that much time on email these past couple weeks... But I didnt get transferred this week! The zone leaders played a little prank on us and texted us saying that I had been transferred... Ha but yeah I'm here in Tugue at least another 6 weeks! :) Thats actually really what I wanted because the people here are so awesome! And the area is progressing so fast its unbelievable! These people are undoubtedly prepared by the Lord and Dad's letter is so true! And I'm still here with Elder Claudio! But its extremely rare that the trainer stays with the trainee for 4 cycles, so honestly its like these next 6 weeks are my last here. But we are working hard here and that what kind of stinks... you work so hard in an area and see the people progressing and you grow to love the people and then you have to leave. But I guess the will of the Lord has other plans :)
But the Macarubbo family is doing really really really really well!!! We met them again a few times this last week and the progression keeps coming from them! They are a special family for sure! Prepared by the Lord! We watched the Restoration video with them this last Saturday and we felt the spirit for sure!! When we committed them to come to church, the daughter was like, "ayy! I have a review that day!" Then the Tatay said, "well, I guess you dont want to see God!" Haha it was in a joking way of course and then the nanay mentioned about their business and the tatay came back and said "We can move it to another time... We need to put the Lord first!" WOW!!! I was sooooooooo excited for that! Gosh and then he is always telling us how he wants to change his life and come together with his family! Even the mother and family (who before were already okay with us coming) expressed their shock in how they've seen a big change in their father! This family is a miracle.

We were a little worried, however, that they wouldnt be able to come to church because last week their motor broke down and weren't able to come... But ohhhhh the joy it was yesterday seeing them enter into the House of the Lord!!!! :) Their baptismal date is the last week of August! :)
Another one of our investigators who is another miracle is Christopher! I think I told you about Christof, but long story short, he was a miracle referral from a member in the ward! We teach him every sunday after church, and he is also a very special person! He is really in tune with the spirit and is like a sponge just taking in as much as he can! He's already read all the introduction, he's memorized the names of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, and he's reading and marking and writing down questions as he reads and he's already in 1 Nephi 8! Sometimes he even stumps us with his deep questions of the Book of Mormon!!! Haha but its been a miracle teaching him and his desire is huge! He came to the baptism in Cataggaman and said he is excited to be baptized as well! He's a little nervous about sharing his testimony at the end though! :)
And then Lovelyn Villamore and Denmark Natividad! These are two part member youth who are also very mature in the gospel! They both have a strong desire to become members and are actively coming to church and meetings! Lovelyn is struggling just a little bit with the word of wisdom as she is used to drinking coffee... but we're helping her work through that! Its such a blessing to work with these people!
One of the biggest things I've noticed with all this excitement in our area is that every one of these investigators is consistently reading out of the Book of Mormon. I dont have much time left, but I now have a firm testimony that if any man or woman will read that divine Book with a firm determination to know if its true with real intent... they will know of its truthfulness! Nephi's purpose is true and is being fulfilled when he said, "For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved." And Moroni's powerful promise at the close of the book "And by the power of the Holy Ghost, you may know the truth of all things"

I love this time as a missionary... I know Christ lives! The book of Mormon is true!
Mahal ko kayo! Namamahala ang Diyos ng Israel!


Elder Navarro

Monday, July 13, 2015

Nothing short of miracles!

I really wish I could just tell every little detail of what happened this week, because there was a TON! But its impossible. 
So we've seen some real miracles in our area especially this last week! So the Macarubbo family is so amazing! We were able to visit them this last week and the Tatay had read the assignments we had given him in 2 Nephi twice!!! And before we were assigned in that area, the two daughters would have been baptized a long time ago if he had given permission... but right when we first got there the first thing the father said was "Anak (daughter) I now give you my permission to be baptized!.... And I give myself permission to be baptized as well!!" Haha he wants to be baptized as well! It was so humbling to see how the Lord can change people's hearts for the good! And Elder Claudio and I keep saying its nothing short of a miracle!
Another miracle has been Christopher! He recorded himself reading the introduction and the witnesses of the Book of Mormon so he could listen to it while he was working and when we met with him yesterday, it was one of the most spiritual lessons I had ever been in! The spirit testified to all that were there that our meeting was anything but a coincidence! He is really an awesome awesome guy! Then his aunt, who was there in the lesson right after church bore powerful testimony of her own conversion that I think really was just perfect for Christopher! We have a baptismal date with the Macarubbo's and Christopher and a few others I havent even mentioned in August and September just because a few can only meet with us once a week just because of scheduling, but I'm so excited for this!
So I gave my second talk on the mission yesterday! It was about missionary work! So its something that we're pretty familiar with so it was a lot of fun to prepare! I was thinking it was just going to be a short youth kind of talk because thats what happens a lot of time with the missionaries, but when I got there they told me I was the concluding speaker! Holy cow! And then when the meeting started, there was only 1 other assigned speaker that was there and she was a youth with a 5 minute talk prepared! Bishop looked at me and said, "Elder you're talk is going to have to be 30 minutes... or more..." 30 minutes! Haha talks in General Conference arent even that long! So when the sacrament was over and the youth talk was over there was 30 minutes... and that whole time I was praying for the spirit bigtime! So I got up there and wanted to loose a few of my nerves so the first thing I said was "Brothers and Sisters ALOHA!!" And then explained what they do in Hawaii.. And then after that I felt comforted that my prayer was answered. The spirit was really the one who gave that talk and I was so grateful for that guidance! I looked up at the clock at some point and realized that the time was up and it didnt even feel like it at all...
I know the Lord is guiding His missionaries. He loves each and every one of us and puts things in our path so that we will grow and learn to become more like Him. I know that "the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom He hath chosen to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance". I've seen this is so many of my leaders growing up and in my parents! I know this is His work!

Mahal ko kayo!
Elder Navarro



Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy 4th of July

Hello family and friends!
Its amazing how fast things are going! I dont even want to say how long I've been out! I dont even know! ha! But its been an awesome week again! So since the sister missionaries left our ward last transfer, we've been adjusting to a really big area and a ton of investigators and members that we need to visit and continue to help! And so Elder Claudio and I decided to go back and visit one of the names in our Area Book of an investigator who has been taught by the missionaries for a long time. Janna and Abby Macarubbo. We visited them and learned really quickly that they had testimonies of the Gospel! They even worked with the sister missionaries in helping teach sometime last year! The only problem is that their parents wouldnt let them be baptized. Elder Claudio and I prayed for them and how we could help them. And the obvious answer came to talk to the parents. But from what Janna and Abby had told us, they've never wanted to talk to the missionaries. But we decided to try anyways! Our next visit, the Tatay was obviously a little hesitant and even tried to hide, haha but I was determined! Haha I think I kind of ran into his backyard before he ran away, but we got him to talk to us for a few minutes. He's looks a little rough around the edges but he's a really really nice guy and he told us how he had been really shy around the missionaries because they were sisters, but that he was happy there were now elders coming! We set an appointment to come back and share with his whole family! The next week we came back and it was like he was a different person! He was constantly asking questions and wanted to know everything! It was crazy! We didnt get to share everything to him and his family but they even set the return appointment for us! Gosh I am soooo excited for that!
Another miracle was yesterday at church! Sister Balisi was shopping at one of the markets here and came across the son of her cousin who she hadnt seen in a long time! They had started talking and since the relief society in our ward had set a goal to "flood [Tuguegarao] with the Book of Mormon" as President Benson had said, they all have been focusing on giving away Book of Mormons! And so Sister Balisi brought it up with her... i mean him..(oh boy that tagalog curse may be coming upon me!) Then we were super bummed because we got a nice ol storm here, and they cancelled church.... then it died down a little to we just had sacrament meeting at 4pm. Usually our ward starts at 2 and that investigator showed up to the church at 2 even though it was pouring rain! Then when he found out it was 4, he just waited and came back at 4! Holy cow thats awesome! But anyway we taught him after church in the chapel and the spirit was incredibly strong! This guy, Christopher, is one of the humblest guys I've met! It was awesome teaching this guy because he honestly just wants to follow Christ! Sister Balisi shared a powerful testimony about how she didnt believe that it was a coincidence they had met up again at the market. Powerful, powerful moment!
I know this work is true! I'm a little afraid I might be getting transferred this cycle because Elder Claudio's training is almost over... But whatever happens I know the Lord is in it. But I love being a missionary. The experiences I'm having I wouldnt trade for the world! I feel close to my Father in Heaven especially when things are hard. I know He loves us... I know Jesus Christ is the Savior and the Son of God. The Book of Mormon is true and was given to change hearts and change people! It is the word of God. I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today! I know that Elder Perry and President Packer have been called from this earth to fulfill a better a greater calling on the other side of the veil. I sustain and support them!

Hope everything is going well for all of you! Love ya!
Elder Navarro