Monday, August 31, 2015

New Adventures and Time Flies!!

Hello Family and Friends!

Alright! Saying goodbye to all the families and friends I had grown so close to in Tuguegarao was HARD! Thats definitely one of the hardest things about being a missionary, leaving areas where you've worked so hard and gotten close to the people! But thats how it has to be sometimes. I dont think the Lord wants us to get so comfortable in life that we stop learning and progressing. I believe its the same with all parts of life. I remember something President Eyring said about the topic, that if life seems so easy and you don't really have any troubles... just wait.

But now, here I am in my new area! And that area is...(drum roll)... SANTIAGO NORTH ZONE! In the Baluarte Ward. And my new companion is my first foreigner companion! His name is Elder Paea from Tonga. He's an awesome hardworking missionary and super funny! I feel like I'm living in "The Other Side of Heaven" haha. But turns out "koli poki" means nothing. Its not a word. But I'm so excited for this next cycle. I was talking with Elder Paea and he says he has a really good feeling about this next cycle, so we'll see what the Lord has in store for us in the Baluarte Ward!

Another little twist in my new area is when President Rahlf called and said I would be serving as the zone leader as well. Its a humbling experience for sure and I've felt the Lord expand the capacity to love all the missionaries in a way that I hope Christ would.

But the Macarubbo family was doing really well when I left! When we said goodbye I told them that I wanted to come back in a year when they are about to go through the temple to be sealed as a family! :) And the work here in Baluarte is also exciting! Going around getting to know all the investigators the members and the people has been great! One of them is Sister Lynn who has been coming to church for months and has been watching her family around her accept the gospel! Hopefully one day they'll all come into the gospel! We also found another family from a referral of a member! The Natividad family and they are super interested in the gospel! The tatay was introduced to the church when he was a kid, but now that he has a family he said that the church has a different kind of meaning to him. We'll be praying for guidance to know how to help nurture this seed that brother has in his heart.

But thats about it for this week! Just want to add one thing that has stuck out to me in my personal study from Moroni 7. All things that invite and enticeth to do good and be good comes from God and is inspired of God. We all have a divine gift of the Light of Christ given to every person ever born on the earth. This helps us distinguish right from wrong in all things and helps us come to know that the gospel is true. I hope that we can all recognize and help people recognize this divine gift of the spirit!!!! I've seen it in soooo many people! ITS REAL! This Church is true and is the only living church on the face of the earth!

Take care errbody!

Elder Navarro


Monday, August 24, 2015


Well to start off with the transfer list came in and looks like I'll be spending my last day in Ward 4 tomorrow... I wish I could describe how thankful I am that I was assigned in Tuguegarao! I've learned so much and I cant believe I'm leaving! Its super sad! But if I were to leave on any week, it would be this week! Gosh yesterday was again super exciting! Just seeing our investigators and other members we love and especially ones that havent been to church in years come into the church building is a feeling that I wasnt expecting I would have before I came on the mission! Seeing the progression of the Macarubbo family, Brother Angel Curioso, Erlinda Durwin, Aiza Idagan, the Pastores Family, Merly and then just the love of all the members in Tuguegarao Ward 4 is something I'll never forget! Just thinking about it, since I've been here since March, literally half my mission so far has been in Tuguegarao! :)
This last week, I got to conduct a few more interviews for investigators. These last two this past week was Brother Dexter and Brother Christopher (an investigator we were teaching for several weeks at the church, but because he lived in a different area, we had to pass him on to the sister's assigned in his area). And both of them had amazing stories of how they came to the point where they were. With Dexter, his son became an "instrument of God" as he said, to get him interested in the church. His son asked him "Dad, why don't you come to church with us?" And that started him on a conversion story of complete humility before our Father In Heaven. And with Christopher, this one was awesome because Elder Claudio and I already loved Christopher because we had taught him for several weeks! but I also got to hear a story of a man who really became a prodigal son, but when he "came to himself" he also humbled himself in a way I havent seen in many people, including giving up several vices and diligently studying the word of God! But an amazing thing is the Spirit that I've learned, how He really testifies to us of the things we know, and I could feel the depth of these two brother's testimonies ,and if nothing else it was a completely humbling and testimony building experience that God places things, trials, and people in our lives to help us on the right path and become who He wants us to become! Makes me think of Nephi as they returned to Jerusalem and after his brothers had beaten him with a rod. He returns into the city, "not knowing beforehand the things which [he] should do" nevertheless, he "was led by the Spirit" If only I could have this kind of trust in the Lord! Thats what I saw in these two men. Even though there were trials of different kinds, he still did what he knew was right, "not knowing beforehand"
Because this upcoming transfer has been expected, the ward was being real funny yesterday... Haha they had me get up and bear my testimony and then closed the meeting by singing "God Be With You Till We Meet Again"! Haha talk about a nail in the coffin! But I can already tell these next day of saying goodbye to people will be a little sad... But I choose to trust in the Lord that He has some more things he wants me to learn or people I need to find in another area! But next week I'll definitely update where I'm at! But Maybe this will be all for now!
But SALAMAT for the support! Mahal ko kayong lahat! Lagi kayo magbasa ng mga banal na kasulutan at magtiwala sa Diyos katulad ni Nephi :)

Take care everyone!

Elder Navarro




Monday, August 17, 2015

Draw Unto Him

Kamusta, mga family at friends!

Wow. We have seen miracles in our area both large and small! But we met an interesting guy this last week! We were just walking down the street trying to find some new investigators in part of our area, when we hear this peculiar voice coming from one of the homes. He said "Hey dude, wats up man how ya doin?" in like an Italian accent! This was strange 1) because you do come across a whole lot of pure english speakers here and 2) why was it Italian? So we come up to the door and start talking to him. Turns out he grew up in Arab and is a Muslim, but got married to a Filipina. He invited us in and was just the funniest guy in the world! He goes off just saying how he knows more about God than us and just all this funny stuff telling us his whole life story.. (which is really sad!) but then I could tell he enjoyed talking to another english speaker. He accepted a pamphlet and we were on our way. I dont really know why I'm including this but it was just a really funny experience in the moment so I asked to take a picture with Uncle Sam.. That was his name. Anyway.
The Macarubbo family has been doing awesome! One thing I remember was talking about the Holy Ghost with them. We explained how the Holy Ghost testifies of truth and guides us to do the right thing and then Sister Macarubbo's eyes just lit up and she jumped in and said that was so true. Then she shared a powerful testimony of how she had been feeling His influence as she'd been learning about the gospel and going to church! Then Tatay has really been concerned about repentance and how we know when we are forgiven... His faith is so strong in the Atonement and all he wants is just to be forgiven of his mistakes! Its been amazing because he's been so faithful in fasting and giving up his vices like drinking/smoking as well as a ton of other things that he has just straight up given up! Which is nothing short of a miracle in itself! But its such a privilege to know them! Aaaannndddd they've fed a time or two.. which isnt too bad either :)
Also we had interviews this week with President and Sister Rahlf which is always a spiritual experience! He gave me some advice that really hit me to exactly what I needed to improve on. He talked about really burying yourself in the scriptures especially when us as people need and ask for divine assistance in a more than human work. "If we draw unto Him, He will draw unto us" he counseled. And so that is what I've really been focusing on this week... Just immersing myself in the scriptures as much as I can. And I have faith that the Savior of the world will help all those who seek to "draw unto Him."
Another miracle, real quick has been the Pastores family. They've all been less active in the church for years, except their daughter Lyka. And we've been visiting their family consistently ever since I've gotten here in Tuguegarao. But for some reason just last week Brother Pastores decided to come to church! And he was a RM and a seminary teacher in his younger years so he knows a lot about the scriptures and the gospel! But he just felt like he needed to come back to set a good example for his family. So he came with just him and his daughter Lyka and just yesterday his whole family was at church! Oh man how good that felt! And he even asked for a calling as a home teacher. Then I looked at our Ward Mission Leader and he looked at me and we just did a silent celebration as we heard that!
But this work is true! I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and is a big way, along with the Bible, that all of us can "draw unto HIM." He will help us and we will be showered with the Lords tender mercies. (1 Nephi 1:20)

Mahal ko kayo!

Elder Navarro


Monday, August 10, 2015

Happiest Sunday Thus Far!

Hello family and friends!
The Lord is so good to those who have desires to serve Him! Yesterday was one of the happiest Sunday's I've had so far in the mission. We know that there is always an opposition that comes up whenever people are really starting to make a change in their lives for good and to follow Christ. Elder Claudio and I have seen that happening with so many people. But we've also seen how they've reacted in a positive way to strengthen even further their testimony of the gospel.
So we were a little worried about the Macarubbo family just because last week they had a lot of things to do at the house and decided not to come to church. Elder Claudio and I decided we were going to try and pick them up just so they would feel comfortable all coming together and entering the church. They rejected the offer saying that they would just meet us there, which made us a little more worried because you never know whats going to happen. But we were sitting in our PMG Class for our ward missionaries when 2 of the Macarubbo kids walk in! I immediately asked them where their family was and they said they were just outside! We left the class to see if they were really there and when we came out of the church THERE THEY WERE! Including Sister! They were in their Sunday best and waiting to come in! Many reasons why this was an awesome experience! 1) it was the first time that Bro. Macarubbo's wife had come! 2) They were all their as a family! 3) They were in Sunday best! 4) it was the first time they made it in time for Sacrament Meeting! And we have investigators come to church pretty often but this was just soooooooo incredibly exciting because it was the Macarubbo Family all together! All 6 of them! :) They had an awesome experience at church and this family is the buzz of the whole ward! :) Tatay Macarubbo even said he really felt something different in the sacrament meeting that he had never felt before. And as I looked over at him while they were passing the bread and water, he had his head bowed and I could tell he was praying! Oh I was prayin too that everything would fall in place for them to be baptized and eventually make it to the temple!
Another amazing miracle was at church as well! I saw a man all dressed up in a suit and thought this guy must be from Church headquarters or something! (because no one wears suits....#mainit.) He was teaching in the classes and just seemed like a regular guy! When I heard who he was it shocked me! It was Brother Pastores! A less active man who hadnt been to church in years! And we've been trying to get in contact with him in vain since I got here in Tuguegarao! But thanks to the prayers of his active daughter, he felt inspired that he needed to come back to church to be an example to his wayward son... miracle.
Yesterday was just an amazing day because just a ton of people came to church that we werent expecting! People we have been visiting for months with no results until now! It was an exciting day for sure!
Wow! Other than that we've had a lot of opportunities these past couple weeks in doing service projects! The cool thing about these service projects is that its not just for members but its for the actual Barangay! (or little towns is probably a close description) So people will walk by and ask us why we're cleaning up the place and who we are. And of course we are sooooo happy and proud to say, "We're Mormons!" :) Its brought up a lot of interest for many of the leaders of the Barangay!
And then today we had a zone activity to the Callao Caves again! You know you've been in an area a while when you have an activity in the same place 3 times haha. But was just a really refreshing experience! This country and this world is absolutely beautiful! God's creations are all around us and the beauty and complexity is breathtaking! Just like Alma's encounter with Korihor, I've come to know and feel that his statement is true, "Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator." Another really cool thing we got to do was BOATING! WAHOO that was super fun! And the cool breeze and the cool water and the blue sky and the gorgeous mountains was just the best medicine to any kind of stress or mental fatigue! And also it was super fun to have an activity with some of my best friends in the mission!
I love the work of the Lord! I testify that The Book of Mormon is true and that it is the evidence to the truthfulness of the gospel in the Latter Days! The Lord will prepare a way for those who are seeking to know the truth and nothing will stop the work from progressing! :)

Hope you have a fantastic week! sorry this was long!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Tender Feelings and ants

Kamusta mga family and friends!
I'll just start with the ants! I woke up one night feeling a lot of discomfort! It must have been 1 or so and I started feeling these really strong itches! And when I scratched it I felt something! Found out a bunch of ants had infested my bed and were having a nice midnight snack with my blood! Haha Good thing I have an amazing mom who packed bug spray in my suitcase! Haha had to dig that stuff out but it came in handy! :)
Aiza's baptism was awesome! She has been waiting for this day for over and year and we were just the missionaries lucky enough to be here when it finally happened! You could definitely see it in her face after she had been baptized the amazing calmness and peace that she was feeling! Afterwards we asked her how she was and she just expressed how light she felt and how free from all the mistakes and worries in her life! It was a rewarding and very spiritual experience!
No time so I'll give a quick recap. Angel Curioso is doing amazing! We gave him a white shirt and tie and he is a missionary in every sense of the word already! He's inviting a ton of people around him and even visiting and inviting less actives to come to church! Which one, his neighbor, came this last sunday! He's also a natural teacher. He related the restoration of the gospel to a brown out in a house. And even though people lit candles to try and recover some light, it wasnt enough. He connected that back to the apostacy and the restoration of the gospel. That God has opened the windows of heaven to us again! His conversion is nothing short of a miracle. I have no doubt about that!
I am out of time... I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! Jesus Christ lives! He is our Savior! I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true! It is the word of GOD! This is His work and we are on His errand!
The God of Israel Leads these missionaries!

Elder Navarro