Monday, September 28, 2015

Do You Have National Family Week?

Hello Family and Friends,
Well this week has been hard but rewarding! Last Saturday was the baptism of Junalyn Dultiao! I've mentioned their family before, but they are a family with a strong testimony! Two of the siblings were baptized in last April and ever since then, they have been embraced by the ward and have developed awesome testimonies! Their plan is to have all of their family eventually join the church and Sister Junalyn was the 3rd in their family to be baptized! We are teaching their brother, Eduardo and their little brother and they have a growing interest in the Church as their family is joining! Its been an amazing to watch how enthusiastic they have been about the gospel!!!!
This last week also we had something unique to the Philippines! Here, there is a national holiday called National Family Week! And of course, as a church that is focused on the family, we do a lot to support this awesome even in the Philippines! So on Saturday morning we got up and had a fun walk with all kinds of different sayings about the family and then had a little celebration at the church! A ton of fun!!!!
Then we also had a service project feeding kids at an elementary school! They LOVED IT! Gosh and I had so much fun! The kids loved taking pictures and playing games! i had em laughing reallll good! haha :)
Sorry I dont have much time left... but I love you all! I know that this work is true! I see too much evidence of it to deny it! I love the ward! I love the area! I love the mission! Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and they call their servants to organize and care for the work here on Earth! The Book of Mormon is true!

Thank you so much for the support! Have a great week!

Elder Navarro



Monday, September 21, 2015

Tender Blessing of the Gospel

This week has been crazy! I want to start by expressing how incredibly happy I am right now! So my anak sent me some pictures from the baptism of the Macarubbo family last week, and when I opened them up, it was just a completely overwhelming feeling of happiness that came over me! Gosh I'll probably forward it so you can see but it was the best thing in the world! That was honestly one of the best feelings I have felt thus far in the mission! :)
But this last week we had splits with two companionships in the zone. On Tuesday, I was with Elder Llanda from Bataan and on Thursday with Elder Swensen from Sandy Utah. We really wanted to show them a good day as a missionary! But I really got to know both of them! Its so amazing the different stories that missionaries have of how they ended up on a mission! And for both of them, it really was a miracle that they were able to serve missions!
But then we got to go to Cauayan on Wednesday because Elder Paea was taking the English test. And in the Cauayan Mission, when you or you're companion comes in to take the test, you get a DELICIOUS BANANA SPLIT! compliments to the Shorter Couple! That was absolutely wonderful!
But we have a baptism this week! Another one of the Dultiao family! Sister Junalyn. She's a 25 year old single mother and the 3rd member in her family to be baptized! The night before her interview, we went over to review about baptism and the things that were going to be asked to her the next day. After that was done, I just asked her why she wanted to be baptized into the Church and then she bore one of the most powerful and tender testimonies I've heard. She mentioned about how she knew that the church was true and she had felt the love and the support of the members and the change in her family because of it. Then she talked about her 3 year old daughter and how she wants her to grow up knowing who Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father are! One night, she said, she was praying and her daughter asked her what she was doing... of course she answered, praying. Her daughter then asked where does God live. And then that started a gospel conversation between her and her daughter and now she really wants to join in her prayers every night! Gosh just tender things and feelings like that really make everything worth it! I think I've said this before but their goal is to get their whole family baptized into the church! This family is awesome and I really want to help them achieve that goal.
We have another busy week with zone conference and Philippines National Family Week going on here! I'm excited for all that the Lord has in store for us and I'm so grateful that I have an opportunity to share this wonderful, unique, and life changing message. Which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know He lives and guides this mission and all His missionaries! He loves us! His plan is real and this life is our time to prepare to meet God!
I love you all and have a great week!

Elder Navarro
p.s. I also randomly thought of some mistakes I've made in Tagalog a long time ago that I thought you'd get a kick out of!
One time we were talking to a family and I saw two kids who looks really similar in age... I thought "i know that word in tagalog" so I asked the nanay, I said, "nay, magkambing ba silang dalawa?" Hahaha what I accidentally said was if they were both goats. haha the real word was "kambal" haha oops.
Macarubbo family baptism

Monday, September 14, 2015

Is it really September?

I cannot even begin to think that the reality of this year mark is coming in... feels like yesterday I was trying all this crazy food for the first time and now I'm on what they call the "down hill".... But thats the longest I'm ever going to think about that again :)
So this week has been busy and really fun! We got to go to Cauayan and have splits with the Assistants. My companion for the day was a great Elder named Elder Monilla. He's Filipino but grew up in Saudi Arabia and he is one of the awesomest elders I've ever met! I met him back in Tuguegarao and he's the coolest nerd ever haha! But he is probably the best teacher I've worked with so far in my mission! The way we taught the investigators and recent converts that day was incredible! He has a gift of helping people understand in such simple ways, and he uses stories and examples from their lives to help them more fully understand the gospel of Christ and I felt like a sponge trying to soak in as much as I could from working with him. But we really had a good time that day! He called me earlier today to check for something and then told me that all the investigators we taught that day came to church!! That was fun to hear as well! But the way he taught really reminded me of the way the Savior taught.. It wasnt just pure doctrine in a memorized, recited phrase of belief, but rather it was according to the needs and understanding of the people. When the Apostles asked the Savior why he taught in parables, his response was this " 11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should beforgiven them.

Thats how I desire to teach.. the way the Master does!
Then on Friday we had splits again with Elder Canencia. And he's another missionary that I really admire. He really has a desire to change and become a better missionary! And the Lord has given him some new assignments that have helps him do that! I love the gospel that it gives every person the chance to change and be better! I know in my time here I've definitely learned and seen so many weaknesses in myself that I must repent and change as well.
So yesterday we had some of the ward missionaries work with us and one of the recent converts here in Baluarte is named Karen. She was baptized just last may and ever since has been faithfully keeping her covenants! And she's a really shy sister and so I assumed it would be me and the ward mission leader doing most of the teaching... but when we got into the lesson, she was like a rockstar of a teacher! We were teaching the Natividad family (a part member/less-active family that has really sparked an interest in the gospel again) and we were teaching about the Book of Mormon and when we gave her some time, she taught and bore one of the most powerful testimonies I've heard on my mission. The spirit was definitely there and we were just so excited for her and the investigator!
This Natividad family is really progressing! They have been reading the Book of Mormon together and sister really really wants to learn if its true. They are an awesome family and I hope that one day Brother will come to realize that all those things he learned in primary were true as well as sister for the first time.
Well... I love you all and hope everything is going well over there! I did hear sad news that Boise State lost... but we know that all things will be worked out in the Second Coming so thats alright.
The God of Israel Leads This Mission!

Elder Navarro

p.s. we're still out playing basketball when the chance comes! :)


Monday, September 7, 2015

Kumusta mga mag-anak at kaibigan!

This week has been really busy! But I really want to start out by mentioning that I got a really really exciting email from one of my best friends in the mission Elder Larona! He told me that the Macarubbo family had all passed the baptismal interview and will be baptized as a family on Sept. 12!!!! WAHOOOOOOOO!!!!! Gosh I wish I could be there but that makes me soooooo happy that they are all going to be baptized! I cant believe it! Just thinking about how we first met them and then chasing down the Tatay to try and talk to him and now, on Saturday, they will be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! Thats the best news that I can receive right now! Gosh...
But this week was full of meetings and surprises! We had the MLC meeting this last Wednesday talking about the importance of our Attitudes in Missionary work as well as the importance of accountability. And from that meeting and from my personal study in accountability I really come to realize that there will be a day that we will all give an accounting of all the things we've done here on the Earth! But the person who will be accounting to us will be the Lord Jesus Christ! So just like in so many ways the mission prepares us for life now and in the eternities, we account for all the things we accomplish. This is how the Kingdom of God is organized. And one of the coolest thing that President Rahlf has been teaching us is that even Jesus Christ accounts for His actions as we remember our covenants in the temple.
Then on Thursday we had the new leader's training in Cauayan... so it was travel to Cauayan, come home and the next morning travel to Cauayan again. The meeting was obviously very inspiring and even though I've the same things taught before, the spirit helps us learn new things for each of our situations! Think of General Conference, theres no brand new topics or ideas brought up in each conference. The Lord has a pattern of repetition for us to continue to learn based on our own preparation.
But this week we have another investigator named JonnaLynn who is also really progressing! Her siblings were also baptized within the past year and they even shared with us that their goal is that eventually their whole family will join the church! And one by one... they are! :) But their testimonies are really really strong! The Ate (older sister) shared her testimony this last sunday and shared of her powerful experiences in the gospel! So COOL!
But keep up the good work everyone! We all must sometimes "be still and know that [He] is God" :) Let us always stay true to our covenants and DRAW UNTO HIM!


Elder Navarro (the real better of the two Elder Navarro's ;) )

p.s. reunited with my Tatay again!

heres a lot of my batch!... and some others... and Sister Rahlf! :)

Part of my new area.... its not ALL like that.. haha