Monday, October 26, 2015

Damages from Typhoon

Hello Family and Friends

Well this week has been going well. I love the opportunity to serve God in such a unique way in serving a mission! The work has been going well. Elder Villalon and I really work well together and its also fun to talk about some of my family that I haven't met yet! (His family is a family friend of my uncle in Quezon City). And I dont know if she'll see this but Sister Navarro or Popo Navarro, CONGRATS FOR STARTING THE BEST JOURNEY SO FAR IN YOUR LIFE! :)

So this last week we had our stake conference here in Santiago North Stake and it went really really well! President and Sister Rahlf came and spoke about the power that our hands have... that WE are Christ's hands in this work. And President Rahlf shared about the importance of inviting... that "success is in the tao po! Success is in the invitation." My testimony has been forever strengthened by the power of an invitation. Such simple questions, such as "would you like to learn more" or "we would love to have you over at a Family Home Evening" can have quite literally an ETERNAL consequence!

In our mission we are also preparing for a mission tour with Elder and Sister Schwitzer of the Seventy! Elder Schwitzer actually spoke in this last General Conference so we are so excited! He gets here tomorrow and will be checking apartments and hospitals and we get to meet with him on Wednesday and Thursday! Its going to be amazing to have a "vessel of the Lord" come and visit with us!

The work has also gone well. We've been working really really hard this weeking trying to help people come to know this message! It is rare that this will ever happen in the Philippines, but I was on splits with a new american Elder named Elder Warren and we went and knocked on a persons door to offer him the gospel, and he straight up yelled at us before we could even speak a word just saying telling us he didnt want to hear anything we had to say. As we walk away I realize that I'm not super disappointed or discouraged because we got turned away, but rather because that brother that said no to us has no idea how happy he could be! I know with my whole heart that the gospel of Jesus Christ is for us! Its God's plan for Happiness... I just wish I could "open my heart and show them" as Brother Mortenson would say.

On the other hand, we found a very very eager new investigator! We were just walking down the street to our appointment, when we saw a guy just sitting at a store with a beer in his hand... my first thought was "oh he's probably drunk and not willing to listen" then got the impression that we should approach we did! Turns out he wasnt drunk and wanted to find out why us Elders and so nice and why we're out walking all day in the hot sun. We were more than happy to tell him why :) Set up a return appointment and when we came back, he was just pouring out his life story to us, telling us how much he loves his mom and how much he wants to come closer to God. Elder Villalon and I are very excited for him! His name is Jamael.

Natividad family is doing well! We found out this last week that she has just been waiting for Brother to come to church so their whole family can be together! Long story short, we committed brother Jojo to come and we're planning on getting him a white shirt so he's not shy about coming back.

I love the Lord. Listening to David A. Bednar's talk in last General Conference about the church being run by old people, I really realized that this is so much more than just fun activities at the church, getting to know new people and new friends, or even improving life skills to succeed... but its really about coming to believe and KNOW where we came from, why we're here, and where we go after this life! I love the Savior!

Elder Navarro


Monday, October 12, 2015


Hello Family and Friends,

In case you didnt know we had a little typhoon come into our area of the Philippines this last week, but we are ALIVE! :) This whole last week we have been receiving warnings and making preparations for a storm that was coming in. So this last few days we've had a lot of rain, wind, and clouds! But glad to report that we are all OK!

This last week was awesome! Got to go on a few exchanges with different missionaries! The first was with 2 brand new missionaries fresh from the MTC. Elder McCauley (my "grandson" in the mission) from California and Elder Igleski from Arizona. We had an awesome day of splits and I learned a lot from them! They are such humble missionaries and has really really strong testimonies of the gospel! Its always humbling to be with brand new american missionaries because I can totally relate to so many of the things they are going through as a new missionary in the Philippines! Got to really get to know them and have a good time working with them. Even though what they said was very simple just because the language barrier, it was powerful and from the heart!

The next day, we got to go on splits again. And this time it was with none other than... ELDER CLAUDIO! (my "anak" in the mission) Gosh that whole day was just a blast! Just getting to talk about Tuguegarao and how the members were doing, how our investigators were doing, how HE was doing, it was just a great time! Also had a great day in terms of the work! One of the most productive days I've had! While we were teaching that day, I would look over to him and hear him teach and my mind would just flash back to when we were together in Tugue! And another cool thing, one of our investigators has had a lot of questions about the church and we've done well, I believe, in answering them, but when Elder Claudio and I visited them, they were able to speak bisaya together (her native language) and it was a divine interaction for sure!

But after the worst part of the storm, Elder Villalon and I went out to check on members and on our investigators, especially the less-fortunate ones. And thank goodness, all of them were safe from the storm... there were however some damage and many things to clean up from some trees that fell down.

The Natividad family is also doing really well! We taught them about tithing and fasting this last week and turns out that they already knew a ton about it because their active mother in law had already spent a lot of time talking about it and testifying of the power of paying an honest tithe. We had planned to share a story about an apostle's family paying tithing and receiving blessings, but after she shared that powerful story of her mother in law.... there was no need.

We as members of the church have the most important thing that we could ever obtain in this world! More important that all the wealth of the kings and rulers! Thats our testimony! The knowledge of the plan of salvation and the restoration of the gospel is PRICELESS. As the Lord said in Doctrine and Covenants: "Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments" Let us share this knowledge! As well as our testimony of the Savior... which is a "Sure foundation a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall"! Many typhoons and bagyos come into our lives! Let us prepare for them! :)

Love you all!

Elder Navarro

Monday, October 5, 2015

General Conference

Hello Family and Friends
General Conference was the best thing ever. I kept thinking the whole time, "Gosh, this is the best time of the year!" And for some reason, this was the most spiritual conference I'd ever participated in in my whole life! General Conference, where I felt the spirit in a way that I've never felt it before! The whole conference just felt different than any other conference I'd been a part of. One thing that really stuck out to me was the 3 new Apostles. I was writing down impressions I was feeling as the conference was happening and Elder Rasband spoke, some point in the talk I felt an undeniable, powerful confirmation that he was an apostle. So I wrote it down. The exact same thing happened in both Elder Stevenson and Elder Renlund's talks. I wrote down that impression under each name. Then President Eyring mentioned that the Holy Ghost had testified to us all that they were called of God. At that moment I had an out of body experience. I wish I could describe it but it was definitely from above and a power beyond my own. My testimony has never felt stronger! And that is just one of the many very spiritual experiences I've had this week. Another when I was down and felt inspired to read the Book of Mormon and there was the exact thing I needed to see/read. I wish I could share all of it!

But some other talks I really really enjoyed these last few days was Elder Durrant's "Ponderize," Elder Hollands about "Motherhood," Elder Nelson's about "Womenhood" President Monson's "Keeping the Commandments" and Elder Bednar's "Chosen to Bear Testimony of My Name" Also President Uchtdorf's "It works wonderfully" Gosh I just loved them all! Just watch it! :)

Other than the incredibly powerful conference, the week has been going well! Went to Cauayan and got my new companion! Elder Villalon from Quezon City. He's a great Elder! Really dedicated and we've started this cycle off on a really good note so I'm really really excited for this cycle! Although its going to be short... Its only 4 weeks because there is a General Authority coming to the Philippines so a lot of missions were affected in their transfer days. And the rumor is I might get transferred this next cycle but we'll see.

Our zone is so awesome right now! We have 3 Elders training so 3 new American Elders came into Santiago this last week! Elder Howard, Elder Storrer and Elder McCauley. They're great Elders and its super humbling and reflecting to see them go through things that all new missionaries go through... its hard to believe that now I'm the missionary thats been out for over a year comforting these new missionaries! Its been a blessing for sure that the Lord gave me missionaries when I was new.... I just hope I can help them as well! And honestly the whole zone is in training! haha every companionship!

But another great thing I found out on Wednesday morning!!! I read the transfer list and found out that ELDER CLAUDIO is now in my zone!!!! Haha its so awesome! He's training and my District Leader! Haha when we saw each other on Friday, that was the best feeling ever! And I got to meet my heritage in the mission! Good times.

I know this work is the work of the Lord. We taught Geneva Natividad and her family this last week and had a powerful lessons about eternal families. Her biggest concern is that she doesnt want to go to church with just her 2 kids, but she wants her husband to come along as well. We're working on it. He wants to come but has work. We're praying to find a way to help him. But the spirit definitely testified in that small room!

I know this is the work of God! The trumpet has been sounded in this last General Conference and the Lord has called 3 new Apostles. I sustain them and know they are called of God! I wouldnt rather be doing anything on earth right now!

Love you all and have a great week!

Elder Navarro

p.s. dont forget to ponderize! :)


Merry Christmas

Oh wait... its still October... One of the coolest things about being in the Philippines is they LOVE the Christmas season!

This week has been a little challenging, but it's really been amazing to see how the Lord really answers our prayers! We had MLC this last week in Cauayan and one of the biggest things we talked about was the success and the growth we've been seeing the Philippines Cauayan and as a result of that, President Rahlf talked about some things that have been happening. He talked about two of the tactics that all of us see as members of the Church. The first being "counter-strikes" when the adversary attacks right after a great spiritual experience or growth. I feel like this is something common we see... or at least I see. That whenever I've accomplished something good on the mission or in my life, or had a strong spiritual confirmation of gospel truths, the biggest temptations or trials come right in there. The other is called "pre-emtive" strikes, where the adversary will work his hardest right BEFORE a great spiritual experience or before doing some great thing. President expressed that he has been seeing signs of both happening to the mission as a whole. Right after we had our Zone Conference and right before we have a General Authority coming in to visit the mission at the end of October. I know I've definitely been feeling effects of that personally!

Another great thing of MLC is being able to see a lot of my friends from the mission! Especially the ones going home... Elder Kocherhans... I'm gonna miss that guy!!!!

But its the best to have a great supportive ward and an enthusiastic Bishop! Yesterday we had a ward activity where all the leadership of the ward went to one of our areas to splits with us and find and teach new investigators! We found a ton of people and even met some Navarro's! I love the expression on people's face when they see that my name is Navarro! (in case you dont know... I look American to people here as well)

The Natividad family is also doing really well! We were teaching them the other day about baptism and obviously the impression came to give them the baptismal invitation again. Sister Geneva has really been super great so she accepted right away and expressed her desire to be baptized. I asked her why she wanted to and she expressed that she wanted to be washed clean and start over... Then Brother Jojo jumped in (her husband who was baptized as a little kid but has been less active his whole life) and said, "I wish I could be baptized again" The spirit definitely guided our next response to him. I told him "Brother, I want to show you a way that you can almost quite literally be baptized again" Then we taught him about repentance and the sacrament. The Spirit was super strong in that bamboo house!

I know this work is true! It is being led by the best man who ever walked on this Earth, our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. I know He lives! He literally comforts us when we need it... And the scripture is true that He will come unto all those who come unto Him! I know that prayers are answered!

Love you and have a great week!
Elder Navarro