Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Family and Friends,

We had a great week! We had a lot going on this week in terms of MLC, deliveries, exchanges, and regular missionary work. I wouldn't have it any other way! Our investigator Evangelyne is doing great! She's still saving money every week to come to church, even though she lives so far away. Her mother and father are there in all of our lessons with her and they promised to come to her baptism when the day comes. Her father is a less-active member and her uncle also came and has been listening to us! I love this family and feel just such a strong desire to help them come back to church! They know they need to, but life happened and got a little lost in work and other responsibilities. A little disappointed as well with some investigators not making it to church last week, but we're doing our best to help them understand.

Our exchanges with Elders Posadas and Frei went very well! Elder Posadas and I had a great day of work! We also were able to be in all kinds of situations that day; first contact lessons, helping investigators prepare for baptism, resolving different concerns from money to desire, working with members, etc. Elder Posadas is such a humble missionary, and just wants to do the right thing.

In just reflecting on my whole mission and really focusing on the Savior even more with the Christmas season coming full swing, I've had a lot of self-evaluation and have definitely felt the need for repentance. I'm learning so much about being a consecrated missionary and how much more it is than just being obedient and reaching goals... it really is who you become, and that shows in EVERYTHING you do. I'm definitely far from it, but constantly strive to be more like the Savior. Especially in facing opposition and discouragement in the mission. I just want to do what's right. I'm thankful for the Savior and love Him with all I have.

Also had a GREAT Thanksgiving dinner and week! I literally wish I could just share everything that happens in every lesson, every contact, every meeting, every study session! But its impossible.

I want to also encourage everyone to check out the Church's site about Christmas! The videos and different things there are very inspiring! I add my testimony that this is the time to celebrate the Birth of Our Savior! A Savior really was born in a small town a long time ago! I know that we can learn of Him, as we study His word, live His teaching, serve others, and share His gospel!

Love you all have a great week!

Elder Navarro


Monday, November 23, 2015

Big Faith in Luna

Hello family and friends!

This week has been a great one! Our prayers have really been answered as we've seen many miracles that have come forth from peoples ACTIONS. One example is Evangelyne! Sister Evangelyne has such great faith! Her family is very very poor (this is the girl that is praying to be able to finish schooling). We have really been working with her, and her desire is huge to be baptized and come to church, but the only problem is she lives super far away from the church! As in really far... so thats been a problem, these past 2 weeks she has come to church! And we found out how this last week. Everyday she receives 50 pesos for lunch (which is just a little over 1 US dollar). So what she decided to do is save 10 pesos everyday so at the end of the week on Sunday, she can pay for the total of 44 pesos to make it to and from the church building! She's been to church twice already and Elder Treyes and I are so humbled to see her faith in action. The Lord does provide a way, but it won't happen if we just sit down and wait for solutions to come to us. She's been a huge inspiration for me!

And sometimes its amazing to see how far things have come! It has also been a privilege to work with the priests in the branch! They are so eager to come and work with us! I immediately started thinking about when I was a priest being able to go with the missionaries every once in a while to work with them! Seeing their excitement and also their fears and worries reminds me so much of myself when I was in their position... its weird being on the other side as the missionary thats been out for over a year! haha and just figures, that day we went on splits with the priests, we got rejected a ton of times! People were pretty mean about it too! (which doesnt happen too much in the Philippines)

But I just know that this is the true Church of Christ! The Gospel was restored and as recently returned Elder Aldous has said, nothing can change the fact that the church was restored! Nothing can change the fact that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon and that Christ visited in the Americas. Nothing can change the fact that we have a living prophet! Its history! And I add my testimony to the many that these things are true!

Also as I've ponderized Moroni 7:48, I've noticed that when I pray to be "filled with this love" even more trials to my patience come. I love the Lord and know He works in the best ways for us!

Thank you for all and Keep the Faith!

Elder Navarro


Monday, November 16, 2015

Beautiful Country!

Hello Family and Friends!

So this week was really really busy! We just had a ton of events happening this week that really made it go fast! So last Monday we had some orientation for driving in the Philippines! In case you dont know, driving here is a lot different than driving in the states. Sister Rahlf described it as like playing Mario Kart in real life! And in some ways, it really is! Then got to go get a license and all that jazz. Wednesday, we had to go all the way to Tuguegarao with some stops along the way to deliver some things... Tuguegarao is a little far so it took the WHOLE DAY! Haha I thought about it, and it was like driving from Nampa to Salt Lake City and back all in one day! So that was interesting! But I did get to see my old area in Tugue! And then we got to teach some new leaders at the new leaders training for the District Leaders.

But one of the coolest things that happened this week was we got to go to a school for special children to donate 2 air conditioning systems for them! The school put on a little program for us including ribbon cutting, kids dancing the Cha Cha, and some food. But it was so cute to see the kids! I became like an official photographer for the event haha!

This week we were able to see a lot of Less-actives come back to church! The branch is just awesome! The people are really really nice and fun to be with! One of our investigators really inspired me! Her name is Evangelyne Lago and she lives in our farthest area! Probably 45 minutes away by tricycle and her family is just dirt poor... Her mother wasnt educated as a kid and cant read and because of their situation, she has to stop school... Public schools here have expenses. So we heard her pray the other day and she asked if there was any way that she could hopefully continue schooling. Got me thinking of all the times I didnt want to wake up early in the morning and go to school... that feels like a selfish, ungrateful act now.. But she has a strong testimony of the gospel! We watched the Restoration video with her and her mom, and the spirit was POWERFUL! Her mom afterward kept telling us how good a feeling she felt! In our next lesson with them, we gave her mom a Book of Mormon, and she said that that was the best gift ever given to her. Its even more amazing when you think she cant even read it. But we're working with them a lot. Last sunday, they somehow found the means to come to church! Seeing her walk up to the entrance with a big smile on her face MADE MY DAY!

I know that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ! He lives. We have a living prophet today on the earth and how important it is to make it known to the inhabitants of the Earth! There is no better calling! :)

Mahal ko kayong lahat! Sana'y magiging maganda at maayos ang inyong mga week :)

Elder Navarro


Monday, November 9, 2015

New Area, New Adventures

Hello family and friends,

I'll probably keep this one a little shorter just because of time constraints, but this week has been crazy! Said goodbye to all the people I knew in Santiago and got ready to meet my new area. Even though I really wasnt in that area for too long, it was still sad to say goodbye to some of them. But my new area is... Cauayan! Yup, finally got assigned in the middle of the mission and get to experience the actual Cauayan! Excited for this new area and a new assignment with housing!!

The work has already been going really really well! I love all of the members and the investigators in this area! The people are very very nice! We have an investigator named Evangeline that has a huge testimony of the gospel! She reads the Book of Mormon every day, and is just doing great! The only problem is that her house is so far away from the church that they have a really hard time making it on Sunday's. So we're trying to find members that live really close that can help her with transportation.

My new companion is Elder Treyes from Bacolod. He's an awesome Elder who really has a gift of seeing people as they are! He's cool and excited to work with him!

My personal studies have really been focused on Prophecies and the fulfillment of them lately. Its been a testimony builder to see how Christ used ancient scripture to show that he was the fulfillment of the coming of a Savior. Prophecies He used to show that he would be betrayed as "the stone that the builder's rejected." It seems to be a pattern through all prophets, including those in the Book of Mormon. The book of Mormon and the Bible being the Stick of Ephraim and the Stick of Joseph. The prophets realizing that they were the fulfillment of the "voice crying out of the dust" I know that all the prophecies made by the prophets WILL BE FULFILLED!

Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Navarro
Proselyting with a Ford Truck was a big change

New companion Elder Treyes

with Elder Villalon, Santiago area companion

Monday, November 2, 2015

Mission Tour with Elder and Sister Schwitzer

Hello Family and Friends

This last week was an awesome and spiritual week! We had a General Authority come and visit our mission! Elder Schwitzer of the Seventy spoke at the last general conference and is over all the health of the missionaries in the whole world! He came to our MLC and talked a lot about a 12 leadership principles list that he's made and learned from the Apostles and from his own personal experience! It was an awesome meeting with him! And then at the actual mission tour, he talked all about repentance and its role in the conversion process. Its amazing what he did with it! He drew on the board a picture of the Plan of Salvation and then he said it was a wonderful and useful "road map" of the plan, but it doesnt include the things we need to do to eventually receive Celestial Glory. He then drew a different version of the plan of salvation that included conversion as having the gospel, or faith and repentance, etc. And then after receiving that ordinance, sanctification is the next step, including the temple... That probably didnt make a whole lot of sense but it was awesome!

And one of the coolest parts of the Mission Tour, was that it was held in... SOLANO! Or my first area! It was sooo cool to go back to that area! I've already seen some things that have changed and was able to see a lot of things that I did every Pday in Solano! Needless to say it was very reminiscent!! Brought back a lot of memories.

This last week, we saw a miracle with 2 men that seem to have been prepared by the Lord! One was Brother Estabillo! We were a little reluctant at first to contact him because his house was gated and had a bunch of signs from another religion that isnt so nice to us haha, but we felt like we should and we did! So we started yelling out, "Tao po" and he came out and we were shocked to learn that he was like excited to see us! He let us straight in and were able to teach him. When we came back for the follow up, we taught him about prophets and the restoration. When I mentioned to him that we have a living prophet, he was like, "Wait a minute... you mean to say theres a living prophet today?" I happily responded "thats exactly what we're saying"... He had a really puzzled look on his face as I could tell he was pondering on what we had said. He repeated the question over and over to us. And then finally said, "How can you say you know?" Oh that question brought a smile to my face! I said, "let me tell you how we can say we know!" :) At the end of the lesson we left him a Book of Mormon with an invitation to read. He's a awesome brother!

Another was one guy we just saw on the street... I wont go way too much in detail, but we both felt a prompting to talk to him and it turns out he was the father of our Ward mission leader that we hadnt met yet... he wasnt a member but he straight up told us he knew the church was true, but he couldn't get rid of his drinking and smoking problem. We testified to him that he could with the help of Christ. I'm so excited to teach him... oh wait.. i forgot...

I'm being transferred this cycle... That stinks. This has been my shortest area, but its gonna stink saying bye again. But I'm excited for a new area and new experience! I'll let you know where next week!

But I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ! I have a new witness that the gospel of Jesus Christ and especially the Book of Mormon. That's something I've been focusing on in my personal study lately. There is a purpose and a reason that there is suffering and trials in this life. 2 Nephi 2 talks all about how there needs to be an opposition in all things or the purposes of God would be thwarted. Jesus Christ live and we have a loving Father in Heaven!

Love you all and have a great week!

Elder Navarro