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