Monday, February 29, 2016

Hearts can be softened!

We had quite the week this last week! Here's a story of a man that we're working with right now. His name is Brother Dellona, I can't remember his first name, memory was never one of my strong suits. Several years ago, he was one of the most active members of the church and a teacher of seminary and institute. He was and is also one of the jolliest people I've ever met in my life! He loves to speak English and it just makes listening to him that much funnier as he does his best to express all his feelings in English! Then something happened a few years ago in which he was offended, which I won't go into detail, that caused him to separate himself from the church and no longer participate in any church activities or meetings. His 2 kids, 18 year old Roundy and 16 year old Jovina quite unexpectedly decided to come to church last August and have been active ever since. Brother Roundy even works with us every week! But Brother Dellona and his wife, whom we see so often while teaching Jovina who was baptized about 5 months ago, showed up at sacrament meeting out of the clear blue! After 2 weeks of this while not knowing the reason, we visited him and for the first time he let us share with him a spiritual thought. In the middle of the lesson, President Castillo and his 2 counselors showed up. And it was such a special moment as President Castillo shared his feelings with Brother Dellona about back when he was investigating the church and how Brother Dellona was his hero in the investigating process. Even Brother Dellona realized what a reversal of roles it was! The one visiting now was the one being visited. I wish I could describe what the scene looked like and how strong the spirit was! That was definitely the start of me again realizing what missionary work was all about and what our purpose is. I know that Brother Dellona felt that spirit. This is what he said to us, "There have been many things that have happened to us that made us fall away. And even now, my intentions in coming back to church are not the best. I just hope that this will be the start of me feeling the way I did before I left the church." It was one of the most powerful moments I've ever been on in my mission. The spirit was literally thick and even I was holding back the tears in seeing what was taking place and feeling the Spirit of the Lord work with Brother Dellona.

I'm sorry I spent so much time on that story... I just wish that you could have felt what I felt in that moment. It was surreal.

But We have been struggling a little bit these past couple weeks helping investigators really progress. Its something that has been in almost all of my prayers for the past week or so. Those prayers were answered as Elder Pandaog and I resolved that in order to help our investigators prepare best, we needed to focus more on giving baptismal invitations. Not that we weren't giving any, but we just needed to make it a priority and the focus of our lessons. Yesterday, when we had splits with an RM and some other branch missionaries, we were both excited to come back having given 1 solid baptismal date, and a baptismal invitation to a family who already believes in the church. Last night I had an overwhelming feeling of peace come over me, feeling that I had done the right thing and was fulfilling the purpose.

I love you and take care!

We also had a very very busy week in terms of deliveries and dropping off some missionaries, but we got to go back to Tuguegarao again, and with all the things we did we were there for the whole day. When I was brand new we took a picture at this waiting shed with some other missionaries... but now I'm the only one left! haha

Monday, February 8, 2016


Hey everyone,

The transfer list came this morning! And it looks like I'll be staying in this area for at least another cycle! Wahoo! But sad news is Elder Treyes will be transferring. We've had a great 2 cycles together and he is a great missionary and friend! I've learned a ton from him especially about understanding others and how to be positive at all times! He comes from Bacolod which the "City of Smiles" in the Philippines! He represents that title well.

This week of work has been great. Even with MLC, baptisms, and some housing tasks, we still met the standards of excellence for the week, which felt really good as we were reviewing our week last night. We have an investigator who was coming to church a while ago but for working reasons moved to Tuguegarao for a little while. Now he just got back and is back into the flow of coming to church! His name is Angelo and what makes it even better is that his best friend at the church is our Branch President (They were co-workers some time ago). He seems to be enjoying his experience at the church and said he has been learning a lot. Excited to be able to meet with him again in the coming week. Also faced some disappointments with some investigators fully committing to coming to church, but on Sunday morning, texted and cancelled on us. But keeping our heads up!

I've been ponderizing a scripture this week that Elder Andersen shared in the missionary broadcast. Its Moroni 8:26 and this is the phrase that has really stuck out to me, "because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love." The Holy Ghost quite literally "fills" us with this hope and love! And I've learned a lot about this phrase actually from times NOT reading the scriptures! Dont freak out I read them. But the difference between reading AND pondering the scriptures, thinking about the Savior in sacrament meeting and ESPECIALLY while the sacrament is being passed, is a difference that you literally feel, and is very real. You might think "oh its just in his head" but try it. Not because you're just curious, rather because we all need the "filling" power of the 3rd member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost. 

I love this time on the mission! Excited for the changes and the things the Lord has in store for this area! Ingat!

Elder Navarro
Philippines Cauayan Mission
When you don't have a stoller... make one. #filipinostyle

The crew in Cauayan!
Its been SUPER COLD  here for the past couple days! Everyone is wearing jackets and sweaters! Its like 70 degrees! BRRRRR!!!!! ;)

Monday, February 1, 2016



Things are going really great over here! Yesterday we actually had a Special District Conference with President Rahlf presiding. They released the current District Presidency here in Cauayan and called a new one to replace them. But that wasnt even really the coolest thing that happened! At the chapel yesterday, it was filled all the way to the back and the comment was made several times of the size and strength of the Cauayan District, so when President Rahlf got up to speak, the first thing he said was, "Wow! This looks like a stake!" Then the counselors in the mission presidency, mentioned several times about making Cauayan a stake! They even gave a time frame, they said in 2 months "the new district presidency will be released... to be called as a stake presidency!" The Cauayan District has an awesome vision for their future and I'm almost 100% sure that I will be here to see it become a STAKE! WAHOO! There's just one more branch that needs to be built up just a tiny bit more to reach our goals and that is the assignment of the new senior couples, Elder and Sister Jones from Oregon (they were also excited to hear that Jordan is serving a mission there). But I'm excited to say the least to be a part of Cauayan becoming a Stake!

We had interviews this last week with President Rahlf (its crazy that its already my 4th interview with him! time goes so fast!) But it was a great meeting and super encouraging! Because its been over a year, he went over with me some of the goals that I had set last year and if I had accomplished them! Then got to set some new goals. He taught me a lesson as I shared my very broad goals about "specificity." After that I set some new, more specific goals. But he thanked me for being the missionary that I am. He also mentioned that sometime after their mission they will be in the Meridian area! President told me that they might call you guys up and take you out to dinner! Probably with some of the parents of other missionaries as well from the Boise area! But that'll be awesome to see! You guys with President and Sister Rahlf! 

But I am getting Ty's emails. I just emailed him today! He'll be a great missionary!

But we met an AWESOME family this week! They are the Bulacan family and their Grandmother was a super active member of the church and they used to go to church with her. But when she passed away, they stopped. Now that their older and some have families of their own, they're realizing how big of an impact their grandmother made on them! There are 8 brothers and sisters and some of them were baptized a long time ago, but the others havent yet. So excited to continue to teach them! And plus we have their aunt, who is an active member who comes with us to every appointment!

But this last week as well, I finally got to go to back to my first area! We had a delivery in Bambang and Solano and I got to see my first area again! But that was a LOOOONNNNG day! Bambang is like 3 hours away and then making stops all along the way makes for a long trip. Got back home and just collapsed! haha

But we get to watch a worldwide broadcast to all the missionaries in the world tomorrow. The speakers are members of the quorum of the twelve and some other general authorities! Super excited to watch it! But love ya! Have a great week!

Elder Navarro