Monday, August 22, 2016

We all fall down sometimes

This week has been great. There was a big theme that came out of the week: Heavenly Father's expectations are very high for His children and there is no doubt that in this life, we will fall down. One of our recent converts, brother Greg, opened up to us this week that the temptations he had been facing at work have been just too much for him, so he fell back into drinking. He was crying in front of us saying how hard it is, and what makes it even harder is that his relationship with his wife is suffering because of the mistakes he's made. We had a powerful lesson with him about Peter and how even though he was one of the most powerful and strong apostles of Christ, even he fell. We told him over and over to not give up hope and to keep going. He's done so well and he's just going through some tough trials.

Brother Michael Ruiz's baptism was great!! Just like what happened at his wife's baptism a few weeks ago, it rained hard! I couldn't help but think of the cleansing effect of baptism. Just like that primary song "When I Am Baptized." He had asked that I baptize him so I had the privilege of being able to do that ordinance for him. He said afterwards that his life has totally changed since he started taking the lessons and keeping the commitments.

Other than that, we just had splits with some Elders from Tuguegarao. I had that career workshop, which was really all about preparing for a job, teaching us life skills, and also encouraging us to finish strong here in the last stretch of the mission. Elder Jones (Sister Jones' husband) taught it and it was really an awesome experience.

Well... The work continues on. I'm so thankful especially this week for the Holy Ghost. All this week, the Holy Ghost has led us to things we needed. Whether it was a scripture verse, a person to talk to, fellowshippers to come work with us.. anything like that. He's been there for us.

Brother Jack has also made a lot of progress! We taught him again about the plan of salvation and again he had a lot of concerns about the reality and validity of what we were teaching. He said, "That seems very out there to really believe it." But I think we really caught his attention when we talked about the judgement. I think one of the biggest reason he's listening to us still after all this time, is he's afraid of what would happen if he dies and finds out that the Church is true. We asked him, "Brother Jack, how would you feel if you stood before Jesus Christ, knowing that you didn't follow Him, even though you knew you should?" That really made him think for a while. He said he'd be very embarrassed. A little later in the lesson he asked, "What would happen if I am baptized, but I can't live up to the expectations of the church?" We then testified of the Savior's grace. That Heavenly Father knew we wouldn't be perfect and we would make mistakes. So He sent His Son to die for us. It was a powerful lesson. He said at the end, "I won't commit to baptism yet, but you've really got my attention." And by the way... He's stopped drinking coffee as well! :)

It has been a great week! Love you and have a good week as well! :)

Elder Navarro

Monday, August 15, 2016

August 15

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was great. We had interviews with President Hiatt and a baptism last Saturday!

Brother Michael Ruiz has come along so far! We played basketball with him and a lot of other recent converts and they seem to have a really strong bond already! His interview is tomorrow and the baptism is on Saturday. I'm super super super excited for his baptism! Their family is definitely a family that will help build the kingdom in the Philippines!

We're teaching an American investigator named Jack, who is surprising progressing! He's probably 60 or so and has some health problems, but that has actually humbled him down a lot recently. He's an atheist so he doesnt believe in God. Its been a completely new experience teaching someone who has no Christian background and doubts that God even exists, but we've gone to preach my gospel for help and are really focusing on the Book of Mormon reading. Also kind of fun to teach in English.

Its actually strengthened my testimony a lot about even just the simple things about God. Brother Jack asks for evidence and says its hard to believe without it. As we testify of the Book of Mormon, about God, about His creations as evidence, about the Spirit of Christ that he feels, it sometimes feels like I prove it to myself over and over that God does exist and we are His literal spirit children. I know He has a plan for us and this life is ALL PART OF THE PLAN. We're here to "prepare to meet God" and to "prove [us] herewith, to see if [we] will do all things whatsoever the Lord [our] God shall command [us]"

I know this is true.

Have a Great Week.

Elder Navarro

Monday, August 8, 2016

Fun Week

I have no time, but here's an overview of my week: Transfer preparation, transfer day, MLC, exchanges, finding the lost tablets of the ten commandments ;) 

Busy week! But I love the work and love being a missionary! Heavenly Father's hand has definitely been seen this week.

Have a great week!

Elder Navarro

found the 10 Commandments tablets

Monday, August 1, 2016

True Conversion

One of the greatest feelings I've ever experienced in my life have almost always involved others.

The spiritual highlight of the week was definitely Sister Jezalyn Ruiz's baptism. We had it on Sunday instead of Saturday because almost the whole Branch leadership was in Manila to go to the temple. She was so excited and happy to be baptized! Her testimony was super solid as well and what made it better was that her husband and son were there as well. Her husband, Brother Michael is preparing to be baptized this month, so we are excited for that!

She's read the Book of Mormon all the way through already and is starting to read it a second time. in her testimony she that at first, it was hard to believe the Elders when they shared their message, but because of Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost, she came to know that it was true. I have a really, really good feeling about this family and its a privilege to have been a part of the teaching process with them. I've literally seen first hand how God has helped them get to where they are. Even Brother Michael has already made big changes in his life. I know God has been a part of this. There's no other explanation.

Other than that, we have transfer week this week. We've been working really hard this last week and have been really really busy preparing for this upcoming transfer and its brought a lot of stress... but I'm just grateful that Heavenly Father is teaching me on the mission how to deal with this... I'm just afraid it'll be a completely different level of stress after the mission, but I'm not thinking about that. I just trust that Heavenly Father is preparing us for things in the future. I've learned that's one of the reasons we serve Him.

Have a great week!