Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Birthday Bash!!!! and White Christmas! - Week 38.Serving in Cagayan

Good day! Belated Merry Christmas and Advance Happy New Year to all!

Anyways, this was a week of pondering for me.

First and foremost, Brother Zs baptism last Friday was a success! It was a great experience for both me and Elder Panti. I really felt the Spirit so strong during that day.

That day, I was pondering so much about what my bestfriend told me before I went on my mission, that great feeling he had when he saw me receive the Gospel, baptize me and see me progress more. He told me that it was the best feeling he ever had just like what Doctrine & Covenants Section 18 says. I was so excited to feel the same way that day. It made me excited as each minute pass by. During the baptismal proper, I can see Brother Z's excitement to be baptized! Also, since I am the one who will baptize him, he kept asking questions to me, which made me happy because he is really showing his desire to be baptized. It took me 3 times to properly submerge him though since it's really my very first time to baptize someone in my whole priesthood life. The feeling was great! I can't explain it. It even grew more when Brother Z testified. He related his conversion story to those who are present for his baptism. He said that before, the reason why he goes to church is because he wanted to be with Sister Honey (his wife). He actually thought that church stuffs are all talk and stories. But he still continued to go with that in mind until he was referred to us by the Vaguchay Family (Sister Honey's family). At first, he was hesitant and a bit surprised because he doesn't know what to do. But as we taught him, as he kept the commitments we gave him, and most especially, when the day of his baptism drew near, he became closer to God. He regained his faith. He wanted to hear more! He's always excited to see us and teach him the lessons. It just made me even happier! Now I know what my bestfriend felt when I became part of the Church. More importantly, to see me progress. I know that Brother Z will be a strong member of the church. Elder Panti told me that of all the people we are teaching, he likes Brother Z because we can see his conviction and determination to go back to our Heavenly Father's presence. What a great experience indeed, to see how the Gospel change people's lives. From then on, it inspired me to have more baptism, so that more people will be blessed and more people will be able to receive the blessings and happiness Brother Z felt.

As for our work this week, we had low stats. Also, Elder Panti was not feeling well again last Sunday. Though this was a less-stressful week for him, he was dizzy so I let him have some rest. While he was resting, I was actually pumped up for work, but I know that I need to take care of my companion first. Even though I'm fired up for work, I can't force him to work. Still, we had a great experience this past week which just made us more optimistic for the coming days ahead. Nevertheless, we still need to exert more effort in the coming days. We've already anticipated that people will be very busy this part of the year.

Anyways, as for Christmas, I was only able to talk with my mom for a few minutes because she was a bit busy though. It was hard because she is really persistent in telling me to go home when I reach my 1-year mark. I understand her since she's not a member. After our short conversation, I just realized how I want to be here. I just realized my sincerity towards this work and my view towards it. I really love this work. I actually can't believe myself that I was able to do the things beforehand just to go on a Mission. I know this work is hard. There are discouragements, trials, mistakes, and such, nevertheless, the feelings of joy, contentment, the opportunity to serve, and fulfilling my duty and such can never be compared to anything in this world. As a Missionary, I deeply felt why I am called to serve here. I am so much grateful for my co-Missionaries who always uplift me and inspire me. I am really grateful for my bestfriend and my MTC companion who always inspire me and to strive even harder even hard times comes. President's messages  always inspire me to work, work, and work more. Here in the Mission, I felt the love of our Heavenly Father even more stronger than before. It's a testimony that I always bear and I'm grateful for it.

This coming week before transfers, Elder Panti and I will strive to do more, stretch ourselves more and grow more doing this work. I always tell him to think in advance and just do the work so he won't be stressed out. For some reason, I actually learned to consider a blessing the stress and exhaustion I get being here in the office. Haha. Maybe because, it makes me feel that I'm doing my work although I'm still not there yet. But, I will do my best and work hard despite trials that would beset me.

With regards to our work, it really is important to work effectively. I have seen its effect with me and Elder Panti. Work's not that much but its effect is so big. What more  if our work efforts will increase, bearing in mind work effectivity. That's what I envision for us. Hopefully, it would transpire in the coming weeks.

Thank you guys for all you do. Thank you for for the support!

Wish you all the best! I love you!


Sincerely,
Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Time flies! - Week 37.Serving in Cagayan

How's everyone???? Man, time flies super duper fast! It's December and I feel like days are passing by like I haven't notice them. I guess that's normal. I'm out 8 months! So fast! I only have 16 months left! And it will just be super fast as well...

Geez, I still can't believe it. Hahaha... Anyways, I'm so happy with my companion, Elder Panti. He's awesome! He's so talkative and he always have a joke to say. So, yeah, it's super FUN! :)

Well, it's almost Christmas! Woot! And it's almost my birthday! Argh! It seems like last month when I spent my Christmas with the Missionaries, the members and my family. Hahaha... And now, I'm a Missionary who'll celebrate Christmas with my co-Missionaries, investigators, and members, so it's kinda interesting doing the Lord's work away from my family.

For the past week, I've been pondering and pondering and pondering. I guess it's my personality to usually spend a lot of time thinking about things. Funny though, while I was writing a letter for my MTC companion, I felt asleep. So yeah, super tired! We also had our Christmas Conference wherein the office staffs (us) sang. It's crazy but so cool! Haha... It's like a group of office mates. So, great! :D

Well, I do miss some people in the passing days. And, I'll write them. Sorry if I haven't written a letter for each of you! T_T Been so busy and pre-occupied with the conferences and preparations here in the Mission... Oh well, I know you'll understand. :)

Hmmm... While writing a specific letter, I felt the love of our Heavenly Father. It's so great to know that we have a loving Father in Heaven and to know our savior Jesus Christ. Hearing our Mission President in our Christmas Conference made me more eager to work hard so people can receive the restored gospel. I love this work. There maybe ups and downs, but I have learned to just keep pressing forward with faith. It's not easy for sure. But it's a great learning experience.

I know I'm so blessed to have a great bestfriend whom introduced me to the Gospel. And it feels great to be able to work alongside him though we're miles away. Still, it's kinda great to know we belong to the Missionary workforce working in the Lord's vineyard. And I can testify that this is the Lord's work. That the Spirit is the true and ultimate teacher. I still have weaknesses and shortcomings to overcome but, I know that as I fully submit myself to the Father's will, it will always be the best.

What can I say more. It's really the best experience one could have. Thank you all for your support and prayers. I have felt them in your letters for me, for the strength Heavenly Father gave me and for the will to move on in doing this work.

Thank you thank you for everything! I love you all! And I wish you a Merry Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Go forth with faith! :D


Sincerely,
Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Christmas Coooooooooooooon! - Week 36.Serving in Cagayan

Good day! Well this week was a rough week for both me and Elder Panti. A lot of things happened, ups and downs. This week was a learning experience for me as well.

Downside first, well we had low stats this week not just because with what happened to some parts of our area where we usually work, but we were not feeling well all of a sudden last Sunday. That's why we committed ourselves with the work this week although it'll be a busy week.

Time flies so freaking fast! I'm 8 months out here in the field. It seems like last week that I got transferred here in the office but in reality, it's not. I was able to ponder about the things the Lord has entrusted me to do in His vineyard. I know I still haven't done all He requires of me. But I am grateful for His trust nevertheless for His trust that I can do it.

Just like me during my first weeks here in the office, Elder Panti is still adjusting. I can feel it and see it with his works so I'm doing my best to help him as well by lending my hand whenever I can. Well, the week that just passed by Elder Panti got worried. He easily feels bad whenever he made a mistake. Funny though, I remember my first times here in the office with him. Of course, as his companion I am worried about him worrying too much. He's a great missionary. Even though he's a joker in nature, but deep inside, he just want to be of help to others. I have seen him work hard both in terms of proselyting and office works. I have seen his dedication to do give the extra mile whenever he can. One proof would be the supply room which just took him a week or two to organize and get more space. I was happy for him.

Though, he was really troubled after he mistakenly switched some pouches. It bugged him the whole day and jokingly tells me he wants to step down. I remembered the things President taught me about here in the office during my interview with him. So I told Elder Panti the same thing to somehow calm him down and help him. During the night, I prayed for Heavenly Father's help on how to help my companion. After 2 days or so, I got a prompting while we were having our companionship study. I just asked him a simple question. I asked him what is he feeling right now in the office. He told me that he's tired and that he's still adjusting in the office. In that study of ours, I tried my best to reinforce both our desires to serve. I just hope and pray that it made an impact to him.

Anyways, he's doing fine right now. I'm still helping him with work adjustments. But I know and I trust him that he can do it. And with Heavenly Father's help, there will be improvements. Because of this experience, I was able to draw myself closer to God. When I can't think of something to do, I easily refer myself to the Missionary Handbook. It's like scriptures to me. It helped me big especially now when I'm at a loss on how I can help Elder Panti.

Brother Z, will be baptized next week! It will be on the 22nd. I am excited for him. During our last teaching, he was so thankful to us that we taught him about the Gospel. He told us that there's a lot of changes he had received. He's so much progressing! Aside from keeping his commitments, when times come that he needs to cancel his appointment with us due to emergencies, he always tell sorry to us and then reschedule our appointment with him. He's really great. He'll be the first ever baptism that I ever had in the Mission. How great the feeling is! To be able to know that the Lord has made us an instrument to be a blessing to others.

Brother C, our new but very progressing investigator made a lot of progress this week! Even though we just left him with 3 verses to read, because of his interest, he read 7 chapters in 1 Nephi! So amazing! He even told us in detail the things that transpired in those chapters. Elder Panti and mine jaw dropped. We were so surprised! He's so golden. And good thing is, his live-in partner, a less-active member took part in our discussion. Now, we just need to set a date for him and for their wedding. We'll focus on them in the coming weeks.

During the Christmas Conference, I have learned so much. I'm thankful for President Hernaez for helping us understand the importance of asking people to be baptized. I know it's hard but I always believe that we need to say it. My past companions always tell me that we need to feel something or wait for the right time to invite people to be baptized but because of what President said, I got more confident and doubt no more in inviting people to be baptized. Not because I want baptisms, but because, I want them to receive this wondrous Gospel. It has blessed me in many ways and while pondering while listening to the homebounds' testimonies, I feel more inspired to give more and go for the extra mile.

Also,I'm thankful for giving me the opportunity to make the video for the Christmas Conference. Even though I know how to make it, I still prayed and ask for help from above to help me develop a video that would uplift us and renew us in our desire to serve God. I feel so good! Doing that rekindled the days that I was not yet a member of the church until today, wherein I'm a missionary myself. And it increased my love for this work.

I am even more grateful now than before for this responsibility the Lord has given me, to be a Senior Missionary and at the same time a Mission Secretary. It has helped me and humbled me in many ways. I have learned so much. Thank you guys so much for your prayers, for your kindness and appreciation for us,  here in the Mission. Thank you for lifting me and supporting me. I love you guys!

P.S.

If you want to watch the video I made, here's the link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xmoq2sivxwlyf35/ChristmasConference2012.m2t

Sincerely,
Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

And Here Comes December - Week 35.Serving in Cagayan

Wow! I've been out for 7 1/2 months already! Geez! Surreal! I really didn't notice the time. Haha... I guess I'm lovin the office, just kidding! Anyways, there's a lot of things that happened! First of all is Typhoon Pablo. Well, we're safe here of course. Haha... Safety is our first priority although the area we are assigned in was flooded just like last year's Sendong. Anyways, I'm safe and sound. Good thing is that people here are prepared and cautious than before so less casualties.

It was supposed to be our Ward Christmas Party but it turned out that our P-Day (Party Day today... hehehe... because of the Ward) turned out to be an office day. Oh well, being an office staff has its price and sacrifice (more or less no P-day usually). But it's fine.

I haven't shared anything for the past weeks! Geez! Super busy! At least, I've made the Christmas Conference Video for our Mission which I really really poured out my all. I just hope the Missionaries will be inspired with it.

Weeks were great. Ups and downs, I guess that's usual. I have a new companion right now and I'm a Senior Missionary. My companion is Elder Panti. He's so funny! Haha... I'm enjoying our companionship really really well. He makes me laugh almost every day so it's stress-free work for us though it's tiring! We worked our all from Monday to Sunday, balancing our proselyting efforts and office works. So loaded! Just imagine the planning, the study, the evaluation, the workload, etc. Haha... Nevertheless, it's fun even we are so very tired at the end of each day.

Christmas is really near and so is my birthday! Oh boy! My first christmas, birthday and new year celebration in the Mission Field. Woot! At least I've tasted a bit of it last year with some of the Elders I'm closed with, the difference is, I'm an Elder now as well. Haha...

Sorry if I haven't written any letters! I'm definitely sorry since we're so busy with things and preoccupied with the upcoming December stuffs. FUN! Hahaha...

I still don't know whether I'm staying or transferring next cycle but we'll see. I do feel I'm getting transferred (here's my hunch again) but I do want to stay with Elder Panti for a bit more. Hehe... Oh well, let's just see.

Good news! We'll be having a baptism on the 22nd of December! Yay! My very first. Hahaha... I'm looking forward to it. I know it took us some time to prepare him for his baptism. Either way, the time was worth it! I can't wait to see him enter the waters of baptism. So, it's like 8 months of no baptism for me. But it's fine. Though, right now, I need to be more puffed up in doing the work, being more eager for finding the "elect people" that have been prepared for us. We're planning to do it in the next coming weeks.

Being here in the office, you'll be able to witness a lot of happenings. You may see Missionaries finishing their mission. You will see some arriving fresh from the MTC. You will also see some who needs to go home, though a sad moment to see, but seeing them relieved and knowing the reason why they need to go, you'll be inspired. Recently, I've been pondering on the Missionary Handbook as well as Christlike Attributes. I guess I'm just thinking too much. Haha... (though I'm always like that). But, it's so inspiring when you'll gain a testimony of Christ's teachings especially about humility. Sometimes we may say it's easy to follow but when we are given an option that would really really satisfy something in us, that'll be so hard. But, putting off that "natural man", it's just the time that we'll see what He wants us to be. Truly, His will is the best. That's what I've learned these past weeks. My Mission President told me and taught me a lot about humility and it's a great experience! While doing the Christmas Conference Video for our Mission, I asked for inspiration from our Heavenly Father on how to make a presentation that would uplift us all in this time of the year.  Viewing it gave me a weird feeling. A confirmation of the sacredness of this work. It's kinda cool to see people being baptized for the past year 2012. Oh well. It's just surreal. Haha.

How are you all? I'll update you more about me in the next coming weeks. Work is super okay. Hahaha... I'm clicking so well with my new companion. It reminds me of my MTC companion. So quirky! And I'm lovin the work! 1 week of change is so great. Being more diligent and obedient here in the Mission is really worth it. There's no other way to do this work, only in His way. That's what I can truly testify to you. The best thing to do is to follow the Lord's will. His will should be our will and by it, we'll see the greatness of His magnificent plan.


Sincerely,
Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Happy Feet and Happy Me - Week 34.Serving in Cagayan

Heads up! What a great week it is for us! I am so happy these past few days and even the members and my co-missionaries have seen the change in me. I am so comfortable to have Elder Panti as my new companion. Still, I am grateful for the things I've learned from Elder Pangilinan and with this new transfer I know that we're on a new road of learning.

The Stake Conference was so great. I love the talks especially President Pagaduan's talk if we know for ourselves if the church is true. And it motivated me to think of our Less-Actives and Investigators to really know their testimony about the truthfulness of the church as well as the Gospel in their lives. Last Sunday, we had our Ward Council Meeting and our Bishop invited us to help them plan on what we need in order to progress the work since for the past months, they don't have baptisms and they are having a hard time in retaining those that have been baptized in the past year. And our Bishop got inspired with President's talk last Saturday since he shared it to us and he really felt it. Now, the ward is trying to organize Missionary Work by calling new Ward Missionaries, a functional Ward Mission Leader and a fixed meeting with us. It's a great change that happened in the ward as we start on this new transfer.

Anyways, this week is an interesting week. Though we had low stats this week. I know that work was affected with transfers and panted appointments. It was funny because if the people that we'll be teaching is not at their homes, something will happen. Just like with our investigator who has a baptismal date. We were suppose to start the lesson then an emergency happened since he needs to donate blood at the hospital at our fixed time with him since his soon to be wife's grandmother will undergo surgery. Also, with one of our progressing investigators as well, we've followed-up on our last lesson, everything is all in place to start the lesson and by the time we were about to pray, Sister J's son woke up and cried for like 10 minutes nonstop, so Sister J just told us to come back another time. Just a few of our unusual things that happened to us.

Well, our investigators didn't progress that much this week. Only Brother Z and Sister J who read their reading assignment. As for our Less-Actives, the P family experienced a great challenge in their family since the head of the family passed away. So, we extended our help to them by strengthening their faith and by next week, one of the daughters of Brother P told us that her family will come back to church and they will attend this Sunday. They told us that they've realized that they really need to stay active. Sister told us that she fears that her family will not be ready if the time for them to depart from this world comes so she wants them to be prepared just like what the scripture says in Alma 34:32. I can't wait to see them be active again. That challenge have become a turning point in their lives to try their faith and to choose whether to come back to church or not. Elder Panti and I really felt their desire. We will report on their progress next week.

As for our companionship, it's an overwhelming and learning experience for me to be a Senior missionary. I am so happy because both me and Elder Panti are united in our purpose and both of us desires to be diligent and obedient in doing the Lord's work. We are experiencing spirit-filled experiences each day and I'm excited for the next coming weeks. I do hope that our companionship would last for quite a while because I am learning a lot from him.

This week, we've carefully planned our work and both of us agreed that we need to set goals that we can achieve and then raise it until we become consistent in our work efforts. I know that our goals is just a head-start but we committed ourselves to really "lose ourselves in the work" by having a productive planning, evaluation, personal and companionship study, and the like even though we are assigned here in the office. And I'm really excited to for the new things the Lord wants to teach me.

Thank you guys for all you do. I don't know but I'm just happy, even my co-office Missionaries always tell me. All I know is that I feel more comfortable and I feel the Spirit even stronger. I know that I still have a lot to learn and overcome my weaknesses. And like what you told me, I want to fully submit myself to His will. It will be hard but I know it is for the best.

Sincerely,
Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Dino Comes! - Week 33.Serving in Cagayan

Good day! Another week has passed. The past week went well despite my anxiety attacks. Now, I'm more comfortable to work and seeing Elder Panti, I guess we'll have a great time this coming cycle.

Despite transfers and the upcoming Stake Conference, we'll do our best to focus on our Progressing Less-Actives and Investigators.

This week, we have 4 progressing investigators which is good, but I know that we still need to walk the extra mile you told me to improve our work performance. I'm looking forward for the coming weeks and we will do our best to be more diligent and obedient in doing the Lord's work. We know that losing ourselves in the work will help us in what the Lord plans for us, especially in our area. Despite the challenges that happened to me, I'm still grateful to be companions with Elder Pangilinan. I am happy to be able to feel and see his desire to help other people and I'm happy to see him grow as my Senior.

The P family, who recently came back to church is still progressing although sister stopped coming to church for 2 weeks now so we need to see what happened or what her concerns are. They are the family the ward is preparing to be sealed in the temple. Aside from them, our Less-Actives are progressing slowly somehow.

As for our investigators, Brother Z, who has a baptismal date is still progressing. We'll do our best to prepare him for his baptism since he still have some issues with living the Word of Wisdom. Aside from that, he's okay and in time, we hope that he'll see the blessings of repentance. Also, Sister J, a part-member is now reading the Book of Mormon. Ever since we shared how important it is for her to do the commitments we always give her, she started reading the verses we always left her and when we follow-up on our next visit, she happily shares how she can relate to the verses she reads. We hope in time that the Holy Ghost will testify to her the truthfulness of the Gospel and be able to accept our invitation to be baptized in due time. Aside from them, Brother R, our new investigator is progressing. Our challenge is that he understand our lessons slowly so we need to adjust to him. With patience and dedication, we hope that he'll progress even more since he's a part-member.

There's so much work to do. I can feel it but through the Lord's help, I know we can do it. After all, He's the master of the vineyard. This coming week in our Weekly Planning, Elder Panti and I will carefully plan our week's activities and make it fruitful. And I have faith that with the Lord's help, we can find the people that He has prepared for us.

That's my week guys! Have a great week ahead! :D

Sincerely,
Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Punted or Panted?! - Week 32.Serving in Cagayan

Hi guys! Anyways, this was a weird week for us. It's a week wherein I learned so much and it's the week wherein we didn't have much success with our key indicators (because we're panted... after a long time). Still, I've enjoyed the past week.

We moved Brother Z's baptismal date on the 22nd of December, shortly after his wedding with Sister H. Last Sunday, we were able to teach both of them about the Law of Chastity and we can see how hard it was for Sister H to know what they did. During that lesson, we told them about the blessings of repentance and how it could help them live the Law of Chastity. Brother Z is really progressing because he didn't just read the whole pamphlet but he did read the additional scriptures that's in it. It just shows how interested he is about the Law of Chastity which is really great. Both of them came to church which is really great. And we will continue to help him learn more of the Gospel. He even told us that he wants to be baptized not because of his girlfriend but because he feels it is his decision and that no one convinced him to do it. That made me happy. I can't wait to see him enter the waters of baptism, hopefully, I really could stay longer here in the area. But I know God knows better.

Well, Elder Pangilinan and I were talking about our work this week. We don't know what happened, aside from the Specialized Training and the office errands, but we really got panted. It was my first time to get panted in our productive days. Even the people that we expect to be at their homes the most are those that are not there. So, it really was weird. On a brighter side, we were able to meet new people for us to teach. And, we are being able to slowly meet the people that are being prepared by the Lord to receive his Gospel. We are not finding them, they are finding us. That's why there's a lot of work to do.

This week, I've been pondering so much on our purpose as Missionaries. More to that, the insights I've learned from our companionship study with President. I can still remember the phrase he told us during the Zone Conference "so what?". It helped me to look beyond what is in front of us. But to have that "eternal perspective". I have been constantly reading Chapter 1 and 2 Nephi 31. And it helped me. Seeing Elder De Guzman go, I just can't help myself ponder on our purpose. In our specialized training, we tackled about it, especially inviting people to be baptized. I've been praying for the past week to understand more of our purpose as a Missionary. Every District Meeting, or Missionary Meeting, we always recite our purpose, but more than that, I want to view it on a larger perspective. I know that my companions are somehow lenient with some of the smallest things in the Mission like updating Teaching Records, achieving our goals and plans, proper planning, consistent companionship study, and such. I know that there's so much work to do. I am so much challenged by the fact that my companion is leaving. It made me more determined to even work harder, because I know that we are accountable to the Lord with our work. I have learned so much the importance of "going and doing". And I can't wait for next transfer. To do the things in His way, just what D&C 64:29 says.

I'm praying that Elder Pangilinan will do great things in the field because he's a great Missionary. It's great to grow alongside with your companion. I also pray that he'll even see the greatness of this work. I know he can do it and I have trust in him.

With the things that happened, I am so thankful for the lessons I've learned for the past months. I remember Ether 12:27 on how the Lord shows our weaknesses, that we can be made strong. He wants to try our patience in faith. I now understand even more the blessings of increasing our faith in Christ. He wants us to trust Him more. And that is because he really really loves us.

With our Investigators and Less-Actives in mind, as Missionaries we need to press forward and do our best. I know that no effort is wasted. Some of our Less-Actives are progressing like the Oblimar Family and Pajomayo Family. Sister Oblimar was recently given a calling. For the Pajomayo Family, because of Brother's father's worsening health condition, his other siblings started to listen to us. His sister even shared her personal experience about prayer. From the time she became a member of the church, she never felt how powerful prayer can be, just recently, when their father fell ill. It made us happy. And we're looking forward for their progression as well.

That's our interesting week. For the next 2 weeks, we are planning to have more people with baptismal dates. Have a great week ahead guys! 

Sincerely,
Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Prepare ye! Prepare ye! - Week 31.Serving in Cagayan

Last week was a great week for us despite of unexpected things that happened. It was a learning week for me.

So, because Elder Eday and Elder Jimenez was here with us, I was able to work with Elder Eday during the weekend. Learned a lot from him with regards to inviting others to learn. We were able to find 2 families which we plan on going back since they are interested in our message. While working with him, he taught me of being bold to those we are teaching, to not fear of what their reactions would be as long as we listen to the promptings of the Spirit. I really enjoyed working with him that day.

As for our work, Sister M, the Less-Active whom we always conduct Special Sacrament because of her condition is progressing so much. That despite the fact that she can't go to church, she is still doing everything to build her faith through the commitments that we are giving her. Although Elder Pangilinan told me not to report her in our District Meetings because she's not able to go to church, personally, I felt that she's the most progressing of all the Less-Actives that we are teaching. She may not go to church but her faith is really strong now. I commend her that despite the fact that she cannot go to Church, she never fail to have hope that someday God will make a way for her to come to church. So, she always do our commitments like reading, praying, and listening to the messages that we teach because she knows that she gets nearer to God. After our work last Sunday, where we assisted the member who worked with us, the Relief Society President happily told us that Sister M will go to church next Sunday because one of the members will help her and give her a ride. When I heard that, I felt like jumping for joy because God answered her prayer. After almost 4 months, she can now go to church! It's one of the greatest experience I had last week, what a great blessing indeed! I have seen how Heavenly Father helped one of His children and it's an experience I won't ever forget.

With regards to our Progressing Investigators, Brother Z, whose baptismal date is on November 17, will now be moved. Now, we really need to prepare him for his baptism, realizing how important and sacred the ordinance that he's going to make. Even though I haven't experience having a baptism, what Preach My Gospel says about preparing those that we teach in baptism is really big for me. It's their eternal life we are talking about and as Missionaries, we need to make sure that he meets the qualification for baptism as stated in D&C 20:37. So, I'm looking forward for the next coming days.

As for our Less-Actives, we're able to find a Less-Active by chance. It was weird because we got panted for 3 times and while we are walking our way to another appointment, we met a member in which we don't know their house. So, she guided us and we were able to meet the family. Found also a part-member there so we really need to help that family stay active again. Overall, there's progress with them, some are slowly progressing but still, they are progressing bit by bit. I guess we need to plan even more for them to progress even more.

During one of our evaluation, I am happy that Elder Pangilinan is becoming more open to me now compared before and it helped me as his companion to not be anxious around him anymore. Sister French have helped me so much already and I guess I'm growing bit by bit.

Now that I know that Elder Pangilinan is transferring, I do hope that I could stay longer in the area. Maybe because I feel comfortable working now compared before. Thanks to Elder Pangilinan's help as well as the other people around me, Sister French, the office staffs and to President. And I feel that I still have lots of work to do. It's so cool to learn from others and see their point of view. At least, I'm becoming more open to other people. I know that I'm still too far from becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary and time here in the Mission is so fast so I will even try harder to become what God wants me to be.

That's our week! It feels great to be able to achieve the Standard again although we're assigned in the office. But, we know that we still need to be diligent, to be constant in our efforts.

Thanks guys!

Sincerely,
Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Stressed! Ouch! - Week 30.Serving in Cagayan

While President counseled me, it reminded me of an article in Liahona about Pres. Uchtdorf telling us Missionaries to always have our mind set that we are already at the middle of our mission.

I really enjoyed the Zone Conference. I've learned a lot. It made me more eager to relate our message to the people that we are teaching. One thing I really remembered is your question "so what?". It really got me into thinking. Truly, when the people that we are teaching not just understood the lesson but see its relevance of our message to them, they will even open more and through the Holy Ghost, we will be guided in knowing how we can address our message to them. President's participation in our practice teaching in the District Meeting taught me more about listening. It made me more eager to formulate questions for myself as I know more about the Gospel.

As for work, well, the P family is still active as ever. I admire brother in his desire to really come back to church, along with his family. His son, D, wants to go on a mission but that's after 5 or so years, so it's really cool. Sister is still active as ever. As for the other Less-Actives, they go on and off at church and we need to plan more and talk more of what they really need to become fully active again.

As for our investigators, Brother Z is progressing although the conflict which we reported last District Meeting really surprised me when E. Pangilinan told me about it. So, more or less, his baptism will be moved. Still, with his future wife being a Less-Active, we really need to focus on Sister's family so Brother Z will stay strong in the church when he gets baptized.

It's just heartwarming to see Sister M, one our former progressing investigators come to church again! After 2 months of not being able to attend church, she was able to attend again. It really made me happy. Though, we need brother to get back to church as well since he's less-active. I know time will come that he'll really listen to us because most of the times that we are there, either he's sleep, eating, or fixing some stuffs.

Well, the past week was interesting. I remembered President asked me about being homesick due to Elder De Guzman's experience, I can really feel him. When they were in our apartment, I was able to talk to him and take care of him. Maybe because he's younger than me and its so natural for me to really take care of those younger than me. The same thing I did for Elder Abad when we're not yet in the Mission. I tried my best to make him comfortable and make him feel that he's not far away from home. So, we shared some stories regarding life's experiences, our families, etc. It was great knowing him. After his session with Sister French, he thanked me personally for the motivation and for taking care of him and it really made me happy. Happy in a way that I was able to help someone in a simple but meaningful way. I also gained another friend here in the Mission as well. I know that going on a Mission is a really great decision which we Missionaries made. And we have our fair share of trials here in the Mission as well.

That's my week! Take care you all!

Sincerely,
Elder Dimazana

Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Pavilion That's Blocking Me - Week 29.Serving in Cagayan

Aloha!!!! Just had the best week here in the Mission Field so far! I really really felt Heavenly Father's love for me and for the people that we teach.

As for our work, we are happy to be able to achieve again the standard number of teachings despite cancelled appointments and punted ones. We are so happy! It really made our week. I've learned so much, more than I can ever imagine.

All started last Thursday, where I had my session with Sister French. And she told me that I really am leaning on being a perfectionist. She related me some great doctrines about perfection, I did understand it but not so much. And, she committed me to do some things, a pattern that would help me master my thoughts. It was great. It was helpful until now. Though Friday came, I was not feeling well. We had exchanges that time after our Specialized Training which is all about Teaching with your companion in unity. It was great and I can't wait to try it. Saturday came and I'm still not feeling well so I rested to have strength for work that day because I really really don't want to miss out work. We still worked after I rested. I worked with Elder Pasco in their area. During that time, we were able to teach a Less-Active and for some reason, I can really feel Sister's worries, it's like I'm seeing myself in her! I was alarmed because, I do admit, my faith did weaken here in the Mission Field and I am struggling in increasing my faith. I know and understand what I need but I'm at a lost how to achieve it. Been trying to pray, fast, read the scriptures, and still can't find the answer. So I waited for the promptings of the Spirit.

As the day ended, we had our evaluation and I sought Elder Pasco's help as my District Leader. He told me a lot of things. I felt the Spirit. As we approach the end of our evaluation, I received Heavenly Father's answer on how to overcome my fear and help me grow. It was a subtle feeling and 3 words came to my mind after feeling it. The Spirit prompted me to "Count your blessings". For a split-second, my understanding grew so much! I was so focused and occupied with the things that beset me, creating a pavilion that blocks me from God. The first blessing that came to my mind was my companion, Elder Pangilinan for his patience and love for me. And I am happy that that Pavilion is now gone. My mind is clear now.. I am so positive. I am so energized. And, I am more expressive than before. Haha. I'm so happy for my growth. I know that for the past few days, Elder Pangilinan is worried about helping me and he's trying all he can to make me happy. It was hard for him because like me, he's not that expressive. I asked forgiveness from him and expressed my gratitude for always helping me until the right time came for me to understand what Heavenly Father wants me to know. I know he's happy for me now and I'm happy that we'll be companions still until January and he'll be present in my birthday as well. Truly, Heavenly Father knows what's best for us. 

As for our Less-Actives, the family that we're working on is still progressing as ever. They are active in the church especially Sister. It feels so good to see them complete in the Church. My joy is full every Sunday as I see Sister watch her son pass the sacrament, smiling. We are still helping them even progress more. Right now, we are trying our best to help them have callings in the ward.

As for our Progressing Investigators, Brother Z is sure to be baptized on November 17, but not in our ward since we are able to teach him in his girlfriend's house. I know he'll be worried about what will happen after he is baptized in another ward where he resides 'coz I experienced it as well but we'll assure him that it doesn't matter, what matters is that he'll receive the gospel in his life. He is doing our commitments especially reading the Book of Mormon. He has read 12 chapters in 1 Nephi in a span of 2 weeks. He is great! We are looking forward for his baptism. Though, if permitted, we would love to see him enter in the waters of baptism on that day.

On the other hand, Sister J, who has little interest in our message before, changed suddenly. Thanks to Elder Pangilinan's heartfelt testimony. It's because Sister's husband undergoes dialysis and recently, Elder Pangilinan's aunt passed away, having the same situation. It was a Spirit-filled lesson because I know in my heart, Elder Pangilinan is concerned about Sister if any time from now something happens to Brother. But, we assured her that through the Gospel, she will have that 'sweet assurance' that all will be well. It was a great lesson. We are planning to give her a baptismal date by November.

Work greatly improved. Members are now working with us and we have an acting Ward Mission Leader who is helping us update the 3-in-1 forms. We are now focusing more on how the people that we are teaching see the relevance of the gospel in their lives and the importance of doing such commitments to get closer to God.

President, I am enjoying this work more now. I am seeing beyond as I look upon it before. Just like what in D&C 67:10 says, "And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual." How true!

In one of our teachings, a Less-Active told me how happy I am. She was happy for me and she wishes that I stay like this. Haha. She also said that she could see that my countenance really affect others around me. I know I have affected those who are around me in some way most especially my companion. Now, I am so relieved with the growth I've achieved. Thank you all for all the support, encouragements and counsels. This is truly a humbling experience.

That's our great week. Thank you so much for all that you guys do. Have a great week ahead! :)

Sincerely,
Elder Dimazana

Sunday, 21 October 2012

"Do You Love Me??" - Week 28.Serving in Cagayan

How's everyone??? I haven't written letters yet. SORRY! Been busy with some things here. And, learning with my faults and weaknesses. Geez, the Mission sure is a humbling experience.

I want to share to you this great lesson I had during our Fast & Testimony Sunday. Well, we didn't have a Gospel Principles class so my companion and I attended the youth class instead (LOL!). Well, their lesson is about the beatitudes. While they were discussing the beatitudes, the teacher shared a verse. It's in Matthew 5:13. I love that lesson! The verse mentioned about "the salt of the earth", and mentioned about "losing its savour". Then, he demonstrated to us how 'salt' really lose its savour. I was like, "Wait, is that possible?". Eagerly waiting for how it is done, she mentioned that according to chemists, if the salt is contaminated, it will lose its savour. The teacher showed a spoon of salt in front of us, then, asked each of us what actions would lead us in becoming "contaminated". As each of the youth answers, the teacher puts dirt in the salt, obviously, showing it is contaminated, though of course, we didn't taste it. Haha...

Thinking about that lesson, I learned that us, Missionaries, are really "the salt of the earth". If we lose our savor  then it just means that we are "contaminated". How? As simple as being disobedient. Then, I came across D&C 1:31 which says that "the Lord cannot look on sin with the least degree of allowance". Realizing this thing brought a question in my head, did I do all I can to become the Missionary the Lord wants me to be? Overall, just a great insight...

So, had my interview with President, twice! Hahaha! Geez, I love having interviews with him. Currently experiencing some trials here in the Mission and President is always there to help me. Funny, but, in that interview, I just related some of my challenges and he knows what I'm already experiencing. Astig!!!!!! I know that he's called of God. That he is our Mission Parent. I'm so blessed to be here.

Anyways, General Conference was so great! Ha! I can't forget Elder Holland's talk 'coz me, my companion, as well as our housemate Missionaries were crying. LOL! Seriously. It was a very powerful message especially to us Missionaries who are laboring in the Master's vineyard. Also, I love hearing Pres. Eyring. One principle I've learned from him is that "our own desires creates a pavilion that blocks us from God". I know that I'm experiencing it right now and I need to change it. I need to be better. It's kinda hard adjusting and adapting here in the Mission Field but now, I have a firm conviction on what I should do. Hehe... 

Overall, work's good. Though transfers and General Conference gave us less time. Ha! But, work's improving nevertheless. Sorry if I haven't written some letters for QUITE SOME TIME. Been busy with things and unexpected events. Hopefully, I could receive some pouches this Christmas. Hahaha!

Thank you very much for all the support. I miss all of you... I love you all. INGAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!

Sincerely,
Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A-Bad! - Week 27.Serving in Cagayan

Good day guys! Had some great interviews with President. Honestly, I feel much better whenever I have my interviews with him. I've learned so much. If only I could have interviews regularly. Haha. Maybe because I feel more secured whenever I talk to him. I'm very happy to have a Mission Parent here in the Mission.

Actually, seeing my bestfriend Elder Abad here in the mission made me happy! Superman! LOL! I really miss him as well as my other friends who've arrived here, Elder Aban and Elder De Dios. Seeing them go to their new areas made me a bit impatient to go out of the office and see them again. It really made me miss them again and a bit sad of course.

I'm still trying my best to follow what President counseled me and overcome my fears and worries. I'm trying new things that I've never did before. Elder Pangilinan has been patient with me and is approaching me in a different way to comfort me when I'm down. He always encourages me that I can overcome what I'm experiencing. I'm looking forward talking to Sister French so she could help me as well. I know that as I overcome this, it'll make a huge impact in my life and make significant changes on how I view on things.

As for our work, we are openly discussing the concerns of our Less-Actives. We're evaluating where can we improve and really help them progress and come back into activity. One family we're working on, which is the family we're preparing for the temple is very much progressing. We're continually doing our best to strengthen their faith since Sister is a bit concerned what will happen to them when Elder Pangilinan and me gets transferred. We assured them that no matter what happens, if they will show their faith and do what He wills them to do, they can achieve their goal to be sealed in the temple.

Our work is progressing than before. We're coordinating our efforts with the ward and hopefully, they'll call a new Ward Mission Leader which we've been waiting for months to really help us move the work forward. Still, we're grateful for the help of our Executive Secretary in helping us update the New & Returning Member Progress Form.

I'm excited this weekend for General Conference. I can't wait to hear from the leaders of the church and learn from their inspired messages. I know that there will be a talk that will help me in what I'm experiencing now.

Thank you so much guys for all the help you've given me. I love you. Thank you for all you do. Have a great week!

Sincerely,
Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

Sunday, 7 October 2012

And When All Seems Right - Week 26.Serving in Cagayan

Aloha! LOL! Well, hello October! Haha... A lot of great things happened this week. It's quite interesting indeed.

Well, this week is really interesting for me and my companion. It's the best week so far for us in our work. We were able to achieve our goals as well as the Mission Standards for teaching the Less-Actives. Also, ironic it may seem but it's also the most number of teaching I ever had during my stay here in Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission. Work is really moving forward for me and Elder Pangilinan. It's so great!

For our work coordination with the ward, we had a meeting with the Executive Secretary who is also the 1st counselor in the Elders Quorum, as well as the Relief Society President. During the meeting, we tackled about the 3 in 1 forms and the need to update them. We are so much happy for their cooperation. They are now updating the forms and because of that, Home & Visiting Teaching efforts were improved after we've discussed it with our Bishop. We are looking forward for the things they've committed in helping this work especially helping the Less-Actives in the ward come back to activity.

For our week, we held the 4th consecutive Special Sacrament for a disabled sister. She is getting better now in terms of health though she's still hoping that she can go to church and see her Relief Society sisters. Also, this family which we and the ward are focusing to go the temple are progressing. Sister was at church for the 2nd consecutive time and like last week, we are happy to see them completed at church.

We had exchanges last Saturday wherein I was able to work with Elder Collado (my batchmate, my district mate, and my roommate in the MTC) in our area. During that exchanges, I've found out one of my greatest weaknesses in the mission, that is getting easily distracted and easily losing my focus during teachings. We had one lesson where I really got so much distracted with a sick child. He was crying while we were teaching so he really got my attention. I was struggling during that lesson but Elder Collado backed me up and I got back on track again. It's like the story in Preach My Gospel wherein when we focus, we could really see what the Lord wants us to see. So, I asked helped from my companion to get me back when I'm lost in track.

We still are hoping for the best for the Less-Actives that we teach. I'm doing my best to love them and become a blessing to them. I know how grateful we should be that we become members of the Church and reactivation is actually one of the things I love doing. I want them to realize how blessed are we to become a part of the true church, though of course, balancing the reactivation efforts with conversion efforts.

As for the progress of our investigators, we have an investigator with a baptismal date. Yay! He's really progressing because now, he goes to church by himself, without the need of reminding him by his girlfriend. Last time, we taught him about the Book of Mormon. It was a good lesson. The Spirit was strong and our testimonies about the book helped even more. He committed to read, ponder and pray about the truthfulness of it. We are praying that the Holy Ghost will testify to him as he wholeheartedly seek for the truth.

Also, we were able to contact a family referral. They are very much progressing! Me and Elder Pangilinan are looking forward for our teaching appointments with them. Sister is a bit familiar about the church. And she really likes the teachings of Jesus Christ just by seeing how they raised their children. As for Brother, we just taught them the first 3 principles of Lesson 1 but he is so much eager to learn. Brother can't hear well so it was a challenge for both Elder Pangilinan and me to deliver our message to him. What we did is write our questions on a paper and then he'll just speak afterwards. It's my first time to teach that way but I know that the Spirit will eventually touch their hearts and testify to them the truthfulness of our message. Brother is quite excited for our lesson about the Book of Mormon because after our first lesson, he finished reading the pamphlet and even answered the questions there! It truly made Elder Pangilinan and me happy. We will definitely do our best to help them receive the Gospel and be able to help them know the truthfulness of our message.

I really enjoyed the week's work. Despite the fact that the work is tiring, I am feeling that there is so much work to do. Sometimes, when I wake up, it's like I just slept a few hours. Haha. But, I am looking forward everyday for what the Lord has in store for me. I love the result of our companionship evaluation. Work really drastically improved, and we will do our best to maintain it. I have learned so much from his example as well as his desire to serve other people.

While at church last Sunday, I really got sad and a bit discouraged seeing a few of our Less-Actives come to church. I was like, "No, where did we go wrong. We did our best to help them come back. What can we do to help them next time." And other things came to my mind. Me and Elder Pangilinan shared that feeling during the Sacrament meeting. As I was partaking the sacrament, I was hoping that the Less-Actives we are teaching will do the same likewise. To be able to renew their covenants with our Father in Heaven. Yes, it was sad not to see them at church, but I've remembered one of the talks I heard from last April General Conference which says, "Do your best, leave unto God the rest". I know that someday, those Less-Actives will be active again. All I & Elder Pangilinan can do is to do our best in doing the Lord's work and leave God the rest.

There's is really so much work to do and I know that with our new resolve, we can see the changes in our work for the coming weeks. I love this work. I love my area, I love the members, I love my companion and I love the Gospel.

That's my great week . Thank you for the love and prayers that I continually feel from all of you. Have a great week ahead everyone!

Sincerely,
Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Golf and Dahilayan....plus President! Yeah! - Week 25.Serving in Cagayan

"No matter the size of the issue, how we respond can reset the course of out life." This is one of the greatest learning I had this past week. Well, things do get rough at times. I guess that's normal especially to us Missionaries. So, there are times that my companion is not in the mood or just get a 'bad day' if you want to call it. And it's the same for me as well. Haha. And because of that, trials come such as a little misunderstanding. But, things like that helps you to learn something. It's always good to take a step back and realize our flaws and try to fix them. I know I'm not good handling those things personally, but the Lord wants me to just DO IT. To really take action. To have that strength and courage I need. And in the end, just like Pres. Monson said, "as you follow the Lord's inspiration, there's a sweet and undeniable assurance that all will be well." I know this beforehand to be true, and I continue to experience it again and again.

This may sound funny but, sometimes, when I know what I should do, I just don't do it because I have doubts and anxieties that I'm not capable of doing it, that I'll just wait for others to respond, that someone will do something, etc. But I learned that things need to begin with me first. That I need to decide and take action. And it's a great principle I learned here in the Mission Field. During our weekly planning, my companion came across an interesting scripture verse, which I felt so much (I don't know if he felt it too), just what I need the whole day after a night's stress. The scripture verse is Mormon 9:31 which says, "Condemn me not because of mine imperfection... but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." Actually, it was a scripture verse he shared to me that we could use in our teaching, but reading it, became more personal to me. He was sharing his thoughts and I was attentively listening. And, this scripture is what I just needed! I've been praying for guidance on how I could enjoy the work without putting so much thought to it. It helped me redefine some of my flaws. I am so stiff with most of the things because I understand them differently. 

I remembered a film I watched before I went here on my mission entitled "One Man's Treasure". Thinking back, I want to be enthusiastic as before I've been on my mission. I really miss working with those cool elders (hehe). I was actually working on some things for myself because I've been too serious. Hahaha... I have seen some things here that are contrary to what I expected. I guess that's the Mission Field. And I need to stay strong. And that's the hardest part. But, with the things that I learn and realize just by pondering on what my companion teach me at times, it helped me a ton. He may not be the most skilled or the brightest missionary there is, but in his simplicity, I learned to take things simply. Ironic. Haha. But, the small things I've learned from him made a huge impact in my life. He taught me that I can do things. He taught me that I need not to be alone. He taught me about how weaknesses can be made strong. But most important of all, he taught me how to be a better missionary. (:

Actually, I just had the most stressful day, yet the most coolest day in the Mission. For the past days, I've been lonely with some things, and I'm stressed out emotionally, to the point that I didn't talk that much for two days. I was crying for the past few days. For 2 days, I was not talking to almost anyone as well. The office staffs was asking me if I have a problem or if my companion is not treating me well. But, after Monday's work, me and my companion had our evaluation. I told him what my problems are and he told me what his problems are because we're not in good terms for the past 2 days. Never have I expected that that evaluation would bring so much change in our companionship. Yeah, both of us were so emotional and we opened to each other, helped each other and set goals. The Spirit was there while we were talking to each other. It was the most amazing experience I had in the mission. I never thought how my companion was so much thankful to have me as his companion, neither does he. If only I can tell everything that I've experienced during that night. All I can say is, our companionship is the best! Haha... But seriously, it's so great to have a good relationship with your companion. He became my friend and my brother. (:

Well, I'm still looking forward for the coming days ahead. Time's so fast. I can't even feel that it's been a week already, that a new week is before me. I've been out for almost 6 months, so freakin fast! Geez. If every BOY goes on a mission, he'll be a MAN when he gets back, prepared for life as long as he does what he needs to do.

Oh well. That's my week. Take care! Peace! 

P.S.

We spent our P-day with our Mission President and his family. We had our P-day at Dahilayan. It was so cool! My first time to do some things and helped us refresh our minds for the coming week ahead. We even played golf! (Just putting). But at least, it's fun! Hahaha... Hopefully we will have it again! Hehehe...

So yeah, that's my week. Letters please? :3

With love from Mindanao,
Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

















Saturday, 22 September 2012

Rushed... and Fine (At Least) - Week 24.Serving in Cagayan

Ahoy! Haha... It's quite a learning week for me. I've learned so much and realized so much this past week.

Last Sunday, I got rushed in the hospital. After Ward Council Meeting, me and my companion decided to go home since I am so hot because of my fever and my head feels so heavy, I actually don't understand what we've discussed in Ward Council Meeting halfway though since I feel a bit dizzy. Then, when we got home, I rested but couldn't sleep because of my fever and was having chills. Around 9PM I think, they've insisted to take me to the hospital because I really am not feeling so well. So, we did. While in the car, I was chilling so much! Then, when we were on our way, I experienced chills with edema (my hands and feet were numbe), in short, I was almost in seizures but tried my best to be awake. Then, one of the APs rushed from the front seat to the back seat and told my companion to bless me. It was surreal because, my situation was actually a bit scary but through that blessing, things changed. I remained more calm and my faith grew that all will be well. I was still having chills when we got home and needed to take up some meds. I was thankful for my companion for his sacrifice in taking care of me. Truly, he treated me not just an ordinary friend, but a brother. He sacrificed some of his sleep to watch over me and help me take my meds. My testimony about the power of the priesthood grew because of that experience.

Morning came, and as me and my companion went on our way for the Zone Training Meeting (I'm still not feeling well though), he related to me his experience while giving me a blessing. It was weird for him that time since, it was so spiritual. And, I felt what he said.

As for this week, it was actually a great week for me. There are good things and bad things that happened to me this past week. And yes, I was actually a bit stressed out with the events that happened the previous week. I couldn't help but think and ponder about the things that happened and its significance in my life.

For the good part, we held a second special sacrament last Sunday for one of our Less-Actives who's not able to go to church due to her condition, and to our surprise, she was so happy waiting for us while sitting and she groomed herself a bit. The sacrament went well and sister was thankful as ever to our Heavenly Father that she may renew her covenants with Him.

As for the ward, we had a home-teaching caravan which was great since the home teachers are now moving and doing the work. Also, we were thankful for the Ward Executive Secretary since he helped us in updating the New and Returning Member Progress Forms. We had a meeting with him before teaching the Less-Active father of his wife and set goals and plans for the month. After which, we taught the Less-Active father of his wife, along with some of their family members. It was actually a spirit-filled experience for me because the Spirit was there when we gave the lesson and I know in time, that family will be completed again in going to church every Sunday. I was so thankful for that lesson since I learned as well, about the importance of doing family prayer, family scripture study and attending Church as a family.

As for the not-so-good part, last Saturday, I really got stressed out in the afternoon and was not feeling well. So I told E. Pangilinan that I need to rest which we did. Lately, I've been thinking too much and been serious with some stuffs. I did have a hard time getting those things out of my mind so I asked E. Pangilinan for a blessing of comfort and after which I rested for the rest of the day.

Sunday came and before we work, he talked to me sincerely because he's concern with me with the consistent highblood pressure I had for the past days and if I'm stressed out as well as if there are things that I needed to tell him. It was actually the best time for me to tell him the things that's bugging me for a while. I told him of those things and asked his help and understanding. He told me of simple things that I could do and lightened me up. It was actually great because I feel more comfortable talking to him as my companion and opening to him more and more. I was thankful for that experience. I maybe weak at times because of my fears, but he told me that I need to "decide" on things that I need to do. To have that courage and strength I need. I'm continually praying and hoping for opportunities to improve so I could help more souls as I do the Lord's work. To really loosen up a bit and be "enthusiastic" with the work.

For the past few days I've been hoping and praying for strength so I can be the Missionary the Lord wants me to be, to really bring out the best in me and be a better servant to those whom I serve. Now, I'm still strengthening up my resolve to overcome my fears and to do better. The past days and the things I learned was so personal for me. I can't help but sing at times hymn #112 "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul". I am so much grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which helped me so much, to do things beyond my reach. My weaknesses have helped me step by step to become better, and to look forward to the promise in Ether 12:27.

I'm still waiting for letters though. It's almost christmas and my birthday as well... Hahaha...

Oh well. Take care you all! :D

Sincerely,
Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission


Saturday, 15 September 2012

More Than I Knew! - Week 23.Serving in Cagayan

So, it's been a busy week for us. After transfers, we have Zone Council Meeting, so yeah, FUN! LOL! I'm a bit sick for the past days so that's not good. But my companion took good care of me and I'm thankful for him.

Anyways, a lot has happened for the past 2 weeks. I'm so sorry for the late updates since we got loaded with works. As for our work, it's improving than ever. I have seen the change in our work gradually but surely. Also, our companionship unity is so great! I was pondering for the past days about it and I can say that I am now experiencing one of the greatest moments in my mission. 

Truly, there is no greater feeling than seeing your companion grow alongside with you. 
No greater feeling than seeing the progress of the work especially seeing members returning to Church and preparing to receive temple ordinances. 
No greater feeling than seeing the people that we teach feel the Spirit through us. 
No greater feeling than talking openly with your companion and appreciating all that we did for each other.
No greater feeling than feeling the Holy Ghost working in our companionship.
No greater feeling than learning the things I haven't learned outside the mission.
No greater feeling than having a family.
No greater feeling than feeling the love of our Father in Heaven.
No greater feeling than knowing that I am a child of God and that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.
No greater feeling than knowing the sacredness of this calling.
No greater feeling than experiencing the best 2 years of my life.
And more....    :)

I am so happy. Zone Interviews are in a few days from now so I am excited and proud to tell President a lot of great things. I maybe in the office but, surely, it is one of the best experiences I ever had! I am so much grateful for the guidance of the Holy Ghost all throughout my mission. For all the things I've learned in my Personal Study as well as in Companionship Study. I am so much grateful for my companion, E. Pangilinan. He's one of the best companion I could ever wish for! I love him as my companion, a friend and a brother. Now I understand how I can adjust to my companions. His example as my Senior have affected me in so many ways.

One great experience I had with our companionship is teaching a Less-Active family. After that great teaching (thanks to the Spirit that we strongly felt), I told him how grateful I am to have him as my companion and how he helped me to be more strong, more active and more happy in the mission. And he told me the same. We also asked each other's forgiveness for our respective weaknesses and it really helped our companionship to be more stronger. I am so much grateful for the simple things we do each day, especially praying together. Truly, getting on our knees every morning and night have helped us to receive more revelations and strengthened the bond of our companionship. I can really testify about "preaching the gospel two by two". There is really a difference when a companionship support each other, unitedly teach by the Spirit and rely on it. How great is the effect of it!

Last week, we were given the opportunity to be visited by an apostle, Elder Cook. How great it is to see an apostle of the Lord. Also, Elder Teh and Sister Teh was there too. In Elder Teh's message to us, he asked us if we are still feeling the feeling when we first got here in the Mission. I am proud to say, "YES!". I have learned so much here in the Mission Field. To be edified by the Spirit, it's so surreal. I am so much grateful for all the people I've met here and for all the things, big or small, that I've learned from them.

I can never ever forget what my companion taught me. He shared to me that no matter how big or small a sin is, it is still a sin. And it is true. The gravity of it may be different but it is still a sin. I am so much grateful for Christ's atonement for our sins. To be cleansed from it and be able to be born anew, how great should be our joy as we receive the Gospel in our lives. All I can say now is whoever we are, or whatever we did in the past, God loves us so much. One proof would be John 3:16, that "For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son...."

And also, I can never forget the short testimony of an Elder who is close to me before he got transferred in his first area, that "This Gospel is so beautiful." It is! And I can testify that it is. What more can I ask for than to know our Heavenly Father's plan for us. Seeing the eternal scheme of things, how beautiful it is. Surely, God knows better what's best for us.

In closing, I want to bear my testimony that this Church is true. That Joseph Smith is a prophet called of God to restore the Gospel here on earth. I am so much thankful that I know the Gospel and for all the blessings it has given me in my life. I am so much grateful to serve a Mission, to do the Lord's work, and be called as one of His representatives. I love the Gospel and all the things I've learned from it. I encourage you all to continue living the Gospel in your lives. That the greatest testimony we can give to others as members of the Church is "living a happy Latter-Day Saint Life." I know that all these things are true, in Jesus Christ name, amen.

I'm sorry if I haven't write a letter to all of you for quite a while but I will, soon. Hehe... But do write to me. I can't wait to receive one actually. I love you all! Take care! Peace! (:

P.S.

I got rushed to the hospital (Emergency Room) last Sunday but I don't know the findings yet. It was scary because I had chills, almost near seizures. Do pray for me as well. Hehe... But I am thankful for my companion as well as my housemates for looking after me. Oh well. That's all


Sincerely,
Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission