Sunday, 27 May 2012

Stepping Things Up! - Week 7.Serving in Jimenez

Well, I've read an experience of a friend of mine but in a different Mission. It was about finding people through the Holy Ghost as well as applying the principles in Preach My Gospel. It hit me hard to the point that I've pondered on that experience and told myself, what experiences have I experienced related to doing the Lord's work? Well, I really miss the MTC and the Spiritual experiences I've had there. After reading my friend's experience, it made me more eager to do the work and do it according to how He wants us to do it. I pray that He'll always show us the way. It's kinda hard to become an example to others especially here in our mission. Thanks to my friend's experience it helped me to become more focused with our purpose as a Missionary.

Right now, I'm stepping things up for myself in a lot of ways. I want to have great experiences here in my mission. It helped me realized that temptations really are everywhere but the things I can do as a missionary is just 2 years. It's just a short time and I will do my best to get the work done here in our area. I love this work and my testimony grew so much. I'm gonna study even harder for the people here. I know I can do it. People are waiting to hear the Gospel, to hear the unique message we have that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is once again restored here on Earth that God had once again reached to His children and that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. I know it is true. I know. And it made me more eager to share this message without questioning whether people will accept it or not because I have faith that by the power of the Holy Ghost, they will know that these things are true.

Whew! My friend's experience helped me even more and reminded me to always know my purpose. Focusing is hard because of the things I've seen from other Missionaries here but I will start making changes by starting it with myself because I believe that being an example to others is the powerful way to testify about the sacredness of our calling. I pray that Heavenly Father will help me enlighten the minds of others that our Mission is His work. To be able to labor in the Lord's vineyard is such a great privilege. How blessed I am to be part of this work.

I know and I believe that these things are true. That the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's kingdom once again established here on Earth preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah. This is our message. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

-Elder Dimazana

...Our District at MOAP (Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park). We went there for P-Day! It sure is great...;

...going out to work!;

The Coco Loco - Week 7.Serving in Jimenez

How's everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Geez! We're already a month here out in the field. It's crazy! Time's so fast! But it's fine. I have learned a lot... Well, last Sunday, I'm one of the speakers in our ward... It's kinda cool because my Cebuano is getting there I guess... Haha! Well, I shared about the importance of Missionary Work.... Also, it feels great when you see people go to Church because of their faith... It's humbling to see them get closer to Jesus Christ.

There's a chapter in the bible which I loved! It's in John 4. It's about the water Jesus Christ is telling the woman in Samaria... Indeed, when someone founds the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be able to apply it in their lives, they will only found everlasting happiness in this life and in the life to come... Challenges are normal, it's part of life but the things the Lord promised us are constant. They are there, waiting to be bestowed upon us until we do our part God expects of us. The Gospel is indeed our Heavenly Father's plan for us that we may have everlasting happiness. He know us and He loves us more than we know.

Our calling here in the field is so important. I have seen it. People change because of their faith. Some may question why their lives are like that or that, but let us remember that we are here in this Earth to learn and grow. Growth never comes when we always succeed in life. But when we have faith, we can do things beyond our comprehension. Things that for a second we think we can't. Indeed, when we think that we can't, we can't. But if we think we can, we will...

I love all of you. God loves us so much. I have felt it. I love the Spirit. It's great to feel the warmth and the fruits it gives (Galatians 5:21-22). I know these things are true. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

-Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

Friday, 18 May 2012

Get the work done - Week 6.Serving in Jimenez

Hello everyone!

As for this week, I'm thankful for the immediate changes in my family when my Mom informed me about it last Mother's Day. It made me happy and more enthusiastic to work hard and help the people here. The Lord always does his part.

I have learned so much from the Mission Tour and Conference with Elder and Sis. Ardern last week. One of the things I love about it was checking if our message matches on how we look. Indeed, it is important to know who we are and who we are representing. Also, I loved Elder Ardern's message about reading and unpacking what we've read from the Scriptures. It helped me in my Personal Study as I study for the people we teach. Unpacking the things I've read with the Holy Ghost's guidance gave me a lot of insights about how the Gospel can touch people, bless their lives, etc. I love the fact that I'm one of His messengers to bring this unique message to everyone.

As for my training, I'm thankful E. Botero told me a lot of things. He told me that for the upcoming weeks (it started this week) that I will be doing most of the things. It's hard at first but I've learned a lot! I'm taking turns in leading and teaching and inviting people to learn. It was a huge leap for me. But I've gained confidence thru the Lord's help. We had a lot of work during the last 2 days of the past week. And this week, I'll be so into it. My trainer is right since he's leaving me behind and it's a huge responsibility for me. It truly is. With His helop, I am determined and more willing now t do whatever He wants me to do, however big or small it is.

Now, I've instilled within me to just "get the work done" the way He wants it done. It's so great! My confidence has boosted this week. I am more willing to open my mouth and like what Elder Ardern said, "it shall be filled".

Please write me letters. Hahaha! I want to have something in my hands from all of you...

Thank you for your support and love.
Elder Dimazana

The hunt is on! - Week 5.Serving in Jimenez

So, this is my weekly update for this week...

We went out searching for the Less-Actives in our area since both of us are new to our area and my Trainer, Elder Botero isn't much familiar with the area as well. Still, we're able to find some and one of them is a Family. They are a sealed family but is now Less-Active. As we were conversing with them, they were thankful for us that we visited them. They've told us that we really are Missionaries. It helped me have an idea of what the Missionaries were like before I came in this area just from what they are saying. They told us that people can know when a Missionary is respectable or not, whether they are Representatives of the Lord or not. And it made me smile, in the sense that I know our purpose. At first, they were a bit hesitant with us but as the Spirit envelops the room, for some reason, they just told us all of their concerns.They told us of their individual struggles, why they are not going to Church and such. My companion and I was just listening. We shared the importance of the covenants they made during baptism and prayer which they felt and understood. We're getting to know the area and work's getting good. Our Bishop was happy to receive a Progress Report from us. It's like his first time to receive one. Oh man.

This is the reason why during last Sunday's fast and testimony meeting, I couldn't help myself but cry in tears as I testify to the congregation. I was filled with the Spirit, having tears of joy. I am so happy to serve a full-time Mission and I'm excited to be of much help to our ward. Some members and less-actives couldn't believe that I'm in my first area because I can understand them (somehow) and can speak understandable Cebuano. What a great blessing indeed. I know the Lord is helping me and I myself can't believe how I can speak, though I still need to learn a lot of Cebuano so I can be of much help to the people that we teach. I can testify that we really are entitled for the Lord's help for we are on the Lord's errand.

As for our companionship study for the past week, I've learned the importance of How To Begin Teaching & Church Attendance from the 12 Weeks Program. On the other hand, I've learned the sacredness of this calling from the Missionary Handbook. It helped me realized that preaching the Gospel is much more than talking and telling. It is so important that people know our purpose and how the Gospel can bless their lives. I will do my best to be of help to them in any way that I can especially to the Less-Actives and get to know my companion more as the days pass by. I'm having a great start here and my Trainer have exemplified to me simple things, and yet, are very vital throughout my Mission such as budgeting, courage to speak, importance of study sessions, apartment cleanliness and area book updates.

Tomorrow's our Mission Tour and I'm excited to see familiar faces... Elder Arden's coming so I'm excited to see what's in store for all of us tomorrow... As for my friends who can write me, do so... I'm excited to receive one! Hahaha!

Anyways, I'm enjoying my stay here and 23 more months to go... That was indeed fast. I'm so thankful for how the Lord has helped me in countless ways. I love all of you. Amping kanunay! :)

With love,

Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

 My beloved MTC Districmates! E.Visitacion, Sis. Pintacasi, E. Collado, Sis. Morallos and E. Aloc
 We went to a nearby dam here in our District's area... for P-Day
 District Lunch at a Member's house... Earlier this morning... :)

Pictures! Pictures!

 At the Philippines Manila Temple... Best times, best place, best friends....
 Just landed in Cagayan De Oro!
 Last moments with my Districtmates at the Airport
 My MTC Companion, Elder Visitacion... He's from Palawan, and of course... My closest friend and brother in the MTC.... Our companionship sure is the best!
 My name tag! Yeah!
 Our District... Go Nephites! Hahahaha.... with our Teachers Sis. Tobias and Bro. Lopez
Philippines Manila Temple

Chinese? or Cebuano? - Week 4.Serving in Jimenez

And so, here's my weekly update! Freak! I'm out in the mission field. A lot has happened this week.... Where should I start.... Okay, just an hour after our last temple session, my Mom, and my bestfriend's family surprised me. I thought they postponed their visit. Pres. Taylor permitted it because my Mom is a nonmember. So, my companion and I spent some time with them. That was the day before our flight, April 25, Wednesday.... After that, Pres. Taylor toured my mom around the MTC while me and my companion prepared for our very first real teaching appointment to a real investigator. I really got prompted by the Spirit to do it so I asked Pres. Taylor's permission and he said, "Sure, that's what we do".

So yeah, we taught our Mom. I know it's nerve-racking but the Spirit guided both my companion (E. Visitacion) and I throughout the lesson. Well, it was really emotional. I made my companion commit my Mom to get baptized and she said YES! Freak! The Spirit was just so strong. I can't even believe I did it. My companion told me we did great because it's kinda hard to teach someone from your own family. I know it's the Spirit that helped us. In closing, we got my Mom to pray. And it made me cried because it's my first time to hear my Mom pray from her heart. First time in 21 years! I'm so happy. I'm so happy.

Anyways, the 26th came. We prepared for our departure for our missions. I love my District, my roommates (E. Aloc and E. Collado) and my companion (E. Visitacion). We are just so close. We even had a bit of reunion in the airport. Hahahaha.... After that, we're good to go. We rode our flight (my 1st time to ride and airplane!). Freak! The view was so great! The islands, the sea, the clouds, everything! As for our landing, freak! It's like a roller coaster ride! Hahaha.... So, no worries. I'm fine with it.... Although it was a bit bumpy. Hahaha...

We went to SM City CDO, ate lunch, then to the Mission Office for our Orientations. Then interviews with Pres. Hernaez. Went to the Hotel where we spend the night. Morning came and we had Testimony Meeting and Area Assignments. So, I got assigned with E. Botero (The Aguiton Family knows him). He's from Albay, BIcol. We're out here in Jimenez Ward, Oroquieta. It was an exhausting 6-hour ride. But guess what... At least I had a complete trip. First, by air to go here in CDO. Then we rode a bus then a barge! So it was by air, by land and by sea! Cool!!!! Hahahaha....

First days were my adjustment days. I'm really out. But, I just realized I'm here in Mindanao where people speak another language I'm not familiar with. But, the Spirit was there to help me. I know this sounds weird but I really can understand them.... Right now I can speak Cebuano. And whenever I speak to people, I feel the Spirit's help. You know, that burning in the bosom. It's just great! I have talked to a lot of people here already. Even the other Elders, the people here and my batchmate  (E. Villanueva) were surprised on how I can speak Cebuano... It's all because of Him. I was preparing for an attribute sharing and I shared about Faith. That's why my faith increased and my trust in Him as well. I can do these things because of Him...

So, that's all for now... I'll be sending pictures bit by bit 'coz uploading is a bit of a hassle. Anyways, I know that this is the Lord's work. I have a testimony of it. I love this work. I love the Gospel. This is truly the best 2 years! I'm so thankful for everything. I love all of you! In the name of Christ. Amen.

Elder Dimazana

Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission