Friday, 31 August 2012

It's shaking!!!! Earthquake? - Week 21.Serving in Cagayan

We had an earthquake a while ago, geez, that's my first here in the Mission. I don't know what magnitude but it sure is strong though, the office was shaky, interesting... Felt a bit dizzy. Anyways, we'll see tomorrow what people will say.

As for my update this week. Transfer week! Geez, it's exhausting... Hahaha.. So much work to do especially with our preparation for a Missionary Meeting with Elder Cook. Yes! I'm seeing another apostle for the second time in my life. What a blessing indeed! I'm looking forward for it

Anyways, I've been pondering so much for the past week. Despite transfers, I try to find time to read some quotes from Church Leaders. It has blesses me so much. I'll be forever grateful for my Missionary friend there who inspired me to read, read and read. Hahaha...

As for this week, I learned that indeed, this work is a marvelous work and a wonder just like what D&C 4:1 says. I have seen so much just being out here in the Mission Field and how the Gospel can bless people's lives, may it be the people that we are teaching or us Missionaries.

We had another great week and felt Heavenly Father's love for His children. Last week, I did one of our commitments to one of our progressing investigator.  When we followed-up on him, he told us that he did receive an answer! He told us of his great experience when he prayed about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, to know if it is true. He told us that he felt so much peace as he prayed, words can never explain what he experienced. He told us that "it is true". I was filled with so much joy hearing it. I too can relate to him because I did it myself, and it's just recent. I told my companion to have it as one of our companionship goals, to do the commitments we give to the people that we teach and I can't wait what will happen in our work for the next coming weeks. I am now excited to do other commitments that we are giving to the people that we teach. Because of that experience, I can easily bear my testimony of the things that we are inviting them to do, because I know it and have experienced it myself.

I pondered upon Pres. Eyring's message. To "do whatever is required to qualify for the Holy Ghost as our companion" and to "go forward fearlessly so that we will be given the powers to do whatever the Lord calls us to do." That the "growth in power to serve may come slowly, it may come in small steps that are difficult for you to see, but it will come." This really caught my attention because this week , we taught a Less-Active member. She is not feeling well with her bones because of osteoarthrithis if my memory serves me right. Her back hurts whenever her feet cramps. Because of this, she can't go to Church. We asked her what help can we offer to her and he told us to continue visiting her that she may hear God's word. When she said that, silence filled the room and both me and E. Pangilinan felt so sad. We are seeing God's child wanting to go to church but because of her condition, is not able to. We told Bishop about her situation and asked if a Special Sacrament can be given to her because she really can't walk. He told us that they'll discuss it in the ward. After that teaching, I can't help myself but ponder how could we have her come to Church. I told E. Pangilinan about it as well. I can't help but hope for a miracle will happen to her, to see her again walking in front of the church gates and entering the church building. I have faith that somehow, the Lord will help her go to Church. And I guess we know what to share to her in our next visit.

We were also able to teach one of our new investigators. Like our progressing investigator, he's really great. It's our first time to teach him and we were accompanied by a member. During that lesson, I don't know but I felt the same feeling I felt while I was in the MTC. The feeling that the Holy Ghost is there, ready to guide us. I love that feeling. This week, I've become more eager to listen to the people that we are teaching. He opened to us a lot of things which were great. The member, who is the brother of our investigator's girlfriend, told us that the he was not aware of the things the investigator shared to us during the lesson. Then he made a comment that truly, as we listen to the promptings of the Spirit, we will know what God wants to tell us because God knows who we are teaching since they are God's children. We were able to have Bro. Zaldy pray and we had a great lesson with him.

Also, this week, we achieved our highest goal so far and it made us happy. There maybe ups and downs with our teachings but the Lord will help us understand why those experiences happened. May it be good or bad, the Lord wants us to learn something and I am so grateful for those learning experiences here in the Mission. Also, this week, we had the toughest lesson so far with a newly returned Less-Active. He is active now but he's offending his family. While teaching him, we tried our best to help him realize that he needs to be an example for his family to come to church, to not drive them away. He wasn't attentive to us and after the lesson. Me and E. Pangilinan were challenged. Now, we are planning and seeking the Lord's inspiration on how we could better help him and his family. It was one of the coolest experience I had here in the Mission. I learned that despite what happened, there's something that you can learn from it and it made me a stronger Missionary.

We have seen a lot of progress with our Less-Actives as well as Investigators. Now, we're focusing on how the ward could help us retain those Less-Actives who have come back to activity. We are now ensuring that every people we teach should have a fellowshipper and so far, things are going good.

The work sure is challenging and I know that this coming week, our proselyting time will be reduced due to transfers and the Missionary Meeting. Nevertheless, we need to think positive that despite the reduced time, we need to look forward for greater things that can happen with our work. As time pass by here in the Mission, the more I feel the love Heavenly Father has for me. The Gospel has brought so much change in my life and I'm so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to share it to others and bless their lives. I am thankful for E. Pangilinan not just as my companion but a great friend to me. I now have a stronger testimony about what the Missionary Handbook says, "to preach the Gospel two by two." It really is true. There's no satisfactory work than having unity in our companionship. I am so blessed with our companionship.

There's so much work to do. I am learning to be more diligent, obedient and prayerful. There's so much joy in doing what is right. I know it and I will always do my best to do what I know what is right. So, that's my week everyone. I'm still patiently waiting for letters. Hehehe... Do write me some. Please????

So yeah. Have a great week everyone! I love you all! :D

Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

Sunday, 26 August 2012

I Know It's True! - Week 20.Serving in Cagayan

Work's really moving here in our area. This coming Sunday we're having a Ward Conference and I'm looking forward for it. We had a lot of great experiences this week not just in the work but in our companionship as well.

We had exchanges last Saturday. Elder Pasco worked in our area with me. We did our best to apply what we've learned in our specialized training and teachings were good. I've learned and even valued more the importance of simple things we do as Missionaries such as planning, studying and praying. I've learned a lot from Elder Pasco and it made me eager to improve myself. 

After reading my bestfriend's letter for me who's now serving in Cauayan Mission. He related to me a lot of his great experiences in his mission. Then he shared to me about doing what Elder Holland said, that "to be able to convert your investigator, you must experience conversion by yourself first". So, I tried doing too that with one of our investigators. We just finished teaching him Lesson 1 and we invited him to read, ponder and pray about the Book of Mormon although he told us that he knows it is true through the things we taught him. But we told him that it is much better to learn the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon by praying and asking Heavenly Father if it is true. Like my bestfriend, I tried doing that too, to ask Heavenly Father about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Although I know it is true, I want to experience it again. My bestfriend shared to me that we must believe first that we'll receive an answer, having real intent and sincere heart in knowing its truthfulness. As I was praying, I felt it again. That warm feeling in your chest, truly "a burning in the bosom". After closing my prayer, I realized that doing the things that we asked our investigator to do will help us in our teachings. Because we've experienced it already and we have a testimony about it. My testimony about the Book of Mormon grew. It helped me understand better what Moroni's invitation is in Moroni 10:3-5. He does answer by the power of the Holy Ghost. It was a great experience for me. And we are trying our best to help our progressing investigators feel the same. 

As for our work last week, we indeed felt Heavenly Father's help with us. One of our Less-Actives is now back at Church! He became Less-Active for almost a year and realized that he miss the Church as well as living the Gospel. He's a Return Missionary and he was offended because they were trying to be sealed in the temple for almost 12 years. In our first teaching with him, we've shared how it is important to endure to the end, to be steadfast in Christ. He understood it and told us that he'll do his best to come back into activity and work their temple dream again. Our Bishop is helping him which is great. He and his son have attended Church Meetings for 3 consecutive weeks now and we know he'll be active in no time. Seeing how different he is from the first time we saw him, truly, the Gospel can change people's lives. It's so amazing, how Heavenly Father works. Now, we are trying our best to help his family as well as his relatives to come back into activity and help them work out their desire to go the temple with the help of the ward.

There's also this Less-Active that we are teaching for quite some time now. She is 60 years old and she was offended because of what happened to her daughter. By just talking to her, we can really feel how heavy she feels with what she experienced. We really felt sad about her experience which made us eager to help her come back. We always express our love for her during our teachings and to really have that "heavy feeling" be washed away through the power of the Atonement. She's progressing little by little. And we are seeing the light in her. Somehow, the burden she feels is slowly fading away. With our last appointment with her, she told us that she too wants that "heavy feeling" be washed away but she need to forgive first other people and to let God do the rest. I know it will take a miracle for her to come back because of what she went through but we believe it can happen and in time we hope to see her come to Church. Elder Pangilinan and I have started to know what our Less-Actives need, and to help them to know more about the Gospel and be converted in it.

Me and Elder Pangilinan are doing great. I really am blessed with our companionship. We continuously do our best to achieve our goals as companions and openly talk about how we can better help each other especially in our weaknesses. There are times that I feel inadequate in the Mission. Guess I still have that fear of failing. But, Elder Pangilinan have helped me change and be strong at all times. It reminded me of my favorite verse in the Bible which is Philippians 4:13 wherein it says that "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." How blessed I am to know my Redeemer, to help me at all times. And with the help of His Atonement, I can change. I really can. To have that strength and power beyond my reach.

That's my week everyone. I love serving here in my 2nd area although I know that I'll be staying here for a LONG time. Haha. I have come to know that I am Heavenly Father's child and felt His love even more as I continuously serve Him. I've learned so much for the past few months and I am looking forward for the coming months. To be able to see how the Gospel can bring change and happiness to people's lives, it's so amazing. Indeed, there is no better feeling than teaching a child of God the plan so he can get back to our Father in Heaven. No greater feeling than feeling the spirit of our lord testify about Jesus Christ and his gospel through you. No greater feeling than knowing you are literally in God's army. No greater feeling than knowing we are all literally Children of God. I can tell you with NO DOUBT God our Father and Jesus Christ did appear to Joseph Smith. They did restore this Gospel to the earth in these last days. And I KNOW Jesus Christ Lives. 

So, letters please???? :)
And, transfers are coming so we'll be quite busy again... Oh well, that's normal... Haha... And, I'll be seeing Averelle and Jasper in no time!!! Hahaha... Do give them your letters so I can read them when they arrive... Thank you so much everyone... I love you all! Thanks for the support. :D

Nasayud ko na tinuod kining simbahan ug wala nay lain pang simbahan diri sa kalibutan. Nasayud nako ang kalipay na atong madawat sa pagserbisyo sa atong Langitnong Amahan... Ayahay sa Mission, labi na kon imong matan-aw ang mga pag-usab ng mga tawo. Malipay kaayo ko na nakaila ko ang mga igsoon nako, ug dako ang akong pagpasalamat sa mga amigo nakong Misyonero bag-o ko misulod sa Mission... Dako kaayo ang natabang nila sa akoa... Kabalo ko na usa ako sa mga anak ng atong Ama. Salamat kaayo sa tanan nga suporta ninyo kanako. Gipalangga ko kamong tanan! Padayon lang kita sa pagkat-on sa Ebanghelyo ni Hesukristo. Ug gihapon, amping kamong tanan diha... Mission? "Da best kaayo gyud!" :D


Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Back with the "Nim"! - Week 19.Serving in Cagayan

How's everyone?! 

Had a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (I hope this is the right spelling) week!!! Hahahaha... First things first, so President told us Missionaries about raising the bar of our performance for this month and with that said, I feel more of the responsibility the Lord has entrusted to me. As for the last last week, we really did have a hard time with our teaching efforts since we got punted most of our teachings. I know that when that happens we should find someone to teach. I'm doing my best to help my companion since he's struggling with talking to people at times, especially when he doesn't feel like it. Well, it's the same with me at times. But I've learned that as Missionaries, we need to have that drive to talk to people. I've discussed this matter to E. Pangilinan and we both agreed to do some changes with our whole work. One thing I'm still doing is really optimizing the work system for me as Personal Secretary since there can be improvements made. That way, I can finish things earlier and avoid cramming. I actually never expected that I can use my profession here in the office other than the usual computer stuffs. So, it's a blessing for me.

As for this week, we really had a great week, me and my companion. Teachings were great and for this coming week, we'll be setting baptismal dates to our progressing investigators, including those that needs to be married first. Also, the Less-Actives that we are teaching are really progressing since some of them have come back to Church. We are doing our best to coordinate it with the ward so that they will stay active again. Our work effort have increased and we want to be consistent with it. We're now catching our work pace and I'm glad we do. I have seen a lot of changes not just in me, but in my companion as well. He's being more diligent with stuffs little by little and it makes me happy whenever he tells me that because of my diligence in some things, he wants to be a better missionary. And it's the same for me as well. Not just with diligence but with other areas as well. I know I still have a lot of things to improve on and I'm working on it one step at a time. One thing I learned is one of the secrets of being happy here in the Mission is doing what's right so you can have the Spirit. I have had a lot of Spiritual experiences this week which is really great! I've been more sensitive to the promptings and revelations I receive as each day pass by. Well, because for the past few weeks I've been actually having a hard time with teaching. There are times that I'm not sure what the Spirit is prompting me. You know that feeling when you can't explain what you feel or how to put it out? It's like that. And times that I get so frustrated I can't explain myself. That's why I've been more fervent with my prayers, asking for help and guidance and STUDY. Answers keep on coming in different ways and I'm thankful for the things the Lord have given me.

While being with Elder Pangilinan, I've realized the importance of my role as a junior. I've learned that as a junior, I could show an example of "followship", teaching another to lead by my inspired willingness to support and sustain and teach from behind. I know that some missionaries may not appreciate being a junior that much but it's a humbling experience for me, to see how the Lord wants to teach me and be the missionary He wants me to be by placing me in different settings. I am so grateful for our wonderful companionship and it helps us so much to teach by the Spirit. I have learned a lot of little things from him which is helping me to strive become better. I'll do my best to prepare whatever assignments the Lord would assign me and to contribute all I can to the mission. I know that the Lord of the vineyard have designed and scripted the areas that I had been assigned and will be assigned, and the companions that I already had and will have. I'm so happy to serve the Lord.

During our companionship study, we discussed a LOT of things about how we view our purpose. And both of us shared a lot of insights regarding our calling, and then he shared Alma 34:32 which talks about "the time to prepare to meet God". It just makes me proud when I see my companion grow and grow. Haha... But seriously, he had taught me so much simple things but if viewed in a wider perspective, those little things bring about greater things. I love how our companionship is doing and we are taking things one step at a time. Who wouldn't be happy when both of you as a companion accomplish something each day! Ha!

Lastly one of the greatest experience I had this week was to meet again the person who have helped me so much and was an instrument of the Lord, to help me have a desire to go on a mission. He's Bro. Nimrod BiƱas from Macabalan Ward, from the Assistants Area.He's the first missionary whom I've ever worked with. I actually don't have any idea about Missionary Work before but I got prompted to work when I visited a ward while I'm on my vacation. He was the missionary assigned that time at that ward with his companion who was previously assigned in our ward. After that, I cannot take off my mind from missionary work. He told me that before I was the one who worked with him, now it's the opposite. He was also happy to see me as an Elder. It really made my week. It's a blessing for me.

Thank you for the love and support!!! I love all of you! I'm still hoping there would be some letters coming in for me here... Hahaha! I'm having faith that I'll receive some (hopefully not in years time). Anyways, I really want to read some letters... Pretty please????? :D


It's kinda fun to work hard and to WALK hard... Hahaha! Just a pun intended. Anyways, I love you all! Have a great week ahead! Peace!!!!! :D

Elder Dimazana

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Ostrich and Crocs! - Week 18.Serving in Cagayan

How's everyone? P-Day was a bit restless even though it was our time to prepare for the week. Well, we went to the Philippine Ostrich and Crocodile Farm. I got stoked to see the crocodiles there as well as the ostrich's egg! It's really big! Hahaha... Also saw some sheeps and a peacock! Lucky I was able to get a hold of one of its feathers and took a picture with it...

Anyways, I'll be forever grateful for the companionship E. Pangilinan and I have. As each day pass by, we learn new things from each other and strengthen one another. We openly talk how we could serve one another and how we could strengthen our companionship for the coming weeks ahead. One of the first thing I've experienced with our companionship would be fasting as a companion. I've never tried it with my previous companions President that's why I was thankful when we did it. It's my first time in the Mission and in my life, to fast together with someone. That's why I'm so much thankful that the Lord has placed E. Pangilinan in my life. He's a great Missionary President.

As for the week, I'm continually pondering upon what is it to be a Missionary. Whatever I do, or wherever I search, I always get back to one answer, that we are the Lord's representatives. For the past weeks, I could really say that we should always be watchful for Satan is really out there, trying us. I just realized that being in the city is a challenge since there are more temptations here and there. Truly, we are like a sheep placed in the "midst of wolves" (Matthew 10:16). But the Lord promised us that "mine angels round about you" (D:C 84:88). He wants us to faithfully, hopefully, & charitably, serve Him with all our love and devotion towards Him. Being here in the Mission, I sometimes think that the Lord stretches me to the point that I sometimes wonder if I can even stretch that far. But, I could really feel the Lord's assurance that He's always there, guiding us in each phase of His work. That's one of the insights I've learned this past week. Guess I'm getting a bit more serious on this topic but when you think about this deeply and ponder on such things, you'll get me.

With regards to our work, the Less-Active family that has doubts with the Church as well as their testimony about the Restoration, showed a great change! The couple happily told us that they've really felt the Lord's love for them despite the trials they are currently facing. They now have a strong resolve that whatever happens, they will seek for the Lord's inspiration to help them clear the doubts they have in mind and to always pray to the Father for guidance in all that they do. Me and my companion were very happy with their progression, and we're pretty assured that the Lord will help them come back to Church in the coming Sundays. Also, we have observed that the Lord helped us find some of the Less-Actives in the ward where we were assigned since they just came to Church last Sunday and 1st contacted them there and then. We are now planning to help them come back into activity for we know they have the testimony about the Church and the Restored Gospel.

As for our investigators, one challenge we have the family we found is now being persecuted by a Less-Active Member. The Less-Active Member owns the lot they are staying in right now and she is always drunk whenever we go there. We're still striving to get-to-know the Less-Active Member when she's not drunk, BRT her and know the reasons she became Less-Active.

Geez, going on a Mission sure is a humbling experience. It really is hard but it's all worth it. Everything I've learned here are just surreal. I love the learning experiences I have here. I'm still striving to become a better Missionary and just be the Missionary our Heavenly Father wants me to be. I have seen my weaknesses at times but the Lord have helped me in many ways to understand why I have such weaknesses and then, He builds me up and strengthens me. One of the great verses I've read would be Mosiah 4:11, wherein I've learned one principle, that compared to God, we are nothing, but to Him we are everything. May we always remember the love and mercy our Father and His Son have for all of us. I'm so thankful to know the Gospel in my life especially for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Truly, its powers can change one's characters.

I'm still waiting for letters :(
But it's okay. Hopefully I get one in the coming weeks. Do write me... Hahaha... 'Coz I'm getting a bit tired writing.
So, that's my week. I love you all! Have a great week ahead! :)

With love,
Elder Dimazana

Personal/Travel Secretary 
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Preachy Me - Week17.Serving in Cagayan

Sorry for the late e-mail... Been busy with conference arrangements! But at least I won't forget e-mailing you all... Hehehe...

Anyways, as you can see, week's a bit hectic... I'm a bit stressed out actually 'coz my "systems analyst" me is trying to get out. Hahaha... (I really want to have a systematic way of things so I won't be rushed). Well, I'm having a great time with my companion... That's why I'm so grateful to have him as my companion. He's really great and he's so jolly that's why our work are always interesting.

I'm so blessed to have him as my companion. Through our differences and points of view, we learn from each other. One thing I learned from him which made me ponder one night before sleeping was about being a Missionary. I was able to ponder about Elder Bednar's talk which is all about "Becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary". Though we may not be perfect, the Lord requires us to be worthy, as we strive to do our best in doing the Lord's work. It really is true that our calling as Missionaries give us authority, but keeping our covenants give us power.

As for our work, we were able to find a receptive family while trying to contact a Less-Active Member. We were able to teach them right there and then after inviting them to learn. We were also able to know the concerns of some of our Less-Actives this past week. One of them was a Less-Active family which we found out that Sister has doubts about Prophet Joseph Smith as well as other things in the Church. She happily opened to us some of their concerns about the Church which we were grateful for. We're constantly seeking the help of the Holy Ghost as we plan for the people that we are teaching to help them progress more in the Gospel.

Oh well, that's my week... I'll tell more next time... My hands are full on office work this week... Sigh... But anyways, letters please? :)

Hehehe... Thanks! Take care you all!


Elder Dimazana

Personal/Travel Secretary 
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission