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.

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

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! 

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!

Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission