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!

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

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!


If you want to watch the video I made, here's the link:

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.

Elder Dimazana
Philippines Cagayan De Oro Mission