Tuesday, July 30, 2013

When All Is Said And Done

Yes you were all right. mixed emotions and all that fun stuff ha. This last weekend was about all i could ask for to finish off my service here in roxas. We had planned a half day mission that we put in a lot of effort to to support member missionary work, train home and visiting teachers, visit less active members and then we finished it all off with the baptism of Jovelyn Nosuelo. Things were PERFECT. Ive come to love the chaos and anxiety of not knowing how things will go or if people will show up on time or even at all but this weekend was a tender mercy of the lord and Im very grateful for how it went. 

I'll give you my final thoughts now (: just like most of them here in roxas its related to gregorio manzano. (the stroke victem that cant talk anymore) 

            We havent been able to pick tatay up for church for a long time because they adjusted out PEC to mornings and tatays family had said hes now too weak to come to church he cant make it up the stairs or even hardly around the yard (he is the only member in his family) ...
so we were completely surprised when we saw him arrive at sacrament meeting. members from branch 1 had helped him make the climb up the stairs. His family thought he was sitting in his wheelchair in the shade but he had given them the slip and pushed his wheel chair to church. (He is very very weak I dont know how he made the trip alone) but he did. by the time he finally sat down the meeting had already started. 
after the meeting we helped him down the flight of stairs down to his wheel chair and we were going to take him home, but he pointed do his pocket and then to an envelope. He wanted to pay his tithing. 
          tatay cant write very legeable so we wrote on the tithing slip for him and this is the part that melted my heart. He pulled out 2 bills. a 50 peso bill and a 500 peso bill. As we all know tithing is 10 percent and we were astonished when he handed us the 500 pesos. We handed it back to him and asked him if he had made a mistake but he shook his head and assured us no mistake was made, he then pointed at the 50 pesos and made a hand gesture telling us that the 50 was for his food. 
           I dont know why this affected me so much. but It was just such a mind opening experience and i was so touched that a man in such horrible circumstances would push his wheelchair by himself wearing shorts and a t shirt he had drooled on and spilled on while he was walking would find a way to give an overly generous offering. Noone had follwed up with him about tithing, It didnt come from us teaching him or anyone visiting him, He simply wanted to give what he could to the lord. 
           It made me think of how utterly pointless when all is said and done to spend our life in search of material gain. How painful it must be at the last day to have wasted away your days building up worldy riches but neglected to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, lift up the hands that hang down. When sickness comes and old age sets in how much are all these "things" going to really mean when in the mean time we have neglected to take care of our friends that need our help, or to follow the example of john tanner and build up "treasures in heaven."
            I like to just think of the time the lord has given me here as the fast version of life. I have a certain ammount of time alloted to CHOOSE what I will do. I have a time of preparation before we come and theres a time where I will return home and account for my use of that time. What a blessing to be able to see this and I think Im the most blessed person in the world for how things have turned out. I think the best way to describe this experience is ether 12 27. Ive strived to stay close to the lord, Hes shown me how weak and helpless i am in my own strength, and hes also shown me that through him, all those weaknesses can be made strengths. 
           I remember president carlos once said to me that at the end of the mission the only way you can really judge if you were succesful or not is if in the end, can you say.. "wow i learned a lot. Ive grown closer to the savior, my testimony has increased, My love for the scriptures and prayer has increased. I can love people more and Im more humble. if you can say any of those things you can say youve been a successful missionary." 
            Well Ive grown a lot. My testimony has increased and I have learned more of how much i completely rely on the savior for everything and without him Im nothing. I love the scriptures and I finally learned how to pray. I learned to love a people that at first i didnt understand and although prides my biggest weakness Ive come a long way. Ive done my best and Im ready to come home and live what I have preached.
               If ever there comes a time that I dont live up to the standards I have set for myself through all these letters i have sent, please be patient with me. (: But i will strive to live worthy for the blessings I have recieved. The song from 17 miracles "Savior Redeemer of my Soul" describles how I feel....

 Savior, Redeemer of my soul,
Whose mighty hand hath made me whole,
Whose wondrous pow’r hath raised me up
And filled with sweet my bitter cup!
What tongue my gratitude can tell,
O gracious God of Israel.
 Never can I repay thee, Lord,
But I can love thee. Thy pure word,
Hath it not been my one delight,
My joy by day, my dream by night?
Then let my lips proclaim it still,
And all my life reflect thy will.
 O’errule mine acts to serve thine ends.
Change frowning foes to smiling friends.
Chasten my soul till I shall be
In perfect harmony with thee.
Make me more worthy of thy love,
And fit me for the life above.

Well all is said and almost done. I love you all. see you in a few days. 
love... elder landeen
Here's the final plans for Allen.  Home on Thursday!

Please find attached Return Travel Itinerary for Elder Landeen and Elder Nay.  If you need further assistance, please contact Missionary Travel.

CHURCH TRAVEL CWT                          DATE 11JUNE13
TELEPHONE: 801 240-5111                    LANDEEN/ALLEN GLEN  248656-R
FAX      : 801-240-5115                    NAY/MICHAEL KORY  235464-R
SERVICE               DATE  FROM           TO             DEPART  ARRIVE
_____________________ _____ ______________ ______________ _______ ______
DELTA AIR LINES       01AUG MANILA         TOKYO          740A    110P
L ECONOMY                   TERMINAL 1     TERMINAL 1
                            BREAKFAST                     NON STOP
                            RESERVATION CONFIRMED         4:30 DURATION
                  AIRCRAFT: BOEING 747-400
                            SEATS 57C/57B NO SMOKING CONFIRMED
DELTA AIR LINES       01AUG TOKYO          SEATTLE WA     330P    815A
L ECONOMY                   TERMINAL 1
                            DINNER                        NON STOP
                            RESERVATION CONFIRMED         8:45 DURATION
                  AIRCRAFT: BOEING 747-400
                            SEATS 62H/62J NO SMOKING CONFIRMED
K ECONOMY                                  TERMINAL 2
                                                          NON STOP
                            RESERVATION CONFIRMED         1:53 DURATION
                  AIRCRAFT: AIRBUS INDUSTRIE A320-100/200
                            SEATS 15D/15E NO SMOKING CONFIRMED

we have a baptism this weekend and Im pretty excited about that and weve planned a half day mission where we will be doing training on member missionary work, and home and visiting teaching and then going out to visit and then coming back for the baptism. Im pretty excited about that its nerve racking too because we have put a lot of time and prayer into planning it and you never know if people will come or what time they will come. mostly people show up at least 30 minutes late to everything (including baptisms and church and general conference etc...) so we announced that it starts at 12 30 but it really starts at 1. hope that will help a little.
well the new mission president Is pretty great its different because hes a different person but the mission hasnt changed yet at all. hes got about all the experience that anyone could ask for being a bishop stake president councilor in 3 mission presidencies and one of the big wigs at proctor and gamble so He knows his stuff. but i do miss president carlos. Its okay though because he moved to salem utah so Ill see him again sometime hopefully on aug 11.
My plans for my last week are invite commit follow up and love people. I have a million letters to write and a little shopping to do and no time to do any of it And Im getting sick theres some kind of sickness thats going around here that has affected half our branch and My body is starting to ache but hey i left for the philippines sick i might as well come home sick too right? Ive had great health for a long time so I guess it was about time for me to get sick anyways.
Anyways I love you see you soon! elder landeen
Allen's letter this week was very short.  He has a good friend who is meeting with the missionaries in our home, so that is what he is talking about. 
2 more emails and he will be home!  He flies in on August 1st at 12:58 on Delta flight 1857.  His welcome home is August 11th at 1:00 at our building and we will gather after at our house.  If you need an address let us know.
Mike and Paula

okay so to answer the questions asked if you have time that you are just dieing to get the car going that would be great :) but dont go out of your way to get it done or stress over it or anything like that either way works for me.

if bishop has a topic id love to know it just to maybe start the brain storming.

thats pretty cool about taylor praying for the first time. he didnt mention anything about praying he did say that it was weird for him because he never pictured himself meeting with missionaries but he said it was a good experience and they were very helpful, and that he feels like you are treating him like family. 

thats pretty cool about you being able to help someone thats goings through a hard time and mourning with those that mourn. im happy to have parents that live the gospel. sometimes i wonder if im just bias because you are my parents but you two are heroes in my eyes. 

i love you very much i dont have much preaching to do ha but ill see you soon (: take care thank you so much for taking care of taylor. imagine how that will feel especially if his family decides to give it a chance too. I dono if i could handle that joy. 
yeah love you (: elder landeen
This letter came to Mike but had the information for the week.

i cant even think straite im so happy right now. I remember when the lord spoke to Nephi in Helaman 10 4-5, and i cant even say how blessed i feel. the work in roxas is starting to bloom we found a new family tracting that has family that are active members and they are very interested, we have another family that came to church finally! we have a sister thats a referral of a member thats going to be baptised sometime soon, and others that have growing testimonies. less actives that are no longer less active and leaders that are growing in faithfullness after months of praying and working with them, i can even say how blessed i feel dad and hearing about taylor just about sets me over the edge, like ammon in alma     .
for fasting... ill tell you one experience we had in dupax sur,
elder pingol and i had been working hard visiting the Deguzman family. they have been inactive for many years and many times that we went they had either hid from us, or wouldnt open the door, or just canceled the appointment. we kept going back and going back and finally after a very powerful lesson they said they want to go to church but they dont have any money to pay for transportation. so we told them we will be there in the morning to walk with them. they did come to church and had a great experience because of their sacrifice to get there by walking the 45 minutes to the chapel (this was a mother and 4 daughters from age 9 to 25) but then a few days later we had come to our scheduled appointment and to our dismay they wouldnt open the door. we had no idea what was going on and so the next few days we stopped by again and we couldnt catch them outside their house and they wouldnt answer. but then on saturday evening we finally caught sister in front of her house and we had a talk with her, the grandparents of the children had talked to them whhile sister was gone and told them they arent allowed to go to the mormon church they are catholic and they cant change that. (background the parents are members but the children are only child of record when the mother and father went inactive they went back to being catholic) so when sister came home the girls told them they dont want to be mormon anymore and they cant be visited by the missionaries anymore. (at the request of the grandparents) they had had family problems related to the greandparents before but this set sister deguzman over the edge and she just basically gave up (she had already struggled for 2 months with us to try to start changing their family life around and go back to church so this set back just crushed her will  power) so she told us we love you and are greatful for what youve done but please dont come by anymore.
elder pingol and i were pretty devistated by that because of the last weeks succes that turned into the complete opposite... but we decided to start a special fast just for that family that they wont give up and they will find a way to work things out with the grandparents. this all happened on a saturday afternoon.
the following day we came to church, we were a little sad because we didnt expect anyone to be there and the church looked empty, but when we went inside i about had a heart attack. there they were the first family in the church, sitting quietly waiting for the rest of the branch to arrive.
we asked them what happened??? and to make a kind of long story short nanay said "when i woke up this morning, there was some kind of force pushing me to get showered get dressed and get to church." she said they had no plan to go but that morning for some reason they all just felt something calling them or in thir own words "parang pinipilit yung mga paa kong maglakad" (something was forcing my feet to walk)
after that sunday things went well and i learned that fasting is very powerfull, especially when you are fasting for the benefit and wellfare of something or someone other than yourself.
theres my story hope that will work! love you elder landeen

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

hello po everyone! hows it going,,

things here are great times gone by too fast to remember all that has happened so il focus on what was most memorable for me.

      The broadcast last night (last week for all of you) was the greatest thing ever! as i watched i was completely amazed at how truely inspired the leaders of the church are. when i was listening to elder L Tom Perry talk about the new ways missionary work can / will be done i was thinking ... how many people in their 90's could come up with a way to use social networking sites to preach the gospel, and how many 90 year olds even know what social networking sites are or how to use i pads or those kinds of things. i loved when he said missionary work is not changing we will be teaching the same doctrines and the same lessons. but we live in a changing world and we have to adapt. 

        I also thought about all the ways satan uses technology to tempt people and lead them down the wrong path. and then to see how the lord is going to use that same technology, to advance the spreading of the gospel throughout the world. it reminded me of adam and eve, when satan tempted them he thought he was harming gods plan, but he was actually begining it. for how many years satan has used technology in a wicked way but now we see that "the lords wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil" 

         Next i loved president monsons story from canada, we had been planning to teach a workship about missionary work here in the branch using that very story and then they played it on the broadcast ha. that story is one of my favorites because it shows how much of a difference on person can make, and if one person can do that think of how much could happen if we ALL worked like that, inviting people into our homes to be taught the gospel. 

            I just really had my testimony strengthened last night with that broadcast because i the whole time i was there i was just in awe at how these old men were teaching in a very different world than they grew up in, and it just kept coming to my mind over and over that  if they werent directed by the holy spirit, if the savior wasnt the head of this church none of this could have happened, it wouldnt be possible. i felt the spirit so strong that this is a true work and we're a part of it! 

             My favorite scripture is in alma 29 verses 9-10. if anyone need motivation to do missionary work, just think about how much the lord has done for you. that memory has carried me through the hardest experiences so far in my life. it makes me think of the most important word in the english language., remember. if we can remember the great things the lord has done for us, in answering our prayers and guiding our paths, how could we keep those blessing from the lives of those we love who dont know what we know? 

              Anyways i love you all hope things are well at home take care!!! elder landeen
hello everyone another week is gone.
i had an interesting talk with a man named joe faneli. hes an american originally from new york and now currently living with his grifriends family here in roxas. hes in his 50's hes traveled and lived all over the world he has had all sorts of experiences with business studying various subjects from law, psychology and business. he was once a minister for an avanghelical church (an all black congregation) and now he and i quote "does what he wants, when he wants, and is happy"
i've never had the chance to teach an american before its pretty exciting thinking about it. we will be meeting with him hopefully the first week of july. i was just thinking about how lucky i am to know the gospel. this man talked with us for a while about how he has lost faith in mankind. he believes in god and doesnt question that there is a "supreme being" but was very adament that you cant trust another person whether its your next door neighbor or your own children. "people are no good" and well from where he was coming from i dont blame him for feeling that way. but i was thinking about what he said and i was impressed with how much the lord trusts us. he calls on us, a bunch of stupid people (yes im included in this category) and trusts us with many things. the priesthood the very power he holds, stewardships over his children, having familys, sending more of his children to be raised by us,,, stupid people. and i was also very impressed in how much he his willing to forgive us for all the things we do and despite the stupid decisions we make daily somehow he still trusts us with his work. isnt it amazing? 

next we had a fun experience in a place called simimbaan we had an appointment set with a new investigator and we waited for him at the house of a member for a while and then there was a VERY drunk man riding a bike on the other side of an irregation canal he crashed on his bike and the kids of the next door neighbor laughed at him. he didnt like that very much and he was carrying an itak (machete) so he came and started going after the kids. i dont think he was going to really do anything other than scare them but you never know what people are going to do when they are drunk. the even stranger thing was that the people there (neighbors) didnt seem to care it seemed pretty normal to them they just sort of watched. its a weird world we live in.
other than that the only other news is president carlos goes home very soon. they are moving to salem utah i dono how close to jans house they will be but this is their new address

8N 590 E

Salem, Utah  84653
anyways i love you all thats it for me until next time! elder landeen