Monday, February 27, 2012


kumusta everyone. im here at the computershop enjoying the aircon while its raining outside. im sorry i wont be able to respond to everyones emails they sent ive printed them out and will read them later and respond next week i got here late and still have a million things to do. i didnt get transfered so no worries there! we just apent all morning cleaning our house so thats why im late.

i called this letter miracles because i wanna talk about that. miracles. things ive been seeing here that are miracles and things that ive realized happened in my life befor and all our lives that are miracles. hopefully this will make sense ha if not well bear with me.

every week president carlos sends a weekly letter to all the missionaries and he always has a miracle story that has happened in the past week. sometyhing that happened in the life of an elder or their investigators and its always so cool to hear them. so i figured for just this once i would kinda do the same.

yesterday i had the opportunity to go to a hospital here to visit the sick kids of one the paz family that was recently baptised 3 of their kids have been hospitalized this past week for dangaue ( i dont know how to spell it ha ) and one of the less active members we have been working with his son has typhoid fever right now. with fivers going from 104 degrees to 95 degrees up and down, and stuck in a hospital room with a whole bunch of other people with various other sicknesses with no such thing as privacy and not a penny to any of their names to but food let alone pay hospital bills. when i went there i thought about how spoilled i was in the hospital back in the day with my kidney surgery and last week with the food poisoning thing. nice room bed food and a way to eventually pay for it ( well not me i guess my parents and ensurance but you get it ) but anyways as we went there and started talking to them when they found out that they were both members ( they were in the same room but didnt know they were both members ) and then another couple with i kid that broke his arm was in a different ward they found out they were all members and instantly i saw a feeling of belonging. kinda like brotherhood or something i dono it was just cool but anyways we had the opportunity to give each of them a blessing. the son of brother paz wouldnt let us at first he was crying when we got close just cause hes so sick, so we went to the others first. the couple in the other ward told us that they had a goal to go to the temple a while ago but it didnt happen and the husband had been so busy he hadnt been able to do all the things he needed to do. i had the feeling that maybe they werent all that active... at least the husband. but after they asked us to bless their son they expressed a renewed desire to make it to the temple and make it to church every week. sioster said maybe this happened so we could be humbled and have this experience to remember how important heavenly father is. that to me is a miracle.

when we blessed the son of the paz family he didnt cry. he sat very still and wasnt afraid. that was a miracle. we didnt command them to rise and walk like christ did so many times in the bible, but this is every bit as much of a miracle to me as what happened back then. it might not be as amazing but the things they were blessed with touched the lives of the people there and i dont doubt they will get better and soon.

we talked with sister paz later that day and she talked about how if this had happened ( all her kids getting sick at once ) before they had been taought the gospel they would have been depressed right now, she said that back in the day their house was so just empty of emotion she said i didnt notice it back then but there was just kulang ( lacking something) like we were happy but not really ) she tried to explain how she felt but didnt have the words) and then she said but now even though this is happening she was just as happy as can be and she said that their house is always just full of something different than before. thats a miracle.

brother and sister ali aly ( the ones that we had to work forever to get married before their baptism ) are just sometyhing else i cant explain it. when we go there they are the ones who pray they are the ones it seems that are teaching us. before their baptism and confirmation they were super great investigators but now that the spirit ( gift of the holy ghost) is a part of their life i can literally feel and see a difference. i had always heard about taking upon you the name of christ and having his countanence or what ever and heard people say they see light in peoples eyes that are living the gospel and i never understood it. i dont if it hass to do with the being set apart as a missionary or what but after they were confirmed i see a light about them and i can feel a difference in their home and so can they, thats a miracle.

tatay llaneta just was called to be 2 councilor in the sunday school presidency. 5 months ago he was hiding from missionaries. now he comes with us to our appointments when we teach about tithing because his testimony about it is so strong the he wants to share it with everyone he can. thats a miracle.

we pray to our father in heaven and he doesnt always answer right away and sometimes i dont feel like im going to get an answer... but then i remember all the times he did answer my prayers. feeling god listening to your prayers, that is a miracle to me.

story after story i could go on for hours because here i get to see them every day. IF im watching. i spent so much of my life alreeady missing out on the miracles that happen every day. i feel like god is more a part of our life than any of us even know. my faith is never as strong as i want it to be and i feel like nephi when he says...

17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great agoodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O bwretched man that I am! Yea, my heart csorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.
18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily abeset me.
19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have atrusted.
20 My God hath been my asupport; he hath led me through mine bafflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
21 He hath filled me with his alove, even unto the bconsuming of my flesh.
22 He hath confounded mine aenemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.
23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me aknowledge by bvisions in the night-time.
24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty aprayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.
25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been acarried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.
26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath avisited men in so much bmercy, cwhy should my dheart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?27 And why should I ayield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to btemptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my cpeace and afflict my soul? Why am I dangry because of mine enemy?

ive realized that if were not careful were gonna miss the point of it all. i love life and i believe it all. i believe in a god of miracles and he shows them to us every single day. if nephi the best example of faithfulness we have in the book of mormon feels like this, then ive definately got a long way to go. i think he just enderstood something that we could all learn from him. god is real and there and shows himself and we just need to take a step back and notice his simple mercies in our lives every day. ive never seen anybody raised from the dead but like president holland said ive seen and myself experience the spirit come back into my life. i think about myself a year ago and a year now and its a different person. ive never seem a mountain moved but again like elder holland said ive seen a mountain of doubt moved by the exact same seed of faith they the brother of jared used to move hte mountain that we find in ether and moses used to parth the red see. ive never been instantly healed from a sickness or even seen that but i have heard a story from someone i care deeply about share her mission experience and how she battled with sickness the whole time and it didnt go away... and christ carried the burdon with her. thats a miracle to me.

the words nephi says after verse 27 are napakaganda ( so great ) and this is the attitude i hope to be able to gain some day ....

28 Awake, my soul! No longer adroop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the benemy of my soul.
29 Do not aanger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.
30 Rejoice, O my aheart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the brock of my salvation.
31 O Lord, wilt thou aredeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of bsin?
32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my aheart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may bwalk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!
33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy arighteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine benemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.
34 O Lord, I have atrusted in thee, and I will btrust in thee forever. I will not put my ctrust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his dtrust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
35 Yea, I know that God will give aliberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I bask cnot amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the drock of my erighteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.
I dono why i decided to talk about miracles but i guess im just greatful to have this chance to witness tso many miracles. i love this work here im far from perfect and its hard but i know its real and i know that if we just look for them we will be able find the miracles that god works in our lives every day, we just need to give him the time to look.

i love you all sorry if this is boring but well this is whats on my mind right now. mahal ko kayo! and ill talk to ya next week...... elder landeen

Monday, February 20, 2012

hello again

kumusta na kayo. sana okay lang at buhay pa. im happy to let you all know i am still alive and my health is back to normal. ive made it past my ban of dairy products which was super hard cause thats about all we eat at the house in the morning is eggs. but i did survive it and now im right back to egg sandwiches in the mornings. everyone keeps telliing me i got so skinny but i think that they are imagining things ha. but anyways ive got a story to tell you so here goes.

i had a really crappy experience this past week that was pretty hard for me. it was the first time its happened to me while ive been here. the pascual's that ive been teaching forever ever since i got here in santiago have told us they dont want us to come to teach them anymore that they are going to stick with being catholic. any of you missionaries that have seen that its like a slap in the face, you wonder how that can happen. how do they decide to not accept it. there were so many times in lessons there that i know the spirit was there, and i know that tatay knows that its not the truth doon sa catholics but they still made that choice,. and its really made me think and wonder. what went wrong. why didnt they get a testimony and why didnt they choose to follow the things i know that they have felt. keep in mind that they had accepted a baptismal date, they had been to church they had seen recent converts bear their testimony of how they learned the church is true and how they felt the spirit,.,,.... so what went wrong.

i was reminded of a talk i heard by David A Bednar of the 12 apostles and he quoted 2 nephi chapter 33 verse 1. 1 And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I amighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man bspeaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.

2 But behold, there are many that aharden their bhearts against the Holy cSpirit, that it hath no place in them; wherefore, they cast many things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught.

Elder Bednar stressed the word unto and how that he specifically chose that word unstead of into because people have the choice to recieve the holy ghost or reject it. i was reading their teaching record and i noticed a big flaw there were many time that there wasnt any prayer and thinking back it came down to the whole all we can do is invite them to come unto christ and they have the agency to choose if they will accept the invitation or hindi. its hard for me. thinking back on how hard my heart used to be i wonder how the savior feelts when his people he came to save dont accept him. i want more than anything for these people to understand it but they have to accept it. and if their hearts arent receptive to the holy ghost they wont be able to recieve an answer, i gues only god knows when we have real intent and a broken heart. thats the qualifications right. ?

tatay pascual was one of my favprites and to see him close a door to happines and truth because of doubt and heardness of heart, or maybe fear of comittment... just hurts! and it realy points me toward the savior when he had his friends leave him to carry his cross and suffer while they were all sleeping. its well its almost too much to think about. tatay pascual has been baptised 4 different times in various different churches. hes expressed his desire to find the truth and how he knows the churches he has been atending are not the fullness of the truth. but even a desire and knowledge like that i guess doesnt mean you are ready to make the changes needed to commit to the truth. he did say that he hopes there comes a time when he will be ready to commit. he didnt necessarily shut any doors and i hope and pray that sometime he well to be frank pulls his head out and realizes that he knows exactly where the truth is.

i share that experience with you cause it just kinds opened my eyes on agency. we all belive this is true so lets just follow it and think of the savior a little more everyday. he died to give us the chance to even have a possibility of happiness and without that hope we are nothing. so lets use it. well i love you all and i hope this wasnt too boring ha. ill let you know what happens. transfer day is on thursday so im gonna have some changes in the people im living with. elder valdez has been my friend here for most of my time here im kinda sad that hes getting transfered. elder kelson is also going home this week and man all the people in my zone that i got close with are leaving this week. things go by so fast but i think ive got at least one more cycle here in santiago so unless president throws me a curve ball ill still be here next week. ill let you know what happens. but anyways mahal ko kayo..... elder landeen

Thursday, February 16, 2012


ok ill do the best i can to write this letter i dono why im feeling super super dizzy and dont wanna throw up anymore im over that ha ha,

so as you know i got food poisoning. i dont know what sister carlos actually said but im pretty sure i know where i got it. im already alergic to the pilippines and a nanay gave us crab to eat so i said i better now eat it im allergic to it so because their culture here is force feed you even if its going to give you food poisoning... she gave me some chicken wings. and i figure thats what it must have been because thats the only thing i ate different than my comp.

as for the symptoms ugh man it wasnt very fun at all. i just woke up tuesday morning at 6 00 and went into the bathroom and just felt like something was going on inside that shouldnt be. the the lbm and throwing up stated. i threw up among other symptoms associated with food poisoning all morning frobably about 10 times just between 6 and 10 then when i threw up it was just a whole bunch of blood so i figured i better call sister carlos. after that the assistants to the presedent drove down and picked me up to take me to the doctor in cauayan and i was just so dizzy and sick i could barely walk straight. so he told me i needed to go and have a few nights stay in the hospital because im super dehydrated and blah blah blah. after they did some tests they found out ive got some ameoba friends livin inside me and said ive probably had them for a while. i never have felt completely healthy here but i mean with caughing all the time i just sorta got used to it but maybe thats why ha. but anyways they just pumped me full of antibiotics and now im taking pills that will kill them.

the stay there like dad said man it was a vacation other than the whole vacation thing i just layed around and slept in airconditioning all day, i got to go and take a hot shower in the mission home man it was great im gonna have to remember all i have to do for a hot shower is eat some bad chicken and then im on my way ha ha

i always try to be careful with food and water but i mean what am i really supposed to do. halimbawa(example) when i asked the llanetas if the water was mineral water or well and she said that it just came out of their pump, i told her were not supposed to drink it. background knowledge these people barely have enough money the afford food for themselves but becayse of stupid customs they have to feed guests. but anyways she left and didnt come back until she had found someone that had mineral water she could buy for me. what i mean with this either you eat or theyre offended. bottom line ha and even the doctor said that he said its hard to be careful what you eat cause if you dont eat what they give you youll offend them ha,. so i do my best but theres only so much i can do

other than that there was one more thing about the hospital that was weird. having girls my age come and take care of me without my companion there. man that was weird,. i wasnt alone the whole time but a lot of the time i was and ha it was just crazy. when they took the iv out she was like holding my hand and it just felt wrong ha ha. but anyways now im outa the hospital and i dont plan on going back. no promises though ha.

well thats all i really have to say this week cause well that basically was my week bein sick and loosing a whole bunch of the weight ive worked every day to gain. but on the bright side it was better than my last hospital visit that turned into a lot longer than an overnight stay so im greatful for that. well take care all of you ill work on having something better to talk to you about for next week. mahal ko kayo elder landeen

Monday, February 6, 2012

crazy week

well here we are again. sitting in the computer shop is great because.... its air conditioned ha masarap. theres 9 other missionaries right next to me all writing home. some on you tube ha and some writing letters to president. just thought id add that little thought.

saturday and sunday were probably the greatest and most stressful days here so far. the greatest because well we baptised 3 families and got to watch a recent convert baptise his son and bless the sacrament for the first time. and the most stressful well youll find out from the story.

it all started about two weeks ago. as the baptismal date was getting closer we figured we better figure out if theres gonna be eenough baptismal clothes. we asked bishop and he said your in charge of that so good luck basically ha. so then when we found the baptismal clothes they had.... all but 3 of them were broken the zippers wouldnt zip up. and the ones that werent were probably made specially fit for goliath. they must have forgotten that giants died out way back in old testimony times. so we had a problem. we started texting around all the different elders to see if we could borrow some and we found a re accuring problem that everyone is kulang (lacking) in the baptismal clothes department. so finally the ramon elders (theyre about 30 minutes away from us) said they have a whole bunch we can use. and we didnt have any time do go and get them until saturday morning the day of the baptism. we got there and we found another problem. they also thought that giants were still being baptised lately ha all the clothes were huge! and the ones that were usable were dirty. so we just said well well figure out what were going to do later whether these short pilipinos are going to just wear these huge clothes or what....
so we got back from ramon did a whole bunch of stupid paperwork for their baptismal records and then went out to remind the members to show up later. this is when it got stressful. ali alis wedding was scheduled for 5:30. when 545 came rolling around and they still werent there we started to get worried and then when 600 hit and everyones asking where the couple is, and were asking where the quan are they,,, as well as the other couple that is supposed to be baptised.... but then finally ali ali's showed up. their wedding started probably about 625 and went until 700. ( it was supposed to be about 10 minutes ha ha) but we had another problem. deguzemans still werent there. you can imagine that when its about 715 and they were supposed to be there at 530 our hearts were sinkin pretty fast and then they finally called and said they just barely got out of a meeting at work. so i told them to get their butts moving and get here asap. ( siempre i said it nicely ) we started ggetting everyone suited up, and well they were huge but they worked. then sister ali ali ha shes super short and there was only on e that would fit her. problem was the zipper didnt work. so.... we improvised. she clipped it closed using those clip things for stacks of papers. were about to start and finally the deguzemans show up! by now its almost 800 ha (it was suposed to start at 600, did i mention that ) but the miracle happened they all showed up!
after they were all baptised it was time for their testimonies. and well probably the greatest thing ive ever seen. every one of them had their own testimony that it was all true. they all found out in their own way but it was all just a complete miracle. i wanna share a little bit of what sister deguzeman shared with us.

she said five years ago she remembers she started praying that got would give her a way that her family would have time for each other on sundays to go to church and be together. she said that he was always out of town with work monday through saturday and then sundays he would go out drinking with friends. she said she just wanted to go to church as a family so bad but didnt know how it would ever happen. she said one day she came come from work and her husband said two americanos came to the house earlier., 2 elder yata ( maybe ) and she said that she knew it was mormons and they were gonna try to get her to come to their church.( she must have had some sort of knowledge about elders before ) and she said that at first she didnt want to listen and it was really hard for her to open her heart to any of it. she didnt want to go to their church because her whole life she was catholic. ( which is very understandable now that ive been out here ) but after time she said she started to pray slow at first that maybe what they are saying coulbe be true just a possibility at first that maybe it could be true... remember that in alma 32 we learn that if you would just try the experiment on the words and plant the seed,.... so thats what she did. she planted a tiny seed of faith in her heart. then she said that after time and more prayers she started to be more open to it. she said it was so hard for her to open the book of mormon. because of course her whole life it was the bible only. but because she had planted the seed it started to grow, her testimony started to grow. her heart began to change. and being the missionary on the other side of this witnessing this all from begining to end and then hearing her side of it and then all the background story of a prayer of faith 5 years ago, was just man something else. but anyways she said that she knows for herself its all true and just bore a simple testimony of truth.

this same change of heart i got to witness on the other investigators also. so as you can imagine it was a pretty special night. then sunday morning came and it was time for their comfirmation. 800 church starts. 825 church really started and still no paz family. so as you can guess anxiety ulit! it was time to get them confirmed and they were confirming brother ali ali and giving him the gift of the holy ghost. then..... paz fimally showed up. all and all they are members now, washed through the atoning blood of christ and have a new start.
later that night when asking them how they feel what was their experience. every one of them told of a similar experience. happy, like something ive never felt before, like i was floating in the sky, brother deguzeman was tryiong to describe how he felt while he was being confirmed and couldnt find the words.. finally he just said the hair on my arms was standing up and i just was ..... and again no words. common these. i prayed many nights that god would bless them with the spirit to know that what theyre doing is right. and everyone of them were blessed with exactly that.

the moral of this story, that god does answer prays. somrtimes it take 5 years like with sister deguzeman or 3 years like it did with my parents praying for me. or the fervant prayer of a missionary trying to help people accept the gospel. but he amswers them. always.

it was a great week. lots of other things happened but i figure that will about due until next week. now its right back to worrying about all those that promised but didnt end up coming to church and have been canceling appointments and well the never-ending struggle to try to teach these people how to be happy. sa inyo lahat alam ko na ang mga bagay na ito ay totoo. sinabi ni Joseph Smith na and aklat ni mormon, ang pinakatumpak aklat sa buong mundo at isang tao ay lumalapit sa dios sapamamagitan ng mga tuntunin sa loob kaysa sa mga ibang aklat sa buong mundo. alam ko talaga na totoo iyan, napansin ko sa mga buhay ng mga tao noon saturday at sunday na kung bubuksan mo ang inyong puso sa ebanghelyo na ito, magiging bago kayo talaga at alam ko talaga na ito ay totoo. nagpapasalamat ako para kay JESUCRISTO at para sa kanyang pagbabayad-sala. siya and aking pagasa at tagaplagligtas. sundin ninyo ang kanyang ebanghelyo at ipinapangako ko sa inyo lahat na magkakaroon kayo ng kapayapan at kalagayahan sa buhay kahit ano ang nangyayari sa inyo. itan ang layunin niya, habbang may mga pagsubok tayo, tutulungan niya tayo KUNG mananampalataya tayo sa kanya. mahal tayo ng dios at nagpapasalamat ako para sa pagkakataon na ito, na ibahagi ang mga salita niya sa mga tao dito sa pilipinas.

there just a little tagalag for ya. good luck figurin out what it means ha. mahal ko kayong lahat, at ingat hanggang sa susunod na lingo! ( take care until next wee) elder landeen