Thursday, March 29, 2012

well to start off this letter i will tell you it does stink to get sick every month but well lifes still good ha at least im not like an elder right now that had to get sent to manila because of a spider bite he got that got super infected. that would be a scary adventure when your new in the philippines. a trip to manila by yourself! now that sounds almost kinda fun ha other than the whole being super sick part of it., so ive made a goal. no lonely trips to manila until AFTER i finish my mission. that would probably be the better thing to do.

another thing on my mind the whole girl who developed an anxiety disorder that started in the mtc. i know how that goes an learning how to fight through that was honestly probably the hardest thing ive ever had to do. cause your fighting a physical problem in a spiritual environment so you feel like if you dont get better its because your faith is too weak or something like that man its hard but hindi pala ginoon life just happens whether your a missionary or not. as much as you wish things were perfect when you put that name tag on its not that way. life is the same you are the one who has to set yourself apart from the world. from all things that are "WORLDLY" everyone that i have known in the mission that goes home says how much they hate it at home cause everyone is so wicked ha ha it makes me laugh. but when you come from an environment when the worst thing you can think of doing is staying up past bed time or sleeping in or things like that no wonder missionaries are wierdos when they come home ha cause well ayon sa standards of the world we are definately weirdos while we are here. hopefuly when i come hope i dont judge everyone ha dont ya just hate that a new rm coming home and it just feels like hes judging you? man its the worst ha ha

so anyways im feeling fantastic now tapos na ang sakit ko and ive had a really good past few days. gods decided to bless my work lately weve found a whole bunch of new investigators and its like they have just fallen out of the sky while we are working with less actives, so now we get to not only help inactive members come back to enjoy the blessings of the gospel but we also get to see families being completed and people being baptised into the true church. the TRUE CHURCH man that takes on a whole new meaning when you come here to the philippines theres a million churches here theres more churches than languages and i swear theyre speaking a new language every time i go outside ha. sometimes it makes me sad to think how comfused people are especially the good people that really believe in their religion cause thats how they were raised. then it makes it hard for them to open their hearts to the truth. but i guess that their time will come.

i wanna talk a little bit about sister ali aly. shes 19 and her husband is 37 ( yeah weird i know ) and they have 2 kids santino (whos name should have been satan) and shaohanna.. (this is the coupple that was finally married and baptised on february 4 ) anyways sister ali aly is just abnormally faithful especially for how old she is. 1 nephi 3: 7 is like just how her mind works it is kinda hard for me to understand ha her husband is atruggling right now with not going to church cause hes working on sunday and not reading his scriptures and kinda falling back to old habbits but evvery week without fail she is there with her two kids struggling through sacrament and then not being able to attend classes cause her kids are too crazy, but everyweek she comes and is happy as can be. the other week brother got mad at her because she didnt but the medicine their son needs and he asked her why and she said she had to pay tithing and its okay cause even if she cant buy gamot (medicine) if she pays her tithing she knows god will take care of her sick kid. and then the other day we were reading in the book of mormon and she was basically teaching us and her husband said she should go teach sunday school and she said bakit hindi tutulungan ako ng dios bale bakit na hindi kaya... which means why couldnt i do it the lord would help me so of course i could do it. its just such a strong faith i dono if i have ever met anyone with faith like that and shes only 19 years old.

the reason i brought that up is cause this whole cycle ive had 1 nephi 3: 7 playing in my head. i can do anything the lord has comanded especialy the things that are hard. because he already gave me a way to do it befor he gave the commandment to me. this applies to all aspects of the gospel and for me all the mission rules. if im ever disobedient even to the little things it is because i didnt do my part in finding the way that the lord gave to me to follow his commandment. its pretty simple. and when we somehow develp the faith to decide to follow ALL the commandments of the lord something magic happens. things just starts to work out i dont even know how either. this is my experience for the week here...

we just barely found out that when we need a fellowshipper to teach a nanay or a girl that there isnt a guy present we arent allowed to use out support money to help them get to the appointment. two problems with this.. elder riner noon told me that we are supposed to pay for their ways on tricees because its for missionary work that they are coming and so i had already been doing it, and everyone is dirt poor they dont have any way to do so. and the only ones that we need fellowshippers for are in really far barungays so its super far. i asked president carlos about it if it was ok just for a couple appointments and of coulrse he said no this is the standard so i said okay and tried to find a way to "follow the commandment" we had arranged splits earlier that day in order to make it to all of our appointments and well when the people found out we couldnt pay for their pamasahe they symply said sorry i wanna come but i have no money to come with you. so when you think about in the book of mormon when they were trying to get the brass plates did they get the on their first try? no.... so nephi just looked for a different way. we tried to arrange it so we could still do splits but it didnt actually happen so we did all we could do and change our schedule to make the best of it. And what happened to work out was just so cool every one of our appointments went through except 1 that wasnt home ( which we are almost always punted from at least 2 or 3 on sundays ) and all the lessons we had were just really good lessons where we could feel the spirit with us. then at one of our last we found two new investigators and are working with this sister to help her come back to church after over 10 years of inactivity. and man it just felt good to know your doin wats right it just feels good to be obedient. thats probably the best blessing of all to feel like your pleasing your heavenly father.

ive learned something this cycle and i hope my faith here comtinues to build.... that i can go and do all the things the lord commands because he really doesnt give commandments to us, his children unless he has already prepared for us a way to follow that commandment he has given us. its so dang simple you wonder why all of our heads are so thick. ha imagine what nephi must have felt living with laman and lemuel.

well everyone things here are good transfer day is next week and theres about a 90 percent chance that either me or my companion (probably me) will get transfered so well see how that goes next week ha. mahal na mahal ko kayo and i miss you all. ingat elder landeen

Monday, March 19, 2012

hello everyone its been a great week of fun and adventure.... other than the last 3/4 of it ha but before i tell you that story ive got at least one thing i can talk about.

noon tuesday i went on splits with elder sarignaya ( one of the zone leaders) so he could go to the district meeting in the other district and my comp elder garcia went with elder schmidt to my district meeting. while on splits its always a good chance to see different teaching styles and different ways of doing things.. and also you see things that you need to make sure you stay away from ha, well after so many splts with zone leaders ive learned 1 thing for sure. being a zone leader would be no fn at all ha just a big headache.

while on splits we basically just got punted the whole time. which was a bummer but it made me feel for all those poor people in other countries, in europe and japan where noone wants to listen, different kinds of challenges and i cant say either one is harder cause well ive never been in other countries but well even though i get sick at least once a month im glad to be serving here where even if they dont wanna listen they will go to absolute extrimes like hiding or literally sprinting when they see you rather than be rude to you and for that im greatful.

i dont have a lot to write about cause well i got sick again and i dont remember much of what happened its hard on the memory when your sick but sana next week will be a better letter. well mahal ko kayo. elder landeen

Monday, March 12, 2012

kumusta ang aking mga kapatid....
air con again its a very nice feeling ha ha.
the longer ive been here the less i know what to say in emails. things here are well fantastic as ever. i wanna start off with just a short little thought..

its so hard as a missionary when your investigators that you love and care about ask you for money. man theyve got some hard lives and hard decisions. and then they humble themselves down enough to say they need help and well as we all know that isnt part of what we do. christ says seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all these things shall be added unto you... and no matter how much you believe that how do you get other people to understand that. you wonder man you dont have enough money for pamasahe ( money for a tricee ) to get to church but you always have enough for cigaretes and red horse ( a brand of beer that everyone drinks ) and your live is so sad all the time and you cant figure out why and you just cant seem to figure out why....

its something ive been thinking about a lot lately what are the reasons people dont accept the message when they hear it, or after they dont choose to live it when they have accepted it. every one of the people that were baptised this past february talk about how at first they were so closed inside and how much they have changed. tatay and nanay paz were talking about just yesterday how when they were catholic they would go to church " para sabihin ang mga sasabihin nila, ginawa ko ito na hindi maganda patawarin ninyo po ako panginoon... tapos iyen lang wala na " or basically just go to the church say a prayer and ask forgives ness and then kinda like well i did my part ill come confess next week, tatay was talking about how he used to find any excuse he could to get out of the church. qote " kapag mainit ang puit mo, umalis ka kaagad " which means as soon as your butts hot ( or meaning tired ) from sitting then your out the door ha ha but he said dito sa simbahan natin its different he just feels the spirit and wants to learn it all. thats the big difference in a living church, one has the spirit and one is kulang. just a bunch of traditions and no real religion.

of all the people ive been working with right now whether new members or new investigators or inactive people were tryi8ng to bring back ( and its pretty nuts working with people at all ends of the spectrum ) thats the big question. how do i help them to understand how important it is. do i even understand how important it all is? so all of us even active members really understand? if we did i feel like we would be doing a lot more. its been my experience so far in what ive learned in the past 2 years about ( this includes before i came out ha ) that the thing that sets true deciples of christ apart from just going through the motions is like the difference between the anti nephi lehites and the regular nephites who eventually go to being wicked. the anti nephi lehites never went back to their old ways. they stood there and let their "bretherin" kill them rather than break their covenants they made to god. because they understhood something that i hope one day i will be able to. their faith wasnt that god would keep evil from happening to them but that no matter what happened to them they would keep themselves from doing evil. they didnt complain or doubt why didnt god protect our families after so many of them were killed by the other lamanites rather they just kept going in faith to the lord. how in the world did they do it? how often do we think to ourselfes why me? why do i not quality for even a tiny miracle here and there like the other people or the stories in the book of mormon or bible? is my faith to week? such an interesting question that well noone knows the answer to but in the end i think it comes to are we willing to really take upon us the name of christ and always remember him, keep his commandments that hes given us no matter what is happening. are we willing to do that no matter what? are we really converted to the gospel? thats what i hope we are all trying to do.

sorry i feel like all i do is preach in all my letters now ha but well iyan ang aking layunin bilang missionary ni jesu cristo. mangaral ang ebanghelyo niya so i guess ill just keepp on preaching.

well i love you all thats my little bit for all of you think about it. do we have weapons of rebellion like they did and have we burried them? and if we have do we have the shovel waiting right there by the hole or is it locked away for good? mahal kita family. elder landeen

Monday, March 5, 2012

what a cool week

hello everyone so many cool things happened this week and im not sure where to start so i guess ill just start with the coolest.

we had a special training with elder nielson... the first president of the area presidency and a member of the first qurrom of the seventy. it was pretty sweet to be able to be taught by someone like that on such a well pretty personal level! he and his wife both spoke to us and i enjoyed both a lot ( i have a confession to make thats not good but ive repented dont worry... most of the time while watching general conference or things like that when the girls speak i get this idea that its a perfect time to sleep and wait till its a guy speaking again... ) ha but ive had a change of heart there. hope its long lasting but anyways. she talked about our relationships with our companions. she told a story about her kida growing up and there family was super close and all liked the same things and then when they got married ( her kids ) they had all these weird people starting to join their family that had different traditions and different hobbies and thing they liked doing. the moral of the story is you need to learn to love your companions and not just accept their differences. there is a difference she said between loving your comp and dealing with him. it was a great talk and then elder nielson got up and man was it good. he talked about what they want us to be doing as missionaries in the philippines and said that in the cauayan mission alone there are about 28 000 members and only around 7 000 are going to church right now. and he said that less actives should be our priority right now. he said something that is pretty bold and pretty true. he said anyone can baptise people in the philippines. but theres no point of that if they dont stay active. so now weve got the joys of all these people that have all sorts of reasons that theyre not going. from they dont have money if they dont work on sundays to offended in every way pollible to just got out of the habbit to they were baptised when they were 12 with no support so they just forgot about it. we have to find a way to solve that concern. and he told us that we do that by teaching them and helping them understand the doctrine. he said the reason they arent going to church is because they dont understand the doctrine. so thats what ill be doing the rest of my mission and hopefully teaching the families of these people too that arent yet members.

then he let us do a question answer where we ask any question and he will answer it which was pretty dang cool. i asked him what is the difference between the power of prayer and the power of the preisthood because i had someone tell me once that they dont believe in priesthood blessing and all we need to do is pray and god will give it to us and i didnt know how to answer or address that. and his answer was pretty cool. he said because we follow christ. he said thats what christ told his appostles to do and thats what he said in doctrine and covenants that if there are any sick among the saints call upon the elders to bless them. and then he went on to share and experience when he was a new returned missionary and his dad had pancreatic cancer, and he was asked to give him a blessing and he wanted to heal him so bad or he didnt want him to die but two weeks later his did died. he said we have to have faith in the savior that if its right it will happpen. he said he used to be confused about his dad about why didnt he get healed was it his fault or was it because he didnt have enough faith to do it? he said the answer was no when you give a priesthood blessing you have faith that the savior has the power to heal them or whatever is according to his will will happen and is possible. so you follow the spirit when you are blessing the person and believe that all things are possible through the savior. then he bore a crazy testimony about how in the church today miracles happen all around the world that would rival anything in the new testiment through the priesthood and he believes without a doubt if it were according to gods will he could do anything in the name of christ. pretty intense faith ha i hope to be able to get to that level of faith at some point down the line!

yesterday tatay llaneta ( one of our investigators baptised noon sa december 11 ) worked with me me and elder garcia went on splits. cant even explain how cool that is to see someone go from zero spiritual knowledge and afraid to pray, hiding from missionaries and change into going on splits with the missionaries to bear testimony of the truth and how the gospel has changes his like. what a miracle.

well i think thats about it for me not too much mor happened that i can think of. mahal ko kayo and talk to you next wekk. elder landeen

Thursday, March 1, 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