Monday, July 30, 2012

hello everyone good news. imie got baptised ha :) nope her baby didnt have random seizures and infections the night before again. but she is not a baptised and confirmed member of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints.
ive been blessed to see in a short period of time the "bigger picture" of the lord/ and heres the story....
with imie i know i told you a couple weeks ago that she was scheduled to have a baptism and that it didnt happen because of her daughter that she had gotten sick. this placed us and the church in a very had situation! of course when a problem comes especially when we are making correct choices in our lives we first ask ourselves... why is this happening? am i doing something wrong? and so when you are deciding to change religions its very easy to pin point which choice it is that you could be making wrong. imie expressed to us that there were a few nights when she was sleeping in the hospital with her sick daughter ( sleeping in the crib sized bed with her daughter in a room with about 4 other sick children and their parents ) that she asked herself that question. she said she had made the decision at a couple points that she wasnt going to continue and be baptised. ( we definately were doing a lot of praying for her while all this was going on ) but somehow something happened... she chose faith. she was doing a lot of thinking and she remembered the feelings and the things she was taught and made the decision... no i will believe this is just a trial. and eventually she was released  from the hospital and allowed to take her daughter home. we began teaching her again amazed at the faith in jesus christ during such adversity and set a new date for her baptism. it wasnt untl last week we were able to see the real plan that god has for his daughter that had excersised so much faith in him. .  .  .
imies husband works in manila. from what we had known about him he was okay that imie wanted to be baptised but had no plan himself to follow in her footsteps. but for the reason that his daughter got sick.... he came home from manila to see her, while here we were able to share a message with him and her.. families can be together forever,.. and after that lesson he asked the greatest question ever... what do i need to do to be married in the temple so my family can be together forever.. ( rough translation from tagalag ha ha)    imie was beaming her face lit up like a christmas tree and the reality hit me and my companion. if nicole ( her daughter ) hadnt gotten sick then christopher ( her husband ) wouldnt have come home, we wouldnt have taught that lesson, he wouldnt have attended her baptism and confirmation and he wouldnt have asked how he can be taught by the missionaries and go to church while he is working there in manila. there would be no "seed of faith" planted in the hearts of this young couple that will hopefully grown into a forever family. 
ive thought about it a lot and how much time in my life ive spent questioning the things that are happening to me. ive thought about anxiety and why its been such a struggle to me my whole mission. i remember the hospital and probably the thoughts of my parents while i was making the decisions i was. im sure there were a lot of nights questioning to themselves "what did we do wrong"? this is a normal thing for us to think... this was one more testimony to me that god has a plan. hes mindful and knows us and our situations and in the long run all the trials and problems when you look back will be things you thin about and say " man i was an idiot for worrying so much ". i dont know how gods plan works but i believe theres a plan and that somehow thats very incomprehensible he is very involved in every one of our lives and is helping us as long as we have "faith in every footstep" 

im grateful for all of you, and most of all for a loving heavenly father that was willing to see the good in me when all i was showing was bad. im greatful for parents and teachers before and during the mission that were willing to hope and pray that the boy they "once knew" would come back. i'm grateful for bishops and young mens presidents that would keep coming when i was very entertaining and fun to be around and hope they know the efforts didnt go forgotten,  thank you all for all your support and i love each and every one of you. take care and "press forward with a steadfastness in christ with a perfect brightness of hope and a love of god and all men "                                                                                                       another week gone.. elder landeen

Monday, July 23, 2012

This week Allen just wrote short notes to Mike and I so I cut some parts from each of the notes that I thought you might be interested in.  I will be sending a package this Friday, and he did request any handwritten letters from anyone that is interested, so if you will let me know I will come and get them or you could take them to Mom and Dad's and I will pick them up there Thursday night.
Here's the pieces of the letter:
here they like eating the small fish more than the nig ones. like three and four inch fishes that they dry and cover in salt and fry in dirty oil and are basically just bones.... they love it. and im just confused at why ha ha. anways i realized something. iknow absolutely nothing about your mission. and you are always telling me you have nothing to write about. so i have a proposition. how about you write about your mission. tell me some stories. tell me about some people ( if you even remember anything i know it was a long time ago and your no journal writer ha ha) i dono why but lately i have been thinking about that a lot about yours and moms and kevins and natalies missions i wanna know all about them. so there is a little project for you to work on your story telling skills. that would be very appreciated if you would do that !
as for how im doing im doing good., great. anxiety dropped down again. i was able to have a special interview with elder teh the philippines area president. ( cool right ) and i talked to him about it and he gave me a blessing and some good advice about what to do to deal with it. man these general authorities are amazing people arent they, next month we have an apostle coming to visit the mission. thats about the coolest thing ive heard this will be something to remember. have you ever been taught by an apostle before/? if so who was it?
my companion is struggling so bad with the food. hes only eaten curry his whole life and he is very..... bold//// at how he said that he is not "accustomed" to philipino food ha. more than once i have hear something like this... someone asks if he likes the food they cooked.. and his reply is if i dont eat i will die thats why i am eating...... HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA H AH AH AH AHAH H AH AHA
hes my favorite companion by far/. hes very new at the gospel. its very interesting having to teach him a lesson or a principle and him hearing it for the first time from my mouth and then us teaching that lesson later to philipinos. things like eternal families and baptisms for the dead and all sorts of the basic beliefs that we take for granted are all new to him. ive really learned who the lord calls he qualifies.
letters from family like bailey and cole and savanah and rebekah and jada and well everyone if thats possible ha thats the best part of the package.

Monday, July 16, 2012

well hello again.. its been another week and a lot of adventures. a lot of curry and vegitables ( i never even tasted curry in america but man its so good  and apparently you can cook anything using curry seasonings imagine that ) having a companion from bangladesh is a  very mind opening experience to see what life is like in a different country. i remember making all the comparisons of america to the philippines and now im hearing all the differences of bangladesh and the philippines and im glad to say one thing.... im proud to be an american. ha ha ha. anyways things that have been going on. . . . .

ive been studying a lot about how to work with ward and stake leaders. ive noticed ive been working with less actives here for about 3 months now and its been somewhat fruitful but ive come to realize that if i cant find a way to get members involved in this its gonna all be a whole lot of stress and sweat ( plenty of sweat ) for nothing. the whole every new member needs a friend a calling and nourished by the good word of god... even more so to these less actives. ive learned the most common sin of the human race. BUSY. too busy with work or school or projects or other things to take thie time to do the little things. or sometimes the big things. apparently the word has BUSY has a hidden meaning..... B being U under S satans Y yoke    pretty cool huh? all you home teachers that are too busy like i always was come here and see how many people dont come to church and get to feel the blessings of being active that probably would be right now if it werent for the fact that noone showed any interest to come help them, or bless them when they were sick, or clean up after a baguio, or just come share a spiritual message 1 time in a month. too BUSY. im going to put this in the category of things i hope i remember after ive been home from my mission for ten years. maybe when im a busy 50 percent home teachers ill read my own words and slap myself in the face. 

ive preached a few too many sermons to all of you now im stuck here ha ha if i ever fall out of line theres evidence against me.... remember when you wrot home about this and that? and then                   ill repent ha ha.

ive been thinking about my missionary work and what kind of a missionary i am. sometimes well all the time im stressed and anxious cause things arent going the way they were planned to go or other people your relying on arent willing to sacrifice.... and then i started thinking why does in really matter in the long run what everyone always said was true all god wants is your best. if you give that then the results dont really matter all that much. stressing about things about members and leaders that arent doing their job gets me nowhere and then when i look for the good instead of the negative i get the sweet moments like seeing the cabalsa family. mother relief society president father 2nd councilor in the bishopric. last night i was at there house figuring what we were going to do about sister imie in the hospital she needs help getting her insurance and bills all figured out and she cant do it alone because she has to stay with her daughter. sister cabalsa decided that she would take the time out of her BUSY day and go to tuegegarao to help her. then she second guessed and said wait the kids dont have any food for lunch tomorrow and if i dont sell ( her "job" is she has a bicycle with a little side car attatched to it and she peddels around and sells food that she cooks at her house ) anyways she said if i dont sell then wont have any money to give them. then as easy as for most people to say im sorry i wish i could but.... ( and then give the reason even a very valid reason ) she just said well i just need to be willing to sacrifice god will provide. and she left her job this mornng went to tuegegarao and is helping imie right now. man do i have that kind of trust in the lord? 

the mission ha been a struggle for me the whole time i dont write home about everything mostly anxiety is the source of all the problems but to see people willing to show faith in the lord like that and knowing that a few missionaries that gave up a couple years of their lives to go and teach people about jesus christ were instruments in gods hands to help someone like this become the person she is today.... im greatful for the struggles. at least i know somehow someday my efforts will ammount to something as long as the lords on my side. 

im greatful for all of you. i love you. i believe the church is true. theres a lot of bad in the world but there is also a lot of good. im gonna try to find the good. maybe we could all set a goal together.

mahal na mahal ko kayo...... elder landeen

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

hello everyone its been an eventful week and ive got no idea how ill explain any of it so ill do my best. first of all i just wanna say im counting my many blessings. 

i got a new companion today. brother chua went home and im going to miss him a lot, he was one of my favorite companions and i really enjoyed my time with him. he will enter the mtc on july 21 for his mission in olongapo philippines. mom sorry your package got here after he went home., he might come and visit the area again this week for a baptism so i will probably see him again this week. \

and now since brother chua went home i go t a new companion. his name is elder hawlader. elder hawlader is 1 of only 43 members in his whole COUNTRY, and the first missionary ever to serve, he is from Bangladesh. this is his first area here in cabagan and it is crazy all the things ive learned about his country! 99 percent of bangladesh is muslim and there are no missionaries there because the government wont allow the church to send missionaries there. but the embassador at the us embasy is a member and it seems like hes done some missionary work there since he was the one who baptised elder hawlader. we are going to be very busy this week because we have a baptism this saturday july 7. one investigator sister imie vinarao. i just wanna talk about her for a little bit now.

we met imie because of her mother in law. when i first came to cabagan we had a list of 15 families that are in active or less active, and one of these families is the vinarao family in a place called baculod, san pablo. the father is a member but he works in manila and he would be active if it wasnt for his work. there is also the mother who is a member and at this time she was in active, and then they have i think 8  kids, none of them are members but none of them are at home they are all either in manila or other parts of the philippines. we started sharing with nanay ( the mother ) and we did that for about two weeks and then one day we went there and she wasnt there but there was a girl there. shes 22 years old and her name is imie. she is the wife of one of their many sons. so the daughter in law of the 2 inactive members. and so we decided to try sharing to her. to make a long story short she turned out to be a pretty golden investigator, she had tried going to a whole bunch of different churches when she was in high school but never found one that she thought was right. an even longer story shorter,,, she got a very strong testimony of joseph smith, i think i shared her experience with you in one of my old emails,,, and she has made the changes in her life and is a new person and is someone really ready for baptism. nanay ( the mother in law ) has come from inactivity to comeing to church every week, and the other day she shared how happy she is that shes come back to church and was able to help her daughter in law to accept the gospel. man the work here is hard now that were focused on less actives its seemed to have platoud ( i dono how to spell that ) because everyone is just being stubborn and has all sorts of reasons of why they dont NEED to come to church. from theyre not worthy to be lds, to god understand them because theyre poor, to offended at the members, and millions more. im just glad that once in a while god gives you some success and peoples lives are touched. we are working with a lot of people. and we teach all day and we stress all day especially lately but now all i know is 2 lives are changed, one brought BACK into the light, and one stepping out of the darkness into the light. and thats why im here. i love you all and the evidence keeps adding up every day. the church is true. it is. lifes a big crap shoot of problems ha but the gospels true and when you live it the problems dont bother you so much. 

one thing ive learned so far from the philippines and now from my new companion from bangladesh is that we are very blessed in america. very very blessed. elder hawlader was very impressed with the things in our house. like the toaster oven, the gas stove, the shower head and sink with running water, the fridge, and other NORMAL things to us, all of which he was not blessed with in his country. he grew up in a land of violence where its normal to watch people be murdered in front of you and noone will say anything because if you do they will also kill you, and where if you are christian you cant do somethings that the muslims can because you are the very small minority. and where if you try to share your testimony with the wrong person you could find youself dead because it happens to be a muslim that hates christians. and where its normal to see hundreds or in his words numberless people sleeping just on the side of the road eating out of the trash can. arent we blessed in america? even here in the philippines man some people have hard lives. anyways a love you all and remember that lifes hard, but gods there. remember him. 

mahal ko kayo... elder landeen