Wednesday, December 26, 2012

hello everyone

its close to christmas and i think ill start out talking of our mission christmas devotional we had this past  saturday for bambang and solano districts (i know those names dont mean anything to you) it was held in solano and man was it good. it was good for 2 reasons for me. first of all was president carlos spoke, and this was the first time ive heard him speak my whole mission to anyone other than missionarys. it makes you remember how good these mission presidents are at preaching the gospel. he talked about something that about ripped my heart in two. he started about talking about the life of jesus christ and then he talked about the circumstances of the saviors life, how he was born into a very poor humble family, and he didnt live a life of luxury... he didnt ride in chariots and horses rather he walked to where he was going.. and he eventually talked about the atonement. then he shared with us news about that 2 year old kid that went into an elementary school and killed 20 little children and his mother.this was probably the worst thing i have ever heard. he talked about how wonderful a thing the savior did for us and how even in the worst of circumstances like this tragedy... the savior made it okay when he accomplished the atonement. he then spoke to all the people and kind of boldly said now when you think about your lives and think why is this happening to me. why dont i have a good job or why do i have these trials or why am i not popular or why did this horrible thing happen to my family he said think of the savior, he experienced all of these things and he didnt do anything bad to anyone and ask yourself... am i better than him? 

what a question when your in a trial. am i better than him? 

next reason it was good was because during the closing song of i believe in christ they did something kind of cool where they had one sister missionary start the song by herself then slowly throughout the song as time one by one all the other missionaries (including me) stood up and starting singing with he. it was like one by one we were standing as witnesses and telling everyone there that we believe in christ. the spirit was very powerful and it was one of those moments where your mind races back through your whole life and every decision you have every made and then yu come back to reality and realize your on the other side of the world speaking a crazy language that used to sound like jibberish teaching and testifying about the savior and... well i think you get the point im trying to make.

im greatful for my mission, and for the savior, for a family that believes in christ and knows about the truth, that isnt blinded by the false doctrines of men, and for the heritage of faith that was willing to sacrifice all to follow the voice of a prophet. after reading moms email about when a prophet told all mothers to be at home im greatfull for parents that have the faith to follow the prophet. im greatful for grandparents and cousins that serve missions, and brothers that show me how to be a good man, and bishops that dont stop loving and counciling, for ward members cheering silently on the sidelines  and angels working on both sides of the veil, writing letters and helping when your weak. i could go on for a long time but i just wanted to say thank you for your love i feel your prayers, i think of you often and hope that in some way or another that the way the savior stepped into my life, the way he used all of you in the process, and the hope that i have because of it will have helped build your testimony in him. 

i want you all to know im not a better person because of what i decided to do in the past or what ive learned from it, im not a better person because i changed or stopped doing wrong things, and im not a better person from any decision ive ever made. im a better person because of the savior, because he made me better. because he changed me and because he loved me enough to send angels into my life to find me as one of his lost sheep.

i love you all.                                                                                                                    elder landeen

This week Allen sent some random thoughts to us again.  I took them and have pasted them in this email. 
its transfer day and im pretty sure my companion is getting transfered. thats kinda sad because hes been great. this has been such a rewarding 2 cycles starting with absolutely 0 and now,.. well were having much success more that i could have imagioned. i love it here im happy and i dont wanna come home ha im a missionary now inside and out.

i think the best feeling this week was i got a letter from sister deguzman from santiago and she told me her and larry and their kids are still active and they have a plan to go to the temple when they hit their 1 year which is in about 2 months. she told me that she doesnt doubt her decision or faith and she wrote her testimony in the letter. thats about the best thing you could ever hear as a missionary. dan mansiban is a priesthood holder and hes working with the missionarys. hes the miracle that confirmed past doubt that i was called here by a living prophet.
opening this area has been so great and its been a divine companionship. this past sunday was so great we had some less actives come for the first time as well as some investigators accept baptismal dates.
ive lost myself in the work to the best of my abilities and i've found myself in the process. its a great feeling to know who you want to be,.. what you want to be like how you want to treat others. and knowing you can do it.
we have banaue and thats cool but the rest is basically just bukids ( rice fields ) more bukids ha. and its exactly what i needed. i get to teach a humble hard working people that are straite out of joseph smiths time of religious confusing. i dono if you can imagine how it is here theres a different churst on every corner, with different missionaries from them stopping by confusing people, i cant even explain it just read josephg smith history and thats how it is. and im here telling them the truth with the spirit in the room telling them its true.

what more could i want?
He also send some pictures of the area he is in now.  I am attaching them to this email. He said they went hiking in the area and cooked their own meal - rice and hot dogs.  He said he's gone native - he hiked in flip flops!
Love you!
Mike and Paula

Allen's letter was very short this week.  Here's what he said:
this week was good im loving life. ah life is good. so good. i cant even say how things have been. i dont know how i will every come home...
im short on time so i wont be all that long with this email but just wanted you to know i was thinking of you.
Short and to the point, I guess. 
Love you all,
Mike and Paula
hello everyone here again.

im having a hard time remembering what happened this past week.. or remembering that there even was a past week ha its all a blur. i cant say how much im loving my area and companion. its so nice and refreshing to have a companion that wants to be obedient. not just to the big things but to the little things too. that wants to do more than hes asked, that wants to be 100 percent. 

i learned something kinda cool at a training meeting a few weeks ago about water that i wanna talk a little about i just remembered it. i dont remember if the numbers are right (i think they are wrong) but youll get the picture. at 211 degrees, water is really hot. at 212 degrees water boils. at the temperature of 211 degrees no matter what you do or how much you want you cannot make the water boil.... unless you increase the temperature. its interesting that its the increase of 1 degree... that makes the water boil. that 1 simple degree makes all the difference. remember... 211 is extremely hot. but 212 is boiling. 

they talked about how that little extra effort each day to bring about good in the world is like increasing the temperature 1 degree. if you really want to make things happen you have to be willing to go the extra mile like christ said to do. we had heard a lot lately about obedience because of the mission presidents seminar a couple weeks ago was all about obeying with exactness. ive come to know that gods willing to bless you. in the end... with all that he has. but in this life hes ready to pour out blessing like the scriptures say. to give you miracles in your life. but with our desire to recieve these blessings, is there an equal effort from us to obtain them? the relation of faith and active goes perfectly. and the different between hot water and boiling water (spiritually speaking) is basically experessed in the words of elder holland. "you tell me how obedient you will be and ill tell you how your mission will be" the same is with life. abraham wasnt blessed with a generation numberless as the stars until after he had tied up isaac and was ready to sacrifice him (even though he didnt want to, he had completely given himself to the lord) and i think the exact same thing goes for me here in the mission and every one in life. god is willing to open the windows of heaven. but how willing are we to let him do so if faithfullness is the requirement?

i heard a story from elder schmidt one of my favorite missionary friends (hes home now look him up on facebook tell him i said hi ha ha) he taught about the three kingdoms of glory... and asked this man which kingdom he would like to go to. when the man replied elder schmidt was taken aback, the man said... siguro... terestrial na lang... ( maybe just the terestrial ) elder sdked him what he answered that kingdom and the answer was well its not the lowest, not the highest, pero tama lang (its just right) then he asked well dont you want to go and live with heavenly father in the celestial kingdom? and he said well that will probably be hard.. you said its really beautiful in the terestrial kingdom so maybe ill just go there im okay with that.

we get what we work for.

its hard to imagine that kind of ideaology but well i think theres a lot of that in all of us. at least in me. so well our companionship goal.... is 212 degrees.

thats about all the time i have for now. thanks for the love and help ill talk to you next week. love elder landeen