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
hey everyone i just wanna share a couple stories. first off ill be staying here in roxas for the rest of my mission... favorite area and favorite companion couldnt ask for any\thing more.
now to the story.
       back in cabagan there was a convert named frederick tapitan. he was baptised before i got there and we became good friends while i was serving there. right now he is serving part time here in the philippines cauayan mission and he just recieved his mission call this past thursday to serve in the Philippines Naga mission.
       frederick comes from a family that is very active in the jehovas witness church. he learned about the church through his girlfriend who is a member and he investigated for a very long time. to state the obvious to anyone aquanted with the jehovas witnesses his parents were and are very against him investigating and being taught by missionaries. sometimes he would wear normail clothes to leave the house and then change into church clothes when he got to church so they didnt know he was attending. they threatened many times to ke\ick him out if he continued to listen and attend but against all his parents wishes he was eventually baptized. his parents did not support the decision but at that point in time didnt kick him out. i remember asking him how he handles things and he jst said "i love my family and i know they love me but they arent the ones that will save me so i do what i have to do.''
        as time went on talk of serving a mission only added to family persecution. and eventually his parents did tell him to leave the house \, that hes no longer welcome at home. so he went to stay with the family of his girlfriend with no other options available to him. there he stayed until he came to serve part time and there he will stay until he serves full time.
          when talking to frederick i has always be surprised by him postitive hopeful attitude. you would never have guessed that he had been rejected by his family for following the truth he came to know and was facing the aspects of never being accepted again by his loved ones. we all have the hope of course that one day his parents will accept things or maybe even convert.. but at the same time they may not. i was reminded of the verse in ether 12: 4 speaking of the relation of faith in jesus christ and hope, how they are interconnected and if you have faith, hope is innevitable and if you have f\hope, it is the fruit of your faith or visa versa. the thing that stuck out to me the most was that this young man was willing to face the thought of never being accepted again by his family in oder to follow the savior. because of his faith, or his belief that through christ alone is his salvation (speaking of his earlier statement about how his family cant save him only the gospel can) he is able to leave it all behind, lay it on the alter and do it with joy in his heart. i cant imagine being put in that kind of situation but im greatful to have met people like him that are an example to me of how to live the gospel that christ taught and not just to speak about it.
well that got a lot longer than i expected so i think i will just leave it at that. i love you all and i will be seeing you all soon. take care! love elder landeen
We just got this email!  Now we know when he will be coming home!
Mike and Paula

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Jennifer Donohoo <jennifer.donohoo@ldschurch.org>
To: Philippines Cauayan Mission <2010038@ldschurch.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 11:45 AM
Subject: Travel Itinerary For LANDEEN/ALLEN GLEN - 01Aug - ZCY5E4

Please find attached Return Travel Itinerary for Elder Landeen and Elder Nay.  If you need further assistance, please contact Missionary Travel.
Jenny Donohoo
Missionary Travel / 50 E. North Temple Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84150 / 801 353-4603
Jennifer.donohoo@ldschurch.org / Off. Hrs M-F 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM
*** This is a NON-REFUNDABLE TICKET; cancellation or change fees may apply.  We have until 5pm MST the next business day to cancel or make any changes at no additional charge. Please review the itinerary.
*** CHECKED BAGGAGE FEES MAY APPLY PLEASE BE PREPARED TO PAY - Please request your bags to be checked to your final destination.
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
     ETKT:DL/006 7274743629
     ETKT:DL/006 7274743630
PH 011 63 78/ 652 0770 OFFICE 652 0772 HOME
                            AIRPORT WEBSITE
           MISSIONARY TRAVEL (800)537-3537 OR (801)240-5111
            EMPLOYEE TRAVEL (800)537-1232 OR (801)240-1000
        GENERAL AUTHORITY TRAVEL (800)453-3860 OR (801)240-1000
hello hello. 

this was an INCREDIBLE weekend. we have been deeply blessed here in my area this past weekend and after the time i have been here things have seemed to come up to a pinnacle of success. which is either a sign that ill get transfered next week or that ill get to finish here in an awesome area! either ways okay. 

i dont have enough time to talk about all that happened but i would like to share with you about a less active family we have been teaching. this is the verdadero family. we have been visiting with them since i got here and the elders before me had also been visiting them. ive grown a lot in the time spend at their house. 

this family has lots of concerns. it reminds me a lot of the vinarao family in cabagan. tatay speaks mostly ilocano (which i dont) and that has been fun ha but long story short they have a lot of concerns. one thing nanay has really struggled with was believing that god cares about here. she has felt for years that god has basicaly forgotten her, and that hopeless feeling has caused much pain to her and her family and has been the fuel for many not so fun things that have become a part of their daily family life. 

weve taught them the missionary lessons, read scriptures prayed together held family home evening fasted for them bore testimony brought members and just about everything we could think of to show this family that gods there and he loves them. one thing ive seen and leaned is that the ppower of love can overcome barriers that might seem impossible to overcome. 

i asked president carlos one time if there was one thing that he wanted me to learn from him what would that be, and he said that if you love someone and they know that you will be able to help them, and to council with them, and if needed to chastize them. and thats what we learned. they just wouldnt act, wouldnt read most the time, wouldnt pray wouldnt come to church, mostly wouldnt do anything ha. but we just kept going back. if you just keep going back its inevitable that eventually they will think about it. "they must care about me at least a little if they keep coming back" and after this time spent here in roxas of learning to love this family and doing all we could for them, nanay came to church. 

a lot of great things happened, like hugs of joy from members that had missed her, but the greatest thing was when we visited her at her house, we were laughing and talking about her experience and when we asked her how she felt at church at first she wasnt very serious about her answer she was saying of course i felt good because i went to church and i havent in a long time but then she kinda paused and then said, "pero naramdaman ko na... mahal pa rin pala ako ng dios." i felt that god really does love me. (pala is a word that means i thought but i was wrong so when she said mahal pala ako ng dios it basically means that i thought god didnt care about me but at church today i felt that he really does love me) 

then she said dont worry elders ill be there every week from now on.

tatay still hasnt come but we have hhigh hopes that next week he will be there. 

you just cant write how it feels to see a pair of hopeless eyes be filled one day with the light of the gospel, with the light of christ and the love of god. i never knew what people meant when they talked about someones countinance people had said before things like he had a light in his eyes and i never knew what that means and i dont know if now that because im set apart that i can see that in people or what the deal is but after really loving them and praying for them and wishing with everything in you that you could just take away their pain or give them the hope that is in YOU, and seeing them time after time close the door to the spirit, and then seeing hope in their eyes, seeing the seed of faith grow, you just cant describe it. alma the younger said how i feel in alma 29 10And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember awhat the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.

thats how my week was among other things. i love you all and well ill see you all soon

love elder landeen

i love
hello family! things here are doing great i am healthy (isnt that weird) and happy. i feel like i was sitting on the computer yesterday writing you and now here i am again, things going to fast im having a hard time thinking of what happened to know what to write you about.
one thing that sort of stuck out for me was a lesson we had with a new investigator family the mariano family. lots happened in the lesson it was great but the thing that really stuck out to me was when he said that he has a question, that if theres a new new testament.. (speaking of the book of mormon) written to testify of christ, he said why doesnt everybody know about this???? he said it in a way that i really appreciated because people dont very often understand how big of a deal it is that theres another book of scripture other than the bible. inside i thought brother thats exactly why were here to tell you about it! ha but he said that hes very interested to learn more about it because all of it (joseph smith the book of mormon) is completely new to him.  how lucky are we to know about the restoration and the book of mormon. if you want to more fully appreciate how lucky we are come here to the philippines theres a different church on every street corner. (not exagerating) all with their own interpretation of the bible, using different bibles, some even restricting their members from reading the bible (what a wicked thing to do but they do it here) the most common answer to an offer to learn about the restoration that i have repeatedly heard throughout my time here is "isa lang naman ang dios natin iba lang ang mga paniniwala" we all have the same god just different beliefs about him. or to translate it to its deeper meaning they are saying we have different beliefs but we all pray to the same god so its all the same in the end. (this makes absolutely no sense because if we have the same god then there cant be more than one truth about him but yeah) anyways ive grown in greattitude that i know about the restoration and the book of mormon taking care of all of those thoughts and questions.
thats the depth of my thinking this week ha. like i said time really has flown by ill have to plan more carefully next time ha. anyways love you all! take care until next week.... elder landeen

Thursday, May 30, 2013

hello dad.
weather update... its hot. and then it rains. then its hot then it rains.. then its hot and rains again. thats about it.
cultural bit...  whenever you pass by a house whether you know them or not if people are eating a meal or eating anything they will call out kain tayo! (wihich means lets eat) although i dont think they literally mean they want you to eat with them i think its just a curtural courtesy thing. just as an experiement a few times when people said it a actually said okay thats great thank you! and came and sat down and ate with them. they were a little shocked ha i got a laugh and thought to myself well they offered.
mission update.... nothing new still here in roxas dont know if it will be my last area or if i have 1 more. i feel like ill probably have 1 more but we will see. i would love to have this be my last area though.
spiritual thought....  ive thought a lot lately of how hard of a thing it must have been for nephi and laman and lemual and sam to go back to jerusalem after leaving to get the plates of brass. i read in the study manua\el for the book of mormon about the geography of the land they traveled from, that not only barren but there were constant threat of robbers and running out of food and all sorts of other things. and that after their first failed attempt and being threated that laban will kill laman, they go back to their house and get all their riches (im sure it was very tempting for laman and lemual to just stay home, without their dad they were now the heirs to all that gold and silver and stuff, but they didnt they got it all and tried again and again failed. thinking how discourging that must have been for them all including nephi but the faith of nephi that even not knowing how the heck hes going to get the plates he still went in again knowing his very life is in danger because he knows how important the scriptures are for his family. it had to be a completely overwhelming task for them especially after failing 2 times!.
the area presidency had taught us and missionary work here in the philippines has once again started to make an interesting change. we are to continue rescuing less actives.. but we are now to... start finding and teaching and baptising rich people. our directions are to start finding and teaching in english and focus your efforts on them. the doctrine is found in d and c 59 but basically whats happened is because of course the poorer people are more humble and teachable missionaries have been focusing on them and teaching them and the church had been overwhelmed with welfare needs, people not being able to hold callings or be leaders because they dont have an education, and not being able to help other members because they dont have the means to do so. ive realized in the past month how blessed ive ben here in the philippines. rich people dont seem to care all that much about what we have to say ha i cant imagine a stateside mission or a mission in europe anyone who serves there is my hero. but anyways trying to find how to find and get investigators that are wealthy has proven to be a very hard thing to do. we found some to teach but every return appointment has fallen through ha and they are only willing to listen on sunday evenings so when we wait all week excited to teach them then we set the appointment and go there and noones home they had urgent business your left wondering are they really just busy or are they just too nice to tell you they arent interested in listening (thats probably the hardest thing here people wont tell you they arent interested they act like they are super interested but will very rarely say to your face that they have no desire to listen so you never know what is really in their head.
anyways its been a pretty good experience for me to not have very much success here in roxas as far as that stuff goes you get to see things from a different perspective. when it comes down to it all the matters is that you do what is asked of you to do no matter what the outcome. and thats a peaceful thought.
anyways thats it for me! love you get better soon! elder landeen
hello everyone :) i just talked this past week and said all my news and nothing has really happened since last week so that will have to suffice for now. there was something that really impressed me in church this last week though. we had district conference so there was an area authority and president and sister carlos there and sister carlos's talk was about prrayer. she talked about an experience that they had at a mission presidents seminar where elder evans the head of the missionary department was the one who was teaching at the seminar. they had apparently held a question and answer session in the seminar and after that they had a small break before their dinner and elder evans had returned to his hotel room and was praying and in his prayer he had asked if he had done anything that day that was offensive to anyone or to his heavenly father, and asked for it to be brought back to his mind. and he remembered a mission president had asked a question and his answer and reaction to the question of this mission president, although he hadnt realized or considered it at the time was kind of short and the mission president was hurt by the was he was treated by the general authority. so later that evening he found that mission president and apologized to him for how he had treated him. sister carlos then proceded to give a formula that can help inrease the sincerity of our prayers. she said set aside 10 minutes, start off by expressing to your heavenly father your love for him and his son and your desire to know them more, to learn more about them, and to feel more of their presence in your life. this will naturally lead to thoughts of things that you are greatful for in your life. next ask if you have done anything that day that was offensive to anyone or to him, and for him to bring that to your mind. then ask for the strength to avoid the sin in the future and make any corrections necessary for restitution of the sin. 

it had never occured to me before to ask him what i had done that day that offended him or others. i knew to ask forgiveness for what i had done but i never considered to take the next step and find out from his side what i had really done since hes the one who knows who i may have offended or what i did to offend him. i tried it. i dont need to go into detail of what the specific thing was that happened but there was something that was brough to mind that i also never even considered at the time. it was only a thought that i had had earlier that day about a member of the church that was offensive to the lord and i asked for the strength to not be so judgemental of people because i have no right to do so. i felt great peace and thought about what a great blessing it is to be able to repent. taking this extra step made a big difference in my day, in being sensative to the promptings of the spirit. 

try it. if anyone has any cool experiences i would LOVE to hear about them! 

anyways i love you all, until next week.... elder landeen
first of all my release date is july 31, i dont have travel plans yet but if i uderstand correctly they will be sent to you at the same time they are sent to me so youll know as soon as i know. yes its crazy how close it is now i cant believe it. but ive accepted it so all is well. 

things seem exciting there at home weve got surgeries and cruises and finals and crt's all coming up quick. life ha. 

we had an amazing meeting with elder nielson from the area presidency here in the philippines this past week, his topic was a talk by elder bednar titled "in the strength of the lord" man it was good. once again im always amazed by the general authorities that visit and how they teach. 

the just of it was the strengthening power of the atonement. we talked about how the atonement is not only for sinners bu for saints also (or the good people striving to become like saints) it ended up being a lot about changing the way we pray. he talked about how a lot of prayers are about having circumstances changed, but how we should pray is to be given the strength to change our circumstances. (theres a whole bunch of great examples in the talk by elder bednar) i thought about my prayers before serving a mission and how things have changed while i have been here and how they are now changing as i continue to learn more and more about scriptures and how things actually work and i noticed a few things that i didn't really understand before and i am beginning to maybe scratch the surface i guess you could say. Elder Neilson kept using the example of its super hot in the philipines but you all still go out every day and work even though its hot how do you do that? then he said if you prayed and asked got to take away the sun for a few hours from northern Luzon because its hotter than  you can handle do you think he will answer that prayer? (no was his answer of course) he said we dont ask got to change our circumstances. we ask got to strenghthen us so that we can work in the heat, and because of the atonement the lord is able to strenghthen us to do things that we could not normally do. 

i thought of 2 nephi 4: 35 "yea my god will give me if i aask not amiss," how often have i asked for god to change my circumstances. i think back on the mtc many times praying that i will stop being so anxious all the  time. i wish that then i had understhood that what i should have asked for was strength that i can learn how to deal with the anxiety that i had effectively. or when i was praying for nanay gonzales that her heart will soften and she will accept the message, this is true and necessary, but what i should have also been praying for was that the lord would strengthen me to know what I need to do or say in order to help her to accept the message. it came down to i guess the thought of if god wants us to become like him, how can i expect to do that if i expect him to do everything for me. What i should be doing is relying on him to strengthen me to overcome what comes across my pass and when i have done all in MY power, i can trust that he will either strengthen me to do what i cant do on my own, or by his own means after i have done ALL that i can do will make up the difference for my weaknesses. 

an even longer story short... i learned a lot from our meeting with elder nielson. 

anyways other than that i have one more weird experience. elder samar and i went to a far barangay the other day called simimbaan to try to contact a referral of a member. when we got there it was like the picture perfect of when i expected to see in the philippines. mga bahay cubo ( bamboo huts ) and other houses made out of cinderblocks with dirt streets banana trees all over the place calabows (waterbuffalo) in the irregation canal and super hot and humid. so as we were lost at this point because i have only been to the house of this member once at nighttime for the service of his wife that died and we were with members that knew where it was we started to ask around if they knew tatay biagtan. we met a man that said he knew him and then he began to introduce himself as a member of the rlds church. (now called community of christ) and he started telling us about our church history, talking about the book of mormon doctrine and covenants and at this point i had one of those what in the world is happening moments. i thought here i am in the middle of nowhere on the other side of the world talking to a guy drinking beer in a weird language  thats telling me about the history of the church(he was right on with most of the things he was saying too) and hes a member of the rlds church! what a crazy world we live in. how the rlds church got here or whats going on with that i dont know but it was a very interesting experience.

anyways thats all for now! love you all take care! love elder landeen
hello again. 

i have a few things on my mind that i would like to talk about if its okay with you (you dont have a choice but ill be polite anyways ha ha)

in the philippines there are somewhere around 661,000 members of the church in the philippines. this is amazing when you think about it since there has only been missionaries here for about 50 years. this was (and if im not mistaken still is) one of the fastest growing areas for the church in the world. theres many good things happening here every day. most branches have their own concerns and things like that, but i dont need to go into that. as you know we have been doing a lot of work with helping to bring back less active members to activity. this past sunday i saw something that made me a little sad. theres a family we have been working with for a while. the uy family. nanay is in ther 60's and she comes to church most of the time, before i got here she wasnt attending but right before i got here she started on the road to activity. her husband still wont attend, hes got his own reasons. and her grandchildren wont go with her so most sundays she ends up going by herself. she has lived the life of a farmer, working in the bukid and other things. to make a long story short she has lived a long life of manual labor. 

on sunday as we were waiting for sacrament to start i noticed that she was sitting by herself. noone was even sharing the row with her. she didnt have family next to her because noone will come, and didnt have anyone sitting next to her because noone seemed to notice. i went and sat by her but i got called on to speak because the assigned speaker didnt end up coming to church. so i spent that sacrament looking down, and thinking about nanay. sitting there among friends with noone acting very friendly.

i dont believe anyone deliberately lets things like that happen. its just one of those things where we get into our routines and involved with our familys and friends that sometime we forget to notice. we forget to notice that theres a new face, or a person thats alone, or that feeling to invite someone to sit on "your row" but you seem to brush it off reasoning that someone else will surely invite them or maybe even that they are waiting for somebody.

i was very sad and amazed at the fact that 1 she was there alone, and 2 that she was still there. us as people want and deserve to be noticed. deserve to be loved and appreciated and feel like we are wanted and needed. but beyond the fact that we need want and even deserve these things, this nanay was sitting alone and has many times before but she still keeps coming back.. it made me wonder about myself. how would i feel if i came home and after the years found myself attending a singles ward where i was more than single, i felt alone. if i found myself at church on sundays after a vacation or absence of a few weeks and when i came back it didnt seem like anyone noticed that i was even missing. these kinds of things i think happen quite a bit, so what is it that we need in order to carry us through those times of feeling very un important in a very important meeting. 

i think the only answer is our testimony. if we are doing things because we have a testimony of the savior, that he suffered and died for us and no matter what happens or how we are feeling we never really are alone. i think thats how this nanay and the rest of us that have experienced that feeling but keep going back because the testimony that is inside us is stronger than the natural man telling you that they dont even care if your here why bother. if we find ourselves in the position of discouragement because of the weaknesses of members ( we are all people and have weaknesses ), we could remember the "why" that carries us through or trials and afflictions. why do i go to church? why do i pray or do the things i do? if the answer to those questions are centered on our testimony of the savior and the gospel, then those things that are hard wont be a reason for us to fall away.

when i find myself struggling i always like to take a travel in time. i sometimes close my eyes and travel back to life 3 years ago, and think of how ive been changed because of the savior. i think about how he must have felt. when he was coming to the hardest nights of his life and his best friends were not not noticing, but actually fleeing from him and he was left completely alone. i think about how he might have felt when judas walked up and kissed him as a sign of who the roman soldiers were to take prisoner, even though he knew it was coming how might that feel to see someone you love so much sell you for so little. and i think about how he might feel if after all that suffering for me, that beause im too busy thinking about myself i wasnt able to do the things he asked me to where in return for obedience i will have blessings added to all the things i already have. after my little visit back in time, and my visit to my testimony i can do a little better than i did before and walk a little taller. 

anyways my point in all of this is 1 i hope we can all be a little more sensative to those around us. hopefully we wont wait to tell someone that we appreciate them and that we are glad that they are there. and 2 if we find ourself in that point where we are lonely, if we remember why we are there and there was one who truely was left alone that will always be there to comfort us, we wont fall away even if we are un noticed of seem to be forgotten.

again i love this gospel, i believe its true....                                                                                                                              love elder landeen
a little culture fact in the philippines... election time is noisy.
due to the lack of noise pollution laws and copyright laws here, they have an interesting way of campaigning for office. what they do is the different parties hire artists (singers and bands) to do remakes of some of the most popular songs on the radio. in these remakes they change the words into their campaign songs ha. then they hire people with trucks that have huge speakers and sounds systems piled in the back to drive around all day playing these songs over and over and over again. (remember theres multiple people runing for office so that means multiple people have hired multiple people to play multiple songs as lound as they can all day every day. i think it will end up that the person that made the best election song will be the one to win ha ha. next for the higher political offices such as president or vice or senators things like that, people are so corrupt they just send people out with a whole bunch of envelopes and pay you to vote for them. straite to the point ha, thats part of the reason the philippines is struggling with so much poverty for so long they have had a corrupt government.

general conference was great of course! its always amazing how clearly and directly the brethren teach. its so clear you cant really mis understand them. im feeling very blessed that we have prophets and apostles to keep us on the right track. and if you want to feel blessed too come here and see how confused people are as to how to worship god theres sooooooooooooooooooooooo many different churches all over the place its like joseph smiths era to the max.

so i keep hearing americas going to war with north korea. that stinks. i figured you wouldnt add anything in your letters about that but just so you know everybody is talking about it here.

anyways i was really (as always) impressed with elder bednars talk about the law of chastity. not so much for the part about chastity but about the natural man. after reading and listening t many talks of elder bednar ive noticed that he almost always makes a reference to wither mosiah chapter 3 or 2 nephi chapter 2. the natural man, and overcoming the natural man is the great battle of life. i remember one of my favorite talks from him that talks about the character of Christ and he shares some examples of people who were placed in various heart breaking circumstances such as the tragic death of a daughter in a car accident but in the midst of these trials the good in then had triumphed and they instead of giving into the natural man inside of them they decided to turn outward and give head to the promptings of the holy spirit and at a point in their life where they had every right to think of themselves and sink into despair, they didnt because their character had been changed through the atonement of Jesus Christ. if i remember correctly the mother of one of the 3 girls in the accident immediately after she found out that it was actually her daughter involved and killed in the accident (she had not previously known this) without hesitation she immediately began working on how they can inform the other mothers about the situation of their daughters and how what they can do for them, and then at a later time while she was on the way to the funeral of her own daughter she recieved a phone call from an irritated sister in the ward that she had not been taken breakfast that morning as she was told would happen, and so on the way to the funeral of her daughter unstead of doing what any normal person would do, ( loose their mind at the thoughtlessness of this sister and say im on the way to the funeral of my daughter you have a lot of nerve!!!! ) she didnt, she stopped at kentucky fried chicken and went to this sisters house before the funeral to bring her food.

i find myself thinking about that often. how have i changed lately? who do i find myself thinking about the most, myself? or others? when im sick or have problems do i find myself needing or even worse expecting attention of help from others or can i press forward serving others and forgetting about myself. (as the savior has asked us to do, and most importantly as he did) ednar so skillfully portrays the "natural man" in us and then presents how no matter what our circumstances are we can choose to "act and not be acted upon" through the atonement of christ and the promptings of the spirit we can be changed. our very nature can be changed. our selfishness and inward intentions can and need to be changed. its hard isnt it? to get over ourselves.. to learn that lesson that yes we are important but not more important that anybody else.. i hope that i can somehow someday gain that christlike attribute of ALWAYS turning outward and not making excuses of why at this time and in this situation its okay for me to pitty myself or on this day i need this for myself. imagine the world if people spent more thime thinking about other people than their selves, , isnt that a great thought? imagine what could be accomplished. its a long shot ha, but it can start right here with me.
i love you all theres my weekly sermon, just coppied from the thoughts of others ha ha anyways but thats okay. anyways take care all of you until next week... elder landeen