Sept. 28, 2015
So to answer your questions Elder Sevilla is from the Island Luzon North west of Manilla - Pangasinan Province, Alaminos. And of course I told him about our trip. It’s kind of funny because every time I ask something about the Philippines he says "Elder Blackham I thought you've been to the Philippines.” Also as far as how many miles I ride on my bike let’s just say my legs can get pretty sore. Anyways this week has been great.
Monday: In the MTC they always said just wait till Sunday and it will get better. In the mission field I would say just wait till P-Day because it is much needed. Also we were able to clean up our apartment and play our one and only game of ping pong before we put the table on the altar of sacrifice. Elder Sevilla is crazy good at Ping pong but I guess that's what happens when buildings in the Phillipines don't have gyms just ping pong tables.
Tuesday: We taught a lesson to an older couple. They are very religious so it is hard to explain the priesthood authority.
Wed: Met an older lady who plays video games and taught her the first lesson. We scheduled an appointment but haven't been able to get ahold of her.
Friday: We had a meeting with all the trainers, trainees and Mission President in the morning - it was great. One of the greatest experiences of this week was on Friday. We had our second lesson with B and the spirit was so strong. I know she was prepared by the Lord. The greatest part was that I invited her to be baptized and she said yes! It is so great to know that B is sincerely trying to make a change in her life and recognizes that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way we can truly change. Later that night we had two appointments that fell through so we went tracting. We met a guy who said he knew all about religions and was trying to tell us how to do our job. It was really frustrating because I knew he wasn't listening to what we were saying. Anyways we asked what religion he believed in and he said he believed in some sort of shaman religion where you separated your body from your spirit, but it was really just his excuse for smoking weed. That was confirmed when he said he was done talking to us because he wanted to go inside to smoke some weed. Sometimes it can be hard to look at people as children of God, but it was a good experience because it helped me realize I need to be bolder and testify of what I believe.
Saturday: Today is Elder Sevilla's Birthday he turns 23. I made him some pancakes and we put a candle and sang happy birthday. After we had a service project for a guy in the same apartment complex. The Elders next door talked to him and he said he was having a bad day because he didn't know how he was going to move his apartment. We told him we would help. We helped him move furniture and after that he asked us to move some plants in his house. I asked what kind of plants and he said he had been a child of the 70's and when Colorado legalized marijuana it had been in his bucket list to grow some so we found out he had been growing marijuana plants in one of his closets - it was pretty funny. Anyways we taught a man name P. He has been an investigator for a long time because he believes that if you ask God you shall receive. This makes it pretty hard to explain the priesthood because he believes you can ask and receive the priesthood. So hopefully once he gains a testimony of the Book of Mormon he will progress more. Also we were talking to a guy on the street and he seemed very interested so we gave him a Book of Mormon, but before we could get his info he had to run for the bus. I am praying every day that I will be able to find him.
Sunday: It was Fast Sunday and I bore my testimony. Another great experience was on Sunday, we were with our ward mission leader finding less actives in our ward. We had no success and then our ward mission leader's car broke down. We decided we would walk to our next appointment and when we got there it fell through so we headed back to our apartment and on our way we met a lady sitting by her tree and after we talked to her we committed her to reading the Book of Mormon and we set up an appointment at her home for later this week. The best thing was she didn't think it was a coincidence that we met and felt that we were supposed to meet. I was able to realize how the Lord puts us on other people’s paths.
My testimony has been strengthened so much over the last couple weeks I have seen the lord guide my path and help me throughout my mission even though we don't always understand why things happen they happen for a reason. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored and that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God.
Oct. 5, 2015
I eat once a week at a member’s house which isn't great. But we get a lot of food from a member in fact our pantries are full of food and our refrigerator is full. We cook pretty good meals for ourselves. Elder Sevilla is a pretty good cook. And honestly I'm not sure about packages.
This week has had its challenges. We taught the first lesson to L and her Husband M on Thursday. They are really great people and are very open to the gospel. They said they felt a little overwhelmed when we taught them but they could feel the spirit, and they wanted to find out for themselves. They are non-denominational so they feel we can come to Christ in our own ways. I felt that Elder Christofferson's talk really will help them understand the need for a church. Also our appointment with B was cancelled which was disappointing. She is trying to figure out for herself the truth. We are keeping her in our prayers and have an appointment scheduled for this week. General Conference was great and there are a lot of things that I can apply to my life to help me serve as better missionary. Even though we had our disappointments Elder Sevilla and I are going to bounce back this week and give our best.
This email is especially for you! In the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference Elder Holland gave a great talk about the role of Mothers. He compared the life-long sacrifice of mothers to the sacrifice of our Savior and that next to Christ's sacrifice the next greatest is that of our mothers. As he talked I was filled with the Spirit, there were tears running down my face as I honor your sacrifice for me. Mom I feel like you don't always get the credit you deserve because just like Christ you are always serving me, you are always there to turn to, and you do it all out of love. The one regret I have is that I should have listened to you more, I should have been quick to obey, and I should have turned to you for comfort. I love you so much and I am so grateful for your example and testimony.