Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Striving for Perfection in Jones


Cute kids from Jones.
A woman said to me this week, "My sister is a Mormon and a returned missionary, but she married a non-member, so now I know the church isn’t true."  So I thought about it and said, “It is important to understand that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect, the people trying to live it aren’t."

We got new desks...
guess which one is mine.
You must know the Gospel before you can judge the Gospel, and you cannot judge the Gospel by the mistakes that men make because the Gospel is of God, the Gospel is perfect and designed to help us become perfect. It takes more than a life-time and the Grace of Jesus Christ to achieve, but you have to start here to achieve it.

Elder Elgan puts a brave face on failure.
My favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon so far is Alma 34.  Amulek is teaching the Zoramites about the need for a Redeemer, prayer, faith and works, and to not procrastinate. I strongly encourage everyone to read it.

I sent pictures of some cute little kids from Jones, and Elder Elgan’s culinary humiliation. Elder Elgan tried to make something but it turned out to be just blackened, caramelized, pig fat. Yum. The dogs wouldn’t even eat it.  I also included a picture of some local drink for kids which is shaped like a gun and you drink through the barrel.  Who thought that was a good idea?

I love all of you, and I pray for you as much as you pray for me.

A drink shaped like a gun.
For kids. Seriously
Mahal Kita,

Elder Allen

Monday, March 12, 2012

Great People


So we have an investigator, Sis. Conception, that is golden and awesome and smart but she refuses to stop believing in the Nicene conception of the Trinity, instead of the New Testament description of the Godhead.  We’ve used everything on her and she just refuses and we have made no progress since I got here so we may have to drop her.

We also have the Miquies Family that we are trying to get married so we can baptize them. We also have two younger girls that are the shyest people I’ve ever met (and I’ve met Jonah); we taught the entire Law of Chastity lesson to them only to have them ask at the end “What’s sexual sin?”

Service project: Mowing the lawn with a machete.
One of the common service projects we do for widows and old people is cutting their grass.  Of course, we mow the lawn using a machete (what is there this amazing implement cannot do?)  Then we pile up all the grass and burn it in a very smokey fire.   People are grateful to see their houses. 

I went on splits with Elder Forrest on Wednesday. I met him in the MTC, where he was 6 weeks behind me. He’s a super nice kid, but a little hyper. He’s awesome and super friendly, and speaks less Tagalog than me.

We went to Elder Katoa’s and Tangi’s farewell party today, they’re going home, that’s why I’m so late emailing tonight.

I love and miss you all.
Elders Nielson and James,
my MTC room mates.

Elder Allen

Monday, March 5, 2012

Working in Jones

Hello family,
The elegant Elder Elgan.

Jones is a fun place. Elder Elgan is an awesome companion.   
We’re working with the small Branch of Jones and finding that none of our investigators or less actives will keep their promises. I take that back, there is one hopeful investigator, Tay Ebarra. (Tay is short for Tatay, meaning dad). If someone looks old enough to be your mom or dad you call them Nay or Tay... ay is an 'i' sound.  If they’re old enough to be your Grandma or Grandpa you call them lolo (gpa) or lola (gma). Just one of those closeness things of the Philippines.  We usually refer to everyone else as Kabsat or sibling in ilokano. 
Downtown Jones.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tagalog is Ang Simbahan ni JesusCristo ng mga Banal sa mga Huling Araw which literally translates to the church of Jesus Christ of saints in the last days. I think we sound cooler as 'saints in the last days' rather than 'latterday saints,' but that’s just me..

A refrigerator full of fish.  I am grateful, but I would be
slightly more grateful if I liked fish.
Matt Has got called to RUSSIA?  I am incredibly excited for him and slightly jealous. 

I miss you all very much and love you all very much. Have a great week you crazy family.

Mahal Kita,

Elder Allen