Sunday, June 25, 2017

WEEK 45 - June 26, 2017 (Aparri, Cagayan, Philippines)


This week was incredible. We had straight success this week in the work. Lots of spiritual growth, miracles, and learning experiences. But it was soooo dang hot. 

This week was the hottest week of the year. Thursday was one of the hottest days I have ever experienced haha. We were out working and this one valley that we need to walk through was actually flooded. It rained real hard in the morning for like 30 minutes which caused some flooding is some areas. And the water was really, really hot. I'm convinced I could've hard boiled an egg in that water. We tried to make our way through the valley without getting wet, trying to jump from dry patch to dry patch, but ended up shin deep in water. As I tried to ignore my socks being soaking wet and pretend to not care, I remembered Buck at Disneyland saying "I like my socks wet" hahah. All the people we were teaching live on the beach, so we just ended up taking our shoes off and walking around barefoot for a while. (editor: flashback to September 2015. Family was at CA Adventure riding the Grizzly River Run. We all did what we could to keep our feet dry...Zach took his shoes off (yay!), but left his socks on (what?).  His defense when badgered about this, "I like my socks wet!" This now stands as a family favorite one-liner.)

On Wednesday, we had Zone Conference. I got to see a lot of friends I haven't seen for a while. The conference was good as usual. Always seem to receive personal revelation for what needs to be done in our area, which is much needed in missionary work. It was also President Andrada's Birthday. So the feast we had was HUGE! He bought a big ole lechon baboy (whole roasted pig) and tons of other foods. It was great. Later on that night, I got a text from the AP's saying that they went into our house, borrowed our phone charger, and left tons of left over food in our fridge. So that was quite a treat. Got to have turkey and Chinese food for the first time in like 8 months. 

Aparri Zone

with Elder Earnest

So yesterday was a very happy Sabbath day. We had seven investigators at church. The first one that showed up was Jaryl. He's a 20 year old guy that we found last week. Actually the way that we found him was completely guided by the spirit. We were just walking down the road, and we kind of just took a right turn into an alley. Elder Reyes asked "Where are we going?" and I said "I'm not really sure haha." We continued and ended up in a small little alley. Like really small. Two people side by side would struggle to walk through this little path. So we entered this alley and found Jaryl sitting inside his house, playing the guitar.  He invited us in, and we played a little guitar, had a good time and then taught him the Restoration. He told us he wants to know if this is true and that he will pray, read the book of Mormon, and go to church. And then he told us "Thanks for coming, even though the path to our house is a little sketchy and I'm not real sure how you found us haha". We were completely guided by the spirit. 

So the Del Rosario family made it to church for the last 15 minutes of Sacrament Meeting and then stayed for the next 2 hours. As we were in the Gospel Principles class, Jordan (one of our recent converts) came in and joined us. Chris Del Rosario (the dad) started talking and saying how he didn't believe us back when we told him that Jordan had changed. Jordan used to be a full on drunkard. Chris went on to say that now he believes us, that Jordan has full on changed. And it was quite the testimony to him that there is something different about this church. Very excited to keep teaching him and see his progression toward baptism. 

So we experienced a couple miracles this week. On Tuesday we wanted to show The Restoration DVD to the Del Rosario family. We showed it last week in their home to their niece, but we weren't able to get it to work in Tagalog, so it was a little hard for her to understand. So as we were trying to set it up, it wasn't working at all. For some reason, it just wouldn't work. After about 15 minutes of fiddling with it, trying to get it to work, it suddenly started playing. But the miracle was, it was playing in Tagalog. I was shocked. We didn't know how it even started playing, especially in Tagalog. The spirit was strong during the first vision, and it testified to them that Joseph's experience was true. It was about 7 o'clock later that night, and there wasn't really any way of transportation. So we eventually found a kuliglig to hitchhike (see example below), and he said he was heading back to centro. Well he ended up stopping about 2 or 3 miles out from where we were headed, which was a bummer. I looked around and there wasn't another vehicle in sight. Then I looked down to hop off of the trailer, and when I looked up, there was a triC literally right in front of us, waiting for us, like he knew we needed a ride. I couldn't believe it haha. Another Miracle.


I know that the Lord answers prayers. I have been praying consistently to see miracles in my mission, and those prayers have been answered and still are being answered. God wants to help us, we just need to call upon His name.

Love you all, have a good week :)

-Elder Jenkins

link to The Restoration

Sunday, June 18, 2017

WEEK 44 - June 19, 2017 (Aparri, Cagayan, Philippines)

Hello everyone and Happy Fathers day!!

First of all, the Lake Powell trip looked like a blast. Seeing all those pics brought back a lot of good memories. Very excited for Uncle Ken and Aunt Robin (headed to Brazil to serve in a few days). One last Powell trip is a good way to go out.

So this week flew by for me. Just another week of full work. A few nights this week it was a little difficult to sleep. The power went out and when the power goes out at night, it is not pleasant. We can't use our electric fans, so it is nearly impossible to sleep haha. I would just lay in bed, sweating bullets, trying to imagine a cool breeze. Eventually, after about 45 minutes of just laying there, the power came back on and I snoozed away.

Speaking of being uncomfortable, we were at an investigators house the other day, and she was giving somebody a pedicure. She offered to give me one, and I declined, telling her how bad my feet smell and that she would not want to have to put up with the smell. Then she got a bit offended, so I let her start chipping my toenails. I thought my feet would feel nice and clean afterwards, but they hurt pretty bad. She cut the nails at such a weird angle, I won't be surprised if I have 7 ingrowns by the end of the month.

So sadly, the family that we have been teaching weren't able to come to church on Sunday. Chris, the father, had to head to work. But they are solid, we will get them to church this week. Mae came to church this week. we have really been trying to help her understand the importance of baptism, and she said that she fully understands now. We are trying to teach her parents too, but they seem to be a little hesitant to listen to us. We did a lot of walking around and finding this week. Around 5pm is the perfect time for finding. Everybody is outside just hanging out or playing bball. So around that time, we hit the road and start walking around talking to people.

Yesterday I was able to give a talk in sacrament meeting. I started off by telling everybody that I will tell them how to become rich. That seemed to get everyones attention and they all started to listen haha. And then I read in D&C 6:7 and they realized what I actually meant. But the overall message that I taught was that if we want to become "Rich" or obtain eternal happiness, we need to change. We need to stop being just followers of Christ, and become True Followers of Christ. I think we all need to evaluate ourselves every once in a while and ask ourselves if we are just going through the motions doing what we are supposed to, or if we are All In, True Followers of Christ. That's when we start to see change in our lives and start to see all the blessings - when we are living as a True Follower, a True Disciple. 

Love you all. Have a good one:)

-Elder Jenkins 

our bedroom

Sunday, June 11, 2017

WEEK 43 - June 12, 2017 (Aparri, Cagayan, Philippines)

Either walk 10 miles, or cram into this vehicle designed to hold pigs haha.

Hello family and friends.

This was another good week with some new experiences.  But first of all, today is transfer day, and I am not getting transferred. So I will be here in Aparri until probably the end of July. Very happy about that :) 

So I had a really cool experience on Wednesday. We were in Dodan, and when we work in Dodan we have like a 2 mile walk to make from one zone to another. So we always walk on the beach because it is much cooler. While we were walking, we saw a big group of people gathered around at the shore. So we headed over there and they pointed out to us a huuuggge fish in the water that they caught. Turned out it was our investigator that had caught it. Everybody was really excited, because it sells for good money at the market. So they hauled it in and immediately started slicing it open. It was a big Blue Marlin. They sliced it into 4 pieces and started carrying them 1 by 1 to the road, where a few tricycles were waiting.  We came back later that evening to our investigator's house, and they were all outside celebrating and having a good time. Sold the fish for 12,000 pesos (about $250) haha.  Also got to taste a little bit of it. Was good. Speaking of interesting meats to eat, I got to eat goat for the first time.  Has an interesting taste to it, but is also really good. 

Last week was the graduation for the college students here at Cagayan State University. So we were invited to a bunch of parties with tons of food. The parties here are pretty much all the same. There is always tons of food, and people singing karaoke.  And the Karaoke is very loud. They want the whole barangay to be able to hear them. 

On Saturday, out investigator, Adonis, was baptized. We have been teaching him for a long time and his baptism finally happened. He turns 12 in July and will be a deacon. 

The sad thing was that his uncle/guardian, Jordan, wasn’t able to attend. We went to go teach Jordan on Wednesday and when we got there he was laying on his bed with a broken leg. He explained to us that last Sunday after church he was walking and a bunch of drunk guys that used to be his friends told him to come drink with them. He told them no, and they came at him with a knife and started beating him up. Jordan grabbed the guy's knife and desperately stabbed him with it, as they continued to beat him up. Luckily, Jordan’s uncle saw what was happening and saved him. The police said it was self defense and didn’t charge Jordan for stabbing the guy. But the police here can sometimes be easily corrupt, and the next day they decided to charge him 15k pesos (about $300). So Jordan isn’t in the best shape right now. 

So yesterday (Sunday), we had a district conference. There were tons of people there. We were so happy because a family that we are teaching right now came to church. What was unfortunate is that there was a 2 hour broadcast from SLC to the whole Philippines. And it was all in English with no subtitles. So really, most the people didn't understand what they were saying. Even our investigator leaned over and said, this is really hard to understand. Really wish they would at least put some Tagalog subtitles, because that was a long two hours for most the people there. But we are happy to have a progressing family. 

So lately, I have been studying a lot about faith, and have been trying real hard to strengthen my faith and get rid of all doubts. As I have done this and eliminated doubts, things have seemed to go a lot smoother, and people have seemed to be more receptive to our message. It all starts with faith. If we have faith, complete faith, things work out and miracles can happen. But with doubt, things go downhill. Faith cannot exist where there is doubt, so the key is to weed out those doubts and witness happiness and success!!

Love you all

-Elder Jenkins 

Monday, June 5, 2017

WEEK 42 - June 5, 2017 (Aparri, Cagayan, Philippines)

This was the oldest balut I have eaten. lol

Hello everybody!!!

Happy Birthday to me:) So I just want to tell you all about the culture here when it comes to birthdays, because it is the opposite in America. If it is your birthday, people expect YOU to buy them food and treat them to a big meal. They don't buy you anything or give any gifts, the person who has the birthday buys food and spends tons of money. I was so confused when people started asking me what I'm treating them to. And apparently there was an American elder that was assigned here a while ago, and when it was his birthday, he spent like 5000 pesos ($114 US) on food for everybody. So these people here are mad that I'm not buying them food and treating them. I'm trying to explain to them that I'm on a budget haha.

So this week was a successful week, but first, I've got a few stories to tell.

So last Wednesday night after our work, I was out washing my clothes when all the sudden two motorcycles crashed into each other right outside our apartment. I sprinted over there to find a man laying face down on the ground with a puddle of blood under his face, not moving at all. I rolled him over and he was not responding at all. Had a huge gash in his head and all over his face. We carried him to the side of the road and tried to stop the bleeding from his head, and he still wasn't responding. At this point there were like 50 people surrounding us, just watching. While I was holding the guy, I was trying to ask anybody if they had a cloth to stop the bleeding and I accidentally said "Does anybody have an umbrella to stop the bleeding." Got a few weird looks because of that haha. There is a hospital about 200 yards away, so we sent him on a triC to the hospital. Not sure if he lived or not. The guy he crashed into was respondent, but his knee was messed up pretty bad. Glad I was wearing Rio's purple t-shirt instead of proselyting clothes, because it was a bloody scene. Crazy experience. 

So this week while walking around, we met a guy playing chess outside his home. He has a big chessboard (took a picture) and he challenged me to a game. I was feeling pretty confident, thinking back to all the times I have taken down my old man in chess. I told him if I win, he comes to church on Sunday. He agreed, but I've never seen somebody more confident than he was that he would win haha. He told me if I win, he will give me his chess set. About 5 minutes into the game he had me in checkmate. I told Reyes that he is leading the area for the rest of the day, cuz my confidence was gone haha. It was humiliating. But the next day we were walking by again and he challenged me again.. I told him we didn't have time because we were on the way to an appointment, so he challenged me to an arm wrestle instead. I gladly took that offer, knowing that it was my chance to redeem myself. He put up a good fight, but I took him down without too much of a problem. Was feeling pretty good about myself, then realized that the guy is 64 years old hahha. He told us though that he wants to try and give up the cigarettes and alcohol, so we will continue to visit the guy.   

the chess master

So yesterday was probably the best Sunday I have had so far in my mission. Sometimes Sundays can be reallyyyy stressful when investigators don't show up to church. But yesterday we had 7 of them show up. So we were happy. One of them is an absolute golden investigator. Her name is Shyrine. She 18, and she is soooo shy, so it was hard for us to get her to come to church, because she doesn't have anybody to go with. But she told us that she knows 100% that the church is true. She has received an answer over and over again that it is the truth. She memorizes scriptures in the Book of Mormon and is constantly reading. She is on date to get baptized on June 24. Also Adonis, who is 11 years old, is getting baptized this Saturday. So we are excited for that. 

The work is really good right now. I love being able to teach people about the gospel in a different language. I'm always reminded by little mistakes, like asking somebody for an umbrella to stop the bleeding, that I need to keep working harder to learn the language. But I absolutely love teaching. I have realized that if we do our best to teach the people and do all we can to help them learn about and accept the gospel, God will do the rest. And that when we make a promise to these people, God always has our back, and keeps those promises that we make to the people. They are all promises that God already is promising to us, but people seem to take it more seriously when it is said out loud. But it is all about trust in God. If we want help in our lives, it's all about trusting in Him. 

Love you all, have a nice week :)

-Elder Jenkins
TriC driver really, really wanted a dollar