Monday, August 14, 2017

WEEK 52 - August 14, 2017 (Laoag, Philippines)

Paoay Church 
Roman Catholic church founded in 1686 & completed in 1710

Hello Everyone!

This week has been a rather exciting one in all sorts of ways. But first just to help you get a better vision of my environment right now, I'm currently sitting in a computer shop absolutely filled with little 10-12 year olds, screaming and yelling English curse words while playing little video games on the computers during their lunch break. It bugs me soooo much. The one next to me keeps cursing every 5 seconds. I just looked him in the eyes and asked "Alam mo ba yung ibig sabihin dyan?" (Do you know what that means?)  Then he shriveled up and said "Hindi po" (not sure). Then "huwag mo ulitin" (do not repeat). So that's what kinda chaos we deal with every Monday. 

So the exciting news is that I got my license this week!! We had to go to the filipino DMV, and I was really hoping that the DMV would be different in waiting time here in the phils vs the US. But unfortunately, it is about the same. Lots of waiting. The worst part is, no AC. I didn't have to take a test or anything, but for some reason they thought it was illegal for me to convert my American license to a filipino license. The woman showed me an office memo that said "You cannot get a license if you are staff of an American Secrecy Agency" or something like that. When she saw the word "American" she wanted to completely deny us. haha We sat there and talked to her for a good 20 minutes, arguing about what the memo means. Eventually she called some guy and he approved us. It was all a big hassle, but it worked out. But yeah, now I'm driving and it's a lot of fun to be honest. Mom, you really don't need to worry, because honestly it's probably more safe to be driving here than at home. Everybody respects the size of our car and moves out of our way haha. 

Celebration after getting our drivers licenses (Thanks Elder and Sister Nelson)

The member here are really great. We have 4 or 5 dinner appointments a week, so I'm loving that. Also, absolutely loving my companions. We have so much fun together. Gonna be sad when Elder Cuadra hits the road next month.

Some of the members

Elders Cuadra, Jenkins, Basa

On Thursday we had the first of 3 Zone Conferences. This one was in Laoag. I got to train for the first time in Zone Conference and it went great. I actually enjoy getting up there in front of everybody and training. The food was also real good, so I definitely enjoy the Zone Confs. On Friday, President invited us to attend a devotional that he was speaking in. So we went to that and set up all the audio for him. Then after the devotional, he gave us a call and told us to meet them at a nice restaurant in centro. It was an absolute feast. I love the benefits of being able to work closely with President. He definitely takes care of his assistants.  

Laoag Zone

Zone Conference ... all three of us wore our Christmas ties, so people laughed at that. 

During my interview with President, we were able to open the scriptures and discuss different principles. Any question I had, it was able to be answered by a scripture. The Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants especially are such a blessing in our lives. Through diligent reading and study, you really can come to know the mysteries of God. To increase our knowledge, we need to simply read. What a blessing that is.

Love you all, have a great week :)

-Elder Jenkins

Editor: Video works fine on web version, but doesn't seem to want to work on the mobile version. Sorry. Makes me laugh - his written English is getting worse...and so is his spoken. Zach's friend, whose parents are from the Philippines, was here when we opened the video and he said, "He sounds like a Filipino speaking English!"  :)


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

WEEK 51 - August 7, 2017 (Laoag, Philippines)

Hello everybody!!

Wow, I cannot believe Mitch is heading home this week haha time is seriously flying by (cousin finishing his two years serving in Perth Australia). Actually, today marks my 1 year to go mark. That freaks me out a little bit. 

This week, the rain was off and on. Sometimes it's just blazing hot and then the clouds come in and it starts pouring down on us. That makes for fun proselyting haha. Yes, we have a car, but we don't use it when we are out working. So usually when the rain starts coming down really hard, we have to find a member's house to take shelter in. 

This week was another pretty busy one. On Wednesday, we loaded up our truck with tons of furniture, a refrigerator, mattresses, etc., and headed to Santa Praxedes. It's a new area that was just opened, so we went and moved the elders into their new apartment. This was the first time for me to drive through Ilocos and Cagayan (provinces) not in a bus. So I was actually able to see how beautiful the drive is. Was about 8 hours of driving, there and back. Driving here is so different. Not really any rules at all. If you are the bigger car, you are in charge. I'll be getting my license this week, so I'll get to experience that a bit. 

Although we didn't have too much time to work, we were able to get four investigators to church. One of them is named Kem. He is a 20 year old guy who works at McDonalds. He is sooo receptive. When we teach him, the knowledge just flows into his mind and he seems to understand it immediately. He also goes to institute (adult Bible/Book of Mormon study class) almost every day. His baptism is scheduled for the last week in August.

So this last weekend we were also preparing for our Missionary Leadership Council on Monday. All of the Zone leaders and Sister Training Leaders come in to Laoag and we have a big council. It was a lot of fun to see some of the elders and a sister from my batch (same MTC group) who are now ZLs and STL. 

batch pic

This was also my first MLC, so it was quite the learning experience. Getting up in front of a bunch of people who have been leaders for a long time and training them on how to become better leaders is not the easiest thing to do, me being the new guy haha. But no doubt, the Spirit was with me and provided me with the words to say. It went great. 


As I was sitting there in the meeting, listening to president's council and training, I began to ponder some of the lessons I have learned on my mission. And then popped into my head my purpose in this life. I began to have an overview in my head what my purpose is in my life and what needs to be done, and the Spirit confirmed to me that it is true. Then during President Andrada's presentation, a scripture came onto the screen. I began to ponder and understand, and really felt, for the first time ever, like I can understand scripture so purely. I wondered why, and then a few words from my patriarchal blessing came into my head. Without a doubt, I know that the Spirit testifies of truth. I know that we can only receive pure knowledge and confirmation of the truthfulness of this gospel through that member of the Godhead.

Love you all!!

-Elder Jenkins

with comps in the mission office