Monday, June 16, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, and Family,

Happy Fathers Day Dad!!!!  This past week has been fun filled with things.  First off we are coming to the end of the transfer and...... well I thought I was going to be transferred but here I find myself here in Ragay still. 1 year in two areas, yeah I think I can do that.  But that just means it's going to be even harder for me to leave in July.
These good faithful members of Ragay have become another extended family to me.  For example; the Bordon family is going to host a birthday party for me and I honestly think almost everyone in the branch is going to end up showing up (I'm grateful my birthday is on a P-Day) Another funny thing that happened (is going to happen) is... well.... Joselitio told me that he and his wife are going to name their baby after me!!!!  Brycan Ano!!!  I never thought in my wildest dreams that someone would want to name their kid after me but hey, I guess I must be doing something right in my life.  

Yesterday we had the privilege of having stake conference and Quintin L. Cook and Michael Teh of the Seventy spoke to us (it was over a broadcast from Salt Lake but it was still awesome).  Elder Teh spoke to us about how one man in the Philippines that he knew, who lost two legs and one arm to polio when he was a child and of even despite his disability, he attended church every week.  He said that he tied old rubber tires to his knees so he could crawl to the highway and his  knees so that wouldn't get bloody.  Then from there he would take a tricycle to the church.  That story truly touched me as it reminded me of how easy I have it back home.  All I have to do is walk for 5-10 minutes to church or be lazy and hop in the car.  And yet sometimes I remembered myself complaining because I didn't want to go to church.  I have learned a lot from these Filipino people about diligence and fulfilling my responsibility as a member of this church.  It's not a responsibility that is accomplished in a few hours or days; but it is a lifelong commitment that needs constant effort on our part.

I can't believe that we're halfway through June!!! I know I put of how fast time goes in almost every letter but I'm just blown away about of how fast things have gone.  Sorry Sam about the glasses, that can't be fun.  Mom, about dad's car..... It looks like you got attacked by Sasquatch ha ha.  I didn't think the door would be that bad ha ha.  Still love ya mom.  Well I'm getting pretty good at Tagalog; I'm still not suburb but it's good.  I still can understand a lot better than I can speak.  As you might have noticed sometimes my English isn't quite as good as before.  Well I'll take that as a good sign though.  Well I love you guys so much and I'm grateful for everything that you've done for me.  I can't wait until I get that package so I can finally eat some cereal!!!  Maybe for my Christmas package you guys can send me poptarts and granola bars?????  Continue to be the great missionaries that you are; missionary work isn't just missionaries but all of us as members!!!  Mahal na mahal ko po kayo!!!  Ingat po kayo plagi!!  May God be with you till we meet again.

                                             -Elder Cole 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, and Family,

Well this past week has been a great one here in Ragay!!  Elder San Pedro and I have been able to find three new investigator families and hopefully they all continue to stay interested.  On top of that; we are able to teach a kagawad "City Council Member" and  he accepted the baptismal invitation after the first visit.  He said to us that he's been searching for a religion that would help him change his life and that the feeling that he got when we taught him was the peace that he was looking for.  Boy he was truly prepared by the Lord!!!

Another fun thing this past week was being able to help a member move.  Well now normally when you hear the word "move" you thing of just their things. But I got the surprise of my life when we helped them "move".  Now time for the punch line. We actually moved their house!!!  We helped disassemble the house and then moved the parts to where they were going to build it again. That was definitely a new experience for me but it sure was fun!!  I sure am going to miss these great members of Ragay when I leave; they have truly shown me of what qualities our Savior has and of loving and serving all men.  

One thing that I forgot to mention in my last letter...... wait for it.......... patience is a virtue. Well I never thought I would do it but; I ate dog for the first time, and it did not taste like chicken.  The good part about it was that Elder Bolombao washed two of my shirts for doing it ha ha.  What a great District Leader!!

 Well take care guys!!!  Know that I love you guys with all of my heart and that I'll be so excited to see you guys when I get home. Mahal na mahal ko po kayo!  May God be with you till we meet again.

                                                     -Elder Cole


Monday, June 2, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, and Cole Family,

I'm really running out of good opening lines; ; so much for taking that AP English Class.  My heart is full of gratitude this week as I was able to witness the baptism of my good friend Joselito Ano.  I remember the first time I met him, and to see how far he has come and to hear and feel the strength of his testimony makes me feel like an accomplished missionary.  A few days ago Joselito introduced us to his aunt and cousins for the missionary lessons; and when we started to teach about prayer, Joselito literally taught it by himself like he was an RM.  It's simple things like that that really makes missionary work worth all of the challenges.  

Elder San Pedro and I have also been working with a young man named Rhenzo Singson.  This kid is a stud!!  End of story.  His older brother is a former investigator and well... I don't know why Elder Joaquin and I didn't think about teaching Rhenzo in the first place.  The first time we invited him to attend church... he went. We invited him to YM and branch activites.. he went.  He has an excitement for the gospel like Joselito and it just makes my day to see him.  Not to mention that he is quite the basketball player.  

Just for kicks and giggles, I think I am the most eligible bachelor in all of Ragay ha ha (it's honestly not very surprising).  But it is pretty hilarious.  On three or four occasions this past week I've had young women run up to me and ask to have a picture with me.  This one girl yelled "New Wallpaper" after the picture.  Oh my.  Sometimes I feel like I'm a member of One Direction or some boy band.

I can't believe it's summer time already and that Jarod is riding his bike now!!  Time truly has flown by here in the Philippines and looking back it doesn't seem that long.  I still feel like mom and dad dropped me off at the MTC a month or so ago.  But yet here we are nearing my 19th birthday.  The last official stand of my teenage years.  It's so much fun to hear from you guys every week and of what's going on back at home.  The map of where I've served is pretty cool, I wouldn't have thought of that.  But Dad, it just about as accurate as you can get.  Elder Savage was just called as the new Finance Secretary and he doesn't sound to happy with it.  Although he was excited that he gets to drive and he has a McDonald's close by.  I love you all so much and I hope you enjoy your summer, because I'll back the next one!!!  Mahal na mahal ko po kayo!  May God be with you till we meet again.

                                                  -Elder Cole