Monday, August 18, 2014

Dear Mom, Dad, and Cole Family,

This past week has been full of learning experiences that surly will help me with the rest of my mission and especially with the rest of my life.  Due to the fact that Minalabac is still a pretty new area our investigator list is quite small and our progressing is even smaller.  So that meant that this past week has been focused on tracting and trying to find new people to teach.  It's pretty emotionally draining to get punted day after day because they aren't interested or because there isn't a male present in the home.  Work here is defiantly a lot harder than back in Ragay!!!  But obviously I'm here for a reason and the Lord has something for me to learn here.  One hard thing about this area is that a lot of people speak mainly Bicol and I can understand it okay but speaking it is a whole different ball game.  Thankfully Elder Ursua is almost fluent in Bicol which really helps.  Gotta love all of the different languages in the Philippines ha ha!

This past we had exchanges with our district leader Elder Van Boreum (he's in my batch) and so I had the opportunity to work up in his area.  Well not a lot happened during the exchanges but we ended up eating dinner on the roof because it was so hot inside their apartment.  The sisters in my district also had a baptism that we were able to go to which was another great thing to be able to witness.  It's always a pleasure to be able to see someone come closer to our Heavenly Father.  But after the baptism I probably had one of the greatest experiences that I have experienced on my mission.  Elder Ursua and I went to go give a blessing to 9 month year old baby who had been in the hospital for five days and is still experiencing severe stomach pains.  After we gave the blessing all of missionaries (the Sister Cambell and Sister Tematang) bore testimony about the Priesthood or something along the lines and the mother just started to cry along with the father who is a former member of the church but was converted to Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ).  I won't ever forget that feeling that came over me and it made think to myself that I don't want to do anything that wouldn't allow me be able to exercise the priesthood that I hold.
It sure looks like you guys had a lot of fun up at the family reunion!  Yeah I can say that for a moment I was day dreaming about camping when I get home.  I still have some of the bug spray that I brought with me and every time I use it I want to go camping.  Well I don't have too much time left here in the mission so I'll enjoy my time here while I can and then I can look forward to camping with the family again.  It's crazy to think that summer is over and that well... I'll be home for the next one.  Elder Van Boreum and I were talking that we'll be back for the 4th of July!!!!!  It's going to be an exciting time to be able to be united with family in order to celebrate our Independence day.  I love you all and I wish you the best in all that you do.  Continue to do all that you can to follow our Heavenly Father and I know that your lives will get better.  "Wickedness never was happiness".  That statement has never been truer than while I've been on my mission.  I have seen the blessings of obedience and I have also seen what it's like to do things on your own without the help of our Heavenly Father.  Life isn't always easy, but it is worth the effort to be able to enter the kingdom of God.  Mahal na mahal ko po kayo!  Namismiss ko po kayo araw-aldaw at napaka-astig kayo!  May God be with you till we meet again.

                                                 -Elder Cole

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