Monday, March 30, 2015

Dear Mom, Dad, and Cole Family,

It's a crazy thought thinking that I have less than 100 days left before I will no longer be a studly missionary in the Philippines.  Also, this is the last week of the transfer so next week I will be saying goodbye to my good friend Elder Bienvinuto.  Oh yeah, he just got his mission call and he will be serving in the Philippines, Butuan mission!  It's in the southern part of the Philippines so there aren't any foreign missionaries so at least he had one foreigner companion. Now this next week has me pondering if I will finish out my mission with pure Filipino companions or will I have my first foreign companion.  Who knows?

Work work work, it's everyone's favorite thing; especially missionaries.  Work this past week has been pretty great.  Our lesson numbers are pretty low but we've made up for it in our finding efforts.  This past week Elder Bienvito and I have achieved the standards of exellence with 59 OYM's!!!!  I know that's not very high for my good buddies in the states but for here in San Jose that's pretty gosh darn high.  I think it's almost half the population of San Jose ha ha.  But we have a lot of potential investigators that we can teach now so that's exciting!  I've learned that it's not to hard to talk to people here, it's just finding them at home that's hard.  It's kind of annoying because even if you set an appointment with someone; most of the time they're still not available.  This last week we taught Baby Cam and the spirit was super strong in the lesson!  She is really trying to find out the truth and to see if she should remain a Catholic or convert.  But she told us that she's going to work in Batangas in a few weeks but she still wants to be taught so we're going to refer her to the missionaries over there.  I don't know what's going to happen but I have faith that she'll find the truth for herself someday even if I don't see the fruits of our labors.

  We also had zone conference and we were able to watch "Meet the Mormons".  For those of you who haven't seen it I would highly recommend that movie.  Then President Reeder gave a great discussion about a talk from Elder D. Todd Christofferson  entitled "Free forever, to act for themselves".   He emphasized the topics "Justice, Mercy, and the Atonement"  In the law of Heaven we must be punished for going against the commandments of God so that justice may be satisfied.  But because God loves each and every one of His children so much he gave them a way to return to His presence without taking away their free agency as was recommended in the plan of the adversary.  But because God being the loving father that He is, decided to give His one and only pure child to us.  One who had no sin.  One who felt no hatred toward his brother.  But one who has an infinite love for every human being who had ever lived and ever will live on this earth.  I don't know the anguish the Jesus felt when he suffered for our sins in Gethsemane.  I don't know the humiliation that Jesus felt when he was stripped and whipped by his brethren.  Nor can I comprehend what Jesus felt in his last moments on the cross when he called out, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do".  Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ all of mankind has the opportunity to repent of their sins and to become like God.  Being a mortal man I don't know have a perfect knowledge about all things; but one thing I know without a doubt is that our Savior Jesus Christ; lives. And because he lives, we will to.  

The Church just came out with a video about Jesus Christ for the Easter season and like we have been inviting people here to watch it and share it with their friends; I invite you guys to watch it and share it on Facebook or anywhere else so that more and more people will see this wonderful video that the church has released.  They wouldn't have spent so much time and money on it if they didn't think that it was important.

No matter how many times I say it, this is one phrase that doesn't lose it's meaning.  Mahal na mahal ko po kayo!!  Each and everyone of you has a special place in my heart.  I have only began to see the love that our Heavenly Father has for His children, May we all enjoy this Easter season and remember that "He Lives".  Ingat po kayo!  May God be with you till we meet again.

Ps. Please don't spoil General Conference for me in your next emails: I don't get to watch in until the 2nd week of April.  Well you can if an angel appears to you and tells you that I need this information but other than that.... you get the picture :)  

                                           -Elder Cole

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