Monday, March 16, 2015

Dear Mom, Dad, and Cole Family,

Well...... I'm going to Manila on Wednesday!!!!!  All of the foreign missionaries who are going home in 2015 get to go to Manila to have their fingerprints done so it looks like I'll be going to the biggest and most crowded city in all of the Philippines.  Maybe I could get lucky and see a celebrity there ha ha?

This past week has been a lot like last week. Hot, rainy, and there were a lot of punts.  Walking for long distances on a road with very few houses is a hard thing to do, especially when the person you had an appointment with isn't there or is busy.  Welcome to the life the a missionary in the Philippines.  It's pretty easy to get a first lesson, it's just the 2nd and 3rd ones that are difficult.  Sometimes it's more effective just to show up to someones house unexpectedly so they can't hide from you when you show up at the time of the appointment.  Despite the challenges there is a big bright spot in our work.  Angela is progressing very well and at this moment she is going to be baptized on the 28th of this month!!  She is super shy but super smart and when we reviewed the baptismal questions with her she answered them perfectly.  It's hard to believe that she's only 10 and she is that smart.  We also met someone by the name of Baby Cam and she is a devoted Catholic; but when we came to visit she welcomed us in and listened better than almost anyone I've ever taught.  She even took notes about what we shared so she could study it before our next visit which was very impressive.  We also had a service project in Elder Green and Haueia's area which was pretty awesome.  We weeded and tilled this families ground so they could plant more plants.  It sounds pretty simple but my arms were pretty dead after using a hoe to till the ground.  I never have been more grateful for things that I have in America that makes life so much easier.  Afterwards this member family gave us buko (coconut) water for a snack.  Not being prideful or anything but I by far drank the most out of anyone.  The only problem was when I had to pee on the jeepney going home.  

The other day I probably had one of the best personal studies that I have ever had on my mission.  I studied in 3rd Nephi Chapter 17 when Jesus Christ invites all of those who have illnesses and all of the children to come unto him and to be blessed.  I just imagined what it would be like if I were one of those young one's who Jesus Christ blessed and cared for.  When I read that my heart was filled with spirit and I was nearly  in tears when I read there.  I realized that we are all figuratively speaking young children and we need to come and be healed by Jesus Christ and his atonement.  Life is hard and of course we aren't perfect.  But because of the love of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father, there is a way for us to become clean and relieve the weight that sin puts upon our shoulders.  All we need to do is come unto Jesus Christ as a little child and become perfected in him.

I love you all so much and I am most grateful for everything that you do for me in my life.  As the sand in my hour glass is about to run out I really have developed a deep love for my Savior and for all that he has done for not just me, but for all of us.  Thanks for your wonderful examples of strength and obedience.  Continue to be strong and to always hold strong to what is right.  Mahal na mahal ko po kayo.  May God be with you till we meet again.

                                                  -Elder Cole

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