Monday, May 4, 2015

Dear Mom, Dad, and Cole Family,

Exactly two years from today a young man received a very large envelope in the mail that would literally change his life forever. It still is a weird thought to me that it's been two years since I got my mission call and now my mission experience in the Philippines is no longer going to be a dream, but a memory. But these will be memories that I will be able to call upon when I am in need of strength.  I have learned so much over these past 22 months and I know  that this is easily the best decision that I have ever made in my life.  It also kind of makes me feel old that my good friend/cousin Danny got his mission call; I still remember playing Super Smash Bros. at their house when I was like 15; oh my how time really does fly.  If I have any advice for people who are getting ready to serve missions; make every second of your mission count because it will come to a close sooner than you know.  

This past week has been super duper hot!!!  Elder Key and I can't go any where without coming back drenched in sweat.  We also had the opportunity to plant rice which was way fun... just hot.  But I can't complain, I'm getting a nice tan for when I get home.  I just can't take off my shirt or I'll scare people because of my whiteness on my chest ha ha.  We also had a ward family home evening on Wednesday which was way fun!  We as missionaries were put in charge of games and it was super fun to see the older people getting involved as well as the youth.  I tried to share the"Dare to Stand Alone" video from President Monson but it didn't end up working.  Oh well; such is life.

Work this past week has also been kind of rough due to all the fiesta's and events that have been going on.  It's also harvesting season so most people are working in the rice fields so there are almost no males available which makes teaching and finding pretty interesting.  Our ward has been struggling with sacrament attendance over the past month or so so President Reeder want's us to do use 50% of our time for less active/recent convert and the other 50% for investigator work.  Bishop Flororita gave us 4 names of in-actives that we could visit, but as to be expected they were not there when we visited.  On the other hand I saw Elder Bienvinuto this week!  It was great to see him while he visited San Jose for the day.  What made it better was that he worked with us for a little bit.  We visited one investigator that we found (Baby Cam) and that lesson was probably one of the most powerful lessons that I have ever taught in my entire mission.  When we saw Baby Cam she seemed pretty excited to see us and told us that she had just barely gotten home from selling stuff. She told us that she really missed us coming and teaching her and wondered why we hadn't come back for a while.  We had gone to her every week she just hasn't been home when we've gone by. But the thing that really made the lesson powerful was when she shared an experience with us.  She told us that she had a dream about us and that we were always at her side.  When she told us that I knew that Heavenly Father was speaking to her so we changed the lesson and decided to share to her about Ammon and King Lamoni.  While we read about the experience of Lamoni the spirit just overcame the lesson and I knew that she was feeling this.  At the end of the lesson we invited her to be baptized but she still doesn't think that her faith is strong enough and that she doesn't quite know for herself if this is the true church.

Oh yeah mom, Bingo's are like Oreo's but a lot cheaper.  I used that sign to defend my food because if you leave it unprotected; who knows what might happen ha ha. Especially with Polynesians in the house.  But I was planning to skype on May 9th (Philippine Time) so it will still be Friday for you guys.  I don't quite know of what time, it depends on when the computer shop opens.  Just stand by and wait for the call :).  I love you all so much and I wish you the best. Ingat po kayo palagi.  May God be with you till we meet again.

                                                   -Elder Cole

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