November 11, 2018


San Juan


Elder Armadillo

Week #8 in San Juan

Hey my family!! Wow momma in france, landy scoring 5 goals, and thanksgiving this week!! That's awesome!! a crazy few weeks!! Can you believe how fast time is passing!! Thanksgiving already?? what even. This week was the fastest and by far
the best week of my mission so far. This second transfer is seriously so much fun!! I've Got some seriously great stuff this week so I'll just dive into it.

The baptism of Jenny Narciso:
BAPTISM #1!!!! OH MY WORD!! Can you believe it!! I still can't believe it. Oh my word it was the best thing ever. I've purposely not told a lot about Jenny so that I could share the full story of her conversion now. So here we go, the adventure with
jenny. Jenny Narciso is a single 26 year old girl. She is a referral from elder Vicencio (a recently released area 70). We teach her every week at the vicencio's house, on wednesday night. We show up at 7 and the vicencio's hired workers feed us a giant
meal. IT is absolutely delicious. After a giant meal, we teach Jenny. WE began teaching her 8 weeks ago. We were her 5th set of missionaries. When we came, she was not a focus person. She was not really progressing or reading the book of mormon. We
began teaching her, with an emphasis of finding faith and searching the book of mormon. She began to read the book of mormon every day. She began to wake up an hour early for scripture study. She began to attend church every week. The changes in her were
very visable. She began to develop the seeds of faith. She was still very unsure about her testimony, but she was doing the right things to obtain a deeper conversion. She began to mark her scriptures and truly feast on their words. She began to be more
confident. The quiet, shy girl that we first taught developed into such a confident happy person. Our visits stated to feel less like visits and more like going home. She started opening up more and more. She started sitting and talking with us during
the meal. She started joking around with us. I have never seen such a wonderful change. She began accepting each point of doctrine without hesitation. She began living every aspect of the gospel. a couple days before her original baptism date she felt
nervous and unready. We had originally planned to teach tithing that day, but instead decided to teach faith and finding answers. We challenged her to finish 2 nephi within the week. At our next visit we asked what she had learned from her reading. She
opened up the scriptures and began to teach us about baptism and about christ. She shared that if christ needed to be baptized, then she would be baptized too. Oh how exciting that was!! We were so excited for her! Our district was thrilled (half of them
had taught her before) and a few of the sisters attended the baptism. On thursday, jenny had her interview with our district leader. After the interview, elder bickmore called us and said that she was one of the most ready converts he has ever interviewed.
He said that she had shared her testimony with him about how she started to read the book of mormon when we started teaching her and how she knew it was all true! oh my word so exciting!!!! Saturday was quite possibly the best day of my life so far. Dressing
up in my white baptismal clothes. Sitting there amongst a ton of members, all rejoicing at her baptism. And oh the joy of entering into the waters of baptism. Oh the peace. Oh my word my whole heart was filled. The peace and joy were so unbelievable.
Saying the words and immersing her in water. I have never felt such overwhelming spirit. Sitting there the rest of the night, I was so full of joy. Then she got up and shared her testimony. that was so cool!! she shared her entire conversion story. how
she was so grateful to the missionaries and friends who helped her along the way. She shared about the search for truth. About the constant prayer and reading. The best was her story about the moment she knew it was all true. Every day, before work at
7, she would arise at 6 to read the book of mormon and pray. She felt good when she read, but didnt know if it was true. One day, her alarm didnt go off and she woke up at 7. She had no time to read that morning. She said that the rest of the day she felt
like something was missing. She said, that was the moment she knew it was all true. She talked about her gratefulness to know the truth. Oh the spirit was so strong. It was so wonderful, every step of the process. To watch her develop into the spiritual
giant she is now. So exciting! The vicencio family was ecstatic. They are so great. They actually have another referral that we have been teaching with jenny. That and they say that they have another family for us to teach. I LOVE THEM! If everyone could
be that kind of missionary, the work would go so fast. They care about nothing more than the lord's work. Jenny is one of their employees. She originally worked sunday mornings. When we texted and asked if they could move her schedule, they responded with
an ecstatic yes, that they would bring her to church every week with them. Oh the conversion process is so fun. She is a member of the lord's church now!! that's so great!! Oh I am so happy. She is wonderful and is going to effect many lives with her testimony.

Other memories from week 8 in the vineyard:

One of our most receptive investigators is a 20 year old girl named Rose Ann. We found her while knocking doors. We have been teaching her for a week or so, and she seems to be loving it and reading everything we give her. One of my favorite memories
from the week was when we taught her lesson 1. We had shared the book of mormon with her before in a quick doorstep message, but now we were actually teaching her. We finished lesson 1 on the restoration and asked her to be baptized. She accepted and we
were just closing our message, when we were interupted. Her uncle came in holding the arm on a 20 year old guy. We had never met either of them before. Her uncle sat down the young man and pulled up a chair himself. He took the book of mormon and becan
testifying of it's truthfulness. He testified of the importance of listening to our message and how it would change their lives. He pointed at us and said, "these two have sacrificed 2 years of their lives to share this message, because they know it is true.
Listen to them." We sat there absolutely shocked. And the best part? He isnt a member!! he literally has never met missionaries from our church before!! I dont know how he knew about the 2 years or what prompted him to testify about us, but he gave us his
info and told us that he would love to hear our message!! We left that day, laughing at how lucky we were and how blessed we are. Oh missions are cool.

The lord will provide:
Thinking about these next memories remind me of the story of abraham and Isaac. How they approached the place of offering. How Abraham said, the lord will provide the lamb. I testify with all my heart that success is a gift from god. Nothing I do out
here earns success. Absolutely nothing. Being a missionary now, i am painfully aware of my shortcomings and how little I know about how to do the lord's work. Success is not through our strength. Not through our own efforts. But is rather the blessings
received from our God. I felt that this weekend, through jenny's baptism and a couple other thinga. Earlier this week, looking at our investigators, I wondered how we could bring someone else to the waters of baptism after jenny. None of our other tinituruan
seemed to be progressing as well. None of them had been able to attend church. I spent time on my knees begging the lord for his help and his guidance. I acknowledged that I had no idea what to do and how to progress his work. Saturday, after the baptism,
we were introduced to jm. Jm is a friend of a member, who last minute decided to attend the baptism. He told us of the spirit he felt during the baptism and how excited he was to be baptized in our church. That was music to my ears. We taught him brielfy
and he attended church the following day. WE are hopefually going to have his baptism on dec 1. I am very excited to teach him more! The blessings continued yesterday in ward mission coordination meeting. Bishop walked in and told us that there is a member
who has been active in the church for years. Bishop then told us that there is no record of a baptism ever taking place, and that we needed to teach him and baptize him. What even?? I was shocked at the generosity of my heavenly father. Between ferb, jm,
and the unbaptized member, I feel very grateful. We have beptisms for the next 3 or 4 weeks now. The lord is so merciful. This is truly his work. I believe that 99% of the process is accomplished without us. I believe that the spirit moves us and uses
us in ways that we cant comprehend. I truly believe that all you need for a mission is a willingness to serve and clean hands. The rest will be done by the lord. the language, conversion, and everything else is done according to the lord's will. I feel
so grateful that the lord sees fit to give us success at this time. I am truly blessed in ways that I dont deserve. I am so happy.

Missions are blessings. I am so grateful to be out here. I am loving my mission. What a wonderful time. To spend all your hours in the hands of your lord. To spend hours immersed in his gospel. To be the gatherer of souls. These blessings would
be enough, but the lord sees fit to pour out more. He pours out blessings of language, personal growth, and increased strength and devotion to your god. That is just the start!! He pours out blessings of eternal family and prosperity afterward. Each step
may be hard. It may require a little sacrifice. But even the sacrifice is consecrated for our gain! Oh the plan of God is so wonderful. I am so blessed to be out here.

The philippines rocks. I love it out here. I cant believe time is going by so fast. Im almost 3/4 done with training. Im almost done being a greenie. What even?? I seriously better not be transferred. I love it here in san juan. I hope time is going
just as fast for you all. I hope you all are preparing for missions of your own. They are the best. They will bless you so mcuh.

Im excited for christmas. It is weird that its almost that time again. Last christmas was 2 seconds ago. There are tons fo members who have technology. I will be able to skype. so i look forward to seeing your lovely lil faces then haha!!

Members here have varying jobs. A ton of call centers are centered here in manila. i'd say a good percent work in call centers or drive some sort of vehicle. For fun they play bball or work. Life is very busy here. Ive heard that palawan is a much
more relaxed atmosphere for members. Here, its a go go oporation. For p days we email, shop, and then either play bball or chill in the appartment. In palawan they go hiking and such but here there isnt much to go see. The people here are wonderful but
the city is ugly.

I love you my family!! I cant wait to see you all again! we will talk soon. I love you all so much!! enjoy my photos and video from this week. You mean oh so much to me. I love each one of you with all my heart. Im grateful that i get to be the big
brother. So far in life, that has been my most important job. Im so glad that I get to test the waters before all of you. I cant wait for the day that all of you get to experience this joy. I imagine it is hard watching a big brother leave. It is hard
to be separated, but oh my word isnt it flying?? in terms of eternity this is literally nothing. Dont hurt too much. focus on the joy of the gospel. Focus on each other. For my siblings, spend time at home. Seek 1 on 1 time with your parents. our family
bond is the one that matters the most. Love each other and look for ways to serve each other.

You are in my thoughts and prayers. I pray most of all that yopu are strong in the gospel. Because i know that if you are, there is nothing in this world that can destroy your peace and happiness. I love you so much and am SO EXCITED to talk to you
in a couple weeks.

Big brother


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