Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hello from Laoag

Hello sa inyo lahat!

Just another week of being a missionary here in the Philippines :)

This week was pretty good! Nothing really too new to update on Allen Rae and the Cleto family. They're all doing great and have been progressing through reading and prayer. I'm so excited for them! The best part of being a missionary is when you see people change and come closer to the Lord through the Book of Mormon and prayer to our Heavenly Father. There's no greater feeling than to see the blessings that come to them because of their diligence in keeping the commandments :)

This week was a really really good one for Laoag 3! We reached the new area's high for the last 6-8 months or so by teaching 31 lessons. When I first came in they were only teaching 19-22 consistently now we're able to get up to the 30's consistently. Miracles have definitely been happening :) We seriously can't do it without the help of the ward here though! It's not only just the Elders and Sisters that are pushing missionary work but it's the ENTIRE ward that is pushing missionary work which is making our work a lot more fun when you get to ALWAYS work with the members. It's been teaching me just how key members are in this work and that we really do need the help from EVERYONE to reach the full potential that our Heavenly Father wants us to reach.

My favorite day this week was for sure on Friday night when we were able to go on splits with Bishop Sergucio and our second councelor AC Ligot. Our bishopric here are the best! I've learned so much from them on how to become a better missionary but not only that, how to develop a stronger relationship with our Father in Heaven. Anyways, I went with Bishop Sergucio to our far area in Barit and that was an adventure in itself. I wasn't able to communicate, at all, because the people that we taught ONLY knew how to speak Ilocano, which leads me to thinking that I need to not only learn Tagalog, but learn Ilocano at the same time. The two dialects are COMPLETELY different but it'll be fun to try and learn both. My mission call states that I'll be speaking Tagalog so that will of course be my main focus but there's a lot of other people who just don't know how to speak Tagalog so I'll be teaching myself Ilocano along with Tagalog :)

 There's soooooo many things that happened through out the week that I can't really put into words in an email but things that I'll never forget. The Philippines is something new EVERY day. I love it :)

There's a typhoon down by Manila that brought like 5 minutes of rain to Laoag this past week but there's a lot of missionaries in Laoag who have family down there so pray for them please :)

We just got done with a quad zone activity at Morcos Stadium today which was probably the most fun I've had in a long time. It wasn't much, it was playing rugby, football and basketball. But the best part was just being with all of the Elders and Sisters! They're the best! Learning Rugby from Australians and Eldrs from New Zealand and Fiji was pretty fun! We have a lot of different cultures in our mission. About 50% are from the Philippines, 25% are from the states and the other 25% are from Islands like New Zealand, Kirabati, Fiji and Austrialia. It's fun being able to be with all of them :)

The biggest learning that I had this week was to learn how to truly be thankful for the blessings which have already happened. Of course we all want more blessings and to progress, but when you take the time to really see the blessings that have ALREADY been given to you is when you REALLY start to see and UNDERSTAND how the Lord has helped you in your life. My evening prayer last night lasted me until about midnight because I was trying to give thanks for everything that I have been given in my life. For me, when I did that, it became so clear to me just how much our Heavenly Father loves us and how much he wants to help us in EVERYTHING that we do. And he will, if we ask for it :)

I love you all so much and hope you all have a great week!!! I'll talk to you all soon :)

Mahal Kita

Elder Oslund

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