July 5, 2015
To my family,
Having just finished reading ang Basahon ni Mormon, pag tudlo ko tinuod ang Basahan ni Mormon. It is a great book; very sad ending. If you don’t know for yourself or have forgotten, I challenge you to read the book within the next four weeks of receiving this letter. I accept my challenge. I bet I will be the first to finish too. Challenge starts July 10th.
I have had a whole new experience here at the MTC. I am not a fan of the whole ‘companion’ idea. I prefer to be alone and /or at least be able to listen to my music. I don’t know how girls like guys; guys are weird and loud. I have a few stories I will share and a testimony I hope you all can read and know that it is true.
The Islander people are very energetic and talkative. My companion, Elder Gali, is a rambunctious one. He jokes around a lot. He keeps racing me, which I think is quite funny, and doesn’t come close to beating me. The other Elders I am with are from New Zealand and Samoa.
I will tell you about my first lesson teaching our investigator Emily. Elder Gali ug ko taught Emily in Cebua-nglish two days after being assigned. We were horrible to say the least. As we headed back to the classroom we devised a plan of which we would boast in the gift of tongues. We did so to our district sisters (who taught Emily right before us) and they began to cry! We couldn’t tell if they were mad at us or if something else had happened. One of the sisters said that it was because they sucked at their message and they weren’t upset with us.
So there ended up being an arm wrestling tournament and we had USA vs. New Zealand on this particular night around 10:00 pm. A group of us (about 10-15) gathered outside our door and screamed and cheered on as New Zealand won. This was all caught on camera btw. Right as it ended and elder from down the hall came and yelled at us all and said, “Will you all be quiet! We are trying to give a blessing in here!” From behind us came the voice of one of the mission presidents telling us, “You aren’t the only ones who live here”. Me and Elder Gali saw our roommates walking back to the residence, so what did we do? We ran to the room before them, hid behind the door and bed next to the door, and as soon as our roommates came in, we jumped out and scared the living daylights out of them! A few days later they made a similar attempt on us except we saw them turn off the light so we knew what they were doing. I opened the door and peered on in to see the Elder hiding behind a towel. He peered out to see me just staring him down. It was comical.
I participated in my first blessing too. We blessed a sister. Good times.
Now I will share a final testimony. On the last Tuesday in June, I was just racked with not being able to find joy. I find joy when I feel the Spirit, but being a natural man, I don’t feel it 24/7. Depression is a funny thing, I’ve learned. I feel as if us depressed people received that gift so that we can know when we feel the Holy Spirit, because we aren’t sad. Well, on this particular Tuesday, I was struggling. I laid in my bed in agony, a feeling I know all too well, as I felt so empty and lonely. I envisioned me in the next life sitting on a bench. I watched the Savior come and I cried unto him, begging him to help me; pleading with him to help me feel love and no more emptiness. Right then, a feeling of peace overcame me. That night I learned that God will not suffer us to be racked and tormented by the pains of this world if we show a little faith and come unto Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. He answered my prayers immediately. I can testify the love Jesukristo has for us. It is the opposite of depression and I’m grateful for every time I am happy. Put faith in God and he will answer. It may not be answered as quickly as my pleas were, but they will still be answered when the right and appropriate time comes. I slept well that night; first time I was happy while going to sleep in a long time.
Salamat! Thank you for all your support over the past several years. I cannot express how grateful I am to have a family who has sacrificed so much so that I may experience what I have.
I love you all!