Sunday, April 26, 2015

April 22, 2015 - Talisay, Cebu

I want to report yesterday. Starting first on Monday night. In our planning, Elder asked me about our Zone Standards, which Elder Buck had talked about in District meeting earlier. Last week, our Key indicators did not reach where they need to be, which is something I've been struggling with for a long time. And Elder Fuimaono pointed out the effectiveness of our planning, that sometimes we work in distant areas in one day, and travel makes the plan ineffective, or sometimes the length of visits, or lessons that do not happen, which three things makes planning less effective. First I liked how constructively he brought this up, because we were then able to make up a really good plan for Tuesday, yesterday. As in, we had four confirmed appointments for our day, a ward missionary working with us with a less active he's fellowshipping, a lesson with our IBD and a lesson to meet with a part-member family, all of which we had confirmed monday night

Then Tuesday came along, we had a really good 12 weeks and language study where we prepared for lessons and how to learn throughout the day. Then as we were walking out of the house, the ward missionary called us and told us he's got a birthday party he forgot about. Right after, the less-active we were also going to work with texted us he had to go to Naga. We stopped as we were walking to the highway and said a quick pray for guidance. We decided to continue with the planned visits, even though we knew there would most likely be no man present, unable to teach. Throughout our day, we visited the people we had planned. Though we were unable to teach, we still got things done. We gave one less-active family a Book of Mormon because theirs was lost when they built a new house. Sister was very grateful for this. We visited with our Investigator who's being baptised this week, Sister Sanibel. We confirmed plans for Saturday and gave her some invitation cards that our Ward Mission Leader had prepared for her to give her family and friends. We visited an area that we have been working a lot at lately, and found a man who I had met two transfers ago, with his family, who wanted to be taught, and a less active potential Elder who live in Minglanilla, who we've given as referalls. At this point in our day, our part member family had cancelled on us as well, so we decided to try around at an area where we have many less-active and investigators. Again, no one was around. At this point, it was about 7:30 pm, and we had not yet eaten, nor been able to teach a single lesson, so I said "Let's start getting our way back home." As we walked down the street, Elder Fuimaono pointed down a street and said "Hey doesn't that one lady live down here?" I said yeah, a potential investigator. We decided to try. We ayo'd at the tindahan door, when a young man came to the window. We asked if Thelma was there, and he said she was asleep. He asked "But what are you here for?" We introduced ourselves, and told him we had met her, and wanted to share a message with her. The young man told us "Well, I'm her son, you could share to me." He let us in, and found him to be exceedingly interested in the message of the restoration. He was excited to learn more. We left him a pamphlet, and a commitment to read and pray if it's true. We are to return to him this week. We returned home and ended our day there, with one lesson, which was a good work. I felt at the end of the day, a lot of love, through the Spirit and from my companion.

The reason I wanted to record this entire day is because I felt so greatly confident of our plan. We had made a very effective plan, with many back-ups and every way to fulfill it. By forces outside our own, every thing we had planned fell through. But even through all this, I just had a good feeling about the things we had done. Even though we had planned to get good key indicators yesterday, that it seemed as though the Lord wanted us to do something else, and I feel like we fulfilled it. I still feel as though there were times we could have strived harder, there were still places we definitely could've improved in our work yesterday, but I feel I learned the lesson I needed to. Make a good plan, and then the Lord will do what he needs you to do.

I studied this week about people who have wrestled with God. I love the book of Genesis. The record tells us that Jacob literally beats the Lord at a wrestling match, because he sought His blessing. Enos and Alma say they wrestled with God as well. This is one thing here in the Philippines that I have took to thought a little; everyone prays every evening "dayon tulog (before sleeping)", but this mighty prayer is a great thing to teach. I know it's true.

Love you all so much.


Elder Dunford

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

April 15, 2015 - Talisay, Cebu

This week has been very good. I enjoy the work that has happened this week.
Me and my companion, Elder Fuimaono! 
Charging the hill.
On Thursday, I went to the McCurdy's home to receive some preliminary training and to get paired up with my new companion. The batch of new missionaries was 10, and only 3 Elders, one was filipino and the other two poly looking. I figured my streak would have to continue and go on to my 11th filipino companion, but it was broken! Elder Fuimaono was the one chosen. 

Elder Fuimaono is from American Samoa. He is super great. He is a pretty chill guy, and a pretty big guy, which makes riding filipino transportation very fun! But he's ready to learn and ready to do be a missionary. He has a very humble and strong spirituality, which really shows in our lessons. He is here on a mission because it's the thing the Lord needs him to do, and I am so glad to be his companion. I have already learned a ton about diligence and humility, and about having fun. I am excited to learn more of these.

My Batch at General Conference!
One highlight of General Conference, the calling of a new Area Seventy, Evan A. Schmutz. That's interesting.

And I loved the talks of the First Presidency in Priesthood session. For one, I love their chemistry. Those three men form the most interesting group of men, they are very different, and they are very united. I forgot which talk it was, but the one where President Uchtdorf said that if the Lord can take a poor German refugee and take him to Church Headquarters, he can do something for you. I loved Elder Nielsen's talk. I saw Elder Nielsen on my first weekend here in the philippines, he used to be Area President here. I loved the personality of this conference. It was more bold and more needed. A lot to review and ponder.

I have seen a lot of miracles in the work. More just the guidance of the Spirit. The spirit telling me when talking to a wife of a less active that "I need to visit this family, it's time." Visiting a less active father, and seeing where we can start to help him on his way. Having specific questions be answered specifically though Scripture, through General Conference. And even you, mom, just this morning, I thought "I need to study about trust." It's somehting I want to focus on this week. I know the Lord Lives and guides us.

I love you. I talked to President McCurdy about my Jesus wound in Zone interviews this week, after he had taught us about hands. It turned out that he has a similar wound on the inside of his palm. It is interesting to see the work of the Lord in our lives.

I love you.


Elder Dunford

April 8, 2015 - Talisay, Cebu

Happy Easter!

Eclipse!!  We got home and I got my tripod. we missed totality because we had someone walk up to us and ask to be taught the gospel while we were looking at the moon and teaching little kids how an eclipse happens by drawing it out on the sand. (I mean, the nerve of some people.) I feel like that was a good opportunity for me to reject my own will for that of the Lord's.

So, semana Santa, holy week, is over! True to style, the celebrations here ended on Friday, with processionals and things at evening time. There was no special observances on Sunday. That was certainly the thing we focused on a lot in our teaching this week, was that Holy Week does not end on Friday! It ends on Sunday. We had that be at least our underlying theme in our lessons, that Christ lives (especially on friday and saturday).

 I bought a neat hat for just 10 pesos! (it's actually a shoe cover rag.)

Zone Training Meeting was this last thursday. In our opening Exercises, here in Cebu mission, we have what we call "shining moments," where you share something nice about people, often in opening exercises. Elder Knutson, a Zone leader, shared a shining moment, but it was not his own. He read off an email Elder Espiritu had sent the McCurdys, which was a shining moment he had written for me. I had just earlier that morning written in my journal about a lot of the things with us two, so I had just earlier been reflecting a lot about that. It was a very nice opportunity to hear that. I absolutely know that the power of Lord is great upon us.

We've had some opportunities to teach some new people, including thew husband of a recent convert who has never been regularly taught by missionaries who yesterday told us he wants to be taught and baptised! But our progressing investigators, Yen yen and Donald, have been away for Holy week, and we were unable to teach to them at all, which was a bit of a downer, but this week, they get the chance to see General Conference, which I know will be such a great opportunity for them. That's the thing we've been running on for a lot of our investigators, is trying to get as many people as possible there to the broadcast. 
We came home to frogs.

I am so excited for conference. I'll keep an eye out for you all there. I love this opportunity, and love everything about this church and this restored gospel. I know it is true. 


Elder Dunford

p.s. Oh, yeah, and it's transfer week, and I'm training a new missionary here in Linao! Make sure to keep your prayers open for us. I'm meeting him tomorrow, when we'll be assigned to my companion at the mission home. I have no clue who he is, but i'm super excited for the opportunity we have with the work. Love always.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 1, 2015 - Talisay, Cebu

This week has been so very good. I love my companion so much. 

Happy Semana Santa! Holy week! One year ago, I was in Escalante, and Good Friday was the most scarily quiet day, as in no people. We'll see what it's like here.

Me, Bro Vergara, and Smith Cubar.

One thing that I have focused on a lot this week is the Book of Mormon. I was reflecting on it lately and thinking "I guess I should be studying a lot about Christ, the atonement, seeing as it is Easter time." But investigators and less active members and the Spirit have been driving me to teach a lot about the Book of Mormon. It really is an incredible thing. It has been on the mind of the Almighty for about 4000 years, and is specifically for YOU. We discussed it in District Meeting on Monday, and we read Jacob 4:1-4. One thing I realized as we read that is how much Jacob and everyone talks about how little they write. How little of a history, how little of their teaching, it contains. How it is very kulang (lacking). Yet we read it contains the fulness of the everlasting Gospel. How can that be? I was thingking about this, when it dawned on me, if we "compare the word to a seed," It is a very small thing. Yet within it is contained everything needed to create a full tree (gospel). What it lacks still is care. Love. Faith and work, which if you add that, the powers of God (biology for a seed/the Holy Spirit for the gospel) will turn it into an eternally full book. That was a neat little thing I learned about this week, and have thus been awhaging (exhorting) people to read it more and to use it more, cause it's powerful and stuff. 

 Our District! Sister Tuavao is going home this week. Wow.

I mentioned that I love my companion. He is the greatest. He is really truly humble and teachable, and then he goes and uses the thing he's been taught. He is truly seeking to become an even better missionary, even as he's not yet set apart. Like I never even think about the fact that he's not a full time missionary, because his actions show that he is.


Birthday activity! Elder Tu'ineau, and I am holding a puso, or a woven coconut frond rice receptacle.

We have been doing a lot of finding investigators this last few weeks. And this week, we found even more people who are super prepared by the hand of God. Just yesterday, we followed up on an FTE to a woman whose neighbors are all active in different churches, about 6 or 7 different churches are represented in her friends. Yet she claims no religion, because as she has listened to their messages and things, she only feels as though she "lacks wisdom" to make a proper decision. We told her of James 1:5, which she excitedly wrote down, and taught her to ask of God of the truth, and she was really excited to try this. So long story short, we taught Joseph Smith, except in the form of a single mother. I'll follow up on that for you next week and see how that goes.

Girls flying kites over the sunset. There are a TON of kids flying kites the last few weeks, as in everywhere, kids just make kites out of plastic bags and send them skyward. 

The work is good. I love this work. I know the Lord has a real purpose for me, Adam Dunford. And I know that I'm not alone. Each one of us has a purpose, and we must seek that. If we do what is good, we will find His purpose for us.


Elder Dunford