Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 23, 2015 - Talisay City, Cebu

Me and Julito on the seaside

Sister Ella's baptism!

The Lopez family has a very nice dog.

June 16, 2015 - Talisay City, Cebu

This cloud looks like Space Mountain
We had another Baptism! Sister Ella, the sister of Aaron (and Miriam and Moses [joke]) was baptised. Also there was a Stake Conference on Sunday. It was an Area Broadcast. Elder Brent Nelson, one of my favorite General Authorities, spoke, along with Sister Wixom, Elder Ardern, Elder Craig Christensen, and Elder Neil L Anderson. It was a very cool opportunity to hear the words of General Authorities specifically for the Philippines. Elder Nelson is my favorite, because he was assigned here for 3 years, and thus I got the feeling that really understands the Philippines. I met him when he visited our mission on my very first weekend in the Philippines. I just really like him.

Sitting outside the Obias house with Ella
My story today from Friday. On Friday, we had the baptism of sister Ella, and afterwards the ward was having an Independence day barbeque. By the time the baptism was over and we ate a little, it was about 7 pm. We had planned that day to find some referalls we received who lived in a subdivision, and I was feeling a little hesitant that we would not be able to find them, then we'd waste our short time that night. But I felt like we might as well go ahead and try. So we rode out there to the subdivision. Turned out, we could not find their house. Completely undiscouraged, We started to walk out of the neighborhood, when a man outside a house called to us, "Hey, Elders." We talked to him, and found out the family at that house was members, and we were introduced to Neil. Neil brought us in, and told us he's an RM, and by the looks still pretty young. We started talking, and he was happy to have us over. I asked him if he had a calling, and felt like we should really see how he's doing, when he said, "You know, Elder, it really is true, life gets a lot harder after the mission." I asked him directly about a large scar on his arm and hand, because it seemed like he was directing toward it. He then told us his story. He had been in a motorcycle accident a couple of months ago. He was driving, with his financee as passenger. I had already heard this story, because it happened while I was here. His fiancee passed away, and Brother barely survived. You can only imagine the feelings behind all of this. We felt to share with him 1 Ne 8:4-10.   But behold, Laman and Lemuel, I fear exceedingly because of you; for behold, methought I saw in my dream, a dark and dreary wilderness.
 And it came to pass that I saw a man, and he was dressed in a white robe; and he came and stood before me.
 And it came to pass that he spake unto me, and bade me follow him.
 And it came to pass that as I followed him I beheld myself that I was in a dark and dreary waste.
 And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.
 And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field.
 10 And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruitwas desirable to make one happy.
It was exactly what he needed.

Everything, absolutely everything about this evening was planned by the Lord, I know that. And I am humbled to know he has more he needs of me. The Lord needs us to do His work. He has specific people to touch with specific words. And we need to be there for those people, because they are our brothers and Sisters, and our friends.

I love you so much. I will pray for you.

Elder Dunford

June 9, 2015 - Talisay City, Cebu

This week we had two baptisms, and this upcoming Friday, we have another. The work is progressing onward ever onward. On last Friday, we had District Leaders' Council, Where all the DL's gathered at the mission and were taught, where I learned a lot. But Again, I have a story to tell from my Tuesday. My Tuesdays always have something significant happen. I think it's so it's fresh in my mind when I email.

But this week, we've been focusing on Studying from PMG Ch 4, which is Understanding the Spirit. Yesterday, on Tuesday morning, Elder Fuimaono and I studied from the section called "Relying on the Spirit." You can get what that's about. But before we left , I was feeling kind of not good, there were some things that I had done wrong that morning. So before we walked out to leave, I prayed by myself that even though I did things wrong, that I'd still be able to do what the Lord needs of me. We got ready to go, and as we were walking out the door, I remembered that I wanted to drop by an investigator to invite them to a ward activity this weekend. So we set our plans back an hour and went to that investigator, even though we weren't supposed to go back till Friday. As we got up to his house, he called us in, and told us he was so glad to see us. He was feeling very depressed the last few days, and said that just that time, he was praying to the Lord "for something." Then we showed up. It was a very sweet experience, we read 1 Ne17:13-15, then 1-3. He asked us if we were happy, something he asked before (Mom has given me much practice answering this question.) And the best part is at the end, I told him that "a wise man told me whereever you are in this world, look for the church. It is a place of peace and protection." And we invited him to come to church. He's always told us that he was waiting for time when he would really want to come to church, not just becuase someone told him to. I feel like right not is that time. Please pray for him.

I love you.

Elder Dunford

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June 2, 2015 - Talisay, Cebu


So It's been another week here in Paradise. It started Raining this week, which is nice! The philippine summer is supposed to end in the may-june time, but they're saying that this year is El Nino, which means longer summer for us. I don't know, I'm even more confused about El Nino now. 

We had our interviews for Wilbert, Aaron and Ella, and Wilbert is to be baptised this Saturday! This is surely a happy day. Aaron and Ella are going to be baptised next week. I have absolutely loved being abole to work with these people. I want to talk about Wilbert. It's good to see the people who can become your closest friends. Wilbert grew up in Badian Cebu, right across the strait from Ayungon. His father ran a scuba business over there when he was little. Brother Wilbert, 25, has spent most of his life being reckless and not exactly supportive to his new-member wife and kids, but in the time that I've know him, he has changed. He has become more what his kids need, what his wife needs, and he's working hard to do that. He's being more like what his Father needs. Brother Wilbert is a good friend of mine. He's someone I have known before. And I know he was prepared for me and Elder Fuimaono to find.

Love you, family. I love this work.

Elder Dunford

Health is good. Companionship is great.

May 26, 2015 - Talisay, Cebu

I went to the temple today with the Zone. I can never express how much I appreciate having that opportunity, and to be able to use it as a teaching tool for people. People know the temple here, they see it a lot, because it's right in the middle of the city, rather like unto LA. We could well compare Lahug to Santa Monica Blvd. So people here know and recognise it, as a special place, which is a good starting point in missionary work!

This Monday, we had a Cebu Island Zone Conference, where the entire Island came to the chapel at the Temple to have Conference. It was very interesting. President taught about the Sacrament, We had a hands on presentation about self defense using pepper spray and martial arts, and my batch, Sister Mataipule and Sister Poteki gave their farewell testimony. Which means if I had dad's mission, I would be running on a month left. Luckily, that's not the case!

Please keep in your prayers our investigators with baptismal dates, Brother Wilbert and Aaron and Ella. They are to be baptised on June 6, and it should come to pass. But they need love.

I just want to share the last thing I read in the Book of Mormon. Last night, after planning, I was thinking a lot about going to the temple (today), and I opened my book of Mormon to Mormon 7. Mormon gives his last testimony, and he tells the Lamanites what they need to have learned from all of this book he's got here. He tells us what is important. And it is very simple. It is true for us. And I know that we must come unto Christ. 

 7 And he hath brought to pass the redemption of the world, whereby he that is found guiltless before him at the judgment day hath it given unto him to dwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end.

I know that we can sing unto our God if we do what he asks. If we do what is right. If we love one another. If we appreciate the gifts our Father has given us. 

As I was walking up to the temple I was singing to myself Come ye Children of the Lord. That's something Mom shared with me when I was in the MTC, I think. I simple felt the spirit testify to me that that hymn is true. I know these things are true.


Elder Dunford

PS. Forgive my english. I feel rather like I am struggling today languageally.