Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October 27, 2015- Toledo City, Cebu

Me in Lutopan last week
I would like to testify of ponderizing. It has worked me a miracle this week.

My verse this last week has been John 11:40, which says If you would believe, you should see the glory of God. This week, I was riding on a tricycle, trying particularly to believe in God. It was a really hot day. It was humid in an awful way. Ever since that baguio left last week, the weather has been super dead, just hot and windless, the sky's just white, and you know how I don't like it when the weather's like that. Now to be honest, it hasn't been bothering me much, but this one day this week, I was sitting on this tricycle at about 4PM and I was just drained out hot. And so I said, I was trying particularly to believe in God as we were driving around the market in Toledo. When at once, I looked up at the sky. It was one of those days when the sun doesn't really shine, but it's not like nice cloudy, and I was expecting to just see a hazy lamp in the sky. But what I saw was a break in the clouds. I saw sunbeams breaking through, and a big, rosy cotton cloud being lit up in the sky. Though the orange smoggy haze of Toledo, I saw this glorious sight, and I felt like it looked familiar. I felt like I was literally seeing the glory of God, given to me to see because I believed. (For further doctrinal support, see D&C 88:42-47) As I was thinking about this, I realised too that my verse I have been ponderizing was fulfilled to me. So I promote ponderizing. 

This week, I also went on exchanges with Elder Fuimaono. I've worked with him three times since we have been here in Toledo. We had a great day. A member, Sister Marly, cooked us the most delicious sweet and sour shrimp. Don't worry, I have a picture.  Elder Fuimaono's my favorite.

Last Wednesday, I was in line at the supermarket to buy my groceries, when a fellow came up to me and started talking to me. His name was Bruce, from Scotland. He informed me of some recent advancements at the CERN facility in Switzerland, which I was very excited to hear about. We had a nice conversation.

This was a really cool week. It ended with those pictures last night, along with the very bright moon as we were walking in these fields. I feel I have seen the glories of the kingdoms of God, which is very cool.

Love you bye.

Elder Dunford

October 20, 2015 - Toledo, Cebu

Baptism of Sister Neciel! 

Well it was kind of windy and rainy for a day and a half, but that's really not very remarkable. I heard some people tell us there was supposed to be a bagio (typhoon). Actually there was one time that was funny. Me and Elder Omugtong were on the top of this little hill that looked over a big empty field. We were just getting to know the people in the area, and there were some dark clouds out aways, but no rain or wind. So here we are talking to this tatay, I'm helping him make a silhig (a broom made of the ribs of coconut leaves), when all of a sudden, this burst of wind comes across the field and strikes the hill we're sitting on. Leaves start falling off of the coconut trees, houses start making sounds like they're about to fall apart, and it's obviously about to rain. So we ran away looking for shelter. It was funny, because it felt like a bomb just went off, but we just went on missionarying.

Toledo and Pinamungajarian Zones at General Conference.

Elder Omugtong and I did some barbeque-ing for GenCon lunch. E Omugtong did all the cooking, and I lit the charcoal.

So this week, I worked in Lutopan area. Look up Poog, Toledo, if you want to see the area I was in. Very Bukid. Elder Bacay was my companion. He rocks. He's from Mindoro, a very provincial area. One of the highlights was his pulling off coconuts from the tree at their house and chopping it open with a meat cleaver.

Brother William, the father of our Branch President. He was going to join in the Self-Reliance here, because he wants to make a business making and selling little wood dump trucks. As soon as I saw the picture, he made me think of Uncle Roy, so I love this guy.

We found a members' house with a ton of pictures from the last Gen Con Liahona, pasted all around another picture.

This morning, I was looking for places where the Lord says "Be strong and of a good courage" to Israel, because it's kind of repeated a lot. I ran across a really cool chapter in Deuteronomy 30. It's totally the doctrine of Christ. In verses 11-14, Moses says that the word is not hidden, it's not lost in the heavens, it's not far across the sea, or anywhere impossibly far away. The word is very nigh unto thee. It's in thy mouth and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. The house of Israel has a living prophet, they have the law and the priesthood. The word is there with them. All they must do is keep it.

I know this is true for us, too. We have the choice ahead of us. We have a knowledge of the truth, and we must help others come to this knowledge, that they may repent and live.

Elder Dunford

October 13, 2015 - Toledo, Cebu

Looking for a member's house and we found it looked like it got bombed out. So we had a little photoshoot.

So this week was General Conference for us out here on the other side of the world. We've been discussing, it was a very interesting conference. Your boy Durrant gives a mean talk. I was laughing through the whole thing. I want to make a goal to ponderize now. It feels like one of those things where one guy is really excited about doing something and trying to get other people to join in. I for one am all in. I am going to start with Alma 11:40.

I liked what you said dad that you're making a big deal a Prophet of God told us to watch the language. It's a cool way to sustain our leaders, I feel like that was a really really really big thing that was focused on in Conference, sustaining. It truly felt like a solemn assembly, especially the Sunday sessions. It reminds me of the things I also learned last week at our Missionary Leadership Council, our meeting in Cebu. The Assistants to President taught about Godly Sorrow and repentance. It was again a very solemn teaching, and it was given with the promise of Joshua 3:5:

     Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the Lord will do wonders among you.

We know that the Lord is doing a great work among us. I felt from General Conference He is telling us this very message. So I like the idea of my bank manager father leading his bank by the word of the living God.

The music was cool. The Primary Choir made the Seventies turn in their seats when they sang Beautiful Savior. I thought that was cool.

Morning hike. This is right above our house. The little town of Toledo.

I went on Exchanges this week with Elder Jayson. He's assigned in Balamban. He's from Zamboanga province. Elder Jayson rocks, he reminded me a ton of me. He's more quiet when a group is together. People think you're quiet, but you just don't have anything to say. We were talking the whole day together, I had a great time with him, it was cool to be with someone familiar. 

Also I went on exchanges with Elder Murdock, from the Idaho region. You should give him a nice shout-out on that blog. He said he did the same thing I did for Elder Mingus, so his family may see that picture.

I know that God lives. There is a literal help that we receive if we follow him in our lives. It is peace and calmness in the face of a crazy world. We get to live in a crazy world, and we get to choose sanity if we follow Christ.

Elder Dunford

Sunday, October 11, 2015

October 7, 2015 - Toledo City, Cebu

Me and a baby Tuko, a gecko that can get to be about 10 inches long, eats anything that lives, and has an awesome voice.

This week, we had Fast Sunday, Missionary Leadership Council, and this weekend, we are watching General Conference. It is to be a very busy week, full of not really proselyting, but that's okay. I'm learning a ton so far.

Elder Ioane, Me, and Elder Fuimaono. My Batch and my comp, they're both from American Samoa.

Fast sunday, I fasted for an answer to a question. How can I feel more sorrow for sins? How can i actually "access this power of the Atonement" that I hear about? And I have received an answer so far.

I was walking into the Patron House at the temple when this guy stopped me and asked if I wanted durian, straight from Davao. I accepted. It tastes weirder than it smells, honestly.

On Monday we had district meeting. Elder Hampton, the District LEader, taught about various points of the Holy Spirit, and I learned a ton. Then at MLC, we watched some talks of the new Apostles. Elder Rasband promised that if we seek to do the will of the Lord, he will give us power, or something like that.

At MLC, President talked about trust, people who trust in the lord, and not really, Jonah, Naaman, Nephi, Joseph Smith. I know we must trust the Lord.


Elder Dunford

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

September 22, 2015 - Toledo City, Cebu

I want to share my personal study from today.

Yesterday, we visited our 12 year old recent convert, Jorene. He showed us that he had recorded himself reading a verse he liked from the Book of Mormon on his cell phone, so that he could carry it around with him. It was 1 Nephi 7:11-12. I sat there and was trying to think for the longest time who I had shared that verse with, because I felt like I had read it just recently. Then I realised, I had read it in personal study the day before. From this I realised, I should probably go back to study that principle, since it hadn't quite stuck yet.

It's in Preach my Gospel Ch3, about Faith in Jesus Christ, being the first principle of the Gospel. 1 Nephi 7:12 reads that the Lord will bring about his will for us, if we exercise faith in Him. So I was thinking, 

How do we exercise faith in the Lord?

 I read the next verse listed in PMG, which is 2 Nephi 9:23, which says "Repent and be baptised, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel." Well that's a nice answer, but I got interested by this "Perfect faith." What does that mean, how can my faith be perfect? So I looked at the next verse from PMG.

2 Nephi 25:23, which famously says "by grace we are saved, after all we can do." But I'm looking, how can my faith be perfect? This verse also says that Nephi wrote his record to "persuade [others] to believe in Christ and be reconciled to God." Alma 34:30 says that many witnesses will tell us to come unto repentance, so I learned, one, The Testimony of Prophets helps us gain perfect faith. Two, being reconciled with God, repenting, builds our faith. and I continued reading in 2 Nephi 25, learned one more. Obedience to the Law of the Gospel gives us life. In the time of Nephi, obedience meant killing animals. Paul says in 2 Cor 3 that the Law of Moses was glorious for its time. In our time it's been fulfilled, now we have the higher law of the Gospel. But if we fulfill the law God has given us, 2 Ne 25:29 says, if we believe in Christ, bow down before him and worship him, or fulfill his Law, "we shall in no wise be cast out." We will gain a more perfect faith by fulfilling the gospel of Repentance, Baptism, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

That was something I just wanted to share, it makes sense to me. I probably ought to preach this to someone.

So this week was fun. It was Elder Consigna's last week. :( wow! It was really fun to be with him. I have learned so much from him. But he's in Davao by now, so it's okay. On Sunday afternoon, he left to the mission home in Cebu. Since then, I have worked with members in our area. 

Tomorrow is Transfer day, and my new companion will be Elder Omugtong! I'm really excited, I was housemates with him in his first area in Escalante.

I've been teaching some members to get ready for General Conference. Of course we're now expecting a lot of news concerning the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, but I want the members here in Toledo to be prepared in a closer way. We will learn at this General conference principles that we'll need a lot. There are a lot of changes happening right now, even just here in Cebu Mission. We need to follow as closely as possible the counsel given us by our leaders. So I'm excited for General Conference!

Love you. Bye.

Elder Dunford