Monday, August 3, 2015

My Last Full Week

Well its here, I can't believe it but it is. Its been quite the ride here these past 2. I surely will miss it, especially my wonderful Filipino's who I love so much! I actually had quite a fun week this past week. We went down to Sorsogon about 4 times, so there was quite a bit of driving. But the best part of it all was that I got to go on Exchanges in Gubat, my first area! I haven't been back there in a year and a half, so it was really exciting for me, brought back lots of emotions ha. I only teared up when we were down the road aways leaving ha. But we had lots of fun visiting a lot of the people I used to teach and talk to. We spent most of the time in Gumang, my favorite part of the area. It was good to see the people there again, the people I had come to know and love, know about their personal lives, their professions, how old their kids are and how many of them there are, etc. It was surreal. It was reallly like a dream ha. The kids were running around me again, giving me high fives and talking to me! I missed them so much, and I was surprised, they've gotten really big since then. I figure thats how its gonna be when I see Josh again ha. We taught a man I was really close to back then, Rafael, who has gone a little Less-Active again. But he committed to come to Church the next day. Also one of the young adults I baptized, Emman, who has also gone off a little. Hopefully they will begin to return to the Path. I have really loved my Mission and my past areas, but I think I have a special spot for Gubat, maybe its because its my first area, or because I can relate a lot to the people there because they're all fisherman I don't know, but I just really love them there. I pray they'll stay strong in the Church and keep the Faith. So that was the highlight of my week. Its been a blast here. I've loved my Mission so much, can't imagine doing anything else right now! It's been really worth all the sacrifice, sweat, tears and everything else. I love the Lord and I'm grateful that He's allowed me to represent Him these past 2 years. I owe Him so much, He's lead me by the Hand time after time in my life, and I really just feel remorse almost for some of the things I've done and the way I've acted over the years. I'm thankful for the realization I've come to have out here that I have much to do to repay Him, although I'll never fully be able to. He's kept good watch over me for a long time. I thank my family, my wonderful parents who have done so much over the years for me and Josh and Ally. And I'm thankful for the best 2 siblings in the world, can't wait to bug you guys again! Thanks to everyone else who've been such a big support to me, sending letters and emails. I love you guys so much and I can't wait to see you again! Thanks again.
With Love,
Elder Jake D. Akins

Monday, July 27, 2015

2 Weeks to Go

Oh jeez the times going to fast. Honestly it is. I can't believe it. Well we've had quite the week here in Legazpi. I'm glad that I'm staying busy, its keeping me focused which is what I need. So to start off the week we were in the southern part of our Mission on P-Day, helping a Member Nurse RM guy give Flu Shots to our Missionaries, so thats why I didn't email on time last week ha don't think its because I was emailing on another day because I wasn't! Tuesday was our "P-Day"...but it really didn't feel like P-Day. Monday just has this feel to really it does. Once you have been having non-proselyting activities on a day for 2 years straight, then all of the sudden one day you change it, it just doesn't feel right. I think thats how its gonna be coming home I'm guessing? I don't know, lets worry about the Work at hand first. The next day we had our Trainer/New Missionary Workshop for the companionship who are training this transfer. It was my last training in the Mission, and it was a good one to end on because we got the approval from President at the end. And then that night at about midnight I drove to the port and got us on a boat for Masbate Island! But it took me and Elder Whitney (one of the Supply Elders) 4 hours to get us on! The Ports here are crazily unorganized...and it was raining real hard so we weren't sure if the Coast Guard would even let the boat out...but sure enough they did. "Its all good" is probably their motto. Oh and by the way we had a spot reserved on the boat at 1 in the morning...but when we got there at midnight we were suprised to see the boat we had been reserved for start to pull out to that was a good sight. I just started laughing as I saw it leave, no idea why but it just seemed funny at the time. So when I finally got to sleep at 4 in the morning, I didn't think it was funny anymore. Lots of good memories there though. Our Exchanges with the Masbate Zone Leaders went really well. I went with Elder Lethaby, who is my Batch. We reminisced about the MTC and where the time has gone. We had some fun experiences tracting too that day. We ended up teaching this 45 or so year old man that is a farmer by profession, while his wife is a banker, so they are well off so to speak. And yet he was really humble and willing to listen to us. He really enjoyed our message and encouraged us to return to his home. On the way back from Masbate I read the Life Stories of my Grandpa Doc Brown and Grandma Maud Brown. I really enjoyed it, and it made me want to learn even more about my ancestors. I think thats something that I'll pull away from my Mission, my interest in my Roots and where I came from and their stories. I've really been getting excited about it, I've even been doing some Indexing lately! Its really fun. Also this week I drove by Gubat, my old area and got to stop and visit with some Members from there for a bit. I also talked to the Pimentels, Tatay was so excited to see me he hugged about 30 or so times while I was there haha it was a really fun reunion. I've missed them a lot. I should be working down there this week on a special assignment so hopefully I can see them once more before I leave. They really are such humble and kind people. Wish I could take them back home with me! OH and Daraga 1st Ward, my old ward, has been on fire with Baptisms lately! We are going to be opening another area in their boundaries at a place called Anislag! The Members are really excited, so are we! Theres a couple of us who have served there here in the Office and we are really happy that it has continued to progress even after we left! I sure do miss those days when I was serving there, such a good Ward. Oh man I'm gonna miss it. I've been so blessed to be apart of the Work here, and I'm really gonna miss it. 2 more weeks to go. Hope it doesn't go to fast. Love you all and I'll see you fore long.
Love Elder Akins

Monday, July 20, 2015

3 to Go

Quite the week we had here. My companions were gone a bit for the week on Exchanges and off helping President with Interviews and such. I was left in the Office with the Secretary and Finance Elders, not doing a whole lot but just enough to keep me busy. We had some Missionaries being dumb down South so I had to straighten some things out there. Our Mission President's son just returned from his Mission in Boise, Idaho. He knew Mitchell Phillips a bit so we chatted for a moment when I saw him about how things were there. He really enjoyed it, and he asked me how I like it here. I told him the same. As I only got 3 weeks left here in the Philippines, I've dwelled a little on how my time in the Mission. I think for anyone who is asked how they liked their Mission can't help but try and describe how it was. We can talk about the food or the culture, funny stories and all that, but for me I can't really describe how I feel about these past 2 years. All I can really say is I have loved it! I just don't know how to describe it, its so intimate I feel. You have to really experience it for yourself to understand.  I've come to love this People, to really really love this People who I never ever thought about before receiving my call. Loving others is something I've learned here, as well as many other things. I hope that they stay with me too. I'm excited yet nervous for the future. I can't wait to be with you all again. Yet I'm all mixed emotions about leaving. Mission's are tough, thats all I've got to say ha. Love you all!
Elder Akins

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sorry For Not Writing

Sorry I haven't written for awhile, we've been scrunched with stuff lately. But lately things have been going well. Its still the same Office, same crazy stuff always happening. Lots of Trainings and more Trainings. I'm grateful for these past 6 months I've had to learn all about Administrative things being here in the Office, its been difficult for me to adjust to these kinds of things but the Lord hasn't left me alone I'd say. Its crazy I've even made it this far here. I heard something the other day from another Office Elder, he said that "The Lord placed us here in the Office because He knows if we were out in the Field we would be working." So I guess what he means is its just a different test for us here. I've definitely been stretched to my limits, but I've learned a lot from this experience. So this week I got to chill with the Supply Elders (Elder O'Connor and Elder Whitney) and help them with their work because my companions went to Catanduanes Island to do some exchanges and attend a Zone Training there. So on Wednesday I helped them reorganize and clean our apartment because its where all of the supply things are stored. Our Office is to small, so we sacrificed our space for it all. It took us most of the day, but at the end it was a project that Dad would've been proud of! I love finishing a job and seeing that was done right, I guess I got that from him ha. But we were really happy of how it looked, and the other Elders were blown away when they got back from work and stuff. We had a nice Companionship Study together at the end of the day, we kinda just shared some cool scriptures with one another and talked about how the Mission has impacted our lives. We would've planned for the following days work but we would be going all over the Mission to deliver supplies and fix apartments. We moved a whole apartment that Thursday, in the rain...yet again something Dad would've been proud of. Friday I gave my GoodBye Testimony to the Sorsogon Zone at their Zone Training. I got to attend there because we are reviewing Zone Trainings in our Mission to see how effect our ZL's are. The cool thing about that was I started my Mission in that Zone, gave my Arrival Testimony there, and then I got the chance to give my Departure Testimony there too. I shared about Matthew 21 when Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him and then tells him to "Feed His Sheep" also talks about fishing in there so I had to share it. But it went well I think. Hope they picked up what I was putting down about not wasting time out there ha. OH and I had real Milk that day for the first time in like 2 years! It was real good, can't wait to get some more when I get back. OH and one more funny story fore I finish. So Saturday it Brown Out'd here so I went to turn the Generator on in the back and I saw that it was out of Gas. So I started fillin it up with Diesel and sat down on a container. After a bit my butt felt a little wet, so I stood up and realized that Diesel and leaked out of it and made a pool right where I was sitting...I was so mad because I had just gotten those pants back from the Washers! The outside of my wallet got soaked too, smells real good now. But thats ok, everytime I smell it it'll remind me of my Mission! I'm really gonna miss being out here in the Philippines, this has been one of the best experiences of my life, if not the best! Well I hope all is well back in good ole Santa Clara. Can't wait to be back in town and see everyone! Love you all! Take care.

Elder Akins

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to you Dad and all the other fathers out there. Many of you have really impacted my life for the better, I think I'd be a lot different if it wasn't for the many good examples I've had over these past years. Well this has been quite the week, by the way sorry I didn't write last week I didn't get to email that much because we had just got back from a Zone Conference and were preparing for the next one. We had 3 of them this week, oh boy I'm beat. We visited our 2 big island zones and had one down south. Lots of traveling. One night we were driving for 4 hours from one end of the mission to the other doing some re-arraigning with missionaries at about 8-12 midnight...I think the Spirit ended up driving at one point because I was getting really sleepy. It was oddly foggy that night too, but we made it in the end! I really wish I had an amazing spiritual story this week but we've been busy with these Conferences so not much work has happened this week. But we should be getting out more this week, although we do have Transfer Planning tomorrow. Its always just one thing after another. I miss you all, sorry these are shorter than they used to be. Love you all!
Elder Akins

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Grabe Ang Week Nito!

So ya the Philippines never ceases to amaze me. Last night I was driving home from the Office with everyone in the truck with me and we got behind this Padyak, its like a bike with a sidecar that they drive people around in. It was about 11 o'clock and I was about to pass this guy but something was holding me back from doing so. And he was being really wierd because he was in the middle of the road and then he would keep it to the right, then come back to the left. His Ronny buddy on the back was half hanging on, half off but he kept calling me to pass them. So I did and right as I did the guy swerved for no reason in front of me, luckily I figured he was a little tipsy so I was being careful. So ya he was, then the guy on the back tried getting off while he was peddling and lost his shoe, so I had to stop for him, then he started walking who knows where. But needless to say he went another half mile or so fore he dropped off this lady with a baby that I didn't see inside. So I'm very grateful for the Spirit and that it was telling me to be cautious that night. This past week though we had 2 different trainings/conferences. They both went well, we kinda scrapped it by with time but they were good. My new companion Elder Hernandez is doing well, he's really stepping up to the plate. I guess the Family got to meet with his family this past week which was cool. But ya, we had a great week for sure. We found about 3 or 4 families through tracting this week! Our area hasn't had a baptism in a year or so, so we have decided we are going to break the Curse of the AP's area. We are super stoked, our most progressing family is the Ballderama Family and they are starting to read the Book of Mormon, they kinda remind me of the Magallon's. I actually saw them yesterday after their Church service, except for Brother ha he had to go home early because of LBM which they all thought was hilarious when the told me ha. Oh I love them so much, can't believe I ever doubted coming on a Mission. I love you all, hope everyones doing well. Be seeing ya soon! Mom make sure that Joey and Maynerd keep getting my emails please. Love ya!
Elder Akins

Monday, June 1, 2015

Crazy Crazy Crazy

I feel like the only word that is consistent in my grammer now is Crazy, because thats the only thing that happens here ha. Let alone back at home, like how all of my buddies are getting back right now! What the heck, I didn't even know Joey and Lindsey were heading home this week! Crazy stuff. Man I really gotta stop saying that, I'll try to before I get home. Well we had a decent week, we've been adjusting the Mission like crazy because of problems with missionaries health and stuff. But I'm learning how to keep it all together. I got to go through my old area (Gubat) this past week, but I didn't stop to say hi to anyone, wasn't time. But I did see good ole Tatay Pimentel standing in his door way shirtless as ever! Haha I love Filipinos! Such a crack up. Quick funny story: So I got to attend a Birthday Party in my old area in Daraga at one of my old investigators house because I had to show some new Elders where he lived. Long story short we got sat down right in the middle of this group of about 50+ people (half of them were drunk old guys who were having the time of their lives when they saw 2 white guys and a poly guy show up), and then they made us eat all of this food. It was super awkward, embarrassing and super funny. We were laughing along with them haha. Thats what I love about the Philiippines, you never feel alone. The people are always so nice and caring. We had a good time and we were even able to get an appointment with a girl for those Elders. Me and my companions had some real good success with our area this week. We've been focusing on this strip of railroad that has a lot of houses along it this past week and have found quite a few of potential investigators, so hopefully they will take off in the Gospel here fore long. Well I love you guys, hope all is well and that you're getting plenty of rain back at home. I'll try to bring some home with me when its my turn to head out! Love ya!
Elder Akins