Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Year to All!

Well I've been thinking about my New Years Resolution, and I've decided that if I finish my Mission strong, that should be good enough for a resolution. Now just gotta put the wheels into motion! Ha well it was quite the week. We found some pretty crazy investigators. For example, we had a guy tell us he couldn't come to church because he can hardly walk, he can barely get out to the gate and back to his house without it hurting. About and hour later we saw him at a tindahan smoking a big fat one by himself...its about a half a mile from his house! Ha we laughed as we approached him and asked him how he got there! He was kinda shell shocked that we found him haha. The other guy we found told us this story about how he saw UFO's...twice! Then told us this idea he had about how maybe Jesus Christ was made by aliens, I don't know where he got that crazy idea. But all in all they are both families, so we are working with them all to get them to progress. I spent Christmas Eve trying to gig frogs and salamanders as we walked from appointment to appointment with a bamboo stick, good times on the mount! That night I took time to read and ponder on all 3 accounts of the Savior's Birth from the Scriptures, it was a good experience for me, first time I've done that by myself ha. It made me think back to Christmas's with the family and how we'd always read the Luke version before we'd go to bed. No presents for Christmas from Santa or the family, but our apartment did do a little gift exchange so we did get something. We also played a Christmas Basketball Game early in the morning with the AP's, that was pretty fun. I beat my trainer in 1x1 too, so he owes me "Daddy Points". We had an awesome District Meeting that morning too, I wore my Santa hat and a beard the whole meeting. We did some fun practice teaching in front of the District, me and my comp and the ZL's being the actors. A well done performance if I do say so myself. And then Skype the next day was legit! I talked with the Family for a bit, then the Cloward's showed up too. It was good to see them, I miss you guys! After that we had a Service Project for the Magallon's, we just spent it cutting weeds with our machetes for like 2 hours. It was good to give some service to them, they've been going through a rough patch right now with the loss of Brother's mother. So we've been making sure they are doing well and what not. They are super active, so glad that they're members of the True Church now! Well not much else has been going down. My shoes are getting to the point where I'm thinking about gettin em restitched here with airplane tires (that's really what they do), cuz they ain't got tread no more ha! Hope everyone has a Happy New Year! Light some nice fireworks off for me!

Love ya!
Elder Akins

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas

Its almost Christmas here in the Philippines and there still isn't snow...don't know why I keep hoping but you never know. Maybe that's why it doesn't feel like its Christmas...then again maybe its because I'm not back with the ones I love! I sure do miss all you guys, know that you all me everything to me! Although this week wasn't that extravagant, I think I made some growth. It was at our Mission's Christmas Conference which I tell more about later, but we watched a short video that I'm sure most of you are familiar with "He is the Gift". After watching that video, I've really looked at Christmas differently. It's not about all the toys, wrappings, tress and so forth. Its all about the REAL Gift, Jesus Christ. I teared up watching that video, which really doesn't happen very often. I just hit me so hard of how much God loves all of us, so much that he let his only Begotten Son come down here to Earth, not into some royal family in a palace with everything at his command, but into a poor Judean Family, and that he was born in a stable where common farm animals were held. Such an amazing story! I love my Savior so much and I love learning and sharing about Him, that's why I am out here! To help others realize that he is our Lord and Redeemer! A Mission is such a wonderful thing. I've seen more growth out of myself out here than anywhere else! More than Baseball or Hunting or anything could've taught me. Well like I said we had our Christmas Conference this week, and it sure was a blast! I was good to see my last companions, my trainee, and all my Mission buddies. The skits we had were so funny. But of course, my Zone brought home the Gold. The Filipinos sang a Filipino Christmas song and changed it a little to have some Buduts in it ha have fun looking that up on Youtube, that's what all the local trouble making teenagers listen to ha. The the foreigners sang a remix to Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, changing it to Kelly the Finance Elder. It was just making fun of our awesome Finance Elder the whole time, and he was a total sport about it dancing and acting the whole time. And everyone loved it and we won so we were all happy! I was pushing the AP's to let us watch a Christmas Movie but we didn't have time so that fell through ha. Almost got em to let me drive their car too haha just kidding that got shut down by my Trainer Elder Yu fast enough ha. We had a Zone Training to this week. I had to give the Christ-Like Attribute on Charity, thought I pulled it off pretty well. That's what the Holiday Seasons all about so it wasn't to hard to talk about. Well I don't know how amazing Christmas is gonna be this year, guess that's the life of a Missionary. Hopefully Santa stops by too, the only problem is we don't have a chimney so I'm still trying to figure that one out. Well I love you all and I hope you all have an amazing CHRISTmas this year! Remember who its all about ok?!

Love Elder Akins

PS I'll be Skyping home in the afternoon of the 25th about 6 o'clock, y'all are welcome to stop by and say hi if ya want! I'm sure Mom won't be too mad ha!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Meetings Meetings Meetings

This week was pretty bad working wise. We only got in about a third of how much we should've worked. We were jam packed with meetings about Leadership and Family History, on top of District Meeting, and preparations for Christmas Conference next week. That's all I have to look forward to at the moment, seeing all of my Mission buddies. Its gonna be some real good fun, we are giving a skit and it sure is a good one! Well not much to report on this week. Still living the life of District Leader. I feel like its one of the hardest and least glorious jobs in the Mish, but I sure do love it. Every time I have to give District Meeting I just wanna give it up, but then about half way through we start having fun and getting into it an by the end I love it again. Ha that's just how she goes. I had to get after some missionaries in my district today for leaving their companions. I hate playing babysitter. Can't wait to only have to worry about myself and how I'm doing living the Gospel and following standards. Nobody's perfect but I mean come on, is it really that hard to follow rules. I don't know, life of a Missionary. Hope everyone's enjoyin the Holidays and snow...I sure do miss that cold stuff.
Love you all and Merry Christmas!
Elder Akins

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Typhoon #3

So you're probably wondering why I'm emailing early this week. So we got word a few days ago that we've got ANOTHER big typhoon coming to us. I was supposed to be today, but its slowed down thankfully and is gonna hit tomorrow morning. Church is canceled, which is like the first time in my life ha. But no worries, we are all set and ready to go. We've got food and water for a week, and yesterday we spent the whole day prepping the house for the storm. We also have the Elders from Donsol and Pilar staying with us, so total we have 10 Elders in our apartment. And Elder Whitney and Elder Christofferson (my batch) are both here so we're totally good ha. Not much has been going on this past week, but I did get my new comp. His name is Elder Mallabo (its like Malibu but with an O on the end) and he's from Isabella, Illocos, Philippines. He's a super stud, hard working and we are having tons of fun! I wish I had more to report on, but we're just hunkering down gettin ready for the storm. We should be good, I think I'll be able to call you guys after the storm, but no guarantees. Just know I love ya and I'll be seeing ya in 8 months! Oh and if we don't get power before the 25th MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Love Elder Akins

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving/The Magallon's Baptism

Best week in the Mish no doubt! Last Monday I was in the grocery store in the Mall here in Legazpi and I found some Smuckers Apricot Jam!!! So that definitely started the week off well. On Tuesday I had Exchanges with my "Uncle Hatch" the AP. We had a blast tracting the WHOLE day haha thier area is the worst. Mostly because they never have time to work in it, the other because its the rich neighborhood of Daraga/Legazpi. I almost got bit by a dog too, the chain was longer that I thought when I went to call this old lady out of her house to introduce ourselves. God had me on that one ha missed me by about 3 inches. We also had some deep talks about the Mission and Life. He's leaving tomorrow so he'd been working really hard this past week. I can't believe he's leaving, and I can't imagine what its gotta be like leaving the Mission. Sure aint' gonna be easy! Thanksgiving was below par, but as far as I hear it beat Bunting's out on his ghetto island in Tonga! We found some corn, taters, and some pineapple pie. We had some toccino which is a sweet pork kinda dish, so good. It was the closest we could get to Ham. It wasn't like back in Kanab but it got the job done. The really big news is the Magallons got baptized on Saturday! WHOOHOO!!! I was so excited. I baptized the 2 girls and my comp baptized Brother and Sister. I think that will be my favorite part of my whole Mission. I've never felt such happiness! The Baptism was beautiful , I only had to baptize the oldest girl twice but thats alright. They all bore such amazing humble testimonies. I will never forget Brother thanking Heavenly Father for Missionary Work. I can see how much their testimonies have grown since we started with them. Such an amazing experience. Brother is now an Aaronic Priesthood holder, and they are also making preparations for going to the Temple next December! And the other good news is I'm staying here again this transfer! My trainee is leaving me here in Daraga. So glad I get to be here with the Magallon's for a while longer. I love the Mission!!!
Hope Thanksgiving was great and you guys played some football!
Love Elder Akins

Monday, November 24, 2014

Baptismal Interview Passed

This week was very exciting here in Daraga! To start the week off I went on Exchanges with some goof off Elders in my District. Not much bad stuff happened, I just had to push the one kid I was with to tract because suprisingly it seemed like he hadn't done that for awhile. All of our plans fell apart, which always seems to happen on Exchanges, then I was asking him what we were gonna do and all he could say was, " I don't know." So I had to take the reins. We had some fun though while we tracted the rest of the day. We found this Indian family who couldn't understand Tagalog so we had to stammer it all out in English, so hard. Turns out they're all of them here. I guess at first the dad thought we were secret agents or something because he kept asking me for ID ha? That night me and Elder Kelly (office Elder) talked until like midnight ha way bad idea. He just got me going on hunting and we talked about guns and reloading and all sorts of stuff. Regardless of being tired the next day, it was worth it ha. We've been finishing up the lessons with the Magallon Family this week. My favorite lesson was on Tuesday when we taught them about the Temple. They are super excited to go there, I can't wait for them too! Hopefully next December they will be able to. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be one of the missionaries that taught them, they are such an amazing family! They just want to change everything and be better! Brother Victor asked if he could borrow some Church CDs so that he could play that when they are home instead of all that other stuff that kids are listenin to. So much garbage out there in the world, and I'm so glad that theres a way to escape all of it...I guess I should say ways. They also passed their Baptismal Interviews on Saturday, so they're all clear for Baptism this Saturday. Just to give you another idea of how they are, when Elder Cameron (my Zone Leader/Batch) was interviewing Sister Mildred he asked her if she had committed any serious crimes...she replied "Yes, I spanked the kids when they were younger." Ha they're super awesome! We were tracting one night and happened to see a Quack Doctor doing some weird Voodoo rituals in this one house...we walked back like 2 more times just to investigate. Super weird ha tell ya about it after the Mish. My District Meeting went well this week. We've got most issues sorted out ha. My DL's Message was on Genuine Love. I shared St.John 15:9-13 which I really like and told them how much I look up to the Savior, after all he is the Prime Example. He said it himself "What manner of men ought ye to be? Verily, verily I say unto you even as I am." I especially love verse 13...kinda makes me think of my family and friends...especially my BOYZ!!! #POWELL2015 Well in other big news, Pacquio won his fight against Algerie yesterday...I think thats why the 2nd Ward's Sacrament Attendance was low...But I'm glad he won, everyones so much more happy when he does ha. Love you all, hope this Holiday Season's got your spirits flying high...not so much here on account of I'm still wondering how Thanksgivings gonna be here. But thats what the Missions all about, Sacrifice!
Love Elder Akins

Monday, November 17, 2014

Baptism After 9 Months!

I got some exciting news! After 9 months I finally got a baptism haha yayyy! Well that took forever, and we sure did work hard for it. And my comp was really happy, it was his first in the Mission. But in other news, the DL life is busy. 

We had a Missionary Leadership Conference at the start of the week with all the DL's and ZL's in the Mish. A lot of them are mission buddies so it was good to see all of them. My temporary comp was the other DL in my Zone, Elder Whitney, one of my good buds you served in my first area. We must have chatted most of the night until bedtime about everything from our High School Days. I sure do miss days, just like the song says (You're Gonna Miss This). We ended up singing Country Songs the whole time we were together the next day haha. The MLC took forever, and they shoved a lot of stuff at us. 

Our Mission is going to doing a lot of focusing on Family History Work now, and I think its a really good idea. We are trying to focus on using it to help our Recent Converts stay active, which is just what we need because the Philippines struggles with Less-Actives. After the meeting me and Elder Whitney were walking and this guy in a Jeepney passed by us wearing Army Kevlar and a helmet, totting a toy gun and shooting everyone with it and yelling random things that I've heard on Call of Duty way to many times haha! We just looked at each other and started busting up. Only on the Mish! 

Me and my comp got taken out to eat dinner by these American Members, I mentioned them last week, at this super nice restaurant. They kept getting mad at us for not ordering enough ha and when we looked at the prices me and my comp about died. They're the same as a normal restaurant back at home, but I don't know I think I've just been here to long. I haven't eaten that good in about a year and 3 months I'd say. It was super nice of them to do that for us, and I think Mom was thrilled when she finally got a picture of me from them ha! Sorry Momma, I don't dare send pics anymore, so many viruses here. 

I heard that Britton is still progressing, I really truly believe that its from all of those people out there that are fasting and praying for him. God can work Miracles through us if we let him. I've seen it out here and now I'm seeing it through all of you back home. 

I love you all and miss you tons! Congrats to Gary Gubler, but I'm really stoked for Bishop Tommy!
Elder Akins

Monday, November 10, 2014

Baptisms in the Near Future

So me and my comp are pretty excited for this coming week. I finally have a baptism after about 9 months haha so stoked, and it'll be my trainees first here in the Mish. Her name is Athaliah and she is the granddaughter of 2 of our members, but because her parents aren't members we get to teach her. And her grandpa is a less-active that we've been working with to come back to church, he's still off and on but we'll keep working on him. 

Today's P-Day we great because I got some great emails from my friends, especially a one Trevor Moss!! Ha thanks Moss, I've been waitin' long enough buddy. But I guess better late than never so. Ya it was good to hear from him, as well as my other friends, I needed a pick me up this week. I heard that Britton is stabilized for the most part so that's good. 

This week we've just been working real hard with the Magallon Family to keep getting them ready for the 29th. Christmas is well on the way here, all of the songs make me trunky ha but the good news is next year I'll be home right now. My District Meeting went pretty well this week, I think I'm starting to get the hang of it now. We got this good referral from the Sisters this week so we went and contacted it. Their names are June and Jenny Andaz, probably in their 50's or 60's and they were pretty accepting of our message. I laughed when Sister told us about Brothers weird religious habits. Just randomly during the day he will go to this calendar they have with a picture of Jesus and Mary and he rubs his hand on it then wipes it on his face haha no idea what that's supposed to help with! She said sometimes she'll walk up in the middle of the night and he'll be over by the door doing it haha so crazy what some people do. But they are super nice and loved our message. 

I also got another hug from a drunk guy this week outside of our apartment when I was buying some cooking oil ha we had a good conversation though. I invited him to come to Church and told him he was always welcome, then he cried and hugged me haha no idea why but it was great. 

And then yesterday we got invited over to this big rich house by these Members from Utah. There's 2 of them and they own a Call-Center Business that they run here, and they part own it with this British guy who's not a member. They come and stay there a couple of times a year to check up on things, while the British guy runs most of it here with his Filipino wife. We had some dinner and talked with them a bit. The British guy is way funny and is quite interested in the Church, he made a visit to Salt Lake a few years ago with the other two and they showed him Temple Square and everything. So we are gonna try to see if we can't start teaching him in the future...I don't know how I'm gonna teach in English ha its so hard! And on Wednesday we are eating at this way super nice restaurant here in Daraga with them, my comp is super excited ha! They gave us some Magnum Ice Cream bars fore we left ha Elder Navarro about died haha it was his first one. They all laughed at him as they watched him down it. Well that's all I got for this week, hope everyone is doing well back at home. My love and prayers got out to all of you. 

Elder Akins

Monday, November 3, 2014

Another Week Gone By

Its been a tough email session today. I found out about Britton Shipp in about my 3 email, so I've been trying to focus but its not too easy. I feel like these things have been happening more and more since I've gotten out here, so crazy. But I know that God has a Plan for all of us. I don't think I really understood that when I was back at home before the Mish. Its such a blessing to be out here, I've grown so much in the Gospel. I remember back when Grandpa Chuck passed away, I felt so confused. Every time I went over to the house I would look into the living room half expecting to see him sitting in that big green chair of his watching the fishing channel like always...but he wasn't. It took me awhile to really understand what all had happened and to adjust. And now that I'm out here I've truly gained a testimony that although their bodies and spirits have separated, that doesn't mean that they have left us! I've felt him, I've felt KJ and many others as I go about this Work. I know that I will see them again, we all will. Like Elder Holland said we just need to "trust God, and believe in good things to come." It'll be alright in the end, and I truly believe that. My prayers go out to the Shipp family in this time of hardship. This week wasn't filled with anything exciting other than our lesson with the Magallon Family. We decided to watch the Restoration video with them, and after we would teach about the Word of Wisdom. Well it went much better than we had expected! After the movie I looked around the room and bore my testimony that Joseph Smith was and is a true Prophet...I ended up losing some tears ha which I haven't done in a long while! Then Brother Magallon shared with us how blessed he felt, and ended up doing the same except a lot harder than I had cried haha. Then everyone teared up, even our Bishop and his daughters ha! It was such an amazing spiritual experience, I'll never forget that lesson. Right after that we introduced the Word of Wisdom and they said they would live it right away...even though they were already living it haha! It was beautiful! Well that's really all I got for this week. I hope you all know I love you and miss you so much! 

Elder Akins

Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Halloween

Well its gonna be a short one this week. I got called as District Leader this Transfer so thats gonna be fun...alongside Training I'm in for a ride. But we'll get er done no prob. It was tough saying bye to my bro Elder Tevaga on Tuesday...then it got good when they called him as AP in the Ward next to us ha. I've seen him a few times around, looks like he's having a blast driving the Mission Car around. I always ask him if I can take it for a spin ha denied everytime. Never know though. I gave my 1st District Meeting as DL, it went pretty good. The father of our investigator family, the Magallons, went to the hospital this week for low blood. But we went over and gave him a blessing and now he's back home doing good. It was his birthday on Friday too so we went to their house and wished him a Happy Birthday and taught them a quick lesson on Faith and Repentance. They are doing so good, I can't wait for their Baptism! We are planning on the 15th of November right now, hope it all comes together. I got a package from home too this week, sure was a booster. Thanks for the Chex Mix Mom that was the best. I didn't get any Skittles, my dang Comp loves them to much ha. And the AP's broke my package open after they called me to come pick it up so I lost a little candy and my football. I'll get it back this week ha. We had a great turn out at Church this week too. We had 7 Investigators and 12 Less-Actives come! Not much else went down. Just another solid week in the Mish. Hope everyone enjoys Halloween. Watch some good scary movies for me ha! And Mom tell Ally she can't go Trick or Treating anymore, shes to old haha!
Love Elder Akins

Monday, October 20, 2014

Crazy Week

Ha I had a bunch of interesting experiences this past week, but that's what the Mish is all about right?! Well our last PDay was legit. We went to the Cagsawa Ruins. For those who don't know what that is, its an old Catholic Cathedral that got destroyed from Mount Mayon (the Volcano) about 200 years ago. The towns people ran inside, which was the exact opposite of what they should have done because its close to the volcano so ya they didn't make it. But the ruins are still there and its super cool. I'll send some pics. The next morning we all (the Americans) decided we were all fat so we went jogging really early and worked out hard. After we were throwing this football we got in the street outside our house and our big Linebacker Poly kid from Cali that plays at BYU (E. Lesatele) decides he's a decent QB so he chucks one long to me...the ball falls like a duck and bounces off the top of our neighbors tricyee and smashes the window of his other tricyee haha. All of the tricyee drivers that were by-standing watching us just started busting up laughing! Its a good thing that this ain't America, the owner was suprisingly happy we broke it haha he got a free new one! He's a nice old guy so he just laughed about it as we looked it over. I got that letter package you sent me Mom too, thanks it came in real handy this week. I snagged a flu for a day or two and I loved reading all of the Family History stuff! The bad part of that day, besides my awesome flu symptoms (guess), I realized that that day was Opening Day of the Deer not only was I sick, but trunky as well as I watched the clock spiral down to the hours of morning over there at you guys. All I could think about was how many bucks were hittin' the dirt that morning, man I miss it. But its all good, because on Sunday the Magallon's came to church again! Brother didn't make it because he was sick, but they are getting closer to their Baptismal Date. We reset it to November 8th so hopefully they'll be ready. And we had a great lesson on the Plan of Salvation, we talked about how Families Can Be Together Forever too. It was the bomb. Well this weeks transfers, and I got a sneak peek of whats in store. Elder Tevaga, my buddy, is leaving us...but he's still gonna be in my District because he will be the new AP. And I may or may not be the new District Leader so I'm pretty nervous. We have all of the types of Leaders you can have in a District so its gonna be tough! Wish me luck!

Love, Elder Akins

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

General Conference - October 2014

Well it was a pretty slow week. We only got to teach the Magallon Family once this week so I was pretty peeved about that. Hopefully they'll get more time this week. But when we were there they had broken out their highlighters and what not and were totally into the lesson, they're the best! I'm gonna be so mad/sad if I'm not here when they get baptized. I want it more than ever! We had a Lunar Eclipse this past week, but I didn't see nothing. But we did see a lot of shooting stars when the whole city shut the power off on Wednesday...thats normal though now. As long as we get it back by 10:30 we're good. It did it again on Monday (which is why I'm emailing on Tuesday), but this time it didn't come back on. I didn't hardly sleep that night, so hot with Mayon gettin ready to pop and all the mosquitoes. I hate those things. Just gotta love the Mish! I made some dang good Adobo this week too, can't wait to make it for y'all when I get back! But the best thing that happened this week was General Conference! As described by my buddy here Elder Tevaga, " General Conference is like a Birthday Party for Missionaries!" 

Although that's way random, its definately true. I've come to love it so much on my Mish! And especially this one, I received answers to my Prayers of what to do after the Mish. And I totally believe that God answers prayers! It worked for me haha. Well all is well here, Mom the Eruptions not going to be huge so relax! I'll be fine, the Lord is on my side!

Elder Akins CC

Monday, October 6, 2014

Slow Week

We had a pretty slow week. We had lots of meetings for New Missionary Training, Zone Training, stuff like that. So we didn't get a ton of time to work our tails off, but we still got some good stuff in. Like for example, yesterday we had the Magallon Family attend Church for the 1st time! We were super happy, even though they showed up right as we were about to start the Sacrament, we got them all situated and what not. Our Bishop's family has really been doing a grteat job of fellowshipping them. Their 2 daughters took the Magallon girls to Youth class and I think they really enjoyed it. I hope they come next Sunday...and for all the Sundays after that. I'm so happy God's placed them in my path. Also this week I got my 1 Year De-Worming Pill. Well so far all is well, just keep prayin' Mom! I also heard one of my old Comps, Elder Vaki, is doing work in the Music Industry. Ally you should look him up. I'm not sure how maybe just Google, look up Samuel Vaki. I heard the songs good so I don't know ha. We've been trying to teach this old guy who lives on the mountain near our apartment, but the only problem is I can't understand him. I feel like I'm back in my Training haha and my comps having a hard time too. The guy is from Masbate which is technically Bicol Region but they speak Cebuano there. He also mixes what he says with Bicol and Tagalog so basically I just die everytime he says something. And he's got a lot to say haha his beliefs are pretty crazy. But its all good, glad he lets us teach him ha. He got mad at me for not having a Tagalog Bible, but when I asked him if he had one he said he gave it to his buddy down the road...ha ok why you gettin' mad at me?! Man gotta love these guys! But me and my comp are getting along great and are workin' hard. I'm trying to stay up and keep on pushing forward...its gonna be hard this next little month or so with the Hunt and all haha. I just want all my buddies back at home to know how much I love em! I miss you guys, and especially my Boys out here. Keep doing work guys! Love you all.

Elder Akins

Monday, September 29, 2014

Still Waitin' . . .

Well we started the week off pretty rough. So that guy that I mentioned about last week, Brother Conrad. Well we went back to him a few days later. I saw him outside his house first, and then he looked and saw me. His face dropped into a frown immediately. I came up to him and started talking to him, seeing how he was. Then he began to tell us how he didn't want us to teach him anymore. He said he had changed his mind about it. He said the reason was he didn't want to waste our time, and then said that there was no hope left anyways. His life is miserable I won't lie. His can't work or do anything. His wife hates him, she actually beats him and ignores him! We tried and tried to explain to him about everything, how he needs us more than ever right now. But he refused. He asked that we keep coming by and sharing maybe a scripture verse to lift him, but he doesn't want us to teach the lessons or be baptized. I was so shocked! He started crying, and I teared up a little as well. I couldn't believe it. We left in kind of a dazed state, I had to sit down for a little while I was so stunned and saddened. In the end I couldn't even focus so we just went home and I went and laid down. It was one of the weirdest/saddest things I've ever seen and experienced. I guess its true that there needs be opposition in all things. Bad Experiences with the Good ones. Poor guy, just pray for him I guess. Well keep trying though. Well I guess we better switch over to all the good stuff that happened this week then. First off we had Interviews with President Guanzon, which as always was great! We talked a little about what I'm gonna do after the Mish and stuff. I'm still trying to pull in everything, so I told him I'd be Praying and Fasting and be searching for an answer at the upcoming General Conference. I put in work when all 8 of us had a competition for Push-Ups using the Perfect Push-Up equipment thingys. Me and Elder Tevaga, the big Hawaiian kid, both hit 42 so I was pretty proud of myself. I'm seeing the blessings of the Mish for sure right now, its all that Rice and Chicken haha plus my 40 Push-Ups a night. Also we layed out all the mattresses in our Living Room thing and I wrestled my comp haha sealed the 3rd Round with a nice Body Slam to make sure he wasn't gettin' back up! Haha we have a lot of fun out here for sure. Life's good being a MIssionary. And the best thing thats happening right now is our Investigator Family, the Magallon's, are really going strong right now. The father and the 2 girls are all in Jacob now in the Book of Mormon. The mother is a little tougher nut to crack, but she is reading a little. They believe its all true. Tonight we talked about Adam and Eve in the Plan of Salvation. Lots of Questions...and lots of Answers. It really helped to have our Bishop and his family there. They have 2 girls too the same age as the others so it works perfect! And Bishop is an RM and way good so he helped us a lot. I'm so happy I'm in a Ward, man Branches get kinda tough sometimes haha. But I love this work no matter what! So happy that I came out, wouldn't change it for anything! Love you all, you are always in my Prayers. 
Love Elder Akins

P.S. Heard about Swiss Days, man that stinks. Next year I'm going to beat Dad in the 5K anyways so I can't wait for that. Then maybe snag some nice Navajo Tacos and a big ole Texas Twister. Oh ya.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mount Mayon's Gonna Erupt

Alrighty so the background for this week is that we got 8 Elders living in a 4 Elders apartment. Due to the fact that Mount Mayon is going to erupt here pretty soon, but its all good we are far enough out of the danger zone stuff. We might get hit by some ash though, which from what they said happened last time, it'll be like shoveling snow haha. Whatever happens, we are in for another Wild Ride of Calamity. As if Earthquakes and Typhoons are enough ha. But its all good, I guess its just some of those things God wants me to go through, thats alright with me. So basically they've just been doing Exchanges with us this whole week, which really bumped our Key Indicators up. We found some awesome new Investi's and the what not. But we've been having lots of fun too. Man its kinda crazy haha but its kinda like being back at the MTC with all of these dudes running around. I actually found something funny out too from one of them. His name is Elder Lesatele, and he's ironically from Compton, LA. But he played for BYU's ghetto football program before he came out, and he says he was good friends with Adam Hine back then haha. I told him how Adam was like the Legend of Snow Canyon for Track and Football, and he agreed. I guess hes reppin' kids right now as a Senior there. Lesatele's really cool, but I creamed him and Tevaga in PingPong this week like nothing... shoutout to my boy J. Sarge, I'm coming for you bro in like 11 months ha. I also saw some pictures of Southern Utah this week, many of them being my stomping grounds. Man I got so dang Trunky I won't lie haha. That my friends is truly God's Country, nothing compares. I'm so blessed to have grown up there, wouldn't have it any other way. We taught this really nice kid named Neal this week. He's really interested in the Gospel and is really a good kid, he's active in Service Projects all over Bicol Region here and stuff, the only problem is he is really into Philosophy and its really got him all messed up. We are trying to help him understand the importance of God in our lives and stuff, but man I don't know he's gonna be a tough nut to crack. I invited him to pray and ask God if He is really there...that outta work. Heck, who better to ask than the Man Himself! I saw this sick poster of Allen Iverson that night while tracting, almost asked the guy if I could have it ha. And Sunday was amazing! We all attended out Ward here in Daraga together, me and my comp ended up teaching the Gospel Principles class which we managed to do well. I got my Package from the AP's! Oh man that was awesome. The only problem is how do I keep the 2 Poly kids out of it ha. But we shared some and listened to my Enya CD, that thing was the best part! That night me and Elder Decicio, an American Elder from Oregon, went on Exchanges. We were getting rejected by everybody and we had come to the end of the street. There was like 2 houses left then he told me that he and my comp had tracted these houses the other night so I was just thinking oh alright well lets get out of here and find some better Hunting Grounds. But then he stopped me and said that we should try the last few houses, so I just turned and agreed with him. Not 10 steps after that I saw this guy and introduced myself to him, and before I even said that we were Missionaries he told us to sit down and share what we had. This guy was one of the most prepared people I've ever met on the Mish. Brother Conrad Peralta has Terminal Pancreatic Cancer. He was diagnosed back in March and is only suppossed to live 6 months after the math. Hes beyond that now. After jumping around about some of the Church's beliefs and some simple doctrine, I invited him for Baptism for October 25, which he accepted. But he said this,"I'm willing to be baptized, but I don't think I'll be here anymore on that date." I then felt impressed to tell him he would be, and that the reason he was still here was because he needed to hear this and that his family needs to hear it too. So we will be returning to him this Tuesday, I hope that his family is just as prepared as he is. I'm very excited to help this man and his family come into the Gospel, we are really going to try and hurry it too. I feel he is very interested and is very willing to follow our Lord and Savior through Baptism, just hope that my feelings are aligned with God's Plan. So well give er' a shot! And I won't lie, I did do work in PingPong today. Still holding the Champion's Belt here in Daraga, can't wait to work the Frei Boys over when I get back, you guys got nothing!!! And we also had a DARAGA vs. Santo Domingo Basketball Game, Daraga won of course whoooo! All in all, life is good here in Daraga, the Work is Progressing, and I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! Love you all, shoutout to the Clowards for including the Peach Penguins in my package, they were a big hit!

Love Elder Akins

Monday, September 15, 2014

Training Elder Navarro

Alright so I got my new Trainee, his names Elder Navarro, really nice kid. I got him workin hard and we are having fun. Ha the first thing he noticed when he looked at my Pictures when he got here was Ally...they always have something to say about her. But we closed that conversation pretty quick with no resistance ha. But in all honesty I'm excited to Train. The first few days I had no idea what to do, but I got him tracting houses now so I think he is really progressing. He actually served a Short-Time Mission before this so that really helped out ha. Our first lesson went really well though. We taught the Magallon Family about the Book of Mormon for like the 2nd or 3rd time ha. They have a lot of questions and we are trying to get them to really gain a testimony of it. They all read except the mother, she is kinda busy sometimes but we'll keep trying with her. We also had our Bishop and his wife there so that really helped in the lesson. Oh and they did accept a Baptismal Date for October 18, but thats not the for sure date, but hopefully it is! Like I said I do have him tracting now. We tracted this one neighborhood and I saw this car next to this way nice house with its lights still on. So I thought it would be good opportunity for us to share the Gospel. So we yelled from outside their gate and this lady came out. So I told her "hey your car lights are still on." But I think she figured me out because right after that she awkwardly and slowly closed the door. It was one of those ones were I tried to say something to get her to stop but she was to committed on closing it in our we tracted the next house. And it just so happened to be (Tribute-Jack Black) that we found a new investigator who let us teach her! So it turned out to be ok after all, even if her neighbors don't like us ha. Other than that not much happened. I did work at the PingPong Table this morning. I beat everyone including Elder Tevaga. Its definatelly helping me improve my Christ-Like Attribute of being Humble haha. So ya, pretty good week I guess. Love you all!
Elder Akins

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mr. Trainer

Hey sorry this is a day late but I've been runnin errands for the APs and stuff. I had to watch over Elder Poe, he's the kid from St. George. He's got Dengue Flu which really ain't fun...and this is his 2nd time. There are 4 different strains and you can't get the same one twice. Its some crazy stuff. I watched him yesterday afternoon until this morning. Man the AirCon felt so good, haven't slept in an AirCon'd room in a year. I'm gonna make this the short story of the week because I gotta get to some Meetings soon so here we go. Last Tuesday I went on Exchanges with Elder Lilo from my Batch. It was raining way hard and we were looking for some Referrals, but due to some way close lightning and way loud rain no one could hear us yelling at them haha. They all thought we were tracting so they all just waved us to leave and stuff haha we ended up finding the Referrals though. Our Magallon Family that me and Torrano found are doing great and really progressing in the Gospel! The father has a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon, we will be teaching about it for the 3rd time now haha. On Thursday I climbed this muddy hill at night near our area to see the city at night...Torrano didn't want to but I finally got him to come up. But he slipped, twice haha he was pretty ticked at me. But in the end the view was great and I ended up slippin myself. On Saturday we got the Transfer Announcement. Torrano is transfering and I will be Training. Sorry this is the worst email I've ever sent because my thoughts are going mach chicken and what not. Our Missions going through some crazy stuff with money problems from the Typhoon and between Training and everything else my mind is just tired. So I can't wait to just start Training and get back to work.

Elder Akins

Monday, September 1, 2014

1 Year

I've made it! I'm right at the Peak, now I just gotta slide my way back down the Mountain! Well we had a pretty decent week I'd say. We had a Zone Cluster Conference with a few other Zones here Legazpi on Tuesday. President Guanzon gave some really great talks. I love listening to him, I always feel his love when he speaks. I pulled some great stuff out that I will be applying to myself and my area. Its kinda wierd that I'm the "Official Senior" now, I'm used to the "Leading from Behind" kind of thing. But its all good. That night we had someone steal some stuff from off of our deck. They snagged my comps nice Jeans, our neighbors shoes, and my American Umbrella which is worth its weight in Gold. Then they stuffed it all into my plastic bag that I left outside with all of my Laundry supplies...gotta love Thieves. Its cool though, I got a free Umbrella today that works just as well. We taught a pretty funny lesson to an old Less-Active Tatay who's having trouble with his wife. The topic was on "Loving Your Spouse", ha ya they aren't getting along well right now. But he came to Church on Sunday so something went right! I also went on Exchanges this week. I'll admit I hit McDonald's 4 times through the week to celebrate my victory of making it 1 year. Ya that won't be happening again for awhile. My Package from home made it this week as well, so I was so stoked for that! My new Brown and Tan pants are the sweetest! Thanks Mom, now  I don't look like a Ronny wearing Black all the time. I'm gonna try to keep them nice so I can wear them at home too...nearly impossible but its worth a shot. We held a 1 Day Mission this week for all of the Members, to try and help them get more active in the work. We had a good turnout, and we did a lot of good. Lots of Referrals and New Investigators! It really made our numbers look good thats for sure haha. We got hit with some rejections in our tracting though, not unusual. I hate that people reject us, but I always get a kick out of some of the ways people react to us and stuff. I guess it helps to keep me up and positive. My favorite is when they see us and just wave there hand as they walk away..."Oh ok...thanks?" Ha or the all-time-classic "I'm Catholic...". "Oh well I'm Mormon...can we share a Message with you?" A lot of good laughs thats for sure. Well I love being a Missionary. Its sad that its half way over...but its good at the same time. Hope it doesn't go by to fast, but I know it will. They all say it does. Love you guys!
Elder Akins

Monday, August 25, 2014

My Golden Family

Well its taken a year but I've finally begun to fulfill my Mission Dream: to baptize an entire Family into the true Church. We found them at about 8:30 at night while tracting. We walked down this road we hadn't been to before and theirs was the first house we came to. We stood outside the gate and called for them. I remember instantly a dog came running out and barked at us. I had the thought to leave because well they won't be able to hear us because the dog will distract them so its pointless. So I turned to walk away, when I felt to stay. I saw a head poke out of their door, so now we're fully commited. After a few seconds of conversation a man walks out. We do the usual, introduce ourselves and ask if we can share a message with them. And whatta ya know, he lets us in! They were eating dinner so we apologized and asked if they wanted us to return some other time, but they said now was good and cleaned everything up. Their name is the Magallone Family, and they have 2 daughters about Ally's age. We taught them about Families and our Heavenly Father, and they were so receptive! Instead of looking at the ground like many of our investi's do they were just eating our words up! The Dad asked a lot of questions. We found out they were "Less-Active Born-Agains" as they put it themselves. We also went back to them tonight, and the same thing! So we are convinced they are the reason we both are here in this area and that they are PURE GOLD! So counting them, we picked up a total of 15 New Investi's this week which is the most I've had so far! And we also tracted an Indian guy who didn't know Tagalog OR English...we couldn't even leave him a pamphlet or anything. After trying to sign-language who we were for like 10 minutes I just stopped, shook his hand, said thanks in Tagalog because it was the only word he knew, and left. You can't win em all I guess. Last Saturday we did a Service Project for one of the members with the ZL's, the Elders in our apartment. We had a good time diggin dirt and moving it with buckets to the back of their house. They live on a hill so we were just leveling things out. I accidentally broke the shaft on one of the shovels, it was a handcarved Filipino special so no biggie, Brother can whip a new one out in like 10 minutes I'm sure. We also had a nice experience of being followed to the Church by a drunk guy who came in and attended a Baptism with us. I couldn't get him to tell me his name haha. Our big Samoan ZL, Elder Tevaga, baby-sat him during the Baptism haha. No idea where he took off to after. Hope everyones doing great back at home. I love you all so much! Shoutout to my little Sister who did work at cheerleading her first football game. And also to Josh who's just a stud. Love you all, miss you guys back in the 5th Ward too!
Elder Akins

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hittin the 1Year to Go Mark!

I made it, 1 down, 1 to go! I have to say that it was quite a normal day though. We did have a way crazy good spiritual lesson that morning, probably one of the Top 10 in my Mish, but that was it. I mostly tried not to get Trunky during the day, but sometimes I just had to look at my comp and hold up my number 1 finger. Man time is so fast! That night to celebrate with myself, I bought a load of Filipino Peso Kiddie Candies and ate it on our deck. It felt like a night well spent. The next day I finished the Book of Mormon for the 3rd time, I go hard in Personal Study. So now all I got left is the Bible and I'll have read everything in my Mission time. And the day after that me and my comp gave the Workshop for our District Meeting. I talked most of the time because it was my comp's first time doing it. He shared some of his personal stories though which were really awesome, he's such a stud. He's a Convert of 1 year and 4 months, he left as soon as he could for the Mission Field after he waited his 1 year as an RC. Such a cool kid. On Sunday we had a suprise visit from Elder Collado of the 70. He gave a great talk on Missionary Work and Involving the Members. We have pretty good help from the Members here but hopefully it gets em even more excited! We need all the help we can get. And the last thing I'll update ya on is my 1st Facial in the History of my Life. I will never be getting one again, worst experience ever. My acne's been pretty bad lately, so I've been going to a Dermotologist here in Legazpi, probably half the reason I'm in Daraga. Anyways today I had to get a Facial, and man it about killed me. It hurt so dang bad. I'll leave the details for my Journal, but just know that I was so tired after being in the room for 3 hours I just sat down and layed there for forever. I actually fell asleep at the first part of the Facial when the Dermotologist was washing my face, but then she started in on my acne. Stress balls pretty much saved me. Love you all, please be safe and remember who you are (quotes by Shannon Akins). Hope everyones having fun at school!
Elder Akins

It says, "Come on in to B-Meg Country".
B-Meg is a Rooster feed. Filipinos love Cock Fighting.
 My area

What I wake up to in the morning.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Daraga is Legit!

Oh ya life is good here in Daraga! We had McRonalds twice this week! And I get to play PingPong and Basketball every PDay! And my apartments floor is actually clean and looks good! And so on and so forth. But seriously, this area is great. Its progressing and we should be having a baptism in a few weeks. We were able to tract this tatay (old man) that kept greeting us in English the past week. We were allowed to enter his tiny hut. We got in and sat down on his bamboo bed because it was the only other furniture other than a plastic chair he had. It was kinda messy. Then I caught a bad whiff of something. I looked down on the ground next to me. It was his dirty dishes and old food/rice in a pile. I almost gagged haha but I kept it to myself. We proceeded with the lesson of the Restoration. It went really well. He ended up accepting a Baptismal Date, an invitation to come to our English Class, an invitation to attend a Baptism the next day, and to come to Church on Sunday! All of which he did! It was great. I haven't had someone respond that well in a while. It made me think of the scripture D&C 18:10. His soul really means a lot to our Heavenly Father, I guess all of our souls, no matter what our situation is. It humbled me. Also that week I had the crazy experience of interpreting a dream. Long story short we visited one of our investigators who wants to be baptized but her husband won't let her. She told us she had a dream. In it she saw to men walking back and forth in her village wearing black shoulderbags and trying to talk to everyone. No one would listen to them. They then climbed a hill. At the top of the hill was a Golden Door. They opened it, and began to enter. Then she called out to them and asked where they were going. They said to see Jesus and she replied that she wanted to go see him too. They said, "Then follow us." and reached a hand out to her. But she wasn't able to enter. Then the dream ended. At that time I remembered a scripture about a gate in the Book of Mormon, and after some quick research I came up with 2 Nephi 31:17. Maybe check it out in your personal time. It was a very spiritual experience for me, and she even cried a little. Her husband doesn't allow her to come to Church but she showed up for Sacrament on Sunday somehow. Really awesome experience I'll never forget. I really just love my Mission! And I love these Filipinos! Haha they are so dang funny sometimes. I wish you guys could hear some of their jokes, man they just crack me up all the time. I love you all and hope that you are all well. Y'all take care now!
Elder Akins

Monday, August 4, 2014

Nandito Ako Sa Daraga!

 Hey guys, well I'm now here in Daraga! Its in Legazpi, and actually our Mission Office is here in Daraga! So I get to see my buddies in the Office a lot more now haha! I think thats why they said I would be happy. Or it could be that I have a super cool area which is out in the mountains. Its nice, I live near all the good restaurants, have a nice apartment because I'm living with the Zone Leaders, live in a Ward, but get to work out in the countryside! Its great. And also I believe this was one of the old areas of my cousin Blake Frei! So I'm super stoked to clean up his mess and baptize all of those people he missed haha. I've finally been made Senior. My companion is a Filipino kid who just got done training, names Elder Torrano. Super good kid, loves working so I'm pretty happy. He's way good at drawing, like way good so I got him to promise to make me a nice pic of a big buck or something. My housemates are great too, both are Polys and ZLs. One is from Hawaii, Elder Tevaga, and actually lived near the Hookilou Cafe on Oahu! He says he knows who the Bassos are but not personally! Small World haha. Well just the other day we got power, everyone was happy about that. People threw parties for it actually haha so we walked past a lot of drunk guys. This week I met our investigators and got to know them and stuff. My first lesson actually here ended up pretty good. His name is Neal and he was having a hard time understanding Infant Baptism. So we explained it to him better. After the lesson we reextended a Baptismal Date to him and he accepted. They said he has denied everytime before. They had taught him all of the lessons, but just didn't have a testimony. At the end of the lesson we invited him to pray everyday and read everyday so that he can be able to receive an answer from God if what we are teaching his true. So we are hoping he will gain a real Testimony soon. He also told us he thinks that he himself is the one getting in the way of him knowing if our Church is true, so he will try to be better at doing the things we ask him to do. Hes awesome. The rest of the weeks we just did Service in our area. I bought an Itak (machete) in my last area and I've used it quite a bit now haha. We just chop up everyones trees that have fallen usually. My hands have gotten all soft like lately, they look like girls hands haha but they're getting better now that I've got some blisters going. And to end it all off we had a great PDay today. The benefit of being here in Daraga is we have a nice Pingpong table in one of the Church buildings near the Chapel, so I've been smoking kids all day. Also we balled a little. Did work for the most part. Elder Tevagas pretty good, he's the same height as me but a lot bigger so its hard to guard him haha. But we still did good, lost by 1 ha. Well I love you all and I'm so happy to be here in the Mission Field! Take care.
Elder Jake Akins

Monday, July 28, 2014

Typhoon Glenda

Well I just wrote this and then it deleted itself so thats cool. But anyways yes I'm still alive haha. The Typhoon was crazy! So heres how it went down. The whole day we were waiting for the storm to hit. Mostly I just read, slept and ate rice. I love rice haha! At about 4 or 5 the storm hit us. Most of the day it just dumped buckets. But when the typhoon hit us it was all wind! It was crazy. We only had water come into our apartment, maybe 2 or 3 inches. It came under the doors and window panes. One time our upstairs doors busted open too!

Luckily I had my towel over my desk so none of my stuff got ruined. Me and my comp just held the doors shut for like an hour or so. The wind was so strong! I couldn't believe the force it had! It all ended at about 6 or 7 so we cleaned up a little and went to bed. The next morning things looked a lot different than they did before. If you've ever seen the movie "The Other Side of Heaven" at the part when they come out after the storm, thats what it looked like. There was fruit all over the ground, as well as trees, peoples houses, all sorts of stuff. Mostly everyone in our Branch was affected, some people even lost their houses. So mostly we've just done service for 2 weeks haha.

Our area is mostly cement houses, so we didn't have as much. We cleaned up the church a lot actually. I didn't hear of any deaths, but a lot of people don't have a house right now. Its good that we are here though to help clean up and help people haha. I remember after the storm everyone was just outside looking at everything and at each other haha. We ran down to a members house that lives close to us, luckily their wooden house was still standing. I've seen a lot of miracles and mercies from the Lord on my Mission, but there is no way their house should still be standing! They were so happy haha. These past 2 weeks I've gotten used to sleeping with no fan because there isn't any power. Also the mosquitos, but I've gotten a few bites haha.

The worlds worst sound now is a mosquito flying by your ear when you are asleep. I've also had some run ins with spiders at night now that I don't have a fan. I'll spare Dad by not telling those ones haha.

Well not much has happened. I'm gonna be transferring tomorrow. My trainer and one of the Americans that was back in Gubat with me are the APs, as well as I've got lots of friends at the Office. They told me I'm gonna like my Transfer so we'll see. I'm just happy I'm finally leaving Sorsogon Zone haha I've been here almost 1 year haha! Maybe I'll go to Bataan Island. They don't have power, but they do have bikes! I'm definitely down for a bike! Haha wish me luck!

Love Elder Akins

Monday, July 14, 2014

Typhoon Glenda at the Door! Whoohoo!

Yep right now we got ourselves another nice Typhoon headed our direction. Luckily its not supposed to be as big as Yolanda, the last one, so we aren't to nervous...Mom don't be nervous either. Well our area is still progressing and doing great! Hopefully before I leave I'll be able to snag one of the 15 or so Baptismal Canidates we are working with. I came into this area with little to none Investigators, and I'll probably leave with same Baptisms haha but that's ok I've done my part here I guess. My favorite Investigator, Brother Robert and his wife Rose, are still doing way good! We just got done teaching the Plan of Salvation to them and I definitely saw some of the blessings that President Frei gave to me when he set me apart! So awesome to see them fulfilled! Haha hopefully Mom won't wig out on this next one, but anyways our neighbors got robbed the other day haha and ya they took like over 300 dollars and some other things that I won't include so she doesn't wig. But we got some nice locks on all of our doors and stuff so we are good. On the way to one of our appointments we met some guys trying to drop a nice big ole Mango Tree so we lent a hand a helped em drop er. It was pretty fun tuggin on a rope then running for our lives haha. Actually the tree fell to the side more and almost took out a wall and caught the powerlines. But its okay, its the Philippines, the power going out is a normal everyday thing so its okay. They appreciated our help, even got some compliments on my strength...must be all of the rice. Also this week we were the big news on a Baptist Radio Station. They really don't like us haha. Well  I've decided that I can sleep through anything now. Outside of our apartment we have a few Roosters that crow ever hours or so, a puppy that whines all the time and barks at the other mutts across the street, billions of tricyees that have way ghetto mufflers, and our next door neighbor who almost snoors as loud as Dad. I think I can probably sleep in the same room as him now haha. Well that's all I've got for you guys. Please be praying for us here. The storm shouldn't be too bad, but if not I love you all! Haha Mom don't wig!
Elder Jake Akins

Monday, July 7, 2014

First 4th of July Not in the US of A

Rough week, but there was still some good in it. One of my Batchmates, Elder Skeen, who has been in Sorsogon Zone the same amount of time as me, 10 months, had to go home because he needs surgery on his back. He's had a pretty rough time so I feel really bad for him. I hope he comes back, really stinks. On Teusday we walked our whole are like 4 times back and forth, and its wide let me tell you. My knees and ankles were aching after, man it was bad. Don't know if I can ever make a 50 miler again haha. And nothing happened on the 4th...except we had Zone Training and all of the Americans stood at the front and sang the Star-Spangled Banner. It was pretty legit. The good news for the week was we had 5 investigators come to Church! 1 of them we hadn't meet, a member just brought her so we are pretty excited about teaching here next week. Today we played Basketball with one of our investigators, Brother Robert, on one of the street hoops by his house. Their hoops are so ghetto haha takes me back to the days of repping Kade Bunting on my Nerf Hoop in my room haha. After we went and ate Buko, Coconut, with one of the members who lives close to our house. He took us to his families house way out in the sticks and helped them cut the Coconuts off of the trees and dehusk them. I love Buko! Can't believe I hated it before the Mission haha. Also this week I tried Avocado for the first time haha yep I've never eaten Guacamole in my life so I was pretty stoked. It wasn't too bad with a little sugar on her haha. Well not much else. Loving life as a Servant of the Lord. Love you guys. Take care this week.
Elder Akins
Happy BDay to the Best Country in the World
Love some lost Americans

Monday, June 30, 2014

Buhay Pa Dito Sa Filipinas

Mabuhay sa inyo! Ha well lifes still pretty much the same here. Wake up, take a shower with a bucket, eat rice, die of the heat/get drenched in rain. The usual. did get a little better last week. I went on exchanges with my ZL and it was good and all. We were leaving from an appointment and over a few houses some Ronny Filipino was blasting the radio from his bamboo house. I didn't notice it because its way normal until I heard the beautiful noise of Country!!!! It takes awhile to navigate out of that area because theres so many little bamboo huts so I happened to listen to Cruise by Florida Georgia Line and Crash My Party by Luke Bryan. I sang those songs a million times this past week in the shower haha. But we also had some other crazy stuff happen. We tracted this house, they let us in, the norm. We taught the father about the Restoration of the Gospel and then extended a Baptismal Date to him. He accepted! Then rather oddly UNaccepted and asked us to leave...totally random. All the while smiling. No idea what was going on in his head. So sad, I had this awesome picture of him becoming a Priesthood holder in my head and then it all just went blop. But thats alright, I never let it get me down. Theres always more people out there to help, like this wild band of kindergarten aged kids we met the other day. They told us they were "Bad Boys" but after a discussion about Jesus and Heaven they decided they wanted to be "Good Boys" haha it was pretty funny. And even when me and my comp got cussed out by a Baptist Preacher who we accidentally tracted into while looking for a Referral that ended up living with him, we still didn't let it get us down. Although I really didn't feel the Spirit after, felt more like Superman Punchin him in the face like George St. Pierre, we got through it and said a little prayer. To finish the week off we had Interviews with President which is always good. I always feel his love when I talk to him, such an awesome guy. He praised my parents for raising me the way they did, so I too have to say thanks Mom and Dad. I'm so grateful for parents who raised me in the Gospel. Its starting to rain here now, love it.
Elder Akins
I helped with District Meeting. Hope you can read it. The topic was Inviting and Following Up.

Me when I get home.
 Last Dinner with Vaki. Miss him tons.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Junior Comp Life

Well it isn't easy saying bye to a comp that you really get along with well. Haha me and Vaki took some pics together then it was my time to leave him to go back to my area. I was trying to say bye to him but he just told me that we'd say bye at the van. So I got in and we bro-hugged and said bye and almost teared up and what not. Haha then like 2 minutes later he came back while we were still in the van. Then he did it again haha man I miss him tons. Its wierd that he's not with me haha. So later that day I got my new comp and I'm still pretty happy I guess. His name is Elder Pesidas from Cebu, Philippines. He's obedient and a nice kid so I'm happy. Ha and I'm still chillin in the Junior Comp zone, so is about half of my batch so its cool. We've been really going hard this past week. We found almost 10 New Investigators and our area is starting to progress finally. It wasn't Vaki's fault, me and him pretty much were in the "Planting Stage" and now we are nearing the "Harvesting Stage". So its pretty good stuff haha. On Wednesday I helped E. Pesidas with the District Meeting Lesson about the Book of Mormon. It was pretty fun, the BOM is pretty easy to discuss. That same day our power got cut because I think me and Vaki lost the Electric Bill so we spent a whole day without might as well just take a bullet cuz it is hot here...even if its the Rainy Season. It was a long night to say the least. Oh and the cats fighting in the middle of the night right outside our window didn't help either haha. Our investigator family, Robert and the Fuelles Family, are still progressing. We just can't get them to come to church. They would've come yesterday but Brother had some kind of work interview which is also a good thing because he's been searching for work for awhile. And the job is really close to our apartment so we will be able to see him sometimes. When we visited them on Saturday they brought up this problem they've been having. I guess their old Baptist Preacher has been getting mad because they don't come anymore. He threatened to make some kind of case against Brother involving some money problems their church has been having...haha really? Thats some real Christ Like Love right? In other words the Preacher is a really pain in the rear. We and Vaki talked to one of the other ones that lives close to us if you remember probably like 8 emails ago or something. They're pretty ghetto. But its all alright, I'm loving my Mission and I love serving these people. Brother Robert is an awesome guy and I love him. I really hope he keeps progressing, he will. Sunday's Sacrament was really special for me. I got to thinking about all of the awesome Priesthoodholders there are in my life. I'm so grateful for all of their examples and their love and kindness to me. Thanks to all of you. Well I guess I'll quite shootin my mouth. Love you all.
Elder Akins

Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy Father's Day

First off Happy Father's Day to all those Dad's out there! Especially my Dad, he's the best! Nobody beats old "Brinosorous" as some neighborhood menace would say (Corbin Gubler *Cough*). Well this week was really crazy! I guess I just begin at the start of the week. So Tuesday we went to the Janaban Family and taught their kid and like 5 of their neighbors, all of whom are progressing and coming to Church which is quite rare. But its happening so I'm definitely seeing hard work paying off! All I can say about Wednesday is that I became a "Real Missionary" in the Philippines (Mom ask the Frei Boys haha). Thursday we found a guy who was in real need of the Plan of Salvation when we stopped to get a drink at a Tindahan. Luckily I had a pamphlet of it in my bag and we were able to introduce it to him. We've really been praying hard to find Prepared People lately and we've definatelly seen those prayers answered. Friday I got a Suprise Package due to Dess Guanzon, Mission Prez's daughter who lives in STG, visiting! Thanks Mom, I needed it way bad! It was so good to see those pics too haha! And the ties are legit, are they Dad's or GPa's? All I've got is complements form the flower ones haha. Saturday me and Vaki hit up this nice resturant in our area and ate REAL burgers...they were indescribable. Well I'm short on time so I'll keep the sad news to a minimum. Tomorrow I will be getting a new comp and Elder Vaki will be flyin his little butt back to the Good Ole US of A. We've really gotten close these past 2 Transfers so all I'm gonna say is that I'm gonna try not cry haha. He's kinda like an older brother to me now haha he's a good guy. Can't wait to hang with him after the Mish. Well thats all I got for this week. Love you all!
Elder Akins

Monday, June 9, 2014

Another Hot Week in the Philippines

This weather is a killer I tell ya! Man its hot here. But we're surviving. Last P-Day me and my comp went the gym in Sorsogon. I was sore for pretty much the rest of the week haha its been awhile. It felt good though, we try and run every morning too. On tuesday one of the members came back from Manila and had gotten some real Snickers so she gave some to us...I've never eaten candy bars that fast haha. They were amazing, she made my day. That night we went to one of our investigators who is inbetween progressing and not. But he told us about his cousin's a few houses over who wanted to talk to us. So we went over, half thinking it was gonna turn into a Bible Bash situation. But we got there and started talking to them and came to find out that they were really knowledgeable in the Bible and a lot of their doctrine they were talking and asking questions to us about were true and went well with our doctrine. But then we came to how we are different from other churchs, which we were happy to explain that we have Prophets and Apostles just like Christ's Church did when he was alive. We also have the Priesthood and also another testament of Jesus Christ. And they really liked what they heard! So we went back to them the next day and answered more of their questions! It was great! Hopefully we can get them to keep progressing and what not, because they are pretty awesome...and funny. They all have the typical Filipino humor haha so funny. They are all about our age so I think that really helped them to connect with us. A couple of days later we picked up another new investigator, Sister Pea, who lives next door to one of Less-Active Families, the Janabans, that we've reactivated. We will be baptizing one of the Janaban kids in a few weeks which is cool, although sadly Elder Vaki won't be there...he'll be home by then haha. But we were talking to her about the first lesson and at the end, before we had even asked or said anything about Baptism, she just asked if she could be baptized! She was definately prepared for us. She had talked with the Missionaries a bit when she lived in Manila awhile back, and also our LA family is good friends with her so they've talked to her. She is really awesome. Our work is really progressing, and we are finally getting people to church! Its great! The area was prob sub par when I got here, but we are really helping it to progress so we are happy. And my comp is Trunky so thats good. Here in a few weeks I'll be telling you about his replacement, but he probably won't be able to replace Elder Vaki, love that guy. Well one more funny thing. Sometimes at night we go to this Tindahan (mini-store that sells ghetto Filipino candies and pop) near our house and get a snack before we head home. Well the owner has become our neighborhood buddy I guess so we call him Boss and when we go to leave he always says in English to us "I love you." Which we reply the same to him. Its kinda wierd but really funny haha. He's a way funny guy. I guess thats it for this week. Love you all and hope all is well back at home.
Elder Akins

Monday, June 2, 2014

The News From the Philippines

Runnin low on time this week. I'll keep her short and sweet. On Tuesday we had Zone Conference with President and the AP's. Learned a lot of good stuff. One of the AP's said something that made me think, he said," There are no hard areas, it all depends on your attitude." Lately I've been thinking about how hard this area is compared to my last one, but after that I decided to change my attitude. Don't know if it will affect anything, but they say its the thought that counts! After the Conference we stopped in the Pacific Mall for a bit and did some Window Shoppin. I was lookin at some camo hats outside of one store when I looked in and they had a TV with the Huntin Channel running...I left. I would have gone crazy if I had stayed haha. The next day I went on Exchanges with one of my ZL's and also an Elder from my Batch, Elder Skeen. His comp had a little problem so he's no longer with us here in the Legazpi, Philippines Mission, but Skeen's doing great. We had lots of fun that day, had some good lessons and some great conversations that night. My batch is way awesome. The next day we went back to Legazpi actually for Fingerprinting for my Visa...I've been to Legazpi 4 times in the past 2 weeks. Lets just say that McDonalds is good everytime haha. And because of us going back and forth, I've become well know in the Office. My comp was comps with one of the APs in the MTC, Elder Madsen. He's way cool and funny. We're always making jokes and swappin stories. Our work was really bad again, due to the Zone Conf. and us being in Legazpi. Things will probably be back to normal after my comp leaves haha. We did get to visit our Less-Active who used to have a smoking problem...and he's doing great! And last night I fixed our broken in half ironing board with some Gorilla Glue and screws. She's working great now! Love you guys, have a great week!
Elder Akins

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hey Everyone

Not much went down this week sadly. Just work work work. We tracted these 2 Barangy Police guys (local cops(a barangy is like a part of the town, and they are all named different. Its kinda like the way we name streets, but more like neighborhoods.)) on Friday, they were way nice and cool to us. We talked for awhile about the Chinese thinking about taking an island away from the Philippines, they weren't very happy about that. They kept telling us America would come to help them, which I think is happening so I don't know haha. We asked if we could come back and teach them next week, which they were quite excited about. Right now I'm in Legazpi because my comp had to go to Manila and get his fingerprint taken for his Visa...I was pretty upset I didn't get to go with. He said he'd bring me back some Krispy Kremes from the airport though, so I guess its all good. Right now I'm just chillin with some of the Elders here haha they are way funny and cool.

The Zone Leaders share an apartment with the AP's and then next door is the Secretary and the Finance Elder, they are all way cool. I talked with my trainer AKA the new AP for awhile. He's way awesome! We got to go to the Pacific Mall here in Legazpi today too, although I didn't buy anything it was nice to chill in the AC. Man its hot here haha. Well I heard about Brooks Johnson and Austin McElay. So sad. Thats so crazy, theres so many kids passing away these days. I guess its just a sign that the Savior's Coming is close. I'll be praying for their families. I hope the other kids are alright and doing well. I want you all to know the Atonement is real. We will see them again, that brings me great comfort. I love you all!
Elder Akins

Sunday, May 11, 2014


First off I hope that all the Mothers out there had an amazing Mother's Day...especially my Mom, she's amazing! I love you Mom! Well this has been another exciting and crazy week in the Mission. To start off we have been working really hard with one of our Less-Actives, Brother Cagunot. We've know for a while that he has a smoking problem, but this week he couldn't hide it anymore. He confessed to us, and so ever since we've been working with him to stop. Actually, he's been going a week strong! When we first talked about it with him we asked for his cig's, then he gave them to us and told us its better that we get rid of them so that he could'nt find them. He's been buying fruits with all of his cig money and eating that and drinking lots of water to keep him busy. So awesome! He's doing great so we are way happy! But with the good, there is always bad. We had to drop one of our Non-Progressing Investi's this week. His outlook on religions is that they are all right (which makes no sense) so he's not gonna leave Catholicism. Evened after we shared Ephesians 4:5 three times (1 Lord, 1 Faith, 1 Baptism). Oh well, maybe one day he'll realize the Truth. This week we had planned to teach about the Book of Mormon to one of our new Investi's, but when we went to his house he was with some friends...they were all drunk. Really nice and talkative, but drunk. We gave him the BOM, and when his friend tried to look at it he pulled it away from him and told him "Don't". It was like watching little kids fight for a toy haha. And after that we were walking down the road and a Powerline blew a fuse! It was like a big firework. The other drunk guys next to us started clapping and cheering haha it was way funny. Saturday night we had a Baptism for the Sisters. They called us the morning of and told me that I was gonna baptize her. Then I remembered that their Investi is I got nervous haha. The Baptism went well that night though, it was a 1 and your done kinda thing. But on Sunday she didn't show up for her Confirmation...I guess she went into labor that morning haha! Crazy stuff. And the best thing that happened this week of course was the Mother's Day Skype action that went on! Man it was good to see the Family! I love you guys so much! Only got 2 more of those and I'll be home! Well I'd just like to say Happy Mother's Day again to all the Moms out there, I got a lot of Moms so thanks to all of you! You guys are so awesome. I love you Mom. Have a great week everyone!
Elder Akins

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sick Week

Hey everyone! Well this was a tough week for us, due to some sickness. But we did have 1 amazing lesson on Tuesday! It was with our new investi Brother Robert Fuelles and his little family. We covered on how God is our loving Heavenly Father and how we are all His children and the such. After about 30 minutes we finished and asked if they had any questions. Needless to say we spent 3 more hours answering his questions! It was crazy! Although we did try to cut it short, he just wanted more haha! It was great, although we missed lunch haha. The next day destruction hit though haha. We spent 4 days holed up due to some kind of flu/cold thats been gettin around. It sucked. Sickness and heat don't mix very good. But now I'm healthy as a horse so no worries! That Thursday we had a District Meeting, that we were forced to go to because my comps the DL. I just chilled in the corner snifflin a ton. But after I received 2 Packages from home at the same was more than a few months late I think because most of the stuff was outdated...its cool though, still good! On Sunday we were chillin in a meeting and this big beetle was on the floor so my comp decided to play with it. He handed it to me and I didn't know what it was so I took it and it clawed onto my finger real good. My natural reaction was to shake it off so I did and it went flying across the room. Well thankfully no one noticed. It landed way close to this one girl, almost into her hair haha we laughed for a bit, still no one noticed. The sad thing about the meetings here is that there is no order. Kids are always running around Sacrament and peeking into our meetings and stuff. I wish some of the parents would discipline their kids a little more here. Oh well. After Church we went home, and right as we walked in the door we got a text that we needed to go give a Blessing to someone in the Hospital. Here in Sorsogon there are 2 Hospitals: 1 for the rich, and 1 for the poor. The lady happened to be in the poor hospital. All I'm gonna share is that I saw some crazy stuff that I'll share when I get home and the Government really sucks here. Its way corrupted. They need to help their Hospital Programs a lot more. I helped wheel this one guy in who had way bad scrapes on his legs and side, don't know why. After I helped wheel him up this incline I gave him a smile and a thumbs up, he did the same. It made me feel way good haha. It made me think of looking for more opportunities like that everyday. I try but I'm gonna try to look harder now. It really makes me feel like I'm a Disciple of Christ when I do those things! So hopefully I can find more of those situations. Well thats all I got. I love you all. Happy Birthday to my Grandpa Davis for turning 55...right?! Haha well thats how old he looks anyways! Love you guys!
Elder Akins 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Workin Hard Out in the Philippines Heat

Summer is definately here in the Pines. I come home everyday with my shirt just wet...its nasty. Me and Vaki have been working our tails off out here. Our area is way spread out and far so we walk a lot, and lots of the time the people aren't even at the appointment so it stinks. One day we went to 10 different appointments and only got 1 lesson. Its rough stuff. But one night while we were Tracting we were approaced by a drunk man who talked with us. He told us all about how he'd left the Baptist church recently because their Pastor dude was stealing all their Congregational money or something like that. So we walked him home and then we talked to his wife. He invited us back so we are pretty stoked to work with his family. He actually tired to give us a ride on his Tricy the other day, but we were Tracting. He's got the cutest little girl, I love working with families. That same day I watched a man get arrested, it was kinda sad/funny. I'm not sure what he did but he wasn't happy about it. On Sunday we had 2 of our LA's come to Sacrament. They both have smoking problems and they sat next to each other which was awesome! We are working with their addictions, hopefully we can get em to quit! Not many funny things happened this week, sorry. But yesterday night me and Elder Vaki were talking and we had just watched the Finding Faith in Christ Video during Dinner. We talked about how wierd/awesome its gonna be to see Christ when he comes, if we are still alive. Man I'm just so happy to know that I am able to return to God with my family! I'm so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ and his Atonement! Shout out to all of my buddies who participated in the Live Stock Show back at home and also to my "little" cuz Zac who just got his call to Washington DC. What studs! I love you all and I'm so grateful for you prayers! Stay positive and remember we got the Man upstairs who's watching over us always!
Elder Akins

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Week

Lately the weather has been weird here. We've gotten a lot of rain, but its summer here. It should be scorching hot, but its usually overcast...weird. But our work is going well. Our numbers have increased every week so we are happy. Its getting people to Church that is the hard thing. Our area is the farthest from the Church. But we are gonna keep tryin with everyone. I had another interview with President Guanzon this week. Hes so awesome, I love talking to him. Before the interview I was nervous for no reason, but the instant I walked into the room to talk with him I felt calm and peaceful. Hes way sweet. The other day I heard some good Country music, made my day/week. I started singing way loud, my comp just looked at me like I was an idiot. I couldn't help it though haha its been months since I've heard good stuff like that. On "Good Friday" we worked until 6. We were given a Curfew which kinda cramped our work. We just chilled that night and went to bed early. That was nice and well needed. I bought a watermelon that day to, man it was good. I wish I would've had Dad's watermelon choosing skills though, it could've been better I think. Sacrament Meeting this week was weird, none of the talks were about Easter subjects. Don't ask me why, its just the Philippines. There is no Easter holiday here. The Catholics are like the only ones who have a celebration here. They have a parade and walk all over town wearing no shoes. Theres some guys who walk around and whip themselves and do other weird stuff. They feel like they need to feel what Jesus felt...which is totally an OxyMoron. Theres even a few guys who crucify themselves somewhere in my Mission, maybe I'll see em next Easter. And on Sunday we also got to teach our most Progressing Investigator, Brother Edwin. He's such a stud. Hopefully we can get his whole family in the lessons. He's pretty much the reason I'm our here I think haha! He's way Golden. Hope everyone had an awesome Easter. I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ and His Atonement. He is the only way we can return to our Father in Heaven. Without Him, this life would have no purpose. So I know He is our Savior. I love you all and hope you are all doing well!
Elder Akins

Monday, April 14, 2014

General Conference and a Bible Bashing Baptist (AKA Preacher Dale)

Well I sure had some crazy stuff happen this week. One story in particular will have to wait until I get home. Lets just say it involves a crazy lady taking a bath in the park. But anyways, the highlight of the week was definately Conference. But before I begin my shpeal on that, I'll talk about our work here in Sorsogon. Pretty much our work is dead because everyone is on vacation, or avoiding us, take your pick. But thats ok, because me and Elder Vaki found the worlds greatest Golden Investigator this week. His name is Edwin Dugin. The Sisters in our District referred him to us after he read one of the Sisters PMG book. Anyways we went to him and we just talked to him about how families can be together forever and how God is our Loving Heavenly Father. After we asked him if he had any questions for us. Long story short we had an hour lesson answering his amazing questions. I'm pretty sure he read the whole PMG from what he was asking us haha. We invited him to Baptism at the end he accepted willingly. When I gave him a date he went over to his calender and circled the date with enthusiasm. Me and Vaki just looked at each other like, "This guys legit." He even asked us when we held our Church services before we even invited him haha and he even thought that we wouldn't be there, he thought he was ridin solo or something haha! He told us he would bring his 3 kids, but his wife he wasn't sure about. So he said he would talk to her to get her to listen to us. We are so stoked for this guy! Man he's awesome. But on the opposite side, we really got an earful from the man I like to call "Preacher Dale". We were tracting last week when we called on this one house and this lady walked out. We started to say we were Missionaries when she ran inside and called for someone. Then this big, fat white guy comes out and invites us in, without knowing who or what we are. Then he says to his wife,"Honey, get my Bible." Well come to find out he's a Baptist Preacher here. Straight up this guy is a Ronny if I ever met one. He threw out the ghettoist doctrine on us. Before he even started we knew what was gonna happen, so I told him our purpose wasn't to come here and compare doctrine and fight and stuff, we just wanted to share our message. But he went at it anyways. It was hard enough trying to teach in English, but all he wanted to do was get us mad or something. We had to just sit there and listen while he asked us dumb stuff. When he couldn't remember a scripture or something he brought his laptop out and started to look up who knows what so he could use that stuff on us haha. So ghetto. We just took it and didn't let it get to us...well I didn't. My comp is Tongan mind you so he was a little ticked off after we left. Haha but on Saturday and Sunday we got a boost from the REAL Church of Jesus Christ! And actually, Elder Holland's talk was pretty much directed at us haha so sick. He is such a powerful speaker. Besides that talk, I also really like Elder Eyrings talk about Heros. I loved how he related Joe DiMaggio. It made me think of some of my heros, especially of my neighborhood ones: Devin Gubler, Reggie Gates, and Austin Ovard. I used to envy those guys. Such studs. They played a big role in me serving a Mission, so I'd just like to give them a big thanks for all they've done for me. They are just a couple of my many heros. Also my Dad, I really look up to him. He has basically shaped me into what I am today, so a huge thanks to him. Love you Dad. I also loved Sister Linda S. Reeves talk, and of course Elder Bednar's talk. He convinced me of getting a 4x4 truck when I get home...big thanks to him. Well I love you all and am so grateful for all your prayers and support. Let us all strive to live what we have learned in this past General Conference to make this world a much better place! Have a great week!
Elder Akins
PS Manny Pacquio won against Bradley yesterday in 2 rounds I heard. Thats huge. I think thats why everyone left after the first Session of Conf. yesterday. Filipinos.