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.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Sorsogon Life

Hey everyone! The work here in Sorsogon is going great! I'm loving it! We are starting to gain some good investigators from 2 weeks worth of tracting and contacting referrals. Lots of walking haha. One day while tracting me and Elder Vaki were walking past these old peoples house that were sittin out front on the porch. He asked me if we wanted to tract it. I said sure. One of our strategies is to ask for random people, then when they don't know them we just go right in on who we are and just kinda open the door that way. Well I sarcastically said to my comp,"Ask for Frodo Baggins haha." He really did it. I couldn't help but pretend to be coughing while he talked to them. Then, while looking confused, they asked if he was a kid. My comp then brought his hand to about stomach height and told them he was about this tall. I started coughing again. We left a pamphlet with them and got a return appointment. Man it was funny. He kept it straight the whole time. Some other good news, we got one of our awesome investigators to come to Church, Jene Carlo. Hes an 18 year old kid and wants to join our Church and has even talked to us about serving a Mission! The rest are still kinda new so we haven't gotten them to come yet. Hopefully next week! We've also got a lot of less-actives to come to Church. One is Brother Arnold. He has been LA for almost 30 years. Last week he had a near death experience and survived so he took that as a 2nd chance that God had given him. In our first lesson with him he broke down and cried and told us how bad he wanted to change. It was an awesome lesson. He told us he wants to return to the Temple with his family too. After planning the other day we had some time before bed. My comp is way good at singing and stuff so we randomly made a song...its called "Living The Santa Clara Way". I'll have to show ya when I get home . . . hopefully I can learn Guitar when I get back too so I can play it haha. Oh and this week I finally touched a Piano after 5 years of just lookin at them in disgust. I played the right hand of some songs just messing around so I thought I was doing pretty good. I should've kept playing, my bad Mom haha. And the last and greatest thing that happened this week was Breakfest the other day...I finally had Bacon with some Eggs after 6 months. Me and Vaki saved up our money so we could buy good! And General Conference is this week, so stoked! Love you guys! I'm excited to hear about all the Mission calls that are coming in! Good luck to you guys! Ingat kayo!
Elder Akins