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