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