My dear family,
A few more thoughts for the email. So much good happened this week:
1. Marinduque. A really, really good tradition has sorta sprung up in the Philippines San Pablo mission. On one of their last Sundays in the field, missionaries are often granted permission to go to church in an area they loved. A few weeks ago I walked into President's office and sat down, fumbling for words as I said, "President.. I have a request." He responded sorta jokingly, "No, elder, you cannot go to Naga Mission." haha. We laughed, and I asked if I could go to Marinduque even though it is pretty far away. He responded something like, "Absolutely YES. I think it is a great thing to go back to an area. I am 100% supportive of that, elder." So we went.
We left on Saturday morning from the office around 8:30am. Pretty much everything that happened from that moment until 3:30pm when we got home today was a miracle. We caught just the right bus direct to the port, got on the right boat and started the journey. The ZLs there (Elder Guyer and Orro) picked us up from the port and ate with us at Brother Noel's restaurant in Boac. We eventually made it back to Gasan and started the weekend. I think the feeling I felt as we drove around the island was very.. normal. I just felt like I was at home again. Until we rolled up to the church! It happened to be institute time and a few leaders were there with the YSA and youth. Those faces were priceless when I saw them and they saw me and we had a happy reunion.
Even better was the visit to my families. We visited the following families this weekend: Mogol, Madriaga, Salvacion, Luci, Sotto, Julao. I really do love these members. You remember the Madriaga family, right? They were my first "completed family" for the year. They haven't quite made it to the temple, but continue to progress in the Gospel. We talked about their goals as a family and I felt inspired to set a new goal with them for the temple. June 2013. Brother just accepted a new calling. That is so good! Meeting with these saints was precious time. Time, in fact, seemed to stand still as we discussed their progression and desires, and the Gospel. The Spirit was upon us and with us, and it felt good.
I was having second thoughts on Friday if I would go, thinking that I might be needed here in Alaminos. President's words, however, reassured me of the great blessing it would be to me and to the members in Gasan. And what a blessing it was! Nothing could have been better than to see them continuing in the paths of righteousness.
2. Mission Tour. Elder Ardern of the Quorum of the Seventy visited our mission for the week. That was a very special experience as well, for we were invited to eat with him and President on Tuesday evening before the zone conferences started. He is very personable, and is always teaching. I believe he is one of the master teachers. I have notes written, but will not send them at this time.
I guess that's all for now.. We're pretty busy this week. We are moving 2 sets of sisters to new apartments, going apartment hunting, have new missionary training and zone leaders' council, and that's just in our free time. I hope to be able to teach a lot. I love teaching. Maybe we can teach each other next week, it is a great way to stay in tune with the Gospel. The Gospel is true. It is found in this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We are led by a prophet of God. God has a plan for us, and He loves us. His Son is Jesus Christ, our Savior.
I love you all,
Elder Trevor Todd Brown
ps, i was admittedly not as diligent at getting pictures this weekend. It wasn't really on the top of my priority list, I was too absorbed in being with the people I love. Luckily my companion took a few pictures for us. These are from his camera.
- I have blessed two babies in Gasan Branch (one is the one on the left), and helped in the blessing of the other baby in this pic. Also with us is Kenneth, my last baptism there.
- The members after Church. Most had already gone home before I realized a picture would be nice.
- BROTHER NOEL! He is a really good friend.
- Madriaga family. I blessed their granddaughter (not pictured, but in the room).
- My companion at the house. I wanted a picture of the house.. It was the dream.