Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 28, 2013

Thank you for all your emails! It sounds like you're all doing well and staying busy, that's so awesome. Yes i would love to see a family picture! Even if the ones that catherine took that one time before Dave left on his mission, i would just really love to have a family picture! Jessica is coming here?! That's so exciting. I was so stoked when i saw in your emails that she has been assigned here in Bacolod. I'm so happy for her! Will definitely try to get in contact with her to give her some heads ups about our mission. How exciting!

This last week was so tiring. Every night kneeling down for prayer i just feel like i'm gonna fall asleep while i'm praying. But it was so great! I got to go on exchanges with the Assistants to the President, such a wonderful experience. I really learned about the importance of the Doctrine of Christ, and inviting investigators to be baptized in the very first lesson we have with them, testifying to them of the simple truths of being cleansed from their sins through this sacred ordinance that has been restored in full through the restoration. I worked with Elder Mifflin, he's from Utah, a great Elder! We also had a missionary fireside last week, which was a miracle! If i have time I'll send some pictures, but ah it was such a miracle. We had been planning for this since June, and we made so many preparations and stuff, we set a goal to have 65 people there. We spent so much time setting up, inviting people, all that kind of stuff! It was so much fun for me, because I was really able to apply my talents i acquired from student council. I felt like I was back again planning some party in student council! But it was so cool, the decorations looked great, and we had 60 people attend. Even though it was 5 short, Elder Borromeo and I were so satisfied with the Spirit that we felt and the joy we saw in everyones faces who attended. They told us usually the firesides in that ward in the past had attendances of like 15, maybe 20. But it just goes to show that 'you get what you go for'. It really testifies about agency, and the power God has given us to do anything which is expedient in Him. We also had 4 couple missionaries come! It was so awesome. One of them sang with me and Elder Borromeo 'I Believe in Christ' and one gave a talk that was so powerful about the Book of Mormon. The fireside was entitled, "The Book of Mormon- What? When? Why?" There was also a little girl named Mohonri, 10 years old, who gave an awesome talk on the Book of Mormon! She reminded me a lot of Demi, she's so awesome!

I also got to have an interview with President Lopez this last week. It was so amazing. I feel like whenever i step into his office and talk with him, i'm literally in a conversation with the Lord. He really loves you mom and dad, and thanks you for your support you've given to the Lords work here in Philippines Bacolod Mission. I asked him about what I should do coming home, whether to go straight to BYU or to stay back in AZ for a while. He said right after that, " I think you should go back to BYU, that's too great of an opportunity you don't want to miss." So that's what I'll be doing when I come back! I also talked to him about teaching in the Provo MTC when i got back, and he said its a very competitive field, but that he would make sure that I don't have a hard time getting in to teach there. So that's what I'm planning on! I'm so grateful for that interview i had with him, those plans about coming home had been bothering me for a while, now they're all settled out so i don't have to worry about them! Dad if you could email coach robinson at BYU, and our athletic director, i think her name is Jessica Mullen, just give them an update about me, and if there's anything we need to do before next year to get me all registered? THanks so much.

I know this church is true family! It's the same church Jesus Christ established from before, and has not changed and will not change no matter where we are. The Book of Mormon is proof of this church, and proof that God is a God of miracles, and our Loving Heavenly Father. I love you family, keep clinging to the rod of iron through your dilligent study of the Book of Mormon every day.

Elder Doane

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 21, 2013

Hello fam!
Thanks so much for all your emails, I love hearing stories and stuff they really give me a good laugh. Tell Devon I love him, and I'm sure he'll come back even skinnier than he is from his mission. Haha. But no dad I'm all good, I'll let you know if i need somethin thanks so much! 

This last week was just, i don't know i don't have words for it. It's been like a roller coaster here this last transfer in Manapla, with areas we're going to, members we're working with, trying to switch things around that have happened in the past, we've been so busy and so challenged this transfer! But I just want to tell you about a miracle that happened this last week.

Sister Merlie Arcano is one of our investigators, who is just on fire. And the reason is, she loves the Book of Mormon. She says she can not live a day without reading the Book of Mormon, and she's currently in Helaman with her reading right now. Every lesson we have with her is just so powerful, its like Heavenly Father has already revealed the restored Gospel to her through her own personal study rather than we having to teach it to her. This last saturday the 20th of July was her scheduled baptism. But her husband has been having some serious health problems, and they were extremely concerned with him. The last visit we had with them she said she was going to take brother to the hospital, and she was scared it might disturb her baptism on saturday because no one else could stay with brother. But she said, "I will be there Elders, i won't let anything stop me."

So we were still faithful that the baptism would go through. We went saturday, set up the room, filled the font, and were so excited for Sister Arcano to make this sacred covenant with her Heavenly Father. After we set up, we went over to her house to check how she was, because we hadn't seen her in a few days, and she wasn't home. Her daughter was there, and told us that brother is in terrible condition and sister arcano was the only one watching over him. She said she was so sorry, but the baptism would not go through for that day.\

Walking away from that, I had no idea what to feel. We had been working so hard, trying to give it all we had in every aspect of our work, and yet another thing fell through? We went back to the church, and talked about what we could do. It was about 1pm, and the baptism was supposed to be at 3pm. Sister was 2 hours away in Bacolod watching over brother, and we didn't know whether to take it all down, or leave it. So we got down and prayed to Heavenly Father and really asked for guidance. After our prayers and scripture reading, we felt that everything would work out, somehow, whether the baptism fell through or not.

3 and 330pm came around, and not even one member besides the speakers showed up, neither did Sister Arcano. So we decided to take everything down, and just reschedule for next week. But the thing is, we were okay with it. The Spirit of the Lord really comforted us and just said not to worry. So we went back home to finish our studies and proselyte for the rest of the day. Until around 530pm, the phone buzzed, and i got a text that said.. "Elder, ari di c sister.. gusto ya magpabunyag sbng.. dali na kay gahulat sya." Which means, "Elders sister is here, and she wants to be baptized. Hurry and get over here because she's waiting on you." We jumped up from our study tables, and hurried over to the church, and found Sister Arcano there, crying with her face in her hands. There was also 2 or 3 members, sitting right next to her comforting her and really 'mourning with those that mourn' like in Mosiah 18. When we sat down and talked with her, she told us about her crazy day, with brothers condition being terrible, with no one else there to watch over him. She called brothers siblings, and told them they needed to get over to bacolod because she was going to be baptized that day, and right when they got there, she booked it to Manapla. There was so much traffic, and she said she really felt like something was trying to stop her from being baptized that day.

So we set  up the baptism again, sister got in her baptismal suit, and she was baptized on july 20th, 6pm. As the baptism was going on, I was in tears, could not believe with my mortal eyes what was happening. I saw a miracle as a consequence of the faith of one of Heavenly Fathers' daughters, and her choosing to act and not be acted upon. As she shared her testimony, she said she knew that this is where she needed to be, she knew the Book of Mormon is true, and she prays that she can bring her whole family into the church.

God is a God of miracles. I testify of that, because i witnessed it on Saturday. I know He loves us all, because He speaks to us through His prophets in these latter days. And He will prepare a way for us to keep the commandments. Don't believe me? Ask Sister Merlie Arcano.

I love you family. I pray for you every night. Keep holding to the rod of iron, the words of our beloved prophets.

Elder Doane

Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 14,2013

Hey family,

Thank you for your emails, it sounds like you all had a good time over in Cali. 115? That sounds scorching! I don't know how I'm going to bear that, I'm so used to rain here in the Phillies I'll probably die back there at home! But I'm glad you all had a good time. Sounds like the Dave Dem and Drake are all staying busy as well even if it's summer, that's good. Haha moms letters are so awesome! Does she know she's typing in all caps every email? Haha, but I really love them, thanks so much mom for your inspiring words. I don't need anything, doing well! I'm good on shoes, I actually got some from a previous missionary who went home, I use them for my dress shoes on sundays. Its a real blessing from the Lord!

Wow the work is so challenging/rewarding. This really is God's work you know, His work and His glory! We are really trying to work through the members here in Manapla, we really have a great hope that through the Book of Mormon we can soften their hearts to help them have a desire to share the Gospel. We have seen many successes with it so far, we received one really solid referral last week that has great potential to be baptized! Her name is Michelle, she's 18, and she's a studying secretary in college. She's very learned as well. The first lesson we taught her we just really focused on how to begin teaching in Preach My Gospel, asking her questions and listening to what's important to her life. The Spirit was so present in that lesson. As she shared her feelings with us, we took what she said and testified of Gospel truths she highlighted, and just added on to what she knew with the message of the Restoration, especially focusing on the Book of Mormon. She said she is so excited to learn and understand more about the Book of Mormon, she also has a less active cousin he said she is going to return back to the church too just to help Michelle gain a testimony. How cool no? Heavenly Father really does prepare ways for His children to come back to Him.

I really have a testimony of asking questions and listening. Lots of times we have things we want to teach, we're so excited to just let it out of our mouths and expect everyone to listen to us. But first, we must show others how much we care about them, by asking questions, and listening, really finding out whats important to them first, and then out of pure love, we can take those Gospel truths that they are already familiar with from the pre existence, and add unto them with our unique message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We must teach others the way Christ did, through love. That is the way we will build our house on that rock, the sure foundation of our Redeemer who is Christ. If we stick to our own knowledge and wisdom, we will surely fall, just like the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. Primary songs are the best huh? They really do testify of eternal truths. Well family I know the Book of Mormon is true. I have seen it's power, and am still witnessing it to this day. As it changes my life, and the lives of others, I'm gaining a stronger testimony of it every single day, and through that, I'm gaining a greater testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and through that, I'm gaining a greater testimony of our church, the one and only true church upon this earth. How blessed are we! Keep the work going family, pray for opportunities to share the Gospel, and they will be given unto you. Give referrals to the missionaries! They need you! The Lord needs you. I love you so much, thank you so much for all your love and support, you guys are the best family i could ever ask for.

Elder Doane