Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24, 2013


I got the packages! I know, super early right? Sorry i couldn't wait to open them though. I just want to say, THANK YOU SO MUCH! Those packages really really helped me out, especially the new shirts and ties. I don't know but all my stuff was just getting old. I wore the new long sleeve on monday and it felt so good! I gave Elder Peralta one of the ties as well and he was so happy! It was great. The Mac and cheese is the best as well. Even if you send him like 25 dollars that would be great, that amounts to a lot here. But they're so great! I should be good now till the end of the mission with these shirts, thank you so much.

I actually got a new companion last week, Elder Sablan! He's from seattle washington, but he actually grew up here in the Philippines. He's such a great elder, so humble and ready to perform miracles here in Bacolod 3rd. Also Elder Wilstead is here in Bacolod 3rd with Elder Peralta! They are both the new assistants, so theres 4 of us now due to how large our mission is. We have about 265 missionaries, it's a big family! I hope you all remember Elder Wilstead, he was my companion in the MTC! So it's great to live in the same house as him again, and to work side by side as well, he has really grown a ton on his mission and i'm so happy for him.

Last week we were super busy with orientations for new missionaries, trainings, and work! We were still able to put out great key indicators last week even though we were super busy, the Lord really blessed our work with miracles! Also Jenny Rose was baptized! She's a 9 year old part member, and her testimony is so strong. Her prayers sound like she has a great relationship with Heavenly Father, so it's been a blessing to teach her.

Elder Sablan talked and really decided what would be our goals and things here in bacolod 3rd as a companionship, and in the next couple of months we want to have 18 baptisms! I know the Lord will qualify us to find those 18 people He is preparing right now, because I know we can do it through His enabling power. Elder Sablan and I have a goal to 'make every day a miraculous day', and we know we can only do that through exact obedience and being humble. The Lord has already shown us so many miracles in our short time being together. We have many exchanges this week with zone leaders, we're going to be able to go out and exchange with zone leaders 3 times a week now since there can always be 2 missionaries left in our area now, i'm so excited! I have really prayed and fasted about what i need to share to these zone leaders, and the Lord has revealed to me what I need to do. I'm so excited to be an instrument in His hands to help these missionaries come unto Christ and continue to hasten His work!

Ether 12:4 really has had an impact on me lately, relating it to myself as a missionary. If i have faith in Jesus Christ, and obey, i can surely hope for a better world (world meaning my own personal proselyting area). And as long as i'm doing so, i can expect to be 'sure' and 'steadfast' that i will be 'always abounding in good works'! The Lord will give me the work He needs done as long as i show my faith in Him and obey. I know that's true, I see Him living in our area each day. I am so grateful to be here in the mission with President Lopez at this time. Every mission is different, the Lord runs His work in different ways according to the circumstances, and I'm so happy for all those full time missionaries out serving the Lord across the world, i know the Lord will continue to guide His work, and it will never end. I love you family, and may we all continue to be that light that Jesus Christ commands us to be in 3 Nephi 12, I know others will see that light and desire it!

Elder Doane

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 17,2013

Dear Family,

Sorry I was not able to email this morning! WE ACTUALLY JUST HAD 17 MISSIONARIES COME IN FROM TACLOBAN MISSION and we got to make all the arrangements for sleeping, transfers, and had a FANTASTIC orientation meeting with them today! The Spirit they brought was so powerful, them having gone through what they went through, they all said they felt so loved here in our mission, and they will be here until further notice. I love them all so much! It was such a great opportunity to welcome them here..

Thank you so much for all your emails, they're just so wonderful and uplifting. I really have my testimony strengthened every week that Heavenly Father can take care of you all better than i can, so I leave that to Him and focus on His work and His glory here in Bacolod. I was so touched deeply to my heart when Demi shared that story about the less active beehive they visited, and her whole family returning, i cried. Demi, you're a special spirit, you really gotta keep sharing the gifts Heavenly Father has given you with everyone, and you will keep to see miracles like those!  Mom thank you as well, i really appreciate all of the work you do on the blog. I'm trying to take pictures, but really the only pictures i have are of baptisms, i will try to if i can find some other opportunities! Have you been friends with President Lopez yet? He wants to be friends with all the parents on facebook, thats the way he contacts and keeps in touch with them. Marlo Lopez. Search him and friend him to keep updated with the mission and stuff.

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Family, last week was the most amazing week of my mission. If I were to tell you everything right now i would be on this computer for hours.. but i just want to share a short part. LAST WEEK ELDER PERALTA AND I SET SOME HIGH GOALS FOR OUR KEY INDICATORS, BECAUSE PRESIDENT TOLD ALL THE ZONE LEADERS "YOU NEED TO BE THE MOST FAITHFUL MSSIONAIRIES IN YOUR ZONES ELDERS!" AND ELDER PERALTA AND I WERE IN THE BACK THINKING, "THAT MEANS, WE NEED TO BE THE MOST FAITHFUL MISSIONAIRIES IN THE WHOLE MISSION."  and Elder Peralta and I were in the back thinking, "That means, we need to be the most faithful missionaries in the whole mission." And last week, we really qualified ourselves. We set such high goals and kept each other accountable for these goals each day we went on exchanges, were training missionaries, and teaching and finding investigators. As the week was coming close to a close.. i felt the adversary trying his best to stop us. I literally felt him pulling me down with every bit of his power. On saturday during my personal study, i felt this sickness coming on, and after a few hours it got really bad. My energy was drained, i had pretty bad diarrhea, and my head was hurting me. I went to go lay down, thinking i wasn't going to be able to work that day! Meaning we probably couldn't reach our goals. But then the elders next door and my companion gave me a blessing, and i felt the most comforting feeling, that i could work. I really asked Heavenly Father for strength in my prayers, and headed out the door to hit the streets. As we were walking, teaching investigators, and attended our baptism, my body was just done for. It was like i had nothing left. But my desire to achieve our goals was too great to let my body stop me. Then coming sunday we were late to our dinner with the new missionaries at the mission home because we had to go to one more appointment. WE TEXTED PRESIDENT, "SORRY WE'LL BE LATE PRESIDENT, WE GOTTA REACH OUR GOALS!" He said it was no problem. Then, we did it. I HAD MY TESTIMONY CONFIRMED TO ME, THAT THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST LITERALLY ENABLES US TO DO MORE THAN WE CAN DO ON OUR OWN. There's no way that I could have gone out to work that day if it weren't for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I would have no hope to grasp on to, no reason to get up out of bed and work. But because He performed the Atonement, I had all the reason and more to get up, and get out the door. 

I read a verse of scripture that day in my personal study right before i got sick, and it can be read in Mosiah 15: 5-8... 'the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the Father.' The Savior overcame His flesh, even unto death. Even when He was suffering in the garden, or on the cross, He did not take the easy way out and let Himself die. He said no, and His love for His Father drove Him to endure all of those pains, even until He himself commended His Spirit to the Father. How beautiful, no? I know the Atonement is real family. I have seen all these people we're teaching come closer to Christ, and as they do, I realize I am as well. I know the Book of Mormon is true. This is the only true church on the face of the earth, i mean there's no question. Thank you for raising me in the correct way, always pointing me to the Savior. I love you all so much.

Elder Doane

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 10, 2013

Dear Family,

YES I'M SAFE, EVERTHING IS FINE HERE IN BACOLOD. The storm went by us, but it really did not touch anything here in Bacolod City, IT WAS TRULY A MIRACLE. Some of the brethren at church said it didn't make sense how the scary part of the storm didn't hit our city, it literally just didn't. I know it's because of the prayers of the faithful, and thank you so much for all of your prayers family and friends, so many people were blessed because of your faithfulness.

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So much to say so little time. This last week we stayed inside for a few days because of the typhoon, we weren't affected that much but we were kept in to be safe. It gave me lots of time to get caught up on some records and our area book it was really nice. Sister Jifany Cordero was baptized as well! Her 2 older sisters were baptized 2 weeks ago, and they were the speakers at her baptism, it was so great the messages they shared. We also got to go around saturday and help people who had things break on their houses and what not, it was a great opportunity to go about doing good. There was not damage in our area, most of it is up north towards cadiz city, but the missionaries are all okay over there. That's actually where i came from in my last area. We also had Mission Leadership Council, and Elder Peralta and I gave a training on the converting power of the Book of Mormon. I wish you could have attended family, because that training was not from Elder Peralta and I, I know it was from God. Even I myself was amazed at the things Heavenly Father revealed to us when we were spending the time studying, preparing and praying. I actually had a different message prepared to share with you all, but I'LL SHARE THE ONE ABOUT THE CONVERTING POWER OF THE BOOK OF MORMON INSTEAD.

You know, we know a lot of things as human beings. We know the sky is blue, we know macaroni and cheese tastes good, we know concrete is hard, we know flowers smell good, etc. But how did we come to know these things? Of course the answer is, through our senses. We saw the sky, we tasted the macaroni, we touched the concrete, we smelled the flowers, etc. But how did we come to know the Book of Mormon was true?... Through the power of the Holy Ghost. As members of this church, we are blessed with the opportunity to have the 6th sense, the right to have the Holy Ghost with us as long as we are worthy. Through that sense, we can come to know the truth of all things (Mor. 10:5). This is step 1 in coming to know the converting power of the Book of Mormon, we need to read, ponder, and pray to know through the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true.

And when we come to know that Book is true, what is it really that we're coming to know? Is is just the fact that the book is true? That Joseph Smith is a true prophet? That this church is true? The answer is yes, of course, to all those, but the main thing that we're coming to know is, that He lives. Jesus Christ is our Savior, and He lives and guides His church in these latter days through a living prophet. That's why step 2 is, coming to know Jesus Christ through the Book of Mormon. So many times i saw myself focusing on Joseph Smith when i taught the Book of Mormon to others, focusing on them coming to know that He was a prophet. But i forgot, and the Lord reminded me again, that the Book of Mormon is centered on the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and one will come to know Him and His teachings by reading pondering and praying about that Book. It truly is another testament of Jesus Christ.

And as we come to know Jesus Christ, we literally draw nearer to God. As we begin to understand and live the principles inside that Book, we will begin to draw near to Him and literally become like Him. Think about Lehi's dream, there was no one who made it to the tree of life, except they grabbed onto and clung to the rod of iron. As Elder Peralta and I gave this training, i just bore my testimony to my fellow servants, and told them, 'Elders and Sisters, I know, that Jesus Christ lives. And I came to know that, through the Book of Mormon. I testify that this Book is true, and through it, the Lord changed me.' Family i bear my testimony that the Book of Mormon is true. It is literal evidence that Jesus Christ lives, and that God is our loving Heavenly Father. The Lord really did change my through that Book, and continues to change me even until this very moment. Everywhere Elder Peralta and I go, we have a Book of Mormon in our hands, testifying that Jesus Christ lives. WE NEED TO COME TO LOVE THIS BOOK! MAKE IT OUR BEST FRIEND! BECAUSE IF WE DO, WE WILL MAKE IT TO THE TREE OF LIFE, AND PARTAKE OF THE FRUIT OF ETERNAL LIFE, GOD'S GREATEST GIFT. I love you so much family, i will never forget seeing that picture of all of you at the temple together, that is forever engraved in my mind and heart.

Elder Doane