Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 26, 2014

Hello Family!

Thank you for the emails it's so good to know that you're all doing so well!

Elder Perez & Elder Doane having fun with Mark Decena's family!

Last week was a very successful week in Cauayan. We're so busy every single day with teaching and finding people to help them progress towards baptism. The Lord is really helping me to understand what it means to have hope, and to have charity and love for Him. True charity is the pure love of Christ, which if attained we will avoid all negative thoughts and feelings. That's something that I've really been battling with here, and so far been victorious! With every area that I've been assigned in
, I could find the negative in all of those areas, but I just choose to not look for it.
Here in Cauayan, I could find all the negative things I wanted to, but I just choose to find the positive things. Every sunday when we see the members, my companion and I just smile and are the happiest people in the world, complimenting members and supporting our branch leaders, because that's what Christ would do. Jesus Christ did not seek out the negative in people, He did not focus on our weaknesses, but He saw the potential in people, and brought that out of them! It's something the Lord is really teaching me here, and I know is going to be a blessing to my life.

Mark Decenas Baptism!
The Lord has been providing so many ready people for the Gospel here, one of them being brother Mark Disena. His baptism is on Demi's birthday, February 15th! He's a son of a recent convert. His testimony and desire to share the Gospel is so great, and he's not even baptized yet! He's even came to other appointments with us and shared his testimony, it's so amazing. Last week he fell off of a 13-14 foot coconut tree when he was climbing to get down coconuts. He landed on his feet hard, and his right foot swelled up really bad the night before Sunday. When we visited him, he said, "Cgi lng Elder ah! Masimba man ko gihapon ah!" Which means, "It's alright Elder, I'm still coming to church!" 

Come Sunday, he comes in hopping on one foot, with his member fellowshipper next to him helping him in. Mark showed his desire to follow Jesus Christ, no matter what the natural man inside of him said, or what others said, he followed his Savior.

As members, even non members, we can always find excuses to not keep the commandments. We can always find a way to sneak out of attending activities, miss meetings, etc. But a true saint, always finds an excuse to keep the commandments of God, to always attend activities, to always attend meetings, etc. We need to "put off the natural man, and become a saint (Mosiah 3:19), submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him." There are emergencies, and the Lord will understand those situations, but may we always find excuses to keep the commandments and choose the right, even when the opposition states otherwise!

Family I love this mission, being in the Lord's service has changed my life so much! I've come to know better my Savior Jesus Christ. Being 19 months now just motivates me to move faster, work smarter, and build my faith more in the Lord. Never doubt yourselves! Ye are divine offspring of the Almighty God! I love you all!

Elder Doane

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 19, 2014

Dearest Family,

So good to hear from you all, sounds like everyone is doing well, especially Dave at BYUI! That's exciting. This time has been so great at Cauayan, it's almost been a week! Unbelievable.

Elder Doane eager to
work in Cauayan!!!

Right when i got to Cauayan I just went in the house searching for our names we had prepared for baptism. I didn't see many, and could tell we had some work to do! My new comp. is Elder Perez, he's so great! He's been in the field almost a year now, he's from Cavete Philippines. The first thing i said to him was, "Elder, I don't expect anything from you except exact obedience." And good thing, that was his same expectation for me. The first few days we had to work in Cauayan really does testify that exact obedience brings miracles. We found 27 new investigators last week, and 21 of them who we are preparing for baptism in the next coming months! The branch members are so nice, and so loving. Our branch president, President, Himaya, is amazing! He's the most humble person i've met, and when i met him for the first time i was so excited i almost jumped on him. But I'm so excited to work with him. President Lopez says he sent me down here to really sustain the work, and to keep it from falling, because that's what it was looking like a couple of weeks ago. With looking at last week's key indicators, I'm sure the Lord will keep this area solid and help it to grow through Elder Perez and I.

We had a baptism last week too! Sister Albesa, she is so amazing. At first she would never listen to missionaries, but then she said she was just so touched by the Spirit that the old missionaries brought into her home, and she could not deny it. Her husband and son came to see the baptism as well, and they loved it. They will also be baptized in the coming months!

I was studying in 3 Nephi 9 last week, and the Savior said, "O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?... Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life." Here the Savior is inviting me, as His servant, to repent and come unto Him. He is asking me to return unto Him! Meaning, I literally need to turn myself 180 degrees, and come back to Him. I must become converted to His Gospel, changing my ways to fit in with His, and He will heal me. Then He promises.. Elder Doane, if you will come unto me, ye shall have eternal life. What does eternal life mean to me?

Eternal means never ending, or it could even mean, 'weekly'. Life? What is life for me in the mission? Well I know that my missionary purpose is my heart. And life is measured by the 'heartbeat' of a person. So life is my 'heart beat'. Meaning He will give me a weekly heartbeat here in my mission. Centered to my purpose is baptism, and every time I have a baptism, my heart beats.

The Savior is literally promising me here weekly baptisms, if I will repent and come unto Him. I need to drink that part of the bitter cup, and He will work through me as His servant, to keep a 'steady heartbeat' all the way throughout my mission! I know these things are from God my dear family, I know He will qualify me to do this work as i qualify myself! We may ask ourselves, what is our 'heartbeat'? Is it worldly things that we're relying on to live? Is it money? Is it work? Or is it our Savior Jesus Christ, who promises to give us milk and honey without price.

I know this church is true! Every time someone tells me it isn't it only makes my testimony stronger. I love you family!

Elder Doane

A BIG ELDER, under a BIG TREE, with an even BIGGER HEART!!! 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 12, 2014

Dearest Family,

Thanks for all the emails! Sounds like you're all excited to see some football here in the future, that's great. Yes President Lopez was actually the reason why I got the desire to play, he really made me realize the blessings the Lord's given me and how I haven't been using it to the best of it's ability. That's fine about telling people i don't mind! Thanks for the email of Coach Tidwell, i will contact him soon here about what i need to do. I hope i won't have to come home a transfer early. I'm okay on money dad no worries, sorry i just had to spend some to get some things i needed like pants and what not. So good to hear that you're all doing well! Especially with you mom and dad sharing the Gospel! And Demi as well! The temple is such a great opportunity to share the Gospel, so great! I also emailed Sister Angela from BYU about registration, she'll be helping me out. Thanks so much for the help and support!

Well the work in Bacolod 3rd Ward is just on fire, we have baptisms lined up through March, and the Lord is really providing people to us as we continue to stay humble. He really taught Elder Sablan and I a big lesson of prioritizing things this last weekend, and we learned a lot from it. I've just grown so close to this ward as i've been here for 6 months, love the members and especially all the converts here. We had a meeting with President today, and i'll be transferring out to Sipalay Zone, Cauayan Branch! It's the farthest area in the mission from Bacolod, out by the beaches and stuff. I won't be serving as an assistant anymore, but i just told President thank you so much for the opportunity to serve so close to him, he has truly influenced my life in an eternal way. He said he has a special assignment for me out there to sustain the work, and bring back unity into the ward members and leaders, and i know the best way to do that is through baptizing! I have big goals and visions for this area, and i'm so excited to work. I know I need to approach this humbly and prayerfully, and I really pray that the Lord will work through us over there in Cauayan. I'll be heading out there Wednesday, so i'm way excited! I won't be able to see Sister Judd, but I told the Elders to say hi for me :) I'm sure i'll see her before I head out!

Being this far in my mission, i've gone through so many things, different experiences and trials that have stretched me, and it's just a miracle coming this far. I remember Nephi in the 1st chapter of the Book of Mormon says, 'I will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen.' I truly testify to this. Throughout my mission i've made so many mistakes, and i know i'm not the most skilled missionary in the world, but through His infinite mercy He hath seen it fit to snatch me from an everlasting hell, and to use me as His instrument in bringing about this great work in these last days. It's so amazing to be a part of the Lord 'setting his hand a second time' in gathering His sheep and bringing them into the fold. Whenever I read Moroni 7:33, it just pushes me and tells me, I can do anything. And I know it's true through experience. So this upcoming week, when i come to Cauayan, I know I can achieve Our Vision in that area, through my faith in Jesus Christ. My companion will play a key role in that as well, I know i have so much to learn from him! My companions are the only reason i've had success in my mission, and I know each and every one of them were prepared by the Lord for me to be able to work with them. Family just always remember that through faith in Jesus Christ, we can do anything. We need not doubt our potential, as long as something persuades us to do good, we should go for it, petal to the metal. I know this work is God's work! And He qualifies whom He calls. I love you all!

Elder Doane

Sunday, January 5, 2014

January 5, 2014


Thank you so much for all the emails! I can't tell you all how happy i am for Davis getting to BYUI, he's just gonna love it there! The Lord really has something in store for Him there. So great as well he's with Colton. Wow things sounded really busy there for a second, that's good that the kids were able to have a good time off school for a while. That's something i want to do a lot when i get home, is spend a lot more time with you family! We gotta go somewhere or do something, and just us! That's something I've gained a desire for here in the mission, to spend more time with you as my family because before I was always never home. Sorry I've been spending money dad, i'm trying to keep it down i'm just getting some things i need like pants and other things so i don't have to get a package sent here again, they cost so much. But i'm all good now! One of the members here is making up some pants for me, they're cheap too! Just let me know my balance that'd be great.

New Years Baptism of Paula & Desire,
they're both cousins! 
Well this last week was so fantastic. The work is just progressing so much, Elder Sablan is such a blessing to me on my mission at this time. We had a new years baptism! It was so great, Sister Paula and Desire, they're both cousins. We also got to give a training about The Role of the Holy Ghost in Conversion at our trainers follow up training, it was so fantastic. I get to learn so much more through giving trainings, i really have a testimony that the Lord works through imperfect people to accomplish His purposes. I got to have an interview with President last week, as we had some transfers to deal with in the mission, it was such a sacred and uplifting experience. I told him, "President, anytime i get to have a one on one with you I treat it as if I'm having a one on one with the Lord." He just understands his calling so deeply, and lives according to that understanding. Such a powerful and dedicated servant of the Lord. He thanked me for my service as his assistant, and let me know that the time is close for me to be transferred, he says the area i'll be going to is a hard area, that really needs a turning around. I'm so excited! I want to testify to all people that it's not the area where your assigned, but it depends on the missionaries on how successful they will become.

Elder Doane & Elder Sablan, at their last baptism baptism together!
Doane said, "I hope this picture shows how much
I love Elder Sablan"! 

I also asked him some advice about preparing to come home, and I won't tell you everything we talked about, but can I just say I know he represented the Lord in those short 10 minutes. After talking with President and spending much time praying, I've decided i'm going to play football for BYU when i get home. I know it's the will of the Lord for me. He's blessed me with this gigantic body, and this athletic ability, and i haven't been using it to it's full potential! But I plan to play when i get home, and my main goal is to make it to the NFL. I know when you hear that right now you're going to think i'm crazy, but I know I can do it. My testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is too strong for me to not make that as my goal, because I know I can magnify my calling and be a light to others if I were to make it somewhere like that in life. Think of all the people I could influence and help to receive the Gospel! President Lopez said, "Elder Doane, if you want to help establish the Lord's kingdom, you need to work outside His kingdom and bring people in!" That struck my heart, and knew that this is where the Lord wants me to go in order to bring forth His marvelous works and wonders!

You're probably struck in awe right now, I was too before, but now I'm just too excited to go where the Lord wants me to go. I know revelation is true family, and the Lord will guide us in our path if we are humble, willing to submit to His will! I love you all so much, and love this Gospel!

Elder Doane