Sunday, February 23, 2014

February 23, 2014

Dear Family!
Thank you for your emails! I'm so happy to know you're all okay and happy! I'm doing great! I don't need anything, I was able to find some shoes last week which was a miracle. So no worries at all!

Our area is becoming Zion! Every time we sing hymn 44 we replace the work Zion with Cauayan (Kuh-WHY-an). It's our theme song! Our area really is becoming a model for all other missionaries, and we're just a regular companionship out in the middle of nowhere! I just really testify that the Lord will qualify to do His work, wherever we are, no matter what has happened in the past. We should not be like Lot's wife, and look back, but we should be like the prophets of old, looking forward to the day of their redemption when the Savior should come to save His people.
Elder Perez is just such a blessing to me. He knows how to let the Spirit just take him over, and speak for him. The Gifts of the Spirit are so manifest in our work, and I love being his companion! He's also a very talented singer and sketcher, and he uses it to his best ability in teaching and helping others feel the Spirit. I feel so blessed! We aren't the same person, we have different likes, but we are true brothers through the work, the work brings us so close together, I love him!
The Lauzon family is doing so well! They've came to church 3 times in a row now, and they'll be baptized March 22. Their kids just love church, and the Book of Mormon. Their dad will be receiving a calling here soon as well, our new branch president is on the ball! His name is President Tolentino, he's gone through so much in his life, and he's truly a disciple of Christ who follows the small whisperings of the Spirit.
A lot of missionaries would ask, "How do I find new investigators?" "How do i teach effectively?" "How do I baptize?" I've gotten that question so many times on exchanges, and my response to them is always, "Well Elder I'm not a very skilled missionary, I don't know Preach My Gospel back to back, I didn't memorize the whole Book of Mormon.. but I know how to obey the Lord. Start with exact obedience, and the Lord will teach you how to do everything else." Obedience has become the foundation of my life. When I obey, I have hope and confidence that the Lord will guide me throughout the day, that He will introduce me to His children that are waiting for the Gospel, that He will teach me how to teach effectively, and how to baptize, even every week. I say nothing to boast of myself, but I say all these things to boast of our loving Heavenly Father. If we are ever in doubt, or questioning 'How do I do this?" Just obey. Then the Holy Ghost will come upon us and guide us to paths of success, just like Nephi when he went back to Jerusalem for the plates. Sometimes we're going to have to do things that we're not used to, like when Nephi slayed Laban, but I know He will guide us and comfort us as long as we are seeking for His glory! May the work press forward!! I love you all!

Elder Doane

Sunday, February 9, 2014

February 9, 2014

Dear Family,

Thanks so much for all of your emails. Those stories about Drake just crack me up! I'm excited as well to get to spend time with him. Sounds like the family is all doing so well, I'm so happy. The Lord really blesses us according to our sacrifices. I don't need anything, I'm just going to buy some new shoes today because the ones i bought in November are already worn out! Haha, hopefully I can find some sturdy ones, I'm sure they'll have some.

This last week was another testimony that through our sacrifices the Lord will bless us. Elder Perez and I are living up to the expectations of our callings as representatives of Jesus Christ. Like it says in Luke 14:33, we can not call ourselves disciples unless we are willing to give up everything. We had high goals last week, and even though we had some training from our zone leaders, and a branch activity friday night, we improved yet again in our key indicators. We had 12 investigators at sacrament meeting! The first 2 weeks we had about 3, but I know the Lord is teaching me that I can not do His work unless I'm willing to abide with Him and His will through sacrifice. We have our first baptism together, this saturday, on DEMI'S BIRTHDAY! Feb 15th! His name is Mark Decena, he's 15 years old. So excited!

That family i told you about last week, the Lauzon Family, are doing so well. We've been really focusing on sister Lauzon, who is the wife of a less active member, and helping her have a spiritual experience with the Book of Mormon. Then on Saturday, while we were teaching her, she expressed something to us.

She kept sharing that she prayed, and she felt alright, but was still doubting about Joseph Smith being a prophet and what not. Being a catholic, these things were very new to her. But there was just something in her face that was telling Elder Perez and I differently. Once Sister expressed those things again, my companion said to her, "Sister, we believe in the gifts of the Spirit. And the Spirit is convincing me that last night you prayed, and you felt something for sure testify to you that these things are true. And right now it's scaring you, because you've grown up all your life in the catholic church, you're scared of what your family might say, and the people around here. But you know within your heart, that what we're teaching you is true."

I was sitting there praying for him and sister, that hopefully she would be touched about the experience. And I asked her, "sister what do you feel about what we've said to you right now?" She responded, "Naigo gd ko..kay tuod gd na sya ang nyo gnhambal.. Nabatyagan ko gd sya, kag... kblo na ko nga matuod ni sya." in english "I'm was very touched, because it's true what you said,.. i really felt it.... and I know these things are true."

If we want to do the Lord's work, we need to purify ourselves first, and then the Lord can use us as His instrument. We have to tune ourselves to His tune, so that He can play His sweet music through us. This testified to me family that the Lord will work through us, His imperfect servants, as long as we are bringing forth a broken heart and contrite spirit to Him, cleansing ourselves. The whole Lauzon Family came to church on Sunday, including Brother who's been less active for 10 years. They will be baptized on March 22nd :)

I know this work is true! It's the Lord's work. Others will stand in awe and their jaws will drop as they witness this marvelous work and a wonder that the Lord is bringing forth in these latter days. Cauayan is and will continue to be a light unto all other areas, as long as we stay faithful to our covenants we made with Him. That can be the same for all of our homes! We can make them a light and a city set upon a hill for all others, so they can see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. May we do so with a willing heart! I promise, this is true happiness! I love you family! :)

Elder Doane

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February 2, 2014


Thank you so much for all your emails! They were so uplifting and I am so happy that you're all doing well. Sorry Demi's sick! Dad that's so awesome I come home on your birthday!!! We'll for sure have to go eat some good food. Hopefully some american food, haven't had that in a while. Glad Dave's doing so well, Uncle Charlie is so awesome, such a Christlike man. He's gonna be a general authority soon. Well i'm just so happy to hear all is well, it's so comforting each week to hear those uplifting emails from you all. 

Last week was the most miraculous week i've ever had in my life, I really do testify that through sacrifice, the Lord will forgive us for our sins and qualify us for His work. I really had to humble myself and seek His guidance in what He would have me do, and He did guide me as I humbled myself. Elder Perez and I told each other we would make Cauayan a model area for other areas, 'A city that is set on a hill can not be hid', just like the Savior commanded His disciples in the Americas. Even though we're just a regular companionship, no leadership assignments, we believed with our whole hearts we can become a model for other missionaries, to inspire them and push them to reach their full potential. The only way to do that, is through our key indicators.

Last week we taught 60 lessons with a member, and 4 others. The Lord also provided 8 of His children at sacrament on Sunday, and now we have 8 investigators with a baptismal date! We also found 38 new investigators. Family, i don't say this to boast in my strength, but i tell you these things to testify to you that this is the Lord's work! He will qualify us if we soften our hearts and submit to His will. Chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel has become the basis of my mission, of my life. Through studying and applying Christlike Attributes, I can feel my understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ growing, and I can see myself changing each day. My faith has grown, and is growing so much in the Savior as I seek to increase my key indicators each week. I'm so thankful for President Lopez being so worthy for his call, in really guiding me as a missionary to reach my full potential here in the mission. I know when i come home, I will have no regrets!!!

Sacrifice is and always has been a part of obedience. Back in the ancient times we always heard of the finest of the sheep being sacrificed, and all kinds of other animals being sacrificed to show thanks to the Lord or as a symbol of repentance. But when the Lord fulfilled the Law of Moses through His Atonement, He taught us in 3 Nephi 9 that "ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost.." We need to be willing to sacrifice our pride, and if we do so, He will baptize us with fire, and literally make us a new person through His Atonement. What I love most about this process, is that it's not a one time thing, but it is an everlasting cycle that we will constantly go throughout our lives if we submit ourselves to His will. That's why His Atonement is 'an infinite Atonement', because we are an infinitely sinning people. But because of His charity and love that He showed for all of us, He provided a way for us, imperfect beings, to become perfect through His grace. Then at the last day, we will be able to stand blameless before the Father.

I know this church is the only true and living church upon this earth. I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is our only way back to the Father's presence, and His Gospel is the key to unlock those sacred enabling and redeeming powers of that Atonement. If we live His Gospel, and receive the ordinances thereof, we will be able to be with our families forever, in His presence. Always read  your Book of Mormon,and say your personal and family prayers, that is the sacred way the Lord has given us to build a literal relationship with Him!

I love you family!

Elder Doane