Sunday, May 25, 2014

May 25, 2014

Dear Family,

Thank you for the emails! Everything looks good, I will get the money out to have in the airport. Excited to see you thursday! If you could read that email I sent you dad I would appreciate it, it's really important to me!

The Spirit of the Lord was so evident in our work last week. There were so many miracles, I don't know where to begin family! I'm sure I'll have lots of time to tell you when I get home, so I'll save most the stories for that. I just want to bear you my testimony family, that I know the Book of Mormon is true. Because of that knowledge, I came on a mission. Because of that knowledge, I've hiked numerous mountains, through dangers sugar cane fields at night time, taught people whom I don't know, nor their culture/language, I've even eaten and came to love their food! Because of that knowledge, I have come to gain a deeper understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, His beautiful Atonement, wherein I have literally been 'born again'.
Because of that knowledge, I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true, and the Lord's kingdom here on the earth in these latter-days. It all weighs down on the Book of Mormon. I am so grateful for Heavenly Father answering my question to Him, and for helping me gain my own personal testimony that this book is true. That small answer to my prayer has brought so many fruits, just like Joseph Smith's first prayer in the sacred grove. We can all have our own sacred grove experience, we just need to meet the qualifications described in Moroni 10:3-5.

I know as we base our lives around the Book of Mormon we will be able to not only live but embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It is the true secret to happiness and peace here on earth, and eternal life in the world to come. I'm so excited to see you family, and hope with all my heart that we will see the fruits of the Gospel in our own home. I love you. See you soon!

Elder Doane

Sunday, May 18, 2014

May 18, 2014

Dear Family,

It was so great to see you last week! It really gave me more drive to serve with all my heart, might, mind, and strength! Thank you so much for talking to me as your missionary, a representative of our Savior, and not as your son. I know that phone call did have and will have an impact on us as we continue about in this great work. I know the Lord is protecting all of you while I'm in His service, I don't worry one second about any of you because I know He's taking care of everything back home while I embark in this work of salvation! Thanks for all your emails! The time is short, and there's so much work to do! I'm so blessed to be here in the mission.

Last week, I went through some amazing experiences that literally changed my life. I truly do testify that charity is the pure love of Christ. I love that, because it's HIS love, not ours. Moroni tells us as he's quoting his father, "pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may  be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ;", because we can not attain this love on our own! If we pray with all energy of heart, He will enable us to love our fellow man, even so much that we are willing to sacrifice for them.

We received a referral from another set of missionaries, Raffy Garson (11), and his little brother Jepoy (9). They had already gone to church a bunch of times, and were supposed to be baptized in another city but they moved back to their hometown, Cauayan. The thing is, they live in the mountains of Cauayan, and we went to go visit them last week. We had just gotten back from exchanges, and we were discussing our plans for the day, and we both felt we needed to visit the Garson family. So despite the doubt that was in our hearts, we went.

As we rode in on a motorcycle that brought 4 of us passengers, we saw rain clouds coming in threatening us with serious rain fall, but that just couldn't stop us from visiting our brother Raffy. As we began to climb up the mountain, rain began to fall, and Elder Barangay and I just ran straight up the mountain to try and avoid slippery land. We were doing well, not slipping and sliding too much, until we came to this narrow pathway, where we had the mountain to our right side at a steep upward slant, and to our left the same thing, going down ward. Barely one of my feet would fit on this pathway, and it was raining, and the mud was slippery. On top of that, my shoes are dress shoes, because I couldn't find any working shoes in my size here. The fear began to creep inside me with every step that I took, my foot sliding toward the down slope. I was hanging on to the right side of the mountain, digging my hand in the mud so that I had something to hang on to, until I came to this one step when I thought I was gone.

Elder Barangay had already crossed it, and was offering his help next to me to get me across, but I couldn't reach his hand. In spite of everything, I sang in my mind the hymn, "I Believe In Christ", and trusting in my Lord and Savior, continued along the path way. Some way, somehow, I made it across that pathway without falling down the slope. When I turned around and looked where we had crossed, it did not make sense to me how we crossed that path as it was so wet/muddy. But I knew the Lord had delivered us from that slippery pathway.

It reminds me of the woman in the bible, who had a sickness of bleeding, and saw Jesus Christ walking by with His disciples. She knew that if she could even touch His garment, she would be healed immediately. So as He walked by, she reached out and was able to reach His garment in a mere touch, and the Savior said, "Who touched my garment?" She came out, said it was her, and the Savior said, "Thy faith hath made the whole." The woman did not have faith in the garment, she had faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Same goes for me. When I was holding onto that mountain with all my might to try and stay up, I wasn't exercising faith in the mountain, that it would somehow stay tight and firm so that I could make it across, but I had faith in my Savior Jesus Christ that He would deliver me from all danger to continue on in His work.

We need to realize that all faith is false unless it is in the Lord Jesus Christ. I do not have faith in you as my family that you'll take care of yourselves, and be safe while I'm here on the mission, but I have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that He will take care of you while I'm gone. Everyday we leave our apartment, I don't have faith in myself or my companion that we can do anything, but I have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that He will use us as His instruments as long as we are humble. If we can apply this in our everyday life, He will make the veil thin, and we will begin to see His hand in these latter days! I promise it is true because I've seen it, and continue to see it every day! I know if we keep His commandments and endure to the end we will see His faith one day, and our faith will be completed through our perfect knowledge that He is our living Savior and Redeemer. I love you family! Let's exercise our faith, follow Jesus Christ, drop our nets, and leave Babylon! I'll see you soon, and I hope that the Redeeming power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ shows through me when I get home, that I am not the person who I was before I left, but a new creature, born again. I love you!

Elder Doane

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May 4, 2014

Dear Family!
Thank you so much for all the emails! I was so uplifted and edified to know that you are all doing well. I can't believe Drake bore his testimony! I'm so happy for him. Good job Drakey! Next week I will be able to skype! I was thinking the same thing so it would be more exciting for us to see each other, we could just talk without using the video screen! Haha, we'll see. Sorry I've withdrawn money, we had to go to Manila to work out some immigration things. I will be picking up my suit today, so I will have to withdraw again.

This last week just flew by! It was so fast, but I learned so much. Elder Ardern of the Seventy attended our Mission Leadership Council, and my companion and I were interviewed by him as a regular proselyting companionship! He said he was there to learn from our mission, what we were doing that could possibly help other missions in the philippines areas, because of how well Bacolod is excelling. It was such a sacred opportunity to get to talk one on one with a general authority, he is so humble! I also felt the Spirit so strong as he bore his testimony to us as a witness of the Savior, so great.
I don't have much time family, but I feel to invite you to read 2 Nephi 2:14, and to study what it means to 'act' or to 'be acted upon'. In many situations that we are put on, the natural man will just be acted upon, like a door. It needs someone to open it, or it will not move, it adjusts to its surroundings. But we, as sons and daughters of God, were created to act. We were created to be agents to 'be anxiously engaged in a good cause', and to go about doing much good, but sometimes we forget this! Think about in Mosiah 13, .."in six days the Lord created the heavens and the earth.." if the Lord can create the entire universe and many more universes in 6 days, can't we create many marvelous things with the time He's given us to be here on earth? We need to act! I know that as we do so the Lord will bless us with a greater love for our neighbor and for our Father in Heaven, and we will become more like our Savior. I know it because I'm experiencing it! I love you so much family, I can't wait to see you! Please remember, I'm skyping you as a full time representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, not just as your son or sibling. We'll see you next week! I love you!
Elder Doane