Monday, June 1, 2015

please watch your Trees

My apartment cleaning was postponed with a new cleaning project, cleaning the areabook. This week was a very productive area book week. We defined our boundaries for the areas here, so now we know who works where. Also the areabook is completely updated, it was so much work. 

Talibon is going to be a lot of work, we don't have too many investigators, but my companion is willing to tract, so we will slowly build up. I am still the Senior Companion, and my companion is Elder Garibay.  I had an interview with President Tanner, and he told me that our mission is 2nd lowest mission in the Philippines, and that he doesn't know why. He has been asking all the missionaries what he needs to do. Well, hopefully our mission becomes better.

Its fun to see all the pictures of what everyone is doing, hearing about Jeremy getting his permit, Molly with swimming.

This week I gave a talk in sacrament meeting, I recorded it on my MP3 in Visayan, I was thinking I would try to send it next week. The general idea was about growing our spiritual trees, I got a lot of comments after saying it was a great talk, and people starting pulling out paper, or opening scriptures to take notes, it made me pretty happy. 

I talked about our spiritual Trees, how the Book of Mormon has many stories about trees, and how these trees teach us valuable lessons about our purpose here on earth and our direction in life. I divided it into 4 sections

1)fruit - a symbol of happiness, our friends that come into the church. The purpose of a tree is to bring forth fruit, and it is also our purpose to help people receive the restored gospel so that we can return to God with them.

2) branches - is our missionary work, a tree cannot bring fruit if the branches are small, and not every branch brings forth fruit, the more effort we make in our missionary work, the more fruit we can have, if no effort is made, no fruit as well.
Jacob 7:72-73 - Zenos taught how if we do more missionary work our branches and fruit will grow

3)the roots - our personal testimony. We cannot see the roots of a tree, just like we cannot see others testimonies, we don't know how strong the roots of testimony are in others. It is also very important, Alma Taught in Alma 32:38 how important the roots are. He said if a hot day comes, and the tree is without roots, it will perish. The same with us if trials come into our lives and we have no root, our testimony will perish. 

4) The seeds - for those without a testimony please listen to Alma in Alma 32:33 and plant yourself in the church, and watch to see if you grow

Conclusion Alma 32:37 Please watch your Trees

Then My Testimony
Elder Remer

Monday, May 25, 2015

rice fields, apartment that isn't clean yet

I have now officially transferred, I am in Talibon, Bohol with Elder Garibay, a Filipino that is about 6 months in the mission, Its a lot different then Panglao, with some similarities.

Some of the differences are that, there is a lot more rice fields here, its how most of the people make their living. I like it much better, its cool to walk on the small grid-like paths that separate each square of rice. There is also a branch here, its nice to sit back a little more each Sunday, and a lot more men. In Panglao we had a lot of little children, moms and a few men. Here its about half men, and the other half women and children.

I am lucky I guess because we don't have that many investigators, so less names to learn. We do have a lot of less active families though, so we are pretty busy with that. We also have a house that isn't clean yet, but I can imagine what it could become, and want to clean it, it will be a project but I really want to live in a home that feels like the temple.

It sounds like back at home it is raining like crazy because all of you have mentioned it in your emails, except dad. Its weird to hear about school because here its summer vacation, its a whole new world.

I liked what you said about the sacrament talk, how Abinidi never knew about Alma. One of the questions in our mission is when to drop an investigator that is listening, but not progressing. A lot of younger missionaries have asked me this question, and I have replied like this. You always make the better choice, That visiting someone and teaching them, helping them come unto Christ is more important then tracting house to house for a possible visit. On the other hand if you have someone who is accepting the gospel and wants to be baptized, etc. Then you go to them first. Don't drop an investigator who is listening unless you are so busy with progressing investigators that you have no time to visit them. I am not sure how correct that is, but I think it helps them understand, always make the better choice.

Well That is all for Now,
Elder Remer

Answers to your questions:
How is the apartment? The apartment is great, it is bigger then panglaos apartment, and can become a great home, I am determined to clean it up.
Is this area more city? I am in a very non-city area, with lots of farms.
Do you still walk a lot? Yes I still walk a lot, normally all day.
Do you have many investigators? And I don't know how many investigators we have,  but it is under 10 families, and 2 are newly tracted as of Saturday.
How is your umbrella holding up? And my companion is using my umbrella right now, as seen in the picture, because he doesn't like the sun, and yes it is holding up very well.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Transfer week, going to Talibon

I really liked the skype as well, I thought it was a good idea to spend a little time with everyone, I understand the quality wasn't great on your end, but I am happy I was able to see you. I really liked talking with Dad. It was converting to know that his mission seems similar in a lot of ways to mine, and different in others. I hope to talk to him more about his mission when I get home next year.

Well this week is transfer week, and I am going to Talibon, its good and bad, I want to leave for some reasons, but I would have rather stayed, hopefully I will find whoever needs me in Talibon, by the way thats on the Northern Part of Bohol, and now I will have visted all the zones of the Bohol island. There was a typo on my mission letter, instead of Cebu East Mission, it should be the Bohol Mission :)

I'll email Monday how my new companion is and how the area is,

Take Care!
Elder Remer

(pictures with captions :D)

we had a birthday for A... last week

a bug called a bakukan

A... already starting Family History Work

Me and Elder Racca, we went on splits for a day

lady leading a cow around (she is 81 years old) It made me smile.

these poor kittens are the food for the giant snake in the background :(

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Skype you soon

I am really curious about Mothers Day as well, We haven't got any announcement yet... I think a good plan would be that I will email you Monday morning here, so Sunday night for you, and we might Skype Monday Evening, or Monday Morning for you. That way I can let you know if anything changes... Hopefully that goes well.

I am super excited to talk to you guys

This week we had another Baptism, we baptized Sister C..., and I personally Confirmed her. It was very exciting, and I even managed to give a Visayan Blessing to her, and she understood all of it. It is cool that I can focus on the spirit for the whole blessing, without needing to worry about translating.

We also did 9 hours of service building cool wooden tables for P... and A...'s Restraint here, it was pretty sweet. We also blew some Filipinos minds because The stereotypical American Here can't do anything but a desk job, we are labeled as desk jobs with lots of money, that are very lazy.

Skype you soon!
Elder Remer

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Busy week, strange as well

This week has been a very busy week, and very strange as well. Lets start with some of the weird things.

First off we went to a Born Again Church, our two American Investigators invited us over. It was very different, with some similarities. I don't really want to talk about what I didn't like, but I will gladly say what I liked. It was definitely a lot more entertaining then our church, there was a lot of singing, standing, and clapping. They also said "Praise the Lord" and "Can I get an Amen" They seem very excited about church every day. We were also gladly welcomed into their church, everyone happy, and people even taking pictures with us, it was a very warm environment. They taught about what they believe will happen in the last days, some things are the same of what we believe, and some are the understanding of men that are understandable, but hard to believe. We then went home and had the sacrament. Even though it was fun, I think I will surely stay a Mormon.

I also wanted to tell you about the "HeyJoeShow" It is a youtube series made by missionaries that got home from there mission here in Cebu, just last year. They made a series of funny videos in Visayan, the language here. And now they are famous, they came back to the Philippines this week, and they are on many of the different news channels here, it is hard to find a person who does not know who they are.

Of fun things, we found a really cool swimming pool, an abandoned one, along with a resort that had been rundown. Its amazing, but has been destroyed over time, and looks like the ruins of an ancient civilization, finding cool things while tracking.

Love You,
Elder Remer

Also the McRib is in the Philippines!!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Successful baptism


We had a successful baptism, it was a lot of work walking to the different places to make sure everyone was good for the part we asked them to do, whether rides, or bringing some food, it worked out. Elder Borrego baptized A... and A... on Saturday. There was great attendance, refreshments, only 10 minutes late (I think that is impressive) it was perfect for everyone. The two girls bore their testimony, and it was sincere.

We have a 2 or more year old cell phone, but it works better than the cell phone in Jagna. We can call and text, but unless if people pay there phone bill, they can't get calls or reply to texts.

When I saw the photo of Jeremy in my trek shirt in your email my first thought was "NO WAY! He is going to Trek!" Then I thought, wait its April.... Better read the email. Turns out just a regular day to school, slightly less exciting.

And going to Crave (we wrote him and sent a picture of the family at one of Ryan's favorite hamburger restaurants), that is what I would like to do, within the first week of getting home, but that's pretty far away.

This week I got to go on splits with the assistant to the president, Elder Micabani, I see why he is the assistant, he is a fantastic teacher, bringing in the spirit strong for even very short lessons.

Gihigugma ka nako!
Have a Great Week
Elder Remer

Me doing the Filipino squat, playing clapping games with the kids. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

General Conference and baptisms

Thanks for emailing me this week, I am not sure how hard it is back home to set aside time to email me, and I am glad you do it every week. Also I think it is very loving to get packages from home, and I am not sure how much 60 dollars is anymore, but it is a lot over here.

This week I listened to conference as well, I loved  the talk by Elder Andersen, about dancing to the music, as well as Elder Pearson's talk, about reading Every Day Every Day Every Day, and the many other Bold things he said.

I have a new favorite talk, it is called Israel,Israel, God is Calling by Jeffery R Holland.

This week is very exciting, we have an interview for 2 baptisms on Tuesday, for a Baptism on this Saturday, or maybe the next!  We just need to do the interview, and then call all the members, bad planning on our part to do it on the week where we can't announce to the members in church, because of general conference, hopefully it goes well.

It is A.. and A..., two kids that wanted to get baptized 3 months ago, and their dad gave them permission, and the rest of there family is active in the church, they even took the expensive, long travel to the city to watch general conference.

Right now me and other missionaries are finding scriptures that they could use to Bible Bash for our religion, not to fight with others, but to know in the back of there mind that it is true.

I tried to eat a weird fruit this week, called bunga sa pandan

and then found out where our family name comes from

Elder Remer