I have been asked about who we are teaching and working with, so for missionary work we have 2 IBD's but one is 8 years old, so we actually can't teach her, since its the branches responsibility. We are teaching so many people, its kinda crazy, we have 3 progressing investigators, 27 investigators, with 9 of the investigators being close to being dropped, 14 inactive families that we are focusing on, and 5 recent converts.
it is so cool to be constantly walking and visiting people, I know it won't normally be this busy, so I am trying my best.
Like for example yesterday I was on splits with Jake, who is 26 and preparing to go on a mission, we went to go teach this Sister, we visited her and she was crying, I couldn't understand her, and didn't really know what to do, and Jake, I could see that he didn't know what to do, I wanted to help so bad. Then, then the Holy Ghost told me to share a scripture that I had studied. I was so worried and scared. I knew that the situation was serious, and I didn't understand it. I decided to trust that It was the Holy Ghost I shared a scripture 1 Ne 14:1 to her, this was it - "And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks."
I explained that this was a Scripture directed to us, the Gentiles, that if we were to hearken unto the Lamb of God, or in other words, listen and obey the words of Jesus Christ (the commandments.) Then we would know that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are real, because they will remove our obstacles. I testified that during the really hard times, when we are not sure what to do, if we follow the commandments with all our heart and just try our best to obey the simple things, like reading our scriptures and praying with our heart every day, listening for the feelings of comfort, and going to church every week, that our lives would become better, little by little, not all at once, but slowly. and that our lives would continue to better until we had overcome our trials. I could tell in her eyes this is what she needed to hear. I then felt like I should give her a blessing of comfort, so that is what I did, I felt the spirit in my heart, and I'm not even sure what I said, but I knew it was from God.
Later I found out that this Sisters husband left her a note that He was leaving her, and never returning. If that wasn't enough pain for her, here in the Philippines there is no divorce, so she can never get married again. I had no idea that this is what happened to her. I am not sure what I would have said to her, I mean... that is just so hard... but after that scripture and what I said, I knew, in my heart, that she knew that she would be okay, if she just tried her best to do these simple things that we had taught her.
It was so cool, and so sad, cool for the difference that I made, I really like it out here making a difference in peoples' lives, whether teaching people that know about God how to be closer to him, and how to speak to him, and receive answers, or teaching someone that went to church but never knew that God was really there, and teaching them about faith, how they would not see God in this life on Earth, but that through prayer and reading the scriptures that they could know in their heart that he is there. I don't even know how to describe it, I am in a different country walking miles every day, not understanding the people most of the time, coming home completely sore and ready to pass out, and feeling so happy and good because I knew that I was asked of God to come here. There is nothing else like it.
Until next week,
Monday, September 22, 2014
(Ryan didn't write a group email this week, so here are a few excerpts from his letter to me.)
Elder Creswell was sick, so we stayed in our apartment all day, and after my personal study I decided to see how much the scriptures have about the universe, Abraham 3 is super cool, i read through it and read the picture thing and the translations, it really is pretty cool, I drew a picture to my best understanding what this chapter was saying, I wonder how correct my picture is to the real thing, its pretty cool.
As for the best way to contact me, it doesn't matter too much if letters or emails. Emails are good because I get 2 hours of email/ internet time a week, so while it is limited, I think it is plenty of time to email people. Letters are great because they only come every 6 weeks, and is super exciting to get one. These are the downsides, Email time is limited so if a lot of people email me, then the time to read and write emails gets cut off, the downside to letters is I only get them at transfer times when we go to the mission office, and then I get transferred I go to my new area, read the letters, write them, and then mail them 6 weeks later, when I go to the mission office next. I guess a balance would be to send me letters with their email address so I can email them to reply. But yeah... that is the mail situation
Its weird that the days go by so quick, I am exhausted from walking every day, about 6-8 kilometers, whatever that is in miles. I am told I am in hard core culture shock. But I feel great. The side-effects of culture-shock that I am having are that I am just never really hungry, I mean I can still eat, but I could easily skip a meal and be fine, Also all the food tastes great, I kinda like being in culture-shock, that being said I am being careful and eating food when I am not hungry so that I won't get sick here.
Monday, September 15, 2014
|I Am Here: Elder Remer points to Cebu on a map of the Philippines|
It is crazy here in the Philippines, I really want to adjust to there culture, it is so cool. A few examples that I find pretty cool, both simple and crazy things.
Simple Things: Rising your eyebrows twice means yes, nodding is saying that you don't know, shaking your head is the same as a no, you making a kissing face at something to point at it, and you always eat your meat with rice, by putting both on a spoon, if you don't people think you are really strange.
Crazy/Funny: The traffic is insane here, there is rarely a crash here but everyone is an aggressive driver, its like everyone has the same crazy mind and somehow it works, they also use there horns a lot better, to signal passing someone, or that they are about to come through. They also will not travel if it is raining, because it is bad luck. They believe some strange ghost stories, like a wak-wak - or witches/ghosts that walk on ceilings.
There are also a few things that are hard about teaching, that are good and bad. They are super open to talk about religion, and feel the spirit during our teaching, but rarely change churches. An example was that we taught someone, they prayed, felt the Book of Mormon was true, but gave the reason that they were Catholic to not join the Mormon Faith. It's a little weird. Because of the Rain belief, church attendance can be almost no one if it rains. And last, there is no divorce in the Philippines, so a lot of people don't get divorced and live with each other, and we need to ask them to get married, a HUGE commitment. Or worse they were married before and just left their spouse, and found someone else that they had a family with, in which case they can't go to the temple to be married because technically they are married to someone else
I love it here so much, despite the differences
It is so beautiful, I am teaching in the Bukid, aka Jungle/wilderness/mountain, where I almost can't believe how little some people can live off of. I can't believe how lucky we are. This area is said to be a hard area, and I think some missionaries think it is weird that I am so happy despite the lack of progress, I simply tell them that I do not know any different, it is my first area. But, I think its more than that, I feel that I am happy because the Lord is happy with the effort I am making to try and teach the gospel.
Here are some pictures of the area and temple, that are just amazing, along with my area, home, me and my companion and such. I wish best of luck to all of you
Friday, September 12, 2014
PHILIPPINES CEBU EAST MISSION
September 10, 2014
Brother and Sister David Lee Remer
2434 Northview Place
Castle Rock, CO 80104
Dear Brother and Sister Remer,
Your missionary has arrived safely! He is here with us in the Philippines Cebu East Mission. My wife and I are excited about having him in our mission. He brought a great spirit, and we are looking forward to working with him. Enclosed is a welcome snapshot taken with Sister Tanner and me.
Our missionaries are encouraged to e-mail family once a week on their preparation day. Below are a few things you can do to keep your missionary happy and successful while on his mission.
1. Send letters and/or email regularly. News from home keeps spirits high and minimizes problems.
2. When sending packages, we recommend the U.S. Postal Service. Other carriers such as FedEX and DHL usually incur large customs fees ($40-$100) which the missionary must pay. Packages should be small enough to be easily carried on public transportation and long walks. Please do not send perishables or liquids, they do not travel well.
3. Try not to mention family problems that would worry your missionary.
4. Please do not visit or telephone your missionary without approval from the Mission President.
5. If you need to make "urgent" contact with your missionary, you may contact the mission office by using
the following telephone numbers: 011-6332-424-1012, or E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although missionaries may require some money from home for shoes, clothing, or dental work, we encourage wisdom and prudence because additional money is often detrimental to learning the lessons of sacrifice and consecration. We recommend a major debit account with joint signatures of parent and missionary for international missionaries.
Thank you for preparing and sending us your fine missionary son. We'll love him and help him learn to take good care of himself and grow in the Gospel.
President Richard L Tanner
Philippines Cebu East Mission
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
It isthe 10th, , and we are 14 hours ahead here in Cebu.
We have spent a week in the MTC in Manila because we left the Provo MTC on a, I guess that doesn't happen to often. So we stayed in the Manila MTC being retaught the lessons we already new. We are glad to finally be starting our mission.
There was one awesome part of the MTC in Manila, we got to go out with missionary's in that area for a day to get a taste of the missionary life. I got to teach 2 lessons in Cebuano, and 1 in English. I also got to eat this weird but delicious fruit called a rambuton. It looks like a Sea Urchine, but not spikey, but the inside tastes amazing.
It is so beautiful here, with really rich areas, and the exact opposite next to it.
Write More Next Week
Friday, September 5, 2014
Philippines MTC in Manila
Kumusta ang akong Pamilla?
I am emailing you onand it is
We got to the MTC safely, and the MTC is letting us send an email to our family but not anyone else, i think, all the instructions are in Cebuano.
We arrived late night atto the MTC and they let us sleep in until . We all had a brief meeting and the switched around our companionships from our distract. I am now compainions with Elder Schnoor, the canadian in our group. We are going to stay here for 5 days until when we are going to go to our missions. We are waiting for our vistas until . We are all super excited
Meanwhile we are going to be joining missionaries in the area for prosolyting (spelled bad). Us Cebauno Missionaries are very lucky because we will get to teach in english in the city while the Taglog Missionaries need to I teach in Taglog. While we are here, we will also be learning more Cebuano and trying to understand the fast speed in which they talk.
It is super beautiful here with tons of different kinds of trees and plants, but very hot and humid. We all have been given water bottles with filters so that we can be as healthy as possible. We also have alcholol for cleaning our hands often. I also found out that the hankerchief was a great idea.
Not to much to report right now, we haven't done anything but ride on planes, sleep, and eat breakfast.
I love you all and will try to write often, we were told we will find out more about mail once we get to our mission next week, so I think that means that you will not be hearing from me for quiet some time, mabye next week but I am not sure. It depends on the area if I get email or just letters.
I am feeling very good right now. Its pretty perfect. The only thing that scares me is the cars here. It seems crazier than the bahamas were.
I love you all, and want to make you proud. I will try to write you next week once I get into the mission field.
They have a fun game here, Im not sure what it is called...
You play rock paper sissors on the first "rock" not 1,2,3, go but just go
The winner then points left right up or down. at the same time the loser looks left right up or down.
If the winner points the same direction as the loser looks, then the winner wins the round.
best 2 out of 3.
The best part is that every time you do something you say "Pshh" And it is a fast pace game.
Time to go :D Best Wishes