Saturday, December 28, 2013

EVERYTHING GOOD ABOUT CHRISTMAS...

My goodness, this will be one of the most memorable Christmases I've ever had. I have felt the holiday spirit more than ever. We looked for every opportunity to serve and help and make other people's day brighter and it just ended up making our season the brightest.
We bought food at the grocery for a bunch of people in the area and our cart was packed and while standing in the check out line, I heard two people behind me gossiping in a different language-- "Those rich foreigners just buy whatever they want, just anytime, living a comfortable lifestyle..." Then I turned to them and told them to put their food with mine, and we paid for all of their groceries, and said "Merry Christmas!" They were giddy and laughing nervously and thanking us profusely. Haha the best.
Then we went out and passed out baskets of oranges and apples and ham and soft drinks. I wish you could have seen their faces. One woman just looked up to the sky and said "thank you! thank you!" She understood where it really came from.
Last night, Christmas night, we took our Ukulele out and stood on a busy corner and caroled Christmas hymns, and we had so many people stop and take pictures. Then we walked through the neighborhoods and people came out of their homes, mothers with babies on hip, and dads in their pajamas, smiling and singing along. We handed out candy to everyone walking by, oh man I'll never forget it.
The best part of the day was the baptism service. Our investigator, Reymund was baptized. he was smiling so big the whole time. After I baptized him, I asked "How do you feel??" and he turned to a mirror and said "Happiest I've ever been!" ah man. I love the gospel culture. I love our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love having a testimony of His restored gospel. I can't imagine life without this peace and happiness.
I love you all and hope you have a "snappy happy new year"
Love,
Elder Mahaffey




Tuesday, November 12, 2013

MASTER, THE TEMPEST IS RAGING...

The typhoon was so much worse than we thought. I don't even know how describe what has happened in Tacloban.  It's been an emotional past couple of days for me. I have seen the news and pictures and there are dead bodies everywhere-- in trees, electric lines, crushed under buildings. They show it on live television.  Over 10,000 people have died.

This last week, there were a lot of missionaries missing and hadn't been accounted for and I kept thinking about Sister Bogenschutz and Elder Murdock (who i was really close with in the training center) and no one had any information. I kept getting this sick feeling that maybe something happened. Then yesterday, we received information that all missionaries were alive and accounted for and were being evacuated to Cebu and Manila. So this morning, I saw Elder Murdock at the temple and it was such a happy moment to know he was safe and alive. My goodness! It's incredible.

Last night, I just cried thinking about all those people and wishing I could have been there to help.  I feel selfish too. I have thought so many times how I wish I were there. I wish I could have traded places with people. ah it hurts.

We have been packing thousands of relief good truck fulls of sacks, I was on national tv last night... I'm so sore and exhausted but ready to keep going.

Please pray, and do what you can to help my people here. Please, appreciate life and be righteous. I find comfort knowing there is a Heavenly Father that visits His children in their afflictions. I'm impressed and humbled by the country's faith and response to help their suffering brothers and sisters, "lifting up the hands that hang down and strengthening [their] feeble knees". May it so be with us in all walks of life.

Love you all,
Elder Sum

REUNITED with Elder Murdock


I really don't know what to say. Cebu is ok, we weren't hit bad at all. Thankfully, Mormon Helping Hands has given us amazing opportunities to serve, packing rice and canned foods and sugar, and packing truck-fulls of relief goods for Tacloban.
We're just now starting to realize how bad the storm was.


Each bag can feed 18 families for about two days...it's still not enough!

____________________________________________



The following is a letter written by Elder Carling who was serving in the Tacloban mission.  He writes home to his family for the first time since the devastating storm:

We first heard warning on tuesday evening as we met in Tacloban as Zone Leaders to discuss mission stuff. Our President as well as most of the world that time didn't understand the magnitude of the storm. We were told to inform our zones, or missionaries that we are in charge of, and tell them to prepare. This included buying rope charging anything with a battery and buying extra phone batteries. The storm came. Friday at 6 am we only had high winds at 6 am but found out that that wasn't even the storm. The assistants said Tacloban was already being beaten up and the storm would fall by 8am. We were told to call Tacloban if anything bad happened to our 16 missionaries in our zone. We called our areas, or tried, only to find that there was no cell service in their areas. We considered that a problem and tried to call back to Tacloban to let them know the problem.... but they too had no service. The winds and rain ended in our zone by 2 PM. Our area was not too bad. Fallen signs and some damage to homes. Broken glass and bald trees, but nothing too crazy in our area. On Saturday we rode around to check out the damage on our zone and see if our missionaries were ok.  Sunday's services were very humbling as we met in a shack with no electricity. Our Branch President made hand fans for everyone out of cardboard boxes. Monday came and we still had no way to contact anyone. By this time we had heard a bit of info about Tacloban and we were scared. Our mission president had no contact with us for 4 days. We had no idea what to do so we bought a new cell phone service card to try and contact others. Miracles happened and the Zone Leaders who neighbor us had service the whole time! They were able to contact manila church headquarters. They relayed info to us to gather our missionaries and send them to Ormoc City with 2-3 days of clothes and stuff. More miracles happened that I wish I could explain but I'll leave out for time sake. we got ALL 60 missionaries in 3 zones to Ormoc in 24 hours with 4 cell phones. We booked a boat to Cebu as directed from manila. It is honestly the craziest, most tiring, unbelievable, and spiritually uplifting experience to be apart of this mass evacuation. It blows my mind that four 20 year old young men with the unmistakeable help of the Lord were able to coordinate such a drastic evacuation. We all made it here to Cebu. We were given undies and other things needed to get by. I've been misty eyed all day just feeling all the prayers from around the world. I'm also broken hearted. I want to go back to our mission and help but there is not much we can do. Our area, which was moderately affected, won't have electricity till March. Food is in short supply. Gas is being sold at ridiculous prices because of the shortage. We can't live there. We got word that at 8:30 we will be flying out to Manila. The amount of time we will be there is still indefinite. We will wait there as the church discusses possible re-assignments for Elders and Sisters and as more information unfolds. It's a very humbling feeling to not be in control of tomorrow or the next 9 months of my mission. Everything I've known as a missionary will change in a few days. I don't know what the Lord has in store but I know it will be good for me. "The winds and the waves shall obey thy will." He is in control, "Peace be still, peace be still."


Monday, November 11, 2013

SAFE IN CEBU CITY

News from Sumner has never been more welcomed.  We received a short email on Saturday informing us that he is safe.  (See insert below) Having said that, we are eagerly awaiting news from Tacloban where the worst of the storm hit.  There are still several missionaries unaccounted for, including thousands of Filipino people.  Further reports from other affected islands indicated dozens, perhaps hundreds more deaths as well.

Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all who have lost so much.  Our prayers are with the beautiful people of the Philippines who have become so near and dear to our hearts over the past 18 months.


ay momma!
 
Our president gave us permission to email our families and tell you that we're alright after the typhoon.  The wind was reeeally strong. There was a dog that flew into our apartment compound so now we have a new pet. his name is Yolanda.  j/k!
 We did a service project this morning picking up debris and trash n stuff. Everyone was smiling and happy at us.  So grateful!
ANYWAY, I'm all good and I'm safe as a button. Is that the phrase?

LOVE YOU ALL, email you on Wednesday
sumna boah
 
 Images from neighboring island. Tacloban City was devastated by this week's deadly typhoon.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

SUPER TYPHOON - YOLONDA

There is a Catagory 5 (the worst) typhoon headed toward the islands this week.  It should hit landfall by 8 p.m. tonight.  We are praying for the safety and protection of the missionaries in the Philippines and the Filipino people they serve.  We are tracking the storm on Typhoon2000.com

This is the message the missionaries just received from their president:

Elders and Sisters, we want to warn you about a potential Super Typhoon that may be headed our way. At present, the track of the typhoon looks like it will hit landfall on Samar-Leyte coast on Friday early morning. If it continues on the present track, it will probably pass to the north of Cebu, moving across the Mindoro Strait after traversing the Northern Visayas. It looks like it might be a category 5 typhoon, which could be a very destructive storm. We must be prepared in case the storm veers a little to the south and comes across Cebu and Negros. So be prepared!!

We want every missionary to purchase a supply of water and food today that will last for at least 72 hours. If electricity goes out, you will not be able to cook, so purchase some food that can be eaten without cooking. Do not procrastinate. Also make sure that you have some money on hand in case there is need to purchase supplies after the storm passes when you might not be able to withdraw money from an ATM.

This image provided by the U.S. Naval Research Lab …
 

Strongest Typhoon of the Year Slams Philippines

One of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded slammed into the Philippines early Friday, and one weather expert warned, "There will be catastrophic damage."
The U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center shortly before Typhoon Haiyan's landfall said its maximum sustained winds were 314 kilometers per hour (195 mph), with gusts up to 379 kilometers per hour (235 mph).
"195-mile-per-hour winds, there aren't too many buildings constructed that can withstand that kind of wind," said Jeff Masters, a former hurricane meteorologist who is meteorology director at the private firm Weather Underground.
Masters said the storm had been poised to be the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded at landfall. He warned of catastrophic damage.
 
 
WE WILL UPDATE THE BLOG AS WE RECEIVE WORD FROM SUMNER -
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS IN HIS BEHALF AND IN BEHALF OF THE FILIPINO PEOPLE - jm

SCREAM and RUN !!

He who hath eyes to see, let him read...

Sister Merry Ann was baptized by her husband on Saturday! They love the Church so much. They're getting ready to have a baby in a couple months and living the gospel is going to be the best thing they could ever do for him. What a blessing for their young family. In a year, they'll be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity. Greatest.
 

We had a Halloween ward dinner and the theme was "Pioneers" so every one dressed up and Kristal (our investigator) came. I explained to her that Pioneers were the first members of the Church in the 1800's who were forced to move and threatened just because of their beliefs. Kristal, with wide eyes, asks me, "If someone threatened to kill you because you said the Church was true, would you change your beliefs?" and i said "No never. Because I know it... what about you? What would you do if they threatened you?" and she replied "I would scream and run the other way!" hahaha
It was amazing to see how everyone dressed for Pioneer theme.  Apparently, their idea of what pioneers look like are a bit different.  There were a lot of pirate costumes at the party!  HA!
 

Sometimes we receive a Referral and the information is really vague, so we go to the general area and I feel like we're in a Bourne movie because we're looking around observing the signs and the people and the buildings looking for any indication for the person. hahah but when we find the person and they're willing to listen and accept us, it's the best feeling, because we know how it will bless them. I love serving here.
 
Let us live good lives and be sincere in our prayers, forget ourselves and serve old people and young folks, read uplifting books and eat delicious food, work really hard and seek inspiration.
 
Elder Mingus (from Columbia, Missouri)
Elder Mahaffey - (Chesterfield, Missouri)

Love you,
Elder Mahaffey

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Y'all like to party?

 
Wow. Let me just share a couple experiences from this week.
 
The other day we stopped a guy named Kier on the street to talk with him. He said he had some friends that were Mormon and read part of the Book of Mormon said we could come visit him another day to teach. In our rush, we didn't get his address. A couple days later, we were about to end our night with dinner, but I had this feeling to go find Kier. We just went back to the area where we met him and started asking around if anyone knew him. Several attempts later, someone pointed us down a dark alley way where his house supposedly was. When we got to the end, a bunch of angry dogs were barking and snarling and we saw a man sitting, we tried to ask him but he was deaf and mute and was signing to us that he couldn't hear... Feeling helpless, I spelled "K-I-E-R" in the sign language i remember from 3rd grade...the man UNDERSTOOD. I was as surprised as Elder Mingus was. The mute man pointed us to Kier's house and we went in and found him and taught him. He is elect. It was an incredible lesson. Can you believe that?
Also, this week we talked to a black man from Los Angeles. I think my inner-city "St.Louis" smeezy accent slipped out a little. He said "Aye, y'all like to party?" hahaha but we explained to him we were missionaries and he was so chill and willing to listen.
 
We had the awesome opportunity to help pack relief boxes to ship to Bohol where the earthquake hit. The damages are worse than i thought. But after church on Sunday, everyone gathered in the cultural hall and we did an assembly line tossing boxes of food and soap and toothpaste. I love how the Church reacts to do that. It was such a cool thing seeing everybody so happy in the Spirit of service.

Also, Elder Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited Cebu on Saturday and we had a double mission conference, so we saw all our batch from Cebu East mission. Oh man it was amazing to meet and shake hands with a living apostle. Inspiring
 
The ward is wakin' up! We're getting the best investigators from member referrals. Our minds are blown! The spirit is so strong in our work. I love it. City zone is doing so well too! We had Zone interviews last week and president told us that the Spirit was amazing in City.

Strive constantly to feel that Spirit in your life. seek revelation. When we receive revelation, the veil is thinned and we get a glimpse of the full truth that we were taught before this life.

Love y'all
Elder Sum


Elder Mingus, Kristel, Elder Mahaffey

MTC batch reunited!  OH HAPPY DAY!!

MORMON HELPING HANDS
After the Earthquake in Bohol


Mormon Helping Hands
Missionaries working in Bohol


More earthquake destruction in Bohol
 

Companions in Cebu
Friends for Life
 
"Suffer the little children, and forbid them not..."
 
 
Together Forever
 
 
MISSION CONFERENCE IN CEBU


Shaking hands with
Elder Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Now I write somewhat as seemeth me good"


 
Our investigator Merry-Ann is the most elect I've ever met. So prepared. She completely understands repentance and prayer and she loves reading the scriptures and unpacks the verses that we read. my goodness. She is getting baptized this Saturday.
We had to move Sister Kristal's baptism back because she didn't come to church because of work. We didn't hear from her for a few days and we were worried, but we finally contacted and taught her. We asked her how important baptism is to her and she got it. She said "I want to be baptized because I want to be new...I want to go into the temple someday and perform baptisms for my parents as well.."
SO many investigators came to church this week. It was incredible. Even the ward members were surprised. We hope they start giving more referrals. Last month 3 referrals were given...and every single one is getting baptized. Miracles! It's so interesting to see the difference in our mission. We rarely teach less actives anymore. We teach investigators every single day. It's the best.
I love you all so much,

Elder Mahaffey
 


 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

DO YOU FEEL THAT???

This week we had: Transfers, General Conference, oh and a 7.2 EARTHQUAKE. WHAT???   You should have seen our neighbors screeeaming and running outside.  Our house mates hit the deck, and me and Elder Mingus were laughing, walking around trying to stay balanced. Everyone said it was the strongest one they've ever experienced. Despite the earthquake, this has been probably the best week of my mission. Elder Mingus, my new companion was actually in my MTC batch, so we're pretty close and we just hit the ground running with the work. It has been one of those pivotal moments in my life. I've never laughed so hard and I've never felt the Spirit so strongly. It's a good balance.
 
The other day, Kristal came running into the church and she said "Sir elders! I finished the Book of Mormon! I read for 7 hours yesterday." We were all so shocked we didn't know what to say and she showed us her scriptures and sure enough, every. single. page had markings and notes and underlines. Then she came to General Conference and took notes and cried listening to the Prophet. Bliss.
 
We also taught a young couple, Jerrex and Christine, who just had a baby, and we taught them about the Plan of Salvation and where we come from before this life and how we can be sealed as families for eternity in the temple. I wish you could have seen their faces as we testified. They looked at each other and then looked at us with this look of hope. A kind of hope that you don't see a lot these days. They agreed together to be baptized.
Our week has been scattered with so many spiritual experiences, it's incredible. We'll be riding on a jeepney and have a prompting to get off and go visit someone and meet new people and teach them. Or we will be walking one direction and then just completely turn around and walk the opposite direction and we're led to these other people. And then you feel this confirming feeling of peace and joy. Every day I feel that Spirit. I wish everyone could feel it. It's the sweetest thing about life.
 
This Church is true. I invite everyone to search for yourself. Don't just believe me. You can come to a surety that there really is one true, complete organization and Jesus is the Christ and He lives.
 
Love y'all
elder sumner mahaffey
 
 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

DAYS NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN

It's already been a week? That was probably the fastest week of my life. Haha so we finished up the Peace Walk which was a huge success. We taught thousands of people and got tons of referrals. Because of the festival, our temple tour attendance tripled! It was amazing. We met so many elect people and I talked with other religions and priests and presidents and mayors.
 
One day I stopped a man in the plaza and had a ten minute conversation with him...in Spanish! He was from Spain and didn't know any English. ahahah shout out to Senora Kiser! Oh man it was so choppy and i had such a Cebuano accent. but it was awesome experience nevertheless. great peoples.
On Friday, I got to witness the sealing of the Fernandez family in the Temple. (One of the families we brought back to activity while we were in Mabolo). Elder Warner came all the way from Negros to attend. It was one of the best and most spiritual moments of my life -- to see the fruits of our labors, a family returned to the gospel, being sealed for all eternity by the true authority. They have changed, happy, bright countenances. Cant even explain it here.
 
Jossana is being baptized this Saturday by her returned husband. She just simply great. She loves reading her scriptures and they got a cute 'lil 2 year old baby and Jossana knows that this is 'the best thing she could do for her family.' She's gonna be a strong leader.
Kristal is one of the smartest, interesting and investigators I've ever met. She's like known among the missionaries as the most golden. I feel honored to be teaching her. Sometimes she teaches us... I wish you could hear her prayers at the end of each lesson, it is honestly the most sincere and pure communication with God I've ever heard. She's preparing for baptism on the 19th of October, as well as a couple other investigators. ah every one of them is incredible.
 
Ah there's so much more to say but I cannot write but little because of the awkwardness of my hands. All I know is, this is the Lord's work and I have no question. I'm humbled and blessed to be a part of it.
 
Be nice to everyone, don't gossip, look for and only say good things about others.
 
Aloha,
Elder Mahaffey

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Testimony of the Book of Mormon (September 2013)

Please listen.

The Book of Mormon has changed my life. It is a true holy record from God written specifically for us. Do not take it for granted. Read deeply and read for understanding. I remember distinctly one of the first times I received a spiritual witness of the Book of Mormon and I thought "there is a reason this record was preserved for you." Conversion through the Book of Mormon is a process/ it doesn't happen overnight/ and like everything else/ it takes effort. It's a beautiful amazing process that changes every part of your life. Just when you think you "get it".. your eyes are opened to something new..and then another, and then another. You will need to read more than just a couple verses or 10 minutes every day. Make time to feast upon the book.. 45 minutes to an hour. Our mission president taught us that there are 6 different levels to study the scriptures:

1. Hear the word
2. Read the word
3. Study it
4. Search
5. Treasure
6. Feast

Think about those levels and ask yourself where you are. Search treasure and feast is where revelation happens. Revelation is the personal communication from God through the Spirit for the salvation and exaltation of his children. Keep a revelation journal (not just a study journal). As you read from the Book of Mormon as-well-as the Bible, write your feelings, thoughts, and impressions. (not just verbatim verses).. as you document and record your revelation, Heavenly Father will give you more (DC 50:24  "That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light and that light growtheth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.").

Delve deeply into the scriptures and let it change you. Our purpose here is to become more like Heavenly Father and as I've read the Book of Mormon, I've learned about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. As you learn and feast upon that.. your life begins to reflect His. So don't go a day with out reading the Book of Mormon.. it is the only source of undiluted doctrine directly from Heavenly Father through his prophets. Marion G. Romney promised in the name of Jesus Christ.. that if you read the Book of Mormon every day you WILL achieve Celestial Glory. So act with faith and prioritize that sacred record. I love the Book of Mormon and I love the doctrine and gospel within. It is true and complete.

~In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 
 
“The core elements of the gospel message are found in all the holy scriptures but are most clearly given to us in the Book of Mormon….Here Jesus Himself plainly declares His doctrine and His gospel, with which God’s children must comply to 'have eternal life.'”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
 
 
 
 

Peace, Love, and Squatters (September 18, 2013)

Life is so crazy now! this transfer is flying by. We have so many meetings now with  our mission president because we're preparing for a Peace Festival next week and city zone is helping run it. I'm excited. It's like an inter-faith festival where all religions will come to the town plaza park and set up booths and we're participating this year. It's gonna be so cool.
This week we got to go interview a couple for baptism and they live in the mountains in the middle of all these tiny cement houses. So I interviewed the old husband/ brother Fransico/ and we went out and sat on the top of their rusted tin roof cross legged and we were overlooking the mountain side stuffed with squatter slums. the moon was really big and Brother was holding a little oil lamp to light my scriptures. I was inspired and humbled as he spoke about his love for the true gospel and his desire to be baptized by someone holding the right authority. Such a good/godly man.
Our investigators make me so happy. Sister Olive is a very smart elect single mom that just wants to be a good person. she wants to change. I admire her relationship with Heavenly Father. She says "before..I keep asking Him help me help me. and then you come to my life and I think He's saying 'here! I'm giving you help! These people can help you! This is true!" Isn't that awesome?
Sister Jossana reads her scriptures every day and she says she feels happier in her life because she knows her purpose and she knows where's she's headed and what her potential is. One of the most elect people I've ever met.
Brother Jerricks is a father-to-be.. His wife will give birth next month and I think he's a little intimidated by that but I can tell he's looking for the right thing for his family. He's very sincere in his prayers. I love that.
It's all good up here in Apas Philippines. I love having the temple in our midst. It really is heaven on earth. We have temple tours every Thursday and at the end of the tour/ we let the people go inside of the temple and sit in the waiting room and pray and for some.. it's the first time praying. Everyone says "it was like heaven in there!" or "I felt like someone was in there.." or "i felt the most peace in my entire life".
Welp that's about it. 'Til next week. Be good y'all
Love
elder sum

There's No One Here!!

Oh goodness, I wish you could just see a glimpse of my life here in Apas. So we have verrry few members since the area got split, but we're tryin' to change that! We go door-knocking every day. That's the part I wish you could see. Hahaha oh man, so here, every big house has a big gate and this is how it usually goes:

*ring doorbell*...we hear sandals coming towards the gate...a little peek-hole opens abruptly and we see a big eye...
Them: WHAT?
Us: Hey! how you doin?! wow, you have a beautiful home!... We're missionaries and we'd like to share an awesome message that can bless yo--
Them: THERE'S NO ONE HERE.
Us: Well what about you?
*nervous awkward silence, eye looks around*...Peek-hole slams shut...person runs back inside.

Hahaha that's hard. It hurts. Especially mid-noon-hot-sweltering-philippine weather, I'm sunburnt. BUT where one person slams the door on our face, the Lord seriously opens another. We have had so much success and referrals come out of random places. All of our investigators right now are so elect. I wish I could tell you each individual story. AH, people are awesome and I love this restored living gospel. Also, I have the best companion in the mission. The Lord blesses all of us with our efforts. Even though it's hard sometimes, it's those elect people that make it all worth it. Because of them, I'd do all the hard trials all over again a thousand times. 

love y'all,
elder mahaffey

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Transferring (August 27)

Well well well. Another week. I've officially lived in the Philippines for a year! This email's gonna be quick, I'm kinda rushed because...I'm TRANSFERRING back to Cebu city. ahh I can't explain my love for Negros. It's hard to leave, but if there's anywhere I wanna go, it's Cebu City.

This week was crazy because we were running all over the place, working in different areas and preparing for a baptism. Joseph will be baptized on Saturday!! He met President and President looked at him and said "Joseph, I have a feeling you will be a missionary" and Joesph just beamed and nodded. He got over his smoking so he could be baptized and confirmed and he is so ready and excited. We also set a baptism date for the Estavillo family, next month! I'm sad I wont be here, but so happy for them. Leaving Zambo is tough, I've loved this area; the mountains, the ocean, the beaches, but most of all, the members. What incredible Saints. I've realized that on my mission, I've gotten closest with the people that we've helped the most. It's the best part of life, seeing people change and repent and feel true gospel happiness again.

Until next time. Gotta go catch a boat!

Elder Mahaffey

The Estivillo Family

Our District all made jerseys!




The Missionary Boys are Coming (August 20)

Five words: The Estavillos came to church. Oh happy day. They walked in and the WHOLE ward ran to greet them at the door. haha they were like celebrities, just walking through a crowd of outstretched hands, "Hi! Hi! hello! welcome to church! come sit come sit!" They put a whole new meaning on fellowshipping. They really enjoyed church and said they will come back. That was the highlight of the week. Every time we go to their house, the kids run to the door and sing "the missionary boys are coming...." hahaha. Please pray for them. We've prayed and fasted so much this week.

Other than that, I just realized again how much I love Filipinos. They are honestly the best people in the world. Just the nicest. Sometimes we get frustrated with people rejecting us, but I've been focusing just on the good, and it takes on a whole new perspective. Sometimes in life, when we're constantly around the same people every day all week, we start to notice their weaknesses and flaws, but how much better would the world be if we only pointed out each other's strengths and virtues, ya know? Try that out. makes life better.

Well, I'm hungry. Good afternoon, good evening and goodnight!

Love,
elder mahaffey

It's Rainin' Investigators! (August 13)

Speakin of rain, it has rained every day this week. I've realized that every storm is called a "typhoon" here...even if it's a little rain. hahah aint no typhoons gonna stop the work! Something funny about filipinos: they absolutely haaaate getting wet. like cats. if it's raining, every single person on the street has an umbrella or hat on. If you get wet, you're supposed to take a shower immediately or else you'll get a bad fever. filipino filosofies. so we must look crazy out on the streets completely drenched with a big smile everywhere we go.

Our investigators are making great progress. Joseph is back on track and hasnt had one cigarette this week!! I love seeing the Book of Mormon's role in people's conversion. "There is a power in the book of mormon which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of it." That goes for anyone!

Also, to anyone reading this, if Mormon missionaries ever approach you, please accept them. let them in your home, i promise only good can come of it.

This is a great work. I love the philippines. I love the rain. I love the sun. I love the ocean. I love the fresh fish caught this morning. "it's the good life to be free"

Heavenly Peace, love of God and grace,
elder mahaffey

Apo Adventure and More (August 7)

Imagine this:

Taking a boat to the small, tropical Apo island and stepping onto the beach barefoot, with my shoes and socks in another hand. The water is crystal cleeeeear blue. Put my socks and shoes back on and walk down a path into a small village, little filipino squint-smiles greeting you "Welcome to Apo!" and waving and little kids running to the windows of their school-classroom to say hello, a man playing the ukulele, let's me borrow it, I play and sing and a group of 20 kids gathers around us, we go on our way and meet new people, nicest on earth, walking through a clean little jungle village with vines hanging down, white cement houses and white sand beaches, introducing ourselves and teaching the gospel.

That's what i did today. All before noon. on a p-day. hahah we traveled to apo island, we were there for only an hour but we found 2 members of the Church there at different parts of the island, taught a lesson about the Restoration to a small family in the jungle and introduced ourselves to lots of people andd...you already know i took pictures. Guys, you shouldve seen the water there!! And the people were amazing. I want to go back. The restored gospel is going forth to "every isle of the sea"

Other than that, we have had a very successful week! We have found and taught a lot of awesome investigators. Our family, the Estavillos have been progressing great and we're so excited for them. Miracles are happening here. Thank you for your prayers! hope you all are happy kaayo sa tanan. i love ya lots

elder mahaffey





Laborers In The Vineyard (July 30)

Hellurrr! Good mornting!

This week I went to cebu for District Leader Conference. Traveling is so much fun, but exhausting. It was interesting to be back in Cebu and hearing the difference in language and everything. The workshop President gave was amazing, about the gift of the Holy Ghost. and how it's essential for salvation. Baptism without the receipt of the Holy Ghost does not bring a remission of sins. It is the Holy Spirit that sanctifies us from our sins... President schmutz said "The purpose of life is to bring together those times of sanctification and that can only happen if we feel the presence of the spirit in our lives." I like that a lot.

So this week we only had one full day in our area, bc I was traveling the whole time, so on sunday we just went to work and I told the youth, "I dont think we're going to do splits today bc me and elder have a lot of work to catch up on." so we went on and then an hour later on the other side of town, we ran into the youth and they were TRACTING and FTE'ing and contacting just knocking on doors hahah and saying 'hello we're members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...etc" and they gave us so many referrals. What faithful Saints!! I was so shocked. It was so cool to see the members' love for the Lord, working right along side us in the vineyard.

They are a great example. Sometimes I wonder if people ever see us and wonder what could possibly motivate us to walk day and night looking to share this message, if not the truth. I encouraged you to share your simple testimony of this Gospel. You dont have to knock on doors, but just invite people to partake of dis happiness!


Ok see you lata. love you all. bye


love

elder mahaffey

Thursday, July 25, 2013

THE BURIED LIFE - RESURRECTED

It's crazy it's already been a week. We work to exhaustion every day and we have fun doing it. Especially tracting.

We've tracted the biiiggest houses. We feel like we're on the TV show, The Buried life, because we're doing the most insane things, pushin' all fear behind us. One day we stood outside the gates not knowing what to expect, the guards let us in, and then the owner sees us and kicks us out and sends his dogs on us. rude... Needless to say, that was not a Filipino. Filipinos are much kinder about their rejection. We also tracted a small resort and the owners let us in and listened to us and they were like "come back anytime! swim in our pools and relax! no charge!" hahaha maybe in couple years! Then we met another man who works for United Nations and he had all his maids get us snacks and drinks...treat us like celebrities. We were speaking all in English and using all these big words; "wow sir! Gary is a great name for you because you're so gregarious! was that deliberate?!" haha. We have a lot of fun with that.  Confidence can get you places.

We have had a ton of successes in finding investigators this week. One woman let us in and said "Oh you're Mormons??" and she runs and gets her daughter's backpack and pulls out a Book of Mormon and said "I make her take this to school every day!" Haha, but she didn't know what it was, someone just gave it to her. So we explained it was a record of prophets in ancient America and reading it would bring her closer to God than anything else. We asked if we could come back and she was like "well of course you can! if I'm lookin' for the truth, who says you don't have it?"  Those are just a few of the awesome experiences.
We are postponing Joseph's baptism date 'til August so he can get over Word of Wisdom problems, but he's still excited and trying hard. please pray for him! He's trying hard!
We're doing good here in Zambo. of course it's disappointing when people wont even give us the time of day. One man saw us walking up the street and he runs inside yelling, "NO! no! no! I have enough! I don't need anymore! I'm content with my religion!!" I immediately thought of 2 Nephi 28:29...it's sad, knowing how much the gospel could bless them and make them happy, and it's right here for their taking.
Well, I gotta go. Take care!
love,
elder sumna!
 
I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!!!

 

HOPE ON!!

Hi fam!
 
We had a pretty...good week! There were trials and difficulties and disappointments but all is well! We're still going strong. On Sunday, only a couple investigators came to church of all the ones we've been teaching, but I trust Heavenly Father's timing. I've learned a lot about faith and we can't lose hope just because a couple bumps in the road. Hold on to the faith you got and run with it. 
The members in the branch have noticed a big difference in the area and I think it's getting them excited to help with the missionary work. It's fun to see. Our investigator Joseph is doing awesome. He really recognizes that this is the only Church with the right and true authority. He's like "there's nothing missing! It's all complete. It's the same exact church Christ built." He'll be baptized next week!
 
My comp is awesome. We sing for all our investigators and while riding on tricycles. Pretty sure the entire municipality of Zambo now knows the song "I am a child of God".. unfortunately, Elder Metusela is transferring back to Cebu!! My new comp is Elder Harris from California and I'm the new District leader of Bayawan zone. Crazy things happenin! I'm excited for this new transfer, and for good things to come. 
 
I love y'alls.  I heard a quote this week that made me think of our fam:
 
"There is nothing so noble as to travel and make friends" --Mohammed Ibd Aruk
 
So Hope on, journey on! Love life, love God.
 
love,
me
 




 
 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

"You need Jesus."

Dear Fam,

The move to the new island was great. I was talking to everybody on the boats on my way here. Taught the first lesson to a Baptist preacher. Met a lot of cool people. One girl from Denmark traveling the world by herself, a gold-hunter from San Fransico. It was so cool telling them about the Church and just being friendly. My life is so cool!

Ok Negros (Oriental). It's one of the best places on the planet earth. We live right by the beach (mom and dad, I can hear the waves) and all the roads are sand and the people here are so nice. They speak a different form of Bisaya with new words, so I'm still getting used to it but I love it. They have like a tone when they talk, it sounds like theyre singing. haha my area is Zamboanguita, it's huge area-- rural/beachy/mountain/ricefields (google it!) and the members are amazing. The attendance at church is small, about 50, but I have such high hopes and faith for this area.

My companion is Elder Metusela. Samoan from australia. yeeeeah. (I can hear the mahaffey fam cheering). He has the best voice I've ever heard, honestly its incredible. like famous-person-good. I'm follow-up training him, He's about 3 months in so he's still learning the language but he's got a testimony as big as he is. SO funny, I laugh so hard. Last night, we were at a bakeshop ordering and a crazy old toothless man hobbled up to us and was chuckling at us and Elder Metusela looks at him and said "Ooo brotha, you need Jesus." hahaha I died.

Many miracles have happened already. The other day, we were tracting houses along the beach (literally walking on the sand) and found awesome return appointments. Then we kept walking for like an hour up into the mountains talking to everyone, and then we realized we were lost and VERY far from home and we hadn't seen a motor for a while, so we said a prayer and said "Please send us a motorcycle." within 2 minutes, a motor came driving by and stopped. (prayer answered) This woman told us that 10 years ago, she rented to a foreigner woman that was a Mormon and she went on and on about how kind she was and she remembered all her kids names...wow! That shows the influence we have as members. The power of kindness reaches far, even into the jungle mountains of Zamboanguita. haha we must always always be kind. Ok? 

So things are so good! I'm looking forward to this area and the miracles and meeting the people. I love you, you are all beautiful.

love, aloha and negros,
Elder mahaffey

From Cebu to Zamboanguita

Central Park in Zamboanguita

LDS Church in Zamboanguita

Road in Zamboanguita

 Sumner's Area

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Promised Land!

I'm getting transferred to Negros!! I'm moving to another island tomorrow morning! It's an emergency transfer so i only had a 2 days notice. It's bittersweet cuz Negros is awesome, its called the "Promised Land" but I've loved Mabolo so much. I dont think you know. 

I wish you could meet these people I work with and teach every day: Brother Syke and his bald head and wide smile and talking a thousand miles per hour, old man Brother Jovel with his crazy eye and mumbling under his breath (nicest guy), Sister Delia always speaking english dancing and laughing, Sister Tessie preaching repentance to everyone and their dog on the streets as we walk, Brother Macasero always feeding us snacks. Everyone! I love them so much. Imma miss them!

Carmel is so platinum. After her baptism, she got kicked out of her house, and had a really hard time. but immediately, the ward took her under their wings and she now lives with all active members. And she knows exactly where those blessing came from.

We have a baptism this saturday, Glen Marinduque (i wont be here..). He's from a family we've been teaching, SO awesome. they've all come back to church. Shout out to the Marinduque fam, i know you read the blog! hahaha amping sa inyong tanan mingawon baya tamu!! family scripture study hah?!!

Last week, Elder Ardern of the seventy came to Cebu. He was so so awesome, just receiving revelation every moment. He talked all about making our scripture study more deep and fulfilling. He's from NZ, shout out to Pa. This week, the mission is officially splitting so it's a big historical time in Cebu. Well, I gotta go pack...

Love life and love your Savior. He has "graven us upon His hands" (1 nephi 21:16), I'm grateful for that everyday.

love,
elder mahaffey. (be "haffey" always)

Baptism! (May 28, 2013)

We had a fantastic, memorable week, with our first baptism. Carmel Montecalvo is really elect, and we are blessed to know her and to teach her. She and Monico have so many questions and they mark every scripture we share and take notes while we teach. The baptismal service was perfect, and SO many ward members came to support her. Some Less-actives even came to witness and I think it was good to have them in the church again and "rekindle" those feelings that they felt before (And as a result, 2 of them came to back to church the next day). Carmel gave an awesome testimony at the conclude of the service saying, "I know that through this baptism, it is only the beginning and I have come back to my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ."

Last week, Carmel worked with us and bore her testimony to one investigator, Joy. On sunday, Joy came to church! She watched Carmel get confirmed a member of the church and came up to me afterward and said "Elder, I love being here. You were right when you said if I came to church, I'd feel happy." We were able to go do a Community Service Project at the compound where Joy lives, yesterday, and her husband was really impressed and actually came out to talk to us (awesome opportunity for Building relationship trust).

This week we noticed that some people with broken lives just flock to the word of God. In one lesson with a Less-active family, one daughter went out and brought back a few people and said "Come sit down, let's listen and get our lives in order" and then they just listened intently as if soaking in everything we said. We explain to people that while God tries to builds us up, Satan is trying to "antithetically parallel" his pattern by tearing us down -- little by little. But through obedience to all God's commandments, we are lifted and experience true happiness. Aint that nice? haha I feel like I've been receiving so much personal revelation lately, it's the best.
How's everyone feeling? Happy? I hope so. PLease study your scriptures. You're the best!
Love and aloha,
Elder mahaffey

Lions, Tigers, and BAPTISM (May 22, 2013)

OK this week me and elder warner went for a run in the morning and found that bengal tiger I was talking about. Turns out, the owner has 6 tigers and 6 lions, so we got to pet them and everything. So sweet...

Better news, we got permission to move Carmel's baptism date to May 25...this saturday!!! She was so excited. we were too... hahaha she and Monico worked with us this week and it was absolutely perfect. She bore testimony to our other investigators and brought the Spirit so much. She also went to the temple complex to do family history work, then while at the temple, she met sister missionaries and got excited and now wants to serve a mission!! and Monico does too! what a miracle. A baptism and a rescued less-active.

So Mabolo is doing awesome. I love it and I begged President for another transfer because we have so much to do...hahaha anyway, hope everyones doing well, I love you all so much. 

love and aloha,
elder sum