Friday, March 29, 2013

egg-cellent times.


It's been quite a week. Let me just tell you, birthday's are a big deal here in the Phillies so on march 22, I fed like the whole town of Lamac. I ordered a giant ice cream barrel and there was a line literally going out the door for it. We had chocolate cake and cookies and pancit and spaghetti and fried chicken and...lots of rice. At the end of the night, they all smashed eggs on my head because I'm one year older....i'm not sure I see the connection...

I've realized that the pilipinos' personality and culture reminds me so much of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" exactly. they are so loud, they'll use any excuse to gather and eat food, everyone outside their culture just "doesnt get it", they love to gossip, the old people are crazy and they have their little folklores and home remedies for everything.

We've been working with the members to get them scripture reading and it's finally happening..for the first time on my mission, i'm seeing families reading their scriptures. As for investigators...very unstable. But our main focus is members...thats how bad it is...the missionaries are working with ACTIVE members. They come to church but theyre not active in the gospel, you know? I hate sin. Literally it makes me cringe to see Satan tearing families apart. "My soul abbhoreth in sin...but delighteth in righteousness" (2 nephi 9:49)...I absolutely love seeing families keeping their commitments and seeing the blessing of finding faith in Christ. So that's our job, to help them become truly converted to the Lord. Glad to see some progress!

How yall derin?? are YOU reading? dont miss one day! are yall having fun and serving others and going on adventures? BETTA! i love you so much and you are always in my thoughts and prayers.

love and aloha,
elder mahaffey

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Man's Extremity

Man guys... it was an interesting week. Strange experiences, but everything's good. I've just seen the power of the priesthood really at work.

The coolest thing though is the effect of the scriptures on the families here. So last week, we started visiting members and really encouraging them to read their scriptures, and it's really made a difference. They seem excited to do family scripture reading now. There's less fighting, I've noticed. I'm just overwhelmed seeing the blessings of living a Christ-centered life. It's so distinct, it's undeniable. SO read your scriptures!! it's literally protection and armor.

Lamac is so rural, you'd laugh. I love it though. And this week we've found new investigators in the most random places. It's cool to see how the Lord works and how he uses us to do His work. One thing i've learned this week is that even in the most trying, difficult miserable times, we can be happy and find peace in keeping the commandments. "Man's extremity is God's opportunity" so God's having a lot of opportunity with me...haha I love it. I glory in my trials! Keep your eye on the prize (mosiah 4:27)!

Well, i'm doing good yall. happy, well-fed. keep it real!! have a nindot kaau week.

all my love
elder sumna

Feast upon the words

Aloha yall!

A LOT of changes are happened in the mission this week. We've been told to focus on the members and helping them be converted to the Gospel through scripture reading. Generally I think the philippines has a hard time with daily scripture study so we have a lot to work with. It's been great already-- Going into homes and promising blessings of happier family relations and prosperity. Honestly there is SO much power in daily scripture study. I've never seen and felt it so evidently before. I feel good things coming to Lamac.

As for the investigators... in case you didnt know, an investigator has to come to church 4 times in a row to be baptized, so that's the difficult part. Jade left for the city this week and didn't come to church. It's sad. In fact that's the case for even a lot of the members. The attendance fluctuates a lot. It's interesting to listen to people complain about their marriage problems, family problems, and seemingly endless trials...but when we ask them how their scripture reading or prayer is, they respond "nah i dont have time for that. im too tired." Honestly? Do you see the problem?

Haha sometimes I feel like we're doctors diagnosing spiritual illnesses and the medicine is always the same -- keep the commandments. But it's like they're too stubborn to take the meds because they dont know if it will actually work.

Anyway, the work was really great this week. On our way from appointment to appointment we just talk to EVERYone. Thanks to elder manansala. He's so bold, it's been a great example to me, and a big turning point in my mission.

This week I ate shark.

Also, last week, it was a kids birthday in our branch. We went all the way to their little hut in the mountains and brought cake and soda and gifts. It was the greatest thing in the world. He kept saying "elder! elder thank you...i've never tasted cake in my whole life...this is the first time i've had soda on my birthday. thank you thank you!" it made me happy. share your blessings with others!

I love yall. I look forward to growing and living and learnin. Life is good. take some risks. live it up. read the scriptures.

elder mahaffey

Friday, March 8, 2013

Be Excellent to Each Other

Dear Family,

Yes, it was another difficult week. You're probably getting tired of hearing that haha but it was a good week too. Elder Manansala is having a lot of breathing problems and has to take medicine and inhalers and nebulizers. I feel so bad for him but he works so hard anyway. It's taught me a lot.

I'm learning a lot about families. I'm learning about strengths and weaknesses and wayward children and parents. Honestly, the only thing that provides a strong foundation for real happiness in the family is the Gospel. The branch has a lot of family problems. I got up in testimony meeting and I said "stop fighting. stop talking bad about each other. stop it. please appreciate your families. hug your children, hug your wives. show your love to them." every house we teach at, ive been telling them to HUG each other. Respect your mother. I would give anything to hug my parents right now. stuff like that. its such a different culture. the kids are too shy to hug their parents...they think its awkward. how sad is that? Man I miss you guys. keep huggin each other for me.

This week we taught a less-active, Marife, who just had a baby and her non-member husband, Jade, and sitting there cross-legged in their bamboo home with only candles to light the room, we explained to them that accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ would be the absolute best thing they could do for their 3-day old baby Marife was holding. The spirit was so strong and we invited Brother Jade to be baptized and he accepted.

"Consider the profound service a mother and father gives in the quiet anonymity of a worthy Latter-day saint home" They are 'no less servicable' than the greatest parents and prophets of the scriptures (alma 48:19). I love my family, and I am eternally grateful for our parents, my sistahs. be excellent to each other always. So go forth and love!

all my love and aloha,
elder mahaffey