Monday, November 25, 2013

Baguio Stake Conference

This past weekend, the saints of La Trinidad and Baguio came together for Baguio Stake Conference. They had the opportunity to hear words from members of the stake, the stake presidency, President and Sister Balledos, and they were privileged to be addressed by President Ardern, of the area presidency, and his wife. The Lord is hastening his work! All of the topics pertained to missionary work and how all people can help bring others to Christ. There was a lot of emphasis on members working with missionaries and the simple acts that members can do to help bring others unto Christ. It was a great opportunity for both members and investigators to help the work progress. There were testimonies of how the gospel has blessed lives, and because of that, how important it is for us to share it with others.

The Saturday evening adult session focused on member- missionary opportunities in progressing the work of the Lord. President Ardern advised the congregation how to improve their efforts in sharing the gospel with His children. He shared a video that highlighted some ways that members could reach out to their friends.

President Ardern really emphasized the importance of our responsibility to share the gospel. He said, "The greater the depth of your conversion, the more likely we are to share the gospel." This not only encourages us to share the gospel to others, but to continue to develop our own testimonies.

However, hastening the work does not involve only the full-time missionaries. Members are a vital part of hastening the work. When members magnify their callings, reaching out to not only non-members, but to all of those in their congregation (less active members and recent converts), the Lord's work is progressing. President Thomas S. Monson stated, "Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him. He has prepared the means for us to share the gospel in a multitude of ways, and He will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work.”

The Lord not only needs missionaries to move His work forward, He needs all of His faithful saints to bring others back to His fold. The missionaries of the Baguio Philippines mission are anxious and ready to work with the members in their areas. As Latter-day Saints all over the world continue to work hand in hand with the full-time missionaries, the Lords work will progress!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

October Transfer

This past October, we had a new batch of missionaries enter the mission. Half of them coming from the Provo, UT MTC and the other half from the Manilla Philippines MTC. They are great missionaries excited for the work of salvation. For the first three days of their in-field time, they traveled from Manila to San Fernando where the mission office is located. En route to the mission office, their bus broke down for a couple of hours, but this didn't stop the missionaries from enjoying every moment of their time here. The Lord's hand is in everything, as was proven when the bus broke down right across the road from a members home who gave these new missionaries water and shade from the heat of the afternoon. After this little set back, they were able to make it to the mission office, and get acquainted with the mission president along with the STL's and AP's. It was a long first day, but they were able to all bond while playing minute to win it games and watching 17 Miracles. It was a great first day for the brand new Baguio missionaries.
Over the course of the next two days, these missionaries were able to preach by the way at the local malls, experience washing their clothes by hand, taking jeepneys, and making chicken adobo. It was a great cultural experience for the foreign missionaries, and all had fun as they raced to see who would make it to the Mission home first. The Mission home of President and Sister Balledos is set in the most perfect location on the beach with the best view imaginable. The missionaries really enjoyed getting to play on the sand for a bit and enjoy what the Philippines has to offer. During this time at President Balledos' home, the new missionaries were able to be informed about what being a Baguio missionary entails. The work is challenging, but so rewarding. We are in the work of salvation as missionaries, and each elder and sister in this latest batch is excited and energetic about the work.
These new missionaries are a month into their missions now, and they are still continuing to shine and progress in their assigned areas. It is truly great to be a Baguio missionary!