Monday, May 7, 2018

You're only one call away...

Elders tend to get 4 calls home in their missions: 2 Christmases and 2 Mother's Days. My first call home happened in the MTC (Christmas); it feels like it happened so long ago, but also it feels like the time has passed in an instant. This next week will be my last call for Mother's Day. It will be the last time I get to talk to my parents before I see them in person. It is very weird to think that this whole thing will be coming to an end. I try not to think of that; I just keep myself busy enough that I do not have to worry about it. I love the Philippines and I love the people. I have seen a lot of miracles. I have met so many people. We are keeping strong over here and not giving up anytime soon.
Calls like this normally divide your mission into 4 parts, this being my last part. I have heard it said that the last part is the best because you can just apply all the things that you learned and work a lot more effectively than you had before. I look forward to that. In some ways I have already started that portion of my mission. Of course, there will still be a lot to learn; but I will not have much that held me back before.
On a completely different note, there is a person welding literally 10 feet away from me right now. It is kind of distracting. Welding is a specialized skill that can get you more money than most normal jobs here.
This week we have been struggling to push our area to progress – mostly because we have been mapping and working in the other Elder's area. We still need to teach the progressing investigators that we do have, and add to the teaching pool. Because of the mapping, I now know every single active and less active member in my area on the membership records. If they have moved in and not transferred their membership records, we do not know about them yet.
Dehydration is a real thing! Don’t let it get you. I just found out this last week that during fasting (members of our church go without food or water for 24 hours on the first Sunday of the month, just like Jesus did in the Bible) we are allowed to drink water in this mission. I didn’t know my whole mission! I will still try to go without. Water is so important in this country because it is just constant sweating and humidity. But we are getting into the rainy season so it will probably be a little bit easier to make it through those challenges of dehydration.
Elder Kauffman and I are doing alright. He has been struggling and we have been able to talk about the reasons a mission is difficult; hopefully we will continue to see good progress together. He has a lot of potential, but everyone gets tested on the mission. We are still seeing how he is going to deal with this trial. I think that every single missionary goes through specific individual trials that really push them.

Welp thanks for listening have a wonderful week and keep on keeping on.
Elder faulkner

Monday, February 26, 2018

Malanday na, Tayo.

We made it down the street again. Elder Ewing and I are in Malanday and we are living the dream. We are working with the ward to contact the people that were taught before specifically the ones that have been to church, it is great because the Bishop knows almost all of the investigators who have been to church over the last several months.

Since being in this area:

·        We had 2 baptisms and 2 confirmations
o   Marvin and Russel
·        We have found a good amount of the past investigators.
·        Mercy went to church
o   See below
·        We got a couple new people in the zone.
·        We had a really good sacrament meeting
o   This building has air conditioning
·        Our new area is pretty big.
·        Got a new apartment
o   The lock is broken.
§  Please don’t break in.
·        New apartment is bigger more room to pace.

So this week we got to church and we were greeting all the people and we saw one member wave us over. He was sitting next to this girl and he goes on to explain to us that the girl had just walked into church. She didn’t know anyone. She had never met missionaries. And she didn’t know anything about the church. Her name is Mercy, she told us about how she felt like she needed to go to church in our building that day. She stayed the full 3 hours and we set an appointment to meet with her later today. She has a lot of potential and really wants to learn more. We are very excited to teach her.

We are still working with our zone-mates to really get going and focus on the work. I have noticed once you start to focus on something (especially if it is the welfare of other people), most other concerns seem to just disappear. Right now, as I focus on the work – not many things get in the way. When my focus strays from the work, it becomes impossible to work effectively. So many other things get in the way. The truth is, we achieve whatever we focus on. Everything else will fall away and become unimportant. That is the thing that we will get.
Find your goal, get focused, expect great things.
Love you all
Elder Faulkner

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I made it out alive didn't I?

So we did it; we made it through the transfer. If the last 6 weeks were hard for you all, be glad – you probably learned a lot. If they weren't hard for you, well that is sad because you could have learned so much more. Recap of this transfer:
·        The whole mission moved around.
·        Started with 18 missionaries in the zone.
o   Lost 6.
o   Meycauayan Ward is down to 2 missionaries
o   Even with transfers, we are only gonna have 6 companionships in the zone.
·        Elder Ewing and I are staying together
o   We are transferring areas to Malanday Ward
§  That is still in Valenzuela zone
o   We are moving into a much bigger apartment.
·        Moving deeper into the city,
o   Probably gonna die of black lung.
·        We need to teach the missionaries how to teach better
o   I have to learn how to teach so that I can teach others to teach.
·        I started a goal to really read the Book of Mormon in Tagalog.
·        We still are gonna get 28 baptisms in March
o   We had 3 baptisms scheduled for this week
§  1 fell through
§  The other didn’t make it to church for her confirmation.
o   Baptized Krisel who has been waiting to be baptized for like 5 months
·        I got sent some pictures of my birthday celebration a long time ago
·        Life is good but difficult
·        There is pretty much not really stress anymore, stress is just a choice
·        Edi wow

I love you all, in the immortal words of a prophet of our time "If you are not reading the book of Mormon every day, please do so"

The gospel changes people's lives. My cousin Christian challenged everyone to think about things that have changed in their lives because of Jesus Christ and the love of our Father in heaven.

I would like to extend that same invitation to all of you. Take some time to think if your life has changed and in what ways. You can't share the joy of eternal life if you have not felt the change in yourself.


Elder Faulkner

Monday, February 12, 2018

Santa Maria, Meycauayan, and Malanday

This week we worked in Santa Maria, one of the biggest areas in the mission. The ward out there has been having a lot of referrals and wants missionaries (they haven’t had any for around 4 months now). We got to talk to all the people out there that had people they wanted taught by the missionaries. It was a good experience because we got to see what happens to a ward when the missionaries get taken out. They want the work to be done but they don’t have the proper authority to have any convert baptisms. The Church of Jesus Christ is very organized. The standards are never lowered no matter how big the need seems. When we came in, these people were really prepared to listen and to make commitments. We probably won’t be the ones to continue to see these people taught and baptized – but that is alright. We will get to help the zone teach these people and help them get baptized in a timely manner.
One thing we have been really focusing on is working as a big team to make sure the most effective work is done. We can’t really do anything if we are only thinking "this is my area and my ward". We have to start thinking "what can we do today for the salvation of those around us?" People get so distracted with their area and forget that they need to do more for those that want to be baptized, no matter where they are. We are gonna start ward hopping a little bit within our zone. So if one ward has more people to teach they get more missionaries.
Other than that, not too much happened this week. We have been really trying to get people to understand our purpose as missionaries. We are trying to be even more straightforward with people we teach. We have seen the blessings of this and we are going to have 3 baptisms this week. We are excited to see people that have walked hard paths to get to where they are now.
  • ·        This transfer, our zone started with 18 people. We now only have 12.
  • ·        The whole zone will be rearranged in about 2 weeks.
  • ·        I had a sit-down lunch/business meeting with a billionaire
  • ·        Someone I taught 4 months ago moved into my area and will be baptized on Saturday
  • Every day is a struggle

Meycauayan smells really bad.
Might be moving to Malanday soon that is like 30 minutes down the street

Welp that is all we got right now.
Shoutout to all you people I love you
Have a great week
Elder Faulkner

Monday, February 5, 2018

Moving Mountains by Faith

We have the promise several times in the scriptures that roughly says ‘By faith ye may move mountains’ (See Matthew 17:20). But what does this really mean? Faith is power. Faith is God using us to accomplish a specific purpose. This requires our personal willingness and belief, along with our action and determination. Faith is very different from a belief because it requires us to be completely committed. Our President stresses to us that God can do his work with only a select few if they are committed, fearless, and focused. But he cannot do his work with unwilling, non-committed servants.
God does the work for us. Every baptism I have seen in my mission is a pure miracle. It is the desire of God that the work still goes forward. As for moving mountains, the concept is the same. God moves the mountain when we:
1. Realize that God needs the mountain moved.
2. Determine to do everything in our power to move the mountain ourselves.
3. Pick up a shovel
4. Decide to stick it out to the end.

This means that sometimes God does the work when we are just starting the work, and sometimes He does it when we are almost done. The important thing is no matter how much work we did, God will still remind us that it was Him who did the miracle.
Faith is often misunderstood in the world, because people think that God just does the work regardless of what we put in. The whole point of faith is that it is a constant learning opportunity.
Elder Ewing and I have set a goal that our mission president called "Ridiculous". At the same time, he said he also respected our faith and he loved our goal. We have been doing everything we could to reach that, but have been pretty much hitting our heads on a wall with how much progression our efforts have given us. We have been given so many miracles. We realized that God needs His children baptized. We are doing everything we can – we went to work, and no matter how bad it seemed we just kept going. We have been seeing almost nothing, but know God has blessed us in other ways that we didn’t even think possible. In the end, the blessings of Baptism are so much greater for the people being baptized than for us. Thankfully, we get to see these people change and get closer to God. And we get personal conversion out of it. Win Win Win.
Can't Stop Won't Stop.
Camera is out of Battery so no pictures this week, will charge – promise.
I love you all. All of you that are out there. Keep on keeping on.
The quick update on the life:
·       Had another Missionary Leadership council.
·       Stake conference with Area President Elder Bowen.
·       Talked with the bishops in our stake they are cool we will be working with them.
·       Will be baptizing those people in Santa maria. Super fast.
·       We lost 5 missionaries in our zone. Stress was too high.

Read the Book of Mormon every day. 3 prophets in a row have emphasized it. If you aren’t doing it: REPENT NOW.

Love you all

Elder Faulkner

Monday, January 29, 2018

"You had 12 brothers and sisters?" "8." "Yeah 12 sounds better"

That is like the mission. Here is what you have to understand about missionary work, you see the worst in people. That is exactly what Ammon saw in the Lamanites, he saw their killings and he saw their disputations and their problems – but the most important is he loved them enough to serve them forever. I love these people that I serve enough to serve them forever if need be. The love that a missionary experiences for the people is unexplainable but the devastation that he feels when people choose not to improve their position in life is the same way.

It is like your family. You see them do good things, you see them do bad things, and you love them. The important thing is to never let the bad things inhibit the love.

The thing almost none of you will ever understand is the love and the pain of a Filipino. They are the fastest friends in the hardest of times. They are the people that smile the most when they feel like nothing is going right. They have some of the most hard-up circumstances – but they always have a joke. I have learned more about hardships and how people deal with those hardships here than in the rest of my life combined.

In the Culture of the Philippines, people have learned to share and give even when they have nothing. It is a culture that has been affected by so many things and it is a tragedy how many hardships the people here have. In the end they deal with them well and they are great people.

We had a baptism
The zone is still kind of falling apart.
Charity is probably the most important thing.
We have a big thing going with a closed area that has a lot of people going to church we may go over there and teach the people over there a couple times and then baptize them. I will keep you updated on that. There are 10 of them.
I got some pictures.
I love you all I hope you are holding up without me, you only have like a year left....
Welp anyways good luck
Elder Faulkner

Monday, January 22, 2018

That moment when you have no moments

So many things happened. I will aim to give a brief overview of the week. Sorry I couldn’t write more.

~      We started really trying to get referrals out of the ward members.
~      One of the sisters in our zone got ringworm.
~      Another says there is a ghost in the apartment.
~      We have a baptism this coming Saturday.
~      We found out some stuff about missionaries who used to be assigned here.
~      We got a 2-minute visit by President Hughes on Sunday.
~      We are changing the way that ward missionaries work.
~      God lives.
~      We revamped the Key indicators a little bit.
~      We try not to knock doors anymore.
~      I got new Glasses. (They are pretty cheap here)
~      I got an eye exam. (It was free here.)
~      We found an ok family. (Tucong Family)
~      We got a solid member referral.
~      I am gonna get a ton of my clothes retailored for like 2 dollars.
~      Spirits the best teacher.
~      Started Tagalog language learning book part 2.
I love you all.
Elder Faulkner