Monday, February 11, 2013

"as if a candle or gasoline had been thrown into a fire"

Hey Pop!

Great to hear from you, I'm more grateful than anything to read a
letter from my old man more than anything. There's so much taking
place here, I don't know where to start and where to end! There's
going to be 3 baptisms this coming Saturday, and I feel so blessed to
have been the one to invite those 3 to enter this new sacred covenant
with their Heavenly Father. I feel the power of your prayers. Thank
you so much for keeping me in your busy busy mind throughout your day,
because I rely greatly on the strength of you all back home. These
baptisms would certainly not be taking place if it weren't for the
added strength I get from back home. That's been confirmed to me over
and over again as I work everyday. :)

I thought I'd share a spiritual experience with you as well:
Ever since I arrived in the MTC, I didn't know I had my patriarchal
blessing on me (I failed to noticed that my wise and diligent mother
stored it in the binder with my shot records...). With that, I was
yearning to read my patriarchal blessing, so I made plans every week
to request them so I can read it. For some reason, I'd always forget!
Up until 2 mornings ago when I was getting ready. I was grabbing the
clothes I was going to wear for the day when I saw the binder sitting
there in my closet. I decided to open and look at it just to see what
was inside. I found a dead spider in one of the pockets... my mission
call, and then I flipped the page and found my patriarchal blessing! I
was so excited and read it right away. It was so strong, my blessing,

and I remembered the feelings I felt inside when I had first heard all
the promised blessings Heavenly Father has waiting for me. I was so
enlightened and encouraged, and even though I was motivated to do
great before, I am even more motivated now, like as if a candle or gasoline 

had been thrown into a fire, to do much better and continue to improve. It came
at such a perfect time. I knew that Heavenly Father was telling me
that these 3 upcoming baptisms aren't the end of my work, and it was
only just the beginning of many many more great things to come!

So, in short, my game face was on, but now I have war paint! HAIL!
(Saying that in Tyler Harris' voice... hahaha!)

Anyways, hope you're not too busy with callings, work, and errands :)
I remember how you were never too busy for me. I
thought about how much time I could have and should have spent when I
was home. Those moments where you get home and watch tv by yourself
would have been perfect moments to sit next to you and just soak in
the relaxing ambiance and laugh about something weird (because you
always say something weird...) and share your memories from the dino
days. Love you pops!


Elder Sablan Jr.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Wrapping up my first month! A True Filipino I'm becoming to be. . .

Whew!  So just wrapping up my first month here in the PI and I learn everyday!  I never though I'd say this. . .but, I'm becoming more FILIPINO!  HA!HA!HA!  It's in my roots after all. . .I love the Pilipino people and the people I serve...

I realized as I was washing dishes one day that I can't teach the people if I'm not a part of them... I was told I didn't have to and also discourage that learning Ilocano at the same time of learning Tagalog will confuse me. . .but, I feel so inspired to learn.  I feel that it'll help the people trust me when I share my thoughts and testimony with them as I try to help them.  My companion and I continue to learn and it takes so much courage to talk to people that I can't hardly understand.  But, whenever I open my mouth, I trust that I'll be filled with words to say. 

Time seems to be going muuuch faster since I decided to change my attitude and focus more about the mission.  Things are more clear, I can see ahead, and I know how to help people better!  I'm excited for the coming month!  There's a baptism on the 9th and 2 more on the 16th.  With the help of my Savior and the Holy Ghost, I've invited this beautiful couple and young sister to change their lives and enter into a covenant with our Heavenly Father.  There's a few more that have been invited but, my companion and I are steadily preparing 'em.  It's a lot of work!  Faith in Jesus Christ isn't as easy as I thought. . .true conversation is one's decision.  I've never experienced that until right before my mission.  Until then, I cling on so desperately to the strength that others had in the gospel.  I pray so hard every day and night for our investigators to receive the message.  It works some days, and harder on next. . .but the work is going great.  I hope to see a huge spurt in the growth of my branch here as my companion and I do our best to work!

FOOD?  It's weird, my companion (who is amerikano) would cook rice and a filipino dish like sinigang, adobo, and other stuff like that. . .and the days I cook comes out burgers and fries. . .ganun. lol

So far, I'm good and I'm learning how to be frugal.  Missionaries have an abundance of support compare to the local people. . .it humbles me and I do my best to live providently.  I don't need the extras. . .I just need the basic.

Anyways, I love you all!  My companion and I are schedule to go the city next week, so I'll develop some pictures and send them home.

Thank you for keeping your commitments!  As you continue to keep the commandments of daily prayer and scripture study by yourself and as a family, you will reap the blessings from heaven and God will open doors of inspiration, strength and wisdom to you all if you continue to do it everyday!

Ingat lahat kayo. 

Love Always,
Elder Sablan

Family & Friends

Family and Friends
About the PI- It's been pretty switchy with the weather around hear. Some days it rains, some days it shines. Either eay, I thought it'd be worse! Lol! I love my area though. The Branch is small, with about 60 to 80 active members a week. My comp and I are looking for more ways to progress the work hear, because we both know, and especially me, that this area has a very very special spirit about it. God loves the Sta. Teresita Branch! I just know it. My tagalog is... mmm... well... kind of tagalog. Lol! I wasn't too surprised, but a lot of people here understand english. I'm not sure why, but they just do. Even with that, I try to use as much tagalog as I possibly can, pero, hindi masyado pa... Lol. I've amped up my goals this week to try and improve my skills faster, we'll see where that takes me. Really random, but, me and my comp killed a rat this morning... it was about 5:30am when my comp woke me up. There was a brown out in our area, and he said he heard something in the bucket that woke him, so we went to go see, and it was a rat! It kept trying to jump out of the bucket, (and let me just say... rats got michael jordan kind of hops...) so we doused him in this poison thing all missionaries are issued to killed bugs, left him outside in the bucket, then fell asleep for about an hour. Lol... yeah... it died... I felt bad, but, we both didn't want it in the house! So yeah. The end. There's a lot of things that would make me come back here and visit. I wish I could've packed you all in my carry on so you could really get of a feel of the things I see everyday. With that, I will bear my testimony in Tagalog to close.

Kaibigan at pamilya ko, maraming salamat para sa panalangin at suporta ninyo. Nagpapasalamat ko po para sa lahat ninyo, at and mga biyaya araw araw galing sa panalangin ninyo. Alam ko po na, nagbebless ng dios sa akin dahil maraming mga reason. Alam ko po, Ang simbahan ni jesucristo ng mga banal sa mga huling araw ay totoo. Nagdasal ako tungkol ito, at nagtanggap ko ang sagot mula sa dios. Nagdarasal pa rin ako para sa lahat kayo, at humingi ako para sa dios pagpalain lahat kayo. Alam ko po and aklat ni mormon ay salita ng dios at si jesucristo, at ang aklat ni mormon ay naglalaman ng kabuuan ng ebanghelyo. Tunay ang dios at si jesucristo, and buhay pa rin. Mahal na mahal tayo ng dios, talagang, talaga. May pananampalataya ako sa dios, at ibinibigay siya sa akin ang akin kalakasan. Mahal na mahal kita ko lahat kayo. Suwerte na suwerte rin!

Sabi ko ang mga bagay na ito, sa pangalan ng anak ng dios, ni jesucristo, ang tagapagligktas natin,

Elder Sablan

A very heartfelt letter from my son. . .I just had to share

Mom, Let me tell you first how blessed I am to have you in my life. I don't think I've ever thanked you enough... ever! And I don't know when I ever wil completely be able to. I've been trying to deny myself and remain strong, but the simple truth is, I'm so homesick. I figured the first thing I needed to do to get over it is admit it. I've been really good at keeping up with my journal lately ever since the MTC, and my experiences are very valued so far. Last night, I finally got sick of myself. I told myself that I decided to do this. I decided to leave my family and to serve the Lord. I knew that I would get homesick (although I hadn't fathomed how much I'd actually miss you all...) and I knew that adjusting myself wasn't going to be easy. I realized that meant giving myself to God. All of me, inside and out, my thoughts, desires, and will power, are His for these next 2 years. I knew that. I also wrote how much I wish to turn back time and be a better son. Study hard, get good grades, make better friends, date good girls, participate more in church. But I also value the hardships for what they are teaching me now. I was way too lacks, and way too far off the deep end at times. Momma, and to you also Pop, I thank you both so much, with all my heart and soul, for devoting your life to me. For not giving up when you could have just as easily done away with me. For enduring to your end so I can fulfill mine. I realize that your love is Godly in every sense. It's an unspeakable love. It's pretty close to sacred. And I hope you both know that I hold that so close to my heart now while I'm so far from home... I think about you all before I sleep, and I keep having dreams with you all in them, and they feel so real, I wake up from them, and I ache inside to have you all just stop by for a hug... but last night, I knew God was telling me to shake it off. Shake the homesickness, and serve Him, because this is what you want. Not for me to honor the family, not to improve myself, and although yes, they do happen, the overall desire of your hearts it for my to honor my Father in Heaven. Thank you for your prayers and support. My strength is kindled through your prayers and faith. :)

Pop, you still da man! :) Way to lay it down for the stake! :) I feel the blessings rubbing off on me already! I really do. As people open up there homes to me and my comp. Ahh... Skyway Ward... how I miss it! I even miss the cold surprisingly! HA!

OH MAH GASH! Ate Carmen! :D You're getting called to the PI too, to serve in the Laoag PI mish! Hahaha! Good for you sis. :) You're super astig, talaga! Oh! You should listen to this song I randomly heard while tracting with my comp. It's called Patuloy and Pangarap by Angeline Quinto. I remember how much you used to like Filipino songs, so I figured you'd best enjoy it? Hmm... let me know though!

Nia! Keep pushing! The feild is white and already to harvest, and GOD NEEDS YOU! Whever you're going... I feel like you might be state side. Hmm... we'll see! ;)

01/06/2013 - 1st Week in the Philippines

Nandito na ako!  (I am here!)  Sobrang masaya ako, kahit medyo pangit pa akong magtagalog. LOL  I am so happy although my tagalog is not yet great.

We had a day to spent in Manila and My travelling companion Elder Challis went to the Manila Temple.  The temple wa really pretty kahit na maliit (it was small) but, the spirit in there was strong.

Manila Traffic is crazy!  But somehow, I felt safer there than US Highway Traffic. Ha! Trips from Manila to Laoag are by plane now which was awesome. Way faster, and I didn't get sick.   
My mission President Julius Jonah Flores Barrientos and wife Maria Lourdes Barrientos
Just a picture to show you a general idea of the Laoag Mission.  I am in a small branch called Santa Teresita Branch.  Maraming (Many) less active members and surely there is a lot of work to be done.  Okay lang sabi nga nila the harder I work, the prettier my wife will be, oh di ba? ha!ha!ha!  joke lang ^_*  

Laoag Mission Home - when I arrived all the new bees (missionaries)went to the mission home.  We placed copies of the Book of Mormon in Laoag City.  Grabee! napagod ako!  Turns out I don't have to learn Ilocano, but it'd be nice to . . . we were assigned our companions, took picture then left for our areas.  Mahabang bus ride. . .blegh!  5 hours!  We ate. . .I ate Adobo and Rice and it was really good but, not as good as Momma's cooking :D, we planned, we slept, and went out to teach the next day in a little farming town called Areduan.

Bahay Kubo - Nipa Hut
Astig na kalabaw! - Water Buffalo
 My companion (Elder Moffat) - astig sya and he seems to know what he is doing.   We are the farthest from the mission home, almost all the way on the north eastern part here.   The homes are close to what we call nipa huts which are mostly made out bamboos, ply wood or concrete with tin roofs.  No CR's ang banyo o kubeta sa labas nang bahay. (outside toilet)  They have water pumps outside the house, most of the house have no plumbing inside.  The mission do take care of its missionaries. . .we live in a pretty big house. . .all alone by ourselves.  It's orange. . .which stands out like a huge pumpkin. . .ha!ha!ha!  joke lang!  But, I hear it is the nicest one in the Laoag Mission.  It's kind of creepy at night though, I'm so used to having curtains over ALL the windows.  The cr is maliit.  No tub, you just stand up and shower.  Thanks for the chinelas (slippers) btw they really help!  I know why pinoys wear them all the time now. lol 

Sobrang sobra maganda dito dahil tahimik ang lugar (it is beautiful and peaceful place) Maraming Bukid (Mostly Farms) They are mostly farmers and they work all day in the bukid.  People are nice and friendly and very humble.  I am always ask to pray since I was new, even up til now. . .which is fine because I need to practice my tagalog anyways.  I LOVE MY FIRST AREA!  O sige!  Tapos na.  Hanggang sa susunod ^_^  That is all. . .until next time.

Bukid - Farm

Surprise!!! Elder Sablan meets Elder Sablan in Narita Airport

 So, I actually didn't expect to see Dylan at the airport in Narita.  Way cool!  I had just gotten out of the "CR" or "Toilet" as they refer to it in Japan. . .lol which btw, I tried using. . .Heh! it sprays your "bottom" puwet pala! (Japanese Bidet (pronounce also a bu-dei) Toilet)ha!ha!

Anyways, Elder Challis was waiting for me outside because I took a few extra minutes to brush my teeth and wash my face as well (no not in the bu-dei ^_* lol)

As I walked out of the CR. . .he (Dylan) was standing right next to my travelling companion Elder Challis!  I was shocked to see him and my first thought was "Dylan your kalbo" (bald hair) alright who gave you that hair cut? ha!ha!ha!  Anyways, I think he misses me giving him a haircut maybe he tried to do it to himself or what. . .but, anyways, I'm going to give him a lesson 101 on giving himself a haircut or he will just have to see a Barber in the Philippines. . . ha! ^_* We greated each other pretty warmly and we had time to catch up and he told me all about his experiences in Alabama.  We only had an hour lay over in Narita but, we boarded the same plane to Philippines and got to stay at the same hotel. . .although we had different rooms. . .We had breakfast together. It was a short but, nice bonding time.  He left the next day with other missionaries destined to go to Bacolod.  My companion and I stayed another day in Manila and we had a chance to go to the Manila Temple.   

Goodbye MTC - Memories & Pictures

Just though I'd sit down and take a few minutes to express my love and gratitude to my Pop!   You've raised me as I am. . .to be Strong, to be Loving, to do what I can to develop the skills of a Great Leader one day. . .I am who I am now because you raised me to be this way.  When I first got here in Provo, all I can remember was your voice saying "A good man should be Physically Strong, Mentally Strong, and Spiritually Strong"  those words echo in my head and are etched in my heart.  I never told you these things as much as I should have. . .But, know that I am forever going to get better through your example.  You were my best friend, my leader, and my Dad.  I'll always be your Boboy.  I love you so much Pop.  And I pray to Heavenly Father to part the heavens and thin the veil for you.  I'm off doing God's work and he's shaping me each day.  (1st Nephi 1:1) 
Temple Walks are the best!

with Elder Chase Campbell

 This book is to keep me organize the next 2 years!  I hope to meet many people, record their names in these book deliver and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
D&C 4:4 "For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, the that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul"

Elder Proctor Lotulelei

Elder Ramos

Elder Clark "love his Aussie accent"


Mga Pinoy at Isang Pinay
District 15 B and Guro Bro. Day (aka Bro. Araw ^_* lol)

District 15 B and Guro Sister Osborne