Sunday, December 9, 2012

Nov. 2012 MTC Photos

Reading our scriptures. . .

MTC Companion Elder Howard & I

Mr. Snowman with his family and a

12/2012 MTC Photos The Sablan Boys

Brothers @ MTC Elder Sablan & Elder Sablan :)

12/04/2012 From District to Zone Leader - I seek more ways to be like HE was (our Savior Jesus Christ)

Kumusta po pamilya ko!

Yay! Maraming mensahe galing sa inyo!  (I received lots of message (letters) from you all)

First, I am happy to let you know that as of this past Sunday, I have been released from my calling as a District Leader, and called to be a Zone Leader! Sobrang masigla para sa akin! (I am enthusiastic!) This means I, as well as Elder Howard (another Elder in my zone) are over all the Districts in the 15th Branch here in the MTC. I'm so excited to serve my fellow missionaries on such a scale, and I know this is a rare opportunity for me to bless other lives as they come to me for counsel and help. I feel like President Sablan in the Renton Stake. The work is hard, but the work is worth it. I love my zone! And I hope that I can be the best example of Christ as I can be.

I was only a District Leader for a week but during that week which was last week. . .
It was an amazing week!!  I had the chance to give 2 blessings to a Sister and Elder in my District. It was so amazing to feel the power of the spirit working through me. There is a Sister from Tonga who struggles with English, so she has a hard time learning Tagalog because everything is explained in English. She is a convert along with an older brother, and her father does not support her call as a missionary and is not please with her decision to be baptized. She has worked from the time she was 19 up until now (she's now 23), so she can go on this mission. She has an amazing testimony and a very strong conviction of the truthfulness of this gospel. I observed everyone from day one. Everyone has received packages and letters from home, yet we still complain when we go one day without anything from home. She has remained humble and quiet and I have never heard an utterance of sadness from her. She got sick last Wednesday, and she missed classes most of the day, but made it for the rest of the nights classes. She asked for a blessing, which I was able to give to her because I was the DL. During the blessing, I felt a very strong prompting that this blessing was not just to heal her from her physical sickness, but even more so to heal her of her emotional and spiritual sickness. I performed the blessing with words that came into my mind, but were not of my own. I couldn't help but think after that blessing, that the blessing wasn't just for her, but also for me. I had just written to you all how much I missed you, and how homesick I was. I felt so ashamed to have felt the way I did when I received letter and packages from home. I believed that I was called for just this week to give that blessing to her. I recognize that the Lord was reminding me my purpose here on my mission. He was telling me that I will only be successful if I keep my on single to His work. It was such a powerful experience, that I couldn't help but to cry with her within the blessing. I am reaffirmed of my mission, and I am once more humbled and shaped. This week was just so awesome!
I'm glad you all received my letters! :) I tried my best to write to you all and be as meaningful as possible. Salamat para sa pictures of you guys! I wish I were there for the Birthdays.

Nia, I hope that as you prepare for your mission, you will find more ways to bring yourself closer to Christ. You're a great example in our home, and I hope that you can continue this throughout your mission. I'm excited to hear where you are called! I challenge you, (from now until you receive your calling) to think of this simple primary song. "If the Savior stood beside me, would I do the things I do?". Happy Belated Birthday Sis, I love you so much! May you be blessed with another healthy and happy year!

Tupo, you are a light on top of a hill. Let your light so shine, and be an example of the believers! Work hard, study hard, and do not let anyone shake you of your faith. Be as the stripling warriors, and bring honor to our family. You are the only boy in the house, so it is expected that you fight for our family's standard. You are to act as you are taught. Follow the precepts of the gospel, and the Lord promises blessings from heaven, that you have no room to receive it. I hope you stay humble. Humility will be the trait that brings to pass the righteous desires of your heart. This I promise you little brother, Happy Belated Birthday! I love you!

As we enter the month of our beloved Savior's birth, I have turned my attention to the life of the Savior. I seek more ways to be like HE was.

“I feel my Savior’s love, In all the world around me.  His Spirit warms my soul, Through everything I see.

He knows I will follow Him, Give all my life to Him.   I feel my Savior's love, The love He freely gives me.

I feel my Savior’s love, Its gentleness enfolds me. And when I kneel to pray, My heart is filled with peace.

He knows I will follow Him, Give all my life to Him. I feel my Savior’s love, The love He freely gives me.

I feel my Savior’s love, And know that He will bless me.  I offer Him my heart; My shepherd He will be.

He knows I will follow Him, Give all my life to Him.  I feel my Savior’s love, The love He freely gives me.

I’ll share my Savior’s love, By serving others freely, In serving I am blessed, In giving I receive.

He knows I will follow Him, Give all my life to Him. I feel my Savior’s love, The love He freely gives me.”

I'm so excited for this month! This is the last push until I'm out in the field next month! YAY! :D Maligayang pasko! I hope you all have a great week.

Until next week, ingat po! :)

Elder Sablan


11/27/2012 Thanksgiving Week - "Faith without works is dead"

Grateful and Thankful!  For my Father in Heaven! For my Savior Jesus Christ! For the Gospel and the Joy it brings to our life!  For the opportunity to serve as a missionary!  For all who supports me and keeps me in their prayers!  For my past youth leaders (Teachers, Seminary, Priesthood Leaders, Scouts) who sacrifice their precious time to serve and teach. . .who sets good examples and showed great love for me.  For my family and my siblings!  For my parents. . .for loving me unconditionally and never giving up on me.  On Thanksgiving day. . .I just want you all to know you are all in my thoughts and prayers - and that I am Grateful and Thankful for you all!
Thanksgiving here at the MTC was great! Not the same, but great nontheless. It was a full day. We had no classes, but we still had a lot to do. We did a humanitarian project where we made hygiene kits and school supply kits for people in the villages of Mali. It was pretty cool. We had Elder Jeffrey R. Holland speak to us, and it was super super spiritual! I cried... he said something that made my heart ache so bad. He said "...Now I know all of you missionaries miss your father's, but I know that you are all aching for you mothers..." I bawled quietly as I thought about Thanksgiving at home. It made me a bit grumpy and threw my mood off because being away on such a holiday felt so foreign. I got over myself though, and enjoyed my food. Food is ALWAYS, PALAGI in abundance! Lol. But, nothing like a meal made from momma and my beloved sisters. It was still good though. We had mashed potatoes, turkey, yams, and other stuff. Though the food was delicious, I sat at my table thinking "Where is my beloved red rice and lumpia?!!" Hahaha! The language is picking up. We call it "Huricane Tagalog" because we are being pounded by the ferocious waves of culture, and crashes down on our confidence. Our teachers are very kind though, and they do all that they can to help us with whatever it is they need, which makes working harder easier. I've been assigned this week as the leader for my district! I'm so excited to have such an important calling! I realized how much I learned by not being a leader, or a senior companion, and now that I have a calling, I realize the Lord taught me those things. It's been nice to take it easy for awhile, but I know that the Lord is calling me to be an example for his children in my district. Along with Tagalog, I've been asking some of my foreign friends to teach me about their culture and language. I'm learning tongan as well, and trying to pick up on Maori. :) I've grown such a love for my fellow missionaries. This week has been tiring... but I know that if I weary myself for my lord and savior Jesus Christ, he will bless me to overcome my challenges, weaknesses, and make up for my short comings.
Family, have you been reading the Book of Mormon?! I would hope you are! I know how hard Mom & Dad always try to have us do it as a family. . .I will encourage all of you to participate and read as a family.  My job as a missionary is to invite others to come unto Christ. Member, non-member, less active, or investigator. I feel only more inclined to help my family and their relationship with God by sharing the same message I'm sharing with the people of the Phillipines. I hope you guys continue on praying together too as a family Day or Night or Both! God will only listen if we talk to him first. As says in the book of James, faith without works is dead! Prayer is a work, and a trial of faith. Keep keeping on! As you've all taught me to do!
The home sickness begins... finally...
Although I pray for strentgh, I can never find enough distractions or things to do to keep my mind off my beloved family. I think of each and every one of you all day. I've kept you all in my prayers, both morning and nights, and meals included. I can see that the lord is keeping his promises to me by helping you all. I can feel it even if you don't say it. It makes me feel better, but there's still this void that your all filled in my life that I never knew could make me feel as if someone had taken something from me that was very special. I continue to pray for strength to overcome this sadness that come about me, and the Lord always comforts me. But I do have to ask him on a constant basis for help.
I'm doing great overall, and I'm looking forward to learning more tagalog! I've recieved your letters, and dear elders, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to remember me and share your thoughts. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE letters! They quiet my stirrings and longings for my family.
Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat pamilya ko! Ingat, til next time.
(I love you all very much my family! Take Care.)
-Elder Sablan
P.S.- I check my e-mails right after I get out of the temple which is at around 9am on tuesdays, I print my emails out, then come back to the lab at 4:30 to respond! :)