1 Nephi 3:7

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."

Monday, August 31, 2015

Baptism Sa Bucasong! - August 31, 2015 - Week 44

First of all I want to testify that when there's a will there's is a WAY!! In my last email I said we rescheduled the baptism for Monday night. But we still weren't sure if it was going to happen. But all day on Monday the weather was pretty good so we went forward with it. When we started the service the waves weren't to big so we just kept moving forward. It came time for the baptism and we all looked at the ocean and the waves had gotten bigger. So we asked Jousha and Romeo what they thought. There reply was "Lets do this, I don't want to wait any longer." So we didn't argue. We started out with Romeo. Elder Francisco baptized him. It was crazy difficult! We all got knocked down like three times before all four of us missionaries were in the water and had to help, but we got it done. Then it was time for me to baptize Jousha. The waves were getting bigger every minute. So I asked her again if she wanted to do it another day. She said "No" again. So all four of us missionaries got back in the water and no more then 5 seconds later a HUGE wave came and knocked all of us the the ground super hard. So we all got out of the water and said a prayer on the beach to figure out how we were going to do this. So what we did was went out and after I finished the prayer I told the three other Elders to make sure she goes all the way under. So an other wave came and she fell right back into the wave and was fully immersed. It was a success. Afterwards they both bore there testimonies and brought the spirit so strongly. Even though it wasn't the ideal baptism. They felt the spirit.

On Tuesday night I got a call from the AP's. I was told to go to Iloilo on Wednesday and be at the mission home no later then 5:00. I'M TRAINING!!! On Wednesday I got to the mission office and found out that there is only one new Elder that came in this batch and I have the privilege of working with him. So my new companion is Elder Puig from Mindanao Philippines. He is super soft spoken which is like the complete opposite of me. But yeah so that's that. I hope to learn a lot from him and teach him a few things along the way.

We have two more baptisms planned for Sept 12. They are both on schedule! Two young men, Brent Nair and Kin kin. They will be awesome priesthood holders! Right now Bugasong Branch needs strong priesthood holders. 

Well that's pretty much it for this week. Thank you everyone for your support and prayers. Feel free to send me a quick email or whatever. Love you all and have another awesome week!

Elder Jake Frandsen
Philippines Iloilo Mission

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Baptism thawarted by Typhoon INENG - August 24, 2015 - Week 43

This week wasn't the best, but we all have not so good weeks here and there. So this week we had Romeo Nietes and Jousha's baptism scheduled for Saturday. Everything was going as planned. They both past the interviews and everything was on track. They were super excited. And then INENG happened. We had another typhoon come in and destroy our plans. Here in Bugasong there is one place we can baptize and that is the ocean. But when a typhoon comes in the waves in the ocean become huge and not safe. So we rescheduled the baptism for today so we'll see how it goes. 

I just want to say how much I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! MISSIONARY WORK IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST!! I know this church is true. I know that if we strive everyday to follow our Savior, he will help us get through whatever obstacles that may come our way. The gospel is true. I love you guys so much and hope you all have an awesome week!

Elder Jake Frandsen
Philippines Iloilo Mission

Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015 - It's My Birthday - Week 42

Alright so this week was AMAZING!! So here in the Iloilo Mission there is a lot of focus on numbers. Making sure you work a certain amount of hours everyday, teach a certain amount of lessons, have a baptism every week, and so on and so forth. This week everything clicked for me. I don't have anything against President and what we is trying to do but I am not out here to get a certain amount of something every week. I am out here for one reason and that is to teach and serve and bring as many people as I possible can closer to our savior Jesus Christ. That doesn't mean i'm going to stop setting goals and stop doing my best to reach them. But what it does mean is my goals are going to be focused 100% on sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father! Here in Bugasong we have close to 200 members. But for one reason or an other 150 of them are either less active or in active. Right now in this mission the less active work takes a back seat. There isn't any focus on less actives. If all of the members in Bugasong were active we could build a chapel in Bugasong. 

This week Brother Waggoner (my teacher from the MTC) came here and worked with me on Saturday. This was his area 3 years ago when he was a missionary. So we went around and did some less active work. He taught me so much as we were working. One of the things that I learned is how powerful testimonies are. As missionaries, we bear our testimony over and over all day everyday. Missionaries have been bearing their testimonies to less actives for a super long time. Don't get me wrong that is great and awesome and everything, but we are also here to help others strengthen their testimonies. So how do we do that? One of the ways I learned is through asking inspired questions. As we ask questions to those people we teach and as they answer, they are bearing their testimony to us. We all know that as we bear our testimony we feel the spirit. So its just a matter of helping them remember the feeling of the spirit and the things they already know.

Right now Bugasong Branch is like a bucket with a crack in the bottom. As we are trying to fill the bucket by baptizing people. For some reason or another they don't stay active or the water keeps leaking out. So right now Elder Francisco and I are trying to fix the crack at the bottom so that the bucket will stay filled.

Yesterday at church Bugasong Branch had the highest church attendance its had in over a year. We had 80 people at church. That is still less than half so there is so much more work that needs to be done.

This week we had a family home evening every single night with less actives and investigators. I had an awesome birthday as well. Thank you everyone for your love and support! Love and miss you all!  

Elder Jake Frandsen
Philippines Iloilo Mission

August 10, 2015 - Week 41

Kamusta Gid Kamo! This week has been an other awesome week out here in Bugasong. This week started out pretty great. I got a package from home! Loaded with goodies straight from America! :) I gotta say the root beer barrels were definitely a hit. Especially for the Filipinos. When we got home on Monday night we had no electricity in our apartment. And its always fun when we don't have electricity...NOT! Its alright candles work too.

August 4- Today we went to go teach the Nietes Family. When we got there we were super surprised to see his wife. Up until then every time we went there she hasn't been there. Also when we got there Tatay Nietes was having an asthma attack. He was struggling so much to breath. So Elder Francisco and I gave him a blessing. With in 5 minutes he was breathing just fine. His wife wasn't to interested in our message. But when she saw the blessing and what it did, it definitely spiked her interest. Our Heavenly Father works in ways that you and I may not understand at the time but when something happens you can bet that there is a reason for it. 
After we taught them Romeo and Kin Kin came and worked with us again. We went to the beach to go contact a referral from Nanay Heda. The Ta-aca family. The Sister is what we call a Golden investigator. She asked like all the perfect questions and had an amazing lesson with her about Eternal Families. The spirit was super strong.

August 5- Today we got up early to go play some basketball with a couple members at the plaza. The court was kind of slippery from the rain the night before. I went to go save the ball from going out and I slipped and fell pretty hard on my hip and elbow...and I didn't end up making the save :/ After basketball Nanay Heda told us to come over and have lunch so of course we did. :) Grabi sarap gid sya! Then Nanay Sally called us and told us to come over for lunch and of course we can't turn it down so we went over there and had pork chops. Then we read the Book of Mormon with her and talked about the 3 Nephites. Then when we were about to leave she made us FRENCH TOAST with lemon and powdered sugar! Just like ole south pancake house :) So yeah we ate a ton today!

August 6- Today we visited Tatay Mercello. We has a super strong desire to be baptized. His only problem is he has trouble understanding and remembering things. He will figure it out though :) Then we went to Mary Jane and taught her the Plan of Salvation. She didn't understand the whole "no hell" thing at first. After we explained it she was super happy and open to the whole thing. Then we went and taught Jousha the Word of Wisdom. She is super close to baptism now. I just hope her grandparents will let her be baptized.

August 7- Today we decided to switch things up a bit and go on splits. So I went with Elder Bontoyan and worked in my area. I learned a lot from him. The way he teaches is super personal and makes the investigators feel more comfortable. And he also teaches very simply and to the point. I was super impressed. All of the lessons we taught today were all really powerful. So I am trying to use what I have learned from him and apply it to my own teaching. 

August 8- So today was kind of lame. We had a plan to work super hard and teach a ton of lessons. It rained all night like crazy and it continued all day.Because of the typhoon Hanna. We still went out and taught the Nietes family. Romeo and Kin Kin weren't there though.We were planing on inviting them to institute today. So we left and had lunch at Minute Burger and met up with Nanay Heda. Then we went to institute. About half way through Romeo, Kin kin, and their friend showed up. It made my day. Elder Francisco and I have started going to institute every Saturday to motivate the youth and help Nanay Heda.

August 9- We decided to start off our Sunday with a testimony meeting with the four of us elders in the apartment. Then we went to church. Jousha and Tatay Mercello didn't come. This was the last time they had to come before they can be baptized.on the 15th. So we will have to move their Baptism date back to the 22nd. Romeo and Kin Kin both came to church again! This was their 2nd time so they need to come two more times and they can be baptized. :) Then Sunday evening we went to the Flores home. Nanay Flores made me homemade pizza for my birthday! It was super good! Then we finished out the week with a Family Home Evening! 

It was all in all a great week. Hope yall's week was great as well. Love and miss you all!
Elder Jake Frandsen
Philippines Iloilo Mission

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Busy Few Weeks - August 3, 2015 - Week 40

So up until this point I've been awful at keeping a daily journal so I am doing my very best to start that up again. Its been two weeks now and I haven't missed a day #determination So hopefully my emails will be a little better.
I'll start off with two weeks ago because I was kind of busy and didn't have time to write.

July 22- Today I have decided to set a goal to write in my journal everyday for the mission so we'll see how that goes. Elder Bontoyan hasn't been feeling to good this week so far so when Elder Francisco and I got home he asked me to give him a blessing. I love opportunities when I get to exercise my Priesthood. It helps me do my very best to always stay worthy. Today Elder Francisco staarted or day by going to Sister Mary Jane and her husband. I extended a baptismal date but sister said no because she is already catholic and her family has been catholic forever. But when I asked her husband he didn't say yes or no. We feel like he is pretty interested and he committed to come to church. Then we went over to Tatay Nietes. He is the one that read the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants in  like one week. We can't baptize him right now because his health is in really bad condition. He can't really leave the house very much because he has trouble breathing like 24/7. His daughter is actually a member. Thats how we found him. He has two sons named Rien Ford and Romeo. They are both 18 and are identical twins. Today we taught Brother Nietes and Romeo about the Sabbath day. Romeo committed to coming to church. Then in the evening we went to the beach to go teach Jousha but she wasn't there. So we played with some kids on the beach and built huge sand castles. And finished the day off with a super awesome dinner at Nanay Heda's.

July 23- Elder Bontoyan is still sick so me and his companion Elder Wardle went out and worked in their area while my companion stayed home with Elder Bontoyan. The first investigator we went to go visit is Tatay Pacifico. Right when we were about to start three Jehovah's Witness Missionaries walked in. I knew right away that this was going to get interesting. So they sat down and immediately opened their bibles and started bible bashing us. We told them about the Book of Mormon. They told us that it is false and that we teach false doctrine. I tried bearing my testimony but they didn't want listen. I was so fired up. Elder Wardle kept telling me don't be rude. As I was bearing my testimony they were all just laughing at me like it was a big joke. I was so angry I can't even put it into words. Those people were so hard headed and prideful with their knowlage of the bible and just kept smiling at us like we were little kids. One of them told us "its great that you want to share and teach people about Jesus Christ, but you should stop teaching false doctrine." Every time they would say something and we would defend ourselves or make a good point they would just get super nervous and change the topic. I was so mad for like two hours after that. Then our day continued we had a couple great discussions. Then to close the day they had a baptismal interview for me. Towards the end of the interview I asked her if she had any questions or concerns. She said she just had one question...What makes someone deserving of baptism? So I paused and thought about it and said "your DESIRE" If someone has a true desire to follow Jesus Christ and the commandments of God with all their heart might mind and strength then I believe they are more then deserving of baptism. I then asked her is she felt like she was deserving of baptism and she said "YES" I said I agree. 
So today I learned how important it is to read and study the scriptures everyday so that in times of need we can fully rely on the spirit.

July 26-28- On Sunday we had District Conference. Jousha, Tatay Marcello Marcario, and Sister Lea Jungco all came to church! We are hopfully panning on Baptizing them all on August 15th. After church Nanay Heda worked with us and we went to Nanay Fernandez to give her the sacrament and share a little message with her. Then we went and visited Tubali family (less active). After that Elder Francisco and I headed over to Iloilo and stayed in Miagao for the night with Elder Larson from my batch. Then the next morning we hooked up with Elder Swanton and a bunch of other missionaries and went to the mall and hungout for our P-Day. It was super fun catching up with them. Then around 4 they all went back to their areas and Elder Francisco and I went and worked with the Elders in Arevalo. Then we stayed the night in the Ap's apartment. Then on Tuesday Morning we all headed over to the mission office and had our Multi Zone Conference. We all kind of learned when President was giving his training he is kind of trunky. Haha He has 11 months left. I learned a lot from Elder Kei's training. He is an AP. He such a good example of a great missionary. Then after Training we headed back to Bugasong. We arrived there at like 9:30 at night.

July 29- Basically today was really lame. I haven't been feeling very well for the past couple days. So I slept pretty much all day. Then in the evening a did my laundry. When that was done we got a call telling us to go to the hospital to give Nanay Heda's husband a blessing because he got bit by a dog with rabies. We walked outside our apartment and Nanay Heda and Nanay Sally were across the street. So we were all waiting for the District President to get there. While we were waiting I felt like I was going to pass out and I remembered I hadn't eaten anything all day because I wasn't feeling to well. Then I passed out and everyone was gathered around me. Then a drank a ton of water and went back to the apartment and they gave me a blessing and then we gave Nanay Heda's husband a blessing. Nanay Sally told me I need to take care of myself so I can help other people. I felt ashamed and very determined never to let it happen again! 

July 30- Today started out kind of slow because i'm still not feeling to good. We went out and worked in Igtagiao where we taught Lea Jungco. Then we came home and had lunch.Then we went to Tatay Nietes and taught him Romeo and Romeos friend Ken-Ken. Romeo and Ken-Ken asked if they could come work with us and see what missionary life was like so we said of course! We went and shared a little message to Canja family (less active). Then headed to the beach to Nanay Heda's to teach Jousha. We had an awesome lesson on the beach and a bunch of other kids came over and listened to us. Then we had a super good dinner at Nanay Heda's home. Romeo and Ken-Ken are super interested. They have been asking us tons of questions all day. They committed to come to institute and church. So we'll see.

July 31- Aug 1- Elder Francisco and I are super sick and haven't really done very much work. I hate not being able to work. I puts me in a super bad mood and makes me home sick.

August 2- We had church this morning and Tatay Marcello and Jousha both came for their third time in a row!!! And Romeo and Ken-Ken also came to church!!! Missionary work is awesome when you find people that care about your message! When they came to church it made my whole week!!! We have some baptisms planned for the 15th and 29th. 

Well thats pretty much all for the past two weeks. Sorry if I rambled on a little. And just FYI all the missionaries here in Bugasong are not sick anymore! :) Love you all so much!

Elder Jake Frandsen
Philippines Iloilo Mission

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Spider Fighting - July 20, 2015 - Week 38

This week was a good one just like the rest. On Monday we had a Family Home Evening with one of our less actives. When we got there a bunch of the boys were playing with spiders. I was like what? Then they explained that it is a Filipino tradition for boys of the age 10-17ish to go out and find and catch spiders. Then they make these little cages out of match boxes for them. Then they all get together and put them on a small stick and fight them. I was blown away because in America you would never see that because a lot of the spiders are poisonous. But here all the kids know which ones are and aren't poisonous. So after that the kids gave each of the missionaries a spider to start our own collection. So now the missionaries in our apartment go out and use spiders as a way to start conversations and teach the kids! Its so much fun!

Also this week I had the opportunity to give a blessing to one of our less actives. His name is Brother Bubba. From Mississippi. He makes the best sausage on planet earth and he loves the missionaries. He only speaks English so when we go over there he always shares his stories of traveling all over the world. He is old and retired now. One thing I absolutely love about Brother Bubba is his Faith! When I gave him a blessing he was so grateful. It showed me how important and powerful the Priesthood is. And how important it is to always stay worthy to use it. Just as Elder Holland said, the time will come when you will need to use your priesthood and you need to be prepared to use it!

Well hope you all had a great week. And keep the letters and emails coming. I love hearing from all you. Love you all!
Elder Jake Frandsen
Philippines Iloilo Mission