Baptism of Joan and Elder Hamblin with his new "anak" trainee Elder Oyardo.
Mice and Rats in the garbage.
Monkey swinging on the porch.
Freshly killed chicken?
Kids acting silly. Noble in the background getting ready to eat Pig Intestines?
Noble helping to prepare some food.
Smiling about his new haircut. No little front part of the hair to stick up. It is too hot and wet to stick up hair there.
I cried a little when I read your letter! I loved it soooooo much that I'm printing it out and it’s going on the fridge! I will treasure your words in my heart. The reason why this letter has hit me so hard is because through trial and error I have learned and done EXACTLY what you have advised me to do. PLEASE DELETE THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH:
1st order of business I want you to DELETE THE LAST EMAIL I SENT YOU! ALL OF IT! DON'T POST IT ON THE BLOG I DON'T WANT THE WORLD TO LOSE FAITH IN ME! I DON"T WANT THE WARD MISSION LEADER TO SOMEHOW GET WORD OF IT I WANT IT GONE! That is the past and we are living in the present. (delete this paragraph also)
2nd I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOO MUCH! Thanks again for this fantastic email. I really have felt your prayers being answered here in San Mariano. I have seen miracle after miracle unfold before my eyes and I don't have a stomach ulcer yet! :)
1st Christmas miracle:
I was able to get everything figured out with the BRCR's (baptism record, confirmation record?)that were turned in late. Our new members can go to the temple on the 14th now that me and a member figured out how the family history accounts are made and managed. The ignorance to technology here is amazing sometimes. I don't even think our Bishop can access the ward members names on his computer! But I figured out how to make Family History Accounts so that the members can do their temple work. So I fixed that miracle!
2nd Christmas Miracle:
JOAN the 21 year old who's parents didn't want her to be baptized. Ya she was baptized last week on Friday! We had some problems with the pump and the way they have the water pump system here is absolutely stupid. Thank goodness my District Leader Elder Schmidt has gone to college and is into pipes and how they work with his Civil Engineering studies under his belt. He checked out the bobo (stupid) design and showed me how it works. The water was a little bit green but the baptism went great even though I had to hunt down a key to the chapel 2 hours before the baptism started! She gave a beautiful testimony about waiting 1year for that moment to happen! She is another person prepared by the Lord! She needed the gospel and if it weren't for me and Elder Oyardo her baptism would have been halted even LONGER! I am thankful to be a part of this work. THE BLESSINGS FAR OUT WEIGH THE TRIALS! I know this is the work of God and he wants it to progress!
3rd Christmas Miracle:
Somehow through it all I have helped Elder Oyardo become used to the life of a missionary and he isn't home sick! He is a stud ASTIG SIYA! He is doing great and is having a wonderful mission so far.... well ..... despite pumping water and dealing with his Tatay (Father= Trainer= Noble)leaving the apartment without his name tag! (Good thing his Tatay had a back up name tag!)
Now for the real trick, Moving apartments! My next task ahead of me makes the others seem like childs play. I have to find a new apartment. The one we wanted to move into has people in it because despite my texts the owner ignored me and gave it to a family of 7. Turd. No courage no respect, just ignores me and gives the apartment away! Frustrating to say the least! But I am not a negative thinker I am a positive thinker. Here in the Cauayan mission we don't cause problems, we make answers. Failure is not an option. SO I talked with the ward I talked with our progressing investigators and we have located a new apartment it’s small but it has screens and running water and will be good for a quick fix but they will want us to move into a better one soon. I'm still trying to set things in motion to do it but that’s not a problem now! PRAY FOR US! I love all the prayers and I am feeling them everyday. I learn and grow and stretch and learn some more from these experiences. E. Shmidt says that if I worry to much I might give myself a stomach ulcer which isn't good! So I have done some deep breathing techniques and some relaxing things before going to bed which have helped. But the thing that helps the most is prayer.
My anak really is amazing. I know he’s reading over my shoulder right now because his family didn't give him an email but I just want you to know he’s amazing. He continually surprises me everyday and surprises our District Leader with his skills in teaching OYMing and just overall being a good missionary. He went on a split with an American Missionary that was only 1 cycle out and loved the experience. They got a ridiculous amount of OYMs and 3 lessons! He’s awesome. He is constantly saying "Your my Tatay show me how to do it!" or if he’s just Timid "Your my Tatay you do it!" I love him! He’s awesome. I hope that I am good friends with him as long as you have been good friends with your anak. (The sister his Mom trained when she was on her mission in Alabama.)
I prayed for peace in my heart to know that it’s all gonna be okay. I prayed to be able to focus on the work when I needed to. I prayed for guidance and for help in what to do about the unending problems and obstacles that enter my path and I prayed that our Dear Heavenly Father wouldn't get tired of my endless prayers of his needy servant. I prayed for Elder Oyardo. I prayed for his family and my family. I prayed that the work will move on. That I will have the language skills I need to do what I need to do here in San Mariano. I prayed a lot! And I have seen the miracles time and time again! THANK YOU FOR EVERY PRAYER! I really have truly felt them and know that I’m not alone and I can do this!
In short, things are okay now and I am not pulling out my hair so much anymore!
Also remember that I didn't send any pictures of my anak E. Oyardo yet so the people you said were E. Oyardo on the blog are still E. Cajumban that goes for the Jenga picture too! SO Elder Oyardo is the Philippino in the baptismal Pics that I am sending in this email. HE IS ON MY RIGHT! So don't forget it! JK
I SAW THE FAMILY PICS THEY LOOK SO AWESOME! You all look so different! Thanks for the prayers! I really can feel them and I feel you guys love! Don't worry about what I said last email. I am doing MUCH better this email and I just need to start being super friendly with the Ward here and earn their trust. I found that if I smile during church that the people tend to have a better feeling. I think I have a pretty big effect on the ward here. It seems a lot of eyes are on me all the time! I have to ALWAYS be a great missionary because if I am, the rumors about me will always be good ones! I loved Rodel’s Advice! Walking stick! I had to buy a new umbrella because the little one from the states finally died on me. It had a broken part of the metal frame that eventually made its way through the thin fabric and poked a hole in the top. I kept on using it till the hole got pretty big and water got in! My new umbrella is pretty kickin and I like it! It’s BIG and does the job. So our investigators are doing okay. We keep on teaching the same families and little kids and it looks like we've got some big concerns to resolve with some of our older investigators. (By old I mean they have been taught for cycles now! They are all under 18 years old!) The families are progressing slowly. The big problem is the drinking and the smoking. Those are the 2 most common problems it’s seems with the tatay here. We just need to get them on the road to recovery and they will be fine. One family, the Ruda family, is doing great they love listening to the lessons and the Tatay doesn't have any smoking or drinking problems so far as I have seen. We will try to get them all to church next Sunday!
Here’s a fun thought Read Luke 10:8 and think of me eating pig intestines. You might get a chuckle out on it!
Your right though Mom, my language/people skills have really grown since I became a Tatay and just like at home when you left to St. Jude’s I am "Growing Up Fast" whether I want to or not! I love you and I got a new haircut. Hope you like it! Love Elder Hamblin
So the deal with getting mature............ well it’s not really just a one day fix you know!? You got to work at it everyday. It’s an attitude of mind. Like Dad always says you got to do things when they need to get done even when you don't want to! That’s what it means to be a real man. it’s not the money, the cars, the women, the class, it’s all about getting stuff done when they should be done! I know it’s not a great answer but when you start fulfilling your duties you really start to mature from a kid to a young adult and from a young man into a man man! Dear old Preston needs friends and that’s exactly what you are to him a good friend that is gonna help him make changes in his life so that he can come to church and receive some serious blessings man! You are doing a great thing. As with all great good, noble, things you have to be patient. You may not see instant results with Preston, but you can and will always be there to lift him up and if necessary give him a swift kick in the rear to get him to church so he can fulfill his duties as a priesthood holder. I know you can do it and I know that the Lord wants it done and you are just the man to do it for Him. SO in closing I would like to say.....GET 'R DONE! Love Elder Hamblin
How you doing? I saw the family pictures you look sooo big! You and Shay are growing up soo darn fast! I love my nickname and it strangely reminds me of Star Wars! How are you doing? You sound busy! With school and Honor Points and Shepherd’s pie! (Oh, how I miss that dish!) I can't wait to come home and play with you guys and everything! It sounds awesome! I love ya and miss you and Sheperds pie!
Love ELder HAMBLIN
So how’s the face treating ya? You looked so darn beautiful in the picks on the blog! With your Red hair wig and everything! It really is amazing how beautful it is right by our house! I wish I could have been there with you guys! I miss ya all!
The sleep-over you went to sounded awesome but probably took forever! Also the story about the trees was REALLY cool! It made me think about how the Lord is using me in my service here. Here’s a story or spiritual thought for you!
As we go through this life of trial and tribulations and all the while God and His Son Jesus Christ are molding and shaping us into who we will become, it is kinda like a house. Sometimes when we see and hear what God is doing with us us we get a little scared because God is changing things that we need in our house but we have to trust him. 1st it’s a sink there and a wall there. Then he starts ripping off the roof and taking out our foundations. It’s then that we realize that he isn't making the little cottage we thought he was. He's making a palace! Think about this when the times get rough and you think you are losing who you are! God is in all that we do so don't be afraid! Okay your movie was It's A Wonderful Life" Whew that was hard! Here's my movie quote for you!
"What’s pizza?" "We got to plant Pizza Plants!"
"Error Error restricted zone"
Try that on for size!
I love ya little sis and you're growing up on me too fast! Stay just the way you are! LOVE, ELDER HAMBLIN
Also Dad about the Skyping thing. Maybe the 23rd will be a better day for us all to Skype. I've been looking at the Calender and that’s when it’s easiest for me! SO will plan for 8 or 9 AM here in the Philippines on that Day for us to Skype. Will Talk about it more next email.
Your spiritual thought really helped me this fantastic P-Day and I am really thankful that you are my Tatay right now and know me the way you do! "Don't worry about the end of the world today! It’s already tomorrow in Australia!" That was the best thing to give me a smile on my face! I loved that! People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care! I have found that true also! I love these people and I know I’m here for them! They need missionaries REALLY BAD and I am here to give them the gospel! What a great work. I have to admit multiple times I have thought "What if I asked to be transferred?" or "Does President Carlos know what he’s doing? Do I know what I'm doing?" "Why the heck am I here anyway?" But there always comes an answer right after the question. I am a missionary of the true church and these people need me whether they know it or not! I cannot afford to fail. Failure is not an option. Quitting is not an option and Giving up is not an option! I either grow or die there is no in between in this crazy world thatI choose to live in! I choose to be a servant of the Lord. I choose to live the gospel and I choose to help these people no matter what the trials no matter and no matter what gets thrown at me! I cannot give up now I've already come so far! I know that this church is true and that I am here for the right reasons and my work here is not a waste of time but it it’s helping me become the man I have to be for God. I know this church is true and nothing will change my mind about that! NOTHING!
Dad you have been there every step of the way through my life and I know through the emails and the prayers that I am not alone you are still there to help me and so is my beloved family and friends. I just am going through the refiners fire and it’s just making me into the beautiful silver God wants me to be! I understand more than I have ever before the principle of Faith and how you must show your Faith through works and trust in the Lord and THEN comes the blessings in an OUT POUR! This is how the Lord works for everyone for every need and I can now testify of it to our investigators more convincingly. One way the Lord is making me into a better missionary for his work! I love all that I have done here and continue to do here in the Lords Vineyard and I cannot stop until he says "The work is done" for my time. I will give it my all these next months but it’s not gonna be easy. I love you all and I will read this email over and over again in the upcoming weeks to get it to stick!
I love you all and your love and prayers are really heard in Heaven and I am a testament of that! I love you and please don't forget the missionaries in your prayers!
LOVE, ELDER HAMBLIN
PHILIPPINES CAUAYAN MISSION