Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Season

Christmas is not just about giving, it is also about receiving--receiving Jesus Christ's teachings and follow Him. It amazed me until this time on how the Christmas Season can affect the world with their attitude toward each other. This made the people focus more on the positive side than the negative side. But the real essence of Christmas should be focus on our Savior Jesus Christ. He is the real reason why we celebrate Christmas.

Hoping that you had a wonderful time this Christmas with your family and friends :)

If you are going to ask me, this is what happened to us:

We had the chance to teach the Youth of Lilo-an Stake on how to effectively share the Book of Mormon to those people who doesn't know about it.
Youth with their missionary attire
Next is we prepare food for Christmas Eve. We cooked Carbonara, made Mango Float, and Gelatin to satisfy our appetite on Christmas Eve after the hard work we did earlier...
made by Chef Blanco haha
 The problem is we got sick during this time hahaha the worst was, I cannot taste what I cooked. WORST FEELING EVER!

 And of course, the last thing we did is have a Christmas Selfie HAHA
Update you soon next time.
Merry Christmas and Advance Happy New Year!!

Ciao
-Elder Blanco

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Baptism

with Bishop Pepito and Sister Elizabeth
The week was great and it ended with a Baptism, what a wonderful icing on the cake! We were blessed to see and feel the change in Sister Elizabeth's life. We can see that she will be strong member and will help the lives of others. We heard her testimony after the Baptism-- she cried because of so much happiness that she cannot explain.

One of the blessings of the Gospel is that it will help you to have real happiness--happiness that comes inclined with God's Will--and eventually lead you to Eternal Happiness. In the Book of Mormon, Prophet Alma describing that committing sin will never result to real happiness.

   Alma 41:10
10 Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.

Baptism is just the beginning of it (after having Faith and Repented of your sins), then the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and lastly Enduring to the End. This is part of the Plan of Happiness that Heavenly Father gave us.

We were really happy to witness of this spiritual Baptism and after that the we had fun at Lilo-an 2nd ward Christmas party :D


Extra:
We saw this beautiful and unique Pigeon.

Skyline Pigeon haha

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas Party

Not enough time. Sorry :D
Will update this post soon but for now, I'll just upload the pictures :D

Christmas tree made out of wood and rice sacks

DIY slippers for exchange gift hehe

where we ate lunch yum

Games games games

Elder McNett in character haha

Batchmates

Community Service

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Happy First Sunday of December

It's the most beautiful time of the year! Christmas is just few days away. I can feel the Christmas vibes even though it is still hot here in Cebu haha. The people changed for the better, this what makes the Christmas so powerful-- enemies become friends, the rich helps the poor, the weak become strong, etc.


JESUS CHRIST is the reason why all of this is happening. He is our best example of having unconditional love for others. As the Christmas approaches the Church gave us a fun activity that can help us follow the example of Jesus Christ. I hope each one of us who can read this, will strengthen our Faith in Him and increase our love for others. 

You can find the activity here and watch the video:

It says in the Book of Mormon:
15 Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house; 
 16 Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
The first Sunday of the month means Fasting and Testimony Sunday. I am blessed to participate in fasting for the people in our area. I had personal things that I asked but most of it is for the people in our area. I am inspired to hear and ponder the testimonies of the members of the church here in Lilo-an. I've felt their dedication to follow the commandments of God and eventually be part of the Zion. I felt the Spirit prompting me to share my testimony and it was nice to share it again in front of the congregation. I missed that feeling.

We enjoyed the rest of the church service especially that our fasting and prayers were answered immediately. I testify the power of fasting. It is really powerful as long as you have Faith and the thing you ask is not against Father's will.

The church provide us the "Light the World" campaign. Here am I holding it
Elder Calumpang photobombing it
 Also, when times we are down and losing hope, Heavenly Father is giving us encouragements and motivation to carry on in this work. He provide this children who made us happy and get back to ourselves. They help us boost our strength to continue doing the missionary work.

Artista na kuno sila

Selfie #1 w/ Elder Reynoso and kids
I just also realized that I reached my 1 year mark here in the mission. My family is so sweet that they surprised me with this cake!! I'm lucky to have them in my life. I will not receive these blessings if not because of them.




Truly, this month is full of love and good stuff. Looking forward for this month's better stuff. Christmas truly is the best time of the year!

That's all for this week.
Catch you up on next monday!

Ciao
-elder blanco

Sunday, November 27, 2016

First week of Training

Training a new missionary helped me to feel like missionary again. The longer you stay in the mission the easier things become routine. But being a trainer right now, really gets me back on track.

Every time I wake up at 6:30 in the Morning, I feel inspired to spent the whole day training Elder Reynoso. I am eager to be a good example and teach everything I have learned and I am learning here in the mission. He is easy to teach because he is humble and a positive thinker which makes it balance. (because I'm the NegaKing)

We have weaknesses and struggles but despite that, we still manage to continue working hard and focus on how to help the people in our area. The more we do the missionary work, the more selfless we become. We are really enjoying our companionship. We fill each other's gaps. We look for ways to make our work fun, too. Just like in this picture...

Bantam sized Chicken

We had the chance to hold a Family Home Evening in Lorada's place. We invited Less-active Members and investigators to show how important the Family Home Evening is. It was fun and nakakabusog. The food was so delicious and healthy!! Props to Brother and Sister Lorada! :D

They have this in their living room:

Love @ Home; Family Proclamation to the World at the left
Catch you next monday!

Ciao
-Elder Blanco

PS: No interesting pictures left HAHA

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Elder Cook of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles

We got the chance to meet a living Apostle of the Lord, maybe this is one in a lifetime for others but I am very blessed to shake hands an Apostle of the Lord for the third time. First Apostle that I shook hands with was Elder Dallin H. Oaks, second was Elder David A. Bednar, and this is the third.

Elder Quentin L. Cook is currently going around the Philippines to talk about missionary work. He talked about the importance of talking to everyone we meet. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is needed for our salvation. The gospel will also help us to be happy in this life and the world to come. So, why hide it. Why not share it to every people you meet. It's like you have the cure for Cancer and you should share it to others. We were blessed to hear him testify of the divinity and power of Jesus Christ and his witness that God is really there, talking to us through the Prophet and His Apostles.

I don't have our picture with Elder Cook but I promise to post it as soon as we got it.

 It was a nice experience, every missionary in the Cebu East Mission gathered together to hear his talk. So we got to see also our batchmates. It was fun seeing them all again. It's been a year! Wow, time is really fast. ;)


Not complete ;(


I also got to see my friends in the mission and my previous companions!! How I love being a missionary. I also received mails from the people we baptized. I'm excited to see them soon!!!

Elder Grey (Samoan)

Elder Tuai (Tongan)

L-R: Elder Reynoso (my trainee), me, Elder Galicia, Elder Cantago

Being in the mission made me realized that I was being selfless, my love for Jesus Christ and for my brothers and sisters are increasing. Being a missionary is really the best 2 years that is happening and going to happen (of course, I am only a year here so I don't have the right to say it haha kidding).

I cannot and will not exchange this 2 year mission for anything. I'm learning to be like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. This cannot be taught in any university.

Till we meet again. Char!
See you next monday for updates

Ciao
-Elder Blanco

PS:

Last time's gathering with Elder Haynie
The missionaries in Cebu Area (in Cebu East Mission)

Disclaimer: Sorry for grammatically incorrect sentences and wrong spellings because I don't have much time. Thank you sa pagsabot ;)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Elder Blanco's Trainee!!

Wow, the transfer cycle went quick! I didn't expect it will be that quick. I said my farewell to my previous companion, Elder Hall because he got transfer to Consolacion. I was the one left in the Area. So I'm still here in Lilo-an! Yay!

Me and Elder Hall experienced giving community service for Sison Family. We just cleaned the garage, scrub the pillars, and everything. We did this because, Sister Karen was the only one who initiated to clean the house because her sister was going to visit them, at the same time it is the Death Anniversary of their father. So they had family reunion. So we offered help. As missionaries, we are not only here to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ but to help others through service. 

It also says in the Book of Mosiah, 17th verse of the Chapter 2

"...If ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are in the service of your God"




We didn't expect that we are going to bathe MAKA. It is not included in the package HAHA But it's okay we enjoyed it too.



Anyhow, what I anticipated happened. I am TRAINING now. My heart pumps so fast just realizing I'm training, because of excitement on what's going to happen. So before we get to see the new missionaries, we waited in the Mission Office and waited for the new missionaries to arrive in Mactan Airport. The Assistants to the President get them with the help of the Senior Couples--Elder and  Sister McNett, and Elder and Sister Weatherston. We got to meet the trainers coming from different areas in our Mission. Most of the trainers are from our batch.

So they came and the Assistants got us from the Mission Office to the Mission Home (where our Mission President and his wife live). We had 1 hour training on how to be a good/best trainers! HAHA

After that, we spent our lunch with the new missionaries just like what I remember happened to me a year ago. We don't know who is going to be our companion. The Mission President and his assistants prayed and seek for counsel from God on who will be the best companions for each of us. I feel that the companionship that was made was really coming from our Heavenly Father. He really knows who is the best for us.

And the pairing came, I expected Elder Reynoso to be my companion before it all started. I had this feeling, maybe the spirit telling me that he was going to be my companion. AND GUESS WHAT?! He is my companion right now! HAHAHA How cool was it?

Elder Blanco's trainee (Elder Reynoso)
I'm so excited to share my knowledge and my example for Elder Reynoso. I really want him to be a good missionary. I'm hoping everything will turn out right with the help of Heavenly Father. I'm going to update soon about my training experience! I don't have much to say because we just had been companions for 2 days haha

That's all for this week!
I'll catch up soon!
Ciao

-Elder Blanco

PS: In the mission, we call our Trainees "ANAK". So technically, I'm a father now! HAHAHA A single parent hahahah joke. That's bad :P

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Mission Tour with Elder Haynie

First of all, sorry for not posting regularly. We got very busy :D You know... busy people! HAHA

Anyhow, we had mission tour with Elder Haynie, we talked about how to be effective missionary and how we can find people who are ready to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is so funny and kind. He spent almost an hour just to shake all of our hands and talk to each one of us. He is truly a servant of the Lord. The people is more important than anything else. The Lord teaches us that loving the people is the 2nd most important commandment of all. The cool thing is, they are living in Manila, Makati to be exact, for almost 18 months now. I hope I can see him after I finish my mission.


Elder Haynie with the Assistants
The cool thing that happened this week was when me and my companion spent the night cleaning our apartment! It was the most tiring day of the week but it was worth it! The funny thing is, we heard Elder Haynie was going to inspect our apartment and that is one of the reasons why we general clean our apartment hahaha

Ninja!

We got the chance to go to the Cebu Temple because we have investigators who wanted to go to Cebu Temple. Good thing we had Stake Temple Trip so spent the morning touring them to the Temple. It was really nice to be in the temple. You can feel the serenity and peace inside. It is literally above the world and above worldly things. Hoping to be in the temple again :D


Philippines Cebu Temple


Alright! See you next week
Ciao!
-Blankie

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Awesome Week with Elder Hall

I'm sorry again. I can't upload pictures right now. The computer here is... meh. Anyway I would just like to say that last week really was a great week. We have met new people in our area and the area is starting to progress. I really think that we did a great job last week. We really pushed ourselves to reach our goals. And we were happy with the results.

Sister Trinidad and her children came to church last Sunday. They really enjoyed the experience in the Church Service. The members in this ward were really a good fellowships to Sister Trinidad. When I was talking to Alan about church he asked if church would be a regular occasion which for me I think means that he really enjoyed church that Sunday. It was an awesome Sunday, the Tempuratura family also came back to church this week along with the Tortosa family. 

We were able to talk in ward council with all the ward auxiliaries about how we can improve the ward and become more organized. They were really open to us about how they think they can improve the ward and help the missionaries. We worked together giving each other ideas, and now we will leave the rest to the ward and the lord to help it become an awesome ward.

Disclaimer:
Elder Hall is such an awesome companion and he wants me to put his name here in my Blog. :D 

The pictures will be uploaded next Monday! 
I PROMISE! Promises are meant to be broken

Sunday, October 9, 2016

General Conference

Here I go again, few days after. Regular Preparation day today :D HAHA

Not a whole lot happened this week. We just watched the re-broadcast of General Conference and heard important messages from the Prophet and the leaders of the Church. I'm amazed that at their age, they seem pretty stronger than normal. I know that they are blessed because they follow the Law of Health that Heavenly Father gave us.

Like what Prophet Thomas S. Monson said in the Priesthood Session

"Those who are obedient to the Lord’s commandments and who 
faithfully observe the Word of Wisdom are promised particular 
blessings, among which are good health and added physical stamina"

Every commandment we follow, there will be equivalent or greater than promise blessings. It is also through our obedience to the laws and commandments, we can receive blessings.

"20 There is lawirrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
 21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." - Doctrine and Covenants 130: 20-21
Of course, I have heard talks that I felt special to me that it hit my heart. I can say that they are delicious to my mind and delightful to my soul. I have felt they their talks were really inspired to help each one of us, member of the Church or not.


These are some:

Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It?

This does not in any way mean that sin is OK. Sin always has consequences. …

“Abide in My Love”

One of the terms we hear often today is that God’s love is “unconditional.” While in one sense that is true, the descriptor unconditional appears nowhere in scripture. Rather, His love is described in scripture as “great and wonderful love” [D&C 138:3], “perfect love” [1 John 4:18Moroni 8:16], “redeeming love” [Alma 5:26], and “everlasting love” [Jeremiah 31:3]. These are better terms because the word unconditional can convey mistaken impressions about divine love, such as, God tolerates and excuses anything we do because His love is unconditional, or God makes no demands upon us because His love is unconditional, or all are saved in the heavenly kingdom of God because His love is unconditional. God’s love is infinite and it will endure forever, but what it means for each of us depends on how we respond to His love. …
To “continue in” or “abide in” the Savior’s love means to receive His grace and be perfected by it. To receive His grace, we must have faith in Jesus Christ and keep His commandments, including repenting of our sins, being baptized for the remission of sins, receiving the Holy Ghost, and continuing in the path of obedience. …
To abide in God’s love in this sense means to submit fully to His will. It means to accept His correction when needed. … It means to love and serve one another as Jesus has loved and served us. It means to learn “to abide the law of a celestial kingdom” so that we can “abide a celestial glory”

Emissaries to the Church

Brethren, the appeal I am making tonight is for you to lift your vision of home teaching. Please, in newer, better ways see yourselves as emissaries of the Lord to His children. That means leaving behind the tradition of a frantic, law of Moses–like, end-of-the-month calendar in which you rush to give a scripted message from the Church magazines that the family has already read. We would hope, rather, that you will establish an era of genuine, gospel-oriented concern for each member, watching over and caring for each other in compassionate ways, addressing spiritual and temporal needs in any way that helps.

Learn from Alma and Amulek

Today, I would like to ask you to consider two questions:
First: “What can I learn from Alma?” Second: “How am I like Amulek?” 
In whatever position you currently serve—whether you are a deacons quorum president, a stake president, or an Area President—to be successful, you must find your Amuleks. …
While some of us should be looking for an Amulek, for others the question might be “How am I like Amulek?” …
Perhaps, like Amulek, you know in your heart that the Lord has “called [you] many times” but you “would not hear.” …
Our beloved Savior knows where you are. He knows your heart. He wants to rescue you. He will reach out to you. Just open your heart to Him. It is my hope that those who have strayed from the path of discipleship—even by only a few degrees—will contemplate the goodness and grace of God, see with their hearts, learn from Alma and Amulek, and hear the life-changing words of the Savior: “Come, follow me.”

The Great Plan of Redemption

Oh, how I want each of my children, grandchildren, and each of you, my brothers and sisters, to feel the joy and closeness to Heavenly Father and to our Savior as we daily repent of our sins and weaknesses. …
… When we sincerely repent of our sins, they are truly gone—without a trace! I have personally felt joy, relief, and confidence before the Lord as I have sincerely repented.
To me, the greatest miracles in this life are not the parting of the Red Sea, the moving of mountains, or even the healing of the body. The greatest miracle happens as we humbly approach our Father in Heaven in prayer, fervently plead to be forgiven of our sins, and then are cleansed of those sins and changed through the atoning sacrifice of our Savior. 

“If Ye Had Known Me”

 Four essential steps that can help us come to know the Lord are exercising faith in Him, following Him, serving Him, and believing Him.
The exercise of faith in Jesus Christ is relying upon His merits, mercy, and grace. … As our faith in the Lord increases, we trust in Him and have confidence in His power to redeem, heal, and strengthen us. …
The Savior has admonished us to become as He is. … Following the Lord includes emulating Him. We continue to come to know the Lord as we seek through the power of His Atonement to become like Him. …
We more fully come to know the Lord as we serve Him and labor in His kingdom. As we do so, He generously blesses us with heavenly help, spiritual gifts, and increased capacity. …
We come to know the Savior as we do our best to go where He wants us to go, as we strive to say what He wants us to say, and as we become what He wants us to become. …
… Believing Him with our whole soul comes as we press forward along the covenant pathway, surrender our will to His, and submit to His priorities and timing for us.

The Doctrine of Christ

The doctrine of Christ … is the means—the only means—by which we can obtain all the blessings made available to us through Jesus’s Atonement. It is the doctrine of Christ that allows us to access the spiritual power that will lift us from our current spiritual state to a state where we can become perfected like the Savior.

So how can we apply the doctrine of Christ more fully in our lives? One way would be to make a conscious effort each week to prepare for the sacrament by taking some time to prayerfully consider where we most need to improve. We could then bring a sacrifice of at least one thing that keeps us from being like Jesus Christ to the sacrament altar, pleading in faith for help, asking for necessary spiritual gifts, and covenanting to improve during the coming week. As we do so, the Holy Ghost will come into our lives to a greater degree, and we will have additional strength to overcome our imperfections.

I have received many spiritual impressions that I wrote in my Studu journal. Hopefully looking for opportunities to use it in teaching and in sharing the gospel to others.

If you want to read or watch more of the General Conference, you can visit this site
https://www.lds.org/general-conference?lang=eng

NO PICTURES :(
Just Rodel's happy face because he saw... hahahahaha

Rodel's starstruck face HAHA

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Hello transfer day! Bye bye office

So it's transfer day, there will be departing missionaries and there will be new arriving missionaries. I've got the chance to spent few days with the departing missionaries. As I have asked them how're they feeling right now, they said that it was weird and it's just like a dream. They have served well and they have done their best that's why they are going proud and with honor. I'm so excited to hear what will be going to happen after their mission life.

departing missionaries took rest for awhile

Pose pose rin syempre! haha

It was fun to be with them but there are effects to that. The office was like it was run over by a storm. Every transfer day it will be always like this. Haha. I feel bad for the one who's cleaning the office

their luggage all in the office 


Sorry for my desk haha
 Yesterday was transfer calls, so we know that some of the missionaries will stay in their areas or they will be transferred to another and/or they will TRAIN. So as an Office Elder, I got the chance to see and served the trainers and trainees in the mission. It's good that that was my last day as an office elder.

The trainers were so excited to see who are they going to train. Some of the trainers are new trainers some are used to being a trainer haha.

After the missionaries have arrived Sister Maughan and us, who're assigned in the office, gave an orientation about the mission, culture, health, do's and don'ts, etc. While we are orienting them, the Assistants were giving a short workshop to the Trainers. So that they will be a good trainers to their trainees. For me, 12 weeks training is the most delicate and vital part in the mission because this is where you will set your foundations and your perspective in the mission. So good luck trainers!!

Sister Maughan orienting the trainees

Elder Calumpang and mine's turn

eating with the trainers


President Maughan with the Assistants, prayed and studied each new missionaries in order for him to give the best and right trainer for them. It is not just they pick someone and tell them to be companions. They do it in the Lord's way. If they think they will be compatible, President will pray for it and the Lord will confirm it through the Holy Ghost. They will feel swell in their hearts if they made right decisions. It is really amazing how the God really want us to decide. I've seen my mother always doing this whenever she is in a scenario where she doesn't know what to do. I am really blessed that I've know how to get counsel to the God.

So this is how they ended up. First, the trainers were called and then they told where they were assigned. Then their new companions were called :D

Sister Arce(left) with her new companion

Sister Cook (right) with her new companion

Elder Emfield (right) with his new companion

Elder Altejar (right) with his new companion

Elder Lockhart (right) with his new companion

Elder Velasco (right) with his new companion

It's not complete. I just picked random pictures of them because the post will be so long if I put them all here haha sorry.

At the end of the day, it didn't change the fact that we were leaving the office. It's sad, I didn't really think that I was going to miss the office. But I just realized that maybe the departing missionaries feel the same as I did. They were released as a missionary and they were released to the things, missionary stuff, they get used to for about two years (for Elders) or eighteen months (for Sisters). It's so happy to serve God.

It says in the 15th and 16th verse of Section 18 in the Doctrine and Covenants the promise blessing you will receive if you serve God and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ...

 15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
 16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
I know the feeling and I have witnessed people really changed and become closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I am so happy to part of the Lord's vineyard. Even though I may have few baptisms in my time as a missionary, it is not important. What important is, I have brought myself unto the Father and I will and do what the Lord has expected me to do! Gospel of Jesus Christ really can make you happy :D

So that's how the day ended. Thank you for the crew who helped us this transfer day. What a exhausting day we got! But it was all worth it! :)

Special thanks to Elder Hall and Elder Dela Rosa for helping us in the Office!

Selfie FULL FORCE (Assistants, Office Elders, Zone Leaders, and Elder Hall)
That's it!
Email me all on Monday!

Ciao