Making memories one day at a time.......and then I write about it.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Elder Rubow, Week 6 in the Philippines!

(Mom note:  When names are used, for privacy I have replaced them with: ------  also, as I read these letters from my son, I am once again amazed that this is a barely 19 year old boy!  It is amazing the growth and learning that takes place during these missions!  Yeah, I'm kinda proud of this kid!!)

Nasty disgusting thing called,  Balut. Filipino's actually eat this!!!
 Well!  Here we are again!  It has been a very tiring week for us.  I really do not even know where to begin!  Last monday was pretty slow going.  We went to the big SM mall which is always pretty crazy.  Here in Iloilo, malls are the biggest things.  Everyone goes to the mall to buy their things.  Its pretty crazy.  I bought my food for the next two weeks.  Without the members I would be absolutely starving haha!  Its so great here!  I have no idea what I would do without the loving members here.  I have lost all my muscle though.  It makes me cry a bit but I am working on getting it back.  One of the Elders in our apartment is leaving today so he gave me a lot of the stuff he wont be taking back.  

One of those things is weights!  Super nice to get back into that!  And with P90X3 Ill be back in shape soon if the members will quit feeding me so much. ;)  That and walking around all day sure does help a ton.  Running in the city though is still a pain.  I live in a 3 story apartment so I usually just jog the stairs and I feel a lot better doing that.

Seriously though, the Philippines are so loving!  And they love to here my awesome accent.  Apparently its really funny. Through the Spirit, I can understand pretty well what most people are saying.  Now for me its speaking.  My vocabulary is quite lacking but you would never guess how many things you can say with the same five words. But I have no fear that I will be able to speak as I work hard and do my best, and the Lord will do the rest.

Our area is splitting pretty soon here.  The Lapuz Elders were moved out of our apartment and sent to another one in their area so that we can fit another two Elders in our building.  They do not come till Thursday though so it is just me and my companion.  Makes for a lot of room!  It is super quiet now though unless my companion is singing.

We also had a baptism this week!  Whoo!  It is always awesome seeing people take that first step to follow the example of the Savior and to begin a new clean life.  It was a awesome baptism!  Elder -------, the one leaving, baptized him but he forgot the words and was very embarrassed.  He is a way awesome guy!  We also had 11 investigators at church which is a record for La Paz!  It was the best!  I am so excited to see the great changes in their lives. :)

We found 21 new investigators this week!  It is so awesome to see the people who have been prepared by the Lord for us to teach.  It has been a wonderful experience to see the change in them as well.  The gospel changes lives and it always does it for the better if we allow it to do so.  There is a very large difference in those people who truly accept the gospel and follow its precepts then those who do not.  And my Mission President says, "It takes the slum out of the people, and the people out of the slums."  In Preach My Gospel (I forget where) it teaches us the best way we can help others as missionaries is to preach the gospel and to invite all to come unto Christ.  I testify that this is true.  We truly need to Gospel of Jesus Christ so we can learn, grow, and succeed in this life, and in the life to come.  Through the great Plan of Salvation, we can return to God.  And even more then that, we can become Gods!!  How amazing is His glory!  He, the Father of us all, loves us so much He created a plan so we can be saved and partake of the same fullness of joy that He has.  And that way is through His Son, the Only Begotten Son, even Jesus Christ.  I testify that as we obey Him and strive to keep the Commandments of God and Endure to the End, we shall have Eternal Life.

This is a walkway that Elder Rubow said he loves and is peaceful.
The next thing I have been blessed to use is the Priesthood.  It is fever season here in the Philippines and many people have been getting sick.  Almost everyday we have given blessings to members and investigators and their families.  It has been a very joyous time.  Through the power and authority of the priesthood, we have been able to bless many lives.  I also testify of the power of the priesthood is the power of God and to do His will on the Earth.  It is a real power and through faith in Jesus Christ and obedience we can see miracles.  It has been a very humbling and wonderful experience to be worthy of such power and to feel the Spirit work through me.

Thursday night was a very humbling experience as well!  We went to Sister ------- balay (home) but she was a bit busy at the moment.  We couldnt really do much to help her at the moment so I went and played with the kids.  I love the kids here so much!  I can never understand them but we always have a blast.  The kids at the time were coloring with crayons so of course I had to join.  So much fun!  They are super crazy!  I love them all!  After a good 10 minutes of the most fun ever Sister ------- finished and we taught a pretty good lesson on prayer and how through prayer and asking God with real intent we can know the truthfulness of our message and the Book of Mormon by the power of the Holy Spirit.  I then gave my testimony of how I recieved my witness of the Book of Mormon and how God answers prayers.  After the lesson we recieved a call from one of the members to come to the ICU.  It was 9:00 pm at the time so we needed to ask for permission which of course we did.  We rushed over and found out that Brother ----- best friend had just gotten into a bad motorcycle accident and had his skull crushed.  He was barely alive and the doctors did not know how he was still alive.  Brother -------- asked us to give him a blessing.  After a long time of trying to get past the security and doctors, they finally let us in.  Their whole family was outside all with tears in their eyes.  But they also looked at us with hope.  They had never met us before or known about our church but they still saw us as representatives of Jesus Christ.  When I saw Brother ----- friend, was bad.  From head to toe he was scrapped and bleeding.  He did not wear a helmet so his head....was bad.  I was pretty glad I was going to be the one anointing and my companion would be giving the blessing.  I took out my oil and my companion looked at me and told me I would be the one blessing.  I didnt know what to say.  My companion anointed ------ and then waited for me to perform the blessing.  I have never felt so weak and worthless in my life.  I placed my hand on his head (there was room for only one) and I prayed in my heart.  I realized I could not do it.  Not alone.  With the family with tears watching me in this drastic scene I turned myself unto the Lord.  The blessing I gave was not from me.  It was from the Spirit.  In the blessing the spirit told ----- that he would heal.  We thanked the family for calling us and returned back to our apartment  at about 11:00pm and both of us exhausted went to bed.

I have never truly realized really how weak we are.  How we cannot do anything without Him.  The second we are born into the world we are lost.  But because of the love of God and His wisdom, He send His Son to take upon our sins.  Everyone's sins!  We can seriously do nothing without Him.  We have so much to thank Him for and we are so indebted to Him.  I can never thank Him enough for the blessings He has given me.  

To end, I give my testimony, that God loves you so very much!  He wants you to follow His Son so we can have joy and be free.  I testify the Jesus Christ lives!  That He is our Savior and Redeemer.  That only through Him can we return to our Father in Heaven.  I pray that we do follow Him and partake of His Atoning Sacrifice so we can repent and Endure to the End.  And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Elder Rubow
A Representative of Jesus Christ


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