Wednesday, December 31, 2014
I've been thinking about 2014 as it comes to a close. 2014 was hard. In a lot of ways. I remember at the beginning of the year thinking that I was really really disliking 2014 and the way it was continuing. Several times through out the year I was ready for it to be over.
Looking back on 2014, there were some really big amazing things that happened (Mr. T going on a mission being one of them.......). Looking back, I realize that the things that seemed so hard and were difficult going through them, in the grand scheme of things, compared to the amazing things that happened, have in fact, made 2014 a pretty incredible year!
There were a couple of things that we went through and are still going through that are hard but, as 2015 begins, I have decided that rather than choosing to be bogged down by the hard things, there are bigger and better things to focus on. Like, a loving Heavenly Father who knows the beginning from the end and is in charge so I don't have to worry and stress!
Speaking of fathers........ when I was home for Thanksgiving, my Dad was out using his snow blower. He had this ridiculous knit excuse for a hat perched on the top of his head. It didn't even come down and cover his ears! What's a daughter to do............. so I knit him a new hat that will cover his ears. As seen being modeled by Mr. J.
Throw out the old useless hat Dad!!! And yank on the new!
Here's my 2015 wish. May our noses not be drippy and if they are, may they be drippy from playing in the cold and from tears of joy and laughter!! And what ever you do, if your Mum points a camera at you, do not! Do NOT I tell ya!! Crack a smile! It's forbidden.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
I have no clue why I think this but, I have this tiny inkling that this little native just might, perhaps, just maybe,............. be an engineer when he grows up. Just like his daddy.
I absolutely love watching what Mr. J and his creativity. What he comes up with on his own with card board boxes is so delightful! He gets so excited when he sees the local UPS man come with a delivery. He could care less what is in the box, he just wants the box. He told me recently that I needed to order some more things and would I order big things so he could have big boxes?
I adore the steering wheel. It turns. I adore that he has a flashlight inside that he can turn on and it becomes a headlight. I adore that he found a corner of a smaller box and cut it out to hold the steering wheel. I adore the hat and goggles made from canning lids, rubber bands, and pipe cleaner.
I adore this native.
P.S. I don't adore the plastic in the back that was dumped out of the boxes but I do adore the coats and snow pants hanging in front of the fireplace drying from outside adventures. Trying to decide if I adore all of the pillows and blankets piled everywhere because we've all been sick all holiday...... don't adore being sick........ but adore our time spent together............
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Ever since I saw Wabi (go here to see her wax ornament tutorial) make bees wax ornaments a few years ago, I have been dying to try to make some of our own.
When The SM became a bee keeper, I was thrilled beyond giddy! Save the wax for me!
Last year I bought a nativity cookie cutter set for another project. I haven't actually made cookies with it. Somehow, I can't bring myself to bite into and eat a little baby Jesus cookie. Anyone else find that weird? But!
It was perfect for making ornament molds. Okay, I did feel a tidge
So, hopefully I'll be forgiven for that. If anyone has some fantastic idea on how to hang these on my tree without poking a hole through their heads, by all means! I'm listening!
P.S. Can I just say, making ornaments out of fresh beeswax is beyond heavenly! It smells divine! Even now, I'm sitting here sniffing my ornaments! I had no idea beeswax could smell like this! I'm hooked. Sunk! I want to make more things out of this bees wax!
My only complaint with the cookie cutter set is that there are no shepherds. A sheep has to have a shepherd! There is only one wise man but we just poured wax into the wise man cookie cutter three times. No biggie. Personally, I adore the camel. The donkey kind of looks like a Scottie dog....?
This is our neighbor gift this year. Wrapped in a clear plastic bag. You make these labels to wrap around 'Treasures'. Kind of fitting, don't you think? I got the idea from this site. I just love it when other people share their talents and ideas with people like me who are a bit "challenged".
Merry CHRISTmas to all of you! As the day draws closer, I hope all of us can remember what the true Gift is and find ourselves turning our hearts and our minds towards that Gift. God bless us, everyone.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
This week was a very very crazy week. Yes indeed it was. With Christmas coming, transfers, and other responsibilities it has been awesome. Seriously. I love being a missionary. These last few weeks we have spent a lot of time finding investigators. And we have! We have so many investigators right now we cant get to them all. Every hour is filled with us going to members, less actives, recent converts, investigators and other missionaries. That is when you know good things are happening. I have been really fasting and praying for this to happen and now we are praying our investigators will continue till baptism.
was transfers day. Though I did not transfer I did become the new District Leader. I have 6 Elders and 2 Sisters in my district. Some duties of the District leader is to collect all the numbers and to give them to the Zone Leaders, interview people for baptism (Thats very interesting), lead district meeting, and a few others. The biggest one for me is interviewing investigators for baptism. I was able to do that . It was my first interview ever so that was pretty new to me. The Sisters called me up and we set up an appointment. The investigator was a small boy of 9 years of age. He was awesome! He was incredibly shy because I was three times his height and was a foreigner but little by little we were just a chatting away. He loves Legos. Loved him right then. He will be baptized this coming Christmas with my investigator!
We had an awesome awesome Christmas party this last Thursday. Many many members came to the party (Sadly none of our investigators could make it). There was food, dancing, singing, food, games, food and I think some more food. I was able to bond with so many of the members. At the very beginning though we had a brown out which left us in complete darkness. That lasted almost 20 minutes but the show went on regardless.
The rest of the week went on really fast. We were able to find many investigators that we will be coming back to this week. I will let you know how that goes.
There has been something on my mind this past week that I think is very true. I tend to look at myself now and from before my mission and I really must say I am not the same person anymore. One of my favorite sayings is simply "what more can I do." Its a very simple saying but I think it really makes the difference. Another thing I am learning is the phrase "I can do it." One of the amazing blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the power to change. I have looked back on my life so many times and seen how much more I could have done. Which then I look forward and try to do better. There were so many things I could have done before my mission such as school, family, friends, sports, my faith, and on and on. But what is so awesome is we can now look to the future and grow. Instead of just looking back and saying, 'oh, I could have done that better', or, 'I can't do that' the reality is we can. Its the process of life really. Because of the Atonement and Gods Grace we can move bit by bit, step by step, precept upon precept. I read an amazing talk by Brad Wilcox the other day about Grace. I highly highly recommend it. So many times we fail in the gospel, in our faith. Its aggravating really. But we can keep trying and keep progressing. Here is that talk by the way.
Just copy and paste that.
Thats all I really have for today. I wish you all a merry Christmas!! I hope it snows for all of you that can get snow.....I cant....but Merry Christmas!! May we share the spirit with Christmas with everyone and remember the gifts of the spirit that we have from God. Pasko na!!
Well, I love you so so much and all that good stuff and I will see you very very soon! Till then!
Saturday, December 20, 2014
I love you too!! one more week! So I am hoping to skype you on Christ
mas day here. I dont have times yet but I do need all the information next week so I can call you. I dont really know how skype works but this will be interesting. the time might either be very early for you or very late. I dont know just yet. Can't wait to see how this goes!! I miss you tons! Here is your letter!
This week has had a lot of success and some not very good success! Christmas is coming way faster then I thought! I am very excited for the next two weeks for so many reasons. Ill just start at the top. Last Monday was normal. It was Elder H------- last P-day before he went home so we spent some time with him. (We have 4 elders in the apartment, he is one of them) The La Puz Elders also came with us. They invited us to one of the members in their area. She ended up being a old nanay. She was deaf but that did not stop her from talking our ears off. She just kept a grinning with her toothless gums and telling us about all the other old members of the ward. Super hilarious. Later that night we went with a member from Bacolod with us to a birthday party. It was the birthday party of one of the members. We ended us having quite the reunion. I have been at this members house many a time but it was Elder T--------- first time. One of the sons from this family had just gotten back from his mission and had actually baptized my companion. Way awesome! Later that day, my companion told me that he really wanted to stay in the mission now. Huge breakthrough!
Tuesday was pretty normal. We went out to eat at Mang Inasal (barbecue place) and while we were there there was a brownout. So all the lights went out and all the fans so smoke from the fires started to fill the place....the food was still good though! Out of the ordinary though! We revisited one of our potential investigator in the evening and it turns out she was a witch. She invited us through the gate of her house and we started doing basic talking so we could get to know her. We got to know her. And we aren't going back. I wish I could tell the whole story but I have so little time so long story short, she started talking about spirits, reading our palms, talking about other dark things and then wanted us to go print pictures of ourselves so she could do some other things. Fun stuff!
Wednesday was our mission Christmas party. But before we could go to that we went to a service activity. It was at a local gym where we prepared relief goods for the people that are suffering from Typhoon Ruby. That was a ton of fun and I also go the name Rice King....don't know how but that what they all called me. We spent 3 hours doing that before we returned and got ready for the party. The party was a lot of fun! All the missionaries came to the mission home and we all played games, danced, ate good food, fire danced (that was way cool), presents, and so forth. We were all sad to see it end.
Thursday was back to work. We went back to the Relief Goods service again to help out. I still have bruises from that. I learned that rice is indeed very heavy. As I believe I said last week, we have been focusing mostly on Less Actives. That has been most of our teaching as of late. We have been spending a good part of our days tracting. Not the best way to get investigators I have been learning.
Friday we had a meeting with Bishop. He fed us wonderful food and we talked about the upcoming ward party and how we were going to contribute. That will be on the 18th.
Anyway that has been our week. Christmas is right around the corner and so is 2015. I am way excited for that! Christmas is a huge part of the Philippines! Everyone is going to parties, setting up decorations, working hard to get a bit more money, and so forth. Though there is not any snow it is definitely Christmas. It has been really funny trying to describe snow to the people. I wish you all luck in your daily lives and remember Jesus Christ as the center of this season. For God so loved YOU that he sent His only begotten-son. That all whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. He is the gift. And His gift is the Atonement. It has your name on it, and it is from God.
A Representative of Jesus Christ
Monday, December 8, 2014
As Christmas fast approaches, I can't help but look at this photo, at those who have so little, and not be appreciative of how blessed my little family is. We have so much!
This last week has been mostly a lot of preparation. Preparing for Christmas, and preparing for typhoon Ruby. Though some members call it typhoon Rubow. Go figure. Anyway, ill start with the first. One thing I did not expect here was Christmas Lights. They are everywhere lighting up the roads at night and it looks really cool. Every house right now has some tree, tinsel, lights, signs, and so forth. I really love the Christmas spirit here. They have been preparing for Christmas since September. Its coming really fast.
|Elder Rubow on left and Elder Hopkins on right.|
The typhoon was supposed to hitso we only worked for a few hours and . Then we waited....and waited...and waited and it never came. Ended up not hitting our area so we are all good here. Sacrament meeting was canceled as well.
This week was mostly spent finding. We have very few people to teach right now so we went searching for Less Active and new investigators. And we have found a few of them. We don't know if any of them will progress at this point but we certainly hope so. With Christmas coming up so soon very few people have been had time to listen to us. Everyone is busy busy busy apparently. I am expecting more things to happen after Christmas. We have one baptism this month and we are planning for 5 more next month.
One of the biggest highlights of the week though was teaching Less Active families. The Assistant to the President worked with me two weeks back and one thing he told me to do was to start finding Less Active Families. So this last week that was our focus. While teaching a few of these lessons, I really focused on the Holy Ghost. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most basic principles that is also essential for not only our salvation, but our daily growth.
I've come to see the five steps of the Gospel 1.Faith 2. Repentance 3. Baptism 4. The Holy Ghost 5. Endure to the End) not as steps but as a cycle. We focus a lot on Baptism and Endure to the End I feel. It might just be me though. One of my favorite scriptures on the Holy Ghost is in John 14. Jesus Christ teaches about the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost. With Christmas coming up, we are all focusing on gifts. Gifts we want and gifts to give. One gift that we can receive is the Holy Ghost. After baptism by proper authority we can all receive this wonderful gift from God. In Doctrine and Covenants, we learn that Eternal Life is the greatest of all the Gifts of God. But to be able to receive that gift we need the Holy Ghost in our lives always. But we also need to qualify for that gift. We must be worthy of His presence, which is why we first need to have Faith, then Repent, then be Baptized or the renewal of, and then we can have His presence so we can Endure. So as this Christmas lets remember this wonderful gift the Lord has given us. Thanks again for all the many prayers in my behalf and I pray for you as well. Have a good week!
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
I'm behind with posting Elder Rubow's letters! So, you get two today. One from a week ago, and one from this past Sunday. It's a lot of reading but if you can make it all the way through to the end you will see why I love my boy so much. He had a difficult experience and then what he does with it, this kid cracks me up!!! Reminds me that he is still just 19 years old. Both a man and a boy still. Here is his letter from November 23rd 2014:
If there is one big thing that I am learning from this mission, it is patience. A lot of patience, humbleness and love. My companion has really been having a hard time this past week. I don't blame him really. One very interesting thing I have been learning this past week though is how important it is to be positive and desire to be successful. Just saying 'I Can Do It' has a lot of power. If you don't think you can do something, you are right. On the other hand, if you think you cant then you won't. A positive outlook even when things are looking impossible can push you through things you did not think possible. Especially when you have the Lord with you. Nothing is impossible with Him. Yes, sometimes we have to do hard things but when we overcome hardships we will become truly successful and so much more prepared in the future. Which brings me to my next thing. Preparation.
A very big thing we do as missionaries is set goals and make plans. Constantly we are planning to achieve our goals. When we prepare correctly and make plans we can usually achieve such plans. One thing I realize is I was incredibly good at setting goals before my mission. But I was downright horrible at planning so I never reached many of the goals I had set. Like the Prophet Joseph Smith said,
"When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel..."
Thats pretty well true with life! There is now way we can reach our goals or wishes in life without setting a plan to accomplish that goal.
We did have some sad things happen this week though. Many of our investigators dropped us this week and did not want anything to do with us anymore. Its always a sad day when that happens. We have a lot of finding we are doing now. We have found a few new investigators that we will be teaching this week.
Last Saturday we had splits with the Assistant to the President. I must say that was the best day I have had teaching. I never realized how important it is to have a good companion where we can both testify and teach in unity. He taught me a lot of things in the short time we had and how I can improve which is always awesome! I hope to be able to really focus on teaching the members, part member families, and less actives for the next two months. We have a lot of work to do with Less actives.
Thats been my week in a nutshell. I hope your are doing amazing as well and things are going great! Remember to always be living the gospel to your best, and God will take care of the rest. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and everything will be added unto you. God knows you and loves you so very much and wants you to be happy. He also knows what will make you happier and stronger. Every trial we go through is essential for our eternal salvation. Keep you face toward Zion and turn not astray. I know Jesus is the Christ and that He lives. That through His Atonement, all mankind may be saved. All. I love declaring His Word and serving others. Thank you for your prayers in behalf of this work and I am praying for you as well. Stay positive and look for good. Those who search will find. Whether it be good or bad, so search for good! I leave these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
A representative of Jesus Christ.
|Elder Rubow's Thanksgiving dinner that he and his fellow American missionaries made.|
I cannot believe how fast November went and now it is December already. Christmas is already on the horizon and will be here very quickly. To start off, we have been spending a lot of our time trying to find new investigators to teach and to preach to. We have actually found a fair number and this next week we will be following up on them. We did have Thanksgiving! There is three Americans here in Lapaz so of course we whipped up the patatoes, got the gravy, got the chicken (turkey is expensive), got the chips and all sat around the table and gave thanks and all that good stuff. My companion (mommy note: his companion is Filipino) was a little confused for that part but he seemed to enjoy it. Made us very happy and thankful indeed for chicken! Haha, we tried pie but nobody could figure out what we were looking for. Americans and their pies...
So last Sunday I had a really cool experiance. Lately our bishop has had some health problems and he texted me to give him a blessing. So after church we hurried over there and Elder ---------- helped in giving his first blessing. He annointed and I sealed. The blessing was so simple but so powerful and afterward Bishop looked twice as better. I love being a missionary!
We also had another two baptisms! So awesome and happy! Baptism day is the most stressfull and relaxing day. Stressful before and awesome after! One boy and one girl. The boy is 17 and the girl is 15! Elder ------- and Elder ------- baptized them. They are two other elders in our area. It was way awesome.
The big story of the week happend yesterday actually. I went to jail!! Whoo! So...long story short due to drinking and arguing. (Mommy note: Not Elder Rubow! Mr. T was not drinking. The less active members of the church were. Just thought I'd clarify as drinking alcohol is against our religion). One of our less active members killed their land owner and they called me and so forth so I was there for a while. So now we wait to see what happens to her and the family and so forth. But good news! While at the jail I talked to a few of the people in jail and we ended up getting 6 more investigators whoo!
Sorry gid. I have little time today so it will have to be short. One big thing I have learned though from all this is simply following the commandments. We all sometimes see the rules and just that rules. But what we dont see is why they are there till afterward. God knows all things and loves us all so much! Instead of saying we can't do these things lets say we won't do those things because if we know that following the commandments always brings better blessings. Thanks again and I miss ya tons! Till next week!
(Mommy note: I told Elder Rubow that when the Savior was on the earth, He spent His time in the prisons and slums and that is where He would be today if He were here on the earth. Trevor is doing that which he is representing! As a representative of our Savior, teaching those in prison about the light and goodness of the gospel and the joy that it can bring to them, he is doing exactly that. So proud of this kid!!!)