Sunday, October 6, 2013

SEPTEMBER 29, 2013

Hello Everybody!
So this week was national family week! It made it easy to talk to and teach those who prioritized their families (which is almost everyone here). We had a great time proselyting this week and enjoyed getting to know our ward a little bit better. Anyway, the highlight of the week was this past Saturday. We, as an entire mission, received permission from President to attend our individual ward's family week activity! So early Saturday morning we, Elder Parry and I, got to go to the Santa Cruz Beach with our ward!!!! WHAT?! I WENT TO THE BEACH!!! Of course I didn't get to swim, that is against all rules, but we got to play the ward games and eat lots of food:) We played sack races, longest line and catch the tail. They were all a blast. Of course the ward loved that two Americans were playing games with them and so we were all the rage at the party. Elder Parry highlighted the sack race by eating the sand at the finish line, giving the win to his team. It was a pretty good wipe out if I do say so myself. I came in at second for my team and apparently looked like I was riding a caribou:) I highlighted catch the tail for the ward. They still won't stop talking about it.. To play you link your whole team together by holding on to the waist of the person in front of you. I was the "head" so my job was to catch the tail of another team while leading my own. We kept losing so on our last time playing I introduced a new strategy to my team. We were going to play battering ram to separate a tail from a head to make our capture easy. It surprisingly worked! We won that game:) However, I am now referred to Elder Carver, the man with a bright idea. That is my entire title. It is funny but got old really quick:) The activity was fun:) plus we got to wear our casual clothes!!!
Anyway, on to the important matters of my work. Sister M committed to Baptism!!! It was super exciting and very happy! We are going to continue to work with her. I feel confident she will be ready to enter into the waters of baptism by November. Sister A now meets all the requirements to be baptized but she still isn't married... So Bishop is now working with her on getting that arranged. It is free here so you wouldn't think that would be a recurring problem. Anyway, we are way excited too because this week is going to be crazy busy with appointments and trainings.I will talk more on that next week though! Now onto your emails:)
 Dad:  I don't know if I can stop losing weight. I am always hungry because my body just torches food... I eat two full plates of rice with toppings everyday for lunch and I am hungry by 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Good job on your excercising efforts! We should do a 5k when I get back! Vitamins are good. I have been taking the ones you gave me and I am pretty sure that is why I have stayed so healthy over here! Anyway, thank you for your update and I can't wait to hear from you next week!
Mom: WHAT?!?!?!?!?!? The ward split....AGAIN!!!! That is absolutely crazy!!!!!! Holy cow! That was definitely a huge change! I know that the Lord knows how to build his kingdom, but it is like you said, it isn't easy to see so many changes. I hope the adjustment goes well for you! I am also sorry you got released from your calling! Who are the new bishops?! Maybe Dad will be YM president again:) I too am glad that Nate and I are so close! I tell Elder Parry about all of our little adventures all the time:) It is great to reflect on. Oh yeah, the email title. So, I lost 10 kilos, ate McDonalds and had a baptism. I was the only common denominator. Nothing too fantastic. Another Christopher Carver at SUU? I feel like that is some funny prank or something! I am glad they didn't want me though, that would have been a pain to take care of from the Philippines! M is doing well, but isn't really progressing anymore. She reads and prays but doesn't go to church. We are trying to reevaluate how to get her to prioritize church attendance. Sister M also was unable to attend. She was feeling sick and didn't even go to work on Sunday. She was sorry about it but wants to go next week if she can. Tell Brandon congrats for me! That is super exciting!!! How does he feel about it? Another mission call! That is so exciting:) I love hearing about your week too! Thanks for the update! Hermana Ali told me you emailed her again! She loves hearing from you! I am excited to hear about your adventures for this week!
Ethan: I heard about the ward changing thing! Crazy! I miss you too! Christmas Eve and Day are coming up here! People already have Christmas trees and lights up! I am excited for Christmas so that I can talk to you all! I will get to skype:) It has been a long time Ethan, three months and 11 days to be exact, but remember the definition of a missionary- someone who leaves their family for a little while so other families can be together forever. I will be back before you know it! Palangga ta ka!
Grady: That was a big ward change! I know it will be hard but you have to remember, the Church is true no matter who is in your ward. Christ is still the head of the Church, his priesthood is still with the leaders and the Lord will never allow his kingdom to be led astray. What more do you want to know about the baptism? Sister Basal and Sister Lelet both spoke. Bishop gave great council to us all afterward. R shared her simple yet powerful testimony. I got to baptize R. The rest of the story is in last week's email.
Nate: Crazy things happened! But just like I told Grady, the Church is still true. Sounds like it will be a completely different ward when I get home! So, Falcon First should be this week right? If so, good luck! If not, I will wish you and your team good luck next week! I hope that you are able to deal with the changes well! Just remember the line from ROCKY BALBOA: "It isn't how hard you can hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep on going, how much you can take and keep on going..."
Ali: No email... What's up? I hope that everything is going well in your realm of life! I would like to know how everything is going!  I hope you know that I pray for you all and that I always want what is best for you all too. Please write me next week!
-Elder Carver

SEPTEMBER 22, 2013

Hello Everybody!

So, I had a GREAT week this week! Holy Cow! I don't even know where to begin! How about the baptism yesterday? Yes. Yesterday was R's baptism! It was such a great experience and absolutely amazing. The spirit was so strong, the talks were fantastic and the Baptismal Proper was successful:) Let me tell you the whole story. We showed up 15 minutes early (7:45 AM) to check the font and set everything up. The Baptism was scheduled for 8:00, just an hour before church, and when we got there the water was absolutely filthy!!!! It was green and had a film on the top! We were really concerned that it wasn't exactly sanitary, but the Bishop assured us it is fine. We found out that our font is filled with water comming from the river and it flooded on Saturday so that is why it is was green. The logic didn't make sense to me either, don't think about it too much. Anyway, nobody showed up until 8:30... including R.So we gave her two options, we could proceed as planned and start church a little late or postpone her baptism until 4:00 that day. She didn't want to wait and wasn't phased by the green water so we decided to proceed as planned! Anyway, the baptism was fantastic and spiritual! I was the fortunate one selected to baptize R :) It was so neat to see the fruit of our labors! I was hesitant of the water but figured "What the heck? I am performing a sacred ordinance for the Lord, why would I get sick?" Guess what? I didn't get sick either! 

Zone conference was great! I see that you saw the pictures! I had a great time there and learned a ton on the Atonement. It was a very uplifting and encouraging training in preparation for the Mission Tour with Elder Neilson next month. I did get to see a few of my batchmates from the MTC too! I spent most the day with Elder Pack (other MTC district), I got a brief chance to speak with Elder Minson, his conference was the day before, I also got a brief second to talk with Sister Young and Sister Hemi. They are all doing really well and were super happy to be there! They all had the same thing to say about me. It was the first thing out of their mouths too. "You look so different!!" Yes, I look very different. I am still me but a whopping 23 pounds lighter!!! WHAT? I have lost 23 pounds in 6 weeks. That's why my shirts and pants are getting baggy....:) 23 pounds is the official weight loss because the Mission office has a scale. But I am averaging roughly 7 pounds every other week! Shoot! At this rate there won't be an Elder Carver to come home! Now, this is going to seem incredibly ironic, but that same night I got to eat.... MCDONALDS!!! It has never tasted so good! I think I realized how much I miss eating American food. But that was all right:) 

Dad- Thanks for clarifying why I haven't got emails from you the last two weeks! I was concerned for a little bit;) Anyway, sounds like you are finally kicking everything into gear for our little competition, but I got a solid 6 weeks on you now and am only 195 pounds. I broke 200 going the other way. Transfers. They can happen at any time but the next scheduled transfer for the whole mission is at the end of October. I am glad that you feel like a part of my mission, I am doing this for all of us! The Priesthood is amazing! I love it:)

Grady- It would not be good to get hit by a car. That is why I am careful:) They are a little crazy here, but that is why we don't ride bikes. Each area is assigned to a certain ward. So I attend the Fabrika ward every Sunday. There is no missionary ward, that would just be a social hour, not church. 

Ali- What happened!! Why did you get into a wreck? I am glad you are safe and I am sorry about the car. Mom sent me pictures and it looks pretty bad. I hope you get a new one soon too! Just be careful. I hope cheer and school are going really well for you! Read D&C 50:40. It helped me turn to the Lord and ask for help in all things!

Nate- Apocrypha. Look it up in the Bible dictionary as well as Canon. Record your thoughts. Find where the Apocrypha is located and then send everything back to me. Your scriptures are great! I love reading them, ironically they always seem to be where I just read too... weird... but cool! Say hello to Adam for me! I hope he is recovering quickly!

Ethan- No email this week...:( But, something way cool! I saw this little spider in the shape of an 'X'. They are good yo-yo's I hear. I thought you would think they were pretty cool and funny. Also, we have a new toko! He is little and way cool looking:) I want to hear from you next week!

Mom- You ask so many questions! Don't know why I got sick, definitely not the water though. That would be worse than just sick. Conference was great. No general authority this time, that is on the tour only. I don't exactly know who does all the cooking... but it is good food! I am glad you found me in a few pictures! Elder Parry is doing great. We are striving to become better missionaries every day! He kinda reminds me of Nate, which is way cool! It feels like I have my brother as my companion:) Sammy is doing great and a huge help. He works in Manapla during the week so we don't see a lot of him then, just the weekends. He is 24. The church building is like a small meeting house in the middle of nowhere North Dakota. It is really small but very well kept and probably the nicest building in the whole region. Schedule changes every day but we are always out proselyting by 1 or 2 every day. Studies every morning. Nothing too special. Lots of Ilonggo! I love it. A and M doing great! A came to church again and now qualifies for baptism if she gets married. We are working on that currently. M still didn't come... dang it. I lead about 60% of our discussions and that number keeps climbing. J is really busy and hasn't been an active listener. But hopefully soon because Sister M came to Church!! That was way exciting to see:) R is 13. Exactly one day younger than Grady! Definitely a small world! I am glad that everyone is okay as well. I wish leaves would change colors here! That would probably scare everybody though:) Have fun at the Corn maze! I did hear that Haley got here mission call! Tell her congrats for me if you see her soon! I hear from a bunch of people every week but don't have the time to email them all every week so I have to alternate weeks. Thanks for the hymn! I learned that one in Ilonggo:) I may have to share it when I get home:) Thanks for your prayers! I can feel them every day!

Until Next week!

Elder Carver

SEPTEMBER 15, 2013

Hello Everybody!

Wow, we had a fast week this week, which is weird because we got sick... I am fine now, we think it was just something we ate but we were down Wednesday and Thursday all day. It wasn't very fun but was not serious. That means, Mom, don't worry about me because I bounced back into full swing and am really healthy now. On the bright side, being sick allowed me to almost finish Doctrine and Covenants! I just have the official declarations left. Anyway onto our work for this week. We taught the usual Maroka crew and everything went well but still no church attendance.. A comes every week though and so that was way happy! However, the pinnacle of the week came from yesterday when......... R PASSED HER BAPTISMAL INTERVIEW!!! We will now be having her baptism this coming Sunday before church so that she can be confirmed the same day! How exciting is that!! We are praying that her baptism being the same day as church will get all her family in Maroka to church this week! I guess I should also mention that neither of us got transferred! That was a huge relief on our part. We only taught Sister M once this week but are returning tomorrow for our scheduled lesson. That 'bout sums up what our week was! I got more cool pictures, still unable to send them:( 

This week we have a mission conference in preparation for our mission tour by a general authority. That will be Thursday and Wednesday for us because we live so far away from Bacolod, but it will be good. It is still hot and sweaty but enjoyable work nonetheless! We have so much help from the ward missionaries! We did also get a new Ward Mission Leader. Sony got released because he is living in Bacolod now and his younger brother, Sammy, was called to be the new WML. They are way cool and fun to work with. Sammy is a RM so he is way talented at teaching and we always appreciate his help. Now onto your emails.

Ethan- You bust me up! I love your emails because they show me that my little brother is still the same! I love them. Have fun in school, I love you too buddy!

Grady- We walk most of the time. We could have bikes if we wanted but we would likely be hit by other vehicles when we are on the main highway and would be off roading the rest which is the majority of our traveling. I will get #5 for you! It looks way cool! I had a less active member design the jersey because he is way good at it. You will like it I think! Let me know how the BYU-Utah game goes!

Ali- How is your Jr. year going so far school wise? 

Nate- The ER!? I am glad you are doing better but that is kinda scary! Your pictures of Homecoming look great! I am glad to hear that you had a good time. Thanks for the scripture, I actually read that one yesterday! Priesthood power is incredible! I am glad that you recognized that power so quickly because it is real and it is wonderful. I am still waiting for the Apocrypha bit...... Also, when is your debate season starting? 

Mom and Dad- See my above bit about transfers. We didn't have anymore critters:) We have zone trainings once a month and we have zone conferences randomly. Not much of a schedule for ZCs. Let Adam know I am praying for him! He is a great example of keeping a positive attitude and I know he will recover in the Lord's timing. Questions: P-Days- My favorite part about them is emailing everybody! It gives me a lot of strength for the week to come. Favorite place to eat- Mang Inasal. It is resturant chain here. Serves great food plus that is where I can get my halohalo. My favorite place to be- The top of Maroka! It is a beautiful view there! I have lots of pictures from up there and can't wait to show you them! Temple- on my way out of the Philippines I am supposed to get to go to the Manila temple! Only once though... I look forward to going again! Hardest part- Mom, you nailed it! That really is the hardest part. I don't think it is that hard but I miss my family and friend and my music. I didn't think I would miss music as much as I do. Most surprising thing- How much English everybody speaks! If I am struggling to speak Ilonggo, they will try their English! Just like Alden's email, it is a nice thing but sometimes I would like Ilonggo only. Biggest change- my size! Literally, my size has gotten much smaller. I wish pictures worked for that too. I actually need to wear a belt now because my pants are getting too big! Sounds like Nate is doing much better. Anyway, thanks for your thoughts on Section 76! My question was concerning to verse 74 and how it pertains to the application of temple work. I have prayed though and found an answer that satisfies my question for now. Section 131 and 132 though were great assistants in answering my questions and solidifying my standard of a temple marriage. Thanks for your great examples! Random thought, Dad, how is your elbow? When I left it was nasty looking and still a gaping hole. Is it better? Also what kind of thing would you like from the Philippines? I think I have figured other things out for everybody else!

That's all for today! Until next week,

Elder the-one-and-only-Carver!


Hello everybody!
I hope you are all doing well this week and that everything is running smoothly in this time of the year. This week wasn't an exactly exciting week with cool stories but some really neat things happened. First- I extended the baptismal invitation to A(R's mom) and M! They both accepted which was great! I have been leading our lessons now for about three weeks and that was a particularly great lesson! The Spirit was so strong! I love missionary work. The only problem that we currently face is that M still hasn't come to church and A missed yesterday meaning her one missed Sunday buffer is gone. She can't miss again in the next two weeks if she wants to be baptized. Her mother-in-law is an active member and told me that she was busy with something and wanted to come but couldn't. So I don't think that will be too big of a problem:)
Sister M has been really busy and we were only able to stop by once this week. The lesson was phenomenal though! The spirit was incredible and was definitely reaching beyond the three of us because her husband (J) stopped working to listen! We invited her to come to Church but sadly she didn't either. We stopped by her house after church to follow up and she was really really busy with work and said that she is sorry she couldn't make it but will try again next week. We have a lesson with her again tonight! Hopefully all will go well.
R is progressing as always! She is so smart. All of her friends are LDS and she has been going to church for quite a while now. Our lessons with her are more or less reviews because she has learned the required material at church and from her friends. Next week is her baptismal interview and we are so excited for that!
That's my accounting for this week! Transfers are on Wednesday and we find out who transfers (if anyone) tomorrow. I want to stay here but I will go where the Lord wants me to go!
Now onto your emails:
Ali- You will do great with school this year! Always look for the positive and you will realize what a fun time you have and how easy it really all is. The spider was definitely huge. He is a banana spider (which are all over here, just usually smaller) so he isn't poisonous, just fast and a little intimidating. We put him on the porch because the ants will eat him:) They are all over the place and in everything too so that was our best idea.
Ethan- Sounds like you are having a great year so far! Keep up the work! I love the Philippines and I love Ilonggo! It is a beautiful language:) It is hard to understand sometimes but I don't mind because I try to listen with my spirit and not with my ears. The spider was very creepy but it is fun to joke about! I have pictures of him and I will show you sometime! Palangga ta ka!
Grady- Happy birthday again! You didn't give me any ideas as to what you wanted for your birthday... However, I found a great one! I will get you a custom basketball jersey! They are really cool! I just need one thing. What number do you want? I am glad you had a great birthday though! You are good at volleyball too? Why haven't we played! I have got a mean swing... sometimes:) Sister B is doing better but she is starting to relapse. We are hoping that she rebounds in recovery too. They are all in high spirits right now though!
Nate- How is everything bro? I didn't get an email this week.. I hope your Homecoming royalty stuff is going well! I am still waiting for your research on the Apocrypha. Please get back to me on that. How is debate so far this year? Getting ready for the Falcon First? I want to know!
Mom- That spider wasn't particularly dangerous.... I think. It wasn't poisonous by any means if that is what you are concerned about:) I wasn't going to send it home but I took pictures so that you all can see this thing! The phantom lizard is just that, a phantom. I think he left for good though. There is a bigger one now that likes to hang out outside though. I like him though because the spiders are afraid of him. I take lots of pictures! You should be satisfied with the pictures I have taken. I got a haircut this past week and because my haircut was "boring" for the barber, he decided to customize the front. It is a little longer than I would like and I don't like the way it looks in pictures but I am thankful for having short hair again! The rain is back so it has cooled down a little bit. My area doesn't have much of an environmental change. I am way up in the jungle. Pretty rural for most areas but there are two barangays (neighborhoods) that surround our house. So it mixes a little bit but not much. The barangays are even small ones compared to Cadiz (that's the big city we go to for P-Days). Our zone changes a lot from complete  rural to ours to total urban. So it just depends. I want to hear more about this fight. Who was fighting, why and where? Sounds like the basement is progressing a lot! Thanks for sending my packages! Veggie Tales is Great! Very funny with good morals behind most of it! Check out D&C Section 76 this week and get back to me on your thoughts. I have one point of confusion that I hope you can answer. Anyway, this week was fun and great with no spiders! I can't wait to hear from you all next week!!
Palangga ko kamo!
Elder Carver


Well hello everybody:)
We had quite the week this week!! It was so fun and lots of spiritual uplifting experiences! So, first, to explain the title of this email (Damang!!) Damang means spider in Ilonggo. The reason for that title is last night, Elder Parry and I had a battle with a damang. When I say a battle, I mean it. This thing was HUGE and mean! He was roughly just larger than the size of my hand and quicker than lightning. Elder Parry noticed him behind me and so kindly pointed him out so then our battle commenced. After roughly 25 minutes of us chasing him with a 9 foot pole trying to smash him and him running at us every time we missed, we were able to win by busting out the permetherin. It was a fairly exhausting battle that eventually we came out champions. I am sure it was fairly entertaining to see two 19 year old young men running from a spider, but it literally felt like the scene from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He was massive and was out to get us. He is now shriveled up, out side on our porch.
Next, I caught a couple tikis. That may not seem like much but those suckers are also fast. I think my reflexes are getting better!! I put one of them on my tie and wore him around for a little bit. I guess he didn't want to move:) Lizards are much more friendly than spiders, unless they are a toko. They aren't nice at all, just fun to poke with a broom:)
Sister B has made almost a full recovery! She is walking around and working full days again so they were able to go to church! That was so exciting! Their spirits are so much higher now! Brother B is drawing me a picture of our family (the one at the MTC) He is really talented and has drawn pictures for President Lopez and Bishop Villamore. Count that as my first souvenir picked up.

Sister BB and M didn't come to church again this week and we weren't able to teach Sister M because she has been out of town for a while. Hopefully that will pick back up this week. We also came to the conclusion that Basketball isn't going to work because the Church is too far away from our area. We have a hard time getting people to go to church once a week, let alone twice. Maybe it will work better for other sets of missionaries that are also testing it. However, on the bright side. Sister R and her Mom are progressing at a lightning speed! R is scheduled for the 21 of September to be baptized and hopefully her mom the week after. We just have to find out her marital status before we can give her a set date. All is going well though and we are loving the work here in Fabrika. Transfers are on Sept. 11 and I pray that I will stay here so that I can see R and her Mom baptized! However, I will go where the Lord wants me to go. I will find out what will happen on the transfer day that Tuesday.
Nate- Way cool! I am glad that you got a job! Just remember that you are new to that scene and have a lot to learn! Take criticism well and learn everything you can from your coworkers. I hope it is a positive experience for you! Also, congrats on Homecoming! That is way cool! I never was royalty but that could be because I wasn't as big of a stud as you are:) Do your best in school this year and kill it in debate! Tell everyone there hello for me!
Ali- Hi! Cool picture! See all the cool things you can do with your cheer leading! What a talent that God has given you! Remember D&C 46 or Moroni 10. Foster your gifts and use them often! How is your job? Is it getting better? How are your classes this year? Junior year was the hardest year of school for me but don't be discouraged! Keep your head high and turn to the Lord for help and you will always find it!
Grady- HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I can't believe that you will be 13! Sorry I won't be there but just know that I wish you the best birthday and I hope you enjoy it as well. I was thinking and have been looking for things to get you but I don't know what. I need ideas! Please give me ideas that you would like from the Philippines.
Ethan- How is my youngest brother doing! Do you like school this year so far? What friends are you playing with at recess? I want to hear from you!!!
Mom and Dad- I actually started this email before you sent yours (Mom)! Weird... Sister B is feeling better! See my earlier notes. She is a less active member, not an investigator. I don't know if I ever told you that. We have rescuing efforts along our proselyting efforts so we visit less active members too!  Thanks Dad for sharing your testimony on Priesthood! I too have been humbled by its power and am grateful for the presence of it in my life! Thank you for always living worthy to give me blessings when I needed them. We will definitely judge at debate tournaments when I get back! Thanks for keeping me in your prayers! I have a quote I would like to share with you from Elder Maxwell: "God gives the picks and shovels to the 'chosen' because they are willing  to go to work and get callouses on their hands. They may not be the best or most capable, but they are the most available." I know this is true because I am by no means the best for this mission, I just made myself available and let God refine me. I ran into a couple of Pentecostal missionaries the other day and the definitely belittled me because of my lack of knowledge of Ilonggo. However, I was so proud to say that I was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because I know that through the gifts of the spirit, diligently seeking the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and through constant repentance in order to become a more worthy servant, I will become qualified in God for this purpose. I love my mission and can't wait to tell you all about it in person! Mom I only have 20 fast Sundays til I get home! I have had three since I left and I get home before fast Sunday in June of 2015! I can't wait to hear from you all again next week!

AUGUST 25, 2013

Hello everybody!!

What a great week! We had some truly wonderful experiences this week as well as some really trying experiences! We have continued to teach Sister BB and she is progressing in her desire and knowledge, just not going to church yet... Hopefully this next week because we have a plan! We are also teaching her sister, Mand their sister-in-law and niece, Aand R. R has been going to church with Bishop's family every week for almost two months now but hasn't been taught by the missionaries! We started teaching her last week and have already taught about the Restoration, Plan of Salvation and Gospel of Jesus Christ. She has a scheduled baptismal date now for September 21!! That was an exciting day:) She has also been sharing what she has been learning with her mom, A. We started teaching Arlene on Friday and have taught her twice now as have a scheduled return appointment for tomorrow! She is very receptive to the Gospel! Well, here is our plan. M and A are next door neighbors along with their parents, who are active members. Sister BB lives just down the hill from them enroute to the road that the Church is on. We are trying to convince them to go with Brother and Sister S (the parents) so that they aren't going alone! Hopefully that will be a more encouraging situation to go to church! That whole family is a very wonderful and humble family! I have learned so much from them and continue to learn every day! 

We had a couple really hard days this week though. Wednesday and Thursday we had almost everybody cancel appointments with us so we were out in the field for 6.5 hours with only 3 lessons taught each day. That's not exactly a picture perfect day, but we figured out a new system that will allow us to improve our proselyting. We are now turning everything into working by areas of strength. We have three areas that are very productive areas to visit so those places are the only places we will go from now on. Maroka, Fara-on, and Crossing/Shopping. All of our investigators live in one of those three areas and they all have many members to help with fellow-shipping. We think that our new tactics will help us be more effective tools in the Lord's hands.

Sister B is doing much better!! We gave her the priesthood blessing and she said that she has the faith that our blessing would heal her! What a neat experience! We returned a couple days later to find her walking again! What?! How cool is that! Brother B received an early motorcycle rent payment from his nephew and was able to take sister to get some medicine until they can get to the doctor. It was literally a miracle before my eyes!  That was such a neat, wonderful experience! Talk about the faith sister had to be healed! It reminded me of Moroni 10 where it talks about the gift of the spirit to be healed because that kind of faith is definitely a gift!

Sister M is continuing to progress! She told us that she has prayed about our message and the Book of Mormon and believes that it is true! That was wonderful to hear! We have taught her about the Plan of Salvation now and assigned her to read Alma 40 before our return appointment on Wednesday. I have the faith that she will follow through. Last night when we were teaching, there were lots of distraction around and it wasn't inviting the spirit. So I prayed in my heart that God would help us block out the distractions. Guess what happened next! There was a brown out (small black out) and it silenced the loud music, the drunk karaoke and the yelling down the street! That was really cool because the lights came back on in 2 minutes or so but everything else had still stopped! Another miracle before my eyes! 

Sadly Basketball didn't happen this week. The other Elders that we are coordinating with got sick because they ate some expired bread and eggs. Not a very wise idea, but this week hopefully! Shoes... Mom, please send them to me. I will write the information down and send it next week so that we can get the right size. On the plus side, I have continued to slim down at a remarkable rate! We had a baptism this past Saturday (for the Cadiz sisters) and I was asked to baptize Brother L! That was a really neat experience! Anyway, we took some pictures and I look considerably thinner. I think I am close to 200 pounds now, which means since I entered the MTC 2 months ago, I have lost 20 pounds! What a blessing! I also have been having a grudge match with a toko that made home in our house. I won though! We got him out and he came back so we shot him with permetherin and then were able to get him out. He is still alive and living next to our trash can, but he is out for now! I will send pictures next week! I think I figured out how to do it here, but not this week. Sorry!

Nate- Sounds like you are living life as usual! Keep that up so that my brother will be the same when I get home! I hope you get this job and your interview goes well. Where is it for? What will you be doing when you get the job? Keep me updated!

Ali- How is Cheer going now that football has started? Are you getting more busy? I hope that school goes well for you and that you continue to grow through scripture study and daily prayer.

Dad- Testimony is key! We learned in the MTC that our testimony is our only truly unique message. Our Gospel is unique but all missionaries can share that. Our testimony is our own and that won't ever change! Great council! I miss the fathers blessing before school. I always looked forward to that! I love you and pray for you and the rest of the family always!

Mom- I love your emails! They are so full of wonderful detail! You help keep me up to speed on how everybody is doing! I guess the amount of rain we had been receiving was unusual because it is the end of dry season. In a couple weeks rainy season will start and it will likely rain every day. Say goodbye to the little bit of tan I have been able to accumulate... I am glad that all my siblings are way excited for school! Have fun Ethan in Ms. Bauder's class! Grady you are now half way done with your pre college schooling! Congratulations! Conference will be broadcast to our stake center a week later. We will get to watch it there and invite our investigators and other members to join us! I am excited for that! I am glad that there wasn't a crazy announcement at the stake conference. My language is improving! I am better at the end of the day than the beginning. By planning at the end of the night, I usually struggle to speak English and will often forget words that I shouldn't. A frequent is mountain. I don't know why, but I just call it the bukid now struggle going back. It is a fun little problem:)

Palangga ko kamo!!

Elder Carver 

AUGUST 19, 2013

Hello to everybody!!

I hope that you are all doing well and still busy as usual! There are a few things that I wanted to share with you all this week! 

First. Sobre Init! That means "overly hot." It perfectly describes what this last week has been! There has only been one day that it rained in the last 6 and it was only for 10 minutes. It has been crazy hot! I have literally been dripping sweat off of my face all day and soaked from head to toe by the end of the day. It was really convenient though for drying my laundry:) 

Next. Sister BB. She didn't come to church again so her date has to be postponed... However, when we visited her this past Friday, her and her sister both expressed an extreme desire to come to the Lord through baptism. We are going back to Maroka to visit them tomorrow to teach them again. Hopefully all will go well and they will follow through on attending Church. That way they can fulfill their desires. 

Next. Sister B. She was one of the first people I met here in Fabrika. She is a wonderful sister who is less active. She has intense arthritis and isn't able to attend church very often because of the extremity of her arthritis. However, this last week we stopped by to visit and invite them to Church and Brother B said that Sister is really sick. It was definitely more than arthritis that she has. So yesterday afternoon we visited and she was indeed really sick. They don't have money to go to a doctor because Brother has been unemployed for a few months now. Bishop gave us authorization to offer a priesthood blessing though, so we plan on stopping by this week for that. We shared D&C 24:8 with here and told her that we would continue to visit frequently while she recovers and that God will be with her too if she continues to pray and read. The Spirit was so strong in that lesson and I know that they felt God's love and confirmation of our message. Please pray for her health!

Next. Sister M! She is a new investigator that we picked up last week and is progressing really fast! We have taught her three times already and before we could even invite her to church she was asking when our service was! I had prayed that morning that I would be able to open my mouth and that the Lord would place someone prepared for me in our paths. That was the result. What a testimony of faith! I am so grateful for that experience!! We teach her again on Wednesday about the Plan of Salvation.

Now onto your emails.

Ali-I hope all is well with you and that you are ready for another year in school! By the way, what is your expected graduation date? I may be home for it, maybe...

Grady- No we have not had any baptisms yet because we are basically building the area from the ground up. We had to start all over with the current investigators because the previous missionaries here didn't keep a record of what was taught and how many visits they had. But we have a few that are working towards baptism right now! Great school schedule! Good luck with your basketball endeavors! I hope you make the team.

Dad- I hope that we are able to go skiing when I get back too!! I missed that this last year..If you are looking for my area on the internet, your best bet would probably be looking up Cadiz Philippines. That is the real city near my area. Thanks for your scriptures that you have shared with me and I hope that you are doing fantastic!

Ethan- I am going to love getting home too! Sounds like you had fun with all of the family! Palangga ta ka!

Nate- Congrats on being so busy! What was the area that you went to for high adventure? That sounds way fun! President Hollist taught me something once pertaining to D&C 4. God qualifies whomever he calls. You were called to serve in the Youth Conference Counsel so he qualified you! Never feel inadequate of whatever God places before you. Anyway, way to go! I always knew that you were a stud! Dancing with a pretty girl! The Philippines is great, and unusually dry, even if I am sweating a lot.... I will continue to update you! Take care bro!

Mom- Basketball starts this week so I will take it easy. I am a ref anyway, not actually playing so no worries. We will use the church hoops of course! They are outdoors here but still usable! We don't know how many people yet, hopefully a lot! A keeps coming but he is what we call a casual investigator. He likes to listen and follows through mostly but doesn't want to be taught individually. It makes it difficult but soon. I know he will become a progressing investigator soon! There aren't very many places to buy shoes here and my feet are huge here so I doubt there would be my size anyway. I will talk to President Lopez though and get back to you. I haven't heard about your wood shoe tree idea but it sounds cool. I will look into that. There was a typhoon? It has been so dry that I wondered if there was even weather! We walk most everywhere except to get to Maroka. We take a Ceres Bus to get to Ribotan and then walk from there. Other than that, it is all walking. It has been great though! I have already lost at least 10 pounds! I dropped one belt knotch and my jeans have a hard time staying up! (found out about that this morning!). Glad to hear that Jed was able to get though airport security:) and that Wes got home safe! Glad to hear that the Grows are doing much better! Send them my regards! That's crazy what happened to Josh though! I hope he recovers quick! Why do you need another car? Did one break down? Please tell Brother Rivera hello for me! He is a great man and example to us all! I hope all went well with the family this weekend! Tell them hello as well. HaloHalo is fantastic idea! I love it here. You are exactly right! I was very blessed to have Alison in my life! She is always so happy and a wonderful example! Tell the Swallows hello too! I hope all is going well for them! Let me know what happens next Sunday!!! I want to know why you have an emergency stake conference! Maybe President Monson is visiting....:) Thank you for your scriptures! I love them! I do have an idea for you actually! Pick one topic to focus on this time reading through and only highlight verses pertaining to that topic with one color. Make sure you write in the margines why you highlighted it though or you may forget down the road. Anyway, I hope all is well and that you continue to prosper in the ways of the Lord.Take care!

Elder Carver.