Monday, December 26, 2016

Getting Transferred to Mindoro

So sorry about last week but I didn't have any time to write a long weekly email. I was only able to email my mom :)  I found out this morning that I will be getting transfered to Mindoro! I will be in a trio companionship and with Elder Peni which was in my MTC batch coming here. I was very surprised. I'm excited to go and learn more in this new area! So, Mindoro is the only island in our mission which is pretty cool. It is very rural which I'm excited about because I love the trees and animals here. I'm also excited to learn more Tagalog these coming weeks because the island of Mindoro speaks pure Taglog. It will be difficult but I'm going with an open mind :) 

So, for Christmas Eve we had the opportunity to eat at the Bishop's house. We had so much amazing food! They had vegetables, tons of rice and all different kinds of filipino foods. They had lechon too! (a roasted pig). It was so amazing. 

For Christmas we went up to Marian Hills. It's the biggest mountain in our area and we got to go through a huge garden, with the life of Jesus Christ on statues and paintings. It was so beautiful to look at, and look over the whole city!  Afterwards, for dinner we had a picnic with members on the top of the hill looking out over beautiful green hills as far as the eye could see! 

I have tons of pictures today!!

Elder Aguiar

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Celebrating the Savior Every Day

So just of couple weeks till Christmas!

Last week I said that I would try to put more experinces into my letters, so here it goes!

Elder Reyes and I have been trying to put a lot of effort into our lessons and investigators this week, and the new #lighttheworld theme for Christmas from the Church is AMAZING. If you havent seen it, . Check it out. It is a small video about our Savior and things we can do this Christmas to help "Light the World". It is truly an amazing video. As we have used it, it has truly brought not only the Spirit of Christmas into our lessons, but the loving Spirit of the Lord. 

Also this week our Kabahay (all of us in our apartment) have truly seen miracles in our ward and in our work. We have been so very protected by the Lord this week.  We also joined the ward choir for the Christmas party on the 15th. It turns out that I am a "bass" and cannot sing any high notes whatsoever! HAHA 

I don't know who's bright idea this was.. but Elder Reyes (my companion) thinks its absolutely hillarious to tell all the little kids and small girls in our area that I am indeed, a member of OneDirection... There is one great downside to this. They ALL believe him.. So its been interesting seeing parents and their kids think that I am indeed a celebrity.. Even though I do not look even close to any of them, it is really funny :)

That is basically my week. I am short on time, but Merry Christmas. I know the Lord lives and that He is with us every step of the way of in our lives. I'm so blessed to have the family and the friends I do, and to have the knowledge of this great and everlasting gospel:) 

-Elder Cody Louis Aguiar

(A message from Mom:  This came in Cody's personal email to me and I thought I would include it for those of you who helped me with his Christmas present!)

"ONE OF MY FAVORITE presents was all the pictures from you all and my favorite families in  our ward. I absolutely loved that with all my heart. I'm gonna keep that for a while I think... It was great to hang that up and see everyone!

Christmas from home!!

JLeeRoys= liquid gold!  I am loved!

Gotta represent


Our apartment... and our fans

Chopping down a banana tree... with a machete!  It's my dream!

Tastes like... cucumber


Oh man!  My FAVORITE!  I'm so happy!

Pictures from loved ones. My favorite gift

Foam ninja stars from Sam!

Gifts for Elder Reyes too.  He loved them!

Pictures and letters from home

Elder Aguiar stocking, so cool!

Monday, December 5, 2016

6 Months!

Wow, so I just want to say that these last 6 months have flown by! Time absolutely goes so fast when you serve the Lord.

I love it here. Again, I'm running low on time so, I'll be quick. This past week I was able to see how gracious the Lord has been to me. He has blessed me with amazing family and friends and examples in my life. Here in the mission, He has blessed me with amazing investigators and protection and safety. 

What I'm trying to get at is, when you are feeling down and don't know where to go, get on your knees and pray to our Father in Heaven. Even in the darkest of times He will always be there with his hand on yours, guiding you through out your life, if we so ask him. It may not always be evident that he has blessed you, but I promise that as you look back on those past times, you will be able to see the blessings and miracles God has wrought in your life. Through my area and my investigators, the Lord has been able to finally open my eyes to His love, and it's an indescribable feeling. Keep praying, keep enduring and you will be able to feel the love of your Father always! :) 
"Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answers to thy prayers" (D&C 112:10)

I love you all so much. Next week I promise to share more experiences and pictures! My SD card unfortunately got corrupted so, I have to start new!

Love, Elder Aguiar
Tracting into a new area and taking notes

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanks and Giving

So to start off this weeks email, I do want to confess something... I am just a little bummed I missed all the great turkey and stuffing. It looked absolutely delicious.... BUT I'M ABSOLUTELY FINE WITH RICE!!  Haha. 

This week has been great. After having the opportunity to go to the beautiful temple in Manilla on Wednesday, it set the tone for the rest of the week! Then on Friday, we got to do some SERVICE! We got to help one of the members in the ward build a house, but because it was in another zone, we were fortunate enough to get permission from President Koster to continue to the service. We traveled to the Morong Zone and it was absolutely pretty there. It was so green with trees, I loved it. After about a 20 min trike ride, we arrived. Then during the service, we shoveled tons of sand and cement powder and rocks into bags for the pouring of the walls and foundation. It is always joyful to serve, I love it so much. "When you are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God"
(Mosiah 2:17). 

On another note, I had the great opportunity to start reading the New Testament personally along with the Doctrine and Covenants! The New Testament is super great. Being able to learn about the Savior's ministry here on this earth is such a blessing!

Also we are seeing alot of progression with a few of our investigators Kristian and Alfredo! They are both openly receiving the Restored Gospel and are getting closer to their Father in Heaven. They both have been smoking for a long time but as we have shared with them the power of prayer, the love of God and the Word of Wisdom, they have been trying their best to stop and they have been improving so much!

I unfortunately dont have any pictures this week, because the computer isnt working, but next week for sure!

-Elder Aguiar

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Temple Week!

So I dont have that much time this week. But, it was an amazing week. Elder Reyes and I have worked as hard as we could this week, not only in our lessons but with being obedient. Through our hard work we were able to see the fruits of our labor. We were blessed by the Lord this last week with more progressing investigators and 5 new baptism dates for December. It has been a great week to see the blessings the Lord can give you, especially when you are doing His work on the earth! Today we were able to have a temple day at the Manilla temple (that's why my p-day was changed just for this week) and it was so beautiful! I'm blessed just like we all are, to live in the time of the Restored Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ! I know Christ lives with all my heart and that he knows all of us by name. He suffered for us so we could return to Him and Our Father in Heaven. I encourage you, especially during this time a year to help someone you know or even just someone in need. Or, if you are wondering whether to serve a mission, have FAITH in Jesus Christ and do it! I know by serving the people around you, you can feel undesirable happiness for our friends and neighbors. I love you all and Merry Christmas! ;)

Elder Aguiar

Manilla Temple

Eating Balut... again

Not sure what to make of this...

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Transfers... Not Transferred

So sorry I didnt get to email yesterday, its transfer day so we have p-days on tuesday instead!

But I want to start off by saying that, through the help of the Lord, and faith and prayer, our zone was the top baptizing in the mission last month!:) So Im super grateful from the Lord. And the reason I say these things is that all success that I accomplish here I know for a fact isnt from me but from the help of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Also Elder Reyes and I are staying here in Tayuman for another transfer!

So this week has been pretty slow. Elder Reyes and I werent able to get out that much this week because of his knee.. We had I think 2-3 appointments with a doctor in the Manila Mission. So the travel time takes the WHOLE day. But after an x-ray and an MRI, Elder Reyes found out that he has a full ACL tear and also a meniscus tear in his knee. So we will have to go to physical therapy 3 times a week. He is great though because he pushes through the work day when we dont have doctors appointments! After his appointment, we got to help Sister Koster (President Koster's Mom) shop at S&R. Which is like a Costco but in the Philippines. It was so big and I saw alot of things from home there. But we got to know Sister Koster and Sister Pfau (President Kosters Sister) alot because they are kind enough to take us all the way to the appoinments we have!

I also want to say that I truly love the Philippines. I walked out of our house last week and smelled the air and "oh it smells like home". So im glad that this is my home for the next 2 years! I ALSO AM NOT A "GREENIE" ANYMORE! Haha! 

That's it for this week. Looking forward to working as hard as we can these next 6 weeks and to be able to be instruments in the Lords hands. This transfer I really got to see my faith grow in the Lord. I know with all my heart that Our Father in Heaven listens to all of our prayers. And he answers them always. I testify that Our Redeemer Jesus Christ knows you. He knows all your struggles, trials, sadness and heart break because he suffered for every single one of us. Because of His sufferings he knows how to comfort us and make us feel better and Im so incredibly grateful for that knowledge.

Here is a partial quote from President Ezra Taft Benson that truly touches my heart:
"...By his stripes we are healed".

Elder Cody Aguiar

Shopping at S&R (Filipino "Costco")

Kumon!  My old work place!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Humid and Happy

So I have just a short time (like always) but this week was amazing!! To start off I will tell you about Boy Cerdena. He has been my investigator for 9 weeks now. Ever since we have taught him, he has been very skeptical about the Book of Mormon. He would always ask for physical evidence and say that the Book of Mormon is not true because the Bible is the only word of God on the earth. So, as we have taught him these last 9 weeks, we taught him about faith and to just read the Book of Mormon.  Every time we would come back to teach him he would say "Just let me finish the book." So that's what we did. We sometimes came back just to talk about the Holy Ghost and what it feels like to receive an answer from God. Then we got to meet with him Saturday, and he had asked me and the missionaries that were with us about the "brotherhood and fellowshipping" (as he said it), and he wanted to know how we recieve people at our church. So, when he asked me, I told him that we are all children of our Father in Heaven, that he is my brother and because he is my brother, I want him to come to church and read the scriptures to feel of the same joy the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have. That joy is knowing of the true everlasting gospel on the earth. Towards the end of the lesson he said that he would COME TO CHURCH!! How amazing is that? I don't share this because he is coming to church but instead to show how POWERFUL the Book of Mormon is.

I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know it to be the word of God and I know it to be another testament of Jesus Christ, and because the Book of Mormon is true, I know this Gospel and this Church to be true also. 

If you are having trouble reading the Book of Mormon at times or if you havent tried reading it, read it. I know that you can change into the person God wants you to be, and if you pray sincerely and with real intent, our loving Father in Heaven will tell you, through the Holy Spirit, that it is true. 

Elder Aguiar

Mom, you asked for more pics!

Me and Elder Reyes

Me and Alfred

View from today's hike

Hiking with our zone