Monday, July 17, 2017

The Fastest Week!

This week was well 👆 the fastest week of my mission and seeing that transfers are next week, the fastest transfer. But this week was sooo great!!! And next week we are looking forward to some baptisms :)

Highlight of the WEEK!!
OUR INVESTIGATORS are PROGRESSING! It has been super great!! We have some investigators that are siblings and close friends. The Alilung Family! They were able to attend church yesterday and they loved it!! Oh my goodness it was the best feeling to just watch them at church and have people come over and fellowship them. Later last night we taught them and they had just come back from the computer shop. What were they doing? Researching... About the Kirtland TEMPLE! How GREAT IS THAT? They asked how they could be missionaries like us and want to be baptized.

The Babante family is so kind! They weren't able to attend church yesterday because sister was super sick and throwing up so they went to have a check up. But Sister has many questions because her siblings and parents are catholic and so she sees many differences. We answered all her questions, but the one thing we always tell our investigators to "Ask of God" (the youth theme this year). Because we may have many answers for them, but the most important answer comes from God, to know if what we have shared is true, and if they
have real intent and a sincere heart, they will receive an answer.

Service This week!!!
This week we helped clean out and slightly dig out a well of a member in our district leaders area. We had to empty the whole well by just taking buckets and pulling the water out. Seeing that it was like 12 feet deep it took a while. SO WHO WENT TO THE BOTTOM YOU ASK?  Me... hahaha! I was the only volunteer!  But after 3 hours it was finished. It was such a cool experince. I was covered with dirt and soaked but it was something I will never forget!
(PICTURES IN THE INCOMING EMAILS)
--
      Elder Cody Aguiar
Philippines Quezon City Mission

Having fun with the kids

Silly kids!

Digging out the well

In the worm hole


Members from Taiwan 

Families can be together forever





Monday, July 10, 2017

Investigators and Blessings

What a week.
I'm not sure how many times I've said this but time flies here! Tumatakbo ako sa labas ng oras. But as I'm reflecting on this past week it's been great. On July 4th we had exchanges so I wasn't able to have a feast with my fellow filipinos :(

 But I do have a really cool experience that was heart touching to me. During exchanges we went to a family that isnt too active but after we shared a spiritual thought from Alma, and we were leaving, the mother said to me that I reminded her of a missionary that was assigned here before. I asked why, and she said we have the same face, but then she said in English "I feel like you could look into my soul and tell if I was lying, like an angel without a halo".  Although thats obviously not what I am, haha, I really was thankful for that moment to kind of reflect on myself and what happened. Because people don't say that you everyday!

Another blessing is that the Babante family, I thinked I told you about, (Brother is a member but his family isn't. They have 3 kids :)) They all attended church on Sunday!! They were just this perfect little family in the back, it was amazing!! We were blessed to have 9 investigators at church yesterday!!! I'm not the best at it, but once I can reflect over each day and look at the blessings I have been given, it makes me tear up to feel the love my Father in Heaven has for me.  Even when I'm not perfect and make mistakes, I know that God is perfect and knows what to do to help us.

I have been able to realize more and more that when we work hard to be obedient and do my best the Lord will provide the rest. I know that Jesus Christ lived on this earth to teach His gospel.  I also know that he suffered, a suffering far beyond we know as mortals, because He loves us.  I know Jesus is the Christ, the Resurrected Lord. This is HIS church, not the church of Mormon, or Joseph Smith, but of Christ.  I know the eternal doctrines that are so near to my heart do not come from men, kundi galing sa Diyos. Darn, I mean but they come from God. There's no way I can deny that.
--
      Elder Cody Aguiar
Philippines Quezon City Mission

BATCH

Intersections... Fun

Yes, that is a garden made of Mt. Dew bottles

Area Namin

Monday, July 3, 2017

Tag-ulan talaga!

Magandang Umaga from half way around the world! 🌏

So transfers, I just realized are half way over, and here in Antipolo we have been working hard. I can honestly say that. We have been truly blessed with many people to teach here. We received a member referral a couple weeks ago, for a part member family. The father is a member of the church and his wife and his 3 kids aren't. We got to visit with them and they. Are. GOLDEN! As we left, the kids asked "pa! pwuede kami maging mormon?" (Dad can we be baptized?) They are so great!! 

I have realized more and more until it has become clear to me that, I need not fear about the limit of my capabilities, but to trust in the Lord and always always always ask for His help!!  
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

What power!! 

D&C 84:88 And whoso receiveth you, there will be also, for will go before your face. will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.

It has been made clear in old times and in modern day revelation that we will NOT be left comfortless. Our Heavenly Father loves each one of us.

So it is officially rainy season here and It has rained everyday for the last 2 weeks! Haha! In the morning the sky is so clear and then right about lunch time, it switches so fast like its some big joke and then when the heavy clouds start rolling in, everyone grabs their laundry and heads inside. Most of them just stay inside until the rain is over, which is all the better for us to find those the Lord has prepared to receive the Restored Gospel, just like in times of old. What an amazing time to be here on earth!!

Temple Day

Temple

Oops, a little too serious there

Out Proselyting


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Philippines Driver's License... WOAH

Sige sige, so this week was, I'm not sure how to explain it in English... Anyways, this week we had our p-day on Wednesday because we had meetings and let's not forget the TEMPLE DAY!  We went earlier today:) It was honestly sooo amazing. It was my first temple day since my first area! It was honestly just the best!! I feel like I'm walking on clouds right now :) So here on the mainland we get to go every other transfer, so I guess being here does have its perks.

MY Drivers License Experience
So as I said in my subject line, I had the chance to get my license here in the Philippines. Because I was just converting my license over, there was no driving involved. BUT there was an eye exam, and I forgot my GLASSES. So, I get up there and they say "Stand on the x and read #10", which was the smallest font known to man haha!! Anyways, they had me cover one eye and read then switch. Let's just say as I read I could not see it WHATSOEVER. So I GUESSED. I got all of the letters wrong.  I was worried, and the guy asks "Do you have glasses?" I said "Yes, but I left them at the house." You want to know what happened? He passed me haha!! Then as I looked over the sheet he signed, there was a hearing test which I passed apparently, but I never too!. So I guess as long as you can talk with the guy, you pass!! haha! 

Highlight of the Week
We worked in one of our farthest areas last week and we were able to have 4 of our different investigators in 1 lesson together. As we taught and reviewed about the Restoration, it was amazing!! The spirit was strongly present in the lesson. I had said things and taught things like I have never before. I wasn't nervous but words were just pouring out of my mouth. There was one nanay, and I asked what her feeling was about the last part of the lesson. She said it was an amazing feeling and that she had a "stirring in her heart" she truly wanted to know if the message we bore was true. We taught her about the promise in the Book of Mormon, that if you read it with an open and sincere heart, and pray fervently to God to know if it is true, he will manifest His answer unto you through the power of the Holy Ghost. She accepted!!! Talk about amazing!!!  

I'm so so thankful for this life that we have here on earth! To gain experience to become more like our Father in Heaven!! I'm grateful for the powers of Priesthood and Holy Ghost. They are true! God and Jesus Christ live. Jesus is the Christ the only begotten of the Father to bear upon Him our sins and burdens. He knows each one of us by name. Our Heavenly Father is our Father and listens to our prayers. 

Love you all! Enjoy this life and the beautiful blessings Heavenly Father gives unto each of us.

Your newly licensed kano,
-Elder Aguiar

"wala kong mga larawan.. pasneya talaga.." (I dont have my pictures...") Next week na lang!!!

Monday, June 19, 2017

New Week in Antipolo City

Anu bi yann. magkaiba talaga dito.. Oh wait, english. WHOOPS!! So I'm here in Antipolo City and the first thing that I will tell you is that I feel totally out of place in a more city-like enviorment. I honestly am really trying to adjust. Our area has seriously HUMONGOUS hills  we walk up and down and my legs aren't used to it yet.. haha but it's all ok. There is actually a ward here, not a branch, and they are way funny and so very nice.

My new companion is Elder Rey and this only his third transfer here on his whole mission. It's really weird helping someone else to become a more effective missionary because I feel like I'm still trying to learn myself, but he is really hard working. Also, we have another companionship in the house and they are all native filipinos. LONG STORY SHORT I haven't heard or even had to think about English this whole week. These last couple of transfers I have been blessed by the Lord and he has increased my ability to speak this language. Before, when I was newer in the mission, no one could understand me, but now I'll catch myself just spitting out Tagalog super fast and it surprises me talaga! 

I've been able to come a lot closer to the Lord this last week, and I can tell you that He is absolutely amazing, and even "amazing" cannot describe the glory of Jesus Christ or our Heavenly Father. I can honestly say that there is no word in the whole human vocabulary that can describe the feelings I have of the tender mercies we recieve from our loving Father in Heaven. All I can say is that Christ lives, He truly does, and so great is the joy of being His children! 

Love,
Elder Aguiar

Saying goodbye to the area and people I love the most

Goodbye Mindoro!

Going out for the day with Elder Rey


Monday, June 12, 2017

Transfer Time!

Transfers are this week! In other words, I don't have much time for emails... But I will have time next week! :) I will be transfering back to the mainland to Antipolo! It's a brangay up in the mountains they said, so I'm excited!! My new comp will be Elder Rey. He just finished his first 12 weeks in the field so I will be his first senior companion! 

This week was amazing! Elder Almasin and I killed it this week! Even through the most rain I have ever seen in my life, we were able to still represent the Lord! We were able to get, I think, 7-8 bapstims lined up for the last week of June and the first week of July! I really don't want to leave here, because I don't just love the area but I love the people... Here in Mindoro, my life has changed and its hard to leave, but what a blessing. Even though I won't be able to see the baptisms go through, I'm still happy! Also, thank you for the many birthday wishes! I loved hearing from all of you!

Love,
Elder Aguiar

We surprised Sister Hermoso for her birthday

Pulling a boat in from sea (everyone that helps gets free freshly caught fish)

We climbed up a tree and got some lungka

Companionship unity ;)

They wanted to get a picture with the only person transferring.. (ME)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

One Year Older and Wiser Too!

So what a coincidence that my birthday is on P-day! haha I loved all the wonderful emails from you all!! I love you :)

Anyway, this week was pretty great!! Elder Almasin and I as always, are so happy here in Rizal. We have also agreed that this transfer was so amazingly fast! We have transfers next week and I have no idea where I will be assinged, but I will surely be happy where ever I'm assigned! This week after 5 weeks of working our hardest, we have seen so many blessings from the Lord!! We have found multiple families that are interested and were definitely prepared by the Lord for u,s and the wonderful message of the Restored Gospel!! We also received a referral from a family in our branch and the Cassimero family is golden! Sister Cassimero had so many questions and is so interested!! After our lesson she thanked us for teaching her and was so happy to finally know what makes sense to her and to the spiritual hunger she has! 

I know without a doubt that God is indeed our Loving Father in Heaven, he will not let us out to dry or fail. He is our Literal Father and knows what's best for us. If we have faith in Him and in Jesus Christ, all things will happen for the better. I'm so thankful for the wonderful knowledge I have of the Divine Plan that God has for us. 

Love,
Elder Aguiar
Elder Batman :) We caught this bat in our apartment

Happy birthday to me!

My little buddy

Having fun with the kids :)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Tag-Ulan!!

So yes! It's Tag-Ulan (rainy season). It's rained a couple times this past week, and I mean hard! There's been thunder and lightning and brown outs but its GREAT! So it looks like I suvived my first summer here in the Philippines!!

MIRACLE OF THE WEEK:
So lately it has been so hard here in Rizal to be able to teach lessons. Elder Almasin and I have undertaken the task of focusing only on the areas closer to the church, which is really hard. The missionaries used to live closer to the church so they would talk to everyone that lived over there. So it's been a lot of people that don't want to talk, or they say they have somewhere else to go. Sooo... our amazing district came to our area and we ALL worked here in Rizal, all 8 of us. It turned out well and as we were tracting we found an amazing family! We can truly tell they were prepared by the Lord!! Along with the 20 other refferals from the other missionaries in our district. We have seen that after patience and hard work and prayers, God can truly blesss you!

So we only have a couple of weeks left of this transfer and its been so fast!! I hope that I will be able to stay one more transfer in this great place!!:) 

Other than working as a missionary, I'm doing my best to become the best Filipino I can be here! I love it! Sometimes I forget that I'm totally white and wonder why everyone stares at me. But that's when I remember that my heart is filipino but unfortuantely my skin is still American.

Love, Elder Aguiar

Elder Almasin and I


My favorite district after our activity

My favorite little kids ever!



Monday, May 22, 2017

I Love My Mission

So this week Rizal was blessed with 3 sweet baptisms!! :) So 3 daughters of God entered the waters of baptism this past weekend! What a great and happy ending to the week! Marissa, Vanessa and Nadine were able to feel of the cleansing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ!! So Vanessa and Nadine are siblings and since they have been baptized, their mom has been more and more interested in the church. I know that the Lord will bless their family! Just a feeling as I'm writing to all of you, I just wanted to say that I've been so blessed to be serving here. In no way is this work, or this mission about me, but I know that the Lord has blessed me so graciously with the amazing people I have met. I'm not perfect, but to feel of the love of my Heavenly Father and to look back at the people I've been able to meet since I have been a missionary assures me that I have a loving Father in Heaven, He knows my name, He knows my weaknesses and He's always there for me, and He's always there for you. I know Heavenly Father rejoices when His children accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or when His children start to become converted to the Gospel or when they come back unto Him after being lost. 

So not too much with personal experinces, but looks like my time is up! I love you all and hope you will be able to feel of the special love your Father in Heaven has for you this week! Mahal ko kayo lahat, patuloy maging fresco ;) haha
"Yung aklat ay azul, Totoo yung simbahan, at si Moroni lagi siyang sataas ng bolla" ;)

-Elder Cody Louis Aguiar

Baptisms with Sr. Couple

Astigg

Sunset

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Three Baptisms in the Ocean!

Today I'm short on time again! ...

This week was so fast!! I can't tell you how fast time flies here in Mindoro. Elder Almasin and I are totally killing it out here though! Not literally, but we are super happy and even though many of our appointments have fallen through, we just keep going at it. I'm super thankful for him though. There are many times during the week where things don't go as planned or we don't get to teach the people as we had planned, but he says that it's just not the right time for them. Then we move on to the next house! It's been really helpful to have him as my companion! 

So this week, we are planning on 3 baptisms!! :) We had kind of a miracle projection a couple weeks ago, and are excited to see Marissa,Vanessa, and Nadine, 3 daughters of God, enter into the waters of baptism! 

Our area here in Rizal is amazing and filled so many great people! I hope I will be blessed to stay here a little longer!!! 

-Elder Aguiar
P.S. Happy Mother's Day to all of you!  I love you all so much!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Miracles and Blessings

So I don't have time this week really so I'm so sorry!!  My new companion is Elder Almasin and he is from the southern Philippines. He is so hard working!! 

Just a quick story! On Saturday we were punted all day. All of our appointments fell through and everyone was busy. It seemed like we couldn't talk to anyone because they all had things they had to do. At the end of the night, just about 10 minutes before our curfew, we decided it was time to show our faith in Christ and keep working. As we were passing by houses, we felt prompted to talk to the people in one particular house. We stopped and we talked to the sister that was there, and just as we were getting to know her, her husband came home! It was perfect timing. We got to know them and found out they were former investigators and that they had a baptism date before that fell through, AND it was the same family I realized, that was on the teaching record I had read earlier that day! We had no address and no map so I had no idea where they lived! But through our faith and works the Lord lead us to that wonderful family! And Brother Calizo even attended church with us that very next morning!! What a miracle, what a blessing!!!

Going to do service across the river




Monday, May 1, 2017

Transferssssss

So, to sum up transfer day, look at the number of "s" above in the subject heading! And yes, that's how many months I will be staying here!! haha I didnt get transfered but will be staying here in Rizal for another transfer! 6 months altogether in Mindoro! Which Im totally ok with because its TOTALLY BEAUTIFUL HERE!! My new companion will be Elder Almacin, which I was told is hardworking, humble and kind, so I'm excited to meet him in the coming days!  Right now, I'm with two other Elder's until Elder Almacin gets here on Friday.

Experiences from this last week:
  1.  Nagbuhat kami ng palay We carried 50 kilo (110 lbs) sacks of rice on our heads and stacked them neatly ;) It was kind of a pain in the neck (PUN INTENDED) But I loved to help serve our members in our branch, even though I was a little stiff a couple days after
  2.  I ate Fresh Squid
  3.  I also tried my favorite "Kearns Nectar" Fruit, Guava ;) and something called Santol!
  4.  Became friends and got a return appt. with the Ukay-ukay Sister! (she sells used Japanese ties :)

MIRACLE OF THE WEEK!!
We were blessed this week to have a miracle happen!!! This past week, some of our investigators that were wavering on their baptism date for May 20th. So we visitied them on Sunday with a member. We found out their concerns and with much help from our member (our ward clerk who's preparing for a mission) he bore his testimony and shared experinces he had exactly similar to theirs. After much crying they decided all 4 to go forward with their baptism date on the 20th!!!!! Then as we all knelt down in prayer they thanked God for us and that they were able to have us in their lives :)What a MIRACLE!! What a blessing from Our Heavenly Father!! 

I'm so thankful for Him and for His many blessings in my life. Even someimtes when we feel like we aren't worthy for His love and blessings, remember that YOU ARE! You are His child and He will always answer you no matter what!!

Have a good week to all of you!!! 
-Elder Cody Louis Aguiar
(Apparently my letter last week did not send! SO I will include pictures from last week too!

Baptism of Nanay Corazon



"I love you random citizen!"

Members home

Zone Meeting

Mystery rash!  Going to the doctor today!


Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Sunday!

#PrinceofPeace 

Above is the Church's Easter Initiative. (Yes I know I'm late...) Even though I'm late on sharing this, I encourage you all to watch the inspired video :) It is absolutely amazing!!

This past Sunday was Easter. What an important holiday. Something that I realized when I was a little older is that Easter isnt about easter eggs, candy and the Easter Bunny but instead, about Jesus Christ! About His life and His death. One thing Im grateful to know is, Christ didnt just die and atone for all of our sins, but He rose again. HE LIVES!  He is the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings. He is Jesus Christ. And because of Him, because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ I can be forgiven for my mistakes and so can everyone else that accepts His Gospel. 

So, we are baptizing a woman this weekend, and her daughters are members, they were baptized last year.  They live in our area, but their real house is in another area and their dad lives there.  We have never met him before, so we got permission to go to their house for his birthday to get to know him, etc.  So yesterday, it rained sooo hard all day!  Which is crazy because it's been hot everyday since I've been in this area.  So we took a trike all the way to their house, it was the two of us, her daughters and the trike drivers family!  Haha!  So 8 people on this little trike, and the house is the farthest in the middle of nowhere that I have ever been! Haha!  We had to go up mountains and because it was rainy and we had so many people in the trike, we couldn't get up the mountain, so we pushed the trike with people in it up two mountains!  Once we were within walking distance, it was still raining so we walked down a landslide of mud to finally make it to the house.  All of my clothes were wet with puddles in my shoes.  But we got to meet the dad and he was really nice!  But because the travel was so far we only got to spend like 30 minutes there.  But is was a good visit.

I don't have a lot of time this week, but I'm happy to say that we have a baptism this coming weekend! :) And through my mission I'm grateful to see people grow and change because of the true, Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! 

Love, Elder Aguiar







Monday, April 10, 2017

#ldsconference

Question of the week: If there was a conference two weekends a year where you could listen to a living Prophet and Apostles of the Lord talk to you, would you listen?  Of Course, right???

Well that's what happened this past weekend! As members of Christ's church, we have the great opportunity to watch or attend General Conference! What a time we live in today!! As a missionary it means so much more to me to listen to the many talks given by the Spirit of the Lord through Prophets and Apostles and many other General Authorities of the Church. (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/04/to-the-friends-and-investigators-of-the-church?lang=eng) one amazing talk, about those investigating the church!) 

Obviously, that was the highlight of my whole week! But Rizal this week had a "Fiesta" which means "feast" because it was the week it was founded. So they had a week full activities at night, including motor cross, boxing and competitions. On top of that, it is harvesting season for all the rice farmers here! So of course that was so fun for the people here, but it also means it was very hard to find people interested that had time for us.. But in the coming months we will have tons of time to teach so that will be very exciting! 

I don't really have time to go through my whole week... But this weekend was full of the Holy Spirit and times for me to ponder on me and my life and come to a realization of the love Christ has for me and how fortunate I am that I have this time to share that love to the lovely people here in the Philippines. And to be so thankful for the ever strengthening testimony I have in God our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ His begotten Son, and in the Holy Spirit. I'm so humbled to serve my Lord for these 2 years.

-Elder Cody Louis Aguiar

BATCH!  Zone activity at the beach

Captured on a bike ride

I forgot to mention this! This highschool picked The Church to sing for them at their graduation!! The choir was comprised of missionaries and members. Our 2nd counciler of our mission even spoke!  So cool!

They take their ice cream sandwiches quite literally here!  Serious business!