Sunday, February 26, 2017

Baptisms and Blessings

Yoon, so this week Elder Penetrante and I were grateful to baptize Valerie and Jennelyn Paz! They are two of the happiest, smartest girls ever!! Valerie is 12 and Jennelyn is 10. We were so surprised to see them get up and bear their testimonies, and what was so amazing was to see them receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

This week I had the opportunity to bless our investigators daughter. She is only about 5 and is the happiest 5 year old I have EVER seen. I guess she had eaten some guava fruit and that lead to problems of some sort. As I blessed her, I felt love for her and her family, and I did so knowing I was using the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood that comes from God.

Also this week, I have been able to feel the comforting peace and love from my Father in Heaven. We will have many trials, temptations, problems and heartaches in this life.  We can't get around that part of life. But I remember two talks. One from Elder Bednar (An Apostle of Jesus Christ), he said one of the trials of this life is not to "shrink" when we face trials, but instead to look outward at others. Another talk by Neil L. Andersen (An Apostle of Jesus Christ), his talk was on "Faith is not by chance but by choice". So it's just that.. Our faith doesn't just descend upon us, but we need to choose to have faith in Jesus Christ, and continue to strengthen it through study of the scriptures, obedience, keeping the commmandments and exercising it in trials. 

As Elder Rasband told us in the last General Conference, those spiritual experiences we have felt in the past, hold onto them and not forget. So we can use them and rely upon the assurances we have felt in the past.

I know this Church to be true. I know that this work of the Lord, His Gospel will continue to reach every person on every continent. I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is The Restored Church of Jesus Christ. I know that through the Book of Mormon, we can come closer to Christ than any other book. I know the Bible and the Book of Mormon both testify of Christ, because there is a Christ. And I know he Lives today.
Elder Aguiar​

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Time is Flying By!

What the? Time has flown by so very fast here in Rizal!! 

This week was full of hardwork, it was great! I loved it! The two little sisters I talked about last week, are getting baptized!! They are the smartest ever haha! They are so funny and they have loved coming to church. They loved the Primary program for all the little kids and were more than excited to take upon them the name of Christ this coming Saturday!:) We have found many new people to teach that are so interested. We went to Sittio Kulili, where mostly rice farmers live on this mountain, and they were more than willing to hear abour the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ!!  JoJo that I talked about last week, has totally quit smoking since last week! What a miracle! I know that JoJo and myself have felt the abundance of love and confidence from your many prayers this past week!! Just as the Lord is, we are ecstatic for JoJo and his family :)

So this week, I know has been one full of miracles! There have been many many times this week that I started to just blurt out sentence upon sentence in Tagalog and guess what?? Instead of people kind of squinting at me trying to understand what I am saying, it's kinda like a bobbing head motion.. haha MEANING they understand! haha I have been so happy this week talking to many people this week. Despite my american accent, the Lord has not only blessed me with the language but has also blessed those that are listening, to understand me. I cannot put in words, the feelings of love, comfort and confidence the Lord has given me this week. Sister and Elder Sturgeon (my grandparents) sent me an email this week with a scripture they liked. Its Philippians 4:13. (NOT PHILIPPINES ;) ) haha, anyway it says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." This scripture has expained not only my week, but my whole mission. As humans, we have weakenesses, we have faults, we come short. But, as this scripture implies, Christ will strengthen us. IF we humble ourselves before Him and ask. (Ether 12;27). I'm so happy to know that my imperfections in this life can be washed away by the everlasting and atoning sacrifce of Jesus Christ. As sons and daughters of God, we need to, as said by Elder Bendar (of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) "to have faith that the Lord's promises can be individual and personal to all of us. We shouldn't only believe in Christ, but believe Him". Believe in the comfort His promises can bring to us in our lives!

Thank you for all the thoughts, love and prayers from you all. I'm grateful to be blessed by so many great family members and friends:)

MAHAL KITA (I love you)
-Elder Aguiar

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Chicken Pox and Jack Fruit

So as the title implies, Elder Penetrante and I did got a huge Jack fruit! The title also implies that chicken pox is involved in my week... which it isn't.. Just tons of mosquito bites which are so bad that they look like chicken pox! (Sorry for the scare!) haha

Anyway, this week was great. I was able to go and see most of the Rizal area, and meet the nicest, most recent converts, investigators and members. The one thing I'm trying to get used to is the bike riding... It is honestly a KILLER! I'm not used to riding a bike all day every day!! I can walk for miles, but when it comes to bike riding, I haven't done it for a while... But it is still VERY FUN! It reminds me of the times riding all the way to middle school on my bike with all my friends! haha. Slowly over the week I have gotten a little used to riding for long periods of time but there is still room for improvment.

Also this week, we were able to meet some new people that are interested about listening to the Restored Gospel in the Fullest :) And also, they were nice enough to give us 8 fish and 1 20 pound Jack fruit and some Mango Apples!! What a week. But recieving food wasn't the highlight of our week. This week Elder Penetrante and I are teaching 2 little girls and they are almost ready for baptism on Feb. 25! Their older sister is a member and they like coming to church! Their parents said that it's ok for them to be baptized. Unfortunately their parents aren't that interested in the church. So hopefully in the future there will be an opportunity when they are more open! :) Also, there is a recent convert family that we have been visiting with everynight to go over the lessons and to help them continue to strenghthen their faith in Jesus Christ! :) The whole family was baptized a little while ago, except the oldest son. His name is JoJo, he is 19 and he wants to be baptized but is having trouble quitting smoking. So, every night when we go and visit, we try to do our best to help JoJo and encourage him to stay strong. If you would like to, try and keep them in your prayers to give him strength :)

So that was my great week in a nutshell. I love it here and the people are as always... The BEST!  Just as I love the people here, I love you all too! :)
-The White Filipino,
Elder Cody Aguiar:)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Transferred to Rizal

I have been transferred again! But, I will be staying here in Mindoro still so, I'm very happy about that!! I'm moving to the area of "Rizal" which is literally the area right next to mine! What's funny is that the elders that are in that area, were our best friends. So, now I get to serve with one of them! My new companion is Elder Penetrante and he is Filipino.  We go pretty good with each othe,r so I'm excited about that! Rizal is actually the only area in our WHOLE mission that has BIKES! So it will be great to get some excercise in! 

Anyways, Happy Birthday to Austin and Ross!! :) I hope you "feel one year older and wiser too! Happy Birthday, to you!" haha I love you guys! 

So this past week, we were able to set TONS of baptism dates! It's been really great, and also this past week, Elder Baran (senior companion) had to go to the city to get his teeth checked on. So, it has been just Elder Peni (we entered the MTC together) and I together this week. Since we have been out the exact same time in the field, it was kind of tough to teach our investigators, but yesterday, (our 3rd day without Elder Baran) we were able to have our 1st successful lesson on the Atonement of Chirst. It was really great!! 

Mahal ko kayo lahat!! I know this Church is directed by Jesus Christ. The One who died for all of us, for all of our sins, all of our mistakes, all of our heartaches and pains. The One who is our Brother, and The One who I'm thankful to call my Savior. I know that just in times of old, when Christ's original 12 apostles were on the earth, that this Church is directed by power of the Priesthood, the same Power of God, Our Eternal Father. 

-Elder Cody Louis Aguiar