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Hi! I'm Elder Lundy and I represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I'm excited to be serving my mission in the Philippines! For further reading, see Ether 12:6, 27 "6. And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. 27. And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

Monday, August 27, 2012

Another wonderful week in Paddad!

Hello my Mother that I love so much! How are you?

So, work first, play later.

This is an excerpt from the letter that I wrote to President Carlos this week:

This week was a good solid week. Both Elder Ardon and I stretched ourselves. We learned some new skills, and also one undeniable truth. That is even though we all have agency, not all people will use their agency to come unto Christ. We had a lesson this week with a less active member. In this lesson, Elder Ardon and I bore some of the most powerful testimonies that we have ever expressed. The Spirit was so strong in the lesson that it made us both physically shake. We said exactly what that less-active man needed to hear. We spoke as boldly and bluntly as we could about what would happen to him and his family if he continued on the path he was on. He just sat there with a mocking smile on his face while we were talking to him. We brought the Spirit unto his heart, but it was not able to penetrate into his heart. That was his choice. It made me really sad that the Spirit could be there that strongly and he could still chose to not accept it. Even with that happening, I was still rather happy afterwards. That was just one more testament to me that we receive guidance through the Holy Ghost. I know what I am teaching here is true. I have tried and tested it in my own life. I am very grateful for this opportunity I have to continue to learn and strengthen my testimony, but even more grateful that I can help others discover this joy and guidance in their lives. I know the Lord is guiding me and preparing the way for me to continue learning and growing here on the mission. If I didn't become district leader, if I didn't get this opportunity to train Elder Ardon...I’m not sure this great change would have happened in me. I love being a missionary and I can't imagine any other life. If you had asked me about that a year ago I still wouldn't have been sure I was coming here, even though I was already at the MTC...

Right now my heart is just full of thanks to God for all He has done for me. All I have to give back to him is a life of service...and that is what I am going to do.

This really was a great week. Elder Ardon and I hit 27 lessons and 16 OYM's. That exceeded our goals for lessons and oym's. We also...wait, nope, it was just Elder Ardon! That’s my kid. :) (We were on splits) Elder Ardon taught a first lesson to the Nanay in a part member family this past Sunday. She is a miracle. She actually came to church the past couple Sundays by herself. Her husband is disabled and inactive right now. When Elder Ardon taught her yesterday, he kept being led to a baptismal commitment. Finally he just gave in and did it. :) Good thing too because she accepted the commitment right away and was very happy about it. Funny thing is, we couldn't even count her as a progressing investigator in our ki's yesterday. She needs to have 2 lessons and be keeping commitments to be considered progressing. lol.

Our other with date is doing ok. She is really looking for the truth, but she is having a hard time receiving an answer about the truth of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. She wants it to be true, and she has said she has felt the Holy Ghost in our lessons and when she comes to church. She just hasn't received an answer yet about the BoM and Joseph Smith.

This past Sunday we also had a miracle with our less-active/returning members. We had 7 members return to activity this past week. It is just a ki (key indicator) but we are having progress with them none the less. We also got one tatay to come back to church for the first time. His wife is amazing. She was really weak and sick, but Tay was willing to go to church so she forced herself to go to church with him so he could go back for the first time. She actually is one of our returned members that we had this past Sunday. Love that family. We are trying to get them ready to go to the temple. Tatay is also fighting a word of wisdom problem, but despite that, he is forging a path back to the "straight and narrow."

That’s the majority of our work this past week. We are fulfilling our purpose as missionaries. :)

I'm glad you guys got some great time with the family. :) sounds like it was a ton of fun. The kids are sooooo CUTE!

That’s awesome! :) I’m so happy for them! I just love Becca to death, and I’m sure Danny is just as fun. Good for them. (Elder Lundy’s cousin and her husband became proud parents of a baby boy this past week)

I love you guys!

Glad you had a great week last week!

Have another this week!

-Elder Lundy

Monday, August 20, 2012

The start of an exciting new year

Dear Nanay ko,

I'm getting better, and slowly coming back to where I was before my slump a few weeks ago. In some aspects I already am much better than I was. For example, my ability to expound and explain the doctrine of Christ has absolutely exploded along with my testimony of it. We are teaching it so clearly now that we feel practically everyone we teach is ready for a baptismal date by the end of the second lesson. Before I thought it was ridiculous to even consider giving a baptismal date that soon, but now I can see that it’s just dumb to wait any longer. It’s the right thing to do if you are a clear and powerful teacher. If they will accept the gospel, they will be ready by the end of the second lesson for a date. That is my experience at least within this area of Paddad, Alicia. 

This church is true. It’s true because I know the book of Mormon is true. The book of Mormon teaches the gospel of Jesus Christ very plainly and simply. You need to have faith in Christ because if you don't you can never use his atonement to be cleansed of your sins. You have to repent to become free from your sins so you can return to our Heavenly Father after this life (sinful people are not allowed to live in the presence of God). Baptism is a commandment that you must follow in order to complete your repentance and become clean. Afterwards you have to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost to receive the Lord's guidance for you while in this earth and become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Afterwards you must endure to the end by doing the things that God has commanded. By doing this you will always have the promise of the holy ghost to guide you. You will always be repenting and trying to be better. If that is how you are at the end, then the grace and mercy of Christ will cover you for your shortcomings, if, and only if you have done your best here to be better every day, and obey the gospel of Christ and the commandments of God. I know this is true without a doubt. That is our purpose while here on earth. To do our best every day to become better and follow our Savior. If we do that, we will be able to return to our Heavenly Father and receive his greatest gift for us, eternal life.
Mom, that was kinda weird in English. I’ve never shared my testimony in English like that since I reported to the MTC last August. I learned for myself the gospel is true in Tagalog. It’s all been in Tagalog. That is where I share it best. The language that I learned the truth in, even if that isn't my first language, is the language of my testimony. I think I will get better at expressing it in English after I get home though. My English kinda stinks right now.
Mom, Dad, happy anniversary! I love you two very much. I thank you for all that you have helped me to do over the years to gain my testimony. I want you to know you have raised a child that will never, never, fall from the truth and knowledge of the gospel. It is who I am. What I want to be, is a man that serves God with all his heart, for his whole life. That more than anything is my life goal. I love you both very much! :* happy anniversary ulit!
(What a wonderful gift to receive from a son - His Testimony!)

Monday, August 13, 2012

My 1st Year ends - August 13, 2013

Hello! :)

This week was a pretty good week. We had an amazing lesson Kay on Saturday. She is mga 13 years old, a new investigator and is also a part-member/less-active family. Her family (the members) and also 2 other fellow shippers accompanied us in the lesson, where Elder Ardon and I taught most of Lesson 1. We had previously taught her the first couple principles. We had a pretty good start, we were teaching well. She was asking questions and we were answering. It was honestly one of the first lessons I have had like that. Normally, investigators refuse to talk and are extremely shy and don't understand what we teach. That even goes for when my Filipino companions teach. This girl is nothing like that.

In this lesson, I could feel the spirit guiding our every word. By the time I was done sharing The First Vision, I was practically in tears. I know Kay felt what I felt. She felt the Spirit and directly afterwards accepted a baptismal invitation to be baptized on September 15.

I am extremely thankful for my assignment here in Paddad. I have learned so many things. My teaching has gotten 100 times better. My Tagalog has expanded and become much more clear. Most importantly, I have gained power in my teaching through the Spirit. During every moment when I teach, I can feel if I am following the Spirit or not. If I pay attention to that, miracles happen. I absolutely love this time I have to learn and grow and share my knowledge of the gospel with others. The Lord strengthens me every step of the way if I but do my best to follow him.

Elder Ardon and I have worked our guts out this week. He is doing amazing. We are all caught up on our studies now and we are doing our best to do better every day. We realized this week that our biggest problem is following the schedule. That is our goal this week, to correct that. As for doing missionary work, Elder Ardon is doing extremely well. He has self-doubts, but when I listen to him and watch him teach, there isn't a thing I could say that he couldn't. He knows the doctrine. He knows what is important for investigators to feel and do, to receive the gospel through baptism and confirmation, and he does the best he can. He is one of the best Preach My Gospel missionaries in this mission and he is only going to get better. He was a better PMG missionary than I was when he first got here. He has helped me rise to the challenge. We are both constantly striving to be better, to do better.

I noticed that you and Dad have asked for reports on my work and how many lessons we are teaching every week. That was one of my favorite experiences this cycle, so I wanted to share that one with you. We taught 21 lessons this past week. The past 6 weeks (or cycle. cycle = 6 weeks) while Elder Ardon has been training, we managed to teach 115 lessons to investigators and less-active members. This next cycle, we should be able to top that no problem. We are both much more dedicated and ready now than we were 6 weeks ago.

Ramos family is amazing. They feed us every Sunday night. Bro. Ramos has offered to help us fellowship. I love this family to death. Sister Ramos noticed that we were always running out of time on p-days because we keep going to Cauayan every Monday to work on the mission office's tech problems, and offered to let us use their washing machine anytime we want. They don't really use it because it uses a lot of electricity and pulls the bill up a bit, so it now currently resides in our apartment since they don't use it or have space for it in their house. (Their house can fit in our living room...) They are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Bro. Ramos is the District YM President, and both brother and sister served missions. They are very faithful and are good friends. If by chance you could come here at the end of my mission, they are one family I would want you to meet. I dearly love them.

Well, I love you very very much! Thank you for the congratulations on my 1 year, even if I don't want to admit it. That means I have less time left then I have been here.... :P ayaw ko yon!!!! Have a great week!

-Elder Lundy

Monday, August 6, 2012

August in the Philippines

Elder Lundy and Elder Ardon

Hello Mother dear!

Sounds like you guys had a fun Saturday.
(Dad and I went to 2 farmer’s markets and lots of garage sales)
You would enjoy going to the palengke here. You can barter. Nothing has a set price. You can find most anything you want as well. I would have you avoid the meat section though. It stinks bad and getting splashed by fish is not fun.

So I told Dad about a recipe I think you should try. It’s one of my favorites here if the cook is any good. I told Dad the process, and ingredients. You can judge the amounts based on how many are eating. You’re good at that.

We had 2 less active members return this week. In total we had 13 less active members at church and 3 investigators. We have several new people that we are going to try and give a baptismal date to this week. Hopefully that goes well.

This is a Carabao
I also ate carabao steak. A less active Tay fed us it last Sunday. It’s delicious! Like beef jerky in taste but moist and luscious like steak. We got a total of 22 lessons this week. A new high for us I believe...

This week we have transfers. A large chunk of my district and zone are being transferred. Almost half I believe... All of my sisters keep getting transferred on me as soon as we become friends! :(
I don't like that.

I also notice that my English is junk! My Tagalog isn't getting that much better though. I’m just slowly broadening my vocabulary...

Elder Ardon is doing great. He can do and teach most anything he needs now. We’re still a little shaky on lesson 2, but anything else is fine.

President has explained in his letter to us today that there are going to be many leadership positions being changed this transfer, and he especially pointed to district leaders and trainers, of which I am both… I am hoping that the Lord doesn't want anything to change just yet, but if he does, I’ll do what he wants. I want to finish training Elder Ardon…

Elder Lundy and Elder Ardon
Something I have felt prompted to talk to most of the family about today is family home evenings. I honestly can't remember having more than one or two my entire life. Our family needs that. Keep it simple, but formal. Scripture reading isn't enough. Our family needs that. That is a huge factor in binding a family together. I have seen it many times here on the mission. I also feel that would have solved a lot of our problems over the years if we just did it. Opening closing prayer and hymn, spiritual thought, lesson, activity. Of course there should be food. As Lundy’s that is a must. Desserts preferred... :)
(Disclaimer, Our Family had FHE. Not on Mondays, because Dad had to be away on Monday nights. Usually we taught by action not a sit down lesson. Our children learned better that way. We did a lot of service projects as our activities and taught as we worked. I guess we should have had a few more formal lessons. We did however have the treats he was suggesting. They were a big motivator.)
Can you guys talk about that as a family?
Well, I don't have much more. I gotta get out of here.
I love you!!!!!!!!!!!! :*

Your son,

Elder Lundy

CTR stands for "Choose the Right"

Wow what a picture...
(Dad shared his letter this week)

What’s up Daddy-o?! :)

Lots is happening here in the mission. We have
transfer day on Thursday. Half of my district is probably being transferred. I don't think there is going to be a transfer with us, but we’ll see.
I made a new dish this week! It’s called Mango. It’s a lot like Split pea soup, but different. You boil mung beans (a lot like lentils if I remember right...) until they are super soft and the water turns green and thickens a bit. You also fry baboy, oh yah, that would be pork. Fry that and onions and garlic until it’s all cooked and yummy. Then you mix the mung beans and pork mixture together, season with salt and pepper to taste. And Enjoy! Usually there is also malunggay leaves in the mung beans when it is boiled, but I don't know if there is any of that in America. You just add it in at the end since it cooks really fast. I like it a lot .when it’s done it shouldn't be soupy, but it should not be dry at all. There should be liquids. It should be something like a stew type consistency. We just put that on rice and its great! You should have mom give it a try. I’m sure she could figure it out. I added it to my cookbook this morning.

Malunggay leaves.

(In the Philippines, Moringa is referred to as malunggay or malungay. Others refer to moringa as horseradish tree, benzolive tree, kelor, marango, mlonge, moonga, nébéday, saijhan, sajna or Ben oil tree. Moringa contains more than 90 nutrients and 46 types of antioxidants. With all the health benefits of moringa, it can easily be termed as the most nutritious plant on the face of the earth. There are no side-effects of moringa tree leaves which have been proved till date. At the same time it can be consumed by small children and adults alike. Therefore, many people have started using it in porridge, pastas, breads, etc., to reap the everlasting health benefits of the extraordinary 'moringa'.)

We had a good week with our work as well. It started with the finish of a
couple bad weeks. I was really out of it. Beating myself up. Like that.
Then I had my quarterly interview with President Carlos. He started out by saying something to the effect of "Elder Lundy, how are you? What’s going on? What’s up with you? You’ve lost your spark." After that interview and his last weekly letter, I am doing much better now.

Our work has exploded and we have several new baptismal candidates.
We had 13 less active members at church and 3 investigators. Hope and faithfulness. That has been the key to our work this week, and will be for many to come.

Dad, I love you. I miss you as well, but I am happy in the work. I can't believe that this isn't what I get to do for the rest of my life. That’s kinda sad... you and mom should serve a mission. Set goals. Work towards them. My suggestion, start a mission fund savings account. Turn the dream into reality. And have a family home evening every week!

I love you Dad!!! :*

Have FHE!