Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hello world,

Not a bad week! We of course had some disappointing things and positive things and all that, but it wasn't bad! The number of lessons went down a little bit, but it's okay because we had more people come to church. That's always a huge key in people's progression. We had 6 people at church, the Manuel family and Sis. Eugene Mae, and some other people who are new! So the area is looking really really good. 

We have a new family too! We talked to them like 2 weeks ago and actually last P day we taught them. Their name is the Matito family. They are MARRIED and have 3 daughters starting at age 11 to like 3 years old. Brother Raffie said that he had seen the missionaries before, just that he hadn't talked to him. So we have started teaching them. The first lesson we specifically focused on the Book of Mormon and told them that they need to read it. We gave them a chapter to read and told them to read and pray about it. Then we invited them for baptism and they said yes! So yeah. We gave the assignment and told them to pray. We went to go back to teach them on Wednesday, but they had no power to their house, meaning no lights. So we had to postpone. We went back on Friday and had a good lesson again! We focused on the family and it went well, we definitely touched on the temple and I had to show them a picture of my family to them to keep them on their toes ;) It just went really well! Their daughter though at that time had gotten sick the day before. So she wasn't feeling too good. We committed them to church anyways. We planned on picking them up because we said we would and then they texted saying they are going to the hospital for their daughter. A little sad but I really think that they will go next week. They are super awesome and we love them already! We had dinner with them the other night! They fed us adobo with chicken feet. 

Other than that, its a little slow. We have some LA who we are trying to move toward the temple. Its a little slow because they had some experiences that weakened their faith. A little frustrating... We do our best. The T family specifically is a little tough. They were baptized almost a year ago, and then right after their baptism sister lost her job... So she doesn't understand the purpose of trials. They are starting to come around. We had a lessons where I kind of told them (with love of course) that they need to get it together to get sealed! So they are showing signs of progression. We stay patient with them. 

Its been pretty interesting here in the Philippines over the past month. The new President here, President Duterte is really looking to change the country around. He put in a curfew for the kids at night, you can't drink outside the house if its night anymore, and lots of other things! He is also really targeting the drug people here in the Philippines. So its really good. We have heard of some people being killed by the police in our area during the nights because they are druggies. So that's interesting. He is really cleaning the Philippines. Its SUPER awesome to see. We are staying safe here of course. 

This week we also had a service project! You can all visualize a house of the TLC classic "Hoarders." Then make the house the size of like an 8x3 foot house. It was full of rat poop, food, insects. It was masarap! I have some pics too. It was super not awesome. He was so happy though! The old tatay/owner of the house. In the end it was worth it. 

Another cool thing that happened was that Elder Smith visited! I don't remember if I talked about him a lot, but he was my ZL in Las Pinas and was also in my last ward. He was a SUPER awesome missionary and super hard working. His first area was here in Tondo so he came back and visited with his dad and sister. So we had a little FHE with the ward and he came by. So that was pretty cool. Good food too :) That was all this week! We just worked hard and had fun and all that. I will send some pics momentarily.

Love you! 
Elder Lambert
Philippines, Manila Mission, Earth

Service project they planned.


Elder Lambert with former Zone Leader, Elder Smith.

New England Patriots logo (sort of!) on this jeepney. Obviously got him excited!!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tondo... 2 Million people in our area!

Hello world,

I'm not sure what to say about this week. Just a good solid week of hard work! Its almost like lots happened, but nothing happened at all. But all in all, a good week! 

In terms of people and lessons we taught this week, it wasn't too bad. We have really been focusing on LA people in our area who we don't know. Some of them are part members too, which is always a great opportunity. One of them is the Drio family. Sister Drio grew up in the church and has kind of gone LA since she married a Catholic. He was taught by lots of previous Elders just has an issue with work. So this last week he was out of work for a bit and he accepted a baptismal date! The problem is, that he got work again. So we have been unable to recontact him. This week though we found some good potential families that we have tried to contact. One of them was this guy named R who was really interested in the Book of Mormon. So we set an appointment and he was drunk when we got there. So that was a big let down. We went back last night and we did our best to contact them again. We have an appointment tomorrow and we hope they will all be there and sober! 

We found like 18 new investigators this week which was great, the hard part is just going back to contact them. Sometimes they just straight up forget about us. But we go back anyway! That's part of the struggle in the work though! The Manuel family still seems to be good. I have seen the growth, especially in brother Alvin. He really wants to get married but the money issue is a little tough still. The problem is, is that they didn't go to church again this week. I'm not quite sure why... Tonight we will be seeing them again to see whats up. The ward is really doing better now with helping us to get them married. It seems to be a long process though. 

Sister Eugene May though! She is probably going to be baptized. She is still a little big quiet when we teach her, but she is starting to open up to us a bit. She came to church yesterday again! Her date is for July 30th. We just have to get through the lessons. We still struggle a little bit with the awkward 3 language barrier... We do our best to help her understand. Tomorrow I will get pics of us so you can all see her. She will be baptized though! So we are excited for that. We have quite a few other people who have baptismal dates, but they are slower progressing and need some help and have a few concerns that take some time to get rid of. 

It's actually really fun being here in Tondo. There are some people who are really prepared to hear the gospel. Our area is huge! It has well over 2 million people in it. I think that we are in the most densely populated area in the WORLD. I would have to check on it, but some areas are so dense. Which means that there is lots of opportunity here in Tondo. It's really fun though! 

This week I have no pictures... Sorry I stink. It's because I forgot my camera at the house! So that is no good... I will do better next week at that. Elder Langi and I are still together. We had transfer day but no changes in my district or me and Elder Langi. Which is all good for me! We work hard but have fun too. 

Yesterday was an interesting Sunday though... Before church I got a text from Sister Ostler saying they were going to attend our sacrament meeting! I was mind blown that they chose our congregation out of all the places to go. It was good though! They bore their testimonies and it was really great. I wanted to get a picture with them after sacrament but we had to give a blessing to a LA, and they couldn't wait. Thats okay, next time na lang! 

I really love the area though and we have gotten close to some families here in the ward. The Bishop here is REALLY good. He works so hard and gets hardly any help from the ward, but its part of growing the church in the Philippines. That is about all for this week folks! Love you all.

Elder Lambert
Philippines, Manila Mission, Earth

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

idk... we've all lost track of what week it is!!

Good Morning Peeps! I hope all of ya'll are doing good where ever you are in the world. Its been a pretty rainy sweaty week this week. We had a typhoon pass through here on its way to Taiwan, but we are alive and kicking! All it brought was cooler temperatures and lots of rain! We had some nice flooding here in Tondo which is always my favorite thing to be walking through in this area. So that is always a joy. It was a much better week this week in terms of the overall work. 

This week we doubled our numbers in terms of lessons we taught. We had some members working with us which helped us be able to teach people that we other wise couldn't teach. We also focused on some LA this week as well. My companion doesn't know a lot of the members in our area so I told him that they were gonna be our focus this week. And they were! We really made them the focus and executed really well. I was really happy about all that and we were expecting a big turn out of people coming to church in terms of LA and investigators, but no one came... Like no one came. We had 3 investigators at church. One was Bro. Alvin Gatus, someone who is always busy and we can never seem to teach and then we had Bro. Kenneth (the one who was supposed to be baptized 2 months ago). He left early though and then a little girl who sometimes sits in on the lessons with Manuel family. So that was a little heartbreaking. I love my own free agency. but the free agency of others is a little difficult sometimes! 

We had some good lessons this week. The Manuel family is slowly progressing towards marriage and hopefully to baptism. It is a really slow process here in the Philippines for stuff like that to happen. We just continue to teach and to follow them up. We had our ward council yesterday and the fellow shippers of the Manuel family was there to explain their situation and we sort of formulated a plan to get them married and baptized. So that was REALLY good and a huge help for us. They seem to be doing well. Their area is a gold mine because we always get neighbors who come and sit in on lessons with us. We had 2 new people come sit in on the lesson on Saturday and they both committed to go to church with the Manuel family. The problem is, is that the Manuel family ended up going to Cavite and didn't come to church, therefore those two new investigators didn't go to church either. So that was tough. We had another new guy we started teaching this week. His name is Derek. He was a catholic before, and then he found some flaws within the church and now just kind of bounces around. So he started listening to us. We taught him on Tuesday, and boy it was quite the lesson. EVERYTHING that comes out of our mouth has to be from the bible. And anyone who knows me knows that I am not the best at the whole Bible thing. Actually I am not bad now, but it was hard! He questioned everything we say and expected us to whip out a verse for everything. In that first lesson we touched on priesthood to prophets to John the Baptist to families all the way to Adam not being a prophet!? It was difficult especially in our religion we believe the bible to be the word of God as long as it is translated CORRECTLY. We also believe because of the apostasy that the bible has some errors in it. So its hard to show him a verse that explains what we are saying but kind of in  a vague way. So the first lesson was a mess. The next lesson was a lot better because we knew what to expect and we prepared. It was a well planned lesson that was based on the Bible and we even explained apostasy really well. So it was a success! We haven't quite gotten a baptismal date out of him but we are working toward that. He said he would go to church and then... Didn't. So yeah. The struggle. 

We are teaching the niece of the super active family in our ward as well. She said the best thing that I have heard in a long time. "ELDERS ITS TRUE. I WANT TO BE BAPTIZED."  WOOOO! So we have a date set for July 30th. We can make that happen. We teach her around three times a week and we always get a good meal so its a good gig  I look forward to that. That is about all that we had this week in terms of our investigators. We are doing much better. Now, transfer day is in 2 days so hopefully I stay here to see some of this unfold.

We are having fun though here in the area. This area has so many people in it. It blows my mind. Lots of fruit to harvest. We are doing the best coordinating with the ward too. Bishop A is SUPER good and works really hard, and then it's the full time missionaries... We do our best to build but its hard to baptize with not too much help, but the ward does their best too. All in all, its a good area with tons of potential. I also have some pictures that I will send in separate emails. I love you all!

Elder Lambert
Philippines, Manila Mission, Earth

This is the Manuel family and a bunch of neighbor kids!

This is us with Mama Cynthia. She is an RM from the Bacload mission. She went less active but was reactivated by Elder Sacay (Tanner's trainer) a couple of years ago.

This is another family we have been teaching. I haven't mentioned them because they are progressing really slowly...

Monday, July 4, 2016

Soul saving robot...

Hello world. 

Another busy week. But with all the busyness, it feels like nothing happened. We keep on chuggin a long and working hard. We have a few progressing investigators that seem to be doing well, others that seem to have dropped off the face of the earth. We are continuing to find and talk to people and invite them to listen. We live by a huge church building, the church is called "Iglesia Ni Cristo." It is a huge huge building. Anyways, everyone around that church tends to be a member of that church and its against their rules to talk to us. So that is a little difficult. We press on! We work in a variety of areas. Mostly really poor areas. Tondo is an adventure. We go to this place called Divisoria every Pday. We eat there and just see all the stuff you can buy. There are SO many random things you can buy. If you want something, its at divisoria. The problem is, is that it is mostly all fake stuff so you have to be careful, so yeah. 

We have a few people doing really well! One of them is a girl named Eugene May. She is from the southern part of the Philippines. She lives with a super active family in our area. She's like 18 years old and actually their niece. She is SUPER shy, so its a little hard to crack her open. I feel like I can crack people open and my companion is poly so he is good at joking and all that. Anyways, she is finally starting to open up to us and isn't so nervous about answering our questions. We taught her twice this week, the second one was the Book of Mormon. It kind of cracks me up, because she speaks a different dialect and has been learning Tagalog over the last year. The other thing is that the Tagalog BOM and the Cebuano BOM are super deep. Like the language is hard for some FIlipinos, especially in the different dialects. So we gave her a Tagalog BOM and a Cebuano BOM hoping it would help. It is super awkward during lessons because the 2 missionaries are reading in English, she is reading the 2 dialects and has to give answers and respond in Tagalog! It is just super awkward. Sometimes we have 3 languages flying around the room and its difficult. Luckily I can understand some from the other dialects. I would say I can understand like 4 dialects here. Not fluently! But like enough to keep up and get by. I sure can't speak them at all aha. The gift of tongues is real! Especially with lessons. But we have members who help us with lessons with sister May. So that is really awesome. She came to church yesterday! We will follow her up tomorrow about that and if she prayed about the Aklat Ni Mormon. So yeah. 

The Manuel family (the ones who we are trying to get married) didn't come to church.I am not sure the deal. When their fellow-shipper comes, they will go, if not, they won't go. So that is the struggle. It is really difficult to teach them too because of their kids. The kids are not well behaved at all, so that is SUPER frustrating sometimes. We do our best. Those are the two that are progressing the best. 

Also this week we went on exchanges. I went with my roommate Elder Lopez. He is about 7 months in the mission. He is Puerto Rican from Vegas. He is super cool. We taught like 4 lessons and did some good OYMs. So that was a good day. 

We had a good week though. No pics... Mom is gonna beat me haha. I just walk and work. I feel like a robot sometimes. A soul saving robot, but its still fun. I love the mission more than anything and wouldn't trade it! 

I love you all. 

Elder Lambert
Philippines, Manila Mission, Earth