Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hi family and friends, 

Not a bad week. I am still trying to kick that parasite that i have in my stomach. I feel like I might have to get on some meds again. I took them exactly as prescribed and faithfully and it kind of hasn't quite been taken care of I think. I am surviving though! It doesn't quite kill me, it just makes me feel really uncomfortable sometimes. Which makes it a little bit of a struggle to work. Anyways, it was a good week though. 

To start with the best news in over a year: THE MANUEL FAMILY WILL BE MARRIED AND BAPTIZED THIS COMING SATURDAY MORNING AT 10:00 AM. I can't even describe the joy that fills my heart to think about that. We have been working so hard to have a baptism and we just haven't seen it. It has been a long time since I have witnessed my own baptism. So it will be so good to see that go down. We just have to make sure that all the planning goes through smoothly. They have been shopping for wedding rings as well, so that will be a cool little ceremony. We look forward to that. The zone leader, Elder Sorenson interviewed both of them and I guess Bro. Alvin Manuel took a moment to sort of... bash on anyone who ever thinks about going less active. Which is a good thing, because he is saying that he doesn't intend to go LA. I know that this will be the best decision that they have ever made. Their 3 kids are slightly naughty... Especially in lessons. They always talk about their oldest son Andrew (who is almost 6 years old) and how they hope that he will change. He is super naughty just like I used to be, but he will change as he grows up in the church. They want him to serve a mission. That'll do it. Sister Mae Ann Manuel actually has to interview with a member of the mission presidency tomorrow. President Wolcott has already planned on doing that. She brought out a small concern that would take just some small counseling. No big deal. The baptism will still continue on October 1. I really look forward to it. 

Yesterday we had a combined ward council at the church. We had planned to discuss doing an open house that same day we will be having the baptism. Tondo 1st ward organized it, and then they decided to make it like combined thing. We actually ended up postponing it until October 15 because we aren't quite ready to handle all the planning it would take. I hope it turns out even better now that we can have some time to prepare. But this will be an open house/tour thing for people to bring there friends to the church to see what the Mormon are all about. I look forward to that. I guess like the different groups within the ward will do like a, "booth" type set up. They will have like a Family History booth, a sacrament booth, missionary work, YM/YW booth and like 2 or 3 more I think. I plan on getting lots of pictures, that is if i stay in the area to see this happen. Transfer day is October 5th, so we shall see. 

This week, we found some good investigators and had some really good OYMs. It is a little difficult to find people who are actually seekers of the truth, not just willing to have bible study. We have to kind of just sift through all the people we talk to and choose who we should go talk to. I was thinking about yesterday, how back in the day, we used to just talked to a minimum of 42 people a week, which would be about 6 people a day. Then last December it shot up to 190. Missionary work has gotten a TON more fun because of that! You talk to some pretty crazy fun people by talking to over 30 people a day. It spices life up a lot. This last week, I had exchanges with the ZL, Elder Sorenson. He is like 6'3'' so we got tons of OYMs just off the two of us being white. That's an easy way to get OYMs, use white power. We did good and had fun. (***I have to explain here what Elder Lambert means by "white power!" Because it sounds a little racist! The Filipino don't see white people that often... or especially a couple of white young men/Americans walking around the streets of Manila. They get a little excited about it!! Almost like a movie/rock star! Also, the fact that they speak fluent Tagalog really surprises them!! )

Not much else to really report on in terms of other people progressing. One of our YW Recent Converts brought both of her cousins to church yesterday and said that they want to be taught, so we will be teaching them tomorrow. That was a good thing to hear! We love referrals. Another funny thing that has been happening, we haven't really had a teacher who can teach the investigators class for the past month. So, I actually have my own personal manual that i bring to the class so that I can participate more. Anyways, our teacher moved out without really telling anyone. So wala nang teacher! The only copy of the Manuel that we have is English, which would basically out me in the position to teach since I understand English. My companion and roommate aren't quite there enough to be able to teach a lesson with an English manual. They are both working hard at their English though! Anyways, so because of the upcoming baptism, I decided to teach about baptism, or for those who want to learn some Tagalog, pagbibinyag. Its simple, a baptism needs 3 things for it to be complete: 1)Immersion
2)The proper power or authority
3)They need to "receive" the Holy Ghost.
 That is 3 simple ways to know if a baptism is complete. I had the class split into groups, read a section, and talk or give a report on what they found. It went really well. I was happy. Lemme tell you, not even 6 months ago I can't picture myself teaching gospel principles class. My language is doing so well. Sometimes its a struggle, but I don't even think about it anymore. I actually think that the language of the entire mission got better, BECAUSE we are talking to over 30 people a day. You learn way faster, so I am thankful for that. 

Not much else happened this week. I think today we're going to go on a pearl hunt at divisoria. So we will see how that goes. I get lost every time I go there. So I will find the best deal possible on little things like that for the girls and all that. I am trying to find little native things that you can only buy in the Philippines, but I am just not quite sure where to look. Anyways I will send some pics after this email. Also I included a poem that Sister Ostler shared during the last zone conference about gratitude, it is really good. 

Also a S/O to my sisters and their killer lacrosse skills! Allie is killing it at Westminster and Kenna and Kelsie are just little beasts as well. Can't wait to see it for myself. I want pics of them! 

Here's the poem:


Today upon a bus,

I saw a girl with golden hair,

and wished I was as fair.

When suddenly she rose to leave,

I saw her hobble down the aisle.

She had one leg and wore a crutch.

But as she passed, a smile.

O God, forgive me when I whine,

I have two legs, the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy.

the lad who sold it had such charm.

I talked with him, he seemed so glad.

If I were late, it'd do no harm.

And as I left, he said to me,

"I thank you, you've been so kind.

It's nice to talk with folks like you.

You see," he said, "I'm blind."

Oh God, forgive me when I whine.

I have two eyes, the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street,

I saw a child with eyes of blue.

He stood and watched the others play.

He did not know what to do.

I stopped a moment and then I said,

"Why don't you join the others, dear?"

And then I knew, he couldn't hear.

O God, forgive me when I whine.

I have two ears, the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I'd go.

With eyes to see the sunset's glow.

With ears to her what I would know.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

I've been blessed indeed, the world is mine.

(Red Foley)


Elder Lambert
Philippines, Manila Mission, Earth

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Good morning family and friends,

Time is really flying here in the mission. I am coming up to only having  6 months left in my mission. It is crazy how fast the time is going. I am not quite sure where it is going. We are going into our 4th week together, me and Elder Panugao. It seems like we just became companions, but I guess its been about 4 weeks na! Tondo is still doing good. I guess I can give an update on myself to start with. I have been struggling with diarrhea for about 2 months now, fluctuating weight, and just basically an upset stomach. About 5 weeks ago I was put on a liquid only diet, trying to let my body reset itself or whatever. That was a long, miserable 5 days. Then it "went away." But not really. It came back and I have just put up with it for about a month now. I finally am so fed up with it that I told the nurse this week that it was time to see a doctor. She agreed, and I went to the doctor. On Wednesday we actually went to this SUPER nice mall called Power Plant Mall in Makati. At the mall they had a lab thing where I was able to take a stool sample and then get the results after about 6 hours. So thats what I did. A few hours later, I got the results. I have a parasite in my intestines called Giardia. I don't think its too serious. The nurse wasn't freaking out or anything. I had some members google it and it seems not too freaky. I guess its found in untreated water, uncooked food, or in person to person contact. I am not sure where I got it exactly, but I am thinking it was that nasty chicken feet adobo that I ate around 2 months ago. Who knows though. Anyways, so I was put on a medicine called Metronidazole. I  have to take it for 10 days. I went to the drugstore with my "prescription text message" from the mission nurse and they let me buy. Gotta love the Philippines. Anyways, within 1 day I felt the medicine making a huge difference. Up until now, I feel 100% better. I just have to finish my medicine and hopefully it will all be gone and then I can be normal again. I never thought about how thankful I am to have the health that I have had in my life. So its been rough, but we are figuring it out. I am doing really well now though:)

About our work, so this week we wanted to focus on some of the Less Actives that I talked about in my last email. We had some things come up that took some time, one of them being our trip to Makati on Wednesday. On Tuesday, we had zone meeting. That stared in the morning at 10. I saw some of the people that I was in the MTC with, they are sisters. Its crazy, because the sisters in my batch of missionaries go home in about 2 weeks, so thats insane. It was good to see them. I saw Elder Eteaki as well. He told me if Utah wins the PAC12 he will transfer to Utah haha. Anyways, at the meeting they just followed up on the things we learned at our zone conference. I also had to speak for about 3 minutes about diligence and happiness. Those go hand in hand, especially when it comes to missionary work. That was pretty simple. After zone meeting we had to go home and have our studies. After studies, we tried to contact some OYMs that we talked to some of the previous evenings, nothing. Then we had something very interesting that was announced at church the previous day before. The father-in-law of Bishop Altre passed away. So we had a "necrological service" for him. So we attended. Elder Reber played the piano and then I was asked to conduct. That was good, we got some good food though so that was nice. So those were a couple of the things that we had that kind of took some good chunks of time out of our week. On Thursday we had exchanges again, me and Elder Reber in our area. Neither him or Elder Panugao are able to lead the area right now so it is always me and Elder Cibuco leading the areas. We did our best to have a good exchange with some good planning and stuff, but people still have their agency to punt us. I have decided that Tondo has some of the most hard headed people, lots of them are so kind, but others are just so hard in their ulo. It was a good exchange though. I know Elder Reber likes to have a companion who speaks English for a day. 

The Manuel famiy is still doing well. We are pushing for that October 1st baptismal date. We had to move it because of conflict in the ward. Its a set date now. We are very blessed, neither of them have any kind of addiction. Brother has never been an alcoholic or a smoker, while sister has never been a super heavy coffee drinker. So when we taught the WOW like a month ago, no problems. Then last night, sister told us that she was drinking coffee sometimes. So that was super rough. We are so close, and then she breaks. We are thinking that if she drinks it again, we will have to postpone the baptism for 4 weeks in order for them to live the Word of Wisdom. That would make me sad since I would maybe miss yet another baptism due to transfers which is onOctober 5. But we will see. We really want them to make that October 1 date. With some of our other people, we are seeing some nice, but slow progression. Especially with some of the LA. We have seen some great progression with them actually. Some of them are working toward the temple. I need to get a picture with some of them, but we are excited. Some of the other LA that we are working with are dealing with some potential drug problems. So there is only so much that we can do in that situation. We just keep working with them and pray for them. 

Overall it was a good week. Still pretty exhausted. We are really doing our best trying to find new people to teach, but we can only invite so much, they still have their free agency. The Lord is blessing us though, in small and simple ways. I am blessed to have a companion who really helps me 50/50 in all aspects of the work. That is something that I am very lucky to have. We will see where I end up in a few weeks, if I stay or if I go. I guess tradition says that I only stay 3 transfers in an area. I want to go back to Palawan, but I will hopefully be attending 2 or 3 temple sealings for Recent Converts this coming November and December, which does include the Vinculado family. I don't wanna miss that. But I also do want to be on Palawan one last time. The struggle. Anyways, I love you all.

some nice food with some member!

Elder Lambert
Philippines, Manila Mission, Earth

Monday, September 12, 2016

Good morning world,

It has been a good week this week. We have some new investigators who have some baptismal dates and so forth. The highlight for me this week was the Zone Conference that we had onThursday. Meetings like that always are a spiritual recharge of batteries. It was a great meeting. 

The meeting was focused on Alma 5, which is one of Alma's greatest chapters that he rights in terms of testimony and doctrine. I encourage everyone to read it. Also, President Ostler told us to write down some different questions that we want to be answered at the conference, so I did that and I received answers to every single question that I had. Sister Ostler also talked about Gratitude. She focused on how the secret to joy is through gratitude. I haven't always been the most thankful person ever, but she challenged us to write down 5 new things everyday that we are thankful for. So I am doing that. It really opens up your mind and heart and really makes you think about how many things in the world that we have to be thankful for. There are unlimited possibilities. After the, "Gratitude" talk, as a group we really broke down Alma 5. Some of the missionaries had to speak about different verses in Alma 5, including my companion who spoke about Alma 5:27. That was really hard for him because he really struggles with English, but he did a good job. I really like what President Ostler said about Alma 5, "It is bold and straight forward, but it pushes us and moves us in the right direction, step by step." So I encourage you all to read that sick talk. Following that talk, one of the AP's Elder Beagley gave a talk about finding joy in the work. He mostly talked about becoming a consecrated missionary, about how we need to lay everything on the, "Altar Of Sacrifice," to become the most effective missionary possible. Now that is easier said than done. I love the quote he used though, "In victory or defeat, peace of mind can only be found in perfect effort." You may have heard that, but I was unable to write down who wrote that quote. That is a great quote that anybody can apply into their lives. So that was a great talk. If any of you remember Elder Zeyer, he was in the MTC with me a long time ago, he is now the new AP in the mission, he spoke about the "Gold Mine." That is just the golden places to find people to baptize. After that, Elder Bolnick, (who was also in the MTC with me,) talked about really teaching repentance to these people really means and what we need to do to have power in this work. He did a great job, he has changed a lot since we met at the airport those long months ago. It was good to see him too. The final talk that hit me was when the Elders and Sisters split up, so the Elders go with President Ostler and then the Sisters go with Sister Ostler. It seems that we always talk about being a father. The mission is really preparing us to be a righteous Father and Husband. We watched a talk from Elder L. Tom Perry from the 1970's. It was all about being the father that we need to be in times of turmoil. He basically chastised the fathers back in that day, but I was thinking about how much things have changed since those times. Fathers are more important now then they have ever been, and I am grateful to have the father that I have in my life. President talked about being a father is closer than we think it is, which is kind of a scary thought haha. Anyways, that was zone conference on Thursday. We also got to see some people that we haven't seen in awhile. I saw my first son Elder Garol and Elder Webster and also Elder Baquiran. Of course Elder Eteaki as well. I miss that big fat guy aha. We always just laugh when we are together. And of course he still eats a lot. 

About the work here in our area:

We have tried to apply the things from zone conference that we learned into our area. For example, we went through the ward directory and made a list of names that we don't know in our area who are "Less active," and we have been trying to find them. We found a few people, but we weren't able to teach them because of not having a third lalaki with us. Because we can't teach a girl unless we have a guy with us 18 years old and above. So yeah, we are going to go through LA members to bring them back, and invite their friends to come with them. The Manuel family is still doing great. They are still looking good for the 24th of September. Hopefully they can be interviewed for baptism on maybe the 17th or so. I look forward to that day on the 24th! I also feel like I will be transferring on October 5 to a new area. I have kind of stopped hoping to stay in an area for more than 4 months, because in every area I have stayed there for only 3 transfers. So why change tradition now? We will see what happens. 

We have some new baptismal candidates as well. This one kid named Rovick actually OYMed us. He knows Elder Baquiran, if any of you remember my first companion from Rizal. We taught him and some of his neighbor friends and some of his siblings and then his grandma, they all accepted a baptismal date for November 19. We are trying to find through the members, so I think in the coming weeks we will start to see some good things come out of using the members in our area. 

I think that was all for this week. I think it was the greatest week of my life because I made salsa. Yeah, I MADE SALSA. In the house, we have a blender, so I made it a goal to make salsa this week. I was able to get all of the ingredients here except for cilantro. The cilantro is only at the market at night and we weren't able to go through there at night. Tomatoes here are so cheap, they just don't quite taste the same as they do in the states. It wasn't too bad actually! I am a little bit getting sick of rice.. So me and Elder Reber are trying to experiment with some classic American food, sometimes it is a little expensive though. I think that was a nice break though, the chips weren't very good though... Sayang. But we did our best! So that is what one of our pics is, and then the other one is the adventure that we had going to and from Zone Conference. We took the PNR (Philippines National Railroad) which is like a real train, with real savages that ride it. They literally don't care at all how many people they fit into that thing. We had to squeeze into it, like ants trying to get into an ant hill. And then one of the trains was too full so we had to wait for the next one, so we sat down and took some selfies. Not a bad trip. 
I think that is all for this week. We will be starting like week 4 in this transfer starting today, time is moving. I am coming up on almost 6 months left in my mission. Its going fast, some of the boys are home. I am not sure how I feel about it. I have lots of work to do. Anyways, I love you all!

Elder Lambert 

Elder Lambert
Philippines, Manila Mission, Earth

Monday, September 5, 2016

Good morning world,

I am blessed right now, my new roommate Elder Reber has this cool thing called an Alphasmart, its this little typer thingy that I can use to type on like Sunday or something. So right now I am typing this before church.

Anyways, its been a good week here in Tondo. We have been doing our best to keep moving this work forward here. We have a few new people here that we have been teaching. Sometimes its just really hard to get a return appointment with them, or even worse, when we have a return appointment, they sometimes aren't there. The struggle is real. The Manuel family is of course doing really well. We taught them a few times this week. One of the times we taught them on exchanges. It was me and Elder Reber that worked together. That was fun. He actually does his best to speak, and the people understand his situation because he is less than 2 weeks old in the Philippines. Anyways, we taught the Manuel family about service. It was just a pretty simple lesson where we shared in Mosiah about when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are really serving God. The spirit was there, it was just a good lesson. Elder Reber did a good job. That same day me and him went to teach an investigator who lives with some members. He is part of a church called, "Iglesia ni Cristo." If you wanna know more about that, google it haha. Anyways, his name is Ronald. He wants to learn about the message, but thats all. He doesn't want to move forward in coming closer to God through baptism. So thats his concern. The other concern is sometimes he just isn't there when we go to teach him. That one is my favorite ;) haha. We still do our best. He is cool though. After we taught him on exchanges, we had to do the most American thing ever, so we got Mcdonalds. I smashed a Big Mac meal and a nice Coke. I definitely forgot my camera for pics, but we are planning to go on exchanges again, and I feel like we will return to Mcdo. It was a good exchange though. Yesterday we taught the Manuel family again. We shared and really clarified about Priesthood and how it works through auilleries. We tied that to callings and how they will be getting a calling after they are baptized. After the lesson, we talked about their marriage. We set a goal for them to be married and baptized September 24. We are going to do everything in our power to make that happen. I really want to see that happen, I am a little tired of transferring before baptisms happen in my areas. So we are going to push for that to happen. We told them they should talk with bishop today after church to get a plan with how we can make this happen. And that actually happened! We set the date for the wedding and the baptism on the 24th of this month! So we are excited.

I think they are the most progressing so far in our area. The best part about it, is that their kids aren't as naughty as they used to be. Most of the time they just leave during the lesson which is the most perfect thing ever, so the spirit can actually be there in abundance. The lessons have just gotten better and better over the weeks we have been working with them. This week we also had to go give a blessing to a cousin of a member who conveniently got dengue. So we had to go just outside our area to go to a hospital to give a blessing. I am trying to think of some other stuff that happened this week... Oh yeah, a drunk guy wanted to fight us and told me I don't love God because I didn't wanna sit down with him and discuss about religious things. He was yelling super loud, like sonic boom loud. It reminds me when Jason Erekson would walk in and yell at me and Nick when we were playing video games haha. But this drunk guy was yelling at us for like 5 minutes. Jason wouldn't do that haha.

We also have this old member who was baptized like 30 years ago that we teach. He is now a member of Iglesia ni Cristo. He has no idea about the church or anything. He is like 80 years old and his brain is a little bit gone because of an accident that he had. He tells us the story of the accident EVERY time we go over there. Haha its hard not to laugh or giggle every time he tells the story. He is a funny guy, his name is Romy. He also explained that when he was baptized in Makati like 30 years ago, that he and the Elders were naked. So that was a priceless story for the books that us, as well as the member who was with us can remember for forever. So those visits are always a hoot. 

The area is doing alright. We are really excited for the Manuel family. Actually this week we have really a ton of new appointments with OYMs that we will be meeting with. So we are hoping for some good things to happen there. I love you all!

PS here is some pics of me and my comp and the umbrella that I rock everyday. 

Elder Lambert
Philippines, Manila Mission, Earth