Monday, October 31, 2016

Good morning friends and family,

Not gonna lie, I am getting kind of lazy on emails. But its okay. Lahat tayo ay nagiging tamad yata ;) Its okay because I still love you all :*. Another fast week here in Tondo. It just keeps rolling on here. I just don't know where the time is going na. I am having fun though and doing fine. 

So just a quick update for all of you lovely people:

My stomach is fine. No more giardia. I haven't been saying much about it because I forgot about it. So yeah, no worries there. Matigas ulet ang tae ko. So yes please don't worry about me:) My health is good, I am happy, sweaty, and  happy. It was a super hot week this week. Especially in our house during studies. Like it is almost unbearable. I guess it is kind of normal now though. I have come to love it. I really do love it here. I couldn't have asked for a better mission to be assigned to. I have seen so much in the time I have been here. From Palawan, all the way to the slums of Tondo. I have seen it all and I love it. I guess I have about 2 and a half weeks left here in Tondo. I will be sure to make the most of it. 

This week wasn't too bad in terms of lessons. We are still teaching the kids, Jahn Mae, Kristina, Aljan, Brianne and Stephanie. They are doing so well. They always do their assignments and are so excited for when we come over. They are doing their very best to control their WOW things and all that. I think Sister Kristina and Jahn Mae will be baptized on November 12 and then the other kids maybe the next week, just because of lack of church attendance. So thats okay, with an extra week they will be that much more ready to be baptized. This week we taught them The Gospel of Jesus Christ about faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. They are super smart kids so they understood it really well. They read in Alma 32 and 2 Nephi 31. I love how they just will do all the assignments whether its long or it is simple. It really shows in a person when they actually do their assignments and show their faith a little bit. They are super awesome. So hopefully we can get at least 2 of them baptized before I leave. 

This week we also had exchanges. Me and Elder Cibuco worked in his area on Thursday. We had a good solid day of work over there. We taught lots of good lessons over there in their area. Exchanges are becoming to be one of my favorite things to do in the mission. We can learn a lot from them. Especially since the beginning of this year, I have needed to learn from my exchange companions. Anyways, we had an interesting exchange, especially in one of our lessons. So in their area, there is a member who's husband left her like 2 months ago. She has been having a REALLY hard time and she really is relying on the missionaries and members  to keep her alive. She told us that she had been drinking over the past few days to kind of numb the pain. It was pretty intense. She told us that she wanted to die at that time. It was just super intense lesson. I think about even 6 months ago, that kind of a lesson would be super super hard. Even now, its still not easy but because of my experience in the mission, it is a little more madili lang to help her. It was a good exchange and that member is actually really cool and I know that she can get over her pain and sorrow through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

This last P-day, we had our zone activity. It was a good solid day! I only forgot to bring my camera. So that wasn't really cool. But it was a good day. We played basketball and watched Big Hero 6! That was a good day to relax and take some stress out. I still suck at basketball and all that, but it was still fun. We had like 10 elders playing basketball and then we bought like 8 pizzas and pounded it. I think I had 8 pieces of pizzas and I could have probably had 2 more pieces. I hadn't seen Big Hero 6 before the mission, but I have now seen it twice in the mission. It is a good movie that is pretty funny too! We also learned that day that Elder Reber is a beast on the piano. He played the Pirate of the Caribbean song on the piano. He killed it. It was a nice P-day though, even though I wasn't wearing my Stephen Curry jersey, I had three 3 point shots including the winning shot, so no probs with my jumper. The work is good though. No complaints. 

Love you all!

PS. I have some sunset pics from our window at our bahay. 

Elder Lambert
Philippines, Manila Mission, Earth

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Good morning earth, 

Hmmm. Time is going. It just keeps on moving along. I guess I hit my 19 month mark here in the mission. It is seriously just flying along. This week just came and gone like nothing happened. I think that it was a good week this week. Tuesday we had zone meeting and then Friday we had interviews with President Ostler. It was just an all around good week! 

Tuesday we had our zone meeting at the Philippines Institute of Religion. That is the Philippines institute building that is also a chapel. So in that area, there are TONS of universities, and students from all over the Philippines come to Manila to study at some of these universities. So since lots of these students are members, it is a good place to have an institute building built. There are like nice classrooms with nice TVs and stuff that we can use for our zone meeting. We learned about baptism, and how it is honestly the REAL focus of our mission. We can help reactivate people, but baptism is our main focus always. We also watched a few really awesome video clips of Elder Holland talking about the Atonement and missionary work. I have seen that before, pero umiyak pa rin ako. We also discussed about developing Christ-like attributes in our missions. I was also reminded that I am far from becoming like Him haha. This life is all about progression though, so what can you expect. After the meeting we went and taught a few lessons, talked to a few people, and then went home for the night. 

Thursday Elder Reber and I went on exchanges. I love working with that guy. He lead their area and I went over there with him to work for the day. We were punted for part of the day, but we found some people to teach. We also used our white power to our advantage and had a good amount of OYMs. I like to spice it up a bit, one of the OYMs we had was this like 72 year old tatay. He was speaking English to us, even though I was responding to him in Tagalog. He was so funny. He told us that he ran the 100 meter dash last week and he beat all of the people he raced with. He said he ran it in 16 seconds. We of course laughed at a 72 year old man running a 16 second 100 meter dash. I told him to race me! But I didn't wanna hurt myself ;) He then asked me how old I am. When people ask me how old I am, I always tell them to guess and then they tend to like double my age, pretty normal. Anyways, so I changed it up a bit and told him I was 45. He then says, "Wow! You look like you are 35!" Elder Reber just started laughing hahaha. It was pretty funny. But lets keep in mind that this Tatay is  little crazy. So that was a funny OYM. I also threw Elder Reber for a loop during a lesson. I acted like I couldn't speak Tagalog for like half the lesson, and then I went straight Tagalog for the investigator. Pretty funny as well. Stuff like that is what makes life more fun here in the mission. Elder Reber and I finished our day off with some sick American spaghetti. That was awesome. 

Friday was interviews with President Ostler as well as Christmas Choir practice. Last Pday, I was excited to find out if I was in the Manila Mission Christmas Choir, because last year I was on Palawan and unable to do that. So yeah, didn't make it. I am pretty sure that they do it geographically meaning the far areas from the mission office probably won't make it. I have been assigned in the 2 farthest areas in the whole mission in a row, so yeah. That was a downer. But its okay! I saw some people that I haven't seen in months at the Christmas choir practice while we had interviews. Elder Eteaki was even there, so that was cool to see him. I miss that guy. So my interview with President went fine, honestly nothing huge happened. He just asked me about my companion and stuff. Asked how I am doing. Nothing special at all. He helped me realize how blessed I am to be in the situation that I am in. With like my family and stuff. He talked about growing up in the church is a a huge blessing, which it is. Some of these Filipino convert missionaries maybe were drunk like 2 or 3 years ago. They had to change a lot. So yeah, gratitude is huge. Sa totoo lang, nothing to really report on there. It was a good day though. Except when we had to find a taxi for like 2 hours. That was kind of a big joke, but we made it to the train station. At the train we packed into it like sardines again. Elder Reber's camera was stolen, but all my stuff is still good. Sayang, he was pretty frustrated about that. 

Our investigators are still doing so well! Jahn mae, kristina and Aljan are all doing well. They LOVE the Book of Mormon. They read and do their assignments every single time. They always have good insights, so it makes it easy to just simply follow them up for understanding. We have even found some other LA members in their area, one girl is named Alma. She is a LA who was bapized in the province like 20 years ago. We have an appointment with her tomorrow, so we will see how that goes. Other than that, we are teaching some other people who just kind of aren't willing to come to church and all that stuff. We are doing our best with finding. The Manuel family is doing awesome! We got to church yesterday, and they were already there. Like 45 minutes before the meeting! It is good to see them. 

Yesterday at church, I was asked to speak in church, me and Elder Cebuco. I got to choose my topic. I was thinking about some of the more basic beliefs of the church, that some people sometimes still don't understand. I chose to talk about the Godhead. I chose that because there are tons of people, especially here who don't understand what that means. I tried to nicely correct and teach it the best I could. I think my talk was for about like 18 minutes. That wasn't even that bad. Speaking isn't that bad anymore, but that doesn't mean I like to do it ;) 

Today after email, we are going to the church to have an Elders only zone activity. I think we are watching Finding Nemo and then we are going to play basketball. We are all pretty excited there. Should be good. I think that is all for this week. 

I love you all!

PS I saw a member from Las Pinas at zone meeting. Sister Ivy Bawalan 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Hello world,

I hope all ya'll are good this past week. I know I was. Congrats to my homies for making it the whole two years and making it home this week safely. I miss you bros and I will see you in about 5 months haha. I hope everyone is doing well though. I wanted to give a few shout outs before I start my email. S/O to Kelsie for turning 12  tomorrow! I can't be;ieve how old you are getting. I wouldn't be surprised if you are taller than me by now, at this point that would be perfectly normal haha. Also a S/O to Allie for killing it at Westminster this last week! And my last one goes out to Mckenna for becoming an awesome goalie for the high school team. We will see what happens in a few months ;) That is all I think.

Time is sure flying here in Tondo. Today we will be starting week 3 in the transfer, marking almost my halfway point in what will probably be my last transfer here in Tondo. I actually really love it here. Sa totoo lang, my nose is completely numb to every bad smell this place can throw at me. I guess thats what you can expect when you serve in the most dense place in the world. It is funny all the things people tell us about this place. Since I have been here, this place has made an 180 degree turn. Since President Duterte came into office, he has been taking out a lot of the addicts in the country, which has all around good effects immediately. We could debate about it all day but, I am just a missionary not a debater. Anyways. I like it here a lot. It used to be a little more dangerous, but now its super good, no worries.  

Yesterday we actually didn't have church! Bishop Altre cancelled it because of the typhoon that came through. The thing is, is that the typhoon wasn't even really hitting here like they projected it. So we had to leave right after personal study and go tell our investigators that church was cancelled. That was about 2 hours. Then we came home and cooked some sweet adobo for the 4 of us. Then we attended at the Santa Cruz ward. That was fun because like 12 missionaries attended that sacrament from 3 different wards. Then we attended their gospel principles class where Law of Chastity was taught. There was one of those crazy investigators there who basically ruined the lesson with ridiculous comments. We just kind of laughed the whole time hahah. One of those splendid Sundays in the mission. 

This week we taught a lot of less active members. In our area we have very little active members. We are trying to find some LA members who we can try to bring back to the church, and while doing that, have them bring a friend. So thats the goal. Our most progressing investigators are still the Delacruz girls and their friend Aljan. We taught them about the Word of Wisdom and the premortal life and about Adam and Eve. We taught the Word of Wisdom so that they can start living it in order to be baptized on November 12. Sister Jahn Mae has a hard time with coffee so that will take some time. The other ones are doing just fine with that. We taught about Adam and Eve the next lesson. The next time we came to teach it, they spent about 50 pesos printing out pictures and things about the story of Adam and Eve. When I looked at it, it seemed to all be from a trusted source because there were Book of Mormon references. We also gave them English Book of Mormons, which they were excited about. It blows my mind how much English there is in this country. Also, the Book of Mormon stories that grandpa Alger sent me, I gave to them. They can understand it because the English is so simple. I thought they would like it, which they do! So that was cool. They are doing so well and always are so excited when we come over to teach them. Even until now, we don't have a lot of people that we are teaching. We go to contact these people, but we just are having a tough time finding those people that are absolutely ready to hear the gospel. We are doing our best though. We have a few people that we will be meeting with tonight and tomorrow. So we will see what happens there. 

This week we had exchanges as well. I worked with Elder Cebuco here in our area. That kid is a super hard worker. He trained Elder Reber right after he got out of his training, so he is still relatively new. He was fun to go on exchanges with. It changes things up a bit when you work with someone else. This week we also might have exchanges on Thursday, just to spice it up a bit. 

We also have interviews this Friday with President Ostler. It seems like just last week we had interviews. Time is sure flying. I can't even believe it. It is a great time to get some personal council about some things that we need to do or improve on. I look forward to that. So yeah, should be a good week. 

I think that is all for this week. The pics I have are of me and Elder Reber wearing our Lionel Messi jerseys we bought, and then we of course we played basketball last week, so I rocked my Curry jersey kasi... Wala lang ;) haha Love you all!

Elder Lambert

Elder Lambert
Philippines, Manila Mission, Earth

Jollibee on Pday


Another Pday!!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Hi world,

It has been a solid week this week. I am really happy about it. We have been pretty busy too, especially with conference this week! I will talk about that a little later. But, I am still here in Tondo! The members kept saying that Tondo breaks tradition. Elder Lambert's tradition is that he stays in one area for 3 transfers, which converts to about 4 months per area. So not gonna lie, I was expecting to transfer this last week. I guess the Lord said otherwise! I will be here in Tondo until November 16, then I will transfer to what most likely will be my last area in my mission. It is crazy to put it in terms like that, but its true. I only have about 5 1/2 months left in my mission. Super loko loko.

We had a good week this week. I started off last  Pday with me and Elder Reber buying Lionel Messi jerseys, so that was cool. Love Divisioria. Then we went out to work. Our district meetingTuesday was basically a crazy zone meeting. The other district had to attend my meeting because their district leader, Elder Erwin had a dentist appointment. Also the zone leaders came and they brought their district so basically half the zone came to my meeting, meaning there were 10 of us. That was good. We discussed the Book of Mormon and how important it is in our conversion. Which fit perfect because there were several talks in conference about the Book of Mormon. All in all it was a good meeting. I announced transfers as well. I guess Elder Eteaki is transferring from the other district to Paranaque. That was a surprise. I'll miss that guy. The funny thing is, Elder Bernard came in to replace him. Elder Bernard was assigned in Palawan in the next area over with me, so we are pretty close. I saw him this last weekend at general conference for the first time in months, so that was cool. I look forward to being in Tondo for another transfer. 

Our investigators are doing well! Sister Jahn Mae and her sister Kristina are doing well. We are still trying to get their mom to be involved in the lessons, but she just doesn't want to. She is always telling her kids how they need to read and do their assignments and go to church, but that isn't very good if you are doing those yourself. We are trying to push her but you can't do that too much. Her kids are a good example to her though. Jahn Mae and Kristina always do their assignments and highlight and even take notes on their assignments. I haven't had a good investigator like that in a good long time. So its awesome to go teach. They are super smart too, they remember all the things we teach and really catch on fast. Sometimes that is hard to come by here. We taught them several times this week and they even invited their friend to sit in on the lessons! That's what we like to see. They committed to come to conference with us as well on Sunday. We went and picked them up and they came to the Sunday morning session of conference and listened to the prophet speak. I felt bad because Kristina had a fever and couldn't attend conference, but her older sister came with their friend.  They went home after that session. Conference was good for them, I know that one for sure. We will visit them later tonight to follow them up on that. We were also only able to visit the Manuel family once this week. They are having some financial problems right now and are really doing their best. We keep encouraging them to just keep doing what they are doing, even with the circumstance. We love them alot. Brother Alvin was able to attend conference but sister wasn't, we will ask her about that later tonight. I think that is all that is really happening this week. We actually got punted a lot this week. We set an appointment, go meet with them and they aren't there. We do our best to keep our spirits high though. 

I love my companion though. He is so fun to be with and all we ever do is laugh and talk. I am doing my best to help him learn English, but it is honestly a super hard language. I love Elder Panugao a lot. He just keeps things pretty  relaxed, but we also work hard at the same time. Even though he is a Lakers fan and a huge Kobe fan, we do alright. ;) 

I look forward to the next couple of weeks. Some good things are happening, and conference was just a good spiritual boost for all of us. I always need something like that at the perfect time, and conference came in clutch. My favorite talk was actually the talk Pres. Monson gave in the Sunday morning session. He spoke about the Plan of Salvation. That is one of my favorite lessons to teach. That plan is one of the great restored truths that we are so blessed to have. President Monson said, "It is not just enough to believe, we need to LIVE the truth." If we do that, "The gospel is the path to peace and happiness." I have seen that in my life and the life of my family. I have never had as much joy in my life as I have had in my mission, and sharing the plan of salvation brings that joy to my self and to the people around us. I urge all of us to follow the council of Elder Oaks and pray for the DESIRE to do missionary work, and go do it. Lets bring joy to the people we love. We have been given so many tools to share the gospel, lets go and use them all, including our awesome social media accounts haha. I love this gospel and I love being a missionary and I love and miss you all!

Love, Elder Lambert

PS. These are some pictures of our investigators: Jhan Mae is in the white to my right, and her little sister is in the orange towards the back. The kid as well to my right is an investigator. The rest of the people there are their cousins who are already members. Also this was our crazy zone/district meeting 

Elder Lambert
Philippines, Manila Mission, Earth

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Good morning world,

We did it! We dunked the Manuel family! We got it all together and it ended up being a marriage and a baptism on the same day. It ended up being a great day that we were so excited for. We have been blessed to be able to get them married and baptized. That was a great way to end a good week where it might actually be my last week here in Tondo. We will see what happens this coming Wednesday.

I will start off with how the baptism went down. It was a little crazy so hold on to your hats. So here in Tondo, the missionaries are heavily relied on by the ward, which is no big deal, don't mind it. We do our best, but sometimes we just can't do everything ourselves. So Saturday morning comes a long and we decided to go to the church early to make sure things were set up. We got at the church at about 9, an hour before the baptism was supposed to start. Which was a great idea. We were the first people there, meaning that the person that was supposed to fill the baptismal font actually didn't do it. So we were kind of freaking out because we needed to fill the font and set up everything else. So we quickly cleaned the dirty font and made it happen. The water still ended up being kind of dirty... So that was great. We look past those things, or at least try to haha. We set up all the chairs and finally finished that up at about 9:50. By that time, there was 1 member there to attend the baptism. We were hungry, cause we hadn't eaten anything so we ran outside and grabbed a quick breakfast. We came back at about 10:10 and there were about 12 members there INCLUDING the senior couple.. So that was a joy aha. We had to keep waiting because we were waiting for the member who did all their marriage papers and stuff. If anyone wants to know about the Filipino culture, there is something called Filipino time. In theory, the arrival time is supposed to be about 15 minutes before the start time. The way they do it here is that you are probably going to arrive 30 to 45 minutes later than the actual start time. The way that the church runs things, they set the start time an hour early so that it can be expected to start around an hour later, about the same time as people will show up. So ideally, if an activity was to start at around 10 AM, they would say that it is to start at 9 AM so that they can start at about 10 or 10:30. So that's what happened, we didn't start the wedding until about 11 I think. It went fine. It was my first wedding that I witnessed and it was pretty cool. Immediately we were to follow the wedding by going directly to the font and starting the baptismal service, but the person who was supposed to fill the font finally showed up and pronounced that we can't continue because the water had a nice green color to it. We waited while we tried to figure out what we were to do. On top of that, the person who was supposed to prepare the program didn't do that so we were scrambling to do that. It was a zoo, not gonna lie. We did our best to delegate things for people to do to help us, but in the end it seems like the missionaries did a bad job planning. My companion was stressing kind of bad and I just told him to relax and that we can laugh about it later. So we basically put a quick program together and we did the best we could! It actually ended up being a great program. Lots of members showed up actually. It was a good day, a little stressful but it ended up being a great day. All the hard work for many months has now turned into a married family and 2 new members of the church which will turn into their kids being baptized as well. It was good. I was so excited for it. We took so many pictures from that day, so that was so so good. The spirit was just so strong there. Especially once the baptism started it was just great. I baptized Sister May Ann and Elder Panugao baptized Brother Alvin. It was so so awesome. I promise it sounds like a lot of complaining, it ended up being a great day! We definitely laughed about it that night after hahaha.

Obviously that was the highlight of the week. We had some other great things happen of course. The Sunday a week ago we were given a referral to a part member family. We taught them twice this week. The first lesson they accepted a baptismal date. Their mom is a member who was baptized in the province about 1990 I think. She went less active and now only like 3 of her 8 kids are baptized. We are teaching 4 of the kids. The oldest of the group is Stephenie (15), Jonn Mae (14), Lawrence (13), and Kristina (12). They are all girls and then Lawrence is a guy. They all read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it after the first visit. They have a date for November 12. They will for sure be baptized as well hopefully i will be here for it! Also their mom is showing signs of wanting to come back to church. That will be really awesome to see as well. I am really excited to see what happens in this area in the coming month. Even if I don't stay here to see it. 

I think that is all that is happening in our area this week. We are teaching a couple more people that have a few concerns. Some of them say that they have been baptized before. We just explain about the proper authority and all that and the proper method of baptism. The method was changed during the apostasy and now there are a million different methods of baptism. It should be the same way that Christ was baptized, and that is through immersion. When you tell them that, it makes them think and reflect, one of the investigators we had was like, "Oh, maybe our baptism is wrong in out church." Our response was like, "Well yeah, basically." You have to be bold but loving haha. We will see what happens there. 

I think that is all for this week. Not much else happened. I also bought a super dope Larry Bird jersey for like 400 pesos. I hope you approve that purchase dad hahah. That comes out to be like $8. Can't pass that up. If anyone wants a basketball or soccer jersey just lemme know haha. I have pics of just some of the members and all that to send as well. Love you all!

Elder Lambert

Elder Lambert
Philippines, Manila Mission, Earth