Saturday, November 30, 2013

Week 36

Week 36

The Gang

Well I got chastised on saying  "this week was another good one".... So i guess I'm not allowed to say that one anymore, thanks Mom! So well astig yung linggo na ito nagkaroon tayo ng transfers. (no translation) Soooo i got a new companion....My new companion from a 1st round pick (out of 10) , of the 2013 November transfers is Elder Johnson from Ogden Utah!

So I guess they trust me a lot to help train new Americans for some reason, the last one I trained got dengue fever they are just gambling on me I guess….its because of my sick understanding of the tagalog language, I'm sure! Any way he's tight he's a white boy standing like 5'' 9 wears glasses and is pretty smart dude... but he's good, he helps me a lot especially during the lessons so it was a worthy draft pick! 

So we were privileged to hang out with one of my other yogis here in the mission Elder Hausia who stands 6'' 3 200 something from San Fransisco and is my Tongan brother; he's freaking funny. We got to hang out with that guy for 2 days Tuesday-Thursday and that was a blast! I had him cook for me we made some spam with eggs Hawaiian style and I nearly had a cholesterol attack. That was super good and he made some other great good for us; yum! I love Elders that can cook.  Elder Johnson and I  finally got out on our own and made the attack on our areas. We did good! We already did some contacting and got some return appointments. Elder Johnson is really eager to go out so he brings a lot to the table and he's really good teaching lessons; all I have to do is help him with Tagalog. So we got some new missionaries in our house; Elder Sornenson from Utah is our new zone leader and me and him are now buds. And  Elder Jocabson, who I served with in Sipocot a long time ago and are together again... small world no joke… 

But it's basically full blast Christmas here now in Naga. Everyone has their little Christmas lights out now. And I'm like what the heck this week is Thanksgiving where is my glorious Turkey, potatoes and pie? We are planning on just having fried chicken... I lose hahaha. But yeah all I have is like a year left so that's the motivation. It is cool looking at all the new missionaries,  they look like babies, (haha) but they are tight. I know how that was and its weird to think I'm somewhat older now in the mission. But its cool helping them out. This morning we played some basketball, long story short I did the sickest steal ever basically a no-look (using the force) and doing math in my head like Sherlock Holmes and stole the ball. In the end after I stole it and scored I looked at my hand and had 2 purple fingers and 2 bleeding finger nails so that's a real bummer. Somethings never change huh? But "buhay pa"… I'm still alive. I have  a fresh missionary haircut because we have interviews with  President Reeder on Wednesday so I look like a fresh dork right now, Ha ha. 

The cool spiritual thing for this week came yesterday when 3 young men  said they wanted to work with us. Obviously I'm not perfect in Tagalog and like everyone I have weakness… (see Ether 12:27: "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." ). But it was cool to me  that the 3 men were able to come and work with us and of course speak perfect Tagalog, but back it up in Bicolano (another language) there are so many different languages;  that the Gospel will roll forth to all languages, tongues and people.

Even when I was getting my haircut Manny (the Pac-man) Pacquiao was giving the glory to God for the fight and is going to end up giving his winnings to all the people that were affected by the typhoon. But its cool that everyone has a focus and that's God in their lives. And I'm helping them find that and helping them choose the right in their lives. People say they really enjoy what I'm doing here, honestly I'm just doing what Jesus did.  I've made mistakes in my life but that is forgotten as soon as we realize why we are here and what our purpose is. After we realize that we're good, but we have  to maintain that happiness and endure to the end to receive all the blessings.  A challenge for you especially for this week of "Thanksgiving" look for the good in our lives instead of demanding the things we want.  God gives us challenges and trials in our life, but he knows what he's giving us, he just knows we can handle  the burden and he knows it'll bless us later on down the road.

That is my peace for this week. Thanks everyone for your nice emails; love you all and of course I miss you. Feel free to send me a surprise turkey  the address is 39 panganiban naga city 4400 cam sur........................................................................................................................................................
okie dokie mga kaibigan pakidala ninyo and mag packages sa akin na mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat.
astig Peace !!!!!!!!!!!...............
ELDER POGI.......>> Elder Seth Joaquin Llorens

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Week 35 - a week of service

Week 35

Beautiful View from Apartment

Well this week was a really good one again! This was my last week with Elder Relf, now he is a real missionary and has graduated and is no longer in his training.  It's pretty good to see that I was able to successfully train, especially an american.  It's good to be tested like that, and to feel the Lord's inspiration and guidance with the language. The  other news is  Elder Relf got transferred and I'm staying. I meet my new companion tomorrow hopefully he's a filipino so I can continue to progress in the language as well as have some fun!
 We were able to teach a new lady and she is really interested in the gospel and wants to learn more. It was good teaching with Elder Relf for the last time and its been a great 3 months.  I know that as his adventure begins on his own that he will be terrific. (of course because I trained him, estig!)

The Crew

So the cool thing this week we were able to make care packages and send them to the victims of the super typhoon in Tacloban. It was fun coming together with the community and helping the people who are in need.  It was fun to hear that if they ever need help again they would personally call us for help. We did the service at the local radio station but that was the biggest  highlight of the week. We also were able to  teach a less active family and really help them out by helping them change their focus  so they can become more united and can strengthen their family. It is hard to explain the life people live over here.  These are humble people who work hard for everything they have. I will never look at life the same, I will never look at what I have been given the same.  I love this opportunity to learn to live in a country that is so different than what I am use to.


Thank you to all for the emails you are great, I love you and good luck to my cousin who's going to the father land Germany for the army  your the man Jase good luck and I'll see you in a while.
Elder Llorens

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Week 34

Week 34

So just want to say that I am safe here in the city and that the storm went around us. Thankfully we were prepared and protected. So there are a lot of deaths in Leyte and Tacloban and Capiz, we call theses areas "visaya". These areas were completely demolished. So sad to see people with nothing lose what little they had. My first trainer Elder  Parohinog's family lost there house.  His family is in the area that was hit the worst. He was able to contact some of his family but still has a brother and his brothers family unaccounted for. When the storm was heading towards us we were were told to stay in doors but its hard to sit and do nothing so we  ended up  going out with our supply elders and finance elders to stock new apartments for new missionaries. We felt service was what we needed to do. But when we left there was a black out for the whole Bicol region and when we got back it was still going. We went out to get food but there were no restaurants open... only Starbucks ( yes starbucks!) so i got a peppermint hot chocolate and it was absolutely glorious. That Night I watched a church movie called Ephriams Rescue and it was really good it was about a man called Ephraim Hanks who helps rescue hand carters that are stuck in a trail during the winter.  It was awesome to see the miracles performed while  rescuing them.  

 But yeah I am thankful for the safety here in my mission. I heard that all of the missionaries in the affected areas are going to manila to wait until the calamity passes. I guess there are a lot of riots and it is not safe for us. I Hope every one is praying for the Philippines right now. We need the help now.  We hope that our continued service to the filipino people will soften their hearts and they will be made ready for the gospel. So many needs can be met just by having  faith in the Savior.  This is a terrible time for these people, it is hard to be so close to this kind of suffering. 

 Next week is transfers again so we will see what happens, if I leave or stay this one is a 50/50 gamble I don't know how its going to be. But where ever I go I will be happy doing what the Lord needs me to do. The cool thing is we got a new investigator this week and shes really nice.  We also had an investigator come to church so there is some progress this week. This has been a good transfer with Elder Relf, I feel I really grew. When you become a trainer for a new missionary you become more responsible and you literally feel older I'm pretty sure I have a couple of white hairs because of this stress but its all good. Life is hard here for me,  but I have just decided to take it one step at a time and just smile and own it. 

SO far we have been getting lucky with some good food, we had Gabi leaves with fried little fish last night and it was great. Earlier today got to play some volleyball and of course I dominated.  I also got a really gnarly tan, I basically look black i don't know if that good or bad I'll let you decide. I hope everyone is well at home I constantly think of everyone and how they are doing. I hope life is treating you good. As for me I'm loving it. thanks to all of you for the emails they are encouraging and inspiring. I love you all and hope you all have a great week. 

Elder Llorens 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Typhoon Yolanda struck the Philippines a few hours ago. It is the most powerful typhoon to make landfall, with sustained winds of 100 MPH and significant flooding and sea surge.

Elder Llorens is in Naga, in the central Bicol region known as Camrines Sur. (You can see Naga on this map above the two capital "P"s in "Philippines"). They have been under "warning" since yesterday, and probably received heavy rain and winds.

The Naga Philippines mission president sent this email at 4:30 AM our time:

Dear Loved ones,
The typhoon was south of Naga and had little or no impact on our mission. All missionaries have been inside their apartments and are safe. Thank you for your concern and  prayers.

Love, President and Sister Reeder

Prayers for the Philippine people and those who are there to serve.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 33

Week 33

So this week was different we were able to witness Halloween and all souls day Filipino style. We had to have curfew because there were a lot of drunk crazy people, especially in our area becasue  we have the 2 biggest cemeteries in all of Naga.  What they do is go to the cemeteries and  basically have a celebration like 4th of July, Picnics, drinking and hanging out with all of their family and friends. I was able to buy some candy at the mall so we stayed in and  had fun. 
 We were able to finally work this week. Elder Relf is at full health. The work is good we were able to give a baptismal invitation to one of our investigators and she accepted and we are still contining to teach one of our other Investigators and hopefully we can give her a baptismal invitation this week as well. We have been talking to people and trying to get return appointments with them. The work has been hard there have been  days that we were only able to get like 1 Lesson in. But a lot of good has been happening behind the scenes. We're trying to work out making a group in one of our areas so people don't have to travel as far. The members are really nice here, later tonight we have a family home evening and then also on Wednesday. Later on this week we have zone training so we'll be able to see all of the missionaries in our zone. But yeah its fun going out and trying to talk to people. I have never talked to this many people before in my life and the weird thing is its in a different language, kind of cool.  We had a couple of our investigators hide from us so that's a little depressing, but that's life as a missionary. 
Transfer announcements are next week and I will find out if I'm transferred or my companion is. Most likely I'm going to train again. I really want a Filipino comapnion so I can better my language skills and also they are legit cooks, lol.
 I have been working out quite a bit and been trying to diet but its no fun trying to do all this stuff and waking up at like 630 am. You literally feel like you just took a nap and you wake up and its the next day and you basically start it all over again. Earlier today I played some basketball of course and I also ate some pig brain, yeah pig brain there really isn't any taste but  its no double double from In-N-out. I was able to work with some members yesterday and try to get them excited about home teaching. And I forgot about this earlier but when we went to a less actives house the tatay (father) told me to sit on a stool looking thing as soon as I sat on it it almost broke, I used my cat like reflexes to get off before I full broke it, but it definitely did crack. (back to the diet!)  I also caught a fish in the rice fields. I used my cat like reflexes and just grabbed it like Mr. Miagge from karate kid, hmm wrong country but you get my drift. But yeah hopefully this week will be better and we can get some good lessons in.  As always thank you for the emails and love you all.
Ingot kayo
Elder Llorens