Hello from Elder Thurber--who serves in the Philippines Manila Mission

Hello from Elder Thurber--who serves in the Philippines Manila Mission

Monday, October 20, 2014

Several Posts from the End of August till October 20th: Catching up with Elder Thurber's blog. . . .

Mon 10/20/2014
"Dont Say Tingnan!"


Life has been magnificent! I'm smile whenever I think about the Laddaran family. They're on fire! Andre and Arthur got interviewed last Saturday by our Zone Leaders, and they passed! They'll be baptized this Saturday at 7. They'll be going to the Scout Jamboree at the end of the month, and have been memorizing the Articles of Faith. And the whole family is keeping the commitment to do daily scripture reading! They also came with us to clean the chapel as Andre and Allen got interviewed. The other missionaries were like, "They're investigators? They look like members!" So yeah, I'm pretty ecstatic. 

Brother June Laddaran, although he has some W.O.W. issues to take care of before he gets baptized, has gained the spirit of Elijah! He said he's going to the temple as soon as he can after his baptism to do temple work for his dad. 

I need to mention we now have 8 new missionaries in the ward!
Sister Mahe, is opening an area, and will be training at the same time. They already have 3 investigators at church :)

We also had two extra investigators today that we met this week. One is Brother Bobby, who I took a picture of.
We had Jonathan and Queennee take him to church, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Although he's 73, he's nimble and has a good sense of humor, and decided a long time ago not to drink coffee, drink, or smoke! Funny enough, we talked about the W.O.W. in priesthood, so he was able to chime in. What's interesting is we just met him while waiting for another person!

Oh, my companion is Elder Ronquillo, who is from Surigao, and is Cebuano, just like Elder Suquib. He's actually a visa waiter; he'll probably be leaving in January. He'll be going to Edmonton Canada. He's a little scared he'll be frozen to death. 

Well, I have many stories, but no time to tell them to you. 

Love you all!

Elder Thurber

P.S. Job 6:6 it's a scripture that's food for thought. 

(Job 6:6   Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?)

Mon 10/6/2014 12:31 AM
Fantastic Fourth

Dear family and friends,

It's that time again! Christmas! Well, maybe not in America, but here, it's already starting. It just goes to show how much Filipinos love to party. 

It's also that time for transfers! My 12 weeks with Elder Suquib are all up. He's going to.... Palawan! Guess who's going to be here for two more transfers, training? I'm going to train my number four brand new elder! 

I'm excited for everything, but at the same time stressed, because there will also be another area created in our ward! We will now have four areas in our ward starting this Wednesday. They're planning on splitting the ward and creating a branch and ward, because our sacrament hall is so full people stand at the back.

On Saturday, I felt like I was teaching a YM class with Elder Suquib. We had Allen, Andre, and Arthur Laddaran all there. We taught repentance. They're planning and set to all being baptized this Oct 25th, along with 7 other investigators from other missionaries. They all went to the temple grounds with the ward last Saturday, and were so excited to talk to us afterwords. 

That's all this week!

Elder Thurber

Mon 9/29/2014
The Church

Dear everybody willing to take a look at my blog for a few seconds before closing the tab--

I'm happy that I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. How could we learn so much about God's plan for us or receive the saving ordinances than by His own temple here on the earth! Or receive the spirit of Elijah's spirit by our vast base of family history, discovering a part of you or a doppelganger by your ancestors who are a part of you are? 

Lastly, I think the members are what really set apart the church! In fact, I got to witness that first hand last Sunday. Allen, a cousin of the Laddaran family, has been coming to church for two Sundays now. We've been teaching him for some time, but never really could get any commitment from him. During the middle of priesthood, he asked "What are the requirements to be baptized?" I quickly answered, and he responded "I love this church. I'm wholly determined to be baptized." It came as a shock, but, in retrospect, it makes perfect sense. Where else can you find such participation, happiness, and obedience than in the church? Nobody would make the step from coming to church to being baptized without the influence of dedicated members.

Oh, man--I'm out of time. Have a great day! 

Elder Thurber

Mon 9/22/2014 12:30 AM
52 pesos

Hello, everybody!
Does anybody remember those old church commercials about the family? Well, the family has been on my mind this week, and I've decided, in a sense, to seek out families as I go out proselyting. I've taught so many people, but I've noticed those who really progress are those who have a family and love them.
I've read Thomas S. Monson's talk about love in this past GC issue like 10 times in the past few months, and want to quote a little. He says:

Brothers and sisters, some of our greatest opportunities to demonstrate our love will be within the walls of our own homes. Love should be the very heart of family life, and yet sometimes it is not. There can be too much impatience, too much arguing, too many fights, too many tears. Lamented President Gordon B. Hinckley: “Why is it that the [ones] we love [most] become so frequently the targets of our harsh words? Why is it that [we] sometimes speak as if with daggers that cut to the quick?”9 The answers to these questions may be different for each of us, and yet the bottom line is that the reasons do not matter. If we would keep the commandment to love one another, we must treat each other with kindness and respect.

As I missionary, I see all sorts of relationships, some of which are very troubling. In member’s houses, I see the love, patience and respect that everybody deserves.

We have the opportunity to teach the Laddaran family. After a long day on Wednesday, we arrived there as our last appointment. We gave them The Book of Mormon Stories book I bought at the distribution center for the kids Arthur (14 years old), Andre (12) and Arvin (5). They also came to church last Sunday and participated in Young Mens. I heard around the bush that they had answered questions about the BoM that the teacher gave! Hah! Only the second Sunday!

Our appointment was spiritual. They have all found a new "hobby" by reading not only the storybook, but the actual Book of Mormon together as a family. I can see them growing together. I have never felt such a sweet joy on my mission. The family is what I've learned to cherish. 
So treat your loved ones with... well... love.

Elder Thurber

P.S. We're going bowling today.

Mon 9/15/2014
Find, find, find!


This week has been a time of regrowth. Our teaching pool has gone under, and we're trying to get some new investigators. Which means...

Talk with everybody. Woooooo.... 

I feel super awesome, but man! Talking with everybody, which is difficult for me, is my life right now. You would think that being a missionary for so long I would get used to it. But, no. It's like diving into a freezing-cold pool over and over again, all to get them to listen! Thankfully we've been blessed this week with many many new people to teach! 

In our temple trip, I felt like I saw the potential of finding. There were about 10 people going through the temple for the first time from Indonesia, speaking Bahasa, not knowing a lick of English or Tagalog, being escorted by a senior couple. They left on Sunday to get there on Tuesday. I don't know anything about them, but  the senior couple mentioned to me that traffic here is a breeze compared to where they live. 

It makes me think: there are so many people who want the gospel and willing to go to another country to go to the temple! It motivates me to try even harder. And it makes me grateful we have temples, which we should attend frequently. Read Isaiah 2:2-3

 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain ofthe Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains,and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the 
house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

I love how in verse three, people are inviting other people to come to the temple, and ALL nations shall flow unto it. I'd just like to remind everybody to go to the temple, and learn the things the world can't teach outside! 

I'd like to share about how awesome my companion, Elder Suquib, is. He comes from a branch in Cebu that has 50 members at Sacrament Mtg. every Sunday. Turns out, he's really into family history! He's gone to grave sites and found people who share his last name. He really inspires me, every day, with a smile written over his face. His spirit is infectious. Sometimes, when we get food from members, he gives his portion to homeless people on the street, or to underprivileged kids. He never quits.

I, on the other hand, sometimes get a little frazzled, losing patience in the work, trying to teach teach teach, and improve improve improve. I felt like I've learned a lot from him. Lastly, I'd like to share one scripture that has helped me this week. It's simple, but oh it is true! 
10 Be still, and know that I am God:  I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Maybe you need that scripture like I did this week. Being still doesn't mean motionless, but gaining peace in heart and mind, something nobody can give you, but you receive from yourself. 

Love you all!

Elder Thurber

PS Note from Matthew's mother:  The American Cemetery is where Elder Gordon B. Hinckley re-dedicated the Philippines in 1961for the preaching of the gospel.

This is what Matthew's mission president's wife's blog says about the American Cemetery:  (  http://thephilippinesmanilamission.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2014-08-31T06:17:00-07:00&max-results=7&start=16&by-date=false  ):

After spending time in the spirit of the temple, we traveled to the American Cemetery in Manila.  It is the place where Elder Gordon B. Hinckley rededicated the land for the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We had time to talk about and reflect upon the sacrifices made during World War II so that there could be freedom in the Philippines.  We read Elder Hinckley's talk and prayer and reflected on the great sacrifice Christ made for our spiritual freedom.  We recalled those missionaries who had sacrificed so much to bring the gospel to us or to our ancestors.  Then we each found a quiet spot to make personal commitments as to what we each will continue to sacrifice so that our brothers and sisters on this earth may be set spiritually free.  Over 17,000 people are buried here from every state in the United States as well as many Filipinos.  On the walls are engraven the names of 36,000 more who were never found, yet who gave their lives and are remembered with great gratitude.

Tue 9/9/2014 8:59 AM
New days

Hello everybody,

This week has been odd. I've been sick for the most part, but I did get to attend the mission tour with President Ardern. 

Sorry I really don't have time to send anything awesome.

Elder Thurber

Mon 9/1/2014 12:26 AM
"Welcome to Zion!"

We now have 3 new missionaries in the district! Sister Wemhoner, Alberto, and Gutierrez. They're all awesome! I'd like to tell you more, but I'm out of time. 

We finished off the month with two more baptisms, Louie and Nelmar. That makes the total of 7 baptisms in the ward. The Lord is Hastening His Work!

Elder Thurber 

Mon 8/25/2014 12:11 AM
New AP!

We've got quite the transfer going on, with Elder Obray becoming AP. He's perfect and ready for the task of...... difficulty after difficulty, to put it nicely.
And yes, Elder Diamse and Elder Suquib will be staying with me. We're three of the few missionaries NOT being transferred. Turns out, there will be 28 whopping missionaries coming in this transfer, with many new open areas.

Sun 8/24/2014 11:41 PM
Just some zone activity pictures....