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

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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Path of Exaltation, Conversion (May 25th and 18th, 2015 Updates)

Path of Exaltation (May 25, 2015)

Brothers, Sisters,

I wish I could jump into my screen and pop out of yours to tell you how being a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the best thing that's ever happened to me! I just love being a missionary. This week's flown by, with two zone conferences and working in the Lord's vineyard. This week's crazy, too; we're going to Palawan on Wednesday. 

Elder Thurber teaching how to plan with grids at Zone Conference
Elder Wilson and I have taught all of the 200 missionaries how to plan with grids so that everybody can receive exaltation, which is President Ostler's new vision for us. You may be thinking that missionary work is all about baptisms. But truly, that's aiming lower than God's expectations, because, like Edward Dube's mom said, "Look ahead at what we still have to do.” Going for baptism is only for salvation. Planning for the temple is planning for exaltation. 
After showing his vision, the missionaries divided up into 5 groups for 5 classes. So we've taught planning for exaltation 10 times now to missionaries.

Question: have you ever heard of the New and Returning Member Progress Form? That is what we're using right now as a mission. We have four indicators - baptism, fully active, temple preparation, and temple ordinances. President Ostler would like for each companionship to have an indicator occur every week, especially in our area. It's difficult, because the people need to have a clear vision of the temple, and the ward needs to coordinate with us. But, from all the reports I've been getting, the wards love it! They're trying it.

Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. 2 Nephi 32:3
Missionaries love to feast on the words of Christ, but they need something for the road, too.  
Eating with the Hiatts at Zone Conference

Shoot, I have to get going. Time flies on wings of lightning. 


Elder Thurber - Philippines Manila Mission

Mon 5/18/2015 3:03 AM

Conversion (Mon 5/18/2015)

Dear All,

The chaos continues! Our area's really shooting for the stars! We had 8 investigators at church last Sunday, and full support from a loving ward, led by our awesome ward mission leader. Along with working in our area every day starting at 6, we've been meeting with President Ostler and stuff and discussing Zone Conference. It'll be epic! I'll tell you more next week. 

One of the things President Ostler sent out to prepare for the conference was a talk by Elder Scott entitled "Full Conversion Brings Happiness." He quoted Marion D. Romney, who once said "Converted means to turn from one belief or course of action to another." Adding on, I've been thinking about how conversion works with money. Why do we ever convert money? Well, because some currency won't be useful, depending on where you're going to. American money doesn't mean much here in the Philippines.

I've been thinking that we, as children of Heavenly Father, have intrinsic value. But what is that value truly converted into? When we know our destination, we must be converted to be of any worth there. If heaven is your goal, you must change yourself--leaving behind what you once were-- and understand this eternal yet misunderstood truth: "We are saved by grace, after all we can do." Elder Scott taught this in his talk, which I'd encourage you to read.

(Elder Scott's talk:  https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2002/04/full-conversion-brings-happiness?lang=eng )

My two companions, plus Elder Limocon, my zone leader for most of my mision.  He came for the temple sealing of some of the people he had taught.

Elder McQuarrie, along with his companion, are working on most of the stuff for zone conference,
which has left us time to work.
I don't have any time, because zone conference is right around the corner, and I'm teaching a little bit and conducting!

Love you all!

Elder Thurber

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Going Home Activities, Transfer Day, MLC, "Remember Him", Guadalupe Chapel, Makati 2nd, and Vikings

Mon 5/11/2015
Going Home Activities, Transfer Day, MLC, "Remember Him", Guadalupe Chapel, Makati 2nd, and Vikings

Still reading?

Sorry for the long title. Too much has been going on and I can't seem to put it all together in a few words. 

On Tuesday, 19 missionaries headed home (eeek!). As an escort to those missionaries, you get to head to the temple. This time, I saw Diaz family from the Bonifacio 3rd ward, who were there to be sealed as a family. The two boys in the 1st picture often worked with us when I was there. 

We also went to the American Cemetery, where we waited (in style) to hear Sister Ostler talk to the missionaries. 

On transfer day, we picked up 8 new missionaries from the MTC, which, if you do the math, means the mission is going down in size. There were a few areas that got consolidated. During the orientation, Sister Ostler took the new missionaries to the American War Memorial while we and President Ostler taught the new trainers, including some zone leaders I'd worked with. Orientation went relatively smoothly, because we're just teaching. The real chaos began after it all ended, as we had to formulate plans for missionaries getting to new apartments, then planning for MLC. If you can keep a secret, I'll tell you that we got to bed at 1 A.M. b/c we were preparing MLC. 

MLC was so cool! We discussed four main points 
1) all lessons under 30 minutes or less 
2) singing during lessons 
3) always bringing up baptism during the lesson 
4) extending baptismal dates in every lesson. 
President Ostler made some comments in as the three of us taught. After MLC, we finally got time to get groceries and unpack the bags.

Friday was relatively normal.  Elder Wilson told us about our area, and how much potential it has. We're really striving be a model area now, and to have a vision to baptize every week. We've made a graph that shows every week for the next 3 months. We've filled in some of the slots with people who can be baptized. I love how it raises our vision of what we can do. 

The Whole Laddaran Family.

Saturday, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to baptize June Laddaran. It's a completed family, set for the temple. I really can't express how I felt during his baptism.

 Here are some pictures from the Bonifacio 3rd Ward.

Jonathan Parades and Elder Thurber
Elder Thurber and Mark Castillon
Perping Cruz with her granddaughter, Kaylee (who I taught before)
Sunday, I got to meet the Makati 2nd ward! They're excited to see us, and know our vision to baptize weekly.

Today, we went to this place called Vikings. It was a buffet for about 15$, but I am stuffed! I have a bunch of pictures I want to send to you!

No more time! Take care!
Elder Thurber - Philippines Manila Mission

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

5/5/2015 I'm Going to be "Killed" by Two Elders in the Office!

Family, Friends, and People in the Makati 3rd and 4th Wards,

NOTHING is quite as unexpected as transfers coming from the Lord thru President Ostler! Elder Francisco is going to train a new missionary and be transferred to Coron, a very small but breath-takingly beautiful island with only 4 missionaries.  I'm staying put, and am going to be in a threesome with Elder Hadley and Wilson! I'll tell you more about them next week. I have a slightly dark picture below of them. They got interviewed by President last night and were both pretty shocked. 

On top of that, the assistant's area is being changed to Elder Wilson's current area, which means no more international ward! President Ostler's vision is that our area is the best area in the mission. I'm feeling the pressure, but I know my companions well enough so there won't be a problem. 

Last week was a appetizer for what's in store for my next transfer. We went on three exchanges, one after another. I went on my second exchange to Manila and taught Angel and Althea. One of the best feelings as a missionary is to see those you've taught and see they're still strong in the gospel. You really grow to love them. I also went to Makati 2nd Ward, which, ironically, is where I'll be working in, starting this Thursday. 

This picture is from a Career Workshop that missionaries going home in May and June had to attend. Aside from teaching from the booklet we were given, they taught us how to use the experience we obtained on our mission. I should avoid church-y words and instead say "I was a service volunteer for two years for a non-profit organization" for nonmembers. I can say I presented a lot of training, which could help in a managerial profession.
Elder Thurber and the other Assistants presenting training
this week at the mission home to incoming new missionaries.
(Picture from the Ostler's blog:  thephilippinesmanilamission.blogspot.com)

This is what our office looks like when there are missionary meetings and such.

The following picture is also in the office, displaying some of the baptisms that have happened in the mission.

Lyn and Wilma
I said some goodbyes to people last Sunday, so I had to get some pictures. The first is off Lyn and Wilma, who were baptized right before I came in the area.

Then, everybody wanted to join into the picture, thus there's a 2nd picture. In the middle, you see Samuel Owusu, who knows the Bible as well as most members. I really appreciate all the time I've been given to teach them.

Time is too short in supply. 

Love, Elder Thurber