Monday, January 22, 2018

Wedding

Hello Everyone,

This week has been one of the busiest weeks of my mission I think because it has been a lot of running around in preparation of the wedding that took place earlier this morning I am so happy that I was able to help out that couple their names are Jerwin and Evelyn and they are a very happy couple now that they are married and now that they are on their way to entering the temple they want to go to the temple and I am so excited for them for when they get the chance to enter into the House of the Lord and to be sealed together as one family with their children for time and all eternity. I know that this is what our Heavenly Father wants for all of us as I have been here on my mission I have seen the Plan of Salvation come to life and I have seen it change lives. The Plan of Salvation that our Heavenly Father has given to us is perfect and I know that he wants all of us to be happy while we are here on Earth and I know that that is all possible. I am so privileged to have been able to help this family on their road to returning to live with their Father in Heaven again. Their baptism will be this week and I think that will be a glorious day, I am pretty excited for that.

Yesterday was a pretty loaded Sunday for me because I blessed the sacrament in sacrament meeting, gave a pretty solid talk in sacrament meeting, then I taught Gospel Principles class as well and then we met some pretty cool new investigators as well. The members here in Paracale are so amazing and they are so helpful I would not of been able to accomplish all that I have accomplished here in Paracale thus far if it were not for their help. I cannot believe that Elder Denoy's training is almost done he only has a few weeks left of his training and he has changed so much since we have been together we have for sure been together through some ups and downs and I think that has only brought us closer together. This week I actually have a training in Naga so I am excited for another opportunity that I have to be able to return to Naga where I served many people and helped other people Come unto Christ. 

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church on the face of the Earth at this time I know that we have a living prophet who has been called of God and who gives us instructions as to what we need to do inorder to get ready for the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I know that he is coming soon and I know that Heavenly Father continues to help his children become ready for that day so I know that is one of the reasons why I was called here to the Philippines because I know that Heavenly Father needs me here to help his children get ready for when Christ comes again and what a honor it has been thus far to be able to serve Heavenly Father's children here in the Philippines and I know that there is more happiness and joy to come.

Love,
Elder Chilson     

 Elder Chilson
 
 Elder Denoy and Elder Chilson
Elders serving in the Paracle Branch
Elder Chilson, Evelyn, Jerwin, Elder Denoy

Monday, January 15, 2018

Ice Cream

Hello Everyone,

This week was a pretty interesting week for me because this past week probably has been the coldest week that I have experienced since I have been here in the Philippines because this past week we had what they call a "Amihan" or a monsoon and I think that it happens every January here where I am serving in the Bicol Region of the Philippines it was mostly a lot of rain and a lot of wind but for me it was nice because I did not sweat as much as I have been sweat here in Paracale but it was not really cold for me I usually get made fun of by the other Filipinos because I continue to buy and eat ice cream because that is one of my comfort foods and I do it to stay cool but they think that it is ridiculous because for them it is so cold they do not really understand how I can continue to eat ice cream but I do, even Elder Denoy my companion has asked me on a few occasions why I am eat ice cream but I guess that is one of the differences here because I am still sleeping in my shorts and a t-shirt and he has been sleeping in a sweater and blankets because I know that this week he got cold some. 

This past week I also got to provide some service even though it was pretty rainy and muddy, I helped some of my investigators move some wood that they had at their house because they had been storing up some wood for various reasons some people here in the Philippines use wood burning stove to cook with and for heat and other uses because they cannot afford gas stoves etc. but told my investigators this is no problem I told them that I used to do this at my Grandfathers house all the time so me and Elder Denoy made short work of this week stacked up some larger logs that were going to be cut up and then we separated the other wood from the brush and then we stacked that up as well and I enjoyed that very much. This was in the mountains where I was able to provide their lifestyle is hard but they are pretty content and used to it so even though it is hard they are a very happy people.

This week me and Elder Denoy should be able to find out when our wedding is going to be for our other investigators that are going to be married hopefully within the next few weeks we will be able to have a wedding and then a baptism and that is pretty exciting for me. My other investigators are doing well and me and Elder Denoy are helping them progress in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we taught a pretty solid lesson to one of our new investigators last night and I think there is a lot of potential there. I hope that all of you are doing well and enjoying winter wherever you are I will be looking forward to a real winter and snow when I return back to America but I hope that all of you will be able to find ways that you can share the Gospel and help other people come closer to Christ because this is a team effort the missionaries need the help of members and the members need the missionaries as well and I hope that we can join forces to be able to spread this Gospel to all the lands and complete the work that Heavenly Father has placed before us.

Love,
Elder Chilson

Monday, January 8, 2018

Filipino Style Wooden Canoe

Hello Everyone,

This week was a very crazy week for me and Elder Denoy, we traveled a lot again and I was pretty busy with a lot of different things this week because this week is a transfer week and so there luckily there is only one change that is happening in my district, I thought that there were going to be other changes that were going to happen but go figure as I learned from my days when I served as an Office Elder that sometimes you think that you know what is going on or what is going to happen and then you find out that Heavenly Father a smarter and greater plan for all of us. Going a long with that I had the opportunity to attend a funeral last night of a relative of a member in the Paracale Branch where I am currently serving and that was a very night service and in case you were wondering the music was pretty nice as well because I was the one who was in charge of the music and actually it was requested that I sing a solo and I am not one to turn done requested so I ended up singing a solo at the funeral as well, that is crazy since I have been here in Paracale I have been doing a lot of singing and other people have been enjoying that as well.

Our investigators are still doing well we had a good amount at church yesterday but not all of them and we have still been working out the marriage of two our investigators here in Paracale we have been hitting some road blocks but one by one I have been knocking them down as well I know that Satan is real and that we need to except that for what it is and press forward because he is going to try to do all that he can to make us miserable while we are here on Earth but I know that as we continue to turn to Our Heavenly Father in prayer he will come to our aid and we will comfort us I have seen that many times on my mission in many different ways sometimes it is through the Book of Mormon or other scriptures sometimes it is through other people or by other means but I know that he will come to our aid and can rescue us if we will just turn to him and ask for him help.

I also got to go ride in a Filipino style wooden canoe type boat yesterday in order to get to a member's house and that was fun experience because we had to cross sort of a river or canal and we did not tip over which was great my companion Elder Denoy was a little nervous that we were going to tip over but I told him that things would be alright because I have experience in canoes and the Holy Ghost is will us. I am excited for what the future brings for me this is a fresh new year of 2018 and a new transfer so, I am excited for the opportunities that I have to be able to continue to improve my missionary skills and continue to increase my knowledge about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that as we strive to continue to do our best in keeping the Commandments of God we will be blessed and we will receive more blessings that we could ever imagine I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us and that they want the best for us here on Earth and they want that all us will be able to return to their presence someday. 

Love,
Elder Chilson     

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year,

First off I cannot comprehend right now that I have been here in the Philippines for over one year now as in that I spent Jan 2017-Dec 2017 all in the Philippines for me that is crazy because I think that the year of 2017 has been the fastest year of my life but at the same time it may be one of the most memorable years for my life but only time will tell that story. My New Year was pretty smooth we had a lot of food that was given to us from members and my appt is on the third floor I was able to see a lot of fireworks all over Paracale which was nice that was the same case for me last year as well that we climbed onto the roof of our appt to be able to watch all of the fireworks. I cannot believe that 2018 is hear now a lot of things are going to happen to me in the year of 2018 so I think that it is going to be a fun ride and I am excited to see what will happen.

Most of this week was a lot of traveling for me I was able to skype and talk with my family last Monday for Christmas so that was nice so they are doing well and it was nice to see them. I had a lot of exchanges this week which means that I went to Jose Panganiban twice this week so that I could have companionship exchanges with them because I am their District Leader and so I had a fun time working with the missionaries that are assigned in Jose Panganiban they are all Filipinos and they are actually all training right now just like I am training with Elder Denoy right now so I have been working with a lot of newer missionaries which has been fun because there are a lot of good leaning opportunities to learn from each other and there are a lot of good teaching moments as well. They are hard working up there in Jose Panganiban because most of their area is in the mountains so they really have to walk a lot and up mountains, I thought that there were a lot of mountains in Paracale but there are more in Jose Panganiban but it is a lot of fun up there for sure the people are really nice and most of the time they are receptive. 

My work here in Paracale has been going good as well we have just been helping our investigators get closer to baptism and we have been working really hard with one family about their marriage but it is going to be a little while longer before anything really big happens there because here in the Philippines there is a long process to get married and it takes a long time to process the papers and that is one reason why a lot of the Filipinos do not usually get married because it is a big hassle but I think that for January there is going to be a lot more progress made like yesterday at church I stood up the whole time for sacrament meeting because there was not enough room for more chairs so hopefully more and more people will continue to come to church and stay active in the church but I know that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ here on this Earth and that we have a live prophet today and all the tools that we need to be successful here on this Earth and I know that as we continue to do the things that Heavenly Father has commanded us to do we will be happy and the year of 2018 we be a year never to forget. 

Love,
Elder Chilson         

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

Hello Everyone and Merry Christmas,

This week was a very busy week for me and I did a lot of traveling this week because with Christmas here now and the end of the year approaching I have been pretty busy. This past week I have traveled from Paracale, Camarines Norte to Naga City, Camarines Sur twice and that is a pretty far distance I have to take 2 big buses and total travel time takes about 5 hours most of the time. The reason that I have been traveling to Naga was because this past week we had our Philippines Naga Mission Christmas Conference and so we all met up in Naga City and we had sort of a Christmas Party/Conference type activity. I enjoyed it as I did last year we played games and gave presentations and had a lot of food I sang a solo of Away in a Manger and it was pretty good and I think that everyone had a good time. We also had our Paracale Branch Christmas Party and it went well also we there were games and food and different activities and I also sang a solo of O Holy Night and that was pretty good even though that it was sort of last minute so if you are noticing a theme I have been singing a lot this week because we were supposed to have a Mission Christmas Choir again this year and back when I was in the office in October I helped to start make the beginning preparations with Sister Zapanta but for various reasons the choir fell through and that was fine, so as a result I sort of adopted "Elf's" philosophy of spreading Christmas Cheer so I said to myself the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear, so that is what I have been doing to past few days or so and I have been spreading Christmas Cheer that way and I think that people's lives have been lifted because of that.
We also had some great lessons this past week and first off I was surprised that we had some new investigators that came to church yesterday and I was very happy about that we had a great lesson with the investigator family that we have been working on that needs to be married, they have been reading the Book Of Mormon a lot as a couple and they have been letting it change their lives which I think is awesome for me it is awesome to see the Book of Mormon change peoples lives because it for sure has changed my life and I have been honored to have accepted the call to help other come to know of the truthfulness of the gospel that lies on the pages of the Book of Mormon. We also have found some other investigators and I think this next month there are going to be big things happening here in Paracale, because one thing that we have really been working on is the Priesthood situation because there are not many Priesthood holders here in the Paracale Branch and it sort of mind boggles me that it is that way but that is why I think that I am here is to help out that situation some.
I hope that all of you are having a wonderful Christmas I hope that wherever you are there is snow and that you are having great family time or you are hanging out with friends or whoever is close to you. I know that Christ's birth was a very humble occurring and I know that sometimes in the world that we live in it can be tough to remember that because of  our busy schedules, all of the things that we have to do etc. but I know that as we take time to pause and ponder about our Savior Jesus Christ we will draw nearer to our Heavenly Father and we will further understand what he desires of us while we are here on Earth and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas from the Philippines.

Love,
Elder Chilson      

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4:45am Skype with Elder Chilson on Christmas morning. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas Present

Hello Everyone,

This week was a pretty crazy week and there were a lot of crazy things that happened but for me this past Saturday I got my Christmas present, this past Saturday I was able to baptize one of my investigators in the Pacific Ocean and that for me was my Christmas present because ever since I got here in the Philippines Naga Mission that was one of the things that I always wanted to do was to baptize someone in the ocean because when I got here in the mission I heard that there were some areas where you can baptize in the ocean because they do not have chapels or baptismal fonts and Paracale, where I am assigned right now is one of those places so that for me was great even though the weather was pretty bad. 

This past weekend we also had a sort of mini typhoon which was sort of a surprise to me but then we got the word that it was true so then we prepared our 72hr kits and everything to be ready in case of an emergency, because just like I explained last year that the months of October, November, December, January are the typhoon months of the wet season if you will here in the Philippines and so where I am serving in the Naga Mission there are a lot of typhoons that come this way I am do not really know why yet but it just always happens so last Christmas if you remember there was Super Typhoon Nina and so this Christmas hopefully that will not happen again but there is another typhoon-like storm coming this next week I think so hopefully it will not be that strong of a storm but the wind in these storms is crazy it is not like the wind in a blizzard that they have in NY the wind is really different. 

We also have some really awesome progressing investigators right now we have one whole family right now that is working towards baptism but the trouble is that they are not married yet so we are working on helping them to get married so by next month hopefully they will be able to get baptized but this family really reads the Book of Mormon and they really want to change and accept the gospel which I think is awesome. Yesterday there were not that many people that were able to come to the church because of the mini typhoon but the missionaries are working hard here in Paracale that is for sure to help the branch become stronger and gain more members so that one day they will be able to have a chapel here in Paracale.

I have my last Christmas Conference later which for me is crazy because I remember last year when I was young and new and di not know any missionaries and now I am going and I know like all the missionaries and I am not that new anymore in the mission but now I am a leader and the other missionaries look up to me and I am training as well which I still cannot really get over but it just shows me that the Lord is using us in his own way to accomplish the work that he has for us to do here on Earth, I know that we all have a purpose as to why we are doing what we are doing here on Earth at this time and I know that Heavenly Father loves us more than we can comprehend and especially at this Christmas time I know that as we think about Jesus Christ we will be able to feel of the love that Jesus and Heavenly Father have for us because we are his literal children and I hope that all of you have a Wonderful Christmas.

Love,
Elder Chilson 



Monday, December 11, 2017

Miracles

Hello Everyone,

This week for me was full of up and downs but in the end it ended out to be great. Me and Elder Denoy have been working really hard this week and yesterday turned out to be a day of miracles for me and Elder Denoy. First we were really blessed to have 8 investigators at church yesterday so that was like the beginning of a day full of miracles because yesterday before church it rained so hard and me and Elder Denoy were thinking that maybe our investigators were not going to be able to come to church because a lot of them are coming from the mountains and the roads are not that great there and we thought that maybe they were just going to get stuck in the mud so to speak so they were not going to come to church but regardless of the rain they came anyway and that was awesome. Then many other miracles happened throughout that day and at the end of the day at me and Elder Denoy saw the biggest miracle since I have been here in Paracale and what happened was last night we were just about to go home and we ended up finding 7 new investigators and that for us was huge because that is something that me and Elder Denoy have been working on for most of this week and what made it even more meaningful to us what that Saturday we spent the whole afternoon and I mean the whole afternoon just finding new investigators and we found not very many so that was tough but that is sort of missionary life sometimes but we kept our faith up and we kept praying and we stayed obedient and as always Heavenly Father delivers. 

Also another miracle that we saw yesterday was we had an investigator that passed his baptismal interview so that was great as well and so he is scheduled to be baptized this coming Saturday and he personally asked me if I would baptism him so that was an honor for me and this boy has made big changes in his life and of course because I am still kind of new to Paracale I do not know this boy very well but from what I have heard is that he has made big changes in his life and he really wants to get baptized and that to mean is one of the greatest things here on my mission that I have witnessed. We have some other investigators that have some potential and we have one family that we are working with and they are awesome they are really keeping their commitments that we have been giving them and they are just searching for the truth and hopefully  they will get baptized as well in the future because I think that it will make all the difference in their lives and help them get ready to be sealed in the temple forever and that is awesome as well for me as a missionary to help other people especially families become eternal that is for sure a great feeling.

I hope that we are all doing our best to share the gospel this Christmas Season, I know that as we do our best our Heavenly Father will be right there with us and that he will help us every step of the way he is always there for us even though sometimes I may seem like he is far away I know that he is the God of the whole Earth and he is everywhere and he wants us to succeed and this Christmas Season I hope that you can feel that too God loves us so much that he sent his son Jesus Christ here to Earth so that we can all return and live with him again, I cannot really imagine what it would feel like to give up my son because I do not have any yet but I am sure that it was a big sacrifice and as we continue to do all that we can to become more like Jesus Christ we will feel of his love that he has for us.

Love,
Elder Chilson