Monday, June 18, 2018

Pineapple and Bananas

Hello Everyone,

This week was a very busy week for me here on my mission, I had two sort of big meetings this week in which I also was selected to sing in some special musical numbers as well. My Zone Conference went pretty well this week this was just for my Zone (The Pamplona Zone) and I conducted and I think that overall it went really well most of what was talked about was obedience and that is a pretty simple thing to understand but when it come to our actions things can get pretty tricky because as much as we want to be obedient and do the right thing, Satan is always right on our heals to steer us in the wrong direction. in the second sort of large meeting is was presided by President Juan A. Uceda or the Presidency of the Seventy (if you do not know who he is I am sorry I do not really have time to explain but you can google him or just ask any Mormons that you know and they would be happy to help you) I really enjoyed his visit he was a pretty animated speaker and I enjoyed that but he also talked about obedient some and how we cannot "Buy the Lie" that Satan is always trying to sell to us and regardless that the context of this was for missionaries I think that this is something that we all can apply to our own lives like I was saying just a little bit ago even when we want to do the right thing sometimes we are put in a tough situation because the "spirit is will but the flesh is weak" sort of thing that is part of our design and that is why Heavenly Father gave us our agency so that we can choose and be tested as to what we do with our time and our lives here on Earth.

I also just want to make a quick side not to anyone that likes pineapple I have for sure had some really delicious pineapple since I have been here on my mission and I think that we had some of the best pineapple for lunch at my zone conference last week, it was so sweet and it was just perfect and I am so thankful for that. I eat just about any fruit, except for bananas of course which is sort of hard for the Filipinos to understand because most of the Filipinos basically grew up on bananas and I have only met a few Filipinos that do not really like bananas that much but that is okay I just tell that that most of my whole life I have not really eaten bananas which is true and then that is usually enough but of course there are some certain situation which to avoid offending someone sometimes you just have to put all emotions aside and just eat it even if you know that you wont like it you I have experienced that on occasion as well because here in the Philippines if you do not eat when food is placed before you the Filipinos (most especially the women) will get sort of anxious and they will get straight-up offended if you do not eat their food so that is not all bad but sometimes you just have to be on your guard but I have not had one dish here in the Philippines that I have not liked I eat anything but when it comes to bananas almost all bets are off. 

This upcoming week should be pretty smoother than last week and I am just so thankful for the chance that I have had to serve the people here in the Philippines, they are such a nice, faithful people there are not too many people here in the Philippines that have not yet met Jesus Christ and I just want to testify that Jesus Christ's church is here on the Earth hat this very moment and that is was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith I know that this happened for real and that it was all part of Heavenly Father's plan for all of us and because he loves us so much he has given us a prophet who at this time is Russell M. Nelson and I know that he is called of Gad just as I was to come here to the Philippines I have studied the words of President Nelson and I know that as we continue to follow the words of the prophets in the scriptures and the words of the living prophets we will not get lost in the world of confusion that we live in now and I know that what ever you are going through at this time in your life the Book of Mormon can help you I know that it is true and that is has answers to all of our questions and we just need to continue to read it and ponder on the words that are written on its pages and I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and he loves us so much that he sacrificed everything that he could for us so that in return if we are prepared when the time comes we can receive all that the Father has waiting for us in the next life. 

Love,
Elder Chilson    

   

Monday, June 11, 2018

Solid Work Week Again

Hello Everyone,

This past week was a pretty solid work week again, but I just want to share with you a little bit of an experience that I had this past weekend so we went out Saturday with a pretty strong focus to invite as many people to church as we could we brought invitations that we had made and we were pretty excited to see what would come about because of our efforts and once we left our apartment I feel like time just sped up big time me and Elder Teisina were just battling the clock all afternoon it was as if Satan did not want me and Elder Teisina to talk to anyone but we did all that was in our power to talk to as many people as well could we covered a lot of ground and we did our best with the time that we had and we invited many people to come to church and we thought that we had worked pretty hard and we were excited to see the results of our labors inside of the church the next day and that is where the miracle come in all of this so we got to church on Sunday and we did not see any of the people that we had visited the previous day but we did see two former investigators that come with one of my recent converts (newish member of the church) I thought to myself that was the answer to my prayers because me and Elder Teisina have been searching all over the place just to find people that Heavenly Father has prepared to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I think that was a miracle and a witness to me that no effort is wasted anyone who has served a mission before knows what I mean by this that the Lord is preparing the hearts of his people to receive his message and so we just have to be patient and help our friends prepare for that time. 

I would also just like to share a little going on with this about faith our faith in Jesus Christ is so important and not just because it is the first principle of the gospel but because if we do not have faith I think that our lives would be lonely, I have not yet seen Jesus Christ face to face but I know that he lives and has a resurrected body because of the faith that I have built up over time, sometimes we just need to put faith in Christ because sometimes we have no where else to turn sometimes there are things that we cannot do alone and we need the help of our Father in Heaven and that is where our faith is vital because everything revolves our our faith we cannot repent and be forgiven of our sins if we do not have the faith to be forgiven, as I have been here in the Philippines I have seen my faith grow in Jesus Christ and I have also seen other peoples faith grow as well because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I know that as we turn to the Lord in prayer he will send us many faith building experiences so that we build upon the faith that we have. As we continue to study the scriptures and listen to the words of the prophets and attend church I know that our faith will increase and we will draw nearer to our Father in Heaven and we will truly become more like him, his eyes will be our eyes, our thoughts will be his thoughts and we will continue to progress on the road of eternal progression that we are on that leads back to our heavenly home above with our Heavenly Father and our Savior and Redeemer even Jesus Christ.

I know that I am so blessed to have this opportunity to be a part of the work of the Lord here in the Philippines and I know that the missionaries cannot do this work alone I know that the missionaries need the help of the members so that we can all become one coordinated or so that we can work hand in hand in the work of the Lord and I know that as we continue to do our best to help others to Come unto Christ we will be blessed and helped by the Lord he will help us accomplish his work I know that we are not alone in this but that he wants to help all of his children come back and return to him so that they can all have eternal life and live forever with their families.

Love,
Elder Chilson           

Monday, June 4, 2018

English Class

Hello Everyone,

This week was another solid work week for me nothing that special happened, I am just working hard in helping other missionaries achieve their goals and to help them become better missionaries as well to the best of my ability I am of course far from perfect but I do my best in the leadership position that I have been asked to serve in. Sometimes being a leader is super fun and sometimes it would be more fun not to be the leader but to give all the responsibilities to someone else, but I know that Heavenly Father prepares us for the assignments and for the tasks that he gives us he will not send any of his children blindly into a situation that they cannot handle but he gives us experiences so that his children can learn and help other learn as well. I know that Jesus Christ set the perfect example for us when he was here on Earth was the a great teacher and I think one of the reasons why was because he know his students just that well, when you know what is in the hearts of your students and you know what they really need then you can teach them in accordance to exactly what they need in order to become successful. I know that Jesus Christ is our light even when sometimes we feel that we are stuck, there is no way out, we do not know where we should go or what we should do, when we feel lost of lonely he is there to help us every step of the way as long as we keep putting forth the effort the is required I know that we will be able to get out of any situation that we are in. We just have to keep trying we cannot give up in the face of Satan because that is what he wants, he wants us to think that we are tired, we have given our all (when in reality we have only given half) he wants us to give up and go home and hide. I know that whenever we are feeling this way all we have to do is stop what we are doing and say a prayer to our Father in Heaven and I know that he will hear us, I know that if we ask for help in faith it will come and we will be rescued and returned home safely so to speak to where we are supposed to be.

Also this week at the request of some members here in the Sipocot Branch this past week I started teaching an English Class so that has been an interesting experience because I would say that my English skills have sort of been diminished since I have been here in the Philippines speaking Tagalog/Bicol but in probably all of my areas I have helped people with English but this is the first time that I am teaching an official class, because the Filipinos most of the time like to take advantage of the chances that they have to learn English from Americans or Australians because they learn English in school but like any language if you do not use it you lose it so if they do not speak English at home then they will not really improve at it because most of the time they speak Tagalog/Bicol at home or whatever language their parents speak but that is just a quick little run down. I have been very happy to share all the talents that Heavenly Father has blessed me with since I have been serving my mission here in the Philippines. 

I am sure that most of you are busy with graduation plans or parties or working on summer plans or vacations and that is awesome that is what summer is for but the funny things is I am not sure if you guys are aware but the Filipinos school vacation just ended and they just went back to school so everywhere you go there is something different going on and there is always something new to learn even though I have been here in the Philippines for sort of a long time I have not stopped learning yet, just like with anything there is always more that we can learn and apply to our lives and I hope that whatever your plans are you stay safe and try to spend time with your family because that is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about it is preparing our families to become eternal in the new life and living together forever and I am so thankful for the knowledge that I have of that and for the countless chance that I have had to share that message with the people of the Philippines. 

Love,
Elder Chilson        

Monday, May 28, 2018

Solid Week

Hello Everyone, 

This week was a pretty solid week for me, nothing really huge happened but it was just a lot of consistent patient effort that I gave this week and as a result I have a short story to share with you. Yesterday I had an investigator come to church that I met roughly 2 months ago and I am going to call her Sarah (but her real name is not Sarah the name is not important) and a long while ago she used to be taught by Sister Missionaries that used to go to her house and taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she also went to church as well before and then she moved to sort of a far away place from the church so she lost contact with the missionaries but she had a strong desire to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ but over time it sort of faded because that is what happens over time but about 2 months ago another sister in my branch she gave Sarah's name to me and Elder Abrigo as a referral and so of course we went and contacted that referral and it turns out that she still had a Book of Mormon but the other things that the Sister Missionaries taught her before she sort of forgot but that we okay because me and Elder Abrigo started over and we helped her remember the things that the Sister Missionaries had taught he before and the best part is for about 2 months I have been going back and forth to her house and teaching her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how much our Father in Heaven loves us and last Thursday we went to her house and we taught here about Heavenly Father's Plan for her and it was a good lesson and our member present added a strong testimony as well and at the end Sarah prayed and she promised to Heavenly Father that she was going to come to church on Sunday and then we said great we will see you on Sunday and we left and then the best part is what happened yesterday so she came to church just as she promised and she did not only come to Sacrament Meeting but she came to church for the whole 3 hours and for me that was just a great blessing for me to see that the last 2 months of work was not just for nothing I know that Heavenly Father has a special plan for all of his children and so that is why I do not give up on Heavenly Father's children because I know that there is a time that is right for them for accepting the plan that Heavenly Father has for them and that is what I do as a missionary I just help his children know for themselves just how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love them because I know that he loves us all very much and I know that he will not lead us astray but he wants all of us to be able to return to him and all that he has prepared for us there.

I know that we are all here on Earth for a reason and that he has work for us to do and I know that as we search that out we will be able to know for ourselves through prayer and personal revelation what it is that our Father in Heaven would have us do. Prayer and personal revelation are two powerful tools that we have here on Earth along with the scriptures to really find out and know of a surety of the the love and the guidance that our Father in Heaven gives us. I know that Heavenly Father lives and loves and that Jesus Christ also lives and loves us and I know that as we continue to seek out or ask of God in prayer what it is that he wants or needs us to do he will tell us and he will help us accomplish all that he needs us too I am so thankful for this chance that I have to be able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all of Gods children here in the Philippines and I know that many blessings will come to all of us as we continually seek to follow Jesus Christ's example and become more like him so that we can be ready in preparation for when he comes again.

Love,
Elder Chilson        

Monday, May 21, 2018

My Brother Samuel

Hello Everyone,

So this past week we had transfers and Elder Abrigo got transferred and I got a new companion which means we now have a new Zone Leader as well here in the Pamplona Zone so that is very exciting because my new companion is Elder Teisina and he is from New Zeland and he is super nice I know him pretty well because he was part of the first group of missionaries that I met while I served in the Mission Office. We also have several new missionaries here in the Pamplona Zone and that is exciting as well even though it is really hot right now here in the Philippines we are still working hard and doing our best to fulfill our purpose as missionaries for the Lord.

This past week we had the National Day of Service here in the Philippines and  I was excited for that and we were able to provide some community service so to speak we worked with some of the members here in Sipocot and we cleaned up garbage along the roads and we also cleaned at the church as well we ended up cleaning some of the windows and and basically the outside of the church for me I just enjoyed being able to work with the members here in the Sipocot Branch all unified in one specific cause. Unity is something that is sometimes hard to find in a large group of people especially a lot of people coming from many different walks of life but I know that Heavenly Father sees us only one way as his children it is not important to him if we have to most expensive car or the largest house and we have a lot of ice cream stocked in our freezers what is important is that we love our neighbors we help them when they need help and we comfort them when they need it that is what Jesus did when he was here on Earth he helped those that were in and right now I would like to share a scripture from the Old Testament because I think that it will be a good reminder for all of us and this is one of my favorite scriptures in the Old Testament and it shares the name of my younger brother Samuel so of course that makes it special for me it is found in 1 Samuel chapter 16 verse 7 and it reads, "But the Lord said unto SamuelLook not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because have refused himfor the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on thoutward appearancebut the Lord looketh on the heart." I think that if everyone would remember this then we would have less problems here in the world and we would more easily be able to become like our Savior and Master Jesus Christ because Heavenly Father sees a lot more that we can that is something that I think I have gained more understanding about since I have been here on my mission that Heavenly Father's perspective is a lot broader and clear than our perspective so we need to continue to do our best to become like his son Jesus Christ so we can prepare to receive ultimately Eternal Life or the life that our Father in Heaven has I know that is what he wants for each and everyone of his children and I am once again so honored and blessed for the opportunity that I have received so that I can help his children become ready to return back to their Father in Heaven, I know that he loves us very much and that as we turn to him in prayer often he will come running to our aid and he will be there to help us and support us in whatever we might be going through at that time. 

Love,
Elder Chilson       

Monday, May 14, 2018

No Time to Waste

Hello Everyone,

Well time does not seem to be slowing down for me here in my mission because another transfer has passed I think that this past transfer was one of the fastest transfers of my mission since I have been here in the field me and Elder Abrigo worked hard this week we made a lot of progress with some of the people that we have been teaching about Jesus Christ and his gospel or Heavenly Father's Plan for all of his children here on Earth. All of the other missionaries in my zone are doing well also I feel that almost all of the missionary's work as well improved over this past week and I think that had to do with the zone fasting that we had this pasted week, after last week me and Elder Abrigo had a little chat about what some of the things that we can improve upon in the Pamplona Zone and we both agreed that we could have a zone fast in order for us to receive some spiritual strength and revelation so that we could find some more answers to some of the questions that we had about the people that we have been helping and teaching. This leads into miracles, something that we have been focusing on there in my mission is miracles and really taking the time to notice and give thanks to our Father in Heaven for the miracles that happen in our lives and especially in the lives of us as missionaries in the Lord's service. I know that the Lord's had is always never too far away from us I have seen his hand in my life countless times and that has not changed since I have been here in my mission I know that Heavenly Father loves and protects all of his missionaries wherever they are serving all over the world. 

I will also be receiving a new companion tomorrow because Elder Abrigo will be transferred tomorrow I do not know yet who my new companion will be but I ma not worried about that because I know that whoever it is is supposed to be here in Sipocot with me and I am sure that we will accomplish many great things together and for the record I have not yet had an American companion here in the mission field so I have had almost all Filipino companions in my mission thus far and I have had one companion that was from New Zeland so we will see what the Lord has in store for me I am just excited to work hard and go all out because I have no time to waste everyday for me is so important because they go by so fast but I know that Heavenly Father is mindful of me and I know that will accomplish what ever he needs me to because he will help me and I know that his Only Begotten Son even Jesus Christ loves us very much as well so much that he gave his life so that we all can have the chance to live again as well and I know that his atonement is real and powerful. Also a quick side note I was able to speak with my family again for the last time while I am here in the Philippines and they are doing well. I know that as we continue to do the things that Jesus would do if he were here then we will all prepare more fully to enter into the presence of our Heavenly Father when he is ready to call us back home.

Love,
Elder Chilson    


Last Skype with Elder Chilson from the Philippines 

Monday, May 7, 2018

Earthquake!

Hello Everyone, 

May has arrived so wherever you are that means that there should be Spring now except for where I am where summer started in March we sort of skipped over Spring here in the Philippines but that is okay there is not much that I can do about it I am just living it up under the sun day in and day out. This past week I saw that some prophecies were fulfilled to be exact it was Saturday afternoon roughly 1:30pm me and Elder Abrigo were outside in a forest type setting in the middle of a lesson and then I experienced for the first time in my life a real live Earthquake! Now please do not worry it was not a very big earthquake the Earth did not split open in two but I did feel the Earth shake beneath my feet and I was sort of taken off guard and Elder Abrigo told me that it was an earthquake and I was like wow this is cool and then he asked me if I felt it and I said yes I do and it was only like 5 minutes I think it was not very big but strong enough to feel it and I do not now if it was in the whole Philippines I think that it was only where I was at the time because I do not know if you are aware but I am close to a very large volcano the Mayon Volcano in Legazpi so that is what the people were saying here was because of the volcano the earthquake occurred as a result here in the Bicol Region and overall I though that it was an interesting experience. 

Now I said at the beginning that prophecies were fulfilled because when I entered the MTC in Manila that is what most of the leaders told us missionaries when we were there was that we should prepare for an earthquake because the Philippines was overdue I guess for an earthquake I am not real sure on the science behind all that but that is what they told us so I sat there thinking to my self wow I might be able to experience an earthquake while I am on my mission but what ended up happening was 2 Christmas ago we had the Super Typhoon and the last week the small earthquake occurred so that is what normally happens I guess when you live on islands the people here are pretty used to it the natural disasters do not phase them at all they just roll with whatever come but for me it has been pretty interesting for me especially me being a boy from New York where the only natural disaster that occurs is the occasional blizzard and ice storm and now I am here in the heat and opposite of snow, but I now that Heavenly Father is in control of it all and that he sent me here to the Philippines for reasons that I have discovered since I have been here and for other reasons that I probably will not find out until I return to America. 

I know that sometimes we need to exercise patience in the one who knows all I know that Heavenly Father knows each and everyone of his children perfectly and individually and he knows what we really need and what is best so sometimes we may feel that we are worthy of certain blessings and we will be expecting certain blessing to come to us but sometimes they do not come and sometimes we can ask ourselves over and over why this happened or why did we receive these results but I now that as we continue on the road that we are traveling on (the road that leads us back to our Father in Heaven) with faith in Christ and patience we will see the hand of the Lord in our lives and in time we will see the things that we could not see the first time if you now what I mean I know that as we always turn to our Father in Heaven in prayer he will come and comfort us and rescue us from whatever situation that we might be in and he will never leave us alone. 

Love,
Elder Chilson