Friday, December 30, 2016

Naga Mission Update

Dear Philippines Naga Mission Family,

This is to inform you that typhoon Nina has passed-by. All missionaries are safe and well accounted for.

We have visited those missionaries who cannot be contacted via cellphone  due to lost of signal. We have given them additional foods and potable drinking water.
It has been reported that there were some damages in their apartments and we will address those issues as soon as communication and travels are feasible .

The Bicol areas have no electricity at this time. It is projected that this will last for more than a week. Also, all areas do not have internet connectivity. So, you will not receive an email from your missionary for this reason.

Thank you very much for all your prayers. Rest assured that your missionary is in his or her finest condition. Sister Zapanta and I love them very much. Please continue encouraging them to be the best missionary they could ever be and to be the kind of missionary the Lord wants them to be.

Best regards,

President and Sister Zapanta

Sorry for the delayed information, we still do not have electricity and internet in most of our area. There are also some areas without cellphone signal at the moment and we are experiencing intermittent signal from time to time. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Typhoon Nina

Dear Philippines Naga Mission Family,   

I am writing to inform you that our mission will be impacted by typhoon Nina within the next few days. The Church has been observing this storm for days and has made numerous preparations for its arrival. Our mission is taking necessary precautions to prepare for the incoming storm.  The main track of typhoon Nina is projected to pass over the areas of the Bicol region including all of the areas in our mission. Current forecasts show that it will develop into a signal 3 typhoon and is projected to reach land early Sunday morning December 25, and will clear land by Monday.  All of our missionaries assigned in Camarines Norte will be evacuated to more secure locations on Saturday the 24th. Other areas in Camarines Sur will also be evacuated as needed.  Many missionaries will be moving and staying in more secure apartments in Daet, Iriga, Goa, Sipocot, and Naga.  These apartments are located in flood free areas and are away from the sea. These apartments are also strong structures and should withstand the typhoon. We have alerted all of them to store sufficient drinking water and food to last through Monday. They are advised to stay in their apartments from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon and later if needed.  We have sufficient food storage to meet their needs. Mission leaders will ensure that constant communication will be had between each missionary and the mission president to address any issues. We have confidence in our preparation.   Thank you very much for your concern and prayers. We pray that we will be safe and protected as the typhoon passes our mission this Christmas weekend.    

 President Tomasito S Zapanta

Monday, December 19, 2016

Happy Early Christmas

Hello Everyone and Happy Early Christmas,
Sorry I will not be able to see all of you for Christmas just my family but that will make it all the more special for when I return home I guess all the holidays that I missed will be filled with so much joy and all that (Sorry I could not think of another word) It is really weird now how Tagalog words come into my brain even before English words sometimes but I guess that goes to show that I am working hard and that I am embracing the culture and one of the many languages here in the Philippines. I cannot believe that me training is almost finished with as well two transfers are finished and I only have one more week of my training as a missionary in the field and then I will be a regular missionary in the field, not that I am not a regular missionary because I am but I am not really sure how else to describe it but it is awesome I cannot believe that this transfer is almost over it seems like I just got here in Camaligan still but that is not the case. I have really seen my progression though because like yesterday in church I can actually hold a conversation with members here in my branch as opposed to in my last area I could not really talk to the members it is so awesome and Elder Watene is awesome too we will probably be together for the next transfer because then he will go home because his mission will then be over and then nobody knows what will happen then basically anything. I also sang a musical number in sacrament mtg yesterday with Elder Watene we sang Away in a Manger and it was pretty good and we also went to Primary for Sing Time essentially not sure what it is called here in the Philippines because the Sister came up to us and asked if we could help he teach the primary children some Christmas Songs and of course we said yes so we did that. We also had a a day without power so that was fun too for various reasons they turn off the power in the town so to speak it is just what they do I guess not sure why if I find out I will let you know. I know that this church is true and that this Christmas Season is an opportunity to come to know the Savior and all that he has done for us and that he loves us sorry this is kind of short but we have our Mission Christmas Conference later so we are very busy but MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all 
With Much Love,
Elder Chilson           

 Eating at a local burger place
 Inside Elder Chilson's apartment
 The front of Elder Chilson's apartment
 These are pictures of a river.  

Monday, December 12, 2016

Fast Week

Hello Everyone,
This week went so fast no joke, I feel like I have been going very fast all day and my only time to take a break is when I get to lay my head down on the floor to sleep at night because we sleep on the floor here (in my last appt we had beds but in Camaligan we sleep on the floor) that is all good with me though I would prefer here in the Philippines that someone else slept in the bed that I would be sleeping in because really for me I do not need it that much other people here in the Philippines need a bed more than I do. 

Elder Watene and I have been working very hard though especially this Christmas Season we have been very busy helping people out and teaching and other missionary stuff like that but at the same time as always there are some challenges. For examples I had my first experience this past week with a sick companion I will only give you the short version but here goes, we got invited to a members house for some Krispy Kreme doughnuts and I was like oh yes!!!! those are the best!!!! (a member brought some back with him from when he went to Manila because they have Krispy Kreme in Manila) but they made Elder Watene very sick so he was fine until that evening and then we went to bed but about midnight he started throwing up no joke and then went on off and on till 2am no joke I was like what??? He threw up for 2 hours but that is the truth so the next day he mostly slept and so we stayed in that day and we did not work which was not that much fun for me obviously but it is not much fun anyways when you have a sick companion regardless but it was fine because I handled it as only a missionary can and that is with patience. Most of you probably know I am a pretty patient guy. 

This week was also probably a tougher week but that is because the Lord wants us to work harder maybe or Satan wants to try to see what he can do to us to make us stop fulfilling our calling as missionaries and stop the work from progressing but we know that there is nothing that he can do to stop me and Elder Watene here so we will just keep working. We also got to see the First Presidency Christmas Devotional Broadcast in Canaman so that was nice as well it made it feel more like Christmas for me because honestly it does not really feel like Christmas here in the Philippines because it is hot and no snow and all the Christmas Trees are fake but that is okay some people have Christmas lights but it is okay with me because for the Lord I can sacrifice what I need to for him because I know that the blessing will be some much greater for me and my family. I know that this work is the work of the Lord and this work is not just for missionaries alone but for all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints alike and that as we try our best to share the gospel we will be blessed I know this to be true. I wish you all the best from the Philippines this Christmas Season.
With Much Love,
Elder Chilson         

Monday, December 5, 2016

Happy December

Hello Everyone and Happy December,
I cannot believe that it is December now and 2016 is almost done but that is how the time seems to be moving it is crazy. But this week was a little different I was in a threesome for the first time we got a call Monday afternoon we were at the store buying food and Elder Watenen tells me that we are going to have another companion I thought he was joking becasue he jokes a lot but he wasnt we got Elder Valdez last Monday night and he has been with us for the last week it has just been temporary just for this week, he is getting transfered tomorrow so it is all good. It was pretty different though because he is Filipino so you guys can imagine having an American a Filipino and an Islander in a companionship that about covers all the nationalities of missionaries here in the Naga Mission for the most part. It was good we worked a lot as expected you can get more done with 3 missionaries but it also has it's hard ships as well but we worked though some of those but what people have said about threesomes is right that it is harder overall that if you are just in a twosome but sometimes that is what you have to do I cannot give that details why somethings happen but it just goes to show that what the mission president says is what you do that he is really called of God just like all the missionaries are to be here in the Naga Mission nothing is accidental it is all part of God's Plan for his children and that is not all made up but it has been carefully planned from the foundation of the world. President Zapanta is very cool him and his wife (Sister Zapanta) love the missionaries here so much you can just feel it in the way that they act and what they say they treat us as if we are their own children which is awesome when you have that kind of support form your missionpresident adn his family it just makes our work as missionaries so much easier so that is awesome as well. We are just going to keep working here in Camaligan the Branch here is getting close to be a ward I think so we are just wokring hard with investigators and less actives and such, I love this work and I know that it is the work that I am supposed to be doing right now for the Lord so I will keep working hard and giving my best.
With Much Love,
Elder Chilson