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      

j
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            

Monday, December 4, 2017

New Companion

Hello Everyone,

This was another very interesting week for me. So first off on Wednesday I found out who my new companion was and it is Elder Denoy he is a Filipino and he is from around Letye which is in the Philippines Tacloban Mission and he is really cool, I think that I am really going to enjoy training him. We have started things off great we have a new area a new District Leader (That is Me) we have awesome Recent Convert Members that work with us which is great as well everything seems to be rolling in the right direction for us right now in Paracale. I did get to do some fun things as well this week like carrying a bag of wet sand up a mountain that was a very interesting experience. I had never gone up into the mountains here in the Philippines yet like I did last Saturday and it was a lot of fun the life up in the mountains is a lot different than the life in the cities or towns but if that is the kind of lifestyle that you want to have than I would say go for it. They do not really have electricity up in the mountains here so that can be difficult but sometimes you have to make sacrifices would you rather have electricity or would you rather have food? Those are some of the things that people in Paracale are facing sometimes it is very hard to find a job and keep a job for a long period of time so obviously that can be difficult when you are trying to support a family.

The members here in Paracale are very nice and they are willing to give ans sacrifice so much which I think is awesome especially when me and Elder Denoy are pretty new to an area the help from the members is a huge help and I will be indebted to them I am sure, but we also had 7 investigators at church yesterday and I thought that was pretty good considering we did not get to work as much last week as we wanted to because we spent a lot of our time traveling at the beginning of the week because Paracale is pretty far away from Naga City, I am basically up in the Gold Fields so to speak because most of the people here in Paracale mine gold and that is their job and it is not an easy thing to do but I can say that I have see real gold but I hope to have some baptisms pretty soon and I can assure you that to that will be of greater worth to me than any amount of gold that someone could place before me.   

I just want to leave you with this that I know that be obedient even though it is hard to do in the world that we live in today will be of more greater worth in the next life to come like President Monson said I believe that we need to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong. Our Father in Heaven is counting on us to make the right choices especially when we are faced with adversity. Satan wants us to throw in the towel and say I give up let me just commit this little sin and no one will find out but that is wrong we need to stand up and tell Satan to take a seat and tell him that he is not going to control our lives I know that can be very difficult sometimes and I have struggled with that as well from time to time but I know that as we continue to stay rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ we cannot go wrong and I hope that we all continue to draw nearer to our Savior Jesus Christ this Christmas Season

Love,
Elder Chilson  

Monday, November 27, 2017

Paracale Branch

Hello Everyone,

A lot of crazy stuff happened this week, what I said last week about me getting emergency transferred was just the beginning of it, so I got here to Paracale on Wednesday and then me and Elder Mauigoa got right to work, he is really nice he is originally from Samoa but he has also spent some time in the USA so I was really excited to be able to work with him so the day before I got here Elder Mauigoa had some investigators that just passed their Baptismal Interviews so we had some baptisms lined up for Saturday which was very exciting but the catch was that there had to be a wedding first because some of the people that were going to get baptized they had to get married first (that is sort of a common thing here in the Philippines most people when they want to get married they do not have enough money to get married so they just sort of look past that and the husband and wife just live together and they act as if they are married but they are legally are not yet married) So most of this past week I spent a lot of time with Elder Mauigoa getting the wedding and baptismal preparations done so there was a lot of paperwork involved with the marriage contracts and the fact that this was going to be a civil wedding me and Elder Mauigoa went back and forth from the city hall to make sure that everything was done right. It was also really nice that we had a lot of help from the members here in the Paracale Branch they helped out a lot with the wedding and I also got asked to sing at the wedding so that was I guess an honor and I sang a song at their wedding as well and provided the other music for the wedding and the baptism as well and everything went well with the baptism as well this week we had a total of 8 people baptized this past from my district here in Paracale in the Daet Zone. 

I would say that my adjustment here to the Daet Zone was pretty smooth this is the first time that I have been assigned out of the Naga Stake so things are for sure different here in the Daet Zone or the Daet Stake but I have traveled up here many times before when I was in the office so I am pretty familiar with everything up here in Daet so there were not that many surprises up here which was nice as well. My appt is pretty nice sometimes we do not have running water so that is tough but we save water throughout the day so that we do not run out of water so Paracale is one of the farthest area in the mission so I am very far away from the mission home now which is different but it is nice here as well in Paracale because I am close to the coast and beach and there are also a lot of mountains here as well so I have rural areas and areas in the city here in Paracale.

Also we had transfers last night so I found out that Elder Mauigoa is actually getting transferred tomorrow and I actually found out that I am going to be the new DLT here in the Paracale District so that means that I am going to be the new DL or District Leader here in Paracale and I am also going to be a Trainer as well at the same time so that means I am training a new missionary that is coming into the mission on Wednesday so that is exciting as well so that will be a different experience for me but I am excited because the members are very nice here in Paracale but at the same time it might be tough because I have only been here in Paracale for 6 days now so I am still learning the area but I know that my Mission President and my Heavenly Father have faith in me that I can do it so I am excited for what lies ahead of me and I hope that everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a Happy Thanksgiving as well. 

Love,
Elder Chilson      

Monday, November 20, 2017

Final Tour

Hello Everyone,

This past week was my last week in the mission office and it was for sure one to remember. This past week I was able to travel to every zone in the mission which is something that is not done very often, but that was I guess my final tour so to speak because I found out today to my surprise that I am going to be transferred out of the office now and I will be transferring to Paracale an area in the Daet Zone this is arguable the furthest area away from the mission home in the mission. So this is going to be a huge change for me because as most of you know I have been in the Naga Stake for all of my mission up to this point so I am pretty excited to see how things are in different area of the mission, I know a lot of people and members in the Naga area so that is going to be a little different getting to know new people but I am sure that I will get used to it, Paracale is a town basically on the beach, it is on the coast of the ocean so I think that will be exciting and for sure a different experience than here in the office where it is all concrete walls that I see. 

Change is a big part of our lives here on Earth and a fancy word for change is repentance and so at this time I just thought that I would add in that I know that repentance is a gift that we have been given from our Heavenly Father to be able to change so that we do not have to be the same person our whole lives, but that we can change and become better that whatever mistakes we made yesterday they become wiped away because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I know that the power of the Atonement is real and I have a testimony of that.

On another side note, some of you probably remember that I was diagnosed with Dengue a few months ago there were two missionaries from the Goa Zone that were diagnosed with Dengue this past week as well so that was interesting to sort of being on the other end of that and I was able to help out in the hospital and with other things for those sick missionaries and that was a great experience, service I also know is a universal principle and that something that we should all be a part of especially as the Christmas Season is drawing near, we are celebrating Christ's birth after all for me it just makes sense that we should be doing the things that he did while he was here on the Earth like I mentioned last week the miracles, the "being a friend" type of moments, the putting others first before himself sort of mentality, the care, the love, and support that he gave to other people was just so great that we cannot even really comprehend it all but I know that he lived here on Earth for a time and completed his mission and then his father called him back home so he came out of the tomb and rose on the third day and then ascended into heaven after he had performed all his labors, that was then he received his crown of glory I know that can be the same for all of us as well that after this life there are many mansions waiting for us and we will be able to inherit all that Heavenly Father has in store for us. I hope that everyone who is celebrating Thanksgiving has a very Happy Thanksgiving and that they have the opportunity to watch a lot of football and they get to spend a lot of time with their family or friends. 

Love,
Elder Chilson      



   

Monday, November 13, 2017

He is the Light

Hello Everyone,

Oh how has the time flown by you blink for a quick second and you look up and it is November, the month of October went by pretty fast for me. This week was just a lot of balancing schedules because the things that I thought were going to happen did not happen as they were planned to so I had to adjust, but things worked out in the end. I did take a trip up to Lagonoy this past week and I picked up the refrigerator that I took up there a few months ago now I think because I got their refrigerator fixed so they did not need the temporary refrigerator anymore so that was fun. Everything else went pretty smooth in the office even with the changes in the schedule, I thought that I was pretty good at being flexible before I came out on my mission but I think that I have gained a deeper level of that since I have been here on my mission because things happen so quick sometimes and sometimes you have to adjust your schedule whether you want to or not because as a missionary there are so many different people that you have to rely on as a missionary because you have all of the missionaries in the mission and then all of the leaders in the wards or branches where you serve and then your investigators and the random people that you meet on the street everyday so nevertheless there are a lot of people that you have a to coordinate with as a missionary and the things that I have noticed is if the missionaries are not on top of their schedule then things usually do not go as planned so especially here in the Philippines because the church structure is not quite as firm as it is in America but there are so many other great things here in the Philippines that make up for that. 

This past week was awesome for me because yesterday I had some investigators that came to church all by themselves and that for me is one of the most rewarding feelings because it shows that the investigators are coming to church because they want to come to church and not because the missionaries want them to come to church and it also shows that they are keeping their commitments and that they are moving on their path towards conversion and the missionaries are not dragging them on their path to conversion that is one of the things that I am not fond of is when missionaries go in and extend commitments or ask the investigators to do things that they are not capable at the moment I feel that a lot of patience and love is required in missionary work and sometimes that might be lacking I know that I have talked about this before but I know that it is true. 

We also were able to find and teach a new family this week too so that is exciting and I hope that we will be able to find more whole families because here where I am serving now it is difficult to find men or husbands or future priesthood holders because usually they are working or just too busy trying to support for their families so that is something that is really special when you have an opportunity to teach a whole family all at one time. I know that the missionary work that I am a part of right now is not only helping the people of the Philippines but I have also learned and experienced many things that I otherwise probably would not have and I know that this work is the work of the Lord and I know that as we continue to find ways to share the gospel we will feel of the Holy Ghost and we will know that what we are doing is right and it is not hard everyone needs to hear the gospel message so just look for opportunities and go for it and have fun believe me missionary work is fun and anyone who has not yet had a chance to participate in it all you have to do is be the best example of the Savior that you can be it is that easy. 

Love,
Elder Chilson         

Monday, November 6, 2017

Balancing

Hello Everyone,

Oh how has the time flown by you blink for a quick second and you look up and it is November, the month of October went by pretty fast for me. This week was just a lot of balancing schedules because the things that I thought were going to happen did not happen as they were planned to so I had to adjust, but things worked out in the end. I did take a trip up to Lagonoy this past week and I picked up the refrigerator that I took up there a few months ago now I think because I got their refrigerator fixed so they did not need the temporary refrigerator anymore so that was fun. Everything else went pretty smooth in the office even with the changes in the schedule, I thought that I was pretty good at being flexible before I came out on my mission but I think that I have gained a deeper level of that since I have been here on my mission because things happen so quick sometimes and sometimes you have to adjust your schedule whether you want to or not because as a missionary there are so many different people that you have to rely on as a missionary because you have all of the missionaries in the mission and then all of the leaders in the wards or branches where you serve and then your investigators and the random people that you meet on the street everyday so nevertheless there are a lot of people that you have a to coordinate with as a missionary and the things that I have noticed is if the missionaries are not on top of their schedule then things usually do not go as planned so especially here in the Philippines because the church structure is not quite as firm as it is in America but there are so many other great things here in the Philippines that make up for that. 

This past week was awesome for me because yesterday I had some investigators that came to church all by themselves and that for me is one of the most rewarding feelings because it shows that the investigators are coming to church because they want to come to church and not because the missionaries want them to come to church and it also shows that they are keeping their commitments and that they are moving on their path towards conversion and the missionaries are not dragging them on their path to conversion that is one of the things that I am not fond of is when missionaries go in and extend commitments or ask the investigators to do things that they are not capable at the moment I feel that a lot of patience and love is required in missionary work and sometimes that might be lacking I know that I have talked about this before but I know that it is true. 

We also were able to find and teach a new family this week too so that is exciting and I hope that we will be able to find more whole families because here where I am serving now it is difficult to find men or husbands or future priesthood holders because usually they are working or just too busy trying to support for their families so that is something that is really special when you have an opportunity to teach a whole family all at one time. I know that the missionary work that I am a part of right now is not only helping the people of the Philippines but I have also learned and experienced many things that I otherwise probably would not have and I know that this work is the work of the Lord and I know that as we continue to find ways to share the gospel we will feel of the Holy Ghost and we will know that what we are doing is right and it is not hard everyone needs to hear the gospel message so just look for opportunities and go for it and have fun believe me missionary work is fun and anyone who has not yet had a chance to participate in it all you have to do is be the best example of the Savior that you can be it is that easy. 

Love,
Elder Chilson         

Monday, October 30, 2017

Almost All the Zones

Hello Everyone,

This week was another good week here in the office. I worked on a lot of different tasks this week. I spent a lot of time this week ordering and gathering new supplies for this new transfer and then me and the missionary that I am training right now in the office filled a lot of orders for the missionaries here in my mission and of course I did a lot of driving again I went to Calabanga, Buhi, most of the Goa Zone, and Libmanan so I almost got to cover all of the zones in the mission and that was fine the driving was pretty smooth at least as smooth as it can be with traffic here in the Philippines, In Libmanan we helped them move to their new appt so me and Elder McNabb went and helped them move and that was a lot of fun because I got to work with Elder Johnson and this missionary is a character, he is really funny and he likes football as well which is a big help just another quick pieace of information about Elder Johnson is that he never wears socks so you can point him out from a long ways away and he is also the tallest missionary right now in the Philippines Naga Mission at 6'5'' but at the same time he is really nice. 

Also I went to hospital twice this past week for my companion, Elder De SIlva because he got sick, he is doing well though now, the medicine seems to be working it is just sort of strange that me and Elder De Silve have both gotten sick since we have been here in the office and both on accounts of us not really expecting it which is usually the case in most instances when it comes to illnesses. So far the rainy season here in my mission has not been very serve today it was very hot I thought and the rain never came which is interesting because I thought that it was going to rain. Also here in the Philippines there is a big holiday here on Wednesday, where all the Filipino's go to the cemeteries and they worship their family members that have pasted on from this life into the next one and they call it "All Saints Day" and they usually have big parties in the cemeteries there is nothing that I know of like in America last year if you recall when I was in Calabanga we went and visited some of the cemeteries as well because that was where all the people were at the time. 

Also Elder Haynie of the Philippines Area Presidency is coming here to Philippines Naga Mission to visit this week so I had to take care of some preparations for that and everything should be all set, Elder Haynie was here last March I think it was for Stake Conference so that is exciting as well. I know that revelation is a real thing and that the windows of heaven are open and that anyone who seeks to know the will of God will find it and then they will know what to do and how they can become more like their Savior and I know that the Holy Ghost is the real teacher and if we let it work within us then we will know the things that we must do in order to receive eternal life and how we can be with our families together forever. I also played basketball again today adn I have not played real basketball in a few months now that I have been here in the office and it was fun, something that I missed for sure so that was a lot of fun as well to have another chance to play again maybe we will play again next week I will keep you posted next week. 

Love, 
Elder Chilson            

Monday, October 23, 2017

Crazy Week

Hello Everyone,

This week was a week that did not go as it was planned to and no one saw it coming. So this week was another transfer week for me in the Mission Office so it was crazy, but this transfer week was a little bit crazier than it usually first off it was crazy because there were new missionaries that moved into the office and there were two missionaries that moved out of the office Elder Golez and Elder Miller and that caused for me to make some adjustments because me and Elder Golez and Elder Miller had worked together for 6 months together so had many opportunities to become close friends and it was definitely not by accident that the three of us were together for 6 months because my companion changed 3 months through while I have been here in the Mission Office regardless Elder Miller is really funny I really enjoyed working with him and I was at first a little nervous because he was from UT so I thought that our personalities were going to clash and we were going to have disagreements but that was not the case we got along just fine and Elder Golez as well I was not really sure how things were going to work out because Elder Golez is more of a quiet reserved kind of guy but now we are close friends I would totally let him come over to my house in NY if her ever gets the opportunity Elder Golez is awesome and now I wish him the best now that he is home now I hope that I get to see him again sometime. The new missionaries that are here in the Mission Office now as well are cool too and they are doing well also. 

Then after transfers we had to deal with the arrivals and departures or the missionaries that were going home and the new missionaries that were coming into the mission. We took the missionaries to the airport to get on their flight to go to Manila in the morning and we were there from like 8am to 1pm and then we got word that the plane went back to Manila from Naga because what happened was that the plane came for real from Manila to Naga but because of the rain the plane was not able to land so all the flights ended up being canceled so that was not much fun so we got all the luggage gathered up and we took everyone back to the Mission Office and then I got word from President Zapanta that they were just going to take a bus from Naga City to Manila so that is what we did we put them on a but so got to Manila so they got on a bus and they went and got to Manila about midnightish because it is about a 8hr-10hr bus ride from Naga City to Manila or a 1hr plane ride so you can see the picture now and then the Area Office also gave word that the new missionaries also took a bus and they bused all night and they got here about 4am on Thursday morning so of course I was among those that went to go pick up the new missionaries at the bus terminal so that was I did not sleep much at all that night but that was okay then on that same day I got called onto a Medical Emergency in Del Gallego so I was happy that I was able to help out with that situation as well this week was really busy that is for sure. 

Also I took a trip to Daet so I drove about 500KMS this past week so that was fun and I also spent sometime sewing this past week as well so my Mom would be proud I sewed/fixed one of my white shirts this past week because there pocket ripped some on it and I was really not sure what I was going to be able to do with it but I just put some needle and thread to it and it looks okay so I was pretty excited about that but I still have not figured out how to sew on a button to one of my white shirts but it is okay I am not really in any hurry at the moment and for me, it is just strange here in my mission right now for me to be one of the older missionaries now in my mission as in that I have been here in my mission now for more months that most of the others and I just remember being new and not knowing anything and now I have seen myself teaching and helping other missionaries with different language and cultural questions that they have just like I had other missionaries helping me when I first got here in my mission. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and I know that as we continue to read it we will find answers to our questions and we will  feel of the love that the Savior has for all of us. 

Love,
Elder Chilson    

Monday, October 16, 2017

Another Interesting Week

Hello Everyone,

This week was another interesting week for me, because I spent half of the week in Bato again on a temporary assignment and the other half in the office preparing for the upcoming transfer. So there was not really a whole lot that happened this week that was super interesting, I did some traveling, I traveled the whole Iriga Zone this past week and delivered some supplies to them and then I just spent the other time that I had in the office getting ready for the new missionaries that will be coming this transfer and the missionaries that are going home and things like that. Also this is my last week with the older office staff because the other missionaries that I have been serving with in the office are either going home or transferring to other areas so Elder Miller and Elder Golez are leaving the office and there are new missionaries that have now taken their places so things will be different now in the office because I served just about the last 6 months with them and so now I will be the longest missionary working in the mission office which is a weird feeling as well but the other new missionaries that are working now in the office are really nice too so that is good as well. 

Then I went to Bato this past week again and I worked there in the place of the missionary that was sick, me and Elder Daroy had fun again and we walked a lot but we had some pretty good lessons as well. Also while I was there in Bato they had a "Zone Fasting" so that was fun that I got to be part of that I fasted to help the Iriga Zone achieve their Zone Goals for the upcoming month and I got to work some as well in Cararayan some as well and me and Elder De Silva a surprise yesterday morning when we went to go pick up our investigators for church we had at least one investigator that we were pretty sure was going to come to church and then to our surprise she had a friend with here that just decided to come to church as well, someone that we had never met mind you, so I know at least from my own experience that anyone who knows little or not much at all about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and they come to church for the full 3 hours, they have to have some faith of some kind because I know a lot of people that would not be interested in coming to church for 1 hour let alone 3 hours so hopefully that is something that me and Elder De Silva will be able to build off of and hopefully strengthen the faith that she has and create something bigger like a testimony and a desire to be baptized into Jesus Christ's church here on the Earth. 

Something that has been on my mind this week that I would like to share for a second is charity. For those of you who are not very familiar with the word charity, it is just a fancy word for love or the pure love of Christ as mentioned in the Book of Mormon and I just wanted to share that I know that charity is a real attribute of Christ and that we can develop it ourselves to the best of our abilities here in this live, as we really give it our all to seek Jesus Christ, our Savior as we turn to him and as we learn about him as it gradually draws nearer to Christmas, I know that we can really become more like him in this life even though that we are not perfect we can always try and I know that our efforts will be rewarded on the other side of the vale because I know that there are angels keeping records in heaven for us of all of our works here on Earth. I know of charity and its power to change hearts, I that it can if we truly to desire to become more like Christ then we can apply the Christ-like attribute of charity to our lives and have the worldly desires of our hearts changed to the desires that the Lord has in store for us.     

Love,
Elder Chilson             

Monday, October 9, 2017

Bato

Hello Everyone,

This week was a pretty busy but smooth one because I had a lot of different conferences that I attended among other things so it was not very hard to make my schedule this week it was pretty much dictated to me by my "real" calendar. So at the beginning of this past week I accepted a temporary assignment in "Bato" which is an area in the Iriga Zone, and I was there for a few days because a missionary who is normally there had to spend some time in Naga because of his illness so that was fun I got to work with Elder Daroy in Bato and we enjoyed our time working there together and while I was there I got to meet a future missionary she leaves in 18 days and she is from Bato so that was sort of weird for me because I have no idea how it will be when I get back to American because I am still not even sure if this is all real sometimes that I am really serving my mission right now but anyways we were also to have a service project as well while I was there in Bato and that was fun too we got to cut grass with "itaks" again of the machete like things and that is always fun.  

Then when I got back from Bato I had Zone Conference so I went to that and that was uplifting and awesome as Zone Conferences are in my mission and then Sister Zapanta wanted to decorate the mission office for Christmas so we did that as well this week and then we had General Conference as well this past weekend so that was very good as well and what was funny for me about the General Conference for me was that was exactly what I was doing one year ago because my first ever Sunday here in the Philippines was when I attended the October 2016 General Conference and then this past week I attended the October 2017 General Conference so that was another eye opening experience I guess you could say I have been here in the Philippines now for a while which is very crazy for me to think about as well and how that Christmas will be here before we know it as well. We also spent a lot of time this week in Cararayan finding new investigators or new people to teach so that of course creates its challenges and exciting opportunities as well so, we have been working on that as well I think that there is some potential in the new people that we found this past week so hopefully they will be able to come to church this upcoming week. Also me and Elder Miller made a coconut cake this morning

Not one quote stuck out to me this week from General Conference but I would just say that the overall theme of the Book of Mormon and the talks that were about the Book of Mormon stuck out to me and how the Book of Mormon is really what keeps The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints together especially Elder Nelson and Elder Callister's talks about the Book of Mormon I thought that was very powerful and I guess in addition to what they said I invite everyone and anyone to read the Book of Mormon it will change your life for the better I know this because I have experienced that while I have been serving my mission here in the Philippines and even before my mission the Book of Mormon will lead you down path of repentance and because of the atonement of Jesus Christ you can be spiritually healed and have desires to follow the Savior Jesus Christ and become one of his true disciples and become all that your Heavenly Father wants you to be. I know these things to be true I know that the Book of Mormon was not created randomly by Joseph Smith like some people may claim but it was an ancient record that was preserved for a time until Heavenly Father knew that we were ready for it so he called Joseph Smith help make his plan become a reality and Joseph Smith was just an instrument in his hands and that he translated the Book of Mormon so that everyone can read and feast upon its words and that is my invitation to everyone that will read my message is to find a copy of the Book of Mormon that is not that hard to do just find Missionaries or ask someone who is a Mormon and they will find you a free copy and to all of you who are reading the Book of Mormon right now continue to do so because I know that it will be well with you in the Lord's timing.

Love,
Elder Chilson       

Monday, October 2, 2017

A Lot of Kilometers

Hello Everyone,

This week was a lot of kilometers and going with the flow, this week I did a lot of traveling this week because this past week here in the Philippines was like a National Family Week type of things so there were a lot of different activities that happened and the other Office Elders and I were pretty busy this week with various schedules and making sure that we were where we were supposed to be at the same time. So in short last week most of us were in Daet because of various activities including the Art Show so I am not sure if you remember but a few months ago now we had an Art Show here in Naga Stake and I thought that it went pretty well so Sister Zapanta has been working it out so that we can have that throughout the whole mission so this past week we had another one in the Daet Stake and I thought that is went pretty well there as well, but as with most big events there is always a sigh of relief when it is over as well and this would be the case for me as well there was a lot of preparations and other things that I did to help the even go smoothly and of course I was more than happy to help but at the same time things can get a little crazy at times but I think that is when we really grow and learn, it is through the crazy times. 

I cannot believe as well that it is October now, football season is well underway and basketball season is coming soon this is a great time of year, one of my favorite times of the year I might add, and here in the Philippines it is great too a reminder I guess from last year because I probably discussed this as well when I got here in the Philippines is that I have been listening to Christmas music now for over a month now literally when it hit September 1st everything Christmas had now begun so that is why sometimes my brain gets a little confused because I just had my birthday and now it is Christmas? Or like there is no snow and it is still hot so in my head it is hard for me to comprehend that it is really getting close to the Christmas Season but according to the calendar it is so that is what I follow. This upcoming week I have zone conferences again and some other activities so it will be a pretty busy week again for me but I am pretty used to that now.

We also had some success this past week in finding some new investigators which was exciting but they were not able to come to church so that is something that me and Elder De Silva will be focusing more on this week is the coming to church and how we can continue to help the Naga 3rd Ward progress in their quest for building Zion here in Naga in preparation for the coming for Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer and of course that is not easy but I know that with the Lord's help all things are possible. I know that missionary work is a work that requires everyone, every able body, the elderly, the young, the inexperienced, the learned, the wise, those of little faith ad those of great faith, I know that the Lord needs you. Whether you think that you are qualified or not matters now what matters is that you have a desire help Heavenly Father's children come back to him that is what is important, it is about where our heart is and how we can align our will with God's I know that this can be difficult sometimes but I know that it is possible when we seek out the guidance of the Holy Ghost through scripture study, prayer, and fasting that we will be able to accomplish all that our Heavenly Father has for us with our time here on Earth.

Love,
Elder Chilson   

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Exterminator

Hello Everyone,

This week was a pretty busy week again for me but I really enjoyed it, there were a lot of different things that happened so I will share a few examples of what happened in a little detail. On Tuesday I had an opportunity to be an exterminator for some sister missionaries because they were having some rodent and cockroach problems in their apartment, so of course I took some action I bought some rat traps and me and Elder Miller sprayed some of the areas that were infested with cockroaches in their apartment and in the process of that me and Elder Miller stumbled upon the rodent that was pestering the sister missionaries that lived in their apartment and so identified but that was the first step, then for his large size (his tail was a good 8 inches so that should give you an idea) he was pretty fast to me and Elder Miller chased him the length of the living room in the sisters apartment about 3 or 4 times and then me and Elder Miller cornered the rodent and captured it and disposed of it in a manner so that the rodent will never return to the sister missionaries apartment and then we disposed of the other cockroach-infested things as well. 

Then Wednesday, I went to Iriga to be part of a moving crew again because there were some sister missionaries that were moving apartments so I went and helped them all of their stuff and get settled in to their new apartment, then on Thursday I ran a lot of errands and took care of some other things at the office. Then Friday after my District Meeting I went to Iriga again with Elder McNabb this time to help Elder and Sister Hansen with some projects that they were working on for some upcoming activities and we also installed some curtain rods their as well upon a request that was made by a set of sister missionaries as well, Then Saturday I went to Daet with Elder Golez to deliver some equipment for the upcoming art show that we have this upcoming week in Daet and I made some other deliveries as well and I enjoyed that trip and then yesterday I went to Daet as well and I helped out/was the designated driver for some activities that my mission had going on in Daet and it does not end there Daet is about 2 hours away from Naga so you can imagine me going back and forth and this upcoming week as well there are other activites that are going on here in the mission because right now in the Philippines that have what they call "A Family Week Celebration" so throughout the Philippines there are a lot of activities and events going on in support of strong families here in the Philippines because sometimes that is an issue of concern here in the Philippines because every family here has different needs and circumstances.

I know that this is the work of the Lord, I have been given countless opportunities to serve the people of the Philippines and I have loved every minute, I know that I will be given many more opportunities because that is one of the reasons that Heavenly Father has asked me to come and serve the people of the Philippines unto which I accepted with an open heart because I know that this service is not only be recorded here on Earth but in heaven as well that I may have 2 years in earthly time to be here and serve the people of the Philippines full-time but I know that there is more to come this is not the end nor the beginning, I know that Heavenly Father has a bigger plan for all of us regardless of what anyone might say or believe, I know that this is true and that God's Plan of Happiness is for all of his children and I encourage all of you to share that good news with everyone that meet in the various opportunities that you have in daily life and that you will feel of the love and joy that come with that and see the change that will come into your life and the lives of others around you as well. 

Love,
Elder Chilson       

Monday, September 18, 2017

Birthday Week

Hello Everyone,

This week was another great week, even though it was a busy week. A lot happened this week and a lot of it surrounded what they call "PenaFrancia Fiesta" here in Naga City so this whole week they had a lot of different events like parades, processions, parties and things like that I would say that is sort of like New Years or the 4th of July back home but this is all Catholic Religion based mostly centered on Mother Mary (The Mother Jesus) so there were a lot of roads closed around Naga City this week so it made it hard to get around in cars but I made it through some pretty tough situations which was nice in the van sometimes it would take me one hour to go not very far distances (distances that would normally take me 15mins or 20mins) the traffic was that bad I had never experiences traffic that bad in my whole life but it was a fun experience nevertheless. There were several parades that went in front of the office that were very loud that had loud marching bands that would assemble at 6am so that was a fun wake-up call as well but overall I am glad to have experienced the PenaFrancia Fiesta here in Naga City.

This week as well I was able to get back to some of my roots here in the Philippines and as far as my roots I mean manual labor. Anyone who knows me pretty well knows that I enjoy working hard and to do manual labor for other people. That is what I was able to do this week for other missionaries because we had 3 areas that moved houses this week they were in Tinambac, Pili and in Canaman and so I was able to help move their things by loading them into the van and then by unloading the van and helping them get situated into their new houses, needless to say I did a lot of lifting this week of various objects and,  I also did a fair amount of driving as well and I went to Del Gallego as well to deliver supplies. 

This week was also my birthday week and I cannot believe that I will not have another birthday in the mission and that a year ago now I was in the Provo MTC it seems like that was much longer ago, but I enjoyed my birthday I actually got up at 5am on my birthday and I went to Del Gallego for a little adventure and made some deliveries and I had cake that Elder Miller made, and I opened my gifts and such so it was a special day in some respects but in all other aspects I was just another day I still went out to work in Cararayan as well and we found some new investigators as well that have potential. The funniest thing was for me at the Mission Home last night I had a special dinner over there for my birthday and there was cake and all that and Zander (The Zapanta's youngest child) just kept asking why there was the number 20 candles in the middle of the cake he did not quite understand that it was birthday but it was still pretty cute. This upcoming week should be pretty busy as well and I cannot believe that September is now half over now time is going by so fast so we need to embrace every moment that we have on this Earth because the various opportunities that we get there is a good chance that they might not becoming around a second time, just live life for all that it is worth and we will receive many great blessings from our Heavenly Father in the many mansions that have been prepared for us.

Love,
Elder Chilson


 



Birthday Dinner at President and Sister Zapanta's      

Monday, September 11, 2017

Another Transfer Week

Hello Everyone,

This week was another whirlwind for me because it was another transfer week but things went pretty smoothly again so that was good there were only 9 of them that went home so they all fit into the van so that was nice and nothing crazy ridiculous happened either which was good even though there plane was late but what else is new. The new missionaries that just came in are pretty cool as well it is so weird for me to think of myself as an older missionary in the Philippines Naga Mission because sometimes I think of myself as still a missionary that has not been out for a very long time but that is not the case especially after I look back at all of the new batches of missionaries that I have picked up from the airport that is what gets me. Other than transfers I have just been keepoing busy with other things that have been going on in the office mostly getting caught up on a few things because of most of last week I was in San Fernando with Elder Gatewood but I got all of those things taken care of, all of my reports in, deliveries and other miscellaneous tasks taken care of. 

I traveled some as well this week some for deliveries and some for emergencies. I went to Tinambac and Goa twice for both places this week once on official business and then another time in place of President Zapanta on emergency missionary business but do not worry everything is taken care of now I was just happy to be in the position where I was able to out in the ways that I did and make President Zapanta's life easier as the Mission President. That is one of the big reasons that I am here in the Mission Office anyways is to help my Mission President and make his life easier because he cannot do everything for the whole mission by himself so that is why I am here as part of his office staff to help out in anyways that I can. 

Sister Zapanta always talks about how service is a great opportunity the Lord and his children but at the same time that it is such a special opportunity to serve those that serve Lord full-time (Missionaries) those kind of opportunities do not come that often to everyone so I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for this opportunity that I had to serve the Missionaries of the Lord this has been an amazing experience and it has opened my eyes as well to how much it really takes to run a mission and it just amazes me how I have seen President Zapanta balance his Mission President responsibilities as well as his family responsibilities as well I already love President Zapanta very much but at the same time he just takes things on to another level that just solidifies my testimony that his is a man called of God to carry the assignment of Mission President here in the Philippines Naga Mission and I cannot deny that.

Also right now in Naga they have what they call the PenaFrancia and it is just like this big festival that they have for the whole month of September here in Naga City so they have lots of carnivals and parades and things like that as sort of a celebration and there are a lot of Catholic traditions incorporated in as well and it has also been raining a lot recently so maybe that means that winter is coming soon for me now here in the Philippines so that is exciting that is will be wet but not as hot so I will see about that as well so that is a little bit of culture as well for you September is well under way now and for anyone that was curious or had forgotten my BIRTHDAY is on THURSDAY and I am turning 20!!!!!!!!! so that is exciting too

Love,
Elder Chilson         

Monday, September 4, 2017

Van Tire

Hello Everyone,

This week did not turn out as I thought that it would have so I got a text from President Zapanta Tuesday night that I was going to be working in San Fernando until Sake Conference and so I was a little surprised but at the same time I was excited fro the opportunity to work in San Fernando with Elder Gatewood so I cleared my schedule because I was going to be about of the office for the week and I took care of a few matters of business over the phone and everything was fine I was just thankful for the opportunity to have a little change of pace and get back to being a proselyting missionary again for a few days and then of course right now I am in the office again and I have continued with all of my responsibilities. While I was in San Fernando me and Elder Gatewood had a lot of fun together because we have a lot in common and we both had a strong desire to do what was best for our investigators in San Fernando. 

I also sang in a special choir for Stake Conference and that went well also the music I did not really agree with but it was okay I was not really familiar with the music but I did my best and I learned the music pretty quickly and I actually ended up getting a solo as well which was a little crazy but the conductor knew that I could sing pretty well because most people in the Naga Stake now know that I can sing pretty well so I gave it my best effort and I thought that it went pretty well and overall Stake Conference went pretty well I enjoyed the meeting and the messages that were given.         

I had a special experience on Sunday after Stake Conference and it was regarding one of the tires on the van just like you said kanina that you just got a new tire as well last week yata so when we got back from Stake Conference and I noticed that the time was losing air fast and I was like this is grate I have an appointment at the LTO bukas for some missionaries to get their drivers licenses but then I thought to myself well I guess this is good that I am at least in the Mission Office parking lot and not on the side of the road somewhere so I will just change the tire and throw on the spare and then bukas ng umaga I will just get another tire no problem and so I jacked up the van and got everything set no problem and then it came to the lugnuts and I tried and gave it all that I had for 1 and half hours and I could not budge any of those lugnuts and I had Elder De Silva come out and help me too and we could not budge them at all and I was like great we are going to need some real equipment to get these lugnuts off and it is Sunday so there are not that many options so I suggested to Elder De Silva do you want to go for a walk and he was like sure and so we walked up to the Petron and there was a man by the name of Victor he was the "Service Technician" at the Petron Station and we convinced him to come with us and to help us and he did and within 30 seconds of his time there he had the first lugnut loose and I was like wow it is a miracle and then he got them all off in like under 5 minutes and then I said thank you and then as he headed toward the gate of the Mission Office a voice came into my head just as clear as anything that said "he is an angel sent from on high" and I can only believe that voice was the Holy Ghost and I know that the Lord knew the situation that I was in and due to my humility and my willingness to ask for help the Lord as opposed as me trying on my own in my eyes I tried the best that I had I gave it everything that I had and then I turned the rest over to the Lord and he provided a way for me to accomplish what I needed lalo lalo na I was in the Lord's Service and I remember that words of President Eyring that go something like "when we are in the Lord's Service we are never a lone" and I know that this is true (Sorry for the mixed in Tagalog words) also here in the Naga where I am serving right now "Fiesta" is starting up it is like a big festival that they have here in the Naga for the month of September so that should be exciting as well as I will begin to share what I learn about that along with other Philippines culture here in the Philippines Naga Mission. 

I hope that all of you in New York have a great start to your school year and to everyone that has already started school good luck as well!

Love,
Elder Chilson   

Check out this link:
http://www.mormonnewsroom.ph/article/church-hosts-art-show-in-naga






Elder Miller Elder Golez Elder Gatewood Elder Talabis Elder De Silva

Monday, August 28, 2017

Zone Conference and Travel

Hello Everyone,

This week was a pretty good one this week was all of Zone Conferences and a quick side note for President and Sister Zapanta their whole week was conferences because from Tuesday-Friday they had had Zone Conferences with missionaries and then from Saturday-Sunday they had a District Conference in Iriga so you can imagine what their schedule was like this week. I personally enjoyed my Zone Conference it was a great experience as it always is and I always enjoy learning that things that we can do as missionaries to improve and become more efficient and to move the Lord's Work forward in the way that he wants us to and not the ways of man. I know that my mission president and his wife have been called of God to preside over this mission at this time while I have been assigned to serve here as well I know that Heavenly Father is mindful of each of us and he knows what we need and he knows how to help us and he gives us trials and hard things so we can grow and progress here in our time on Earth. 

I also did some traveling this week as well which all went well, I made a delivery trip to the Iriga this past week, so I went to all of the missionaries apartments except for the Baao Sister's house because they were having a fiesta when I went to the main road that I wanted to go down was closed so I had to go around Baao to get to Iriga City and so then I tried on the way back to go to the Baao Sister's house but there were a lot of people that were in the streets partying and enjoying their fiesta so I just decided to go a different way to avoid Baao on my way back to Naga City. Then I ended up going to Sipocot as well this week so I went to all of the missionaries apartments between Naga City and Sipocot in the Pamplona Zone so I went to Pasacao, Pamplona, Libmanan, and Sipocot and I had plans to go to Del Gallego as well but I received a text from President Zapanta so we came back because President Zapanta needed my van in Iriga City because he was having some problems with his van so I took his van over to the dealership and of course got things taken care of it turns out that some water or something got into the fuel filter so they had to change that out so now the check engine light is off the dash board which is good. 

We spent a lot of time this week contacting referrals which was fun we recently got a lot of referrals and so me and Elder De Silva have been working on contacting referrals so we found this one family and they are pretty cool I think that they have a lot of potential to be baptized and so we had a pretty solid lesson with them and they agreed to come to church yesterday and believe it or not they came to church and the awesome part is that the people that came to church brought a friend as well who was interested in I guess the church so he came to church and we met him and he said that he wants us to teach as well which is awesome so I hope that things will continue and that they will really progress and I hope that they will continue to keep other commitments that we give them.        

I guess one more side note that I was approached yesterday by some other people and they asked me to sing in a special choir for stake conference because we have stake conference this upcoming Sunday and of course I agreed so I will be singing in a special choir for stake conference I think that will be fine, I am pretty used to performing with little practice that is what happened when I sang in an all male accapella group we did not really practice all that much and then we would perform so that does not really bother me anymore but I think that it should be good and I love bearing testimony through song so that is always a plus as well and I know in New York that school is starting up now and some of you probably already started school so I wish all of you the best for this new school year.

Love,
Elder Chilson