Saturday, December 28, 2013

Twas The Night Before Christmas……..

Twas the night before Christmas (in the states) and all through the world, so I decided to try to set up our family Google Chat, and forgot to tell Mom, oh well.   
As she slept all sung in her Hotel room bed, dreaming of her long awaited call from me is what was in her head.  
When along came a text with a Verification Code, 
yep it was from me on her cell phone.  
Away from her bed she flew like a flash, checked her email and then thought….
"Wasn't he supposed to call later tonight, not last"??  
As I sat in front of the Computer I realized….
OOPPSS this went right to her phone.  
Not knowing all of this, my mom in Utah and my sister in Texas 
both couldn't sleep, 
they had a feeling I was on a computer, yep they felt the spirit so sweet.  
Christmas Day in California came, and as I tried to wait I could no longer…
 so I began my Christmas Gift to my family and emailed mom with the following..
"Hey its me and I want to Skype"!!
 Mom gathers the family and friends all around the computer, 
and for a good 30 minutes
 a Comedy of Errors ensues, its ok it wouldn't be a 
Sarmiento Family event without some laughter and tears too.  
The internet I was on was super slow, so I had to switch computers….OH NO!
 I tried to Skype and Google+ & then realized….. 
Oh great, I forgot all my passwords I wrote down at home!!! 
 Mom looked at Dad and They then said "we need to have a quick prayer" 
& within 5 minutes  Janessa & Austin had me on Skype,  
it was our Christmas Miracle right there!  
After a few minutes of this I was able to get my Google+ group to work and we were all on together, including Elder Broc Thompson, one of my Companions who is now an RM, Kumusta my brother!  
Blessings come in all packages, this I can testify to….
Merry Christmas to all, and make sure you say your prayers to.  

Love-Elder Sarmiento

Elder Sarmiento is in need of some items so we will be sending him a
Birthday "Balikbayan Box" around January 15th,
if you wish to send him something let us know.

Our fist Attempt with Skype…Then Onto Google+

Elder Sarmiento Telling All His Stories 

Elder Sarmiento hearing that his little Sister Makayla turns 16 in 2 days…Yikes

Elder Sarmiento Realizing his little Sister will be able to date…….

Only 5 more months until his mom can do this again…and the countdown begins.

Here we are all round the Lap Top taking pictures of Elder Sarmiento, such a fun night.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Make Sure Your Ready & Waiting For My Skype Christmas Call…….

So the day of Christmas the time for you will be at night!  I will email you before we Google Skype.  So make sure you are all ready and waiting for the email.  I don't have time so I will just wait to say everything in the Skype Call.  Just be prepared cause I can only talk for 30-45 minutes.

Well I got to go but, take care everyone LOVE YOU!!!!!
-Elder Sarmiento

Accept It, Before It Excepts Us…..

For STARTERS Kacy Morris I give Congrats!!!!  Hopefully you read these..ha ha.  It's hard to realized but, even when I am not in America, life still moves forward.  Ha ha just kidding.  So this week has been a great week!  We have been teaching the ex-Mayor of my area and this last week he committed to Baptism!!!!  The area has been a little rough but who says the Salvation of souls is easy!!!

This last week with my companion I have really had a great learning experience.  With a lot of people they look for the SECRET or for the BEST THINGS in a Mission.  Honestly there isn't really just one thing here that makes a Mission a Mission.  What makes a so amazing for people is the fact that the Lord, through the holy ghost, teaches us what is the SECRET or the BEST THINGS for us, not for the Mission.  In a Mission it truly is more of a learning experience for yourself than anyone else.  What makes a Mission so unique is where you are assigned, is where the Lord wants you to go.  Now I have also learned that it is never easy nor should it ever be easy on a Mission.  I have felt as if I have missed so much but, when in fact the things I need for my life I have learned here on a Mission.  This to the point of my Mission now is what makes my Mission so great and memorable to me.  I love it here so much!!!  I have learned so much also not only for the time now and here, but for the times that are to come!!

Alam ko po na ito ay totoo!!  Alam ko po na ang abanghelyo ni jesuCristo ay para sa ating.  All we have to do is accept it before it excepts us!!! MAHAL KITA!!!!!!  INGAT PO KAYO!!!!
-Elder Sarmiento

Friday, December 20, 2013

Mission Tour Week!!!!!

So this week was a great week!!!! Tuesday we had a Quorum of the 70 come to our mission and talk to us.  He taught us about the Atonement.  It was interesting because he pointed out something most people don't see.  That is the atonement is so that bad me can become good, but it's also for members so that they can become from Good to Better to Best to Saint.  That is something I never thought about.  As we learn in scriptures we can understand that we are given the ability to repent and be baptized becoming clean from sin.  Now after that we can even become better.  As people on this earth we are not perfect.  So if we are not perfect why should we try?  The Savior has set the path so that we can follow it.  Now no one is perfect, but as we follow the path at time we will be led off of it.  The things we need to do is be led back.  Now as we do this it is sometimes tough.  We can learn through the Book of Mormon that we can ask for strength to be led back.  As we do this we can learn and become better people.  Now the reason why we should try is because as we try, as we ask the Eternal Father, we can improve our lives in ways that can bless us now, later and even Forever.  This concept for me was really just what seemed unreal before I left the mission.  I heard this life after death and well it seemed a little unreal.  As I have been on the mission and live this gospel every day as close as I can I have realized that it is true.  For many people it's hard to understand this, but the way I know this is because I have felt the spirit touch me in a way that nothing and no one else could.  I know that we can be strengthened in trials and as we use the atonement in our lives we can become from bad to Good to Better to Best and even to Saint.  I know that this is true, I have seen these trials and these blessings in my life.  I know that our Father is always here with us and all we have to do is ask for help and guidance.  Well I don't have a lot of time but I hope this all makes since.  I love you all and know these things are true!!!!!!! In the name of our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ, Amen.  - Elder Sarmiento

It's My 6th Month Mark…...

So 6th MONTH MARK!!!!! ANO BA YUNG!?! NOW IT'S BEEN 6 MONTHS AND WELL. BUHAY PA!!!!!  I put the part I don't know the language but, alam ko po na!!!!

Can't wait til Christmas!!!!  The Ultimate Test!  My father.  I cannot wait to have the chance to speak to my father in his native language.  When I had my mission call, all I was excited for the most was learning the language my father knew and my grandparents.  I didn't expect the trials and experiences that I would get with learning the language.  All I can say is that the gift of tongues is real.

Through this gospel I have been able to get to the place that I am at now.  The language is pretty good.  At least people can understand the point I am trying to get.  Anyways, Thanksgiving is almost here!! All I can say is well the things I could say that I am thankful for is never ending.  What I will say is that I am thankful for God the Eternal Father and his Son Jesus Christ.  Through them I have been able to receive this chance to serve the people of the Philippines, along with that I am so thankful for my family now when I say this I mean everyone.  People think families are just the families you are born into.  The actual correct family is everyone.  The people here on this earth are all brothers and sisters and the ones who has crossed paths with me have blessed my life in ways that they don't know.

Thanksgiving is an amazing Holiday we can remember of the things we are grateful for.  For me on that day I will not only thing of the things I am grateful for but I will also look for the blessing I will receive on that day.  I know the Lords blesses our lives every day, every min., and every hour.   The problem is that we focus so much on other things we may feel rushed, may have a bd day, and feel depressed.  All I can say is the Lord blesses us every day.  I know it because I have seen the blessings.  Most are small but , can effect your day so big.  I encourage all who are reading this to maybe try this on Thanksgiving.  As you can see these blessings not just on Thanksgiving, but on other days if not every day your life can feel so amazing.

I know the Lord is always with us.  We are LITERALLY HIS CHILDREN.  Like any other father here on the earth he helps us and guides us every day.  As we can notice these things we can have happier, better lives.  Alam ko po na ang ebanghelyo ni jesucrist ay totoo.  Alam ko po na nagdusa si jesucristo upang po kami magsisi at susundin niya.  Sana ito ay tama.  Kung hindi pasensyia!!!!  Ingot po kayo- Elder Sarmiento

We again see Elder Sarmiento's english and grammar a bit more broken…..we love it!!! 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tracking, Dogs, Ducks and Coconuts……...

So for mom,  my companion is Ilicano....that may be spelled wrong but, he lives North of Manila.  About the Christmas package, we got an email that they charge more around Christmas.  Its fine for me I can wait!!!  About the effected Mission, we actually got new Missionaries in the Mission.  I think they are from the mission that was hit from the Typhoon.  Other than that I haven't gotten any emails from Michael Christensen.  Maybe he has the wrong email?  Do you know which Bingham sent me the post card?

So this week was in impacted week!!! This week has a lot that happened.  First I will start with the funny things.  Starting with my my companion is Filipino and he speaks Tagalog better than English.  So with him I have been teaching him English but, explaining in Tagalog.  Because of that I have been speaking Tagalog 24/7.  Now with that my companion has, I guess, woken up a few times at night thinking I am talking to him (in tagalog) when I am actually sleep talking….ha ha.  Never thought that would happen but, it did.  Along with that all last week we had been tracking cause the investigators were a little low, so as we did this we actually came to a house last night.  All of these dogs were barking and barely chained enough, they couldn't reach us but, slobber on you.  Anyways as we noticed no one was home we were leaving and something bit my leg!!!  As I looked freaking out I found a Duck stuck to my ankle!!  My companion laughed so hard with the reaction I had…. I thought I was bit by a dog!  ha ha.  We also ran into a lady who was selling fresh cracked Coconuts.  It was so good!!!

Now other than that my companion and I , as I said,  have done a lot of tracking this week.  (tracking going to homes one a at a time)  The walking was never ending and my sweating didn't help.  But as we did this there was one point we got rejected by a less active.  As we were about to leave the street we were about to walk down continued the other way.  As I had a feeling to go and continue on this path I asked my companion if he and been there before.  With his answer "No" I asked if we could go there.  Feeling the spirit inside me I was excited to see if we were going to be led to a new investigator. As we turn the corner however, it came to an amazing scene.  The road ended with tracks from horses inches sunk into the ground.  Feeling the spirit however I felt to continue.  So I told my companion that we would and we did.  As we walked in about 5 feet there was a path of bukol (coconut) shells.  Feeling to follow it and from that it led us to a house in the middle of a bunch of trees.  Now in no other way would we have found this house.  The spirit literally pushed us into a forest to look for this house.  feeling confident we screamed, "TAO PO" (the way to call someone to come to the door).  As we waited for a few seconds I began to have second thoughts.  Then an old lady came out.  Happy as were were we began to talk with her.  She realized we were Missionaries and asked what church.  We explained then gave a plan of salvation pamphlet.  As we finished talking with her and began to leave she seemed on a little interested, maybe a good investigator.  Then she said something we didn't expect.  She asked "Elders, if I have been married 3 times then who is my husband when we are resurrected".  With me I didn't understand, but for my companion he was smiling from ear to ear and told her we will return another day and give her an answer.

As we left we realized how big of an impact following the Lord not only in lessons, but everything you do can result in many blessings.  I realize every day if I was in another place the things I learn, experience and teach I could never have done in another mission.  Already the lord not only has helped but taught me so mud that sometimes I feel overwhelmed.  That is what makes a mission so amazing to me.  The things I learn I know in any other position i would have not received.  I love this work so much.  Sometimes I feel like the lord is teaching me more than investigators.  This I know is all true.  Without a single doubt in my mind I can say these things are from the lord and through these things we can all be blessed.

Here is a picture of the sun setting here

I love and thank you all for the support and love you have given to me throughout my life.  I wouldn't be here on a mission without those who taught me these things.  I love and miss you all!!!!
Take Care!!!!!

-Love Elder Sarmiento

Monday, November 11, 2013

High On A Mountain Top During Super Typhoon Haiyan.........

My first Transfer!!!  My new area is Majayjay.....

Ok so like the earthquake, were were luckily safe and not really affected.  We where not able to work for 2 days so instead we just stayed in and studied while having brown outs left and right (power outages) and other things.

Then on Saturday we had no water....we were able to work but, we couldn't take showers.   We had to walk over and get water in jugs  use that to take showers and then work.  After a while the water was turned back on, that was a blessing from our work.  My new area is Majayjay, with Elder Calisaan.  He is awesome & he is always happy,  is so inspiring it helps me keep going.  My new area always reminds me of the song "High On A Mountain Top" it's great!!!!

The water here is so cold for showers, I almost want to cry.  My companion screams as he takes one so its great.  The area is something interesting, it feels like never ending walking sometimes.  Along with that its amazing views that they have here.

Many bridges that look like if I walk on them they would brake, so I always let me companion go first to see how that it.  Other than that its pretty cool here, so I still sweat but not as bad as my last area.

We don't change Elder Sarmientos writing, we think it pretty cool to see how his thought process is now in the language of Tagalog.  How he forms his sentences and words.  So sometimes you will read and it might not make since, but that's's only for 18 more months.

The Tagalog is always coming sometimes slower than other times, but its still good.  Well I don't have much time so I got to go.  Everything is good here though.  Sooner than Later it will be my 6th months than Christmas!!!  Can't wait to for my first Christmas here in the PHILIPPINES  YEAHHH!!!!  ha ha

I told Elder Sarmiento we were getting so many people asking about him after the Super Typhoon, here is what he wanted us to share with our Ward and on his Blog

Something I learned, no matter the opposition, no matter the trials, no matter the struggles, I have learned the Lord is always there.  He always helps us in ways we may not even know.  From my understanding we may not know them all but, as we seek to see them more day by day we can see more happiness in our lives.

Well take care everyone!!  Love you and Miss You All!!!  Take care til' next week!!!
Love you all but, I got to go.  BYE!!!!
-Elder Sarmiento

That is One Big Jungle Ant!!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I'm Getting Transferred & It Sounds Like Another Challenge...........

So where to begin for this week.  Well I guess I will start off with my companion who just left.  Before he did we got to really talk about this last transfer and he told me that I was the first companion to not fight with him.  He told me I was his best friend on the Mission.  He is going home this week, and well I am still here to continue the things he showed me here.  He was really an amazing missionary.

He has taught me so much and he helped me really become the Elder I am now with the things I learned from him.  For example, now that he is gone,  I am in a trio and we went last night and taught our investigators.  For the other two they had a recent convert who's husband is almost to being Baptized, but he wont give up cigarettes.  As we taught him I was really thinking, "How could I help this man really know.  What can I say that would help him"?  For them, they have had a hard time.  Like Janessa, the wife has Cysts on her Ovaries and they really want children.  They have asked to keep them in our prayers so it can happen.  As we taught them, trying to show that the Word of Wisdom needed to be followed, I really had the spirit tell me to say something.  Not so sure at first, I had to pause, what was I going to say to them, and just sit there and ponder.  As I did this I got the reassurance.  Once I knew it was something the spirit was guiding me to say, I told them immediately, "brother, if you follow these things the lord can and will bless you with a child".  At that moment you could really feel the spirit just overtake the whole room.  It was an amazing what I can do if I follow the spirit.

Elder Thompson this last transferred not only sowed me how to follow, but also how to invite the spirit in our everyday lives.  This week was an amazing week.  I also found out today that I am getting transferred on Thursday.  I am getting more information tomorrow, but yes next week I will be in a different area and I could possibly be there around Christmas.  So I am excited.  It sounds like another challenge.  BTW, is Uncle Jeffrey and Aunt Ginger coming here to the Philippines for Christmas this year?

Well I got to go but,  I love you all!!!!!!  Take care.  Until Monday!!!!!

Love-Elder Sarmiento

I don't change his emails, but have noticed each week how his writing is becoming more and more broken english.  In the Philippines they speak "Taglish", Tagalog and English.  His last Companion Elder Thompson's blog has pictures of the two of them, they became great friends!!!!  

I am posting this on 11/7/13, the day Catagory 5 Typhoon Haiyan is hitting the Philippines.  We have no idea where Elder Sarmiento is since he has been transferred, but we do know that all Mission Presidents have moved their Missionaries who are in the path of the Typhoon to safe areas.  
-J's mom 

We Were Sent To An Island For A Ground Breaking Ceremony.........

Ok so I first of all went to the small island in our mission called Marinduque.  I wasn't able to email yesterday cause we went "Cave Exploring" there.  So the pictures are from Saturday morning when we made it to the island, and also the ground breaking they had.  The building will be about 50 yards from the ocean.  After that we had a 2 hour boat ride and then a 4 hour bus ride back to our area.  We traveled from the North all the way and went the furthest South that we could in our Mission. 

The Island was amazing, it looked like Jurassic Park!!!  ha ha.  We took pictures, but its nothing compared to the Real Deal!  Anyways we got to do so much on the Island!!!  There was a ground breaking,  we attended a branch with AirCon on Sunday, then Monday we got to go into a cave!!!!  Very cool and we also got to go on a White Sand Beach!!  The water was soooo clear, you can see everything in the water, when your on the beach!  It was Amazing!!! 

Other than that adventure, I am almost at my six month mark!  My Tagalog is pretty close to fluent.  Sometime soon within the next two transfers,I will be transferred soon so that will be cool.  I love the area here, but I kinda just wanna go somewhere else and learn more. 

I am realizing more and more that as a missionary, people think Missionaries know everything.....well I have realized as I teach and the spirit helps, I learn more myself!! For example, we found people here in the area who are deaf!!! (elder sarmiento took 3 years of ASL in high school, thought he would never be able to use it on his mission)  My sign language came out and it was great.  Here in the Philippines they don't have a Philippines sign language, they actually learn English!  They don't know Tagalog!  It was Fun!!!! We know are actually teaching them and its great!! 

Anyways I don't have much time, hopefully next week I will but, anyways I love you guys!!!  I miss you all and soon we will be able to SKYPE!!!!

Malapit Na!!!!!!! Sige!!!!!!! Ingot Kayo!!!!! 
-Elder Sarmiento

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I Didn't Feel The Earthquake, We Had Amazing Experiences Instead......

Hey, so for starters......I didn't even feel the earthquake.  Instead one of our investigators who is Chinese was watching it on the News right before we taught him.

This investigator is amazing though, he loves to watch the news and read a lot of things about random worldly things.  As we were walking around talking to people about the gospel, we ran into him.  We eventually taught him and next thing we know, we found out two years ago one of his friends had given him a Book of Mormon with their Testimony inside.  He doesn't stay in contact with this person anymore, but this investigator ended up going to church.  He loved it and as we taught him last night, another Miracle happened!  His daughter wanted to learn why American Missionaries where in the Philippines teaching.  As we taught on our 3rd lesson to her father, we brought up repentance.  She began to ask and seem super interested.  We ended up finding out that his daughter has been searching for a church so she can repent for the things she has done in the past.  All the other churches she has gone to hasn't really been a help and as we taught her she began to cry.  So now we have a new investigator and she is super super interested in more!!

My Companion and I noticed not only with her, but all of our investigators, something interesting.  We have been working super hard.  We have been out until our curfew every night, looking for more people to teach.  As we looked last night at our overall numbers in our week, we realized our week was amazing when we thought we did horrible.  We have both seen the Lords hand in our work this week.  We have taught so many people and we have been given so many challenges.  Sometimes I wonder if it will ever end.  All I know is that I have learned so much.  I have also learned the Lord loves me and HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON so that we can repent and not suffer.  It's been an amazing week and I still learned a lot.

My companion and I are going to an island for his last area.  Don't have time to explain,  I will explain next week!!!

Well I got to go so I Love You All!!!!  Talk to you next week!!!!!
-Elder Sarmiento

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sacrifice, It's Totally Worth It.......

Well General Conference was really amazing!!!  Most of the last session was really about as a religion we must stick to our beliefs. It was really amazing. 

Also for General Conference something amazing happened.  For my first convert here in the Philippines, she has been having a rough time.  We recently had a Typhoon come through that added to the flooding in some of our areas that were already flooded.  For my first convert she has already been in a evacuation center for the last 2 months cause her house has been flooded.  From this recent typhoon it now is flooding the area she has been evacuated to.  She doesn't have much money, she has gotten sick cause the water that surrounds them, people go to the bathroom in and other things and their house they live in is literally a bunch of tarps.

Did it stop this women from attending Conference?  NO!! This women traveled 30min. with money she saved to attend church.  While she did this she also brought a friend who is interested in the Church.  With not a single complaint or single plea for help.  This women has a very firm foundation.  It's amazing to see the determination this women has.  This not only has humbled me but, I have also seen the happiness that as Missionaries we bring to others.  This week has been great!!!

Now about the package, it cost nothing here.  Thanks for all the stuff.  Now about ramen....there is stuff that they have here similar, but its also better.  Thanks for the peanuts!!  I actually have eaten so much I have gotten sick from them. :/  My companion thinks its funny, but yea.  Next time thought about the food I was thinking maybe some chips?  and some Forever Stamps...they don't sell them here in the Philippines and I want to send some people letters here.  Well anyways I got to go but I love you all!!!!! Talk to you next week!!!! -Elder Sarmiento

Our 3rd Baptism In Calamba, Blessings Are Pleanty

Post Typhoon #3 This is how we get through the streets

Walking The Planks......Such Determined Elders

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Spirit Is the Best Teacher........

Ok so where to begin this week!!!!

For all of you we are a day behind here in the Philippines....that means I still haven't watched General Conference and wont see it until next weekend.

Also this week has been amazing.  My companion, Elder Thompson, is from Utah and leaves in November.  He has been a huge help for me in the language and I have learned so much from him.  The last week we had an appointment to teach a recent convert, if he was home.  As we got to his house we looked for him, his older brother ran down with a Bible, Book Of Mormon and a note pad.  He told us he wanted to be taught and there and then we met, then taught him the restoration.  He is a student studying in being a midwife......don't ask me how or why but he was so interested.  

As we taught him though he had a note pad full of questions with verses in the bible about our church.  As we showed then answered them it was a great lesson and he understood it all and wants to learn more.  We actually after the lesson think he got an anti mormon questions, but not to bash on us but to really find out about the religion.  As we finished his older sister then came up.  She was super smart, could speak english and has been part of 13 different churches.  She would ask us interesting questions but, it always led back to her reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it was true.  As we were on the defensive side defending our beliefs she would just smile and think we were kinda crazy.  At one point though something came over me, I literally felt as if something or someone stepped into my body and I began shooting off many questions.  Within 3 questions we found out she has read the Book of Mormon, but she didn't read to ask.  There and then at that moment I had a testimony that we can try and teach all we want but its through the spirit we can only successfully teach.  We were able to commit here to read then part and we told her we would return and teach her.

That night I felt so tired I almost fell asleep on the Jeepney ride home, which is impossible.  Anyways thinking that that was an amazing experience, last night we got a text that a member needed a blessing of comfort.  We had two appointments, but told her we could try.  As we taught it was around 8pm but the 2nd appointment we couldn't find so we went over.  We found the member and talked to her asking why she wanted one.  Her dad is a nonmember and we have only taught him once, but last night he got drunk and then kept telling his kids he wanted to die.  It's been about 4 years since his wife has passed and last night he just became super depressed.  Now for years his daughter has been trying to find a way to get her father baptized and now she worries he never will here on earth.  So I gave her a blessing and again last night I felt the Spirit walk into my body and give this woman a blessing that helped her know what she needed to do.

Of course after both of these I was so excited and kept telling my companion this is amazing.  I realized something was different with us then my last companionship.  He told me that night that what he has done everyday and every lesson is pray for the spirit to help me.... I can testify of not only the power of prayer but I know that the spirit is the best teacher.  When we can master following the spirit that when we fully submit ourselves to the work and the glory of God.

I love you guys and miss you too!!  Take care and have a great week!!  Also I got pictures from my last baptism.  She is amazing and so strong in the gospel.  Well I got to go but take care this week!!!!  Also we keep hearing something about American Economy shutting down???  What Happened???  Well Love you All!  BYE!!! - Elder Sarmiento

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Jollibee....Pinoy Style!!

This week was great, we had another Baptism!!!

Another Great Day!

Calamba Ward Family

I got another companion.  That is one companion every transfer.   I found out he is from Utah, plays Lacrosse and is going to BYU-I.  He is German & American and I  also found out he goes home in November!!  That means next transfer he will be going home and I will have ANOTHER COMPANION!!!! WOOOO ha ha ha.

Transfer Day

Jollibee...Pinoy Style!  
(like McDonalds and Chuck E Cheese)

Birthday Party of a Ward Member, they invited us to attend......So Cool!!

 It's been a little though but, it's been great with my new companion.  We have done a lot of work and he has helped me a lot with the Language!  We have a baptism coming up and we are excited.  Also here there is a Typhoon that just came through again...the area that was flooded before became worse.  We have members who live in the flood, their house has a little water inside, but the water is so high they use a boat to get to it!!!!  It was crazy but!!!!  We got the go from President to ride in the boat to their house so we could teach them!!  A few times we almost flipped, but we got out alive!!!  Ha ha.

After The Latest Typoon We Were Able To
Travel By Boat To Teach Investigators and Check On Ward Members

Anyways this week has been great!!!  and next week will be better!!  Well I love you guys and I will talk to you next week!!!!  - Elder Sarmiento

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Our Deepest Fear Is Not That We Are Inadequate, Our Deepest Fear Is We Are Powerful Beyond Measure.....

So these last few days my companion has been sick with a cold.  Also he has been slowly kinda working in lessons.  So yesterday I started out before we left for church with 4 different prayers before we left.  As we were at church we had preisthood where jokes were going around and for some reason my companion was making me angry.  I kept thinking of a lot of things to be mad at him. As we continued on in class I realized I wasn't going to have the spirit and help teach our investigators if I kept up the attitude.  As I sat in class wondering what to do, I said a prayer.  I asked for help and a reason why I was mad.  As I opened my eyes beginning to listen closely my answer came from a member.  We were talking about marriage and a brother who was an RM was talking about how missions prepare people for marriage.  As he was talking he said Missionaries learn how to let little things go that others may find annoying.  There and then I could feel and see my answer given to me.  Through this I was able to change my attitude and keep myself worthy to have a strong spirit.  Later in the day it was good, but we had no lessons and we didn't know where to go.  I told my companion to say a prayer in the open on the side of the street to guide us where to go.  Right after the prayer my companion said to go to a investigator we dropped, but what I felt was to go to a less active family.  This family has pretty much no desire for anything.  So as we headed over I really didn't want to go and in my head I just kept questioning why.  Finally I got the feeling to ask them if they needed help.  So when we got there we started with a prayer, talked a little, then I began to ask questions.  I didn't fully understand at that time but they needed no help I felt to end with no lesson and a prayer.  So I did and my companion said nothing but gave me a look like I was crazy.  So we ended and left.  I told him I was following the spirit and I didn't know why, but I felt like we needed to leave at that time even though it was a weird time to leave.  So my companion and I returned to our apartment, sat down and he told me this "Elder, I can teach you how to teach, I can teach you what to teach and how to begin a lesson an things like that, but through the spirit you learn how to follow the spirit".  I realized this was really the first time I closely listened and followed the spirit.  Even though nothing added up I realized my faith in the spirit is where it should always be.  Sometimes the spirit direct us in ways we may not know.  We must have faith to follow it and do what we feel.  The spirit not only can teach others, but those who desire to follow it also.  I asked you to title this with "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is we are powerful beyond measure" because through the spirit we may be led to do things we question, but we must trust that what we are following the way the Lord wants us to.  So thats what I learned yesterday.

Well I got to go, love and miss you all - Elder Sarmiento

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I Am But A Tool For Our Heavenly Father........

Last night we taught a family and had an FHE (family home evening) with them so they can see how FHE is.  The mom is one of our investigators.  She is separated from her husband and all the kids live with her, they are all members.  We had a great FHE and then had her bare her testimony.  She said that she has had a tough time with her life and when we began teaching her was the first time she wanted to hear what we wanted to say.  She had a coffee problem, but since two week ago she hasn't had any.  We have given her a drink called Energen, its like Hot Chocolate with Oatmeal in it, and she also has said she wants to be a part of this church.  We already had a date for her on October 5th but we now know for sure she will be baptized.  It was a great time we had with them last night, and then we played a game where if you lose you get lipstick drawn on you.  In the picture you will see I lost the most... ha ha.

When we told Elder Sarmiento how proud we were of him and what a great teacher he is he responded with this "Thanks but something to remember is that I haven't really done anything.  I actually haven't done anything, what makes me effective is really letting the Lord through me teach and touch the hearts of man.  Like it says in God's Army, you don't convert people, your just a tool".

In my zone there is two sisters that came with me from the MTC.  I found out they are already training this next transfer.  For me I will just be with my companion hopefully and not be transferred, but after next week I wont be a trainee anymore!!!  I know for sure I wont be here for Christmas because there is a transfer in the middle of December and in December is my 6 month mark here in my first area.  President doesn't keep anyone longer in an area than 6 months.  I want to say because there is a lot of people we have found, but in order for them to be baptized it will be a while.

I haven't had the package yet, this Thursday we have a Zone Conference where there is bunch of zones they will bring together and the President with the AP's teach us stuff.  Maybe I'll get it then.  Well I got to go, its been almost an hour so I will talk to you guys next week.  Love You All!!!!!

We Are Promised To Know The Truth Of All Things.......

My week was great.  I have a good question for you.  Why are Sports so important?  Why do you think we have Sports here on earth??  Sports, if you think about it, after this life we not only remember things on earth but before life on earth.  Through sports we can learn the importance of pushing ourselves to the limit, like in Faith.  Sometimes in prayer we always ask for things and hope they are answered.  Do you know that always the Lord seeks for your faith before he answers your prayer?  Like in sports, in practice, you work harder and harder to become a better player in any sport.  In faith we are given challenges to strengthen our faith.  Now if a coach sees someone who isn't practicing as hard or trying, why should that coach play that player, or why would the Lord not answer a prayer if your not having or practicing faith in him.  It's interesting how we have all these things in life to learn about things we may not have a great understanding about, but through really studying the gospel and really having faith, we are promised to know the truth of all things.  For some reason I was asking myself about sports because I miss playing sports everyday and stuff.  I asked myself why I missed them so much then why we have them.  Through thinking about it I came up with that answer.

We have another Baptism next weekend. She is getting interviewed this weekend.  Sports, we only play on PDays at 5-6pm, otherwise its too hot, but we have only played Basketball and that was once.

So the White Guys in the Baptismal picture from last week is the other two Elders. All the other Filipinos in the picture are Mormons and are the recent converts friends.  The next Baptism that we have coming up is a girl who is 18 and we taught her the first lesson the same week when I had my first Baptism here.

Language Studying we do.....I am teaching my companion English and he is teaching me Tagalog.

Elder Sarmiento thought it was funny to find this....
Cassandra Eatery, just for his Sister.

A True Gift Elder Sarmiento Has....
Here is Pen & Ink (all dots) He Made of The Manilla Philippines Temple

Elder Sarmiento Over A Provence in Calamba

An Unexpected Miracle.......

This week I was able to Baptize a women, her daughter has given me a "Elder Teddy Bear".  It seems to stick with me were ever I go in this area.  The baptism went really well, my first while on my mission!  We may be teaching her parents in the future.  We also have 3 other investigators that might be getting baptized soon also.

Elder Sarmiento's First Baptism of someone he taught all the lessons to and then Baptized
You can see how Elder Sarmiento is so Tan....Look at his feet

So I have a really cool story to share with you, We actually had a wonderful experience this week that we didn't even know.  There is an illness here called Dengay, it might be spelled wrong.  Anyways this sickness you get from mosquitoes and when you have it you have a fever and it hurts to move.  For some reason here there is a treatment, but this illness is actually deadly.  We had a Priest in our ward who got it and they wanted us to give blood.  As Missionary rules state we cannot give blood.  So instead we gave a blessing at 7:00 on the way to a service project.  So we found the hospital and the room, met the sister and gave him a blessing.  As we finished we stayed a little and then left.  Yesterday we had Fast & Testimony meeting where when we walked into the Sacrament room the Priest was there sitting and waiting to take the Sacrament.  The father went up during testimony meeting and he old everyone the story how through the priesthood authority we healed his son miraculously in two days.  He was in tears and so happy that we did that.  He also said something interesting, is that we didn't stay and wait around but, he said they just did it and left continuing the work of the Lord.  This was an amazing thing that I didn't even know happened until yesterday.

 Theres miracles here and there sometimes.  The problem that seems common here is, people like the messages and stuff, but they want the miracles to convert them.  Its been really great and fun though.

The Typhoon water hasn't cleared.  Our recent convert is actually living with about 200 people on a school basketball court.  We also found out another Typhoon is on its way.  We have had an overcast for the last 2 days and it will probably rain either today or tomorrow.

So my companion is Elder Seggay and he is really been great.  He has helped me with teaching and improving.  The language is getting better, I have kinda hit a wall cause for some reason when  I thought I was almost there I feel like new words are coming out of peoples mouths.

I was able to see my Mission President last week and I was talking to him and his wife.  They asked how I was and I told them I was good.  My companion leaves after my 12 weeks of training ends so I told them I was happy that I wouldn't be training after 12 weeks in the field.  There is so many Missionaries some train after 12 weeks.  They told me after.... Hey you never know, so I might be training within the next few transfers.

Well we have a lot of cleaning to do.  A spider died on our celling in the room and ants got everywhere.  Now most are gone but we want to clean up and possible seal up the spot they came through.

This is some of the Ward Members attending the Baptism

Elder Sarmiento and Elder Seggay

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My First Typhoon & Baptism Date Set, All In One Week......

This last week Elder Sarmiento forgot to send me an email specifically for his Blog....but here is what he shared with his family.

Elder Sarmiento: "Hey I'm on and with the best story about last week"
Janessa & Austin: "What is it"?
Eric & Cassandra: "So whats the story"?
Mom: "We heard a Typhoon hit, how was it"?
Dad: "Lots of flooding I'm sure"
Elder Sarmiento: "FUN!  Like Dad says, It Could Be Worse.  So as Mom and Dad said there was a typhoon.  In our area it rained hard for 4 days where it seemed no end.  Now we have been told of its a typhoon one we can work. (this is where his mom has realized he's got the language better now...but  his english is becoming broken)  A Typhoon 1 is kinda windy and rain is pretty bad with some little flooding.  As we would go out and work it would be a Typhoon 1 maybe at times a Typhoon 2.  My companion and I kept on wondering if we should stop but instead we just continued.  As we finished the day and got back to our apartment we met up with the Elders we share our apartment with and talked to them.  For every companionship there is a phone.  Mostly everyone is on the Mission Plan where you can call any other Missionaries for free.  Of course with my luck...ours isn't, and that day we worked, the other Elders had their phone but it was dead.  As they charged it and we were talking, their phone lit up with a bunch of messages.  President and our Zone Leaders were telling us not to work.  So the next few days after were weren't able to work.  Then Saturday was the interview for my investigators baptism.  As we were happy for no rain we walked with determination.  Then we hit her street and found out.....there was a flood as high as up to half of the calf, so great!!!  We still had the Interview and she is getting baptized this weekend!  I can't wait!!!  And for the is some pictures.

Walking Through Flooded Streets in Calamba....BAREFOOT! 
Ugh these boys........

In The Middle Of A Typhoon......Super Cool!!

Elder Sarmiento....No Words To Describe This 

But Do Notice He Is Standing In A Street Thats Flooded Next To A Wooden Boat!
Yep, He Would Take A Picture Next To That....

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Relying On The Lord, Day by Day......

So this last week my companion had to go home, his 2 years are done.  All I can say is that this week has been super hard.  Getting a companion who is going home to work is difficult.  Something that was the hardest for him though was thinking if he helped the mission or if the mission helped him.  When he said that it got my mind going. Something  missionaries do often is judge themselves everyday.  I know I do it.  What we have learned also is that Missionaries will sometimes beat themselves up because as missionaries people see us a perfect examples.  People look to missionaries with all the answers.  As missionaries see their mistakes we sometimes feel as if there is no end to improvement.

I have learned through Christ we can become closer and closer to perfect.  When people look at themselves and shut down on their missions they begin to turn in on themselves and feel bad for themselves.  As we do that we drive further away form the Lord.  That is not what he want's.  I have learned VERY FAST a mission is hard.  Its even harder if you don't rely on the Lord.  A mission is interesting because for most its their first time to really rely on the Lord day by day.  As I have been out I have really worked on humbling myself.  That I can say is something that has been difficult.  The fact to realize that we need the Lord so much is interesting because when I was first out I thought I could do it all with only little help.  Now I know I need all his help to teach.  These last few weeks I have had so much help with the language, I have forgotten words in english at times.  In the moment of trying to figure it out I kinda freak out because I can't remember my native language.  From my fist day I now can see the help I have been given.  I know the Lord loves us all and I know that through the Lord we can become perfect and we can return to live with him again.  I know that this church is true.  

I miss you all and I hope your all doing well.  Until Next week INGOT PO!!!! - Elder Sarmiento

Elder Sarmiento....Kinda Looks A Bit Skinnier 

Some Homes In Calamba 

This Crazy Cow Want's to Follow These Boys.....Yikes

These Elders Are Having An Amazing Time!!!!