Elder Van Boerum

Elder Van Boerum

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Well these have been a really busy last couple of weeks!
A little bit unexpectedly, we had a lot of stuff come up in terms of planning and meetings and exchanges and everything else. It was great to be busy, but time just kind of flew by for all of us here. One of the great parts of last week was that we had a visiting Area Authority come and do a mission tour with us. His name is Elder Pajaro from Quezon City in Manila. We had a meeting with the MLC and then two zone conferences for all of the missionaries. Some of the topics included how the Pajaros were converted to the church and the importance of missionaries and becoming Christlike. Then after the mission tour we were able to go on exchanges in our area with some of the Zone Leaders.
One of the interesting parts of the week was when we went to go visit another zone to check up on some missionaries. Because of the time, we decided to just have lunch in that city before we took an hour drive back to Naga. We just kind of picked a place at random, and when we walked in saw a white guy sitting at one of the tables. After we ordered he motioned for us to come over, and so as we talked with him, we found out he was here with his wife (a Filipina from my first area). He's a member, served his mission in Argentina, I think he said Cordoba. We start talking with him and his wife and find out that his wife isn't a member yet, but is an investigator of my companion's sister up towards Manila. And then it turns out that the guy is from Granite Bay and knew Sutter where Dad worked and everything and knew the areas where we lived. Just a lot of random coincidences.
But the cool part of the conversation was when he kind of stopped for a moment and said, "Your Dad must be a great man. Full tithe payer, honest, kind, good guy. I can see it in you and in your demeanor. I can just tell that he is a good man from the way you are." So I just thought that was really interesting. And I just wanted to say thank you and Happy Father's Day to you Dad, and thanks for everything you do for me. I love you so much and I'm excited to see you and the rest of the family in just a week and a half. Then we can go biking and skiing and riding. If you can still keep up with me old man haha.
Love you all and I hope you have a great week! This will be the last full week of my mission and I'm going to try and give it everything I have!
Also we went to a waterfall this morning (which is why this email is coming a little late) so I will try to send some pictures once I have sorted through them all.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Hey everyone! Sorry, a bit of a busy day, so this is a little late.
Honestly, not a whole lot happened last week. It was great with our MLC and giving a workshop on the Atonement. We also got to talk about some things that will hopefully help the mission focus on Christ more. We kinda noticed that a lot of our discussions tended to drift towards ways of putting up barriers to disobedience or encouraging them to find, or whatever, but then we realized if we were just able to help the missionaries focus more on Christ more, all the other problems would just start to sort themselves out. So we had some good discussion about all of that.
We then went up to one of the far zones for exchanges and had a pretty good time up there. Got to go to the beach for probably the last time before I come home, so that was pretty great. I also got to teach a Seventh Day Adventist for the first time. Kind of an interesting experience. He claimed that anything not coming from the Bible is not a foundation for truth. Then when we asked him how he knew the Bible was true, he said it's because the Bible says it's true in and of itself. And then he kept trying to challenge us by asking if we think the Bible is enough for our faith. We ended up bearing testimony of the Book of Mormon and it ended pretty well.
The rest of our week was spent in meetings, or planning, or visiting our area a bit. My companion has been sick for a little bit, so that put a damper on our work, but we are hoping to get out a lot more this week and find some new people. It's just been a struggle lately getting out to all of the people we want to visit. We are hoping Carlito can be baptized this month, but we'll see what happens.
Well, that was a short version of just a busy week. I'll see you all in 3 weeks anyway! haha. Love you all and have another great week!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Hey everybody!
Well we had another very busy week with transfers, taking departures home, and picking up the new missionaries. It all went pretty smoothly for the most part, except for some missionaries forgetting to bring a phone with them when they came to Naga, so we couldn't just send off their replacements to the area because they didn't know how to get there. That's why I got all of those pictures from that far area, because we just ended up taking them out there. And I was surprised to see it was one of the prettiest places I have visited so far. Really awesome. The new missionaries seemed pretty great two, and the only problem we had there was there was a group of 6 missionaries taking a bus back to their areas about 4 hours away. Well about 45 minutes out of Naga, their bus broke down and they couldn't get any others to pick them up. So we made a surprise trip up to the Northern end of the mission to drop them all off. It was exhausting and we didn't get back until it was pretty late. Glad to help them out though.
We also had a few investigators at church, which is great. We are hoping to see them baptized this June. It was our ward conference and the stake president gave a good talk about saving the lost sheep that don't even realize they are lost. Sometimes they just slowly drift off and don't really know what is happening, so we have to be the ones to reach out to them. After the talk, our investigator came up to us and said "Thank you for rescuing me, Elders." So that was pretty cool. And then some couple I haven't met came up to us and the guy(who is a member) said "This is my girlfriend. She wants to be taught and to be baptized. When can you come over and begin the lessons?" So that was great getting a new investigator just like that. But we'll see how it goes.
Probably the most interesting part of the week was taking the departing missionaries home and seeing all of their reactions to their missions coming to an end. It's kind of an interesting chance to see what a mission meant to them as I talked with them and sometimes just observed. And that's what I've noticed with all of the missionaries we take to go home. Some are somewhat indifferent. Others are completely ecstatic and can't stop talking about how excited they are and inadvertently (or sometimes on purpose) try to make you jealous of them. And then there are always a few that seem to take it and see it differently. You can tell they are excited to go home and everything. But they are also sad to be leaving a place where they had so much growth and experience. These are the ones that I think have been deeply impacted by the mission. I just like talking with all of them and seeing their testimonies and what their thoughts are on going home.
Well hope you all have a great week. Love you all.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hello again everyone! 
Hope you all had another great week! Ours was mostly packed with meetings and planning for the transfer that will be taking place tomorrow. We have 23 missionaries going home, and a bunch of the remaining missionaries will be transferring, which means we just had a ton of planning to get done! It took a lot of time and was pretty exhausting trying to get it all to work out, but we finally got it done. We also have half of our Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders going home, so we hoped to find some good leaders because the other half will be going home in July. It's going to be sad to see this group go, but I'm excited for them, and think they'll all do great. I have a lot of really good friends among them that I've been with for the whole mission.
We do have one new investigator that we are hoping will be baptized in June. Her name is Ian, and she is the daughter of one of the recent convert families in our area. She's 17 and just got back from working in Manila. She has a lot of great questions about God and the gospel, so our lessons so far have been pretty great. And she came to church already, so that was a bonus. As for Carlito, he's still making slow progress. He's remembering certain things better, but struggles with others. He's still coming to church, but we're still worried about the depth of testimony that would help him to not be offended and cease attending church. We ran out of time this past week to get to everyone, but I'm hoping once we are completely done with transfers by Wednesday, we will be able to put in some really good, full days of work in our area. We need it, and we have to do it to help prepare for a couple baptisms in June (hopefully).
Love you all, and have a great week!