Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Do You Want to Eat Fire?

I am now in.... Calabanga, about a 20 minute ride from Naga City, right on the bay! My new comp's name is Elder Nebeker from American Fork Utah. We are continuing to live the dream out here in "The Best Mission in All the Land" (daw)

The subject line is a direct quote from our bishop. This was my second time meeting him, because we actually had a dinner appointment with him my first day here. We were walking up to his brother's house to confirm on another dinner appointment, and Bishop was working in the yard. He looks at me and says, "Do you want to eat fire?" (in English of course.) Turns out he was taking care of some hot peppers. Our bishop is quite a character. By the fact that I am using the word bishop, you may have guessed that I am in a ward now. We are actually part of the Naga Stake, so that is pretty cool. The ward, however doesn't really seem that much bigger than the branch in Libmanan. The church here is really nice too though. It is two stories tall, and has a nice big chapel. All of the chapels here have windows on both sides, which seems really different to me, but it is also really nice, because it gives us a lot of natural light.

Everything seems to be going really well in Calabanga. I have been a little under the weather this week, but I didn't let it get in the way of the work. Elder Nebeker and I actually just had a really neat experience last night. We were walking along the road to go home after getting "punted" from a good number of lessons and we both noticed two people standing on the side of the road. We both had the feeling to talk to them, even though we really didn't want to. We talked to them and set up a return appointment to teach them, and they actually seem pretty interested. The cool part happened  after we were done talking to that family. One of our investigators came by in his car and offered us a ride. It turns out he had a relative in the car who has never been taught by the missionaries, but who will be staying with them for a while. We decided to have them take us to their house instead of ours, and we shared the message of the restoration with all of them. I really felt the Spirit, and our new investigator even prayed while we were there. It is really wonderful to be a part of little miracles like these out in the mission field.
We are just doing really well here in Calabanga. I'm living the life.
Here is one of my favorite scriptures from what I read this week (Helaman 5:10-12):

"10 And remember also the words which Amulek spake unto Zeezrom, in the city of Ammonihah; for he said unto him that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins.
 11 And he hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance; therefore he hath sent his angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls.
 12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
I actually really like the part in verse 10 where it says that Christ will come to save us from our sins and not in our sins. The story of Zeezrom has always been one of my favorites.
I would also like to say thanks to the ward for the mail at Christmas. Sorry this is a little late, but I really appreciated it. It was so neat to hear from everyone back home. 

I love you guys tons!
Elder Benjamin Merrill

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