Sunday, March 29, 2015

Another week in the Peenes

Hello everyone,

Another solid week in the Peenes finished! So this week was a lot better than last week! We taught the kid that got in an accident and they are way nice people. We set his father with a baptism date for the 25th of April. We are a little worried that they are just letting us in because we helped them out so we are visiting again tonight to kind of see if they really are interested. Way nice family though. There are 3 kids and the mother passed away a few years ago. I hope they can progress well! Also. We set like 4 other people with a baptism date this last week so that was awesome. And we had 3 investigators at church! It was great! So we have been teaching this sister named Arlene and she really wants to come to church but her husband has been saying no. We taught him and he agreed to let her come and then on Sunday Both of them and their 2 small kids came to sacrament meeting! The blessings of missionary work. So nice! 

I am so excited for conference! Oh man. Its like Christmas. We wont see it until the week after you all do so don't tell me anything! Has President Packer been translated yet? Anyway. Life is good. There are 10 other guys from India here with me but only one of them is in my zone. No news on visa or anything like that. They probably wont tell me anything until the end of the transfer. There are 4 or 5 guys in front of me so once they get their visas I will be next in like. They have been here for 4 months now. I am sure Heavenly Father will make sure our visas are granted when the time is right. 

Yeah I can't speak Tagalog. I am understanding more everyday though. I taught Sunday school yesterday in English. haha no one understood. It was awesome. But I am taking this time to really kind of redo my teaching. I am studying to teach a lot more simply. And to focus more on asking questions and relating the lesson directly to the investigator. Solid.

Cool. Well that's basically it. Oh! Man. Okay. So there is this inactive family we have been trying to teach and the father is really wealthy and gives all his kids his money so they support him in whatever he does. He was also the first stake president of this area. He has also turned from the church. We met him last week and he is crazy. It was so awesome. He told us that he has come to know that the remaining Gold plates are located in Nicaragua and he has been speaking to the "Americans" to go and find them. He speaks nice English though. Also he told us that if we understand that my companion is brown, and I am white, and there are negros, then we understand revelation. Pretty awesome. I felt inspired. Sort of. Haha no idea how to help him. But he talked for about 45 minutes. Solid.

Love you all. Hope you have a great week. Drink a strawberry shake for me.  

Elder Checketts

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Wild Week

George the Flattened Gecko in the Door

George's skeleton
Well this week was Interesting. Soo to start. We had a small St. Patricks day celebration. Pretty awesome.
Those pictures are gross. Got some awesome fake mustaches from Elder Christensens mother who sent him a package. Then On Tuesday a bunch of the elders in our Zone went and we all helped the sister move their apartment. They had so much stuff. My arms hurt so bad. It was solid. I installed the toilet. Planning on being a plumber when I get home now. Anyway. It was cool. We set Andrew with a baptism date for April 11. I hope that works out. he is a way cool guy. Except he didn't come to church yesterday. I guess he had to go out of town for a day or 2. But yeah. We are teaching this new guy named Jessie and he is cool. His neighbors were laughing at him for talking to us though so we are gonna go and teach his neighbors tomorrow. About Outer Darkness. Joke. But he is a way nice guy.
Hope he will progress. Umm yeah then Satan tried to burn our house down no joke. So Sunday was a way crazy day! After Church we came back to the house and there was a ton of smoke and we were like oh mann. But the other elders were there and told us to look out the back door. I guess there was a huge fire in the field behind our house and it literally came like 5 feet away from our apartment. (see pictures)
But yeah it was nuts. Our house is definitely being protected. Pretty cool. Well. then. After that we went and picked up some members for exchange. As we were on our way to an appointment when we see this girl start to cross the road and then this kid comes out of no where on his bicycle and slams into her and flies off the bike and into some rocks. We ran over and he was unconscious. Fortunately one of our neighbors is an Australian. He is also a paramedic. haha but he gave us his number like 3 days ago in case we ever had a problem. So we called him up and he flies up there in his ambulance and we pack the kid up and Phil (the Australian) tells us we need to come because we
Fire up to house
were witnesses. So for the first time in my life and hopefully the last, We were flying through downtown Tarlac in an ambulance. So sick. The kid is okay as far as we know. We stayed and he got an x ray and nothing too serious. So after like 2 hours we got him back into the ambulance and took him home. We met his family and its Just his dad and his brother there. Way nice guy though. We are going to try and visit tomorrow and teach them. God works in Mysterious ways. Hopefully this is one of them!

Pretty crazy week! It was fun though. No news on the visa. I will probably die here. just kidding. But I might be here for a while. My Tagalog is Pitiful. I can bear small testimony though. Thats cool. I understand a lot more than I speak. Weird. Um yeah stomach is currently blowing up. No idea what is wrong with it. Either the parasite is angry that I tried to kill him or he now has a few friends. More to come on that. Umm. Life is swell. We are struggling to get people to church. We are working on ways to help them get there.  Well yeah. Love you all. Proud of you all. I am praying for you all. Love you

Elder Checketts
Experiment with hot dog, eggs and rice
Comp Study

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Tagalog...I can't able to speak that one

Hello everyone,

Well another wonderful week gone by here in the Philippines. Our focus this week was just finding new investigators. We found a couple of good people but we talked to a lot of people on the street so we should have a lot more appointments this week. I am really excited to teach them all. We are now teaching one recent converts older brother Andrew. He is a really nice guy. I guess he attended our church like a year ago but was really busy so couldn't come. He has told his family he wants to learn more about the church. Really awesome guy. He was at church yesterday and I think the Ward here did a nice job of fellowshipping him. Mostly because his Mother went and introduced him to basically everyone in the ward haha. I am excited to continue teaching him. So Kind of a sad experience. I think this last week we were asked to come to a hospital and give a sister a blessing. She had a very young family around her I think she was maybe 25 and had 2 small kids. So I was asked to give the blessing and during the blessing I had the strongest feeling that she wasn't going to live. I couldn't bring myself to say it though. I just ended up saying it was Gods will and not ours. She passed away after 2 days. Kinda depressing. My testimony of the priesthood is still as strong as it was before but I haven't ever had that experience. Kinda sad. I know her Family will be okay though and that they will all be together again.

In other news a crazy old man at church yesterday told me that if I didn't drink salt water, I am going to die.... I dunno maybe he is a prophet. I'll pray about it. Anyway. Um yeah. What else. Tagalog..... I can't able to speak that one. I can understand a lot more now though. Its a learning process. Not going to lie. I miss India. Its really nice here. I am having fun. But I miss India. I want to go home. But my experience in the Spokane mission helped me to learn a lot about serving where I am asked to. But my mission call never said anything about Tagalog... :) 

Did I tell you guys about how they call Americans here "Joe?" Well They do. So I guess lots of old American war veterans come here after they finish serving in the military and come here to chase women. And it works for them because they are rich here. kind of gross. But that's life. Anyway. I talked to one yesterday! He is from England and was extremely drunk. It was awesome though. He invited us back to go and get some drinks with him and "Have a little chat" His name is John. He wouldn't say his last name because he thought we were police. He is nuts. But funny. But all the kids and people here always call us Joe. So when we are walking down the street we usually hear someone yell "Hi Joe!" and I say Hi Phil! Good times. Well yeah. That's about it this week. Also! here is the Address if you maybe might like to send a letter or something.... 
Philippines Angeles Mission Office
F. Tanedo Street, Barangay San Nicolas,
Tarlac City, Tarlac 2300

Love you all and hope everything is going well at home. Keep me updated on life and its events!

Elder Checketts

Monday, March 9, 2015

Good News. I have a Parasite!

Hey Everyone!

Well this week was a little slower than usual but still good! We taught some awesome lessons this week! So I went on an exchange with Elder Tucci this week! He finishes his mission in 4 days! And he is from Australia. Way cool guy! We taught some awesome lessons to sister Arlene. She really wants to join the church but has a hard time actually coming to the church. We taught about what she wants in life and in order to be happy we have to keep all the commandments. I dunno it was really good. Her Husband ended up coming and talking to us about the church and wanted to come also. Unfortunately Our meeting was "Gatorless." Anyway. It was a good lesson. Also we went and taught brother Willy about the BoM. Man it was awesome! We read Chapter 31 of 2 Ne. with him and we applied it directly to him. It was way cool. At the end he was like wow this is really true. And we were like YES! Although that clicked in his mind he wasn't able to come to church. Sad. It was a fun week though. We had a missionary fireside and the other elders in our Ward did most of it. It was good though. We talked about unity between Missionaries and members. So important! 

Well I have bad and good news. Bad news. My stomach went crazy again. Good news. I have a parasite! But I am taking pills that kill them and so I am feeling a lot better! So yes this week is transfer week here but they wont tell us what will happen until Wednesday! I am pretty sure that my companion and I are staying here though! No news on the Visa. Some elders have told me that there are crazy things happening in India. I guess there is a big revolt with all the Hindu's trying to convert all the Christians back to Hinduism. They are not allowed to street contact or talk to random people anymore. Hopefully that all clears up when I get back there! We will see. Well all is well here in Tarlac. I dunno if I have told you about our area? Its part of the city and one part is called San Isidro where we do most of our work and another area called Santo Cristo. A lot of our area is businesses so its pretty hard to find in some areas. But San Isidro is really good. lots of houses. Lots of "Sqauter" houses. Means that they dont own the land and they just built a small house out of random stuf. and they are "squating" until they get kicked out. Kinda wild but lots of good people! Well yeah I am about out of time. Love you all. Sorry I am bad at answering questions/emailing in general. Take care!

Elder Checketts

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Thanks for Prayers


Well this week interesting! We met a few new people and they are awesome, but we still haven't had any investigators come to church... But, We did have 2 Inactive families come and another inactive sister! That definitely made it all worth it! It was awesome! Its always the best feeling to have someone you have been teaching attend all the meetings! Anyway, I have an awesome missionary story that you all need to hear/experience. So. Let the games begin. Do you remember Sister Lina who i mentioned last week and she is a crazy Seventh Day Adventist? Yeah so we met her again.... And it was so crazy this time. Man. Okay so we literally tried everything. Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and she was basically just yelling at us about how even the Book of Mormon says to keep the Sabbath day holy. So elder Olohan pulls out the Bible dictionary and I guess somehow she has a copy of our churches bible so she pulls hers out and we read a few of the paragraphs. Her interpretation of it was the strangest thing I have ever heard. It talks about how there is such a thing as "revealed Religion" and she goes off about how that is saying that Man changed the Sabbath and not God. Then after more apostate interpretations she finally yells "WHO WROTE THIS!" while she was pointing at it and we were like uhh and then she screams again "GOD WROTE THIS!!!" And at that moment my testimony grew so much stronger. Because our church is the one that wrote the Bible Dictionary. Was it Bruce R Mcconkie? I think so.. I don't remember. Anyway. It was awesome. We didn't tell her that though. We let her finish her violent opinions of the Sabbath day, and then bore testistmony and left. She always asks us to come back though. No idea why. I think she is possessed. Just kidding. But really she might be. Anyway. it was hilarious but awesome and it made me so grateful to have a Prophet of God that receives revelation for us and the church!

Well other than that we found a way cool family to teach. One problem. the Grandma doesn't want her kids coming to our church. Such a pain. Hopefully her heart will be softened as we continue to teach. Also we got a referral from one of the Bishopric members. His Nephew. Way cool kid but doesn't really care for Religion. That will soon change! He was way nice though. I am excited to teach him. Also this week we were out street contacting and I had "the Feeling" to talk to this sister and so we did. Turns out she is an inactive member since like 1996. Taught her about The 2 great commandments in the law. She is really nice and I hope to be able to help her and her family! 

Also another miracle. So my Stomach problems are basically gone. I was having some way bad stomach pains for the last couple of weeks and nothing was helping, but randomly one day it just kind of stopped. Its still there every once in a while but no where near as bad as it was. So to all those who were and are praying for me, Thank you!

Well I love it here in the Philippines. Definitely I want to go back to India but this place is wonderful and the people are very kind. Tagalog is.... fun... Still cant speak it but I can understand a lot now. Sort of. Thanks for all your prayers and all that you have done for me! So many blessing are coming every week! Also Ryan Happy Birthday! When the heck did you get a girlfriend and why were Mom and Dad the first ones to tell me?? Update me you Gentile! Also Matt and Chris good luck with the tests! and Dad with work! And the rest of the fam and your endeavors! Love you all!

Elder Checketts