Elder Checketts has returned home on a medical release for a few weeks. The mission clock has stopped while he recovers. In order to answer any questions, we are posting some information below.
His medical condition involves pain in his stomach. He has lost 26 pounds as a result from the pain and difficulty eating. His systems are similar to Gastritis. There is a great staff of LDS doctors in Manila and he met with them. They have been unable to find anything wrong like ulcers or gallbladder problems. They believe he is reacting to the food, water, or environment in the Philippines. This happens to a few missionaries.
Missionaries with this kind of reaction usually recover within a 2 to 3 week period in the United States. So we have been asked not to try any interventions for that time to see if he improves on his own. He has already started to show signs of improvement.
The visas for the India missionaries started to come through the week before he came home. We were notified that his visa was approved and just received it today.
As soon as he is medically cleared to return, he will go back to India unless the Quorum of the 12 decides otherwise. Missionaries are in high demand in India right now, so we are very hopeful that he will again return to his Bangalore India mission.
If you would like to visit with him, please contact him through his mission email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If he feels well enough to visit he will let you know.
Please keep him in your prayers and thank you for your support.
Sunday, June 14, 2015
So this week was a little bit slower than past weeks. We had a lot of people bunk on us and a lot of people tell us that we couldn't come anymore. But its okay. We still found new investigators and they are great. I hope that we can continue to find and teach and teach when we find. Anyway. We found a new family. Just a young couple with a little girl. Awesome people. I really hope to see them progress here. We started searching for some of the long lost less actives in our area and we found one sister that stopped coming to church after her husband past away. she is way nice and still believes the church is true but works. I think she is definitely ready to come back. This week we had a big stake conference and some general authorities addressed us over a broadcast. We also got to hear Elder Anderson speak. He gave a great talk on choosing to be the one to help. It was really good. Then they started showing Meet the Mormons after and all the missionaries were so excited but then the President called and said Missionaries can't stay. kinda sad but its okay. After the mission.
Well yeah that was this week. We have baptisms scheduled for July but not much happening in June. No news on any visa. Not sure whats going on. Its okay though. So today I am going to Manila to the hospital there. I guess they will do some tests there and see if they can figure out the problem so I dont have much time. Hopefully it goes well. I am sure they will be able to figure it out. And yeah. Haha thats about all thats going on this week. We are having mission tour and Elder Bowen will be coming to our mission so I am really excited for that. It will be good! Well thanks for everything. All those that are praying and helping me and my family in any way Thank you so much. Love you all have a great week.
Sunday, June 7, 2015
Well Transfer week has come and gone! I am still here in Mabalacat 2 with Elder On! There is a new elder in our apartment though and he is from Arizona! He is from Basically Mesa. He said its like 5 minutes away from Mesa. Pretty cool! His name is Elder Whaley. So yeah that's basically all that happened with transfers. I'm the District leader here now. Aspiring. Just kidding. Anyway. yeah it was a good week!
We found some really cool people to teach this week. We were walking down the street in one of our areas and we heard some little kids screaming "Americano!" And then their dad steps outside of the house and he has a huge smile on his face and Says "Hi Joe!" I have decided that whenever that happens its best to share the gospel! So that's what we did and he invited us in and he and his friend listened to us! They Had a lot of questions and accepted to hear again. He has an awesome family so hopefully we can help them progress! When we went to a different area we were going to teach a sister that we hadn't seen in a couple of weeks and we found her she brought us around the back of her house and into her church..... It was slightly awkward but so awesome. She brought a friend in and we taught the restoration. Both accepted for baptism. I guess the one sister is like the vice president of this spiritualist church.... I really hope they can come to church! So we are teaching this other family and they are way cool. Ronato and Ronaldo. They read the Book of Mormon every night. i think they are already in 2nd Nephi which is way awesome. They really want to attend but they have work. Also when we walked by the other day the Father was completely drunk. Awesome. Sort of. Lots to do but I know this gospel can change anyone.
Yeah just the usual missionary life here. People running when they see us coming down the street. Rabid Dogs chasing us. Awkward public transportation. Trying to speak a language that makes no sense. Its cool. No news on the visa. I think I just miss chicken curry most. Some members tried to make some for me here. I commend them for their efforts. But... yeah. Joke it was really good. just not the same. Um I got more sick this week so that was cool. But luckily a loving Mothers package found its way to my stomach and I took medicine that helped a lot! Also thanks to Bishop Brisko for the help in getting it here so quickly! Also Tell Bishop I miss him. Also that the branches in India and Philippines need him desperately.
Well yeah. That was this week. fun stuff. Whats new at home? How is the fam? That goes to all who read this. I hope that you are all happy and healthy. Be good. Don't do drugs. Keep the commandments. Read the book of Mormon everyday. Pray Morning and night. Serve Others. Love you all.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Well another week dito sa Philippines gone by! No news on the visa so I am guessing that I am to be left here to wallow in self-pity until I die..... haha just kidding. I love this place. But I also miss India. I don't know what I feel. Everyone this week was telling me about the heat wave in India, so I was was semi-homesick. Like from India... Yeah anyway. This week was swell! We went finding a lot and we found a lot! Heavenly father blessed us with 12 new Investigators this week and most of them accepted a baptism date. Haha but I guess the Philippines has some weird thing with talking to you the first time and then they hide inside their houses the next time you come. Is it like that everywhere? I dunno. Sometimes its painful. We are trying to work more with members to help our investigators come to church. That always seems to be the problem haha oh well. Its fine. We found a couple of small families and they are awesome. They are busy but want us to come and teach them so that will happen tonight. Hopefully we can help them out! Thats basically all that happened this last week. Just the usual missionary work. Street contacting and talking to everyone! Our goal for this week is to involve members a lot more. We have selected fellowship for each investigator and will plan out lessons when the members are free. Also to coordinate more with our bishop and other leaders. They aren't too keen on working with us but we are going to change that!
Well this week. We went Finding. And we found. Pretty amazing how that works! Really though. So. This week we were able to find and teach 9 new investigators. It started on Wednesday after we had a really good District meeting. the sister giving the workshop was talking about faith vs fear and asked why we don't ask for referrals after every single lesson. And I said sometimes its because we feel like we already know what they are going to say to us. And then she wrote "lack of faith" on the board and I was like... Ouch.... But I kinda hit me and I decided that I never want anyone to tell me that again...So after that we talked to literally everyone we could have talked to. So the first person that accepted us was a grandpa named Oscar. He is paralyzed on the left side of his body. He is an extremely nice guy but said that he cant come to church because of his condition. We are working on ways to be able to help him attend though so no worries. Also his Grandson named Dale wasn't there for the first lesson but sat in on the next one and is more interested than his Grandpa. He told that he has given up searching for truth because he hasn't been able to find it in any of the churches he has attended. He had to leave the lesson early because of work but Next lesson we are going to help him out! I believe he is one of those people that were kept from the truth because they knew not where to find it. Next we found a family and the father wasn't too eager to listen at first but after wards he was smiling and happy. His son accepted a baptism date but he said he wasn't ready yet. Soon! Also. We found a young sister named Judy who also has been searching for truth. She has been going to a lot of different churches looking for what was right but wasn't sure. She accepted a Baptism date also! Then we received a referral from the sister missionaries of a young man they had street contacted so we set out to a place literally called Africa to go and find him and his Family! Deep in the depths of the jungle we found them but he wasn't there! We taught his mom and her friend and the mother accepted a baptism date as well. Awesome! It was a really good week. We also have a lot of return appointments with others that we contacted for this week.
I was able to attend the temple this week also! Such an amazing blessing! We were able to see 2 families sealed together for time and eternity. I love the temple for much! I missed it a lot! It was really fun and I am grateful I was given an opportunity to go! Also big news.. so I received a package! But it was dated march 17th. So the long lost box has found its way here! I got the camera and everything! Haha the other elders in the apartment were shocked that I thought HotTamales were good! They didn't like them very much!The milk duds were completely melted but the freezer Still haven't seen the other box yet But it will come soon I am sure. So that was our week! really busy but fun! I love you all and hope you are doing well! Take care of yourselves!