This Blog is about Elder Hennessey's two year mission, in the Philippines Baguio Mission, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Monday, April 24, 2017

STORY: We were being guided by a little girl to the little food stand where her mother works, when all of a sudden she just stops walking, turns around and starts looking in the distance.  We didn't know what happened so we just waited, then it took forever, I looked at Elder Dosdos and he didn't know what was happening either. She turned away from me so I called her name to see if she would respond. No Response. She then started na sumasayo, dancing. Well that’s what it looked like, like she was grasping at strings that weren't there. We didn't know what to do so we just told her auntie she was not well and we left. It was sooo weird, and I swear before it happened there was an odd wind that blew by. It seemed honestly like she got possessed a little bit. Superstitions and ghost stories in America are scary, but people have a lot of doubts, here, it’s way different. If someone tells me something I believe it right away, cuz all that stuff is real here, as well as South America. I don’t know why, but there is something about this place where you just accept it. 

We're also teaching this lady named Donna P. We have taught her maybe 6 times now. She has read 19 chapters in the Book of Mormon, but has not yet attended Church. The first night after she read the BOM (Book of Mormon) she woke up from her sleep to see a light floating in the middle of her room. People always expect us to know exactly what it was so she asked "What was it?" expecting us to be like ghost whisperers or something. We told her God works in mysterious ways and that we cannot give her a definite answer. But she did also pray to know if it was true. We told her that if we were in her situation, we would take that to be a spiritual experience, or spiritual sighting (pagpakita, thing that was seen) and that she needed to decide for herself. She was content with our answer and has continued reading, which means she has continued to invite the Holy Ghost to testify of the truthfulness of the message and of the Book of Mormon. 

Brother Conrad, the husband of the non-practicing Muslim lady, is very sincere. He has a lot of troubles in life, he lives in a bamboo house that doesn’t have electricity, and he doesn’t have a job. We were teaching him and he said he has always tried to build his relationship with God the Father, but by-passing Jesus Christ. We told him that while God is super important, we need to get to know (makilala) Jesus Christ to obtain all of the blessings. He said it perfectly when he told us "I have spent so much time in prayer, directly to God, I think I need to know Jesus Christ". We were so happy to hear this because, YES, we all need to get to know him, build our relationship with him. He is our Brother, Savior, and Redeemer from all. If we pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ, after reading and doing all that we can to learn of him, we will feel through the Spirit that He is true, that through His restored Gospel we can obtain the one and only way back to eternal life and his presence.  

Hope you all had a great Easter! I'm looking forward to my skype on Mother’s Day. Even though EVERYDAY should be Mothers Day. 

Ingat kayo lahat, sana binabasahin mo ang Banal na kasulatan na ipinahayag ng ating unang propeta sa panahon natin :) Also, mahal ko talaga Baguio Mission!!!


The Jeepnee going through the streets of Agoo's barangy SAN JUAKING SUR, its super tight, we even snapped an electrical wire that was hanging really low. Someone was nice enough to fix it for only 100 pesos, He said "just pay for my marienda (noontime snacks (coke/chips)”

 
Us at the Binyag of Sister Hazel, me doing my Pinoy Pose, people say I could be half pinoy sometime, or part Spanish, all because of my nose. If you have a big (not flat/smushed) nose here, wow, you are attractive, that’s why Sister Dennis is admired by a lot of people here, hahaha.


                      
Some more of the artwork from the Bahay na Bato (House of Rocks).


Monday, April 17, 2017

    

  

These are some of the Pics from bahay na bato, a tourist attraction we went to as a zone last week. If anyone is going to Philippines La Union, I suggest going. Entry is 30 pesos to the park, and then an extra 20 I think into the art gallery, which adds up to 1 USD. While we were there the gallery was still being completed, so there was an obstacle at the door, but we were peeking around and under to see inside when we saw the owner of the whole park! He waved us inside and we met him and saw everything. We even saw the guy doing all of the Mural paintings. This is a perfect representation of the Philippines. In America they’d have like a paint suit, or an airbrush, or maybe even a ladder. Nope, here he is in a Philippinas Jersey, flip flops and standing on one of the other art exhibits. And he is MAGALING!! (Talented/skilled) 

  
  
Shout out to Elder Rennaker (in tye-dye shirt), serving in Argentina. He’s doing a lot of service right now because they are experiencing storms. He says it rains harder in Portland but since its Argentina they are having difficulty. This is something we will hopefully be doing before I leave Bacnotan, the service. One of our re-activated members doesn’t have a home, so he is basically living out of the town hall of his neighborhood. We found his brother and are gonna try to make a house on the property of their cousin. Maybe I’ll actually be able to do the kind of service people in America think I'm doing right now, like making Bamboo houses.

But anyways, his brother, the one we just found, had a great question to start our first lesson. He had a problem with the Character of Christ, why we worship him, why we think he is God. We had a fun time answering this unique question by telling him about the Godhead. And ultimately God the Father is the All-powerful being who created us all spiritually, then Jesus Christ, his son, created us all physically. This is why sometimes people can be confused about Jesus Christ being the Father and the Son, He is the Father of our physical bodies, and the son of god. A powerful scripture we shared is what Jesus said to Mary outside of his tomb "Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father, who is your Father, and to my God, who is your God". His wife is a non-practicing Muslim, so we should have an interesting time teaching them with a new angle, that God is the Father of all and that his Son, Jesus Christ is our physical creator, Savior, and Brother. 


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

This week was awesome as always! Especially because we were able to watch General Conference. For all of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a big broadcast (4 hours on Saturday and 4 hours on Sunday) from the Headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Utah, USA where we get to hear from living prophets. In times of old there were prophets prophesying to the people to warn them of danger and also how to get closer and better following the Commandments of God.  As members of the Church we are blessed to know that if we give heed to the words of modern Prophets, we will be guided to Eternal life. President (of the LDS Church), Thomas S Monson, spoke very briefly in each of the morning sessions. On Sunday it was on the Book of Mormon. He is a very old man, and has a very simple, almost comical way of addressing the saints. He simply states "if you have not yet read the Book of Mormon, read it"! (I don’t know if that’s a direct quote but) The gist of his message is simple, whether active members, long time inactives, or new investigators, if we do not read the Book of Mormon, we will not know to the highest extent of the truth of the restored Gospel. There was a man, who spoke during conference on what to do if you are investigating the church, who started taking discussions to please the girl he wanted to marry. I've forgotten his name but he gave 4 simple steps to what we should do to know of the truthfulness of a message. I invite us all members and nonmembers alike to watch and do, or think of someone you could invite to do, the steps given. I know he spoke the truth, as all of the speakers for General Conference are inspired of God. 

Something annoying what happened this week is that while we were eating dinner at a burger stand, a lady came up behind us and tried to sell us sweet potatoes. Which is ok in and of itself, people try to sell stuff on the streets all the time. At first we said no, we don’t normally eat sweet potatoes, but she was persistent. We finally bought the smaller of 2 options, probably a kilo of sweet potatoes for 20 pesos, after already dropping it 20 pesos. The burger man laughed later to his wife at the price we had paid since she had bought the larger bag, probably 3 kilos, (originally offered to us at 70 pesos) for the same price of 20. This is just one example of Americans getting ripped off, or over charged just cuz were white and people think we are super rich. Another one was a man trying to sell Elder Centeno a word (not sure what Tiegue means here, maybe drugs), yes on the street, for 2500. Dropping it to 1500 immediately, then to 1000, then 800. E. Centeno said it was probably really worth 300 only. 

Besides that though, me and Elder Bagnall are finally really close I feel, it was hard at first cuz he is very old in the mission and very set in his ways, but in these last two weeks we’ve gotten to be a lot more comfortable, and the little arguments or contentions are gone, mostly. It’s a shame that he will be transferring tomorrow. I was able to get from him before he left, a bunch of videos and music and pictures from his USBs, of course all from mormon.org.  I then looked on a SD card from Elder ____ and it had games and Captain America and other movies and a ton of songs... smh (shake my head).

Hope you all had a Great Spring break in America. I forgot it was spring now because there’s only 2 seasons here: Hot and Rainy. The rainy is coming up soon so probably within a month I'll have pictures of flooded paths and rivers on roads. 

Aganad kanyayo apu!!



This is how we do ice cream in the Philippines. Just slap it in a bread roll.


Our kabahay in front of the I <3 Bacnotan sign (E. Centeno, E. Bagnall. Elder Walsh, siak) There has been a sign in every city/province that I've been to so far. #sikat












I stepped in cow poop, it was really dark and I stepped square in it.












The baptism of the sisters, Sister Hazel. A week earlier she asked for a priesthood blessing and I was the one who she asked to minister to her. So she also asked me to be the one to baptize her. 








This is one of the many landscapes that I get to see. I am sooo glad to be serving in Baguio Mission because the mountains are super pretty.








This is a pic of our kabahay (People who share the house). That sign with the fingers is what we call skaty. Basically means famous, whenever we get mentioned in a conversation or do something cool or bad, as long as we get mentioned, we throw us sikat (see-kat). Also this was at the Bahay na Bato, a tourist attraction but I'll send more of those pictures next week.

video


A video of us crossing a little river. This cracks me up so much, I didn’t wanna get my feet wet but i couldn’t get the right foot placement to make the jump. Plus my haircut is suuper fresh, like earlier that day probably. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

This past week me and my companion met a golden Investigator, well, she more found us. We were walking up the hill to one of our areas when she called out to us and said she didn’t want to walk alone because she was scared. Of course we were glad to walk with her and eventually got her information and went to meet her a few days later. We went with a member, recent convert, Ed, who was already friends with her. Her first question, before we'd even started our first lesson, was "what are your regulations for Baptism?"

We had a good lesson, taught all about the Church and the Restoration of the Priesthood, then we invited her to be baptized. She accepted but before we could set a date for her baptism Ed interrupted. He completely broke the atmosphere of the spirit when he said" it’s not ok to take a selfie in the font."  This caused him to tell the story of his baptism.  When he walked into the water, before they had opened the sliding/viewing door, he had his phone up taking a selfie, and then when the door was opened everyone was shocked and laughed a little bit. They just took his phone and went on with the ordinance. Ed is 22.

Another thing is she told us about one of her past religions: Jesus Miracle Crusade. I was shocked and disgusted to hear some of the things they do. They are forced to fast from water and food for 3 days, if they don’t they are excommunicated. They are prohibited from medicine, only the grace of God and their prayers can save them from the common cold or a deadly virus. And girls can’t get their hair cut, just trimmed a tiny bit. And inside of the chapel, it is prohibited for girls and boys to shake hands, and they sit on opposite sides of the room, so you get separated from your family at church. This is just one of the MAAANY different churches. They are all way different and don’t make sense to me, but I'll save them for a different email. That is just one f the many struggles of being a missionary here. There’s a different religion in basically every neighborhood and people don’t like to walk too far, even for the true restored church.

Fun Fact: We sometimes find their brochures or magazines (of other churches) Elder Bagnall has a fun time highlighting all the false doctrine and correcting it. 


Take care Everyone!!!