Monday, March 16, 2015
In our church, we don't have a preacher over the congregation that speaks each week. Our congregation is called a ward led by a bishop. Each week, members of the ward are asked if they would be willing to speak on Sunday. A personal invitation is given by a member of the bishopric (the bishop, his first counselor, or his second counselor-- depending on which one is conducting the meeting).
Two Sunday's ago, the second counselor came and asked me if I would be willing to speak. I said that I would and was given the topic, the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Yeah. Not an easy subject matter.
Yesterday, as I sat up on the stand looking down into the congregation, I watched Levi. My eyes were drawn to him because A) my eyes are drawn to my family, and B) Levi was very emotional.
The entire meeting was based on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. My talk, a musical number, and another talk by another member of our ward. Through the whole meeting, Levi couldn't get a hold of his emotions.
This happens often when the topic is Jesus Christ. Levi becomes very emotional. He doesn't know why and it confuses him, he just knows that he can't stop crying. Those of us who know Levi, know it is because he has a very real and personal relationship with his older brother, Jesus Christ.
There is no doubt in my mind that before Levi came to this earth, he was one of the 'great ones'.
Happy 13th birthday Levi!! I am so grateful for the gift Levi gave me 13 years ago today. Having Levi in our home is a gift to all of us. He is so loved as shown by his older brother, Elder Trevor Rubow who sent this early this morning all the way from the Philippines to Levi.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
When he was old enough to join the scouting program he wanted to do what his brothers have done. It's always been this way with Levi. He sees and he wants to do/copy.
Levi is working on his Citizenship in the Community merit badge right now. One of the requirements is 8 hours of community service. Yes, 8 HOURS!! We've done 3 so far. 5 more hours to go!
Today walking the river trail picking up garbage:
Me: Levi! Look! There's a piece of garbage!
Levi: Look! Dares a duck! Why iz dat duck swimming dat way?
Me: Levi. You need to pick up this piece of garbage.
Levi: I hear dogs barking. Why are da dogs barking?
Me: That is how dogs talk. They are saying hello. Now, let's pick up more garbage.
Levi: Can we be done wif diz? When iz da clock gonna be 6? (I told him we'd finish at 6:00 PM)
Me: Levi, we still have 45 more minutes! Let's keep walking and finding garbage.
Levi: I'm hungry. I'm hungry for lunch.
Me: No, you already had lunch. You are hungry for dinner.
Levi: No I didn't!! I didn't have lunch! I'm hungry for lunch!!
Me: (The dialogue continues about lunch and how he didn't have lunch, yes, he did..... at school.......... no I didn't.......... I'm hungry for lunch!)
Me: Levi, we need to keep walking and finding garbage.
Levi: What do I get when I finish picking up diz garbage?
Me: Dinner. We'll go home and have dinner.
Levi: I'm hungry for dinner. I'm ready to go home now.
Sigh.................. 5 more hours to go before Saturday's merit badge pow wow when these requirements are supposed to be done so Levi can sign them off.......... Heaven help me...............
And why pray tell, you all are wondering, are we helping Levi to earn these merit badges when he has no concept of why or what any of these mean?? Because he wants to be just like his brothers and get merit badges and have them on his sash. Sashes are cool! He wants his sash covered in merit badges just like his brothers. So, The SM and I continue to sit and take notes for Levi in classes that he is oblivious to and could care less about and we walk river trails picking up garbage that he could care less about because in the end, seeing Levi smiling and proud of his sash filling up with merit badges makes it all worth it. At least that is what I keep telling myself.
Note to self: Remember this sweet thought as you do the next 5 hours of community service...... and up the reward when finished. Dinner doesn't cut it.
Friday, February 27, 2015
So I tried to send you a video but I made it a bit too big so you will need to wait till next week to get it. I wasted most of my email time trying to get it to you and its so annoying that it didnt work...sorry.
Crazy week you had though haha! Your sense of humor is just different thats all nobodies perfect as you right? :)
Tell C----- to get those papers in ASAP and let me know what happens! I am so so excited to see where he ends up haha, and how far out of his comfort zone.... (Mr. C is putting his papers in soon to serve a mission for our church as well!! Exciting times!!)
Well I love you too and I am sorry that I wasn't able to send you anything big....dumb video but I know what I have been doing wrong so you will get one tomorrow alright? Love you tons as well and Cannot wait till mothers day as well. I don't even know when that is actually.
We had an amazing week this week which should bring many people to the waters of baptism! We are very excited and we are seeing some good things coming for the future. To start off we have been failing at finding new investigators. We talk to people but they aren't very interested most of the time. So we realized that we needed a new way to find people so we decided to find Less Actives. We found a Ward Directory and just started going through names of people that lived in the ward but we no longer recognized and then with a few members went out to find them. Many of the people had moved to other places but many were very accepting of us and many promised to return to church. As well as that, many of their families were not members and were interested in coming as well and the kids of these less active members. One of these families was a testimony builder for me.
We had one more family on the list that we wanted to visit and upon arriving we tagbalayed the house to see if anyone was there. We could see people looking through the cracks of the bamboo house but it wasn't for a good 5 minutes till the father came out to talk to us. He was a member and recognized us as missionaries but we could tell he did not really want to talk to us. I continued to do so anyway and after some basic talking we found out that his son was very sick with a high fever and could barely move. The father invited us in and we offered to give a blessing to him. Right after the blessing he was able to stand and the fever was gone. After a few minutes the father then said they would go back to church even though we had not yet committed him to do so. The priesthood is a true power and I testify that it is indeed here upon the Earth and it was given to Joseph Smith, a true prophet of God and it was given to him by the three Apostles Peter, James, and John.
That was our week really, we do have a baptism thiswhich I am so very excited for and I cannot wait, we still have a lot to do to help with that and the work will continue! I miss you lots of course but I just love the Philippines and there is no where else I would rather be right now.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
When ever there are enough left overs for another dinner, The Natives are told to leave it alone! Don't touch! If you value your life, you won't even THINK about taking those left overs with you to school/work for lunch the next day. Save them for dinner! Levi has caught onto this.
He loves to take the left overs from dinner and put them in a Rubbermaid container and put them in the fridge for me. Levi also delights in left overs. Especially left over pizza!
So, again, back to the other night. Sorry, tangent. It happens. It's been a long day. SQUIRREL!
Anyway, we had pizza the other night. There were some left overs. Not a ton but enough for Levi to put the pizza in the fridge and more importantly, make an interesting observation and then use it to his advantage. The next morning, Levi observed his brother, Mr. C getting his lunch ready for the day. Mr. C was going to take some left over pizza with him. Levi saw this and figured something out on his own. He told Mr. C that he needed to put the pizza back in the fridge because Dad said we were saving it for dinner! (Dad didn't say anything of the sort.) Mr. C promptly put the pizza back in the fridge and made himself a different lunch and then left for work.
As soon as Levi saw his brother leave for work, he went to the fridge, took out the left over pizza, and ate it all himself!
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
|Elder C. and Elder Rubow|
so the computer crashed and I am out of time. It took me half an hour to fix it and the time is far spent here. So this one will be quick and rather boring to be honest. I completely forgot it was valentines day! Shows how much I pay attention. Not that it matters here anyway really. I always shower/deoderant/brush/floss and all that. You would be proud of me!
So I gave B. a challenge this week so you can talk to him about it if you want. Rather simple really. Thanks!
Not much to say this week really. It was just busy busy busy. I had a bunch of meetings today which meant no proselyting this week. Well we workedactually but other than that I have been traveling and mostly alone at that which was so weird! I had district meeting on Tuesday, left for Iloilo that evening with my companion which took 5 hours to get to the mission home. The next day was trainer trainees meeting because I was training and then President sent my companion back to our area but I had to stay for District Leader Committee. I met with a lot of other district leaders and we had a lot of fun going out and talking to people before going out to eat. I learned that it is not good to go out to eat with a missionary from Tonga and a missionary from Samoa. I got beat so badly and I was hurting all the next day at the meeting. After all the meetings (which were pretty fun) we went back to our respective areas. was so fast and we visited a lot of our recent converts here in the area so that was good! morning we had interviews with President and Sister Aquino. Those were alright but it was mostly just 'I am good and thats how I am." So that was easy. Later that day we had Stake Conference where they talked about the importance of family and ward council meeting. That was that! Really simple week really. I learned a lot though about how I could do better as a district leader so that will be very nice to put into application.
That really is my week. It was very boring but I got to know my zone a lot better and the missionaries in it. I love it here and I cannot wait to be able to get back to work this week and go find new people. Thats really about it so thank you very much for everything and I will catch you next week.
I love you!!
Friday, February 13, 2015
I found a site on the Internet that makes bug Valentines. Perfect for Levi! He might not grasp the concept of Valentine's Day (what elementary kid does??) but he does grasp bugs and they are cool!
A few days ago we sat down and glued bugs onto what looked like a jar printed on card stock. I wanted to print on the jar: Happy Valentine's Day! Now bug off! Or, Happy Valentine's Day! Quit bugging me! The SM didn't think that was a very good idea so we went with the cutesy "Love Bug" saying that was already printed on the jar. (If you are needing a visual, here is the link to what we made).
Bugs happily glued onto the jars. Now time to write names on the tops of the Valentines. Who do you want to give Valentines to Levi besides your teacher and classmates? The bus driver and bus driver aid. Swell! Not a problem. We carefully write their names on top of their Valentine's. Levi talks about his bugs for the rest of the week in anticipation of today.
This morning arrives. Oh happy day! It's time to get ready for school! I put Levi's bug Valentine's into a bag for him but leave out the two for his bus driver and aid. We look at the Valentine's and carefully go over which one he hands to the bus driver and which one he hands to the aid. Look Levi! What is your bus driver's name? Yes, that is correct. What does (insert name) start with? We say the letter and sound out the letter. We go through the same with the aid's name. We do this several times so Levi can see the first letter in their names, know how it sounds, and hand the Valentine's to the correct person. Over and over we do this so Levi can be successful.
The bus comes. I stand on the porch and tell Levi to have a good day. He hesitates. He doesn't leave the porch. I look from him to the bus, and then I notice what Levi has already noticed because anything different/change is always on the radar. The bus driver is different today. All of that work practicing who to give the Valentine's to! Argh!!!
I tell Levi it is okay and to give both Valentine's to the aid. She'll make sure the bus driver gets hers. It's too much. It's not what we practiced. Levi continues to hesitate. I give him a little prod. Finally, he walks to his waiting bus. He holds onto the Valentine's not sure what to do. Looking out the window now he looks to me in confusion. What to do?! It's all changed! I motion for him to give the Valentine's to the aid. He looks from me to the aid and back again. Go ahead Levi. Everything is going to be okay!
Eventually Levi gives the Valentine's to the aid. Both of them. And then he looks back at me. We do the usual wave and blow kisses goodbye. As the bus pulls away I give Levi the thumbs up. You did it!! You worked through something really hard! You worked through the unexpected! You worked through change! Something that is no big deal to most, was monumental to Levi! I wish I worked through the unexpected/change/difficulties as well as Levi did this morning........
Monday, February 9, 2015
Crazy crazy week and the next one is going to be twice as crazy! And I only have a few minutes to share it. I am in my new area President Roxas in the jungle/ocean! Love my new area a ton! But it has its own challenges though such as distance. The transportation is very limited and very expensive so we walk most of the time unless we catch the lucky bus going pass.
We also have boats because we get to travel to a bunch of islands which is way fun! I love the ocean and the mountains so now I have both! I am still district leader and I am finishing the last 6 weeks of another missionary. That has been going alright but other than that nothing has changed much in that aspect.
So the big thing for this last week. We have been doing some finding in the islands and we came across a member from the Iglesia ni cristo and he has invited me to talk to his ministers and such so I am super excited to see how that turns out in a week or two. I still don't know if it will even happen but I told him I would have no problem but I won't be able to visit him till after this coming week. We have a ton of meetings which means a lot of transportation because I am so far from everyone so that will be fun. That really wraps up my week and I hope to have something better for next week.
Keep doing good things and always choose the right! I love having the Spirit with me and having the opportunity to follow his guidance. He will never lead us astray and neither will the Prophets. Those be some smart people. Love ya all!
That is about it! I love you and I cannot wait to hear from you next week! Till then love you!! And I always always wear my deoderant. (I often tease him about wearing deodorant in my letters to him.)