Monday, September 16, 2013

"Had Fun and Got the Work Done!" 9/6/13

Hey i have a little time today and write to tell you we had some things got changed on us, the burreu of immagration changed their standards and so we are leaving urdaneta sunday afternoon instead of tuesday afternoon. i will be in manilla sunday night and have to make a personal appearance at the immagration building for some finger print stuff. i wont have time to write on monday so they gave us a little time to write today. i will still be home on wednesday. no worries there, i almost played a joke on you guys but sister monahan and i didnt think you would find that to funny haha. this is actually my last day of work here in the philippines, we started today with a nice service project for the ward and now we are at the office getting things ready for transfers next week. later today we have a interview for our investigators that will be baptized on the 14th! then we have a p.e.c. meeting and then a ward f.h.e. should be pretty fun, i realized i have nothing to pack haha. my suit cases are pretty much empty haha, i wont have anytime to buy anything so sorry. the change was really unexpected. oh well, do what ya gotta do! i just want to say that is has been one great ride! i can honestly say that this is the best two years and i dont see it as a sacrifice at all. i have gained more then i left or could have obtained. it was the greatest privilege to stand shoulder to shoulder with my Savior Jesus Christ and assist Him in this glorious work! I saw people change. I saw miracles. I saw the spirit dwell in the most humble circumstances and testify that the words we spoke are true! I love you all and will see you next week. i can say as well that i have no regrets on how i have served and went out strong! nagmamahal, Elder Machen

Monday, September 2, 2013

"Go Lang Nang GO!"

Hey sorry i dont have much time to write! thanks for your wonderful emails! i truly enjoyed them, my mind is kinda scrambled right now cause we have so much to do haha, this week was really good, we are training our replacements and they are great elders, we are having a blast and our area is flurishing with people accepting the gospel! i cant explain all in this email, but ill tell ya all about it nxt week! love you tons! Elder Machen

Sunday, September 1, 2013

"Give Thanks and Ask For Nothing" 8/25/13

Wow your emails were great, Dad you had me tearing up. thanks a ton, you guys are the best! This was a week filled with excitement and also filled with some trials. Our family this week was doing amazing! we had great fellowshippers for them and every lesson was powerfully packed with the spirit! oh it was so neat to see! we saw the light in them that came from them following the commandments and commitments. unfortunately the one daughter didnt come to church yesterday, it broke my heart because we had to move their baptism again. meaning i wont seem them baptized before i leave. it was hard to accept because we have done our best to help them, the mom came though and had a great time with her new relief society friends! i learned and had to accept that even though i wont be here for their baptism they will still be baptized, their dad will be the one to baptize them and they will still receive the gift of the holy ghost. We are all on the same team here and the most important thing is that they keep the faith! We had other really neat things happen this week, we did a lot of finding and found some really prepared people! it was amazing! we even had one family come to church yesterday and the ward did such a good job fellowshipping them! they loved it! haha i still call these extra 3 weeks the final refinement. Its hard to describe all the wonderful blessings we are receiving and all the trials that are coming. i truly do appreciate everyday i have out here and when time permits, i love taking the time to replay the day and really realize all that has happened. I have taken a new approach to my prayers that i would like you to try. Give only thanks and ask for nothing. it'll make you think a little harder and help the Lord fulfill his promise to us in D&C 78:19. i love you and pray for you always! thanks for all that you do! nagmamahal, Elder Machen

Monday, August 19, 2013

"Humbled!" 8/19/13

Wow thanks for your great emails! i honestly cant believe everybody is coming home! haha its espically weird for Steve to be home cause we entered the same day! Glad to know everyone is doing good! This week was humbling! oh man quad zone conference was good and we were super busy getting everything ready for it. our training on wednesday was kind of a dud, it was good but not what we expected. i learned a valuable lesson and it humbled me for sure. Thursday was a little better, we changed some things but we were right before lunch so we were crammed for time, all is well that ends well, take the experience, learn from it, and GO! For our work we saw miracles happen this week with the family we are teaching! the dad has been less active and just recently got the priesthood, we worked with the bishop to help him be the one to bless the sacrament on sunday, we gave him a polo, tie and slacks. as we taught them this week we saw his attitude change and the desire grow, his whole contenece seemed to change! he shared a desire to use his priesthood so he could know what it feels like. When i saw this man up there on the stand blessing the sacrament, i couldnt help but be filled with love for this guy and joy for the steps he is taking to honor that priesthood! it was once of the sweetest experiences of my mission, the Lord is really preparing this family. the son though has to make a tough decision, he got offered a job pretty far away, if he took it he left today, we find out later when we go there to teach, its tough but God is in the details. Im so excited for the things that are happening, for the trials that are coming this last few weeks. we laugh about it here saying we are going through the last bit of refinement before we die haha. (mom thats just a mission term, we're not really going to die) haha. I really appreciate all your support and love and know that we are going to finish this out strong and leave nothing! Mahal ko po kayo! Elder Machen

"Get Out of The Way of The SPIRIT" 8/12/13

Hey sounds like you had a good week! thanks for those emails and the inspiring messages! really appreciate those! dont worry about the storm, its just barely raining here so nothing bad. This week was really good, we had some really good things happen. We were really blessed this week as well as our investigators. our family that was supposed to be baptized on the 10th came to church and we saw such great progression with them! thank you for your prayers. they were truly answered as they came to church, the dad asking us in all humility if he is worthy to use his priesthood and to what he needs to do to use it to be able to baptize his family. My heart was filled with gratitude as i heard that cause i remembered my Dad who always was worthy to use his priesthood in leading and blessing my family and a Mom who supports that priesthood and giving us the nurture and care we need! i use you as examples all the time in our teaching! thank you. They truly showed that they want to make those sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father and i know He will make it happen. It was a neat experience to see the spirit touch the hearts of that family and help them face their trials and struggles. We had a great time giving the new missionaries training as they came back to urdaneta. my companion and i always start it off with funny but true demonstration to get our point across. we have found that to be effective and so it makes it exciting and interesting. i really enjoy it. this week we have quad-zone conferences so we will be giving training to the whole mission in just two days. we have a good training planned out so it should be good! just have to get out of the way of the spirit and let him do the real work! ive really learned that! things are continuing to go well and im loving life out here! thanks for everything, mahal ko po kayo! Elder Machen

Monday, August 5, 2013

"Gotta Make It Happen!" 08/05/13

Thanks for such great emails! that really brightens my week! and it was a busy one let me tell ya haha. Well this was transfer week and it went super well. our prayers were answered and things went smooth. Dad you said it, sisters are flocking to the field, thats one thing we are working on with president is where to put them all! haha its quite the challenge cause theres only so many areas and to accommodate sisters makes it a little harder. its great to see the influx of missionaries though! each tranfer they get better and better. this last group was really impressive! they come more spiritual prepared! our work this week was tough but rewarding. Our family that was supposed to be getting baptized next week kinda took a 180. it was a heart breaker cause you come to love these people so much and to see them backpeddle is hard. They still want to be baptized so we extended another date for the end of the month and they are commited to do what it takes. Gotta make it happen! The Lord is really testing them and us with this trial and knowing that it will all work out to his plan is exciting! ive been working more on seeing things on what they can be and who people can become rather than what it or who they look like right in front of me. its a challenge but such a blessing. its true that the spirit puts in your heart what to say and how to say it! Keep the Missionary spirit alive pops! that goes for you too mama bear and karter! Theres nothing better! i love you so much and appreciated the package! and your letter mom! what a blessing you all are to me! i use our family quite a bit in our teaching, gives me a chance to share to others of what a family can be like when built on the gospel, thanks for letting me be able to say that! mahal ko kayo! i speak to all of you when i say you are the greatest blessing! its hard through email but i really want you to know how much i appreciate you and all you do for me! a lot of my companions dont have family support at all so thank you for keeping me going! lets make this last month the best and go out running! the desire to do this works burns deep in me! when ever im down or discourged ive learned to give myself this rallying cry. "Remember Him" ill share a quick experience we had earlier today. president called and a missionary had texted him saying he wanted to go home. we met with this elder and did our best to help him stay on the mission, had probably the most spiritual meeting with him. it was the hardest thing for me to have this elder say right to us, "i want to go home." his reason, he was tired and wanted to rest. you can imagine my feelings when he said that. i share that because i read a scripture today in my personal study D&C 88: 91. well that sure is true and thats been the hardest part about being where i am. seeing elders go home early. its never to hard to quit! the lord doesnt call quitters! keep the faith family! love, Elder Machen

Sunday, August 4, 2013

"Where Does It Go!" 7/28/13

hey family! it was great to hear from you and to see that things are going great and you are growing your testimonies as well! i really appreciate the spiritual uplifting! Well this week was a super busy one and is just leading on to a even more busy one, a lot of good things happened though, we had missionary leadership council where all the zone leaders and sister leaders came here and we had a really good meeting, elder and i had the opportunity to give some training and it went really well! the spirit led and guided us to say what was needed! President gave a great training and is truly amazing how well he knows the scriptures and how he delivers. i wish you could see it. we had to do a lot of traveling this week so not a lot of time was spent in our own area. As far as our work went it was rough, our family that is getting close to their baptism kinda hit a bump in the road. they didnt make it to church and then when we went to teach them last night they werent home. its been a trial of their faith and ours. We know it will work out though and am not worrying about it to much. just gotta do what ya gotta do and the Lord will take care of the rest! this week is transfer week so we will be crammed for the next couple of days! this is my last transfer in the mission. its crazy. oh yeah they changed my flight, i will now be flying in on sept 11 instead of the 12th. Thanks for everything! i love you and hope you will have a great week! Remember Him! Love, Elder Machen