Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Post Time!

"[It's Post] time, go and grab your friends. We'll go to very distant lands. [Elder Lopez and the reader] the fun will never end it's [Post] time!"
-Adventure Time theme with the Lopez twist! 

That joke...
Not too long ago, I wrote a post about the Spectacular Spider-man which had to do with Morality. The only problem with lessons and Pop Culture is that sometimes, multiple sources teach the same lesson and morality and choosing the right is a lesson so nice I'm gonna teach it twice. "That's probably for the best cause that Spider-man one wasn't one of your better ones..." Yea, I guess I *got caught in a web with that one!* "Sigh..." Well, anyway, everyone, much like Dr. Who, loves Adventure Time so I thought, Why not?

So I haven't seen many episodes of this show either cause it's rather strange... "This coming from the man (Elder) who watches a show about colorful singing ponies..." How'd you know they sing...? "... I may have seen one or two episodes..." Hehe... Well anyway, the one I wanted to talk about is an episode called 'Goliad.' Some of you might have heard and/or watched this one. If you haven't, just know, it's weird... But I guess I can't talk. "Judge not, that ye be not judged." Looks like MLP isn't the only thing you've been studying up on. "Give me a break, school's out..."

So, 'Goliad' finds Finn and Jake doing their usual thing around the Candy Kingdom. They come to find out that because of Princess Bubblegum's brush with death, she decides to make an heir to the Candy Kingdom to rule in her stead. In comes Goliad. So using her DNA, Princess Bubblegum create Goliad and has been awake for 83 LONG hours teaching it to be a good ruler. So, much like any one of us would be, she is exhausted. Finn and Jake, being the good people they are, decide to give Princess Bubblegum a break and offer to teach Goliad what it means to be a hero and a good leader. Which isn't exactly the easiest thing to learn but that is neither here nor there.
See? Goliad. It's the giant pink one.
Told you, weird...

Eventually, due to a mishap that involved an obstacle course, yelling and all sorts of cartoon mayhem, Finn and Jake take Goliad back to Princess Bubblegum who tries to reason with Goliad stating that leadership is about helping one another, kind of like a bee and a flower. Goliad counters stating that the bee cares not for the state and well-being of the flower. Princess Bubblegum realizes that Goliad has been corrupted and needs to be disassembled. Goliad can read her mind cause, of course, Adventure Time. Long story short because I'm focusing too much on the worldy and not enough on the Spiritual, Goliad tries destroying everyone but Princess Bubblegum, using a hair she got off Finn, creates another candy sphinx named Stormo.

Goliad tries reasoning with Stormo saying that together they can rule but Stormo simply screeches and the two engage in an epic psychic showdown! Pretty much they just stare at each other for all time and eternity.
So because Stormo was created Finn's hair, he inherited Finn's heroic qualities which is why he opted to do good rather than join the forces of evil. It's also why he chose to sacrifice himself to keep Goliad in check for all time and eternity.

So. What can we learn from this? "You mean besides the fact that your skills in summarizing are shoddy at best?" Okay... Besides that. "You tell me." Well, we're talking about morality and there is a reason that that one sentence up there is in bold. It also goes back to all those Christ like elements I spent forever talking about. It's all about choosing the right. You see, in today's day and age, we face tons of decisions. Some are easy, like whether you should mix Sprite with Orange juice for your daily breakfast. (The answer is a delicious yes.) While others, are slightly challenging, like whether the ugly tie that has what looks like popcorn designs on it go well with khakis. (It doesn't.) But we still face those really really hard decisions like, whether I should stand up for what I believe in, even in the face of adversity. (That one is a yes, but sometimes you'll feel hard pressed to say it.) I read a scripture in the New Testament the other day that about sums it up. 
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
                                                                                                        Matthew 10:39

A picture of heroism! At least,
I think that's what it is...
The only reason that the day was saved was because Stormo, who inherited Finn's heroism, was willing to sacrifice all he had to help and because he was strong enough to face the trial that was corruption, he gave his life to keep Goliad forever in check. So pretty much, try to be heroic like Finn. "Or you could try to be like Jesus..." Oh yeah, that one's definitely better. Try to be like Jesus dear reader because if there's one person who knows more about sacrifice heroism and Love, it's definitely Jesus. "Hallelujah!" 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Harry Poster

This post brought to you entirely by, Elder Storey(With inserts by yours truly)

"You're a Wizard Harry."
-Hagrid (Pretty much the only quote I know and has nothing to do with the post...)

I think we're due for a good
fast forward...
Hello dear readers. Today we are going to talk about Harry Potter. Ever since I was a little kid I have loved Harry Potter. "Yeah?" Remember that little boy that looked at you in amazement as you told him he was a wizard? "Yeah!" Well we're not going to talk about that today. "Talk about anticlimactic..."

Fast forward past the three headed dog, the killer tree, the giant snake, the soul sucking demons, and the crazy deadly wizard Olympics, now during Harry's six year at Hogwarts Harry desperately need to get a memory from professor Slughorn. He try's everything he can think of on his own and nothing works. Finally he decides to use a magic potion (that's not a metaphor it is literally a magic potion) that will give him luck. He thinks it will magically make Slughorn want to give him the memory without him having to do any work. He expects it to change his outward circumstances to make them easier to deal with. But the potion doesn't do that. It give him the thought that he should go see his friend Hagrid. On the way there he runs into Slughorn and he comes with Harry to Hagrid's. All through the course of the night Harry gets subtle impressions on the next step he needs to take and by the end of the night he has obtained the memory he so desperately needed and which had seemed impossible to get. It is the same with us and our Heavenly Father.

We all have trials and challenges in our lives. We have all had those times when we have done our best and it not been enough. That is when we pray. Some of us may think that God isn't answering our prayers because our trials don't go away. We may think that since our outward circumstances didn't change our prayer wasn't answered. The part we overlook is that sometimes God lightens the load and sometimes he strengthens the bridges. Sometimes our load doesn't get any lighter, we get more strength and endurance to carry it. The outward problem doesn't change our inward capacity to solve the problem is increased.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:9).

We may not understand why Heavenly Father doesn't just take the trial from us but if we trust in him and know that he has our best interest at heart we will be able to face trials as they come knowing that our Heavenly Father will help us through it.
See? Look how happy Harry is to have read and learned that!
And if YOU want to write for Light's, Camera, Lopez! and bring the gospel in a funny pop culture related way, send me, Elder Lopez a message on Facebook! Are you a missionary who wants to help out but can't message other missionaries? Write a comment below saying you're in!  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Heya Love!

Yesterday after church Sister Greer went to try and visit one of our investigators -Rozana- to try and have her come with us to a fireside last night. On our way there I felt prompted to stop and try to see another investigator named Sheri. Sister Greer was so great she willingly helped me to follow my prompting although it didn't really make sense to go Sheri's home when we didn't have her Gate Code to go in to her apartment building. We went anyway and sure enough the Gate was locked. We stood by the Gate for a while and tried calling Sheri's phone. She didn't answer so we waited for a little while longer in case someone might open the Gate from inside. While waiting a lady with a scar on her Brow and mens' sneakers too big for her walked up to us and asked if we were with a church. We said we were and explained who we were. She introduced herself as Michelle and said that she was a victim of Domestic Violence and was running away from the man she was with. She said she'd been running all night from Long Beach ( the next City over)  and she was scared for her life. She explained that a couple of years ago she had put this man in Jail for all these horrible things he had done to her and to other girls and that he just got out of jail and the Police didn't protect her like she thought they would. She was so scared and she broke down crying and she told us her story. We could feel the fear that she had for this man. She cried as she told us all that he had done and it was so sad to know that most of the girls he had hurt didn't live to tell their story. Michelle said she ran away from him with nothing but the clothes on her back and no shoes. She shared how he threatened to murder her and even showed her how he would do it! Oh My goodness  it was like hearing a horror story or something you'd see on CSI except this was real life. My companion and I were both so sad and scared for Michelle. We took her to the car and it just so happened that I had put an extra pair of shoes in our trunk and she was the same size as me. So we gave her shoes and my sweater and some food. We prayed with her and really just felt helpless because there was really nothing more we could do for her. Last night I thought a lot about Michelle and being in her shoes. I was reminded of how Nephi felt in the Book of Mormon when people were just so wicked and evil. I was really in awe at how the world has become. It was so sad. 
I am grateful for that experience though because if we hadn't listened to the spirit we wouldn't have been able to help Michelle and share our testimonies with her. I know Heavenly Father will look after her. Please pray for her.

This week we've seen a lot of Miracles in our area. 2 Months ago we had went on a break with our investigator named Walfred. We all felt like that was needed so that he could decide for himself what he wanted and strive to live the Gospel on his own for himself and not for us. Then last week Walfred called our Ward Mission Leader - Brother Clement and told him that he was ready to come back to church and take this step.That was truly a Miracle and a testimony builder for me to know that Heavenly Father is always mindful of his children regardless of whatever circumstances they're in. I am so glad that Walfred has decided to take this step for himself and not for us. He is a Blessing!!!! 

Since being here I've come to love Jacob 5 in the Book of Mormon so much!!!! I love knowing that this is the Lord's work and it is truly a spiritual work and that we truly do labor with him. I am grateful to learn this and I am excited to continue to labor with him. This last week another Former investigator named Lauren also contacted us again after 3 months of no contact with her. She was now willing to let us come over and help her and teach her. We went over with Alex one of the Young Women's and had an amazing lesson with her. She loved it and it was great to feel Alex's testimony. Lauren and her Baby girl Chloe came to church yesterday and loved it:) 

Love you Heaps

Sister Koroitamana

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Rainbow Dash and the Sonic Rainboom

"Hold on Rarity, I'm comin'!"
-Rainbow Dash

"Wow, it's been a while since you've written about ponies. I thought
you finally forsook it." Never in a million years dear reader, well... Maybe in a couple, we'll see, but until that sad sad day comes, let's talk a little about faith. "Can we not...?" Nope. We're talking about it. But first, a story!

Now because I've written a little about the ponies who make up what is colloquially known as, 'The Mane Six', it makes long drawn out explanations like this one
Two of the greatest sources of happiness

As such, Sonic Rainboom finds Rainbow Dash ready to compete in what's known as the Best Young Fliers competition. It's a competition that I guess happens every year in which the best young pegasus ponies compete for fame and an afternoon
with the Wonderbolts. (Think Blue Angels, but in small colorful pony form)

Rainbow Dash is a HUGE fanatic when it comes to the Wonderbolts and it's her hope and dream to one day join their ranks and winning this competition is gonna bring her closer to getting there. "I thought you said these long drawn out explanations were unnecessary...?" I also realized there is A LOT more to this show than what little I remembered... Now stop interrupting please. But Rainbow has an ace up her sleeve. Well, I guess technically hoof... They don't really wear clothes too often... Anyway, she is the only pegasus capable of performing a Sonic Rainboom. (hence the name of the episode) What is a Sonic Rainboom you ask? Well Webster's describes it as- oh wait...

That's right, the word doesn't exist... Fine, I'LL DESCRIBE IT... When a pegasus like Rainbow Dash goes REALLY fast, they can break not only the sound barrier, but the color barrier too in a stunning display of... stunning...ness... Rainbow Dash is the only pegasus who can do this and she did it once when she was a foal (young horse/pony I guess the kid equivalent. And you thought this show only taught good Christian values...) but every time she tries it, she just can't break past the sonic barrier and ends up failing epically. But many still think it's an "old mare's tale." (It's their equivalent to an old wives tale. Hey I didn't write the show... I wish though...)

Wow this summary is taking longer than I wanted... Fast forward.

Point is, Rainbow Sonic Rainboom'd once on accident and hasn't been able to do it again which makes her kind of nervous. Although she isn't vocal about it because she's crazy prideful, (we'll talk about that one in a little) her friends pick up on it and decide to go cheer her on. However, the competition is being held in Cloudsdale, which as you probably guessed, is made of clouds which other ponies, except Pegasus ponies, can't step on. Twilight uses magic to give Rarity a pair of beautiful butterfly wings that are made of gossamer and morning dew, (remember that) but because the spell is difficult to do multiple times, she instead uses a different spell that allows the rest of them to walk on clouds.

Well up in Cloudsdale, Rainbow is nervous and is made even more so when she realizes that Rarity, because of the attention she is getting from her new wings, is also competing in the competition which majorly freaks Rainbow out. The competition arrives and Rainbow stalls due to stage fright until time runs out and Rainbow and Rarity both have to compete at the same time. Pulling herself together, she goes out and completely bombs her first two maneuvers. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, the princess of the kingdom is spectating, adding more pressure. So now it's do or die time for Rainbow so she once more tries to perform the Sonic Rainboom. She gains altitude and so does Rarity as she uses the sun to reflect light off her wings in a stunning display of... I don't know... Refraction? It's colorful, that's the point. However, much like Icarus, she flies too high and the very sensitive wings burn up and so she begins plummeting to the ground. The Wonderbolts quickly dispatch to retrieve her but because she's flailing, she knocks them unconscious. It's at that moment when Rainbow Dash takes notice of her endangered friend and abandoning all prospects of winning, she bullets down in Rarity's direction.

Alright pause at the best part.

Now we already talked about why faith is so important and that we need it in our lives or else we're pretty much just walking aimlessly down this path called life. However, simple faith isn't sufficient for miracles to happen. Simply believing isn't enough to change anything. As a scripture in the New Testament says,

"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead..." 
(James 2:17)

By me simply wanting something, I don't get any closer to it happening. As we talked about before, Joseph Smith didn't receive a vision just by wanting it and sitting there, he made it happen! If you don't do, nothing will. If you want a more poetic version of what I'm trying to say, then Dr. Seuss is your man.

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going toget better, it's not."  
-Dr. Seuss (The Lorax)

So now you have faith and you've put forth the action and yet nothing has happened and you're saying to yourself, "can I say it?" Yeah go for it. "I just don't know what went wrong." So you're feeling bad about yourself and the boo-hoos are coming cause you listened to Elder Lopez's advice and so far as you know, nothing has come out of it and
you're at the point of swearing vengeance on he who has deceived you will not stop until justice had been served... Well calm down cause I don't need a vigilante coming through my window and beating me into a good looking pulp. Instead, what you SHOULD'VE done was flip your handy dandy scriptures to Ether 12:6 which says,

And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. 
(Ether 12:6)

So there we reach trials. We'll fail yes and then we'll fail again and sometimes again but then we try just one more time... And then we fail again... "Anticlimactic." But after all these things, we humble ourselves because it's at the very time that we need it when miracles happen.

Alright, back to Rainbow Dash.

So Rarity's been falling for a while and is pretty close to the ground and Rainbow Dash is in a 90 degree nosedive to save her falling friend and heroes. The high velocity winds make it hard for Rainbow Dash to keep her eyes open and her mouth shut, a sonic cone begins to form around her slowing her descent until she finally breaks through the
sound and color barrier, flying at supersonic speeds fast enough to catch the endangered ponies and leaving a dazzling rainbow trail back to the Cloudiseum (it's a cloud coliseum and yes, that's actually what it's called.) Lessons are learned, friendships strengthened, yadda yadda, and in the end, Rainbow wins the Best Young Fliers competition, doesn't take The Lord's name in vain (cause the show teaches good Christian values) and gets to spend time with her idols.

It looks something like that.

So why did she succeed that time and not the first hundred? "Cause the show would be kinda dark and gruesome if she didn't...?" Well, I suppose that's true, but not what I'm looking for. She had the faith, (well, if you want to call it that, she is like I said, VERY prideful) she had the works, (she IS the fastest pegasus in all of Equestria) so what went wrong?

Two things did. One, she relied more on her own ability and allowing her pride as well as doubt to overwhelm her. If there's one thing we can learn, it's that pride comes before the fall and it was only until she was humbled sufficiently enough that she was able to bring about these great works. (But that's not the last you'll ever hear about
Rainbow Dash and her ego coming to bite her) Her fear was also what started getting to her, the bible dictionary definition of fear says,

"...Fear is spoken of as something unworthy of a child of God, something that “perfect love casteth out” The first effect of Adam’s sin was that he was afraid. Sin destroys that feeling of confidence God’s child should feel in a loving Father and produces instead a feeling of shame and guilt. Ever since the Fall God has been teaching men not to fear, but with penitence to ask forgiveness in full confidence of receiving it."

And two, it wasn't until the trial of her faith that she was able to do it. Things were different when she was just trying to win and impress everyone, which is its own reward. It wasn't until her friend's life was in danger and she had a lot to lose when she gave
all the worldly things she cared about up, and let pure faith take the wheel.

It also kinda looks like that...
Such determination.

So the moral?

Watch My Little Pony. Oh, and also and more importantly, you can't go wrong when you have God on your side. "You write a lot of these." Yeah I do, but we're at the eleventh hour now. "What's that supposed to mean...?" Guess you'll find out soon enough.

Spider-post 1: Morality Shmorality

"The power, feels good... But you lose yourself to it..."
-Peter Parker (Spider-Man, oh shoot, was I not supposed reveal that?)

Why Elder Lopez...? Why...?
There comes a time when we must all come to terms with the things we do and decide what kind of person we are going to be, a man of justice and honor? Or a scoundrel who thinks only for himself. Thus is the plight of humanity... "Wow... That was actually really profound. Maybe I've been wrong about you." What? Sorry, I was reading the back of this Laffy Taffy wrapper. "Sigh... Okay... Those things are getting really profound lately." Right? It looks like they're trying to *wrap* it up! "That picture sums up how I feel right now..." Oh...

So back to that very profound wrapper, it is outdeed true that because we as people have agency, or the ability to choose decisions for ourselves, that we do have to look deep inside ourselves to solve our problems and for the most part, decide what outlook on life we want to have. You know who else had this problem? "Everyone on Earth...?" Close, Spider-Man! Unfortunately, we have to talk about one of THE worst Spider-man movies ever created which is none other than Spider-man 3, but even bad movies have good lessons!

As unprofound as this picture may seem,
if you add a caption like: 'Everybody has a dark side.'
It seems a whole lot deeper.  It doesn't...
So in Spider-man 3, we follow the life of Peter Parker, AKA Spider-man as he does his Spider-man stuffs. Everything is going sucky for him per the usual until one day, researchers find this mysterious alien life form that was stuck on J. Jonah Jameson's son's (I can't for the life of me remember his name) rocket. So this life form we find out is a symbiote that shares a what? A Symbiotic relationship with Peter Parker. Now here's where the Biology comes in. What's a symbiotic relationship you may be asking? "It's great when you hold both parts of the conversation." Ignoring that, Well, it's an interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association. I wish I could tell you that I learned that in Biology but unfortunately, Spider-man honestly taught me that but that's neither here nor there... So both these parties are getting benefits from this whole working together thing, Peter Parker is stronger and faster and has a neat new suit, while the symbiote as a nice home and feeds off of Peter Parker's negative emotions. It's only till Peter Parker realizes that he's becoming a jerk and people are moving away from him (more than usual) that he realizes that, like the quote says,
 "The power, feels good... But you lose yourself to it..."
Lots of cool action things happen and the day is saved as usual by Spider-man, and his mask and suit ripped in literally the same spots each time... As it turned out, Peter Parker became the Symbiote's puppet and that didn't fly with him. But the point of all of that is, Peter Parker felt powerful and in control when under the control of the symbiote, I chose that phrase specifically. He THOUGHT he was in control until he realized, he wasn't. "You know, reading that, I thought that was gonna have a more profound meaning..." Yea, I totally did too... 
An example of the "bad things" Elder Lopez
does not support. 

So that brings us to the whole morality issue that I bet you were dying to read about. "Well, I made it this far right..?" An excellent point. Why is it so easy to be bad than it is to be good? "Is that a rhetorical question?" In a sense yes, but before you say anything about me being a bad guy, I'm gonna answer your rude question with a quote, "Just because you are bad guy does not mean you are BAD guy." Don't take that in any way more than just a Wreck It Ralph quote... Elder Lopez does not support the bad stuffs... 
Moving on, think about it, we live in a world where it's so much easier and more gratifying to do bad things, whether it's using coarse language cause the cool kids think it's cool, or simply changing or lowering your standards to match that of others. It's real easy. 

In today's day and age, having high standards is being challenged by people who disagree with what some others believe is the "norm" "I don't think that one was correct English..." Yea, me neither but who's gonna know? "Everyone... Okay, realistically, just me." Well, rather than share a personal example from my life, let's hear what an apostle of the Lord has to say about this. 

"Recently, I spoke with a Laurel from the United States. I quote from her email:"

“This past year some of my friends on Facebook began posting their position on marriage. Many favored same-sex marriage, and several LDS youth indicated they ‘liked’ the postings. I made no comment.

“I decided to declare my belief in traditional marriage in a thoughtful way.

“With my profile picture, I added the caption ‘I believe in marriage between a man and a woman.’ Almost instantly I started receiving messages. ‘You are selfish.’ ‘You are judgmental.’ One compared me to a slave owner. And I received this post from a great friend who is a strong member of the Church: ‘You need to catch up with the times. Things are changing and so should you.’

“I did not fight back,” she said, “but I did not take my statement down.”

She concludes: “Sometimes, as President Monson said, ‘You have to stand alone.’ Hopefully as youth, we will stand together in being true to God and to the teachings of His living prophets.”

So much potential...

So yes, it's tough to "Choose the Right" as they say, but it is always worth it in the end. Don't believe me? Well... That's your own fault... I've put enough compelling evidence. The point is, as the very deep Laffy Taffy wrapper I read said, sometimes, we just have to choose what kind of person we want to be. Whether we want to be a force for good, or a force for evil. Now at this point you may be asking, "I'll ask this one... Well, what about those people who do horrible heinous things to good people and get stuff from it? Why do they get off Scot-free while the other peoples suffer?" Ohh... A good question. This goes back to the whole instant gratification thing from earlier. Yes, they get something now, but from an eternal perspective, they wh- actually, let's let the scriptures take care of this one. 
"So the last shall be first, and the first last"
So what that's saying is, those who "think" they are getting ahead by hurting others, will find that they are far behind in the very end. So overall, be good! Do good things! It's hard sure, but it's worth it! Need help? There is tons of help here! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

hey Beautiful!

This week has been kind of overwhelming for me. I am loving being here and loving training Sister Greer. I just sometimes feel like there's so much to do and I don't really have me time! to gather my thoughts and just really organize myself. So it's a process.

Yesterday I came across this scripture in the Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 20:41-42. I loved it a lot! I felt like I needed it.

"And then shall a cry go forth: Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch not that which is unclean; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean that bear the vessels of theLord.
For ye shall not go out with haste nor go by flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel shall be your rearward"
I learnt and recognized from this scripture that I really need to be making a conscious effort to not think unclean, or worldly thoughts and continue to strive to be worthy of the spirit. I felt so comforted to know that the Lord does go before us and he leads and guides us in this work. Yesterday in Sacrament meeting I was just feeling so eager to learn and also to overcome these feelings of doubt that tend to come into my mind. I wrote down the question"Why do I easily forget all the great things the Lord has done for me?" and just then the next speaker in Sacrament stood up and talked about how we can always remember the Savior in our everyday lives. That was such a Miracle for me to know - rather be reassured that Heavenly Father lives and knows me and my heart. I am grateful for that experience. I am also coming to learn why we have such a great need for the Book of Mormon today. For Phases such as these when we slowly forget the Lord's goodness in our lives. 
I am coming to learn that Faith truly does take one step at a time.
We had an amazing lesson this week with Thomas's Son (our investigator) his name is Tommy and he's 19. He had come to church once before with his Mom and girlfriend and he loved it! since then he's been eager to join us in our lessons with his Family. We went with the Tuiaana kids to that lesson and it was just great!!! Tommy shared how he felt like at church specifically Sunday School he felt that the lesson was exactly what was in his heart. He loved that experience and is so eager to change and come closer to Christ. Raelyn and Anthony Tuiaana shared their testimonies with him and it was so great to see them being a part of this - the Lord's work. We invited Tommy to be baptized and he accepted a Baptismal Date for August 2nd!!!! he's excited to continue to learn more.

Also this week another miracle! one of our Former investigators from when I first got here contacted us! She hadn't contacted since I got into this area and now she's willing to have us come over and teach her! What a blessing. Last week while knocking at an investigators door we spoke to his neighbor Richard and learnt that he was willing to have us come back. We went by this past weekend and as we shared about the Restoration. He shared that he had been always been praying for the Lord to bless him with more wisdom and knowledge to come closer to God and then we came by!!! He recognized that the Lord hears him. We are excited to start teaching him. Please pray for him!!!!
I Love you Lots!!!
Sister Koroitamana

Baby Girl Funeral

Hello Amigos !!
well this week was a great one we had a lot of miracles and also a hard trial.
good news first or bad news?
 bad news: I got a call from the Zone Leaders from Papago they told me about my recent convert Genaro, well after church last Sunday they were coming home and I am not sure if they had been home for a while but his two year old princess was walking around in the  parking lot and a big truck made a fast sharp turn into the apartments and ran her over, and killed her. My former companion which lives with me and I were invited to attend the funeral. It was this last Saturday it was my first funeral I've ever been to, it was sad to see everyone crying, most of them weren't members of the church, therefore I feel that they probably didn't have the hope we do that they will one day see her again. I know that even for us it is still sad, even if we have this knowledge. It is a huge trial of our faith, but as President Uchdorf reminds us that this is only a mere interruption, for we weren't meant for endings, but death is the portal to the next life, and that later we will understand why things happen and these trials won't seem as long compared to all eternity we have  to share our lives with them. I am so grateful for the Plan God has for us.
As we stepped into the relief society room I saw her little light pink coffin, with her in it, she wore a white little dress and looked so pale. She was so cute and sassy, we know she is having the best life up there with heavenly Father.
I will  be writing him more often letters of comfort and of encouragement.

Good news: We have a family who hasn't been coming to church as much, but this month they decided to not sleep in and get up and go to church! so we asked if we can start teaching her unbaptized daughters, ages 9 and 12. The younger one seems more prepared. she pays more attention and actually reads and prays, the other is more difficult so we have to ask a lot of inspired questions, and  we have them explain what they understood, also we make the scriptures fun by applying it to their lives! we made all of our families a calendar for Scriptures that are 2 verses long with a theme, so they spend some time in the scriptures every  day. We are preparing them to be baptized on the 26th of this month.
This member also has a sister who is not a member and sometimes comes to church with them, she said she likes church, so afterwards I hunted her down and mingled with all of her family and then received the courage to ask her id she will be willing to learn more about the church. She said yes, but works everyday in the evenings so we scheduled an appointment for the morning. She is so funny and so pretty that she sort of intimidates me. She literally looks like Princess Jasmine, but prettier, goodness.  We have high hopes for this one.

We had a really fun Family home evening last night with our favorite less active family the Munizes, who is ironically the most loving, amazingly spiritual and sincerest family that I've ever met who were already members of the church. (sincere investigators are usually far more spiritual than most members) But they are always sharing their testimonies with their friends and were talking about faith and how much it helps their lives. Well we had the lesson on "Loving People Into the Gospel" they had tons of experiences to share and even referred a family to us and offered their home for the lessons!:D HURRAH! if you want to know why they are less active, to put it simply they have a hard time forgiving others and accepting that everyone makes mistakes, and revenge is necessary and also if they don't like you they cant stand being around you and rather not be in the same room as you because they will hurt you, well especially the wife.  So beware of pride and forgive people and pray for your enemies and ask for Charity and Patience during your prayers.
thanks for the prayers!

fun apartment bonding photos

yes we look like a hunchbacked three headed beast

this other photo was a fun homemade egg white exfoliation treatment ;)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

"Third Generation Latter-Day Saints" by Camille Ramos

Its kinda late to write it down and blog it, but i'm gonna write it though. My mom and dad were the first member in our family. They were baptized when they have my three older sisters. After which, my eldest sister were baptized, then the second and third. Then my brother was born and they were sealed inside the Manila Temple when he was 2. I was born after a year of their sealing and was a covenant baby. My siblings and i were raised by my parents with the gospel and with Jesus Christ at the center of our lives. I saw my parents faith and love for God. I saw how my dad magnify his calling as the first branch president in our branch and had served for a long years. I saw how obedient, faithful, charitable my mom and dad is. Now my sisters have their own family and have the children of their own. My brother also were married, so definitely i'm the only one who is single (but its okay). I am so much grateful that i was born with my mom and be with my family. We faced a lot of trials and challenges in the past years but because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we were able to overcome those and have a stronger family ties. I am so blessed have such wonderful family members around me. Do you wanna see my family? Well, this is my eternal family...

This is my niece, Janica. She's with her mom, her dad and her brother.

She is an adorable girl who loves to sing (even if she's not in tune with what she sings), she loves to draw and do artworks. She's a friendly one and didn't fight even if someone was bullying her. She loves her mom and dad so much and of course, count us in, her immediate family members. She grew in the church just like me. They were sealed in the Temple when she was about 3 or 4 (i think. Hehe). She's ready to enter into the covenant of baptism. She was baptized on her birth day last Feb.22, 2014 and she thought that being baptized is the best gift ever! She was then confirmed the next day (which is definitely sunday). I saw her so happy and full of spirit. I heard her bear her testimony and i was amazed on how this 8 year old girl developed a testimony of the gospel. She and her brother is the third generation member in our family. I am so glad to see the fruit of my parents labor in us, that were passed on in my sisters children.

We should always remember our baptismal covenant and bear with us the sacred name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I know that we were chosen to receive the Gospel and be baptized in his name. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ loves us so much and they are longing to see us and be with us. I know that baptism is essential in our own exaltation and so we can be called his children. We should always look forward and continue our journey in that straight and narrow path that leads to God. Be steadfast and immovable! We might have a stormy life now and ahead of us, but always put your trust in God. I am so excited to see my future, having a family of my own, with the same Gospel of Christ in it. Let's see and i will surely keep you posted when that day comes

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy 4th of July Weekend!!

HElLo Everyone!!! how was everyones fourth of july weekend? cool story we got to stay out and watch fireworks till 10:30 and talk to people as we watched them! it was the best!! that day we also had a zone BBQ at the apartment  complex we all live at.  here are some pictures: and don't make fun of how much heavier I've gotten

hey sorry I didn't have time to write ya'll but here is what I wrote to our Mission President

the good thing is that it was only 100 degress outside
hey President
this week has been rough. I am not as happy because people keep letting us down. We have been doing our best to bring members out with us to confirmed appointments and we show up and people aren't home. WE had this referral that we contacted and she had a baby who died after being a month old and so we thought of the Canales family who is going through a very difficult trial, their 12 year old daughter has cancer and so we thought they would be the perfect family for them. but they weren't home. and so it has happened a few times this week with different members and potentials. WE have been talking to everyone and even teaching on the spot if they aren't to busy, but when we go back they aren't home. We honestly feel like we are working so hard and yet we aren't seeing any fruits. I know love plus patience will bring about miracles, I don't mean to be a downer President but I just don't want you to think we aren't working as hard because of what our numbers show. I know that Heavenly Father is aware of me and my efforts and I pray that he can let me know what more I can do in his vineyard, I just need a bit more faith and trust in the lords promises. We've also been doing facebook finding, I wish you can be there for some of those getting our members to do it is so hard and we literally have to ask the same question about if we can look at their page several times in less than a minute. Because before they even look at their page they automatically say they don't know anyone, and all you know all the classic excuses. But we are being persistent.

Other than that we had a miracle happen my recent convert Rey Dominguez is being the best member missionary I have met. He has been sharing the gospel with all his friends and acquaintances, he even took us to a family that said would like to learn more and he set up the appointment for us, and he was present for the lesson and bore a sincere humble testimony on how the gospel has changed his perspective on life and is now a much more positive person, and treat others with more kindness and patience especially his own family, he also talks about how The Book of Mormon helps him get nearer to God. They looked fascinated by his testimony. We told you that we fell in love with them. then the elders called us and apparently changed their mind and asked us if they can teach them. I did express my feelings in how I felt that we had put in the work by teaching the importance of sharing the gospel, even though it was natural for him, and how I wanted to be a part of his missionary efforts. and how we felt it was a blessing for us for all the work we've done, to be able to teach this family. But my companion and I talked about it, and since he really wanted to teach them we decided it was better to let them, since all we really do care about is that this family progresses in the gospel and find the joy therein. We know the Lord will bless us for it and continue to help the other members do the same.
Thank you so much for all you both do for all of us! we love you!


Church News!

President Sweeney:

this makes me angry, which means I wont be able to use an I-pad  as a missionary. it would've been so much easier. everything else makes me happy tho :)

SALT LAKE CITY — Though the record number of LDS missionaries serving around the world will peak in the fall and then recede somewhat, convert baptisms are increasing and more missionaries soon will be using digital devices to help with their work.
A pilot program has shown that use of iPad Minis by missionaries improved their work and study, and the devices will be used in all missions in North America, Japan and western Europe beginning this fall, the executive director of the LDS Missionary Department said Wednesday in a wide-ranging, videotaped interview released by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Elder David F. Evans, also a member of the faith's First Quorum of the Seventy, said the devices will be used by about 32,000 Mormon missionaries in 162 of the church's 405 missions.
The church will ask missionaries in those areas to pay for their iPads, which will be their property during and after their missions, at a cost of $400 apiece.
Evans said the church, as of Wednesday, had 85,593 missionaries serving, up from the previously publicized record of 85,039 in April.
He said the missionary department anticipates the number to rise to 88,000 this fall before starting to decrease.
LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson precipitated the dramatic two-year surge in missionary numbers when in October 2012 he lowered the age requirement from 19 to 18 years old for male missionaries and from 21 to 19 for women
Elder Evans, who called the surge "one of the greatest faith-inspiring things I've ever seen," said the church expects the number of missionaries will eventually settle somewhere in the high 70,000s, well above the 58,000 serving at the time of President Monson's announcement.
"We don't believe we're ever going back to the 50,000s," Elder Evans said.
About 64 percent of the church's full-time missionaries are young adult men, 28 percent are women and 8 percent are senior missionaries.
"We believe the young people of this church will continue to say yes to missionary service, and they'll continue to choose to become young disciples of Christ," Elder Evans said. "For them it's an absolute free-will offering to the Lord and to their fellow man."
He also spoke about convert baptisms and missionary safety.
"Every month, if you compare month over month, the baptisms are up," Elder Evans said. "Right now for this year, there's about an overall 15 percent increase in the number of convert baptisms this year compared to a comparable period last year."
Elder Evans said missionaries now are being asked to have a "safety moment" at the beginning of each day, an effort to increase their sensitivity to safety issues after several injuries and deaths among missionaries made news, particularly last year.
Those incidents remain few compared to the general U.S. population of 18- to 21-year-olds.
"It is by far the safest place for any young single adult to be that I'm aware of," Elder Evans said. "I've read statistics that suggest being on a mission may be as many as 20 times safer than being generally out in the population."
A pilot program put iPad Minis in the hands of about 6,500 missionaries in 30 missions in the United States and Japan, as well as with sister missionaries in most LDS visitors centers. Elder Evans described four lessons learned by church leaders.
First, missionaries were very comfortable and capable using the devices. Second, the devices increased the reading and studying done by the missionaries. Third, they were effective planning tools. Fourth, they helped missionaries communicate better with local church leaders, mission leaders and investigators. 

June 29, 2014

     Track is over at Brigham Young University - Idaho. Again it is disappointing. The disappointment came by rain and thunderstorms, for the championship meet was canceled. Another disappointment that had to do the BYUI competitive long distance running program was that I was not offered the position to coordinate cross country in the Fall semester of 2014. I explained to the interviewer many of my ideas to make the program thrive, hoping to create a culture of fitness throughout the school.
A couple career exploration assignments have been making my life stressful the past couple weeks. I don't believe that career exploration assignments should be curriculum in a class because people are always doing that. When I realized this, the assignment was simple. I did not have to research careers because it is a natural activity. I have researched many careers in my life already, so I just wrote about the careers that I have explored in my life. Many people may not have the time to explore careers because there are many obligations that distract people from pondering the career paths possible. These two assignments were stressful because they were side projects, and they were both forgotten and procrastinated. The assignment was for my Business 101 class.
     A classmate in my Business 101 class has come to really enjoy my sense of humor. People; who observe me such as peers, instructors, and family; has noticed that I have a unique sense of humor. My favorite high school physics teacher pointed out to my special education teacher that I had a good sense of humor. I laugh at many of the teacher’s jokes and things that are not even jokes but humorous things. My classmate even recommended that I be a professional laugher this past week. Occasionally people ask me why are you laughing, and I don't know how to explain it.
     A minuscule way that I do missionary work is I run a Mormon YSA Blog Spot, sharing the blog articles of many single adult bloggers on several social media sites. I got to meet one of the bloggers that I found this week. I would say that it is a date. The way that I found her was interesting. It was inspired a BYU Idaho devotional. The speaker is on the leading edge of education. His name is Chris Wilson, and he invited us to create a community in his speech by discovering or making a way out of the world by using the hashtag BYUIExodus on Twitter. For those in the future or present that don't know what hashtags are on internet social networks, you can join a global audience, when you click or post a hashtag, seeing all the posts with that hashtag. Brother Chris Wilson invited us to write two chapter titles of our personal Book of Exodus out of the world and traditions of man. My chapter titles were ‘Growing toward Fatherly Leadership’ and ‘Family Life.’ I would also say that another good chapter title is ‘Claiming my Agency.’ The girl that I went out with favorited my chapter titles tweet, and I saw that she was a blogger. I asked her, if I could share her articles on my blog spot, and she gave me permission. I asked her if she knows other YSA bloggers, and she did. Since she was local, I decided that I might as well ask her out. She had not published an article in about half a year, so I asked if she will publish an article soon. She published one as we conversed on Twitter, saying that she has been working on a couple recently. We casually went out for frozen yogurt. She seems amazing, but our personalities expression was limited because I believe that we were not comfortable. The conversation was very slow. I plan to ask her out again.
     Yesterday was an unnecessarily busy day. I have an important deadline tomorrow for my Building Information Modeling class. I signed up for a 10K, and my friends went to go shooting in the evening. The 10K was interesting because it was organized by a very small group of students. The participation was small, and only a few runners came. The majority of the participants were the organizers. It was a fourth of July theme. We all had flags, and we ran with them around town. Some people may have felt awkward because they were walking or running alone with the flag, but I felt that if I lead the run with person that invited me to join the event. It would be a signal to people that is not just one weird person, running around with flags. The leader has a broad agenda in this act. I don't really understand if he had a specific reason for his activism. He said that the politics in America are a mess, and we need to become a more united society. He encouraged an national movement of service in the community with a hashtag and twitter of OldGlory. Running with the United States flag for about 6 miles, I felt that I was participating in a uniting cause. The leader was not impressed by the turnout or the reaction of the community, but I feel that people saw the broad message that he hoped. I saw a construction worker pause to watch us, and people ponder and react.
In the evening I went shooting with Jesse and a few of his married friend couples. This is the first time that I had shot shotguns and pistols, so my actions were a little rookie. The sister's husband of Jesse's friend's wife was good to be patient, instructing on proper etiquette; although, my actions were dangerous. His urgency was good. I shot a clay pidgin in my first round of five, and I shot two in a row on my second round. Shooting with a shotgun is easy compared to pistols and the other guns that they had. Afterward we had a bonfire, and the wives made a couple peach cobblers in a Dutch oven. I basically had two 4th of Julys.
     Today is now the 6th of July. This past week was somewhat stressful with due dates and tests. I didn't do very well on them because I had many assignments to do, and I was not able to put enough time into them. If I had one superpower, I would wish that it was controlling time. I would mainly slow down time. I only ran twice this week because my load is so demanding. I am putting my time in preparing some resubmittals, practicing my building plan document skills. One of my final assignments for my Building Information Technology class is to prepare a cover sheet. This requires a rendered image of my modeled building. Rendering takes a long time. A rendering is the program producing an image from virtual light. I have not completely done a real one. I prematurely tried to load one, and it takes a hours. That is what I heard. I want to post my first rendering on this journal entry. I designed my first coffered ceiling. It is not an average coffered ceiling. Coffered ceilings are usually just recessed panel in a ceiling in a square pattern. My ceiling has a curved edge on it, so I had some interesting angles and curves in my coffers. The image is thirteen percent done with twelve minutes. My perspective of rendering is that it takes a lot of skill. As you can see my first two renderings are very lousy. The van and truck look so bad. I found seamless tiles images for the brick, but it still looks fake. I look forward to making my buildings look real. My teacher always rags on us because we are not amazed by the graphics, but this is like Nintendo 64 graphics. Our video games are way better. Some renderings look impressive, and some look like old video game graphics.

A couple other things that happened that I don't feel like writing about is Jesse's birthday and a 4th of July. We just went exploring in the hills of Rexburg for Jesse's birthday, enjoying the Hickory restaurant, and we went to Idaho Falls for the 4th of July. 

     During sacrament meeting today I had a sacred experience that I wanted to relate to you. Praying to feel the spirit can be a witness that God loves us, and the plan of salvation is true. The knowledge of the Plan of Salvation comes from many different witnesses of the spirit in each aspect. A meditation on it can bring a witness of it too. The Plan of Salvation are 'things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come.' In this testimony meeting, my testimony that I felt like communicating would make sense, but I felt that the simplicity of the precept that it needs explanation. The explanation is personal. Before I get into the explanation, I will review the topic. It is to pray to feel the spirit.
     Before my mission I don't recall feeling the spirit as taught in the word of God, a burning in the bosom. I never stressed it too much because the spirit can be felt in other ways. I knew that the fullness of the Gospel is only in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When my second mission president took reins, he came with a powerful belief that God gives revelation according to the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 9:8. "But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right." I was out on my mission about eighteen months, and my mission president expected us to confirm every plan with God by these instructions. My mission president was named President Graff. Since I never felt burning in my bosom, I needed to call my mission president, since he was enforcing the new policy. He had me pray to feel the Holy Ghost by this burning sensation in my bosom, and I prayed for more than an hour with no result. President Graff also had a powerful testimony of gifts of the spirit by the laying on of hands. President Graff served a mission just previously since becoming a mission president. On his mission, he worked on learning Spanish for many months, but he couldn't. His mission president was counseling him on learning the language, and he decided to give him the gift of tongues by the laying on of hands. Ever since that blessing President Graff was able to speak Spanish. He blessed me similarly, but he had my companion bless me to feel the spirit as a burning in my bosom. Ever since that blessing, I have been able to feel the Holy Ghost as a burning in my bosom.
     The sensation comes rarely as I am use to. I felt it powerfully during sacrament meeting today, and it came because I was prompted to pray to feel the spirit in my morning prayer. I encourage you to pray to feel the spirit of God. The request for this broad revelation is complex though. One can pray to feel the comforter, but it will rarely visit you without a purpose. It mainly visits people to testify of Jesus Christ as the Savior of all men, and it may also abide within us to let us be a witness of Christ. Praying to feel the spirit without a purpose can be tricky because the purpose of his presence is uncertain. I felt that the spirit testified of the Plan of Salvation, the Atonement, and the Godhead today, but how can the Holy Ghost strengthen our testimony of our knowledge without having a knowledge of the fullness of the Gospel. It can testify of each aspect of the Plan of Salvation, the Atonement, and the Godhead as the individual knows it; although, it may not be whole yet. Many people testified of the relationship of the Holy Spirit with man in today's fast and testimony sacrament meeting. Prayer without a specific meaning rarely works. Praying to know the truth is so broad that one's relationship with God and his guidance would have to be very deep to have sequential revelations. A knowledge of the fullness of the Gospel is hard to come by without reading the word of God. The Book of Mormon is essential to obtaining the knowledge of the fullness of the Gospel, since it contains the fullness of the Gospel and the Plan of Salvation. This book is unique for its ability to be a witness of the truth. The truth has many names such as the fullness of the Gospel and the Plan of Salvation. The Plan of Salvation are 'things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come' as I said before. The Book of Mormon is unique because the words therein were directed to be written by God by prophets. It was abridged by Mormon and translated by Joseph Smith by the direct guidance of God. Praying to know whether this book is true without a complete know of the content therein is realistic because these unique characteristics that it has. Knowledge of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon is designed by God to also be a witness that the all the prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are true because Joseph Smith is the founding prophet of this church, and he translated the book only by the gift and power of God.
     Writing my testimony in this journal entry is not an excuse for not telling my testimony in fast and testimony meeting, and I had a trust issue in the guidance of the spirit that these complex relationships can be related well with my words, teaching my simple concept that a singular prayer can testify of all truth. The sensation of the burning in my bosom enlivened my intelligence, reminding me of the truthfulness of the Gospel. The Gift of the Holy Ghost is the uniting means of learning, communicating to everyone's souls. I should have gone up to teach my revelation in fast and testimony session because I can be the conduit of the God, speaking the words prompted to say to relate the concept that I was led to feel and teach because the Holy Ghost is the universal means of learning and revelation.