Monday, December 29, 2014

Our Baptism was Awesome!!!

Seeing you guys on Christmas was awesome. My day was a lot happier and it wasn't a big distraction, I still focused on all the people here and on the work of course. My lunch appointment had no fish, it was actually pork though so delicious! 

You guys basically had a "Christmas Story" Christmas dinner! That is awesome!

Jeez the weather there is getting to be like here! I hope it is kinda like that when I get home because I'm going to freeze when I get home.

Our Baptism was awesome. We had been working so hard with that family it is nice to see the fruits of our labours! And her name is Stephanie. We also had a dinner appointment. Also delicious.

Stephanie our Christmas Baptism
I know I said I would send pictures, but as I went into my bag I realized that I left my camera at home charging; and I took so many pictures of what you wanted to see. But next week I promise that I won't forget my camera and send you all the awesome pictures I have.

I love and miss you all still. Have a Happy New Year.

Elder Rivera

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas is Going to be Awesome!!!

Wow the time is going by so fast here! It seems like yesterday was Pday!

The language has been improving. I can say more in lessons but I still am making mistakes but I usually can notice when I make a mistake and can correct it. It is frustrating sometimes. I get down sometimes but I always manage to turn myself around. 

I'm happy that You guys have become Filipinos now! It is a fun culture and the food is always delicious! When I get home I hope I can keep the language up with them maybe even learn more dialects! I hope the Christmas devotional goes well probably have some good food as per usual!

Christmas break must be nice right about now! Cool weather, Snow soon. Canada always has beautiful Christmas's! I miss you guys and Canada!

So the Christmas day call. I will be trying to skype you guys at 9:00 Am my time so that is 8:00 PM your time on Wednesday. I'm looking forward to seeing you all and hopefully skype works! 

So for the package send me some all dressed chips (Family size bag) again. I love those they are my favourite. And maybe like some Snicker-doodles in a container or something? I' not sure what else? Just stuff you think that I might want to enjoy or EAT. I love you!

Love you all. Christmas is going to be awesome!

Elder Rivera

6 Week Follow Up Training

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

There is no Room for Impatience on a Mission!!!

I'm surprised that there wasn't as many YM at the Breakfast? It is free food, and it's breakfast the best most delicious meal of the day! I'm actually very upset, and kinda ANGRY at those YM since I've left. Why do they not go to YM? Not happy.

Anyways the weather here isn't that bad right now because it is the coldest time of the year here. But some days are deadly! It gets crazy hot sometimes but Slowly I'm getting used to it. 

This week for the language I got really down on myself. I kinda lost hope for a bit. I realized that I was learning a lesson. I need to be patient. I remember myself before the mission I was very impatient and that carried over over into the field. But there is no room for impatience on a mission!!! So it has been a hard lesson to learn but I am learning it.

My investigators are progressing but the only thing is they don't come to church!!! It kills me!!!

I miss you all a lot. Christmas call is coming up soon so I can't wait to see yo all!

Elder Rivera

Sunday, December 7, 2014

I am Very, Pregnant!!!

Well I'm alive, well to be entirely honest the Typhoon didn't really hit us. We went into lock down and we had some mild winds, and a little rain at the end of Saturday. But of course When the lock down was lifted we had rain, a lot of rain in my opinion. I got to use my rain jacket and crocs! 

So the week has been pretty slow due to the lock down. A story that I am hesitant to share is my big word mix up. We were having dinner at a members house and they wanted to give me more food after my second plate, so I said "Basong ako" and they were like "Basong ka?" and I said "Oo, Basong gid ako"
in english I just said I am very Pregnant. I mixed up the word Basong (pregnant) Basog (full). Ya Pretty embarrassing!

Also at Zone training I gave the spiritual thought and I shared about Lehi's dream of the Tree of life. And that the Tree represents the Love of God. And the Love of god is his Son Jesus Christ. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son". And the Fruit of that tree that are most desirable above all else are the fruits of the Atonement. The ultimate sacrifice so that we may have the chance to live with our Father in Heaven again. And because it is Christmas, the time when we celebrate and think of Christ most. So embrace the gift, partake of those fruits, and always remember the best gift that has ever been given on Christmas... Our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas, I love you all SO MUCH!

Elder Rivera

Friday, December 5, 2014

Typhoon Update

President Lopez latest update:

Our mission lockdown started tonight at 6 PM. Zone Leaders reported everyone are in their safe dwelling. All missionaries (238 full-time missionaries plus 2-short term missionaries), including couples, are accounted for. Those in mountain areas and nearby coastal areas had been moved and are now staying with other missionaries inland. Mission lockdown will continue until further notice. Missionaries are prepared and confident. There was no rain nor wind within the mission boundary all day today. There was no reported power outage. Facilities Management is monitoring evacuees in the chapels. We are still on typhoon signal number one. We are prepared for the worst.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Another Typhoon

Issued at: 1:30 AM PhT (17:30 GMT) Friday 05 December 2014
Next Update: Friday Mid-morning, 05 December 2014

Extremely Catastrophic Super Typhoon HAGUPIT (RUBY) has weakened slightly as it maintains its west-northwest track across the Philippine Sea...remains a serious threat to Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas. 

This super typhoon will enhance the Northeast Monsoon (Hanging Amihan) - bringing mostly cloudy and windy conditions and cooler temperatures across Northern and Central Luzon beginning Friday...becoming more frequent with possible occasional slight to moderate rains along eastern sections of Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, and Northern Quezon. The threat of flash floods and landslides are likely in hazard-prone areas especially along river banks and mountain slopes of the affected areas. Residents are advised to take necessary precautions. 

Residents and visitors along Southern Luzon, Visayas and Northeastern Mindanao should closely monitor the development of Hagupit (Ruby). 

Information based on data collected by WeatherPhilippines Foundation, Inc. shall not be taken as official data. Weather information broadcasted and distributed by PAGASA remains as official data. WeatherPhilippines shall not be responsible for the private use and reliance of its weather information.


Below are the regions or places in the Philippines that could be affected or that are being affected by the hazards generated by the
 current tropical cyclone. 

·         Heavy Rains (50-100 mm): Rest of Bicol Region incl. Masbate, Eastern Visayas, and Northern Caraga incl. Dinagat and Siargao Islands - beginning Friday Evening (Dec 05). Read more...
·         Moderate to Heavy Rains (30-50 mm): Northern Bicol, Bondoc Peninsula, Northeastern Panay, Northern Negros, Northern and Central Cebu, Bohol, portions of Northern Mindanao, and the Rest of Caraga - beginning Friday evening (Dec 05).Read more...

·         Tropical Storm Force Winds (Gusts of 75-100 kph): Eastern Bicol, Eastern and Northern Samar - beginning Saturday morning (Dec 06). Read more...


·         Possible coastal storm surge flooding of 4-5.5 m (13-18 ft) above normal tide levels...accompanied by large and dangerous battering waves can be expected along the coastal, inland lakes and beach front areas of Eastern Visayas and Eastern Bicol Region beginning Saturday morning onwards. Extreme damage is likely on this type of storm surge. Danger from Rip Currents or Rip Tides can be expected along the beach-front areas of Surigao del Norte, Rest of Visayas, Ragay Gulf, Visayan Sea and Eastern Luzon.

President Lopez Update:
SUPERTYPHOON UPDATE: We have a "mission lockdown" starting Friday 6 PM. All missionaries are in placed. No one is allowed to leave their home during lockdown. Every missionary is made aware of our protocol during a calamity. We thank you for your prayers.
FRIDAY EARLY MORNING: Continues to intensify as it traverses the southeastern part of the Philippine Sea...about 580 km east-southeast of Borongan City, Eastern Samar [2AM DEC 05: 11.4N 130.7E @ 260kph]. 
SATURDAY EARLY MORNING: Strengthens further as it slows down and turning slightly to the west, across the central-southern part of the Philippine Sea...about 310 km east-northeast of Borongan City, Eastern Samar [2AM DEC 06: 12.0N 128.2E @ 280kph].
SUNDAY EARLY MORNING: Maintains its strength as it continues to slow down and turns further slightly to the west, across the western-central part of the Philippine Sea, closer to Eastern Samar...about 115 km northeast of Borongan City, Eastern Samar [2AM DEC 07: 12.3N 126.2E @ 280kph].

Monday, December 1, 2014


President Lopez mid week update
It has rained here a few times nothing too serious, but they cancelled school because of it, so lucky. I wish they cancelled school for rain in Canada!

We have been teaching this new investigator who is friends with one of the members of the ward, she already gave her a date to prepare for baptism (Christmas). A "white Christmas" here is when you have a baptismal service with as many people who accept the invitation to be baptized. I think we have about 3 for Christmas and a few more on new years.

One day when we were walking  I decided to OYM (open your mouth), this one man sitting on his tricycle. Right before I got into the message about the restoration he said " Only Jesus Christ can Save us". So I talked about the Atonement instead. Afterward my Companion told me that he was one of the leaders of the Baptist church. We are going to see him again this week should be fun.

Ya everywhere is always packed here Christmas or not, it is crazy, but still so much fun every time we go to the city for P-day!

I think it is coming to the end of rainy season but my companion told me in December there is barely any sun because of all the rain so I will for sure be rained on this month. That storm barely hit us it rained but it wasn't too bad minor minor flooding, I did get to wear my Crocs, that was fun!

Cooking for myself has been an interesting experience, but I'm learning slowly. I don't cook anything complicated just simple stuff.

It has been both fun and so hard! The language is such a struggle but it is coming slowly!

until next week

Elder Rivera

Break before lunch

Mission Tour, leaving Talisey Chapel

Sunday, November 23, 2014

So Many Once in a Lifetime Moments!!!

My week has been pretty good this week, we had 3 meal appointments and the food is very good here always, but it is nothing like Sister Ocampo's food! SO good!

The Sunsets I have enjoyed here!!!
I wish we had snow here it would be nice for some cold in this country. I am going to freeze when I come home! I probably won't leave the house! But I think I'm getting use to the heat a little, but it will still take some time. It has rained a few times but nothing crazy, I'm a little disappointed, I was hoping for some crazy rain storms! nothing.It is so beautiful here though I have so many good once in a life time moments here.

Travelling in a Tricycle to an appointment

The beautiful fields
A funny story that happened this week. We were teaching at this members Chungi, which is a store, and we were teaching about the restoration. After we had stopped she asked where in the bible does it say anything about the restoration. I went into my scriptures and pull out a scripture in Acts about how the church needs to be a restored church, when it started to rain. And in the Philippines they believe in this disease that if rain hits the top of your head you will get a bad illness in the future, so she said she was going to run to her house and meet us inside the Chungi. We waited for about 5 maybe 7 minutes she didn't come back. We scarred her off, it was kinda funny!

Trying to be Cool!!!

I always love putting up the tree that's when Christmas really begins! Ya it is kinda impossible to beat my skills with the tree decoration, but Laura told me you put the glasses I made on the tree. I miss old fashioned Christmas, Christmas has started here since September so it's been dragging on for a while, and it is way more fake and processed if that makes sense.

Love you,
Elder Rivera

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I'm So Tired Which is a good thing! It means we work hard!

 I've been taking pictures like crazy I have pictures from my first second and third baptism! I will send them for sure this week! Our area is pretty big we have just one ward with 4 missionaries 2 elders and 2 sisters. There are 900 members in the ward but only 80+ are active, so we focus a lot on re activation which is really hard!

Lannie And Katrina

Our day involves a lot of walking and tricycle riding we teach an average of 20-30 lessons a week! busy everyday. We also have about 4 hours of study before we go out! I've had 2 dinner appointments and I've eaten everything give to me! The food here is awesome!

I do cook too I've made noodles, pancakes, and a bunch of other stuff

Laundry we have a member who washed our clothes but we wash our garments so after one wash my garments are mostly yellow

I write in my journal every night I will have a lot of memories for sure!

I teach with Elder Cusili, I mostly testify but I try and actually teach as well. I have a goal to memorize the first vision by the end of the week I will be able to help in lessons a lot more after that! Every night we come home I'm so tired Which is a good thing! It means we work hard!

I love you guys & miss!

Elder Rivera

My Investigators
My 5 Star Bathroom/Laundry Room

One of our Pets
Why we don't have Spiders

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I love my Mission!!!

Proseliting in Manila was cool but it sucked because we didn't do it in our language we did it in Tagalog..... we don't know Tagalog! So I didn't really understand much. Manila was crazy! traffic is a big mess and it was scary to be even in a van or a big bus! Bacolod is nothing compared to that!

The flight was so long and dreadful but I'm glad to be here in my first area Valladolid with an awesome trainer! It is hotter than I don't know what over here and I'm sweating buckets but I love it!!! All the people here are amazing and the kids here are so much fun! I already had my first baptism, I forgot to mention that! President Lopez wants one per week so I have another one this Saturday very exciting!

My trainer is so cool and funny. Elder Cusili is from the Philippines and is DL. We are in the Valladolid area in the Bago Zone, it is literally right on the shore! absolutely beautiful! We have taught many lessons. All of the members and investigators are amazed at how much of the language I know for only being here for a few days. I'm very excited for when I'm fluent then I can help more with lessons!

Being a missionary is awesome and hard!!!! I love it!!!

Elder Rivera

Training for New Missionaries and Trainers
Elder Cusili and Elder Rivera
Trainers and New Missionaries
Lunch with new Companions
Giants Pizzas for Lunch!!!
Which Pizza to try?
Getting to know each other better!!!
Each new missionary gets a brand new pillow
Missionaries teaching Family

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I am in Bacolod!!!

Hey! just emailing you all saying I made it to Bacolod! 

My mission president is awesome already! I can't answer any emails right now not until p day which is Monday I think.

But I did see that little bit of the email about the memory card it is OK lang because I got those pictures developed! they are here with me right now so that was lucky! I don't think I will send those home I don't want to lose those they are my memories of the MTC. But now that I am here in the Philippines I will send pics home!

I miss you all so much Pero I'm super excited for the next 2 years it is going to be so awesome!!!!

Love you all!

Elder Rivera