Monday, December 28, 2015

I'm going to be a Father!!!

So Last night we got a call from the AP's that Elder Ratuiste was being transferred and I am now going to train. Yep I'm going to be training a new missionary and I don't know who he is but I know that he is Filipino. I'm pretty Excited but I'm also pretty nervous too! I'll keep you posted on how he is doing!

Your Christmas dinner was way better than our Christmas dinner. We had a curfew so we weren't aloud to go out of the house past 6 PM. So while we were in La Carlota we ate at Jollibee. So a very disappointing Christmas dinner for sure. At least by the time I get home It'll be close to Thanksgiving so i can get that Turkey dinner that I miss so much!

We had a successful baptism on Christmas, and she will become a very strong member as she continues onward! I'm excited that I get to see her growth in the Church!

This Christmas to be honest was pretty hard to deal with. I felt pretty sad this past Christmas, because I miss you guys so much! It was super awesome to talk to you in Skype, I can't wait to do it again on mothers day! But there is still time before that happens. 

I know that you can get those reports done mom! You're the best teacher in the World!

I love and miss you ALL!!!

Love Elder Rivera

Monday, December 21, 2015

I Can't Believe I Just Told you That!!!

On our way to town
It's Christmas break already? That was so fast. Before you know it I'll be home. Well I guess we are literally days away fromskyping! We will be able to talk about everything then. Oh and I will be trying to get to the computer shop at around 8 or 9 in the morning here. So be ready for me.

Thankful for the overcast skies!!!

This week was rough. Not because of the work or anything, but because I was sick. Thursday morning I woke up at 2 in the morning, and was violently sick. I think it was food poisoning. But After a long long long night I managed to get over it and am OK now. But we missed a whole day of work because I rested up.

Tatay Dichoson

But the highlight of my week was for sure our baptism! I baptized Tatay Dichoson! He is so strong and will be such a strong member. He was the one to tell me that he wanted to be baptized after we had taught him. It was super awesome and he will always be some one I remember! 

Relaxing on P-Day
Also this past Sunday was the Primary presentation. And the Kids were a little off key, but despite the fact that they were trying their best, I felt the Spirit. Especially when they were belting out 'I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ' I almost cried. I can't believe I just told you that.

I really love my mission! This is the best mission in the world! 

I'll see you at Christmas!

Elder Rivera

Monday, December 14, 2015

Work, Work, Work!!!

Well the best day for me to call would probably be on the 25th here in the Philippines, so like the 24th there. We have a baptism that day too so next Monday I will finalize the exact time when we should call. I'm looking forward to snow again! even though it is going to be really really really cold I am still looking forward to it! 

This week we kinda really struggled, We had a lot of appointments fall through and had a few investigators at church. Also like when I was in Cadiz, we have realized that a lot of investigators are no longer progressing so we dropped a lot. But this week Elder Ratuiste and I are planning to contact or to find 100+ potential investigators so we can build our investigator pool!.

We still have a lot of progressing investigators, we have 1 baptism this coming up Saturday, and one for sure on Christmas, but we could have 2, all depends on their willingness to follow the commandments.

How is the new Prime Minister? How are both of the grandparents doing?

I miss you!

I'll see you on Christmas!
Elder Rivera

Monday, December 7, 2015

Weird Things

It is too bad there has been little to no snow I hope when I get back there will be a white Christmas, I really miss the snow! She said that about my Ilonggo? Well I can say that I have for sure improved as the days have gone on here. It's pretty cool to say that I have learned a language. So when are we going to skype? Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? You decide either way it's good with me. 

I'm emailing alot of people actually. I'm emailing Britton, people I met at the MTC, members from previous areas friends from home too. And some former companions. I try and keep in touch with everyone.

Previous Area Zone Conference
So a lot of weird things have happened this past week in our area. For starters last PDay, we got a text from an investigator that said that she doesn't want us to come over to the house anymore because her mom was starting to realize that the church is true but doesn't want to leave her church right now, so ya. Also we had one other investigator who literally just disappeared. We have gone back to her house and she is never home, that is when her mom said she hasn't come home for days. It's been a week and we still haven't seen her.... Really weird. But despite all that we have had a lot of success this week. We baptized a child of record so it was pretty awesome! We also have 3 baptisms set up for December 19 and December 25 and maybe the 26th. So things are moving well in La Castellana!

So did you send the package yet? I'm seriously waiting for it! 
How's the Ward? How is life with out your FAVOURITE son? Probably really hard, no?

I love you all!
Elder Rivera

Monday, November 30, 2015

This Week

My week has been pretty good we had Zone conference this past Wednesday and it was pretty awesome! I learned a lot and am trying to apply what I learned. 

We unfortunately didn't have any baptisms this week but next month we have one lined up for every week! It is pretty exciting work! 

The best thing that happened aside from the 8 investigators at church was this one lesson on Saturday. We were teaching the plan of salvation and why we are here on Earth and how important the atonement and the gospel is for our salvation. At the end our investigator told us that he wants to be baptized. He chose before we extended, he also told us that he would be the one to decide when he is baptized the lesson before. His baptism is December 19. So so so so so so COOL!

As for the package I have no further requests. 

I love you and stay safe!

Elder Rivera
Lunch after Zone Conference

Monday, November 23, 2015

My Week in La Castellana

In response to your question about missionaries being home sick in this mission. In the Bacolod mission I don't think that home sickness is that much of an epidemic. Sure there are times when you want to go home because it is hard or because you are stressed but the number of people that actually have a real desire to go home is pretty minimal. I think in our mission there is no time to think about home. We are so, so, so busy, organizing, planning and working to get weekly baptisms. I think the fact that we agreed to learn the language gives us the motivation to stay. 

to answer you, if I had to choose between the country or the city I would choose the country for the people, but the city for the amenities. in the country it is hard to live, but the people are so willing to listen, and in the city no one wants to really listen. 

I'm senior companion, my companion, Elder Ratuiste has only been in the field for 3 months and I'm getting close to my 15 month mark. He actually might be transferring in December, so I'll be getting a new companion soon.
There are 4 total missionaries in our district, we are in the La Carlota Zone and actually have zone conference this Wednesday

My week was pretty crazy a lot of interesting things have happened. The hardest thing would have to be this one debate we had. This guy was arguing with us about families being together forever. He was saying how do you know that you will actually be a family forever. It was such a ridiculous thing to argue. But by the end of his debating, he had admitted defeat and agreed with us. My patience was tried so bad! But the crazy part was what he said after we invited him to church. After we made the invitation to him he said "may contracta pa siya kay satanas" or in English he said he still has a contact with Satan. He is probably Crazy but he wants to learn more.

But The best part was this one lesson we had. It was our second lesson with this family. we taught about prophets, and I could really feel the spirit. I asked them that if they knew there was a living prophet on the earth today would they follow him? They said of course. Then I told them that there in luck because there is one. We then give them a baptismal date for December 19. They accepted. My questions and teachings have really improved. I guess you can say there is always room for improvement.

Another highlight to this week was our baptism we had this week! That makes 3 weeks in a row.

I'll send pictures later because there is no time right now!

I Love you all!!

Elder Rivera

Monday, November 16, 2015

2 Weeks of Baptisms

Christmas Palm Trees
November here has been really really really hot!! It hasn't even rained for weeks here, but it is still crazy stupid Humid!!! I hope you get better Dad! Make Laura take her test again, so she can eventually drive herself. And don't worry when I get home I will love to play taxi especially for all of Laura and Beth's dates, hahaha!!!

So in my area We have had 2 weeks of consecutive baptisms which is really awesome. We are harvesting the work of missionaries past. The next step for us is to set up the baptisms for the next month and so on and so on. We are going to try and set people up for Christmas so that they can have the time to prepare for the sacred ordinance of baptism.

Working till sunset, and then some
The biggest challenge for me for this week has been trying to ask better questions in my lessons. I realized that the good questions are the ones that really make people think for themselves about what we are teaching to them. I haven't quite mastered it but I guess you could say it is a work in progress. I saw in one lesson when I was really trying to ask good soul searching questions that I felt something, and what I felt was the Spirit a lot stronger than before. it was awesome!

I love you ALL!!!!

Elder Rivera

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Back to the Bukid!!!

I gave a talk in my new area. It was alright and in full Ilonggo. I'm excited to talk to sister Taneza, I really don't want to lose my Ilonggo. I have really worked hard to become good at it.

So as the title says I have returned to the Bukid. I was transferred on Thursday, I'm not sure why but it's OK. We did have a lot of baptisms lined up for this month. But, there is a reason why I'm in my new area, I will figure the reason out eventually but maybe not right away. We actually have baptisms set up here and I will be setting more up for the remaining months and the rest of my time here.

We actually had a baptism this past Saturday. It was pretty cool.

My new area is La Castellana Branch. The area is actually really cool. A lot of member support! This past Sunday we had splits and I've only been in the area for 3 days. They really want to work, they even have made plans to go home teaching to bring all the Less actives, so amazing and super exciting! I guess I have started to Love the members here already.

There isn't much else to say. 

I love you,
Elder Rivera 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Still in Cadiz!!!

Transfers were made this week but I was not called so I get to stay in Cadiz! Halloween isn't as big in the Philippines as it is back home. There is no trick or treating or stuff like that. It is kinda a bummer. I saw the picture of Laura, poor jet!!!

This week was pretty good. We had a Family Home Evening at one of the far parts of our area. It is a really far and it is in the middle of the sugar cane field. We started at 6 pm so it was already dark. But to make things even better right before we were about to leave for home, it started pouring rain! Literally like the rain was spilling out of a glass. Unfortunately for us there are no tricycles or any transportation going out at that time. So we walked in the rain. Luckily the lightning lit up the way as we were walking out, as in full brilliant strikes of lightning. We were absolutely soaked but it was 100% worth it to help the struggling members in that part of our area. 

This area is still my favourite and I'm super happy that I get to spend at least one more transfer in this here.

Elder Rivera

Monday, October 26, 2015

This Week!!!

I guess the Jays just weren't meant to go all the way this year. I thinks it's because I'm supposed to be in the stands when they win the championship. I'm also glad that you guys aren't sick anymore! When the typhoon rolled in we got only strong winds, but not enough to stop the work. If dad does film Beth after her wisdom teeth surgery he's gotta send it to me so I can watch it. 

This week was pretty awesome as per usual. We taught awesome lessons. But unfortunately I got sick too. But even though I was sick, I took my Advil and it worked. When we were working I realized something. When we were teaching lessons I didn't feel sick. I felt good. I could teach, speak even though I had a sore throat, I could answer questions, and I could feel the spirit work through me. It was a pretty cool experience! 

We are teaching a lot of people mostly part member families. That is actually our mission focus right now. The part member families have a pre-planted idea of what the gospel is and what it means to become a member. I love teaching the Magallanes family is really fun to teach and we actually have FHE at their house later. I'm super excited!

The one picture of the baptism are the children of record we baptized. I know it doesn't count in means of investigators being baptized but I was really happy that I was able to be a part of their baptisms. The other one is of me and Remart drinking some nice cold mountain Dews. He is so funny!

I love you
Elder Rivera

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Sorry this email is late. Yesterday we had to go Bacolod and I didn't have enough time to email. So I'm emailing quickly now. I hope you get better mom! Cold season is here too in the Philippines, one of our housemates has had a cold for like 3 weeks now.

Our investigators
So this past week has been awesome. The Lord is truly blessing us through our efforts. A couple of weeks ago we had to drop a few of our investigators because sadly they had lost interest in the message we were sharing. So we have been working diligently to find others to teach in order to really help our area. We have found so many investigators. There is one family that just keeps giving. Every time we go to visit them there is a new investigator to teach! Also we were truly blessed with a miracle. After 3 weeks of NO investigators at church we had 6 all at once! Truly a miracle! 

I love teaching the gospel so much. It is not easy at all but it is so worth every minute of struggle and trial for all the blessings and gifts the Lord gives to us!

I really miss you all! Don't worry about me here I'll be fine! (in response to the question as to whether his area was affected by the Typhoon that just passed, and also about the new storm coming in behind this storm that just passed?)

Elder Rivera

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Time is Flying By!!!

Time is really flying by. I can't believe I've been here for so long. I've become so used to missionary life it's hard to think about going home. Have a nice and peaceful Thanksgiving. I haven't had turkey in almost 2 years but that's OK because I have the rest of my life to eat all the turkey I want. Don't stress to much about me I'm doing super fine, even tho the work is hard I love it!

This week has honestly been so awesome. So many miracles have happened to us here in Cadiz. One was when we were about to go home we decided to go to a members house. They weren't even in our plan. When we got there they told us they had been praying for us to visit them in order to bring the spirit back into their home. The Lord worked through us to bless that family!

I have also come to the realization that through  our efforts the Lord will bless us. We have been struggling lately with finding new investigators. So we asked for referrals and contacted part member families. We ended up finding 3 girls who have truly been prepared by the Lord for us to teach them! Their question are amazing, they truly have a desire to know the truth like Joseph Smith did.

I have really felt the spirit so strong this week especially while we teach!

Mission life is the best!

Elder Rivera

Monday, October 5, 2015

My Week in Cadiz 2nd Ward

That's 2 times you have gone apple picking without me! Thats ok because by the time I get home we can go again. I guess we kinda made it a family tradition going apple picking every season! I also saw the Blue Jays picture post season finally and all it took was for me to go on a mission! 

I wish I could spend more time here!!!
This week we spent a lot of time finding. We unfortunately realized that a lot of investigators stopped progressing. We are still visiting them but we are also spending a lot of our time looking for those who are looking for us. We had some miracles because of our efforts too. We contacted this one referral, she is truly searching for the truth and we are excited to give it to her! She would have come to church but her son had a really high fever! it was also true because we saw the kid when we visited her.

Some times I catch myself worrying about the numbers, like our numbers are too low or maybe we aren't doing enough, but then I think about the people we did teach and the lessons we had and the spirit they hopefully felt from the message of the restoration. I'm excited to contact and to teach all the people we found. I'm super excited to be able to share what I know to be true!

Being a missionary isn't easy but it is super worth it!

Elder Rivera

Monday, September 28, 2015

The End of an Era!!!

Elder Adao
It's end of era for sure no more little blue car. Wow that's crazy, we can add it to all the other cars that have gone through the Rivera and Davidson families. 

My new companion is super awesome too. We work really really hard too,

even though it is only his first week. We are going to really help the area become stronger than before! 

The hardest part of the week was when no investigators came to church. it was really sad because we worked hard to teach them and commit them and re-commit them. We can only keep up the work we are doing.

I can't think of much else to say. Next week I'll have more to say!

Elder Rivera

Monday, September 21, 2015

My Week!!!

Well this past week has been pretty good. We had to limit ourselves because elder Monzales was having serious troubles walking. But we served food at a birthday party of a member at his school. It was pretty fun. That member really loves missionaries which is good because he is our ward mission Leader!

On another note it was a sad day today, Elder Monzales was transferred. We have a lot of baptisms lined hopefully me and my new companion Elder Adao can continue the work here in Cadiz second ward. I also know Elder Adao too so it's a win win for me!

We have a lot of struggles in this area but I wouldn't have it any other way! All these struggles are teaching me so much about myself, and about how much God truly loves his children. 

I'm sorry this letter is kinda small I can't think of much else to write.

Merry Christmas!

Elder Rivera

Monday, September 14, 2015

My Favourite area!!!

Our Little Pizza lunch!!!
I'm probably going to be in University and have some one come up to me and ask me "are you Mrs. Rivera's son?" I'll never be able to escape your legacy. Just joking it's definitely because you're the best teacher in the whole Halton School Board! 

It is hot here like sticky hot but every night there is lightning. It is freaky some nights. Just last night the power was off and on 4 times. 

The sisters that were here were both Filipino and they are OK now they are still The Sister Training Leaders. And were emergency transferred to Victorias. 

My week was pretty good. We didn't work a couple of days because Elder Manzales wasn't feeling 100%. But we still worked hard on the days we did work. One of the less-actives members we taught this week came back to church this Sunday which is great!  I was extremely disappointed on Sunday when these awesome investigators we have didn't come to church. We can't seem to figure out what exactly is stopping them from coming to church. They really listen, and they asked for 3 copies of the Book of Mormon, one in English, Tagalog, and Ilonggo. They are awesome they just have something that we will of course help them with...eventually!!!

A funny thing that happened this week at our special sacrament, we were just about to start when some guy starts talking to the first councillor of the bishopric. It was
n't until the guy came in and sat down that we figured out he was drunk. He ended up leaving before the opening prayer but it was funny while he was there, he kept saying hi to everyone.

This area is the best, I hope I'm here for a while!

Elder Rivera

Monday, September 7, 2015

365 Days and counting...

I officially have one year to go until I come home. I' have not been out for a year in the mission yet but with the way transfers work I will be leaving the mission field 365 day from now.

The school year is already starting? That was so fast! Time goes by so fast especially on my mission! That's crazy. I have heard about the Blue Jays and the talent they have brought in... David Price, and Troy Tulowitzki! That is crazy amazing! This might be the year. Christmas has already started in the Philippines. We already saw Christmas decorations on city hall.

So we had a baptism this past Saturday. He is the strongest member that I have met on my mission. Stronger than even some long time members. 

I ate oysters, and crabs. I took a video of me eating oysters. It was hard to swallow because of the texture. But it was pretty good. But like the squid I will only eat it if I have no choice.

I love teaching the gospel, especially to our group of investigators in Umapog. They really listen! the only thing that they need to do is come to church and we still need to teach them the rest of the lessons. But I really love them they are awesome!

Being a missionary is a blessing and a privilege, and it is really hard, but I wouldn't have it any other way! I have made sacrifices on my mission, and I made sacrifices before I left andt it has all been 110% worth it. I would make those same sacrifices in a heart beat! I love everyday I'm here and try to live my best while I'm here!

Elder Rivera

Monday, August 31, 2015

Another week in Cadiz...

So, the Sisters were pulled out of the District. We are now covering the Sister's area, which makes our area tremendously big.  But we are working hard and move forward.

 I have thought about what I'm going to take in University, but I'm not 100% sure. I kinda want to be a Chiropractor, or maybe environmental something, or maybe something to do with the Philippines because I love this country! How was it getting to spend time with the cousins and stuff? How is the school prep?

So my week was okay. We didn't teach as many lessons as we wanted to, but the lessons we did teach were pretty good, really effective. they really listened to us. But, on Saturday it was extremely disappointing. Our baptismal candidate didn't show up because he and his older brother had a fight because his older brother doesn't want him to be baptized in the church. We are going to do everything we can to help him but there isn't a lot we can do in a situation like that.

I've made improvements for sure in the language. All the members say I sound like I'm from Bacolod because of my accent. The funny thing is I have never been assigned in Bacolod. I just apply Preach my Gospel chapter 7 and then the Lord takes care of the rest.

Link to Chapter 7 of Preach my Gospel:

I'm really trying my best out here. I'm not perfect and I'm not the best. But I do what I can to help all those in my area in Cadiz 2nd ward. And in every area I'm assigned in.

Elder Rivera

Monday, August 24, 2015

Crazy Cadiz!!!

Just for fun
So many things have happened this week. For starters my package arrived. Thank you very much! Those pictures of Hungry Hollow, remind me of one part of our area which also reminds me of the forest at the farm in Bancroft full of trees in rows and has a creepy, but peaceful feel to it.

This week we had our mission tour with Elder Bowen. It was really good except the travel was a killer. We had to sleep at an apartment in a different zone. The apartment was so small and there were 14 of us total. Sleep was really hard to come by.

Before the Storm!!!
Another thing that killed our sleep was the Sister Missionaries. So, Saturday night we get a text from the Sisters asking for a priesthood blessing. So we go and give the blessing then head out. As we were leaving both my companion and I felt really bad about leaving. As we were on the tricycle on the way home we both felt that we should go back right away. We then called the Zone leaders to ask for any type of suggestions as to what we should do.  They didn't really know what to do. So we called President. It eventually came down to the point where he told us to stay at their apartment to guard it. So all 4 of us elders from our apartment slept outside their apartment. But they heard something from the upstairs. We went to check it out when I turned on the light at least 3 of us saw a black hooded figure run past the window. It was such a creepy, crazy, but at the same time once in a lifetime, hopefully, experience.

SO ultimately I can use a nap or 2. 

I miss you guys.

Elder Rivera

Monday, August 17, 2015

First week in Cadiz

I love this Ward. But I really miss the Bello family! But I found out that the two investigators we left to be baptized were baptized!  WE had one baptism too in Cadiz and have a lot more planned for the rest of the month!

We actually had a miracle day in this new part of the area we opened. We contacted 13 new people, and 9 new investigators so much fun! This area is not Bukid at all we are partly in the city. there also 4 of us in the apartment every night, is so much fun!

My companion is the District Leader so we had to respond to an emergency at the sisters apartment. They had some one try and enter their house but we got there and checked it out. They are ok now, and they are moving houses after the mission tour.

I miss you all

Elder Rivera

Monday, August 10, 2015

Surprise Transfer!!!

In response to your comments mom, it's true I had a huge adjustment, I had a lot of humbling experiences.  The Typhoon really didn't hit us this time, but it rained in our area for about 3 days straight NON-stop. We still worked of course and we had to cross a river with a strong current the water was up to our waist we took a video so you'll see what we did!

So ya I got transferred they actually pulled us out and that is the second time that it has happened to that area. The sad part is we had another family home evening planned for later today. Also we had 2 baptisms lined up for this Saturday. My new area is Cadiz 2nd ward. my new companion is Elder Monzales. I've known him for a while now so it won't be awkward adjusting to a new companion.

I'll write more next week and send pictures too. The computer shop we are in is expensive and we are only here for a short period of time. 

I love you guys!

Elder Rivera

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Other Uses of Charcoal!!!

We still haven't refilled our gas but we will probably do it sometime this week but it is not 100% sure that we will. I am still not on acutane because the area presidency hasn't given me the green light yet, so it might be a while longer before I actually start it. 

Our P-days are usually us going to the computer shop then we eat, shop and sometimes we go to the chapel and play basket ball or just sit inside and chill with the air-con.

The Bello Family and investigator Joselle
This week was pretty awesome. Mostly because of the Family Home evening we had with the Bello family. It was so much fun. We went to the market and bought ingredients for our dinner which was Bicol Express. It is so delicious, but a little spicy, I'll make it when I get home. We then taught a lesson about the plan of Salvation, and then we played a game. And the reason everyone has a charcoal smudge on their face is because every time you lose a round you get a charcoal smudge on your face. Our one investigator was there, Joselle, she is hopefully going to be baptized on August 15 with 2 other of our investigators.

Elder Sagay

In all honesty I would say that scouts has helped me out in many ways in my mission. The cooking on a fire, the pushing through to get the job done. I loved scouts, it is definitely worth it, as long as it is done the right way. 

Transfers are on August 24. I'm not sure what is going to happen. But I have faith that what ever happens is what is supposed to happen.

Elder Rivera
Bicol Express is a popular Filipino dish which was popularized
in the district of Malate, Manila but made in traditional
Bicolano style. It is a stew made from long chilies,
coconut milk, shrimp paste or stockfish, onion, pork, and garlic.

Monday, July 27, 2015

I Ate Squid!!!

That's crazy! Jamie got hit by a car! I hope he is all good! keep me updated on that please!

Our week was OK it would have been better if I didn't get a cold. My nose won't stop running! It is really hard to get to sleep most nights. 

Not bad, but I wouldn't get it again
Our investigator and my companion Elder Basay
So right now in our area we ran out of gas for our stove. So we have been using a charcoal stove for the past 4 weeks now. It is not hard to do or to start up but it does take a long time for the charcoal to be ready and hot enough to cook. So for lunch we don't have time to go through that process because we need to get out and work. So we usually go to the market place that is probably a 5 minute walk from our house. Every weekday they have sudan (rice topping) and rice of course. Well when we were there Elder Basay got this one andit looked pretty good to eat so I got it too. So what I thought was vegetables turned out to be squid! I couldn't return it because I had started eating it, so I finished it. It was good, but I don't think I would get it again.

Yesterday we had an awesome lesson with the Bellos, they are my Filipino family. I reactivated them, I've been helping them with all things involving the church since the day I was transferred into the area. We taught about the Atonement and how we can show our love and respect for the sacrifice and love of Jesus Christ when he died for us so that we might live. The spirit was definitely there. It was a great lesson we actually have Family Home Evening with them later today. It should be fun. I'll take pictures.

Andoy Branch
I really miss going to Cardiff, and spending time with the whole family! We have to go to Cardiff when I get home!

I miss and Love MY family,
Elder Rivera 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ambot ah (I don't Know, I don't Understand, I don't Get It)

Hey I'm glad you guys enjoyed the swimming. I'm not allowed to swim, even though I'm surrounded by so many rivers and beaches. The closest I get to swimming is walking through the water. We didn't even need to walk through the water there is a bamboo bridge but we were working with our Branch mission leader and he is a little lazy and didn't want to walk to it, so we went into the water. 

As to what Sister Ocampo said (I was talking to Sister Ocampo today.  She is very impressed for how you are dealing with serving in the Philippines, and in particular the remote area.  She says she can only imagine how hard it would be to have to adapt to living without a lot of amenities while being faced with learning a new language and eating unfamiliar food), It is really hard to adjust to the mountains, not just the walking but the way of life also. It is completely different from anything I have ever done. On top of learning a new language, it all adds up, I can feel the weight of my calling for sure. But I have made amazing strides in the language, I have learned a lot, I think I can say that I am fluent but still have much to learn. And the love I have learned for people in general is life changing. I have become a lot stronger in a lot of ways. I love my mission, I regret nothing.

It has been crazy hot this past week, not a single drop of rain has fallen in our area and it is HOT!!! I'm praying for rain this week. Our one investigator needs just her baptismal interview then she can qualify for the ordinance. The problem is she is living on the military base close to our house and we are not allowed to enter the base because they don't like Mormons or something, the usually crap right. We are trying so much to get in contact with her but it is next to impossible. All I know is that she is ready and wants to be baptized and some how some way the Lord will provide a way for her to be baptized, I just don't know what that way is yet but we will find it.

Elder Rivera