Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It was a Little Crazy!!!

Hey I actually went to Bacolod yesterday for the dermatologist, so it was a little crazy but it is over. So school is almost over then it is a good 2 months rest! it looks like everything is going pretty good back home. Beautiful weather, conferences, all the good stuff. 

Things here are awesome! It's hot, but beautiful. We actually have 4 baptisms lined up for this weekend. One of the investigators is so "Golden." I LOVE teaching her she makes me love my area so much! Transfers are next week so we are still a little on edge about getting a transfer. I'm just scared if I get transferred I'll become a DL or a ZL, it seems to be the way things are going over here. But I'm also worried if Elder Cagampang gets transferred then I'll train again, so it will be fun waiting for the text on Monday!

This past Saturday, must likely the most life changing thing happened, probably will be the biggest life changing thing to happen to me my whole mission. I don't know exactly how to explain what happened and to be honest to type it all out would fill my whole computer time. But I can say that I have learned the pure love of Christ. I have felt the love Jesus has for each and every one of us, and that he knows our pains and our sorrows, and that Heavenly Father, truly puts us in the area we are suppose to be, and in the mission we are suppose to be in. I will never look at life, my mission, anything the same way again. I still haven't had what happened fully sink in yet. It is still so fresh and has such a powerful effect on me right now. I can't even talk about or even think too much about it with out holding back tears. One day I will tell you what happened. But for right now what I have said is enough for me right now.

I love you ALL so much! I miss you all so much! I'm a new man!

Missions truly change lives. Not just the people that are taught but the missionaries too.

Elder Rivera

Monday, May 18, 2015

Everything was Soaked in Like 5 Minutes!!!

When it rains it rains!!!
This week was a pretty good week. The saddest part about this week was that it was the last time we would probably see the 2 brothers about to go on their missions. They have been working with us for 3 weeks now and we all became super close so it will be hard to see them go on their missions. But we had a pretty good week! Yesterday it poured rain! our pants were soaked our shoes were soaked our everything was soaked it literally flooded within 5 minutes of rain!

I loved talking to you guys on mothers day! can you believe I have been out for 8 months now! It is so crazy how fast it has gone! Before you know it I'll be back home! 

I guess that's that!!!
Our Baptism in the river

I love you guys and miss you guys!

Elder Rivera

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Negros Occidental

Negros Occidental (Filipino: Kanlurang Negros; Hiligaynon: Katundang Negros) is a province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Its capital is Bacolod City and it occupies the northwestern half of Negros Island; Negros Oriental is at the southeastern half. Across the Panay Gulf and the Guimaras Strait to the northwest is the island-province of Guimaras and the province of Iloilo on Panay island. Known as the "Sugarbowl of the Philippines", Negros Occidental produces more than half the nation's sugar output.

The population of the province is 2,907,859 if Bacolod City is included. Making it the most populated Province in Western Visayas.

Negros Island was originally known to the natives as "Buglas". When the Spaniards arrived in April 1565, they named it "Negros" because of the dark-skinned natives they found. Two of the earliest native settlements were Binalbagan and Ilog which later became towns in 1572 and 1584, respectively. Other settlements were Hinigaran, Negros Occidental, Bago, Marayo (now Pontevedra), Mamalan (now Himamaylan) and Candaguit (a sitio in San Enrique).
Ilog was made the first capital of the province in 1743. This was later transferred to Himamaylan. Bacolod became the capital in 1849.
The island was divided into Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental in 1890. The two provinces were briefly united as an independentRepublic of Negros with Bacolod as the capital on November 27, 1898. It became a protectorate of the United States until 1901, when the republic was dissolved, with the two provinces annexed to the Philippines.
During the succeeding decades between 1901 to the 1930s, Negros Occidental was under Insular Government of the United States of America as with the rest of the country and later under the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. Economic growth continued especially with Philippine sugar having a part of the US market. The socio-economic life of Negros Occidental from the 1950s up to the 1980s depended as before mainly on the sugar industry. Negros del Norte was created from Negros Occidental on January 3, 1986. Its creation was declared unconstitutional on July 11, 1986, and was abolished on August 18, 1986.
Towards the end of 1987, the rays of hope started to shine when the over-all economic situation showed a positive upturn. The campaign for agricultural diversification had been gaining momentum, paving the way for more landowners to invest in prawn farming and high-value crops such as fruits, vegetables, livestock and other cash crops. Investments upswing became apparent by 1988. The participation of the industrial sector accelerated the consumer-led economic growth and development manifested by the increase in sales of consumer goods and by-products. Today Negros Occidental remains one of the most progressive and largely developed Philippine province, in large due to the profits from the sugar industry but also due to diversification to other fields.

Negros Occidental is located in the western side of Negros Island, the third largest island in the Philippines with a total land area of 972,607 hectares or 9,726.06 km2. The province is approximately 375 kilometers long from north to south. It is bounded by the Visayan Sea in the north, Panay Gulf on the west, Tañon Strait and Negros Oriental province on the east and Sulu Sea on the south. Negros is basically volcanic, making its soil ideal for agriculture. Eighty percent of all arable land is cultivated.
The north and western parts of the province are largely composed of plains and gentle slopes. A mountain range lines the eastern part of the province, forming the basis of the border with Negros Oriental. Mount Kanlaon, which is partially located in Negros Oriental, rises to a height of 2,465 m (8,087 ft) and is the highest peak in the Visayas.

Most residents are of Austronesian heritage. Residents of Negros are called "Negrense". Negros Occidental is predominantly a Hiligaynon-speaking province, because of ties with Iloilo. However, the cities and towns facing the Tañon Strait are Cebuano-speaking due to their proximity to the island-province of Cebu. Sagay City, which is facing both Iloilo and Cebu, speaks a hybrid language composed of Hiligaynonand Cebuano. Tagalog/Filipino and English are widely spoken on both sides of the island. Negros Occidental is the second-largest province in terms of population after Cebu, with the second largest number of congressional districts.

Christianity in the form of Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion in the province followed by 85%-90% of the population. The remaining faiths are usually divided by various protestant faiths such as Baptist, Iglesia Ni Cristo, Methodist, Church of Christ of Latter Day saints (Mormons), Jehovah's Witnesses and other Evangelical Christians.
(From Wikipedia)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Like a Pro!!!

Well that's pretty cool that I got a stake calling for about 4 days! I did get my package thank you so much for ALL the candy that was in it!  I hope Violet's baptism was awesome!

My week was pretty good especially SundayThis Sunday was awesome for one reason and one reason only. Tita Bello and her 2 daughters came back to church after working for a whole transfer on her. Other than that it was a killer! It is a miracle for sure! I had to go up to the second area in the mountains I was sweating so much that my face was literally dripping sweat! soaking wet! 

We also have been working with this member who is about to go on his mission. At first he would ask questions that were not good like what's Joseph Smiths story, and we then had to have extremely long companionship studies in-order for him to know what to do and say and everything. By the end of the week we said OK you teach this lesson and we will back you up. He then thought a really good lesson and we just helped him out. He just needs a little more improvement on the structure of his lesson and he will be a pro! Luckily we get to work with him again this week!

I love being a missionary! Don't worry about Mother's day it's covered!

Elder Rivera