Week 28: Stop It!

My beloved family, friends, and fellow servants,

Sometimes I think of not e-mailing my family and friends anymore because YOU DON’T E-MAIL ME BACK! The reason why I always look forward to e-mailing on Mondays is because I can’t wait to hear news from home. And yet when I open my e-mail on Mondays like today I get nothing, and it’s very disappointing. Stop it!

Every Sunday night I whack my brains out from thinking what should I tell you for my weekly e-mail. I toss and turn, place my chin on my hand, and think how I should go with my letter. It’s so hard!

The only thing I ask from all of you is to send me good news from home. News that will uplift and inspire me in my mission. News that will make excited for the date of my departure from the mission. News that will inform me of the progress in my home ward. News that finally something good has been happening in my family. Please send me those kind of news.

And don’t worry. I’m not mad.

I had a great week huh! All of my investigators came to church. Yes! A lot of miracles, and all because of diligence and obedience to the Lord’s commandments and mission rules.

One of my investigators who I want to talk about in my mission is Jimmy. We met him, no, actually he met us, while he was doing pamasada. He stopped by us and asked for a copy of The Book of Mormon. We were not bringing one, so I gave him a pamphlet instead. Then we started teaching him, and throughout the lessons he was reluctant and scared to get baptized. But on Saturday we taught him about the Plan of Salvation, and he said he really wanted to change and got the Celestial Kingdom, so yep, he said he will prepare himself for baptism! March 21st!

At the beginning of my mission one of the things that I find hard is extending the baptismal invitation to people. But think of it—out of all the billions of 19 year olds in the whole wide world, I have the only authority to help them a choice to qualify for eternal life.

Everything is doing great here! So don’t try to ruin my fun by not replying to my e-mails.

Elder Poblete

Philippines San Pablo Mission

Week 27: Going, Going, Gone

My beloved family, friends, and fellow servants,

New cycle! I’ve been out in the field for 7 months already! Can you believe how quick the time flies? I feel like I’m going home next month! (Which I hope will not happen.)

It’s so hard to watch people leave! Most of my missionary friends in my district were transferred. Almost 1/8 of the mission left 2 weeks ago, including my trainer Elder Wanoa.

I would just like to share a part of one of my favourite General Conference talks, given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. It’s really special to me as it talks about the commitments missionaries make to the Saviour. Having narrated Peter’s exchange with his Lord at the shore of Galillee, he described Christ’s reply as something that could possibly be delivered like this:

“To which Jesus responded (and here again I acknowledge my nonscriptural elaboration), perhaps saying something like:“Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation?Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need, Peter, are disciples—and Ineed them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel anddefend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven hascommissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is notto be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, Peter, for thesecond and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyallyuntil the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me.”

Don’t forget whom you serve! Don’t leave the church. Don’t let go of your commitments. Treasure the promises that you’ve made with God.

I pray that when I get home I will still find my home ward the same as it was when I left for my mission. I hope to see it grow even bigger! We all have commitments, we all have work to do.

Elder Poblete

Philippines San Pablo Mission

Week 26: Better Things

My beloved family, friends, and fellow servants,

Another cycle is going to pass next week. There have been a flurry of calls around the mission for the transfers. Missionaries panicked. Thoughts of new areas and new companions rushed to our minds. Throbbing hearts in despair for a different environment. We waited. Nothing came. I’m not transferred. And finally, a companion that ends up being with me for more than 6 weeks.
The Lord has blessed me with another opportunity to serve His children in Tanauan for 6 more weeks. As the cycle ends this week, I found myself pondering on my labours for the past weeks and evaluating and devising ways by which I can improve as the Lord’s full-time missionary.
Sister Cleo, I appreciate the pictures you have shared with me in your e-mails. Truly it is a sight to behold to see all of you, my families and friends, spending quality time together despite of my absence. It gives me a peaceful assurance that things still have not changed back home—that someday when I depart for home I could still feel that same loving environment which I have grown to miss in my mission.
Mom, my heart felt a familiar trickle when I saw you wearing that ugly mask. However, I could see your smile lighting up behind that apparatus. Thank you for the news informing me that my dear father has not relapsed on his keeping of the Word of Wisdom (which he is not aware of following). Dad, I know that you will fully realize God’s plan for you as you understand why we need to take care of our bodies and why He has given us the health code.
On Saturday last week, we were blessed to have President David L. Beck and Elder Ian S. Ardern visit our mission at the San Pablo Stake Center in Laguna. One of the counsels that struck me the most, given by Elder Arden, was the admonition, “Awake and arise and break the shackles of your teenage years!”
Alarmed missionaries, including me, snickered at the penetrating admonition. At the same time I was reminded of the words the Apostle Paul penned to the Corinthian saints: “When I was child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Cor. 13:11)
The urgency behind the words of both of these disciples of modern and of old encourages me to be more fully consecrated as His chosen missionary in the present time. Everything of the past has to be placed on the altar of sacrifice.
Likewise I propose the same challenge to my family and friends back home. Strive to be better in being the Lord’s disciples. As soon as we entered the waters of baptism, we begin to take unto ourselves the responsibility to bring His name wherever we go and to honor the covenants we have made with our Father in Heaven.
As the Lord’s full-time emissary, I exhort you with all my heart and soul, that each of you would magnify and fulfill and live the covenants and promises we have made. I can promise you that great blessings will come and flow into your lives, that there would no room enough to receive it.
Elder Poblete

Week 25: The Word of Wisdom

My beloved family, friends, and fellow servants,

Surely the most highlighting and great and miraculous news I have received thus far in my mission is the news that my dad has quit smoking and drinking. Dad, I am so proud of you. I am genuinely happy for you. Don’t give up. Keep walking. You’re on your way, dad. Good things have come, and better things are yet to come.

Mom, likewise joy I feel now that you are fully recovered. Please take care of your health. Live the Word of Wisdom in every sense—more veggies and fruits.

It’s already February. Where did January go?! I wish I have new things to tell you but I have none. Sometimes missionary work gets mundane. It’s the same thing over and over again. It gets repetitive and becomes a tiring routine that lately I have been thinking of going home. Ha! Nothing happens, and I am literally stressed out. Growing intellectually and spiritually is hard when growing up in a difficult and toxic environment. Don’t think too deep about what I just said.

All these feelings I vent through writing haikus. I keep a notebook with me where I write 3 sentence poetry and just ponder. But I still read and ponder the scriptures!

I hope something interesting will happen this week. E-mail me more!

Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission

Week 24: 18 months left (I think)!

My beloved family, friends, and fellow servants,

18 months left huh! Three quarters left and then I’m done! But not quite trunky yet. Right now I feel blank within because I felt nothing has really happened in my mission. Perhaps I set the bar too high for myself, or I still feel discontented of my progress. Nevertheless, I feel the joy of missionary work within my veins, and I am eternally grateful that our Father in Heaven has entrusted me of this great and sacred duty.
 How is everybody?
Mom! I have never heard from you. How are you doing? Is recovery doing well for you? How is papa? Is he enjoying his new workplace? What about Eric? Things have changed a lot since I left home for my mission. I find myself thinking how things would be if I had not left home. I would be there at your side when your health seemed to be failing; I could have helped Eric with his studies; I could have provided support for papa when situations were difficult for him.
But what a great sacrifice a mission ought to be? In my recent zone interview with President, he said something that struck my heart: “The Lord will recompense and reimburse you for your great efforts here in the mission field.” Such great promise brings me comfort in these trying times.
Same promise I give unto you, my families and friends. The Lord will recompense and reimburse you for whatever you are going through right now.
I love all of you. Please continue to send me good news. I truly love all of you. I wish I could be with all of you right now, and verbally express my appreciation and gratitude for you.
See you in 18 months.
May our Father in Heaven and His heavenly blessings attend you in your daily endeavor.
Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission

Week 23: The Lord Rebukes Faithlessness and Deplores Pessimism

My beloved family, friends, and fellow servants,

I am so much grateful for the people who supported me in one of the darkest hours in my mission. Instead of writing a personalized letter, I opted to send everybody a transcript of an Elder Holland classic “An High Priest of Good Things to Come.” That remarkable piece of talk really helped me, gave me comfort in my times of distress. I am thankful for your prayers for me and for my mom, and most especially to my whole family. It was already hard leaving my family to face possible rejection and trials here in my mission, yet it is harder to receive horrible news about your family thousands of miles away.
But it is good to remember the Lord’s promise to His missionaries, ancient or modern: that He will take care of their families, that their families are in good hands, that everything will be okay in regard to their loved ones. All His missionaries ought to do is to serve Him with the singleness of their eyes, with all their heart, might, mind, and strength.
I do worry about my family on occasion, often wrought upon by pessimism and faithlessness.
I testify of the Lord’s promise, as it has occurred to my family. Mom, please take care of yourself. Devise a nutritious diet plan. Monitor your health. And most of all, DON’T MAKE YOUR SON DEAD WORRIED ABOUT YOU IN HIS MISSION. That’s the worst thing a parent can do to her missionary son. Dad, I love you and please continue to do what is right. I am sorry if everything seems different to you in your perspective, but I have always loved you as my father.
To everyone who helped my family in this time of need, thank you. Your name is blessed forever, and your generous deeds are written down in the books of heaven.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission