Called to Serve

Called to Serve
You are here by called to serve in the Philippines Bacolod Mission

Sunday, 11 December 2011

On a Rescue Mission!!!

Hello Everyone,

           So it's been a long time since I have posted and filled you all in on what is going on in PBM (Philippines Bacolod Mission). Well two weeks ago we had a specialized training in Bacolod and there we discussed some of the issues going on here in the Philippines. Our goal for this year is to help all Less-active and In-active members return to church. Our focus is the Book of Mormon. I learned so much about "Retention and Reactivation" in the last month than I have my whole mission.

           Many people may think that missionary work is all about finding, teaching, and baptizing. Although that is one huge and very important part of being a missionary another huge factor in missionary work would be membership retention. The statistics here in the Philippines is hard to believe how many members we have, how many recent converts, and then how many are In-active or Less-active. The Philippines is have a difficult time to keep members in the church because they stop doing the basics. Reading the Book of Mormon, Praying daily, and attending church. Our new motto this year is "Dress them in White twice." Meaning send them to the temple. Get them worthy to enter.

          All members all over the world can make a difference. Remember to do your fellow shipping.Work with the missionaries. And always do your Home teaching/Visiting teaching. Thank you all so much for staying true to the faith. Remember stick to the basics and you'll never go wrong. Remember everyone is a missionary.

Elder Mele

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Once in a lifetime opportunity!

Hey everyone,
So it's been forever since I have e-mailed or posted or anything to let you all know what is happening here in Bacolod Mission. So last post I was still assigned in Guihulngan. Well now I'm in the mountains in a place called Vallehermoso. We have had some great blessings and opportunities that I don't know if I will get another chance in my mission. We had been teaching a wonderful woman her name is Genica. Well she is from Romania and knew nothing about our church. She has been living here six years with her husband and can understand only a little of the language here. Well anyways we have been teaching her for the last two months and on Saturday November 12, 2011 we had the opportunity to baptize her. Her testimony was such a wonderful thing to hear. She talked of God's plan for her and why she was here in the Philippines at the exact time she met the missionaries. She told us that the missionaries had pasted her house for 6 years but they never stopped by. Maybe because the people outside said she is foreigner she won't except you. She said that if she was still in Romania she may have never had the chance to hear this gospel seeing as the church is super new there. The first time my companion went to her she said just come back. So that is what he did with Elder Pickard. 2 weeks after that I was assigned there and had the privilege to teach her this wonderful gospel. I know that this gospel is ment for everyone. Our Heavenly Father trually does have a plan for each and everyone of his children. Just like he does for Sister Genica. I love you all and hope to hear from you soon.
Elder Mele

Sunday, 4 September 2011


So we had a chance to hold one of our investigators ungoy. At first he was really scared of us then we were scared of him biting us but in the end it all turned out :) This little monkey reminded me of investigators. At first they don't want to receive us but after time they start to open up.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Ilonggo to Cebauno

Hey everyone,

So I'm here in a new area called Guihulngan City. Well the area is so beautiful and I love being here just one difficulty. It's a different language than what I know haha. First started off in the MTC as Tagalog, then come to Bacolod mission and it's Ilonggo well now I'm on the Negros Oriental side and its all Cebauno. There are some things that are similar to Ilonggo like some words and sayings and sentences but then there are words that are the same just different meanings. Well I love you all and hope to hear from you all soon.

 Love, Elder Mele

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Who Wants Chicken?

                                        Killing the chicken to add to the Spaghetti I cooked.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Finding Faith

         As a boy growing up I didn't understand much about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintes. My parents were both active members and so were my older siblings. We were living in Wyoming at the time when I dad got a new job in Utah. I was just in kindergarten at the time when my older sister Mandy was killed in a car accident. I was six at the time and never understood what was going on. I remember seeing my brothers crying and I wanted to do what they were doing but the tears just wouldn't come. I couldn't understand what had happened. I was only 6 years old and just like every other 6 year old I didn't understand the concepts of death.
       After this event had happened I noticed a change in my family. We started going to church more.My parents were going to the temple. My brothers were more active in their church callings and scouting. Which led to missions later on for the both of them. They actually both served in the Oklahoma missions. As for me I was effected differently. I didn't have the same desires that they did at the time. I didn't like to attend seminary or going to church. After my brothers both graduated I was the only child left at home. This was difficult for me because I didn't have them to hang out with or talk to about things. This also made it difficult for me when we moved from town to town every year that I was in high school.
        We first moved from Utah when I was in 7th grade. Half way through my freshman year we moved to Fishers, Indiana. This was a huge test for me because I was one of 6 or 7 members in my high school of 2000+ students. We then moved the summer after my sophomore year to Heber City, Utah. At first I didn't to go because it was the rival school of where I grew up. When I wrestled for them my old friends from Vernal started treating my like trash calling me a traitor. This was hard for me and my faith. I wondered why I had to move so much and get treated so badly at every high school but Wasatch. Well my junior year after I took state my dad got a job back in the town I moved away from in 7th grade the rival school. I moved back 2 weeks after taking state and got treated really harsh. I was signed up for seminary but would ditch sometimes to go get food to eat, make shirts in Galley's class, or just sleep. Well the secretary of seminary is like a grandma to me. She would always come hunt me down and say "Mele get to seminary! Do I have to call your mom?" I just laughed and would follow her back and just chill in her office and talk about football, wrestling, and what not. Well one day I decided to go on my own to class. This was 2 months before I graduated from high school. I actually decided to listen to Brother Goodrich. Usually I would play with my ipod or listen to music. Well he was speaking about before his mission and how he tried convincing his friend to go on a mission as well. As I was listening I really felt what he was saying was important that maybe he was sharing this with us to convince me to go. My whole senior year I had no intentions on going on a mission. I just planned on going to college and wrestling. Well after his lesson I decided to go and talk with him and told him that I will go on a mission. I got the number of the bishop right after that class and called him to meet with him to start the papers. He was just as surprised as I was.
          So I really started learning about faith the summer before I left. I got into a relationship and started doubting going on a mission. I told her this and she told me to "JUST HAVE FAITH" those words stuck into my head as the day came to enter the MTC. I had many tests of faith while in the MTC. I was learning a new language and had to be able to teach the people and understand them. Then my girlfriend at the time was starting to have family problems back home. Being a recent convert to the church I was afraid she would stop attending church and fall away or worse send me a Dear John. I told her I wanted to come home but she told me to have faith and the everything will work out. Well what I didn't know at the time was that she was right. When I entered the mission field I learned a lot about faith. First the language I was taught in MTC (tagalog) would not be the language I will be using in my area. I had to have faith to learn a new language to be able to understand the people. Although we are no longer together I am thankful for the lesson she taught me on faith.
        If we put our trust in the Lord and have faith that we can do whatsoever if it be Our Father in Heavens will we can accomplish much. Through out my mission I have had many opportunities to exercise my faith. One such opportunity was when I was still in my first area. I had been there for three transfers so I knew of course I would be transferring. Well I was right when the announcements came I was told I would be transferring. The zone leader didn't tell me where though. The next night we went to a family home evening at the branch president's house. Elder Sanchez the zone leader received a text and then had a puzzled look and looked straight at me. When we got back to the apartment he told me "The transfer just got real." I didn't know what he ment by that but then he told me that one of the AP's had stepped down to train before he goes home.This ment that where ever I was going had changed. He then told me I was going to be transferred to Inayawan. When I heard this I got bumbed. I really wanted to go there because it is one of a couple places in the mission where we get the opportunity to baptize in the ocean I also would have been the first American to return to the area in over a year. So that night I tested my faith and prayed that I would be able to still go to Inayawan. The next day Elder Sanchez received a text saying I will be transferring to Inayawan for sure. He didn't believe it and made them call him. When I talked to President Tobias at transfer meetings he told me that I was supposed to be "White Washed" meaning I would be going to an area that they pull out the Elders and put two new ones in that don't know a thing about it but what's in the area books. He then told me that he needed me in Inayawan. I was happy to go. This really strengthened my testimony. I know that everything is not easy and that it may be easier to mumble and rebel (1 Nephi 7:6-8) like Laman and Lemuel but if we remember to excercise faith in the Lord all things are possible according to his will. (1 Nephi 7:12) My favorite scriptur has taught me a lot of remembering. I hope you enjoyed this and love you all.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Being found by Renato!

This was my first transfer here in Inayawan. Elder Rama and I were teaching in a area called Tambo. Well we got there and got punted by everyone we went to see there. This area we were told was the best area to teach in tons of strong investigators but the elders that told us that wanted the other half of the area because there are more members there. Well anyways we got punted all day and were talking and murmuring about our half of the area. We sat down at a bench and this old man on the other side just starts talking to us. We came to find out his name is Renato Silvera. He was a really nice man and we actually taught him a couple lessons. He's a leader in the Catholic Church across his street. We didn't convert him but we did plant seeds and he strengthened our testimonies and really helped us out. March 2011

Wala Na Tatay (There's no Bridge)

Right so on Wednesday this last week Elder Rama and I went to Tatay Mansamad's house. We got there and he wasn't there! Well there are two ways to get back over the river take a long walk around and go across on the street bridge or take the scary looking bamboo bridge that when you walked on it you thought it just might collapse. Hahaha well my first transfer in this area (Inayawan) I crossed this bridge with Elder Pajes. I sent pictures through e-mail but I will post one just so you all know what it looks like. Well here is the story. The previous week it rained really hard and the river was way high. But when we crossed it was way low because it drained into the ocean. We had an appointement so we decided to take the bamboo bridge we got there and it was gone. We were to lazy so we decided to go straight through the water. It's way low so it was easy to get across. Now we know not to take that route anymore lol!!!

The Bukid Kadtoan (The Mountain Trip)

So this last Friday after district meeting Elder Rama and I had to go send cargo to the mission office in Kabankalan. Well the sisters wanted to go to do something as well. But first they had to make a stop at a school to get the elementary records of an investigator of theirs so she can get married because she's only 19 and they need that here in the Philippines. Well anyway they told us to just go with them so we did. Well we got there Elder Rama and I waited outside and then Sister Ziebarth came outside and told us that they need to send boys to the mountain school to get the records because it's to dangerous for the sisters to go. So Elder Rama and I said we would go for them. We each had to ride on the back of a moped going up steep rocky mountain rodes and muddy as well. Well when we arrived they said the records weren't there. We spent 100 pesos which doesn't seem like a lot and then over an hour getting there and back. Overall it was fun we had a great time and Elder Rama said the moral of the story is Wala (nothing). Hope you enjoy!!!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Elder Rama Calling the Chickens

Inayawan 1st, 2nd, and 3rd transfers

So my second area is Inayawan. I have been in this area for almost 3 transfers and still in the same zone Sipalay Zone. My companion and district leader is Elder Rama. He is a great companion we have a lot of fun together and since he is also cebuano we have been learning more about the language together. He teaches me a lot every day and we love to work together.

Sipalay 2nd and 3rd Transfers

Sipalay 2nd Transfer was a good learning opportunity for me. I learned the language a lot quicker because my new companion and follow-up trainer didn't know hiligaynon he only knew cebuano. We learned a lot from each other and had a good time. We were also together my 3rd transfer as well.

Called to Serve

Go, Ye Messengers of Heaven

Hark , All Ye Nations!

Sipalay 1st Transfer

My first area was in Sipalay. My trainers name is Elder Mas. He was such a great companion and taught me a lot of things that I need to do while in the Philippines. I learned the language quick from him (hiligaynon). He served hard and was a convert to the church just one year before he went on a mission. He taught me how to cook filipino foods and how to live the culture. That was one of my best transfers so far.