Dear Family and Friends,
I have had yet another amazing week here in the Philippines. It has now been one month since first arriving in the MTC which means I only have about a week and a half left before I head out into the field. and to those who are wondering I have not gotten around to watching conference yet because of the time difference comference was live in the middle of the night Sunday and Monday, so we are just watching it recorded this Saturday and Sunday like normal, so I'm excited for that. Although I'm a bit dishearted due to Elder Oaks is scheduled to come do a devotional here in the Manilla MTC the week after I head into the field. So that was a bit of a downer, but I'm sure things will work out the way they should. This Wednesday we got the first opportunity to go proselyting in Quezon City. It was a very humbling experience and a big eye opener to how big the language barrier is, and how little I know. Luckily my infield companion was a native and was a pretty cool guy so he helped translate when I had absolutley no clue what on earth someone was saying, but it was a very cool experience. I got to venture into a very humble neighborhood and see just the lifestyle of the people here. The first person we taught was a younger boy who looked to be about 17 or 18 and had recently been baptized, although he had a very hard time understanding the lessons that even the native missionaries taught, so me being a American who has been here for 4 weeks trying to teach him about baptismal convenants was a bit of a challenge, but with the help of my companion and the guidance of the spirit he was able to understand. We then went to go meet a man who lived in a little tin shack down in the slums of the city, he ended up being busy working so we couldn't talk much, but venturing into that part of town was very humbling to see how little a lot a people had, but yet still relativley happy. The little kids here are awesome as well. We will be walking down the street and they will be playing ball in the street and they will stop and run over to us and shake our hands or press our hands to their forehead which is a sign of respect. They were all so cute and thinking back on it, it really helped me to see our role a representatives of Jesus Christ, because the more they did it, the more it reminded me of the photo with all the children gathered around Christ and the quote "suffer the little children to come unto me." My spiritual highlight for the week happened during our last lesson proselyting, and our last street contact that we met. Our last lesson we taught, we had planned to talk to a member family about the importance of missionary work. After the prayer was given I could really feel the spirit strongly after my companions prayer, and we kind of sat there for a minute and the husband of the family suddenly starting asking about the spirit world and what would happen after death. Later in the lesson he then shared with us that he had a dream where his father who had recently passed away said he was in Hell. We then went on to explain that this may have been a revalation and that his father may be waiting for his temple work to be done. So my companion got the information we needed and we were able to send it into the temple. On the way back from teaching, we decided to do a little OYM (Open your mouth) and talk to people and share a short message. Most people were busy doing things, but there was one older man who we talked to that seemed a bit interested. So we explained the restoration and how the gospel can bless families, and after our message he started opening up and saying how he has felt lost the past few years, and how he has been worrying about his son who is only 12 but has been skipping school and doing things he shouldn't, we then talked to him about the Book of Mormon and he was pretty set on reading it, because he described himself as a book worm and he loves learning things from books. So it really helped to build my testimony that the Lord really does prepare the hearts of people, and how great a blessing it is to have the gospel in our lives.
Glad to hear everything back home is good, I apologize to those who havn't been getting my previous emails but I'll try to fix that in the future. Also for those that have not read my other emails that want to, I believe my father has a blog going where you can read them.
To Dad: if you would tag my facebook page when you post links to the blog that way my friends can see them marami salamat (many thanks), and glad to here you guys had a great time in Park City. Also the group photo was some of the Elders in my dsitrict and the MTC president and his wife. The seal of Idaho was at the American Manila Mememorial Cemetary and ont eh floor was all the state seals. This email I sent a picture of the MTC view of Manilla, and then a couple of photos with some of my favorite people who just headed out to the field the Wednesday. (Elders only picture is with Elder Hapi (Happy) from Samoa, and The other has Sister Tailtaiga and Sister Walters who me and my companions play basketball with.
To Grandma and Grandpa Stevens: I'm so excited for you guys to be serving in Virginia! I know you will have a fantastic experience, and I can't wait to hear some of your stories.
I miss you all and I'll write next week
Love Elder Campbell