Thursday, April 4, 2013

PHILIPPINES WEEK 21: New Companion: WEEK 29

Hello hello!
This week has been spectacular!
Saying goodbye to Elder Samar was difficult! But I am super stoked about the Comp I got! Elder Bangal! He is a stud! (Picture below!) His brother served in this same mission! He became the AP! Also he is just such a great missionary! I would say he was pre-trained! So far we have had a great time! Naguilian is doing great! Our Investigator Jeff is on track to be baptized on The 20th! I am stoked for him! Also we have an investigator, Louis! HE wants to come to church and be baptized! He LOVES the Book of Mormon! He is really awesome! He will be working a lot in April so we are going to have to cut back on teaching him! But after the month I hope to see him progress to Baptism and further! It really has been a great week! I am super short on time but that is a little bit about the area!
Much love to all!

The man who makes the plaques

 Nany Aliangan...(My nanay haha)
 
Leal kids!

 Crazyness
 
Tintin and her family
 
 
 
 
The Danaos



Being a dork!

PHILIPPINES WEEK 20: District Leader!: WEEK 28

Hey there!
Well I have received word that I am not leaving Naguilian! Which is such a blessing to me! I am excited that I have some more time to work with these people! I think the feelings I was having were just related to change in general though...because Elder Samar is transferred and I will be training a new missionary from the MTC...I am super excited and humbled by this opportunity I know that I will grow tremendously from this experience! I have also been asked to be a district leader! I will have a lot of responsibilities this cycle! But I know the Lord will help me to learn, grow and make the right decisions as I allow him to! I am excited for the many experiences that will come!
Our investigators are progressing and we are witnessing this gospel change their lives! Jeff has put down his vices and is preparing to be baptized! Louis is learning about the Book of Mormon and beginning to fall in love with the word of Christ. It is such a blessing for me to see and witness their progression!
I know that this work is true! Thanks for all of your prayers and thoughts for me and this work!
Much Love
 A tatay building a roof he wanted to pose for a picture haha
 
Louis Nieto...he is the man

Jeff, Elder Samar, RJ, and me
 
Ramirez family
 
The Tagaroma Family
 
 
At the Comp Shop

Zone Reunion!

 
Zone Activity





Elder Samar and I 
 
Zone Lunch 




 
 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

PHILIPPINES WEEK 19: Time Flies!: WEEK 27

Hey There!
     Wow, it was an incredible week in Naguilian! Just like always! Life is ALWAYS great no matter what is going on if you let it be great! I do not think that I have ever worked harder than I have this week! I mean by the time we get home, I am ready to sleep! It is wild! Haha! We have been working closely with the people we are teaching! Jefferson is really making progress in coming unto Christ and preparing himself for baptism! So are all of our others! Life is really great! Next week is transfer week! I have a feeling I am gonna be transferred to another area! So that is kind of a bummer. But a lot of growth comes with each transfer! My language skills will improve and I will become a better missionary!
      It’s a weird feeling of being on the verge of maybe getting transferred! So we will just see what happens!
      I appreciate all the prayers and support from home! I miss everyone! But time really is flying by! It has already been over 6 months! Elder Samar just hit his 1 year mark...and he feels like he just started his mission! Time flies by when you are serving the Lord!
      One quote I heard this week is by Elder Perez and I do not remember it word for word but it was something like, if you want to know if you are worthy or not first check to see if you are working. If you are working to bring the gospel to others you are worthy. I was very inspired by this...if we are worthy we will have a desire to serve and to bring the gospel to our friends! So that was a great lesson that I learned I must always seek to be a missionary, even after my mission! I cannot wait! Haha!
      Well just so everyone knows I am doing great and loving life here as a missionary!
Take care! :)

PHILIPPINES WEEK 18: Hot and Cold!: WEEK 26

Hello There!
     Wow this week and last week were literally like hot and cold! Last week I was sick and we couldn't work...and this week I was healthy and I don't know if I have ever worked so hard in my life! It has really been an incredible week! I am exhausted but super happy! haha!
     So this week we have been teaching this one guy Jefferson...He has been an investigator for almost a year. His problem is WOW...he attends church, he knows Joseph Smith is a prophet...he is awesome! He even wants to serve a mission! Well he asked us if we could teach him one day, and he told us about how he woke up one and day and realized that he had thrown so many opportunities to join the church away! He said that is the day he decided to stop smoking...so he cut himself down to one stick a day...and then a few days later he stopped all the way. He hasn't smoked in over a week! He said he wants to get baptized! So we gave him a date for April 13th. If he can continue with not smoking, he will be ready for baptism. The truth is he could be ready next week...but we want to make sure he is done with smoking for real so that way it can be a permanent change! He is awesome, we have created such a great relationship with him!
     Other than that we have another Sister, Kate. She lives with the seminary teacher (Sister Tintin). Kate is still in Highschool. Her Mother wants to join the church but they cannot afford to make it to church. Well Kate has been boarding with Sister Tintin, and has been attending seminary. She told Sister Tintin last night that she knows the Church is true and wants to be baptized. WOW! I could not help but smile this morning when I found out this info! She wants us to start teaching her ASAP. So we will probably teach her tomorrow. We are excited because Kate is able to attend church, she has a desire and a testimony! WOW haha...I am excited for her!
     Other than that we have been working and walking all over Naguilian doing everything we can to get this message to people, and helping people know that it is true. We taught our investigator Louis Nieto yesterday about the Book of Mormon. He asked if he could read it in one day....haha We told him maybe....as we focused on him gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon he began to get super excited to read and pray! I got to share my conversion about how sometimes the answer does not come immediately! It took me a while to know for myself that the book was true but it came none the less. When you follow the invitations in the scriptures. You receive the promises. Every time. Sometimes not immediately. But they do come! NO doubt about that. I have experienced it and I know its true!
     It has been really an incredible week! Of course now results are really coming in Naguilian! Changes are really happening! But also transfer week is only two weeks off! We are on week 7 of the cycle now! Of Course time has just flown by! So I am hoping and praying again for another cycle here in Naguilian! I love it here! Hopefully I will get it! But I know that wherever I go the Lord has me there for a reason! That is what I am learning that there is always a reason you are assigned to an area! You just have to figure out what that is!
     Of course life is still peachey here in the Philippines! It always will be! The people here are the best!
     I am also allowed to email all friends now, so if you want to send me an email that is totally cool! (
ryan.betancourt@myldsmail.net)
Take Care! Much Love!

 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

PHILIPPINES WEEK 17: The Work in Naguilian Continues!: WEEK 25

Hey there!
It has been another great week in Naguilian! Elder Samar and I have been working hard trying to find those who are ready to receive this gospel in their lives! We have been really focusing on finding people. Over all of our work and efforts have been finding and expanding the church in Naguilian! This week we looked for people in Mangsibang one of the farthest Baranghays from us and Palattao again. We did not find anyone new in either one. That is the problem with tracting sometimes it doesn't yield results it is always better to work through members and referals BUT of course if you don't have referrals tracting is a great way to put forth the effort to find new people. It at least shows your faith. You are putting yourself in the situation to find someone if it is the will of the Lord. Sometimes it is scary and awkward walking up to people and just immediately trying to become their friend. We have gotten good at starting conversations with absolute strangers! And then of course we have to try and mention that we have a message that will entirely change their life. Haha. We have been successful at getting the message out there! We have a few people that we have been really working with and teaching! Two of them have come from our "Hunting Days". Both Tatays, Tatay Ocampo and Tatay Kabag! We have taught both of them about the Restoration and they are praying to know if it is true. Leo is reading the Book of Mormon now! I think we have some real potentials! Both are potential priesthood! We have another potential we have teaching! Brother Louis Nieto! Yes we found him (referring to the video...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RleMTIbYGXI ) We have been sharing with him and he is amazing! He has such a true and real desire to know the truth! He read the whole pamphlet we gave him before we even got to share with him! He has three kids and no wife :/ I know this gospel is exactly what they need in their lives! I know that it will bless them so much and I am so excited to see them progress in it! I know for a fact as he prays about this message he will come to know its true! Because that is the promise that is given! We are still teaching the other people but they are not progressing quite as fast as these three! I am praying for their continued progress in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and really seeking to come unto him!
My tagalog is doing much better! I am really starting to understand people when they talk haha...and I am able to communicate pretty easily with people too! I love being here and I love being a missionary so much! This is literally the best place I could be right now! In the whole world! I miss home, I miss my family, I miss my friends (especially you ;) ), I miss playing music with my friends (ya Cap 7!) haha But being here is so worth it! These people need this gospel! Plus the Philippines is like the most beautiful place in the world! I love it!

I appreciate all the prayers and all the support! Because this work is worth it! But just know that I feel the prayers, because without the strength that I receive from my Heavenly Father on a daily basis I would not be able to continue!
I know this message is true! I know Jesus is the Christ! I know that the work I am doing right now is his work, if it was not I would not be able to speak tagalog and nothing that we accomplish would ever be accomplished! The Book of Mormon is the word of God! I know it came forth the way Joseph Smith said it came forth! It is by far the most powerful and strong witness of Jesus Christ! For this reason I am here in the Philippines!
Thanks for everything!
Much Love!

PHILIPPINES WEEK 16: Splits: WEEK 24

Hello!
What an incredible week! They always seem to be so great here as a missionary! And time really does fly! As missionaries we have the opportunity to go on splits. Which is a wonderful opportunity to grow and learn from other missionaries! My first split was with Elder Teitibwebwe coming from Kirapate a small island/country near the Marshall Islands and Samoa! It was a great opportunity for me to work on and practice my language! He is a new missionary so he doesn’t speak the language yet! My second split was the highlight of my week! I went on a split with Elder Bluth, my zone leader! We went to teach some of his investigators in his area! I have been seeking to love people more lately. Prayerfully I have been trying to become more like Christ as I meet them and testify of truth to them. I got to experience a piece of this love as we taught a man named Freddy! He was not sure about the Restoration of the Gospel. He was not sure how he could know if our message was true. I shared my conversion story with him. I just remember testifying to him and feeling an incredible love for this man who I had only met 5-10 minutes earlier! I hope our message got across to him! I guess we will see! Things are still great in Naguilian no new progress to write about!
I love being a missionary! This week we will be hearing from Elder Teh and Elder Hallstrom (from the presidency of the Seventy!)
I am super excited for what they will share with us!
I am certain this will be another great week as a missionary!
I appreciate all of the prayers, thank you a million times over!
These people are so incredible here! I am so grateful to get to serve them, to have the privilege to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them!

Until Next week! Take Care!
Much Love!




 
Mimi's Bday
The little girl in the middle in the front is Mimi she invited us to her bday party haha
 
 
Mimi's Birthday
 

Mountains in the distance
 
 
A mean spider I killed

PHILIPPINES WEEK 15: Hunting Success!: WEEK 23

Ryan had a lot of fun this week and took lots of pictures to show it!

Hey Sister McCartt! (Wow!)
It is so crazy that you are going to the MTC! So soon! I am so excited for you! I cannot even describe it! Your life and world will change faster than you can imagine! 3 days in
you won’t even recognize the person you were when you came in! I promise! It is incredible! So just get ready for that!....Well I have a lot of stuff coming your way with all kinds of advice...I guess its advice haha! Well just my experiences! :) hehe! So maybe I’ll tell you a bit about Naguilian!


Elder Samar and I have executed our "Hunting Days" AND sooo farr....we have been ridiculously successful! We have found like 3 new potential investigators! Which sounds like so little but its the best we have had here in Naguilian and they are legit potentials with ways to make it to church and stuff! Its super awesome! :)

Elder Samar and I are getting along so great! Butttttt we may have to move to the Philippines one day so Samar and I can create a band and become artistas (famous people) here...(haha thats like our future plan it's a joke though) haha...but maybe who knows! ;)
The work is still way hard but we are finding ways to have fun with it! As you may have noticed from the pictures I uploaded to Flickr haha!

Our investigators are all doing well! Progress is slow, BUT I am really hoping and praying that these new ones really pull through! I am very optomistic about this cycle! I am hoping for some Baptisms! We have some Less Actives who are returning which is just as exciting as a baptism! IT is honestly the greatest and happiest work! :)

You are going to love it I promise! :)
Always work hard give everything you have! Because these people need you! :)
I love you so much!
Forever and ever your missionary!
Elder Ryan Anthony Betancourt

 
Pinoy Skies ulit!
Hear ye hear ye! The Book of Mormon is true!
Thumbs Up!
The sun is so bright!
Bukid!!!!!
Elder Samar and I
Taking a break from the trek across the famous Naguilian Bridge
 
 
Comp Photo!
 
 
 
I'm King of the world!
Elder Samar!

 
Elder Samar
kodak moment
 
Exhausting hike across a huge bridge!
 
 
To all my fans...
I'll be here until August 2014
 
 
Crawnkeeeeey
Steve Erwin...I mean Elder Samar
 
 
Elder Samar is hungry
 
 
Bayawak...
They eat these things


 
Masarap yun bayawak mo...
They cook it in adobo....its like a mixture of Charmander and a lizard...