Elder Mitchell Head

Elder Mitchell Head

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Elder Head in the Philippines - The circle of life.....as a missionary :)


Please excuse the corny introduction. That's exactly what I saw this week though. On Monday, there was a final dinner for the departing batch of missionaries, then Tuesday they all had a temple session together as their batch and the foreign missionaries went straight to their flights afterwards. After that we returned to the office and loaded up the truck with all the luggage of the local missionaries for their flights the next day. Then the next day, I witnessed the circle of life. 

Elder Saluta and I woke up at 3 am to take the missionary with the earliest flight home, stopped in real quick at McDo for breakfast, and then went back to the airport to take the rest of the departing missionaries their luggage. As I was talking to the missionaries, they all just seemed tired, and not just because they woke up at 4:30 to get to the airport by 7:30, but they just gave all they had for the past 18-24 months. They seemed so seasoned, and wise. About wiser than any other 20-25 year old can look. They'd seen so much, felt so much, loved so much, and lived so much in the past little bit that they just seemed ancient to me. 

Then, after leaving them to go to their final resting place, we went to the other side of the terminal to pick up the new missionaries. It was WEIRD. It brought me back a year to when I first got here, excited, nervous, still adjusting to the slurping in of soupy oxygen, full of energy and life, and a truck load of other emotions. Speaking of truck loading, after we loaded up all their luggage into the truck Elder Saluta and I were charged with the task of going to S&R and buying a truck load of food for lunch. Background of S&R, it's basically Costco. Which is GREAT. I was blown away with all of the similarities. They even have a Costco-esque pizza. So good. 

Anyways, we took every thing to the mission office and then went to the mission home. When we got there, I was reminded of the nervous excitement that came with seeing a bunch of seasoned, super-cool trainers. I had a quick reunion with my batch, Elder Borrego, who is training and for the first time in his whole mission is being assigned on Cebu island. Afterwards, I gave some announcements about finances (Don't waste your money, This money came from the sacrifice of many people who care and love you, Yes there is room in you budget to get haircuts, etc.) and then just mingled with the trainees. 

There was one trainee who was kind of a loner I noticed, so I talked with him for a while, then that while turned into basically the entire day. It turns out that he has only been a member of the church for 1 year and is the only member in his family. He's kind of shy, but told himself from the time he was baptized that he wanted to serve a mission. He was nervous and had a lot of questions about the mission, all of which I tried to answer to the best of my ability. Then, the coolest part is that later that night when they found out their trainers, it turns out that his trainer was also just a member for a year before his mission too and had a testimony before, but now has a burning testimony of the gospel. I hope that he adjusts well. 

Then, just as tradition states, all the trainers and trainees had ice cream with their trainers before we took them all home to start their missions. So in one week I was able to see the missions of some excellent missionaries and disciples of Christ come to an end and see a group of eager, young missionaries start in this cycle of Christ-like service, the truest and most fulfilling work anyone could ever do. I'm grateful that I've been blessed with the opportunity to take part in this work. 

It was so cool. 

Elder Mitchell J. Head

Mitch sent these pictures this week with his own captions! 

GINORMOUS hermit crab outside of the mission home. I wanted to take it home. But, alas, no pets!

Elder Bermoy and I at the Hayags'. Elder Saluta was taking the picture.

Elder Saluta's selfie.

Like wut??

 Elder Torres-Garibay new missionary 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Elder Head in the Philippines - Deep thoughts from Mitch :)

Hey Mom and Dad, I'm trying to update Family Tree real quick because it's my P-Day and it doesn't look like Ryan is on here under your children. I added him, but will you mind updating him for me? Or better yet, can you tell him to put in his own information on here. Tell him to look at some of our family, it's really cool to see our heritage. I'm grateful that Grandma and Dad have been so diligent in their family History. I'm sure you are too Momma, but I haven't had the chance to look at your family history yet. I think that's so cool that you and Dad had the opportunity to be sealed for Grandma and Grandpa Chambers in the Draper temple. That's really so neat. Also, please find a picture to make as my profile picture on Family search where I don't have braces. Really anything else would be great. Okay so I've looked at your side now too. Try and upload some pictures for our family and for Grandma and Grandpa and especially Grandma Alice. I think it'd be so nice if you'd take some time to update her profile. You have so many memories of her and now you have so many pictures of her from her life. Would you mind sharing some of them on Family Search? I feel like I knew her, but I didn't really know her that well when she was young and I'd really like to. This would be a great way for me to be able to know more about her even from half way around the world. Thanks Mom, I'd really appreciate it. :)

I'm really sorry for the skimpy emails lately, I feel like there's just always so much we need to do here. It's hard to keep a good track of time. This week however seems that it's already longer than the last two, so far so good. This past week we were doing exit interviews for this batch of missionaries who are about to go home, and oh man it is so weird. So basically the procedure is that we take their excess support that they've received from the mission, then we get them enough cash to make it through the week and get them home, then we do the ceremonial punching of their support card. In a lot of the interviews, they gave me some words of wisdom. Almost all went a little like this. Work hard, be obedient, and use your time wisely because you'll be going home before you know it.

It got me thinking about how true that is. This time seems like it'll never get here when you're young, when you finally get here you'll never run out of time (If you're doing your mission right, it'll be in the best of meanings. But that depends of the standpoint of the individual missionary.), then you wish you had more time to keep doing the work, then before you know it, you're already homeward bound once more, and for the rest of your life you can look back with love and fond memories of your time here.

Which is similar to our lives here on earth. Before we came to earth, we waited with eagerness and anticipation, feeling this time would never come. When we're here, we think it'll never end (the YOLO mentality). Later in life, we look back and think of the time that's left and how much we still would like to do with our limited time. Then we're homeward bound once more. I pray that we are using our time wisely here. That we work hard, be obedient, and make use of our time doing the things that will bring us the most happiness.

On my mission, I've seen a lot of different kinds of happiness but there are three that come to mind at this moment. Temporary happiness, such as the happiness of a child who get's a peso snack; Fake happiness, the charade of happiness of people who use means of alcohol to do away with their problems to become happy; The last is true happiness which, coincidentally, is the kind that lasts. True happiness is the kind of happiness that comes from a life of obedience to God's laws, from having a clear conscience of guilt from sin, from doing those things that will qualify you to have the Spirit with you in your life, and from the confidence that you are doing the things that will qualify you to live in God's presence with your eternal family for time and all eternity.

I know that true happiness comes only through obedience to all the laws and ordinances of the gospel and through following the counsels of our God. I'm grateful for the opportunity that we can hear the counsel for us from our Father in the upcoming General Conference. I'm grateful for living prophets and apostles this day that give us guidance from on high. I hope that as we prepare ourselves for this, we will review what has been shared in the last Conference, and take a personal inventory. See if we've made the changes we need to, to become who God wants us to be. I know that if we follow the counsels of our leaders, we can meet the full measure of our eternal potential.

Also, I'm sorry that it's so late, but Happy Birthday Dad. Thank you for your hard work. I have fond memories of all the opportunities you've provided for me. I'm grateful for your example of magnifying your calling. I've seen you as a Young Men's President twice, a member of the bishopric twice, a Sunday school teacher, and now as a secretary to the Stake Presidency. In every calling, you've been so diligent and it has not gone unnoticed. Thank you so much for your love for me, your example for me as a priesthood holder, and thank you for your fatherhood. I love you and can't wait to attend your 52nd birthday.


Elder Mitchell Jeffrey Head

This is called a Budol fight. You eat off a banana leaf and you
eat with your hands which is much more lami (Sarap [tasty])
That was last week :)

My shoes have bitten the dust. Haha. I stepped in some dogs's deeds
and they got inside of the cracks of my shoes and I can't get it out. Plus
a happy, little family of red ants have made a nest in the cracks of my
right heel. So that's great. Haha. I've been rocking some cheap, rubber shoes.

Elder Saluta and Elder Black

Some great Filipino friends :)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Elder Head in the Philippines - Baptisms and defensive driving :)

Hey Momma!

The baptisms went really well! There were minimal problems. :) One of the baptismal candidates slipped on her way out of the water and is now a little embarrassed, but she got over that very quickly and is doing well now. :)

This past week we celebrated Elder Black's birthday which was great! Our Recent Converts held 2 different parties for him. But the only problem was that in both parties they bought Mocha cakes. SO we couldn't eat any cake.. Haha. But we were so grateful for them and their love for us, especially for Elder Black. Haha.

This week we also held a District Leaders Conference in the mission home. So that was ALSO super busy for the office.

I got my license this week. WHOO!!! But driving in the Philippines is super hard. Haha. You always have to be aware and watching because there ARE NO RULES. Like people are passing left and right, going as fast as they want, motorcycles just go wherever they please, it's madness. But I'm getting a lot better at driving defensively. Haha.

Sorry about the short letter. I'll forward to you the pictures that Elder Saluta took from this week. Thanks! Love you!

Happy birthday dad!! SOrry this can't be long. Something came up that we have to attend to so our emailing time is getting cut a little short. I hope you understand and know how much I love you. I'm so grateful for the great times that we've had going through canyons together and for your support for me through all your life. Plus you have shown me such an excellent example of hard work which I'm so grateful for. Thank you and I love you!

ELder Head

Friday, September 4, 2015

Elder Head in the Philippines - One year!! Another busy week-somethin' bout a truck :)

Man, Mom. I am QUITE the letter writer. I wrote a killer letter to Grandma Cheryl, Grandma Vonnie, and a little pep talk to Mikayla via email. Haha. Just kidding. I just felt the spirit more when I wrote today, which is weird but I guess it's true that the Holy Ghost can guide us in every aspect of our lives if we'll just listen. Haha. The only problem is, I only have 10 minutes to write a letter today. Haha. But I'll try to make it a good one. I haven't seen my package yet, but since I'm here in the office, there'll be no delays in getting it to me when it does come in. Haha.

So this week was SO BUSY. It is the end of the month so we had a lot going on. We had the new support period start, so we had so many calls of people saying that they had problems with their support, like not all of it got to them or they forgot their PIN number, or whatever else. So that was fun to work out. Then we had a lot of other purchases and things I had to write off for our Mission Leaders Conference. And I had to sign 24 checks off at the bank. I'll get my driver's license this next week so I can drive the truck to do all our work after this which will be nice "Somethin' bout a truck, in the Philippines..".

So about the Mission Leaders Conference, we had all Zone Leaders come to the mission home to discuss happenings in the mission, what we are doing to promote productivity in the work of the Lord, and hear workshops from the Assistants to the President and President and Sister Tanner. It happens once a month, but it is SO tiring for the office when it does happen. They bring all the paper work for the mission and everyone comes and talks about how they need new bikes and everything and anything else. Haha. But its a great experience that I could be a part of the meeting and I could learn from the great leaders in our mission.

So later today, we'll have 5 people be baptized. :) Sister Anne, then the Hayag family. They're so great. I'll send pictures next week. :)

Love you!

Elder Head