Monday, July 29, 2013

Cauayan Mission is Growing

So I'm getting transferred...

President Rahlf's letter today said that there are 28 new missionaries coming in and 8 new areas being opened.  It’s the biggest transfer ever to occur in this mission.  So it’s exciting.  The sad thing is we don't really have time to visit the members in our area because they live so far away.  We are leaving tomorrow morning at 7 am to go to departure devotional and we won’t be back until late. Then we are leaving early again Wednesday morning for transfers.   I won't know where I will be until Wednesday afternoon so I will let you know in next week letter. Elder Juco has been good teacher I have realized the importance of becoming unified with your companion.  Everything runs a lot more smoothly if both companions are focused on their purpose and not on other things.  I truly did learn that if you are doing missionary work just for the numbers then it won't be near as effective as if it is for people. Numbers are great, as missionaries we need to work, but if a visit would be more effective than a lesson then we have the power to just do a visit. In Echague I was more focused on getting out and teaching teaching teaching.  Here I have realized that sometimes teaching isn't always the best route.  The missionary purpose doesn't say teach people it says invite.  There are so many different ways to invite others and the best one is to show them love.

That is cool that you got to hear Tagalog.  It’s weird right?  Sometimes it amazes me that I know this weird language that I didn't know 9 months ago.  I've had some cool experiences lately where I haven't had to translate in my head.  It felt like we were speaking English together.  It is a really cool feeling.

Well I love you all and will talk to you next week.

 I just got a call from President Rahlf.  I will be a District Leader this next cycle.  My hands are still shaking a little bit.  Ha-ha this should be fun... :)

Bambang Zone before July 31st Transfers

Monday, July 22, 2013

Nanay Flordelisa
This is Nanay Flordelisa.  She was baptized about a year ago and is planning on attending the temple within the coming months.  She is such an awesome lady.  She always reads the assignments that we leave her, then when we visit again, she asks us to explain what the scripture or article was about. Without fail, after every lesson she goes to the tindahan  (little store) and buys us soft drinks and a treat.  I love the members here.  They are so genuine and willing to go out of their way to serve everyone around them.

(Here is the Tagalog of that paragraph)
Ito si Nanay Flordelisa.  Nagpapbinyag siya noong mga isang taon at gusto niyang pumunta sa templo sa susunod na buwan.  Talagang astig siya.  Palagi siyang binabasa ang mga iwan namin, tapos pagbisita kami sa kanya ulit, tinatanong niyang ipaliwanag namin ang mga bersikilo o article.  Bawat beses, pagkatapos ang lesson pumapunta siya sa tindahan at bumibili ng soft drinks at matamis para sa amin.  Mahal ko ang mga member dito.  Napakatunay sila at may pagnanais silang maglinkod sa bawat tao.

Monday, July 15, 2013

We decided to ride on the top of the Jeepney from Solano to Bambang.  It started to rain and I lost my hat but it was an awesome experience.  If you want to see the Philippines do it from the top of a Jeepney.
Elder Juco and I on an Adventure

Sun-rays after the storm
Elder Kaloni and I on top the Jeepney

Monday, July 8, 2013

Un-Wanted House Guest

So I'm a little late.  Elder Juco was sick today so we didn't have the opportunity to go to the computer shop and email.  Good thing we have really nice neighbors.  The ZL's just told me to email at their house. So here I am. 

We did get the new mission president.  He is awesome.  They are going around the entire mission and interview every missionary within the first two weeks .  So we met him on Friday.  They seem super awesome.  A lot like president Carlos actually.  There are definitely differences but I'm excited to work with him.  

 We had a slow week this week but next week will be better.  Something that President Rahlf includes in all his emails is "All is Well"  I would like to adopt it.  All is Well here in the Philippines.
 We found a "house snake" in our apartment the other day.  The aren't poisonous.  It is the equivalent of a garden snake but it was just chillin in our kitchen so we promptly killed it.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Trekking Through The Bukid

Bukid: Rice Fields

Elder Juco and his dew-rag
I love Aritao

So we ended up trying to visit a less active family.  The only thing is that they live literally in the middle of the biggest rice field I have ever seen.  We walked probably a half mile on the little grass covered pathways between each field.  It was super awesome and we were laughing the whole time because the situation was just so cool (only in The Philippines).  I fell in a little bit because sometimes the pathway turns into mud and you have to jump across these big gaps onto a path that is less than a foot wide.  We finally got to the families house to find out that the parents were out working in the bukid (rice fields).  I'm super excited to go back and visit them again.  Everyday is an adventure in the Philippines.

Monday, July 1, 2013

This week in Aritao

So yeah, Aritao is awesome!  Its super beautiful.  The only way I can describe it is like tropical jungle.  Its completely 100% amazing.  We climb these densely forested mountains everyday to teach people.  And it is the coolest (temperature) area in the mission so I'm counting my blessings.  We went to Banaue this morning.  It was fantastic!   Elder Maloney bought a 5 foot re-curve bow.  I kind of want to see him try to use it...

So we will start with a funny story.  So when I got here (to the Philippines) we stopped over in the Manila MTC for a few hours and then got on a big Grey Hound type bus to come to the Cauayan.  The bus went all night until about 6 am, however, we had various stop-overs along the way.  One of those stop-overs was in Aritao.  As I walk by the place now, it looks like a nice place.  There is a little restaurant and a rest room, but when I got here (to the Philippines); this was the point when I decided that I was probably going to be kidnapped and murdered in this country.  Its funny to see how my perspective has changed in the last 6 months.  To clarify things; Now, I do not believe I will be kidnapped and murdered in this country. :)  Oh and by the way, there is a cockfighting arena in my area we might be planning a p-day zone activity. haha :)

Second story is more spiritual.  So I don't know if you remember the time in between when I was waiting for my call and when I entered the MTC.  I tried to attend the temple at least once a week, but there was that awesome week when I went Tuesday through Saturday.  I don't think I ever really explained that to you all. So I had never really had a super strong testimony about the temple and to be honest the higher ordinances scared me a little bit because I had no idea what to expect. I knew that temple work was super important for us and for those who have passed on.  And now I can honestly say that other than my family, the temple is the next biggest thing that I have missed while being on a mission.   

In the province of Isabela there are hundreds of languages.  The main language is Tagalog then Ilocono (Ill-uh-con-oh) is the next biggest language.  Ilocono is like the workers language.  They are like all the people who live in stick huts and work in the bukid (farming).  There is a lot of Ilocono here in Aritao and all over the mission the younger generation all speak tagalog but some of the older generation only speak Ilocono so it can be hard to teach.  My plan is to master Tagalog with in the next 4-5 months and then learn Ilocono.  The structure of the languages are all the same but they just use different words so it shouldn't be terribly difficult once I have Tagalog down.
So here is an recipe for you to try.

It is call Aroscaldo (sometimes it is spelled differently, it is all the same.)

When I first got here, I hated it but now I love it.  Look it up online and see what you think.

I love you all there will be more pictures to come.  Keep doing great and being awesome.


Elder Cousin

Zone at Banaue Rice Terrace

Zone at Banaue

Elder Maloney and I in Banaue

Dragon Bicycle at Banaue

FHE in Aritao

Looking out over Aritao

Sleeping arrangement

Study Room