Tuesday, December 29, 2015

at the baptism..."I just got my calves wet"

Manila Philippines Temple

So so so so so sorry for not e-mailing yesterday!!! In Tagalog I would say "Pasensya po!" Today is our zone temple day so P-day was swapped over to today as well. I didn't know about it until a couple days ago so there was no way to inform you. But you can rest assured that I wasn't killed, or worse; expelled... from the mission. :)

I loved talking to you on Christmas too! It was fun to see all your blurry faces on the small I-phone screen I was using and hearing your scratchy cut-out voices and trying to understand what you are saying. I did pretty good I think. That's 'cause that's all I do here almost is try to understand what people are talking to me about. I've had a lot of practice these past few months! It's good to know it's all paying off! :) I'm so glad everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I wish I could have been there, but I was sobrang busy giving my own gifts of Eternal Life to the people over here. I guess you have to make sacrifices in life sometimes. It's fine though, because we both had white Christmases! Mine was just a lot warmer than yours!

After I was done talking to you we went out and shared the gospel with a bunch of people. We had 60 OYMs in a single day. How crazy is that? Super crazy in case you don't know quite how to gauge that kind of scale. One of those was a little boy, probably about 12, who spoke super good English. I asked him how he learned it so good and he said it was from youtube. He just watches all these Minecraft, and 5 Nights at Freddy's videos and they taught him English. haha Tell that to Jason and he'll appreciate it because that's all Jared does. hahaha We also talked to some kids playing a weird game. They had these little cardboard circles and were throwing them on the ground on other circles trying to get them to flip over. These Filipino children are so easily entertained, and super good at that game too. It's kinda fun to watch. Maybe I'll invest in some so we can play together in a couple years. :)

The baptism was awesome! Everything worked out perfectly. She didn't drown, and neither of us got pneumonia from the ice water they poured into the font.  It wasn't actually ice water, but it definitely wasn't as warm as I remember the St. George temple baptismal font being. I have more respect for those pioneers who helped everyone cross the sweet water river. I can sort of sympathize with them now. :)  I feel more bad for Sister Rachel. She's the one who had to go all the way under. I just got my calves wet. haha (but really. I was pleasantly surprised when my garments weren't wet.) I guess our turtles can most sympathize with cold water though; especially by the looks of the back yard. Have you had to break up the ice on the pond yet? Poor guys. I don't know how they do it. I even snapped a few photos of the baptism, but I'm e-mailing just after my temple trip and wasn't expecting so be so rushed for time, so I will send photos next week. haha I said that last week, and the week before, but this time is for real!!!

 Not on so much of a Christmassy note, but I had some mayonnaise the other day, and it was sobrang masarap!!! (super tasty!!!) It was just a sandwich with bread and mayonnaise that a member had given me. I asked Elder Lindaya what it was, because it was so tasty and I had to know. I realized how much I missed home when it was just mayonnaise. hahaha

About my temple trip today: we got there way early so we could have companion study there and while practice teaching I was speaking almost flawless Tagalog. It was amazing!!! Probably the gift of tongues works better at the temple. It's fun just jabbering away in a foreign language though. It still feels funky for my mouth to form some of the sounds, so when I talk fast "it's making me all confuzed!" Heidi, What's that from???

So yeah. Great Christmas week, and I'm ready for a great new year. We have to be home by 7:00 on New Years Eve because it's too dangerous here to be out any later. haha

Anywho, "I'm going now, and I wish you all a very fond farewell."

Mahal ko kayo!

Elder Fawson

Sunday, December 20, 2015

I'm baptizing someone on Saturday! How neat is that?

If every 1/12 of my mission is this great, It'll be awesome, but everyone tells me it gets better after the first year, so I guess I'm just gonna be the happiest guy on earth. 

Life is definitely different here than at home. For example, at home I rarely saw people in front of there house in only there underwear, but now I think I'll feel awkward when I get home and everyone is fully clothed. I never do that of course, but maybe if I didn't have my garments it would be worth a shot. haha!

Another example: Never until the last couple weeks have I been offered drugs, but I was walking down the street one day, and out of nowhere I hear this man say, "Hey Joe (that's what they call white people, Joe). Want some weed?" I don't even know this guy, and he's so kind as to offer his weed to me. The people here are so nice. I kindly declined and gave him a card with a link to a Christmas message and our cell number on it. Hopefully he calls so we can teach him about the word of wisdom. hahaha

[I told Robert that I thought of him and his big feet during the Messiah when they sang the part that says..."How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things. (Isaiah 52:7)]

I think when Isaiah prophesied about beautiful feet he was seeing a vision of me. I keep my feet so fine. Walang (without) ingrown toenails, walang athletes foot, and my toenails are clipped and so fine. hahaha I'v been humming the Messiah music ever since last week to be in the spirit of things. :)

Washing clothes is a challenge! I think I can see my hands getting buffer though. I guess blessings really do come after the trial of your faith. Muscles don't get huge before you work out. Look at Dad for example. He wasn't just born with herculean physique. He had to work really hard for that! 

Talking about working out, while buying breakfast at the place across from out apartment we saw an old man that we see while running sometimes and got talking to him. He started out by saying how much he admires us for being missionaries. Then he started preaching to us about how thieves will go to hell and that he hates bullies. He said, "I hate bullies. if I see someone getting bullied I will go up to the bully and POW!  HAH! BAM!" as he punches the air and swings his wrinkly old bony elbow in the air. Then he said, "I won't stop until he's on the ground." haha How cool is that. He was like 80 years old. haha

I was starting to think heavy rain here was a myth, then this week happened. It wasn't Typhoon status, but it was really wet! That typhoon must have been elsewhere, but we maybe got a little rain from it. I dunno. 

I don't know if I told you already about our plans for a white christmas, but it's a go. Not white with snow, but white with baptism clothes. That's right. We are having a baptism on Saturday. Her name is Rachel Somera Delacruz. She asked me to do the honors, so it's a good thing I brought my white pants. :) How neat is that? I'm baptizing someone! haha 

Life is going pretty great! I was notified that I got a package so after my e-mailing session we are going to the mission office to pick it up. :) So excited!!!!!

Mahal kita!!!!!

Elder Fawson
Originating from the Spanish word farol, the Filipino parol is a star-shaped Christmas lantern. As Christmas nears, parol shops start lining the streets.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Typhoon Melor/Nona Emergency Preparedness Plans :)

Robert's mission president is so awesome about including the families of his missionaries in his letters as well calming any fears that we may have about our child's safety. I thought some of you might appreciate hearing about their organization and safety plans. Naturally Rob's letter last night didn't mention a thing about the Typhoon.

Dear Family and Friends of Our Missionaries,

As you may have seen on the international newswires, a large typhoon has made landfall in the Philippines. The storm is currently not forecast to send anything more than a strong rainstorm to the Manila area and should miss Palawan all together. We are, however, praying for our brothers and sisters who are in the path of the storm.

Storms can change course at any time. For this reason, our missionaries are always very well prepared for an emergency. They review their individual emergency plan at the beginning of each weekly district meeting. They each have a special backpack with 72 hours of food, water and other supplies. They also have an emergency supply of cash, a fully charged cell phone, an evacuation plan and emergency contact numbers. They have been trained to avoid floodwaters and downed power lines. In the event of a big typhoon or other natural disaster we have set up a regular communication plan to locate and care for all of our missionaries. Tonight I sent out a text reminder to the missionaries reminding them to be wise and follow their training.

We love your missionary and will always care for them as if they were our own son or daughter.

May the Lord bless you for sending your precious child to serve the Lord. You would be so proud of who they are becoming and the great work they are doing.

Warmest regards,

President Creg Ostler

Philippines Manila Mission

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Doing my own laundry is really hard and gets my hands tired

Magandang Hapon, lahat tao! That means Good afternoon everybody!

Mom, I think your letters are just great!!! I like hearing about the little things like Lily singing about how she hates everyone, and the christmas tree garland. It's fun!!!

Everything is still pretty great here. I'm glad to hear all is well at home! Congratulations on putting up the Christmas tree! Are the lights up on the house yet? Did Dad make Heidi help this week, or have a field trip with his class and have them work as slaves to do it for him? 

When you talked about opposable thumbs, it reminded me of this guy we talked to a few days ago who was missing his thumb. He wasn't really missing it though. It just wasn't on his hand. He had it in his kitchen inside a jar of alcohol or something. How crazy is that? It felt unnatural shaking his hand, so I did it 3 times just to relive the experience. Cool, eh? Fun fact: I bet you thought just Canadians say "eh", but it's actually almost everyone except Americans. Australians, Fijians, Samoans, etc.

To answer a few of your questions, we have 2 companionships in our apartment, which is on the second floor.

Usually we eat at a cheap place across the street. Don't worry though, it's all safe. Sometimes we cook at home though. I made 1 eyed Egyptians for dinner last night, so thanks Dad for making me learn how that one time. I owe you big time!

We do a lot of walking around. Sometimes we ride the tricycle things though. Once when in one there was a sign that said Nosmoking, and I said to myself, "What's nos moking?" turning on my Tagalog brain, but nothing was coming. After a few minutes I realized it actually said "no smoking." haha. I thought it was funny! :)

 "The tricycle is the most popular means of transport in small towns and cities, especially in the rural areas."

We exercise every morning, and thrice a week we jog. Elder Lindaya isn't in as good of shape as me, probably because he never went to the gym with Dad and I. Thanks dad for helping me get big muscles! I owe you 2 now. 

We haven't ever had a dinner appointment with anyone yet, but hopefully that practice changes, and it happens more. That would be nice. The members are sobrang nice though. We had a ward Christmas party on Saturday, and everyone dressed up like it was Halloween or something, so that was fun. 
[Heidi, There were 2 of the Akatsuki there. I could tell by the red cloud pattern on their cloaks. I just stayed away from them and didn't look suspicious. I think they were onto me though, because I got a bloody nose, and got my shirt all bloody. haha! I suspect one of them used the forbidden blood thinning jutsu. Those sly dogs!]

I found a new scripture to add to one of my favorites! 2 Chronicles 5:12. It's talking about the dedication of the temple of Solomon, and you're not gonna believe this, but He-man was there. How crazy is that. Look it up!

My Tagalog is coming along quite nicely if I do say so myself, which I do. I can often say what I want to if it's not too complex. Now I just have to learn how to understand what other people are saying. They talk so fast!!! I feel like I can actually contribute to the lessons now, whereas before I was just there to say some stuff at the end that the investigator probably couldn't understand. It feels good to be understood when you say things! 

I do my own laundry, and they don't have machines to do it for me, so I'm literally doing my own laundry. It’s really hard, and gets my hands tired. Now I know what farmers feel like when they milk cows, cause it gets your hands so exhausted. Don't be surprised when I have buff hands and become the world thumb wrestling champion when I get back. It's a definite possibility!

I sleep great, and the bed is almost too small, but not quite so if I sleep diagonal, it works out just fine.

I haven't seen many spiders here so you can just worry about Sam having that problem. Maybe if I'm sent to Palawan you can worry about me. haha :) 

How did the Messiah go? It couldn't have been as good as last year without me there, but was it okay at least? hahaha

That sums up my life right now. I'm just having an awesome time here and all.

I love you all!!! Try to enjoy yourselves without seeing my happy face everyday. haha Good luck. :)

Elder Fawson

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Everywhere I go children flock around shouting Matangkad

 I'm in the field now and am doing pretty great!!! Life is kinda different here than in the MTC. I had my first cold shower the other day and it was just as horrific as I had imagined. Hahaha I'm getting used to it now though. When I get home I'll probably take the longest warm shower ever and just bask in the life-giving water. 

I really enjoyed the MTC pero it was getting a bit old after 40 days and 40 nights of the same old routine day after day after day after day X10. Now I know how Noah felt being trapped on the ark with the aardvarks. Aardvark rhymes with ark. I'm sure they didn't annoy him at first, but after a while, the little things started getting on his nerves a little bit, like their funny noses and weird sounds they make. Not that my companions had funny noses or anything, but I think you get the idea.

I am learning quite a lot more Tagalog now than I was in the MTC. I think it's because I have to. Sometimes in the middle of lessons, Elder Lindaya will stop and look at me, and I will have to say something. In my mind I'm freakin' out, but I think I play it off pretty well. Yesterday was fast Sunday and I bore my testimony sa Tagalog, and I am quite pleased with myself. Fasting is real! I fasted for the kaloob ng mga wika (gift of tongues) and I can feel a difference in my learning! 

Guess what!!! They have Hot Dogs in the Philippines too! I've eaten probably like 5 of them already in just the last 3 days. Maybe it's not so different from America after all. Just Kidding!!!!! it's way different. Driving is wacky here. Most people don't care about the lines on the road. if your car can fit in a gap, it will go for it. Motorcycles are weaving in and out of everyone like crazy!!! It's kinda fun, but I don't think I want a mission car, that's for sure!

Elder Lindaya is super great! He speaks pretty good english, and is really patient with my lack of Tagalog. I'm his first anak (child), or trainee, and he's doing a great job. He calls me his anak, and I call him tatay (dad). I met my lolo (grandpa) Elder Lindaya's trainer, at church yesterday. He's pretty cool. Probably I will start leading in OYMing (open your mouth) and talking to random strangers we see. That's a wee bit intimidating, but what ever. :) I think it helps that I'm twice as tall as a lot of people. Everywhere I go, children flock around us shouting Matangkad (tall)!!! It's kinda fun!

satay (dad) and  anak (child) with President and Sister Ostler

I have a quick question for Heidi. What is the name of the fairy on Fairly odd Parents who is in love with Wanda? that's been bothering me for 44 days. haha

I'm glad that Sam is able to go live his dream of being homeless in Hawaii. Maybe I will join him in a couple years and give him some tips from what I observe while I'm here. 

Anywho, life is grand over here for me, and all is well!!! Mahal kita! I love you all!!!

Elder Fawson

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I am saving people from fires and stuff

About my dream. there is some significant meaning I've gleaned from it. Sometimes weird things happen, but you can always walk it off, or just put it on your back and take a stroll around the temple. It actually was quite inspiring! 

I just got the letters in the big yellow envelope yesterday and read all the nice things people had to say to me. It was perfect, because it came on my Thanksgiving which was yesterday for me. Happy thanksgiving to all of you too!!! It was my first letter, and it was definitely a good experience! 

So Heidi sang in the YW in Excellence, or in Sacrament meeting? hahaha What kind of question is that? :) haha Heidi, I congratulate you on your courage!!! I had to do something courageous last Wednesday. We went proselyting in (Manila this time) and after my first teaching appointment with my temporary companion we saw a huge pillar of smoke a little ways off. There was a fire, and it was burning down all these houses in the poor people neighborhood. On our way to check it out, a less-active member recognized us and needed our help. Her house was only a block away from the fire, so we helped her collect some belongings (clothes, a couple fans, a TV) and carry them to a safe location. It was wild. The streets were full of spectators and other people saving their own stuff, fire trucks, official looking people trying to control the crowd, and it was sobra hectic! We helped the lady but then I had to meet up with my people again to go back to the MTC. How crazy is that? So Heidi, next time you are asked to sing at YW in Excellence, remember that I am here in the Philippines saving people from fires and stuff. That's a true story.; Not a dream I promise! :)

[click here to see a short video about the fire Robert is talking about]

The other day there was this nasty tomato, salt soup. It was mostly just salt water with a tomato slice in it. EWW! I ate it anyways though. Then I ate my rice! haha We also had the fish again that looks at you when you eat it. It's so fun! I guess it's okay to just eat the head right off the body. I haven't quite grown that accustomed to the culture to do that yet. haha

Last P-day everyone bought presents for a secret santa thingamajig, and we all pulled names and got something for that person at the supermarket, and we used the paper bag as wrapping paper and I decorated mine so cute!!! It's a good thing I learned how to wrap presents! Mine was definitely the most professional! hahaha We had a fun secret party, 'cause we didn't want the younger guys to feel left out, and we sung Christmas songs, and it was so fun!!! Pretty much everything's just so fun! 

On Tuesday was a devotional from the new apostle, Elder Renlund. He was actually in this building!!! Sometimes we watch recordings of apostles speak from Provo, but this was live and I was in the very front row. It really pays off to be bigger than all those Filipinos! I just tried to copy Dads face when he is lifting something really heavy at the gym, and they all scattered. His talk was sobra magalingj! He talked about our purpose as missionaries and stuff. It was super awesome. He was so nice. 

 That's about everything exciting and not so exciting I have to say.

 I love you all!!! Happy Thanksgiving, and Maligayang Pasco!!!!! (Merry Christmas)

Elder Fawson

Believe it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Spam Rocks!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!! We don't celebrate such things as thanksgiving over here on this side of the earth. 

I realized how far away I am because a couple nights ago on my way back from gym (It's in another building) I looked up at the sky, and the moon was a crescent, pero instead of being sideways like this ")" it was like a smiley face like this "_" but more curvy. How am I supposed to know if it's waxing or waning now? It's not on the right or left. 

The other night I dreamed a dream and it was crazy! It started out with this spectacular building surrounded by a tall gate. In the gate was a beautiful landscape. Prowling around the grounds was the most gigantor tiger ever. The building was a crazy fancy school with fancy tapestries and stuff. I just so happened to attend this school and every morning I went out and ran around the perimeter for exercise. I would run, and the tiger would run with me and we got to be super great buds. One day I wanted to go for a walk and the tiger wanted to come with me, pero tigers can't just go wander around town. It would put the town into an uproar! So I went on my walk and gave the tiger a piggyback ride the entire way. We walked around the St. George temple, around Salt Lake City, through a bus stop where I said hi to some people I know. It was awesome!!! That's all.

A Jeepney in Manila- The most popular form of pubic transportation. They are typically brightly painted leftover army jeeps left behind when the US troops left after WWII
I am starting to hone my language skills more and more. Yesterday was my unang veses (1st time) going out for real! We took a van to a chapel and met up with some experienced missionaries who we went on splits with. I went with a native looking fellow named Elder Valar. He was super nice! We rode on an actual Jeepney, and went to an investigators house. Jeepneys are so fun! Climbing on and off is hard, but other than that they are really fun. You can get practically anywhere in the city for only 8 pisos (about 16 cents). How cool is that. To pay you just say, "Bayad po" and pass your money forward to the driver. It's the best system ever I think. 

It is crazy how poor everyone is here, pero they are so friendly anyways. All the kids would follow us around and say, "Hi Joe (they call all white peeps Joe)!" and "Matankod (Tall)!" It was really fun! We taught our people about the commandments and the importance of daily scripture study and prayer. I spoke most my words in Tagalog even. I've never even taught that lesson before, so it was super neat!!! In practices we usually do the restoration or plan of salvation. 

I don't think I will ever get sick of rice! sometimes for breakfast we don't even have it. They have this cereal that tastes just like Cocoa Puffs. IM COOCOO FOR COCOA PUFFS!!!!! 

Elder Zesiger was upgraded to district leader a few days ago, and he made me room leader because I always make my bed. hahaha But really, I do make my bed every day and I am already receiving the blessings from it! The old guys here do surprise room checks every week and we have 2 papers that said "Such a clean room! Your moms would be proud!!!" I believe it. 

My Fijian friends are so nice! Last night they shared their crackers and spam with me! I forgot how good it was. Spam rocks!!! Elder Valentine was a champion though. He never broke even a single cracker while scooping. I was dumbfounded at his nimbleness. Spam must be really big in Fiji!

That about sums up the activities of my week. I'm just lovin' life here in the Philippines!

Mahal kita!

Elder Fawson

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Banana ketchup is way yummy on rice...just smother it in that and BOOM!!! Sobra masarap!

Heya Mom and Dad and Heidi and Mylo and Donatello and Chickens and other turtles and anyone else that may be reading! It's weird to think it's so cold there, but it does make some sense. Your phone doesn't lie about the temp.! Every day after gym I walk outside and expect a cool breeze to greet my smoldering body, but instead it feels exactly like it does inside the gym. Gets me every time! I sorta love the weather here... for now at least. It's only rained on me once. the rest of the time I'm inside when it starts coming down and it only goes for a few minutes, then the sun pokes it's exceeding brightness right back out and doesn't dry up all the rain, but at least it's there. :) 
Just last night I wrote "Day 21" in my journal (which I have been writing in araw araw [every day]. That means I've been here for like 3 weeks already! Only 101 to go. hahaha! That feels like eternity, pero it'll be the most beneficial eternity ever!
Hard as it is to believe, I am still enjoying my breakfast rice! I just mix all my meat, and meaty juice into it and it's might fine. If there isn't any meat juiciness to mix in, they have this stuff called banana ketchup and that is way yummy on rice too, so just smother it in that, and BOOM!!! I've got a salu-salo (party) in my tummy! Sobra masarap, Sobra masarap (so yummy so yummy)!!!

That's great that you could go to Ainsley's baptism! It must've been a sobra boring car ride without my fun comments the entire way! hahaha That's also fun that Andrew remembers me. "So are things getting pretty serious then? (Napoleon Dynamite)" haha
Tagalog is coming pretty alright! I can say the whole first paragraph of the first vision, and by hopefully tomorrow I'll have the whole thing down pat! By faith all things are possible. True story. It's still kinda crazy how fast everyone learns!
On Wednesday evening we had a devotional by Brother Agustin, the area 70 guy, and he gave a sweet talk about perseverance. He talked about how once, a couple missionaries almost got in a car crash with some guys, who then followed them to a gas station and pulled a gun on them. Then Bro. Agustin told the gun guys to "Relax! Calm down now! Don't stress! Take it easy!" Not in those words, but same idea, and the gun guys were like, "Okay, whatever." and left. The missionaries didn't even go home because they persevered. That's cool huh? Maybe That will happen to me, and I can tell you all about it. hahaha :)
We kinda got some snow here, but it was actually just the ashes from a fire in a box factory. Definitely not 7 inches though! That's wild!
I just got back from the temple a few minutes ago and it was great! I don't remember if I told you this already, but their is a chandelier in the celestial room, and it is the most impressive light fixture/chandelier thing I've ever seen! I want one just like it in my future heavenly mansion! To have that chandelier is enough motivation for me to endure to the end! :)
The other day for dinner we ate fish, and it was just an entire fish. I think they just caught it, gutted it and plopped in on the grill, head and all (except the guts) and from the grill to my plate. It looked sketchy, but tasted great, and was fun to eat. That is the most exciting meal I've had yet for sure!
My favorite scripture is Ether 15:something, "The last words which are spoken by Ether are these. whether the Lord will that I be translated, or suffer the will of the Lord in the flesh it mattereth not, if it so be that I am saved in the kingdom of God." or something to that effect. :) It's the very last verse in Ether, so you can tell the bishop that now and everyone can look upon my mini-shrine at the church in awe of my majesty.
Just so you know, P-day swippy-swaps between Thursday, and Friday while I'm at the MTC, so you can know what days to expect my glad tidings of great joy. They may not be as glad as Gabriel's, pero, a close second! :)That about sums up my life at the MTC this week! I am here until December 2nd by the way.
Mahal ko po kayo! (That also means I love you.) The po means respect. Sometimes when I'm talking with the natives in English they say po after every sentence and/or key words. It's funny po!

See ya later! Sobra mahal ko po kayo!!!!! 

Paalam! (bye)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

week 2 "I'm far too manly to have homesickness"

Robert said to tell everyone at home HI for him (particularly all of my Laurels :)  and he answered some of my questions: 

...My Fijian budies do speak english and so far the only connection they've made between Fijian and Tagalog is that the #5 is the same, Lima. hahaha It's really fun you met Elder Zesigers mom on facebook! It's a good thing we have those techno wizards who could make facebook to bring so much joy to the inhabitants of ng mundo (the earth). 

...You are definitely right about the homesick thing with some of the others. It's not a big deal for them anymore, but the first weekish was kinda rough. Not for me of course! :) I'm far too manly to have homesickness. hahaha Not that I don't miss you, I am just way too busy to dwell on it too much. 

A few days ago we had a guy from the 2nd quorum of the seventy come and talk to us. He was really awesome, and guess what!!! He even shook my hand. Yup My hand has been touched by him. I haven't washed it since. hahaha Joklang (just kidding) Also I brushed my teeth this morning. You must be such a proud mother to have a son so grown up and independent! hahaha :) 

Tagalog is so wierd! It's fun to speak when you know how to say stuff though! We started conjugating words, so it's fun to see how all the words i've memorized are created from the roots and to get how to create my own sentences and stuff. Before it was mostly just momorized stuff, but not no more. I can say whatever I want now. Not all in Tagalog, but it's still great! 

I went to the temple today again and it was super great! The celestial room is really small and simple, but it has the most brilliant chandelier I have ever seen!!! It's got all these sparkly things hanging around it and it's just amazing! 

It was nice emailing you! Ingat! (Take Care)

I just learned how to send photos so that's good! I will do that now! :)

Robert and his mga kasama (companions) at the temple
Look who Rob ran into! ... "Sister Stackhouse, our mga kasama and me" It is a LaVerkin reunion :)

Elder Goofy and one of his room mates from Fiji

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Week 1- Ang koloob ng mga wikas (the gift of tongues) is real

Steve noticed right when Rpbert's email arrived and I was able to chat back and forth with him for a few minutes and ask some extra questions tonight. Needless to say it was the highlight of my week! Here are the highlights of his letter and responses. Enjoy :)

My P-day is on Friday. 
I actually have 2 companions now because Elder Peterson's never showed up so he jumped in with Elder Zesiger and me. He's from Idaho. 

In my room there are 5 of us. Elders Zesiger, Peterson, Valentine, Balenavecou and myself. Elder Valentine and Elder Cow are from Fiji. They're really funny. 

There are probably 20 missionaries that came in at the same time as me. Only 4 are from the U.S. 2 are from Fiji, 8-9 are Samoan, and a few are from Australia.

How many of them are going to the same mission as you?

My companions, one of the Samoans and one of the Sisters that was from Utah is in my mission. 

Tell me more about your classes and what your days are like?

In my class there is only 11 of us. The 20ish of us that came were divided into 2 groups: Enoch and Helaman districts. I'm in Helaman with my companions, the Fijians and 6 Samoan sisters. It's really fun. My guro (teacher) is really nice! We spend probably 4 hours a day in tagalog class and any other free time between personal/companion study, devotionals, and meals, studying on our own. It's pretty amazing how fast it's coming. I'm still not that good, but I'm still amazed at myself for how much I learned in just a week. Ang koloob ng mga wikas (the gift of tongues) is real, just in case you were wondering. :) It's pretty great!

It's really cool here. Not cool as in cold (except when the AC blows right on my feet when I try to sleep) but like the WOWZERS kinda cool.
The second day we started our Tagalog training and teaching a Tagalog investigator. It was really hard because all I knew how to say was How are you? and all they could say was lots of stuff but none of it was in english. Good thing for the Espirito Santo (Holy Ghost), am I right? Yes. I am. 

When everyone said get ready for a lot of rice. I believed them but they were underexagerating. I get a mountainous glob of it on my plate for every meal. It's ridiculus. Yesterday for dinner though we ate hamburgers. Elder Zesiger had an expression of utter bliss on his face with every bite. He doesn't like rice. hahaha.

Do they celebrate Halloween in the Philippines?

I don't know if the filipinos celebrate halloween, but the MTC does, kinda. It's more like christmas here right now. There was Christmas trees set up before I even got here! hahaha It's funny. Everyone freaks when Christmas is started before Thanksgiving, but here they start in September. hahaha kinda fun!!! hahaha

My buhay (life) is pretty great here. I love you. Thanks for all the E-mails! I love you!!!!!

I am running late for my afternoon mound of rice.

Mahal kita!!! (I love you!)

Elder Fawson


Thursday, October 22, 2015

39 hours after dropping Rob at the airport...

Hey mom! They gave me about 5 minutes to say that I am alive and well. It's nice to know you're not all wallowing in my absence. haha My trip here was really long a boring. On the whole way from Los Angeles to Tokyo the kid next to me was playing his DS and even offered it to me a couple times to play. It took a lot of will power but I overcame temptation and politely declined. :) Already I've had some trials. hahaha It's noon here so I could be eating lunch right now, but I decided to send word to you first, so you better appreciate it!!! :) My companion is named Elder Ziseger and he had a really sweet hair shwoopy thing going on, but they just snipped it off about 6 minutes ago, so that's too bad. keep him in your prayers haha just kidding. He's not remoursing too much. I love you!!!
Elder Fawson

It is a relief to know his sense of humor is in tact and all is well. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Map of the Manila Mission

President and Sister Ostler's Blog link

The following is a link to Robert's mission president and his wife's blog. President and Sister Ostler and their son Caleb do a great job sharing a lot of information and pictures. Check it out!
They are awesome and I am so excited for Robert to get there and share in the work.
click below