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