Sunday, January 31, 2016

They like to pet my white arm hair and gawk at my blonde eye brows

My week actually just cruised on by too! I'm already in my 10th week of my training. WHAAA!!! In my journal I write the day it is of how many days I am in the mission, and today I can write 102. How exciting is that? I'm already 102 days into it. I guess I've been a missionary longer than all my time in my Pokemon games combined. Maybe they're about the same. :) I wonder if that makes me not just a Pokemon master, but a Missionary master too? haha!!

I feel kinda sorry for you guys just freezing do death over there. It's sunny and warm here. The only time I wish I had a sweater is during sacrament meeting. They turn the AC on 16 degrees! Of course it's Celcius here, but still. That's a really low number when referring to temperature. :) haha

I have created a theory about de-ja-vu. I have been experiencing it quite frequently and have come to the conclusion that sometimes, when we are asleep we dream the future. Maybe not a whole lot, but just a few seconds, or a picture. De-ja-vu is when that future comes to the present and the dream that we had back when we dreamed comes sort of to our remembrance, thus, we feel like it's happened before. That's a pretty good theory, huh?

I actually do find it hard to be myself in Tagalog cause I can't use all the fun lingo that I have in english. I'm working on it thoughI actually talk to the children a lot! they like to pet my white arm hair and gawk at my blond eye brows.Thanks for the wise advise. It's like Brother Bennett's talk. I don't know if me being slow to learn Tagalog is good, or bad. Maybe if I was a champion speaker I would get sent to Palawan and then my plane would crash and everyone would die. That would be a disaster. haha [This is funny if you are in the LaVerkin 3rd Ward]

I learned that I'm becoming a prodigy here. Sometimes when we walk around, strangers like to take pictures with us, 'cause I'm so tall, and the other day we were door knocking, and the people let us inside. When we were getting to know them a little bit they said they had seen me before. I asked "saan (where)?" they said, "on facebook." hahaha how crazy is that? I'm probably rampaging the internet of the Philippines and don't even know it. haha That's what I call missionary work! Someone's probably gonna see my name-tag and say, "what's The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all about? Then they'll research it and be baptized and it'll be so great! :)

Hopefully while I'm getting famous over here everyone at home doesn't forget who I am. That'd be lame if no one remembers me when I get home. haha. Anywho, I gots ta go. We have a busy P-day today because our district activity is today. We are watching a movie. I think it's Big Hero 6. I haven't watched a worldly movie in months! Sometimes I see some T.V. while proselyting, but that doesn't count. Once I even heard the Spongebob Squarepants theme song going on in a house. I felt really prompted to knock there. haha It made me happy. :) haha

Mahal ko kayo!

Elder Fawson
Teaching the Casia Family

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Blueberry jam makes really great ulam

This week was quite fine!! One day we stopped by a street vendor and bought some fries for a quick snack. I dipped the fries in the sauce and was pleasantly surprised with the taste!!! I asked Elder Lindaya what the sauce was and he said, "ketchup and mayonaise". Let it be known throughout the land from sea to sea, fry sauce is not just a Utah thing. It's here in the Philippines too. It was a nice taste of home. I'm not really home sick, but it's still nice to recieve those little things that remind me of what life used to be like. :)

Before my mission I never realized how much reactivation I'd be doing. I just figured it was teaching investigators all the way. Nope. Not so. I realize now that a huge chunk of our calling is to strengthen the members too. 

I think I figured out an answer to my concern last week about being bold. I learned from the scriptures that you don't have to be a great speaker with a loud voice and use lots of fancy words to be bold. You just have to speak with the spirit and he will carry your message to the very souls of the listeners. I think I can do that. I don't have to be able to talk really fast and fancy like, but from the heart. If I can do that, even if my Tagalog isn't perfect, I can still be an effective missionary. 

Every thing within our companionship is going great still! I really like Elder Lindaya! He's an amazing missionary and I love being his companion.

generational photos of me, my tatay (elder Lindaya) and my Lolo (Elder Smith)
We had a recent convert become fully active yesterday. That means they are able to support themselves now. Her name is Francisca. She is an older lady who was baptized a while before I came here. We visit her a lot and she always gives us Tang. She is so nice. We also just found a lady to teach named Sister Ilene. She is kinda crazy! She talks almost 70 miles per hour, and I don't understand a word she says. haha She is really excited about us. I suspect she will be baptized someday. I'll keep you updated on her progress. We are also teaching a family, The Lopez family. They are super awesome, except they aren't married so they can't be baptized unless they stop living together, but they have a baby too, so that's really hard. They can't just get married, because Brother Lopez has already been married before, and I guess there's no such thing as divorce here. It's kind of a really complicated situation that I don't fully understand. We are trying to figure something out for them though. I hope we do! they are super awesome and nice!

Dad, I took your advice and learned how to make a Filipino food. It's called Maruya. It's basically a banana cooked like french toast. I wonder why they don't call it french banana. You make the batter out of flour, water, eggs, and stuff, then roll the banana around in it and plop it on the frying pan and let it sizzle away. It's really good to sprinkle brown sugar on it while you eat. It's really awesome!!!

In my personal study the other day I was reading about the atonement and had some personal revelation. Let me speak somewhat concerning Harry Potter for a moment. When Harry was a baby, the dark Lord Voldemort came and tried to kill him, however, when Harry's mother, Lily sacrificed herself for him, she, in the words of Dumbledore, "...left a mark. This mark cannot be seen. It lives within your very skin." He then explains the mark is love. The love that Lily Potter had for her son provided a protection to Harry from the Dark Lord. The atonement of Jesus Christ does the same thing for us. The atonement provides for us a protection from the powers of sin and Hell. Even from Satan himself. Through the love of our savior, we can overcome any trial that comes our way. Just as Harry Potter eventually killed Voldemort, we can overcome our trial in this life. 

How awesome is that analogy? I should be expecting a call to speak in the next general conference and share this insight to the world. :) Maybe I could submit an article to the New Era or something. hahaha

I have been eating more this week mom, so don't worry. I learned that Jam is a really great Ulam. Ulam means anything you eat with your rice. I bought some blueberry jam last week and it was a really great idea! haha

Any who, that about sums up my week. I wish I had more time, but I have to go share the gospel with people. :) talk to ya next week. :) 

Mahal na mahal ko kayo!!!
Makati 1st Ward Christmas Party!

Christmas Eve Dinner

              Christmas Eve eating Noche Buena

Family Home Evening on Sister Eva's rooftop

FHE fun

FHE fun and food!

Saying goodbye to sister Rachelle

Makati 1st Ward Missionaries

Makati 1st Ward missionaries with Bishop Eury Satire

Makati East Stake Christmas Fireside

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Lots of the kids call me Harry Potter and I don't know why

As for that photo with Elder Vincent, I think I have lost a few pounds while here. I guess a diet of rice and ulam is a better weight loss program than your cleanse. haha Maybe quinoa is about the same as rice though. :) Elder Lindaya says lots of people on the streets say "Pole" when I walk by. haha I've heard a lot of "giant" and "Matankad!" too. You have no need to worry about my mental status. All is well in my noggin. :) Apparently my height isn't the only thing people notice when they see me. People make fun of the way I walk too, how I move my arm with the same leg. I guess it looks sort of gay to them. haha 

Miracle minute: One of our less-actives that we visit has a depression problem. She cries almost every time we talk to her (which makes it especially hard to understand her). Anywho, she came to church a couple weeks ago and the very next day we visited her and she was so happy. She said that ever since church she has just been so happy! She came this week too. Hopefully we can get her fully active and through the temple eventually!!!

 You should send mail to the mission office, not the mission home. It's better that way. I did get a couple letters from Sister Gifford, so you should tell her "Thanks so much!" for me.

As for my Acne, I believe the Lord really does qualify those that he calls, and one of those things he does for them is clear their acne up. I've never had such a clean face in a long time. Actually, he doesn't clear up everyone's acne though. There is one missionary who has it pretty bad! I guess everyone needs to be qualified in different ways. :) haha

I feel so sorry for Professor Snape. He could "...teach you to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. Bottle fame, brew glory and even put a stopper in death." Just not his own death I guess. R.I.P. Severus Snape. Lots of the kids call me Harry Potter and I don't know why. Maybe it's my glasses. 

I can see a little resemblance... if only Harry had Ron's hair :)

It was transfers and my Lolo (grandpa), Elder Smith was transferred. Him, my tatay (dad) and me were all in the same district. How neat is that? heh

That's all I have to say for this week. "Life is good." 

Mahal ko kayo!!!

Elder Fawson

Timandra's side note: I googled the word ulam...

the Tagalog word ulam lacks an exact one work English definition. It means any delicious dish
Cooked rice (kanin) is the basis of almost every Filipino meal. The main dish that goes with the rice is called ulam. This can be a meat dish, fried fish, or a vegetable stew.

The basic, traditional Filipino meal consists of two essential things: kanin and ulam.

If the ulam is dry (not a sinigang or nilaga that has liquid broth), then there might be a small separate bowl for soup. This is not so common though.

There are Filipinos who are so poor that they cannot afford ulam, so what they do is eat kanin with white rock salt (asin).

Ang sarap nitong ulamin.
                                                             This would be delicious as an ulam.

Minsan kahit sarsa lang puwedeng ulamin.
                                                     Sometimes even just sauce can serve as ulam.

                                          If you eat an ulam without rice, you will be accused of papak

Huwag mong papakin iyan!
                                                                      Don't eat that without rice!

Monday, January 11, 2016

I've had a pretty "regular" week

I am just having another awesome week! I'm glad everyone enjoys my experiences. I don't know if wiping with my hand is better, but it's really not bad when it is necessary. :) The hose just comes out of the wall next to the toilet. there's also a little soap holder thing too, so you don't worry about sanitation. haha
 Just remember to "mourn with those that mourn." That means don't laugh at other people's diarrhea. I've had a pretty "regular" week though this week (in both senses). 

Here's a photo I know you've been dying to see. haha I hope this is a happy one. I couldn't tell. Some of them we weren't ready and thus not smiling 'cause the sun was sobrang liwanag (Super bright)!!!

Rachel's baptism was really nice. There wasn't a lot of people there; just the missionaries in our district, and her family she was living with. She already moved back to her province with her parents, so I'll probably never see her again. I got her address though so we can probably still keep in contact. 

This week was MTC exchanges for our area. Remember that time in the MTC when I went on exchanges and then there was a fire and I became a hero? It's that same idea except no fire this time. Unfortunately, there were no appointments either. haha Poor Elder Vincent. We got lots of OYMs though. I was  leading the area and it was just the 2 of us foreigners who hardly speak Tagalog at all. haha It's a good thing for divine interference or that could have been the worst 2 hours of my life. It's so amazing how sometimes when the situation is dire I can understand what people are saying, but not other times. It's hard to even hear the words coming out of their mouth when we're on the street because of all the noise of motorcycles, and stuff going on. Especially when the children mistake me for playground equipment and are jumping all over me hanging on my arms and such shouting "Matangkad!!! Malaki!!!" I want to say "Hey kids. scram!" but I'm busy sharing about Joseph Smith so it's really hard. haha It's fine though. Like President Ostler advised, I control my rage and just smile and try to be happy all the time. I'm really good at that. Heidi gave me lots of practice. haha Just kidding! During the exchanges though we talked to lots of people and I could actually get the gist of what they said. It was kinda fun discerning meaning out a bunch of weird sounds. haha It's a lot harder fitting into a tricycle with him than Elder Lindaya. hahahahaha 

I looked these words up for english translation and laughed :)
matangkad: Tall and slender of stature
malaki - big; huge; large; immense; majestic; stalwart; strapping ;great; bulky
Robert with Elder Vincent after their exchange together

That's so crazy that Grandpa [is in the hospital]! It's good to know he's okay and reminded Heidi about SUPAF. I wish you luck, Heidi, with that concerto. I have been humming lots of that music and Elder Lindaya doesn't recognize it. He just doesn't have "the predisposition" I guess. ha ha

Robert's bearded big brother Sam in Maui
I LOVE SAMS BEARD!!!!! I wish I was allowed to have one. That's my dream. When I get back, the first thing I'm going to do is not shave. Nice goggles too. It looks like we are having pretty similar weather, so that's fun. I hope Heidi doesn't crash the car driving on the snowy roads to St. George. Maybe her dream of being a Snowplow driver won't be in vain after all. haha 

At breakfast we were at the place across the street and at the table next to us there was this guy making sounds of great approval to the food he was eating. It was just like What About Bob. "MMmmmm, mmmmmm masarap! Ohhhh mmmmmmmm masaraaaaap! mmm" That is a direct quote. hahahaha It was so funny. haha

Bob enjoying Dinner with the family :)

Sorry there isn't much in depth about every day but pretty much we just wake up at 6:30, prep til 8:00, study scriptures and language until noon, proselyte until 9:00, come home and plan for the next day, sleep at 10:30, do it again. It's pretty awesome. :)

I love you guys!  

 For all you nerds out there, Rob sent one more picture to prove he is still himself... Heidi knew the answer right away :)
Who's that Pokemon?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Filipinos don't believe in toilet paper, so I was in a serious crisis!

The following are some random excerpts from Rob’s last letter. Some details I certainly wouldn’t share if they were mine but since they are Robert’s I will go ahead and post them for ya’ll to laugh at! ha ha ha Steve says “Rob is full of crap” and it sounds like he is right this time ;o ......

typical filipino toilet
I was sick once maybe my second week in the field. It was awful. I ate some pig liver (I think) for breakfast and after had some serious runns. I don't know if you're aware, but Filipinos don't believe in toilet paper, so I was in a serious crisis! I learned from this experience 2 lessons. 1) How to wipe with your hand (they have a little hose with a spray nozzle next to the toilet, so that comes in handy and you just shoot some water up there and use your hand. It's actually way more effective! But don't worry, 'cause I always wash my hands. haha) and 2) Prayer works. I've only gone #2 maybe 5 times since. It's pretty great!!! 

 It's a good thing that Elder Lindaya knows his way around these streets. It like a maze here. I'm getting the hang on it, but still. Mahirap na mga bagay! (rough stuff)

New Years was pretty alright. We had to go home at 7:00 because it's too dangerous out on the streets. While we were walking around that night some drunk guy was trying to force us into his house to party with him. I think that's a situation where it's okay not to accept an invitation to come in. :) It was kinda scary. He grabbed my wrist and was trying to pull me in. Maybe that's what it feels like to be dragged down to Hell. I don't like it. I thought about making him wither as a dried reed, but didn't want to make a scene, so I just pulled away and got out of there. :)

That night I read those family history papers you printed out for me, and William Bromley is a pretty awesome guy. He's my great great great grandpa. I respect him. He had an experience crossing the plains similar to yours down by the river, Mom. He had to sleep through a blizzard on top of a mountain without any bedding or fire. Wowzers!

Here in the Philippines we have these treat that are like Oreos, but they're called Cream-Os and they are pretty good, but then there are Cream-O Deluxes, and they are fantastic!!! They are like Oreos but with a Hersheys kiss inside too. MMM boy! 

Any who, so that was my life for this past week. Lots of walking around and talking to strangers about the gospel. It's pretty neat! You should try it some time. You know what they say, "every member a missionary!" 

Mahal na Mahal kita!!!!!

Elder Fawson

I feel kinda lame, but I forgot my camera.... I will write in my planner to remember it next time so I won't forget for sure. :) SORRY!!!!! I guess being a missionary doesn't erase all your flaws as a person. :) Sorry again, but I do love you and want you to see me having a grand time. I love you!