Monday, February 29, 2016

Barbecued chicken feet are not too shabby.

Rob and his friends are all sad to see Elder Lindaya move on to a new area. He will be missed.

Hello Family and friends!

I am still doing just dandy over here! It's been a sort of crazy week 'cause of transfers and all. Elder Lindaya is not with us anymore. He's moved on to a better place... on Palawan!!! haha I am still in Makati 1st ward, and I have a new companion, Elder Delacruz. It's definitely a lot different than with Elder Lindaya, mostly because he isn't Elder Lindaya. haha I am leading the area now too, which means that I have to remember where everyone lives, what their status is, what their needs are, what we should share to them, and all sorts of other stuff. I'll admit, it's a lot to handle, but like Paul, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Or in Tagalog, "Maaari ako gumawa lahat ng bagay sa pamamagitan si Cristo kung sino ibinibigay sa akin lakas." or at least something to that effect (If you know Tagalog, then just tell everyone that this is perfect grammar and say "Wow!"). 

Elder Delacruz and I are getting along just great though, so don't worry too much about that. He's a pretty cool guy. He sort of walks slower than I would like, but I guess it's 'cause his legs are shorter, so I can't really get mad at him for that. haha He is from Qatar, but still Filipino, and speaks Tagalog already fluently. I can tell that my language skills are improving too. I was reading my Aklat ni Mormon yesterday and hardly even had to refer to my English copy. It was sort of strange, but a good strange, like when you eat something funky, but it leaves a pleasant aftertaste in your mouth for a while. 

Speaking of eating funky things, I have had a few new dishes these past couple weeks. Quick tip dad. If ever you get really fed up with the chickens not laying eggs, and you decide to turn them into a Sunday dinner, don't throw the feet away. You can cook them up on the barbecue and eat them. They are not too shabby. Also you can just eat any part of a pig too. I quite enjoy the ears. MMM Boy. Masarap siya!!! haha

There is a missionary that was transferred here last transfer and all the time I feel like I've met him before, but I know that I haven't. The other day I realized why. He looks just like Peter Parker, except he is not as skinny as Peter Parker. Other than that, they look so similar. haha

We found a new family that is super awesome. It was a sort of domino effect that we found them though. We knocked a certain house a few weeks ago and shared to a nice guy named Lance, then when we returned we taught him, and his family was home this time. When we returned again his moms best friend was at their house so we shared to her too, and she asked us to come to her house and teach her, and her husband, and they are the super great family that I mentioned above. They are so nice!!! Probably we'll baptize them. At least I pray so! haha

that's about all that's going on with me, except that at our last FHE with Elder Lindaya, It was a really clear night, and I could see a couple stars, so that was super nice. It's been too long! Also I'm a champion fish racer. hahaha

Now that's all that's going on with me. :) Mahal ko kayo!!! Have a nice week!

Elder Fawson

Sunday, February 21, 2016

I live on less than $20 a week

Hello everybody!

This week has been super awesome! I guess I say that every week, but it's true. I suppose that's just what happens when you are on a mission. Like it says in Luke, whenever you make a sacrifice for the kingdom of God, you will be blessed manifold in this life, and in the eternal life to come. Being happy is part of this promise. We all sacrifice our time, family, and many other things, but our Heavenly Father will always make it worth it! 

In our mission vision it says we are to have 1 key indicator every week. Well guess what. This week we had 5. Key Indicators are Baptism, full activity in the church, temple preparation, and temple ordinances. These are the things we as missionaries are to focus on for people. We report on these to the mission office and that's how they know how the mission is progressing. :) We're rocking ours!!!  Elder Lindaya and I have been working really hard with the less active members in our ward and now it's really paying off as they become fully active and go through the temple. It's so great!!!

That really is too bad you didn't win the lottery, but in reality, you don't actually need 1.5 billion dollars to live. Halimbawa (example), I live on less than 1,000 Pisos a week. That converts to less than 20 U.S. dollars. That includes groceries, bills, food, and all. Of course, I also have freezing cold showers every day, and no microwave, but still. hahaha 
The currency here is the best! It looks just like a rainbow. "See the rainbow, taste the rainbow." -Skittles

When I read that you were ponderizing a scripture, it reminded me of a scripture I read just this morning. Only 4 hours ago actually. It's Hebrews 11:34. This entire chapter is about faith, and gives examples of people who exercised faith and the miracles that were wrought, like Moses parting the red sea, Abraham sacrificing Issac, Enoch being translated, etc. in verse 34 it mentions that their faith protected them from the aliens and made them fly away. That means that aliens are real. The bible says so, and they really do fly around, probably in UFOs. haha Don't believe me? Look it up! :)

I am doing super awesome by the way. Everything is going great. My sunburn is healing, so now I just have a tan line. We have several investigators that are probably going to be baptized, like Brother Lito and his wife. They came to church on their own yesterday. I'm excited for them!!!!

My Tagalog is getting better I can tell. There are still times when I am frustrated that I can't say something that I want to, but usually it's okay. I can lead the lessons and stuff alright, so that's awesome. I know it just takes time, but the more diligent I am in studying and stuff, the shorter that time will be.

Just yesterday (or today for you) was my 4 month mark. I left home exactly 4 months ago. Also just yesterday I finished my 12 weeks program, which is the program for new missionaries in the field to be trained stuff. Tapos na! (finished!) If my mission were compared to a batch of bananas, there would only be 5 left, cause I already finished eating one sixth of them. How crazy is that?

I still didn't get your Valentines letter, but don't be afraid. It took 2 months for that package from the young women to get to me. Those were some yummy Air Heads by the way! Masarap! 

I love you guys!!! Have a great week, and I'll talk to you in a few months. :) I'll still E-mail next week though. :)

Mahal ko kayo!!

Elder Fawson

Sunday, February 14, 2016

My mission is making me much more manly.

Hello family!!! I am so happy to type to you again. My week also was super fast again! It's amazing how fast time flies by when you're too busy to care about the time! It's been a busy week, das fo' sho'!

That's super awesome that you are having such nice weather! The weather over here is pretty nice too; sunny and warm! Maybe even a bit too sunny! The other day we were doing a service project for a guy in our ward (Brother Jypsy, who is the same guy at whose house I Skyped you on Christmas). He is remodeling his house, so we helped pour cement on the second story. There was no truck or anything. They just mixed it all by hand on the street out front, shoveled it into buckets and passed it up. I was on the assembly line of passing the buckets so it was a lot of standing in one place. The problem is that we were outside and the sun was super bright and I got a sunburn on my neck. Now you may think, "Oh, woopdy-doo. a sunburn." But I'm here to tell you that it was more than just a "woopdy-doo" situation. The collar of my white shirts are always rubbing my neck and it is not comfy! haha Like Peter and John said after they were beaten up and commanded not to preach of Christ anymore, I am happy that I can suffer in the name of my Savior. I think they said something to that effect. It feels a lot better now though, so that's a relief!

I have an experience that I would like to share with you all. One night as I laid in my bed before I went to sleep, while resting my feet on the foot board and pondering if I would ever learn Tagalog, or if I was destined to struggle like crazy with it for the rest of my mission, I pointed my toes to sort of stretch my calves and I got a horrible foot cramp. I quickly stretched my foot and it went away, but after it comes once it's so easy to return, so I was playing with it a little bit, and when it came back it was even worse than the first one. In my mind I prayed, "If this cramp will subside right now, then I will learn Tagalog before the end of my mission." Instantly my foot relaxed and the cramp was completely gone. Isn't that just the most fantastic thing you've head all day? But wait, there's more. A couple days later we were sitting outside an investigators house waiting to teach him and I was trying to catch flies out of the air (because there are so many here. It's like breakfast at Lake Powell, but worse! haha). I do this a lot whenever we are sitting down, but not once on my whole mission have I managed to actually snag one. This time Elder Lindaya said, "You'll never catch them. They're too fast." After hearing those words, I muttered that same prayer. "If I can catch a fly on my next try, I'll learn Tagalog on my mission." Guess what happened. The very next try, I caught a fly in my hand. It was so awesome. Now I know for sure that I will learn Tagalog. I will still need to work hard, and do my best and have faith, but I know that It will happen. So there you go. Miracles have not ceased, and I will learn Tagalog. Surely this is the greatest thing you've heard today, if not all week. :) hahaha

On a completely different note, my mission is making me much more manly than I ever was before. I found a 3 inch leg hair the other night. 3 INCHES!!! Holy moly. I couldn't believe my eyes. haha

Before my mission, lots of people warned me about coming home with a Filipino wife. I guess I should have taken them more seriously. there's this lady that we pass by a lot and she has already taken the liberty of calling my her asawa (spouse). I don't really know how to react. I usually just pick up my pace a bit and mumble a quick "Magandang araw." haha. What else am I supposed to do? I don't know. :) haha

Okay, last thing. Remember the guy I met and shook hands with that was missing a thumb, and it was the strangest handshake ever? I had a hand shake yesterday that is equal to, and possibly even more strange. The only difference was that this person wasn't missing a finger, but had an extra! It was just dangling from his wrist at the bottom of his palm. When I shook his hand it sort of jiggled against my own wrist. Man, it gave me the heeby-jeebies! I shook his hand several times too. haha

I guess that's all the exciting stuff to share about this week, except that I accidentally deceived you about the interpretation of Brother Lito's name. Lito actually means confuse, not shower. Shower is "Ligo." An honest mistake. :) He is still doing so awesome. We already finished teaching him lesson 3, and started teaching his wife. They are scheduled to be baptized in about a month. I'm pretty confident it will all work out. Exciting!!! :) T
hey both came to church yesterday and had a great experience. :)

Now that's all I have to say. I love you all and hope you continue to have awesome weather and stuff. I know I will. :)

Elder Fawson 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

My favorite clams are the ones in the swirly shells that you have to slurp out. They are so fun to eat...

Elder Fawson looking very thin with Elder Lindaya 

Helo! (That's how you spell it in Tagalog. :) Now you know a new Tagalog word. 

This week was really great! It actually just flew by. I am surprised to be sitting in the computer shop E-mailing again already. 

Life is going pretty awesome here in the Philippines! I'm just real busy doing the same missionary things. Even though I do pretty much the same thing every week it never gets old. I guess I am just good at noticing little things that make me happy and focusing on those things. That really helps to make things stay interesting. 

Yesterday we were in a skinny alley way and it was really dark and I hit my head on a something-really-solid. It really hurt and I said to myself, "I need to watch my head." then as I was being careful not to hit my head on anything I tripped on a little step-up on the ground. haha I guess I have to watch my head and my feet. It's hard when your feet are so big though. Sometimes stairs are super skinny and I can only fit almost half my foot on a step at a time. It's kind of scary going down those. :)

This week we met a super cool guy named Brother Lito. It's sorta funny 'cause in Tagalog, "lito" is the verb root for shower. haha He is super awesome though. He is really receptive to everything we teach. He keeps his reading assignments, and understands everything we teach him. He is progressing so fast. We already started lesson 2 with him (the plan of salvation [ang plano ng kaligtasan]). I'm really excited about him!!! 
that's so awesome that Heidi was team Captain for a robot competition. we actually met a guy named Capt. (same spelling and all. even the period. haha) a couple days ago. To bad he's not as much a captain as Heidi. :) How did she do? Did she take 1st place and then win a robot trophy? That's what I would have done. haha 

That reminds me, I think your prayers for me are actually working! While we were talking to Capt. he asked me if I was half Filipino. hahaha How outrageous is that? I'm the most non-filipino person out there. haha I guess my Tagalog isn't too shabby. :) I just thought that was funny. A 6' 8", white red head being half Filipino. hahaha Jon must be more Filipino than he thought. :)

Fun food for the week is clams. I really like them. They taste sort of funky, but they are so fun to eat that it's okay. We got the ones in the regular shells that you pry open, and also the one in the swirly shells that you have to slurp out. Those ones are my favorite. :) 

For our district activity we ended up watching Big Hero 6. I think next movie we watch I'm going to make a huge push for Pokemon, the 1st Movie. That's the one with Mewtwo. I think it's good because ash sacrifices himself and throws himself and takes the blow of one of Mewtwo's attacks and then turns to stone. Then everyone starts crying and all the Pokemon tears make ash come back to life. It's sort of a similitude of the resurrection. :) I think watching Pokemon will make me a better missionary. :) haha

I thought after Christmas all the Karaoke would stop, but no. It was blasting right outside my window into the late hours of the night last night. haha My favorite was when a guy sang, "I'm a barbie girl, in a barbie world. Made of plastic; it's fantastic..." It made me think of Grace Poulsen. One time we sang that song together. haha

Today during my personal study I read in 2 Nephi 5. I really like the verse that says, "They lived after the manner of happiness." Previously in the chapter it explains the things they did to do that. They kept the commandments, read the scriptures, built a temple, kept themselves busy, and had people to teach them the gospel. I realized that the reason why missionaries are so happy is because they are doing all these things all the time. We are exactly obedient, study the scriptures every day, attend the temple as much as time permits, we're always so busy, and we teach others the gospel. I am going to try to do these things even after my mission so my entire life can be "after the manner of happiness."

that's all I have to really say about this week I guess. thanks for all your support and prayers. 
Mahal na mahal ko kayo!!!

Elder Fawson

P.S. Quick shout out to the LV 3 young women. I got your package that you sent 2 months ago! Those were some yummy (and really sticky) candy canes!!! Thank you so much!!!!!