Monday, July 25, 2016

We stripped off our socks and shoes and walked it.

Hi everyone! 

I am actually doing super great! I hope you are too. By the sound of it, you all are just loving life, so that's sweet! 

I'm jealous you got to go swimming! I got to walk across a river barefoot, but the water was only up to my ankles. It was refreshing anyways, except for all the sharp rocks jabbing my feet every step. I was on exchanges in the other Elders area, and usually there is a boat to ferry people across, so we did that, but on our return the river was too low for the boat to operate, because it is affected by the tides so we stripped off our socks and shoes and walked it. It was super cool. We saw this lady carrying a bucket and when we got closer we saw what was inside and it was super cool. It was an octopus. I'd never seen an octopus in the wild before. I guess technically it wasn't wild anymore, but still. It was just freshly caught and still alive just chillin' in his bucket. I guess catching octopus isn't super uncommon here. An investigator in the other Elder’s area is an octopus hunter and he turns them into adobo. It's actually pretty tasty! Super chewy! Kind of like if you popped some gum in your mouth during your 9:00 sacrament meeting and continue to chew it all the way to dinner that evening. It's about that consistency. Octopus in Tagalog is "pogita". So now if anyone ever asks you if you've had pogita adobo, you can at least know what they're talking about. :)
mmmmm....yum yum!!!

That's so funny there was a skunk in the back yard. There is an animal here called a pantot, and apparently Aborlan is full of them. I've never seen one, but it's not hard to know when they're around (if you know what I mean). One of the members was saying, "when you are coming home from Puerto, and it starts to smell really bad, you know you're close to Aborlan. haha

It's not a pig, it's not a bear.. It's the Palawan Stink Badger or pantot
I'm sorry to hear about your sucky parade [FYI this was not in reference to a LaVerkin parade]! There was a parade here a couple weeks ago, but it was scheduled right during our personal study, so we weren't able to see it. One of our investigators kids was in it though. I was bummed to miss it, but I can attest, there was definitely a marching band! 

This Saturday we have another baptism, so we're super pumped about that! She is amazing!!! She just passed her interview last Saturday, and is super prepared. Her boyfriend is a member so she has a super great fellowshipper. haha Elder Call is the one who interviewed her, but he told me afterward that he asked her "Why do you want to be a member of the church?", and her answer surprised him so much. She said, "Because of the Law of Chastity."  Then she explained that she really wanted a church with high standards, and that's what did it for her. She is sooo prepared!! I'm super excited for her baptism!!! 

If it's not too late for you to add something to your list of thing to send me, along with the candy corn if you could send some Smarties too, that would be fantastic!!! I think it would really help with my learning Tagalog. I had a bunch in the MTC that I brought from home, and I think that's why I was learning so fast back then, but I'm all run dry for months now. If there is any extra space, a green tie would be nice too! :) hahaha

We just had our interviews with President Ostler last week, and that was super great! He is so wise! He has over 200 missionaries here, and he takes the time to talk to each of them personally. Some of them don't even speak English, and he is still able to help them. I don't know how he does it. What was even cooler is that he came to our branch for church yesterday. He gave a super neat talk and was after church able to interview some recent converts of ours to go to the temple. They are on their way to Manila right now to get sealed together to their families for eternity. The gospel's pretty cool how it can do stuff like that!

So yeah. That's what's up with me. I'm glad you are all doing well and being happy! Masaya din ako! Mahal ko kayong lahat!!! (I'm also happy! I love you all!!!)

Elder Fawson

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"Ducky, you're really quite lucky."

Hello everyone: family, friends, and Ken that is living with my family!

That's so fun that Kenuke is there! Tell him that I am bummed I can't
meet him. Is he sleeping in my bedroom? He probably thinks I'm so
childish for still liking Pokemon. Please ask him to kindly respect
the Pokemon shrine! haha

I'm glad you were able to go to the temple! You have no idea how
fortunate you are to only be 25 minutes away. I haven't been able to
go for almost 5 months now. It's so hard for the members here to go to
the temple. Just to take the time to go is a huge ordeal. It is like a
3 day process. That's 3 days that they can't work and earn money to
survive. Then to just scrounge up the money for the plane ticket is
nigh impossible for many of the members. The church helps a little
bit, but it's so hard!!! "Ducky, you're really quite lucky. Some
people are much much more, oh ever so much more, oh muchly much much
more unlucky than you." (Dr. Seuss)

I actually am feeling a lot better than last week, so you can stop
wondering if I'm throwing up right now or something. :) I'm still here
on Palawan. Everyone in our house is staying, so that's good! There's
a good chance this will be my last transfer here, but "you never
really know, but when [president ostler] knows, you'll know, you
know?" because he texts you. hahaha!

I haven't heard anything about China invading the south china sea, but
I think that it should be okay, because it's China's sea. That would
be funny if China wasn't allowed to sail in the sea that's named after
them. haha! We still have fish here at least. I would know, 'cause I
just ate a couple about an hour ago. :) Mmmm, Masarap!

Palawan is the island directly East of the disputed area. Robert  is unaware of  the World events he is next door to. His mind is apparently occupied with God's work and not politics. (I hope nobody there who may read this is offended by his youthful ignorance.)

There are some Muslims in my area. Actually there is a mosque just a 2
minute walk from our apartment. They are pretty friendly from what I've seen. They're actually still building the mosque, and we offered to help, but they politely declined. That was a few months ago on one of my 1st days here. :) The guy had a cool beard.

It's nice to know you are thinking about my birthday so early! haha I
didn't think about that. Maybe it would be nice if you sent some candy
corn for me. That way I don't have to go this next conference without.
:) This last conference was rough!!!! hahaha

A General Conference viewing staple as far as Robert is concerned. 

We taught a 7th day Adventist pastor the other day, and she was super
nice. She refuses to understand that the day of the sabbath moved to
Sunday, but she is one of the nicest people I've ever taught! She gave
us a bunch of carrots from her chemical-free garden, so they are super
nutritious!!! They definitely are super tasty!!! haha

Anywho, that's what's goin' on with me! I'm feeling great, and still
in Aborlan, and just lovin' life!

Mahal ko po kayong lahat!!!

Elder Fawson

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fresh coconut is a lot tastier than old coconut. Who knew?

Hello! I'm pretty jealous about your Fish Lake trip! I will say I can
sympathize with Heidi though. I had a couple days last week of not
super happy feelings in my tummy. I didn't throw up in a Pringles
cylinder, but that was a genius idea mom! Good job!!! I'm feeling a
lot better now though, so no need to worry. Maybe you were just having
so much fun kayaking, horseback riding, and the like that you forgot
to pray for my well-being for a couple days. haha Ayos lang. Napatawad
kayo, at mabuti ang lahat! [It’s alright. Forgiven you, and all good!]

We did a service project last Tuesday and we pulled weeds for this
nice old lady who lives in the jungle. It's pretty cool that even
though she lives in the middle of the jungle in a little bamboo kubo
hut, she still likes to pull her weeds. It was really cool.
Afterwards, her son climbed a coconut tree and tossed down a couple of
coconuts. It was amazing watching him shimmy his way up. It was almost
exactly like Mowgli from the Jungle Book, when he's climbing the tree.
Also, fresh coconut is a lot tastier than old coconut. Who knew?

One of our investigators is doing super awesome! Her name is Armalyn.
She has a baptism goal date for July 30th, and I'm almost positive
it's gonna happen. We just taught her about the word of wisdom, and
the law of chastity this week and guess what. Walang problemo. Those
are the 2 main things that stop someone from getting baptized. And
church attendance, but she goes to church too, so she's super
amazing!!! Super exciting stuff!

Heidi. Your gonna be soooo jealous about this next part. We were going
to visit our investigator, brother Alfred, and we've only been to his
jungle house once, because often he is with his brother in town.
Anywho, we met him on the way and he was really busy chopping down the
foliage around a coconut farm, so we couldn't teach him, but we went
to his house anyways, and it's a good thing we did, because we were
able to meet his dad, and (this is the part Heidi will be jealous
about) his pet monkey. He has a pet MONKEY!!! Ano ba iyan! Banal na
baka!! It was super cool. Sorry Heidi, I wasn't quite able to get 200
pictures like you requested, but I did get some good close-ups. He was
really cute. I'll send you some photos of him when I get back on the
mainland. He is like 45 years old too. I didn't know monkeys had that
long of a life span. Pretty grand, eh?

I was informed a few days ago that I’ve been slacking off on my duties
as House Mouse. Apparently, we are supposed to hold a weekly meeting
and talk about the cleanliness of the house and stuff, and in my whole
5 weeks we haven’t had a single one, so yesterday I said to myself,
“self, you need to do better.” So that’s what I did. We had a very
nice meeting and figured out all the chore assignments and stuff for
this week. I also created a Kabahay Vision. I figured if we have a
Mission Vision, a Kabahay Vision wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Here
it is:
“We, the missionaries of the Aborlan district, will maintain a
household of cleanliness and order. We will each do our part to keep
the apartment tidy and neat; a place where the Holy Ghost can reside.
It will not be dirty, but dirt-free."
That last sentence was truly inspired! hahaha

So yeah. That's what I've been doing this week. Eating delicious
coconut, photographing monkeys and preparing souls to meet God. It's
been pretty awesome!

Mahal ko po kayo!!! Ingat!!!

Elder Fawson

Monday, July 4, 2016

The heart of the banana is inspirational!

Hello everybody!!! This was a pretty great week if I do say so myself,
which I do. :)

"Everything is Awesome" in the Palawan Zone
Tuesday was Zone Conference, which means that all the missionaries on

Also there was a super tasty lunch!

(the picture you saw [included on the left] of me was during the lunch, so that's why I didn't have my retainer in. I am really quite diligent about it, I promise! I'm actually wearing it right now. haha) 

Something that wasn't so spiritually uplifting was after the conference, we were trying to catch a trike to get to the terminal to get a shuttle to get home, and while we were walking along, minding our own business, there
was a dead cat on the road. It was a cat pancake. Then I remembered Bradley and I hope that Bradley and that cat are hangin' out together sa daigdig ng mga spiritu ng pusa. (In the spirit word of the cats).

The heart of the banana is the red part!

Bananas are really cool I learned. You know how in Yu-gui-oh they're
all about "Heart of the cards”? If not, then you do now. Filipinos are
all about ang puso ng saging, or in english, the heart of the banana.
How intense of a name is that? I guess when bananas are growing on trees there is the part above the bunch where they all split off, and
it's called puso ng saging. It's really tasty. I ate it for the first
time last night, and was instantly inspired. 
Just think of it dad. If a regular banana can help with your cramp problem, imagine what the heart of the banana could do for you.

 I have been having foot cramps lately before I go to sleep at night, but not last night. Nagpapatotoo ako sa inyo tunkol sa kapangyarihan ng puso ng saging na totoo siya (I testify to you of the power of the heart of the banana, that it's true). 

Who does Rob remind you of...Elder Kestler or  Elder Green

I'm super excited for July 30th, and you should be too. Wanna know why? Syempre! Lemme tell ya! We've got a baptism!!! WOOT WOOT! Her name is Armalyn, and she is super awesome. Her boyfriend is a member 
 and she is progressing really well. She's keeping her commitments, coming to church, and everything! 

Probably I should just baptize this whole town while I'm here. I may as well. I haven't got anything better to do. hahaha Just kidding. Not that I don't have a desire to
baptize all of Aborlan, but that was a little prideful. I'm just joking about the pride bit. :)

You don't have to worry about my toenails. I just clipped 'em a few
days ago, and Isaiah's prophecy is still protecting me. When I get
home, I'll have the most beautiful feet of all the feet in our house.

I'm glad you all had a blast at the Fawson Family reunion. My favorite
quote from Brigham Young is when he was all like, "This is the
place..." Then they made a whole song about it and I learned it in 4th
grade. That's good stuff!

Have a super awesome time at Fish Lake!!! I'm not allowed to go
horseback riding. It says so in the missionary hand book.

Mahal ko kayo!!! Sa labas si Elder Fawson. Kapayapaan!!! (Peace)

Elder Fawson

Last week Rob concluded his letter saying “Magaling po kayong lahat parang aso! hahahahahahahahaha”
Google translate says this means “Well done you all like dogs”

I returned the greeting and he explained as follows...

Magaling ka, can also mean "Your great". I really said, "Y'all are
great, like a dog." That's what Elder Corpuz always says. He's all
like, "Guwapo ka." then I'm like "aww salamat!" then he's like,
"Parang aso." hahaha

Guwapo ka = you are handsome
salamat = thank you

Parang aso = like a canine