Monday, August 29, 2016

Exchanges with the sister missionaries...basically futile!

Steve’s letter to Rob last week included the following joke... following the joke is Robert’s reply :)

A Typical LDS Mission

Leaps tall buildings in a single bound, 
Is more powerful than a locomotive,
Is faster than a speeding bullet,
Walks on water,
Associates with God.

Leaps short buildings in a single bound,
Is more powerful than a switch engine,
Is just as fast as a speeding bullet,
Walks on water if the sea is calm,
Talks with God.

Leaps short buildings with a running start and favorable winds,
Is almost as powerful as a switch engine,
Is faster than a decelerating bullet,
Walks on water in an indoor swimming pool,
Talks with God if special request is approved.

Barely clears a mud hut,
Loses tug-of-war with locomotives,
Can fire a speeding bullet,
Swims well,
Is occasionally addressed by God.

Makes high marks on the wall when trying to leap tall buildings,
Is run over by locomotives,
Can sometimes handle a gun without inflicting self-injury,
Dog paddles,
Talks to animals.

Runs into buildings,
Recognizes locomotives 2 out of 3 times,
Is not issued ammunition,
Can stay afloat with a life jacket,
Talks to walls.

Falls over doorsteps when trying to enter buildings.
Says, "Look at the choo-choo!"
Wets himself with a water pistol,
Plays in mud puddles,
Mumbles to himself.

Lifts buildings and walks under them,
Kicks locomotives off the tracks,
Catches speeding bullets with her teeth and eats them,
Freezes water in a single glance,
Knows God.

Leaps at a chance to enter a certain building with a "special someone",
Is loco,
Speeds while driving,
Walks on water if there are girls around,
Thinks he IS God.

I think I'm more qualified to be just a junior companion. I bump my head on low ceilings all the time, can only recognize a locomotive if I have my glasses on and it's not too dark, and never earned my rifle or shotgun merit badge at thunder ridge scout camp due to my terrible aim. I am quite a good swimmer though, so that fits the district leader qualifications, and I say hello to all the dogs, cats and goats that I see, so that fits me for zone leader. Life is rough, but it's hard to progress if life is so smooth you can't catch any friction to move forward. Totoo iyon [that's true]! I laughed really hard at this e-mail just so you know. haha

Howdy y'all! That's not Tagalog. :)

That's super neat that Mason is home and stuff and that's also crazy that he's already leaving home again. I think I picked a perfect time to leave and return. God also picked a super awesome place for me to come in the mean-time. <3 ko ang Pilipinas!!!

It's way different on the main land than on my little secluded town in the middle of nowhere. Instead of trees, there are light poles. Instead of jungles there are buildings and instead of little pleasant dirt paths, there are mazes of alleys through the buildings full of hungry people and little children asking for money. Sometimes if they are too persistent I give them some Mentos and that usually satisfies them. It's nice to be here and actually know what all the masses of people are saying. Back in Makati I could hardly speak to people, but now I can understand all their corny tall person jokes and comments. "Ang tangkad mo! Matangkad ka! One Amerikano... short."

It's way different being district leader. I've already had a lot of duties to perform. Every Sunday I have to report all the numbers of the whole district to the Zone leaders, and give reasons why some numbers are a little low and stuff. It's sort of hard, but I'll get the hang of things and figure it out. You may be thinking, "Ah. Now that you're a district leader you can do exchanges with other companionships in your district." Not so. Under normal circumstances, yes, but the other 2 companionships in my district are both sisters. For some reason I'm not allowed to do exchanges with them. hahaha Sayang na sayang malaga [basically futile]!

Now that I'm back on the mainland my OYM standard is back up to 190. No more of that 130 nonsense. However we decided to be over-achievers and got 191 instead. That's what I call starting the transfer out right!!!

I was reading the Old Testament yesterday and came across one of the most fantastic verses in all scripture. It even matches the glory of when He-Man attended the dedication of Solomon's temple. This scripture is in Numbers 23:22. It says that God has the strength of a UNICORN. Now the bible has proven the existence of aliens and unicorns. CrAzY!!! That really comforts my soul that no matter what problem I have, God can help me because he has the strength of a unicorn. He can do anything. True story.

I'm back in an apartment of all Filipino kabahay [housemates]. Don't worry though. It was really hard before, but now I can actually talk to them and we are all happy together. So it's us (Elder Guzman and I), and our Zone leaders. I forgot their names. It was funny when I heard Elder Guzman's name for the first time. I thought it was Goose Man. hahaha It made me think of Uncle Waldo from the Aristocats. haha He's really fun though. I'm a little older than him in the mission. He's about 5 months into the field. He's really awesome though, because he doesn't have to learn a new language. He can just practice right into teaching skills and stuff. I still amn't super refined in my teaching skills like asking inspired questions and stuff is hard for me, but it's coming. I'm getting to be not too shabby, and Tagalog is still not easy, but I can speak, so that's what's important! 

I'm going to learn a lot from being a district leader and stuff. Life is awesome as a missionary!

Mahal kita!!!! I have to go bring more people to Christ now. Toodles!

Elder Fawson

P.S. Remember how I told you I ate Bolut? Maybe I didn't, but I did eat it. Here's a picture of the little baby duck before it plopped into my mouth. haha

Balut is a fertilized bird egg (usually a duck- aparently mallards are the best) that is incubated for 14 to 21 days, boiled or steamed, and the contents eaten direct from the shell. In balut that has been incubated for longer periods, the embryo is well developed and the features of a baby duck are recognizable. The partially-developed embryo bones are soft enough to chew and swallow as a whole. In the Philippines it is a common street-food and valued for it’s high protein content and healing powers! In the Philippines, it is traditionally preferred to eat balut eggs with salt and/or a chili, garlic and vinegar mixture to season.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Follow the advice of the Happy Mask Salesman...

Hello mom and family and anyone else who wants me to say hi to them!

I’m sort of annoyed right now because I just typed this entire e-mail
and then there was an internet problem and so now I am doing it all
over again. It didn’t even save in my drafts. Lame!!!

Several crazy things happened this week. One of them is not super
happy so I’ll say it first and get it over with. One of our
progressing investigators totally dropped us. We went to her house to
teach her and she came out and wouldn’t even talk to us. I don’t get
why. It was really awkward. She just sat down and stared into the
distance. It was her sister-in-law that said she didn’t want to listen
to us anymore. It was a super bummer, but understandable considering
the fact that she is only 14. Hopefully someday she will be baptized.
Her brother is our branch mission leader, so she has support.

Hint for those who won't understand the Pokemon reference below...

The next was an awesome miracle. One of our recent convert’s BCR
(baptism/confirmation record) went missing and so we were sent to make
a new one. It had to be done by Saturday and we were just told
Thursday night. It’s not really hard to fill out, but the problem was
getting in contact with the person. She lives farther away than 'Far
Far Away' from Shrek, and trikes are super hard to find to go there.
Harder than Ash’s Metapod. We’ve tried to go there a few times the
past few weeks, but she’s never been home and it was a huge waste of
time ‘cause then we have to walk like 2 hours back. The miracle is
that right as we arrived at the terminal, we saw sister Gladis, the
person who we were going to’s daughter. It just turns out that Gladis
is going home for the weekend and also a trike was just leaving to go
there in like 5 minutes. We usually have to wait forever to get a
trike there, but not this time. Every thing worked out perfect to get
the BCR filled out and she and Gladis went to church for the first
time in a couple months. 
Filipino Trike
Miracles do happen these days just like Moroni says. You just have to follow the advice of the Happy Mask Salesman and “have faith. Hm hm hm hm hm hm hm” If you have faith, you
will not meet with a terrible fate at the last day. That’s a promise from me to you.

Heidi had to tell Steve and I who the Happy Mask Salesman was...she was able to rub her hands together and do the crazy laugh represented by Robert's Hm hm hm... She declined the opportunity to be recorded and featured on the blog demonstrating the line from Zelda. hahaha I'm not sure how our kids turned out this weird???

The last crazy thing actually was just this morning. It was during
companion study and Elder Corpuz was practice-teaching me about
baptism when the phone meowed (our text tone is a cat). It was
President Ostler. He said I am being transferred to Pamplona ward,
Paranaque West Zone. Not only that, but I’m district leader too! I
guess President Ostler recognized I was such an outstanding house
mouse and thought I could handle being district leader. I’m sort of
nervous, and feel like I don’t have the leadership skills needed, but
I will do my best, and I know that Heavenly Father will help me too.
So yeah.

 I’m gonna miss Aborlan!!! And all the crazy people too. Just the
other day there was this crazy guy walking around with a 5 piso coin
in his ear. I think he forgot his headphones and so he put 5 pisos in
there instead. Hahaha Filipinos are funny!

That’s so awesome you are almost done with the Book of Mormon again.
Something President Demille said to me before my mission was to pray
about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon at least once a week,
and that each time you do, the Holy Ghost will tell you again and
again that it’s true and that each time you do, you testimony will get
stronger and stronger with each witness. You should do that too. It’s
helped me a lot. Alam ko na totoo Ang Aklat ni Mormon.  I know it’s
true in english too! Haha

I definitely will keep enjoying my exotic food. Just this morning our
elders quorum president came to our house during companion study I
opened the door. "Ah. Kamusta po president Ayade?" Then he held up a
plastic bag and was like, "Squid!" hahaha He gave us a bag of squid to
eat for dinner. He's so nice! WE'RE HAVING SQUID TONIGHT! hahaha

Mahal ko kayong lahat!!!

Elder Fawson

Monday, August 15, 2016

Cross Country was just as much mission prep as going to mission prep every Sunday.

Hello again everybody! I just remembered some other things I wanted to
share with you. :)

I had an ingrown toenail the other day. It has been hurting when I
walk for about a week, so I showed it to Elder Call and he was all
like, "I know what to do! The same thing happened to me a few months
ago." He had me heat up some water so it was really hot but not
boiling and then let my foot soak in the water for like 20 minutes or
so. That way it can soften the toenail and also sort of numb the foot
so it doesn't hurt as much in the next step. After soaking my foot I
began to conduct the surgery. I had my handy dandy toenail clippers
and little metal thing to pry up the toenail out from the side of my
toe. It was definitely not a super comfy ordeal. It took sort of a
long time, but I was finally able to get the toenail lifted up and
clipped. the worst part was after I was done. I had been sitting on a
chair and bending over for almost a half hour during surgery, and when
I sat up I started to have a bad case of the dizzies like what happens
when you stand up too fast and your vision gets all blurry and
splotchy. Then I was super dizzy and my eyes were open, but the black
splotchies were everywhere and I couldn't see a thing. Then I was
resting my head on the table with everyone standing around me asking
me if I was okay. It was crazy. I can only remember passing out like 3
times before that. Once when we were on a hike in Zion, once at a
sleepover at the Durrant’s house with Isaiah, and the other was at
Wilsons house when I fell on the rocking chair and bashed a hole in
the wall. haha It was crazy!

I had a fun dream too a few night ago. I dreamt that I was still on
my mission and it was sacrament meeting and Uncle Brad was the bishop.
Then Mom came in and was all like, "Robert, I came to visit you!" and
I was all like "Mom, that's bawal [forbidden]. You aren't allowed to do that." and
then Joseph Smith was one of the speakers at sacrament meeting. How
cool is that? hahaha I just remembered that that's not the first time
I've had a dream with Joseph Smith. One time, years ago I had a dream
that Joseph and I were jelly fishing like in Spongebob, but we weren't
in Bikini Bottom. We were in the back yard. It's weird how dreams just
come to your mind at random times. Anywho, alam ko na si Joseph Smith
ang totoong propeta and na nakita siya talaga ang ating ama sa langit
at si Jesucristo. Totoo iyan!  [Anywho , I know that Joseph Smith was a
 true prophet and that he actually saw our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ . That’s true!]

I can't wait to see Mila and Eevee again. Hopefully Mila still remembers me. Eevee probably won't, but Mila hopefully remembers the positive influence I've had on her life. haha They sound really fun!

It hasn't rained much here this week. It is way cooler when it
rains, and really uncomfortable when there aren't any clouds in the
sky to block out the sun. I think that cross country was just as much
mission prep as going to mission prep every Sunday. hahaha Everyone is
always like, "Ahh mainit [hot]!!!" and I'm just like, "Oo. Pero mas mainit
na tumakbol sa Southern Utah 'pag 108* [It’s even hotter than this in Southern Utah]." haha

Robert and Ryan at mission prep in 2012 :)

I have a story about a Lion and 2 people too.
It's about faith.

2 people are traveling in Africa and a huge super hungry lion comes
and starts running at them. One of them drops to his knees and starts
too pray, while the other starts running and prays while he's bookin'
it out of there. If you were the lion, which one would you eat? The
tasty human kneeling on the ground, or the one that's running farther
and farther away? Syempre the one just sitting there. But why? because
faith without works is dead. In this case, quite literally. hahaha
So yeah. Masayang masaya ang linggo ko! Mahal na mahal kita, at yaw na ayaw ko ang mga koko ng paa. Ingat ulit! [I'm very happy this week ! I love you , and I do not like the nails of the feet . See you later!]

Monday, August 8, 2016

It'll be a sad day when I am transferred!

Hello everybody!

Mom, I was just reading your second e-mail and you forgot the 'c' and 't' in sacrament so it says "sa ramen meetings." haha I wish I could go to a ramen meeting someday. It reminded me of my dinner a few days ago. I had ramen and sardines and some sort of tomato sauce all mixed together. It was really tasty. Now you may be thinking, "that's nice for him to have a break from rice for a meal." but not so. The tomato saucy ramen and sardines were just the ulam to put on our rice. hahaha It reminded me of some of the food I would eat at the farm with grandpa. Maybe you should tell him about it! haha

There was a baby blessing in our branch yesterday too! A member in our ward had the baby a few months ago. I remember seeing him just a couple days old. I've been in Aborlan for quite some time now. It'll be a sad day when I am transferred! It's so much more peaceful here than the main land. Transfer day is on August 24th, so just a couple more weeks and I could potentially be outa here. CrAzY!!!

I had a cool experience at church the other day. One of our less-actives that came was a miracle! His name is Tatay Thuco (All the old people are named Tatay). We found him only a couple weeks ago. He doesn't live far from the church, only like a 10 minute walk, but he's super old, like 82 to be exact. He hasn't been to church in many years. We first found him the Friday before last and shared a scripture with him. Last week we were able to do some service for him and pull some weeds in his garden. We were also able to visit him a couple times other than the service last week. We went to him on Thursday and shared with him about how Christ is the light and the life of the world. We hadn't even mentioned the sacrament or going to church or anything, and after the lesson as we were leaving his house he said, "Elders, I'm going to church on Sunday. That's a promise." I was so surprised. When Sunday rolled around, sure enough, he showed up at the front door, and immediately a lolo in the ward walked up to him and have him a big hug. It was so awesome. I was thinking about it last night and I think there are so many less-active people like Tatay Thuco, who all they need is a few visits to remind them that they are cared about, and then they'll come back. We've had several people here who have had almost the exact same thing happen. Just a few visits and then a warm invitation is all they need. Then when they come to church they can receive a big hug, maybe from a physical person, but definitely from the spirit. :)

Palawan Turtle Paradise

A few days ago I came home after a long day of walking and teaching the gospel and when I walked through the front door, Elder Call said, "Elder Fawesome, give me two names." I said, "Willy," and Elder Corpuz said, "Carlos." So that's what we named the turtle and crab that Elder Call and Desabille had found that day. hahaha How cool is that! We wrote our names on the bottom of Carlos's turtle shell and are going to set him free in a turtle paradise later today. Willy the crab was freed a couple days ago in the river. It's so fun having turtles running around the house again. Just like home. haha Technically we're not supposed to keep pets, but that's why we're setting him free. :) I have a nice picture that I'll send you when I have better internet. haha Now we've had a turtle, crab, frog, scorpion, and a couple cats that hang out back and nibble on the fish bones we toss out. I guess not much has really changed in the animal regard. hahaha

Willie the Turtle's cousin

I can't wait to build our kubo hut up in Kolob! There's this old man we talk to who's building his house in Isoub. He's doing it all by himself, but we help him out for a few minutes whenever we walk by. It's cool how old men can just build houses for their families all by themselves. Filipinos are cool!

It doesn't actually rain all day every day here. Often it will be a light sprinkle, but only a couple times a week does it really pour. Good thing I bought a new umbrella! 

 Maraming salamat!!! Magaling ka! parang Ash Ketchum. Mahal ko kayo!!!

Elder Fawson

Monday, August 1, 2016

cold burned rice for dinner with some spam. Count your many blessings! :)

Helo! You may be thinking right now, "Hah! He forgot the second 'l' in
'hello'. What a nitwit!" but actually, that's just how you spell it in
Tagalog. I testify to you this day, I'm no nitwit! :)

I had a super awesome week this week. It didn't wiz on by like yours,
but that's good, because it means I got to savor it more. :) We had
loads of OYMs, lessons, new investigators, and to top it all off, a
family sealed in the temple, and a baptism.

We really did rock our OYMs this week, and it really paid off
resulting in 6 new investigators. 3 of them are 7th Day Adventist like
that nice preacher who gave us yummy carrots, and all they wanted to
do was argue about how Saturday is the Sabbath, but we resisted to
bible bash their brains in, and just bore some powerful testimony
about Jesus Christ and stuff. Probably they won't progress, but who
knows. Faith is a powerful thing! The other three are a nice family
that lives really close to some members. They were investigators like
8 years ago, and are really nice. Probably they will progress. I don'y
have a lot to say about them yet, 'cause we've only met them once. :)

The family that went to the temple is a super awesome family. Tatay
was baptized about 2 years ago, and they finally were able to make the
trip to be sealed. They had a wonderful experience at the temple and
are all super happy! 6 of them were able to be sealed together for
time and all eternity. It's sort of a big deal!

Our baptism on Saturday was awesome!!! Her name is Sister Armalyn. She
was pretty much already prepared for the gospel before we started
teaching her. Every time we taught her a new principle she instantly
applied it. The word of wisdom, keeping the sabbath day holy,
everything. After we taught her the Law of Chastity she got new
clothes that would be more modest. Yesterday we went to teach her and
follow up with how she's doing after being confirmed and stuff and she
told us she wants to serve a mission too! It was so cool!!! Maybe
someday you can see some pictures of her baptism. hahaha

That's so fun you had youth conference last week. Those were always
fun! Sorry that Golden Coral wasn't all that you hoped, but it could
be worse! I had cold burned rice for dinner with some spam.
hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! Count your many blessings! :)

Tell Isaiah "Hi" for me! Also, what day is his birthday? I know it's
this month, but I forgot which day. Someone else's birthday was coming
up too, but I can't remember who is was. hmmmm..... ah basta. [whatever]

JOKE LANG!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEIDI!!!!! Matandang matanda ka na! [Old, you are old!]
Probably it'll be a super boring without me, but do try to enjoy it
anyways. "Everything must be perfect for my [Heidi's] special day!"
(What's that from?)

map showing Rob's house in relation to the church and Aborlan.

Invitation that we just received in the mail inviting us to come to church with him on Easter. The map was on the back. That is how long it takes to get a letter from him! haha Thank goodness for email!

I'm glad my letter made it safe and sound, and I hope to see you at
church on of these days! haha The main reason I sent those was for the
little map on the back so you can see sort of what my area looks like.
Life was a lot more complicated in Makati, that's for sure!!! The
sticky stuff really isn't that great here. I still have my companion
lick the envelope for me. :) hahaha
[When his letters arrive they are always falling apart and the post office tapes the envelopes back together so the contents do not fall out.]

So yeah. That's all the stuff that happened this week. All in all,
life rocks, and so do mountains. Mahal ko kayo!!! Ingat!!!

Elder Fawson