Monday, October 24, 2016

In America there is Golden Coral...In the Philippines there is Mang Inasal

Flashback to me at the beach in Aborlan. We only went once, but it sure was nice! :)

"Hello my excellent friends."

I am now on day 368. One year ago was my second or third day in the MTC. I was super tired and in a foreign land trying to learn a foreign language to teach a bunch of short people the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now I am 1 year in my mission in a foreign land (that's getting to be pretty familiar by now), practically fluent in a foreign language and not just trying to teach people the gospel, but actually succeeding. Time is weird!

I don't know if I ever sent you a picture of Armalyn's baptism. She is the older girl. The little girl is the daughter of our recent converts over there. Brother Barone was able to use his newly obtained priesthood to baptize his daughter. Cool huh?

That's super cool that Kristin published a book! I can't wait to read it in another year! hahaaha I like candy!

That's also crazy Sam is going to Hawaii again next week. Hopefully he gets his athlete foot taken care of. I haven't had any problem with that. Just my ingrown toenail back in Palawan. It actually still hurts a little bit sometimes, and is a little red but I keep my nails nice and clipped now. I don't want another passing out thing again. hahaha Actually just this morning it was oozing out some greenish yellow pus stuff. It was sort of gross picking the dried stuff off my toenail. It looked like a booger. haha Is that a good enough explanation for you? Can you see it clearly in your minds eye? hahahaha

I'm happy for Lily to come to Japan. I remember when I went to Japan that one time one year ago. It was only for about 2 hours and I never left the airport, but still. :) We'll actually be in the same time zone. Fer cool!

You can tell Heidi that if she really wants to be a zoo keeper, I'll be the official animal translator. With my gift of tongues I think I can learn their language well enough to tell the gorillas to quit scratching their bums and stuff. I still have no idea what I want to study after my mission, pero basta. Hindi pa mahalaga iyan sa akin [ but it’s just not that important to me].

We had a family we've been teaching come to church yesterday and it was super happy. They were a little late, but at least they got to see Elder Belayro speak in sacrament meeting, so that was good. I went almost the entire first half of my mission and dodged numerous bullets of having to to that, and he got hit in his very first transfer. haha Rough stuff! He did a really great job though!

That's too bad Dad has a sore back. In Tagalog we call it "sakit sa likod." If it makes him feel any better, I have a sore face. While I was asleep my head must have made it's way right up close to the ladder that goes to the top bunk, so when the alarm went off this morning I smashed my face into the corner of the rung, and let out a loud "OWWW!!!!" Usually I'm a little groggy waking up, but not today. hahaha

You should tell Sister Gifford thanks for sending me her monthly letters. I think I've gotten more letters from her than everyone else combined. haha She is super awesome! 
Grandmother and Grandpa haven't sent me any E-mails my whole time here. Maybe you can get after them about that. :)

So yeah. I'm happy and my feet are dry, and I still have some caramel apple suckers to eat for the next few days. Thanks again for those! haha Mahal kita!!!

Elder Fawson

P.S. Here's a picture of me and Elder Belayro with the nice Mang Inasal guy. In America there is Golden Coral where there is all you can eat food. In the Philippines there is Mang Inasal where there is all you can eat rice. We eat here almost every Monday. :) MMMM BOY!
A common dinner. I gots me some Lumpiang Shangai, and some silog! 

Monday, October 17, 2016

BAM! You got yourself some hotsilog!

Hello everybody!!!! 

Hopefully you take the time to read this letter from me as you are probably this very second basking in the warmth of the sun and soaking up all that vitamin D while laying on the sand next to a beautiful beach. I'm not doing any of those things. Actually there was a Typhoon here yesterday. It actually only rained really hard from about 10:00 to 11:30 yesterday morning. All the time I was freezing to death in the church attending my meetings and stuff. They make it so cold inside it's outrageous. They set the air-con to 16 degrees Celsius. Much to cold for my liking. Me thinks that everyone was expecting it to be a lot worse than it was because only 1 of our investigators came to church this week. It wasn't bad at all for us. Probably the main part of the storm was more north. Good thing too, because my umbrella is in no condition to keep me dry from a typhoon. 2 of the stick things are broken. It still works okay if it's not raining too hard. :) I just really am dreading to get a new one because I haven't been able to find another umbrella that is this shade of green. hahaha 

Elder Belayro and I have been working really hard this week and have really seen the effects of our labors. Last week alone we were able to find 14 new investigators. It definitely helps to be so tall that everyone starts the conversation for me. I made a plan for me to OYM everyone that makes any comment about my height, but after about 6 minutes I realized that it was impossible. We would be spending all our time OYMing and have hardly any lessons. hahaha It's quite the handy thing to be a 6' 8" red-headed missionary in the Philippines. :) I've satisfied the pleas of more than a few little children to dunk a basketball. Then I give them a pamphlet of the Restoration. haha I'm finally figuring this missionary thing out. :)

You should remind Jon that it's bawal for him to visit me here. He wasn't really digging to China at the beach. He was digging to the Philippines so he could deliver those bars of gold in person. :) Also tell him I don't only make minute rice in 59 seconds, but I also can make regular rice like as fast as he can make minute rice. :)

Our investigator that hasn't had alcohol in an entire month broke his streak last Monday when we went to visit him. The next day we taught him about the atonement and how he can still repent and be okay, but then on Friday and yesterday again he was super drunk. It's really sad. All I want is for him to get baptized. He is super guilty about it and we gave him a blessing to help him, so that'll help, but he needs to have faith too. He's really nice though kapag hindi siya lasing [when he was not drunk]!

Me and Elder Belayro are getting along really well. He's getting a lot better at everything. At first he was really nervous to speak in lessons and especially to OYM, but he's rocking now. His Tagalog is even better than mine. Then again, he is a Filipino. :) 

So yeah. That about sums up my week. Lots of OYMs, rain, and rice for every breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you want to try a tasty Filipino dish I'll tell you how to make it in only 4 simple steps. 1: Cook some rice. 2: fry an egg. 3: Put a hot dog in the microwave. 4: put the rice, egg and hot dog all on the same plate. BAM! You got yourself some hotsilog! It's super tasty with some ketchup. :)

Hotsilog image from Google... It's a really a thing!

I hope you enjoy your hotsilog as much as I do! haha Mahal kita! have a great week!

Elder Fawson

Monday, October 10, 2016

I had a bunch of phlegm in my throat and wasn't accepted to sing in the Christmas choir!

Helo ang minamahal kong familia ang mga kaibigan! [Hello my dear family and friends]

This week was super wacky! I guess you already heard that I was becoming a tatay [father]. It was a short gestation period of only 4 days and I'm pleased to announce, It's a boy! That would be weird if I trained a sister missionary! hahahaha His name is Elder Belayro. He's only temporarily assigned here though. His real assignment is in Chile, but he gots ta wait for a visa, so dito na siya. He'll probably go to Chile some time in November, so we won't be able to finish his whole training together, but it'll still be fun. His native language is not Tagalog, so both of us aren't super fluent at it, but he knows more than I do. It was sort of funny. After I told him about our OYM goal to talk to 190 people every week he said, "Elder, we have a problem. I'm really shy." haha He's really good though. Even after just 5 days here in the mission he's improved a lot! It's sort of weird because he didn't study at the MTC. He just came right to the field. He's super great though. We get along real well!

Tatay Fawson with new Elder Belayro

Sister and President Ostler with Elder Belayro and Fawson

That's not the only change that's taken place in Las Pinas. I've got a new Kabahay that you may be semi-familiar with. ELDER ZESIGER [Robert’s MTC companion]!!! That's right. We live in the very same house under the very same roof and we sleep in very different beds. It says in the White Handbook that 2 missionaries can't sleep in the same bed, so we are very obedient to that rule. :) It is super fun though! He's a zone leader now, so that's soup sweet! It's been fun swappin' stories back and forth. 

Elder Zesieger and Elder Fawson
I do have some unfortunate news. I wasn't accepted to sing in the Christmas choir. I guess Sister Ostler just doesn't recognize true talent even if it's standing right in front of her. haha Joklang! I'd had a bunch of phlem in my throat on the day I had to try out, so my voice wasn't super ship-shape for the occasion. It's okay though. Traveling to Buendia is super expensive from Las Pinas anyways. I'll just spend what would have been on taxis on a bunch of ice cream and choco muchos to curb my wallowing in self pity. hahaha Maybe I can make the violin solo part, but I dunno because a different missionary has been hogging the mission violin  and I haven't been able to practice for almost an entire year. Oh well. 

Elder Belayro and I were OYMing some people last Friday and we totally found a family that let us teach them. There were 7 of them so hopefully they want us to keep coming back. Sometimes they say we can come back just so they don't seem rude, but really they don't care and when we go back they make a bunch of excuses not to be taught and it's a big waste of time for us. I'm praying that doesn't happen with them. 

General Conference was super amazing! I'm a bit behind the times with this but we just watched it this weekend. I have to tell you something! When I went to the mission office last Wednesday for transfers, I asked the office Elders if there was any 3.95 lb package for me and they said "nope." and let me tell you, "I was distraught! (Moaning Mirtle)" Then it was a miracle. I went to the mission home to get my new trainee, and when I got there they were all like "Elder Fawson, there's a package for you here. Like Alma, my misery was turned to joy. I was able to munch on Candy Corn and Smarties through all 10 hours of conference. It was a very special time for me. And what added to my joy is that maliit lang ang hilig ng mga Filipino sa Candy Corn [Filipinos don’t like Candy Corn very much], so I didn't have to share very much of it. Thank you so much!!!  Elder Holland's talk during the priesthood session was so much more inspiring while sucking on a candy apple sucker. haha

It was super cool. We were able to have some investigators and less-actives make it to conference too. President Monson is getting old. I can't wait to read all the talks again in Tagalog next month for my language study. haha General Conference rules!!!

So that about sums up my week. Hindi na buntis ako, astig ang General Conference, at malinamnam ang candy corn! [I'm not pregnant, cool the General Conference, and the tasty candy corn!]

That's super fun you were able to go to the new Provo Temple and stuff. I like all those photos you sent. I too wish I could be in two places at once, but alas. I am here and I am happy. :)

Mahal kita! Have a nice week! Ingat!!!

Elder Fawson

Lunch at the Mission home :) 

The Ostler's feed a lot of missionaries!

New missionary orientation! Rob is there to pick up his new baby!

Monday, October 3, 2016

My fisherman sandal things make it so my feet don't get super sweaty.

Hello everybody. I got the double "L" in "hello" this time. I'm going English today. For now at least. :)

This week was super awesome. It was the best week of the whole transfer for my district, and one of the best also for our area. Way to go to us for finishing the transfer at a full sprint! Hopefully it's not like in cross country where after you finish the race at a dead sprint you almost pass out from exhaustion and can't do anything for a long time but stand there panting like a thirsty dog. Don't worry. That's not gonna happen until after my mission. Next transfer will be super awesome!!! Speaking of next transfer...

I have a super crazy story to tell you. It all happened last night. I just came home after a nice day at church and a few hours of proselyting. I was filling out some paperwork like every good district leader should do on a Sunday evening, preparing for follow-ups with the zone leaders. So there I was sucking on a Mento, minding my own business as I diligently paperworked away when all of a sudden the phone buzzed (It didn't meow this time 'cause this phone can't sound like a cat like my phone on Palawan). Low and behold, it was a text from President Ostler! I thought to myself, "Oh, looks like Elder Guzman's transferring." then I opened the text and was shocked to see my name blaring out at me. "Dear Elder Fawson..." The next thing that came to my mind was "Oh no." It was like in the movie Spirit when they are just about to jump over the crazy huge canyon and the indian guy is like "Oh no." then Spirit was like "Oh yes." That's what president Ostler was thinking. He continued to say, "I am calling you to train a new missionary!" Ano ba iyan!!!! Kaya ko ba? Banal na baka! President Ostler, Talaga? [What is that!!!! Can I do it? Holy cow! President Ostler, Really?]These are all the things that exploded into my brain at the same time. After about 3 seconds it was all passed and I said to Elder Guzman, "Hey Elder Guzman. guess what. I'm training." So yeah. That's my crazy story. I'm training.

Elder Guzman is bummed! He's been here in his first area for 6 months now and hasn't had any baptisms. We have a few investigators that are super close though. One of them is Joemarine. He has a word of wisdom problem, but he's getting over it. He used to be a crazy alcoholic, but now he hasn't had alcohol for over 3 weeks, and he's reduced his cigarettes from 20 per day when I got here to only 4. He is super awesome. His whole family got baptized almost a year ago and his wife is almost ready to go to the temple, so he's super motivated to be baptized with his family and eventually get his family all sealed together. The other day he was saying how he wants to go on a couples mission with his wife some day! He totally rules!

Our other super progressing investigator will likely be baptized this up coming transfer too if he can get to church. His name is Julius. His wife is less-active and they also have a daughter that's 12 yrs old, so we've been really working with them to get the wife re-activated, then him and his daughter all baptized up. He's frustrating though, 'cause he always says "Sige elders. Magsisimba ako bukas!" ["Go elders. I'm going tomorrow!"] tapos, 'pag darating ang bukas, wala siya sa simbahan. [Google translate was pretty awkward on that bit. I think it means his wife came to church without him.] BOO!! That's how I felt all of sacrament meeting yesterday. He's way awesome too though!

I'm excited for this Sunday though 'cause I get to watch general conference. It'd be even cooler if when I go to the mission office on Wednesday to pick up my new anak there's a package with my name on it full of 3.95 lbs. of candy corn. I'm not gonna lie, it's in my prayers almost every night. I should've included it in my fast, but alas. Nakalimutan ko kasi. [I forgot]

My shoes are lookin' just dandy! I really like my fisherman sandal things. They make it so my feet don't get super sweaty. The soles must be pretty good, because I didn't even feel an earthquake the other day. haha 

These are the shoes Robert likes so much. 

I'm definitely going to struggle through another Christmas season of no Egg Nog, but pray for me, and I know I can overcome this trial. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." I am just reminiscing about when I had church ball and every game I won we would get a gallon of that delicious creamy Egg Nog. ahhhhhhh!

That's super cool You're working with the missionaries! Member workers are the best! You're gonna have a huge mansion up above, but I know that you're much to busy doing good things to take a lot of time to dream of how the interior designing is in your heavenly mansion. haha "Doing [missionary work] is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure. A blessing of duty and love."

Well, I'm runnin' out of time, pero, mahal ko kayong lahat!!! [but I love you all!!!] The work must go on. There are souls to save. haha

Elder Fawson