Monday, November 28, 2016

We had a font load of baptisms last Saturday.

Helo sa lahat ng mga magbabasa ng e-mail na ito!
[Hello to all my readers of email!]

Generational photo: This is my satay [dad] , me, and my anak [child] all at the same time. It's also the last time I saw Elder Lindaya and there's a good chance I'll never see him ever again in real person in this life. Rough stuff!

This week was super awesome! Wanna know why? Of course you do. Because my district had a font load of baptisms last Saturday. We had 4 investigators stop being investigators and start being full-fledged members of the church. That's why this week was super awesome. I wasn't the one to baptize any of them, but I did play a vital role none-the-less because our Ward Mission Leader was late so I, using my district leaderly authority, conducted the baptismal service. It was a really neat experience! I am really lucky to be able to interview people before their baptisms. I get to hear their conversion stories and how much they have had to sacrifice in order to become a member of the church, and also how much their lives have been blessed already. The church is true just in case any of you were wondering. :)
Good times two weeks ago. This is my old district just before the last transfer day. 

I also have some other good news for you. I got a new watch. It's super cool and yellow and only a hundred pesos (like 2 dollars). I must admit it is probably one of the best investments I've made my whole mission. I'll send you a picture, along with some photos of a super clean wall and ceiling that I cleaned for a service project last week. I'm quite pleased with my ability to "[clean] where no man has [cleaned] before!"

Service, you gotta love it! This is my current district at the service project where I made that wall super clean. :) 

Grabe ang linis!!! [The heavy cleaning!!!] Just look at that wall! Spotless without blemish!

I am not so pleased to inform you that I didn't have such a great Thanksgiving feast as I was hoping for. You see, the package Elder Zesiger received did have all the stuff for a nice Thanksgiving Marienda, but I guess his family forgot that Turkey microwave dinners require a microwave. That is a luxury we just can't afford. It was quite the disappointment, but it wasn't a complete loss. There was a little bag of candy corn that we shared, so that was nice. 

I think that I will not say a lot more in this e-mail, but I will send lots of photos that I've been slacking off on from sending for the last few weeks. How does that sound. I am really happy though and lovin' life here in the Philippines!

This is Laurabel who I told you about how she had cancer, then we gave her a priesthood blessing and now she doesn't have cancer. She's super cool and likes to feed us pizza. :) Now she just needs to start coming to church! 

Declare the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and cardboard person
I'm just teaching this Mang Inasal guy about the restoration. He has a small concern about his baptism though. If he gets too wet he will get all soppy and die daw. He's like a super hydrophobic or something. :)

Mahal ko kayo!!!

Elder Fawson

Monday, November 21, 2016

I shower with a little bucket that I dip into a big bucket and pour water over myself...

Helo ang aking pamilia at mga kaibigan!
[Hello my family and friends!]

Elder Fawson with his new companion Elder Santos
...with his eyes closed he looks even more like  the half blind Goliath next to the faithful David giving the thumbs up sign 

I'm super ready for Thanksgiving this Thursday! Elder Zesiger got a package with a miniature feast inside, and I think he's willing to share, so that's fun! I guess there isn't really such thing as a mini feast, because feast implies that there is a lot of food, so this year'll be more like a Thanksgiving snack. :) Thanksgiving really isn't a big deal in the Philippines. Let me tell you a little bit about how they celebrate. They pretend like it's just like every other average day of the year. The feast includes rice, ulam, and sabaw [dish and soup] if you're lucky. Basically just like every single other meal here. Yup. Nothing special. I'm excited to celebrate with Elder Zesiger. We were in the MTC last Thanksgiving, and it wasn't special either. I hope you have fun though! I'll send you some photo documentation of our thanksgiving snack and my fun decorated planner next week. :)

Let me tell you all about something fun that happened yesterday. There we were sitting in church, and this member, Sister Maya comes up and says something to the effect of, "Elders, let me introduce you some of my friends." Then, BOOM! 6 nonmembers were standing right there just waiting to learn about the gospel, and then BAM! They live in our area. Then last night we found their house but we didn't have a 3rd lalaki [man] so it was like SNAP! But then we set up a return appointment. KABLAM!!! They haven't been taught yet, but probably they'll be baptized next January, so hopefully this isn't my last transfer here in Pamplona! Astig ang kuwento iyan, di ba?[The epic story that, right?] Also we had some other investigators at church too and one of them will be baptized in just a few weeks. His name is Sean and he is 13 years old. Yup. Just doing my part to keep the work moving along. :)

Robert and a group of his fellow servants

I know why Heidi wanted to go to the movie about how to find fantastic beasts. Because she ran out of new Pokemon to find on Pokemon Go, and needs to learn some new searching techniques. Keep it up Heidi. I'm excited to play with you when I get home! 

I actually was deceived about becoming AP. I just went on exchanges with some missionaries who live next to the mission office. It was still fun though. I had a sleepover party and really enjoyed having a real shower head again, even if it's just for one day. All that was lacking was the water heater. haha For the past 8 months I've been showering with a little bucket that you dip into a big bucket of water and just pour water over myself from the little bucket. The worst is when I'm the first to shower and the water in the big bucket has been out all night and it's extremely cold! You know how I feel about cold water. You may think that I've gotten over that after so long of dealing with it, but let me tell you, it's just as traumatizing as the first time.

I'm glad that people still ask about my well being. I was afraid that people would sort of forget about me after a year passed of not feeling my glorious presence, pero hindi pala! [but they never did!] Say thanks to sister Linquist, and to Brother Ard and Brother Bassett (I miss seeing him walk his dogs every morning), and tell the Evans family "Hi" for me. Especially Hunter. He's funny! Also tell Hunter that I like his yellow shirt that says, "Shut the front door." Also say hi to the Entwistles for me. They are nice. :) 

Elder Zesiger and I have started a hymn count-down. When we had 341 days left we started singing one hymn a day and we're going to keep it up until we sing The Morning Breaks in our last day in the mission. We are on number 330 now. It's really fun and it's also a good thing I can read notes, because I don't know every song in the book, but I can usually pick up the tune after a few minutes of humming to myself. It's a fun tradition! :)

so yeah. That's what I've been up to. I have a new companion, Elder Santos. He's really fun and we are going to have a lot of fun together!!! I'll send a photo of us, because I know how much you are all just dying to see an updated version of my face! :) hahaha

That's about all I have to say. Mahal ko kayo!!!

Elder Fawson

to Steve, Robert wrote...

That's so cool you are a high priest now. When you were ordained did you do the He-Man thing? "I have the power!!!" That's what I wanted to do after receiving the Melchizedec Priesthood, but I was a little afraid. Hopefully you were a braver than me. :) Too bad you weren't called while I was still in young mens. I don't think you  ever had a calling in Young Mens at the same time as I was in there. I am happy you went on a lot of our trips though! Like the 50 miler, and to Lake Powell and on camp outs and stuff. You are a good dad! If we do still have a chicken when we get home, maybe I can master the art of Lechon Manok [roasted chicken], and we can all enjoy a Filipino feast when I get home. If not, adobo is tasty too. And I think that Italian sausage minudo would be! :)

Anywho. I'm all out of time to say more, but I do like your turkey joke. I laughed really hard!!! :) Mahal kita!!!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Grabe ang kapangyarihan ng diyos!!!! Totoo pala ang priesthood! translation: The power of God is serious!!!!! The priesthood is true!

Hello everyone! 

This week has been most tranquil! Elder Belayro and I have had so many lessons I can't even count them on all of my hands and feet. Maybe if I was that one giant from the Old Testament who had 6 fingers on each hand and 6 toes on each foot, then I could, but I'm not him, so I can't. He is cool though. I think he was related to Goliath. I don't remember off the top of my head where you could find him, but I'm sure if you were to read all of 2nd Samuel, until Chronicles you'd find his name and all that. 

2 Samuel 21:20
I'm reading the Old Testament straight through right now, so I'm learning a lot of new stuff. Did you know that people got athletes foot even back then? (Tell Sam to watch out. In 2nd Chronicles 16:12, someone died from it!) Also in 2nd Chronicles 21:18 someone contracted an incurable bowel disease which sounds a lot like cancer to me. He died too.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHAELA!!!!! It really is your birthday for me at this very second. :) I would give you something super awesome, or cook you a nice fancy Filipino dish of Hot Silog, but I'm on the complete other side of the world, and I think it's not very easy to send a plate of rice with an egg and a hot dog on it through the mail. you'll just have to wait 'til I get home. I guess I could whip you up some adobong aso too if Mylo survives that long. JOKLANG! I would never. But I definitely could make some Adobong manok for ya. :)

I went on exchanges last Saturday with Elder Zesiger because he's my zone leader, and it was really fun! We see each other quite often now considering the fact that we live in the same house. :) We found lots of new investigators, and some of them even accepted a baptismal date. 

It's not getting very cold here. I guess as you are shivering in the car on your way to work you can think of me, pinapawisan ng mga talon mula sa mga kili-kili ko [sweating falls from my armpits]. :) hahaha I actually do get super cold every Sunday during church. Filipinos go a bit crazy on the Air-con here and turn it down to 16 degrees Celsius. That's too cold!!! It's hard to have a soft heart receptive to spiritual promptings when it is super matigas [tough] due to being frozen solid. di ba? [right?]

That's super cool about your job promotion. I'm getting one too. I'm going to be an AP starting tomorrow. Pretty cool eh?

I'm glad to know the turtles are doing fine. I guess the real test for their well-being is about to begin as the pond starts freezing over again. It's amazing how they can just survive stuff like that! 

About me taking candy from strangers, rarely is candy offered to me (except on Saturday we went to an investigator and he gave me a bunch of Kit Kats, so that was a nice treat!) but I am often one of those strangers that gives candy to children. Sometimes I just see them and say, "kumusta kuya. Gusto mo bang kendi?" (How are ya bro. Want some candy?) It makes them really happy! Then I get happy too. It's a good thing children aren't like mice. Because if you give a mouse some candy, he'll want some soft drinks to go with it. :)

I'm super bummed about yesterday because we didn't have any investigators at church. All of them had other things going on. Then one of our less-actives who was so close to come all of a sudden had to go to the hospital because her little brother got in a motorcycle accident. Her name is Laurabel. He is super awesome. She actually moved from Elder Zesiger’s last area, and they both moved to Las Pinas at about the same time which was a crazy awesome miracle. When we met her she told us she has cancer, and only 2 years to live. At the end of our lesson we gave her a priesthood blessing that she would get better, and just last Saturday, Elder Zesiger and I went to her house and she fed us pizza, then told us that she went to a different doctor, got some tests done and her cancer came up negative. Now she doesn't have cancer anymore. How crazy is that? Grabe ang kapangyarihan ng diyos!!!! Totoo pala ang  priesthood! [The power of God is serious!!!! the priesthood is true!]

That's the things that I did this week. Tomorrow Elder Belayro goes to Chile, I become AP, and it's gonna be crazy!

Mahal kita!!!

Elder Fawson

P.S. I'm only AP for a day, because I won't have an assigned companion until Wednesday, but it's still fun to say I'm the AP. Technically I guess it's more like AAP. Assistant to the assistant to the president. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

It was a dark and stormy night...

Hello everyone!

I'm sorry to hear about your daylight savings dilemma. You should just come to the Philippines and forget about the whole thing. That's the real reason I came on a mission, was in hopes to escape that nasty nonsense. :) I'm glad to here Mylo got a nice doggy door. Now he doesn't have to wake up the whole neighborhood when he can't decide to come inside or out in the middle of the night. :) I definitely am awaiting that batch of cookies when I get home, but first, I want to stop by SUBWAY and eat a real sandwich. SUBWAY just isn't the same here. There's no Italian herbs and cheese bread, and no banana peppers, and only American cheese. 

I know I said I would take a picture of my journal about the 2nd most crazy experience on my mission, but I forgot. hahaha (Being a missionary doesn't change everything about a person.) Don't worry though. I will take the time to put your curiosity at ease and relay the story through type. 

It was a dark and stormy night, around 6:30, except it actually wasn't stormy. It was really dark though, and we were on our way to an appointment when there was this guy sitting on a bench and he said, "Hey, do you want to sit down?" My mind thought, "Sweet, an OYM," and my mouth said, "yeah, sure." I sat down and he asked me my name. "Elder Fawson" I replied. He then was like, "I'm Jell-O. (I don't know if that's the real spelling, but it's the same pronunciation, so whatever. haha) Can I just call you Fawson?" 
"Okay, sure." I said.
"Fawson, can I talk to you? Put religion and politics aside. Can I talk to you? just person to person. Just Jell-o to Fawson."
At this point I'm feeling a little uncomfortable, but I said, "Yeah, I've got a few minutes."
Now he started interrogating me. What's your name? How old are you? What sports do you like? stuff like that. I was doing my best to be happy and upbeat, because he certainly wasn't. He was super serious the whole time, and didn't smile or have an interesting tone of voice our entire conversation. After I told him I played some basketball, he seemed to find what he was looking for and invited me to play with him. I asked when and he said, "How about Sunday." then he pulled out his phone and entered it into his calendar. I was like, "Jell-O, actually we can't play on Sunday, because that's the sabbath." and he said, "Okay, so Monday." and he changed it to Monday on his Calendar. At this point, Elder Belayro jumped in and said, "Elder Fawson, we can't do that. We have to... uh.. e-maill president Ostler that day." just looking for an excuse not to go. I could sense that my companion didn't have good feelings about Jell-O and I played along. "Oh, that's right. Sorry Jell-O, we are really busy on Mondays." Then he looked at me for a few seconds and was like, "So you want me to delete this reminder?" in a really annoyed voice.
"Yeah. Sorry!"
He then was even less pleasant than before, and I was like, "Well, we've got to go to our appointment now, but we'd like to talk to you again sometime, and share our message with you. Is that okay?"
"Yeah sure whatever. Just go."
So we stood up. shook hands and we went and had a good lesson with Brother Julius. This however isn't the last time we saw brother Jell-O. I have to more times. The next was just passing by and he said, "Fawson, let the north star guide you!" in an obnoxiously loud voice completely different from our previous meeting, the last was just last Saturday. We were walking and he was on his front porch and called me over to sit with him again and he started asking me all these deep gospel questions and then telling me about how he's schizophrenic. We did get to share our message with him this time, but he only gave us 3 minutes to share. He pulled out his phone and timed us for 3 minutes and cut me off just as I invited him to read the Book of Mormon. It actually worked out quite nicely. Then he gave us some juice to drink. :) The first meeting was by far the most awkward because he was so serious the whole time and actually got mad at me for speaking to him in Tagalog. He said, "I'm speaking English to you. You respond in English!"
So that's my super crazy experience with Brother Jell-O. Crazy huh? Hopefully that's enough detail for you to appreciate it. I'll let you read my Journal about it next year when I come home. :)

This week was super awesome though. We had interviews with president Ostler, and he shared me in on some of his bounteous wisdom on how I can help my district and improve myself too. He's so cool. I have a lot of respect for him!

I've not had any problems with investigators not knowing who Jesus is. Almost al of the Philippines is catholic. There are some others too, like Iglesia ni Cristo, Saksi ni Jehovah, and some Muslims too. I saw more Muslims in Palawan than here on the main land though. Everyone has at least a basic knowledge of the Bible though.

For teaching an investigator, for them to really progress, we teach them about 3 times a week. 2 is a minimum. Any less than that and it's really hard for them to keep commitments and stuff. That's how it is here. I don't know about in the states. Our lessons too should be about 30 minutes long. Rarely should a lesson ever be over 45 minutes. That's how President Ostler instructed us.

I'm really curious about how the elections are going to go. I haven't had any problems arise against me with Duterte's dislike for Obama, but I do know that a lot of people are not happy with what Duterte's been doing. One of Elder Zesiger's investigator's brother was killed by Duterte for being a drug addict, so that's crazy! I'm thinking if things don't straighten up soon, there's lots of craziness ahead in the next few years. 

So yeah. My toe still is red and stuff, so there's really not much to report on that. It hasn't gotten worse though, so that's nice! 

I've got not a whole lot more to say. I hope you all have a nice week! Mahal ko kayo!!!

Elder Fawson

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

I saw my first Christmas lights up before my birthday. :)


Just last night I was talking to Elder Zesiger and he said "tomorrow is Halloween." then I was all like, "Oh yeah." I had completely forgotten. Halloween isn't a huge deal here in the Philippines. They have a holiday on November 1st called All Souls Day. I don't know what they do, but I'm sure google does, so you can look it up if you want. :)

My weeks just been cruisin' on by. I've only got 2 more weeks left until transfer day again. I think I will stay here in Pamplona for at least one more transfer, because Elder Belayro is going to Chile on November 16, so if I was transferred too that would make this area be fresh started which is really hard for the new missionaries here. Looks like I'm spending Christmas here! WOOO! Hopefully lots of the members want to feed us. That's the best. I actually had quite the feast yesterday at a members house. after that we taught a their nephew, Sean, who will probably be baptized at the beginning of December. I had a lot of Toron and pancit. :) MMM BOY! 

I had the second most awkward experience of my entire mission last week. I don't have a lot of time to tell you the whole story right now, but I'll take a photo of my Journal entry for that day and you can read it for yourself right out of my handwriting. I'll send it to you next week, because I don't have a picture of it right now. You can be expecting that. It's wasn't quite as awkward as being worshiped, but it is still quite the experience!

So yeah. All is still going well with me. The computer shop guy is watching Pokemon 2000 and I can here everything that's going on. I laughed really hard when the Slowking is standing there in the blizzard and says, "I could use pants." hahahahaha I would have to say that is the 2nd best pokemon movie ever made. Second only to Pokemon the 1st Movie. that's the one about Mewtwo. :)

I think I'll do surgery again on my ingrown toenail. It's starting to be quite a bother. Every morning my toenail is covered in black, and red dried up bloody pus stuff. Super gross! In Tagalog you would say, "kadiri!" [disgusting!]

Word on the street says there's new iphone 7. Can it do a retinal scan yet to open the lock screen? They already have the fingerprint thing daw. I guess that'll be the next big thing.

Did you say thanks to Sister Gifford for me yet for all her letters? I'm serious about that. If you already did, feel free to tell her again!!! :)

Mahal kita, at Merry Christmas!!! I'm excited to go to the grocery store again in a few minutes. Last week I was shopping to "It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas." The Philippines starts celebrating Christmas sooner than the Bennetts. hahaha I saw my first Christmas lights up before my birthday. :)

Mahal ko kayo ulit!

Elder Fawson