Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Maligayang Pasko sa lahat, at sa lahat, magandang gabi!

This week was super awesome!!! I had lots of good things happen, some not super fantastic things that happened, but the fantastic things outnumber the others, so it's alright! 

I'll start with the most exciting, and it's not that it's Christmas. Now you may all be wondering, "What in the world could be more exciting than Christmas?" Well let me tell you. Something of importance that goes beyond this world. Brother Carl Sean got baptized on Christmas Eve, and is now officially a member of Ang Simbahan ni Jesucristo ng mga Banal sa mga Huling Araw. Super cool hah!!! 

The next coolest thing is that it was Christmas! Christmas is a big deal here. They start singing carols in September, and don't stop until mid-January. That means that for over 1/4 of the year is the Christmas season. It's pretty neat! 

One of the things that was super unfortunate is that Elder Santos might be going home early. President Ostler is still deciding what to do with him, and he's with the APs right now. I am working with my Zone leaders, Elders Cortez, and Zesiger, so that's fun, because they are fun, but not fun, because of Elder Santos. It's fine though. I still had a good Christmas. I made some Jell-O that Elder Zesiger got in a package and was able to slurp on that last night, so it was super tasty!!! I like Jell-O 

Another thing that was less than ideal happened too. I was eating a cracker with a slice of Cheese and some summer sausage on it, when I thought to myself, "I should take a photo of this, so I took out my camera, put it on my desk picked up my cookie, then it fell! It all happened so fast, I had no time to react! it landed first on my foot, then clattered to the floor. Probably now you're all saying to yourselves, "ahh, he dropped a perfectly good cookie." Wrong. It wasn't the cookie that fell. It was my camera. It fell right off my desk. I picked it up to see if it was okay, and it is not. I can still look at all my photos, but if I try to take any pictures, it's just all black. I hope there's some way to fix it, but I don't know. It's super sayang though! So I may need to get a new camera. I still have all my pictures though, so that's good! :) Sorry Mom. I forgot to mention that durring my skype. I just couldn't bear to see your disappointed face as I told you. 

I guess that's good for my e-mail this week. I pretty much already told you all about everything else, like the girl on the trike who loves me, and that I see lots of baklas [cross-dressers]. :) So yeah...

Robert told us on Skype about how they have a chain of food carts there that sell  fries and soda in the same cup! The fries are in a smaller cup that fits into the top of the big soda cup and the straw slurps the soda from underneath! haha Asians are so clever and practical! Why didn't I think of that?

Mahal ko kayo!!!!!!!!!! Merry Christmas!

Elder Fawson

Monday, December 19, 2016

"I've met people like you before"


Sorry I'm a bit later than today than usual. Elder Santos felt super pangit [ugly-says Google translate- haha] earlier, so we couldn't leave the house. He's doing a little better now though. Still not great, but better. 

While I was sitting at my desk earlier reading Jesus the Christ (that's what I do when I'm bored these days. Being a missionary is cool.), and I thought to myself, I've got the rumblies in my tumbly. I've got to eat. I went to the fridge, and it was almost empty, because I didn't go shopping yet today. I have to eat something though! I opened my snack drawer of my desk to see if I had any emergency food left. My Choco Muchos were all gone, and all that was left was one pack of Pancit Canton.
Basically it's like Ramen noodles that you cook, drain all the water, and stir it into some soy sauce, and oil. It's actually super tasty! And all there was to eat. I cooked it up, fried up a little bit of corned beef I found in the fridge that had been almost finished, then forgotten about by Elder Cortez last week, and covered it up in A1 sauce that has been there since before me. The A1 sauce doesn't go bad until 2018, so that was good. It was pretty fun. I felt like Grandpa at the farm. "What should we have for lunch? How 'bout some ground beef. Lets crack a few eggs in there. That'd be fun. Ah. Saltines. mmmm." haha It was really fun. I learned more than just sprinklers and cows working at the farm all last summer. Thanks Grandpa!!!

I have a baptism this Saturday, so that's super awesome. It's Brother Sean, the one who went to the temple with us a few weeks ago. He's super awesome!! Brother Julius on the other hand is going to have to wait until January because he came to church yesterday just after sacrament meeting ended. It's a super bummer!!! Hopefully I don't get transferred, so I can baptize him and his daughter. Then they'll be a completed family! I'm super excited for them!!! Hopefully I'm still here though. I'll know on the 26th, or 27th if I'll get transferred! The anticipation is super intense! hahaha

One of our New Investigators this week is this guy named George. We were looking for this part-member family we found in our area book, and were asking people all around, and we came across this old man standing outside his house. I went up and asked if he new this family and he said, "No, but I've met people like you before." He told us about how the missionaries used to teach him a couple years ago, and he even showed us his Aklat ni Mormon. I think we were guided to this guy. We were able to teach him, answer some of his questions, and get a return appointment, so I think it's going to go really well with him! 

I made up a new game to play at my apartment the other day. After daily planning one day I was sitting at my desk and had a sudden urge to climb through the bars of the stair banister. I have a video of Elder Zesiger doing it too. Hopefully it can send! I actually can't figure out how to send videos, so I'll just have to show you in like 10 months when I get home. :) hahaha Maybe I'll send you a picture of me in in the process of climbing through so you can have a more clear image of my genius. Next week na lang. haha 

So yeah. All is well! I'm just here in the Philippines... as a missionary... and can speak a foreign language. "Life is good." Mahal ko kayong lahat! [I love you all]

Elder Fawson

Saturday, December 17, 2016

I stealthily took our phone out of my shirt pocket...

Hello everyone. 

This week was way super duper awesome!!! Our mission tour was great with Elder Haynie. He's one of the people who gave a closing prayer in one of the sessions of the last conference, if you were wondering. He taught us all about how to find more effectively. But not just finding anyone. Finding scattered Israel. Scattered Israel are the people who are super ready for the gospel, and will progress so so fast. He really emphasized about not wasting your time on people who aren't going to get baptized. Sometimes, missionaries have some investigators who love to have bible study and listen to us in their homes, but never do their reading assignments, go to church, or act on any of our teachings. Missionaries just keep going back though, because we need to have lessons, but the people aren't really ever going to progress. We were instructed to drop those people and use the time we would have spent teaching, finding new people who will progress. He said, "if what you're doing isn't bringing anyone closer to baptism, it isn't worth your time." It's super true. It was a spiritual feast. I learned about a lot of cool things. Did you know who it was that baptized Adam? Go read Moses and figure it out. You can E-mail me next week with your answers. :) Not only was it a spiritual feast, but a food feast too. There's more than one reason I like going to zone conferences. :) hahaha

Did you know that prayer is true? Well it is, so you can stop wondering now. Wanna know how I know? Because yesterday, when church started, Brother Julius wasn't there. If he doesn't go to church, he can't be baptized on Dec. 27th, and I may get transferred and not get to see his baptism. After the sacrament was finished he still wasn't there. I said a prayer that he could come and not have to postpone his baptism. after like 15 minutes he still wasn't there. I stealthily took our phone out of my shirt pocket and just like all the kids in high school, started my texting, hoping no one would see. After I sent my text, asking where he was and if he was coming, I said another prayer that he could get here right now. Lo and behold, he came in right through the door like 17 seconds after my "amen." It was super happy for me, and He's still gonna be baptized!!! It was a close call, but God is much stronger than Satan. It's a bummer he missed the sacrament, but he'll be there on time next week. :)

I went to a little bit of the First Presidency Christmas Devotional yesterday, and it was super awesome. I only saw the talks of Elder Oaks and Elder Christensen, but it was super great none-the-less. Also I was pleased to here that song from the Messiah right after Elder Oaks' talk. It brought back some good memories. I really miss playing my viola and performing for stuff like the Messiah, school concerts and the like. I think when I get home, I'm just going to go pro for my viola. I'll master the violin and learn to play some other instruments too, like the piano and the saxophone. It's gonna be great!!! I've been feeling really inspired about that recently.

That's crazy Michaela went flying! The only time I've ever done that is in Disney Land on the Flying over California ride. It's probably a lot cooler in real life though. I'm soup jelly. (that's a fun way of saying super jealous. I just thought of it, and am probably gonna use it for the rest of my life.) I've always wondered what it's like to be a bird, and now Michaela knows. I definitely want some photos next week! :)

Elder Zesiger got a package with a Christmas tree inside, so we spent some time and put some lights on it and decorated it all nice and christmasy. It was really fun. It already has a present under it, because I got that gift from Sam and Michaela last week. Thanks so much by the way. I'm excited for Christmas to come so I can open it!!! I'll send some photos of the tree. It really is spectacular!!!

Brother Ice King finally came to church for the first time yesterday. I had to pick him up this week, but maybe in the next few weeks he can build up the faith to come on his own. We've taught him the lessons up until lesson 4. Hopefully he doesn't have any word of wisdom problems. That would really push back his baptismal goal. :)

I guess that's about all I've got to say this week. I'm still not positive what time I will call for Christmas. I'll tell you next week. If you have any suggestions, I'm happy to here your ideas about when would be best. Just take into account the time change, and I have 9:00 church on the 25th. We'll figure it out though. :) Mahal kita!!!!!

Elder Fawson

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Spiritual gifts are sort of like Pokemon's stats.

Hello everyone! 

You will be pleased to know that it has now been 1 year and 2 days since the day I left the MTC. It's weird. before I could say, "One year ago I was at home asleep on my bed with Mylo sleeping on my feet." or something to that effect, but now when I say "One year ago, I was..." it's always about me doing missionary stuff. Speaking of me doing missionary stuff, I'll be having a baptism on December 24th, so that's super awesome!!! Then I'll have another one on the 27th. I'm super duper excited!!! I told brother Julius (the one for the 27th) that I'll maybe be transferred on the 28th, so he wanted me to baptize him, but he has to come to church 4 times in a row first, so if he misses just 1 week, I may not be able to witness his baptism. Usually baptisms are on a Saturday, but he was willing to do it on a Tuesday just for me. :) I'm super excited!!

I went to the temple last Saturday. I didn't go inside, but some of the sisters in my district had some recent converts going to do baptisms for the dead for the first time, and the ward had organized a trip, so Elder Santos and I brought an investigator, brother Sean (the one for the 24th) with us and showed him around the grounds of the temple and were able to teach him all about it. He had a really good time and seemed to understand how important the temple is even he's only 13 years old. He's super cool!!! I'll send a photo of us there so you can see him with your very own eyeballs. I think you'd like that. :)

Also I got a super small hymn book so that I can have a hymn book in my bag with me all the time now. I've seen other missionaries that have them, and now I finally have one of my own. I didn't take a photo of that though. Maybe next week I'll treat you with a glance at it. :) I wouldn't want to overload your minds with so many awesome pictures. There must be temperance in all things. Last week was special. Kind of like an annual photo feast of some sort. :) Tomorrow will be #316, The Lord is my Shepherd. [December 5th]

That's cool you have a lesson about spiritual gifts coming up. I love that topic. I actually just taught a district meeting about that a few weeks ago. If you want to use a great Pokemon analogy, spiritual gifts are sort of like Pokemon's stats. Each Pokemon has stats that are naturally higher, and some that are lower. For example. A Geodude has high defense (because it's a rock), but low speed (because it's a rock). A Chansey has crazy high HP, but super crappy attack. Note: Magicarp just sucks all around, so maybe he's not the best example for this. :) Through hard training and a lot of time, you can train your Pokemon to become stronger. We too have "stats" or spiritual gifts of things that we are naturally good at. For example, Elder Fawson is super patient, kind, and friendly, but not very organized. Heidi on the other hand is really funny, and smart, but not good in conversation, and not patient (she punches people in the braces when they don't want to go upstairs and get her an apple). Through trials, and living the gospel, our gifts get stronger, and we can even work on those weaker points of ourselves to make those alright too. See Ether 12:27. Good analogy, eh? I taught all my district about Pokemon and how to do effective training. :)

I'm super excited for this week because it's the Mission tour. If you remember last year Elder Bowen of the Philippines area presidency came and talked to the whole mission, it will be happening again, but this year it'll be Elder Haynie, also of the area presidency. I really like him. He spoke to us while I was in the MTC once, and I think he's gonna be an Apostle someday. I'll tell you all about it next week. So yeah, all is well, and I forgive you for not E-mailing me last week. I only got one e-mail from people at home, and it was from Anna. Go give her a prize of some sort. She deserves it!!!

Ingat kayo!!! Mahal ko kayong lahat!!! [take care!!! I love you all!!!!]

Elder Fawson

In response to a photo of Mila and Evelyn at the park...
Meron ako ang dalawang pinakamagandang pamangking sa buong mundo! Grabe ang laki nila!!! Noon umalis ako, maliit pa si Eevee. Astig!!! ["I have the 2 cutest nieces in the world. Wow, they're so big! Before I left Eevee was still small! SWEET!!!]

In response to a picture of Sam on Thanksgiving...
May kulan ang plate ni Sam ng karne, pero I can't judge, kasi may kulan ang mukha ko ng buhok!! :) hahaha Astig ang balbas mo, Sam!!! [Sam's plate is lacking some meat, but I can't judge, 'cause my face is lacking some hair! haha]