Monday, January 30, 2017

I tried to hide my shameful foot under the bench...

Howdy y'all! 

I know you are all just dying to know if I have been living the last 4 days of my life with only 9 toes, so I'll put your curiosity to rest. Tinanggal nila ang kuko ko lang. Nandito pa rin ang daliri ko! [They removed my nail only. Here is still my toe!] Now you still may not know what's up because you don't understand that combination of letters and sounds called Tagalog. They just took my toenail, actually only about 1/3 of it. I'll send you a picture you can use to replace your screensaver of my last toe photo. :) 

The first photo is my toe the day after surgery. the second one is what it looked like today.
4 days later
It actually went pretty smooth. I went into the surgery building and they gave me one of those hospital outfits that looks kind of like an apron, but they only had ones for Filipinos so that didn't work very well for me. They found me some pants to put on that were fat enough to fit santa clause and that was what I wore. The actual surgery went pretty fast. they just laid me down on a bed, injected my foot with the numbing stuff like what they use at the dentist, then waited a couple minutes for it to take effect. after my toe didn't have anymore feelings they took this thing that looked like some sort of scissors, snipped my toenail the vertical way, and after about only 15 seconds pulled this big red bloody kuko [nail] from my foot. I was so surprised it was so fast. Most of the time I was in surgery they were just
 numbing me up and putting on a bandage. it was pretty cool. The coolest part is that I got a free pair of St. Luke’s hospital slippers. They're a bit small too, but it's okay because they were free. :) the lamest part is that I lost my right proselyting shoe in the taxi on my way home and now only have a left shoe. I was only wearing one shoe and one slipper, and when I got out of my taxi at my apartment I forgot my right shoe in the taxi and then it drove away and I have no idea where it is now. I just walk around with one church shoe, and one flip flop right now. :) I will be getting a pair this Thursday though that I can use, but they're already pretty worn out. 

Another cool part is that my toe hasn't hurt one teensy weensy bit the whole time since my surgery. 

It was really awkward last Sunday at church because Elder Bowen, the Philippines area seventy came to our ward and he picked the one day that I was wearing a flip flop to church. I was sort of embarrassed so I tried to hide my shameful foot under the bench as he walked by. I did my best to act casual, but I think he suspected something none-the-less. Sunday was also way awesome though because we had 7 investigators at church! I'm really excited for this up coming month. We have a marriage coming up around Feb. 11th, then a couple of baptisms for the 25th, and also a baptism on the 18th if Tatay Dorriteo can keep coming to church. It's way awesome to have all these progressing investigators. 

I wish I could have seen McKay's talk. I like him. Also I miss seeing Bob and then he always says, "Roberto!" in a really fun voice. I too gave a talk in Sacrament a couple Sundays ago. 

I really do sort of miss seeing other tall people. Just yesterday I bashed my head on a thing hanging over the walk way. I like how things like that are higher in Utah than here. Like doorways and ceilings and big wooden pallets hanging over the road. hahaha It's fine though. I'm not critically injured. :)

I don't have a lot more to say about this week. Mostly just I had a crazy surgery and bumped my head yesterday on a wooden pallet I didn't see hanging in my way. So yeah! Life is good! Mahal ko kayo!!!!

Elder Fawson

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Surgery on Friday! Robert is hoping to avoid amputation...

Kamusta!!! Ito si [how are you!!! This is] Elder Fawson, signing in.

That's fun it's been raining a lot on you all. Masyadong baliktad, pero masaya naman (sort of backwards, but fun anyways).[usually in Robert’s letters he does not translate when he writes in Tagolog and I use google translate and insert the translation. I did this one even though he provided his own translation and it said “quite the reverse, but happy”. I thought it was funny to compare with Robert’s translation :)] It's been pretty sunny and warm over here. Just last night it started to rain again, and even now as I type the sky is punong puno ng mga ulap [filled with clouds], just waiting to dump all that cloud juice on me. :) 

I told you last week that I would hopefully be getting my camera back so I could get some photos of Baste's baptism. Well I did, so you can all rejoice to see another updated version of my face. :) It was a super awesome baptism. Elder Carel was the one who baptized. Probably because Baste is really short and they wanted to save the the trouble of bending over so far. haha It's so fun having baptisms!!!
BFG at the baptism!
This week was pretty busy! On Tuesday was interviews with Pres. Ostler which is always a nice treat! I like talking to him. He's so wise. Wednesday was zone meeting which was fun too. It was held at the Guadalupe chapel which is where I went to church every week in my first area. It was a fun reminiscent experience. Thursday we went to the MRC (basically a missionary doctors office) and Elder Carel mercilessly got a tooth ripped out of his face. He was told it was just a check-up. Hindi pala [But it is not]. They had something a bit more up their sneaky little sleeves! haha On Friday I had a surprise baptismal interview for another district because the district leader who was supposed to do it couldn’t because he was still recovering from also having a tooth ripped out and still couldn't talk. haha Saturday was Baste's baptism which I've already mentioned, and yesterday was my second time my entire mission to give a talk in sacrament meeting. I talked about missionary work and guilt-tripped all the members into giving us more referrals. It worked out pretty good considering the fact that we got 2 just after the meeting ended. hahaha I've come to learn that the power of one's own guilty conscience exceeds that of even the Home Depot. :) hahahhahahahaha 

So yeah. Crazy week. And this upcoming weeks gonna be a busy one too. We've got a couple trips to St. Luke’s this week. One on Wednesday for Elder Carel, and one of Friday for myself. I told Sister Turner (the mission nurse) about my toe and she set me up an appointment for surgery. I was so afraid that you may never get a chance to see my toe again if something goes wrong in the surgery and they decide to amputate, that I took a photo for you to always remember my beautiful big toe. Maybe you can make it your screen saver or something. :) haha
Poor Robert's ingrown toe nail that he has had for months :(
That's cool Mom that you had a sweet prayer experience this week. I love it when those happen. I think that prayer is one of the best blessings we have here on this world. It truly is the best way to get closer to Jesus Christ. To get a good relationship with our Heavenly Father, we need to do the same things we do to get a good relationship with anyone. Talk to him. The thing that some people don't recognize is that he will always talk back too. Not necessarily through a crazy visitation, but through the Holy Ghost, and the scriptures. I love praying. 

So yeah. That about sums up all I've been doing the past few days. I hope you all are having a fun time. I know I am!

Elder Fawson

P.S. Enjoy the photos!!! :)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

I had my first kiss a couple of days ago.

Helo sa inyong lahat!!! Magandang tanghali! baka gabi pa sa inyo, pero sa kaming lahat dito sa Pilipinas, Tanghali na. hahaha 
[Hello to you all !!! Good afternoon! maybe night to you, but to all of us here in the Philippines, noon.]

It's so reassuring to know that I really do have some Native american blood in me. I convinced brother Carl Sean, my recent convert just before I left my last area, that I was native american. Now I can stop living my life in guilt for deceiving him, because it was true. haha 

That's super awesome that you've been doing so much family history lately. I am proud of you! Pocahontas is proud too. :) You're lucky to be able to go to the temple so often. I haven't been inside for almost a year now. Hopefully next month "the evil time will be over and done (Beaver, from Narnia)." 
I know that doesn't really rhyme, but I'm just excited to see that super magandang [good] chandelier again! 

This week was really cool. I told you about the Mina family last week, who we found and they were a part member family and they came to church and will be baptized next month. Well before they get baptized they have to get married, so you can write on your calendar that's probably still hanging on the wall to the right of the fridge, "Wedding of Aldyn and Jam" on Feb. 10th. WAHOO!!!

Also we have a baptism this Saturday of brother Baste. He is 9. He was so happy last Saturday. We walked to the church with him for his interview and the whole was chanting, "IN-TER-VIEW! IN-TER-VIEW!" It was really funny. Then after his interview he ran up to us jumping for joy, through his fists into the air like Hiro Nakamora, and said, "Yata!" Joke lang. He said, "Naka-pass ako!!!" [I already pass!!!] It was super awesome! I should get my camera back from the camera fixer-upper today, so I'll be able to take some photos of his baptism for you so you can know what his face looks like. :)

I had my first kiss a couple days ago. I never imagined my streak would end during my mission, but thus it is. She wasn't even maganda [beautiful] :( hahahaha I was walking through the palenke [marketplace] and there was this old lady sitting on a little table looking sort of lonely, so we walked over and started talking to her. She had really crooked teeth and said she had come from her province to live in metro-manila lots of years ago. She shook my hand like 3 times during our conversation. She would just hold her hand out to me and offer to shake in the middle of my sentence. I'm sure she was at least a little crazy, but as we finished our OYM, she wanted to shake my hand one more time before we left, but little did I know she had something else up her sleeve. as she took my hand, she brought it to her mouth and gave a big old smack. I was super shocked, and my companion just said, "Sige po nanay. Ingat po." [Goodbye mother, Be safe.] and we walked away. It was really surprising. I would say, that's the most outrageous thing that happened this week. haha

So yeah. That's what I've been up to. Just preparing people for the kingdom of heaven. 

Mahal ko kayo!!! [I love you all!!!]

Elder Fawson

Monday, January 9, 2017

"we teach a lot of lessons sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce"

Hello everyone!!!

I want to start my letter today with a super sweet miracle that happened last week.

We just found a new family here in my new area. I'm back in Makati East zone, but in Bonifacio 6 ward now. This family is super cool! We were looking for a part-member family, and knocked on the door of the address given to us, and this guy answered the door. It wasn't the family we looking for, so we introduced ourselves as missionaries and started to OYM him. He said he was already baptized lots and lots of years ago at chapel in Buendia, but went less-active. When he was talking to us at his front door he said he wants us to teach his wife and kid. To make a long story short, we taught them Saturday night, gave them baptismal dates, they all came to church yesterday morning and will be baptized next month. It's super exciting!!!! I was so nervous about fresh starting this area because we might not have lots of people to teach, but we have been super blessed already to have lots of investigators prepared to be taught. 

Aside from that family, there are 2 other girls who have been going to church with their neighbor for the last 2 months, but haven't been taught by the missionaries yet. We taught them about the restoration, gave them Book of Mormons and they'll be baptized next month too. :)

This area is a lot like my first area. There's not a whole lot of rich houses, and we teach a lot of lessons sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce on the ground. It's fine though, except that my socks are starting to get holes in the ankles. :) You can't tell though, because when I stand up my pants cover up the holes. haha The members are super nice here though, and hardly a lesson goes by where we aren't given AT LEAST a snack. haha It's way fun here. My companion is super fun too. He's been sort of sick the last couple of days with a small fever, but he takes it like a carabao and just keeps on working. :)

Elder Fawson and Elder Carel working hard like carabao!
You know how I see famous movie stars walking around sometimes? Well this week I saw the coolest one ever! It wasn't Ash Kechum, but you, Mom. I was just walking up a hill, and you rode around the corner on the back of a motorcycle with some strange Filipino I've never met. You had your glasses on, and I'd recognize those teeth of yours even halfway around the world. :) You sly mom! Trying to get a sneak peek at me. hahaha Thought I wouldn't notice, eh? Don't worry. I won't tell President Ostler, just don't do it again. :) hahahaha I really was sort of confused for about .58 seconds though.

It seems like the rainy season is coming to a close here, which is good, because me and my umbrella just about couldn't take any more. Actually just me. My umbrella has already gone the way of all the earth. :) Maybe I should think about buying a new one. 

I had a cool dream the other night that would make Jon really proud. I was on my way home from my mission, and was at an airport waiting to aboard a connecting flight when I wandered into an airport shop. This was a shop selling a bunch of Magic the Gathering cards though. I started talking to the cashier lady and she offered me a job on the spot. I accepted and was told to start work next week. I was really happy to not even be home yet and have a job all lined up. haha Cool dream, huh? Maybe that's the direction I'm destined to go. Into the Magic business. of Robert in 2018 fulfilling his Magic destiny...NOT! :)
That's about all the exciting stuff I have time to tell you about today. Stay tuned for next week of, The Adventures of Elders Fawson and Carel! (and friends) :)

Elder Fawson

Monday, January 2, 2017

New year, new area, new food, new companion...


halo-halo mmmm masarap! [delicious]
It was sort of cool. When I got home from church yesterday, I said to Elder Oaing, "For my family, they still haven't watched the fire works yet." It's cool living 14 hours ahead of you all. I can experience all the fun holidays first. :)    

You may have noticed from that last paragraph that I said Elder Oaing. He is one of my new companions that I got. Key words: One of. I got 2 new companions this transfer. The other is Elder Carel. They're both super cool, but only one of them is still here. Elder Oaing just left at 2:00 this morning to go to the airport. He's now headed to New Mexico. Until now he's been serving about 6 months here waiting for his visa. It's actually super cool. His mission boundaries cover the 4 corners area, so he can serve in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. Guess what else, Page Arizona just so happens to also be in his mission, so maybe he'll be assigned there. Cool, huh? The only problem with this situation is that Elder Oaing was the only one assigned here last transfer, so Elder Carel and I have to fresh start this area now, and neither of us are familiar with the roads, people, investigators, or members. It's sort of hard, but we'll figure it out. The area book is super helpful. If any of you future missionaries are reading this, when you get out and serve, KEEP AN UPDATED AREA BOOK!!!!! Salamat! [thanks!] :)

Elder Carel is super cool. He's super funny, good at talking a lot (which is good, because I'm good at listening a lot. haha), and has sort of a higher pitched voice that is sort of fun to listen too. He is helping me learn how to use a rubik’s cube, so I'm gonna be a pro by the end of my mission. He knows how to do a 4x4, so that's super cool. I like him a lot!!!

I'm going to really miss my last area, and my investigators and people, but it's cool here too. We've got one kid who'll be baptized in a couple weeks. His name is Baste. Probably we'll have some more baptisms in February too. The members are super cool here too. The ward mission leader handed out a dinner calendar for us after Sacrament meeting yesterday, and after about 4 minutes, it was half way full. Next week it'll be all the way full, so that's fun, because food is fun! Usually. 

corn pudding :)
I had a new desert yesterday. It was some kind of corn pudding. Who puts corn in pudding? I guess Filipinos do. They do lots of stuff with corn. You can put it in your Halo-halo, or you could even just get some shaved ice, scoop some corn in there, a couple spoons of sugar, and a bit of condensed milk and BOOM! Maiz con yelo! (corn with rice) It's a popular snack here. Some people make a living just selling it on the side of the street. 

Halo halo is a filipino treat with shaved ice topped with things like jello, beans, corn, flan , fruit and ice-cream!
shaved ice with condensed milk,sugar,  jello and corn on top!

We had to come home early for New Years, so while everyone else in the  country was running around like crazy, we were up in our apartment, stuffing our faces with food that the members had given us. They gave us a lot of food: spaghetti, lasagna, little itty bitty brownie balls, a couple loaves of bread, and a lot more. It was fun!

That's fun that Claire and Jon are still there. I always like being around when everyone's in town playing basketball and stuff. I guess next year'll be super awesome!!! 

Anywho, I guess that's about all that's up with me. I would love to tell you more about my area, but I don't really know much yet. I guess next week will  be a bit more informative. Mahal kita!!!!

Elder Fawson

P.S. Maybe Brian can give me a massage when I get back too. My shoulders are feeling a bit stiff. :)