Monday, February 20, 2017

glad I wasn't the one getting submerged in the kulay ihi water.

Hello world!

Micah and Marcus weren't the only one who gave talks in sacrament meeting yesterday. I did too. I've been losing my ability in dodging those kinds of bullets, but I did manage to get out of the way of this one so it wasn't a fatal blow. I had a marvelous talk prepared, naturally, but the missionary who spoke before me, Elder Allen, spoke for 16 minutes and we still had a high councilman to speak too at the end so the branch president told me to just take 3 minutes. haha Elder Allen felt bad for taking all my time, but I told him it was most generous of him to do that for me. :) I hope after my words of inspiration the branch will be more hyped up about giving us referrals. It was a good talk, however short it was. :)

The weather isn't warming up here at all, because it's already warm. :) I'm actually sort of weirded out. I've gone the last 7 months with a severely broken umbrella, to no umbrella at all and it was rare to have 3 days in a row without at least a little sprinkle, but last week I finally bought myself a new umbrella, and now it hasn't rained at all. What's up with that? It is a nice umbrella though. It's blue with green and white polka-dots. :)

I taught my first ever zone meeting last Tuesday and it went really well. I think it'll be easier next time because I'll have actually been there at MLC (where President Ostler teaches us everything we're supposed to teach) but I feel I did an alright job none-the-less. I really learned a lot about studying the brother of Jared and how he had to purify the rocks before bringing them to the Lord to make them glow. I think they were the first glow-in-the-dark invention ever. :) I compared it to how for the Lord to help us glow and become "a light unto the nations" we too must purify ourselves through being humble and continual repentance. I could feel the spirit really strong as I taught it. It was really cool! 

So I guess you heard that Elder Bednar is coming here to talk with the mission. All the missionaries on Palawan are flying to the main land and coming back on Monday. This Friday, we are going to sleep at Puerto, then Wake up early, Saturday morning to catch our 7:00 flight. It's gonna be a crazy week-end, then on Monday when we fly back, we will also have our zone conference that same day, so our P-day will be on Tuesday again next week. Then next week Thursday is MLC, so I'll be going back to the mainland for that. WOO WOO! Life as a zone leader is a lot busier than not. :)

Tell Lily happy birthday for me. Also I hope you gave my condolences to Mozart and I hope he can forgive me for missing his annual festival of music. I'll make it next year. Hopefully I can still remember how to play! haha

Maybe that jeep wouldn't be so bad. I've learned to deal with getting rained on pretty well, and I've hardly used AC for the past 16 months of my life. I didn't even use an electric fan last night when I went to sleep. :) I'll have a valid Filipino drivers license when I get home too. :) 

I'm glad you have a nice ham to pig out on tonight. Wanna know what I had for breakfast? Hot dogs and rice. How 'bout lunch? Hot dogs and rice. How 'bout dinner? Hot dogs and rice with some buko salad. :) I always did like hot dogs! We ran out of all our other food we bought last Monday. I think Elder Cortez is not so enthusiastic about it though. haha It's fine though. We had some sweet & sour sauce to go with it. The expiration date for it was last August, but I'm sure it's still fine. I don't think sweet & sour sauce ever goes bad. :)

 There was a Baptism on Saturday for the other Elders and a few ward baptisms too of some kids. When we were there one of the kids really wanted me to baptize her. I was surprised because I've only been here for like 2 weeks, but we miraculously found some baptismal clothes that fit me at the chapel. The first one we tried gave me a crazy wedgey, but we eventually found one, and I baptized her. It's a good thing I'm so tall, because I didn't have an extra pair of garments with me, but mine didn't even get wet, so that was nice, especially considering the color of the water. I'm just glad I wasn't the one getting submerged in the kulay ihi [urine colored] water. I suppose it's good that baptism is for spiritual cleanliness and not physical! I only got my legs wet and took a shower right when we got home. haha :) I did get some photos, but the computer I'm using is not wanting to connect to my camera, so next week na lang. Pasensya! [thanks. Sorry!

We have a family that is so awesome right now. We taught them about the Word of Wisdom a couple weeks ago and they went from drinking 2 cups of coffee every day to 0 cups the next day, and they haven't drunk any since. It was sort of weird, because she was drinking her coffee during the lesson, but they are so willing to change and stuff. Right now they are figuring out how they can get married and their baptism date is on March 25th. I'm super happy for them!

That about sums up all the excitement of my life. I'll have a lot to talk about next week after my Bednar experience, so stay tuned for that! :) Mahal ko kayo!!!

Elder Fawson

P.S. I wasn't joking last week about the cookie recipes. We have an oven, and we want to use it! :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Over a year since I pushed the buttons of a microwave!

Hello everyone!

Mom, that's a lot of questions at the beginning of your letter here. Basically, I live in the most fortunate apartment in the whole mission. It's really small. Only a room smaller than the carpeted living room at home, and a CR (comfort room: that's what the bathroom is called here) that's about the size of our laundry room. We have a single table in the middle of the room and a bunk bed against the right wall. You may be thinking, "what's so great about that?" What's great is what's against the left wall. Over on that side is a fridge and sink (the standard), but wait. There's more. There's also an oven. A real oven that can be used to make cookies and stuff. And a MICROWAVE!!!!! It had been over a year since I'd pushed the buttons of a microwave until 3 nights ago when we bought some popcorn and popped it all up for an evening treat. It was awesome. What makes it better is there's a washing machine in the laundry area out back, so those are all the things that make it the best apartment ever. 

My area's super sweet. I can't make up my mind if it smells more like Fish Lake, or Havasupi. Either way it's awesome and I love it. We live quite a distance from the ocean unfortunately, like an 8 minute walk. A pity, I know, but we did teach an investigator who lives on a little kubo hut right on the beach. It was pretty sweet! I don't have any excellent sunset photos yet on my camera, but they are stored in my brain's hard-drive and will never be deleted as long as I shall live. :) Jealous? haha

We have a lot of investigators, but almost all of them need to be married before they are baptized, so that's a trial considering it requires 1000Php. That's a high price for a lot of the people here. They are progressing though. We had 9 investigators at church yesterday, so that was sweet. Also as a welcome gift the branch president gave me the opportunity to speak in Sacrament next Sunday. How generous of him! Hopefully my back won't hurt too bad after stooping over a low pulpit for so long. :) I've done it before, so I guess I can do it again. haha

Being a zone leader is super busy. We are teaching zone meeting tomorrow. The zone meeting is based on a meeting that all the leaders have with president Ostler, then they teach all that stuff to their zone. The thing is that I wasn't at that meeting so hopefully I can do alright anyways. :) Wednesday we have exchanges with one of the district leaders. Thursday is district coordination where we meet with the district president of the northern Palawan area and talk about how the missionary work is going. Friday and Saturday are really busy too with the branch here doing a one day mission thing, and lots of other meetings and stuff. It's a lot busier as a zone leader. Rarely if ever do we have a full week just to work. It's busy, but it's fun too. At least it probably is. I haven't had a whole lot of time to figure it all out yet, but my companion is super awesome, Elder Cortez. We have a lot of fun together and laugh a lot as we go about doing good.

My toe is healing super nicely and it doesn't hurt one bit. It still doesn't look nearly as dashing as before, but maybe after I get home and Grandpa works his magic it'll be back to it's previous glory. :) It's good you're so hasty at sending my shoes over. My keens are fine, but It's always a good idea to have at least 2 pairs. If there is more room in that package, the oven in my apartment is just dying to bake some brownies or something. And yes, you were right that some Smarties will never go unappreciated. :) Also feel free to send me a good cookie recipe or two that we could use that's not too hard or expensive. 

I'm jealous you were able to go to the temple. I haven't done an endowment session for an entire year now and expect to wait a while longer considering my time here no Palawan has just begun. I actually just watched a cool video about the Salt Lake temple this morning. It's crazy how many miracles happened to make that temple work out. Temples are so cool. Believe it!

In the airport while coming here to Palawan there was this tourist from Italy sitting close to me, and we started talking. She doesn't speak fluent English so in my brain I just thought to speak Tagalog instead because that's what I do now if someone doesn't know English. It didn't work. hahaha I guess Italians don't speak Tagalog. hahahaha She did know a bit about the church though, that we all had really big families and she even heard about this mormon who had 10 wives and 40 children. I talked to her for a while longer and she wasn't really interested. She's Athiest. Sayang [Alas]!!! She was really friendly though. Also I solved a Rubix cube all by myself for the first time in my life on the plane, so that was a life changing event that must never be forgotten. :)

Last Saturday there was a time that I saw 2 different monkeys within only like 10 minutes. I didn't get the chance to photograph the occasion, but I thought I'd send you a pic of this last monkey I saw in Aborlan to remind you that my life is super awesome. :) I LOVE PALAWAN!!!

that's about all I've got time to say this week, but I do know that I love you all and that the nice ocean breeze is a lot more tasty than city smog. Mahal ko kayo!!!

Elder Fawson

P.S. the internet here is a bit better than Aborlan. I'll attempt to send a photo or two. :)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

I've looked around here for some shoes but they are all Filipino sized.

Hello World!

This week was really awesome! We have lots of awesome things happening in this area and lots of investigators that are progressing to baptism. One of them in particular is super close, si Tatay Dorriteo. He has come to church 3 times in a row all on his own and even yesterday when our church was changed to start a little earlier from 9:00 to 8:30 he was one of the first people there. On saturday he said, "Okay, I'll be there a little early so I for sure won't be late." then he was there at 7:45, just standing outside the gate because the person with the key wasn't there yet. He's so amazing. His baptismal interview will be this Saturday and then his baptism on the 18th. It's too bad I won't be able to make it.
Robert at last week's Zone Conference
Robert's Zone in Makati City

Now you may all be a bit confuzzled at that last comment about me not making it to Dorriteo's baptism, so let me shed some light on the subject. I'm being transferred this Wednesday. I was so surprised because I only just got here a month and a half ago. Not only am I being transferred, but I'm going back to Roxas Palawan. And not only am I being transferred back to Palawan. The most surprising is yet to come. I'm going to be a zone leader over there. I'm kind of nervous about this new responsibility, but my companion will be Elder Cortez, my zone leader and kabahay from Pamplona, my last area. He's super fun, so that's good! (Mom, this transferring to Palawan is why I don't have more time to look for more shoes. If I couldn't find any here, it'll be even harder on Palawan. Roxas is a pretty secluded spot too, a couple hours away from the city.) I'm super excited to be going back to Palawan though! There's a super magandang [good] beach right next to the apartment daw [it is said], so you can all be lookin' forward to some sweet photos over there! :)

I never did get my shoe back. Probably that taxi driver planted a coconut tree in my shoe by now and is planning to become a buko juice [coconut water] vender guy that walks down the streets with his cart shouting to the world "Buko! Buko!" Those people are always fun. I like the Taho [yogurt] guys most though. :) Pretty much I've just been walking around with my one shoe, and a flip flop for the last week. It's actually a good OYMing tool. Lots of people ask, "Bakit meron kang isang tsinelas?" [Why do you have a slipper?] then I say, "Kasi naka-surgery ang daliri ko ng paa, so kailangan ko siyang ingatin. Mga missionaries kami ng Ang simbahan ni Jesucriso ng mga banal ng mga huling araw. Nakilala po ba kayong mga miss...." [Because of my ‘finger of the foot’ surgery I was taken in. We are missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Latter Days....]and that's how it goes about 10 times a day. Sometimes more. hahaha  

Here's the situation. I left my shoes that I usually use at my last apartment in Las Pinas because they were super trashed on the inside, so I was using my fisherman sandals here, so now I only have a fisherman sandal for my left foot. I still have my Keens though, but I think it would be a good idea to have another pair so I don't kill my keens then have nothing to use after that. I've looked around a bit here for some shoes, but they are all Filipino sized. I don't need another fisherman sandal, because I still have my keens. :) Feel free to slip a tube of Crest toothpaste in the package if it's not too much trouble. They don't have Crest in the Philippines, and I'm almost out. I've just been brushing my teeth so often these days. :) hahahahahahahaha

Guess what I just remembered. When I was at the hospital before my surgery they took my weight, and I weigh 76 kilos. Wanna know how many pounds that is? 167. Wanna know how much I weighed before my mission? 167. Cool huh? I weigh the same now as I did before.

I really don't have anymore super exciting stuff to say that can compare with what has already been said other than this. Mahal ko kayo! :)

Elder Fawson