Sunday, March 26, 2017

I ate a stingray the other day, so that was new. :)

Helo sa inyong lahat!

This week was super awesome. It was transfers, but neither I nor Elder Cortez got transferred, so that's happy! Especially considering the fact that we've got harvest day coming up next week! There are 3 new Elders in the zone though. I've only met 2 of them so far though, Elder Evans, and Elder Ballenas. They're both super cool. Elder Evans is from Dushesne Utah. I've never heard of such a place before, but it's super small daw. I got to talk to him for a while last Saturday for a long time while our investigator family was getting interviewed for baptism. 

So this Saturday we're having 6 baptisms in the district. 5 are for our area and 1 is for Elder Arninnio and Elder Evans. So yeah. Sisters Marissa, Mary Mae, Jiny, and Brothers Jeolito and Jomarie are all getting baptized. Marissa and Jeolito are getting married on Saturday around 4:00, then they'll all be baptized right after that. I think Bilbo Baggins said it best. "This will be a night to remember." It was actually almost only 4 baptisms because Mary Mae, and Marissa's mom was really mad and didn't want Mary Mae to get baptized so she wasn't going to do it, but then on Saturday night she came to the church while the others were getting interviewed and said, "I have my agency. I'm going to do what makes me happy." So she got interviewed and it's a miracle! Their family is all so nice. I'm so excited for them!

I ate a sting ray the other day, so that was new. :)

Just last night I heard from Elder Zesiger as he was following me up (because the APs area is now in my first area in Makati) that they OYMed and taught one of my previous investigators. We'd taught her a few times, but she was rarely home or available, so we stopped dropping by. He said she's been reading the Book of Mormon a whole lot and is really progressing. She's the same one who I told you about a long time ago that saw me on f
Facebook before I'd ever met or taught her. I like it when stuff like that happens. :)

This week we have MLC again, but we'll be going to the mainland on Wednesday morning and going to the temple. I'm so excited. I haven't been to the temple in about 14 months now. I can't wait to see that majestic chandelier again. It really is the coolest! After that, we are going to work with the APs in my first area, so I'll get to see lots of my old area again and stuff, so that's exciting too!!! I'll tell you how that goes next week, so you can be anxiously on the edge of your seats waiting for that, because I know that none of you have anything more important in the world that to be updated with my life. :)

My sunburn is healing nicely. It's pretty much all gone except for a bit of leg dandruff. actually not just a bit. My leg skin was peeling like crazy a couple days ago. It was sort of sickin' out my companion. It's not so bad anymore. Just a little itchy underneath my sock. 

That's about all I've got to say today. This week really has been great and I've seen lots of miracles happen. Lots of butterflies too. :)

One of the tourist draws to Palawan are the many beautiful butterflies!

I hope you all have a good week. Mahal ko kayo!!!

Elder Fawson

Friday, March 24, 2017

Straight from the Mayor's office to the baptismal font!

Hello my excellent friends and happy St. Patricks Day!!!

 I hope you all wore green, and if not, I hope your wounds from all those pinches take a long time to heal. :) hahaha
I had a pretty awesome week. I already told you all about my adventures on Monday, but maybe the part you didn’t hear about was how sunburned I got. It was more than a little, and my skin was exceedingly sore. Putting on my socks felt like an angry cat scratching my legs with his freshly sharpened claws. Just kidding. It wasn’t that bad, but it did hurt a lot. It’s fine now though, except for a little patch on my right leg that is still red and ouchy. It was worth it though!
Wednesday was fun because I had an excuse to wear the sweet new green tie I bought. It’s super sweet and green. Elder Cortez didn’t know about St. Patrick’s day and even after I explained it didn’t seem to catch the vision. What a shame. At least I got to pinch him. Hehehe I also decorated my planner all fun and festive for the occasion.
This week is transfer week, but I’m pretty sure neither I nor my companion will be leaving. We won’t know for sure for a few minutes though. The APs haven’t sent the transfers in yet. The cool thing about being zone leader is I get to know before everyone else. Whahaha!!!
Thursday was crazy because it was district coordination again. We left for Puerto around 1:00, arrived around 3:30, which gave us enough time to rustle up some grub before the meeting at 5:00, so we ate some food, and got to the church only to find that the meeting was changed to 6:00. That was annoying because we just had to wait around for another hour, and because we still had to get home that night. It didn’t get over ‘til about 8:00 and we headed to the terminal to catch a shuttle to go back to Roxas. Finally we squished ourselves into the vehicle and headed on home. The stranger to my left must’ve been super sleepy because he was snoozing after only like 10 minutes. It was sort of awkward. After like 30 minutes he started resting his head on my shoulder. It was funny because the first time he did it the song on the radio was singing, “Somebody to lean on. Somebody… somebody… somebody to lean on.” Then he leaned on me. Hahahaha fun stuff! We got home around 11:30 and still woke up on time for exercising the next morning. I believe in the enabling power of the atonement! You should too! :)
Our investigators are still doing pretty good! We’re planning on a marriage on April 1st, and then going straight from the Mayor’s office the baptismal font. It’s super exciting!!!
We just watched 17 miracles earlier today and I really like the part where the lady is sitting on a rock refusing to go on, then her daughter says a prayer and a pie appears on the ground. I don’t know what the date was when that happened, but I did feel it worth mentioning today considering Pie day has just passed us. I didn’t eat a pie, but I did consider it, and opted out because I didn’t want to carry it around for the next 2 hours. We did have ice cream though that night and I pretended I had some pie to go with it, so maybe that counts. Haha

That’s about all the excitement for this week. I’d like to say more but typing on this key board is really frustrating because the keys are really stiff. I do have the patience to say this though. Mahal ko kayo! And have a nice week!!!

Elder Fawson

Thursday, March 16, 2017

It's a shame that swimming is bawal, but the white handbook says nothing about wading.

Hello everyone.

I had a pretty awesome week this week! Lets take this one day at a time. 

Last Monday after I e-mailed you we went to the store, bought all the stuff and made some delicious cookies, so that was fun! and tasty too! I'll include some photos for you to try to comprehend how good they tasted. :)

Tuesday we went to Taytay to do exchanges with the Elders over there. It was like a 2 hour ride by bus to get there but it's okay, because it was playing fun music the whole way. It played the Happy Days song, and some other good ones too that I don't remember of the top of my head. It was a good exchange though. I worked with Elders Petersen and Beltran. they have some good investigators who will probably be baptized next month. Also that night, Elder Petersen shared his Nutella and pretzels with me, so I guess you could say it was a successful exchange! hahaha

Wednesday was almost a full day of work in our own area, which was good because we were able to find a new family. This is the Valdez family. They are a friend of the member that was working with us and we had a really nice first lesson with them. they didn't go to church yesterday, but I'm thinkin' they'll make it next week. Prayer is real. It's worked for me in situations like this more than a few times!

Thursday we did a service project for a member in our branch and dug a really big whole. It was cool. I was super masipag [industrious]! I'll send you some photo documentation of that too. We also had an annoying thing happen about the DeGuzman family this day. Their marriage papers are going to take a long time to process, so they won't be able to get baptized on the 25th, so it'll be on April 1st instead. hopefully it's not just a great big April fools joke! hahaha

Nothing overly exciting happened on Friday except that it was my 1/2 birthday. In 6 more months and I'll be 20 years old. Crazy huh? I was hoping to eat half a cake, but we didn't have any cake so I didn't.

On Saturday something super scary happened. We had just finished teaching a less-active and we were stepping out of his house, I slipped on one shoe, looked around and couldn't find my other one. I was sort of freaking out inside 'cause this is my last pair. I haven't gotten my package yet with my new ones yet. We were looking everywhere (I was hopping everywhere) and we finally found it like 50 ft down the road. I have no idea how it got there, I'm just happy we found it. Shoe's don't just walk away without anyone's foot inside it. It's really weird. I still don't get it.

Sunday was awesome 'cause we had 9 investigators at church. The whole Deguzman (soon to be Robles) family was there, along with some people we haven't met before, but the members just brought some friends with them, so that was awesome! Also the Less-active guy, Ronny, came to for the first time in over a year. It's so fun when lots of people are there! 

Today was way fun. We had a district activity at the beach and did lots of fun things. The water here is a lot warmer than it is in California. It's a shame that swimming is bawal, but the white handbook says nothing about wading. Considering my long legs, I can wade a bit farther out than others too, so that was way awesome!!! We did some sand art. I think mine was the best. It's a leprechaun, because it's almost St. Patrick's day. He's standing next to his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

That about sums up my week. We should be seeing a baptism on the 25th still though for Sister Mary Mae DeGuzman. She's the sister of Sister Marissa who will be getting married. So you can all keep your fingers crossed for that! :)

-Elder Fawson

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The only thing that could have made it better is if we'd had second breakfast...

Hello everyone!

This week most certainly was super busy! After our P-day on Tuesday we went back to Manila on Wednesday for MLC which was fun. A lot of my batch was there, like Elder Zesiger, Sister Barton, Sister Holzworth, Sister Thatcher, and more. The sisters were with us in the MTC. They'll be going home the transfer after next, so that's super crazy!!! MLC was awesome though. We talked a lot about what we learned from Elder Bednar. Not so much about what he said, but how he taught. He asked lots of questions that made us think and evaluate ourselves. As a mission we are going to try to teach our investigators more like that. Not just teaching doctrine and stuff, but really understanding our investigators concerns and questions, and helping them over come those. Inspired questions are hard! All the travel and stuff was totally worth it though. We got fed 2 meals there. Breakfast, and lunch! It was super tasty. The only thing that could have made it better is if we'd had second breakfast, but I don't think he knows about second breakfast. We didn't have afternoon tea either ('cause that's bawal) but they did give us some tasty cookies at the end! :)

I'm glad you were thinking about Rhea, Mom. She is doing really great and we were able to teach her one time this week, however there is some unfortunate news. She is moving back to Negros. That's where she is from. She came here to Roxas visiting her aunt and has been here now for the last 2 years. Just last Saturday her sister sent her some money to fly back home to Negros. She wasn't planning on going back until June or July, but now she is leaving later today. :( I find it more than a coincidence that the week after we start teaching her this happens. Satan is so sneaky! We will refer her to the missionaries over there though, and I'm sure everything will all work out. She will be baptized, whether Satan likes it or not. :) She's super prepared talaga! [really!]

I'm really diggin' this whole Book of Mormon in 90 days too! I'v never really read the Book of Mormon just looking for a specific focus, like the atonement, before. It's really awesome though. I'm only in 1 Nephi 17, and have already learned a lot. It helps me to focus more when I'm looking for specific things. Sometimes when I'm reading it's like I'm reading, but when I finish a column I'm like, "huh?" Often times I would have just been like "ah what ever" and kept reading, but now it's like "ah snap. What if there was some scripture I should have marked there?" and I read it again, and there really is something I would have missed. It's cool. The Book of Mormon is cool. True story!

Last Friday as we were walking around (like we do everyday) I saw this little girl and was like "kamusta ate?" [how are you, sister?] Then I noticed her eyes were all cross-eyed as she looked at me. It was really strange. I don't know if her eyes are always like that or if she was just so amazed at my crazy height, blazing red hair, and surprisingly authentic Filipino accent that it boggled her brain. I think it must have been the last. haha It was funny though, and a nice reminder that I'm not from here. I here all the time, "Grabe ang tangkad mo!" [you are tall] and "Bigyan mo ako ng height mo!" [give me your height!]  but this was different. It was like sheer amazement. It made me laugh to myself. :)

Another thing that was nice is that last P-day we wandered around our area and took lots of photos of the cool places. It's really beautiful here! Not only the awesome oceanic landscape, but my adobo I cooked up too! :) My companion doesn't look too bad either. He's my first white companion since the MTC. hahahaha

Elder Cortez

Robert cooks up his own adobo

Awesome Oceanic landscape :)
I hope you all have a great week and have a lot of fun with whatever you're all doing. Heidi, have fun doing your "chemistry homework." *wink ;) Mahal ko kayo!

Elder Fawson

Friday, March 3, 2017

I do know that Elder Bednar is a true Apostle of God.

Helo po sa lahat!

Last week was super crazy!!! It was actually quite normal until about Friday. We found a new investigator on Tuesday and when we went back on Friday and she had already read the entire Restoration pamphlet twice and apologized for not answering the questions in the back. hahaha Usually people just read the first few sentences and then tell us they were so busy and had 0 time to read. She is really prepared. She has a good friend that's a member and has been really wanting to learn more. Unfortunately we didn't teach her on Friday because we had to go to Puerto, and we haven't been able to see her again because we didn't get home until late last night. I'm excited to teach her again though. Her name is Rhea. Feel free to pray for her that everything still goes smoothly! :)

The Philippines, Manila Mission all together!
On Friday we went to Puerto (like I just said) and slept there before going to the airport at 5:00am to catch our flight to the main land. Once we got off the plane we, all 18 of us, crammed into 2 cars build only for 7 people each. The 7 sisters in one, and the 10 elders in the other. These are not small Elders mind you. :) So we survived the next hour drive to the Buendia Chapel and that's when we met Elder Bednar. It was super awesome. He had given us a few talks to read and study before hand and when he was there he just asked us the things we learned, asked us questions and let us open to ask him questions. He was there for about 3 hours, and it was such a great experience. I didn't get to shake his hand, but I do know that he's a true Apostle of God. It was awesome. I don't have a lot of time to explain everything that was said, but he talked to us about how the Book of Mormon is true, and how we can more effectively help our investigators know too. I learned a lot. When I get home you can read my notes about it. :) After he talked to us he went to the area office and there was a broadcast to the whole Philippines where he spoke to everyone. It was super awesome too! 

After all that I was able to work in my last area on Sunday in Bonifacio 6 ward. It was fun to see a lot of old faces from like 4 weeks ago. One of my investigators back then, Dorriteo, got baptized on Feb 18 and I was able to give him the Aaronic priesthood. It was way awesome. Also the Mina family got married and Sister Jam and Karla will be baptized on March 18. I'm not in that area anymore, but it was so fun to see how all the people are doing and watching the people I taught getting baptized and stuff. I must say it was quite a success considering all that, and that we had 2 dinner appointments. :) 

On Monday we went to the airport really early again, flew back to Puerto, and had our zone conference. It was a really short one, only about 3ish hours, but awesome none-the-less. Then, right after zone conference we had interviews with president Ostler, which we didn't know was going to happen until after zone conference was over. It was super surprising, but great too. I always like talking to him. He's so wise. He is definitely called of God! By the time all that was over it was almost 8:00pm. We still have a 2 1/2 hour shuttle ride back to Roxas. I was so tired when we finally got home that I just changed, prayed, and went straight to sleep. I had a dream that there were these 2 kids I went to high school with, Seth and Jeremy, and they were with the creepy guy from the movie, Series of Unfortunate Events, and he was forcing them to eat these brain sandwiches. It was really weird. 

So yeah. Crazy stuff! We haven't worked in our area for 4 days now and tomorrow we are going back to Manila for MLC (a meeting of all the zone leaders with president Ostler), and won't be back until Thursday. The craziness just never ends. :)

Thanks so much for the recipes! Our oven will be so pleased to be of use. It's always sad when an oven cannot fulfill the measure of it's creation! haha It's also sad when 2 diligent missionaries don't have any cookies to eat when they get home! hahahaha

It’s actually some sort of weird style here to not clip your thumb nail. some people have nicely trimmed nails except the thumb which is like an inch or an inch and a half long. It's sort of creepy in my opinion! Ever since my toe incident, I've been making good use of my clippers! :) 

That's cool that Heidi's the president of the Laurels now. That is a feat that I never managed to accomplish. Good job, Heidi! Also it's cool that she's doing her homework now. It may not have been for the reasons you had hoped, but sometimes that's how it works out. Just tell her to stick with the right kind of chemistry! hahaha That would be embarrassing if I was the only one awarded the grand prize of $1,000 on my 18th birthday. hahahahahahahhahaha

Anywho, I'm doing well here in Roxas. I am really liking it here! Being a missionary is fun. If you haven't tried it yet, I definitely suggest it! Mahal ko kayo!

Elder Fawson

RE Chayse’s wedding invitation: “That's super weird. I remember when I got the invitation to her graduation barbecue a few months ago. I never did make it to that. :) Maybe if they could post-pone the wedding a few more months I could attend to. :)”