Friday, April 28, 2017

I have a new violin...It's a Bach festival miracle.

Hello world.

This week was pretty neat. I'm officially 18 months old in the mission now. If I were a girl I'd be going home next week, but I'm not a girl, so I won't be going home next week. I get to wait until October instead. :) It is weird that my sister batch is leaving though. weird na weird talaga! [weird, really wierd!]

Last week was really busy! We left to go to Puerto last Tuesday morning and didn't come back until Thursday night. Tuesday was our interviews with President Ostler. While we were waiting for our turn we all watched The Go-Getter. It's a really good movie that is super inspiring to work hard and do your best all the time. I think it's President's favorite because he has the whole mission watch it about every 4 or 5 months. I’ve seen it almost 5 times now. :) It's a good one though. You should find it and watch it if you haven't already. And if you already have seen it, watch it again. :) 

On Wednesday was zone conference, so that was almost an all day thing. Elder Cortez sang the "Savior Redeemer of my Soul" song. I think that some spirits even joined in while we were singing.The spirits of old 95 year old men who died of lung cancer. hahaha Just kidding. We didn't sound half bad. I worked with the Puerto elders after the conference and helped them find a bunch of new investigators. It was fun. We found a couple of good potential families for them to teach. 

On Thursday was our district coordination where we told the district president all about the things going on here in Roxas and Taytay districts. After than we headed home and got back around 10:00. That's a lot better than times in the past. Once it was about 11:30. 

That's fun you went to Long Beach California. One of the couple missionaries here, Elder and Sister Adduru are from there. They are Filipino, but have been there for lots of years. They're super nice! 

I'm glad to hear that the Bach festival survived another year without me. I guess it's not much of a surprise though. Bach was remembered hundreds of years before I even existed. My not being there was probably just an inconvenience. Sort of like microwaves. Humans existed for centuries without microwaves, but now that we have them it's hard to get by without. I would know. :) But speaking of the Bach festival, one more significant thing happened in Puerto last week. We were in the mall buying some socks for Elder Cortez when all of a sudden, there was this violin sitting up on the shelf. It was really shiny and caught my gaze. Later that day I told sister Ostler about it and to make a long story short, I have a new violin at my apartment right now. Technically it's the mission's violin, but I can use it while I'm here on Palawan. Cool eh? It's a Bach Festival miracle. I was even able to perform last Saturday at a baptism. I played the "I like to look for rainbows" song. It wasn't Bach, but hey! I don't think things like that just happen by coincidence. This was destiny! Maybe Bach made a special request for me up there because he knew that I would be missing out on his birthday party. It's cool when things like that happen!!! This is right up there with the Crest toothpaste miracle a couple weeks ago. :)

So yeah. That about sums up all my goings on here in Palawan. The work goes on. We should be having a baptism the first week of May, so that's exciting. He's Jomar, the oldest Rublez kid who all just got baptized a few weeks ago. All is well in Roxas! Roxas prospereth. All is well!

Mahal ko kayo. have a nice week!

Elder Fawson

Monday, April 17, 2017

Saw my first wild monkey and my new shoes fit perfectly. SALAMAT!

Hello everybody!!!

That's super cool you went to see the Lamb of God performance. Do you
remember before my mission when you got in the van and it started
singing opera-ish music about Jesus? That was the Lamb of God. If you
don't remember that, then that's okay. It's one of the things we're
allowed to listen to, so I listen to it probably like 3 times a week
while working out in the morning. There's nothing like doing sit-ups
while Lazarus is being brought back to life!

Elder Fawson's workout soundtrack!
That's awesome you have names to take to the temple. I've been having
an increased desire to do family history when I get home. Also that's
fun that Jessica was there. I haven't heard anything about her in
quite a while. Is she planning on getting married any time soon? hahaha

It's a bummer I wasn't there to dye any eggs with everyone! They could
have used another creative mind over there. It's a good thing Heidi
was there to help! I think this is the second Easter in my entire life
I haven't eaten any hard boiled eggs. We didn't have any time
yesterday to do it. We were super busy doing missionary things.

One of our recent converts was super sick for the last few days. She
was actually in the Hospital for a few days last week so we went there
to give her a blessing. The hospital is in the most inconvenient place
ever. To get there it's like 2 kilometers out of town down this bumpy
dirt road into the mountains. They didn't think that out very clearly
in my opinion. She was feeling better on Sunday so she came to church,
but then after the second hour she felt sick again and they went home
early. She seemed okay when we went there that evening though, so that
was good!

We also found this super cool new investigator. The oldest son of the
family we baptized a few weeks ago brought a friend to church 2 weeks
ago, and that friend, Vincent, is now being taught by the missionaries
in the other area. He's going to be baptized next month. Last Friday
while walking down the road Vincent saw us and told us go go over
there, so we did and he introduced us to his friend, Emily. She is
like 27 years old and really wants to know about the plan of
salvation. It's like a super awesome chain of referrals. Also Emily
has a boyfriend that she wants us to meet as well. So yeah. We had a
really good first lesson with Emily last night and I'm having high
hopes for her! :)

Mom, I think your prayers of me not getting attacked by evil demon
spiders is working. This morning I was doing the dishes and
accidentally bumped the permetherin (crazy powerful bug killer) off
the shelf and it broke the lid off and about 1/3 of the bottle spilled
onto the ground. After mopping it up and shwooshing it out the door I
came back after a few minutes and saw about 5 dead insects on the
ground drowning in it. I don't think any spiders are coming around
that any time soon. :)

We went to Taytay on Saturday to do a baptismal interview over there
for a kid named Billyboy. It's like a 2 hour shuttle ride away so we
had hardly any time to work that day. We just left in the morning
around 8:00, I did the interview, then came back right afterward and
got back at about 1:30. It was really long, but totally worth it for 2
reasons. 1st and foremost, Billyboy passed and will be baptized on
Saturday. The 2nd was what I saw on the way there. There was something
in the road and the shuttle driver honked at it. I thought it was just
a dog or something, but what I saw run out of the way wasn't a dog at
all. It was a monkey! That's the first wild monkey I've ever laid eyes
on. It was super cool. I only saw hem for about 4 seconds, but he was
super cute! Heidi, feel free to be jealous! :)

I'm a little ahead of you in the Book of Mormon. Alma 26 was so 2 days
ago. hahaha I'm in Alma 31 now. Korihor is crazy! I won't tell you
anything else so I don't ruin it for you, but you're in for a treat!

Anywho, That's what I'm up to these days. Next weeks going to be
crazy. Tomorrow we're going to Puerto for interviews, Wednesday is our
zone conference in Puerto too, and Thursday is District coordination
in Puerto as well. Basically we won't be working in our area until
Friday. Rough stuff, but it's all okay. We'll figure something out!
Having a bunch of new pairs of socks will definitely help!!! Not to
mention some smarties to munch on on the way. :) That's right. I got
my package!!!!!!! We're going to bake some brownies some time. Maybe
not today because we're crazy busy this week, but it will definitely
happen soon! :) My new shoes fit perfectly too. SALAMAT! SALAMAT!
MARAMING SALAMAT TALAGA!!! [Thank you! Thank you! Thank you very much!!!]

That about sums it up. Mahal ko kayo!!!

Elder Fawson

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

People want to poke my big nose all the time...It's really weird, actually.

Magandang tanghali! [Good afternoon!] That's what I said to a little girl earlier today while walking to the computer shop. She was walking on the side of the road, looked at me, then tripped on a rock and almost fell. I felt sort of sorry for her. haha It was just another nice reminder of my abnormalness here in the Philippines. haha

Before I forget, thanks for knowing my card was close to expiration. I just have a mindset that everything is like sardines, because "sardines never go bad." That's what I told Elder Cortez this morning as he threw away a half eaten can of them that had been in the fridge for almost 3 months now. Apparently debit cards are an exception to the rule and mine will last until June, 2017. You are so on top of things Mom. Salamat!

General conference was really great! The new temple being built in the Philippines is within our mission boundaries, so that means when it's done we won't have to all the way to Quezon City anymore. That'll be nice!!! I really liked Mark Palmer's talk too. I don't remember partying with him on his house boat, but I do remember enjoying listening to his accent. Whenever I here Australians speak I always think of when Dad tries to do it. hahaha I don't have my notes with me at the moment and can't remember exactly what he said, but I do remember what President Uchtdorf said about having sunshine in our souls. That's really one of my favorite hymns! It's really true that even if our lives aren't going the greatest that we can still be happy if Jesus is our light. Also I really loved the guy who talked Sunday morning and said "don't look around, look up!" If you look around you'll just see all the unfairness and crazy kwan of the world, but if you look up you can see the positiveness. You can have faith that Heavenly Father will help in all our lives. We can trust in the promise that "all the unfairness about life can be made right through the atonement (Preach My Gospel)." True story!

This week is Holy Week. Filipinos take Holy Week really seriously. Last year I was in my first area in Makati and it was crazy. Every single street corner had some karaoke going, lots of partying and I even heard rumors that someone got crucified in Tondo. (I'm glad I'm not assigned over there right now!) I don't know all the traditions and stuff about it, but I do know someone who does. His name is Google. Just as the scriptures and the Holy Ghost can give us answers to our spiritual and moral questions of the soul, Google too "giveth to all man liberally and upbraideth not." But let him ask with good internet connection. :) 

Say "Happy birthday" to Joseph for me and remind him that I still haven't forgotten that one time he got a cup of lemonade for me all those years ago. :)

I do have one more thing to say before I end mine epistle. A few days ago after I was done exercising in the morning I looked at my bed and saw a mammoth spider on the wall. I was afraid to mess with him lest he crawl all over my bed and hide underneath it or something, so I just kept an eye on him all morning. He didn't move one bit. The scary thing is that when it was time to leave I forgot about him and when we got back that evening he was gone. It took me a long time to fall asleep that night as I wondered where the spider was. We never saw him again until this morning he was hiding behind our couch. Elder Cortez took action and slurped him up with the vacuum. He really was huge though. His leg span was like the size of the palm of my hand. They were thick hairy legs too. I snagged a photo of him but I still don't know why the computer won't show my photos. I can look at them on our portable DVD player but not on the computer. Very mysterious. Anyways, the spider is gone and I am still alive. YAY

mammoth spider!!!

People say all the time to me, "ang tangos ng ilong mo!!!" [you have a big nose!!!] then they want to poke it. It's really weird actually. So, you can all know what to expect if you ever come to live in the Philippines. haha 

Hopefully the water is all fixed up at the farm! Our water wasn't working for a few hours yesterday morning. It's a good thing I've learned to be scanty with my bathing water! haha It's definitely a nice skill to have! Say hi to everyone for me! Mahal ko kayo at ang lahat ng inyong mga matangos na ilong. :) [I love you and all of your noses.]

I hope you all have a great week! Ingat!

Elder Fawson

Monday, April 3, 2017

6 Baptisms on Saturday!

Hello everyone! 

This week was super awesome! We didn't have a lot of time to be out and proselyting, but that's 'cause we were so busy doing all these other things. On Tuesday afternoon we left to Puerto so we could catch a flight to Manila Wednesday morning. The moment we arrived we went directly to the Temple and did a session. It was an amazing experience. This is my first time to do that in over a year. I forgot how awesome it is in there! They did a little bit of rearranging at the end of last year and I was a little bummed to see that my favorite chandelier has been replaced. It's still super beautiful though. Now it's one of those ones that has like 7,000 little glass balls that make lots of mini rainbows. I think that the last chandelier was too awesome to exist in this world any longer and was taken up to heaven as Elijah was. It's probably hanging in a celestial museum shining light onto holy objects such as the gold plates, and the Sword of Laban. 

After the Temple we went to work in the AP’s area for a few hours which just so happened to be my first area in Makati. You may not remember me talking 14 months ago about one Divina Lopez, but I showed Elder Zesiger to her house and she was home. The missionaries had stopped visiting them a little after I transferred, but she was really excited to see us. We taught her and Elder Zesiger can now finish off what I started and baptize her after she comes to church a few more times! I really miss that family! 

Thursday was MLC so we got to learn lots of sweet stuff from Pres. Ostler about how to find better and make our prayers more meaningful. It was really great! The crazy thing is that our flight back to Palawan was unexpectedly moved forward so we had to finish up MLC a bit faster than usual and get to the airport. (I didn't get my package yet by the way. Maybe I'll get it in a couple weeks when President comes to Palawan for Zone Conference. Lets pray for that! haha)

The most exciting part of the week was Saturday. Saturday morning was the wedding of Sister Marissa and brother Jeolito, then that evening their whole family got baptized! The mayor was funny during the marriage. She gave them lots of advice about being a happy couple and everything, but they have already been living together for like 15 years. Also it was pretty much just everything we taught them from The Family, A Proclamation to the World, and the Law of Chastity, then she spent like 5 minutes warning them to be careful with their wedding rings or it could get caught on something and "putolin ang daliri mo (rip off your finger)." The baptism was really great. I got to baptize the dad, Jeolito and their 9 year old, Jiny. Jiny said something really cool. Afterwards she said to me, "I was feeling nervous before you baptized me because the water was hot, but afterwards I was really happy." I think she was really feeling the spirit though, because to me the water was sort of chilly, and it was only up just passed my knees. She was in passed her waist. Also it was really yellow again. hahaha. Then on Sunday they all bore their testimonies in Sacrament meeting. The only problem was that there wasn't a lot of time for the members to bear their testimonies because of the 6 confirmations that also happened. This is what being a missionary is all about! I would like to send some photos but the computer isn't letting me view my pictures for some reason so I can't send them. I'll figure it out sometime and send you them as soon as I can! 

That's a crazy awesome atonement analogy. You'll definitely have to remember that and figure out a way to express it more clearly and with fewer words so that when you are chosen to speak in General Conference yourself you can share it with the entire world. Then you can also show pictures of explosions and stuff. I always like it when they show pictures during the talks. :) That really is cool though! I had semi-similar ideas flowing through my head once at the beginning of my mission that led me to the conclusion that it's all about love.

 I don't remember if I told you about it or not, but it was more in a Harry Potter sense. Basically, Harry's mom died for Harry Potter which was the extreme expression of love. As Jesus himself said, "Greater love no man hath that that he should lay down his life for his friends." This act left a mark on Harry that protected him from the Dark Lord. Dumbledore explains at the end of the first movie, "This kind of mark cannot be seen. It lives within your very skin." He then explains that it was love. It's not a perfect example considering that Lily Potter wasn't resurrected, but these things are not without symbolism. Just as Harry's mom's love protected him from Lord Voldemort, Christ's love and atonement protect us from the effects of Satan. Thus, "sin and death are swallowed up in Christ." It's pretty cool. I love reading the Book of Mormon like this. I'll be finishing Mosiah tomorrow, and I'm super excited to see all the other referenced in there. Everyone always says the Book of Mormon is all about the atonement, but I didn't really get it until now.

That's a funny story about Grandpa. I guess everyone probably has at least one thing that brings the brutality out of them. I'm just glad that for Grandpa it's the apple trees, and not me! I wouldn't want him chasing me around with those pruning sheers! hahaha

That's awesome that Gary works at Taco Bell. He's one of the coolest people I know, and Taco Bell is one of the coolest restaurants that I know. It's sort of like cool squared. hahaha I have a plan that when you pick me up from the airport in about 6 1/2 months, before we go home we are going to Subway so I can eat a footlong, then Taco Bell so I can eat a Beefy 5 layer. I hope you're okay with that. :)

I am really happy you had a nice week and general conference. I'm excited to watch it this weekend! Anywho, I hope you have another super awesome week this week and I love you so much! Ingat!!!

Elder Fawson