Monday, January 26, 2015

Week #15

January 26, 2015

Maupay nga kulop!

This past week has seemed to pass by so slow and I have no idea why! We have been so busy! Anyways to start off with sorry I'm late! We had a zone activity this morning and we hiked some water falls! I'll include pictures! This week has been super busy! We found a family of 7 in our second area who are super interested in the gospel and I'm excited to see how that turns out! Our other family with the 4 kids is progressing great and the parents decided to start taking the discussions gihapon so that's awesome! Oh and just a few minutes ago as I was walking in downtown Tacloban and I saw one of the elders from my zone in the MTC when I was zone leader so that was super awesome to see him! Also the couple that had the smoking problem went off the deep end and I don't think they are going to stop. But I guess that's their choice! Oh and also we found a couple in our first are that are super interested also so we are teaching them! Did I tell you I have eaten balot? Look it up on google! It's quite good! It's good to see that everyone is getting along great there in the tri! Who is Dalen? (the guy that asked Erin) Also I climbed a coconut tree the other day and that was super fun but sadly I didn't have my camera. I have also lost 15 pounds which is awesome! Oh and I see my little shrine is coming along great just from the pictures I have seen! haha Right now I am sick. again. It's terrible but I will suffer through it cause I am just that awesome! Well if you are still awake email me back! Love you!

Elder Child

Gretchen's Additions from going back and forth:
*Advice for Evan after breaking his arm: Siempre! Keep being awesome! But think about something before you do it. And he is way more tough than those other boys!
*What he teaches a lot to investigators: if they make the sacrifices to come to church and read the Book of Mormon then God will help them. We see it all throughout the Bible and the Book of Mormon. It's part of Ether 12:27 God gives men weaknesses so they will humble themselves and realize that they need his help. And if they do he promises to make their weaknesses strength
*Everybody wants their picture taken especially with the tall gwapo (handsome) american :) haha and yes the climate is amazing for the skin! Philipino skin is so smooth!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Week #14

January 19, 2015


Well I did get my Christmas boxes!! I'm glad I got all the goods for the wimpy typhoon that came through on Saturday. Honestly I was a little disappointed with how weak it was. We did have to stay inside the whole day though. But me and my companion went down to the ocean while the storm was going on and took a few pictures! This past week has been pretty fun! We found 4 new investigators and even discovered part of our two areas that we didn't even know existed! Yes my companion and I are in charge of two areas so it's a little harder for us! Oh well. Also I have a question. Is my debit card still active? If so am I able to withdraw personal money from it from the atms here? Because I need personal money to buy anything other than food, transportation, or anything part of missionary work! Let's see here.... I've noticed this past week that when I slack off on my language study it starts to slip away so I gotta work harder! Also I finished the Book of Mormon! That was awesome! So now I am reading out of both the BoM and the Bible because the people here like to be taught out of the bible because they are all catholic. Also some guy tried to chastise the LDS church while we were out proselyting and tried telling us that our faith was for nothing so we had to set him straight and he walked away a little humbled. haha so that was fun also! Phrase for the week: Amu la gihapon. Means same as always. I really have nothing to report this week so email me back quick! I love you!


Elder Child

Gretchen's Notes:
*His new investigators all are in the same family.  One of the children is deaf and mute so they teach him by writing everything down.
*We asked about his apartment and its amenities.  He said they have a fridge and a small oven.  No microwave or hot running water.
*The Pope never went into Tacloban because of the storm.
*Pictures 1-2: two of his Christmas boxes that arrived in January
*Pictures 3-4: a Book of Mormon scripture cover that Elder Estrada made for Brett
*Pictures 5-6: down in the ocean after the "wimpy" storm

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week #13

January 12, 2015

Maupay na udto! (maupay na gabii para ha imo),

Well this past week has been pretty uneventful. There were really only a couple things that stood out! I'd just like to start out by saying that I haven't received any packages yet. I have to wait till the end of this week because it is transfer week and the office is really busy. But anyways I had two exchanges this past week and they were pretty fun! One was with the Zone Leader so that was pretty fun! And another was with a Samoan so that was even better because Polynesians are so fun! One thing I did realize though on my exchanges is that either my companion is lazy or he is just taking it easy on my because I'm new. The time on my exchanges was hard work and it was awesome! Oh and another thing! I'm not sick anymore!! So that's good! Also I'm almost finished with the Book of Mormon! I started it when I first entered the MTC and its crazy how much I have learned from it! We also found a new investigator on Saturday night! We were walking along the street and some lady just called us over and asked us to share our message with her and she wants us to return again as soon as possible! Well I hit my three month mark in 3 days! It's crazy to think that I have been gone for 3 months already!! Time really does fly on the mission. Phrase in waray-waray for the week: Maaram ako pinaagi ha pagula ni JesuKristo makalimpyo kita. Maaram ako gihapon naghibaro ang Ebanghelyo ha akon pamilya. Malipayon kami uban ha ebanghelyo ha aton kinabuhi. Don't put that in google translate because it wont know! haha there are 4 elders going home tomorrow from our zone cause they just finished their 2 years. To be honest I am kind of jealous! But oh well! Being here is fun! Well I love you all and keep the pictures coming!

Elder Child

Gretchen's notes from going back & forth with Brett:
*Translation of the phrase at the end:  I know that through the atonement of Jesus Christ we have the ability to be made clean. I know the gospel has helped my family. We are happy with the gospel in our lives.
*Translation of the greeting at the beginning: Good "lunch time" (good evening for you)
*I asked him if he was going to get transferred and he said this: No for the first 12 weeks in the mission you stay with the same companion and you do the 12 week program which helps you get accustomed to missionary life. And yes I have told him a lot of things about working harder but he doesn't acknowledge a lot of the things I say. It's like he thinks I'm stupid. And he talks to me like that too. Anyways I now know what it looks like for someone to be addicted to a cell phone so I would like to apologize. Each of the companionships gets a cell phone for their area and he is ALWAYS on it. We are supposed to switch off every day and he tries his hardest to find excuses to use it at all times on my days. I even tried telling him he was addicted and he just told me no. Also another thing, I think I heard somewhere that the Philippines is the texting capital of the world. (We looked it up and it's true - 601 texts per person in the Philippines vs. 301 in the US)
*He told me about a delicious dessert they have there called "Mango Float".  We looked it up on the internet and will try making it.

*Pictures - #1 & #2 of a beetle they found outside their apartment.  Apparently the people are small in the Philippines, but the bugs are not. #3 "They have flapjacks in the Philippines!" He was so excited when someone made these for him.  #4 Elder Child's morning in a picture - every morning!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year - Week #12

January 5, 2015


Well to start off with I would like to apologize for the cut off on email last week. We had a brown out (or a black out). So all of Tacloban lost power! Anyways, I am trying a new internet shop this time so hopefully I can send pictures! One thing that I have realized during this past week has been that time is passing so fast!!! It's crazy! So there is really just one experience I would like to share with you today! And it happened last night. We were eating dinner at a members house and we had just finished and we were about to start the lesson when we got a call. The call was from a mother of a 20 year old sister in our branch who has had heart and lung problems since she was born. But you wouldn't know it if you looked at her! Anyways they asked us to come to her house immediately because their daughter had collapsed. As soon as I looked at her the first thought that I had was, she's gotta be dead! And she looked like she was! Anyways we found out she had a heart attack and when we felt for a pulse and breathing her heart was barely beating and she was barely breathing. Then they asked us to give her a blessing. During the blessing I received this overwhelming feeling of just warmth and somehow I knew she would be ok. When the blessing was over we laid her down on the floor (they didn't have beds) because she had been leaned up against the wall, and almost as soon as we laid her down she woke up! And about 5 minutes later she was walking around with the help of her father! It was an amazing thing to see and it was truly a miracle. It was a really big faith builder for me! Anyways, this past week I also got very sick. I had a fever wavering between 101 and 103 for about 3 days with super bad headaches but that's cured now! At the moment I have a throat infection so it hurts to eat. but I'm sure that'll get better soon too! Well over all this week has been awesome! Just today we had our zone activity and we hiked a mountain and got pictures with a Jesus statue! I will try and send pictures later! Well I love you all!!

Elder Child

Here are some other things he told me as we were going back and forth last night:
-The rain that they are having is causing lots of flooding, which postponed the 7 baptisms they were supposed to have on Saturday.  Luckily it doesn't flood where he lives. 
-He is on augmentin and strepsils for his throat infection
-Some cool foods that he has eaten: Balot (half formed goose hard boiled), pig intestines (quite delicious and a little spicy), and dried fish - the whole fish - skin, head, and all
-He and his companion celebrated New Year's by playing chess and eating.  They had to be in their apartment for the night at 6:00 because everyone gets drunk there and it wouldn't be safe for them to be out

 Brett's first baptisms - December 27, 2014
 How Brett spent New Year's Eve
 Jesus Christ Landmark Ulot
 Zone Activity - January 5, 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Week #11

December 28, 2014


Well it hasn't been very eventful here since I Skyped but I'll try and make this work anyways! Skyping was awesome and it was great to see everyone! Since we last talked only a couple things have happened. I had my first two baptisms on Saturday! So that was pretty exciting! It's hard to describe the happiness you feel when you baptize someone! It's so amazing! I will include pictures. (Gretchen's note: his USB converter got a virus so we will have to wait for pictures) Also yesterday my companion and I went to teach a less active (Nanay Virgie) and it was the first time he made me teach an entire lesson by myself! The lady has been less active for about 15 years and she has been smoking that entire time. So naturally I had to teach about the word of wisdom... But it went amazing!! The spirit was so strong during the lesson and we helped her realize how damaging smoking is for her health and, together, we made a plan for her to gradually stop smoking over the next month! She also promised she would start coming to church again so we will see how this all turns out! Next we have to concentrate on her husband who has the same problem. The funny thing about this whole situation is that my companion has told me from the start that he doesn't like teaching less actives because they never listen. So I challenged him to visit one less active and we decided on her! And look how it turned out!! Basta, the language is coming slowly but constant. I can now understand somewhat what people are saying to me and SOMETIMES I can communicate back. haha I'll get it eventually! So we are trying an new internet cafe this week and i plugged in my usb memory card converter and the people here tell me there is a virus on it! The old internet cafe downloaded a virus onto my USB!!! ugh. Well email me back if you are still awake!! I love you!

Elder Child

Week #10

December 21, 2014

Maupay na gabii to you Washingtonians,

This week has been really fun! I am really adjusting to the language and getting to know everybody. This past week has been really awesome because I got two packages in the mail, gave two blessing, and we had a mission get together! We also found a poisonous frog in our apartment! Everyone in the mission is looking forward to Christmas! I don't know about Skype! Would you rather me Skype you on Christmas eve or on Christmas day?  It's kind of sad knowing I won't be home for Christmas this year or next year. But anyways I have my first two baptisms this coming Saturday! Kehli says she got in a fight at school so I will have to reply to her! Please tell her and dad I am sorry for not responding! I currently have about 4 filipino kids watching what I am writing. I have lost 5 pounds in the last week and I can tell these shoes are going to be destroyed by next month! So there are a lot of priests from other religions that like to debate with us and try and prove that we speak blasphemy. So my companion has referred me to a book called "The Day of Defense" (I think Grandpa Pirate would be interested) Any ways this book is a recording of two missionaries in the 1950s I think that were taken to trial by multiple Priests from religions and these two missionaries proved the LDS church is true using only the bible and 2 prophesies made by Joseph Smith. It's very interesting and its really going to help on my mission! Well anyways I have to email the mission president too so, Paghinay!

Elder Child