Sunday, February 15, 2015

Week #18 - Happy Valentine's Day!

February 16, 2015


Well This week wasn't the best week in the world! We only worked three days due to sickness. We both had pretty bad lbm and super bad stomach cramps! But we still got the most OYMS out of all the companionships in our zone! So the was good! But bad news... we lost a family of investigators. They were going good then the past two times we have tried to visit them they run away and hide. It's really stupid because we make eye contact and they know we see them then they run inside and pretend nobody is home. Oh well. Anyways good news! We have 4 baptisms next week! Really looking forward to that but we need to finish the lessons so a lot of hard work this week! Also I am still in fact lactose intolerant as I tested out. Ugh. I gave my first pair of pants away to a member that just got his mission call to Iloilo! He only had one pair of pants so I decided to help him out. Also another heart crusher. I don't know if I told you about this last week but we helped a family fill out a self reliance packet (lays out all their expenses for the month and their average income and everything. The tatay (father) makes on average about 3000 pesos per month (that's $66) and he has to spend double that to support him family (wife and 4 kids). Yeah that was a real shock. Basta, we found 9 new investigators this week! So hopefully they progress and make up for our losses! Also the lady we taught the word of wisdom to has stopped smoking!!!!!!!! Finally! But she still refuses to come to church... Also climbed another coconut tree this week and I got pictures! Sadly my companion didn't feel the need to take pictures when I got to the top of the tree. Just halfway up. I don't understand the thought process of foreigners sometimes.  Also gave our dog the first bath it has ever had in its entire life. I don't think it likes getting wet... Oh well!!! So that's pretty much it! I love you all! 

Elder Child

*He got the two boxes that we sent in November and December, which is much faster than the Christmas boxes that we sent last Fall and he received in January.  I guess there is no real pattern for the delivery service.  

*He said they find most of their investigators by tracting.  He said everyone in the Philippines wants to talk to everyone.  His companion will break the ice by asking if they have any food that they can share with the missionaries.  Then Brett will joke that he is from Mindanao (<--that is a mission in the Philippines that is exclusively for native Filipinos because "American's can't go there or they will get shot").  He says they all laugh then invite them in to visit.

 One of Elder Child's little friends

 Mini Elders' Estrada & Child

  Mini Elders' Estrada & Child

 Elder Child with some of his little friends

 How they bring water to their home from the community well

 Talosa Zone Training Meeting

Their "pet" dog - Brett was teasing it with his PopTart - which he requested that I send more of!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week #17

February 9, 2015

Akong pamily ngan mga sankay,

This week has been awesome!!! And it flew by so fast. As the time passes it just goes by faster and faster. It's weird, disappointing and a little exciting all at the same time! So I will start with the bad this week. Our water filter stopped working at our apartment and we didn't realize it for several days until we both realized that the water did taste strange. In those couple days (4) we started getting stomach cramps, lbm, and we were feeling dizzy all the time. We thought it was just the flu so we didn't tell anyone and just went on with our work. But today we decided to finally contact the office and Sister Maurer (the mission presidents wife) gave us a list of drugs which we are currently taking. Not fun. Basta!! This week we also had a lot of success!!! We now have 11 investigators with a baptismal dates and we have now officially reactivated 4 less active families! Also we had 90 OYMs (open your mouth/intro on the street kind of thing) which we were informed is the most out of our entire zone so that was pretty exciting! We also have 13 new investigators! Sadly transfer day is in two weeks so I have no idea if I will be able to continue to teach them! Let's cross our fingers! I got a new camera so lots of pictures! Also the weather has been really weird recently! It's cold for the Philippines but still pretty hot for America! Also on Saturday we had a super spiritual lesson with a less active family and the tatay/father, the only member in the family because all his kids are below 8, opened up to us about not coming to church. He described the persecution he received from neighbors, so called friends, and even his wife for being Mormon. He even started crying. So we had an on the spot lesson on prayer and shared the scripture in Matthew that says if you are persecuted for Christ's sake you will be saved. or something along those lines! It was an awesome lesson! Also I am getting way better at speaking Waray-Waray! hopefully I don't get transferred to a Cebuano area next because I want to learn to speak this language first! Well that's all for this week! I love you!

Elder Child 

*Brett received a package of notes from the kids at the Kamiakin Seminary.  He was so happy to get them and would love to receive more handwritten letters!  I can always include them in his monthly box so if you don't want to have to mail it all the way to the Philippines, we can send it from here.

Pictures 1-2: Investigators
Picture 3: the kids they are teaching where one is deaf and unable to talk so they have to write everything down during the lessons
Pictures 4-5: birthday dinner at a members house - that is their kitchen
Picture 6: Shrine to Mary in the courtyard of their apartment complex
Picture 7: Steel structured building after Typhoon Yolanda (November 2013)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Week #16

February 2, 2015


This past week went by so fast!! We did a ton of work and had a lot of progression in our investigators! We also found 7 new investigators and committed 4 investigators to get baptized on February 28!! And they are all super excited and progressing fast! I just had McDonalds like 30 minutes ago and my stomach isn't feeling to good! Also on Tuesday and Wednesday I had exchanges with the district leader so I had to be on my best behavior... even though I always am!! Let's see here, some cool and a little scary things that happened this week are I saw my first cobra! We were walking and I almost stepped on it cause it slithered out in front of us! It spread its hood and everything so we ran away! And then the second thing was bad. So region 8, the Tacloban mission, is the only mission in the Philippines with haunted apartments. We were walking in Canmogsay, our second area, and we were walking by the old elders apartment, which is now abandoned, and we saw a lady dressed all in white looking at us. The hair on my arms went all weird and I got goosebumps all over my body! It was scary! Anyways something pretty awesome also happened! My companion and I arranged a one day mission with our branch and we split up into groups and visited a lot of the less actives in our branch. That was Saturday. Then Sunday the attendance jumped from 100 last week to 130 this week!! That's ward status! The branch president was super excited and said he wanted to do another one day mission again! I guess the missionaries are kind of smart after all... Haha sadly I didn't get very many pictures this week but I'll send what I got! Email me back! I love you

Elder Child

Gretchen's notes:
*These two pictures are Brett on a trike - a motorcycle with a very large side car attached.  The little boy is Alex, the son of a member in Brett's second area
*Very interesting...I asked him about the "hauntings" and here is what he said: A lot of the apartments are haunted. There is even an apartment in Samar somewhere that is next to an abandoned morgue. There is an apartment in my district that has something that knocks on the bed frame at night. All night. In sets of 3. And last year there was a sister that went home because she saw the white lady in their apartment. And there is another apartment for sisters that when they sleep they float.