Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, February 27, 2012

27 February 2012

Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat!

Kamusta po kayo na?!
What a great surprise, it's been another busy and incredibly fast week. Monday-Wednesday morning we were in Tuguegarao, which meant 2 nights of having to bum at a different missionaries' apartment and with the awesome mattresses that leave a nice coil spring mark in the back when you wake up. I forgot what it is like to have a mattress that my feet don't hang off. On Monday night we had a "Zone Home Evening" which was fun for being able to get to know some missionaries a little better. After district meetings on Tuesday, we just bummed around in Tugue because by the time we would have got back we'd just have to leave again for the fireside. The fireside was really interesting. It's pretty sad that even after growing up in Utah my whole life, I have to come all the way to the Philippines to see leaders of our church. Before the fireside started, I made a fool of myself when Elder Nielsen (Quorum of the 70 and area presidency in Philippines) came up to greet the missionaries and when he asked me where I was from, I answered him in Tagalog. Then when he asked where at in Utah I answered again in Tagalog. You'd think my brain would have switched gears as soon as it saw another white person, or at least after the first response in Tagalog. When he walked away I thought, "Wow. That was dumb." Oh well. Life goes on I guess. I guess I've been speaking Tagalog too long! If I'm already this bad at speaking English at my 8 month mark, it should be really interesting after 24 months! Sis. Dibb (Young Women general president) took the majority of the time talking about Thomas S. Monson because she knows him a little better than most people being a daughter. It was really interesting to hear aspects of his life that most people don't really know. Did you know his favorite color is yellow? Or that every night when he gets home he feeds his chickens? Dad should be interested to know that he is also a WWII buff. She even left it for an open mic for anyone to ask any kind of question about President Monson. In the end, it left me realizing that even though he is our Prophet in this day to lead and guide all of us, he is also just a normal person that does some every day things and has hobbies. I think we all sometimes imagine him in a suit everyday either behind a desk or in the temple that does nothing else. As missionaries, we also managed to get a picture with Elder Nielsen before he left but Sis. Dibb was swarmed pretty quick with everyone that was there so I never got to say hi.
I feel dad's pain of being sick these few days. On Friday morning I woke up to a nice little surprise. Over a time of about 5 hours, I had thrown up 5 times and diarrhea 6. Knowing I was losing fluid very quickly I kept drinking water, but it would just come right back up soon after it went down. Sometimes it was even cool still on the way back up from coming from the fridge, which left a nice cooling effect in my nose and back of my throat. :) To make it even better I had a fever of 102 and my whole body was aching. Pretty soon it was all I could do to lay in bed with the fan and make trips back and forth to the toilet then lay back down because I was so weak. Who knows what I ate or drank because Elder Aguila was fine, and nothing really seemed risky, but it was pretty obvious that everything on my insides wanted to be on my outside. Sis. Carlos said that if the vomit/diarrhea kept up too much longer, I would have had to go to the hospital to get an IV. Darn, I missed my chance for a field trip! Haha. I couldn't eat hardly anything except a banana on Friday, then on Saturday I was able to graduate to plain toast. Needless to say, I didn't have any strength or ability to work for 3 days because I was so weak from not having anything in my stomach/being sick. On Sunday I went to church but then came back afterwards. It was weird only being able to work in my area for a day and a half for the whole week. I'm all better now though and still in the process of eating to try to catch up for lost time. It did give me a good chance to read though and I read pretty much all of Our Heritage in my downtime. Poor Elder Aguila was going crazy from being locked inside for so long that we arranged for someone to come babysit me while he went out and worked with some other ward members. That's pretty much all I was able to do this week!
Seeing the pictures of Milo, I couldn't help but notice how much of a fur ball he really is. And of course, his cowlick on the top of his head. 
That's sad to hear that Tia is on her downward slope and on her way to "processing" pretty soon. That's cool though that there is an extra horse to fill the ranks and help haul the crap up the mountain. And dad, hopefully it will be a little while longer before you are on your way to Mexico for "processing". Haha
It was cool to hear a little update from Ben. If you want to send them, I'll read them if I have time. It was interesting that some things just don't change much-as many people are baptized, if they don't get baptized for the right reason, they're just going to go straight into inactivity. Which is exactly why earlier in the year the area presidency changed the focus of missionary work here to teaching less actives and recent converts. They said that over 659,000 people in the Philippines were baptized last year alone, but church attendance is still the same as it was a couple years ago. We don't want numbers, we want quality. I shouldn't say want because after all, we NEED quality. The Lord doesn't want starters, he needs finishers. Being a member of the church isn't necessarily easy, but neither was Christ's life or His sacrifice for all of us. And yes, that even includes all the people that don't want to accept it.
Good luck on your adventures this week, 
Mahal Kita, 
Elder Nay

Monday, February 20, 2012

20 February 2012

Magandang Tanghali po!

Kamusta po sa inyong lahat!
This was a very busy and interesting week. On Tuesday we had Zone Conference which means President Carlos came up to Tuguegarao and of course there was a very yummy lunch. It was a great conference and Pres Carlos always seems to know exactly what to say. Though I'm not sure how I agree with his telling me to give an impromptu message at the end of the conference. Haha. 
Perhaps the most memorable and important part of this week is I've officially had my first dog kick! Haha that makes the score 1 for Elder Nay, 0 for the dogs. I was talking to a lady on a small path next to the river when one dog kept barking louder and louder and getting closer to me. When it got within about 2 feet in front of me, I didn't like the way he was showing his fangs to me and certainly didn't want to go to the hospital to get a rabies shot, so I gave it a solid tap with my toe into its lower jaw and it did a backflip then got up, seemed surprised, then backed up a little bit. I didn't even think I kicked it that hard! I thought I was going to have to go in for round 2 when it started coming after me again, but then I guess it remembered my toe and stopped. 
I guess the baptism of Frederick was pretty cool too. He was pretty excited, and I can tell he's not just getting baptized for the sake of his girlfriend. He is going through a lot of trials in his family as a result but he still presses forward in faith that everything will work out. He is already planning on serving a mission next year. We even lucked out and had 3 investigators show up to his baptism and now also have a baptism date at the end of March. Afterwards there was a nice little shindig with scrumptious food at his girlfriends place. Her family is very generous and really reaching out to him. He is also now in the Young Men's presidency here in the ward, which means that the whole presidency is made up of recent converts (Rommel who was baptized in August, Peter, and Frederick).
I "got" to give a talk in sacrament meeting yesterday. Luckily I was given a little time to gather some thoughts and scriptures and I was kind of surprised at how long I was able to ramble up there, pretty much all in Tagalog. I even had the note handed to me telling me to sit down. I thought I was being nice and doing well and being supportive, but then afterwards one of the counselors asked me if I was mad for chastising them. Oops.
This week should be just as busy as last week and the general young women president is coming to give a fireside with one of the area presidency, which means we get to spend 2 whole days in Tuguegarao and a miserable nights sleep at the Zone leaders apartment. It's also transfer week but I will most likely be staying in Cabagan to finish out the training. But, who knows. 
That's sad to hear about Burns, but at the same time, it should be interesting for you to double the population of Antimony for a day. Haha. 
Happy Birthday to Bryan on wednesday! For your birthday present, you get a wife! Wow, that wedding is coming up quick. Then I'll be the lone ranger in the Nay family. 
Mom-I'm glad your feet havn't frozen off from having to stand in the snow forever. Hopefully it's been long enough now that you are able to laugh about it.
Thanks for the emails and everything you do!
Mahal Kita, 
Elder Nay

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

13 February 2012

Cagayan River 

"Don't throw or burn garbage here"  hmmm... someone forgot
to read!

Elder Nay with some members

Should have brought my cowboy boots!

Water/mud fight


Elder Nay

Magandang Hapon po!

Well, busy busy busy! I'm trying to think of anything exciting to write about but nothing is really coming to mind. And i've been spending a lot of time working on sending a bunch of pictures so I'll just count that as the majority of my letter. After all, pictures are worth a thousand words!
 It's just been another busy week with appointments, splits with ward members, and of course plenty of studying! Next week should be even more busy exciting, with every hour of every day booked with something. I guess there was one thing different in the week. On Saturday all of the missionaries in the Tuguegarao south stake (12 of us) and stake presidency, high council members, prospective elders, and members from the San Bernardo branch participated in a one day mission there. It was a pretty cool sight to see with so many people coming out to work in one concentrated area. The purpose was to pretty much do the same thing we do in our areas, but in the San Bernardo area to help them out. Which means the San Bernardo elders should have a nice workload to do. Over the next several weeks, the same thing will happen in the other wards in the stake. I was on splits with a member of the stake presidency, which was fun. It was a good day especially since the stake provided free food! 
Next week is the baptism of Frederick. He is super excited and even wants to go on a mission, even though his parents are Jehovah and totally against him and not giving him weekly allowance. His girlfriend's family (all members) has been a great help and giving him support he needs. 
Today the zone had an activity at Penablanca again but this time we went to the river and had a water/mud fight. It was actually probably the first time I've been cold enough to shiver here in the Philippines. It was raining, water was cold, and my clothes are still soaked. But, it takes sacrifices to make memories. :)
And mom, that is definitely the first time I've heard about the earthquake in Cebu. Wish I was there to feel it though! Haha
Well I'm not sure about anything else to write about and sending pictures has taken a bit of time. 
Keep on keeping on!
Mahal Kita,
Elder Nay

Monday, February 6, 2012

6 February 2012

Peter's Baptism
Elder Aguila, Peter, Elder Nay

Peter's baptism

Cave in Penablanca

Tricy ride to cave--18 missionaries in 3 tricys!


Tricy ride

Tricy ride

Tricy ride

Magandang Hapon po!

Kamusta po kayo diyan?
Well, doesn't sound like too much has changed for you over there. Work is still work, going to school still sucks, weddings are still expensive, and babies are getting bigger. Surprisingly enough, not too much has changed over here either! 
Just as expected, Peter's baptism was a success. He went underwater and came out just fine (unlike a baptism we saw on Saturday that an 8 year old got all suited up in white and then got in the water, didn't want to go under so he splashed himself then walked out. Still hasn't been baptized). There was a great turnout of members there, especially for being a Tuesday night, so that made it a little more exciting. He has officially already received the priesthood, made a counselor in the YM presidency, and working with us a couple nights every week. After his baptism there was a bunch of food and everyone who wanted to could come and eat.  I have a bunch of pictures to send to you, but the computer doesn't want to read my card so I guess it will have to wait for next week. 
We are still busy as can be and averaging about 20 lessons taught in a 6 day period, meaning every chance we get to go on splits with ward members we jump at it. Its starting to get a lot more fun here (not that it wasn't in the first place) now that I can actually communicate with people and build relationships with them. Imagine that.
During one of our splits with a member, I found myself resorting to handing out pamphlets/tracting due to all of the appointments falling through. Me and the member I was with (who was just baptized in August and planning on a mission) ended up talking to a young man who obviously didn't want to talk to us and pointed us to an 80 year old Nanay that was standing in the doorway and said talk to her in stead. She quickly invited us in and invited us to sit down, and having gone through this before, I know trying to effectively tract into old people is hard. While sitting down and thinking of what I was to say, she immediately said, "Sorry its been so long since I've been to church." We had no idea she was even a member. I asked her why and she said that she would like to be active again but doesn't have anybody to go with and was too shy/health is too weak to go by herself. I then told her that we would be there to pick her up for church and she said ok. After about 30 seconds of conversation with her, she had already agreed to come to church again! Still being surprised about what had just happened, we spent about 15 minutes talking to her and building up a better relationship. Turns out, she was one of the pioneer members here in Cabagan and stopped coming because one of the members stopped picking her up. She said she was sitting down inside when she heard someone talking outside and decided to step in the doorway to see who it was. When we picked her up on Sunday morning, she was all dressed up and waiting for us. Thats probably the easiest reactivation I will ever have on the mission! What started out as an awkward conversation with someone turned into someone waiting for someone to just pick her up for church.
For P-day today a bunch of us from the Tuguegarao zone went to some cave in Penablanca (different from the other one I went to). The 30 minute tricy ride to it was fun because there were 18 of us to squeeze into 3 tricys, meaning I rode up top on the little metal luggage rack. If I didn't have buns of steel before, I definitely do now! Haha. Those metal bars got pretty uncomfortable pretty quick, especially with the rocks and bumps. It was fun though. The cave was really awesome. For the entrance, you have to maneuver and duck around a bunch of stalagtites/mites and as you go farther and farther in, it opens up more and more into several big chambers, with huge stalagtites/mites everywhere. There were even a bunch of bats in there to keep us company. :)  I wanted to keep going on because it was just getting bigger and better, but the sisters wanted to go back....  I guess the rest will have to wait until I visit the Philippines again someday.
Well thats the exciting things that happened this week. I'm going to try to send everyone a little note because it has been a while since I've been able to reply to any of you. I would love to send one to Kyle and Aimee too but seems how they havn't written me yet I don't have their email address..... (hint hint).
Thanks for being you!
Mahal Kita,
Elder Nay