Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, May 28, 2012

28 May 2012

Magandang Hapon po!

Kamusta na po kayo!?
Happy Memorial day to you! Definitely no such thing as Memorial Day here, so shoot a few guns and have a few barbecues on my behalf. 
There isn't anything too exciting that happened this week other than we got to go to Tuguegarao for a couple hours because that is the closest patriarch for Elder Llorin to get his patriarchal blessing. It was kind of fun to go back to some of my old stomping grounds and be in a few buildings that actually have air conditioning. We even got to celebrate the occasion by going out to eat at McDonald's, just because we could! It's kind of funny that eating at McDonald's here is considered a nice treat. Even though I wasn't actually with him while he got his blessing, it still caused me to reflect on my blessing a little more. I realized how much more I have been able to learn and experience from when I first got it over 4 years ago. I also realized how much I miss having private transportation to get places rather than having to squish 20 people in a van only meant for 12 for 2 hours, or in a chicken bus sitting next to someone puffing a cancer stick for 2 hours, or how nice it is to have roads that don't have gigantic potholes to swerve around. 
Other than going to Tuguegarao, it was just a normal week of sweating and not being able to teach because of rain. Except this week, we learned our lesson about lightning and decided to take a tricy back to our apartment so we didn't get fried. This is definitely the worst lightning and rain storms I have ever been in. Sometimes there is literally flashes of lightning every second or 2, all very close by. 
Tomorrow I will be sending my virus infected memory card home in an envelope, so hopefully it will get there in 2-3 weeks. If not, some Fillipino postal worker will enjoy a free card. 
Mom-I think I sent Sister Shaners email a few weeks ago, but it's .... 
Sometimes it continues to surprise me how intelligent some people are about the Gospel doctrine. We have several investigators that are abnormally intelligent and interested when it comes to learning about the Church. Sometimes we ask them questions about stuff we havn't talked about yet, and they still give a textbook answer straight out of the Book of Mormon. We are really fortunate here to have a good set of investigators and we are finally starting to see some less actives coming back. 
I also had an interesting experience in church yesterday.  During Sunday school, just after Elder Llorin and I finished teaching Gospel Principles, I immediately noticed an absence of spirit in the meetinghouse due to several people yelling at each other about who was right and wrong during their lesson. Over time, voices got louder and more people got involved to where it soon got out of control. It was an obvious moment of awkwardness and discomfort, especially because we had several investigators with us listening to what was happening. The situation kept spiraling downward and before I could even think about it, I found myself in front of all of them getting all their attention. When I started to speak to them, I felt my heart pounding and voice shaking from the spirit and the entire meetinghouse went silent. I told them that I didn't know what they were arguing about, nor did it really matter, but I had noticed an absence of spirit because of what was happening and that they needed to stop. A few last words were said by people seeking a victory and wanting me to pick a side, then I told the Sunday school president to close up the meeting. Immediately afterwards was Sacrament meeting and it was honestly the first sacrament meeting in Mallig that I have felt the Spirit. The talks were fitting and delivered well, and the Branch President gave a powerful testimony at the end of the meeting. I still can't figure out how it was my worst and best day at church in Mallig and how the mood changed so quickly, but it was a memorable experience. 
Well, that is it for this week. Salamat po sa inyong suportahan sa akin. 
Mahal Kita, 
Elder Nay

Monday, May 21, 2012

21 May 2012

Magandang Hapon po!

Kamusta na po kayo!? Pareng last week lang na nakita tayo! Haha
It was transfer week this week but just like we were hoping for, no transfers for us! Elder Llorin and I have really clicked well together and I have gotten a lot better in my Tagalog because of him. He is even starting to get better at his English! His goal is to be as fluent as possible in English before the next 6 weeks are up. We'll see how that goes. That means I will most likely be here in Mallig for another 3 months because Elder Llorin has been here for 5 months now. We still went to Cauayan though for the meeting and it was fun to see all of my batch and Elder Allen again. President changed the way leadership is done in the mission and instead of 7 zones, there is now 11 zones. This means that every zone is more centralized to each different stake or district here in Cauayan mission. It is interesting to see the growth of the church here that makes it necessary for such changes. 
This week there were an annoyingly amount of brown outs. I think everyday there was a brownout for some period of time. One started in morning and lasted until night. It was really fun to eat lunch while dripping in sweat and fanning ourselves with cardboard. During study time we splash ice water on ourselves to stay awake and so our skin doesn't melt off. There were several more really cool lightning and rain storms too. One night we decided to head home a little early because it was impossible to teach because of how loud it was on people's tin roofs and it was brownout. On our way back the roads and pathways had little rivers running through them and we were absolutely soaked. It was also kind of cool to say I've been so close to lightning too. While fast walking back lightning hit very close by and the flash lit up everywhere around us and the thunder was so loud it almost hurt our ears. It couldn't have been any farther than 50 yards away. Elder Llorin and I couldn't help but laugh when we got back and we were still alive. I'm sure mom is just laughing her guts out too. :) 
I have turned into a fresh fruit junky. I've eaten so many fresh pineapples and mangoes that my mouth can't handle it anymore. They are very yummy! We make really good fruit shakes about everyday. 
Last monday night the Shaners came to an FHE we planned with a bunch of members way out in the middle of the rice fields. They taught a great lesson about the foundations we need for a strong testimony and then enjoyed good food and games. There were probably about 20 people there and everyone had a great time. On the Shaners way out they texted us and told us they were stuck in a hole. Luckily by the time we hopped on a scooter and got to them a bunch of locals had already lifted the front end of their truck out of it. The great thing about being here in such a rural area is that everybody is super nice because they are all so humble. We rarely go home at the end of the day without somebody giving us fresh fruits or vegetables or feeding us, even though it is obvious they don't have much themselves. I wish everybody (including me) could be as humble as the people here.
Mom-instead of me having to tell the Shaners thank you for you, you should skype or email them yourself and tell them! Haha they are super nice and they said it was good to meet you for a few seconds. It is a great help to have them here in the mission, and especially here in the Roxas district. Elder Shaner was a Lieutenant on a nuclear submarine during the Cold War days so he has told me some cool stories. I'm sure they would get a kick out of hearing from you. 
It looks like a good time was had by all at Yellowstone. I'll take a reservation for the trip next year.
Thanks for all you do! 
Mahal Kita,
Elder Nay

Monday, May 14, 2012

13 May 2012

Brown out!

Well sorry our skype was rudely interrupted, but just like I said, there are plenty of brownouts here. We thought it would come back on in time at the Shaners but after waiting for a while we were just wasting time. So, now that we're in Roxas with some internet, Happy Mothers Day! Even though it got cut a little short, it was still over 2 hours so hopefully that will be good enough to keep you alive until Christmas. It was good to see all of your faces and talk to you. Thanks for all you do and see you again on Christmas! Happy Mothers Day again to the best mom in the world! 
Mahal Kita,
Elder Nay

Monday, May 7, 2012

7 May 2012
Magandang Hapon po!
Kamusta na po kayo?!
Sobrang masaya ang P-day ko ngayon! We went with a bunch of members, some of our investigators, and even the Roxas district presidency decided to join us to go to a pond up in the "mountains" (big hills). There were quite a few of us and we stuffed 2 kuligligs to the brim. It was about a 45 minute ride through nothing but rice fields on the kuligligs and their whopping 8 horsepower motor (I was being generous when I previously said 20). It really was a beautiful place though and there was nothing but rice fields and some rolling hills, and a few bamboo/grass houses. We had a nice picnic with all you can eat fried fish, frogs, and snails. I've gotten used to the fish now and the frogs are actually pretty good. This week is the first week I've eaten frogs. Even though it's cliche, it really does taste like chicken. The snails are a little weird and slimy, but at least I can say I've eaten one. Haha. It was a good day to get out and see some stuff that is different from the every day routine. 
About Mothers Day, I worked it out to go to the Shaner's (missionary couple) place to skype there so I don't have every person in Mallig staring at me while I Skype and hopefully the internet will be more decent. It will probably be sometime between 8-9 my monday morning, so I'll let you figure out what time that is there. But Sister Shaner told me to give you her skype account instead and just use that, so her account is…. I feel bad that I don't have any time to respond to anybody's email, so hopefully this skype time will make up for it. That being said, it would be nice to have everyone that can be able to get online and chat wherever they may be in the US, at least for a few minutes. But, I'll still love those of you that can't for whatever reason. 
That is pretty exciting and crazy that Jenna is now walking! Absolutely crazy to think how much she has grown from since I held her the day she was born which has now been over a year ago. I don't know where time goes so fast.
And mom-for the little package to Elder Llorin, he would love anything, especially food. Haha. He also is allergic to any deodorant here because it all has antiperspirant.  If you could try finding a little thing of stuff with no antiperspirant he would get a kick out of it. Luckily he doesn't smell bad like I do from not wearing any deoderant haha.
That is also pretty awesome about Lauren's call to Japan! Congrats to her and welcome to the club of waiting forever before leaving. Haha. 
This week has been unusually rainy and "cold" which has been a nice break from the blistering heat. The rain and lightning storms here are absolutely amazing and has provided some great lightning shows and sunsets. Maybe I'll try sending some pics home next week on the Shaner's computer so I know that my card won't get jacked by a virus. 
I also had the great experience of celebrating the birthday of Leah May this week. She was baptized the week before I got here with her mom, and she just turned 10. She is absolutely incredible with the gospel, especially for such a young age. She always has answers for everything we ask and knows more about the doctrine than many of the adults that come to church. Apparently her story is that she started coming to church all by herself last year, and nobody really knows how she found the church or why. After several weeks of her coming by herself, the missionaries eventually found her mom, which had just recovered from a 1 month colma and several surgeries (not sure why). Her dad was shot to death randomly one year ago. For her there is no excuse to miss church, even though her mother couldn't come yesterday because her grandpa had just passed away. Not only did Leah May still come to church, but she brought several of her friends and cousins too. Whenever we teach her and her mom, she gets mad at her friends that are there if they are loud. Apparently when she was baptized, she brought the whole congregation (which Sister Carlos and all the couple missionaries happened to attend that can't understand Tagalog) to tears with her testimony. This girl really is a walking wonder, especially for a 10 year old. Elder Llorin and I continue to be amazed by her. I gave her the Easter stuff you sent me and she absolutely loved it. So, know that the stuff you sent went to a good cause.
Well, I'll talk and see you next week! Start thinking of questions/stuff you want to know so that we can make the most of the time.
Mahal Kita,
Elder Nay