Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, July 30, 2012

30 July 2012

Magandang Hapon po!

Kamusta na kayo!?
Mabuti nakauwi na si dad na walang aksidente! The Wind Rivers trip sounds and looks like another great success. Save me a horse for next year. Haha. That just seems wrong to do a trip like that though and not have a dog! Too bad Milo is starting to run out of gas. Maybe its time to start getting a brother or sister for Milo so that I can have a camping/hiking buddy when I get home and Milo can't keep up. :) That's way cool there was actually wildlife this trip.
I can't help but laugh when I read that dad is stuck yet again with the Young Men. Pretty sure that is a lifetime calling for dad. And you GET to start going to Mutual activities again. Yesterday, we (really the Shaners) made history in the Mallig branch by holding the first ever Mutual activity. Because it is difficult for youth to meet together (live too far away, paying for transportation/no public transportation at night), they are allowed to have Mutual on Sundays after church. It was a great turnout and even had a couple of investigators stick around. Not to mention the food that the Shaners provided was delicious. I'm glad most Filipinos can't handle very sweet stuff because I was able to have more than my fair share of a cake that she made. One persons loss is another persons gain. :) It was also a great day at church yesterday and might have been the highest attendance I've seen here-about 60. We were starting to worry about space to put the chairs! It was also very rewarding to see Ermhel (baptized back with me and Elder Llorin) give her first talk in church and listen to her testimony.
Transfers are next week and I will most likely be given the boot out of Mallig seems how I've been here over 4 months. President Carlos also strongly implied to me that I would be transferred last time I talked to him. Even he started making jokes about why I had a reputation for staying in areas forever. There aren't too many missionaries that have been out over a year and only have 2 areas. It's been great though because I actually get to know people and familiar with the area. I definitely get my share of walking here though, which is shown by my shoes. I can now officially put my finger all the way through my "waterproof" eccos. My other pair has a hole starting to grow on the toe. The tops are still in great shape though! Haha. I'll see if I can take it to a street corner guy when I'm actually in a city and see what can be done. Hopefully its as simple as slapping some tire tread on the bottom.
President Carlos just announced that we are officially the highest ranking mission out of all the Philippines and region (Asia, all of Pacific, New Zealand, etc.) in terms of baptisms and teaching effectiveness. Pretty cool huh?
So, about the rash-basically, the doctor said I'm allergic to heat/humidity/sweating too much. It's most likely not an allergy, probably just heat rash. Which makes sense because on the "cool" days here it doesn't seem as bad. But when it is really hot my arms and legs turn red with little spots and itch pretty good. The doctor said even though I've been here a year, my body is just now telling me it is sick of dealing with the heat/humidity. And, there's really nothing to do about it other than live somewhere cooler. It's alright though, that problem will be solved when I go home in less than a year.
Well, thanks for everything. God be with til we write again!
Mahal Kita,
Elder Nay

Monday, July 23, 2012

23 July 2012

Magandang Hapon po!
Kamusta sa inyong lahat!
It was a really interesting experience to be taught by a General Authority this week. It is an opportunity that doesn't happen too often, so it was a pleasure to be a part of it. In order to be in Cauayan in time at the crack of dawn, we had to spend the night at another apartment in which I was reminded that I was grateful for the apartment I had instead of theirs. To make it even better, there were only 3 mattresses for the 4 of us so we had to squish them together and get nice and cozy with each other for our 3 hour nap/sleep that we could get before having to wake up in time to leave. And of course once we hurried to get there, we waited impatiently for about 2 hours before it started. Not sure who planned all of that... Haha. During the luncheon, I was able to sit next to Elder and Sister Teh and chat with them for a little bit. They are surprisingly young for being called to a lifetime calling! Super nice people (as to be expected). In the evening, we also attended a fireside in which he emphasized the importance of one of the area goals-feasting upon the words of Christ. By the time we got back at night, we were hammered from all the traveling, thinking, and lack of sleep. But it was all worth it. 
Sis. Carlos also made me go to the doctor to have a rash checked out on my arms and legs. Doesn't hurt or anything...just itches. I've had it for a couple weeks now but it seems to be going down after getting hooked up with some drugs. I have to go back to Cauayan this week for another check up, but i'm not worried about it. I'm more upset that I have to spend the day traveling and spending more money rather than going to our appointments, haha. And now Mom will have something to fuss and stew about until I write again next week. You're welcome! 
Yesterday we went to a house that usually the dog comes out to greet us and say hello, but instead it was off to the side quartered up being barbecued over a little fire. Kind of weird to see just the legs and head laying side by side. They said it got sick so I guess they couldn't just let the meat go to waste! Luckily we were just passing through so we didn't have the privilege of tasting it. Maybe next time.
It is getting more and more interesting being able to work with the Shaners each Sunday to help teach and organize meetings. It is nice to see that the Tagalog I used to struggle with isn't as hard anymore and I am actually able to translate decently. It is certainly amazing how much can be learned just from the 1 year I have been away. I have come to realize more and more that a mission is just as much for the missionary as it is for the people we are here to teach. 
Thank you for being you and don't forget who you are this week!
Mahal Kita,
Elder Nay

Monday, July 16, 2012

16 July 2012

 A note from Sister Cheri Shaner in response to my confession of "borrowing" pictures of Michael from her blog.  It is nice to know that such kind, nice people are watching out for our son half way around the world!

hello again
You are welcome to HAVE anything I is public and I consider it flattery..thanks!  Your son is amazing..we love him so much and will miss him when he transfers.  We get very close to a few of the Elders/Sisters and treasure our time with them.  He is one of those..probably reminds us of one of our grand kids.  We hope to meet you and reconnect with him when we all get home.

We are enjoying our service in has so many needs and we hope in the next year to make a positive impact and contribution.  These people are so precious..

We moved this past week and I hope to get the blog updated tomorrow...I have many pictures of your elder that I will email to you.  I use some on the blog but will go back into my camera folders and find them.  You would enjoy that..

Elder ten of the First Quorum of the Seventy is visiting the mission this week so we are all busy.  Wednesday is our districts official day to meet with him.  It will be an awesome experience for all of us.

Have a great week....

Cheri Shaner 

16 July 2012

Magandang Hapon po!

Kamusta na kayo!?
We just got back from a member's house/field where they also have several coconut trees. It was a nice little treat to sit on a hammock in the shade out in the middle of nowhere while sipping some fresh coconut juice. 
The last week has been quite nice because the rainstorms come in during the afternoon/night to cool it down so I don't have to wake up with sweat marks on my sheets. The rain has also made it interesting while walking through mud pits in order to get to people's houses. Usually by the end of the day, my shoes are brown with mud. I also couldn't help but laugh when Elder Oyardo slipped and turned his white shirt and pants into brown gooey mud. 
That must be exciting for Nat and B with all of that moving and getting adjusted! I don't think I really have pity on them yet for having to take cold showers, because that is what I'm doing for 2 years! I'm getting quite quick at the bucket showers though. 
This week is going to be really busy but exciting because Elder Teh is coming to visit. He is also doing a lot of random things to keep us on our toes like random apartment checks, interviews (How weird/cool would that be to have an interview with a General Authority?), and calling on people to give talks. Should be interesting. 
Sorry to cut it short this week, but we still have a lot of stuff to do and too little time to do it, just like any other day! Good luck to dad on being a cowboy for 2 weeks in Wind Rivers.  Don't do anything exciting like cut another finger off or get bucked off of Chance! Haha. 
Thanks for everything!
Mahal Kita,
Elder Nay

Saturday, July 14, 2012

14 July 2912

I "borrowed" these pictures from Sister Cheri Shaner's blog entry on 2 July 2012 (shanermission.blogspot) Mission Possible.  The Shaners are currently serving in the Mallig branch with Elder Nay.
Sister Cheri Shaner
Elder Nay translates Tagalog into English for her.

Elder Griffin explaining to the zone the object of the lesson. 
Elder Nay on the left!

Elder Llorin and Elder Nay on baptism day.
(The Saturday before E. Llorin was transferred)

The Mallig branch

The Mallig branch meeting house.

Elder Llorin and Elder Nay holding a newborn piglet
just 20 minutes old.

Monday, July 9, 2012

9 July 2012

Magandang Hapon po!

Kamusta sa inyong lahat!
Congrats to dad for crossing the finish line as a bishop at BYU. Now I'm sure much more exciting things are awaiting such as mission president, stake president, and other more fun callings. :) Should be fun to go back to church next week in the home ward and look like strangers that have randomly decided to start coming to church. 
I think the most interesting thing out of the traditional Big Lake trip is that Milo decided to swim-without you throwing him in! What a great achievement for that little hairy fur ball. Thats too bad that nothing happened this year like the camper top taking liftoff on the freeway. There's always next year. 
It was a nice surprise that I actually got to see a parade on the 4th of July here! We happened to be in Roxas when all the sudden the main highway was shut down so that they could have a parade because of some local holiday. It was pretty cool to see a bunch of floats made out of kuligligs and all the kids dressed up in cool uniforms. Don't worry, I snapped some pics. It was probably comparable to about how awesome the 24th of July parade is in Mapleton, but, at least I can say I saw a parade on the 4th of July in the Philippines. 
It's always a nice surprise for me when someone asks to be taught randomly. Elder Oyardo and I were running a little late so we were walking rather quickly, but that didn't stop a young father from asking us if we could talk to him for a minute and ask us to come to his house when we had time. After we taught him, he said it was interesting how our message made him feel light/peaceful inside and he will try to come to church next week (without us even inviting him). If only that could happen everyday! 
I got to see a really awesome cut on someones arm. She had just sliced it open a couple hours earlier so it was nice and fresh. I couldn't help but make her show it to me. It was so deep that I had a nice anatomy lesson of all the layers of skin and got to see a piece of the Ulna bone (I think that is what its called...). Don't worry, I got a picture for mom's sake, but it doesn't quite do justice. I poured some Iodine on it and had to convince them to go get it stitched up. Mom would have loved it!
The one year mark was nothing exciting. I don't think I even remembered until I was getting ready for bed. Pretty crazy to think I'm on the downward slope. Time flies!
Thanks for all your support and everything you do! Remember where you live and don't forget who you are!
Mahal Kita, 
Elder Nay

Monday, July 2, 2012

2 July 2012

Magandang Hapon po!

Kamusta na kayo!?
Wala naman transfer sa akin ngayon. Now I officially get the privilege of spending the next 6 weeks in Mallig! Elder Llorin was finally given the boot after being here 6 months. I can't help but laugh that there are many missionaries that havn't been out as long as me, but they still have several more areas and companions than me. I guess I have the tendency to stay in areas a little longer than most. I thought it was funny how Elder Allen ended up getting one of my last companions Elder Sister. He begged me for any advice or anything to warn him about, but I simply told him to go into it with the attitude of it being his best cycle yet and what he doesn't know doesn't hurt him. My new companion is Elder Oyardo, and of course, Fillipino. He speaks little to no English which means I am by default the only bridge between the Shaners and whatever translation help they need.
Last week was also interesting because I got to talk to Elder Hawlader, the first missionary to serve a mission out of the 43 members in the country of Bangladesh. Luckily he speaks decent English so he can get around okay. He told a pretty awesome conversion story and seems how there are no missionaries allowed in Bangladesh, he was baptized by the U.S. Ambassador that lives in the embassy. Every week all 43 members in the country of Bangladesh meet together in a meetinghouse, including the US Ambassador. It is even more cool that he is being trained by Elder Landeen (friend from my MTC batch) in my first area of Cabagan.
That is going to be super weird with Dad actually having a few hours of free time from not being bishop anymore! Don't worry, I'm sure he'll be back in no time in the Young Mens with the pesky 12 year olds. Haha. And by the way HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! You should all have a good weekend down in Big Lake inhaling the smoke and ashes. Sounds like a good time not to be home! Haha. Make sure and launch a few fireworks and shoot a few guns to celebrate the 4th of July for me.
Dad asked about how much of our time is spent with investigators or recent converts and Less Actives. Because of our new focus of Less Actives, and of our obligation to teach newly baptized members for at least a year after they are baptized, not very much time at all is with investigators. I can't even remember the last time I've had to do 'tracting'. If we ever have a hole in our schedule we need to fill, we go through the records of the newly baptized because most likely they are not active. We basically only pick up new investigators if they are a referral or if the person comes up to us and asks us if we can teach them ,which happened to a 17 year old girl last week that just started showing up to church randomly. She said her whole family is Catholic (as with every other person in the Philippines), but she just felt like there wasn't something right. Then she remembered seeing missionaries several years ago and decided to give it a shot.
Oh, Elder Teh from the 70 will be coming here in a few weeks and asked us to come with a doctrinal question. Any good ideas?
Well I think thats it for this week. Have a good week!
Mahal Kita,
Elder Nay