Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, August 27, 2012

27 August 21012

Magandang hapon po!
Kamusta pos a inyong lahat!
Thanks for your emails and updates! It is always great to hear from everyone. Sounds like fun time is now a thing of the past as school and homework starts in full force. Good luck with all of that. I can laugh at you now because I don't have to worry about it, but don't worry, you can laugh at me next year when I am in the same situation.
This week was interesting because it was my first time going on exchanges with a newbie American, and was suddenly the one expected to know the language and be a trainer for a day. Training a new American is a lot different than training a new Fillipino, because at least they can speak and understand the language! Haha it brought back great memories of where I must have been just one year ago. It made me realize how far I have come with everything just from being out here 1 year. He even asked an onslaught of questions about culture, missionary life etc. that I must have had too at one point. I think my favorite was after our baptism on Saturday and he asked if all baptisms are that unorganized and different from baptisms back home. It made me realize how grateful I am for how well established the Church is back home. But, that is one of the reasons we are here-not only work with investigators and less actives, but the church leaders too. 
Saturday was busy attending baptisms, and it was fun to see the changes people have made in their lives to make their first covenants to God. It is always a bittersweet feeling to officially hand them over from under our authority as being the missionaries, to becoming an official member and under the authority of the bishop.
We also started teaching what started out as a referral to a college student, then once we got there, she went around the entire building to find everyone else that was there to bring them in on the lesson too. In the end, we ended up teaching 6 of them, all asking the simple questions of, "Why are there so many religions if we are supposed to have one faith?" and "What do I do in order to answer my questions and feel peace?" Those are always fun lessons to teach. 
Well, we are running short on time so I'm going to have to cut this a little short. Thanks for your support and emails. Keep up the good work on your end of the world.
Mahal Kita,
Elder Nay

Monday, August 20, 2012

20 August 2012

Magandang Hapon po!
Kamusta po sa inyo!
It has been a super busy week and we did a lot of traveling. We went to Cauayan (a 3 hour bus ride) for an overnight training/party, and I had many firsts for the mission. I had my first hot shower since the day I got here. It was kind of weird to not use a bucket of cold water, but I think I could get used to it if I was forced to. Haha. It was also my first night in my mission of sleeping in an air conditioned room. What a wonderful creation air conditioning is. I also realized how yummy Mexican food can be as I ate fajitas. The tortillas were specially bought by President in Manila because they can't be found here. Oh, and Root Beer floats are pretty good too. Just in case you had forgotten since it has probably been a whole week or so since you've had them last.
We are also super busy here in the ward and have many people to teach. I still havn't met a couple of our investigators or less actives because we havn't had time to go to them yet. We are pretty much always running everywhere we go and still can't find the time to do everything we want to do. I couldn't help but think of how different my mission is compared to Connor's mission after reading his email his mom has been sending. Hope he is enjoying the air conditioned car and apartment and awesome free food everywhere. I still don't know what it is like to have time to resort to 'knocking doors'. 
This Saturday will be fun and busy attending baptisms all day-2 of which are our investigators. One of them is the niece of the Stake President here, and the other is the niece of a high councilman here. They are both super excited and know this is what they need to be doing, despite the great sacrifices they are making. It is kind of fun and weird to be working so much with the stake president here. 
After talking to Elder Landeen last week, he told me a pretty cool story about a lady from Cabagan. Just a few weeks before I left Cabagan, we taught a less active family and then they insisted that we give a priesthood blessing to one of their neighbors, which was an older lady that just had a stroke and couldn't walk or talk very well. I didn't think of it too much at the time, because the way people are here they ask priesthood blessings for every little thing possible and for everybody. But, of course we gave a blessing as requested and I even remember Elder Aguila asking her if she had faith in Jesus Christ, to which she nodded yes. Now, about 6 months later, she is coming to church every week and walking, and now being taught by the missionaries. Not a bad story about how using the priesthood can bless the lives of others!
Anyways, God be with you til we write again.
Mahal Kita,
Elder Nay

Monday, August 13, 2012

13 August 2012

Magandang Hapon po!

Kamusta na kayo!?
Pambahira ang dami ninyong mga tanong! Haha hopefully I can meet all of your inquiring minds and list of things for me to reply to (or at least mom's...).
Well, what a shocker, I was given the boot out of Mallig. The Shaners gave me a very delicious farewell party dinner and took us out to a nice restaurant that has yummy pizza. Maybe it was just yummy because I havn't had pizza in over a year. 
It was fun to see Elder Allen and hear of his fun stories of his time with Elder Sister. I'm just glad we both are alive and well and I'm not the only one with an exciting story in my journal. Good times. :)
I was kind of surprised to find out that I was sent back to the Tuguegarao South Zone, because that is where I spent 7 and a half months in Cabagan, which happens to border my new area of Tuguegarao Ward 2. Except this time around, I am the Zone Leader. It is really weird because I have been in this area several times to work because of splits and other things back from my time in Cabagan, so I already know some of the members and investigators. When I went to church on Sunday several people said, "Weren't you in Cabagan for a long time?" I have also already been back to Cabagan for a meeting and bumped into some people I know there. It feels like I have just moved backed into my home away from home! It is going to be a fun cycle because I get to work more closely with Elder Landeen (batch from MTC that took my spot in Cabagan), Elder Hawlader (first missionary from Bangladesh), Elder Llorin (companion for 2 cycles), and 2 other Americans fresh from the MTC (one of which Elder Llorin is training). I also had to laugh because back in my Cabagan days, I was saying to myself how lucky I was for not having to stay in the Zone Leader's apartment because it is very small, dirty, smelly, gets loud because we're surrounded by boarding college students and their drinking parties, and it is literally an oven inside. Joke is on me! Haha. Now I just have to get used to city life and wiping the black sweat on my face because of the pollution, and the fact that I am in the hottest city in the Philippines. Oh, and my new companion is Elder Reyes. And yes, he is a Filipino. He is super nice and hard working so it is going to be a fun cycle.
We also helped double the size of a house by adding a 6foot by 12foot extension. And yes, that literally did double the size of the house with 8 people living inside.  I got to improve my carpentry skills on bamboo.
I have heard about how bad the flooding in Manila is, but none of it has reached up here. It rains a little and kind of cloudy, but that's about it. I even had to turn my electric fan down a notch because it was so cold. Haha
Thanks for the additional pics from Wind Rivers, and it also brought back some great memories when Bill sent pics from our Memphis cleaning trip. Glad its you and not me cleaning again. :) 
If I'm not mistaken, I believe I owe a happy belated Happy Anniversary to my favorite parents, and also Happy Anniversary to Kyle and Aimee today! Also Happy B-day to Aunt Carol!
For your next package, I really can't think of anything I need other than eggnog and jerky. Other than that, I'm just as happy with cash so I can buy cool stuff here. Thanks for everything and don't forget who you are!
Mahal Kita, 
Elder Nay

Monday, August 6, 2012

6 August 2012

Magandang Hapon po!

Kamusta po sa inyong lahat!
Well, to answer the barrage of questions about transfers and where I now am, I'm still here in Mallig because transfers are this week and I still don't know! Haha. But don't worry, I'll be sure to answer all of those questions next week so you can stop waiting on one foot and the next. But, yesterday was a great last Sunday (most likely) here in Mallig. We officially broke the history in Mallig with the highest church attendance. The record was 81, but now it is at a whopping 84! We actually thought people were going to have to start sitting in different rooms and just listen during sacrament instead of being in the same room (which I guess is really 2 rooms-the kitchen and the living room). However, with some squishing and rearranging of things, we were able to squeeze in there. It was rewarding to see so many people we have been working with come to church, including less actives that I had never met before. We even had 5 investigators there. Two of the investigators that I have started teaching my first week here have now felt like they know enough about the Church to be able exercise their faith and accept a baptismal commitment next week. Even though I most likely won't be here for their baptism, that is the reason I like to stay in areas for so long--I get to see people grow and develop from being new investigators to being baptized and turn into active church members. It made the day even better when we were actually able to have a decent meeting with the branch president so I could answer his questions about what to do with a list of people recommended for callings and how the Young Women program (seems how I know so much about it.... Haha) is supposed to be organized. The extra benefits of being a missionary in Mallig. :)
I was able to get my shoes resoled so no worries about that. It only cost about 12 bucks to do it, so its quite a bit cheaper than having to buy and ship new shoes. Even though they feel about 10lbs heavier with the new sole, they look decent and hopefully will work well.
The rash looks like it has gone down a little bit, but it has been a little cooler and rainy these last few days which has helped. Not that it really matters because there really isn't anything to do about it anyways...
Well, other than that, nothing else exciting has happened this week. It's just been another week of walking, teaching, sweating, and sliding around in mud trying to get places. 
Don't forget who you are!
Mahal Kita, 
Elder Nay