Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, June 24, 2013

24 June 2013

Magandang Hapon po!

Kamusta na kayo!?
Last week was super crazy with transfer day and having to say goodbye to Pres. and Sis. Carlos. The transfer day was the biggest in the history of Cauayan mission with 23 new missionaries coming in to replace the 8 that left. Except that record will be beat soon the transfer after I leave, when they have 30 coming to replace 14 of us. It is crazy to see how many sisters are now coming in. 12 of the 23 were sisters, and next time around it will be 21 of the 30 Sisters-all American. In my zone right now in Solano, there are 8 Elders and 8 Sisters. I never realized how hard it would be having to say goodbye to Pres and Sis Carlos after them leaving such a big impact on my life. I couldn't help but wonder if I cried saying goodbye to them, how much more will it be saying goodbye to the entire Philippines? They are seriously some of the nicest and loving people in the whole world, and it will be weird not seeing them here. But, like they always say, change is always a good thing. 
I am now with my last companion, Elder Sison. He is from Manila. After doing some reflecting on my mission, I realized that I have not had even 1 American companion. This has allowed me to be exposed to many different cultures, traditions, and behaviors. Because all of my companions in the field except for 2 have been Filipino, in a way I feel like I have turned into a Filipino as well. I consider this to be a blessing because it is part of a Filipino to be more relaxed, unselfish, loving, and more social. Not necessarily realizing it before I left for my mission, these are all things I needed to work on when I first arrived in my mission.
The Worldwide Leadership meeting/sacrament sounds pretty crazy having 5 sacrament tables. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if we are going to get the chance to watch it or not. I haven't heard anything about if it is going to be rebroadcast for us or not. Something tells me though it will be a while though before they start giving iPads to us in the Philippines. Haha.
Last week we weren't able to do too much work because of traveling to and from Cauayan for meetings, but we were able to share with the Pragata family a couple times. They were sealed in the temple as a family about 2 years ago, but Brother has fallen inactive over the last several months, so we decided to start focusing on him. It worked out perfectly that the theme of June Liahona is about Family and what to do to strengthen it. We picked out an article for them to focus on about 9 ways to strengthen them and shared with them the importance of repentance, and they agreed to study it as a family. When we went back for our return appointment, before we even approached their house, we could hear them screaming and laughing at each other. They later said they were busy playing games and having a good time with each other, and had read the Liahona like we asked them to. Just from them reading the Liahona, their family was strengthened and on the way to being fully active in the church again, with Brother on his 2nd week in a row at church.
Salamat po for everything you do and all your prayers. 
Mahal ko kayo,
Elder Nay

Monday, June 17, 2013

17 June 2013

Magandang Hapon po!
What a pleasure it is to be able to write an email this week rather than in the subject bar! Haha good times. Last monday was pretty intense. We actually didn't go down to the Banaue rice terraces, although we did see them from the road, but we went to the Batad rice terraces which is about an hour away from Banaue. There is a tiny little village in there which is still part of Banaue city. The road getting there is crazy and still under construction, and in some places, just wide enough to keep the jeepney we rented from tumbling down the steep mountain. Mom would have loved it. :) The hike down into the village was really steep, and once we got to the village we had to ask a bunch of people where the trail was because it winds around through people's houses, but most people got upset and told us that is why we were supposed to pay the 2,000 pesos for a tour guide. I might be white, but I don't have STUPID written across my forehead to pay for a scam like that. We finally met some nice person and pointed us the right way, and trekked across the rice terraces to get to the waterfall. The trail was really steep and reminded me of Angels Landing in Zions, with tons of high steps. The waterfall was beautiful and such a shame we couldn't go swimming and cool off, but I guess that will have to wait until we go back next year. The hike back up was fun because we got lost in the rice terraces. Haha we didn't see the trail and went up about 6 terraces too high, so by the time we got halfway across and ran out of trail, we had to do some sketchy climbs to get back down. It took us forever because some of the "larger" people we were with just about threw in the towel and called it quits and were dying of exhaustion before we even made it halfway. I think everybody that went said that was the first and last time going, but that won't stop me from doing it again if I come back. When I woke up the next morning, I could barely walk straight because my calfs were burning and the back of my neck got roasted in the sun (who would of thought that sun screen doesn't work if you don't actually bring it with you?). We didn't even get back til about 6pm, which made for a long day since we got up at 4, and by that time we were getting phone calls from our appointment to see if we were still coming, which is why I couldn't really write last week. 
Last week was also Zone conferences, and I got to see Bro. Tapitan, who I baptized in Cabagan and now serving part time. He also opened his mission call afterwards, and he is leaving on Aug. 16 for the Naga Philippines mission. He told me he doesn't really have anywhere to go home to seems how his parents kicked him out and disowned him after he told them he was serving a mission. I asked him if he had everything he needed, and he said he was only able to take 2 pants, 2 shirts, and 2 white shirts, and a couple pair of normal clothes when he got kicked out. I told him to not worry and I would give him all of my stuff when I left, so I should be going home pretty light. Speaking of which, Sis. Laker told me my travel plans were all done, but I still haven't seen them yet. I'm not even sure what day I get home.
Lamut is officially my last area because Elder Sogari is getting transferred this week. Transfer day will also be my last time to see Pres. and Sis. Carlos before they go home. But they are going to live in Salem, so they aren't too far away and already invited me over for a barbecue. :)
That works out nicely that I will be able to go to Lake Powell afterwards and fry my farmers tan before school starts. 
Glad you could all celebrate a good Fathers Day. THANK YOU DAD FOR EVERYTHING!!!
On Sunday we had great success as we left for church early in order to pick up some investigators and an inactive that hasn't been to church in years. We have taught him several times now, and every time we go there his wife conveniently turns busy and doesn't want to listen. But after teaching him about the Sabbath Day and Sacrament last week, he was the one to suggest that he goes to church this Sunday. It is clear why he has had this sudden desire to come back to church-he has been reading from the Book of Mormon in his free time. As a result, his wife (who is 6 months pregnant with their first child) saw the Book of Mormon laying out on the table and said she got curious about it and what she could learn from this other Scripture. When we went by on Saturday to remind him we were coming to pick him up for church, his wife decided to drop what she was doing and come and talk to us-which was a first. She is now anxious to listen, all because of the power of reading the Book of Mormon. The lesson we had prepared for them that day was perfect-importance of reading the scriptures.
We were finally able to teach to a lady I met in the Jeepney several weeks ago on our way back from Solano. I started talking to her because I heard her speaking English to her 4 year old boy, and it turns out she lived in the U.K. for 6 months and came back to get her kid and permanently move to U.K.  After talking to her for a while, she asked where our nearest church was and I pointed to it as we drove past it. After pointing it to her, she said she wanted to try going to church there. After teaching her, she still has a lot of questions about what the difference between our church and other Catholic churches, and committed to go to church. Even though she is leaving in a couple weeks to go back to U.K., we are trying to plant the seed so that missionaries in U.K. can follow up with her and get her baptized.
We were surprised to see the Blance family, who we found by tracting and has been slowly progressing, already at the church and waiting for Sacrament to start when we got there. We had planned on picking them up too with the member's van, but they said we took too long so they went ahead. Haha. Too bad it was only the husband and wife, but they said they had a great experience and they felt good as they went. They even ended up seeing several people they knew at church as well. When we went by after church to teach them, we also found out why they were so anxious to get to church. After teaching and telling them for weeks to read and pray to know if what we are sharing is true, they said they tried it and gained their own testimony.
We are continuing to work with Mackbilly, who is now scheduled to be baptized on July 6, which will be my exact 2 year mark in the field, so that will be an excellent way to celebrate.
Hopefully I could make up for 2 weeks of email. Salamat po sa lahat.
Mahal ko kayo,
Elder Nay

Monday, June 10, 2013

10 June 2013

This should be interesting because I can only type in the Subject bar of the email.  Not a good day with a computer.  I'll have to keep this really short because we are late for an appointment and we got back from Banaue rice terraces pretty late, which is one of the most popular tourists spots in the Philippines.  I promise to write more next week to make up for this, but just know I'm still alive and the church is true.  Keep on keeping on! 
Mahal ko kayo
Elder Nay
Sorry again for sending a boring email.  No time and computer problems mixed together. 

 These pictures are "borrowed" from Sister Carlos' mission blog.
 Banaue rice terraces

This is a typical home for the people in this part of the country. They are called buhay kubo and they are up on stilts.

Monday, June 3, 2013

3 June 2013

  • Magandang hapon po!

    Kamusta na kayo!?
    Sounds like a very exciting and busy week celebrating with Dr. Nay! A big congrats to Kyle for all of those years of busting his butt off at school. 
    So far about every P-day here, we meet with a bunch of other missionaries in Solano to play basketball/football, then get something to eat at McDo. Today after playing some football in the blazing heat and eating, me, Elder Sogari and a couple other Elders from the Zone decided to get haircuts. As we were walking around the streets looking for a barber shop that wasn't full of gays, we found a cheap 40 peso one, but I was selected as the test rat to be the first one and see if the people actually knew how to cut hair. I explained very clearly that I needed a number 2 on the sides, 4 on top like usual. He said ok and started up the buzzer. As soon as he made the first cut on the sides, I knew it was going to end up a very interesting haircut because I'm pretty sure it was a 1 he used. Then without asking about my sideburns, hacked them away at top of ear. Then he pulled out the scissors, snipped a few times on top and said I was done. Not wanting a muffin top with the soldiers cut on the sides and a long hair on top, I asked him to take more off. He snipped a few more times and called it good. Meanwhile, the 3 Elders I was with just started laughing and thanking me for taking one for the team. One even felt bad for me and payed for the haircut. After seeing how terrible my hair looked, they decided to find somewhere else, and I decided to get another haircut there (after making someone else go first, haha) to try to fix the terrible haircut just minutes before. Oh well, hair grows back. Haha. As they always say here, it's more fun in the Philippines!
    Our one investigator Mackbilly is still doing awesome and on schedule to be baptized in a few weeks. Even though we have been to his house several times, we still havn't met his parents. Then on Sunday we were walking down the street when some lady stopped us and said, "Are you the ones Mackbilly are with?" Then she introduced herself as his mother and thanked us for being able to get him to go to church, because she is super active in a local catholic church and said even though our churches are different, it is still important that he goes to church to worship God.
    We have another family that we have taught several times and still helping them to understand what the Restoration and Priesthood really is, but after some convincing them that if they really wanted to find out, they needed to read more from the Book of Mormon, pray about it, and go to church, they committed to going to church this Sunday. It is slightly annoying because the most interested one in the family just gave birth 2 weeks ago and said she wants to read the Book of Mormon to find out more but can't because of a tradition they have of not being able to read until after a month of giving birth or else her eyesight will go bad. I told her straight up that there is no truth to that and it was just a false rumor, but she still "doesn't want to take any chances". Oh well, time will come that they will know.
    Well, thanks for all you do and have a good week!
    Mahal ko kayo,
    Elder Nay