Saturday, August 29, 2015

August 29, 2015

August 28, 2015

So I have some interesting news... last Thursday Elder Valencia and I were doing our companionship study when we got a call from President Revillo. I was a little bit scared to answer and so I made elder Valencia answer. He talked to President for a few seconds and then his eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped and he said "yeah here he is President". He handed me the phone and I say hello president. President says "hello elder hows your sore eyes?" etc etc. he asks me how im doing and things like that. then he says "Elder, the reason I am calling is because I have an extra calling for you" (I'm already a district leader so I guess I'm going to have an additional calling???) I said ".. uhhh sige po president what's that?". he responded by explaining, "so as you know the new couple missionaries - Elder and Sister Condie - came in two weeks ago and Elder Condie was to be my new office secretary. However they are not working out. I want you to be my new office secretary. Can you do this for me Elder Van Slooten?" ... haha I didn't know what to say. I probably sounded very awkward as I responded, "umm yes president.. I can do that for you". "good", President Revillo responded. "this means that you will be helping me run the mission from behind the scenes. Are you familiar with Microsoft word? excel? do you have a drivers license? you will need to get a drivers license, you will be driving all over the mission" President continued to explain some of the other responsibilities I will have and some of the many things I will have to do and what will happen in the next few days. "Elder you have my complete trust. I need you to learn fast. Elder Brewer will be training you and as you know, he goes home in eight days. Can you get your bags packed tonight? I want you to be in Quirino in the office tomorrow morning early to start your training. Elder I am relying upon you. can I trust you"? umm at this point I was speechless with about a thousand thoughts running through my head. I don't want to drive in Manila I'll die! I don't know how to be a secretary? I've never organized and planned the affairs of a mission! why me? I'm the least qualified! haha I responded and said "President I will give 100% to this calling. you can trust me". President simply replied "Great. be ready tomorrow by 8 am. thank you Elder". He hung up the phone and Elder Valencia and my kabahays - Elders Barenno and Scoffield - were all yelling "what happened, what was that"!! it was a pretty funny experience. so there ya go. I got emergency transferred into the office as president's secretary. My new ward is Quirino 2 at 1 in the afternoon (in case I have any prospective visitors) my pday is now on Saturday so you guys will be emailing me on Friday night.

This is a picture of me and my kabahays before i got transferred. My first night in the office was nuts.. we had to go pay the rent that the couple missionaries had before they left and we dropped by their apartment to get their key. Elder and Sister Condie are awesome and they looked pretty sad to be going home so i offered to give them a blessing if they would like. They accepted and it was very spiritual. Elder Condie was all teary eyed and he told me that he feels like he has known me his whole life. After we collected their key he offered to walk us out to the street. Elder condie told us "We had dinner with the President Revillo and his wife last night and they talked about you elders a lot". He then looked right at me and pointed at me saying "especially you Elder Van Slooten. President Revillo really depends on you and he sees a lot in you" (gulp) hahaha jeez talk about pressure!! I'm sad to see the condies go though. they were only here for two weeks

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 23, 2015

We had a baptism this week! his name is Jericho Bibon 15 years old and he reminds me of Ryan Barnett. we have a super solid friendship. haha! he's one of my favorite converts because he's super funny and we're always sitting next to each other in sacrament meeting and having fun together.
After i baptized Jericho i wanted to yell into my towel. I was so stoked! Then the         
following Sunday the bishop told me that Jericho wanted me to confirm him. I was so  
scared haha! I've never confirmed anyone before in my life! It worked out well                                  though.
 This is our last baptism. Mariella May Ramos Cruz. I baptized and confirmed  her.      And that's our bishop crouching in the front. He's the old mission president of               the Tacloban mission!                                                                                                      
 This is a view of the neighborhood that I live in. If you walk along the   
 river,  you'll run into our street and then you turn left on our street and you'll find our house! Isn't that funny! haha! it looks so uninviting from the outside (and from the inside too) but it's a pretty cool neighborhood. it's always flooding and pretty often the river will flood over that wall and were stuck hahaha!
Me and Mister Buddy Reyes!! He gave me 1000 pesos haha! I told him not to but he forced it on me.

August 2, 2016
Hey family!! I got your package! it was so nice to get it and the timing was perfect! also the shoes fit me perfectly and are really cool! I wrote you guys a letter so hopefully you get it soon. I will send it tomorrow so it shouldn't take too long.
My new companion is elder Valencia from Bicol and he doesn't speak a lot of English.. which is a bummer because it's hard to talk to him for a long period of time but! he's super cool! we teach so well together. also a huge bonus is he's really good at cooking. He made Bicol express and chicken curry with fresh coconut milk we bought across the street. SO good! and now I know how to cook it too so hopefully I can somewhat emulate what he created the other day. I really hope that I remember all these cooking things. I want to cook for you guys when I come home! although it won't be as good as mom's cooking it will be better than my cooking before my mission haha!

It was so hard to have Elder Salisbury go. He was my best friend on the mission, and it's not like I'll see him in the future at mission meetings or anything. He's home now so I'll have to wait for when I'm home to see him again! It was pretty sad the first few days without him but I'm adjusted now. He's going to study at UVU right next to BYU so I bought a little coin purse here, wrote Sam's number inside of it, and told Elder Sals to give Sam a call when he gets home and deliver her the coin purse. haha! We'll see if it gets to her! 
Mom, that book by Elder Groberg is an amazing book! Brother Olsen gave it to me to read before my mission. It helped me a lot actually and there are a lot of passages from that book that I remember that are very applicable to life right now in the field. I wrote you guys a letter kind of about that. pray that it gets to you! because I think I have sent some letters in the past that didn't get to you!
August 9, 2016
Hey family! I hope you guys had a good trip to Mex. That'd be cool if Jolie got some surf all on her own to try and shortboard. What board is she riding btw? Did you guys put a leash plug on my longboard yet? Also I hope this coming school year goes great, mom! I pray for you every night crisscross on the floor in front of my fan haha. It'll be nice to be so close to school.
August 16, 2016
hey family! this week was great! I had a visitor in the Quezon city third ward!!! Buddy Reyes!!! it was so cool to see him!! oh man if you guys ever see him in the near future make sure to tell him how good it was to see him!
Sounds like you guys had a great trip to Mexico. I wish I could have been there haha oh well I'll get there in 2 years.

I also wish I could get more done on pdays too, dad. Time is so fast on Mondays. We're not really allowed to go on hikes in this mission at any time so I don't think I'll be going on any hikes any time soon. If we want to go to a zoo or anywhere cool it has to be in our area,  then even if it is in our area we have to text president for permission before we go do anything like that on a pday. hahaha he rarely allows us to "waste time" on pdays. Missionaries from the Philippines say that President Revillo is the most strict mission president in the Philippines haha.  I don't doubt them but I also think it's good in some ways. We get a lot done and missionaries really learn to grow up with his strictness and we really work hard. although yes, dad I'm with you. I wish I could go on a hike too. Once a missionary asked him "President, can I read 'Jesus the Christ' by James E Talmage?" President said "Elders and Sisters, once you have 100 percent memorized the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel front to back, inside and out, you can read whatever you like" hahaha! it was his way of saying, read nothing except for the bom and pmg. Hes' so funny. Yeah I honestly learned to go with the flow. I love the scripture in the New Testament "Don't kick against the pricks" I try to remember that and accept things as they are.
Also our stake president surfs and he was telling me about Siargao and how there's
always surf there year round. I think we need to make a trip  back someday
This week we had another baptism! I'll try and send you guys a lot of pictures but it was awesome. every time I baptize someone, and I dry off afterwards in the bathroom I wanna yell into my towel from excitement haha. And yes Jericho is so pumped on being a member now. almost every time I see him he says "Elder van! magmimisyon ako sa inyo. sa lugar ninyo ha!"(I will go on a mission and I'll be going to your place) haha He reminds me so much of Ryan or Jacques Barnett. We have our own secret handshake and we're always joking around with each other. I hope he serves in the California San Fernando  Mission! Chances are slim but I'm hoping.