Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015

this is a picture of my district after district meeting! We're a pretty cool district. There are people from Cali, Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand.

October 23, 2015

Magandang araw family ko,

I have some pretty exciting news!! so this November we're going to have a mission tour and we're going to be visited by Elder Neil L Anderson! He's going to come and give training to the entire mission! Even including all of the missionaries in Mindoro. This never happens so its super cool. President told me to arrange flight plans for every single missionary in Mindoro to fly here for the mission tour. That's about 18 missionaries all coming to Manila which will be super hard to plan, for flights and where they're going to sleep and things like that. And when they go back to Mindoro they're not going to fly home. They're going to take a bus and then a ferry like we did in 2010. It's gonna be pretty hard to arrange for all of that. I'm pretty jealous though cuz it sounds super fun! but i'll be in the office when Elder Anderson arrives.  I might get to escort him around haha that would be crazy!
btw, I have no more long sleeve shirts and my watch broke so i might have to use my credit card to buy a new one.. im guessing that would be okay? after all, its not every day that an apostle visits your mission! haha hes going to be coming on Nov 17 so I'm super excited. not much else has been going on with me. just regular office things.

Did you guys get an email from the mission about a typhoon and how the missionaries are safe? that was me! hahaha president told me to write a mass email to all the families of the missionaries informing them that the typhoon isn't that strong where we are and that we're all safe. anyways how are things at home? how has class been mom? is the yard almost done? Ill write you guys next week! ingat kayo!
October 18, 2015 (letter from the Philippines Quezon City mission regarding Typhoon Koppu that hit the Philippines northern area)
Hello Families and Friends of Quezon City Missionaries!

As you may have seen and heard on the news, Typhoon KOPPU (LANDO) has made land-fall in the Philippines. This typhoon has maintained its strength while moving northward very slowly along the beach front areas in the northern part of the Philippines far away from Quezon City. The Weather Philippines Automated Weather Station expects the typhoon to decrease in size and strength in the coming days. Typhoon KOPPU has had no major effects on the Quezon City mission besides slight rain and mild winds. Every Missionary has been accounted for and is safe. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.

October 16, 2015

Hey Family!

This week was pretty solid. We've been getting a lot done in the office in preparation for this upcoming transfer day. The week leading up to the transfer day is always really busy. My companion, Elder Tano and I had to go to the Philippines area office (in front of the Manila Temple) so we could pick up the passports of the foreign exiting missionaries this transfer. While we were there we ran into Elder Haynie of the Seventy! I dont know if you remember him but he spoke this last general conference. He told the story about being covered in mud and demanding to enter his house. He's part of the new area presidency here and he's really nice. He's pretty funny too.
In other news this one sister missionary I met in the mtc - sister jenkins - sent me a package this week! It was so nice of her. (She's home now and she lives in Idaho about an hour from grandpa's house in Garden Valley.  What are the chances of that, haha) There was a bunch of food and candy so if you guys send me a package don't worry too much on candy. I was super stoked on that package though. One thing I do need is socks... my socks are getting pretty worn out! So that would be my one request haha black and browm socks would be nice.
It sounds like all is well with you guys. I'm jealous about solimar! last time we surfed it it was windy, small, brownish water, and pretty cold. i miss that wave. it sounds like you're enjoying your new class mom! i pray for you every day.
i heard about tyler cowley! thats pretty exciting and hopefuly he picks up tagalog fast haha bulacan is in the angeles mission and thats where the "true tagalog speakers" are from haha or at least thats what Sister Revillo tells me haha anyways i love you guys! take care!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October 10, 2015

October 9, 2015

This week has been pretty busy, we're getting close to transfer day and the week preceding transfer day is one of the busiest times in the office. Not too much has been going on except for the normal things in the office; driving people to the airport at 4 am, responding to parent's emails about their missionaries, answering the phone, taking care of the new couple missionaries, etc. Sometimes when I take a step back from things I'm amazed at how adjusted I have become to the Philippines. I forget sometimes that I'm living in Asia haha. When I step outside from a building with aircon (air), the brick wall of humidity doesn't hit me like it used to do or when one of my kabahays (companion/housemates)say they want balut (duck embryo) I don't watch in disgust anymore, I just eat a balut with them haha. The Philippines is such a unique place and after being here for a while now it seems to have lost its rarity to me and I want to try and remember how special it all is. I'll miss walking down the street and being able to buy pineapples and watermelon for 10 pesos (about $0.25) or hearing people yell "isdaaa" (fish) as they walk down the street carrying buckets of fish for sale. One thing I won't miss, however, is sweating uncontrollably haha That's one thing I'll never get used to!

Being in the office is pretty cool too, you get a lot of experiences with things you never thought you would experience in the mission. For example, I can now type somewhat successfully without even looking at the keyboard. a minor skill I know, but I never expected to gain that ability on my mission! haha
President Revillo told me that the companionships in the office will be switching this coming transfer. He explained that it would be better for the office and travel secretary (me) to be companions with the financial secretary (Elder TaƱo my new companion) because they often have more things to do in the office. The apartment specialist (elder Boringgot my current companion) will now be companions with the office recorder (Elder Reyes) because they don't usually need to be in the office for too long. This would also mean that I would be switching areas, Ill be getting into my fourth area Cubao.  My first four areas are Quezon City 1st ward, Quezon city 3rd ward, Quirino 2nd ward, and soon to be Cubao ward. All of these areas share a border at some point or another! haha I've been in the same place essentially for one year! I don't mind though I love the city. I'm making a prediction though that when I get out of the office, President is going to send me somewhere far away (maybe Mindoro?).  It's a mission myth and a rumor that whenever people leave the office, they go to Mindoro because President feels bad that they haven't experienced the province in a long time. Although it is just a rumor and a myth, it has happened to the last 8 out of 10 elders to leave the office haha. we'll see. 
I hope you guys are all doing well! I pray for you guys every night. love you!
This is me and my companion outside of the sister apartment at 4 am. We had to drive a sister to the airport really early. Recognizing the rarity of the situation, my companion and I decided to try and emulate an edgy band pic. This is the result haha I don't think we were successful.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

October 3, 3015

October 2, 2015

This week was pretty good. It’s been pretty busy because we’ve had quite a few meetings and there are always things going on in the office.
Something really strange happened to me the other day that I’ve never seen happen before in the Philippines. And it happened twice! So in my whole mission I have never seen anyone ever get pulled over… but last Saturday I got pulled over twice! The first time, we were trying to get to the baptism of Sister Latham's and Sister Tropia's investigator  (I’m their district leader and their investigator asked if I could baptize her) when we got lost on the way. I made a right turn down a street like any other – two lanes, wide, safe – when up ahead I see a standing street officer waving at me. His body language was pretty casual so I thought nothing of it and waved back. When our car passed by him he yelled pretty loud and slammed on the hood of our car. I realized maybe I had made a mistake and decided I should pull over. He came up to the window and told me that it was actually a one way street! Even though there were two lanes and I was the only car on the road! They were doing some kind of construction and they had to temporarily make it a one way street. I told him that there was no sign and he told me there was. He pointed down the road a ways and I saw a tiny sign hidden behind a garbage can... pretty lame. Elder Ramirez told me, “don’t give him your license” hahaha then right after that, the officer told me to give him my license! Haha I showed him my license inside my wallet and he told me to take it out. I took it out and handed it over and he took it away and traded my license with a ticket. He told me that I needed to go to Quezon City Hall to be able to pay off the ticket and to also get my license back. I even offered to pay him off right there and then to see if he was corrupt! Haha he didn’t accept the bribe, however,  and I was pretty bummed because I knew how much of a hassle that would be but I'm not going to lie, I was pretty excited to have to go to Quezon City Hall to have to try and retrieve my Philippines' drivers license. They were pretty nice though because they told me that they could give me a ticket for two things. One was disobeying traffic signs – which costs 350 pesos – and the other was going down a one way street – which is 1400 pesos. They decided to only give the disobeying traffic signs ticket and give me a break because I'm “a foreigner who can speak Tagalog” haha.
The second time I got pulled over that day was after the baptism and we were driving down EDSA when another street officer gave me some very confusing hand signs which I interpreted as “move forward”.. apparently meant “turn right” I moved forward and he pointed to the curb and told me to wait for him. It was about 6pm and EDSA was packed as usual so there was no where I could run. He came up and told me to give him my license.. for a second I had forgotten that I had gotten my license confiscated earlier and started fishing around my pocket for my wallet. I was super bummed when all of a sudden I remembered that I had no license! I told him pretty happily and he said why are you driving!! He seemed to be a bit more compassionate when I told him that I had just gotten it confiscated earlier because I was pulled over. He told me to be careful and to just get out of there haha.
I never ever thought I would get pulled over in the Philippines for driving, and in one day, it happened twice. It was pretty fun at Quezon City Hall too. Some pretty funny people and a pretty disorganized government system. All in all though this week was good. I really like the office and it’s a super cool experience. For example, getting  pulled over and having to retrieve your license at Quezon City Hall!
September 25, 2015
Hey Mom! 
Things are going so well right now! I'm so happy here in the office, I really feel like im a big help to the mission. Our days are spent mostly in the office and occasionally around the mission when we get assigned to do random tasks. I felt like at the beginning, there was no way i could ever be the office secretary. I thought for sure i would never be able to fulfill this calling. Bur right now I truly feel that I fully know how to do everything I'm asked to do. even though I only had about 4 days of training. I feel pretty confident and capable. T
To summarize my responsibilities, I'm in charge of all travel, all correspondences with other missions and ecclesiastical leaders of missionaries, processing all missionaries info into the computers, making appointments with the temple and a bunch of other things. Its really fun but slightly stressful at times. Every day we get to leave the office at 4 pm and go proselyting. The usual missionary schedule is 10am-12 pm proselyting, and then 2-9 pm proselyting so its a big decrease in proselyting time. Ofte times we need to take extra time in the office to finish the things we need to get done for that day so sometimes we don't get to go out at 4 o'clock. It can be hard sometimes. Our area is struggling right now meaning we are having a hard time finding people to teach. It's easy to blame that on our very limited working hours but we can still get a lot done. i actually love to go out proselyting after a long and stressful day in the office. It feels good to get outside and walk around. It feels good to sweat and talk to people. So its a huge blessing that were still allowed to work.
I do miss Elder Valencia's bicol express! It's a bummer because usually missionaries cook their own food in between proselyting hours for lunch, but because we're so busy in the office, we don't have any time at all to go home and cook food so we just buy ulam and rice at karinderias on the street. I like it too because they have some really good food most of the time but i do miss cooking. I'll get back into it when I get out of the office. The weather has been pretty hot as usual. Raining every so often but nothing too extreme. Driving is fine. I'm pretty safe on the streets as to not get in an accident. Everything is going really well here! I'm really happy and excited to keep working hard! I love you guys and hope everything is going well back home!
p.s. I think I hit my year mark next transfer? that's so fast! 
pulled over and having to retrieve your license at Quezon city hall!