Friday, September 27, 2013

I Ate Snails!

September 22, 2013
I ate snails!

I couldn't think of a better title.
This week has been pretty amazing!  I'm pretty sure I walked around the Philippines twice!  This week we focused a lot on finding new investigators!  My last companion didn't like OYMing (Open Your Mouth) but the new companion loves it!  He told me he feels likes a missionary when he talks to everyone!  This week we had 26 OYMs and some of the OYMs seem interested. 

From OYMing and talking to the members, we got 3 new investigators this week!  I challenged 2 to baptism and the other 1 we’re going to go visit tomorrow!  This week we were teaching the less active catholic inv. and it was the most frustrating thing in the world!  She is the only one who isn't a member in the family but it seems like her family doesn't want her to be a member.  While I was challenging her to be baptized, her mom was just laughing hysterically and while her mom was laughing hysterically our fellowshipper decided to correct my grammar even though it was correct.  It was probably the hardest lesson I've ever taught when it probably should have been one of the best. 

Just yesterday during church a guy came up to us with his daughter and introduced us to her.  He told us that she is nine and has not been baptized yet and so we said we would start teaching her.  When we said we would teach her he said "Teach her all of the lessons today and lets baptize her tomorrow" (In Tagalog) It was the funniest thing in the world but it was still an awesome experience.  We've had a couple experiences this week where people have come up to us and told us they want to be baptized.  So in four or five weeks we should have a baptism hopefully!

About the title of this E-mail.  We were at a dinner appointment and they had snails for us to eat.  They didn't taste like anything but I didn't eat too many because they said I could get sick from them.  I also ate pigs ear, which pretty much tastes like bacon but again, I didn't eat very much because I kept thinking about what I was eating.

One funny thing I saw that you'd only see in the Philippines was a member put a logo on her garments.... I guess garments are cheaper than T-shirts and so she just bought some and put logos on them.  I don't think she realizes that she shouldn't do that.

It's been a really good week and with a lot of work.  My comp keeps telling me we have to work hard because the harder you work on your mission the better looking your wife will be.  I hope it's true because we're working really hard!  

The work in our area is going great.  The other day I was pretty frustrated with my Tagalog.  While walking I was thinking about how I don't know Tagalog at all but then I realized that I was understanding what the people around me were saying.  The gift of tongues is real!  My comp keeps telling me a quote about how you can't be the best all at once and it's definitely true.  The church is true!
mahal ko kayo (I love you)

Elder Tribe  
Caught this little guy in the apartment.  He wasn't little!  I drowned it in our trash can

Just hanging out!  The sign that i always do with my hand means handsome

Just a cute little girl!

Fishing in the Philippines!  With a bamboo stick and some worms!  I caught a huge mac dad!

Just some neighborhood kids! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Companion!

September 16, 2013

My new companion is freaking awesome!  Seriously, my prayers were answered!  In my prayers I asked for an American but at the same time I asked for a Filipino because I wanted to learn the language.  I got the best of both worlds!  He's a Filipino but he acts like an American!  He is a strait up stud and is really hard working!  I tell you more about him later.

Last lesson with Elder Guevarra!
On Monday, P-day, the last day with Elder Guevarra we e-mailed til 6 and then went to a dinner appointment here in Alicia.  The dinner appointment was with 6 other missionaries and we had to leave early because we had to go back to our area to an FHE we had planned!  We ran a good 3 blocks or more to find a tricy to get back to our area to teach!  It was cool to see my companion running on his last night of being a missionary.  I hope my last night of being a missionary I’ll run to lessons!  When we finally got to the FHE the Nanay was sleeping but she woke up and let us give our message and then they fed us.

At the best tasting restaurant in the Philippines!

The next morning on Tuesday we got up and headed to Cauayan for the departure fireside. The fireside was really good and it was cool to hear the testimonies of missionaries who were about to go home!  I said good bye to my companion and then went on splits that night with the zone leaders.  On the bus ride back to the zone leader’s apartment, we stopped at a restaurant called Momma Mia's.  Let’s just say that it was one of the happiest times so far on the mission!  I ordered a Hawaiian pineapple pizza and I was literally smiling while eating it!  It was so good my mouth is watering just writing this.

The next day we headed to Cauayan again, to the transfer meeting.  When I got my new companion I already knew he was a stud from what everyone was telling me.  Everyone was telling me that he is really good at basketball and that he is a good missionary.  He is super good at basketball!  The other day a member was watching a basketball game on T.V. and my comp tells me that that is where he plays and that's his league!  It was a stadium as big as the Utah Jazz!

My new comp with some fellowshippers
I never really knew if my last comp was trunky but it turns out he was.  With Elder Rumbaoa as my new companion, we have taught more in just 3 days than I did in one week with my first comp!  I don't know if it's because I am leading the area now or not but the work is going good.  We don't have too much going on in our area right now but we do have a new investigator.  She said that she was a Roman Catholic but stopped going to church because she read in the Ten Commandments to not worship idols or statues but they worship Mary statues.  We only talked with her, we didn't open up a lesson because there was a full grown man walking around in his really tight tighty whities  10 feet from us pumping water and staring at us.  It was way uncomfortable and super super creepy.  

Mom and Dad, I can't remember exactly how old you are but I know you're in your 50's. Please take care of yourselves because when the people here tell me that they're 50 I think they are lying because they honestly look like they're over 100 years old.  I know you don't look that old but the people here honestly look like they are on their last leg at 50 years old!  So take good care of yourself. The lifestyle here is a lot different though but still it scares me to see these people saying they are younger than you but look a thousand years old.

Anyways......  Everything is going great here in the mission!  My new companion is a strait up stud and is helping me a lot!  I honestly hated the Philippines at first but it definitely grows on you!  It'll definitely never be as good as the good ol' United States but it's still pretty freaking awesome!

The mission is seriously so awesome!  I think it got a little better because the new group came in and now they get to experience what I experienced and I have a little bit more seniority.  Thanks for everything!  Thanks for pushing me little by little to go on a mission!  It's been already one of the greatest experiences of my life!  I love you all!  

Mahal kita,
Elder Tribe

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

First Baptism!

Monday, September 9, 2013
Mark's Baptism

By far the best week in the mission!  So much is going on in our area and in the mission!  On Saturday alone there were over 40 baptisms just in our mission!  That's not even including our baptism that we had on Saturday!  Right after I wrote you last week, Elder Guevarra told me that the Branch President texted him and said that a member saw Mark smoking a cigarette.  I didn't believe it because Mark doesn't look like the person who would smoke but we had to go find out.  When we got to his house we asked him how he was doing with the word of wisdom.  He told us he was keeping it but after the lesson we asked a member if she had seen him smoking or anything.  She said that Mark is a good boy and would never do anything like that and she promised with her arm to the square.  It was really good news to hear!  Probably some of the best news I've heard in a long time!  We baptized Mark on Saturday!  It was a really good baptism and you could feel the spirit really strong.  It was awesome when he bore his testimony after.  It was short but he thanked us for teaching him the truth and thanked his friend for telling the missionaries to teach him.  

 This week on Wednesday we had a CSP (Community Service Project) it was at a school and our whole zone went to help out.  We needed knives to cut down trees so the teachers just asked the students and then all of a sudden the kids come running out of the bushes with huge machetes!  It was scary to think all these little kids had huge knives and we're running towards us with them!  No one got hurt but it was funny to think that in America every single one of those kids would have been suspended or expelled!

On Thursday my companion had a language study test at the mission home in Cauayan.  The test is to see if he knows English and if he passes he'll receive a certificate that will help him get a job after his mission.  While he was taking the test I went to the trainers meeting.  It was funny because everyone thought I was going to be a trainer even though I had only been here 6 weeks!  I could hear some of the Elders saying "I guess there's a first time for everything." It was pretty funny but then President cleared everything up because he could tell people were confused.  After my comp finished the test, the senior couple made us a huge banana split that was probably the best tasting thing in the Philippines at that moment.

FHE at Nanay Tumamows house!
The little girl that pulled my chair out is on the far right!
That night we had an FHE at Nanay Tumomows house.  There were a lot of people there and everyone was having tons of fun!  I got up out of my seat to get a drink and when I went to go sit back down the little girl next to me pulled the seat out from under me.  It didn't hurt or anything but I felt pretty stupid.  Probably the stupidest I’ve felt the whole time I’ve been on my mission!  The little girl was laughing but for only a little bit.  Nanay walked over and smacked her upside the head!  It was kinda funny but I didn't laugh and I told nanay it was okay!

The snake! It's about 4 feet long and I'm not positive it's a cobra!

Last night was probably the most adrenaline pumped night so far in the Philippines!  My companion, fellowshipper and I were walking back in the dark on a dirt road with just a little light to see about 3 feet in front of us.  While we were walking all of a sudden our fellowshipper freaked out and then I freaked out and then my companion freaked out!  We almost walked over a snake!  It wasn't moving so I went to find a rock to hit it with to see if it was dead or alive.  I couldn't find a big rock so we just hit it with a little one and it didn't move.  We thought it was dead so we started to take pictures of it and get closer when all of a sudden my comp and the fellowshipper started screaming and running!  When I looked down at the snake it was moving and then I started running!  Back at our fellowshippers house there mom said it was a cobra...  "I could have died" was the only thing that was running through my head when she said that!  Every time before we go out and teach I pray that we will have safety as we travel to and from appointments!  I'm glad I do because it could have been a pretty bad night last night.

The next time I write I will have a new companion.  My comp leaves me tomorrow and goes home on Wednesday.  I'll be kind of sad to see him go because we've gotten pretty close and all the area really liked him.  He's a really hard working missionary and a really good trainer.  Pray for me that I’ll get another good companion!  I'm starting to have conversations in only Tagalog.  The language is coming along pretty good and I hope my next comp will help me a lot in the language!  My companion keeps telling me to cherish my moments left here on the mission because time flies by and before it you'll be home.  Time really does fly by when you're on the mission.  I've already been out three months and it feels like yesterday I was giving my farewell talk.  

Mahal kita,

Elder Tribe

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Crazy Week!

The weeks all start to mesh into one big blob!  I never know what I already told you!
Basketball today!
It was a really good week this week!  Every week is starting to be a really good week!  I starting to love it here more and more it's crazy!

On Tuesday I had splits with Elder Wightman from Idaho.  I went to his Area and it was pretty awesome!  We walked a lot and didn't get very many lessons but it was cool just to see what other peoples areas are like!  It's also cool because people don't know that you don't know Tagalog very well so they speak to you like you actually know it.  Our first lesson was we taught a Nay and Tay.  They are investigators and are freaking hilarious!  The first thing Tay asked me was how many girlfriends I have had!  I told him that I've had many and he just started cracking up.  After he was done laughing he said that he likes cold days like this because then he can hug the girls and warm them up!  I couldn't stop laughing!  After we were finished with our lesson and trying to get them to pronounce my name correctly for 10 minutes they brought out a marianda.  It was fried squash and it was really good.  Tay is pretty blind and so when he was trying to find the food with his hand he told us to put the food in his hand.  While we were reaching for the food he grabbed Elder Wightman's hand and thought it was the food and started to pull his arm towards his face!  I'm glad he was a little blind a deaf because i was cracking up!  

It's weird how much you adapt to the weather here.  The other day I got up and it was 80 degrees with a slight breeze.  I was kind of cold.... it was super weird to think that back at home I would be hot, especially with it being that hot in our house!   I have an alarm clock that tells the temp and the other day after study at about 1 in the afternoon I looked at the temp.  It was 91 degrees inside our apartment and it didn't even feel that hot!  I'm going to come home and be cold in the middle of summer!

This is the place where all the missionaries who stay in our apartment sign. 
It's on the wall by our door
This week we had President interviews on Wednesday!  The interviews were really short and he just wanted to know how we were doing and for us to study Christ like attributes!  I'm studying patience because it takes a lot of patience to go to a place where everything is new to you and you know nothing.  During the meetings we had meatball sandwiches that were really good!  It's the only sandwich I've had since I've been here so it tasted better than it should!

District picture with the Pres and his wife

This week we taught Mark again and he is going to be baptized on September 7.  I'm kinda of sad it'll just be Mark getting baptized.  All his friends came to every lesson but then I guess last second they got a job in another city and we won't be able to baptize them.  During Mark's lesson, a crazy lady got a big knife and was running around with it!  Everyone was running from her while she was laughing!  It was pretty scary but I don't think she was a real threat and we don't live anywhere near her so I don't think we'll have problems with her anymore.  Don't worry mom I wasn't running, she was chasing some other people!  

We also taught Tatay Salvador.  He is a convert to the church that went inactive but has started coming ever since we taught him about a month ago.  The other day while we were teaching him he started to cry and told us that he is grateful for missionaries because without missionaries he would never have known the truth.  It was probably the best thing in the world for a missionary to hear! 

Anyways this week has been really good!  Hopefully this next week will be just the same!  I'm starting to love it here more and more everyday.  I can't wait for Mark's baptism this Saturday!  Thanks for all the prayers!  This church is true!  I wish people would just realize it and keep the commandments!

Spider fights!  These spiders don't bite so you hold them  with your hands and then put them both on a stick and they fight. It gets pretty competitive here and people will bet on the spiders!