Thursday, October 31, 2013

Officially lived in the Philippines for 3 months...

Monday, October 28, 2013
Still blows my mind every time I think that I live in the Philippines!

How's everything going back at home because it's amazing here!  I can't believe it's already Halloween.  The Holidays on the mission don't really exist it's just another day which is kind of sad.  

This last week after we wrote you it was transfer week like I said.  My comp became a district leader like I predicted.  I was still a little sick this week but nothing to hold me back from working. This week my comp and I focused our efforts on working with the youth and the leaders of the branch.  The branch is awesome and the members all want to help.  We went on splits this week and I can't remember if I told you about the first splits I went on but I hated it.  So this time I was really hesitant and I kept telling the members we couldn't go on splits because I thought it was going to be exactly like last time.  I was completely wrong... Splits this time was amazing and the members got us into less-active houses that we had always tried and never succeeded.  During the lessons the members would just ask "Bukit hindi nakapag punta sa simbah?" In English "Why aren't you going to church?" It was so direct that I thought they would get offended but they opened up and then they committed to go to church next week.  Hopefully we will see all of them at church next week  because a lot of the people here are so nice they don't want to offend you by saying no.

So this week we set another baptismal date for November 30 for 2 investigators.  They all have a strong desire but then they don't show up to church like they are supposed to so now we have to delay the baptism.  Hopefully they will realize how important church attendance really is and that it is a commandment of God.  

I told the Branch president this past week that I wouldn't be able to make it to PEC meeting because I wasn't feeling well so they brought it to me.  We held the meeting in front of our apartment.  I'm glad they came to our apartment because they gave us pretty much 17 referrals that we're going to go find this next week!  The work is picking up in our area so much.  The branch president is starting to trust us a lot.  I don't know if he trusted the last missionaries very much because they were all on their last cycle and they were all trunky.  He told us the other day he has noticed we're working hard.  It feels good to hear someone say you're working hard.

This week nothing insane or crazy happened.  I think I’m getting used to everything here.  Like as I think back to our lessons yesterday the people we taught live in houses made of bamboo and dirt floors in a swamp but I’m just so used to it I don't even recognize it anymore.  

I'm doing awesome here in the Philippines.  The work really is hastening and the church is true.  Tell Grandma I got her letter she wrote me and I’ll try and write her back some time. I still have to figure out how the mail system works here.   Also tell her thanks and it was cool to actually get a letter! 

The pictures are from the cave we went to last week.


Elder Tribe

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

May Sakit ako

Felt like a bad dream last week after I wrote you.  After I finished writing, I waited for my companion to finish emailing.  While he was finishing up writing I was laying down on a bench with the chills and a headache.  When we finally got back to the apartment, I laid down on my bed for ten minutes when all of a sudden I had to run for the door because I had to throw up!  It honestly was a repeat of the first week here in the Philippines except for not as bad.  

The next day I felt good enough to go to district meeting and then on splits with Elder Wightman from Idaho Falls, Idaho.  During splits we rode bikes which was a big thing for Elder Wightman because it was the first time he has ridden a bike in over a year.  We interviewed the three kids for baptism and then headed straight back to the apartment because I was still sick.  I honestly think that Heavenly Father was able to stop me being sick for 5 hours just so we could finish the baptismal interviews.  Right as we finished working I felt terrible and went right to bed.  

I didn't get better until Saturday morning which was a big disappointment because we really needed to work.  While at the apartment laying in bed, President Ralf and the AP's came to the front door.  They weren't there for me but for Elder Rumbaoa my companion.   My comp and President talked for 5 minutes and then they left.  My comp won't tell me what it was about but I'm almost 100% positive he's becoming an district leader.  President also told us that we're not getting transferred and I'm not training either!!!  It's good news to hear I'm not training because I don't think I'm prepared enough.  

Inline image 1
On Saturday morning I woke up feeling fine and ready for the baptism.  Preparing for the baptism, we found out the church had no water and we needed to find the two people in the whole area who knew how to turn it on!  We were freaking out a little because it takes over an hour to fill the font and the baptism started in two hours.  We finally found the 2 people and they turned on the water with just barely enough time before it had to start.  The baptism went really well and the look on the parents faces of the kids we baptized was priceless.  They all had huge smiles and you could tell they were so proud.  

Your lesson sounded delicious.  I would seriously die for some of your cookies mom!  I'm definitely going to try it with the members here.  I have no idea what you're talking about with an earthquake.  I didn't feel anything and no one here has T.V's so we never really know what's going on.  Are you really excited to get a puppy for Christmas or just sarcastic? haha I wish we could voxer to you!  That'd be awesome but it'd be too much like talking to each other.   Tell Kim to get better.  I pray for her almost every night.  What type of things are you willing to send me for Christmas?  Just like food right?  Anyways I love you mom, you're seriously amazing! 

Today was probably one of the best P-Days so far.  We went to Governor's rapid which is a cave with a waterfall in it.  You had to crawl in water with your head touching the ceiling and then it opened up into a huge cave with a waterfall.  It was really cool and I got a lot of pics but I don't know if I'll be able to send them today but I'll try. 

 The church is true.  There is true power in priesthood blessings.  The Church really is true, really. 

Love, Elder Tribe

Monday, October 14, 2013

Typhoons are Overrated!

Monday, October 14, 2013

This week nothing too crazy or weird happened.  

For the typhoon nothing crazy happened!  It's always disappointing when you get a text from the AP's saying that you should prepare for a typhoon coming to your area and then nothing happens!  It rained a lot for about 3 or 4 days and got pretty windy but just stopped today.  We didn't evacuate this time and we still worked even though it was pouring rain.  It's always good to go out when it's pouring rain because everyone is going to be home and they always let you in! 

Candle light lesson!
 We're teaching an inv. who is a 9 year old girl who is really really shy.  Like the most severe case of shyness in the entire world!  We've taught her over 10 times and she still hasn't prayed by herself.  This week we're going to tell her she can't get baptized unless she prays and hopefully that'll change her mind.  We were going to go teach her tonight but I woke up this morning not feeling good and so I don't think we're going to go teach tonight.  I'm pretty sure I have a fever or something but I’m not positive.  

Conference this week was amazing and you could tell that the prophet truly is called of God.  I really liked pretty much all the talks and how they all spoke about members helping the missionaries.  If you have a member with you the lessons go so much better!  I try to have a member present at every lesson.  Conference is a lot different here.  You have to go to the district church and when we walked in to the first session on Saturday morning there were only 14 people in total.  I understand why so few attend though.  They don't know English and none of the talks are in Tagalog!  The Sunday sessions have a lot more people but they still don't really understand anything being said.  During the Sunday morning session there was a massive spider running on people’s backs and no one knew.  It was crazy and hard to concentrate because I didn't want to be the next one having it crawl up my arm!

  The language is slowly getting better and I’m definitely better than when I was in the MTC.  I can pretty much understand what the people are saying but it's hard to respond.  I've been studying flash cards and role playing.  All the really good American missionaries say that role play was the thing that got them this good so we've been focusing on it a lot.  I still get frustrated with it because there are still so many words I don't know!  

The mission is seriously the best 2 years!  The first 3 weeks here I wanted to die but now it's just like home and I’m used to everything.  Hopefully I get better soon because when you're sick it always makes it a lot harder to be here.  Anyways, the church is seriously the only true church upon the earth!

Love, Cameron

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013
This week hasn't been hard but it hasn't been the best.  

This week we went to our investigator Meridins house.  The lesson was about the BofM and it was maybe one of the best lessons I’ll ever have.  I'm still having a hard time with the language but I get the gist of things.  She was asking questions and super involved.  You could feel the spirit super strong and after we taught her how to pray she probably gave one of the best prayers I've ever heard.  She asked to know what we're teaching is true, if the BofM is true and if this is the right path for her.  The sad thing about her situation is that she isn't married but is living with her boyfriend and two kids, so either she has to get married or move out.  We're going to try and push them for marriage.

Wednesday, we planned a lesson to teach an inv. who we haven't seen for about a week.  When we got to our fellowshippers house and told him who we were going to go teach he told us that our inv. died.  Elder Rumbaoa and I were kinda freaking out a little and ran over to his house.  Of course our fellowshipper was telling the truth.  We went back later that night to his viewing.  They are a poor family so the viewing was at their house.  While there we talked with the family about what we could do and they just asked us to pray for them.  They are less-active so we're going to teach them this week.  Hopefully they realize how important the gospel is!

Before the mission I honestly didn't like watching conference to much but now I’m looking forward to it!  I'm actually excited to watch it!  We haven't seen any conference yet.  We are watching it this weekend!  I don't know how the whole watching conference thing works here but I know we got to Alicia to watch it.  

I don't have very much to write about this week because nothing really happened.  We have three kids getting baptized on the 19th so pray for them.  My comp got sick this week so I was stuck in the apartment.  It was kinda good because I got to study the language a lot and make a ton of flash cards.  If you could give me any ideas on how to study the language that'd be great!  Hope your week goes great and I love you!

Elder Tribe

Rice that has been harvested!

Just letting him know who's boss!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Got the Package!

September 29, 2013

I got the package and it felt like Christmas when I opened it!  Tell Jon thanks for the jerky!  When I asked my comp if he wanted to eat some jerky he said "How do you eat it?  With rice?"  I thought that was hilarious!  It's exactly what any other Filipino would have said!  I haven't eaten too much from what you sent me yet because we don't have any gas to cook.  I would use the microwave but my comp had the good idea of microwaving an egg and of course it blew up!  Most of the egg is still in the microwave and I gag every time I have to use it.

The girl in the middle is our investigator and those are her friends!
I feel like I always say this but it's true, it was a way good week!  On the19th of October we have 3 kids getting baptized and maybe one more person who was a referral from the ward.  The referrals name is Marra and she has so much desire to learn about the Gospel!  We always ask her when a good time would be for our next appointment and she always say come every day!  We're going to challenge her this week to baptism on the 19th so I’ll let you know how that goes.  

The zone chapel
On Thursday we had Zone conference in Santiago.  My comp and I left our apartment pretty early just so we had enough time to eat Macdo (McDonalds) While eating in Macdo there was an old man who walked in and he was white!  It was really weird to see another white person that wasn't a missionary!  My comp kept asking me if it was my dad!  

During Zone conference we talked about Christ and what other churches believe here in the Philippines about Christ!  It was probably the best lesson I've ever had about Christ and made me realize even more how true the church really is!  

We recently got our bikes back this week or last week so we've been riding them around instead of walking everywhere!  I can definitely tell my legs are getting stronger!  Mom, you sent me that thing about tape worms and the first thing that came to my mind was what I ate this week.  I ate chicken intestine, pork blood soup with pig heart, and pig ear.  I'll try to eat better but it's hard when the members are shoving these things down my throat. I can tell I'm gaining weight but I don't know exactly how much I've gained because no one here has a scale.
Family week in Alicia!

My branch dancing at family week!
We had family week here on Saturday.  Family week is pretty much where all the branches get together have a parade, dance, President Ralf speaks, and eat food!  It was pretty fun and our branch had the best dance by far!  The missionaries didn't dance but we sang “Army of Helaman”.

Yesterday while riding our bikes to an appointment a drunk guy told us to talk to him.  So we went over and we started talking about the gospel.  When we told the guy we had to go, he said he loved us and hugged me and then whispered in my ear "I know Joseph Smith" and then he kissed my neck!  I didn't know what to do so I just got on my bike and rode away!  It was the weirdest thing in the world and my comp couldn't stop laughing!  Ha-ha it's the only kiss I’m going to get for the next two years!  Hopefully!


Elder Tribe