Monday, August 25, 2014

2nd week - Sharing the love

Benito Soliven

Shout out to my comp. Elder Bautista! It's his birthday today!
Elder Bautista eating Balut
So not much new on the culture. This week has been raining a ton though. Luckily Cauayan are doesn't get hit by typhoons very hard. All the mountains around us help, but its rained everyday for at least an hour or two and then right after the sun comes out and all the water on the ground is gone.
We've been recently visiting one of the former bishops who's been inactive since 2008. His house is about an hour and a half walk away and you have to take a boat to cross the river too, but we've been to his house twice now. The first visit we just met with him asked him why he doesn't come to church and we were basically just checking sup in his life. So he was saying that he just wasn't feeling the love from the ward members. He said they never visited him just because he was so far away and he understood and all that, but he was still pretty sad. So yesterday after church we got all the YSA and a couple young men and women to go down with us to teach and visit. We met with him and he started crying just because he was so happy and he said he would go to church next Sunday. So that's awesome.
Filipinos are all way to nice. When we go tracting everybody always lets us in and gives us food and then lets us set a return appointment. If they don't want to take the lessons anymore they just hide when we come by. So it's kind of a struggle.
The spiritual thought this week is all about service. Service is huge here. Everyone helps everyone out and it's just great. Mosiah 4:16-18
 16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
 17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
 18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.
And I forgot my Camera again..... but I have plenty of pictures so I promise to bring it next week.

Monday, August 18, 2014

1st week in The Philippines!

Benito Soliven

Shout out to my sibs who had their birthdays this month. Thanks to everyone who sent me packages or mail while at the MTC! It was dope.
So my area is Benito Soliven. Our apartment, looks like every where else in the Philippines. The food is all pretty similar. Rice, with pork or chicken with all kinds of sauce. The streets are flooded with ugly street dogs. After rain, their are tons of frogs and we occasionally see snakes. Ants just always live in the apartment and we get big cockroaches every once in a while. We get mice and rats pretty often too. Mostly the weather is just hot. but when it rains it pours, and that's the best because it drops like 10 degrees. Going to the bathroom is done without toilet paper just a bucket of water and your hand. A shower is a cup of water, and our AC is an electric fan. 
I can't take any pictures this weeks because I for got my Camera cord and there is no place to insert an SD card. 
All the people here are great! My comp is Elder Bautista and he's awesome. We speak Tagalog mostly all the time and this week I will start leading lessons. Other than that, our bishop was sick this week, our 2nd councilor is inactive, so the only one at church was the first councilor. It's just such a struggle for poeple to make it to church because our area is massive and The people don't have much money for transportation. 
We don't have many investigators now and only one progressing investigator, but he's a good guy. His name is Brother Elmo and he speaks pretty good English so its really easy for me to teach him, because it hard for e to convey and sort of spirit across Tagalog just because I don't know it well enough right now, but Brother Elmo's l;lessons are great and we have 2 lessons with him this week. 
Just about to finish the BoM again. I just finished Mormon, and it just made me think of how good a man Moroni was and I think it was because his father was such a good man. SO thanks dad for raising me properly.

That's all I have this week.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Flight to the Philippines

So Tanner flew out to the Philippines on Thursday August 7th.  He called us that morning from the SLC airport. It was good to hear from him after 6 weeks and he was excited to finally be on his way to the Philippines.  He was flying to Detroit, then Japan and then to Manila.  Basically over 24 hours of travel time.   Unfortunately, our call got cut off and that was the last we heard from him for the next 11 days. We were able to track his flight online so we know it got to Manila safely.  We trusted he was safe and that he was in good hands, but we had no idea where he was.  For the next 6 days all of us were anxious and eagerly awaiting any confirmation that he was ok.

Finally on Wednesday of the next week, we got the attached letter from his Mission President when he arrived at the mission home.

Dear Family of Elder Swensen,

We are happy to let you know that your son arrived safely today as a missionary in the
Philippines Cauayan Mission. After his arrival we had a welcome luncheon and orientation
meeting. I also had the opportunity to have a wonderful interview with him before he met his
prayerfully selected companion and trainer.

Elder Swensen will be serving in Ilagan. Enclosed is a map on which we have marked the
location of his first proselyting area. He will be working with Elder Bautista who will carefully
train and introduce Elder Swensen to missionary work in the field. We encourage you to write
your son every week. Please share positive, uplifting messages that will support and help him
stay focused on this sacred work. Such contact from home can build a great foundation for a
successful mission.

This is a wonderful mission and we are grateful to have Elder Swensen here. The new
missionaries always bring with them an exciting and special spirit. Please know that we will
watch over him with great concern. We have been praying for him for several months now and
have looked forward to serving together. We know that with your support and encouragement,
he will progress and strengthen beyond your expectations and develop a great love for his fellow
missionaries and the precious people he will serve, teach, and bless.

May the Lord bless you for all you have done to help Elder Swensen prepare for this mission.

With warmest regards,
President George R. Rahlf
Sister Lori C. Rahlf

What a relief that letter was.  Apparently he stayed at the Manila MTC for a few days until he flew to Cauayan on Wednesday.  Attached were the following photos of his Mission President and his wife, his new companion, Elder Bautista, and a map of his new area, Benito Soliven in the Ilagan Zone.




Saturday, August 2, 2014

MTC week 6 - Stripling Warriors?

Last p-day eve in the MTC. We went to the bookstore and got these cardboard tube that you are supposed to ship like posters or documents in, but we bought 20 of them. So later that night while everyone was eating food, we went into our room, put shoe polish on our face like Indians, tied ties around our heads and stuck our missionary tags on the front of our ties. Then we went outside and started attacking people with our cardboard tubes. It was pretty funny and it turned into an all out war.