Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 72 - Christmas Skype


We got to talk to Tanner this week.  He is doing very well and found out he will be training next month.  He says his area is hard, but the members are great and he likes being able to talk to and see the Mission President every week.

Christmas call with Elder Swensen

New Trainers Meeting

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 71 - Christmas Week in Cauayan


Only word from Tanner this week was to set up date and time of his Christmas call, but we have found pictures on Facebook.

Cauayan 2 Branch Christmas Party
You'll have to look hard to find Tanner, but he's there. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week 70 - Mission Christmas Devotional


Hey what's up?
So every thing is going great here.  It sucks though, this week all of our investigators digressed rather than progressed. We don't even know what happened. 2 weeks a go we had 3 plus investigators and now we don't have any. I guess it's just part of the job. Hopefully this week will be better. We are going to try to drop Grace and Michelle for a week. so when we return they will be super sensitive to the strong spirit. Another struggle is a lot of our investigators work at the mall during December and they are all super busy, so it's hard to teach and it's hard for them to come to church. 
So I had a cool idea tell me if you guys like it.  It's pretty cheap to make and print jerseys here. So I was thinking we should make a family Real jersey.

Cauayan Zone -
Back:  Elders Higgins, Olsen, Fernandez, Swensen, Lee, Balneg
Middle:  Elders Castillo, Frei, Monilla, Navarro, Treyes, Posadas
Front:  Sisters Heve, Porter, Ethington, Montejo, Canlapan, Mariano, Allen, Maroket

Zone Christmas Skit - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Christmas Lunch

Elder Balneg in bottom right corner


Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 69 - Christmas is coming.


I got sick again last week. We weren't able to go to church. I had like a flu or something.  I was basically just throwing up all Saturday and Sunday, but this week we've got our Christmas devotional on Tuesday, so that should be fun.  We also have FHE at a less actives house.  On the 19th we have a Branch Christmas party too.

We can't find a good enough net shop to upload pictures. I'll try to send them through email. but I think it will still be too slow. We'll try again next week. Things were good this week.

Cauayan District Activity
Elder Higgins, Castillo, Balneg, Swensen, Monilla, and Fernandez
Sister Allen, Canlapan, Maroket, and Mariano

Jefferey Martinez, Elder Swensen and Elder Balneg

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 67 - Elders from Davao are way cool!


This week we had a ton of success! We had three investigators attend church and we have five progressing investigators! Things are rolling quite nicely here! Nothing much has changed with the work it's about the same old. Elder Balneg is easily one of my favorite companions. I don't know what it is, but all the Elders that come from Davao are all way cool.

Honestly there isn't many things that I want a medium package would probably do. Make sure you just include CTR rings as well, this time add a couple of Tagalog rings as well! Other things that might me good are Pilot G2 pens. Those are my favorite, but they don't sell them here.

Maria Christina Danao, Elder Castillo, Fernandez, Balneg and Swensen



Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 65 - Awesome New Companion, Elder Balneg


My new companion is awesome. His name is E. Balneg from Davao. This November we have 2 baptisms scheduled. Graces Flores and Michelle Malari. Grace went to church for the first time last Sunday, it's so great to see her progression:) Michelle went last Sunday but wasn't able to make it yesterday. So hopefully she comes to church next week, so that we can still have that in November.

Mom: So are you feeling any better?  Sorry, I'm a little worried.  :) 

Yeah it's gotten a lot better. It turned into like a whole body infection. Like my sinus got infected, I got boils, and lesions and rashes and like everything possible. Sister Rahlf had me sleep in the mission home all Tuesday. It was crazy. but it's way better now

Elder Balneg, Melanie Baua, Elder Swensen
Transfer Day at the Cauayan Tranfer Point.
Transfer Day

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 64 - Paalam Elder Cruzit!


So nothing changed this week. We didn't get much work done this week, because Elder Cruzit is going home and he wanted to visit all the members. So we've done a lot of visits with active members. President Rahlf told me that I will be a follow up trainer next cycle. So I will be finishing the training of a Filipino elder. He said I might also train next cycle. I also have a reallllly weird sickness. I have lesions on my arm, I have a huge boil on the back of my neck, my whole body aches and I already did one full round of antibiotics, but it didn't help much, so now they are going to put me on two different antibiotics for another round. ya'll should send me an Alta shirt in my package, but make sure it's medium! Large is wayyy to big for me now XD
Anyways I'll message ya'll next week with my new companion and send pictures. Love you! 

Final Zone pics with Elder Seuli and Cruzit


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Week 63 - Giving Blessings and Receiving a Blessing from Elder Switzer


I did get my birthday package. Thank you. Sorry about the delay. We couldn't email because of the Typhoon and because it's been a supppper busy week. Last Monday we had a district activity and then a member called and asked for a blessing. We didn't even end up having time to shop. Then on Tuesday we had to clean the apartment before work, because a General Authority is here and he checked a couple of apartments.
The General Authority was Elder Schwitzer. He spoke last General Conference. Yesterday he also picked a couple people to interview. So I ended up being one of them, and he ended up giving me a blessing. So that's a pretty good story huh?
Anyways yesterday after our zone conference with Elder Schwitzer, we went to one of our progressing investigators, Grace Flores. After our lesson about what our purpose is on earth, her dad came in. Her dad isn't a member he was also pretty drunk but he talked for about 10 minutes straight about how he wanted us to go there everyday to fill Grace's mind with good things. It was pretty funny. It was funny too because he would ask us questions and then when we were about to answer he would interrupt us and just say "wait wait I'm not finished." and then we would explain why he was asking it and then after about two or three minutes he would forget the question he asked and then after he was done he just walked out of the room. So now we are going to go to Grace's house everyday.
Also things you could include in the package: Maybe T-Shirts that say Utah or anything that is cool memorabilia from Utah. Also if you guys could grab some of those metal oil vials that would be great! I can't find any here at the Manila Temple.
Anyways I was able to interview with President and he said that I was doing well and that he's going to give me another special assignment and then in my last area I'll train. Honestly I don't even want to train. I keep telling him I don't want to train, but I'll do whatever the Lord wants me to do.
I love my area, comp, and the other elders in my house, but there's just not a lot to do here in Cauayan. There are also a tonnnnnnnn of new missionaries here. This is where a lot of people train. I'm actually only the third oldest missionary here in my zone, so I guess I'm not really the oldest veteran here :P
The one sister from back in the MTC emailed me. The one that I played russian egg roulette with. She's just about to finish her mission :P It's crazy too because sister Hamblin goes home in December as well. I'm getting closer as well. I think I only have 8 months left or something like that :p
That's all I have for the last 2 weeks though. Take care

I love y'all

Cauayan Zone with Elder and Sister Schwitzer

Batchmates, Elder Einfeldt, Elder Lott, & Elder Swensen

Elder Swensen with his tatay, Elder Bautista

Mission friends, Elder Swensen, Glassie, Seuli, and Enuake

Cauayan Zone Activity

Zone Activity

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 62 - Typhoon Kappu - No word from Elder Swensen


Friday, October 16, 2015

Typhoon Kappu
As you may be aware there is a tropical typhoon, Kappu, heading towards the Philippines. Our missionaries have been alerted to prepare for a storm. Their preparations will include but are not limited to preparing for possible flooding, checking their 72 hour kits, having emergency cash in small bills, and charging their cell phone.  We have a line of communication in place. 

The storm is expected to make landfall at about 2 AM our time on Sunday morning, October 18 at a category 4.  It looks to change to a category 3 as it moves inland.  The track of the storm right now has it entering at about the center point of our mission around Cauayan, and then traveling through the center northward.  We expect wind, rain, flooding, and probable power outages. When the storm has passed and all missionaries are accounted for, we will let you know.

We use a site called Weather Underground to follow the tracking of the storm. I will post updates as possible on the FB page as well as the blog.  Be aware that I won't be able to do that if we lose power.

Thank you for your prayers--for the missionaries and for the Filipino people.  This is harvest time and there are many whose rice crops are not quite ready for harvesting.  We are anxious for them.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Typhoon Update
Sunday Morning, 7 AM:  The storm made landfall at about 2 AM in the coastal area of Dinadiawan/Baler at a category 4 and is now slowly making its way westward and then will turn north.  It came in further south and is expected to be over the southern part of our mission today as a category 3.  It is predicted to weaken as it turns northward over the next two days, but we still expect to continue to have heavy rain, strong winds, flooding and loss of power.  The storm is very slow moving.  I will post another update later today.  Thank you for your prayers!
Sunday, October 18, 2015
Sunday Evening Typhoon Update
The typhoon came ashore north of Baler in the Auroroa Province about 2 AM on Sunday morning as a category 4 storm.  Over 10,000 people were evacuated from the areas nearby.  This is not a part of our mission, but we share boundaries here with the Angeles Mission.  All of our missionaries that were in flood-prone areas were evacuated Saturday afternoon.  The storm caused flooding, landslides and overflowing reservoirs.

All of our missionaries are safe and accounted for.  The storm is moving slowly, but has decreased in intensity.  We still expect periods of rain and flooding in places over the next 2-3 days before Lando officially exits the Philippines.  There are still some power outages and there will be some clean-up, but we are grateful that the damage was very limited in our mission.  Thank you again for your prayers!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 61 - Transferred to Cauayan


So I have been transferred to Cauayan 2-B.  My new comp is Elder Cruzit.  This is his last cycle and so President wanted me to be his last companion, but he said I could still train after this cycle. This cycle is super weird though. We have a General Authority coming and so we had to adjust our transfer schedule. So this cycle is only 4 weeks long, and the next cycle will be 8 weeks long. After that it will be back to normal.

The apartment here is really nice though. In the apartment is the 2 Zone leaders. E. Seuli and E. Treyes. But Elder Seuli will be going home too after this cycle so I will get a new zone leader. My DL is E. Castillo. I don't know where the mission pres goes to church, but he attended the General Conf. with us.  SO yyeah.. The STLs are in our branch as well.  There are a ton of new missionaries in this zone, after E. Cruzit and Seuli go home I will be the oldest missionary in this zone. Which is really crazy to think about. I only have about 8 months left. Time is going way fast here.

So if ya'll want to send a package I'm game with it. Honestly what you should send though is maybe memorabilia that you can only find in Utah. Just so I can give something cool to my companion at the time. Other than that you could just send a bunch of different candies. I don't really miss any foods too much that you guys need to send. Maybe, like mac and cheese or something like that. That would be nice.

Elder Cruzit and Elder Swensen
Roommates and ZL's, Elder Treyes and Elder Seuli

Elder Cruzit,Valen Castillo, & Elder Swensen
Map showing Cauayan, the home of the mission.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Week 60 - Last week in Ramon


So I am getting transferred. Both me and E. Manalili will get transferred. What will probably happen is a zone leader will step down and train in the area. I want to get transferred anywhere but Cauayan or Ilagan. Honestly those are like the 2 most boring areas in the entire mission. I wouldn't mind going back to Tuguegarao or to Roxas or even Alicia, but honestly anything is fine with me. Other than that, things with Danica are going great and I'm pretty sure she'll get baptized by the following missionaries. This was our last week and we worked way hard. We got 65+contacts and 30+lessons. So we're leaving the area in pretty good shape.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Week 59 - Pastime of the little kids (Lice).


haha That's actually pretty funny. I'm pretty sure I have lice. Everyone has it here. Like it's a pastime of little kids to pick out and kill lice. It's pretty much impossible to avoid it too. Like with splits, sleeping in other beds, and all the stuff. So I just don't think about it XD

Anyways this week we did have the baptism. On Friday, morning there was no work or school so we were able to get all of that dealt with. We do have one more potential baptism, but it'll probably be for one more cycle if we are still here. I think I've already told you about her. Her name is Danica. Her boyfriend is a member and she comes to church every so often, but she's not in town on weekdays and even some weekends, so it's pretty hard to get in and teach her. So I guess we'll just see how that goes.

We had Zone Conference last Thursday so ya'll should be able to get pix from that. There was an awesome pic of me and my batch so you should try to find that pic. I also have some other pics from zone conference, I'll upload those as well. Transfers will be on October 7th. I know the new AP E. Cruz and I ate lunch with him at zone conference. I told him to transfer me to Alicia sooooo hopefully he will do that XD. I also wouldn't mind going to Roxas, or down south. Anyways that's about it for this week. Take careeee Love you all

Mission buddies at Zone Conference

Santiago North Zone
Back:  Elders Navarro, Warren, Swensen, Canencia, Costacio, Paea
Front:  Elders Santos, Manalili, Sisters Saragoza, Wiiri, Elders Llanda, Glassie

Fun and Games at Zone Conference

Birthday Celebrants.  Tanner is hiding in the back.