Monday, December 28, 2015

Week #71 “Come Unto Christ and Be Perfected in Him…” Moroni 10:32

December 28, 2015

Hi Mom and Dad - It was so great to Skype with you! I did a lot better this time with not feeling droopy afterwards. Things just seemed to move on as usual so that's good! Only one more Skype to go and then I'll be home before you know it.

I hate to say it, but I don't feel bad for you at all with how cold it is there. Haha I've complained about the heat here so much...so that's all I'm going to say about that :)

Here are some pics from our baptism on Christmas Day and the party with the Tangalan Branch. It was a pretty awesome day! Filipinos know how to party well! Ward/Branch parties here go on for HOURS! LOL












The last few days have been good. We got fed every night at the Cuales family because they had a wedding this weekend so they had lots of leftover pig. I can say that I'm finally tired of eating pig! I've had it for about 1 week strait now. Brother Gary who is married one of the Cuales' daughters fed us yesterday because they are going home to Las Vegas today. They are way cool people. Things aren't really working out with the Australian guy we were teaching, which is kind of a bummer because it was really fun to teach him in English, but that's ok. We ended up walking all the way home from their house last night because there were no vans on the road so by the time we got home it didn't take long for me to hit the bed and fall asleep, but I guess that's how most nights go! Today we have an FHE so we will just do our shopping after email and then head back home.

Sorry this email is kind of boring. After talking with you so much just 2 days ago I can't think of much else to tell you. 

I haven't gotten any of the cards or letters yet for Christmas. They'll probably end up getting here all at the same time since things take so long to get through the office. But that's ok. I'll still enjoy reading them. 

Have a great week!
Love Elder Rasmussen

Friday, December 18, 2015

Week #70 "He Is The Light and Life of The World" Mosiah 16:9"

Dec 15, 2015

Hi Mom and Dad - Thanks for all of the emails and pictures! The snow looks awesome! Pres. Aquino is pretty generous and gave us time today to email since we were at the party on MondayDon't worry about the Typhoons they come through all the time. Very few are huge and destructive and come South far enough to reach the Visayas.
I had a pretty good week besides being sick a few days this week! Actually to be honest the work was just...crappy and we were getting rejected at a lot of houses:) Our investigator was sick so she even turned us away, which was a bummer. But one new thing we did this week was go to an area called Jawili which I found out to be a beautiful area and it was fun to explore! We met some new LA's and investigators but that was when I started feeling really crappy and by our last appointment I felt like puking and got shivers. From that time Saturday night to Sunday night I was laying in bed with a fever and a stomach gomboo. It sucked way bad. A member helped me out and cooked some food and stuff for me to feel better but I wasn't able to go to church in the morning. Luckily by the late afternoon I felt well enough  to go to Kalibo to the Christmas Devotional. But when we got out of the van, Elder Stevens and I ended up accidentally leaving our bags in the van and didn't realize it until we had already taken a trike to the church then we realized we had left them. We both felt devastated because it had all of our stuff for our trip to Iloilo. The trike driver was a nice guy and helped us go to the police and radio station but they couldn't do anything for us so we went back to the place we had gotten off the van and no kidding like 30 seconds later the van came rolling down the road and stopped and gave us our stuff back. It was nothing short of a Christmas miracle! We were so relieved! After the Devotional we stayed the night in a place called Banga with 10 other elders and only got like 3 hrs of sleep, then got on a bus at 5 a.m. to travel to Iloilo. A member picked us up in Iloilo in a really nice truck. It felt so good to be in a nice vehicle again!

So we made it to the party and it was a blast! It was so much better than last year and luckily there weren't a bunch of trunky missionaries singing about how they were heading home for Christmas like last year. That wasn't fun for any of us new guys last year haha This is President Aquino's last Christmas as Mission President so he really went all out to make this year a really great Christmas Conference. We had a blast!

We had another devotional on Tuesday and it was more focused on spiritual uplifting. They handed out a lot of the stuff I am sure you sent mom like shirts, ties, and the pocket scripture sets. I took some pictures so you can see, and I'll try and get them sent to you, but this computer is being dumb, it's not letting me download pics, so it may be next week before I can get them to you.  But all of the Filipino missionaries got something  :)
 
Speaking of Christmas, Skype will be the same as last year. We will Skype about 8 a.m. on the 26th here, so it should be about 5 p.m. there on Christmas Day. Hopefully we won't have any trouble connecting this year, but just plan on around that time on that day.

Have a great week! Love and Miss you all!
Elder Rasmussen

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week #69 - "...if any man serve me, him will my Father honor." John 12:26

December 7, 2015

Kamusta Family! 

This week  was super quick!  It went by just like nothing! I got sick (just a head cold) for a few days and that kind of made the work slow for me during those days, but I feel great now so I was happy that cold went away quick. The day I got sick we worked for a couple of hours until I just decided it would be better to go home because I just felt really crappy and not up to working. 

We did not have too much luck it seemed like the first couple of days of the week and honestly I can't remember too much about them except for the time that we spent in the area called Panayakan working with our golden investigators who never fail to impress me with how smart and quick to understand they are! I always look forward to teaching Jane and Rhea May and it made me realize how thankful I am to have found the perfect people who are ready to receive the gospel. During our lessons with them, the spirit is always present and so strong, even though their house is right next to a really noisy highway When we told them about their baptismal date for Christmas Day Jane was more than excited and was way happy about it! They both come to church by themselves and participate in the classes and everything. It's just really awesome and exciting!





Yesterday (Sunday) we had a lesson with another family who we are discovering to have some pretty strange beliefs haha but they are very kind and so we have continued to visit and teach them. I was having a hard time answering their questions in my Tagalog/Illonggo mix of words but luckily Bro. Vaugn jumped in the lesson and helped them understand what missionaries do and how we can best help them. Sometimes it really sucks not to be able to express everything I want to say or answer the questions very well. I love to practice teaching with my companion because we can speak English so it helps to memorize the doctrine and lessons much more easily, but this new mix of Tagalog/Aklanon in this area is really a challenge for me coming from an area where everyone spoke Ilonggo and I was getting pretty good at it! Dang! LOL



Our Kalibo zone practiced a skit for the Christmas conference next week. I'm so glad there are people who like to do skits and stuff, because I sure don't. I guess you know how I feel when it comes to that kind of crap :) That much has not changed about me! LOL But I am trying to have a good attitude and I'm participating and doing my best even though it's basically torture for me. haha

That's all I can think of for this week. I have heard that we won't be able to email next week since we'll be in Iloilo for the Christmas Conference. I'll send a quick note if I get a chance. Love you all!
Elder Rasmussen 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Week #68 Our Daily Discipleship Will Determine Our Eternal Destiny

November 30, 2015

Thanks for the pictures Mom and Dad! Great job on the Christmas lights Dad, but I don't think Clark Griswold would be too jealous! lol <kidding> Everything looks great! Good job on the tree Mom. That picture is funny! Time really has gone by so much faster than last year went. I can't believe it's already Christmas time in America...

The cold weather sounds nice but we actually enjoyed the warm weather here at the beach this morning. We stayed in a place called Buruanga last night and had dinner at a member's house there and this morning we hiked through a jungle to get to this secluded beach and it was way nice with white sand.  We got to do lots of tide pooling and found some really interesting creatures. I'll send lots of pictures. I also got to see Boracay Island which I have heard about since I got here in the Philippines but we only saw it from our island. Lots of foreigners!





This week was great. We met some really awesome people and had some great lessons with them. Once specific lesson was with our investigator named Jane. I met her sister who is younger than her (13) and she told me how she as well wants to listen and go to church. I was a little bit hesitant to start teaching another younger girl but they are both very smart and are very interested. They also invited their friends, both girls who ended up being geniuses as well, and we had an awesome lesson with all 4 of them. That was the funnest part of this week as far as work goes. Jane and her sister (Rhea May) also came to church and are reading the Book of Mormon.

We found another family who are very polite and kind to us and interested in the message. They have the name of Lorenzo and there are 5 of them. I saw their house from the side of the highway and thought "what the heck, I'm going to talk to those people in that house." They ended up being some of the kindest people I have met on my mission and easily welcomed us into their house. That made me happy since we had talked to several people during the day and been rejected by most of them, including a few set appointments, so meeting the Lorenzo's brightened an otherwise pretty dismal day of missionary work. 

On Thursday we had a zone meeting in Roxas. So we got up really early around 3 AM and loaded up in a van and made the long trek to Roxas City. It was great to  be back in Roxas for a day and hear the Ilonggo again! I even had a hard time not using the simple Tagalog words like "dito" "saan" and the different pronouns. It was great to see Elder Alpon again and a lot of other people from Roxas zone.
 
Well, that was my week! I got my Christmas package thanks for sending that! Love and miss you all lots!

Love Elder Rasmussen 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Week #67 - “Nothing is More Honorable Than A Grateful Heart”

November 23, 2015

Hey Mom and Dad! Happy Thanksgiving this week! Boy I miss eating some turkey and pumpkin pie. Eat some for me!

That was so cool that you got together with the other Iloilo parents. I was wondering when you would finally get together. Elders Seeds, Kellerstrass and Craythorne and I have all talked about it too and laughed about the friendships going on back at home just because of our mission. I look forward to meeting them all in the future. 

I can't believe you bought another non-rideable horse haha what has gotten into you? LOL They are cute though and I'm glad it makes you happy and you have something fun to do :)

We might go to Jawili falls next week. It's a really popular tourist spot here in Tangalan. I saw some pictures of it. The market here does have a lot of Coca Cola signs on it but everything in the Philippines has coke logos on it. But I'm sure it's probably the same place you saw.

We had a really great week and met some awesome new people. One of these girls we met named Cherry Jane came to church yesterday and we were way excited about that. She is super smart and we are hoping she will progress and be baptized next month. Her parents sell fireworks at their house and we watched the Tatay set off a big bottle rocket which was pretty cool. It's New years time again here - I can't believe how fast the year went. We met 2 families who were awesome the first time we met with then, but then the 2nd time when the dude saw us he ran away. That sucks haha I've seen that happen a few times in my mission and its always completely obvious. Oh well. It happnes. Nanay F. also gave us a hard time while teaching her this week. She stressed me out a little and it is frustrating, but we like to visit her and her family they are very kind people.

We did a service project at a member's house which was whacking down weeds in a garden area so they can plant saging (bananas). They killed a duck and cooked it for us and also gave us big coconuts to drink. They are way nice people.

We met a guy named Vaugn who has a calling in the Stake and goes to church at the Tangalan branch. He lives on Boracay. He's pretty good at English and we have fun working with him. He has permission from President Aquino to stay with us in our apartment when he comes over from Boracay to attend church. So when he came over on Saturday night he brought us a pizza from Kalibo. So that was really cool of him. On Sunday after church he and 2 girls who are preparing for missions came teaching with us and we visited some members and also found another new investigator.










Here's the answers to your questions:

#1 - What was your biggest success this week? Inviting 2 people to baptism and one of them came to church!
#2 - Do they celebrate Thanksgiving in the Philippines? NO. That's 110% USA  :)
#3 - What made you laugh this week? This Nanay we teach likes to jabber and we both have no idea what she is even saying so we both just started cracking up about that.
#4 - Tell us about your companion. How's that going? Elder Stevens is 20 and from Hawaii, so he is only my 2nd American companion. He went to School at BYU and was on the football team so he's obviously a really good football player. He's a good comp and we are doing great together.
#5 - Are you walking a lot more in this area instead of riding trikes or is it pretty much the same? We walk most of the time here. The transportation is really expensive since it's close to Boracay (Island vacation resort).

This morning I did some running as usual around the church and Elder S. and I threw the football around for a bit. We ate at a place called Mang Inasal and now we are here emailing!   So that was pretty much the extent of our week!

Love and miss you all! 
Michael

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week #66 - The Lord Needs Valiant Servants!

November 15, 2015
Kamusta Family! Thanks for the pictures--I love seeing the snow! It looks like it was a pretty warm and wet storm. I loved seeing my truck tucked away in the corner of the garage. I can't wait to drive it again!
This week was much better than my first week in Tangalan. We were able to do some good work and talk to a lot of people as well which I felt like I really improved on this week. Tuesday was zone meeting and then when we came home my companion lost his wallet so we spent some time looking for that but didn't find it so that sucks. Got out to work though and hiked up this hill and into the jungle to some members who are surprisingly active in the church. People who live close to the church have no reason not to be going to church! They gave us some bananas and then we hiked up out of the jungle and visited a less active family and had a good lesson with them. 

We walked to the moon and back this week hitting appointments along the w
ay. Friday we went to see a man who we met, but we ended up talking to his wife instead. She accepted an invitation to come to church. I don't think that has ever happened with anyone on my mission the first time I have met them and she ended up coming with us on Sundayso that was awesome. We found a lot of members in an area called Tagas who are less active or inactive but it was surprising how many members there actually are there. The other days we met some nice people and also taught this lady named....well we call her Nanay Francisco :) you'll see the picture of her working on a fabrice weaving machine. She is very nice lady! She is not a member, but all of her children are members.
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We covered a lot of ground this week and met a ton of people! I have met many people on my mission that don't come to church anymore because someone at some point in time offended them. I guess that's common everywhere, but still it's a big challenge trying to help people to overcome hurt feelings. It frustrates me how hard headed people can be :) Tigas ang ulo nila (they are stubborn). We pray a lot for guidance to say the right things and to invite the spirit that we can help these people overcome their hurt feelings and come back to church.

So that was are week! We are in Kalibo this morning. We played basketball and ran laps and stuff. It feels so good to relax and read emails on Mondays :) I look forward to hearing from my family and friends. It makes my day! Thanks so much to everyone who writes me emails and letters. Please know how much I appreciate you all!

Love Elder Rasmussen 





Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Week #65 May You Always Do What You Are Afraid To Do

November 9, 2015

Saying Farewell to Elder Alpon and  my Roxas Housemates
Hey Mom and Dad!
So, The big news is I was transferred this past Thursday to Tanglalan, Aklan. (It’s located on the North-Central Coast of the Island). I figured I would be getting transferred, so I wasn’t surprised when we got the transfer text Wednesday night and I was on it. I will miss Panay for sure and all the members and people back in that area I’ll miss a lot and Elder Alpon too, he was a nice companion.  So I packed up all my stuff that night and the next morning I got on an L3 van and headed up to Kalibo. Once I was there I borrowed a guy’s phone to call the ZL’s and tell them to send someone to pick me up at the bus station. My new companion is Elder Stevens from Hawaii, so I’m with my second American companion now which is fun. The new area is really nice, but my house is a bit of a downgrade from my apartment in Roxas, but that’s ok. We were eating dinner at a member’s house my first night and I hear what I thought was the wind going through the trees, but it ended up being the ocean! We
were right on the beach and I didn’t even know it. Haha I love the ocean and the beach. The area is really big, but guess what? The people here do not speak Ilonggo. The language is Aklanon, but the majority of what I hear people speaking is a Tagalog/Aklanon mix, which I can understand bits and pieces of. Well, I did want to get better at speaking Tagalog, so here’s my opportunity! Luckily, most people understand a little Ilonggo, but they don’t know how to speak it, so, yah, that’s been kinda fun for me! Haha So once again the Lord has pushed me outside my comfort zone. Every morning since I got here I’ve woke up feeling homesick. It seems like every time I’m transferred that happens. It takes awhile to get comfortable with the new routine, but I definitely have been growing I feel like and I'm a 1000 times better than I was when I was brand new.  Thankfully we’ve had some really good lessons the past few days and that has helped a lot. I have fun teaching and if I’m feeling down, teaching a good lesson always makes me feel better. At church yesterday, being the new Elder in town, I was asked to share my testimony and a scripture, so I shared 3 Nephi 9:20, it’s one of my favorites: And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.



We haven’t had any food at the house except bread, eggs, noodles and bananas, so that’s what we’ve been surviving on the past few days, but thankfully we got fed by members every night so that was SO NICE! We would have really been hungry if that hadn’t have happened. We are in Kalibo right now because we came to play basketball at the church this morning and this is where we will shop for food since there isn’t a grocery store or anything in Tangalan. Elder Orr is with me again so that’s always fun to be with another one of my batchmates! He’s always a good one to be around if you want to have fun-haha.

Thanks for doing that college stuff for me Mom. I hope you know how much I love and appreciate you helping me with all that. I'm sorry a million times for the trouble! I'll get on my email today and try and figure out my ACT stuff. Well, what the heck! My inbox email is telling me my account has been deleted due to inactivity!! I have tried logging into my ACT account and I can’t remember the password. I think you are going to have to just call them. Sorry Mom!!

Thanks so much for your emails. I’ll send some pictures today. I’ll get pics of my new house this week and send them next week. Like I told Dad just enjoy the cold fresh air :) I will never again complain about cold weather! The heat is ten times worse!

I Love and miss you!

Elder Rasmussen

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week #64 Proclaim The Gospel, Perfect The Saints, Redeem the Dead



November 2, 2015
Hi Mom and Dad - Thanks for all the pictures! Looking good mom that's a good picture of you with your new mini horse! I sure miss you!
Christmas in the Philippines starts in September!
I'm looking forward to reading grannies Webster dictionary haha tell her I say hello and thank you!
You oughta call your new horse Buddy it seems like a more fit name for him :) But Bodhi sounds good too. I bet you are having all kinds of fun with it just like dad is having fun with all his railroad ties--haha :) I'm pretty sure there has got to be a Seinfeld episode that can be compared to Dad's desire to get a good deal buying all of those railroad ties and trees haha I can't wait to see it all. Thanks so much for the pictures you sent. The yard looks really clean and the weather looks so nice there. Thanks for taking good care of my truck Dad. I really love that truck except for the guttlessness of it but everything else is so nice and good enough for me :) I feel like I dream about driving it! I'm always daydreaming of when the time comes that I'll get to drive it again.

This week was a good one and I can't believe I'm back in the email shop again. I spent a lot of time reading this week which I feel like has really built up my testimony because I learned a lot of things I didn't really know before. Do you remember how much I disliked reading back in school? That has completely changed for me! Surprisingly it's church history, scriptures, and doctrine that I'm most interested in. Yeah I didn't really expect that out of myself either haha Who'da thunk it?

We got rained on a few time during the week but that didnt keep us from being able to visit our investigators and other people. In Magubilan we are a little bit worried about our newly baptized converts who have been really busy at work and haven't made it to church in a few weeks. That area is awesome and there is a really strong member who lives there that helps us but it is really far away from the church in Panay and when church is in Roxas which happens every fast sunday that of course makes it even farther away for them. Its a challenge! Luckily we were able to visit them but they weren't able to make it to church yesterday..
In Panay the challenge is that everyone is either Catholic or Iglesia ni Cristo which have the two biggest churches right in the center of town you can see how big they are on Google earth. We focus on the outside of town because people are usually more accepting but that of course is further away from where the church is. Kind of stressful sometimes haha but I guess that's just the way it will be for a little while. 
Met some very nice people though and I was able to testify to them about the message which I had some fun with this week. Yesterday was All Saints Day here and we thought we might try to talk to some people in the cemetery about the Plan of Salvation but when we got in there it just didn't feel like the right situation to be talking to people and it was super uncomfortable with everyone staring at me! I get that a lot since, of course, I'm the only "Cano" around.  A member saw us and wouldn't let us go without eating their food first even though we were stuffed from lunch. After that another member invited us to their house where they fed us again. Then later we were at the stake presidents house and they fed us and to top it off we ended the night eating at another members house. People expect you to eat here and especially me since I'm a foreigner. They are so nice and I appreciate their hospitality :) You never have to worry that I am going to starve! haha




Today is the birthday of one of the other Elder's in our house so we are going to the beach later to eat lunch. Should be fun I love the beach! 

Have a great week! Love Elder Rasmussen

P.S. They do celebrate Halloween here in the Philippines, but no trick or treating. They mostly celebrate All Saints Day, which is November 1st. People go to the cemetery and honor their family members who have died.
P.S.S. I have never lived on bread and peanut butter! LOL I make lots of tuna, noodles, eggs, hot dogs, etc. I just get sick of eating rice at every meal, and since we get a lot of rice other places, when I'm home and cook for myself I make other things. I DO NOT eat the street food--it is not worth it, since most elders who do end up paying for it. Besides, balut, pig blood, chicken intestines, chicken heads and other fun stuff like that with flies landing on it all day does not even tempt me!

Week #63 Keep Calm and Missionary On!

October 26, 2015 - 9 Months to Go!!! Woo Hoo!!

Well that is an interesting week you had Mom thanks for all the details! You are 100% right! I was kind of shaking my head reading about your horse selling and buying adventures haha but I'm glad you and Hayley have something that you enjoy just like dad and I have motorcycles :) I'm kinda sad to see Nacho go--I know how much you loved him--I still can't believe you sold him, but I'm glad he got a good home. Good luck in the search for your new horse(s).

To tell you about my week I would say we had a good one this week. It was unbearably hot but through the sweat and heat we were able to have some good lessons with some great people. On lady named Sharon we taught and she called herself a "bible baptist". She is a very nice lady. We taught her about baptism and invited her to come to church but like a lot of women here her husband doesn't think religion is too important. Another family we had been teaching told us we no longer can teach them. Pretty sure they had been reproved by the church they had just joined recently and they told them to get away from the Mormons.

Not sure why but almost every one of our investigators are women. We only have one who is a man and his name is Joel and we teach his family. They are very nice people but very busy all the time so its hard to contact them. They live right next to the street and that makes it hard to teach because of all the noisy bikes and tricycles going by. Its a whole lot of fun when things like that happen during a lesson :) 

In Magubilan we are teaching about 6 different women. The men are so hard to teach because they just aren't available during the day out working and always busy so the only men that actually can listen are the old grandpa's (tatays). We taught a lesson with 4 investigators who are women and then 2 members who are also women. The lesson was great and I invited them to baptism after reading out of the Book of Mormon in Tagalog which I'm not the best at but surprisingly they understood me! My companion and I are trying to be better at inviting people to baptism sooner than later.
We went to a farewell for 2 guys heading out on their missions and it reminded me of when I left for my mission. Time has just gone by so quick. I gave one of them the scriptures you sent me and he was really happy about that. They will both be really good missionaries! They are so much more prepared to head out and start teaching people than I was. That's for sure!




Today is HOT and HUMID. I think a storm is coming in (I hope so) because it rained a little this morning. We will hopefully have an FHE tonight with the Buriel Family but still waiting for them to txt us so we will see.

Hey hold your horses on chastising me for not sending a letter with my BYU application essays. LOL You don't know yet if there's another on the way! ;) I'm glad that one made it though because I forgot to make copies of it so if It got lost I would have to write them all over again!

Here's answers to your questions:  

#1 What was your biggest challenge this week? Just teaching and trying to invite the spirit while doing so :)
#2 What was your biggest success this week? I love it when people really think about baptism and why its important because they ask a lot of questions. Had that 2 times this week. 
#3 What made you laugh this week? This lady we were talking to while she was cooking fish was kind of funny she said she wanted to gossip with us when we asked her if we could teach her. She fed us some of her fish too that was good. 
#4 Do you have a goal set for the coming week? Tell me about it. Not really just a lot of practice teaching and reading PMG. I want to get better at asking questions. 
#5 Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week? I read in Ether when Jesus appeared to the brother of Jared because of his great faith. He couldnt be kept from seeing God because his faith was so strong. 
#6 What are you looking forward to this coming week? Just a normal week nothing coming up lately. Looking forward to teaching good lessons :)

Love you lots Mom and Dad! Have a great week!
Love, Elder Rasmussen