Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week #35 ". . .Love is the motive, the spirit is key, and Christ is the reason."

March 30, 2015
Hey Mom and Dad! Thanks for your emails and for sending me pictures. It looks really nice there except the mountains have no snow on them so that's not good. :/ It is hard to believe it is spring there already. I loved the pic you sent me from our snowmobiling trip. ohhh man that powder was so much fun to ride in! I remember that day so well!! I miss winter so much but it helps to know I'm not missing out on a good snow year. haha

It has been so hot here but luckily a few little storms came in this week and kind of cooled things off a little. Yesterday we had 2 members come work with us and one of them (Kevin) just about died when we walked to our appointments! It was so funny! He was complaining about the heat and kept hinting that we should catch a ride haha He was falling behind like a dying hiker in the desert. LOL I didnt think the Filipinos felt the heat but he sure did! The girl that came with us was just fine and kept right up with us.

This week we didn't do as much finding as the week before. We were disappointed yesterday when our investigators with a baptism date didn't show up to church when they had told us they would. We visit them 3 times a week and they are great and follow along really well, but they struggle with committments. We handed out 10 Book of Mormons this week which is a record for me so far in the mission. A lot of the time we struggle just handing out 2 or 3, but not this week!

We taught a lady named Lani and she told us about this guy named Jose who she said is a member of the church. So Elder F and I went looking for him and found his house and sure enough he is a member! We talked to his son because Jose wasnt there and he was super nice. We found the new area and will keep going back to it becasue we also started teaching another family who live in the same area. The Tatay (Father) of the house I could tell wasnt very happy his wife let us in the house haha and so I started talking to him about basketball and he loosened right up and joined in our lesson. Basketball really helps get a conversation going - Filipinos love their basketball! When I mention the Utah Jazz they always say like "ahhhh Utah Jazz yeah Karl Malone!" haha 
This mission is incredible and the time is flying by so unbelievably fast. I've learned so much in just 8 months, it just blows my mind. I was talking to one of my housemates last night about how much of a difference our families are going to notice in us when we return home. I'm doing things that I would have never even imagined doing and thought I could or would never do in a million years! I have received so many huge blessings from serving and I know my family is being blessed as well.
Here's the answers to your questions Mom:
#1 - So have you gotten a more adventurous palate yet and started trying more "Filipino" style foods? I haven't really tried anything too exotic. I love the regular foods they eat here but dont really have any desire to eat balut or anything like that haha (Note from Mom: For those of you who don't know what Balut is, it's a boiled, partially developed duck fetus (fertilized dug egg)--a very common street food in Asian countries - and it looks completely repulsive!

#2 - Do you have an exercise program you are keeping with each day or does all the walking you do enough to keep you feeling fit? I do pushups and situps and run up and down the stairs, in addition to the miles and miles of walking we do each day. We also get some basketball games in on P-Day.

# 3 - What has become your favorite missionary-type activity thus far? (Tracking, Random OYM moments?, Member referrals?, speaking in church?) Sometimes its fun to tract. I'm getting a lot better at teaching so that's cool.
#4 - What does Tigulang gid ang nanay ko mean? You said it in your email last week and I forgot to ask you what it meant. Google translate says it means "very elderly mother", so you better have something *really* good to say about that!  Haha Mom, Google is right ;) I was just teasing you on your birthday!
#5 - What is your favorite scripture reference right now?  I like 2 Nephi 31:10 "And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?" and James 2:20 about Faith without works is dead and also Matthew 16:24, "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." So many people think they have faith and say they worship Jesus Christ, but they actually know very little about Christ, about his life and his love and sacrifices for us and almost nothing about the atonement.  #BecauseHeLives

I love and miss you all so much! Have a great week! Love, Elder Rasmussen

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Week #34 - "By Helping Others Come Unto Him, You Will Find That You Have Come Unto Him Yourself"

March 23, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! Glad your day was good and you had a lot of fun!! Yesterday was Elder Gomez's birthday too. I still haven't made those pizza things you sent me, so I think we'll do that tonight! Tigulang gid ang nanay ko. :)

Thanks as always for your emails! This week went by super fast here and we had a lot of fun finding and teaching people. It's been hotter than July in St. George here this last week and is supposed to be like that for another 3 or 4 months. The heat makes it hard to want to go out of the house and work, but usually by 4 or 5 in the afternoon the sun goes down and it cools off a little and it is such a relief, and life is good again! haha The sun shining on you feels like constantly being under one of those heater lamps you use for baby chickens! haha
I have really enjoyed training! Luckily my companion Elder Fammoe is way relaxed and has been doing really well! I had a hard time those first couple of weeks after I arrived in Iloilo, but he honestly seems like he's been here as long as I have--he just doesn't have the language skills yet. Mom, you're right! My leading is better than I thought haha So we get around pretty well and have a lot of fun working together. We committed 4 people to baptism this past week: Febbie, John Paul, Sonalee, and Megryan. They are a family that have had missionaries teach them in the past. We are hoping and praying for them that they will keep their commitments and continue to learn and progress.
O.M.'ing on a log
We had 2 times this week where we sat down on a bench or log and started talking to 1 or 2 people and then as we are talking more people gather around us and listen to what we are saying. It is so cool when that happens! Most people are willing to let us talk to them when we just sit down and take the time to get to know them.
Yesterday was the funnest day! We had a member named April work with us after church and that's when we OM'ed (made contact) with some people sitting on a log. We had some really spiritual lessons on the plan of salvation. Having members work with us is fun and people are more likely to talk to us.  They are more comfortable when it's not just 2 foreigners trying to talk with them. A couple of days ago we had a few people (Catholics) that wanted to throw down on us a little on what we were teaching. I don't like (and thankfully we are encouraged) not to argue or try to prove them wrong. Sometimes they can be very hard headed and hard hearted. I just stick with encouraging them to pray sincerely to ask if what we are teaching is true. The Spirit always is the best teacher!
I finally got some pictures of my house! I know it doesn't look like much, but it's very comfortable, and honestly I'm so tired after working in the heat all day that I could drop anywhere! haha
Yes, this is our laundry room!

Home Sweet Home in Passi



Living Room

Here are the answers to your questions Mom:

#1 - What's your favorite thing about training a new missionary? I get to practice speaking and teaching a lot more.
#2 - What/who made you laugh this week? We walked past these dudes sitting on a trike and said the usual "maayong hapon" (Good morning/Good afternoon) to them. As we walk a little further past them, I hear one of them say "bakla ka!" (bad word, like a homosexual slur) so I turned around and gave them the dirtiest look I could muster up, and one of the guys points at his friend shaking his head like "it was him not me". It was so funny! I just busted up laughing. hahaha
#3 - How much do you walk vs. riding trikes or jeeps?  We ride a trike occasionally but mostly we walk between appointments. We usually ride home at night. There aren't any jeeps here like Guimaras. Here its all trikes.
#4 - How are the bugs these days? Are you pestered a lot? They're not bad because it hasnt rained in forever.
#5 - I know you work hard - but what do you do for fun or just to goof off when you have the chance? If we see something cool we'll go take a look and take pictures haha but nothing too crazy. We didn't get to see the sugar factory last week :( it turns out they do not offer tours, so we struck out. Today for P-Day we don't have much planned except getting a haircut (yah...pretty wild I know! haha), but we will see what we have time for.
Love you lot and I sure miss you Mom and dad. Have a great week!
Love, Elder Rasmussen


Monday, March 16, 2015

Week #33 - "Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you BOUNCE! " Tigger

March 16, 2015

Hey Mom, Dad and Hayley!  Thanks for your great emails! I love the pictures! Thanks for sharing about staying positive Mom. I had a kind of a downer day yesterday so it was a good reminder that I need to stay positive.
Transfer day finally came on Thursday! On Wednesday I waited all day expecting a call telling me I was going to be training a new missionary. But I never got a call and the text about transfers never came... so towards the end of the day I was really bummed that nothing was going to happen. At like 10:45 p.m. we finally got a text that my comp Elder M. was on the transfer list, but nothing about me, so then I was getting more bummed! Then around 11:00 p.m. the AP called me and told me I would be training a new missionary and I was to report to the Mission Home early the next morning!! I was pretty pumped!  So the next morning I had to go by myself to the Mission Home in Arevalo at 5 in the morning so that was interesting ha! But I made it there all right. There were only 14 new missionaries this batch. I met my new companion - his name is Elder Faamoe. He is a Samoan from New Zealand. He's a super cool guy and he's got a really interesting story!
Elder Rasmussen and Elder Faamoe
He's a professional rugby player and made a ton of money playing rugby before his mission haha. I was a little nervous going out to work the next day with him since he's obviously not very good at Illonggo, but man he is just as happy as can be and was totally ready to go out to work! So we went to work and we had such a great day! These two little girls (members) followed us around most of the day. We had such a great day! I found that I actually can lead and my language skills are plenty good enough to get us around, so that was a huge confidence booster for me. Elder Faamoe is just a spiritual giant and he is adjusting to mission life super quick. He's going to be awesome!

Elder F and I and our little shadows....
So, like I said, yesterday was a little bit of a hard day for me. I just felt really exhausted and was having a hard time with teaching. Just one of those days, you know. So Elder F and I were heading home and our neighbor lady was out cleaning her house. So I decided to say hello and I started talking to her (yes, I was showing off a little haha) and she was so surprised! It turns out she thought I didn't know how to speak Ilonggo (Elder Meneses always spoke Tagolog to her). The conversation led to her inviting us to teach her! And it turned out to be a great spiritual lesson! She told me she's wanted to talk to me for a long time but because I never really said much she figured I didn't understand the language. Anyhow, the other Elders joined in the lesson when they came home, and it was just a really great way to end and otherwise hard, exhausting day.
So, that was pretty much my week. Today we might go to the sugar factory and take a tour if we can. It looks like a really cool place, and I've been really curious about how they turn the sugar cane into sugar, so hopefully that works out. I will take pictures!
Oh hey! By the way, I had a trike driver give me change and Filipino pesos look a lot like U.S. quarters, and I looked down and he had given me a brand new Utah quarter! Imagine that! Cool huh?
Love you lots Mom, Dad and Hayley. Have a great week!
Love Elder Rasmussen
Here's the answers to your questions Mom:
 #1 What or Who made you laugh this week? Just talking in the house at night with the other Elders. We usually have some pretty interesting conversations, with lots of laughs!
#2 Who did you teach this week that you felt inspired by? Our neighbor lady I told you about. It just proves that people are being prepared for us to teach.
#3 What do you eat for lunch each day? Do you eat at home most of the time or on the road? I mostly eat at home unless a member feeds us. I eat a lot of pasta, sandwiches, tuna, peanut butter, etc.
#4 Are you sleeping well? How do you stay cool at night? I actually sleep pretty well. I just have a fan, but it works pretty well to keep me cool. I think I'm really adjusting to the weather here, because I even sometimes have to turn it off if it is a cool night!
#5 What is the best advice you've received from your Mission President? Learning to live 24/7 with a companion isn't always easy....President advises us, like you Mom :) to concentrate on the positives, and just let the negatives go.
Lots of pictures this week!!
Fun Family Home Evening

You know me...can't pass up sitting on a moto!

Just me hiking up the road!

Filipino Weiner Dog!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week #32 "The Lord Looketh Upon The Heart"

March 9, 2015
Hi Mom and Dad - Kamusta!
Thanks for sending me pictures Dad. I love seeing pictures from home. Even if you aren't doing anything exciting, I just love seeing them, so please keep them coming! Thank you both of you for your emails! Sounds like you all are having fun getting Granny moved into her new house. I wish I could beam myself in for a day so I could be there to help. I hope things go well and you'll be able to get her living comfortably very soon.
B-Ball with the Passi and Calinog Elders

This week went by unbelievably fast! It's weird how quickly Sunday comes and then Monday again and here I am emailing home again!

My P-Days lately are spent just doing laundry, shopping, cleaning house, and getting my stuff organized, and then I try to relax. There is not a whole lot of time to do anything too adventurous around here unless you get up extra early. We do get together with the Calinog Elders occasionally and play basketball, and that's always fun.
Elder Crooks and Elder Rasmussen
This week we had zone conference on Tuesday.  I had to give a training on "helping new and less active members with the ward council" haha  felt like I was pretty comfortable doing even though I never feel like I should be the one training *anyone* when I sometimes feel like I don't really know very much. I feel like I have really overcome the fear of getting in front of people pretty easily, but I'm not as confident in my knowledge, so I'm continuing to study as much as I can. Of course it was weird to say goodbye to the old missionaries who are going home this week. Transfers are this coming Thursday and it is looking like I might be training a new missionary but you never know until the last minute, so I guess we will see!  I am so ready though! I've been wanting to train for the last few transfers.
Saturday we rode a bus up to a member's house who lives a little ways out of town and ate lunch at their house. They are super nice people. During tracting (which I've actually had a lot fun with lately!) we met a few old guys (Tatays) who never fail to put a smile on my face. One is super willing to learn and totally accepts everything we teach him. When he prays he says "thank you Lord for sending these messengers to teach me the truth" haha Isn't that awesome? He's a way nice guy.
The other Tatay we visit just cracks us up because he's just a goofy, funny, old guy. I have really enjoyed teaching him. When we got to his house for our appointment he was passed out on the bench haha he was a little drunk. So we taught his sons and eventually he woke up and joined in the lesson. haha such a super nice guy.
As far as the language goes I feel ok sometimes and other times I just suck. haha But over all I feel pretty confident. I don't understand everything but I understand enough to get me by. I know it will continue to keep getting easier, so I try not to let the bad days frustrate me too much.
Here's the answers to your questions this week Mom:
**What made you laugh this week? Teaching the two tatays (old guys) I told you about. They're awesome--really, they are the kind of investigators you really appreciate finding because they really boost you up.
**Have you had any service opportunities lately? We have not done any service lately I havent had the opportunity in a long time :/ but once I get a new companion I will be looking actively for them since service is my favorite.
**What was your favorite teaching moment this week? Teaching a young couple we've been visiting lately. They're really nice to be around and very willing to learn.
**Did you try anything new this week? I finally ate a fresh pineapple and am wishing I would have started eating them 6 weeks ago!! They are way good!! and super cheap at only 30 pesos each (about 68 cents) so I'm going to eat a lot of them! haha So be very jealous Mom! I wish I could send you some, they are so good!
A beautiful Passi Sunset

Have a great week! I love you and pray for you all everyday.
Love Elder Rasmussen

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week #31 - Anyone Can Be Cool...But Awesome Takes Practice!

Hello Mom and Dad! Glad you are ok Mom jeez you crazy lady!! I'm going to start calling you Evil Kinevil. Be careful will you?! I expect you to be alive when I get home!! :) 

Glad things are going good though with everything else. Thats awesome Hayley got a scholarship! Thanks for sending all of the pictures too. I miss seeing those beautiful Utah mountains.
This week was extremely hot and miserable which I know probably sounds weird to you, but it's totally normal for here because it is Summer right now in the Philippines. It feels like heaven to walk into the mall here and just soak up the Aircon but then when you walk back outside its hot as hades again!! haha So I appreciate any A/C I can get :) The computer shop we use each week has A/C so I always get the computer right next to the cold air and I'm usually freezing cold by the time I walk out of here. :)
I went on a split with one of my housemates named Elder Gomez last Wednesday which was fun. Its fun to work with different people and learn from their strengths. Elder Gomez is really good at speaking English so we always feel like he's just another American, but he's 100% pinoy.  We had a good day of work and it ended up being really fun. We also taught this interesting dude that we've been visiting for the past month. We were teaching him about the Plan of Salvation and he likes to throw Bible verses at us and justify his ideas with some really ridiculous stuff haha and sure enough when we told him God has a perfect body of flesh and bones, he didn't believe that not one bit! ha! So we'll see where things go with him.
I write things in my planner each week about what to email you on the next "P" Day and last week on one of the days I wrote "Mom and Dad I miss you" so I want you to know I miss you both so much!
Birthday Party!!
We went to a birthday party of one of the members on Saturday and there was lots of food and even a cake which was pretty decent. On the way back they gave us a ride on their trike and of course we all piled on it and I got a crappy seat sitting on the metal bar on top, and I kept trying to get comfortable and ended up ripping the stupid rubber top. Sso now I will have to pay for a new one for them which I'm hoping won't be too expensive. I felt pretty stupid, but it was an accident so I guess things just happen that way sometimes.

Elder Gomez, Elder Meneses, Elder Crooks and Elder Rasmussen
That's pretty much how the week went! I got to thinking and it has almost been a year since I got my mission call. can you believe it? Time is just flying!

Thanks for all your emails, love and support! Love you lots!!
Elder Michael