Elder Michael Rasmussen has been called to serve a Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Philippines, Iloilo Mission August 2014 to August 2016. This blog is for his family and friends to follow his service and adventures. Enjoy!
Mom and Dad!OHHHH!! I can’t wait to meet
our new hund! I think you should name him Blitzkrieg and call him Blitz for
short—or Jaeger. Jaeger’s cool. I vote against Schnitzel—that sounds way to
girlie for a dude. Which, btw, you never get male dogs—what gives? Haha. The baby
pigs from last week were our investigators'. Sorry to say but they will be
eaten very soon L they were cool though. And I
got the Easter package you sent , sorry, I thought I told you before. Thank you
for sending my camera instruction booklet and for the other stuff inside! And,
thank you for getting me the Gorillapod for my camera too! That will come in
handy big time!
Zone Activity at the beach
This week was transfer
week so we weren’t able to get out as much as we usually do and also Elder
Faamoe got sick so we didn’t go out that day either. But we did a ton of
tracting on the other days, which was pretty fun. Even though I sweat like a
freaking pig. It is *SO HOT* here. I’ve never felt anything like it in my life!
HAHA Plus I got a pretty good sunburn from the zone activity at the beach last
week, so that had me feeling extra warm. I will send you a picture. My
shoulders and arms got so red and the rest of me is SO white. haha
We weren’t able to
visit our favorite investigator Wenda this week because she was sick. So we
went way out to an area called "San Enrique" where we did a ton of
walking and finding people. We did a lot of exploring, which we needed to do
anyway to get to know the area. We met these two teenagers who were really polite
and they wanted to talk with us. They listened and joined in the lesson, so it
makes it more enjoyable to teach. They were pretty cool. There was a funeral in
town and when there’s a funeral (namatian) literally everyone in town goes
because it seems like everyone is related to the person that died. So no one
was home in lots of the houses we tracted, so we just kept walking and getting
to know the area better.
Philippine Carabao (water buffalo) laying in the mud pool to keep cool
Sugar Cane Field
Cool Sun Dog
Yesterday was an
interesting day. I found out how good of a memory my companion has. We were
walking down the road and he says "hey that’s that one guy we met last
week" and I didn’t recognize him at all and sure enough it was him. Then
we walked past another guy who I again didn’t recognize but my companion did
and knew exactly who he was. I felt pretty dumb haha but that’s why I take a
lot of notes in my planner. We also talked to a lady in her garden as well who
was really nice. She just stared at us while we were looking around the area
and when we talked to her she told us she was wondering what the heck is that
white guy and big dude doing around here haha which is exactly what we thought
she was thinking.
This morning we went
to the gym and lifted weights. I sweat so much it was ridiculous! Never do I ever
remember sweating this much, ever!!. (Have I mentioned how hot it is? Haha) It
felt really good to get some good exercise in though.
So it turns out I have
been assigned as the new Passi District DL (District Leader). I’ll be honest, I’m
not looking forward to doing the trainings and stuff haha But it will be good
for me and I will have a little more responsibility to improve my skills as a
teacher and leader.
Hope you all have a
great week! Love you and miss you lots.
Hey Mom and Dad - Thanks for the pictures! I sure wish I was there having fun with you guys! I love hearing about your adventures and seeing your pictures--and no you aren't making me sad! haha I am still loving my mission! haha It's just great to see pictures so please keep sending them. Your trip Looks like a lot of fun and you got to see some really cool stuff. Darin looks like ZZ Top--his beard is so hard core! haha I can't wait for when I'll get to ride motorcycles with you guys when I get back.
Today we did a Zone Activity at the beach so we are just now getting to email, so that's why you I didn't email earlier like usual. We got up at 4 a.m. this morning and headed to Leganes (suburb of Iloilo) and then to the beach where we played volleyball and walked around in the water and played football and stuff. I was pretty fun, but unfortunately I didn't put enough sun screen on so I got pretty burned. My skin is so white like cool whip!! haha After the beach we went home and got our shopping done and then it started raining really hard and the power went out. We haven't had a good rain storm like this since like December so getting the rain has been great. Plus it cooled things down a lot which is always nice. Nice to have a break from the oven!
This week my companion got sick twice so we had to stay in for a day and a half. We are still exploring new areas and meeting lots of people. We're hoping they will turn into progressing investigators but most of them don't unfortunately but we continue to persevere! Our lesson a couple of days ago with Wenda P. was awesome. We talked about the Book of Mormon and Joseph smith. She is super nice and very educated so we love visiting her and answering her questions. She asks really great questions and she watched the Restoration video onlds.organd you could tell she was very touched by the spirit. We are hoping and praying things will work out there for her and her family. They are a way cool family and her husband knows about dirtbikes and like supercross and stuff . We have a lot in common, so he's awesome to talk to. They are just really nice people and I've really loved teaching them.
It has been miserably hot haha sorry to be dramatic but holy cow I've never sweat so much in my whole life. Seriously! The sun just cooks us, so we're way happy when its cloudy or were in the bukid with lots of trees. Looking forward to "cooler" season which should start in July.
Transfers are this week. I'm not expecting any changes until next transfer so no big deal for Elder F. and I.
Love you lots! Stay safe and have fun on the bikes.
Thanks for your emails. I hope you have fun on your motorcycle trip to Arizona Mom and Dad and be safe! That trip sounds like a blast! I can't wait to see pictures. I was a little homesick last week, but I guess that happens every week at some point for the most part. It comes and goes throughout the week--it's just part of the process I guess.
This week was fast but I got sickon Fridayand Saturdayso we didn't get as much work done. We also had General Conference on the weekend, so Saturday morning we traveled to Leganes (Iloilo) to stay the weekend with the Zone leaders to make traveling to Conference easier.
We had a really cool lesson earlier in the week with our investigator named Wenda. We are teaching her about Joseph Smith. Every time we go there she actually listens and wants to learn but this time was extra cool because she told us she is very interested in Joseph smith and wants to go really slow through that part of the lesson so she can really understand. She is a teacher so she can speak fairly good english and understands quite well so we can use a little bit of English if there's something hard to explain in Illonggo. We had a lot of fun in the lesson. It's so much easier teaching people who are sincerely interested in learning.
The rest of the week we spent lots of time tracting to find new people and new areas so we don't have to keep going to the same over-tracted areas.
I taught the district meetingon Tuesdaywhich went ok but not as good as I hoped since I wasnt able to prepare as much as I would have liked.
On Saturday when we were to head to Leganes, I thought about staying home since I still wasn't feeling well, but I really didn't want to miss Conference, so I decided to go. Conference was really good, I just wish I could have felt better. I must have had the flu or something because I had a fever so I would be really hot and sweating, then I would get super cold and shivery. I felt pretty lousy, so that was a real bummer. During the Sunday sessions the Stake center in Lapaz was packed full of people. There were lots of talkers around us so it was hard to hear at times but I still really enjoyed the conference talks.
I'm feeling a lot better now. We stayed over in Leganes again last night and today we went to SM (the big mall in Iloilo). I haven't been to SM for so long, it was nice to get to hang out at the mall (with the air con!! LOL). I ate McDonalds which was really good since I havent had a burger since January 5haha. Time is fast though, so I feel like we were just there even though it's been over 3 months! Now we are in Jaro (suburd of Iloilo City) and when were done emailing we'll go catch the bus for the ride home to Passi which is about an hour bus ride from here.
Sure do love and miss you tons!
#1 - Tell me something that made you laugh this week- We spent some time last night playing Uno since it was 6 of us in the house. We had some funny moments and lots of laughs. There are a lot of funny elders in our mission haha
#2 - What is your favorite smell in your area now? 2 stroke exhaust! It makes me homesick, but I still love it! What is your least favorite smell? Every now and then we get a whiff of one of the city gutters. You can almost taste it! bleh!
#3 - What is the scariest thing that has happened to you so far as a missionary that has made you feel protected? I'm not sure I understand the question haha but nothing too scary has happened. I guess I'd say when Elder B and I got hit by the motorcycle back in October (Nov 4, 2014 blog post). That was pretty scary.
#4 - How are your clothes holding up to the bucket washes? Your white shirts still look pretty white--I'm impressed! They're good. Filipinos have mastered the handwash! I am becoming a pro at it. haha It works really good, but the only thing that sucks is how labor intensive it is.
#5 - What are some of the local sayings or things people say pretty often there? Kabalo ka mag visaya?? (do you guys know how to speak visaya?) and they always call us tall (Taas gid sia) and of course the "hey joe!" and cano!
Hi Mom and Dad - Thanks so much for your emails and the pictures. It looks like things are going good for you! I've been thinking about how much I miss all of Mom's cooking. It's on the top of my list for things I will want immediately when I get home! haha I surprisingly haven't gotten sick from any of the food here (yet?) but I'm really careful about what I eat. And you're right! I haven't had a singly bloody nose since I got here, so there is something to be said for extreme humidity!
Sounds like you all had fun riding dirt bikes on Saturday! I honestly don't mind that Hayley rode my bike (as long as she's super careful! haha) It needs the exercise, so thanks for taking care of it for me. I can't believe the Jeep may be dead! That is so sad! I hope the mechanic is able to weld the engine back on. I feel like you may be bluffing Dad when you say that you let Hayley take your Tacoma back to USU instead of my truck! Are you sure you really did that? haha. Speaking of engines, I'm a little worried about my plane engines and not starting them for so long. Hopefully they'll be alright, but if you think about it, may you can start them up every-once-in-awhile?
Our week went pretty good. There was a lot going on most of the week with the Catholic churches because of Easter, but I didnt see any of the extreme crucifixion or flagellation stuff you asked about, but I know that goes on here. Last Friday (because of Good Friday) there were no people in the streets of Passi and it was the weirdest thing I've seen here. Usually there are a million people and bikes crowded in the streets, but everything was closed down and there were no people. It felt likeSundayin Utah! haha It was actually kinda nice having the streets to ourselves!
We met a lot of nice people this week to teach. One family in this new area we've explored (The Panes family) live up on a hill in a pretty nice house. We saw it and thought what the heck? Let's try it out. Come to find out the husband worked in Texas for 4 years so they speak a little English. They are the coolest family and by our second visit they were calling us their friends! and we've continued to build a pretty good relationship with them.
On Saturday we went to our baptism of Gina Amestoso who we've been teaching for the past 7 weeks. We also started teaching a new woman named Cena who told us she would like to serve a mission someday, so that was really neat.
For some reason this week we had a few problems with trike drivers trying to rip us off. Most of the trike drivers are very nice and honest, but when you get one who thinks that just because you're a foreigner they can rip you off, it really ruins the moment. Most people are nice though, but every-once-in-a-while you run into some dishonest people, just like everywhere else I guess. But it's a real bummer when it happens since it really ruins the spirit.
Sunday we worked with a member named Sister Marites. She's an RM and very good at missionary work, so she really helped us out. One of our new investigators is friends with her, so it was a pretty cool coincidence.
It's been unbearably hot this week! Especially today. We didn't get anything out of the storm and it actually seemed like it made things feel hotter if that's possible! haha
Here's the answers to your questions Mom:
#1 What made you laugh this week? Elder Faamoe bought a lechon chicken (roasted chicken that is seasoned Filipino style). While walking home he was so happy and excited and just kept talking about how he's going to devour the chicken when we get home haha he was giddy over it and it had me cracking up.
#2 Did anything make you cry this week? Not this week!
#3 Have you ever tried the fresh sugar cane yet? Yeah, its alright. Are you still enjoying the fresh pineapple? Yes its way good! Anything else you've found that you like to eat? Filipinos chocolate candy bar. It's super unhealthy but very good!
#4 Have you had any service opportunities lately? No, not lately, but we've been looking for them.
#5 What was your favorite "spiritual" moment this week? Teaching the Panes family. They are way cool.