Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week #43 - "They will not hunger or thirst, Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down..." Isaiah 49:10

Maayong Gabii sa pamilya - This week went by crazy fast! It's hard to believe how fast! We had a very eventful week of finding and teaching which was pretty fun. Several times (almost every day) we've had a Sister from the ward, Sister Marites, work with us which really helps out a lot and she is super fun to work with. She talks our ear off haha but we don't mind. She is a super sweet lady and a really big help to us.

This week was I think the hottest *ever*. I probably said that last week, but what I really meant was this week! haha. The sun just cooks you. I wish you could experience it with me so you'd know just how HOT it truly is. haha

We found a new family "the Panes family" who are from Cavite so they speak Tagalog. That makes communication a little difficult since we aren't that great at Tagalog, but thankfully they are also decent at english so we are getting along just fine. They love having us over and talking to us, which is fantastic, but they are also really good at learning, so that makes it even better!

Yesterday we went to San Enrique for lunch with Sister Marites. Her friend who has a car drove us, so I got to ride in a car with A/C for the first time in a very long time. I felt like I was in America again! There was a fiesta in town so every single house had tons of people and there were people everywhere. They of course treated us very well and the food was really good. We then went to another house and ate again. You can't walk into a house and not eat or you will offend the owner so that's how that works. We went to work after that and taught a few people and then we went again to the home of Panes family and guess what? They insisted we eat some of their Pancit! haha So we got fed again. Then to top it off we had Family Home Evening at another members house and guess what? We got fed again! So much eating yesterday!

This morning for P Day we got up early and decided to try and find the caves I've been telling you about. We found one, but it wasn't very nice and there was a big snake skin just on the inside, so everyone was too chicken to go in! I was a little creeped out too, but I still wanted to go in and explore. But we all decided to just turned around and we went hiking instead, which was fun. I sweat so much that when I rung out my shirt like a quart of sweat came out!  The member who was with us climbed this huge coconut tree and  knocked down some coconuts for us all to eat. They were really good.


Its another hot day (imagine that) so I'm grateful I get to sit in a a/c building while I email home. I can't wait for the rainy season to come.

Here's the answer to your question Mom:

1 - what made you laugh this week? I can't remember anything!! haha! O.K. these two members that worked with us are pretty funny. They talk a lot of Ilonggo slang that makes me laugh.

2 - Did you try eating anything new this week? If not what was your favorite meal? Nothing new. Lots of pork and chicken. The chicken last night was really good.
3 - So how many mangos do you eat each day now that it's mango season? Have you given yourself a stomach ache like you did when you pigged out on the mandarins?  Lots of people give them to us, so we get a lot! I probably usually only eat 3 a day. I don't eat too many. I learned my lesson from the mandarins!
4 - How many miles a day do you walk? I'm thinking 3-5 usually, some days more, it just depends. 
5 - What was your lesson about that you taught at District meeting last week? Receiving revelation through prayer.
Have a great week! I Love you lots!
Love, Elder Rasmussen!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Week #42 - “Those Who Say It Can’t Be Done Should Not Interrupt The Ones Doing It.”

May 18, 2015

Hi Mom and Dad!

I loved Skyping home last week too! Even though I was a little homesick afterwards it wasn't near as bad as it was at Christmas! After going back to our area I got busy doing laundry and then had to hurry and prepare for my District Leader lesson the following day. So I managed to get over my homesickness by staying busy.  I am getting better at it, so not too much of a worry. We didn't get much sleep the night before, so I was tired out of my mind!  We had the ZLs with us Monday and Tuesday night because they worked with us on Tuesday. It was a lot of fun! We went out with Elder Swan (the one that you saw on skype that thought Hayley was really cute haha) he showed us a few new things they do to talk to people and invite people to be baptized. It helped me just to forget about what people think or say and just laugh off the stupid stuff that happens like getting rejected and frowned at. It's amazing, but I really don't worry about that anymore which is nice because it makes it easier to talk to people and to help more people.

The following days we did a lot of tracting and finding new people which was pretty fun. We did have contact with this one annoying lady who was one of the most proud people I've ever met, and NOT in a good way. Most Filipinos are very friendly and polite, but this lady needed some lessons on how to be nice.  She listened to us but basically just fired back at us with a bunch of rude garbage. My companion gets mad so quick when people aren't nice to us haha and I could tell he was getting hot under the collar. I had to look over at him and calmly say "Elder, its ok" haha we laughed about it afterward, but honestly, she was a challenge to be patient with. We left a Book of Mormon with her Dad because I knew she wanted to read it but was too proud to accept it from us. So I considered that a victory.We did a ton of walking this week which really made us tired for a few days. I was so tired I almost fell asleep in the lessons haha so we didnt do much walking yesterday to try and recover from all that.

Today is very hot so I'm so glad to be in the A/C right now :) We planned on going to some caves today but will most likely wait until next week.

Yesterday we met a guy from Texas who served his mission here in Passi 20 years ago. He came to visit the families he baptized. It was really surreal to see pictures of him 20 years ago and then see him in person with the families he taught and baptized so many years ago! Now those families have a few RM's of their own and are 2 of the strongest families in the ward. That's pretty cool and really inspiring!

#1 - What made you laugh this week? - We had some great laughs with the ZL's Elder Orr and Elder Swan. They are pretty funny guys.
#2 - What was your best day this past week? - The best day was Tuesday when we got to work with the ZL's and learn from them.

Ill send some pictures to you today. Glad you got my letter. 
Love Elder Rasmussen
Here are some pics from Zone Meeting a couple of weeks ago:


Week #41 - "Happiness Is An Inside Job." Mother's Day Skype!

May 10, 2015

We had a wonderful Skype with Elder Michael for Mother's Day. Jeff and Hayley were driving home from their long weekend trip to Grass Valley, California, visiting Grandpa and Grandma Rasmussen (I had to work because of a Federal Grant submission deadline I had, so I wasn't able to join them)--they left California early in the a.m. to be home in time not to miss his call and I made sure to get my work done and boogie home to wait on pins and needles!
Hayley was starting her job the next morning 5/11--so she was only able to stick around for about the first 45 minutes of the Skype and then she had to hit the road again to drive to Ephraim. So it was a busy night for Skyping - but we were so happy waiting pensively by the computer waiting for his call.
I love President Aquino - Elder Michael's Mission President! He allows the missionaries 2 hours to Skype home! Once again we had some technical difficulties for the first 1/2 hour because the camera on his end didn't want to work. Then when he finally got a camera that worked the video was pretty sub-par, so he was very pixelated most of the time, but it was better than nothing! So we'll take it!

Elder Rasmussen had traveled to Iloilo City from Passi the day before and spent the night with the ZL's at their apartment since there are no places to Skype from in Passi area. The Philippines is 14 hours ahead of us, so it was approximately 7 p.m. Sunday evening our time, so 9 a.m. Monday morning there. He was Skyping from an internet cafe at the local mall called "The Atrium". There were about 20 other Elders there with him so you could hear at the chattering going on in the background. It was their "SM Day", so after Skyping they would head over to "SM", which is like a big Wal-Mart I think. They get to go there once a month on their PDay to do their shopping.
He's a pretty happy Elder and despite the horrible heat right now he is loving life and loving "the mish". I really noticed that he has a bit of an accent, which he was in total denial about. LOL But I noticed that he talks faster and the inflection of his voice kinda goes up at the end of his sentences. He told us they speak English a lot because many Filipinos like to show off that they can speak English (he says it's funny because the Filipinos want to show off they can speak English and the Elders want to show off that they can speak Ilonggo).  Right now one of their investigators is a teacher and she is very educated and the family used to live in Texas, so her English is very good, so they speak English with her a lot. He says most of the Filipinos speak Tagalog to them at first because they don't expect them to be able to speak Ilonggo/Hiligaynon, so when they speak Ilonggo to them they are very surprised and very honored that they know their language. He feels very comfortable with the language now and says "we're getting around pretty good!". He is enjoying his calling as District Leader, though the teaching part of the calling stresses him out, but he's getting more comfortable with it.
He and his companion Elder F are getting a long really good and he has really enjoyed being his trainer. He says that despite their cultural differences, they have a lot in common with their love of cars and motorcycles.
We talked about what foods he is missing most, and cheese was at the top of his list and homemade cookies. He said that at the Mall they have a McDonald's and a Pizza Hut, but he says they don't eat at the Pizza Hut because it's pretty expensive and the pizza does not taste the same as America Pizza Hut. Michael was not that big of a fan of McDonald's prior to his mission, but he says after you go a long time without an American hamburger, eating at McDonald's is like heaven. haha
We talked about whether or not he wants us to travel to the Philippines at the end of his mission to pick him up. He is still not wanting us to come and wants to have the experience of returning home on his own and coming down the escalator at the airport to his family and friends welcoming him home. I guess I can't blame him. But if he changes his mind we will be ready!
I really should have taken notes, because I can't remember 1/2 of what we talked about :/ maybe by the next Skype I'll be a smarter Missionary Mom!
I'm grateful that this, our 2nd Skype with our Elder, we all did much better. There were lots of tears shed at Christmas, and thankfully we only had one or two moments where we all got a little too sentimental and got a little teary eyed. At the end of our 2 hours he told us again that we were the ones that had to end the Skype, because he couldn't do it. It's always hard to hit that Red button to end the conversation, but somehow we managed to do it. We will get to Skype again on Christmas Day - This will be the longest span we will have every gone without talking with our Michael. We are so proud of him, but it definitely requires faith and determination on all our parts to get through it, but we will persevere. I remind myself that by the next time we Skype with him we will be on the downhill side of his mission with only 7 1/2 months to go! We love our Elder! Until next time - Ciao!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Week #40 - "There are Lives To Brighten, Hearts To Touch and Souls To Save"

May 4, 2015
No matter where he is, he finds the bike shop!
Kamusta family! Maayong aga! (Good morning!)
Salamat sa mga email nyo sa akon (Thanks for emailing me!) ;)
This week really did go by fast. I love reading all the details about what's going on back at home! Thanks for getting those things for me Mom and sending them to me. As far as treats - Pop tarts are always important ;) I wish you could send me cheese. I miss cheese a lot!
I haven't gotten any details about the skype yet, so I'm not sure when that will happen. Most likely next Pday, so sometime Sunday night for you, but i will let you know asap so you can plan.
Baby Pineapples!
This week we got a lot of rain! You would think that would cool things down, but oh no...it just made it even more humid and sticky haha  but yesterday we went out in the pouring rain and I actually got a little chilly for a little bit. (It was wonderful!) I will never again be reluctant to work in the rain because it's actually pretty fun :)
This week we had a cool experience where we took the time to go see some members who lived pretty far away from Passi in an area called Rumugayray. We ended up teaching the husband's parents who the family has been trying to get to the church for a long time. They told us we were the first missionaries to visit their house so that was pretty cool. They are very nice people. They insisted we eat their food and when we left she paid for our ride and wouldn't let us pay. Lots of the members really worry about us since we are both foreigners haha even though we walk all over the place all day long by ourselves. Its nice to be cared for though ha ;)
LDS Church in Passi
We worked with 3 members yesterday. It rained a lot of the day and we were already soaked so we didn't care too much to get more wet. They tried to get me to eat the street food (chicken intestine, solid pig blood) but I couldn't, wouldn't and didn't eat it haha. I really have no desire to eat the street type food just so I can say I have. I know a lot of the elders eat it, and they make a really big deal about it, but it's just not important to me.  Maybe one day during my mission I'll get a hankering for balut or pig blood and I will try it. I just wish the members wouldn't pressure me so much to eat it. I refuse as kindly as possible, but honestly they can sometimes get offended really easily, but they are the ones that put me in a really uncomfortable situation. I feel bad, but I didn't want to eat it and that's that.
Trike Riding!
I had an interesting first experience as DL (District Leader) this past week. I had to go into Calinog to help the other Elders in our District who were having a companionship problem. I was a little worried I wouldn't have any idea how to help them solve their problem, but I talked to both of them individually and then together, and they were able to start talking again and told me last night that things are back to normal. So I was really glad to hear I was able to help them resolve their problem. I can't imagine the stress of Pres. Aquino dealing with dramatic missionaries all the time. My calling is much easier and if I can resolve the problems at my level and spare President from having to deal with it, then I'm glad I can do my part.
Here's the answers to your questions Mom:
#1 What made you laugh this week?- This old guy on a motorcycle yelled "joe!!" at us in a really high, sharp voice haha it was just really funny (maybe you had to be there?) We got a good laugh out of it! haha
#2 Is there anything you regularly do to stay lighthearted when times feel rough? Usually I take a sit down and just talk about cars or motorcycles with Elder Faamoe. He has a really nice car at home that he misses and I have my dirt bike and my truck, so we can console each other. haha
#3 What has been your favorite P-Day activity during your mission so far? Emailing home! Being able to sit in the A/C at the computer is legit. It's just nice to have some time on P-Day to relax. 
#4 What do you like most about your companion? How is he different from your other companions you've had so far? Elder F is way nice and we talk a lot. We've only had 1 or 2 times we didn't understand each other and considering we are from different parts of the world and are together 24/7 that's pretty good I think. He and I have a lot in common and have similar interests, so that helps a lot having someone to relate to and talk with.
#5 What do most people do for work in your area? Is it like farming? or industrial? Lots of trike drivers, sugar cane factory workers, carpenters and construction mostly.

#6 What was your most spiritual experience this week? Nothing too powerful this week but my testimony keeps getting stronger. I especially love testifying about Joseph Smith. 

I Love and miss you all! Have a great week!
Love Elder Rasmussen