Thursday, May 21, 2015

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!

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