Monday, June 29, 2015

Week #48 - "He Who Kneels Before God, Can Stand Before Anyone."

June 27, 2015
P.S. Mikey emailed this week from a computer hut that they don't generally use and those places are notorious for having viruses on their computers, so for that reason he didn't send any new photos this week, so I'm recycling a few from the past.

Hey Mom and Dad! Thanks for the email! I love the pictures! It's so good to see Utah. I love it! You both talked about the heat there in your emails haha! Sorry I'm having a hard time feeling bad for you haha! Just kidding. I remember thinking it was too hot in Utah, so I know how you are feeling. Now I know better! Just so you know I am suffering too and the sweat never ends ;)
I was just talking with Elder Crooks this morning about how times has never gone by so fast and yet has never gone by so slow in my life like it has on my mission. I know that sounds weird, it's hard to describe!
Thanks Dad for the encouragement and the reminder about every generation of Rasmussen men being a little better than the last. I remember Grandpa saying that to me over the years. I hope I can continue to become a better person. I've grown so much closer to the Savior and the Gospel in the 11 months of my mission. I think back to High School and how I never took any of my scripture study and the gospel teachings seriously. But now I see what it means in my life and I want to learn everything I can. It says in my Patriarchal Blessing that the Book of Mormon will become my friend and that has already been fulfilled! I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the Bible and I truly enjoy studying about the life of the Savior and all he did.
Thanks for mailing me the package and the socks for me Mom. About what to send me in future packages....I have no idea what I really need. I think of stuff every-once-in-awhile, but then I forget to write it down. But I will make sure to remember and put a list together for you.  That "cold" towel actually doesnt work real well here, sorry :( it's like a swamp cooler in a rain storm. I'm sure it would work really well in Utah though since the air is so dry so I will hold on to it for future use.
It rained almost every day this week. Just like Utah the rain always comes in the afternoon. I went on a split with Elder Tanto in Calinog which was a lot of fun. It's always nice to experience a different area and meet new people. We found a new couple that we taught who are very nice. The husband works at Gaisano (supermarket) and he told us he'd give us 50% off on chicken so heck yeah to that!
On Friday we visited our investigators the Panes family, who of course would'nt let us leave after the lesson until we at dinner with them! They served us some kind of fish dish and it was really good!
On Saturday the other Elders had a baptism so we attended that. And on Sunday Passi had its first Ward Conference (they just became a Ward last December) and so a ton of people were at church including President Aquino, so we were very happy that we were all cleaned up and looking sharp, and most importantly we didn't have any mud on our shoes! (that's President Aquino's pet peeve ha). Afterwards they served lunch for the ward. There was lots of food and it was fun to hang around the members and we even had several of our investigators also attend. Afterwards we went on a split with the members, but it started pouring rain so it was cut short and we stayed at the church for a little bit longer. Afterwards Elder F and I went to a guy named Tatay Bautista (a less active member) and shared with him. Then last night we had a very nice dinner at the Robles family that was pure adobo and BBQ chicken with rice haha not a very healthy meal, but man it was good! So we were fed well yesterday both literally and spiritually!
Our favorite computer place was closed this morning so we are in another computer hut that doesn't have A/C and I'm totally sweating......

Here's the answers to your questions Mom:

1 - Sorry, but I"ve got to ask....what made you laugh this week? haha I always want to know that my boy is laughing! Pres. Aquino spoke in Sacrament yesterday about paying tithing. He said "I don't like to compare churches, but in the            church [he covers his mouth like he accidently said] you know where your money is going...". Anyways, It was really funny because of his facial expressions, but it was a little awkward at the same time because some of our investigators are members of that church, so we were hoping they weren't offended, but I don't think they were because they were laughing about it also. 
2 - What new fruits and/or veggies have you tried?  I eat lots of Mango, several different kinds of banana (I didn't know there were so many kinds of bananas!), coconut, and there's a few others that I don't know their names. You know me--I love just about any kind of fruit and I have a lot to choose from here.
3 - Do you teach in church or do you just attend like the average ward member?  I've had to teach Sunday School and Priesthood a few times, but not lately. Mostly we just get to sit there like a normal member :)
4 - What service have you been doing? We're hoping to help a member to build a new house soon. He's got some of the supplies that he has ordered and we're just waiting on that.
5 - Did you learn anything new this week? I finished the Book of Matthew for the first time and I loved it. It is packed full of such good stuff and has built my faith in Jesus Christ so much. I love when he confounds the priests---there are times on my mission when I wish I could do that! That would be so awesome! LOL But I've really enjoyed studying the life of the Savior.
6 - How are the bugs there? I saw on the Missionary Mall website that they have those mosquito nets that hang over your bed - do you need one of those? The mosquitos are WAY bad here. They bite through my socks and even my pants sometimes. Thankfully, I never get bitten at night though because we have the fans blowing on us.
Thanks again Mom and Dad for your emails. Palangga ta ka!
Love Elder Rasmussen

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week #47 - "Great Things Never Came From Comfort Zones."

June 22, 2015

Hey Mom and Dad! Happy Father's Day Dad! I love you tons and thanks for always supporting me and still loving me even when I was a punk sometimes! haha I hope you had a great day!
Thanks so much for the pictures. Seeing real American trucks and camp trailers is a lot to take in. haha  It looks like you had a good week! Everything looks so green there in Utah!  Glad you are still having fun at work and enjoying all the stress ;) I wish I was there to work out with you and enjoy the cold weather you're having in Utah ;) LOL mid 90's with relative low humidity sounds really nice and cool to me! We played basketball this morning and I of course had a bath in my sweat! I was completely drenched within minutes!

I'll start out answering your questions firsts:

#1 What made you laugh this week? This is always the hardest question Mom! haha O.K. Our investigator Gio is a pretty funny guy. When he came with us to visit the LA's he wasn’t shy at all and was talking with everyone and keeping us laughing. It really surprised me. 

 #2 Bare your testimony in Ilonggo (just a short one) and  then give it to us in English. “Kabalo ako nga ang Gospel ni Jesucristo amo ang dalan para sa aton sa pagbalik sa Dios. Paagi sa pagbasa sa Libro ni Mormon matunan naton ang ebanghelyo kag mangin mas malapit kita kay jesucristo.”

“I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the way for us to return back to god/Heavenly Father. Through reading the Book of Mormon we learn the Gospel and become closer to Jesus Christ.”

#3 Describe the house you are living in. We have 4 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, in a 2-story apartment.  I guess there is kind of a yard, but not really. There is grass but it’s out in front of the 3 houses that make our apartment complex deal. They are adding 2 houses to it right now. I'll take a picture of it next week. It’s a small house for 4 people, it seems that sometimes anyways, but it’s alright. Everything in the Philippines is smaller especially the houses ha 

#4 Dad and I were looking at the crescent moon, and the converging of Venus and Jupiter last night and wondering if you see the same sky we do from your side of the world? Have you noticed the moon and planets recently? I’ve noticed that the moon looks *really* big here when it is full. I haven’t seen the stars in a while because of the clouds but when it’s a clear night I can always find Ursa Major, The Big Dipper. J

This week was a little slow. The past few weeks have been that way. We had interviews with President Aquino on Wednesday, which took forever but it was good to see a bunch of my zone and some other Elders from my batch. It rained nearly every day this week which has been pretty nice since it cools things down a notch.
Yesterday we had Gio and Ann Vian come to church. They are two children from a family we are teaching (The Panes). They are a really cool family. Their Mom likes the kids to hang out with us and go to church, but as far as baptism goes it could take a while haha.
This guy was digging this hole (a well?) by hand with a stick

Fish for lunch, anyone?>
On Friday I went on a split with Elder Noleal because I had to do a baptism interview. It was fun to meet people on the other side of Passi and the the interviews went really well. We were hoping for a baptism in our area too but school started about a month ago and made it very difficult for us to meet with our investigators.
On Saturday we did an activity with our Ward called "Half-Day Mission". Luckily Elder Crooks was in charge of the activity and he was the one responsible for teaching and putting on the workshop so all I had to do was participate! haha After the workshop we all split up and each missionary took 4 or 5 members to visit the less active members in the area. It is fun to work with the members and have them help us with fellowshipping some of the people who don't go to church very often. I really love this Ward here. What a great group of people and what great friends I've made. I can say that my time here has gone by very fast and when the time comes for me to transfer I will really miss them all. 
Yesterday (Sunday) we taught these two older people. The old man was really cool and funny. We had two members working with us (Bro Efren and Sister Marites) and at the end of the day it started pouring rain. Luckily a trike went by just in the knick of time, so we got a ride home. It's really fun to ride in a really small tricycle in a really good rainstorm! haha

Thanks Mom and Dad! Have a great week!
Love you!
Elder Michael


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Week #46 - “Don’t Look Back, You’re Not Going That Way.”

June 15, 2015

Hey Mom and Dad! Glad you had a good week! I would love to be there and do that crossfit you're doing Mom. It sounds pretty cool! Keep on going!

Thanks so much for all the pictures. They look so nice. It makes me miss my homeland with all the trees and plants and what not that I'm used to. Sorry to hear about Marilyn your funny top hat chicken. I didn't think Jaegar killed chickens? That will be something he needs to learn, but if I know my Mom I'm sure you're already getting him whipped in to shape! haha I guess I can include a chicken in my prayers..only for you Mom ;)

This week was really slow for us and we got rejected a lot. It wasn't just us though. Our entire zone was like that apparently. But thanks for the encouragement - I don't take it personally when we are rejected, but it's always nice when people want to listen to us so we make good use of our time. There were lots of rain storms every day and it was Independence week here too, so it was a different week. Although the Filipinos don't go all out for Independence Day like the US does.
We taught the Plan of Salvation to our investigator Wenda for the 1st time this week and she had a ton of questions. She usually has lots of questions, which I love, but she's never ever rejected any of the stuff we have taught her.  Teaching the Plan of Salvation this time was hard--she had a difficult time understanding, but she asked a lot of really deep questions which was so awesome! I don't feel like we were stumped by any of her questions, but I studied about Adam and Eve the next day for like 3 hours so I can do a better job of answering her questions the next time we are with her. I just never ever studied and understood the Plan of Salvation before my mission, but there is so much more to it than I ever thought. We always have fun teaching Wenda though because she is way cool and very smart which makes it easier to teach her. I've really loved reading the scriptures lately though and learning. We are always told to dig deep into the scriptures and that it is supposed to be fun but I never had fun before my mission. Reading the scriptures was always a chore, but now its something I always look forward to in the morning. So Mom and Dad (and everyone reading this blog!) read and study the Scriptures!  Especially the Book of Mormon. I promise you that it will strengthen your faith and increase your knowledge on the things that *really* matter in life!
Yesterday we went to Lapaz for Stake Conference. Our Ward took 2 big jeeps and they were both packed full just like last time. Transportation is a lot more fun in the Philippines! haha we were packed in there like sardines! The conference was really good. It was a broadcast from the Conference Center in Salt Lake, especially for the stakes in the Philippines. Pretty cool huh? One of our investigators came with which was really cool. He is a14 year old son of a lady that we teach. She asked us if her son could come with us and of course we said absolutely!
It is so HOT and HUMID outside right now! I was dying this morning and couldn't wait to get here to the computer place and sit in the A/C ;) It feels so great! 
Here's answers to your questions!:
What made you laugh this week? When we were on our way to Stake Conference yesterday and traveling down the highway on the jeep the people standing on the outside of the jeep saw what they though was the police so they all hurried and piled back inside, but it ended up just being a security dude haha so everyone was crack8ng up and laughing over that.
What story from the scriptures are you studying now? Lots of 2nd Nephi, Alma 12, Alma 40.. and I'm currently reading Galations.
How was sacrament yesterday? What are the talks about? I was Stake conference, so the General Authorities spoke through the broadcast about becoming more Christ-like.
Did you eat anything different this week? What food do you miss that you can't get? Did you try halo halo yet? I ate some quail that was cold haha I didn't like it and had to gag it dow because I didn't want to offend the person. I miss dairy stuff a lot. I'd love to have a ice cold glass of milk....and a grilled cheese sandwich! Yeah I've had halo halo but I don't really care for it too much haha It's pretty weird for a dessert!
Thanks again Mom and Dad. Love and miss you both so much. Have a great week!
Love, Elder Rasmussen 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Week #45 “What You Plant Now, Will be harvested later. . .”

June 8, 2015

Hi Mom and Dad -- We're going to SM today and we wanted to get an early start, so we are emailing earlier than usual. I'm way jealous you went camping..It Sounds like fun!! Thinking about my family camping without me is a little hard I'll admit, but that's cool you had fun.  Too bad about the fishing not being that great though, but it helps to know I didn't miss anything! haha Holy smokes! It sounds like you almost had to abandon ship though! Wow! That wind and waves sound crazy! Thanks for the details about the trip though. I wish I was there to see all the cool thunderstorms and rainstorms you are getting!

This week flew by as usual, even though time seems to really slow down during transfer week. We were all  expecting a text about transfer with our names on it,  but none of us ended up getting transferred which was really weird! So our district didn't change at all! After this transfer is over I will have been with Elder Crooks for four transfers which is a long time to be in the same house with someone but it sure went by fast for me. My companion Elder Faamoe will have also been with me for 3 transfers which doesn't really happen that often after training, but we generally get a long really well and have fun, so we will have fun this transfer too. Although this past week Elder Faamoe got mad at me over a misunderstanding and wouldn't talk to me (drama...) so we went on splits with the other elders that day. I spent the day teaching with Elder Crooks and we had a lot of fun. We found some really nice people and taught some powerful lessons. Of course at the end of the day my companion wasn't mad at me anymore (imagine that...) haha so things are back to normal. It's all good.

While Elder Crooks and I were teaching together we were teaching a lesson to a guy at his work and his boss came back and she chewed him out for letting us in their rice mill compound.  Elder Crooks and I walked over and talked to her and she calmed down.  We could tell she got a little bit shy when the two white guys speaking illonggo walked up, so that calmed her down haha . After we talked with her she was nicer, but told us we can't teach the guy anymore which was a bummer.

We had 7 investigators come to church yesterday which was awesome! I wasn't expecting it at all but they came! It was so cool to see them in church learning and asking questions and stuff. On the other end of the spectrum we taught some less active members yesterday and they give us ridiculous excuses for why they don't go to church. But oh well. We still twork hard and try to help them all we can.

It started raining last night so we went home early and then it really started pouring. The weirdest thing happened - a bunch of weird bugs flew into our house haha so I was running around everywhere stepping on them and trying to get them out of the house.
Here's the answers to your questions:
#1 What made you laugh this week? Elder Crooks teaching. He's not very good at the language but he did a really good job and he said some funny things. It was fun teaching with him.

#2 What are you studying in the scriptures these days? The Old Testament and the Book of Mormon.
#3 Do people there have cell phones or home phones? Do you see much in the way of electronics? Everyone has a cell phone. Lots of people have nice TV's too but lots don't. People are obsessed with speakers too. You always hear loud music playing.
#4 Have you been getting any rain or typhoons? Rain but no Typhoons yet. It's supposed to start raining a lot more this month as the typhoon season starts.

#5 was that a picture of a jack fruit tree you sent last week? Do you like that fruit? They grow everywhere here and the fruit when ripe is really good. They also cook it in foods when it isnt ripe as a vegetable. 

Sure miss you Mom and Dad and you know I love you!! Love, Michael
P.S.  I know I told you that I wasn't going to send any pictures this week since I'm on a computer I didn't trust, but it worked out ok so I've sent a few.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Week #44 - "Do What You Can, With What You Have, Where You Are."

June 1, 2015
Hey Mom & Dad - Thanks for the emails! and Mom, thanks so much for the package! I love the Gorillapod - that is going to come in so handy! I've already put it to good use! And the gel pillow you sent me for Christmas works pretty good. I think I've gotten used to it now though, because I used to really noticed the "cool", and now it doesn't seem as cold. But it still helps for sleeping.
Dad, I'm so jealous you and Uncle Rob got to go fishing at Yuba!! I have a hard time even picturing myself fishing anymore...The walleye look awesome and I'll bet they are tasty too!  Your driveway project looks really good too. I can't believe how much the house and yard have already changed since I left.

Saying good-bye to Elder Carnahan
I'm so excited for you with your new crossfit training Mom. That is pretty cool that you get to work out with a trainer who won't let you give up! Lots of the time I just need someone there to keep me going and push me. It sounds like fun! I've been so tired lately that I haven't done much in the way of exercise. It think it's because of the sun and the heat. It really wipes me out. I also had to get up at 4:30 a.m. the other day to take the bus into Iloilo for a district leader training, and those early mornings wipe me out for a few days. At the district leader training I said goodbye to Elder Carnahan who I've looked up to a lot in the mission. He's the AP (Assistant to the President) and he's going home tomorrow which made me feel a little homesick and "trunky". It always happens when we say good-bye to the Elders heading home. I won't deny that sometimes I have some really sucky days and I feel like I just want to go home, but honestly, the good times are so worth waiting for and really make up for the hard days. I'm learning so much and I can only imagine how much more I will continue to learn!

Dad's Favorite Summer Vegetable!
I went on a split with the Calinog Elders the other day as part of my District Leader responsibilities. I went with Elder Tanto who is a funny guy to work with and I learned a lot with him. We had some good laughs too!

My companion and I have been teaching a family named The Panes family, who I think I've told you about before. We showed them the Restoration video to help them visualize what happened to Joseph Smith. They are very nice family, but they only speak Tagolog so sometimes we have a hard time answering their questions.  They know a  
little bit of English so that helps too. I  really want to learn more Tagolog, but for now Hiligaynon is enough of a challenge. Hopefully eventually I can get to the point where I can switch languages in between appointments. I know a little Tagolog, and it gets us by, but I wish I could learn more.

Yesterday we taught a bunch of less active members which was good. One of the more active families we visited (the Belonio family) just got back from a trip to the temple in Cebu. It's way cool to see their pictures and think about how 1 year ago they were brand 
to the church!

This morning we went hiking with one of our investigators named Kinji to try and find those caves. Yesterday during sacrament he texted us and said he couldn't find the church so we went outside and found him in front of a building close to the church. He was just too shy to walk in alone haha It was really good to have him there though! We got fed at members houses a lot this week. There was a fiesta in an area called Gines. Fiestas are so nuts! Filipinos know how to party and eat a ton of food haha
Langka Tree (Jackfruit)
35 degrees Celsius = 95 degrees Fahrenheit---INDOORS!
Here's the answers to your questions:
#1 - What made you laugh this week? Working with Elder Tanto was pretty funny. He's really funny and good at making people laugh. 
#2 - Do you speak or teach in church regularly now? I have not been asked to speak in church since Guimaras :) 
#3 - What time does it get dark there? About 7 p.m.
#4 - How late do you and your companion stay out at night? Most nights we come home around 8 pm. It's hard to get appointments at night. 
#5 - What is something new you learned this week? I learned about a new chemical they use for laundry here that will hopefully whiten my shirts up a bit haha and every week I add a few new words to my Hiligaynon and Ilonggo vocabulary.
I sure miss and love you too! 
Love Elder Rasmussen