Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Week #55 “Life Doesn’t Get Easier, You Just Get Stronger!”

August 17, 2015

Elder Rasmussen & Elder Seeds Celebrating Their Hump day
Hey Mom and Dad! Thanks so much for the pictures! That is way cool I dont think I've ever seen a hedgehog before! I want to hold him! haha I would love to see the Daren's new "hund" puppy too - he sounds so cute!! Send me a picture when he gets him home. 

Happy Birthday Hayley! I wish I could have celebrated with all of you! Dang - there is so much going on there that I'd love to be a part of. Texas Roadhouse sounds so nice. I will want to go to a way American restaurant like that when I get home. I need some real American food!! haha
This week went by so dang fast! I love P-Day and getting to read all your emails. I always get kind of sad when Monday is over and I think how exciting it will be when it comes again next week. haha Monday always comes so fast though, just like every other day. 
We did a few cool things this week and all did pretty good with our teaching and had some great lessons. After we got done with emailing last Monday we did a FHE (Family Home Evening) at the Stake President's house that was pretty fun. We also did an FHE with our investigators on Saturday during the day because they live a long way from town so we wouldn't be able to get a ride back into Roxas if we stayed out there late on a Monday night.
This week was unbelievably hot and humid. I know I always say that but man it was just sooo hot here and it feels like a Sauna.  
We went with our Stake President to our area so he could talk to our Iinvestigator about getting married. He gave us a ride in his truck that reminded me a lot of my little truck. I miss driving! 

Yesterday in Sacrament meeting I gave a talk about the Sacrament. We also went to church in Roxas in the morning and I was asked to teach the gospel principles class. It was a pretty busy Sunday, but speaking now isn't that hard for me to do anymore. I've actually gotten pretty comfortable with it now! During my talk in Panay I can't even begin to describe to you how much I was sweating! haha. I wasn't nervous at all, but it's so dang hot and humid I just sweat like crazy all the time, but especially when I teach and speak in front of people. It's gross haha A shower is the biggest blessing in the world when we get home at night!
Here's the answers to your questions Mom:

#1 - What made you laugh this week? Haha not too sure I'll try and think of one..
#2 - Do they sing the hymns in church in English or Ilonggo? Everything in church is mostly English, though the speakers speak in Ilonggo or sometimes in Tagalog. 
#3 Do they have an organ or piano in church or do you sing A'capella (you know like Barney sings "A'capella...A'capella..." (just a little inside Rasmussen family Andy Griffith Show humor...) There is a piano.
#4 - Have you tried eating anything new lately? Are you eating a lot of seafood like you anticipated? I did try some new fruit that was really good--but I can't remember what's it's called. I also ate crab this week that was really good. I don't remember if I've ever had  crab before--if I have I don't remember it. The crabs crawl around on the ground everywhere in our area they are kind of funny to watch. I also had some really good fresh shrimp. So I am taking full advantage of being in the Seafood Capitol of the Philippines!
#5 - When it rains do you use an umbrella or do you just get wet? I have my Umbrella that I use most of the time, but if it starts *really* pouring an umbrella does nothing to help so we find a place to hide til it slows down.  
I got the letters you sent Mom with all the college information. I'm praying lots about what to do. If I didn't go directly to school in the Fall, I would stay home and just work for that time to make money and start school in the Winter. How the crap am I going to pay for stuff? I just don't know--is it pretty hard to find a job and work while going to school or do you think I could find a decent enough job that quickly after I get home? So many decisions to make! I like the ideas about the engineering courses. I'll keep thinking and praying about it. I know things will work out too and I appreciate all your help and support with everything, I really do. I just know it will be challenging and probably stress me out a little until I get it figured out.
Thanks for the emails Mom and Dad! Love you lots! Have a great week! Love Elder Rasmussen

Filipino Bowling

Filipino kid sets up your pins and rolls your ball back to you

Waterfall Hike to Manoling

Filipino Horse for Mom & Hayley

Mowing the Lawn at the Stake Center

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Week #54 - "Doing All Things With An Eye Single To The Glory of God" D&C 82:19

August 10, 2015

Hi Mom and Dad! Elder Seeds and I had a great celebration this week for our 1 year anniversary of being on our missions. We went all out and bought some cheese (*REAL* cheese!) which is the first time I have bought cheese on my mission since it is so expensive. We made grilled cheese sandwiches and it was delicious! Then we watched some missionary airport arrival videos while we ate to make it a little more dramatic for us! The we went back to work! haha A pretty fun celebration!
I haven't received any letters the past month. They have to go through the post office, mission office, zone leaders and sometimes the DL's before they get to me so it can sometimes take a long time, but don't worry they will make it to me! Thanks for thinking of me!
I'm emailing really late today because we had a zone activity. We just got home about an hour ago. We went to an area that is in the mountains called Manoling. It's a really cool area and has one of the nicest churches I've ever seen, which is amazing since it's in one of the most rural and mountainous area here in Iloilo. The members are very strong and have a ton of faith. We hiked to some falls and had a great time.
This week we taught our investigators named Joy, Jenicar and Kathrine. They are great people and we love to teach them. Joy and Jenicar will be married and baptized on the same day so that will be a ton of fun too! We are also teaching Roger and Alisha and they are awesome. They all go to church and keep their commitments. Such awesome people. They live a light year away from the church, but still come each and every Sunday regardless. When we teach them it takes about an hour of travel time to get to them and we have to cross a big river as well. It's a lot of fun, so I don't have any problem with the travel, even though the other day I totally slipped and fell in the freaking river when I was getting on the boat. Only my feet got wet, so I just had to clean all the mud and dry my socks. 
Another interesting experience I had this week is that we visited a family of a guy that died in a motorcycle accident this week. He was the the good friend of a member and he asked us to visit the family. Sorry to be morbid, but his body was really messed up in the accident, and in the Philippines the funeral is held in the home and they keep the body in their house for sometimes several weeks before they bury them. People will gather in the home and play card games and visit. I'm not exactly sure what that all means, but I'm getting used to seeing it now because I've been to several funerals, but the first time it really weirded me out! On this occasion we taught the family in front of the casket. It was pretty uncomfortable, but I guess teaching about the Plan of Salvation and the truth and reality of the Gospel made things seem normal again.
I emailed Mr. Weller about finding his name and his drawing in the guy's scriptures last week and he got it and responded! He said it made his day. It still just blows me away what a coincidence that is. So Dad, how that is, is that we visit the less active members in the area about two or three times a week. They get to know the missionaries and the missionaries get to know them pretty well, so it's common for them to ask us to sign their scriptures. The missionaries are like family to the members here. I don't know if it's like that as much in the U.S. or not. I just know I never got to know the missionaries in any of our wards, but here *everyone* knows us. The church is the same everywhere in the world, but members, traditions and cultures are different. That's the only way I know how to explain it.
Maddie told me you got a lot of rain this week. It rains most days here but only in the late afternoon it seems. It is raining season though right now, so there is a lot of rain.
Here's the answer to your questions Mom:
#1 - What made you laugh this week? This lady we visited saw her son's haircut when he got home and kept saying how awful it was, which cracked me up. She used the word "kalain" which pretty much means "it sucks" hahah I still laugh thinking about how she said it. 
#2 - Are you still doing your laundry in a bucket? Does your new house have a shower or is it bucket showers? Yep still doing laundry the same way. We have an actual shower in this house, but to tell you the truth I really like the bucket shower--go figure!
#3 - What was your biggest success this week? Inviting 2 more people to be baptized who are progressing big time. 
#4 - What was your biggest concern this week? Just normal concerns about the work and how to keep our area progressing. Nothing too bad.
#5 - What is your favorite thing you like about your new area? The people are great and the area is really pretty. Our investigators are bomb. 
I'm sorry to hear about Grandma Elfriede. When I left on my mission I thought the time would come that Grandma would pass on while I was away. I'm glad I'm not there to have to hear too much about that since it makes me sad to think about, but it is a good thing for her that she will go soon since her quality of life has not been great for a long time. I will pray for her, Eva and Erik. I'm really going to miss Granny Great. Hope you all have a good week. Love you lots! Love, Elder Rasmussen
(LtoR) The Utah boys: Elder Seeds, Elder Craythorne, Elder Kellerstrass and Elder Rasmussen

The church in Manoling

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week #53 - “Preach the Gospel At All Times and When Necessary, Use Words.” St. Francis of Assisi

August 3, 2015
Hi Mom and Dad!  The house is full of Diamonds that's pretty cool to see! Tell everyone I say hello! I miss those goofball Uncles and Cousins of mine!  So I officially hit my year mark this week. It feels very surreal reading through my journal from moments exactly one year ago. So much has happened in the past year and like we've said before it feels like it has lasted forever *AND* gone by in a flash. It's so weird! One year ago today I was set apart as a missionary, and I remember that day so vividly!

Well, this week was a good one! We had a lot of fun things happen. Our area has really picked up this week and we have 5 new awesome investigators who even came all the way to Roxas yesterday to go to church. My companion and I only attend church in Roxas on every-other Fast Sunday and all the other weeks we attend church in Panay in the bamboo hut chapel that I sent you a picture of last week. Our area is really far away from where we live.  We spend about 50 minutes each way just in travel to Panay. Plus our new investigators live in the outskirts of Panay about another 15 min trike ride from Panay and we have to cross the river to get to them. I'll admit I really like to cross the river, so I'm not complaining, but it does take a lot of time and we spend a lot of money on travel, but you do what you gotta do. Our new investigators are a referral we got from a member--and that's kinda of a funny story. We got a text saying that they had some friends who told them they wanted to "become Mormons" haha  They also said the wanted to meet the white guy (me), so in all honesty I wasn't expecting much from the referral, but surprisingly they were really cool people and very interested in the church, so that was pretty cool. 

Another thing we have been doing is spending a lot of time working with the less active and inactive members. We met a new older guy who is an inactive member. He was a pretty nice guy even though he liked to chat our ear off about conspiracies and corruption in the world. We finally got a word in and asked him to get his scriptures. He got them and I looked inside to see if there were any names of Elders and there were a lot but in the top right corner I saw the name of Elder Steve Weller from West Jordan, Utah.  That is Mr. Weller my 8th grade English teacher from Ephraim Middle School! I was way surprised and couldn't believe what a coincidence that was. I'm pretty sure it was him too because it had a little cartoon face above the name and Mr. Weller was always drawing stuff. I had no idea he served his mission here! That is the coolest coincidence! 
On Friday we did service with the LDS charities that have been here on the Navy ship.  We went to some schools and gave the kids hygiene kits and school supplies. It was really fun and great to be able to do that. The Navy ship left yesterday but all of the LDS people on the ship came to church, so our church was full of "Kanos". It's weird to talk to people who are white and speak English and aren't missionaries. haha


We had lots of rain this week. A few times it was just miserably hot, but I really think I am getting used to sweating a ton in my church clothes haha and I thought I sweat a lot back in Utah!
Have a great week!
Love, Elder Rasmussen