Saturday, September 26, 2015

Week #60 Strangely Enough, the Key To Freedom is Obedience

Hi Mom and Dad - Thanks Mom for sending me Adam's email address. What a coincidence! I wanted to email Adam this week. It's great to hear about Zane's farewell. He will do great! I will miss those guys though. By the time I'm back home and they are back home it will have been over 3 years since I've seen them. That's a long time!

I got the packages this week thanks for sending those! We went down to Iloilo this week for our mission tour. We had a member of the Seventy come and visit us. Elder Bowen is his name and he's a member of the area presidency here. He did a really good job and I learned a lot. We went to Iloilo on Tuesday which takes about 3 hours on the bus. The bus drove through Passi which seemed really weird after being gone from there for 2 months. We ate at McDonalds which was so good! After that we went to our hotel room which was the same hotel that we stayed in exactly a year ago when we got here from the U.S. I remember when we got here we all thought the hotel was pretty low quality and really just dirty and horrible. But now after a year of living here,  we all felt like we were in a very nice hotel and very comfortable. HAHA Elder Seeds and I just laughed as we read our journals about that day because we both wrote something about the dirty hotel we stayed in haha. Wow how your perspective changes! The Mission Tour conference was really good and the spirit was strong. I learned so much and came away feeling re-engerized. Its great to get a training like that from a general authority because its like no other meeting I've been in before.
We spent the rest of the week mostly in Magubilan with our investigators out there. I went on a split with Elder Malaca so Seeds could interview them for baptism since he is the district leader. Elder Malaca is way nice and we had fun joking around with each other and working in his area. We didnt have very many teaching appointments this week because of the Iloilo trip but the ones we had were pretty good. I got to drive the tricycle again 2 times. Once just putt-putting around Magubilan to our appointments and then I jokingly asked our investigator if I could drive his (they give us a ride back to panay when we are there late and cant cross the river) and he took me serious so I got to drive for a long way on that trip :) People get pretty weirded out when they see a Kano (white guy) driving the tricycle haha I got lots of weird looks.

Church was sooo hot yesterday I was just sweating. I blessed the sacrament which I haven't done since Guimaras so that was fun. We are going out to Magubilan again today for an FHE so Pday will be a little short this time but that's ok I guess. Sure have missed you mom dad and hayley. Love you lots!

Here's the answers to your questions Mom!

#1 - What made you laugh this week? The Hotel and how "nice" it was. haha
#2 - What was your biggest blessing/accomplishment this week? The mission tour. I learned a lot!
#3 - What was your biggest frustration/disappointment? Sometimes I get frustrated about not having personal freedom haha but that's normal for most missionaries I think. (This made me think of the quote by Elder Boyd K. Packer "Strangely enough the key to freedom is obedience".)
#4 -  Which has been your favorite house you've lived in so far and why? The one I'm in now has been the nicest even though it sucks sometimes being so close to a loud street. Its a nice apartment. 
#5 - What scripture has been on your mind this week? I have loved reading and studying about Ammon in the Book of Alma. He's my favorite scripture dude. ;)

Love, Elder Rasmussen

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week #59 “A Leader Leads By Example, Whether He Intends to or Not.”

Hey Mom and Dad! Tell Taylor and Celeste I say congrats on their new baby girl! That's so cool! The neighborhood is changing so much! I won't recognize things when I get home!

I told Dolly to Facebook Hayley and tell her I said hello. I didn't think she'd do it but she told me she did so that's cool! I'm glad it made Hayley happy though :)

This week went by really fast. We had our zone meeting on Tuesday, so Monday night was a little crazy at our apartment with 6 other missionaries staying the night with us. I don't really enjoy having to go to zone meetings (or any meeting really haha...that much has not changed with me!), but it's sure nice to enjoy being in a building with A/C. It feels so good!

We spent more time this week finding new people to teach and even though we only found a few, they were cool people. We met this older couple who were investigators about 10 years ago. The lady almost got baptized but on the day of her baptism her husband ruined things and she wasn't able to do it. She still has a desire to be baptized to this day, so we are hoping her husband will let us help him and his wife. They are very nice people though. We met another lady who was out cleaning her yard. I figured as soon as we said hello she would be grumpy with us (lots of old grumpy old ladies here haha) but when we started talking to her the first thing she said was "My boyfriend is here" and she pointed at me haha That was the first time I've ever gotten that response to making a new contact! She was a really nice lady and she ended up being very nice to us.
We spent some time with our investigators in Magubilan trying to finish teaching them everything before next week so they can be interviewed for baptism. It's not easy to be baptized into the church! There is a ton of stuff they need to learn. But they are way smart and follow through with everything --they are really motivated which is awesome.

On Saturday it was miserably hot! Elder Alpon and I were both sweating our faces off trying to make it to the Bismanos's house for our lunch appointment. I always run my hands through the water as we cross the river and that seems to help with the heat. I just wish so bad that I could jump in and swim. haha  Anyhow, it started raining while we were there, so we stayed with the Bismanos family for about an hour as the rain came down and the floods came up. There were two huge lightning strikes right over the top of the house that were so loud!  I don't think I have ever experienced lightning that close before. Poor Sister Bismanos was scared out of her mind! We met a nice guy yesterday who is part of a member family but he is really shy and has avoided the missionaries for years.  We finally caught him where he couldn't escape haha so we finally got to know him. He is a super cool guy and was very comfortable talking to us so we taught him a lesson and are hoping he will come to church next week. We'll see!

Thanks so much for all the the pictures! Elder Seeds and I are really Utah homesick seeing the trees changing colors and having a motorcycle in the picture just makes me feel even more homesick haha but please don't stop sending me pictures.  It feels good just to see them!

Tell Grandma Shirley I say Hi! I've received all her letters too! I will send her an email today.

Thanks so much for your emails Mom and Dad! Love you lots. Love Michael   

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Week #58 God's Plan Of Happiness

September 8, 2015
Hey Mom and Dad! Your trip sounds and looks like a lot of fun I'm pretty jealous. I love the pictures of beautiful America! I'm glad you had fun though! That's cool about the Sister Missionaries you met in Oregon. What a coincidence that her sister served here in Iloilo. I guarantee I would know the name of her Sister that served here, so if you find out from her let me know.

This week my companion and I spent four days straight in the same area teaching our investigators and preparing them for baptism which are scheduled for September 26th! We have 3 people we're preparing right now. There is a man named Roger, and a couple (the B family) whose names are Joy and Jenicar and they are also getting married the same day they are baptised, so that's awesome! I'm so happy for all of them!  One of the greatest blessings of being a missionary is watching how the gospel changes people's lives and how they radiate happiness. I've watched it happen over and over again. Although the Word of Wisdom stuff can be the most dramatic changes people make, there are other subtle changes you notice with them and their families--the smiles, the love, the happiness. It's all there. I can't imagine not living my life close to Heavenly Father's teachings. I know I was never "Peter Priesthood" nor will I likely ever be, but when I come home from my mission you will probably notice that I'm going to be a little different. I'll still be me, but just a better version of me (I hope) and I hope I can be a good example to my family. I will always stay close to the gospel of Jesus Christ and live my life the way Heavenly Father wants me to because I this is God's plan of happiness. Mosiah 2:41 “I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness.”

Anyhow, one funny thing that happened this week is we rode in vans to get to our area for the first time and it felt pretty good to sit inside a car for a change,  even though it was packed full of 19 people like a sardine can! haha. Look up Nissan Urvan and you'll see how small the van was haha but its not too bad because all the other people are pretty small (except me of course)!

One of our housemates got emergency transferred today so we have a new guy in the house named Elder Malaca and he is Elder Seeds new comp. P-day has been pretty good so far but we have so much more to do like laundry and cleaning the house, so I know I'll be wiped out and ready for bed tonight just like every Monday!

Sorry I can't send any pictures right now, this place is pretty sketchy and I don't trust this computer is virus free. I will hopefully get on a better computer tonight and send some pictures.

Thanks Mom for your help with my BYU application. I will get to work on those essay questions as soon as I can.  I think I may have to just write them out by hand and send them through the mail. Would that be ok?
I hope you all have a great week. Love you lots!
Elder Rasmussen

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Week #57 Choose You This Day Whom Ye Will Serve....As For Me and My House We Will Serve The Lord. Joshua 24:15

Fishing on P-Day!
Sept 1, 2015

Hi Mom and Dad - Glad you are having fun on your motorcycle trip! Oregon looks awesome! It's so weird to think you are just on the other side of the ocean from me!  The Tillamook Cheese Factory sounds pretty cool!  Eat some cheese and ice cream for me when you get there. The pics you sent of all the trucks stuck in the sand by your condo look pretty funny. We saw a big semi truck the other day here that got stuck trying to turn around in a big basketball court and it broke through the cement. I wish we could have hung around and watched how they were going to get it out of there!
This week was pretty good but it really didn't feel like it went by that quick. No drug on at times. We had a few difficult times and a few good times but overall not too bad of a week.  This older guy that we visit named Tatay V (Tatay is what old men are called here it just means dad or father) he always has something new to talk to us about and bring into the conversations we have.He has the most interesting ideas about things sometimes. We go from talking about the restoration to talking about Muslims and corrupt government and conversations he has with women on the internet. haha He's an interesting dude and we are always shaking our heads when we leave. Nevertheless he is a very nice guy and we get a pretty good laugh out of the things he tells us. Another guy we met at the fish spa place we tried teach but when we sat down he told us straight up that he doesn't want to talk about religion, only plants, animals, and tree hugger stuff. haha He is a really nice guy, so we just visited with him and look at his nature/butterfly preserve and soaked our feet in the fish spa.  We also visited our investigators in Magubilan and had some good lessons with them, We are hoping they will figure out their marriage stuff so they can be baptized this month. They introduced us to their friends who wanted to meet the Kano (me) and they were all surprised about me speaking Ilonggo and being able to hold a conversation with them. It's funny to hear them laugh about it. They think it's pretty amazing a white guy can speak Ilonggo.
We joined the stake Choir so we had to practice a few times this week which was really boring haha You know me, I don't  like singing but I didn't have much choice so I just did my best. Yesterday was stake conference which was pretty good. The're were a lot of people that came. When we were at the Saturday night session the other night it started pouring rain super hard with lighting and way loud thunder. It was a really good storm.
We had to get Flu shots the other day. You know how much I HATE shots! haha The anxiety was killing me so I manned up and got in line and was the second one to get shot ;) The first one was gross and the needle didn't go in very easily so everyone was freaking out about it haha but I didn't even feel anything when they did it. I made it look all dramatic and squeeled like a little girl and Pres. Aquino was laughing pretty hard about that. It was funny!
Enjoy you motorcycle trip and you two be safe!! I think it's funny that you are always concerned about me and telling me to always follow the rules so I'll be safe, and you two riding motorcycles all over the country is way more dangerous than what I'm doing! But have fun...and don't get hurt. Love Your Son, Elder Rasmussen

This cat isn't dead...It was just lounging like this. So Funny!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Week #56 “And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord” (D&C 68:28).

August 24, 2015
Elder R and Elder A at the Fish Spa

 Hey Mom and Dad - Thanks for everything you do for my mom. I honestly think I am the most spoiled missionary in the mission because whenever we get "cargo" there is always something for me! I think that is awesome about the Christmas stuff that will come this year. I haven't seen any Filipino missionary yet with just 1 shirt but there are some elders with only like 2 or 3 shirts so they have to do their wash more often than most.

Elder R and Elder S
It is hot here but its not bad at night. Every now and then it is miserably hot at night but the fans save the day and I think I have adjusted to the heat. This week was a bit nicer because it rained a lot which kept the temperature down! We had an average week as far as work goes. I went on a split with Elder Lopez who is Elder Seeds companion and that was fun to be able to experience a new area and meet new people. On Thursday we had Elder Dacutan (my old companion) come with us to our area and that was fun as well. Yesterday we visited a lady named J in our area who is an inactive member. She has never been at her house the entire 6 weeks we've been here and we finally dropped by at the right time. She is a way nice lady and we had a good lesson with her about the Book of Mormon. We also visited our investigators in Magubilan (the place where we cross a river to get there) and they were just as awesome as they usually are. They keep their commitments, come to church every week and listen without getting distracted at little things. Their kids are actually pretty well behaved and don't make a ton of noise and throw tantrums during lessons, so that's always nice too.

We saw a huge lizard  on the side of the road when we were walking on Tuesday and it ran to the other side of the fence so we didn't get a really good look at it so we thought it was a small alligator but the owner saw us trying to figure out what it was and he came out and told us it was an iguana. Turns out the guy has this little park thing with Butterflies and all kinds of plants. He also had a fish spa too so that was really fun. You soke your feet in the pond and the fish come up and nibble on your feet and toes and eat the dead skin so it's supposed to be good for your feet. It was pretty cool so we are going to take the sisters in our district there today so they can try the fish spa. 
So all-in-all it was a pretty good week and as usual it went way fast.

Love Elder Rasmussen