Monday, 26 January 2015

Sick :(

Week 9
26th January 2015

Everything was only just OKAY this week. From Tuesday I had headaches and LBM, but I kept working, thinking it would go away. We set another baptismal date that day too. 

On Wednesday, we went to our District Meeting - I still wasn't feeling well, but I carried on anyway, the work doesn't stop for anyone. I just worked away, like I wasn't sick. 

Thursday was okay too, same problem different day. We went to an investigators home and set a FHE for tonight with the whole family, I'm looking forward to it.

Later that night though, after we had retired to bed, was when the problems started happening. My companion and I woke up, looked at each other, and ran downstairs, one to the sink and one to the bathroom, which proceeded to us throwing up. We were both up all night throwing up and on the toilet, it was not a good night. It continued on in the morning, which is when we decided we weren't going to work. We stayed in all day, and avoided eating anything lest we throw it back up. All day, and all night it was like that.

Saturday was a bit more of the same, we stayed in again because I could barely move out of bed. We didn't eat until nearly 3pm because we didn't want to throw up, but then we were too hungry. 

Feeling a bit better we went to the chapel and played basketball on Saturday night, I took it pretty easy.

Yesterday we went to church, no investigators were there because we didn't get to visit them on Friday and Saturday. 

We went to work at about 3pm after studies then went to the Branch Mission Leader's home for a dinner appointment. After that, we went back to the other missionaries apartment to stay the night.

We gave some service this morning. We went to an elderly lady's home and cleaned up her plantation, and washed her big blankets. 

Now, we are just in the computer shop doing our e-mails before we get to do our shopping and then off to FHE later tonight.

We don't have air-conditioning in the flat, though the flat is fine.  It's a bit dirty, but it has 4 walls, a roof, a door, electricity, a fridge, beds etc. All the necessities. 

We didn't get to buy anything good last week, we only bought canned food and rice, but usually we eat out for lunch and dinner. Breakfast is energen or noodles, or both.

I haven't taught a full lesson yet, my language progress was halted this week because I have been unwell, and studying would have made my headache 10x worse.

In my ward there are 120-180 active members, but lots of less-actives. What I've heard, there are over 600+ inactive members in the branch.  

I'll be in San Pablo next Thursday for my training check-up, and then Saturday I'll be in San Pablo again for a mission tour - the General Young Mens President will be here.

No photos again this week - just haven't had the time to get the camera sorted.

Monday, 19 January 2015

My Week

Week 8
19th January 2015

This week has flown by, and to think I come home next year!

Lots of finding this week, a few lessons and a lot of walking! I'm used to the walking already, I haven't had any problems with it so far. 

We had training on Wednesday for our Zone. There's only 14 of us in the Zone, 12 elders and 2 sisters. 

On Saturday I committed one of our new investigators to baptism on the first lesson and she said yes! We have her goal date to be February 21, so we will continue to teach her.

Yesterday we had a tropical storm warning and we were told to stay inside and not go to work after church. Crazy weather.. rained hard all day and night, and it's not even rainy season!  

My companion and I don't go to the markets, we just go to the local supermarket which is about a 1 minute walk from our apartment. 

We usually have 1 or 2 dinner appointments a week. Otherwise we go to Big Mac for dinner and eat the 16 inch hotdogs :)  For breakfast we usually eat bread and energen. For lunch we go to a eatery nearby and eat rice and whatever we want on top.

I've eaten some interesting stuff that tastes nice! Thursday night at a members home I ate fried Chicken intestines HAHAHA. It was nice as, I'll be honest.

The chapel is a 5 minute walk away, it's in our proselyting area, so we walk to church every Sunday. Most people catch tricycles, jeepneys or walk, which we also do during the week.

On P-day we generally clean our place and e-mail, as well as washing. After that we go to a members home.

I've been playing  basketball once a week with our branch.. I keep trying to dunk it over people to no avail, I guess I'll have to stick to fast breaks with no one in the way... hahaha

I didn't get to take any photos this week - have to get the camera checked out next PDay and my companion didn't have any either.

FYI -  Energen, milk with cereal and oats enriched with complete nutrition

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Some extra photos

 16th January 2014

Elder Crichton sent these through the other day but for some reason they didn't come through with the others and I just got them this morning.

The Pakil Branch Elders stopped by (gatecrashed!) a party before Saturday sports.

The Siniloan 1 District
 Front: Elder Fa'asavalu.
L-R: Elder Crichton, Elder Richards, Elder Caballa, Elder Wise, Elder Raymundo.

The view from the top of the mountain!

We went on a hike for our P-day, and this is where we finished. It's called the 3 crosses.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Balut Eating Time!

Week 7
13 January 2015

Well I have been gone 7 weeks, it has been fast and there is still a long time to go, but no doubt the time will fly on my end.

My week has been great! This week, we taught a few lessons. We're re-opening the area and doing heaps of finding! We have a tonne of appointments booked for this week.

We played basketball a fair bit, as our Mission President said we can use basketball as a tool to work with less-actives and non-members. Of course, it helps when your companion is 6'7" and everyone wants to see if he can dunk. Of course, now that I can dunk they get quite a shock when we play and I'm the one dunking on fast breaks!

I'm still learning the ropes of speaking the language and how to be a missionary!  I'm getting better at the language, it's still killing me that I can't open my mouth and start talking but it will come in time. I have recently started doing street contacting and that is really helping my language. 

We had District meeting on Wednesday, and Zone Interviews with our Mission President yesterday. Preparation day was today because of the interviews. Tomorrow is our Zone meeting.

My chapel is very nice, I haven't had the opportunity to take a photo yet, because I just work and forget about photos. 

So my branch has about 120 active members to 150, depending on the Sunday. The reason we aren't a ward is because the district isn't progressing like our branch is. The chapel is nice, small.. but it's not run down and dodgy,  everything is nice and tidy and it even has a basketball court (full-court) outside. 

Our branch out here in Pakil has sports every Saturday to have bonding time as a branch and to also meet and mingle with less-actives and investigators.  This week is volleyball.

I'm in a rural area, and it rains a fair bit. The wind blows like crazy at night and our house usually creaks like a shed.

We have been to member's houses, but it is hard for me to speak because I can't understand them. They talk waaaay to fast! 

Elder Richards cooks when we aren't eating out at members or eating out at burger stores. No dishes have been learned yet though. It will be learned in the future for sure.

Great to hear about all the news going on at home, I don't miss home at all to be honest, but I do miss you all. However, the work I am doing right now is important!

I ate balut last night, and let me tell you it tastes awesome! I ate it like nothing hahaha....

Brother and Sister Alcibor (MTC Teachers) and Elder Crichton

L-R: Elder Crichton (Brisbane, AUS), Sister Toa (Sydney, AUS), Elder Nikau (Sydney, AUS), Elder Faka'i (Sydney, AUS), Sister Etuale (California, USA), Sister Toli (California, USA) and down the bottom: Elder Jim (Pohnpei, Micronesia)

 L-R: Elder Theobald (Arizona, USA), Elder Sekona (Canberra, AUS), Elder Strickland (Auckland, NZ) and Elder Crichton (Brisbane, Australia)

L-R: Elder Tagiloa (Sydney, AUS), Elder Crichton (Brisbane, AUS) , Elder Finau (Auckland, NZ) 

Room 2310, Manila MTC, November 21, 2014 - December 30, 2014.
L-R: Elder Faka'i (Sydney, AUS), Elder Theobald (Arizona, USA), Elder Tuua (Pesega, Samoa), Elder Strickland (Auckland, NZ), Elder Nikau (Sydney, AUS) and Elder Crichton (Brisbane, AUS)

And the one you've all been waiting for... Eating Balut!!!!!

Monday, 5 January 2015

In The Mountains

Week 6
05th January 2015

We had no chance to email last week due to no P-day. It's been good to be out in the field! Everything is going well.

So last week we finished up in the MTC. Me and the other San Pablo batch left at 5am to get to the Alaminos (which is 1 hour from San Pablo City), and meet the mission president, his wife and of course our new companions. 

As we said our goodbyes to the MTC and the other missionaries in our batch, there was a lot of sadness because it will be two years before we see the other Elders, and we may not ever see the sisters again so it was quite emotional. 

When we got to San Pablo Elder Faka'i, Elder Finau and Elder Nikau and I stayed together before being seperated. I met a missionary from Cairns named Elder Aisa.

We went into the transfer meeting and met our companions. I was expecting a 5ft7 Philippino companion but oh no, it was not meant to be... My companion's name is Elder Richards from Utah, and he stands at about 6ft7 or 6ft8. Ridiculously tall! 

It was a 5 hour trip on 3 or 4 jeepneys before we got to our new area. I'm currently serving in the Pakil branch, in Pakil area. My zone is the Siniloan zone, and I think we are the furtherest North zone in the whole mission. We are waaaaay up in the mountains.

The work has been good, the first few days were spent getting to know the area and meeting members, before going into Siniloan to get our support fund for the month. We live off 8000 peso for the whole month, which equates to around $200 AUD. 

So far the work has been okay, last night was the best night of the whole week, we got 8 referrals and contacted 5, as well as 11 potential investigators. The Lord was truly merciful on us last night.

Today we played basketball in the morning with the zone at a chapel in Siniloan before doing the washing. I thought washing with your hands would be hard, but NAH! Found it quite fulfilling to be honest. All my clothes washed in an hour and a half, and now we're just in a computer shop e-mailing. The shower with a hose hasn't been too bad either, I've been pretty solid on that. What is hot water? :) 

The Chapel I am at is really nice... but the houses some people live in are...      :(  ... yeah... it hasn't been too overwhelming so far.  I embrace everything because its part of my life now.

The heat hasn't been too bad, a lot of wind blows up here, and it's a chilly wind too so it's good. 

The food is REAAAAAALLLLLY Nice!  Nothing here is bad... I love it all!

I forgot my cord, so I'll definitely send photos next week! 

Send everyone my love.

Just in case you were wondering what a Jeepney was!!! :)