I have been called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines Cauayan Mission. This blog is managed by my parents. If you would like to contact them, you can email at lindalarson1598@gmail.com

Monday, January 27, 2014

Just Checking In

Salutations loved ones. I really don't have too much to say this week, so this e-mail is basically just a confirmation that I am still alive, well, and loving the mish. I am still having adjust to things as compared to my last area, but everything is going great. The language is coming along pretty well I'd say, but this week as we we were teaching tithing to a family, I accidentally said that we need to pay 10% of our tongues, instead of 10% of our earnings. Whoops.

We have also given a lot of blessings lately. It is great being able to exercise the power of the priesthood. Yesterday, I think I counted like 65 people at church, but I am not exactly sure what caused an increase from 40 the previous week. One of our investigators, Sister Agustin, has been to church 3 times in a row. The lessons we teach to her seem to go really well and I think we are planning to set her up with a baptismal date sometime soon.

Well I think that's about it. I am sorry I don't have more to say. As for now, just know...alam ko po na totoo ang simbahan natin at perpekto yung ebaghelyo na ito. Mahal ko lahat kayo talaga. Keep it real back home. Kita kitz mga kaibigan ko.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Transfers - 'A Whole New World'

Greetings to all from me here in the Angadanan area. It is part of the Alicia Zone, which is actually not too far from Santiago, my last area. My new companion is Elder De Guzman and he has been in the mission field for a little over a year. He is really easygoing, energetic, and really enjoys that my mother's maiden name is Hoki. We are always laughing about the dumbest things and got along great right from the get go.

My new companion - Elder De Guzman

There was only like 40 people at church yesterday so it is a pretty small branch, but the members here seem great and the youth here really enjoy fellow shipping-There were 6 of them that accompanied us in our lessons yesterday. Everyone I introduce myself and talk to is surprised that I have only been here 3 months so I guess that is a good sign for my Tagalog. I am hoping this is the cycle I become a pro in the language though, because Elder De Guzman is not that great at English, so I don't even speak it very much to him. We have had a lot of fun already though.

Typical 'Jumping Pic' with our fellowshippers

There are four of us in the apartment and it is pretty nice, so I am 2/2 with good apartments. Hopefully that streak will continue. I kind of like having four of us too. Elder Bangal, our District Leader, and Elder Hall live with us and they are both awesome as well. I miss things in Cabarroguis and Elder Merza, but I already feel settled in at Angadanan. Alicia Zone is awesome too-It is the biggest in our mission and also there are tons of foreigners (There is like 30 in the zone and I think only like 1/3 is Filipinos).

We celebrated my last day in Cabarroguis visiting the members and then the night at the Rueda home, our go-to party place. I will definitely miss the ward and area there and my tatay Elder Merza, because I learned a lot from him. However, I already feel pretty settled in here at Angadanan and am excited for this cycle with Elder De Guzman as we help the hastening of the Lord's work!

Last day in Cabarroguis

Monday, January 13, 2014

Our Baptism & The Legend of Balut

Well, we had a successful baptism this week. I gave a talk on Faith & Repentance, was one of the witnesses, and then confirmed Jessica yesterday at church. It was a little scary giving a blessing in Tagalog in front of the whole congregation but I know that the Spirit directed me and put words into my mouth, because I don't really remember everything I said. It was awesome for me to watch the progression of these kids in the gospel over time. 2 weeks ago, we had to re-schedule Dexter because he wasn't ready, but I have seen his knowledge and testimony grow so much since then.

Dexter and Jessica

 The one unfortunate thing, however, is that we were not able to baptize Angelo. After his interview with the Zone Leaders, they came to the decision that we should wait. Although he has support with the Adawag and Ursua family, they said it was a problem because nobody in his immediate family is a member. It was definitely devastating news for us but Angelo has such a strong testimony and even already has a desire to serve a mission, so I know that if he continues going to church and increasing his faith, he will be baptized soon enough.

We have finished our 12 weeks training and earlier today, I found that I am being transferred on Wednesday. This came as somewhat surprising news to all of us because normally the training missionary is the one who is more likely to be transferred, and honestly I was a little bummed out. In these 2 cycles, I have really come to love the ward and area here in Cabarroguis, and now I will have to re-adjust, but I guess that's how the mission field works. I have learned a lot from Elder Merza and we have developed a great friendship, but it looks like God needs me in a different area with a different companion. "I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord." It might be a little difficult but I'm excited to see what this next cycle has in store for me.

Lastly, if you don't know much about the Philippines but know a random fact, it is probably about balut. And if you haven't heard of what this is, it is basically fried duck embryo still in the egg. The Philippines is famous for it and I have heard rumors and been asked about it from the time I got my call until I got to the mission field. The most 'exotic' things I have eaten so far is chicken intestine and dugaw (which is like thickened pork blood or something like that) but everyone always questions about the experiences with balut. So this last week I ate it, and you know what, it wasn't too bad. Yeah I know, anti-climatic, but I guess that is where I will end for the week. Wish me luck this upcoming cycle with my new area and comp!

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Homie Aslan

Well my friends, welcome to the year 2014. New Year's Eve was great for us. As I said last week, we were permitted to watch the Narnia series because of its symbolism of the Atonement (first movie) and Restoration (second movie). I never even comprehended how symbolic these movies really were so watching them with these things in mind made it that even much better. Narnia is unreal! New Year's Day  we spent at member homes again and I have also been playing a lot of chess lately. I have gotten pretty solid if I do say so myself.

This week we were able to teach Tatay Amado for the first time in a while. He still asked a lot of irrelevant questions and seemed like he wanted to argue a few times, but at the end of the lesson, I invited him to church and that it could help answer some of the questions he had if he would give it a try. He said he wouldn't give a promise of when, but he said that one day he will go.
I was pretty sick Friday, but don't worry mother, everything is fine now. Dexter, Angelo, and Jessica have their baptism on Saturday so I am excited for that and since Elder Merza is our District Leader, we have 2 companion splits this week so we have a busy week ahead of us. 
I am so happy to hear some of my young friends already starting their mission papers and I'm pumped to see where everyone gets called to. I am also hearing of people in my graduating class already starting to get married, which is a little scary for me to think about, but congratulations to them as well. Let us leave behind the hardships of 2013 and start again with this new year. I wish a prosperous 2014 to all!