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

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Spirit of Thanksgiving

Well they don't really celebrate Thanksgiving here in the Philippines but today we got together with all the Bambang elders and celebrated it as missionaries by playing football because Thanksgiving isn't complete without the traditional tossing around of the pigskin (We play a lot of basketball but today was the first time I've played some real football since like last February haha) and then enjoying a nice meal that the some of the Filipino elders had cooked up (Unfortunately no turkey and stuffing but we did at least have ice cream and you know it's a party around here when ice cream is involved) so I'd say we had a successful celebration.

Peewee Division Championship

I don't know how I had hardly ever seen any Mormon Messages before the mission but I have grown particularly fond of them lately and I came across one from a few years ago called "In the Spirit of Thanksgiving" (hence, the title) and it helped me realize how many things we truly have to be grateful for, especially the little blessings that happen to us on an everyday basis. I am also so grateful for this gospel and the opportunity I have to be a missionary.

As for our work, things are still trekkin' along but I don't have a whole lot to report on. We tried to do some tracting this last week because we have like no investigators and we haven't been too successful with that yet but hopefully we will start being able to find some new people to teach. Yesterday there was almost 25 people at church again but that is not including the little children this time.

And fun fact for the week...I have been in Villaverde for like 3 weeks and I it wasn't until yesterday that I discovered that our shower head actually works. The water is still cold but hey, it's a shower head and I prefer it over the bucket showering that I've been doing for the last year....But yup, that's it for the week. Here are some pics of our meetinghouse. Have a good Thanksgiving everyone!

Enjoying the beauty of life or something like that

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 2 in GhostTown

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hellos, Goodbyes & Eating Bugs Fried

So I kind of messed up sending a few of the pictures last week. I will try again now...Anyways, my last day in San Pablo was your typical last day of walking around saying goodbye to everyone. It's a little weird seeing people for the last time after you have been with them for the past several months but that's life here in the mission. One family did surprise us by feeding us an exotic final dinner because I am always telling them how I want to try exotic food but nobody ever gives it to us, so for my last night they fed us fried baby beatles haha. The taste was kind of meaty but also had some sort of peanut-like flavor but it was actually pretty good.

 Dinner is served?
Masurap! (Delicious)

As far as my new area, I am in Villaverde. It is in Solano Zone so I went from the top part of the mission to the bottom and we spent all of Wednesday travelling. We go to church in a meetinghouse and apparently the sacrament attendance is only around like 10-20 but I haven't witnessed that firsthand yet because we had district conference this past weekend. The area is very pretty though and a really big climate change from Tuguegarao--I even have to use a blanket while I sleep now haha.

My companion is Elder Costacio from Cavite and is actually my batch as well. He is 20 years old, the first companion I've had since my tatay who also plays basketball and also a good cook, so I may be putting on a few extra pounds this cycle...He is a nice guy and very laid-back, but perhaps maybe a little too laid-back...I feel like our first few days together we didn't accomplish too much from a work standpoint but we'll see how this week goes. 

My district is four sisters and four elders, just like my last one. It consists solely of trainers (including Sister Jensen from my batch who is the only one I have met previously) and their kids so our first district meeting on Thursday was kind of quiet but hopefully that will get better as we become more comfortable with one another.

So that's where I am at. Transfers always mean adjustments but hopefully I can get settled in here. S/O to the volleyball team for taking state the third time in a row. I am pretty sure that all started back in the day with the SIXTH MAN (a.k.a: us). Also S/O to the Utah Jazz for probably not going to have the best year but beating the Cavs for like the fifth year in a row that LeBron hasn't won in Utah. That started back in the day with Sundiata Gaines. (Most people that would understand and cherish that moment with me are not going to be reading this because they are also on their missions, but anyways...) enough talking on my part. Have a good week everyone!

 Final lunch at Fat Kid
Elder Glassie, Sis. Frame, Sis. Saragoza, me

Horse carriage ride on the way home from church last Sunday

Last pic before we hit the road

Monday, November 3, 2014

My Final Week in San Pablo

Well the title is kind of a spoiler alert but anyways, we had a mini zone activity earlier and we played "Sprite Pong" (the missionary version of Beer Pong haha) and then had zone lunch and announced the transfer list. I was kind of hoping to get transferred just so I could experience something different but actually expecting to stay since this was my first cycle as District Leader here and it's not uncommon for trainers to stay with their anak an extra cycle so that surprised us all a little bit.
I will miss Elder Aguilar, my district, and the people of San Pablo, but I'm excited for a new adventure in a different area and a new companion. I didn't have any baptisms in my four months here but to me that is not the important thing--Several less actives have started coming to church more consistently and I think we have also planted some seeds that hopefully other missionaries will be able to harvest at a future time. And I'm sure my anak will do a good job leading the area.

My last week here was a pretty busy one--Thursday we went on splits with our Zone Leaders. I worked with Elder Cousin in their area; He goes home in two days but he's not too trunky so I enjoyed our splits. The Cabagan elders were having a little bit of problems so on Friday I worked with Elder Monilla in San Pablo again. Saturday we had a couple of baptisms to attend and then yesterday we went to a Philippines Area Broadcast with Dallin H. Oaks as one of the speakers. There were several good talks but he focused specifically on living a "gospel culture" in our lives and get rid of things that may be traditionally accepted by a country or by society.

Elder Aguilar's first baptism in the mission
Next week I'll be coming at you from an unfamiliar land so I'll let y'all know how everything is going then. I sent a lot of pics for the week so enjoy them and have a good week. And Happy Halloween!...(although they don't really celebrate that in the Philippines)

Lunch with homies 

Chucking the deuces to San Pablo