Sunday, October 26, 2014

Santo Domingo Week 10

Kumusta, Francis Pamilya,

My week has been great, we have taught a lot of lessons, and found a lot of new people and we got to attend a funeral and go to the Ocean, it is so beautiful. We have been having so much fun here though, I have had a lot of good food, and I have met a lot of new people, and church is fun, it's all in Tagalog and I can only understand a little of what they say to me. But I loved this week.  We had the primary kids sing, and they also bore their testimony's about families, and Christ. I am getting used to the heat a little, but it is still hot and it will just get hotter, but that's ok. It's always hot when we work and I have to use a lot of sweat towels, but it's not too bad. We haven't had too much rain yet, only a couple of days like 3 but just a little rain. 

It sounds like fun at the house, you guys are having fun, just keep having fun.  I love seeing pictures and hearing how much fun you guys are having. How is school going for you, how is dad's work going?  How is Emily doing and how is school going for her? That sounds like fun that it is getting cold and that it's getting closer to snow, and Christmas. But from September to December here in the Philippines is Christmas so I hear a lot of Christmas music, and a lot of Christmas toys, and stuff being set up. I miss the cold, but I hate the snow, but I like it here a lot and I won't miss the snow only the cold. 

That's cool that you got pictures from my mission president and you get to see my companion, I love Pres. and Sis. Barrientos they are so funny, friendly and kind. I love our zone and district. Everybody is so kind, and happy. And exactly right I am ready to go to work hard, and I won't give up. That's good that the aggies are doing good, but that stinks that the QB's keep on getting hurt. 

That is really exciting for Skyler to leave soon, I can not wait for him to leave and hear about his stories. I hope he is having all of the fun he can have, and that he is ready to go and serve the Lord and the Arkansas people. Tell him good luck and to have fun, and that I love him and I tell him good luck. Work hard, and he can do hard things. I didn't see Ben at all on my plane, he must have been on another plane. But I saw him in the Provo MTC and he was excited to leave. No I can't remember Chinedu Ahanonu.

Tell grandma I say hi, and ask her about her trip, tell the family and ward I say HI, and I am Doing great and working hard, and I won't give up even when it is so hot. I am loving the Philippines though and I am doing great.  I miss you guys so much and Mahal Kita. 

Mahal kita, Elder Francis 

Exchange between Ryan and Emily (too cute not to share!)

Hey Elder Francis!
It's been a fun week. My soccer team finished up and we went undefeated! It was really fun and a lot different than my last team.

Sister Lundberg is back from her mission (Russia) and gave a very good talk. She is so faithful and loved her mission SO much. She talked about her difficulties and she just stays strong and remembers who she is representing. She said "open your eyes, whether on the street or a bus, and find those who are waiting to be told they are loved. Tell them that someone loves them." I think that's important cause there are so many people who don't feel like they are loved or there is no one to go to. But there is.

I love this Halloween season! Me and my friends have been to a few haunted houses and watched scary movies! Me maya and tilley have decided to be mimes for Halloween! I think it will be cool.
I'm sad the football games are slowly ending. It's been so cold and I don't like it! The kids that are my age have their "little league football" thing and I guess there were like too many kids so they split them into 2 teams. They both made it really far and ended up playing each other on Saturday night for the semi-final game and we went to it. They called it the blue against gold and the blue team won.

How is the food? Do you like it or hate it? How is your companion? I love the pictures you have sent! Stay strong and remember we love you and miss you!


Hey Emily,
How are you doing, how is school going, how is the family, and the ward doing. How are your friends, how is soccer going. I love and miss you a ton. 

That's awesome that your team went undefeated, good job, how many assists did you have and goals did you make? That's good that you are having a lot of fun, keeping having fun and doing the right things, keep on being friendly, and a good friend to everyone, I love that about you, stay the way you are, keep working hard, and doing good in school. 

That's cool to hear that Sister Lundberg got back from Russia, and the stories she had, thank you for the advice "open your eyes", I love that.  I ride on so many buses and a lot of tricycles. I see a lot of people on the streets too. That is true that we are all god's children and he loves us all. I love teaching families and hearing about their life, it's sad to hear about some of them. I am teaching a family right now the T. family and the dad is always drunk, the mom is really sad, and it's difficult for her but she still loves him. Then another guy we are teaching Richie R. he had a smoking problem, not anymore but he just doesn't believe and have a lot of Faith. It's sad to see how is kids react to it. But we tell them that God loves, them and that he forgives us of our mistakes, and he loves us and he is always there with us in our hearts and the holy ghost is there to guide and us and comfort us through hard trials in our life. 

That's cool that you are having fun at Halloween, they don't have Halloween here, they have All saint's day and day of the Dead. That's cool that you and Maya and Tilley are back together having fun. I miss Halloween, but it's ok I am having fun here teaching the gospel and getting to know new people and their lives, and bringing them back unto Christ. Have fun having Halloween that sounds like fun that you guys are dressing up as mimes. 

That looks like a lot of fun, going to the little league football games, that sucks it's cold there, I miss the cold it is so hot here, I have so many sweat towels, I love the fans that blow cold air, but when I don't have them I am dying of heat. Keep having fun with your friends, and choosing the right, and keeping away from bad things, I see kids here that are around that age of 8 smoking cigarettes it's sad, because it's not against the law. 

The food is really good, I love the rice, and the spaghetti, and I have had pork face, and fried chicken blood, and rice, chicken, pork, and vegetables. But the the food is great. My companion is great he is hard working, loves to joke around with me, which makes me laugh, and I love the people here. 

I miss you so much and I love you. Take care, have fun. 
Love Elder Francis 

Santo Domingo Week 9

Hello Francis Family,
I am having so much fun, l am learning so much, and I am very tired and exhausted, but I am working hard and giving all I have got. It's so hot here, and I miss the cold so much, but the people are so friendly and happy. They all wave and say hi to us and that makes me happy.  All the little kids run up to us and say "up here", which means high five, and they grab on to our hands, and they grab our hair on our arms, they make me laugh and smile. I love the people here, and the food.  I have had some weird food like pork face, and fried chicken blood, and a lot of rice. 

It sounds like Emily's team has been doing great they went undefeated.  It sounds like she is having a lot of fun. And the pictures of the house, that is so crazy how much you have changed it.  It looks so different.  It sounds like dad has been going on a lot of trips lately, how is he doing, how is work going for him. How is the family doing, how is the ward. 

Emily told me that Sister Lundberg came home from Russia, that is so cool. Emily said she loved her talk and what she said about "open your eyes", because I ride in tricycles, buses, and jeepny's all the time, so I should open my mouth and talk to everybody. That's so cool that she bore her testimony in Russian. 

It sounds like Emily has been having so much fun and is enjoying school, and having fun with her friends, tell Her To Stay Away From The Boys, jokelong she can have fun. That's cool that you got to go see Meet the Mormons. Was it a good movie, was it funny?

This week has been great, we have had a lot of new investigators and we have had a lot of lessons. I love being here and teaching the gospel even if I don't know most of the words they are saying. Everyday we proselyte and we are always hot and tired, but I love working and being obedient. On Sunday I had to bear my Testimony in Tagalog it was hard and scary but I did really good. All the lessons in church were in Tagalog but it was so cool to listen to them. I have taught a lot of people like The Tobia, Acosta family. I have taught a lot of less actives, and new investigators. Mak Mak, Maricel, chris, christain, joshua, john, pia, and a lot of other people. There are so many. 

We haven't had a lot of rain up here, only one day just a little bit, but it is really hot.  Everyday I use sweat towels. The language is still hard, but I have been practicing a lot, and memorizing, and he translates a lot for me which is good. I believe that the language will come and that the spirit will help me, and if I pray for help it will come. I have faith, I have been stressed lately with the language, but Kaya ko Yen ( I can do it). 

Thank you for being such great parents to me, I have a picture of our family in the white handbook I have, I look at it everyday and it makes me keep on working harder. I have given it all I have got "Give all you got until you have known you have given all you have."

I would like my favorite candy, and drinks, and cinnamon Almonds. 
Thank you I miss you guys so much, I love you all, take care. 
Love Elder Francis


October 22, 2014

Dear Brother and Sister Francis,

We are delighted with the arrival of Elder Francis. Thank you for sending us such a fine missionary son. He is an exemplary young man and we are proud and privileged to have him serve with us. He has arrived in good health with a wonderful spirit and desire to serve.

His first assignment is to labor in Santo Domingo, Ilocos Sur with a wonderful trainer, Elder Williams. The enclosed map shows you geographically where he is serving. I know how important this first assignment is and I have prayed for inspiration in making it. Of all the roles in the mission-field I consider that of a trainer to be the most important. Enclosed, too, is a photograph taken with Sister Barrientos, his trainer and me at the Mission home.

Please remember to write every week. He will have an email account, so if this is available to you, I would suggest you email instead of writing. If not then please mail letters to the Mission Office address. Letters from home are so important for missionaries and can greatly influence their successful adjustment into missionary life. May I suggest you include positive and encouraging news and comments and omit information about family or other concerns as this only generates worry and anxiety.

Missionaries of course serve with an “eye single to the Glory of God.” Their entire focus, therefore, needs to be on their work and ministry. Help and encourage him to do this. Please do not mention how much time is remaining for him, or special events you may have planned for him on his return, as this will only act as a distraction to his service. With your encouragement he will mature and progress beyond your expectations.

Be comforted and know that Sister Barrientos and I will love him as our own and do all we can to help him develop and rise to his full potential. We also want his mission experience to be a wonderful experience for your entire family. We extend our love and best wishes to you. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you or him.

Yours sincerely,

Julius Jonah F. Barrientos
Mission President

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Santo Domingo Week 8

Magandang hapon, Francis family, how is the family doing?  How is Logan and how is Emily enjoying school?  How are the dogs, how are the Aggies doing and how is the ward?  I love the Philippines it is such a amazing place.  The traffic is crazy in Manila, there are lines but no driving rules so I think we are going to be hit every time we drive, it's so crazy, and they don't wear seat belts.  I don't think they have any.

When I was on my second day in the Manila MTC, we got to go proselyting.  It was such a cool experience, but there is a lot of poverty here.  It makes me sad to see, but the people are so humble, full of hope, they are so kind, and they love everyone. It was so much fun proselyting, I got to see the life of a missionary and what I will be doing for the next couple of years. I could communicate a little, I bore my testimony on Faith and the importance of the Book of Mormon.
 I have been eating a lot of rice,  fried chicken blood, and pork face, and some interesting other food, It's so hot and humid here I always use a sweat towel. I have rode in a jeepney's and a lot of tricycles. 

My new companion is Elder Williams.  He is so friendly, hard working, and loves everyone. He is helping me with the language. We have got to teach a lot of families around us like the Acosta family and Baptista family, they are both member families  We got to teach a investigator named John - he is 21 and his friend Christian who is 15 and Catholic, we gave him a book of Mormon and he seemed to love what we were were teaching him. 

While I was in the Manila MTC, Elder Roark-Perez glasses broke so we got to go to the mall with Brother and Sister Eves, we got to go fix his glasses it took 3 hours, so when we were in the mall we got to give out a book of Mormon and a pamphlet and we got to talk to a lot of people about the gospel.  I loved the experience, I was so excited to get out into the field. 

That is so cool what Emily got for her Birthday.  Tell her I say Happy late Birthday, and I love her and miss her so much. 
I got to watch general conference a week later, I loved it the talks that were given there were so many good ones.  I wrote a page per talk, they all had good stuff to say. 

I love it here in Laoag.  It is so beautiful and the people are so happy, and friendly even if i can't speak the language yet. I am learning so much and I get to see a lot of forest, and a lot of poor people, it makes me sad but happy because I see the happiness in their lives and I get to share a message of peace and happiness  I get to talk about how Jesus Christ lives and how we are his children and how the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored back upon the earth. I love the experiences teaching families and bearing my testimony to them, they say to Elder Williams how good my Tagalog is for knowing so little, it makes me feel good and happy. I have taken a lot of pictures that I will send to you. 

I miss everybody.  I miss the family and Logan and the cold weather, but I love the food and the people here.  I feel like I am learning so much and I love sharing the gospel and something that brings happiness to me in my life, something that I know to be true. I love you guys so much and miss you a ton and I can't wait to hear from you again. I can't wait to receive packages and letters. 

I am serving in Santo Domingo, me and my companion opened it up.  I love the place, the people and the culture.  We live in such a poor place, and everybody around us is poor. 

Mahal kita, Elder Francis 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Manila Week 7

Magandang Umaga Sa Pamilya, Kumusta po kayo. I made it to Manila, It's
sobrang Maganda.  There a lot of trees and a lot of cars.  They have no
traffic laws, last night I thought we were going to run into cars, it
was so cool. Manila is super Maganda, the mga tao are sobrang masaya
and full of pag-asa (hope). It's so cool to see jeepeny's and tricycles
and so many Filipino mga tao (people). I am so masaya to be here, I
pagmamahal (love) the culture and the mga tao already.

The flight was very tiring, I got into Manila around 11:00. After we landed we had to
go through Philippines security and then we had to find the people
from the MTC to take us to the MTC on a bus, the ride was 45 minutes.  I
got to see so much of Manila. We went to bed around 2:00 and had to
wake up at 7:30.

Tell Emily she is getting so old and I hope she had a
good birthday.  What did she get?

I love being here in Manila, I am speaking so much tagalog. I get to go out and proselyete today, it's
going to be such a cool experience, to go with some missionaries to speak Tagalog and meet new people. Mahal kita, I miss you guys so much.

Mahal Elder Francis