Monday, December 22, 2014

Santo Domingo Week 19

The missionaries in our branch and members ready to do a one day missionary work and going on splits.

Elder Williams and me in a garden, sitting in chairs in front of bamboo trees, pulling the gwapo pose.

At a bell tower in Vigan overlooking the city

Family Home Evening with some of the members and a family

At the Christmas Conference.  The old district, all looking gwapo.

Our group in the Amazing Race in Laoag in our Christmas hats.

The Christmas party.  Elder Roark-Perez and Elder Williams

Hello Francis Family,
My week has been great and a lot of fun.  On Wednesday we traveled to Laoag in the Morning and we got there pretty early.  It was fun to see all the missionaries from our mission and my old District from the MTC.  I was so happy to see them all and to see how they are doing.  It was different to see how much we all have changed and how our language is changing and gaining weight or losing weight. Then for our activity we did the Amazing Race all around Laoag which was so much fun and weird.  Everybody saw missionaries running around town with Santa Claus hats and running fast trying to do what the cards said.  We took a lot of pictures.  I took a lot of pictures this week and last week.
Sunday was a lot of fun, but sad, none of our investigators came to church again.  But it's ok, we got to go on splits with the members in the branch, so all the missionaries split up and went with the branch members and invited them to the Christmas party on Christmas day. It was so much fun and a lot of work, but everything turned out to be a lot of fun.
Today for our P-day me and Elder Williams took a Kalesa ride around Vigan and went to some sites we haven't seen yet, which was a lot of fun and took a lot of pictures.
Everything is going well for me here in the Philippines, it's still hot but there are cold days of wind blowing.  It's always hot and humid.  I am still loving the people to death.  They are always so happy and very kind and friendly to us, always saying HI and waving hey Brothers or Elders. I love it here, the language is coming day by day and I am learning a lot, and I feel like I am growing in faith and my testimony. I am Masipag and Masikap, and Buhay Pa, but everything is going well here. 

We did get bikes for our area, which is such a big help for us, we have far areas to walk or take a tricycle to. But with bikes, we can ride to them now, we don't have helmets because we can't ride our bikes on busy roads or the highway only on back roads, but everything is going well with our bikes and we are loving riding through the jungle and trees (punos). 

It's good hearing about your guys week and how you're all doing.   I am sorry to hear about Emily getting sick, I hope (pag-asa) she is feeling a lot better and she won't get any sicker.  I will be praying for her to feel better. How did Emily's orchestra concert go?  And soccer practice, is she working hard, and scoring a lot of goals? How was the Ward Christmas party, what did you guys do?   Did anyone ask about me?  If they did say Buhay pa and Masipag (hard working). 

I am doing great and loving it here. I love hearing from you guys, it's sad to hear that there is no snow again and it doesn't seem like Christmas, but just remember Christmas is about the things we are grateful for in our lives like Family, Food, Jesus Christ Atoning sacrifice for us and His birthday, etc... Just be happy for the small things we have in life.  Sometimes the small things in life can turn out to be the best things. Just have a Wonderful Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. That's great to hear about your students and have fun quilting with them and eating food from different countries and trying new things. I hope everything is going well for you guys at home and you're enjoying the Christmas season. 

I will be calling you guys on the 24th of December here in the Philippines our time 9:00 in the morning our time, so that would be Tuesday night your time around 7:00 to 9:00.  Just be ready and have the computer in the wall charged ready to talk to me and I can't wait to hear from you and see you guys on skype. 

I really love you guys so much and miss you a ton, But I am doing the Lord's work here and bringing God's children back unto him and teaching something I know is true and believe to be true. I am working hard and being strictly obedient, and the language will come. I am loving the life here in the Philippines and enjoying the heat. "It's more fun in the Philippines", I hear that so much, but it's so true.  There are so many different things I see every day and a lot of fun things to do. 

Mahal Kita, Elder Francis 

P.S., I sent a box home to you guys for Christmas so hopefully you will get it around the 2nd week or 3rd week of January.  It will be fun to open and I hope you get it.  Tell me when it arrives. 
And for stuff that I need, deodorant, peach-o's, gummy bears and snakes, chocolate, jarritos, or drinks I like, more teddy grams, and graham crackers, and jelly beans, and pop-tarts. I would like it a lot Salamat Po family, or Agyaman in Ilokano. 

Elder Francis wishes you a HAPPY HAPPY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Santo Domingo Week 18

Us Elders in Vigan, looking Gwapo and staring off into space.
Me at a family home evening and on exchanges with Elder Hantanosas.

 Elder Williams and me in a Tricycle and we are being gwapo.

 "Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love — time is eternity"(Henry van Dyke)

Kumusta Francis Family,

Happy Birthday Mom -  Mahal Kita.  I hope your birthday was good and you had fun.  What did you do for your birthday this year?

I am Buhay Pa, the typhoon didn't hit us which is really good, but I heard about some of the other places in the Philippines and it was pretty bad.  Houses were destroyed and buildings, homes, peoples belongings were taken away from them.  I don't know if anyone got hurt yet, but everybody is still happy always and full of love and peace.  They are happy and grateful for the things they have, even when they have so little, they are grateful and happy for the little things  because it means so much to them.

This week has been great.  Monday we went to the zoo and that was a lot of fun, and then we went shopping in Heritage in Vigan for souvenirs.   I will be sending a box home for you guys for Christmas. We had Family home Evening with some of the members for a birthday party, which is so much fun.  We play games and the losers have to do something that embarrasses them.  So I lost and I had to spell my last name with my butt.  It was so weird but it's so funny to watch and it makes me laugh. We also got bikes, which is great for our area.  We have far areas, but now with bikes it takes shorter time to travel there.  My legs hurt, and my body is hurting a lot. On Thursday we traveled to Cabugao for district meeting and to practice our skit and the haka, which is going to be so much fun.  We travel to Laoag on Wednesday this week, it's going to be so much fun,  I will take a lot of pictures for you guys.

On Saturday we traveled to our American Investigator we found one day, he lives right by the ocean.  He is from Wisconsin and is super tall.  He loves to spear fish and the ocean.  He is 6"5 and he used to be a principal and superintendent at school. We traveled out to him on our bikes, which was a fun ride.  He is such a good investigator.  He reads a lot and he is looking up information about our church, we will visit him one more time before Elder Williams goes home. On the way back, my chain on my bike broke, so we had to get a tricycle ride back.  My bike has been having a lot of problems. My pedals have fallen off three times. But we got it fixed now, so we can ride our bikes to our appointments. But everything is going well, we get chased by dogs on our bikes in the dark which is scary and fun. We ride as fast as we can. This week will be fun, we have Family home evening tomorrow night and travel to Laoag on Wednesday to Thursday, and probably some other things too.  We are going to try to get a lot of pictures and lunch appointments with members before Elder Williams goes home. So these next couple of weeks will be a lot of fun and hard work. 

How is everything going for you guys?  How is the family, school for Emily, and Dad's work? 
I want to hear how everything is going, the weather, the ward, the family, and pictures. 

I will send the box next week, so I don't know when it will get there, but Merry Christmas, and thank you for the boxes and e-mails. 
Mahal Kita Elder Francis 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Santo Domingo Week 17

Hello Francis Family,
I am still buhay pa or (still living), I am doing great here in the Philippines.  Today me and Elder Williams went to the zoo with the sisters in our district. The zoo is really small but it is so much fun.  I saw tigers, deer, birds, dinosaurs and other stuff.  I bought a couple of souvenirs too. But today for P-day we went shopping down Heritage in Vigan for souvenirs before he goes home.  I am enjoying it here.  Today we went to McDonald's for lunch.  A couple of weeks ago me and Elder Williams ran into an American that lives by the ocean and we talked to him.  Well guess what? We saw him again today at McDonald's and he read the pamphlet we gave him.  He looked a lot of stuff up on the internet about our church and said he would like to learn about our church. So Elder Williams and are going to go teach him on Friday this week, it's super exciting. 

Yes, there was a big Typhoon or (bagio) named Ruby that hit the Philippines, but it has not hit us yet.  We have had wind but no rain. So we are blessed, to be safe. And our Christmas Conference got moved back a week later, but I am super excited to go to Laoag for two days.  Our zone is doing a skit, it's Mormons got Talent, and the Elders are doing the Haka. I am super excited, it's going to be so much fun. Elder 
Williams is getting really close to going home, he has like two weeks and a half left to three weeks left, so it's crazy.  I might be training next transfer or even become district leader, I don't know. But it's crazy how fast everything goes by.  We didn't have any of our investigators come to church this last week so nobody will be baptized this month.   Elder Williams was sad about Emerson and Charmaine, but next month they will hopefully be baptized and there are two others with Baptismal dates. Sis. Jeraldine  is very magaling (Talented) she reads all the pamphlets we give to her, and she is praying and reading every day.  Her baptismal date is for the 24th of January. Then Bro. R., he is not progressing.  He really has a lot of doubt.  He says he doesn't, but he still smokes a lot, and drinks and he is not keeping up on the commitments we give him. It's sad but there will be a day he will be baptized. I have Faith in these brothers and sisters, so hopefully next month I will get to baptize some people (YEEEAAAAHHHHHH)!!! 
We are still really working hard and doing our best.  We are doing the lord's work and working hard, nothing stops us from working hard, we go out and we give it our all.  
This week will be fun and the next couple of weeks.  It's getting closer to Christmas, but here in the Philippines it's Christmas from September to December, so Merry Christmas to you guys. But we will hopefully take a lot of pictures these next couple of weeks.  We have some lunch appointments with some of the members and we have a Christmas party with our branch on the 25th. So it's going to be a fun next couple of weeks. 

It sounds like you guys have had a fun week and that Temple Square was fun.  Was it really cold?  How were the Lights? How is everything going at home?  How is Emily liking North Cache?   How is dad doing at work? How is school going for you mom?  Send pictures of everything and information, and how is the ward doing?
 Hey one question -  have you had to talk about me in Church yet or will you have to soon? When you do just tell me and I will give you a lot of stuff to say about me. I love hearing from you guys and the family.  I really miss you guys so much, and Mahal kita Tagalog or in Ilokano Ay-ayaten ka they both mean I love you. I am really trying hard in the language it just takes time.   Elder Williams said ne of my strengths is that I am really patient, so I need to be patient with myself in learning the language it will come it just takes time. And I just need to smile (Ngiti) and be happy (masaya) every day and be obedient (pagsunod). But everything is going well, we are not affected by the typhoon, we are all still safe. I hope the rest of the Philippines is okay, keep me updated. But have fun at home and keep me updated on things and send pictures. 

I sure love you guys a ton, but I am Happy here and enjoying the work, and "IT'S MORE FUN HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES". 

Mahal Kita, or Ay-ayaten ka Francis family 

P.S. I was wondering if you guys could send me some ties like blue, red, pink ties, and send me some more garments.  I like the mesh ones better or the lighter color ones. And also send some of my favorite candy too.  And drinks also.  I love you guys. 

Elder Francis

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Santo Domingo Week 16

As a district we got to help  a sister clean her house for service, then we decorated her house for Christmas.

Elder Williams and me decorating the  pillar with Christmas lights and ornaments.

For Christmas con we are doing the haka as Elders only, it is so much fun to learn.

Kumusta ka Francis Family, 
I am doing great and still working hard and trying my best. The language is still really really hard, but it will come it just takes time and practice.  I love speaking Tagalog and a little Ilokano. I am learning new words every day and I am having fun.  I am never giving up on the work.  I am here to do the Lord's work and bring people unto Christ and to be baptized. 
This week we had no investigators show up to church it was sad.  We are hopefully going to have a baptism and a wedding next month.  We never know but we are pushing them and helping them. This week as been good and bad, we have been booted a lot this week which means we plan a lesson but we don't teach because they are not home or they can't because they are busy. But that doesn't stop us.  We are still working hard.

For thanksgiving we ate at chic-boy for lunch.  I had chicken sisisig and for dinner.  We went to seven eleven and had hot dogs and donuts and slurpees. It was a funT hanksgiving, we miss Thanksgiving at home but we try to do fun things here in the Philippines. 
For Christmas we are hoping for a baptism and a wedding that day and we have a branch Christmas party that night. I am super excited for Christmas to come, there is going to be a lot of food and presents given. 

It sounds like you guys had a fun Thanksgiving and had fun with the family.  I love seeing the pictures and the family.  How is everybody doing?  How was the food?  How is the weather?  I love hearing from you guys and seeing how much fun you guys are having at home. I hope everything is going well for you and don't miss me too much. Have a fun Christmas. 
I can't wait to skype you guys, I miss you a ton. I am going to the zoo next p-day so I will take a lot of pictures and I will take pictures of when I go to Laoag for Christmas con next week. I am super excited for Christmas to come this month. 

Mahal kita (Tagalog) 
Ay- ayatan ka (Ilokano) 
Elder Francis

Santo Domingo Week 15

Kumusta ka Francis family,
This week as been a really good week, but it's been pretty hard. The language is so hard but it will take time to learn and it will come slowly.  But I am doing great.   Elder Williams leaves  December 30th to go home, it's going by so fast.  He spent three days in Manila, so Me and Elder Miller from my district in the MTC worked together in my area for three days. It was so much fun. We taught a lot of people and had a lot of fun. 

For P-day we got together as a zone and practiced for our Christmas con skit which is on December 8th and 9th in Laoag, so it's coming quick. Then I got a haircut today, it was weird but I really needed one.

Everything is going great  Elder Williams and I are working hard, hopefully by the end of next month we will have 5 baptisms, and a wedding.  It's so exciting, we are working hard, and doing great.
I have been learning to cook food like adobo, curry, and a lot of rice. But elder Williams usually cooks.  The food is so good.

Elder Williams is a great, hardworking, funny, and diligent kasama (companion).  We sometimes get mad at each other and there are some days we don't get a long but we talk about it and then everything is fine after that. He is from Highland Utah and went to Lone Peak High School.  He played lacrosse but not his senior year because of a shoulder injury. He is 20 years old and he he has a younger brother that is 15 but he is taller than Elder Williams. He is great, he really pushes me to do my best and just to work hard, and we love messing around with each other. 

It sounds like you guys are having a great time and you had fun with your friends in Salt Lake quilting.   Grandpa emailed and said the Aggies are doing great in football and basketball. Keep cheering loud for them. It sounds like everything is going well, you guys are all doing really well. Have a fun thanksgiving and travel safely to grandma's but have fun with the family.  Tell everybody Kumusta ka, and Mahal kita, and I miss them all. But have a fun week, and I hope everything is going great. 

Skyler is doing great - his family really misses him so much, but he is really excited and he is going to be a great missionary and he will work hard. Tell his family he is in the Lord's hands and he will be taken care of and he will do great in Little Rock, Arkansas. Tell everybody in the ward I say Kumusta and I am doing great and loving the Philippines. 

That's how I feel about the language like Jordan, it seemed easy in the MTC, but when you get out into the field is seems so hard, but it will come and it will take a while just don't get mad or be upset.  It's hard but God wouldn't have sent me here if he didn't believe in me  or he didn't know I could learn the language  He really does believe in us, he loves us, and he wants us to work hard and just to do our best. 

Some of the people that have baptismal dates are Bro. Emerson pula and Sis. Charmaine Paa they are living together and have one kid and one on the way in December, but Brother attended church yesterday and it was awesome and sister said she will next week.  This week we are going to give two baptismal dates to Sis. Jeraldine and brother Jackson.  Sis. read the whole pamphlet we gave to her and she is really progressing a lot and Bro. we have taught him once.  The Sisters gave us him as a referral or somebody they used to teach. Then we have Bro. Richie Rosales he has a baptismal date for December 27th but he smokes every day  and drinks and he won't come to church but we are helping him to stop. If he doesn't come to church this week he can't be baptized in December. You have to attend church four weeks in a row to be baptized but we believe that we will have a good week, and hope we have five baptisms.  Those are some people we are focusing on. 

These last couple of days, I got to give priesthood blessings and be a part of one to a nanay for her birthday, Elder Williams gave it in Tagalog,  it was such a cool experience.  I got to give a priesthood blessing to Sis. Dolette and a Sis. from our branch in English but it was a cool experience. 

Yea, the Philippines is still really hot (mainit), it's not getting colder.  I see Bukids or rice fields every day.  We are working hard.  I am (palagi) always tired (tagod), and but I am learning every day.   I have learned a little Ilakano which is cool like Pamati (faith), Agyaman (thank you), Ibatik ti nagan ni jesucristo amen (in the name of Jesus Christ amen) and etc... I will post some more words next e-mail but there are some words I know. 

I really miss you guys so much, hope (pag-asa) you guys are having fun, and I wish you guys a fun Thanksgiving.  Have fun with the family. Tell everybody I say hi and Mahal Kita. 

Mahal kita, Elder Francis