Saturday, February 21, 2015

Piddig Week 27

Good afternoon Francis Family,
Elder Francis is buhay pa and loving the new area here in Piddig.  We are really close to Laoag, which is really exciting and yes I do have a Filipino companion now.  He is great, he is pretty good in English but he speaks a lot of Tagalog to me.  I can understand a little bit, but we also have two other Filipinos, Elder Liska and Elder Rigonan which is crazy.   Elder Liska is so makulit and very loud and really funny,  he is the elder that did the banana dance and we have a lot of fun, but it's really hard to be with three Filipinos and not know what they are saying to me half of the time.  But I am really trying my best, and praying hard for help, patience, love, and understanding of the language. 

The language is still really hard, I feel like it's getting a little bit better, but I am still struggling a lot with it.  But I have learned some Ilokano phrases which is exciting. Our apartment is really nice and we use a bucket for our shower but that's not bad at all, I am used to it.  I love where we live - there is a huge church up the hill from us and exactly what you said, Piddig is very beautiful and there are a lot of bukids and it's very green.  I love it.  

Today we took a hike up the bundoks or mountain with two recent converts, Bro. Warren the little kid, and Bro. Nick the older brother. The hike was so much fun, I felt like we were "On Top Of The World" hahaha.  We took a lot of pictures and we had a blast, it was really really hot, I was dying. But we had a great time, but coming down the mountain was hard we got lost a lot, but we finally made it down. 

For e-mailing and shopping on P-Days, it can switch.  We either stay here in Piddig or got to Laoag, but what ever we do it will be fun.  I have met a lot of very nice people here and I love them for being so nice to me, and it's a really nice area. Elder Aribbay is very cool and very funny and friendly and super mabait, Taga siya Isabela Philippines (He is from Isabela Philippines). I love being with him he really is great, we have so much fun and love to laugh a lot, and with the other two elders it's great.  I will just have to be patient with the language and them speaking Tagalog all the time. 

It sounds like you guys had a great week, and had a lot of fun in Mesquite, and Emily had a good time. How is the Family doing?  I love hearing from you guys and seeing all the fun things you do. It sounds like dad has been traveling a lot, which has got to be stressful but fun. I really miss you guys a ton and the family, but I am doing great and having fun and loving the Philippines. 

Mahal Kita or Ay-Ayaten ka 
Elder Francis

Monday, February 9, 2015

Santo Domingo Week 26

Well it's finally here, I am getting transferred and I am a little excited but really sad.  I am leaving people I love and got to become good friends with. I am transferring to  Piddig.   I don't know where that is and I have Elder Aribbay as my new companion, so I am really excited for that. But I am going to miss Santo Domingo and all the memories I have, all of the friendships I've made, and My Awesome (Astig), companion Elder Aagard.  I really hate packing all my stuff back up into my suitcases. But I know the Lord put me in this new place because he needs me there, he has somebody prepared for me, and I am super excited.

Me and Elder Aagard did go to Laoag for a meeting which was super fun, we had pizza hut which was iba iba (different).  I haven't had pizza for a very long time, so it was weird but very masarap. Then we had our meeting or training with some of the missionaries and Elder Echo Hawks and Bro Durrant, was the other speaker, so Elder Ardern was not there but that's ok.   Bro. Durrant is very well known at BYU, he was one of the best basketball players and scorers there  Then went on to play NBA, for some other team, so it was cool to meet him. And the bandage on my arm was a boil which was gross, but everything looks really good now and it's taken care of now so thank goodness.

This last week, my last week in Santo Domingo has been a blast and full of memories and goodbyes. I have taken so many pictures and on Sunday we had a lot of pictures with me and the branch. We had four of our investigators come to church which was really exciting, there was Myla Cruz, Jeraldine Pula, Marcos Tano, and Juvy Tano, they are all really close to getting ready for baptism and I really hope they will.  I have planted a seed here in Santo Domingo and Elder Aagard will finish the work and will make it grow stronger and bigger everyday. I gave my testimony in church for the branch, almost started to cry, but nope I am a big boy jokelang hahaha.  But it was sad to see so many people I will never see again and I will really miss a lot. We also have a lot of progressing investigators that are soon ready to be baptized too, so this branch is growing with Faith and the spirit is working inside this branch and this work we do for the Lord is hastening.

It sounds like everything is going really well for you guys at home and you have been having a lot of fun. It sounds like the Aggies are doing pretty good in Basketball and the Family is doing really well too, and the branch. I love seeing all of the pictures and letters and e-mails from you guys.  It sounds like Emily is enjoying School and Soccer and she is kicking butt or (pwet), and she is that cute amazing, masipag soccer player, that I am glad to have her in my life. I hope you're enjoying all the stuff I sent home and thank you po sa lahat boxes po, and the mail, I really enjoy the boxes and candy and stuff inside.

I loved what Nate and Nathan said in their talks.  What Nate said about PRO or Pray, Read Obey, that's so true and Nathan about Faith is Obeying, I love that.  We need to be obedient to God's commandments that he's given us and we can be blessed and can have a peaceful and happy life.

I really love being here in Laoag Philippines it really is the perfect mission for me, I know God called me here for a reason and I think I know why, to bring the Light of the World and Joy and Happiness to the Filipino People that are so mabait, makulit, and full of happiness and hope. I loved serving here in Santo Domingo but my time is up and I am ready to move on.  I did my best and brought the gospel to the people in S.D. and I enjoyed the work, and will continue to.
I will be talking to you next Monday in a different place with a new companion. So I hope to hear from you soon and love you guys and miss you a ton too.

Ingat po Palagi
Ay-Ayaten ka or Mahal Kita Elder Francis

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Santo Domingo Week 25

Dear Francis Family,
I am doing great and having a lot of fun these past couple of weeks with Elder Aagard. We have been having a lot of fun and been working hard. This last week has been our best week so far.  We had a lot of lessons and a lot of new investigators too.  We have been all over the place and been talking to all we see. 
We have seen a lot of cool things. I saw a monkey which was really cool because we bought some bread and gave a little piece to him.  He is up in the tree and he caught the little piece of bread with his hands and feet and then started eating it. We also have been taking a lot of pictures because I might be getting transferred this next week.  I hope not because I really love the branch I am in now and the people and how many friendships I have made too. 
We had a Family Home Evening with some of the branch members which was really fun we shared a little message, then played games which are always fun, then ate some masarap food, like bigas or rice and some pinakbet and bagnet and adobo.  I love the food here and how good it tastes. 
Myla is doing really great she said yes to her baptismal date and she said she will prepare for it and she said she will come to church this week too.  Emerson is doing great too, he has been really busy with his job and it's been hard to find time to teach him, but he said he will come to church this week too. So I hope we will have a lot of people there for maybe my last Sunday in Santo Domingo Branch. 

We are in Laoag right now, which is really exciting to be back here again seeing some old buddies from the MTC, and being here for our P-day.   The speakers are going to be Elder Hawks and Elder Ardern from the Seventy which is really exciting because Elder Ardern's son was my seminary teacher at home.  So he might remember me. The bus ride from Santo Domingo to here was long but fun seeing the country and all the bukids and people working and seeing God's creation. Me and Elder Aagard are having a lot of fun together as a companionship and we work really hard together.  We love to laugh and love to talk to each other. Santo Domingo is really a great place for my 1st area and I love the branch and all of the people we teach.  I have made such good friends and memories here. I am going to get my haircut next week in Vigan and spend my last day maybe in Vigan for P-day and just having fun and saying my goodbyes if I leave. 

It sounds like you guys have been having a lot of fun.  How was the Super Bowl? Who won the game? How is the family doing and the ward doing? How are all your students doing and how is Emily liking school and soccer?  It sounds like she is the best player out there and the cutest or Maganda (beautiful), and most hard working or (masipag), and she really is a hard player and is always smiling and happy.  I love hearing how much fun you guys are having and how the family is doing and what you guys are up to. Tell dad to be safe when he travels and to have fun and to smile and be happy, that is something I have learned here in the Philippines -  be happy for all the little things you have in life and smile and say hi to everyone and just love everyone. The Filipino people are all so mabait and makulit and masipag and full of love and hope and they are all so grateful for all the little things they have in life. 

So I am loving it here, the language is still pretty hard but it is coming day by day.  I am learning a lot, I feel like I'm struggling in the language and can't speak too much and understand too much either. But I am trying my best and working hard and loving the Philippines. Keep having fun and sending pictures too. 

Mahal kita at Ay-Ayaten ka at Ingat po Palagi 
Elder Francis

P.S. I need some after shave and deodorant and some ties. I did get your boxes that you sent.  Thank you very much. 

Santo Domingo Week 24

Hello po Francis Family, Kumusta na po kayo,
It's the start of a new week.  For p-day today me and Elder Aagard were really bored because we had a lot of time to do things, so we went down heritage in Vigan and sat on a bench.  All these people passed by and asked if they could take pictures with us, and we said sure.  It was really funny because there were 3 girls that wanted to take pictures with us, but they were scared and shy to ask because they thought we were cute and that we didn't speakTtagalog, but one of them came up and said can we take a picture with you and I said opo.  They said do you guys speak tagalog and we said yes. So we got some random group selfies with people in Vigan. We also went to McDonald's for lunch and got a lot of food.  I had a double cheeseburger with a green apple sprite float it was so good.  Then we bought some hamburgers to take home. But today for p-day has been really fun and a Selfie day. The Language is coming, I think I can speak the language pretty well.  The hardest thing is the accents and I am really struggling at that, but I am trying my best. 

Last week, was a really hard week, we didn't have a good week.  We had little lessons and we thought it was embarrassing.  But this week, we told ourselves from those mistakes and the trials and afflictions that we had last week, we are going to grow from those mistakes and work harder this week and we will do as the Lord asks of us, to invite others to come unto Christ, to talk to everyone we see on the roads and offer help and service, show love and care for those we teach and we will have a successful week. 
Tonight we have a little friend home evening because Marifel Peralta one of our fellowshippers is leaving this week, and we want to get her and a lot of our investigators to come to a party.  We are going to share a short spiritual message, then have food and games, and say our goodbyes with her. 
None of our investigators came to church again it is really sad, but we will not Give Up and we will keep trying but we have a lot with baptismal dates and we feel like next month or in March we will have a lot of baptisms, but I don't know if I will be here for that long. I might be getting transferred soon.   I don't know what will happen but I will find out in two weeks or less. 
The American guy is Henry Lamkin we told him we couldn't go out to him anymore because they removed two sisters from Santo Domingo and made the areas a lot bigger. So instead of 3 brngys we have 18 now. We are doing a lot more finding and a lot more places to go to, and we can come back and teach him again but we texted him and he was confused with what happened that we couldn't teach him but now we can, so he said not to come back and to not text him, but he said thank you and god bless you both, so it's sad but he has a Book of Mormon and I know he will read it again and will have a change of heart and will want to learn again from the missionaries. 
Emerson and Myla did not come to chruch, we haven't seen Emerson for a while like two weeks his job has been getting out a lot later than usually, and Myla is busy with her job but we are still teaching her and the lessons are really powerful and the spirit touches her heart, and I know that she will be baptized soon. 

It sounds like you guys are having a good week, and that dad had fun in Georgia and is now traveling to Washington D.C. Tell him to be safe and to work hard and have fun. It looks like Emily has been having a lot of fun too, she got to go skiing which is always fun.  I don't think we can ski hear in the Philippines but we can do tricee riding or roller coaster bus driving, the drivers here in the Philippines are crazy, I say if you can DRIVE HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES, YOU CAN DRIVE ANY WHERE IN THE WORLD.  They are so crazy and there are no speed limits, but we are really careful and they are very careful too, but that's the culture and it's "More Fun In The Philippines." I love the people here and how humble and loving they are and how much they smile at everyone. I loved seeing Emily's drawing, like WOW!!!, she is an artist.  That's crazy how good she is, and that she can draw anything, man she is good at soccer and drawing. She is just Astig (Amazing/Awesome), tell her good job and good work and to tell Mrs. Allan I say hi and if she remembers me at all, or any of her other teachers remember me. 

I have been getting a lot tanner here, my arms and face are very tan and I forget to put on sun screen but I will make sure to now. Me and Elder Aagard are doing great, we are having a lot of fun and always laughing and having a good time, we are a really good companionship.   Elder Williams is doing great, he is hating College and finding a job and the girls hahaha, but he is doing great. It was sad to hear that Grandpa's Sisters husband died, my prayers will be out to him and his family and I hope everything is going well with grandpa and grandma. 

How is the family all doing? How arae the dogs doing and how is the ward? You guys should take a picture of the Beehives and mutual night.  I love seeing pictures and how much fun you guys are having, and I will send a lot of pictures back too. Salamat po for all of the inspiration and prayers for me, I am doing great and loving the Philippines. 

Mahal Kita or Ay-Ayaten ka 
Elder Francis 

P.S. I am traveling to Laoag next week, for P-day because we have a meeting up there with some of the seventy and all of the missionaries.  It's for who ever wants to go to it, so I will be e-mailing next Wednesday instead of Monday, but it will be a lot of fun and I am really excited to go, and I am sending a letter home to you guys so hopefully you guys will be getting that soon in the mail.