December 17, 2013 from Ryan to everyone...
On the 11th of December (last Wednesday) we had our mission Christmas party, it was so cool, we went to Lilo-an chapel and got to watch the Christmas devotional from the week before. after that there was a GIANT talent show. we did a version of the 12 days of Christmas, and entitled it the 12 weeks of training.
week1-a trainer from osamiz city
week2-2 brown outs
week3-3 sick days
week5-5 golden GEOZ
week6-6 dear john letters
week10-10 csps(community service projects)
week11-11 kwans a kwaning(kwan in cebuano is a whatcha-ma call it word it is just for if you don't know the word)
week12-12 trunky letters
after we were finished with it everyone was laughing because it was funny!!!
This last week my companion and i went up to Bogo to rebuild houses from the typhoon. We were up there for 3 nights and 2 days. We had to take a bus ride up there, it was a 4 hour bus ride, and for the first 2 hours on a bus that was basically flying, the buses here are the fastest moving vehicles. like it is scary fast for those of you that haven't been to the Philippines or on wicked at lagoon. When we got up to Bogo it was 12:30 A.M. we had to walk with all of our stuff for about 30 minutes to the Senior Couples house, we then had to find somewhere to sleep, there was only 5 beds available but there were 14 elders that were going to stay the night there... so that was really hard.
The next morning we still had to be awake by 6:30, and if you got up any later you didn't get to use a shower for a LONG time, (2 showers for 14 elders) i was one of the first awake so i was able to shower really quick. When we were all showered we went to the church which was about 5 km from the house(it is so weird using KM instead of MILES)! after that we got assigned our area to go and build the house. there were 10 houses that we needed to work on and there were 26 elders to work on them. we got assigned to 2 different houses. 1 we needed to completely rebuild, and the other we needed to add a roof and a couple of walls. so an interesting statistic... of all the houses and buildings in Bogo, 99% of the houses were missing their roof, the 1% was the CHURCH!!! crazy right. ok so we went to the first house(without the roof) and the owner is about 50, so here he is still pretty young right??? he climbs up on top of the roof (2nd floor, so around 30 feet) and starts taking off the tarp... i asked him what i could do to help, (VERY rough Cebuano) and he says something crazy! i don't know what he said really but my companion and the other elders said that he told us that we needed to rest... he didn't really let us do much the first day, so we went to the other house, but the next day we basically just told him that he was going to just tell us what to do and he was going to rest. he didn't really like that idea, because a large American on his roof trying to fix it wasn't his idea of good, especially because he thought i didn't know what i was doing, but once i got started he slowly let me continue to work and then gave me full control.
for the other house we had to start from scratch!!! we had to dig out the foundation and then pour cement!!! it was so hard because we had little Filipino shovels and they are no where near the quality as American tools!
So for the building i was the man in charge, i was the group leader, i had all power to do what i wanted(to a certain extent of course). i was the youngest elder up there(in bogo), had the most experience, and am the youngest in the mission...
on Monday i went on splits with the Zone Leaders to their area! it was really cool, other than the being punted 8 times in a day, we went to one house and they literally said that they didn't want to be happy like us, they didn't want the message that we had and they didn't want anything to do with the church anymore!!! it was terrible!!!!!!!!!!
On Monday i tried balut again, it was TERRIBLE that time, the first time it was pretty good, but Monday it was horrible!!! I videoed it so i could watch it later and send it home...
December 18, 2013 to family..
He still the the people are amazing! They don't really feed them that much over there because they think they have a lot of money. He loved doing the building in Bogo, it was hard but a ton of fun. He still has not received any of the letters we have written and sent through snail mail (sent the first one November 12, 2013 and 1 a week since) maybe one day.
That is all for that week.....
December 24, 2013 from Ryan to everyone...
well it is Christmas day!!! Time to write about my week right???
well it is Christmas day!!! Time to write about my week right???
i will start off with Sunday, so it is my 4th Sunday in the Philippines last Sunday right??? well lets just say they don't care about how well i know the language, i was asked about 5 minutes before the start of sacrament to give a 10 minute talk, no preparation, or warning. i didn't realize how broken my Visayan was until then when i had to stand up in front of everyone and give a talk!!!
So this last week (the 18th) we went to the public market on P-day! we were looking for sundangs! which are swords. the crazy part is that they are REALLY cheep here. i bought three of them!!! i only spent about 700 pesos which is about $5 each!!! it is so crazy what you can get!! This week i finally got my carry on bag back from the airport!!! i was so wonderful, so i just took them the list of everything that i was missing, and when they saw the total price that i was missing their jaws dropped and said that it would be here the following morning. The next morning it was here at 4 A.M. they found it at 2 and it was on the first flight here!!! it is amazing what you can accomplish here if they know how much they owe if they cant find it!!!
On Saturday we had a basketball game with some of our investigators!!! it was so awesome except for the time we had to wake up. we had to be there at 5:00, and we couldn't go to bed early!!! it was so hard to not sleep and then play basketball and be productive the next day!!! So the last names of the investigators we played basketball with is Labadlabad, and Dugho. Labadlabad means headache headache in Cebuano. Between the two house holds there are about 20 kids under the age of 18!!! it is so crazy!!! there are so many little kids here it is unreal!!
so here the Christmas carolers walk around with their hands open, it is expected that you pay them. and with my companion and i being Americans they automatically assume that we are RICH, so they almost demand and hit us if we don't!!!
Yesterday 12/24/13 we had a baptismal interview, and because i am companions with the district leader we had to go and do that. we had to take a jeepny there and when we got to the area we wanted the driver wouldn't stop, so we had to walk to the back and jump out. when i got to the back and was going to jump out i got tripped by someone in the back and caught myself just enough as to not face plant on the ground from about 9 feet up, but i did fall out and did end up sprawled across the hood of the taxi right behind us that was tailgating us!!! it is so weird, there are no laws or traffic lights here, you just have to be a SUPER AGGRESSIVE driver!!!
Well i think that is all, and that is about all i have time for!!! i hope everyone is doing amazing, and i will email you all next week for NEW YEARS (MALIPAYONG BAGONG TUIG) <HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!>
December 24, 2013 to the family...
Ryan finally got week 1 and week 2 letters from us. Yay!!!! He said he would start handwriting a bit more but we do understand with time issues and postage.
We then got to Skype with him..
Ryan and Janel did most of the talking while Harvey, Ashlee, Tyler and Grandma Larson sat and listened. Janel updated him on all her family going on's.
Ryan told us about the 14 investigators they have and how Sunday 4 of them were at church, they may have like 12 baptisms next month (hopefully). He did say it was really hard to teach there because a lot of the words we use to teach the gospel in English do not translate to Cebuano. So they do not really understand the words faith, Jesus, The Savior, etc. that seemed strange to us but language barriers are very different and confusing. He did tell us that there are 168 missionaries in his area.
Ryan was at an Internet cafe using the computer and it was really fun seeing the native people walking around behind him, he said they go in there to play video games.
So, we asked him about the difference between Christmas here and there, he said Christmas there is more like the 4th of July here, 1 because it is so hot and 2 at about 9pm on Christmas Eve they do fireworks. I think that would be fun to see.
Anyway all in all he is doing great, looked happy, looked healthy (has gained 30 pounds in pure muscle from all the walking and service). What a great experience seeing him, talking to him (voices) and getting a bit of email in too.
Until next time.......