This first part is what Ryan wrote in an email to share with everyone:
My area is called Consolation, (lation for short). it was just barely split from the Lilo-an zone probably about 3 months or 2 transfers ago. There are 6ish wards, 2 stakes. baring my testimony in Cebuano the first Sunday was kinda stressful, i said probably 5 words, and was like AMEN!!! This last week i have had to bare my testimony in Cebuano about 20000 times. it is great, they also always call on me to say the prayers.
There are still after shocks from the earthquake, the day i got here there was a 5.0 aftershock at 5 AM, i was on the 7th floor of a hotel during it. i woke up and decided i was too tired to really care. we got to the hotel at 12:00 AM, so we had didn't go to sleep until about 1, and i had slept about 3 hours on the plane rides. so The weirdest sounds came from the street below. a lot of popping rumbling.
Our main form of transportation is Hoble-hoble's, they are motorcycles that are used for "shorter" distance traveling because they are so expensive. for longer distance traveling we use jeepney's, which are "dilapidated old buses"-L. Tom Perry. The culture is crazy and is taking a while to get used to, but it is amazing.
Right now in our area, we are working on bringing back less actives, we have probably 30 less active members and maybe 8 investigators that we are currently working with. the work is slow and very hard, but it is so worth it when they come to church!!!
We have had 1 service project, where we packed rice into 4.5 kg bags to send to Bogo for the typhoon relief. the rice was originally in 50 kg bags. in 3 hours we as a zone of 17 Elders and sisters did 150 50 kg bags of rice into the 4.5 kg bags, it was so hard and long. but i know that it will help and bless so many people's life's in Bogo.
Last P-day (Wednesday) i got to go to the Cebu Temple. My companion had one of his previous less actives going to be sealed in the temple. We got there at 7 AM and finally left at i believe 7:30 PM. It was awesome, i was one of the witnesses for the sealing, it was in Cebuano, and i didn't understand a word of it!!!!!!!!! but that is okay because they understood it all. While i was at the temple i got to go through a session as well. that was pretty cool!
The water and Power here is not very reliable, some days we have no water, so that means we cant shower, and we shower by bucket and scoop. and then we also have no power because of the after shocks from the earthquake.
So at the temple the Angle Moroni on top of the temple is now a wind vain. whenever the wind blows too hard it turns, during the earthquake he was shaken from where he was originally put and the bottom is broken. While i was there he was pointed north. but about 2 weeks ago he was pointed south... crazy right>???
Yesterday (DEC. 1, 2013) we had a lesson, i have been here for about 12 days right? my companion told me right before that i had this one, and turns out i was able to teach the entire lesson about the restoration in CEBUANO, i didn't think my Cebuano was that good but i guess i just haven't had to rely on myself that much.
This language is so crazy, i don't feel like i am doing very well, but i have been told since day 1 how i am "bistak" which is the best compliment you can get! i don't feel i am doing as well as i should, but maybe that is because i expect myself to be perfect in everything.
I think that this will probably be the last email i send that will actually make sense to everyone, i have noticed my writing and talking in English is starting to suffer a ton!!!
I just wanted to let everyone know that i am doing amazing, that i am loving this country so much and i miss everyone and hope you all are doing good!!!
Nasyud ko nga tinuod ang basahon ni mormon. Nasyud ko nga pinaagi sa pagdawat ni Joseph Smith ug ang basahon ni mormon gihubad pinaagi niya. Nasayud ko nga and Dios mga gugma iyang mga anak. Kahibalo ko nga pinaagi magbasa ang basahon ni mormon, tanan inyong mga pangutana sa tubag. Ganahan ko paambit sa kasulatan. Naa siya sa biblia, sa Philippians kapitulo qwatro bersikulo trise. nagsulti siya, "I can do all things through Christ which strenghteneth me."
Nasayud ko nga kita dili pwede makabuhat sa tanan, perro kita sa makabuhat pinaagi sa gugma sa Dios ug ni Kristo.
Let me know if you figured it out, or email me if you need help, it is not the most perfect Cebuano, but i tried, and it makes sense.
GOD IS GREAT,
THE CHURCH IS TRUE,
THE CHURCH IS TRUE,
I AM A CHILD OF GOD,
AND SO ARE YOU!!!
Here is some of the stuff he shared with just us:
He is doing great. The heat is terrible but not to much to handle yet. He has lost 10 pounds which means he is still up 15 pounds from when he went into the MTC. He eats a lot of rice. He misses the Utah weather, it is always hot and humid there and at night they burn their garbage so the air quality is terrible always smoggy. It hasn't been to bad on his asthma so that is a good thing. He says there are a lot of dogs, cats, chickens and frogs that just roam the streets. He has cockroaches living with him as well. YUCKY!!! His companion is from Highland, Utah and I actually have talked to his mom on face book. We are both in a group on face book for moms with missionaries in the Cebu East Philippines mission. We are also on a missionary moms website that is very nice and supportive.
He still has not received his bag that they lost but he is praying and not losing hope as it has all of his stuff from the MTC and other things he really needs and wants, lots of memories.
Well that is all for now. Until next time.......