Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Annimals, Pets and Warriors

I saw tons of wild things in the PI. here are a few of the animals we often saw in Dumaguete!




Tiki- Small Geko









Toko- Big Geko








Karabaw- Water Buffalo








Kolakngit- small Bat








Ungoy- Monkey








Kagang or Alimongo- Crab




Kabayo- Horse. wow once a year in a little town not to far from Dumaguete they have Horse fights it was one of the most intense things I have ever seen!






Damang or Ka-ka- Spider. in the Philippines spiders (not all) are used as toys the kids catch them and make them fight! we would always buy them from the kids and at lunch have epic battles the dumaguete elders vs the sebulan Elders. I recal one of the best fights was Paquiao vs Chewbaka with Chewi taking the W.

Girlie and Vivian

Vivian Montoya
Baptized August 7th, 2005. she lived with pres Velasco as a helper and she only spoke Tagolog it was ruff for me but we were able to teach her and she had a very strong testimony!

(find picture)

Girlie Malik Pili
She was baptized October 1st 2005 it was fun she was my firt baptism that i got to see the whole process from the time we found her all the way until she got baptized!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sebulan Elders and Shenanigans

Well Dumaguete was a really fun area and I had some really good times there!

This is me in Looc and Bypass an area famous for its filth! But there were some members who lived here that were amazing its where I gained a testimony of homes being a heaven on earth!

Latham, Nate, Bob and I chillin at our favorite Tindahan (little store)

Elder Adams this guy was way fun to be around and yes thats baby food due to being pretty sick! he was amazing at the Guitar and would often play as I was falling asleep it reminded me of Phil playing the guitar in our basement before I left!

Nate "Buck" Wilson!!! It was amazing getting to be with him in my first area. He was one of the hardest working missionaries and way fun to be around! I hear he once went through a black hole!

BALUTE! this was my first experiance with balute Lathams treat! At first I wasnt the biggest fan but over time I grew quite fond of Balute which is a half grown duck or chicken!

Sometimes things get a little crazy on the mission! this is just living proof of that!

Brother Boy

Boy aka brother Blastito Ella Solis got baptized my first Saturday or Sunday (July 17th 2005)? in the mission. I can remember going to his house my first day in Dumaguete and I can also remember hunting him down trying to get him back to church almost every week after that (very unsucessfuly). Right after his baptism I went to his house and with the help of a member we taught him a new member lesson about the restoration it was the hardest thing I had ever done I didn't know what I was saying and couldn't understand him or anyone for that matter! He also introduced me to Lanka which is a fruit in the Philippines that I found oh so deliciouse and also sticky!

Ira James Lathem



My trainer was quite possible the coolest kid in the Mission! we had a blast he helped me out so much I can remember going through every lesson a few times in comp study where I would say something he would correct me I would say it again until I nailed it! this went on until I could briefly teach all the lessons! He is for sure my favorite companion I am so thankful he trained me I learned so much from him about the language and gospel and most importantly that a mission is fun not just fun but a blast! to this day he is the only one I keep in contact with! I will never forget his speed walking, strolls through looc, getting grub at JV's BBQ and our semi late nights at the Hayahay! oh and not to mention his shaping me into a missionary and oh yeah also that he is the most gwappo amahan sa kalibutan!

Dumaguete 1 aka Bantayan Branch

Dumaguete is Beautiful. Everyone in the whole mission wanted to be in Dumaguete it was known as the Promise land due to the success there. This was for sure the best first area, they speak pure Cebuano almost like we learned in the MTC they speak slow and compleat it was wonderfull. My area was the outskirts of the city all the way to the Bukid (mountains).

In Town there was a little mall where you could get anything you needed there was also a Dunkin Dounguts which we ventured to see from time to time! in the city there are also a few really good schools one of which was huge Siliman University. There were students from Europe and Asia that went to this school so it was fun to be around so many people my age also made it hard to find people because there was so much student houseing everywhere!

My area had a really nice chapel and amazing members! Branch Pres. Velasco is one of the neatest people I met in my whole mission he was a leader he would do whatever it took to get things done and orginized! I remember one time Elder Lathem and I were visiting the Galo family, Sister was a member along with her two girls, they were super poor and lived in a really small hut in a pretty bad part of town we could tell things where not ok. They had been without food all day in it was getting late the kids where sitting almost in tears and we as missionaries were not allowed to give money to the members we ran over to the Velasco's house told him about the situation! We then headed home a little late but felt a little better knowing Pres. Velaco knew about there situation we had lots of apointment and right before lunch made some time to check up on the Galo family and as we were there sister velasco was takeing them some lunch she had also taken them dinner the night before they where amazing members and even though things where hard for themselves they made sure to always help all the other members! The Galo family had been praying for help and i'm so glad we found them and for members like the Velascos who where able to help them out!

Monday, January 12, 2009

PCM's wild 1,2 and 3

Ok this was wild I dont think the pictures will due my first few days justice so i'll try to explain them for you. I landed in the Philippine Cebu airport with sister Kioa and another elder, who went to the MTC in the Philippines, Elder Zata so this was my batch. Waiting outside was Pres. and sis. Anderson it was so good to see them it made a bunch of my worries dissapear. We were instantly shuttled off through the crazy streets of Cebu City to the mission office in Lahug, Cebu where we had oriantaion which took a few hours and our first Interviews with the mission pres. I also had my firt Pinoy meal I got BBQ Chicken and rice it was deliciouse we ate it at the mission president lavish condo. It was a crazy day we recieved so much info I think it all just went in one ear and out the other its a good thing they gave us a manual with all the info to look at throughout the mission.

After interviews and what not I was sent to the cebu mission transit appartment this is where the office elder lived and where a bunch of people stay at if they are being transfered. It was really neat for me because I got to meet up with Nate "buck" Wilson who I went to high school with he's a stud! I was so tired and crashed sleeping on the flor for my first night. The next day I woke up got ready and went to transfer meeting this is where most of the elders meet and find out where they will be going or staying! while there I found out my first area would be in Dumaguete which was on another island (Negros). After the meeting I spent the rest of the day with a few different missionaries trackting it was wild we were walking down crazy little streets and allys through really poor parts of the town it was the best way to be broken in! My second day in Cebu I also got to try SPAKLE which to this day is one of my favorite drinks its like a cross between sprite and mountain dew! after that I found I had to crash at the Assistants appartment for the night and that my boat left at 6am the next day for Dumaguete!

Day 3, Bright and early we headed to the peir with all my stuff the AP's dropped me off with a ticket and sent me on my way. It was really wierd to be in a whole new world with millions of people I didnt really understand, Alone and on a boat headed to Dumaguete via Bohol. I was told everything would be ok the boat would stop at about half way and I had to stay seated then it would leave again headed for Dumaguete this took about 4 hours it was crazy! I wont lie the movie SWAT was playing and this helped keep my mind off the whole being alone and not knowing where to go or what to do thing! The boat finaly landed in Dumaguete and when I got off I saw Elder Lathem (my comp) elder Adams and elder Wilson who I would be living with!

Although I was spent my day was far from over we went home rested for maybe 30 min and then was off. We went into town to catch another ride into the more jungley part of our area to visit Brother Boy who needed to be interviewed for his babtism the next day. then we walked home which I kid you not was a good 4-5 miles all of which elder Lathem did at a Missionary Pace which is about the speed Speedwalkers go in the Olympics!

Pres. and Sister Anderson

These two people are very special to me! I first met Pres in the MTC and honestly he terrified me. I thought he was straight out of boot camp he was very serious and powerful i wont forget it. I do remember even better how amazing he was. Right after landing in Cebu there he was with a huge smile and gave me a big hug and it was like it was a whole different guy not intimidating or scary at all but he was like family i loved him and i know he loved me as well! I think it helped that we were "batch" i was his first missionary and with him the whole mission. I will never forget all the times he taught it was always "Gospel Meat" aka the good stuff, he taught with a strong spirit and for sure helped my testimony grow!

And Sister Anderson aka my mom for the 2 year i was there. I dont really know what to say about her she was the sweetest lady. I knew i would love her from the moment i met her in the MTC she seemed like she wished she had cookies to give us and just had a great spirit of love that you could feel every time you where around her! it was so good to be able to have her as my Mission MOM for the two years i served in Cebu! later i will talk more about her at ZLC's! stay tuned! hahahaha.

Sorry about lack of better pictures! I'll put up more as i find them!

The journey begins!

Well after all the shenanigans that are the MTC it was very nice to get out into the field! but it was also quite the journey. we took off bright and early from the MTC all hoped in a little short bus (very appropriate) ant took off to the airport.

To My surprise (not really) Mandy, Mub, Garr, and riley had made the journey to the airport to see me off it was a blast they hooked me up with some candy and i also go6t to make some phone calls home it was way fun! (Notice how young everyone looked hence me calling everyone huge 2 years later.)

After a small flight from SLC to LA we had the epic flight to Tiawan followed by another long flight to Manila, Philippines this is where i had to say goodbye to Elder Kaufusi that was the hardest part of the flight hahah!

And at last me and sister Kioa got this, the first glimps of Cebu!

The MTC


Well I dont have tons to say about the MTC or very many pictures but i will say it was very hard and i also leaned more there than i did in prolly all of high school! I entered the MTC to early in the morning on May 11th 2005 and there began the epic part of my life i call the Mission.


This picture is of some of the people in my Distict. in the front row you have 1st Sister Kioa she is the funniest sister ever really loud and yes your typical Tongan. i would often find that she had dissapeared and would always find her in the tongan class socializing! Next was one of our teachers Sister Cholles i recently ran into her at a reunion and she is all married and doing good! I can remember her telling stories to the class in Cebuano she was a great teacher. 3rd and last on the first row is Sister Tupe a Samoan sister who lived in Cali. she was so sweet and nice not to mention at least 110% obediant. On the top row you have Elder Kaufusi who i will talk more about later, elder Stevenson who was way fun he taught me to backflip and was the one most like myself! and last on the top row ME


This is my Comp Elder Kaufisi he was a stud! Prolly the most amazing comp i had he had so much love for me and really everyone! In this picture he is standing by the painting that has "Hurrah for Isreal" inscribed on it which means a lot! Fusi was amazing!


This is me having a good time learing how to do the Haka with the Tongan Elders Mokofisi and Fakava. The poly elders taught me a lot i even picked up on enough of there language to ask them if the wanna die , Fia Mate!