Hello from the Philippines!!! Almost coincidentally, nothing amazing happened this week, so I have all the time in the world to respond to your email. With that said there is still some new news that I will reveal to all. I’ll start with Friday-transfer day.
Transfer day is always a hectic day full of smiles and tears-all caused by change. We went to transfer day and separated to our little groups of friends and guess who was there-every single batch mate of mine from the MTC. Elders Harris, Johnson, and Hansen, and Sister Andreason. So, we hung a bit, chatted it up and got ready for transfer meeting. I don’t remember if I mentioned a guy named Elder Etcitty, but he is one of my closest friends in the mission, and he lives near Hansen. I got a sweet invite to Lake Powell after the mish to go yacht it up with those two (elder Hansen’s Father owns hospitals or something like that and they are more than rich…they have their own private plane for crying out loud). So, we went and rocked transfer day. Oh how there was change. One of our areas in our district got closed down because their ward offered up NO support at all. Missionaries only get pulled out if something is an epic failure or if something happened in the area-it’s not something that’s random according to president’s mood. My new companion is batch with me in the mission home and he rocks my socks. We have so much fun bahaha. I became the district leader which merely means I give workshops to people and I interview their baptismal candidate to see if they are ready and worthy for baptism. I had the opportunity to interview one of the sisters’ investigators Saturday morning and the look of hope in the eyes of the investigator is amazing. It is so awesome to hear about what these people were like before the missionaries started teaching them, and how much they have changed. It is also awesome hearing their testimony. Sister Andreason got transferred into our district so now I have a batch mate as a comp and a batch mate as a district mate haha. That is the low down on transfer day.
Saturday was the baptism of Irene Orza. We have been working with her for a little bit now, and it was good to finally reach the…starting line of the race. It was a little bit frustrating because our ward mission leader decided he was too cool to 1) attend our baptism, 2) make a program, and 3) actually announce that there was a baptism. But, fortunately, we got enough people there so it was good times. It took us 30 minutes to figure out how to close the drain at the bottom of the baptismal font because whenever we turned the water on, it just drained out. We eventually found it hidden underneath a cinderblock square that weighed 4.7 metric tons outside the church. Once we got everything situated, the font filled up, and the people in the room, the baptism started.
I have attended many baptisms before, but this one was different. I attend the baptisms of other elders and sisters regularly, but I don’t personally know the baptismal candidates, their family, or their shoe size so it is different. Irene has been working with us for a while now and seeing her progress through the lessons and seeing her testimony grow, I thought, was one of the best feelings I have had, but I was wrong. Before it started we got changed-I into my white pants, shirt, and tie, and she into her baptismal outfit and seeing her walk out of the bathroom in all white was quite possibly one of the most gratifying feelings I have ever had. Seeing someone standing before you ready to take on sacred covenants in all white-someone you are close to and have experienced much with is indescribable. Almost at once, this feeling shot through me from head to toe. It’s hard to describe in words other than the pure love that Heavenly Father has for her. I, talking to myself and not realizing it, was like dang dude, heavenly father loves you more than you know. I felt like a fool cause people were like what? I was like oh…uh…nothing. That was SO awesome. She has fought so much adversity to get to where she is right now. Well, so proceded the baptism. Speakers, scriptural thoughts, songs, until the time came for the ordinance. I entered the font, as did she. Irene doesn’t even come up to my nametag on my shirt. She has to be like 4’8. She entered the font, we explained that she might want to hold her nose so it doesn’t get cleaned out by chlorinated water, and I put my arm up. I have never felt anything like what I felt when I started speaking the words. It was electric. Almost as if someone had poked me in the butt with a plug and shocked me. Once again-head to toe. The second she came up out of the water, I wanted to look up because it felt as if someone was smiling down at us. Man, that baptism was amazing. The spirit that was in the room after the ordinance was thicker than cheese curd. Irene bore an AMAZING testimony-one that was extremely advanced for someone barely baptized. The baptism ended and we said our goodbyes and went our ways. We then went to ate snookie and taught her about temple marriage and ordinance work and it made me more than trunky to go visit the temple. But, I do get to go rock the Cebu temple dedication this coming up june which is gonna be awesome! Plus I get to go to the Manila temple before I go home so that is a sweet deal too. Haha I think we confused her because Elder De Leon was teaching and he was like yea sister your first time going through the temple is gonna be…and he looked at me and we started laughing. She started laughing and she was like why are you all laughing and I was like…youll find out haha. In the words of greatness-its like drinking from a fire hydrant.
Then, Sunday was her confirmation. I went to elders quorum, taught gospel principles, then went to sacrament where I saw her for the first time and she was pretty much glowing. The time came for her confirmation and she went up onto the stand. While our second counselor was talking, she glanced over at me with this look of fear in her face so I smiled back and gave her a thumbs up and the look faded into a smile. After the confirmation, she stood up with a smile from ear to ear-even bigger than my jerry lewis smile. It was indescribable, but isn’t that what the love of the Lord is like? Indescribable?
Now, here we are today-good ol P-day. Unfortunately we have no money to go and do something cool because I had to give Elder Duco 500, and I had to pay our bills (1000) because he didn’t have any money. Plus, I didn’t get reimbursed for my toe operation (2200 for it all) so I am trying to live for 5 weeks off of 60 bucks…its not that easy. Travel costs, food, bills, ugh. Such is life. But, I get my support on Monday…plus my 2k reimbursement, plus duco’s 1k. Woot go 1.5 x my normal support!!!
So, it is time to dedicate my email to some awesome people. I recently received my camera in a package sent to me, and there are thanks that I have to send out that I haven’t already. The camera is pure awesomeness. The first time I opened it and turned it on I was kind of scared cause it made cool noises and had lights and I was afraid it was gonna turn into a robot and start fighting crime under the codename optimus prime. SO, props and thanks to the following people…
Ten billion thank yous to you and your music geniousness. I send you a post card and you send me a camera. Haha I don’t think they equal each other, but hey, dude, its up to you:D I might even just send you another post card-man am I nice or what? No, just kidding dude, but fo realz-thank you. Think of this as those kinds of pictures where the people plan to jump up at the same time so when the picture goes off they are all off the ground (and it never works the first time and you have to do it 8 bagillion times). Me jumping up in the air giving a thumbs up with some word art at the bottom saying “thanks!” Thanks dude for your epic awesomeness. I dedicate a pair of socks to be rocked by you so I can say “Kiko Dudley rocks my socks!”
Your cookies are amazing, but your kindness shows them up. Thanks Christina for thinking of me and for that which you contributed. Christina, I don’t know how you do it, but you have the heart of a giant. You are one of the nicest people that I have met here in this “short sojourn of life.” The Lord loves you more than I love skittles (and that is a freakin’ TON trust me). Keep on “pwning” life as we know it. You may be graduated by the time I get back, so lets just set a time to chill in the Celestial Kingdom:D Thanks Christina for your bombdigness, your love, and your example:D
Thanks for being awesome. I realize you still have hard feelings and all about me being a better DM than you at D&D, but keep on practicing and you will get as good as me one day. Ha no just kidding-thanks though. When I come back Ill give you a big hug…if 1)you don’t have a husband, and 2)if you even want one haha but I think I know you enough to say you will pass on that one so this will have to do. Thanks dude for remembering the annoying Jake that always bugged you…and smelled sometimes…and dominated you at Tae Kwon Do:D By the way, I hear you are being published in a biology magazine. Is this true? Holy cow dude, someone is one smart cookie. You can probably, like, biogenically create children in a petree dish huh? Awesome. I want five. Kidding kidding but seriously-thanks.
4)Casie Ashton Purdeu
Man I thought I had finally gotten rid of you…boy how I was wrong. Haha no, but thanks dude. I got your dear elder the other day (thanks for bring up the 35 page thing. Some other sister read it and totally chastised me about it…thanks:/) and urge you (exhort even. Mmm…that FLOWS off the tongue… “I exhort you…”) to continue your preparation for a mission. But, realize that things happen for a reason, and maybe there is some event coming up in the near future (next year or so) that you cant afford to miss. Who knows? I definitely don’t, but He does. Keep on keepin’ on. PS-I hope to see you married to that cat you keep hanging out with…what is his name? Edgar? Ethan? Ethiopia? Ethoperdinkle? I don’t remember, but I sense love in the air. Mmm Hmm. Gift of discernment kicking in…yep. Haha thanks Casie:D Oh and prepare yourself for a marathon cause when I get back im gonna destroy you once and for all.
5)Parents of she who is known as Chelsea (no middle name) Andrus-
Dear Parents of she who is known as Chelsea (no middle name) Andrus-
I continue to be amazed at the kindness and love that you all show me even after I have relocated myself 9500 miles away from you(that would take 98.9588 straight days to row in a rowboat!). Thank you all for everything you have sent and helped Chelsea with. I feel so privileged to be receiving such things when all I did was take your daughter out to Outback a few times (it was delicious)…oh and draw on a tshirt with a marker for Valentines day (it looked like a 3 year old did it-trust me). Thank you all for your continual support of me and my current…doings (is that the right word? It is in Tagalog, but my brain is jumbled up from all the rules and laws of tagalog…kind of pathetic-I know) You guys are awesome and Sister Andrus, you make amazing cinnamon rolls holy cow. Yea, uh, brace yourself Cinnabon- crippling competition is comin’ you way!! Thank you all again.
6)CEO of Fujifilm
Dear CEO of Fujifilm-
I am grateful that you made a charger that will work in America and in the Philippines. This way I don’t need a 45 kg power converter that is cheap and wont work and end up amplifying the power and destroying my awesome new battery charger. Thanks-you rock my socks…even though in real life you are probably some prideful puffed up jerk who would rather get his paycheck than feed starving children in Siberia…but if you aren’t then props to you Mr. CEO-you’re awesome!!
You’re awesome, you’re amazing. I would drop a fat insert right here, but it will just go in my next letter haha so give me 2 and a half weeks and you will have it in your hands:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
Ps-stop stealing my love sac ya butt
So, I will hope that the appropriate person will see that each person (except the CEO guy-I don’t want to get sued) gets their little chunk of my email (*ahem* Chelsea that’s you dude!). Thankssssss!!!!!
So, that is that. Yesterday I was at ate Snookies house when I saw something that most definitely was NOT cool. There, sitting on her shelf, was that stupid breaking dawn book in the twilight series (the one that has the chess piece). I was like what in the WORLD is this doing here do NOT read this garbage, it is the dumbest story ever and ate Snookie was like I don’t read it-my husband does-he’s obsessed with it, he even reads it in the bathroom. Wow. First off TMI. Second off STOP. Twilight is the worst possible series one could read. Have I ever read it? Heck no. Am I ever gonna read it? HECK NO. It just looks dumb. That is my official political opinion about that matter. In the words of Opa-“The chief has spoken!”
This Saturday is Ate Snookie’s baptism so I am way excited for that, and next Saturday is another cool kids baptism. I am way stoked for all of them cause I am really close to all of them and am excited to see them start the long long journey on the straight and narrow path. The father of Kuya Rexan Jay has a daughter who is gonna be rolling in money here in a bit. She graduated with her bachelors here from one of the most prestigious schools in the Philippines then went to the University of Connecticut and is about to graduate there with her bachelors in Chemistry and will start her masters program right away-on track to get her doctorates in 5 years. Man. A Doctorates in Chemistry. Holy cow.
How is Brady doing? His birthday is coming up here in a little bit. Tell him happy birthday from me on Saturday. Tell him he better stinking email me back or I am gonna take a trike and ride over to Utah and kick his butt.
I think that is all for now. I probably forgot some things, but I will remember them sometime throughout the week…then forget them again and not tell you guys-that is usually what happens. Please tell Brady happy birthday for me. Please tell both sets of grandparents and steve that I say hi!!!
Love you all
Again-HAPPY BIRTHDAY B-RIZZ!!!!!PSS-you all had better be taking video with moms video camera and putting it on my 2 memory cards. Mom, take video of brady's birthday and put it on there as well. Or, you can take a video and send it to me through the email. Whatev-just please send me my memory cards soon!!!