Monday, April 26, 2010

Letter of Domination

Dear Family-

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…

1)Kiko Dudley

Dear Kiko-

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!”

2)Christina Richardson

Dear Christina-

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

3)Heather Tarbet

Dear Heather-

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

Dear Casie-

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!!

7)Chelsea Andrus

Dear Chelsea-

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




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!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Dear Family-

This week has definitely been something to reckon with. I have stories out the yin-yang, but I am gonna cut them short because I don’t want to spend 43 hours in the internet café (though it is air conditioned which is kind of nice…and it has a strange fruity aroma…). I think my journeys start with the realization that I learned something valuable this week. I have 2 stories that I am gonna tell, and they all seem to relate to one another. So…off to the DeLorean where we are gonna travel back in time to that which is known as wednesdayyyyyy….

So, as I have said in my previous emails, every Wednesday is our district meeting. We hop a jeep-ney and take a nice ride to the area of the zone leaders, where we have district meeting, eat lunch, and then return a couple hours later (we leave at 9 an get back around 1). Well, once again as I have stated before, we have two sisters leaving tomorrow-one for Mindanao(an island down south) and one for saint george. We decided to have a family home evening (well, more like a family home afternoon) as kind of a going away thing for them so we left district meeting and headed back to the zone leaders apartment. Everywhere in the Philippines, there are stations called terminals. They hold the mass majority of the cities public transportation (busses, jeepneys, and trikes) in one convenient, highly accessible spot. We, as a zone, walked to the terminal and searched for a form of transport that could accommodate us all. We decided to go on trikes because they are 10000 times more convenient (even though they are more expensive). So, we split up and took the trikes. While we were waiting in line (the trikes line up kind of like people at an amusement park waiting for a ride-except they wait for the next person to come along) I happened to look over and saw something ill never forget. You know, people in America make fun of people who are homeless. I did it all the time-when a friend smells bad-“fool you smell bad, what-did you get in a fight with a hobo or something?” or you see someone sitting on the side of the road living, literally, in a box and you think “hey, that’s kind of nice…they don’t have to pay property tax…” but being homeless, or “pulubi” as its called here, is not only a difficulty, it is a way of life. As I was sitting in the terminal, I happened to see a pulubi walking up to the terminal where we were sitting-waiting to leave. He was filthy from head to toe, was wearing tattered clothing which was also dirty, had items ranging from insects to dirt to soda in his hair, and seemed to have, like 98 % of all the other homeless people, a mental disorder. He was carrying a stick with him, with which was being used to combat someone who, according to him, was talking to him. People in the Philippines are the most kind, caring, amazing people on the face of the planet…if you are normal. People with mental disorders are looked down upon and almost condemned, and being classified as a homeless person doesn’t help the persecution. The second he walked up people started yelling, and saying less than respectable things to him. He walked up to the trashcan, found some plastics (soda here is poured into small plastic bags so the glass bottles can be sent back to coke and refilled) that still had some drink in them, and emptied them into his mouth. After a little bit of digging, he decided that he wasn’t gonna find anything else and went on his way. The people continued to make fun of him even after he was out of their sight and I sat there and thought to myself-if only people understood. If only people understood that it doesn’t matter how crumpled, awkward, misshapen, pathetic, broken, or useless our earthly tabernacle is-the soul kept within is invaluable to the Lord. As I was sitting there thinking about how, despite his maladies, his defects, and his rather appalling appearance, the Lord still loves him and wants him to be able to return to live with him. Almost instinctly the stereotypical missionary scripture started playing over and over in my head:

“Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God” (D&C 18:10)

That experience burned an image in my mind that I will never forget. Why do we mock, scorn, and ridicule others when we ourselves are no better than they to begin with? I don’t know…such is life but that is what I am trying to fix. Yet another solution the gospel offers. I think it’s safe to say that, besides locking your keys in your house (doors don’t care if you rebuke them or not…they stay shut good and tight), and getting food poisoning from a moldy hot dog, the gospel can, and will, fix every problem in due time.

The second experience happened in a place called Ti-Bag. It is one of our areas hidden away from the city. You have to walk through zig-zagging, up, down, left, right, forwards, backwards ally-ways in order to reach this community situated next to a river. Last Tuesday or so we had rain noah and the flood style here and it (meaning Ti-Bag) flooded out. We went there for some appointments the day after it rained and people still had a good 12 inches of rain inside their houses (the actual ground level of the house is a few feet down into the ground) which they were desperately trying to get out. Well, Elder Duco and I went to Ti-Bag to our first appointment-punted. So, heads held high, we went to our next appointment-hung over. Vodka is really cheap here so people buy bottle after bottle,get smashed, pass out, then do it again (im pretty sure that is the Webster’s definition of “success”…). Anyways, we decided to go tracting until our next appointment. As we were walking some old dude (who was probably drunk) started screaming hey joe at me so I entertained him for a little bit before continuing onwards…only to find that I had no companion. I was like what in the world where did that kid go? I went down the next closest allyway to find him sitting next to a well staring in a hut (I say hut cause that is the only way to describe it-it was pretty much a few cinderblocks for walls, and some siding for its roof. It couldn’t have been bigger than 8’ x 5’. I was like wow, way to leave me with the drunk guy who almost beat me with his vodka bottle but Elder Duco didn’t respond. It was then that I literally had my heart shattered to a million pieces. Sitting in front of me on a few sheets of awkwardly placed simulation tile flooring was a small child-no older then the age of 5. I immediately could tell that something wasn’t right with him because 1)of the way he was sitting, and 2)because of his frame. He, like every other Filipino child, was skin and bones…except for his stomach. The only way to describe it was he looked like a pregnant little kid. His arms, and legs were pencil width, but his stomach was the size of a basketball. One of his eyes was, if you will, flesh-welded shut, and the other was barely open. His diaper, judging from the way his excrements had sifted their way through the interior lining and, in so doing so, had soiled the outside layer completely, needed to be changed a few days ago. His skin was filthy-demonstrating the fact that he, along with his diaper, needed to be cleaned a few days ago. I slowly approached him-analyzing the situation and searching for ways that I could offer any forms or help to this small helpless being-and he started to cry. The second he started to cry I knew something was more than wrong. It wasn’t the sad cry, the hungry cry, or the needing a parental figure cry, but a extremely painful, agonizing cry implying that he needed something fixed. Out of the small corner came this little girl, no taller than a car tire, and no heavier than 40 pounds to comfort the child who was crying. It was evident that the child was scared of us because she hadn’t come out before when I said something to Elder Duco. She was dressed in rags from head to toe, and, like her younger brother, was absolutely cruddy. She comforted the child and picked him up…and my jaw dropped. I think the correct medical term is cystic fibrosis (of course I haven’t had any medical education since senior year of high school…)-the situation that arises when a child, still growing inside the mother, develops a bubble on its spinal column. It seemed, from what I witnessed, that this small child had something similar to that condition. When the small girl picked him up, he was turned around-his back to me, and I saw that he had a wound about 5” wide, and a good 14” high, running from his neck to where his coccyx is. In the middle of his back there was a bubble of flesh a good 5” high and about an inch and a half wide. It was a weird color and was protruding out from his back. There were long black hairs growing out from the wounds on his back that most definitely shouldn’t have been there-they were…almost unnatural. His spinal cord curved in a weird shape and at spots was protruding out a good inch or so. He had some form of a disease that had eaten away his skin to what looked like the bone in a (once again estimated) 4” x 4” patch on the top of his head. I stood there in complete awe not knowing what to think. I approached the small girl, kneeled down so we were eye to eye, and asked her how old she was. She replied in a half scared, half weaked voice-eight. I asked her how old her brother was and she told me that he was four. I asked her where her parents were and she told me that they weren’t there. Her mother had left, and her father was somewhere else. I asked her if what was wrong with her brother and she told me that she didn’t know, but the way that she said it made it sound like she was holding back tears. I asked her if she had any food in her house, she told me no. I asked her if they had diapers, she told me she didn’t know. I asked her if they were hungry…she lowered her head (barely looking at me through her bangs with her enormous eyes) and merely nodded. At this point I was practically in tears. How could this have happened? Where were the parents? I told her to stay there and that I would return in 10 minutes. Elder Duco and I set off to the nearest store to buy them some provisions. After I left the hospital when I had my toe taken care of, I forgot to take my spending money out of my wallet (conveniently…) so I amazingly had tons of money sitting there at my disposal. I bought them rice, topping, water, diapers, and snacks, and returned in a hurry. I kneeled down again to be at her height and laid down the food, water, and diapers in front of her. I told her that the rice and chicken was for her to eat now. If she was still hungry, to eat the chips, and other things that I bought. I told her that I bought the diapers so the little boy would have something clean to change into when, or if, the parents returned. The second I put the stuff down, two more kids appeared out of nowhere-her two other siblings who had been hiding. They were no older than 6. They immediately began feasting as if they had never tasted anything so delicious. I have never seen people eat that fast in my life. I bought enough food and water for 3 people, not for four. Elder Duco and I left and I bought some more food to accommodate the fourth child, and we returned. What I saw once again made me fight tears. That sweet, amazing little girl-the one who took the responsibility over the others-was sitting there holding her four year old younger brother in her arms, and feeding him the food that I had bought them. They had split the food up into 3-one for the afflicted child, and one for each of the two that had appeared after I set the food down…leaving no for the small, fragile girl. This little girl of only eight years of age, who hadn’t eaten in who knows how long had sacrificed her meal-possibly the first hot meal she had eaten in a while (they didn’t have a gas stove)- to make sure her hungry younger brother could have something to eat, and the little boy couldn’t have been eating out her hands faster. Four small children fighting for their own in a world that is more than unforgiving to those that need help. As Elder Duco and I were sitting there kneeling next to them watching them eat this food, their mother returned…carrying an infant no older than a couple months in her arms. I stood up and introduced myself and told her not to worry-we just thought that they had no one living there with them. I asked her if she had a job and she told me she didn’t. I asked her where her husband was and she told me that he was in another part of the Philippines working as a trike driver. I asked her what was wrong with her child and she took him to the hospital, but that she couldn’t get anything fixed because it costs money…something she doesn’t have. I told her that there were fresh diapers there waiting for her to use, and that we would be on our way. I learned something that day-something about the true meaning of sacrifice. Who would of thought that a small 8 year old girl performing such a simple act could have opened up doors for me that I never knew existed. How grateful I am for the opportunities that I am given all day everyday to help those “…out in the desert [wandering], hungry and helpless and cold…” (only from one of the most amazing hymns ever-“Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd”). Life is awesome!

That is how life goes here in Calamba. Ha the other day I saw some kids bridge jumping off of a bridge that is a good 40-50 feet high into 7 feet of water haha. I don’t remember what I have been saying about Ate Snookie, but let me clarify if I have confused you all. The missionaries first started teaching her on May 5, 2009. Every time that they offered her a baptismal goal date, she rejected it saying she wants to know “everything” before she accepts. After close to a year of teaching, we extended her a baptismal goal date yesterday and she finally accepted. I also ran into a gate the other day. My arm still hurts. Don’t ask why I did it, I swear it came out of nowhere…stupid gate. We are teaching this lady who is determined to listen to us. Her husband is a member of Iglesia Ni Cristo and if the members find out that his wife is taking our lessons he will get ex-communicated so that is kind of cool. We literally have to be stealth masters in order to teach her haha. I made a BIG tagalog mistake this week. One that, if I had thought about what I was going to say before I said it, wouldn’t have happened (me speaking before I think?…poppycock). I was sitting down last p-day playing chess (exciting right?) with another elder when this girl wearing a “I’m sweet” shirt came and sat down next to us and started talking to us. She was 15 so I decided to joke around with her. I asked her in Tagalog if she was sweet…but I mistranslated in my head sweet as in personality for sweet tasting. After I said it everyone turned to me and started staring. I was like what in the world, why are all these random people staring at me…do I have a zit or something…after we left all the elders came up to me and asked me what I said. I told them and they just laughed. I was like why are you fools laughing? They told me that I basically asked if she was a prostitute and showed interest in her. Wow. Probably one of the biggest mistake I have made in my life. The sad part about it is that I didn’t even know what I said until people came and told me. Such is the life of an American in the Philippines:/ One of life lessons I had to learn I guess…

So, onto the dirty details about the package of mystery that I received. Maraming salamat po sa inyo lola para say yun kabaitan po ninyo na ipinakita ni’yo sa ‘kin. Grandma was the one who sent it. It was an easter package. I am writing her and grandpa Muller another letter here in which I will respond to what she sent me. In addition to what I will send, please tell her that I am extremely grateful for her kindness and love. The contents were received with open arms (and an open mouth ah ha!). Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D :D :D

Wow, I cant believe that our call is getting so close. 3 weeks if my counter isnt off. I am gonna call you all on my p-day early in the morning so it will be evening there. Yes, I am gonna use skype, and I haven’t decided if I am gonna use the telephone feature and call the house, or just web cam it up in dis piece!! Web camming would be a gillion times cooler cause I would be able to see you all. Please get a better web cam, or figure out my xbox cam. The one you used last time was absolute garbage-like I cam draw pictures clearer than what I was seeing. Please get that taken care of. I am way excited for such a thing. I cant believe that I get to see you all haha exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!

Transfers are quickly approaching. Transfer day is a day of happiness, and a day of broken hearts. Elder Duco and I have SO much fun rocking Calamba 2 with our skills. Ha I love that guy like he was my own brother. He is being transferred though. I have a hunch that something is gonna happen at transfer day so we will see. I am not gonna say anything though cause there is no wood in this internet café to knock on. We will see what happens. But, who God calls he qualifies right? Only time will tell.

Where are Aunt Laura and her fiancé getting married? Did you find a chapel? Man, awesome times. It’s a shame im not out there to see it happen, but hope they understand (especially seeing as mike is a stinkin’ rm. Speaking of which, what mission did he serve in?) I expect a wedding invitation haha. Man, that is awesome that Aunt Laura found someone to rock life with!!!

Man, that is awesome that you are in Williamsburg. Head over to Busch Gardens haha!! Please tell Grandma and Grandpa Muller hi from the Philippines for me. I am anxious to hear how they are doing. Haha green is definitely a word to describe the east coast…but I will have to admit-the Philippines shows the east coast up in greenness haha. Palm trees, rice fields, coconut trees, and mountains covered in even more trees every square inch. I hope your east coast encounters are bomb dig!!! I also cant believe that I have almost been out for 8 months. Holy cow. Time flies. Sister Clayton hops on a plane tomorrow and heads for utah. I was talking with her and she told me that she will be in Utah at 10 pm on your Tuesday. DANG. Hearing thing like that makes me a wee bit trunky im not gonna lie, but no worries!!

Sige, so time to go rock life. I love you all and hope you all are doing amazing. This was kind of a me telling you everything and not responding email-sorry. Ill bail on experiences this week so I have time to respond haha!! Love you all tons!!!!!



Ps-tell Chelsea congrats from me about the internship. Diligence in the flesh:D!! (Dont ask any questions...)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Days

Dear Family-
Like I mentioned in my last letter, I really haven't acquired any bomb diggity stories. I have had the normal mission life-absolute amazingness!!!! Disappointments and excitements, as normal, are a rollercoaster filled with ups and downs. Yesterday was kind of a big disappointment though. Obviously, conference here is shown the weekend after it actually happens. Well, Elder Dookie thought that conference was from 9-12 on Sunday and that is it so I missed the first two sessions, and priesthood, but I brought people closer to Christ so I guess that is what matters. Plus I’m just gonna read the Liahona anyways so it’s not like it’s the end of the world. Man, there were tons of talks about parenting though. I’m not gonna lie, it got me really excited to become a dad…but that is a bit aways yet. It was still way cool. We had some investigators come to the stake center to watch conference though so that was a way cool experience. We went to Snookie later that day and asked her how it was and she said it was an awesome experience…except for the english. I was kind of taken aback because she is the registrar for the University of the Philippines and she is really good with english. I was like oh really well, why was it hard for you to understand? They had a Tagalog room in the stake center you know and she was like oh really? Well, the english was really really deep. Haha amen to that sister. Going from speaking Tagalog to listening to people speak that have doctorates was a BIG change. But it was cool. Ate Snookie is one of the coolest people I have ever met. She doesn’t want to accept a baptismal goal date until she has been taught all the missionary lessons (including lesson 5) but up until now she hasn’t received all the lessons. She tells missionaries that and they bail on her before she has a chance to progress. She has been going to church now for more than 6 months and still hasn’t been baptized. She never lets us down when we leave a reading assignment with her. Man, it is awesome to see the twinkle in her eyes when the spirit touches her heart. How awesome is it that every day I get to go to people melancholy and off their game and offer them a message to keep them up up up in a down down world. I feel as if I should introduce myself as “Hi, im elder Muller. This is my companion Elder Duco, and we are giving out free hope!” Hope. What an awesome concept. We also went to Ate Irene Saturday and went over testimonies. There is A LOT of support here from ward members regarding new baptisms (meaning there’s gonna be tons of people at her baptism) and she is getting nervous about it. So, as an example Dookie and I bore our testimonies. A testimony is “[a] solemn attestation as to the truth of a matter
.” I love that statement. Not a solemn attestation as to the ‘I think’ of a matter. I am so glad that the Lord has helped my testimony pump some iron and bulk up. Pure sickness!!!!! My gospel knowledge, and my testimony have exploded. I have decided that…I am gonna extend my mission another 2 years cause being a missionary is possibly the best “profession” in the world!!!!!!!!!! I don’t think the mission president in 2011 will be too happy with that…but I just wont tell him:/

Today I went to the hospital to get my stupid toe taken care of. It was the weirdest shiz that I have ever been in. Like, talk about labyrinth holy cow. We went in and asked the billing section where the general doctor that could perform a 8 minute procedure was and she said 3103. So, using common sense we went to the third floor. Yea, wrong. Turns out 3 means 3rd building and then 1 is the floor and 03 I the room number. So, we searched with all our heart might mind and strength for the room and eventually found it. There was a nurse sitting outside the door with a “the doctor is out” sign. Turns out he was in his office texting his friends. So, we told her my situation and we went in. I was like so can you do this now, like an in and out sort of thing and she was like yep. I was like how much and she was like one five (meaning 1500 pisos…or 30 bucks. 30 Bucks to get an ingrown toenail removed. Amazingness!!) I was like ok lets show this rebel toe whose boss. So we walked back to where the doctor was and the nurse was like ok lay down on the bed. I laid down…failure. The bed was fit for a Filipino meaning it was like 5’long. My leg extended into the sink across from the bed. So, she had me bend my leg and put a poster under my foot to collect the excess iodine. Haha this is where it gets good. The doctor came and numbed me in the base of my toe. He poked the top where the ingrown part was and he was like did that hurt? Uh…yes it stinking hurt dude, you flippin numbed up 2 inches below the top of my toe. So he numbed me up again…and again…and again…and again until I practically couldn’t recognize that I had metatarsels. He was like does it hurt at the base? No it doesn’t hurt at the base, you just injected 575 ccs of Lidocaine

into my foot…everywhere EXCEPT the toe that hurts. So he started to pluck the toe out. Oh wait, the top of my toe STILL wasn’t numb. I was like WOW HOLY COW I CAN FEEL YOUR CREEPER METAL THING. He was like oh…uh ok hold on. Then he numbed me up and was done in like two seconds. Haha he was a really really nice guy I just thought that it was funny that he spent the time to numb up my foot everywhere except where he should have ha. We talked while we were waiting for the anesthesia to set in and we talked about Utah and college and snow. He was a cool guy so I am grateful that he was willing to do it on his break and only charge me 1500 for it. Excluding the waiting for the lidocaine to set in, it only took like 5 minutes. Thank you AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. There was a small problem after though. We sat in the office and chatted for a little bit after I was done, and then we left. I hadn’t taken 100 steps when everything wore off and it wasn’t the happiest I have been. I hobbled across 2 (5) lane highways to get to Mercury Drug to get my pain killers which was NOT fun, but now I am ready to rock!!!

We went to Pizza Hut the other day inside the mall with two other elders and the sisters and afterwards chilled inside the mall for a bit. Outside of the movie theater there were previews playing for upcoming movies like iron man 2, clash of the titans, and a whole bunch of Filipino movies and the movie line up looked INTENSE. Tell brady to visit Let him read that web address and he will know EXACTLY what I am talking about. Have him read it as soon as you can. I saw what he will see and I was like oh SNAP where in the world is B-Rady he HAS to see this in dis piece. Speaking of which, how is that punk doing;) We went to this appliance store and I found a rice cooker that could hold like 60 cups of rice. Yea…only in the Philippines!!!!

Today we went to these waterfalls. It was pretty cool, the falls were like 100 feet high, but it was a tourist trap with a bagillion people over there and people walking around asking money for entrance and use of tables and stuff so we bounced way quick, but it was a cool experience anyways. The creation is such an amazing thing. I find it funny that people need miracles to produce faith (although it is made clear MANY times in the scriptures that faith precedes the miracle) when all they need to do is look around and see their surroundings. In the celestial kingdom, at Celestial Kingdom University, I hope they have World Creation 1500 cause it cant be an easy thing:/

That is bomb dig that you got to speak with mike finally. I hope he was a nice guy and everything went well! I hope you told Aunt Laura that I said hi.

By the way, I have been forgetting to tell you this for awhile. I don’t remember if I emailed it to you or not so ill just address it again. I asked president about picking me up. He said that you are more than welcome to come pick me up. We would stay in the mission home at no extra cost and there is a stake president in the San Pablo stake that will drive us anywhere in the Philippines for 1K (20 bucks) a day. If we need to stay in a hotel we will need to pay for his hotel room but other than that…yea. That’s the lowdown. So, its up to you all. If you remember me speaking about Nanay Ramos, she still isn’t sealed to her husband (he died 10 years ago) and the temple trips are extremely expensive so I wanted to take her to the temple, and although I couldn’t act as a proxy for her husband, I could still pay for her trip. She is beyond poor, and giving her a chance to go to the temple would probably be the best thing I could ever give to anyone. If you guys don’t pick me up, im just gonna take the money out of my account and mail it to her. She was like another grandmother to me and it would be the least that I could do for her, but that is still awhile away. Yea, so you can pick me up, we can stay in the mission home, and we have a driver for 1000 a day. So…free lodging, the whole family being able to eat for less than 3 dollars a meal, and a personal tour guide for 20 bucks a day…plus an insanely awesome translator;) That is the deal. But…in my opinion, camping in the Tetons when I get back seems much more desirable. I will return to the Philippines with my wife someday-that’s the deal.

By the wayyyyyyyyyyy I finally got my package!! Except I haven’t opened it yet. The APs dropped it off at the sisters apartment cause they came to go waterfall it up with us earlier so I haven’t seen it, I don’t know who its from, its size, color, shape, smell, or chemical make up so…uh…thank you to whoever sent it. Haha I obviously am gonna address that matter of business after I open it, but yea, to the sender my love and gratitude is given. We are gonna go over there later tonight and get it so…next pday ill reveal all the silly details. One of the sisters here-sister Clayton, and I have become really good friends and she leaves next Wednesday. She arrives in Salt Lake City at 10pm Wednesday night then takes another plane to saint George. Haha that is gonna be the longest plane ride of her life. There is another sister going home in our zone and I was talking to her and they are both scared out of their minds to go back home. They say when you are in the mission you naturally count down until you get to go back home, but when it nears you dread the day. Sister Clayton is gonna transfer to BYU and restard her biomedical engineering degree cause she said she has forgotten everything ha. That is INSANE that she is gonna be in Utah in a week and a half. Wow. One day that will come haha. You will be reading “well, ill see you all in a week and a half!!”

But, yea. That is the life of Elder Muller. Same old same old. Kuya Rexan Jay’s baptism is quickly approaching but we feel he isn’t ready so we are gonna either postpone his date or double time our efforts to see whats going on. But yea. I hope you are all doing amazing there in Utah. I learned to say we love you in different dialects here today. Obviously, Tagalog is Mahal Namin Kayo, but there is also gihigugma tamo(visaya), ayayaten kayo amin(ilocano), kaluguran da kayu ngan(pangalalato), and palangga namin kayo(kampangpangan). The parenthesis has the dialect. There are over 150 different dialects here in the Philippines…im glad I only have to learn Tagalog:/

Love you all like that silly rabbit loves trix



Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy Easter!

Sorry that I didn’t email you last Monday. This week is zone conference throughout the mission, and it is also the week president’s family decided to fly over and visit him. My zone conference day is Thursday, but president moved it to Monday because his family is flying in today!! So, today is my pday and then I get another pday again on Monday ha!! So, do I have some crazy stories accumulated from 10 days of proselyting for the lord? Uh, you better believe it!!! I will relay them first, cause they aren’t…as boring as my other ones!!

So, we found out at zone conference that one of our sisters in our zone is in the hospital. No one knew about it until yesterday. So, we asked what happened and apparently when she was walking her appendix randomly burst which, we all know, is NOT the best thing to have happen. So, she booked it to the hospital, and she got it taken out. Yesterday was Wednesday, thus we went to the zone leaders area to have our district meeting. Afterwards we went to the hospital and visited with her which was kind of bittersweet. We had to go in groups of 5 so we wouldn’t disturb her, so when it was my turn to go I went up and was talking to her. I asked her where her appendix was cause I wanted to make it into a wallet like the frog wallets here, and elder Kitzmiller said he wanted it to make it into a keychain. BIG mistake. She started laughing and then started balling. I was like what in the world why is this woman crying and then I realized it-she has 30 stitches in her side…let alone no appendix. She would laugh, and then cry because of the pain. Then she would remember what was said and start laughing again and then start crying. It was horrible…but kind of funny at the same time. She heads off to Manila here in a bit to the MRC (missionary recovery center) for about a week-until she is back on her feet.

I also had a little run in with some people that really made me hate that thorn in everyone’s side called pride. It started with this Canadian guy. Elder Duco went back for a return appointment in one of our areas (to get punted:/) and found out that this Canadian guy was in the house of this member. I asked if I could go down and talk to him and they said yes. Now, I had no idea what to expect because the last time I had come buy he was completely drunk…like beyond recognition. I walked downstairs and saw him sitting there and was kind of taken aback. I don’t know, maybe it is because I haven’t seen chest hair in a while, but this man was rockin it gorilla style. He had his shirt unbuttoned down to his bellybutton (uh, where are we? Woodstock?) and literally looked like santa clause. That was my first thought-wow he can play santa clause. His beard was brown, as was his hair. That was the only exception. So, here is this enormous Canadian mountain man sitting in front of me. I started talking to him and I must say he might have been one of the most uneventful conversations EVER. You know those people who have NO personality? He couldn’t talk about anything. I had to ask where he lived, what his job is, how weather in Canada is…etc. etc. Like honestly? He didn’t even ask me why I was here. The tv was on so he spent half the time speaking to me, and the other half watching the tv. Nothing I said could get him engaged in conversation. Man oh man that is way sad. How can you not have any personality? How can you just be some butt sitting on a couch with nothing that makes you different from anyone else (besides the fact that you can play santa clause perfectly). It was a surprisingly disappointing hour. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, as we were talking he got up and started chowing on Spaghetti. What in the world? Where did that spaghetti even come from-it just like spawned from the wall or something. Stop eating such a thing and talk to me. But, its ok. He did have a cool job though. He was from quebec, quebec and drove a horse drawn carriage. So, this kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, but it was nothing compared over the next few days.

One of the following nights Duco and I were coming back from an appointment when we passed this American guy sitting on his minivan. I said hi as I passed, and then decided to go back and talk to him. I approached him and was like hi, where are you from? He was like jersey. I was like oh really, what are you doin here in the Philippines? He was like I live here, and then was like THIS IS MY HOUSE and made it a habit of pointing out that he lived in this enormous mansion behind us. I was like oh…cool…thanks for showing me that. That was like our whole conversation. What is up with these old guys that cant talk to anyone? I was like so…what was your job back in the states and he was like transportation. I was like oh really? That’s cool, like trucks, or trains, or what? He was like trains…I was the boss. The way that he said I was the boss made me want to throw up. Like he said it in the “envy me and all my money” way. I decided that it was going to be an epic fail trying to talk to him, so I turned to his daughter and started talking to her. She was raised in new jersey so she was fluent in English and she was like this is my boyfriend and this is my cousin. Her hands went at 322 mph, so I didn’t get who was who, and so I asked her to repeat it and she got all mad and did the exhale HHHHhhhhhhh. Apparently I was speaking taglish cause someone asked me if I spoke tagalog and I said yes so we started talking and about 20 seconds in my conversation the guy and his daughter were like ok we are leaving bye. They stormed past me into their van. They didn’t shake my hand, they didn’t say anything to me, they just left. Their whole tone of voice, the way they looked at me like “who is this guy? Where is his money?” It was disgusting. I was like oh…ok…well bye bye and elder duco came back up to me and was like he was solid pride wasn’t he and I was like holy cow man how could you tell did you understand us and he was like no, but I understood the tone that he was using. I told him that I was gonna change my skin color and become a Pilipino cause they live in humbling circumstances (with this said, the rich are still prideful). I am glad that I am becoming a teacher and will never be rich (especially if I live on the east coast) cause it seems as if (for the most part if you aren’t LDS) in America, the richer you are the more of a prideful stuck up jerk you are. I don’t know, from every single American that I have talked to here that is what the mentality is. Like, you Pilipinos are no where near as rich as I am-I am above you in intelligence, and happiness. No wonder no one here likes Americans.

Last last Wednesday (as in like 2 Wednesdays ago) after district meeting we decided to go to walter mart (basically a mall…that has dunkin donuts and ipods insideJ) to eat. Lo and behold I saw yet another American. So, I decided to go and talk to him. I walked up to him and asked where he was from and he said Louisiana. I started talking to him, and it turns out he met this girl (he is like 55 and she was like 42) on facebook and is gonna marry her (can we say marriage security?). There was something he said that almost made me just turn around and walk away. He was like “you know, I haven’t seen any ‘blacks’ here” I could tell by the way that he said “blacks” that he wasn’t a normal person, and then he was like “yea, I kind of like it.” Are you serious? Who are you to sit here and tell me that a man, just because of the color of his skin, is any different than you? Who are you to sit here and here and tell me that someone, because of the color of their skin, should be denied something? Gotta love racial intolerance. Man, I wanted to smack that man…but I didn’t. I just said adieu and went on my way.

So, those were my experiences with Americans this past little bit, oh and one Canadian. We are teaching these 4 kids in one of our areas and they are an emotional rollercoaster. I really really want them to be baptized because I see their potential, but they cant get over the fact that just because other people in the world do something, doesn’t mean its right. They have something that keeps disqualifying them from being baptized-their baptismal goal date has been postponed twice, and now has to be moved back 4 more weeks. Here, you have to attend church 4 times in a row because there are a lot of people who just want to get baptized because their friends are members, or because of the welfare program. Hopefully they will rock baptism here in a little bit. Snookie (that is her name) and Irene are running towards the finish line (or the starting line rather) so we are way stoked for that. Work here in Calamba 2nd ward is going swimmingly. I am kind of frustrated though because I have this feeling that things aren’t gonna work out with conference so and I will only get to watch a little part of it. Elder Duco told me that we were gonna watch conference from 9-12 this coming up Saturday…and that is it. Call me crazy…but I think there are a little more than 3 hours of conference. Were there any new temples announced??? Man conference rocks my socks. Guess ill be spending my upcoming pdays watching conferenceJ

So mom, you went to your first business meeting being the bigshot eh? How was that? That is way way cool that you are now the person at the top. You know, Scott Bradford told me something that I never forgot. I was talking to him about leadership and he told me a story about one of the seniors that he had. He said “you know jake, you are a good senior [companion] if you don’t acknowledge that you are senior. You are a good junior [companion] if you DO acknowledge that you are a junior [companion].” Basically, humility is needed in leaders. Man, this is gonna sound REALLY stupid like DUH jake, but the Lord knows what he is doing when he calls leaders. You can tell it when he calls zone leaders. They have something special about them that the Lord can see. Basically mom, and I know you probably already do this, but don’t put yourself above those you work with. Richens (you might remember me saying something about him in one of my previous emails, was thrust into the zone leaders position because of the whole elder/his girlfriend situation in Lopez) back in the day didn’t get that theory and didn’t get along with our zone. But, you are gonna make a bomb leader-you made an amazing leader for our family!!!

Speaking of which, how are Scott, Monika, and Matthew doing? Is Kevin doin’ alright? Tell them I say hi and hope they are all doing well!!!

My Easter wasn’t anything other than a day of reverence for the resurrection. It was a day as normal as any other Sunday. I went on splits with our ward missionaries (ariel) didn’t sleep the night before so he didn’t teach at any of our lessons, but his presence was nice nonetheless. We went to this one investigators house and I got kind of flustered. Regarding the Sabbath, I have some “weird” views. I don’t buy things on the Sabbath. If I know that the thing that you are about to provide me was bought on the Sabbath (i.e soft drinks, bread, snacks) I wont eat it cause, to me, that is kind of supporting the breaking of the Sabbath. Well, we were at this house and ariel told the family that I was hungry because I had been fasting and so they gave him money and he, my ward missionary, went and bought food on the Sabbath. Yea, its not the end of the world, but it was for me. To me, the Sabbath is a VERY sacred day. So, he bought it back and the sister got out sandwhich spread and I told her sister do NOT make me a sandwhich. I am not hungry and I am NOT going to eat, do you understand what I am saying? She said yes, and for verification I turned to ariel and I was like did I say that right and he was like yea, why? I was like ok, just making sure there was no mistake. She made me some sandwhiches. She was like eat elder, eat! I was like what in the world dude, I just told you like 20 seconds ago that I did NOT want you to make me food. Then she and her roommate person dude got all mad at me. Its like listen ya butts, to me it is more important keeping the Sabbath day holy than not offending you. Im sorry that I wont go against the doctrine that I teach and give you my support for breaking the Sabbath. So, that was kind of a mind wrencher, we left with a less than welcome kick out the door. But, easter is easter. It is a special day in itself. Man, look at you guys. I completely forgot about ham. I actually have a question, and don’t make fun of me for it. I have eaten rice every day for the last 5 months…what do Americans eat daily? People ask me and I am like well of course we eat…uh…stuff. I cant for the life of me remember what we eat besides skittles and mike and ikes. Oh, and rachaels banana bread. Can you get that recipe by the way?? So, off of the tangents and back to your epic deliciousness. I hope it was nice. Easter is definitely an awesome time to spend with your family. We get to eat with members about 7 times a month. There is this one family that lives in a gated family (with a guard that always gives us a hard time when we try to get in. Yes, being missionaries we have bombs in our backpacks and we are gonna blow this place to new Hampshire) and are plain awesome. We went over to their place last night and had dinner…and watched the end of monsters inc and the beginning of open season on their Samsung hdtvJ They are awesome. There was this girl over there who gets married in the Manila temple next week. How absolutely AMAZING is that!!!!! I wanted to give her like the fattest hug and be like OH SNAP CONGRATS but a handshake had to do. The Cebu temple is close to being done with the dedication on June 14th so that is also way way cool. That is good that grandma and grandpa got to spend easter with you all. I hope you took pictures!!! Did you watch conference together? I hope you did!

I got my new pants-one pair in black and one pair in blue and they are a little…short. I asked the lady before I paid her that if they were short could I bring them back and have them redone and she said they aren’t short-they are an EXACT replica of my template. Yea, uh, FAIL. Elder Duco says I look like Michael Jackson cause they are practically skin tight, and they are…short(that is an understatement) but its all good, I wear them and represent my 900 piso transaction. They are made of this silk like material though so they are fun to rub cause they feel all weird haha. Weather is sticky hot. It is really miserable at night time cause the electric fans just circulate hot air so I have started opening the door downstairs and putting the fan in the doorway to pull in the cooler air from outside. Our apartment retains heat so when it is 70 degrees outside at nighttime, it is a good 85 inside. Probably weird for the passerbys seeing this fool American sleeping there in the doorway with the door wide open, but too bad for them, they shouldn’t look!! Luckilly we are in the hottest time right now so only 3 more months then its back to cool 82-85 degree weather!!!

Mom, I have a quick question. On both of my knees, it feels like something has exploded. The inside of my knees, like the right side of the left one, and the left side of the right one hurt when I walk, and when I exercise. Like, more than hurt, like HURT. Stupid knees. It was probably all that running I did before I left. Why did they randomly go yanus on me? Oh well life is life. My back is broken in 4 places, but the factory warranty will take care of that, and we are getting new mattresses here soon so that isn’t a problem. You wanna hear some fun news? Ha remember that ingrown toenail that I got “fixed” in Lopez? Well, its back and twice as deep. I get to go get that taken care of here in a little bit when I finally have time.

Man, I am stoked to hear about the whole mike situation. Tell Aunt Laura that I say hi. I forgot to tell you all to tell Grandpa Clark happy birthday so I hope you told him for me. Tell brady that I never said such a thing and that my xbox better still be kickin when I get back or metaphorical heads are gonna ROLL!!! I have a favor to ask. Can you go to best buy and get a webcam that is actually worthwhile so I can see you all mother’s day? If need be, ask aaron tracy to install it for you (and PLEASE GET ON MY COMPUTER like can you ask him when you read this and not keep it until a while off?). I really want to see you all and I felt like I was looking through the eyes of a drunk guy with that last video chat that we had. When you plug in my xbox camera, it should pull up the proper window to help you along with the download of the appropriate driver, but that’s not guaranteed. Can you get a cheap webcam? It would be cool to hook it up to your labtop, then take it through the house with youJJJJJ

Hmm…about the package thing. Within the past 2 weeks I have been FLOODED. I got like 15 dear elders dating back to march 7th (cool, I get them in April) and apparently there is a package waiting for me at the office so the next time I see the office elders I will receive such a thing. Like, im not even kidding, its dear elder central at our apartment. Guess its time to roll up someones sleeves and get to work responding:D Ill send my memory card when I get pictures. I only have like 40 so far.

I have one last story to tell you before I close my novel. Here in the Philippines homosexuals are almost as common as clouds. They are everywhere…especially in the hair cut places. Well, I went to get a hair cut today. I had been searching and searching for a place with a girl to do my hair because I didn’t want a man in a womans body stroking my head while they were cutting my hair. Well, I thought I had succeeded. I thought I had found the person to cut my hair. After searching and searching I walked into the hair cut place with my head held high and was excited to find that this person was there. They motioned for me to come over and sit down in the chair, which I did. I hate to say it, but having a girl do my hair just felt safe. Yea, uh turns out my hair cutter person wasn’t carly, they were carl. They looked like a girl, but had a voice deeper than mine. I give up. Elder Duco told me that they have a “language” where they use code words and stuff. I was typed as a “level 5” by him…her…that child of god. What that means, I have no clue, but that is what I am. It is a sad day because those who get sex changes aren’t allowed to get the priesthood, let alone get married in the temple so exhaltation is kind of out of the picture. I was thinking about that when…the person was cutting my hair. Tsk tsk. So, the next time you are in the Philippines and go to get a hair cut…don’t be surprised if the woman has a deeper voice than grandpa Muller.

Well, that is all. I will email you the trivial details of things that I have forgotten this coming up Monday. Tell Eric and Rachael hi from the Philippines. Tell them to tell Stefanie hi and to stay out of trouble! Tell the world that I say hi haha!!! Draw closer to the Lord this week. Remember, he said “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” I love you all and hope your days are filled with amazingness like Bavarians are filled with deliciousness.