Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Excited For General Conference!! Received 10-08-12


That is pretty freaking big news! (The Missionary changes announced in Conference by President Monson.) Really exciting to hear that the option has now been opened up for so many new people to serve missions.  Also pretty cool to hear that it's making Chelsey think about going on a mission.  Haha, when I read that, I thought about how cool it would be to be in the same mission with a family member.  Yup. That would be the bomb :)  Also pretty exciting for Jason AND Ashlyn and all of my friends that are still home.  By the time I get home there won't be ANY available girls my age and I'll be guaranteed my year or 2 of freedom and fun! :D  Woot! haha :o)

Well now I'm even more excited for conference :) (Conference is delayed a week for his mission) This is like waiting for a movie or a book to come out and hearing spoilers or getting hints of the best parts in the days before its release haha :)  It's good to hear that missionary work will be a BIG focus of it.  I remember a lot of the talks last October were about missionary work and I learned a TON from them.  Haha, you're awesome mom :))  I'm pretty sure you think and care about those I teach at least as much as I do :)  I'm hoping that I'll be able to hear things in Conference that will help a lot of our Investigators and Less-Actives here.  Thanks for giving me the heads up on all the best ones.  I'm really excited for the talk from Elder Hales and, of course, from Elder Holland.  I think I've heard a version of Elder Holland's talk before.  It's amazing and when he talks about how we should be committed to the Savior he's so powerful!  Can't wait :)

Hahaha, glad to hear that I haven't been TOTALLY replaced by the dog :)  MAN!  The Cartao family seems completely disinterested at this point.  The last 2 times we went to their house they said they were busy and that we should come back next time.  Lame sauce!  Oh well, I'm sure things will work out the way the Lord wants.  They live about a 15 or almost 20 minute walk from the church... Not too far for missionaries that have walked 5 km's back and forth to teach the Brillantes family before but must be pretty far for people that don't go any further than the school 3 minutes away very often.... Again.... LAME SAUCE! :P

Well....... We didn't exactly make the pancakes and sausage.... but thanks! :o)  We went to a restaurant at a hotel/resort that was surprisingly nice for the Philippines.  The food tasted pretty good too :)  Too bad all we could do with the swimming pool was stare and wish :o)  We almost took a tour of the rooms just for fun, and to get pics to send home but decided not to.

Glad to hear Kylee had fun at SUU! :D  Hope things continue to go well with her in drama and school.  Good to hear the band has gotten big enough for 5A too even though the competition's tougher.  Awesome that Ashlyn has a solo as a Sophomore! :D  How's that Hunter kid doing? :)  He's playing football and soccer right now right?  How's it going?

Here's some inspiration for the family's goal to do more missionary work!  I thought you'd like it. :)
In my last area (Batasan 2nd Ward, Fairview Stake) we were teaching a brother that had married into a Less-Active member family.  He was converted and ready to baptize but we weren't able to baptize him because he and his wife still had to get their papers together and get officially married for him to be baptized.  He referred his Aunt and her family to us to teach.  I was excited because it was a big family to teach but I thought that they were pretty set on being Catholic and that it wouldn't go too far.  Despite that, they loved having us over and listening to us.  After about 2 weeks I was transferred and didn't know if it would go anywhere, thinking they would just eventually be dropped.  Last week I was talking to the missionary that replaced me there, and almost the entire family has been baptized! :D
It showed me that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover.  We can't tell how far-reaching the effects of our good deeds will go before we even try.  So even though you might be scared or shy to share the gospel, even though you think because you live in Utah you can't do anything, and even if you think what you do is too small to make a difference God will make a difference in other people's lives because of the actions you take.  Go Powell Fam!!!!! :D
Notice the Christmas tree behind them?

Love ya tons mom! :)  Thanks for always being SOOOOOO supportive to all of us in all that we do.  Whether it be sports, band, theater, or missions you've always been there.  Love and appreciate ya :)
They start celebrating Christmas in September in the Phillipines.

P.S.-Haha, pretty funny to hear someone say they thought they were gonna die because of the weather.  Not because it was SUPER HOT.  But because they were freezing cold!  That sure doesn't happen here, haven't heard anyone say they needed a sweatshirt for a long time.  Pretty sure I'm gonna freeze to death next summer haha :)

P.P.S-The picture is with Don-Don Tolentino.  His Grandma and sister were baptized last year and hopefully we'll baptize him Oct. 27 with Aiza Sta. Maria.  Woot :)  Get this:  His name is Donald and his sister's is Daisy..... not sure if they like Disney or not though haha

Puppies/General Authority/Pancakes And Sausage? Received 10-01-12

Hiya Guys!
Scout with her puppy-dog eyes.

I've been replaced by a DOG?!?  Haha, just kidding.  She looks super cute right now, too bad I won't get home till she's just big and loud.  Haha, I thought you were gonna say that instead of bringing the dog in with her she went and slept in the garage with the dog :)  I'm sure she loves it to death.  Hahaha, you not only gave in to getting a dog but almost got 2?!  Haha, you really have lost your minds! ;)  Glad you're all having fun with the newbie.
Ashlyn with new puppy Scout

Yup, Elder Wu might transfer after all.  He doesn't seem too terribly discouraged.  He's been making progress with his Tagalog lately and his desire and effort to learn it have grown a lot since we became companions.  At the beginning of his mission he had a hard time with English but he's fluent now.  He carries around a small computer/dictionary for english but there isn't a Tagalog program for it.  No new news since the phone call last week.  I'm not sure if anything will happen or not.  We have interviews with President Sperry next Wednesday (Oct. 10) so maybe we'll find out more then.  Haha, the cute little puppies/kitties are at  the Sta. Maria and Velasquez houses.

Haha, I actually wrote a couple of letters this past week! :D  I'll try and get y'all one ASAP.

Brother Brillantes' work is starting again tomorrow.  Which is good cuz he's got work again but bad cuz he won't be able to come to church anymore... bummer.

Good to hear that Hunter's growing like a weed :)  Can't wait to play ball with him when I get back!  Hope things go well at Kylee's tryouts!  Haha, we actually ate PANCAKES and SAUSAGE earlier today!  Pretty good stuff, even better than top ramen! :o)

Nothing too exciting this past week.  Except for a surprise visit from a General Authority... Wednesday we got a text that the DL training meeting Thursday morning was cancelled and that the Area Presidency was coming to talk to the whole mission instead.  We were surprised at the suddenness, and all came up with fun theories as to what was going on.  The whole mission only got together once before and an Apostle came that time so we thought something like that might happen.
Nope. :)

Elder Nielsen of the 70 came to speak to us.  He told us he was sent by the 1st Presidency and Quorum of the 12 to resolve disobedience issues in our mission.  Yikes!  No fun after all.  He talked to us for about an hour and a half about being more dedicated to the Lord, secret combinations, and agency.  After that the whole mission waited in the chapel for 3 hours while he and President Sperry interviewed a bunch of  missionaries.  Yikes!
Elder Wu hanging on and resting at the same time.

Pretty sad stuff but no worries, we'll just keep working hard and not have to worry about disobedience in our mission anymore.  We were surprised at the suddenness of the meeting but it felt like something like that has been needed for a long time in our mission. There have been problems with disobedience over the past 5 months or so especially. So luckily Elder Nielsen came in and cleaned up.

I'll try and give ya an update on the Caratao family (Water lady) next week.  They've made a tiny bit of progress but don't wanna go to church :/
Da Beej

We've Run Out Of Epic P-Day Ideas, Can Anyone Help Us? Received 9-24-12

Momma!  Ooooooo! :)

Things are still rollin along here.  Had a turn of events with Elder Wu.  A General Authority from China or something like that called us the other day and told him that they've put in an application to have him transfer missions and hope it will happen sometime this transfer.  I'm not sure if that means he's for sure leaving or when that will be but that's the latest on it.  He's still improving and working harder on Tagalog but we'll see what happens.

Haha, I started writing in my journal again a few days ago and haven't missed a day for about a week.  Hope I can keep it up.  Sure makes me feel bipolar though because I seem to have one good day and one bad one every other day haha.  I usually get to bed between 10:30 and 11.  Not much to do other than sit around and be bored whether I'm tired or not haha.  Naah, that's not true.  I read sometimes, joke around with Elder Hicken sometimes, and write in the journal when I don't get to bed at 10:30.
Soooo Cute!

Duck-bowling sounds pretty cool.  Bowling's pretty fun too but we're about 2 hours away from any Bowling Alley's out here in the province.  Feel like we've kinda sucked this place dry of P-day ideas but we just got an Elder in the Zone that likes basketball so maybe we can get some Bball going.

The Brillantes kids are good.  Brother hasn't been able to work for 5 weeks because his company's bus has been broken and they're still waiting for parts from Japan.  He came to church with them the first 3 weeks but now they've missed 2 in a row because of rain and they might be running low on money to get to church which is almost 8 kilometers away from them.  No worries though.  We asked them why they couldn't make it to church and they said they had their own Sacrament Meeting at home as a family :)  Mom and Dad shared scriptures and the kids all bore their testimonies and then they all went into different rooms to have their "classes" haha So cool :-)  Their mom was baptized when she married Bro Brillantes, is a little shy with the members, and is SUPER busy all the time.  She's only been to church once since I've been here and didn't even go to the baptism.  She's SUPER nice and cool though.  Hopefully we'll find a way to help her too.
The Brillantes family and some friends.
Their are a couple extra kids in the pics.  They always have all their friends come and listen to us.  We tried to teach one's family but it didn't work out.  They're just too far out there to get any converts now I think.  They're lots of fun though :)

I've kinda been living on Top Ramen and Jelly sandwiches lately.  You might be right about losing my rice pouch hahaha :)  Ever since we had a house with 4 Americans I haven't been eating as much of it.  I'm doing fine though don't worry.

That's pretty crazy that Ashlyn's already 16!  Kinda REALLY crazy that you've finally given in to getting her a puppy! :)  Must be getting pretty quiet around the house without us there eh? ;)  Man that Hunter kid's gonna be a sports star!!!  Can't wait to get home and see it for myself :)  Hope Kylee has fun with the Shakespearean Festival again.  Has she had here tryouts for the school play yet?
Couple of happy campers!  :D

I remember going to that Temple Dedication (Farr West Temple), pretty cool stuff.  Hunter sure looks snazzy in his suit eh?  Good to hear you guys got together with the Powells!  Hope everyone's doing well.  Let everyone know I love em and think of them often.

Love you all tons!  Thanks for all the pictures and love in the emails you send.  Hope ya know how much I love and appreciate all you continue to do for me Ma :)
Have a good week!

PS-That's great!  You've probably gotten more mail from Marcelo than from me on my whole mission eh? haha, I'm sorry that I'm terrible at writing.  I always want it to be some long great letter but just don't have time for it.  I should probably just start sending short notes.
Love ya!