Wednesday, June 12, 2013

June 9, 2013 - It's raining cats and dogs!!!

Well, all I can say is that the weather here is crazy!  In the afternoons, it's hot and humid like no other and then it rains super hard for hours!!!  Many of my kabahay (housemates) aren't taking the drastic and frequent changes in weather so well and they’ve been getting sick lately.  Btw, as a cultural note, when it rains here, it rains hard... like really hard!  I have a few videos of it.  Haha!

Things are going okay in my area of Bagong Bantay (New Guard).   Yeah, my area is Bagong Bantay, Project 6 and Pag-Asa (Hope).  Tandang Sora (Old Sora) is the name of the zone.  Being a Zone Leader is good.  There's a lot more paperwork than being a District Leader, but it's nothing compared to being an  office missionary so its smooth sailing for me.  This area is hard because we have to do a lot more finding than I am used to but we've been finding new ways to find people and we've been able to get into a few doors.  One thing that I’ve been doing here is speak English to people.  Most of the affluent people in the Philippines speak great English.  I used it one time to introduce our message to a man named Larry.  He asked if it would take long, so I told him we would only share for 10 minutes.  We ended up staying for an hour just talking and laughing with him and sharing the gospel.  It worked out pretty great.  We've been seeing small miracles happen here lately.

Like earlier this week, we got a real referral!  As in someone who was been prepared by a member to be taught by the missionaries.  There was a man from Canada named Tony who came to visit his Filipina girlfriend and found our number and called us up to teach his girlfriend, Joy.  Joy was very open minded and ready to listen to the Gospel because of its influence on her boyfriend.  So, we taught her about how families can be together forever since they are planning to get married. Tony left on Thursday back to Canada but she still even came to church yesterday.  I was surprised and so we are going to follow up with her and prepare her for baptism.

The work is tough; I'm not going to lie.  Most of the time it's filled with disappointments and appointments not going through and walking down hot roads or in the rain, but when you have one good experience or see one little miracle happen, all the disappointments and frustrations disappear.  I know there have been countless times that I’ve been punted and many people that did not want to be taught or tried to argue with us, but I honestly cannot remember too many of them because all of the good things that have happened trump the bad experiences.  Trust me!

Oh and best day ever!  After Mission Leadership Council, I went to the Distribution Center and guess who I saw?  I saw Tita Lennet!!!  She was with her past missionary companions from Baguio.  Anyway, we took a lot of pictures and she was speaking Tagalog to me.  I was kind of culture shocked because I’m not used to understanding her Tagalog back home.  So it was weird that we were speaking to each other in Tagalog and it was quite natural!  I was amazed just how much I have changed since the last time I saw her.  It was a sweet experience and a tender mercy from the Lord.  I deeply appreciated it.  It was indeed a great day! Too bad Lara Randall and Tito Monjun were not with her at the time.

By the way, I have good news and bad news.  Bad news first…

The bad news is I lost my camera... in a taxi last night.  It was dark, it was raining, Elder Vuna was sick and in the midst of the chaos I think my camera fell out of my bag.  My mind just wasn't thinking straight with everything going on and I felt that I left my camera inside but I ignored it to open the door for my sick kabahay Elder Vuna... >.<

The good news is that I have all of my pictures backed up into a USB.  Aand I got your package earlier today!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!  IT HAD THE NEW SD CARD SO I SPENT THE LAST WHILE LOOKING AT ALL OF THE PICTURES AND VIDEOS!  Haha!!! ^_^  Yeah, all the chocolates were surprisingly well intact!  The T shirts were great!  I loved the one from Bubba Gump Shrimp!  The nuts I love!  And the pictures were so funny!  Tita Lennet gave me chips ahoy and 1000 pesos and some other snacks along with a t-shirt with an American flag on it.

Anyway that is all for now!  I wish you all a good week and a special congratulations to Zach Stone for his upcoming marriage!

Love you all!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

Could you send something to Zach for me? Along with this message.

"My good friend, Zach!  Congrats on getting married!  I totally wish I could be there for your wedding but the Lord has other plans for me.  I'll make sure to see you and Mandy when I get back in 2014. You've been a great inspiration to me in high school and I've always respected you as a Scholar, as an Athlete, and as a Disciple of Jesus Christ.  Best of luck to you two!"

Always your friend,
Elder Julien Froude ^_^

P.S.  Let Coach Stone, Mrs. Stone, Kaitlyn, Marcus, and Jared know I say hi!

June 2, 2013 - Congratulations, Ryan!

Dear Mom, Dad, Ryan, everyone who comes to hear great true experiences and all Newcomers!

First off, congrats to Ryan for graduating seminary!!!  He's just one step closer to the Dominican Republic now!

Well, in celebration of so many of our young members going on missions, I’ve decided to try to write about how the mission field life is like in the Philippines as best I can and about the culture of the Philippines.

So, being in the city is a very hard and tough life.  I've been assigned in the City for the past 8 months and finding new investigators here is pretty tough.  Tracting is difficult because most of the people with a house have giant gates and fences around it so you can't really approach the door. You have to go and knock a few times and say “Tao po!” (anybody home?) and hope someone will come get the gate. For other people that live in the poorer areas (squatters), it's hard for them to go to church because many of them work on Sundays. Getting a job is a very hard thing to do in the City and most people in the city are not from the city.  They only live in their apartments to sleep and eat.  They go to work, some of them with no rest day, and any free time they have they spend back in the province with their family.  So, it's hard to get people to go to church a lot of the time.  Many of the active members in the wards are people who have good enough jobs to keep their families in the city.  Even many of the less active members are really great nice people but have to work on Sundays and that is why they are less active.  If they quit their job, it could be ages before they find anything else that will take them.

 One of the streets we go tracting in my area.  Notice the houses and their gates.

You wonder why it's so hard to get into these houses?  The gates!!!
Therefore the best way to get new investigators is through asking and receiving referrals.

It's been raining a lot this week.  Actually, it's raining right now.  There was a great experience I had when we were trying to find a less active member in our area.  There was thunder and lightning everywhere and so I was hoping that it wouldn't rain cause I left my umbrella so we kept walking and went to the house that had an awning, something that covers partially the garage from rain. When we knocked on the door, it started raining super hard!!!  No one answered the door for a long time so we thought we might have to go to our next appointment on the other side of town in the rain, but Brother Julius came out and invited us in and we taught him.  When we were done, the rain stopped and it didn't rain the rest of the day.  So, it worked out well :)

Hey Mom!  Hey Dad! I'm past time now and I got to go.  Thanks for all of your advice and staying up with me tonight.  I'll email you next week, okay?  I love you!  I'm sorry there is not much kwuento (stories) in this email but it's all I had time to write.  Next time I’ll start on the letter so I can get in everything I want to say.  Haha! Okay I'll talk to you next week okay?  Goodnight!!!

Doing you Proud,
Elder Froude ^_^

Me and my companion with some of the youth.
Fruits from Mindanao.  I don't know what they're called but they were very good!
Another exotic looking fruit.