Monday, October 30, 2017

Pauwi na. maikli naman yun.

Welp this week was pretty interesting, we had to go down to Manilla back to the MTC because Elder Eccles had some kind of meeting. Then on Thursday we had to go to Camarin and we had a follow-up on how training was going. And Wednesday around this time Elder Eccles and I will go our separate ways. We got along while it lasted tho. We did pretty good work while it lasted.
Bocaue is going pretty well. We took our map to the ward and we had everyone show us where they live. We learned that most of the people had no idea where they live if you give them a map. It was a very interesting Sunday. We have been trying hard to work with the members. We have been encouraging them to trust the missionaries and to help us with the work.
I am not sure how much longer I will be in this area. Right now, I feel that it will either be a very long time or a very short time. We will see; I will keep you all updated. This email may be very short because I am lazy in writing right now. Sorry.
Culture: Distraction. People here get distracted very easily. We experience this a lot while teaching. People may not really be listening, then suddenly, they will say something like "Wow you are really good at Tagalog." This can be frustrating when you know how important the message is and they just get distracted.
Tagalesson: "Masarap": "Delicious"

Welp Sorry I was lazy this week. I will do better next week

Read the Book of Mormon.

Pray super good

Dont give up.
Love you all,

Elder Faulkner

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Perfect Home

This letter today is going to be a bit different, I have a lot on my mind, I need to fix a lot of problems and I have very little time. That is pretty much the story of our lives right? We just feel like we don't have the time or we have too many problems. Well, I think that sometimes it comes to the point where it looks like everyone that had "it all figured out" before are having a hard time and the people that were really struggling before are in a good position.
I want to focus on one sentence that I read the other day, in a specific place that I will not tell you guys. It said: "The celestial kingdom is the continuation of the ideal home."

Let’s think about that for just a second.

If we go to the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, the feelings there should not be much different because we have already been working so hard to make our home filled with the spirit and good times. But I have noticed that sometimes in this life we do not allow ourselves to have and feel this in our own lives – or we try to take it away from others.

I write about this because my sister is Getting Married. That is right, Caroline Faulkner is going to be married. This is a thing that will actually happen. I love her so much and I am so excited that she has this opportunity.
Now you may be saying at this moment "But Jordan (that's weird), what are you talking about? That isn't happy! You will never be able to make it to the wedding!" I KNOW, and the most wonderful part is – it doesn't matter at all to me. Don't get me wrong, I will be sad. But the joy that Caroline and Thomas Collett will be able to have in their new home with their new lives together is much more important than anything I could have at this time. And then in the following years, I will be able to see them grow and become while I was over here serving in the Philippines.
Sometimes we miss the mark with family; we think we need to keep things the way they are – or that family is focused around one or two people. There is one person that you are expected to love as much as you love God. That is your husband or your wife. LITERALLY NO ONE ELSE, which means you need to do everything in your power to empower that relationship.

Now I know what you are thinking "Well Jordan (still weird), You know nothing about any of this – you are just a kid." Nice try, but that argument will do nothing. I have spent a long long time studying the plan that God has created for all of us, and I don't really think there is any room for hurt feelings – or for anything else of the sort. As a missionary of Jesus Christ, I represent him, I can say whatever I feel inspired to say.
Anyways, what we have to understand here is that I love you all. I know that my sister is doing an amazing thing; and all of you that have experienced that know about the pains and hardships that come with it. But you hopefully understand the goal here. I am so proud of my sister and what she is doing with her life. She will go far. I hope that everyone will support her fully in her decisions. It is probably already hard on them, but they need the support now more than ever.
Welp Marriage I know nothing about that. Good luck Caroline and Thomas

Culture: When the bride and the groom dance at weddings, Filipinos pin money to their clothes. The whole dance, they just get more and more money. It is very interesting. It is a good luck wishing that their marriage will be successful and will be fruitful.

Tagalesson: Kasal: marriage
Asawa: Spouse
Kaligayahan: Joy
“Ikakasal sina Caroline Faulkner at Thomas Collett.” = "Thomas and Caroline are getting married"

Welp people. Go to Caroline's wedding.
Read the book of Mormon.
Teach people not lessons.

Love you all,

Elder Faulkner

My reading library

Outside the house

Elder Torres.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Bocaue Bois

I talked a little bit about the floods here last week. I said that they were not that bad. Well, the day after that we had a giant rainstorm. Almost everything flooded. Just on the highway to the church for district meeting, the water was around waist high. It was a very interesting day.
Welp. This week we worked pretty hard. We are having a good time in this area and it is good to see the area progress because of that work and because of our effort. I have noticed here that I am becoming more of a tool in God's hands. I teach lessons – not to get the lesson taught, but to really apply it to the persons life. It is a lot harder, especially in a language that you don’t speak exceptionally fluently. It comes down to coming into someone’s house and assessing all of the possible problems that they could be facing in their lives at the time as fast as you can – while also listening to the spirit (which helps you out in this process). Then, once you kind of know what their problem might be, you teach them something that they can apply and learn something from. After that, you commit them to change their lives. It is really a different way of doing missionary work – I think sometimes people don’t understand.
I have learned so many things – I am not sure what is important to share anymore. I have started a book to help other people to learn Tagalog. It will have a ton of sections – specifically I want to help people gain a solid accent, pronunciations, words that people do and do not understand. I want to help those that struggle with the language and make them effective teachers and to really understand how to speak the language – no matter how hard it may seem.
Life in the city is quite different than life in the province. In the city, the people are a whole lot closer to one another – that is physically speaking, not mentally or emotionally. It is both easier and harder to find people to teach: there are more people in a smaller area, but not as many are as receptive to listening. SMOG, there is a lot of pollution in the air. Luckily, our area has a section that is more removed. If we need some fresh air, we can always work out there. Everything is a lot more flat here, making the walking easier. Back in Sapang Palay, we had a lot of hills and it was really hard to walk for long periods of time. Not here.
Culture: In the City people tend to live very close. This means that families tend to be found in only one or two streets and everyone in that street is related somehow. Families are very big here in the Philippines. We see a lot of people that when asked if they have family nearby, they just start pointing to houses to show us where they live. The families are close to each other, but not exceptionally. Oftentimes they are kind of separated when it comes to family ties – they do things together every once in a while, but for the most part are pretty separate.

Tagalesson: This week I am going to teach you about the word "Ba" this is really important because it is the word you put in in order to make a statement into a yes or no question. This is just inserted in there and people will now know that what you are saying is a question. It is very interesting that they have a word for this. It makes it a lot easier to understand speech when you know for sure that someone is asking you a direct question.

Welp, I am quickly running out of time here, I love you all and I trust you will have a good week, there are a lot of storms in the world so don’t forget to stay safe.

Love Elder Faulkner

Pictures Again finally:
1. I took a short nap
2. A kitten

3. That kitten when riled up

4. Zesto is a juice brand here, I bought all the different kinds of their juice and I am gonna mix them and drink it all at once.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Miracles in Bocaue

Alright, so as I said in my last email I transferred this week to Bocaue. My companion is Elder Torres; he is a great missionary and a skilled teacher. We get along very well, and we have set very high goals for our area and for our work. Elder Torres is basically a Filipino version of myself.

The area has a reputation of being a hard one, but I don’t particularly like reputations, so my plan is not let it affect anything that happens while I am here. We have already – just in this short week here – found several families that are very interested in what we have to teach. I have found that as I become a better missionary, and as I improve in the language – I have a much MUCH bigger impact on the areas that I am in.
There is a lot to talk about and I am pretty certain I won’t get to all of it. For the basics: this area in Bocaue is flooding right now. They aren’t crazy flash floods, but there is water a lot of places that we go. Sometimes, when we want to tract in certain areas – we need to be creative about how we make it through the flood water. Soon, we are gonna get some companionship boots so that we can go anywhere we want and focus on those progressing areas, even if they are flooded. A lot of houses here, when the floods are high, have water coming into them. When we want to go tracting, we need to go through the flood to get to the people that God has prepared for us. Sometimes during the low tides there are no obstructions and we can easily visit any house that we want, other times at hightide it can be a real struggle to get out and visit those people; we aren’t really scared of water so we press on.
I will have a lot to say about this area in the coming weeks and months. We will have many interesting experiences in Bocaue. I really enjoy it here. This is my first time in the city, up to this point it has been province. There are actual places to eat here – we have a McDonalds. We also have a big foodpark across the street called "The Ranch", but that will probably get its own email in the future.
Culture: Day to day living. This is so important. People have to do things that keep them subsisting one day at a time. Especially people who own Tindahans or tricycles; these people are getting money and then spending it almost immediately to buy food for that day only. When we tell people they need to set apart Sunday as a day for the Lord, that they cannot work and they cannot buy things, it takes a huge toll on them mentally. God will provide for their financial needs, if they are doing it in faith – but it takes an insane amount of faith to start on that path. A lot of things done in the Philippines are daily. Going to the market to buy food, getting paid at your job. It is like living paycheck to paycheck but a lot less consistent.
Tagalesson: Followup:
We gonna learn how to go to someones house and to see if they remember what you told them and if they read what you gave them.
"Nakapagbasa po ba kayo ng ibinigay namin sa inyo sa nakaraang?"-"Were you able to read that thing that we gave you last time?"
"Anong naalala mo tungkol sa last lesson namin?"-"what do you remember about our last lesson?"
“Pwede ba nating imbitahan ang buong pamiliya mo dito para makinig sa mensahe namin?"- Can we invite your whole family to listen to this message?"

If you get these sentences down you are good at followup, it is that simple.

Alrighty, for next week I will try to get things organized to talk about the area that I am now in.

As long I don’t die in a flood, I will be safe to email you next week.

Keep on keeping on

Elder Faulkner

Monday, September 4, 2017

Fireworks Capital of the Philippines

Alrighty, so first thing is first as it tends to be in a list of things. Because if something else were first, obviously that thing would be first...
But anyways, I am moving. I am going to be moving to the city of Bucaue. As you probably don’t know, but may have guessed from the subject of this letter, Bucaue is the fireworks capital of the Philippines. I obviously don’t know how that is going to go yet; but I will be leaving tomorrow. I will move over there and my companion will be Elder Torres. I do not yet know him, so this will be a solidly fresh start with a new companion.
Welp that is how life is going right about now. I will leave Elder Oronos – who is getting a new trainee. We aren’t yet sure who that is, but they will meet each other tomorrow. He will also become the district leader. I am very excited for him and to see what he can do with our district.
I will be a little bit sad to leave Sapang Palay but at the same time I am pretty ready to go. I have been here 6 months and have seen a whole lot of the area and met a lot of people. As a missionary in an area for 6 months, it starts to feel a little too long. You get tired of working in the same place, and you just want to move on. I am excited for my new area and I am ready to set out for newer pastures.
Culture: Pancit on your birthday. This is a pretty short thing, but you need to know it. Pancit means noodles. Every time anyone ever has a birthday – ever – they buy and cook pancit. There is a joke that goes along with this: because noodles are longer than rice, they will say that they eat pancit because it is longer and it will make your life longer; that is why they eat it on birthdays.
Tagalesson: Birthday: Kaarawan (no one uses this word)
Noodles: Pancit
Party: Party
Kailan ang birthday mo?: ""When is your birthday?"
Anong gagawin mo sa birthday mo?: "What are you doing on/for your birthday?"

Welp that is pretty much what you need to know about this topic.

We are going to talk about the language for a bit before we head out.
I feel that not many missionaries in this mission go home especially fluent. Even the older missionaries in our mission currently are not fluent. They can teach well, but they don’t reach the level of fluency that I have come to expect. I had a lot of thoughts about where I would be in the language at the end of my mission, and what level of fluency I would be at. It is a very interesting thing. Either way it is important to try your best. For me, I want to speak like a native when I come home. Now, that might not be super reasonable, but we can hope, can’t we? (We can also put in hours and hours of hard work and studying, but that is besides the point.)

Love you all
Elder Faulkner

Monday, August 28, 2017

Finding the Prepared Lost Sheep

Alrighty, so this week we are going to talk about something that is central to missionary work. It is true whether out here in the Philippines, or at home (even by simply inviting people to church). That thing is finding. The thing about finding is that it usually involves going far out of our comfort zone – we are normally talking to someone new about something unfamiliar to them. The thing about finding is it brings a better understanding of the potential of all people. Sometimes people are content with how their lives are. But, if you know more about their potential – you feel a responsibility to go over to their house, go to their gate, and yell "Tao Po" until they start listening to you and learning about what God's plan is for them.
As missionaries, it can be a lot easier for us to just keep visiting the same people, not looking for other people to teach. I have learned that the best way you can show your love for the people is to make it your goal to teach every single family in an area about their potential. If they all have heard it out of your mouth, then you did a good job. We often fall short of our potential because we don’t help others to realize their own. I don’t know if that was deep or not but you get the idea.
Finding in missionary work unlocks a door that we didn’t know was closed. It is our job to teach everyone we can, but not just that – we need to focus on the people that are ready to listen, change, and realize their own potential.
We found a lot of people this week, but when we came back to visit them again I noticed something. Some of the people were pretty much done listening to us. These are the people that are not ready to change. The other group of people had either started reading the Book of Mormon or had prayed about our message. These people immediately saw the blessings of this in their lives and were excited to see us again. It lets us fulfill something that we don’t always even know is there. We see people become better than they thought they could be. In turn we are lifted up in our own lives and we are able to reach a higher potential we didn’t know was possible.

Culture: There are many MANY spousal relationships here where the two people are only seeing each other once a week, sometimes it is even less than that. When this happens, all the responsibilities in a house fall on the mother because the Father is out working 6 days in a week. The problem can be that they aren’t really close and they grow farther apart when they never see each other. I know several families this happens to with not just the "Tatay" (or Father), but the "Nanay" (or mother) as well. In these cases all of the kids live together and get sent money to subsist. They might see their whole family in one place maybe once a month sometimes less than that.

Tagalesson: Para sa Tagalesson nito matetype lang ako, ito lang para sa inyo na mas matuto ng "grammar" at "sentence structure". aywan ko kung ano ang sasabihin ko ngayon, pero mahal ko kayo, kahit ano ang paghihirap sa inyong buhay mo ngayon, kayang ninyo. Naniniwala ako sa inyo. Gusto Kong sabihin sa aking kapatid na babae na si Caroline. "Happy Birthday”. magandang halimbawa siya para sa akin at kung hindi kayo nagsabi nayan sa kanya, sabihin niyo nga lang.
Kayang Kaya niyo.

Have a great week.
Mahal Ko Kayo.
Elder Faulkner

Monday, August 21, 2017

Another P-Day, Another Email

(Picture of Elder Solano, Elder Stephens, and Elder Faulkner) 
(courtesy of Elder Solano)

Alrighty here we are again, another Monday over here in the Philippines means another email that I send out to all of you. I trust that you are all doing well, wherever it may be that you are. Life is pretty good here in the Philippines, nothing much has changed – although I am learning to become a better teacher and teaching to what people need in their lives.
Today I will include something about our purpose as missionaries in this email. Our purpose reads "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ, and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end." Now I am here to invite people. That means that through what I say, I should always be allowing people to make changes in their lives and inviting them to change themselves. Everything we do as missionaries is to magnify that calling. We become better teachers and learn the language, not to show off, but to allow people to understand the message and change themselves.
A true missionary understands that nothing they do makes the work successful. It is about the journey of the people that you teach. It is between them and God. We are here to show them how to communicate with God and how to get that relationship. But let it be made clear: all of my words are mostly useless for the people I teach.
Let’s think for a minute – because there are some questions that we should probably all answer in our lives. Keep in mind that the answers to these questions come from ourselves and for our own self betterment, so we shouldn’t really be shy in answering them:

  • ·        Do I feel like anything lacks in my life?
  • ·        How have I tried to fill that lack in the past?
  • ·        Do I have a plan to fill that lack now?
  • ·        Do I believe in God?
  • ·        Why? Why not?
  • ·        How close do I feel to God?

These are some of the things that I notice that a lot of people don’t know the answers to. Notice how all the answers come from yourself, it isn’t about finding answers somewhere else; it is about learning from ourselves. When we enable ourselves to think freely and take time to reflect – our entire outlook changes.

God's Grace is not about filling the gap in our lives, it is about filling us with an abundant life. Show me one person who doesn’t want an "abundant life".

These are the things that we search for here. If there is a higher purpose here on this earth, we better be searching for it – otherwise we probably won’t find anything, and that lack will always be there.
I have learned that questions like that are very important. In teaching, you have to lead the person to learn from their own words and thoughts.

Culture: Engilsh again. In the Filipino culture, people use English to show how educated they are. It can be a real problem. English is a big source of pride here. Being good at English shows that you are pretty educated. Out of fear of offending people, we seldom use English – even among close friends
Tagalesson: Taglish is acceptable in most circumstances, as long as the word is well known by people. Okay Taglish:
Handa: Prepare
Inihahanda- preparing
Conjugate the word the same way, but you use the English word instead of the Tagalog root. You can conjugate a whole lot of English words like this!

Keep on keeping on. Keep up the good work and keep on learning Tagalog so that when I go home I will have some people to talk to. It will be sad if I have no one to speak with when I get to America.

Don’t forget to self evaluate, it is an important thing to do in life.

Thanks muchly for your support and your emails. I hope you are doing well.


Elder Faulkner