Monday, December 25, 2017

Bromley in Bocaue (But I am not)

I have completely moved over to Meycauayan and Elder Bromley is no longer in the companionship. He got a new companion and now I am just with Elder Ewing. Elder Ewing is fun to be around and has had a pretty successful mission, I will learn stuff from him.
I really have very little time today so I am racing against the clock. I will let you know now there are no pictures (forgot the cord) 
This coming week two of the investigators from Bocaue will be baptized (Rony and Aiko) I moved just in time to miss them.
We have a lot of meetings as zone leaders and it feels like there is always something to do. It can get to you sometimes.
This week we had something called a blitz, where all the missionaries in the whole zone work with the members in one ward. It is a great idea for the members but when it is not properly organized, the purpose of the blitz does not get fulfilled – and it feels like we are just wasting time. This last blitz was in our ward and it was kind of a flop. It was not nearly as effective as it should have been and I am kind of disappointed in the lack of planning.
We have been really really busy and I am sorry that this is super short, but I had to spend a little longer on my email to president. I will get you all more updated on the next p-day.

I love you all and I hope you are reading the book of mormon. It will help you out promise.


Elder Faulkner

Monday, December 18, 2017

Buti na lang na nanaginip ako

So, about a million things happened. I don’t have nearly the time that I need in order to explain it all.

1. One of our zone leaders got surprise transferred away.
2. Bromley and I are replacing him.
3. We are now in a trio
4. We now work in 2 full areas.
5. I am the replacement Zone leader with Elder Ewing
6. We have no idea what the schedule is for work.
7. We have a lot of meetings
8. Christmas is fast approaching and I will get to call my family, the plan is to do that on the 26th here in the morning (THAT IS THE NIGHT OF CHRISTMAS FOR YOU ALL)
9. Should have 2 baptisms in 2 weeks
10. I will move to Meycauayan for sure and not move back to Bocaue – starting on January 10.
11. As of right now, our work covers Bocaue and Meycauayan.

I want to share an experience that I had. Many years ago, I had a dream where I was walking down a street. The appearance of the street has stayed with me all this time, although I have since long forgotten what exactly happened in the dream. When I arrived in Bocaue, I found that street. We passed it 2 times a week (it is very far from the church) and I didn’t say anything to Elder Torres or Elder Eccles, but when Elder Bromley arrived I told him about this dream. This last week, we went down that street and found a barangay that we didn’t know existed. Not very far into this barangay, someone called us over. She had just moved in, about a month ago, and she had been wanting the missionaries to come by. She told us about how her husband really wanted to be baptized and he would be able to be taught in the coming weeks. She was extremely grateful and we set a return appointment. She says her husband is extremely ready and has a great desire to be baptized. Her name is Sarah, and she was about to go to the Christmas party, and agreed to go to church in Bocaue in the coming weeks with her husband. This is one of the most interesting experiences in my mission thus far. All because I had a dream.

Culture: Aswang and Mumo. There are two kinds of Ghosts in the Philippines. The nice friendly kind (kind of like Casper) is called a “Mumo”. This is like the kid word for ghost.
The real scary kind is called an "Aswang" – not to be confused with "Asawa".
This kind of ghost is like the vampire or demon type ghost. People are sometimes afraid of the word "aswang"
Tagalesson: An update on the book I am writing. My mission president wants it to be published and distributed to the missionaries in our mission. It might be within the next few months. We have a lot to do for this book. Chances are you can all learn from this book, sana.

This is my first Emergency transfer, and it will be a very weird next few weeks. But we got this. 

I love you all sorry if I didn’t get back to all of you in personal emails. Next week naman.

Elder Faulkner

Monday, December 11, 2017

We made it out alive bois

We are working towards baptism with many people, but they are having trouble making it to church.

Elder Bromley is doing a lot better in the language, now we just need be a bit more serious ;). I know right that coming from me...

We make a lot of appointments, but we have a good portion fall through.

I am still district leader but that might change soonish. (step down bois.)

We are super sleep deprived, pretty much all of our time is spent working hard, we have little time to rest.

God's grace is sufficient to save you, don’t forget that.

Repent and be baptized.

The work is good and God loves us, but He still allows us agency.

I talked a little bit about agency last week. Agency is not just about making more right decisions than wrong decisions, it is about using your choices every single day to become something better than you were before. It is a process. The goal in our mission right now is to become agents of change, to allow people to utilize their agency correctly and get as many blessings as they can.

Culture: The word "po" is used for respect, but it can also be used as a distance thing. It can be used to distance yourself from others. For example, you would not use po with a close friend – no matter how much you respect them. Parents use the word po to their children so that the kids will learn to use it.

Tagalesson: Bawal. "Bawal" means “forbidden”, or not allowed, or against the rules. It is one of the most convenient words, it can be used for kids games or for God's commandments. You just tell someone that something is bawal and they know they aren’t allowed to do it.

Welp, we are all good. We took some pictures for the Christmas slideshow in the mission so I will send you some of those.
Love you all
Elder Faulkner

Monday, December 4, 2017

Batia in Bocaue

Morning po.

This week was real.

We have been hitting a little bit of a wall with our investigators not going to church. Even some of them that have been going have problems that keep them from going consistently. Somewhere along the road, there is not much that we can do because they have their agency. Being two Americans, a lot of people listen to us; but only a select few choose to do anything with our message. It is sad to see people miss out on opportunities.
One of our biggest focuses in our mission right now is something called ITA, or Invitations To Act. The idea is to always be challenging people around you to change and to become closer to Christ. We are expected to make 30 different invitations every single day; these can be very small things like the invitation to listen to a message about Jesus Christ, or something large, like being baptized. Anytime that we give someone a specific chance to use their agency to become closer to God, we have successfully given an ITA. This really helps us to see who is progressing, who is keeping commitments, and where people are at in their repentance process.
We are thinking of dropping one of our farthest areas, Batia. With our usage of ITAs, we have seen that most of our investigators are not willing to keep even the small commitments. It is hard to see that in an area that was progressing before. It is quite far from the church. We have seen a few good investigators there, but they haven’t really been able to make it to church and see large effects of the gospel in their lives.
One of our investigators died, that was very sad.

Culture: Cooking. We made sopas. Sopas is a soup here in the Philippines; one of the only soups that they have. It has macaroni and some evaporated milk. Elder Bromley and I made it and it was really fun.

Tagalesson: The word "sana". The word "sana" means "hopefully". It can also be used to describe things that you want and are really too shy to be direct about. You can use it as like a hint, so they know what you want but aren’t too pressured into offending you if they don’t get it. A lot of people use it in prayers to ask things of God. I do not.

Welp That is pretty much all I got for you all this week. I will check up with you next week. Love you all.

Elder Faulkner

Monday, November 27, 2017

Another P-day, Another Nap

Things went well last week. Except for Niko. Niko was solidly progressing to baptism and was supposed to be baptized on the 23rd, until he moved out of our area. We don’t know where his new house is. There isn’t a lot more we can do.
We have a few more investigators that are solidly progressing. Aiko Participated in the Young Women’s program at church on Sunday, so she is good. Roni needs his aunt to go to church with him so he can be baptized. Brother JR needs a specific date so he can have a goal. And we have a few who need a little help on their way.
Right now, we are just trying to teach all the people from the friends and families of the ward. We have gotten good support from all of them.
We don’t get nearly enough sleep.

I have some friends going on missions namely Kas and Emma, #shoutout.

Culture: If foreigners cook Filipino food here, they are immediately adopted into the culture. Make Filipino food and tell people all about it.

Tagalesson: As you use a word more, you start to hear it more. Elder Bromley learned the saying "O nga eh". He started using it a lot and now is hearing Filipinos saying it. "Onga eh" is like saying "I know, right?!" But can be in so used in many different ways.

Love you all! Sorry time is short this week. I spent too much time on other things than this email.
Elder Faulkner

Monday, November 20, 2017

Diego on the A Team

Welp everyone, welcome back to my life.
This week is much like last week, but different. We did fun things and we had good lessons. I am starting to really like this area and the people here. We have seen a lot of progress but we are really trying to help people make it to church still.
One thing I have learned: people have an amazingly hard time getting to church if they don’t have support of the members. It is difficult for someone to build up the faith to go to church if they don’t have the consistent support of another person right by their side.
We have a couple people in our teaching pool that haven’t made it to church because they don’t know any members. We are trying to find a way around this problem.
Other than that, we have been encouraged in our area: we have been gaining back the trust of the members in this ward and been working with them. We had a really cool experience where we helped reactivate someone who had not been to church for a solid year. When people saw her back, they came to us and were so excited. We have a plan to bring that less active with a couple active member families to do scripture study, along with her grandchildren that have not been baptized yet. Hopefully we will see that whole family make it back to church, but a lot of her children have been out of the church for around 20 years, so we may find it difficult to get everyone back to church.
Hopefully, as we get more experiences like that – we will be able to get a lot more people back to church. We are really trying to change the way we work through members. If we always get them to bring friends to church, we never have to worry about investigators that don’t have a support system.
Right now, we are preparing for Christmas. We are teaching a lot, but we are also not letting up on our finding. We want a lot of people that have potential to be baptized in our teaching pool. Even if I leave and don’t see all of those people get baptized, I want it to be easier on Elder Bromley to continue on.
Culture: All you eat is bread. Filipinos have this thing where they think all Americans just eat bread. When they ask what your favorite Filipino food is, and you don’t answer fast enough, they will say: "Oh yeah they just eat bread in America."
Tagalesson: Explaining an action that someone else was involved in. I realized that this is super hard to say in English, but it is really simple in Tagalog. When you want to explain an action you did with someone you just add "Ni" and their name.
"Nagplanning kami ni Elder Bromley" = "We planned (me and Elder Bromley)"
There is no good way to describe this, you just have to know this is how it works. Good luck po.

Alrighty nice work bois.

I will see you again next week.

Elder Faulkner

Monday, November 13, 2017

Bromley in Bocaue

It is looking like a white Christmas here in the Philippines. We are currently preparing many people for baptism we have been helping these people progress, and trying to get them to church. We are planning for 8 baptisms in the month of December. Obviously, we aren't completely sure how things are going to go in the future weeks. We have been really focusing on baptism and pushing our people forward. We have created a good teaching pool that shouldn't have any major problems, or we have mostly moved past their problems. It is amazing how the work changes when you get two people who just want to put everything into to the work.
That is one thing about Elder Bromley, no matter how much he might struggle – he is amazing in encouragement. I can always rely on him to make the right decision when we need to know what to do next. He always has a good attitude about the work. Even tho we get down sometimes, he is super reliable. I have probably seen more miracles with him in this last 2 weeks than I have in whole transfers. Every single day is filled with great lessons that are impactful and led by the spirit.
Life here is pretty good. I like it.

I hope you are all doing good work back at home. I will be home in like a year – so start getting ready now. But I won’t think about that for a long while.
We have actually had a lot of people come across us and say: "Hey I know about the missionaries; can I be baptized?" Hopefully we will see that desire develop into faith and into change. And then we will see the fruit of that change. One of the coolest of all of these experiences is a girl named Aceline. She is a member. She has been talking with her fiancĂ© about religion – explaining the importance of knowing truth for yourself. Having her in lessons has helped him really understand what will take place in his life through baptism and marriage in the temple.
That is only one of the experiences from the last 2 weeks that have been really good for us and for the ward. We have seen great change in the area. I love it.
Culture: Tagalog humor. Tagalog humor works in the way they describe things. They find it funny to point out differences in people. We get a lot of people that say thing like "ang puti mo" = "you are super white" and the like. People here think that is hilarious. It is very different from the American humor that I am used too.
Tagalesson: Ways to ask for a minute or for someone to wait.
“Teka lang” – “wait-lang” – “sandali lang” – “dali lang” – “Saglit lang” – “hintay lang”. All these can be used to tell someone that you need an extra minute, they use them almost interchangeably.

Welp there you go everyone, keep up the good stuff. Email me if you get the chance.

Get ready for Christmas and Thanksgiving. There really isn’t Thanksgiving here, so we wont have it – but you all will.
Elder Faulkner