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

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

This makes number 3.

Normally in one missionary area you only have 2 companions, one when you come in and then another before you leave. This is generally the way that things work out. I got a new companion this week his name is Elder Bromley, the thing about Elder Bromley is that he never stops smiling. It is really fun to work with him because he is almost always laughing, regardless of the situation. Elder Bromley replaced Elder Eccles on this last Thursday and we have working very hard in this area to see the improvement in the ward and our investigators. We have started keeping audio recordings of our days. When we get back home, we take an audio recording of all the things we remember from the day and what we really liked.
Today we had temple P-day. This is the first time I have been to the temple for almost a year. We had to get up very early and have been very tired today. All in all, it has been a super heavy week. I need a solid nap, but I might not get it. In this last week, we extended 4 dates for baptism in the month of December. That means that if everything goes as it should, we should have at least that many baptisms. But, there are others that we are really trying to help prepare themselves for baptism. I thought a decent amount about covenants today. God makes a promise to us and we choose to rise to the occasion, or to not follow his standards. For some people, baptism is too difficult; it requires a change that they are not yet ready for. Our covenants with Jesus Christ are about showing how ready we are to change and to become just like him. Covenants are an important way to improve in many ways in our lives.
The Moseros family dropped us.
Brother Mendoza really wants to be baptized but isn’t really ready, daw.
We extended a baptisimal date in the first lesson that was accepted, but it was to a 14-year-old without her parents there, Elder Bromley kinda jumped the gun on that one.
We are working with the ward and fixing what the past missionaries have done wrong.
The area is fun, it hasn’t had a baptism in 8 months and we plan for 8 baptisms in December.
Elder Bromley struggles with the language quite a lot but nothing we can’t fix
Life is pretty solid.

Culture: People hate saying things straight up. Here there is a lot of "beating around the bush". Sometimes they will never tell you what the actual problem is. Asking specific questions can get you a good idea about what the real problem is, but it takes a lot of practice. Sometimes you really have to work a problem out of them and sometimes you just have to let it sit. For the example with the Moseros family: the mom wouldn’t tell us why they didn’t want us to come inside. She said that she was busy; we asked a lot of questions and got the idea of what might actually be going on with the family. You get a lot in the way people act around you once you work with people so much. As a missionary, part of the job is to understand people.
Tagalesson: The word "Naman". The word Naman has no English translation and cannot really be said to be any specific word. It can be used in a variety of ways that change based on the situation. I like this word because it is used as assurance. If you say "Hindi naman" it is like "not really" instead of just "no" You can use it in many ways and it is a very interesting word that can carry a lot of meaning or hardly any at all. I really like this word, but good luck figuring it out.
I don’t really know what the next few weeks are looking like but I am excited.
Keep up the good work and thanks for all the emails this week. Although sometimes the replies are kinda short I love seeing what you all took the time to write to me.
Elder Faulkner

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, October 23, 2017

Finding who is most important in your life

Sometimes we are put in situations where we reevaluate our priorities. You start asking yourself what is most important in your life or who most important in your life. Missionary work does that to you. As you lose yourself in the work, most of your problems start going away and you start worrying about those around you (see Mosiah 28:3). Life starts to change and you find yourself trying to help those around you tirelessly (see Alma 48:10-17). Now I am not saying that I am there yet, but I have really started to see a different reason for my work here.
I really like the work right now. The language is much more comfortable. I have embraced the Filipino understanding, as opposed to the way Americans understand things. Which is a very important thing that needs to happen to understand the culture.
Elder Eccles, my new companion, and I have been working together to get good things done. He is struggling with the language, as is understandable only being in the field for 7 weeks. I get to be a translator most of the time. It is very fun to see where I was in the beginning (where he is now), compared to where I am now. We have been focusing on learning missionary skills and what is most important. We get along really solidly pretty much all of the time. We have been working closely with the ward and seeing what we can do to serve them. We are extremely busy in our area right now. I like the feeling that there is always something to do – but, honestly, we can get a little stressed with all the things that we need to do.
This week we found a new family to teach. There are 8 of them all together, and they are really fun. I will probably update you on their situation in the next few weeks as we try to help their family. I have found that when you focus on family first and resolving concerns, people start to trust and love you. They want to be closer together and they want to see what else you can do for them.
We have had serious progress with the Mendoza family. Their father said he wants to have a good time at church and be baptized. Their family is one of my favorites here.
Culture: "Nagkakamay". A lot of Filipinos eat with their hands. This is especially true when they eat fish. It really is easier to eat that way! If a foreigner eats with their hands, people think that person is really trying hard to embrace Filipino culture.
Tagalesson: "Sa". Sa means in, of, from, around, on, at, into, onto. Basically anything that we use to describe location. It is an interesting word because it can mean so much. Also the word "the" doesn’t really exist in this language – which means "sa" can translate to not only "in" but also "in the" it confuses a lot of people when they don’t really understand that "sa" can translate to so many different words and sometimes it can translate to something that is multiple words in English. Anyways there is a lot of power in the word "Sa".

I will try to get a picture of me and Elder Eccles before next week.
Keep on keeping on people, do your best and worry more about others than yourself.


Elder Faulkner

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Transfers and Training

A lot happened this week. The biggest thing is that transfers happened again. I am not moving out of Bocaue, but Elder Torres is. I am getting a new companion whose name is Elder Eccles. He is an American who is only about 6 weeks in the field. For all of you that don’t know: when a missionary arrives in the mission field there is a period of 2 transfers (or twelve weeks) where they are trained. In that time, it is very rare that they will have two different companions. Most of the time, they will have one trainer that stays with them for the entire 12 weeks. A trainer shows them how to be an effective missionary. However, Elder Eccles' normal training ended a little early and I will be taking over the rest of his training. This means that we will study missionary skills and the tools every day. My job will be to help better prepare him to be a missionary, but his last trainer was doing a pretty good job – so we shouldn’t have any problems.
Obviously working with someone who speaks very little of the language will put a lot of responsibility on me. Hopefully I will be able to do that. I am not too stressed right now, but we will see if that changes in the coming weeks.
As for the area and the ward – I think we are seeing good improvement in the attitude of the members; and we are able to see the success that comes from strengthening the ward. I am sad that Elder Torres will not be able to stay to see how it plays out because I am really excited for the coming weeks and what we will be able to accomplish with the members.
I really like my zone right now. One of my best friends in the mission is my Zone leader. It is really fun to work with him and make plans for different areas to see what we can accomplish in the mission. His name is Elder Nelson. We met in the MTC; he is my batch. We have the same way of thinking – oftentimes, we will have the same exact thoughts about specific things. It is really crazy to problem solve with him because our brains just become one and the thoughts flow super clearly. We come up with some really good ideas for the zone and what we need to do to help missionaries progress.

Culture: So houses in the Philippines are divided into two kinds of neighborhoods: Barangays and subdivisions. Barangays are where the poorer people live. These are houses that are extremely close together and the people do not have much going for them financially. A lot of the people live in very small houses that are found in alleyways. Some barangays are higherclass than others and some even have fairly normal classes but the norm is as explained above.
Subdivisions: these are the richer neighborhoods the houses are more spread apart, almost every house has a gate to it and the houses tend to be very expensive in these areas. These subdivisions are also varied in size and social classes. From the solid middle class up to the multi billionaires.
Tagalesson: Some good words to know: Baka, yata, and siguro.
All of these words mean "maybe" but are used in different ways.
Siguro: this is just standard "maybe" it can be used pretty much anywhere in the sentence and is useful. It can also stand alone as an answer to a question.
Baka: this only goes at the beginning of a sentence and it basically translates to "might" for example: "They might show up" = "Baka darating sila"
Yata: this mostly only goes in the middle or at the end and is like saying "I think so" for example
"He is over there, I think." = "Nang doon yata siya."

Now you know how to be completely unsure in Tagalog – which is good, because you probably aren’t fluent yet.

Welp I really got to head out now Thanks for reading.

Love Elder Faulkner

Our area is super flooded.
A cat.

A cool set up in a trike by a member, to advertise the gospel.

Cookies that I got sent by mom.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Boosting Bocaue Ward

Alrighty, so now we have plans for the area and plans for the ward. We’ve got some good things in store for all the good people of Bocaue. We are working on ways to take advantage of all the potential in this ward. They have been really kind to us in my stay here and we are going to use that trust to teach them what they can do to really make the ward amazing and reach a higher potential. It is really important for missionaries to leave their wards better when they leave than when they came into them. One thing I have learned is that as you work on individual’s problems and concerns, they start to branch out and affect others around them.

That is one of the things that we are going to do in this ward is we are going to focus on individuals and how that changes the ward members, their friends, and our less actives.
One way that we have started, is working on specific problems that our families have. I have actually found one of the families that I am here for. I believe I was called to this area for them specifically. We have started working with them to resolve concerns that they have in their home life. We find that our role as missionaries is really magnified and realized when we take the potential of one single family into consideration. We have been working with this family to help them to see what they could be compared to what they are now. Working closely with them has helped me realize what we can really do in this world for everyone around us.       

I like being companions with Elder Torres, he is doing really well, despite struggles with his health. He has taken up the work very well in this ward and I always look forward to what he has to share in the lessons.
I am running out of time. This has become an increasingly frequent thing in my life, as every week I seem to have more to write and less time to write it. So I will move onto more things about the culture.
Culture: "Isa lang ang diyos, Walang masama". People here are very open to tell you that it doesn’t matter what church you attend, as long as you believe in Jesus Christ. Now I am all for that last part about Jesus, but that first part doesn’t really do it for me. They will say that there is "walang masama" – which means “nothing evil”. Meaning, as long as you have a belief and stick by it, you aren’t doing anything wrong. Individual belief is important, but at the same time – God has requirements and it is impossible to pretend that those requirements don't exist. As soon as something is taken away from those truths, the fulness doesn’t exist anymore and you have a lack. And God doesn’t lack anything. This is one saying that you will hear a lot here in terms of religion and it can be stressful to hear sometimes.

Tagalesson: See picture number 4, a page from the book.

Alrighty so thank you muchly, I think next week I will be able to write more and talk more about the families that we have here in Bocaue.


Elder Faulkner


Mendoza Family (the one I mentioned earlier)

We made pancakes


Tagalesson naman.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Best in Bocaue

This week was pretty decent. We did some pretty good work, and we taught some people.

Well that is a pretty solid explanation of what happened.

Anyways, so these past few weeks I have been focused on personal improvement and teaching skills. One interesting part of Preach my Gospel says that all of our efforts as missionaries, including developing Christlike attributes, being worthy so that we can have the spirit, and reading the scriptures – all result in our ability to teach. One of the things I have really internalized as a missionary is that my goal here is to be a teacher; I am a teacher in everything that I do. I need to improve myself so that I can better teach people to their individual understanding. I like teaching and I really enjoy explaining things to others.
One of the results of this is the book that I am currently writing (to help people learn the language). I am trying to put many different ideas and teaching styles together to help everyone that is struggling. I have noticed in the mission that some people are not taught how to be good teachers or how to speak the language. We need something that will really help them understand the language.
This comes with a decent amount of stress because it takes up all my language study and it keeps me always wondering how to explain teaching skills and language acquisition. Many wise people have said that you really understand something when you can explain it properly to someone who is only five years old. Teaching the gospel and the language are two things that are very hard to explain to other people, let alone 5-year-olds.      

Right now, we are focusing on working closely with the. We got a lot of support from them and we have already seen them lead us to friends and family members. Working with the ward is often a lot more successful than going out in the street and talking to people. The people the ward have you teach are already familiar with the church and have a friend there to help them in the learning process. I really like working with our ward here.
Culture: "I was born _____. I will die ______" A lot of people are very traditional here. When asked why they believe in their religion, they will often answer something to the effect of ‘They are kind of all the same and this is what my parents believed.’ Family is very important, and some things are hard to get people to try if they are not willing to listen or act for themselves. One of the most important parts of missionary work is the invitation to act. You can never tell someone that they need to do something. And you can’t force them. But, if they are unwilling to follow the invitation – you need to explain very clearly why, and what you are inviting them to do. Then they are more willing to try and act for themselves.

Tagalesson. I will include a picture of the book I am writing. It should kind of explain some things about the language that I do not have time to write.

Welp thank you for reading, or skimming, or at least opening. If you didn’t do any of those things then you have no idea what I am saying here. So good luck on that one.

I love you all and hope life is good over where you are.

Elder Faulkner

The boots I use

Our baptismal board

Your Tagalesson

The Santa Maria elders.