Sunday, September 28, 2014

First Letter From The Philippines Sept 28 2014

Hey! First off I just wanted to thank those who fasted for me today I really appreciate it. I can use all the help I can get. So where do I even begin.. The first day I got here I was dripping sweat as I walked off the plane. My companion Elder Shaffer is awesome he is going home in December. He is super fluent in the language. So we are teaching like 12 families and we have 7 baptisms set for October 18th they are all super nice to me. But they know I have no clue what’s going on. Everyone here calls me Joe they say “hey Joe” “what’s your name Joe”? And so there’s that.
So let me tell you about my first night here in the field we taught Sister Sebastian she got baptized Saturday and that was good. It’s just us two in our area. There is no one else living with us just us two. So it’s a little city kind of, not really, and then tons of rice fields and jungle areas. The houses are all made from bamboo and tin some have electricity and some nothing. It gets dark around 5  and the bugs come out and destroy the living crap out of me!! There are bugs everywhere! Rats in my house, spiders the size of my hand. Its FILTHY here! I feel like Kolipoke from the movie The Other Side of Heaven.
  So the first night we go to a member’s home and they feed us. It was a fish just sitting on the table, like 15 fish!! yup whole body scales head everything!! And then rice. They pray and then we eat it with our hands… yup the whole fish gone. How I kept it down no one knows I was just praying that I could keep it down. Then we rode a little motorcycle with three dudes on the back the 20 min to our house. There are huge toads here it’s weird.
  The second night we are teaching this little family and the 7 year old just drops a nice poop on the floor they threw some ash on it and that was that! I was trying not to laugh hahaha!! But then in church yesterday…yesterday was awful! I had to speak... I tried my best and the people looked at me like I had no clue what I said. I go to sit down and the branch president says, nice try I couldn’t understand what you said. It took me like an hour and a half to prepare what I said. And so I lost it and went to the bathroom which is outside, and cried and I just prayed and asked God why I am here. But its all good then I walked back in and we closed.
We had a lesson last night with a lady and she just whips out her boob and feeds her child! I guess that’s not bad here. Guys this is nuts! I have no clue why I am here… I have lost a TON of weight. My stomach hurts like all the time and the food is gross. I don’t know, I’m trying to be happy but I feel like that third wheel friend who shows up to the party and nobody talks to him. Or they try and I have no idea what’s going on and it makes me feel bad because the comp my comp had before me was unreal they did work here so they all just ask about him… We are teaching a lady named Christine she is nice she’s catholic and came to church yesterday and some member said catholic’s are going to hell... so that wasn’t good... so we taught her last night and cleared some things up. Other than that, life is not at all like home. I’m trying to forget, but it’s hard, like way hard. But that’s about it. I love you all and miss you all so much.
Elder Cuillard

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pictures Sept 17 2014

Elder Cuillard leaves for the Philippines tomorrow. He was packing getting a haircut and laundry. He sent the following pictures through email. He doesn't know how he feels about everything as far as leaving the MTC but he seems excited and happy! We get to talk to him tomorrow! 

This is Elder Cuillard and Elder Hirsch a friend from home
Elder Cuillard and his new good friend Elder Paskett! He loves this guy!

He thinks these Elders are his homies!

Friday, September 12, 2014

September 12 2014 MTC

September 12, 2014 MTC

In the picture above...That sign is like the COOOLESTTTT THING EVERRRR in sa Philippines! hahah and you say Kamusta!! meaning how are you? Then you do that, and say guapo gi hapon!  meaning still handsome :)
Hey so this week has been super crazy! I have been super busy!! First off I’m telling you all the story of how I got to pick up Big Hunt (AKA Hunter Apostolos) because that was the highlight of the week. Okay so I wasn’t suppose to host right, but that didn’t stop me. HA! But I didn’t go to gym that day:) HAHA! So Hunter came in at 12:30 and I had lunch at 12:10 so I like hurry and grab lunch right, and we had to do a comp switch to be able to not go to gym because Elder Paskett wanted to go out as well, so he shows up at 12:15 and the lines were so long!! So I gave him my food he pounded it down!! We ran out like literally running to go grab the notes I wrote Mom and Dad and then luckily I found Elder Hirsh (who is Hunters BF) because he was the one with the stickers and the second I grabbed the sticker we see him pull in! HAHA!  It was amazing.! I was so pumped we talked to him for like an hour before we took him to class because he was the only one there in his class so we talked to him he is doing well. UM, oh it was also so nice to hug Joe and Payslie!  It was like the closest thing to Mom and Dad I could get so it made me really happy! Anyways, the BYU game was last night ohh kill me now that was so hard!!!! You could hear the crowd the whole night and a ton of us went on a late night walk to the top of he residence to go watch some of it but we couldn’t really see it so we just talked! I am SUPER nervous for next week. HA! I have made the decision to just smile J and be happy because I am going to have NO CLUE what’s going on HAHAHA but whatever! But I’m super nervous!! I am going to miss my teachers Sis Whitehead and Bro Doan! They are so solid! I love them! Also all the guys that are here I’ve been saying bye to a ton of my good buddies from here like who I play ball with or whatever ya know? But it’s all good! The last day at the Temple was today! That was weird, we stayed a little longer but the names we did are on the way! Mom, your letter is coming too you might get it Monday but It’s for your birthday!!  Anyways that’s about it thus far. You’ll probably have a long email next week Ha. When I have a spider that is about as big as a frisbee all over my room. Literally not kidding. Ha oh boy I’m in for a treat. So you all know I LOVE AMERICA!! Thank you for all the letters and such and I hope you all have a great week!! 

These pictures are of the story from above! Elder Apostolos enters the MTC

Saturday, September 6, 2014

September 5, 2014 MTC

September 5, 2014 MTC

Hey! So this week has been a crazy week!  It’s been full of work. We have taught about two to about three investigators a day. We are also privileged to be the zone leaders and received 36 new elders and sisters this week. A few were are Polynesian. So we have been trying to get them all settled in and dealing with all the problems with that. Two of them were from Cittabus, I don’t know how to spell that but they speak very little English so I have to help them constantly. One Elder only had half a bag for two years! It really made me sad and amazed at the faith he has to do this.
We have missed a couple language lessons this week too which has been really frustrating trying to learn alone because my comp is a smart dude and gets it and remembers it like the first time he hears it and it takes me like a 100 times I swear to get it. But it’s all right!! We had a really good devotional this Tuesday and it was on how to really care for the investigators how to find friends for them and to follow up on them after they are baptized. It was really good I took like 4 pages of notes. It was all about how we should treat our investigators as if it was your mom dad brother or sister you are trying to introduce or reactivate into the gospel and he talked about how sacred our calling is and how we should not go one day with an empty schedule. It really pumped me up. Honestly the language is hard and I am awful at it. Like seriously not good. I read ether 12:27 every day. Literally, probably 15 times a day. HaHa. But I know one thing for sure that honestly I love those people already with all my heart and would do anything for them. I love the devotionals- I just hope we get a general authority before I leave!! Let’s hope! Well I have been constantly tired this week, like I need a pick me up!! But it’s a good thing knowing I gave this week all I had. Anyways that’s about it for this week. It is super nice getting emails from Kalin and Chase every week knowing that we are all in this thing together is like the best thing. I also got a letter from Jared yesterday I was SO happy to hear from him. Anyways excuse my spelling... but that’ s about it! I love you all I hope to hear from you:)
Elder Cuillard

PS-- Before I go I wanted to share my testimony in IIlongo.
Kabalo ako nga matuod ang simbahan ni jesu cristo maga buhi si jesu cristo. naga pallanga kita sang Dios. matuaod ang propetta si joseph smith. Paggi sa syia ang libro ni mormon. Nagabuhi kita sang dioys mga pamilla nammon. sgnalin ni jesu cristo amen.

Means this I know that the church is true,I know that Jesus Christ lives, God loves us, the prophet Joseph smith was a true prophet through him the Book of Mormon was translated. I know god blesses our families. In the name of Jesus Christ amen. 

I love you all so much! I know God is watching out for all of us and is blessing us. Have a great weekend and know you’re all in my prayers!!