Monday, October 27, 2014

October 26, 2014

  Hi everyone! Not a ton happened but I had a really neat spiritual experience that I will hold close to me through my life. It was Wednesday, and we had just gotten up and finished p 90 x which im not going to lie is giving me a sweet looking 6 pack. No joke. But anyways, we finished our bucket showers and we had sat down to have personal study and I have been reading in the bible to places where it talks about the differences from us and Catholics. Everyone says we are all children of God and we all believe the same thing. They also believe that God is 1 being and can be in three places at once, so I have been reading about all that stuff to help enlighten our investigators.  So anyways, we get a call from the branch pres wife and she works at the hospital. It's not a hospital I  wouldnt EVER go there I don't care how sick I was!! They have about 4 people in each room and have a couple fans and it's just a TON of sick people with no money so they can't really be treated. But she said Elders can you run to the hospital real quick and come give a brother a blessing? So we went right away. We were honestly having a solid day like I was really enjoying it. We both were thinking it would be a little something ya know a flu or something. I've given so many blessings. They call us because no one else has olive oil. It is so expensive here and people cannot afford it. So we get to the hospital and the lady sister's friend is waiting for us because it's her husband. She seemed pretty shaken up but pinoys are kinda dramatic so I was like hmmm well we walk in the door and the man is lying there on his bed, his 12 year old daughter is bag valve ventilating him his eyes are rolled back and she says to him the elders are here to help you. We blessed him to arrive home with peace in his heart as he knows that the Savior loves him, we also blessed him not being a member to accept the sweet message of the atonement and to be at peace. We literally finished the blessing and he passed away. We walked out and then walked home which was WAY far away, but it seemed like nothing though. We didnt say one word, nor did one person say one word to us. No" hey joe" nothing and that never happens. It made me think about so much, how blessed I am to be here and how I have been given so much. How grateful I was that I was worthy!  Just everything! It was crazy cool and I haven't really ever felt the spirit speak to me like that. I literally felt whisperings in my ear. The craziest part about it is that I anointed, and I would feel to say something and Elder Schaffer said EXACTLY what I would have. Very Very sacred experience for me. 
  Well on the other side of things we had two baptisms this week it was AWESOME!  NyNy Valdarama which was just SOLID she is hilarious. She says I am not as gwapo as Elder Schaffer but I am his back up so its okay:) hahah it makes me laugh. Then a little boy who is part of a less active family but the mom always comes his name is Julious. He's a stud. We also got invited to a feista!  You literally walk into peoples homes and just eat the food. Like its weird but we had some good food and some weird stuff..... I don't know about what I ate but whatever right:) hahah My favorite is ADOBO it's vinegar, oil and soy sauce with pork and rice it's solid.  We met this crazy Ny(Grandma) that day who was the funniest lady I have ever met she is in the purple we walked in and start talking "oyyyy kamusta ny salamit gid sa abortunidad" and then get cut off and she goes I speak ENGLISH YOU IDIOT!  Not really good at all, but it was hilarious!  There was also a parade today and we were walking with our laundry to drop it off and more people looked at us because we are white. Perks of being white here. Literally everyone says "hey joe"  looks at you, and all the girls laugh so hard!  They also say "ohhhh gwapo sila" meaning they are hot! And my favorite is to turn and say "sino? sa akon? waay indi gwapo ko who? me? I'm not quapo" and they burst out laughing and get all red it's funny! But also I have learned what its like to be broke this week. I  have ate oats for like every meal both Schaffer because we wont eat canned sardines everyday. have to tell you what happened yesterday. It was a crazy spiritual experience.  We found out that one of the sisters who wasn't going to be baptized because she was having to feed her family and had to go harvest rice so that her kids could eat, but then decided not to work so she could be baptized. Elder Schaffer and I asked her to make us this treat and then payed for her to feed her family and that is one reason I am eating oats this week because we kinda ran out of money. Its not like a job its like they find a field and they get to keep the amount of rice that they harvest for the day. And Everyone needs rice so it goes way fast. And we traveled a ton for conference and stuff so we were WAY short on the funds so we are living off oats hahaha and this stuff called energin. HAHA so mom the package literally SAVED ME. Anyways that's about it I love you all have an awesome week!

Love, Elder Cuillard

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 19, 2014

First off let me reply to mom and dad:) So I have really just been questioning a lot this past week like why I am here in the Philippines when I feel like the Lord could have been using me so much more somewhere where I could speak ya know? IDK if I have ever mentioned this to you guys but it's not one language I'm learning, there are 3 different languages that people speak here. First Kariaya, Illongo and Tagolog, then like in between that there are little English words they use but they don't understand English or even realize that it's an English word. So we will go to one lesson and one family will speak one, then the next lesson another, and one family we teach speaks all three. So if you can imagine its difficult. Very difficult but I spoke yesterday and it was good but I was looking through my scripture case and found a note from you dad the one where you wrote it in journal style and I read it and it really made me happy. idk it helped me realize that this is not about me. It's just not. Mom I have not gotten anything yet from you, it takes about a month or so:) but its all good I'm starting to get the hang of things I am just pumped to be able to throw with a lacrosse stick:)!!!!!! Also I am so jealous of Yellowstone! I want to see some pine trees:) Ha!  I only see a ton of buko trees (palm trees with coconut) we get the BEST BUKO JUICE EVER here:) I love that stuff!! But I miss you and I hope you all had a great time! The one thing that I  regret more than anything is not spending more time with you guys!

So first I didn't really tell you a ton about last week so one day last week I almost died! It was freaky but it was so fun and nuts!!  So we were way out in the bukids like the middle of NOWHERE haha so we would have had to walk for like 3 hours to get to where we needed to go and it was dark. It gets dark at 5 here and the sun comes up at 4 in the morning. But anyways so we see this motorcycle, and we flag them down! Long story short, we hop on with 4 dudes on a little motorcycle then we start talking to them and we figure out they are drunk like so drunk!!  I was like well Heavenly Father if I need to get off tell me because I really don't want to walk but I really don't want to die. Anyways we made it safe! Also this week we are teaching a sister named Jemma and her daughter who is 16 and has a baby!  Not really weird here?? We also have a girl who joins in with us, like one of their friends, so anyways I guess that the one friend has a massive crush on me.. I felt so weird... the girls no joke LOVE us because we are white I've had multiple moms try to get me to take their daughters and I'm like "wala indi indi" It's not my purpose! We are way pumped though we have a baptism on Sunday! Sister Valdarama, she is way sweet she is a "Ny" or grandma! She is awesome! We have been working on her since I got here. We had 5 dates set but I think we are going to drop a couple because they are not showing the desire. Elder Schaffer and I have a goal not to count baptisms as our numbers, but count conversions. We don't care if we don't baptize because if we do some will be inactive the next week ya know? But it's been good so my scriptures like are falling apart idk why!  So I ordered some new ones for while im proselyting and I will just be extra careful with the ones I have, I think its the humidity.Oh so cool story Sis Sebastian my first baptism, she is inviting her friend to join in on lessons and she is solid like definitely a baptism soon:) hahah I love the Sebatians they are my fav I help out Reese their little girl with times tables while she helpes me learn the language. I love them because they spreak pure Illongo! Also super cool, a family was way sick and we gave them blessings and the next day all of them were better! When we came back and the Ny (grandma) said wow you young boys have some serious power! Ha! Then we got to testify that it wasn't us and it was really good:) So here is the new idea Elder Schaffer and I have, So there was a huge party next door and they were playing music till 3 am no joke! I couldn't sleep to save my life but that night I got some inspiration. Sooo here it is. We are going to organize a big christmas program with all the other faiths and get all the leaders in on it and it would be a big missionary opportunity and I'm pumped. I'll give you all more details later! But thats about it! The Language is still awful:) hahah but whatever right! It will come as long as I keep doing what I am doing! "amat amat" that's what everyone tells me, meaning its coming "slowly but surely":) Anyways I love you all have an amazing week!

  Love Elder Cuillard

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 12, 2014

Hi!  So I’ll respond to your questions first... So Dad, yes, the catholic church is right around the corner -my house is like right by it. But I spaced taking a picture of it, my camera is at the house and we are 3 hours away we have been here this whole weekend because of conference. We had 10 investigators with us and the stake president came up to us and told us how impressed they are with us. Our branch may become a ward soon.
So I am sorry about pictures but we have to get on and do Facebook Wednesday so I’ll send some pictures then. We have transfers that are every six weeks. Mom we have water about half of the time but toilets don’t flush so you pour water in them then the shower doesn’t really work so bucket shower it is! My house had a mouse in our food. It was in our rice but it escaped and we ate the rice anyway! It’s still roaming our house somewhere.
My week was honestly a rough one... we worked our butts off and we lost an investigator. I was seriously so sad...  I ended up crying telling her how sorry I was because I felt like it was because maybe I didn’t convey the message right,  and I promised her an answer but she said she had a dream about the catholic church...I don’t know, it was just a rough day. Monday we had a FHE and we had dinner and I ate something bad and ended up blowing chunks for the night... that was awful!! I was like where is my mother? But I’m good now.  We teach about 30 lessons a week. We have 5 baptismal dates, not this week but next so I’m pumped! This week we taught to the same families as last week so that didn’t change. My language is still so hard like so hard. I think I start to get it then nope... but whatever. It will come I hope! Well everyone is celebrating Christmas and it makes me miss home a lot, like just missing the family and seeing temple square for conference was like wow I miss that place its all so clean and white ahhhh:) but one day... right?? Seems like I’m never coming home!! But I’m trying not to focus on that:) the people here are great I don’t have much time but that’s about it today! I love you sorry for the short email we are not at home!! I love you!!

Elder Cuillard

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 5, 2014

Hey so this week has been a lot better, there are still a lot of things that are just like woahhh what the heck, but things have been getting better. So this week I experienced my first earthquake. That scared the living crap out of me. We were teaching and in the middle of the lesson and I thought I was going crazy like maybe dehydrated or something?  It was weird! But then I was like  everything is moving and the members all ran outside and my comp and I were just sitting there like well now what!! hahah I was like well elder ,that would be my first linog meaning earthquake. But it was funny. Every night Elder Schaffer and I make fruit smoothies and popcorn. It gets me through the day and we found a place that makes cookies and cream shakes so we have bro dates there, for lunch sometimes. We are still doing p 90 x at 5:30 every morning it keeps me sane! hahaha its hard.. but I like it. We have to be up at 6:30 we get up at 5:30 to workout. We then shower and eat then we study honestly I study the pmg lessons and try to think of things I can say in Illongo for the lessons that day then we have comp study where we practice teaching where my companion helps me say things correctly and why its said the way it is. Then we make lunch and we go out to appts. and tract every night I read the scriptures and I am reading about the Savior and his attributes. I read about patience a lot. Each lesson is totally different we litteraly study and go where the spirit directs. Like sometimes we plan a lesson and it totally goes the other way! 
   Well this week we have been teaching  the Valdarama family and they are really progressing they have a teenager named JP and him and I are tight. He speaks a little English and he helps me with Illongo. His family is a part member family they are awesome. They all have baptismal dates so thats awesome. The youngest daughter is hilarious she always asks me questions. I have no idea what she is saying so she tries to help me out. Nyny the grandma is hilarious, everyone who is older you say Nyny to and you bless them. You grab their hand and touch it to your forehead. But they are awesome I’m pumped to see JP baptize them. We also teach a sister named Christine who happens to find my comp very attractive so we always have to have me sit by her and its a little awkward.. hahaha but besides that, she is actually really interested. She was a very strong catholic and we are actually going to her church today.. I’m actually pumped because the building is so old and cool looking. But I hate it at the same time because they play bells for an hour at 4 am every morning! I might just have to have a word with that pope today.. haha!  But she will be baptized. We gave her a date sat night, and we were soaking wet and had mud all over us because we had  two lessons by the river and it was sooo muddy and the rain was nuts… it was so fun!  We had been working for probably 6 hours straight non stop. 
So I was tired but I also that night taught the Castanios family and had my first real convo for about 30 mins the language is still (buudly gid) hard very hard. But I didn’t even realize it till Elder Schaffer was like bro nice job you killed it. We are actually way tight we cook some boss food. I taught mission prep yesterday, there were 7 youth that came. It was good.! There is also this slight possibility that I will be training after this transfer which would be hard. I’m supposed to be with my trainer but Pres. was hinting it a lot to me this last week when I met with him. After we met with him,  we went to a place called rainbows, it has pretzels and I was so happy to have some somewhat regular food. But its still hard I don’t know why,  but there are a ton of cockroaches all over our house! But whatever... anyways I love you and can’t wait for conference next week.!! Have an amazing week
Also thank you for all the emails. I am sorry if I don’t email back i am so grateful for you all they really helped me.!!

Love, Elder Cuillard