Philippines Cauayan Mission

Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! Life's still good in the Philippines! Just finished one big party for Christmas and now everyone's getting ready for an even bigger party for New Years! Christmas pretty much killed work for the week. Longest week ever work wise. Everyone we would try and talk to or visit would say they were busy getting ready for Christmas. A lot of people when we asked when we could come back said after New Years is when they will have time for us to visit them. From what I've heard from the members, New Years is a bigger celebration than Christmas was but hopefully we can get more success this week. On Christmas Eve, we had made plans to go out to an area where I had never been. We had talked to members about this area and they told us there were some less actives out there. They weren't lying because we found a lot more less actives but nobody wanted to listen because they were "busy" getting ready for Christmas. Something cool is the way to get there we can either walk straight through the rice fields or take a tricycle around them on the road. We thought it would be more fun to walk through the fields so that's what we did. Ended up covering my shoes in mud and it got all over my pants too! It was pretty fun though so it was worth it. Christmas day was pretty fun too. Ate at a couple of different member's houses. I've never been so full in my life. It was all really good food though. 
On Saturday, we had a baptism to go to in the afternoon. It was the sister's baptism though. The girl's name that was baptized is Leane. She has been coming to church since I have been in the mission. I didn't know she wasn't a member until about 3 weeks ago. I guess her mom didn't give the okay for her to be baptized so she never got baptized. The sister's told her since she is 22 years old she doesn't need permission from her parents so she finally got baptized. The baptism was really good and she was really happy. 
Sunday was a pretty good day. Church was pretty good. President Rahlf came to church here too. While we were in class, next thing we knew he walked in the door and said hello to everybody. President and Sister Rahlf are definitely awesome people and are perfect for leading the mission. Later in the day we visited the Lapid family. You might remember them from a couple weeks ago. So they live really far away but they have the means to be able to attend church. The lesson to them was amazing. We were able to teach the whole family together again and they all participated and asked good questions too! It is really fun to teach and visit with that family. The only bad thing is they are only all together on Sunday's so we can only visit them once a week. I'm really excited for them and I hope we can get somewhere with them before I end up transferring. 
I hope you all are doing well and have a happy New Year this week!
Love Elder Haacke
 Elder Haacke and his companion Skyping family from the local internet cafe on Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2014

A New Companion

Pretty busy week this week getting close to Christmas! Doesn't really feel like Christmas at all. I can't believe it is here already. Biggest news of the week is I got a new companion! His name is Elder Taumalolo from New Zealand. He only has one more cycle after this one until he goes home. He's so awesome. We have a lot of fun together but when it is time to work he works hard. I'm really excited for this cycle!
Tuesday- We went around to different people for Elder Zabala to say bye to and he finished packing. We had a lunch appointment with the zone leaders in their area and they made potato salad! It was so good! They also spake pretty much fluent English so it was really easy to talk to them. Later that night we had our usual dinner appointment at the Plucena's house. We always eat the same thing there every week but it's okay because it's pretty good. 
Wednesday- We got picked up in the morning and went to Solano which is the transfer point for the missionaries down south. All the transferring missionaries continued up to Cauayan and the others stayed in Solano to wait until the new companions got there. We had to wait for a long time so we went to McDonald's then walked around Solano for a while. We went back to the church and still had a long time to wait. One elder brought Uno with him so we played a couple rounds. We had a ton of fun and then right when we finished the second round the missionaries got there. I went and met my new companion and then came back to Bambang. As soon as we got here we went out and walked the part of the area that was close by. He saw a lot of people he new before. About a year ago he was assigned in Bambang zone but over the hill from where we are now. He went on splits just once here in this area and everybody still remembers him from that.
Thursday- Just a usual day. Went out to work in the furthest part of the area. Everybody said either no, next time, or they just weren't there. We ended up doing some finding since none of the people we planned for worked out. After a long day of work we had dinner at the Peralta's house again. We ate a lot there then went back home for the night.
Friday- We had the Chrismas zone conference so we had to go all the way back to Santiago which is like 3 hours in the van. Christmas party was a lot of fun though. We listened to President and Sister Rahlf first. They always do an awesome job teaching. Then we ate lunch and after lunch was time for skits. As zones, we were given a bag of a lot of different things in it and we had to use them in a skit. We had half an hour to work on a skit. My zone acted out the Christmas Carol with Scrooge and Tiny Tim and all that. It was super funny and a real good time watching the other zones perform their skits too. Then to finish the meeting we had a testimony meeting and then came back to Bambang.
Saturday- Another good day today. Went to the other part of the area and worked there for a while. Branch 2 had their Christmas party but we thought we would join them in the celebration even though we are the missionaries in branch 1. They roasted a pig for dinner which was amazing. The skits that they did were also really funny. Overall it was an awesome day!
Sunday- Kind of disappointing at church. We didn't have any investigators there but one new less active came. Pretty cool because she told us to go away and shut the door on us just two weeks ago. Tried to visit them that night but every time we stopped by their house no one was there. 
Pretty good week again. We didn't get as many lessons as we have in the past but we found 5 less actives just by tracting and they were excited when we started talking to them. Also on Sunday we were out walking and, jokingly, I said lets go OYM that house over there. It was a really nice house that I have walked by quite a bit. Next thing I knew Elder Taumalolo starts walking over there and we "Tao po" the door. A guy comes to the door and invited us inside. We told him about the church and shared a Christmas message about Jesus Christ. We asked if we could come back and he said yes. Pretty excited to go back this week and start teaching him and his family.
Everything is going well here and I hope everyone is doing great back home! Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and I'll talk to you next week!
Love Elder Haacke

Picture with an active family. They are a lot of fun to go visit sometimes. It's the Chikino family. One of my favorite families here in Bambang. Also you can see my new companion in the picture.
 
 Picture of me and Elder Zabala.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Biggest Snail

Pretty good week this week! Another really busy week and went by pretty quick again! Highlight of the week was Zone Conference on Thursday with Elder Bowen of the Seventy. Left at 8 in the morning and went to Santiago, ate lunch at Mcdonald's, then the Conference started at 1:30. He talked a lot about obedience and how it will effect your missionary work then later we talked about some doctrine. Mainly the oath and covenant of the priesthood, baptismal covenant, house of Israel, and the Abrahamic covenant. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.I remembered to ask Elder Bowen if he knew Nate Blanchard and he did so we talked about that for a little. Also all of their kids went to Skyline as well. Then at the end they fed us dinner then we left and came back to Bambang. 

We found a couple new families this week that I am pretty excited about. One family is the Judosho family and we taught the mom last week then we went back yesterday and we taught the mom and the dad together. The son didn't want to join but the mom and dad were really accepting to what we shared. The other family is the Lapid family and they are really cool. They live really far away and on the top of a mountain. One day we had 5 appointments fall through so we went to the top and we found them. We've only shared with them once so far but they were there as a whole family and loved what we shared. They have one daughter who is 10 years old. She is a little shy but she listens and does everything we ask her. She has finished reading everything we have given them so far. Hopefully they will be home this week so we can visit a couple times!

Sunday night was the Christmas devotional at the church. That was really good and there were a ton of people there! After we went and visited two more people before we went home. At one of them, I saw the biggest snail I've ever seen.
 
 My comp said he's seen way bigger but I still thought it was pretty cool! 
 
Anyway it was a good week overall. Didn't have any investigators at church though. We were both pretty disappointed about that. Most people don't find it necessary when they can just go to a church that is right next to their house. That's the excuse we get a lot of the time. Hopefully they'll come though soon! I hope all is doing well for everybody back home! Love you all!

Love Elder Haacke
 
I was standing on the back of the jeepney on the way to Banaue. Half of the zone is on top while everyone else is inside.

From Banaue:

Monday, December 8, 2014

Early Christmas

Had a pretty good week this week and, just like all the other weeks, went by really fast!
 
Tuesday- We had are district meetings in the morning which were good then went to Chic-boy for lunch. We end up going there quite a bit because there are only 3 main restaurants here in Bambang. Went out to work after lunch which was alright. Didn't have much success at all during the first 3 or so hours but later in the evening it picked up and we were able to get some lessons in.
 
Wednesday- We had a service assignment in the morning which was pretty fun. We all broke off and did different assignments. Elder Brandon and I took the weed whacker and the machete and went up and cut down a ton of weeds. It took forever. We did if for almost three hours. The weed whacker was not that great though. It kept dying on us and the last thing we wanted to do was break it. While we were cutting down some weeds I found a bag laying in the grass with dad's name and my name on the bag. I thought it was awesome so I went and took a picture of it. 
 
 
Then the kids got a break from school for a bit so we played with a bunch of them for about 20 minutes which was a ton of fun!
 
Thursday- Had apartment checks today. We spent the whole morning cleaning and yes dad I even cleaned the bathroom. Scrubbed the floor for an hour. Didn't touch the toilet though, that thing is pretty gross. 
 
  
When the Shorters came to check the apartment, they also walked in with a box which was my Christmas package! I was pretty excited! Plus there is isn't anyone here to make me wait until Christmas to open it!
 
Friday- Just a normal day today. Work was pretty good. Started to go in a different part of an area that I haven't been to before so that was pretty cool. Found a few people to follow up with and got a couple lessons while we were there.
 
Saturday- Got punted for the most part of the day. Meaning that all the appointments we had fell through and didn't happen so we did some finding. We walked to the top of a mountain and started going down the backside and there were a few houses there so we tried there. The second one invited us in and were really nice and let us share to them. Then we found a couple other people to follow up with the next time we go there.
 
Sunday- Church was good. Didn't have any investigators there this week. Kind of disappointing. Went on splits later in the day with Elder Brandon and his companion. Me and Elder Brandon went together but only got one lesson. Walked so much. Then we joined the sisters and went caroling to some less actives in their area. That was a lot of fun actually!
 
Monday- We were able to go to Banaue this morning! A ton of fun! Didn't go hiking this time but went into a bunch of little shops up there. Got a few pictures from the look out point and some pictures of us on the jeepney on the way back to Bambang. Stopped in Solano and ate at McDonald's. First time I've eaten there since I've been in the mission! It was awesome! 
 
Pretty great week this week and it should be another good week this week too. We are supposed to have zone conference with Elder Bowen this week but as of now he is still stuck in Manila because of the typhoon. We got a little bit of rain up here and no wind. The temperature did drop quite a bit though and I actually put sweats and a long sleeve shirt on for the first time last night! 
Hope everyone is doing well and I love you all!
Love Elder Haacke

Monday, December 1, 2014

Another Good Week in the Phililppines

Sam I can't believe you're already headed out this week! Those 9 weeks flew by! Can't wait to hear about your experience traveling! The worst part for us was taking the TRAX system to the airport with 43 missionaries and all the bags. That was horrible so hopefully you don't have to do that! 

Another good week in the Philippines! Stayed pretty busy this week which made time go by really fast! Taught 31 lessons this week which is way more than the average we have been getting!
Tuesday- Not too much happened on Tuesday. Had district meeting in the morning, ate lunch all together then went straight to work after that. Had dinner at the Plucena's house. We're trying to get them to help us with missionary work by coming with us but they say they're always busy. That's the problem with the branch. Our member present lessons are pretty low cause we can never get anybody to work with us. The one brother that has worked with us in the past leaves on his mission this week to California so we won't be able to use him anymore.
 
Wednesday- A normal, busy day. Didn't have a dinner appointment but the last family we visited that night gave us a bag of pancit to take home and eat for dinner. While walking home there was a homeless lady on the side of the road so I walked over to her and offered her the pancit. She tapped my leg then showed me the coins in her hand. I thought she was offering to pay so I said no it's for you and that I don't want money. She did it again then I realized she was tapping my wallet and wanted money from me. I said no but the pancit is for her and she tapped my thigh a third time. I tried to explain that I can't give money but I want to give her this food and she said no so I just walked away. Pancit sure was good for dinner though! I couldn't believe she didn't want the food but oh well.
 
Thursday- Totally forgot it was Thanksgiving all day until I went to write in my journal at night. Didn't get a big feast but that's alright. 
Firday- Had service in the morning. Cut down or pulled weeds for almost 3 hours. And we have to go back this week to do it again. Not the most fun service project but there were many that were grateful when they walked by. Went and ate at Chic-boy after and it was their one year anniversary so it was packed. Got some free pictures taken and the food was still good though.
Saturday- Went to Dupax for another baptism interview. I like the area over there. Maybe someday I'll get to come back to Bambang and get assigned in Dupax. 
 
Sunday- Finally got two investigators to church. Hopefully we can progress with them this week and they will continue to come. Tatay and Nanay Fernandez made it 4 weeks in a row so now they're considered returned! Another less active family came again and he actually spoke. He said that whenever he gets lost he always finds himself back in this church then bore his testimony which was awesome. 
Great week over all and went by really fast!! Hopefully we can continue to get lessons this week and make some progress with some investigators! 
Love you all!
 
Love Elder Haacke
 
I totally spaced pictures this week. Time flew by then just last night I realized I hadn't taken any pictures! I'll do better this week!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

FHE Fun

Another week down in the Philippines! Not too bad of a week this week. Got 23 lessons so another good week that way. Baptisms on the other hand are lacking a little bit but we're doing good with some less actives.
Monday- We had family home evening at a members house. I went there once last cycle. The one with a ton of kids. They have 3 or 4 kids but then all the kids from the houses around always come for family home evening so it makes it a lot of fun! We split into three teams for the game and my team won. You have to really get into the games here because there is always a punishment for the team that loses. Most likely sing in front of everybody and I'm not doing that so I do all I can to win! 
Friday- Went on splits with the zone leaders for the day. Pretty fun experience. I went with Elder Poulter who is from Rigby so we talked a lot about home! Went to new part of their area that they hadn't been to before so it was a lot of finding. Did get a couple lessons in though so that was good! 
Sunday- Church was pretty good. Tatay and Nanay Fernandez made it 3 weeks in a row this week. Another less active family, the Morinas family, came back to church for the first time this week. Funny story...An old man from the furthest part of our area came to church yesterday as well! Like a month ago we were teaching another guy out in the open and he came up and sat in on the conversation. Started to become more of a debate and I was totally lost the whole time with the language. On Saturday we saw him on the road so we just said hello and invited him to church. Couldn't believe it but he actually came! Hopefully we can visit him this week and follow up with him! When we went out to work yesterday, Manny Pacquiao  had a fight that day. Thanks to him, work was tough. It's like a holiday here whenever he fights. I thought that was pretty funny though!
Hope all is well back home! Love you all!
Love Elder Haacke
  


Where Bryan gets his water for bathing, cooking and the wash bins where he washes his clothes.

Monday, November 17, 2014

I Need A New Umbrella

Pretty good week again this week! Language is improving. This week was a pretty good week language wise. Also we got 24 lessons this week so that is a record for me since I've been here! Still didn't have any investigators at church this week but we have some that are continuing to pray and read everyday. They are always busy though so hard to contact.
Tuesday- Had district meeting in the morning. Pretty good. Lesson was on companionship's and my companion teaches it so maybe he is trying to tell me something...haha who knows. At the dinner appointment, Sister Florence was there. She's like my little sis. She needed help with her homework but first she explained to me how hard school was and how they're combining math and science together which makes it super hard. She was making me laugh so hard! Then I couldn't even figure out her homework so she told me I was useless haha. 
 
Wednesday and Thursday were good days of work. Got 10 lessons in those 2 days which almost never happens where we are. 
Friday- Zone leaders invited us to an activity at night at the church which was super fun. It's awesome that everyone here gets really into the games. We played a game I have gotten pretty good at so I did pretty well! 
Saturday- Had a normal day. Rained while we were out at work and my umbrella broke about a month ago and I haven't bought a new one yet so I got soaked. It only rained in the area we were. When we left the area, we went about 100 yards away from the mountain and the road was dry. 
 
Sunday- Church was good. The less active from last week came again this week with his wife again. Two weeks in a row for him which is awesome. He's been less active for over 20 years. The lunch appointment was great. Sunday lunch appointments are the best.
 
Good week overall! Work is good and the language is improving! Love and miss you all! 

Love Elder Haacke
 
 The pictures are of Bambang City where Bryan is serving:
 

 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Frog--YUM!

Can't believe I finished my first transfer period already! Time flew by! I've been in the field for 6 weeks already but when I think about that I think that I should be further along in the language. As I talk to other foreigners though they say I'm doing really good but who knows, maybe they're just saying that. My district stayed pretty much the same from last cycle except for one companionship changed. The other district in my zone changed a lot. The new Sister Training Leader and the new Zone leader are both from Idaho. Sister is from Idaho Falls and Elder Poulter is from Rigby. Pretty awesome! 
So mom, you know how I said I didn't want music when I left? I thought I'd be busy with other things. Well that was a mistake! I went and bought a usb and a speaker so now I can listen to music. Even if it is just efy and Mormon tabernacle choir songs it is super helpful. Elder Brandon has a lot of songs so he took my usb and will put songs on it. 
Work was pretty good this week. Got some more new investigators but had to drop some. Two investigators really started to progress this last week though so that was awesome! One is younger and a little more quiet but is improving then the other is 22 yrs old named Windel. He started to read the Book of Mormon and is loving it. We'll try for a baptism date this week. Also we got one less active back to church this week along with his wife. Just earlier this week we showed up at the house and the wife told us to go away but Tatay invited us in. Then when we visited yesterday, they both listened to the lesson together and Nanay talked more than she ever has before! 
Today all the elders in the zone, except one companionship, got together and played ball at the church this morning. So much fun. Also we had a soccer ball and football so that was fun to throw around for a bit! I was able to eat frog on Tuesday. It actually was super good. It took me a second to actually eat it but after I put the thought behind me and just ate it I realized it was actually really good! Still haven't tried balut yet but I told my comp I will before Christmas! Speaking of Christmas, all I hear now is Christmas songs. Kind of tough since it reminds me so much of home and family. All the missionaries say this is the worse time of year with home sickness haha but as long as I stay busy it isn't too bad.
Pretty good week overall! Hope everything is going well back home! I'd do anything for some of the cold weather you have! Hopefully it can cool down a bit here soon! Love you all!
Love Elder Haacke
 
Bambang Zone

Monday, November 3, 2014

Banaue Rice Terraces

Pretty great week this week! The last week of my first transfer! How crazy is that?! One elder in my district is training this next transfer so I'm excited since I won't be the new guy anymore. We will meet him on Thursday morning at district meeting. Funny to read Sam's emails and compare it to what we did in the MTC. A lot of it is the same. We spent a lot of time in the piano room listening to one Elder practice as we studied. I can't believe it has already been a month since you entered the MTC! Time flies by!
 I don't have my calendar with me so I can't remember what I did each day of the week. We had zone conference on Thursday which was awesome! Learned a lot and met some new missionaries from the Solano zone. Learned a lot of great lessons on our language study, obedience, and how to find people to teach. Also got recognized for my birthday, even though I wasn't even a missionary yet, so I got a cool temple recommend holder. Today was Banaue day (rice terraces)! We went to Jollibee to eat breakfast early this morning at 3:00am then left from the church at 4:00am. Since the whole zone can't fit inside the jeepney some people had to ride on top which was a ton of fun.....for the beginning at least. It was cool looking at the stars as we drove down the road but the top was very uncomfortable. It took around 3 and a half hours to get there. View was awesome but Elder Brandon and I didn't waste any time before we started our hike. We walked so much since it was both of our first times going. Pretty great day! Because of Banaue I don't have very much time to email so it is a short one this week but it was a good week! Love you all!
 Love Elder Haacke
 
About the Banaue Rice Terraces (Below Pictures):
The Banaue Rice Terraces (Filipino: Hagdan-hagdang Palayan ng Banawe) are 2,000-year-old terraces that were carved into the mountains of Ifugao in the Philippines by ancestors of the indigenous people. The Rice Terraces are commonly referred to by Filipinos as the "Eighth Wonder of the World".  It is commonly thought that the terraces were built with minimal equipment, largely by hand. The terraces are located approximately 5000 ft above sea level. They are fed by an ancient irrigation system from the rainforests above the terraces. It is said that if the steps were put end to end, it would encircle half the globe.  Locals to this day still plant rice and vegetables on the terraces.







Monday, October 27, 2014

Cool Baptism Amongst Staying Busy

I can't believe it's time for winter again. I miss going to Action Motors this time of year and looking around at all the new gear. I made a list in my journal of what I wanted to do when I get back and going to Action Motor was one thing I wrote down. Can't believe it's already calling for snow in Island Park. I miss it but I have to admit I'm excited for you dad, and whoever is going with you. Haha so you learned we got pulled over by the police.  When we got pulled over I knew I wasn't going to get a ticket. I can get out of anything. A picture was a first priority. We decided to not say anything and when I left for my mission Tyler would post the picture. I am surprised it took him this long to do it. If I would have ended up with a ticket or a written warning then I definitely would have said something but I thought since I didn't it was okay. But hey, Samantha and Marissa knew a while ago so it wasn't just me that kept the secret haha. I don't think there are any other things I need to say now that I've left ;)


This week was pretty good! Weeks are getting faster and faster. We were supposed to go to the Banaue Rice Terraces today but yesterday afternoon the driver ended up in the hospital so it got postponed until next Monday. I didn't complain because I am lucky enough to be able to go my first transfer. Normally people are only able to go once on their mission. They typical p-day is, wake up, do laundry for like an hour and a half, clean the apartment then go do email. After that we have lunch then do some shopping for random cool little things. We then go grocery shopping and if we need anything specific we can do that like a haircut or something.


Monday- Had family home evening again but with a family in the sister’s area. There were 16 kids there so that made the games we played really fun! The kids were actually pretty well behaved and it was awesome to sit and sing a bunch of primary songs with them.

Tuesday- A normal day of work. Work actually went really well on Tuesday. Our scheduled appointments pretty much all didn't happen but we went to some new spots and found a ton of people to talk to and meet. We have already gone back to a couple of them and started teaching them. Hopefully they will continue with the lessons this week.

Wednesday- Busy day of work again. At night we had a funeral for an old lady that died. Funeral was pretty good then the branch president asked me and Elder Zabala to go with him to the hospital to give a blessing to a baby that wasn't doing very well. We got there and people are all in beds down every walkway outside the hospital. It was packed! Got to the baby and I saw how small it was and got kind of nervous. Turned out the blessing had already taken place so we didn't give it another one. I took advantage of the trip by using the scale out in the hallway. President Cacayan, me, and a couple other members went out and were playing with it. I've gained 9 pounds since I left. I think I need to exercise a little bit more.

Thursday- Had a service assignment in the morning. Helped a family move. Then the rest of the day was normal work.

Friday- Good day of work. Got a lot of lessons in so that was good!

Saturday- Had a baptism. Not our baptism but the sisters in our ward. I baptized the mom and Elder Zabala baptized the son. It was really fun and they were really happy. I felt a little bad for them since the water was freezing cold haha but I still think they had a good experience. We got back to the apartment and realized the keys were inside...spent an hour trying to break into our own apartment. I got super dirty since my companion didn't want to climb over the wall in the back. The fence was super sharp and snagged my pants a lot. I got the lock unlocked but the pin on the bottom did not want to move. Finally gave up and spent the night in the zone leader’s apartment. Then it was Sunday so we went to church and my white shirt was like a black shirt. It was soooo dirty but it was all I had! Finally after lunch we got back to the apartment and I thought about using a credit card on the front door. It worked and was super easy. Then we unscrewed the padlock from the door and got in. I don't know why I didn't think of it the night before! I could have saved a ton of time and saved a shirt!


Overall a really good week. Got a lot done and it went really fast. I am excited for this coming week and hope that we can progress with some of the investigators that we met this week. A lot of Filipinos will listen to the first couple of lessons because they don't want to tell you no. Then like after your third visit they say they don't want to change their religion and to not come back. We try our best but most are very dedicated to their religion. 


Hope all is well back home! 

Love Elder Haacke


P.S. I found a gagumba (spider) this week. I was climbing up a platform to get some fruit from a tree and the little boy told me to turn around and that spider was on the wall right behind me. As you could probably imagine I ran pretty quickly. The spider also ran then stopped again so I put my name tag next to it and took a picture. It was a little bit bigger than the palm of my hand. 


For the fam: 

Only one thing: So in my branch, we have like 2 "Brother Know-it -alls" is the only way I can describe it. We get into some heavy debates every Sunday. I enjoyed this last Sunday since I could actually understand most of it. It was about if nonmembers can receive personal revelation or not. I thought of course they can. They receive a confirming witness of the gospel before they decide to be baptized or not but I didn't want to get involved in it. Preach My Gospel compares the gift of the Holy Ghost to a fire station. It says everyone can receive promptings from the Holy Ghost just like everyone can receive help from the fire station. Having the gift of the Holy Ghost is like living right next door to the fire station. So yeah, everyone can receive personal revelation haha I just find the debates to be pretty funny. The thing is, every person in there was saying that they can but the one person was saying they can't haha  We were going like way over the time of church so finally they decided to continue next week haha


Hope all is well at home. Love you all and love reading about your week!



Monday, October 20, 2014

The Campaigning Begins

Pretty great week this week! Busy with a lot of different things so it made the week go by faster!
Monday- P-day always goes by really fast! At night we had Family Home Evening with a part member family. Dinner was pretty good. I've been putting off eating fish here since it doesn't look that great but I had to eat it since it's what they cooked. It actually wasn't that bad but not my favorite. The Filipinos get really into the games for FHE. We played a couple games that I learned in the Manila MTC which was good so I had some experience. If you lose, you get a mark of lipstick on your face. As you can see in the picture I lost quite a bit.
Tuesday- Had zone meeting so that lasted most of the day. I love spending time with all the missionaries in the zone though so I didn't mind at all. Short day of work because of zone meeting.
Wednesday- We had to go to the mission home for a meeting for all the new missionaries. I had been waiting for this day to come since I got here so that I could see the other missionaries I came over with. My area is about a 3 hour drive to get to the mission home so we had to wake up super early. Visiting with the other Elders in my group was awesome. We are all about the same spot in learning Tagalog so that made me feel good since I thought I should be further than I am. Since we spent the day at the mission home, I thought I would start my campaign as a future AP. I wasn't able to talk to President Rahlf very much but I did what I could. I was able to talk to Sister Rahlf for a long time though! We talked about a ton of stuff. Her son works at Klim in Idaho Falls so we talked about that. They go to Island Park pretty often since they have a family cabin up there. Of course, we talked about snowmobiling then she asked me about skiing. I thought my campaign was starting off very well and I plan to continue it on the 30th of this month at zone conference. On our way back, we passed by a restaurant called Mrs. Bakers. It is the most Americanized restaurant in the mission. It even smells like an American restaurant. We had to stop and eat just because of what I've heard about it. Spent 710 pesos which is what I could buy a weeks groceries with but it was definitely worth it. Most missionaries only get to go a couple times during their mission so I am really lucky I got to go already. I'll try and go again when we go to zone conference since we will pass it!
Thursday- Just a normal day. Work was tough because we went to an area where people are hard core Iglesia members. They are super hard to teach since all they do is argue with us.
Friday-Had a baptismal interview for some investigators the sisters taught. My companion is the district leader, if I didn't mention that before, so I am a part of all the interviews. I am going to baptize the mom this coming Saturday since she is taller than Elder Zabala so he didn't want to. Right after the interviews it started raining right when we were going to work. Got soaked for the rest of the day and it never stopped.
Saturday- Had another interview in an area called Dupax. Still raining from the day before. It didn't stop until 5;30 that night. Like 29 hours of straight rain. Interviews took forever so we didn't get back to Bambang until around 6:00. 
Sunday- Church was good. Had a couple less active people that we had been teaching come to church so that was awesome. Other than that it was a regular day of work. Went back to the Iglesia area. I think the next time we go we will finally get through to one of them but who knows. Pretty good week overall!

People here are great! The longer I stay here the more I see people that remind me of people at home. We teach two brothers that remind me of me and Lachlan. They do everything together and always play basketball together at the church. Another family is a family of sisters. There is a little Alexa that always says funny little comments. Then a Marissa and Samantha in the same family also. The one that reminds me of Alexa is like my little sister. She always tells me she is going to help me learn Tagalog. Then a couple days ago she told me she read a book at school about Idaho! She always makes me laugh whenever we go teach them. All else is well here in the Philippines!
Love Elder Haacke

For the Fam:
I got two of Grandma and Grandpa's letters so far so you could let her know that. They actually get here pretty fast. Faster than I thought at least. It's just it depends how long it takes me to receive them from the mission home. Since I am so far away from it I don't get to it that often but it comes eventually. When you send a package, make sure it is through the post office, not UPS or Fedex. I will have to pay a lot to receive the package if it is through UPS or Fedex. Something good to share with others before they send a package if they're planning on it. 
 I am definitely jealous about the snowmobile thing. I think after my mission I will have learned to not care if there is deep powder or not just as long as there is snow so I can go! 
Love reading about the family, as I read it I picture all of you in my head doing whatever it is I'm reading about. It is kind of an "escape" from the Philippines for a little bit.   
Sam you only have service once a week?? We had it twice a week in the MTC. And that hose thing? Yeah we had a huge water fight with that and 5 gallon buckets of water. The bathroom was a great slip and slide when we were done. We also did choir while we were there. The choir director is pretty funny! You will enjoy it!
Love and miss you all! Hope everyone is doing great!
Love Elder Haacke

 Found a huge caterpillar yesterday. Biggest one I've ever seen!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

MTC Advice & Spaghetti

First off, Sam buy a SD card adapter at the bookstore. That's what I had to do. They are only 8 or 9 dollars. Makes it easy to use. Then at the MTC computers, after you put in your card, go to start, then utilities, then add removable media, then it will come up with this thing and you press enter, then it is normal from there. If that made sense. I don't know how you don't like the food. I thought it was great. Try the salad wrap line. After two weeks I started to feel really fat so I started eating those like 2 out of the 3 meals a day. Also Mom and Dad, if you could tell the Cobbs (or Caprice) thanks for the letter along with Bryon Reed since I don't have time to reply but I loved reading them.

This week went by a lot quicker than all of the other weeks so far. Learned a lot and kept progressing in the language. Slowly but surely it will come! Letters about the week were awesome as always. Love hearing about the family and now I can hear about Sam's experiences at the MTC.
 
Monday-The ATM in my city wasn't working so we had to travel an hour to the next city to get our support money. The other town is a lot bigger so they have a nicer grocery store and a McDonald's! I was super excited about the McDonald's until we walked in and they said no burgers since they were out of meat or something. Traveled all that way and couldn't even get a Big Mac. We go back on the 30th for zone conference though so hopefully I can get one then. 
 
Tuesday-Had district meeting in the morning then it was just a normal day after that. 
 
Wednesday-Had a service assignment in the morning with my district. We swept and cleaned up garbage on some streets near a members house. Afterwards she treated us to some spaghetti which was delicious! While we were eating, a boy came up to the gate and asked if we had any plastic to give him. I think he was homeless and wanted plastic to sale to get money. We said no then he asked for some food so we decided to give him a bag of spaghetti. While we were getting the bag ready a lady came running up to the kid and dumped his bag on the ground and it had two plastic crates in it that I guess were hers that he stole. She started screaming and yelling at him and he tried to run but she caught him. We were all just watching it and Elder Loitz was laughing his head off. I guess she was saying some really bad words that I didn't understand. That gave us some entertainment for that day!
 
Thursday and Friday all were normal days with not much happening.
 
Saturday and Sunday were great listening to conference. Saturday morning at 8 was the priesthood session then normal sessions at 11 then 2. Sunday started at 9 then 1. Conference was amazing and I learned a lot. It is definitely a different experience listening as a missionary. Also it went by way faster than it ever has. It was nice spending a full day with other American missionaries so I could talk to people so I had a really good time. I was surprised at how many Filipinos showed up since it was in English and most of them had no idea what was being said but hey good for them for coming! Over all it was a really good week this week and it got me excited for this coming week!
 
For the fam: So happy to hear about the week this week! That snowman from frozen is as big as you are Alexa! It definitely made me laugh when I saw it. Lachlan your picture in football looks awesome! Future Heisman trophy winner. You already have the pose down perfectly! Marissa I didn't hear anything about you but keep working hard in school! It's more important to get a good start then become lazy like me rather then start lazy and try and fix it later;) Sam seems to be doing great in the MTC and loving it! Reading her emails remind me of my MTC experience. Mom and Dad two quotes from Conference reminded me of you. L Tom Perry said, "Who could put a price tag on a mother" and I know that is so true about you mom. Dad I definitely missed you during Priesthood session. I thought about you a lot and always watching it with you. When Dieter F Uchtdorf said, "How we overestimate how well we can drive a car" it made me really think of you haha because that is something you always said. There were quite a few talks about the family and it made me think about how great of a family I come from. Sure do miss and love you all! Talk to you in a week!
 
Love Elder Haacke

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Working and Jamming

It was a great week in the field! Really long but had some good experiences. Sounds like everything went well with getting Sam off to the MTC. Love the weekly emails and hearing about how the family is doing.
Monday-My first p-day in the field. After we got done emailing in the morning we went to Jollibee which is like the Mcdonalds of the Philippines so that was super good. Then we went and did some shopping for random things. And I had to get a watch since I somehow lost mine in the Manila temple. One of the stores we went into was playing the song "It's 5 0'clock somewhere" so I started singing along. It had been a while since I had heard a country song.
Tuesday- Had district meetings in the morning. Fun talking to all the missionaries in the zone again. Talked to one missionary from Australia for like an hour outside which was pretty fun. Talked a lot about home. Had 4 appointments that night that we taught then dinner at a members home which is always good.
Wednesday- Elder Zabala had to go up to Cauayan city for the day for district leader training so I went with the zone leaders, Elder Johnstun and Elder Iuli. They are awesome and a lot of fun. Ate lunch at Jollibee again then went to work. I could understand a lot more of the lesson since they spoke a little slower than Elder Zabala. The day was long but got a lot of lessons in and met a lot of new people.
Thursday- Just a normal day on Thursday. Only got three lessons though. Either everybody was gone or said to come back another time so it was also a long day.
Friday- Another good day on Friday. One of the lessons we were going to is way back in the trees and there is a chicken farm back there. Really weird but inside the fence to the chicken farm they were blasting music and the song they were playing was the "Turn Around Bright Eyes" that Dad always sings at home. It made me smile and think of him always singing it and how Marissa reacted haha. 
Saturday- Pretty good day lesson wise but really met a lot of new potential investigators that we'll go back and teach tomorrow. Found a lot of people that are interested in the gospel so we were pretty excited!
Sunday- Was fast Sunday. Didn't really understand most of the people's testimonies but they seemed like they were really good! First time I've done a full 24 hour fast. It was not that fun especially not drinking water in the heat but it felt good late that night when I had finished it. In the afternoon, we were teaching one lesson and the neighboring house was blasting some music. Lot's of people seem to do that here. It was pretty hard to feel the spirit when "Don't stop Believin" and "Welcome to the Jungle" are playing in the background. I thought it was pretty funny though. I hear a lot more American music than I thought I would hear so it is pretty nice!

Pretty good week overall! . Language is kicking my butt still but I had a good experience Sunday afternoon teaching a family. After I said my testimony the nanay (Grandma) told me how happy it made her seeing me trying to speak Tagalog even if it wasn't that great and not very long. She told me a lot of new American missionaries come here and just use English because a lot of people can understand English here they just don't speak it but she can't understand it. It made me feel better about myself and boosted my confidence a little. It's so easy to get down on yourself but then I know that a lot of the Filipinos, especially the kids, are looking up to me so I just always smile and do the best I can. Hope to have another great week! Hope all is well at home! Love you all!

Love Elder Haacke


It looks like he has everything he needs--scriptures and M&M's!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Best Ice Cream Ever!

Week 1
Manila MTC: While we were at the MTC we stayed in a hotel because they didn't have room for us at the MTC. The hotel was pretty nice, had AC, and had really good food so we didn't complain. The purpose of us going there is to do the fingerprinting at the immigration office and all that stuff before we go to our missions. That way we don't have to leave our mission sometime and go back to Manila. We got to go to the temple while we were there and also to the huge memorial. Other than those two things we pretty much sat in a classroom all day so it wasn't much fun. Wednesday morning we all split up and went to our missions. Since I was Cauayan I got to fly but everyone else in my district had to ride a bus. They dropped my group off at the airport then left so all we had were our bags. We didn't know where to go so we just walked around for a little while then finally ran into some missionaries that were also going to Cauayan that had the stuff we needed to get tickets. We ate at the Wendy's in the airport and got some Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Last American food we'll have for a while!
Mission Home: When we got off the plane and got our bags, we went outside where the mission president, his wife, the AP's, and some senior couple missionaries were waiting for us. Then we went to the mission home and introduced themselves and ate lunch. We ate potatoes believe it or not! Only potatoes I've had since I left Provo. I thought this one thing was a potato in the Manila MTC until I bit into it. It definitely was not a potato and actually pretty gross. Eventually we met our companion then got in different vans and went to our area. My area is about a 3 hour ride from the mission home so it took us a while before we got there. My area is called Bambang 1 which is as far south as you can go in our mission. 
Bambang: We had district meeting Thursday morning so I was able to meet all the other missionaries around where I am. There are 4 of us from Eastern Idaho so that was pretty cool. One from Rexburg, Rigby, Pocatello, and me from IF. After district meeting we went to a chicken place to eat which was really good. Then went to work until around 8. It gets dark at 6:00 here and everyone closes down by 8 so we go back to the apartment and study and prepare for the next day. Friday was a normal day but Saturday we had family week which only happens once a year. It is a big party with all the members from the different branches in the area. Started in the morning with a walk down the middle of the street haha I thought it was so funny because cars were backed up so far since we were in the way. When we got to the church, we set up a couple tents then played a lot of basketball while people cooked the food. Basketball was a lot of fun. The Filipinos are pretty good! After lunch, they had a program and a Karaoke party. That was lasting forever so I went back outside and played soccer with some little kids and two missionaries from New Zealand. They have some awesome accents. The whole party got over around 5 then we went back and showered so we only worked for about 2 hours that night. On Sunday, church starts at 8:30 and we left around 12:30 to go to lunch at a members house. I had to go up in sacrament meeting and introduce myself and bare my testimony but I think I did pretty good. The food at the members house was great and we had ice cream afterwards. The ice cream here is amazing! Best ice cream I've ever had. I'll probably go stock up on some later today since we have a freezer in the apartment!
That's pretty much all that has happened so far. Our apartment is really nice for the area. me and my companion, Elder Zabala, are the only ones that stay in it. Showering with a cup and a bucket isn't near as bad as I thought. Doing laundry with a bucket and a board isn't that bad either it just takes a lot longer. The area is amazing and very pretty. I've been blessed to be in such a pretty area for my first transfer. Hope all is well at home! I loved reading the emails about what is going on. Love you all and talk to you again in a week!

Love Elder Haacke
 






 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Out in the Field

After spending a few days at the Manilla, Philippines MTC, Elder Haacke met President and Sister Rahlf along with his companion and is out in first area:

His first area is Bambang.

 Elder Haacke with President and Sister Rahlf.

Elder Haacke's first companion Elder Zabala. (Bryan never had a companion while he was in the MTC).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Last Minute Dental Visit

Bryan took a field trip from the MTC to go see the dentist (Bryan's Uncle) to get a cavity filled.  Hopefully Bryan will stay cavity free for the next two years!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Last Week at the MTC

It was another good week that went really fast! I had in-field orientation yesterday that lasted all day...longest meeting I've ever been to. I don't think I'll need the lounge passes for the airport because I don't think we'll have very much time. I got messed up on my seat though... I got a middle seat for the trip from Portland to Tokyo. Not excited for that at all so hopefully I can get comfortable somehow and fall asleep. Kelton left on Monday morning so I found him after the devotional on Sunday night and said goodbye and took a picture.  Got to skype a member in the Philippines on Thursday for half an hour haha it was pretty fun! Good thing she spoke English though or I definitely would have been lost! This is a really short email but I can't think of anything else that happened this week. How was Lachlan's birthday?? I hope it was good! I'll probably call you in Portland but I don't know what time it will be around. I would assume maybe 12 ish but that's just a shot in the dark. Might be able to let you know more on Wednesday. Hope all is well! Love and miss you guys!

Love,
Elder Haacke
 
Elder Haacke with his friend Elder Kelton Whipple.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

More of the Same

I have no idea what to say about this week. It's just the same as the week before so I'm not sure what to say. We did get our travel plans yesterday so that was pretty exciting. We leave on the 18th from Salt Lake around 10 or 11, can't remember, then it says we go straight to Tokyo but my branch president said we go to Portland, change planes, have a little layover, then go to Tokyo from there. I would assume he would know what we do so I guess I'll go with that one. I can call home in Portland but I'm not sure what time that will be. I will know more next Saturday. There are a bunch of us going over at the same time so our group will be huge. So many elders are talking about the super long flight but I just sit back and say, I've done this a bunch of times so this will be nothing... haha living in China payed off after all! Two districts challenged us in soccer this week so we put both of them in their place haha and I played basketball once this week and that was pretty fun also! Other than that I can't think of anything else that happened this week. Lessons are good, language is coming along. Verbs are super hard though. Like you have to conjugate the word for like command, past, present, and future tense and there are different ways to do it depending on the word. Makes it super hard and so confusing. I've been studying it a ton so we'll see how it goes this week. Hope all is well at home. Keep sending me dear elders to let me know what is going on in the world. I heard Max Hall got arrested for cocaine and his mug shot was in a BYU Alumni shirt or something like that haha my teacher told me about that. Also my teacher is going to be here for the BYU game tonight so I'll get play by play updates for that! Thanks for the package and pictures however I can't remember over half of the pictures in the books haha but I hope all is well! Talk to you again in a week!

Love, 
Elder Haacke

Saturday, August 30, 2014

In the World But Not of the World

Man I can't believe what is happening to all the crops! I've never even heard of anything like this happening! Before I forget, with the package can you also send those 4 books that mom likes? Our Heritage, Jesus the Christ, and the other 2 books with it. Thanks. Alma 26:37 is the one I want for the plaque. I forget to email it each time then I remember later in the day. Also another thing I forgot to email or do before I left is you know the hatch over the left ballast tank with the stripped screws? When I was boating they all came off so I put the screws and the plate part either in the glove box or one of the cup holders, can't remember. But be careful opening the hatch because it will flip all the way over since there is no hydraulic thing holding it back. You'll see it when you go down there. But hopefully it warms up so you can go out a couple more times! I also can't believe I'll be flying out soon, feels like I just got here! Not a whole lot of new things happened this week. We have two investigators and they are way harder than our first investigator. I teach one of them alone and the other in a trio. Hosting this week was a ton of fun. After I dropped people off at the class I ran back to the curb to get another missionary to try and get as many as I could! We get to host again this week so I'm super excited! The only missionary I knew that I saw was Riley Kinghorn (I think mom knows who that is) but I wasn't his host. My teacher is amazing, she always knows what to say and when to say it if we need some uplifting when we get discouraged. One elder in my district is amazing at soccer from Nashville and turned down a huge scholarship to come on a mission but he had is mom send a little size one ball and we play soccer in the halls. So much fun. Normally just happens on p-days but it is a blast! Can't really think of anything else that has happened this week. Just mainly the same thing every day. I like getting the dear elders so I can know what's going on back at home. My teacher was giving me updates on the BYU game last night in class so I was pretty pumped on the 35-10 win for the opening game of the season! Next up is Texas so we'll see how it goes! It's nice to hear about things like that cause we don't hear about anything here. My branch president, President Howard, (He knows G&G Haacke), was at the classroom the other day and we asked him if he was going to stick around and he's like, "I would but Boise is playing Ole Miss right now so I got to go" haha he definitely got a reaction out of everybody. He's a great guy though and we all love him a ton! But yeah I guess he knows G&G Haacke pretty well so we talked about that for a while! I don't have time to type one in the other group so just forward this one to those who want it. Hope all is well and warms up soon! Love you all.
Elder Haacke
 
 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tagalog Tagalong

I am no longer in class one on one with the teacher. Thursday was my first day staying in class with the rest of my district. Most of them are still a little ahead but just on vocab which is something I can study and catch up on. Also something that started on Thursday is having two three hour periods of class after lunch instead of just one. Sure does get hard to stay awake in but we stand up every once in a while so that helps. Lessons in Tagalog are getting better each time. We get a new investigator on Monday. Teaching by myself still isn't very much fun though. I can understand what she is asking for the most part but have no idea how to answer her in Tagalog. That is where some help from a companion would come in. So normally I just tell her that I'll come back tomorrow to answer her questions haha. Our district was asked to host this week so I am pretty excited to do that this Wednesday. I have seen Kelton twice, Chris Sanders once, and Caleb Sanders once. They all seem to be liking it here and having a good time. I forgot to tell you in my first email but we play volleyball every gym time with the zone. It is so much fun playing in the sand as long as it doesn't rain. Other then that nothing much has happened. Just the daily wake up, study, play volleyball, lunch, then class schedule. Do the same thing everyday it feels like. Letters and packages have been nice to get during the week. Those are always uplifting. Sad to hear about the grain up there. Hopefully potato prices are on the up side to try and make up for some of the grain loss. Also, hopefully you guys can start to get some sun so you can still have a little bit of summer! Hope all is going well! The picture is of our district and a few Elders from another district that were leaving for the Philippines the next morning. We woke up at 3:30 in the morning to say goodbye to them.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

First Couple of Days

Well my p-days are on Saturdays just for you guys to know. I only have one hour on the computer so it will normally be in the morning. After drop off, I was only with Jake for about an hour and then I was off to my first lesson in Tagalog. I didn't understand anything she was saying to me. Finally she said a couple words in English so we could talk a little bit. It is easy to get frustrated learning the language. Last night I gave my first lesson to an investigator and it had to be in all Tagalog. It was the shortest lesson I have ever given. I greeted her and I said the opening prayer then we talked a little about how God loves us and we are his children then I had to teach her how to say a prayer so she could say the closing prayer and then we ended. I have another lesson with her tonight that will probably be even worse than the first one. It is even harder for me because I am a solo missionary so I don't have a companion to teach with. In class, I am 1 on 1 with the teacher to try and help me learn faster. All the other elders in my district reported August 6 so they are a week ahead of me. Their calls all said to report on August 13th but then their stake presidents later asked them to report August 6th. By this Thursday I am supposed to be caught up with them and join them in their class. I love the elders in my district. They are some of the funniest guys I have ever met but also are very obedient to the rules and know when its time to be spiritual and reverent. None of them are going to the Cauayan mission but some of them are going to go to BYU-I when we get back so hopefully we can meet up then. Every time we came back to the room the second day we had another mattress in there so Elder Strader decided to sleep on three of them. When we woke up in the morning he had one mattress on the ground and was sleeping on it. Apparently at around one in the morning he woke up because it was the most uncomfortable thing ever. The picture is from yesterday in the classroom after everyone had taught the investigator.
Even though this is only my fourth day, if you count Wednesday, it feels like I have been here for a month. I leave September 18th for the mission field and as of now return home around July 27, 2016 but maybe that will change while I am out in the field. Hope all is going well at home!

 Elder Haacke

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

MTC Day

Elder Bryan Haacke entered the MTC today.  They stopped by the Provo Temple to take some family pictures:



I am sure Bryan's Dad had plenty of last minute advise to give him.

Elder Jake Koplin, one of Bryan's best friends, was the missionary host that met Bryan at the curb:
 He had to run to catch up with the car so he was able to be Bryan's host.

 Elders


Saying good-bye:




 
Off he goes!