Philippines Cauayan Mission

Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, January 26, 2015

Dodging Poop

Well big news of the week is I just found out about an hour ago I'm transferring this week! I'll find out on Wednesday where I'm going and who my new companion will be! To be honest, I'm not really excited too much. I didn't want to leave this area but as long as I don't go up north to Tuguegarao I think it will be okay. 
Had the last district meeting of the cycle on Tuesday. After district meeting we practiced our song we were going to have to sing in district conference this last weekend. Then we went on splits for the evening since Elder Taumalolo had to go to Dupax for a baptismal interview. An hour into the work I got a text and I had to buy medicine back in Bambang and take it out to a another elder in Dupax. Went to the drug store and they didn't have the exact stuff we needed. The stuff they had there was going to cost like 7000 pesos which we don't have. We did a huge phone tree with the elder that needed it to Sister Rahlf to the area doctor then eventually back down to us at the drug store. That took forever and finally we found out what we needed to get. Go to buy as much of the medicine we could with how much money had and they told us we needed a doctor's prescription to get that medicine. So finally like an hour and a half later they tell us that and we couldn't even buy it. After that I went out to Dupax to switch back the companions since it was night time by that time. 
Wednesday was a normal day. Went to the track early in the morning and got some running in. Felt really good to finally run. Sad thing is I could barely run half as much as I used to be able to and I was already winded. All this rice is a killer. Work was pretty good. Went out to the far area and got to visit quite a few people so that was nice. Had to drop one guy. He is a member of the Iglesia church and he told us his preacher was mad at him for listening to us. The guy told us we couldn't come anymore. Totally doesn't make sense to me why people listen to that stuff. It happens to us a lot of the time. That church just takes away their agency yet there are a ton of members still! Oh well though. 
Thursday was just like Wednesday. Went to the track again but played some rugby for exercising instead. Pretty fun. The only thing is that the field we play on is also used as feed for cows so there is cow poop all over the place. Dodging the poop is almost harder than not getting tagged. We didn't have a ton of success in the work on Thrusday but we tried the best we could and ended up doing a little finding which was pretty good. The sisters didn't make it to dinner and they cooked a ton of spaghetti. Ate soooo much I felt horrible afterwards and could barely walk home! 
Friday was a pretty good day. Had a lunch appointment at the school which was really good. They make really good muffins too that you can buy so I always make sure I get some if there is any. We went on splits after lunch so I went with Elder Poulter for the day. Went to their far area and got punted then came back to Bambang and was able to get a few lessons in. We had dinner later that night at a members in branch 2. Pretty fun day. Going on splits is always pretty fun!
Saturday we had service early in the morning. Helped a person in the other Bambang branch move houses. His house was like 200 yards up a little hiking trail up the mountain. Why someone would want to build a house right there I have no idea. We moved the stuff into their new house then helped clean up their backyard. Cut down a ton of banana trees then raked up a ton of garbage they had thrown back there for years. Took so long and then we started a huge fire and burnt half of it. They brought us some pretty good pizza afterwards and then we went home and cooked up some siomai at the apartment. Then we had to go to the church and practice the song we were going to sing in district conference. District conference was pretty good. Talked all about councils and families. Super good for my branch since we never have any type of council meeting. Hopefully they will start to have the meetings now but I won't be able to stay to see. After the meeting we got letters out of President Rahlf's car. Then he gathered us all together and took Elder Iuli to the side and told us he has chosen him to be the next AP. I'm super happy for him but kinda sad cause I'm gonna miss being with him. I've gotten super close to him especially this last cycle. Maybe my new area will be up in Cauayan so we will be in the same zone. Who knows though. He was my zone leader with Elder Poulter. 
Sunday we got up in the morning and went and helped Elder Iuli take his bags to the church since he was leaving with President and Sister Rahlf after district conference was over. The conference was pretty good again and this time I had to sing with the Bambang choir. We didn't sound too great but it's all good. 
Overall it was a great week and went really fast. Kinda sad that I am leaving Bambang. I've gotten super close to quite a few of the families in the branch here. Probably will go around tomorrow and visit as many as I can to say bye then head out on Wednesday! I'm excited to get a new area also though and be able to meet new people. Everyone says the mission takes off after you transfer to your second area. I'm excited to let you know how it goes next week! Love you all and hope you have a good week!
Love Elder Haacke
This picture is with a family in the branch. They always feed us on Sundays after church. Their food is always super good!

Monday, January 19, 2015


Well I found out there was that typhoon close by yesterday at church. All I got was a little bit of rain and barely any wind. Just a breeze. Again, it was pretty disappointing. I might have to wait until next hurricane season to finally get one. This week was a pretty fast one again!
Tuesday we had zone meeting. They talked about obedience and magnifying our calling as missionaries. That was pretty good and of course it's always fun to be with the entire zone. Work wise we didn't have any luck with us. Every appointment didn't happen other than dinner that night. Dinner was really good though so that made it better!
Wednesday was just a normal day and we had better luck out at work. We were able to visit all that we planned for other than one person which almost never happens so we were pretty happy with the day! 
Thursday we went and bought a cake because it was this one boys birthday and they are probably my favorite family so we wanted to celebrate with them a little bit. Then later at night we had dinner at a less actives house and Elder Taumalolo cooked for it. It was a ton of fun and the relationship with the family strengthened a lot! They ended up coming to church yesterday as well which was awesome. Still trying to solve some situations with Nanay and Tatay but they are improving a lot! 
Friday we woke up early and went and did service for the Tatay that cooks us dinner on Tuesday nights. We cut down some weeds and pulled them back from a walkway and from around some trees on his land. Then we went to Jollibee for breakfast. The pancake sandwiches there are so good! Work was pretty good that day also. At night I tried balut for the first time. It was only 4 day balut so the chick was really small but it like wasn't boiled all the way so it was really liquidy. My companion said it tasted worse than the 18 day balut he has had in the past. I just loaded it with salt and swallowed as fast as I could. 
Saturday we had an appointment with one of the only referrals I've received since I've been in the field but they weren't there. Since we had some time before we had to go to a baptism we thought we would drop by a less actives house. We got there and we found out the dad died just the day before on Friday. So crazy. We just saw him a couple days ago. We have his funeral service to go to tomorrow. We had a baptism in Almaguer we had to go to and that was pretty good. Kinda funny though. The water wasn't very deep at all so Elder Bahr had to put him pretty low to get him all the way under and could barely get him back up cause he was a pretty big kid!
Sunday was good. 8:00 church is still a little hard to get used to. We didn't have any investigators once again but did have the one less active family. Lunch was amazing. She made some meatballs this time and they were sooo good! Had choir practice again since we have district conference next week and we have to sing. Not too excited for that! 
Overall a good week! Stayed busy and time flew by! This coming week is the last week before transfer week. Almost done with my third cycle in the field already! Hope everyone is doing well back home! Love you all!
Love Elder Haacke

Monday, January 12, 2015

Forever Walk

Started off the week good this week with some sports on Monday morning. Something new we are doing now is every Monday morning we go play over in Dupax since the church has a pretty nice grass area big enough to play. We started out with football then went to rugby. Learned the rules of rugby and it is really super fun! Most likely after my mission I will get into watching more rugby after now understanding it and talking about it all the time with the Polynesians here in the mission! It's also nice to get out and be able to run a little to try and stay a little in shape!
Tuesday we didn't have district meeting so it was just a normal day. Good day of work and were able to find some more people. Our goal right now is to strengthen the area and increase the teaching pool so we are trying to find new people everyday as we work.
Wednesday was another normal day except we had a baptism to go to during the day. It was a Tatay from the sisters area and I baptized him. The water was even colder than the first time haha I felt so bad for the guy. He was freezing cold when he came back up but he still had a big smile! 
Thursday we had district meeting and President and Sister Rahlf came down to Bambang to do the quarterly interviews. Meeting was good and the interviews were good also. I wanted to ask President if I could stay with Elder Taumalolo for another cycle but then it never came out haha I think I got scared to ask I don't know why though. I got a snickers peanut butter from the interview with Sister Rahlf so that was awesome! 
Friday we went on splits with the Elders in Dupax. Elder Taumalolo went and worked over in Dupax and I stayed here and worked in my area. It was pretty fun actually and it was nice to see other missionary's teaching styles. Elder Taumalolo and I were able to talk about it and discuss what we liked and didn't like and how we could make our work better. It was a good experience for sure.
Saturday morning all the young men in the Bambang district had a hike. We walked forever and it wasn't even a hike. We walked on the side of the road. Took forever though but the place we got to was pretty cool. I was in the group with the Deacons so we played some games and then shared a thought about duty to God that related to the game we played. Then we ate and the young men went swimming in the stream there. It looked so fun but we just had to sit there and watch. What was nice is we were able to take a jeepney back to Bambang so we didn't have to walk. 
Sunday was good. Had two less actives come back but no investigators. We were happy with the less actives though because we've really been trying to help them a lot lately. Lunch was amazing again then we had a baptismal interview we had to go to. After the interview we had choir practice. They told us we had to join choir since they didn't have very many people. They weren't lying either because when we walked in there was only one male in the choir. We joined and did the best we could. We sing for district conference which is at the end of the month. We had a broadcast later at 6 that night from the area presidency. They just talked about some goals they had for the year and some new pamphlets and report sheets they were going to start using.
Overall another busy and good week! I hope everyone is doing well back home and has a good week!
Love Elder Haacke
 Baptism of Tatay.
 The boys swimming in the stream.

From the back of the jeepney on the way back from the hike. Elder Salmorin and Elder Molate are the elders in the picture with Elder Haacke.

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Years Lock-Down

Happy New Year's everybody! Hope you all had a good party and had some good fireworks! 2015 came fast and I think 2016 is going to come even faster! Time continues to speed up here in the mission. I still tell people I am new but then when I think about it I realize I've actually been here for quite a while! This week we stayed pretty busy and had more success than we did last week so that helped with the time a lot. Here are some of the highlights of what I did this week.
On Wednesday we decided we were only going to plan to visit a few people and just go out finding near the church again. It actually turned out to be awesome. The first people we visited didn't want to listen at first and just told us they were Iglesia. After we talked to them longer they said it was okay if we shared and they really liked what we shared also so they wanted us to come back another day to continue! Definitely saw how much building trust with the investigators can make a difference! After the lesson we asked them if they knew anybody that would be interested and they gave us someone to contact. They lived close so we went to them next. It was an old nanay so we talked to her for a bit then left a pamphlet with her. Next we went to some houses close to a river near by and found a bunch of kids that we started talking to and playing with. Those kids took us to their houses and there was like 30 more kids there! The kids were crazy and the dad was drunk so we didn't really do anything there. Playing with the kids was pretty fun though! In all we found quite a few new people we can go visit and teach again. We were pretty happy with work that day. We had a lock-down at 6 so we had to stay in the apartment the rest of the night for New Years Eve. Elder Luli, Poulter, and Togia Soi came to the apartment so us 5 hung out for the evening. Poulter fell asleep before midnight but everyone else was still up to watch the fireworks. They were actually pretty good for the little town of Bambang! Something else that was pretty crazy is as soon as midnight hit, everybody just started making noise with anything they had. People were on their motorcycles revving the engines super loud, dragging sheets of metal down they middle of the streets, and blowing these super loud horns nonstop. I don't know how Elder Poulter slept through it all but he did.
So Thursday (New Years Day), because of the night before was like a dead day. Most of the shops and stuff stayed closed. There was probably only 30 percent of the normal amount of people outside. I think almost everyone was hungover so they just stayed inside all day or something!
Friday we went hiking through the rice fields again to get to a part of the area. Made it this time without almost falling in but I still came out with my shoes covered in mud. It was fun though. On the way there was one farmer out there and he just kept looking at us like what the heck are they doing haha but we just kept going.
Starting to get tired of typing this so I'll just give an overview for the rest. We got 4 more investigators this week. No one that we had is progressing so we are focusing on finding new people. We weren't able to teach the Lapid family this week. When we went up there they were busy so we scheduled an appointment with them on Wednesday. Didn't get any investigators at church again. One less active came back though. She said it is her new years resolution to go back to church. We visit them and are trying to get the dad to come also. He is somewhat careless so it's a little hard but we'll see. Everything else is well here and still going good! Companionship is great. We have fun but we definitely work hard at the same time. I'm learning a lot from him since he is really experienced in the mission. He goes home in March so this will most likely be his last area.
Hope all is going well back home! Hope you all had a good New Year's and I'll talk to you again next week!
Love Elder Haacke

Little ditch that we found with a dam in it. When we cross through the middle of the rice fields we walk across this.

 Some of the kids we played with on Wednesday. 

Getting ready to leave the Zone leader's apartment and going to my apartment for New Years Eve lock-down.