Philippines Cauayan Mission

Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, June 29, 2015

Busy With the Work

Another week done and another letter to write. As you might have noticed, my letters get shorter and shorter and I still have more than a year. If my emails are still of any decent length come 7 months from now, I will be very surprised haha! But it sounds like this week was another good week for the family back home and for Sam! Super jealous you guys went boating. I've been thinking about it and now you finally went out. But since I'm still stuck in the field, I guess I should just focus on the work haha.
Not a whole lot happened this week other than the usual. For district meeting on Tuesday I taught about he Holy Ghost. Probably the best lesson I've had so far. Everyone was sharing and it was a nice discussion. Also the STL's came and the STL that went to my district meeting is one of my favorite sisters in the whole mission. We always laugh so hard. We were in Bambang together. I'm not gonna try to spell her name because it is crazy. She is from Samoa I think. But all that made the district meeting really good and enjoyable to teach. 
Work on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday was alright. Nothing special happened. We visited with those that we usually do, mostly less actives. Something kinda funny about this one tatay, Tatay Cabading. We were teaching him about the plan of salvation and we were on the part of the afterlife. So we're teaching him about the three kingdoms of heaven. While we were teaching the second one, he cuts us off and says, "That's where I want to go." We just paused and were like, You sure Tay?? Ha we told him he should want to go to the highest but his goal was set on the second one. Then he asks us how he's doing to be able to go to the second one. Didn't really know what to say so I just said he was doing good so he wouldn't ask more questions like what can he do better to get into the second kingdom. 
On Friday I had to go to Aurora to do a baptism interview so I just made splits out of it since I needed to split with them anyway. I went with Elder Labrador and we worked over in his area. I liked the area in Aurora. Also the work there is going really good. We were able to teach a few lessons together then we went and did the interview. Interview went well and she didn't have any problems which always makes it easy. I had a good time being with Elder Labrador. This is his first area but he has been here for almost 7 months so he has experience. He definitely knows what he is doing and he is a great missionary so it was really fun to be with him. 
Saturday morning we had a csp at the sisters apartment. We were cleaning up in their backyard. We got there a little late since Labrador and I had to wait for the key to the church before we left Aurora and came to Roxas. The best part was the food the sisters made for us. They also have a mango tree in their backyard that still had some mangoes on it so we ate up on those as well. So when we got to the csp, my companion came up to me holding the phone and says, we have some bad news. My first thought was someone in the branch died or something. He showed me the text and it was from sister Roann. She said she has decided to stop letting us share to her. She said it was because of personal reasons. I know this happens all the time to missionaries but this was the first time for me. First time in my mission I've felt heart broken because of an investigator or less active. My companion hadn't yet replied to her so I replied and just asked if it was okay that we come by and talk. She said probably not a good idea but that she was grateful for us and will never forget the things we were able to share with her. My thoughts are it is because of her husband. I know before she wanted him to listen to us also but he didn't want to. I've never seen someone as happy as sister Roann when we show up at her house to share with her that's why I don't think it is her decision. That's only what I think though, might not be true. That was the biggest news of the week and too bad it couldn't have been good news. We had planned to give her a baptismal date on Sunday because that was our appointment with her. Sure was disappointed but on the bright side, we were able to find 2 other people this last week that are really interested. Had another baptism interview in Roxas on Saturday so we waited in Roxas until then. Interview went well again. I will baptize her next week so that will be pretty cool. 
Sunday was a pretty good day. Church was alright. Same old I guess. Speakers were pretty good this time though so that was nice. The songs we sang were songs that nobody knows again. It was worse than last week. We don't have a piano player in the branch so that made it like twice as bad. The rest of church was pretty good. Elders quorum did the usual. Discuss the quorum activity until it is time to leave so they don't have to have a lesson. At least in Sunday school we talked about something. Studied the signs of the second coming. Sunday work was good though. About the two investigators I talked about earlier, we taught them again yesterday. Sister Flordeniza and Sister Jen. We met them at a store when we were buying some drinks one day at work. Talked to them a little bit and gave them a pamphlet. Followed up with them and turns out they read the whole pamphlet. They didn't remember that much though but were excited to talk about it. We just teach them at the store as of now. We asked if we could meet their families and teach as a family but they said it was better this way. It will be hard to get them to come to church without the support of their husbands but hopefully something will work out. 
Overall it was a pretty good week. In total we got 9 new investigators this week which is a high for me in my whole mission. Pretty exciting. We keep increasing our teaching pool little by little which is paying off by being able to get more lessons. Hopefully it will continue this week. We will be going to Cauayan this week on Thursday for a follow up meeting for the new missionaries. That means a nice big lunch at the mission home. Looking forward to that this week! Hope you all have a good week this week!
Love Elder Haacke

Sorry I didn't take any pictures this week. Didn't even realize it until today. I'll do better this week

Monday, June 22, 2015

Water Woes

Well, probably gonna start this letter off the same way as always...this week went by really fast! Before that, I also want to say happy birthday and happy fathers day to Dad! They had necklaces of candy yesterday at church for all the dads so that helped me remember that it was fathers day! But I really am grateful for you dad and your good example of how to work hard and deal with whatever circumstances are in front of you. Also glad you could experience a little heat. This last week was pretty hot also. A member told me it hit 48 one day. I don't know if it is true or not but I can testify that it was very hot this week. 
Usual week this week. Didn't really have anything that was out of the ordinary happen this week. Started with zone meeting on Tuesday. The zone leaders did a good job in their lesson. We studied the stripling warriors and related their attributes to missionaries. We ate at Jollibee for zone lunch which I don't really like at all anymore. I just like the ice cream that they have. Everything else isn't worth spending the money. Other than that we were in San Pedro for the whole week. Oh yeah, our water finally got fixed on Tuesday. That made it 12 days with no water. We had been filling up jugs from the zone leaders house and bringing them out to San Pedro. Finally got fixed on Tuesday, but broke again on Wednesday morning. Since the beginning of the cycle I think we only have had like 3 days with water. Luckily that break only lasted for a day and it was fixed again on Thursday. 
Work this week was alright. By way of contacting new people we didn't do that great. We'll focus on that this week and try and do better. We did improve on the amount of lessons we got though. Sunday we actually got 5 in one day. That's the most I've gotten in one day since I have been in San Pedro. It was finally nice to see some improvement in the lessons. We were also able to teach sister Roann. I think I talked about her last week. She is super fun to teach too because she always has a lot of questions. She wasn't able to attend church yesterday though. She says with how pregnant she is she can't make the walk. I guess that's understandable because she is super pregnant. She is supposed to deliver this week or next week is what she said yesterday. The lessons this week went well though. We got through the restoration and introduced the Book of Mormon. She understood well the importance of the priesthood and how it had to be restored through Joseph Smith. Someone else new that we got this week was a part member family. The husband is a member but sister Jenny, the wife, is not. Both of Jenny's parents are members as well. We have only been able to teach her once but I think this week will be a good week with her. Those are the two investigators that we are most excited about right now. I think they both have potential to progress. We haven't got a baptismal date yet so we're hoping for this week. Sister Roann will be a little difficult since we don't know when she will deliver her baby. 
Church yesterday was alright. Only about 50 people there. Sacrament meeting wasn't that great so maybe it was a good idea that Sister Roann couldn't make it. The speakers spoke for about 3 minutes. Then the branch president spoke and just joked around and laughed the whole time. Didn't even really share a message. I guess that's just how it goes sometimes in San Pedro. 
Pretty nice week this week. Slowly continue to progress in the work day by day. Hope everyone has a great week this week!
Love Elder Haacke
 Dang goats decided to use the front porch as their pen.
Showing these two girls the pictures of Alexa, Lachlan, and Marissa. Sam...I don't have a picture of you that fits in the white handbook so I just tell about you. The girl in the stripes is super funny! She also reckons Lachlan is pretty guwapo!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Zone Conference In Cauyan

Sounds like the family road trip went well! Sounds like you went to some pretty cool places! I laughed so hard about the two tunnels. I could picture it perfectly! Glad the trip was good though and didn't have any bigger problems.
Dallin Poulter emailed me and said he enjoyed visiting with the family. Still can't believe he's back in Idaho. Feels like just yesterday we were walking the streets together in Bambang. 
The week this week was pretty good. Stayed pretty busy and it went by really fast. I think I say that pretty much every week. Highlight of the week was probably zone conference on Friday. We always learn a lot in zone conference's and I love listening to President and Sister Rahlf teach. We talked about the nature of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. President Rahlf is amazing at teaching and his discussions are always way fun. Learned some new ways I can teach about Jesus Christ and some new scriptures that I can use. Some big news of the conference was that they were going to travel to Salt Lake this week. Sister Rahlf has something (forgot what it's called) on her thyroid so she has to go into surgery and get her thyroid removed. They left on Saturday to go so they should be there now. We have a mission fast on Thursday for Sister Rahlf. I don't know when exactly they are scheduled to get back but it shouldn't be too long. The lunch at zone conference was something else! It was super good and I ate a ton! It wasn't anything unique I guess but for some reason it just tasted extremely good this time. I get to go back to Cauyan in the beginning of July for another meeting so I'm praying we'll have some similar food then as well. 
Work this week went pretty well. We got 6 new investigators this last week and some are super interested in the church. At least they had a ton of questions which was awesome. Sisters Roanne and Beverly Druja are two of them that are really interested. They are both Catholic but aren't active. They say they have a lot of doubts every time they attend mass. Sister Beverly said that she was told she was going to hell because she had a kid before her and her now husband got married. We were happy to share that we knew that was not true. Most of their questions were about the afterlife and repentance. The lessons we had with them were probably some of the most fun lessons I've had on my mission since they really listened and had lots of comments and questions.
Also this week we were able to contact quite a few more people which will give us some people to follow up with this week. You might have heard but this Sunday we had a broadcast that was only for the Philippines. I only found that out on Friday at zone conference so Saturday we had to go around to a ton of people and tell them church wasn't in San Pedro but was really in Roxas. The broadcast was pretty good. It had a Tagalog translator and they were using some deep Tagalog. Stuff that I don't know that well. Made it hard to understand. Normally it is just in English. In other places they had both playing but here they only had the Tagalog. Not quite sure what the church attendance was this week. I was able to see quite a few members but nobody that's not normally at church. After the broadcast, we were called and asked to go give a blessing on a baby in the hospital. I guess the baby has been on and off sick for a week or so but then it got really bad so they went to the hospital. We went over and gave the blessing then told them to let us know if they needed help with anything while they were busy with the baby. Finally made it home and went out and got some work done to finish out the week.
Overall a good week this week. Able to have a good work week and have zone conference on top of that. Hopefully we'll be able to continue to progress in the coming week. Hope everyone continues to do well back home and I love you all!

Love Elder Haacke
 Nanay Gaspar's birthday.
 Sunset Saturday night walking back from Marcos.

Monday, June 8, 2015


Can't believe a school year has already come and gone since I've left! Still feels like yesterday! Bet everyone's happy they're out for summer and it sounds like there's some pretty fun plans ahead! 

This week was a pretty good week. Like you already know, I got my anak (trainee) on Wednesday. All the missionaries that came in were Filipino and I knew that last week so at least I knew I wasn't getting a foreigner. I did not want that cause I probably wouldn't have patience with them having to learn the language. 18 missionaries came in so that was the biggest batch we've had since even before my batch I believe. My companion is Elder Estuaria from Davao which is like opposite side of the Philippines. It is way down South. His hobby is basketball but we weren't able to play this morning so hopefully next p-day we'll be able to play. He said he wanted to go jogging which was awesome cause I do too I'm just to lazy to get up and do it. So far we've only gone once and only went about 1 1/2 miles. So far all is well with the training. It is actually better than I thought being able to teach someone about the mission. Also you pretty much make all of the decisions so that's pretty cool. The training is also nice because it makes me lead pretty much everything. Not that fun but you learn a ton more! 

Work wise we've been focusing on finding new investigators and contacting. I think that's what we will do pretty much this whole entire week this week also. This last week I talked to more people than I ever have and just by talking to random people we found 5 that are actually less actives just in one day. Hopefully with all the people we talked to this last week and all the people we will talk to this week we can get a lot of new investigators and be able to be teaching a lot more lessons by next week. 

Church was great this week. We had 72 in attendance which is way better than the last few weeks which has been in the 30's. I don't know if it was because it was the first Sunday of the month or what but hopefully it will continue. Also had 3 investigators at church. One I don't really count because it is a child and we've never taught her before but all the RM's in my branch said it counts. But that was exciting to have them at church. Summer break just ended so everyone is getting back in school but hopefully we'll still be able to teach to those that were at church and hopefully set a baptismal date. One of them is going to Tuguegarao this whole week and won't be back until next Sunday afternoon so she won't be at church next week but we set an appointment with them right when they get back on Sunday. We also had 3 less actives that were at church. One of them was his second Sunday in a row and it was the first for the other two. I was pretty happy with the success we had this week. Even though it wasn't a lot, it is still improvement from how it's been.
I'm looking forward to this coming week and I think it'll be a lot of fun. The work is finally getting better and more exciting. Plus we have zone conference on Friday in Cauayan so that'll be a lot of fun. Hope everyone has a great week this week! 
Love Elder Haacke
 Me and Elder Estuaria coming back from a part of our area called Marcos.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Rain and More Rain

Another cycle gone and finished. Also another month has already come and gone! I can't believe it is June already. This week was a busy week and because of that it went by very fast! I guess it starts Tuesday morning when we were getting ready, Elder Iuli called. I answered the phone and he said that I had been called to be a trainer this coming cycle and that there was a meeting for me on Wednesday. I wasn't too surprised about the call because I knew it would come sooner or later. Also the zone leaders had been telling me for a couple weeks that most likely I was going to train. Elder Latu is also training so I guess that's cool that we'll get to train together. Elder Latu is in my district. Went to district meeting that morning and that went well. Just the usual I guess. After district meeting we ate lunch as a zone then we went on splits with the zone leaders. I had to do 2 interviews for them, one at 2 and one at 5, so we just decided to go on splits. Interviews were good and they didn't have any problems so that definitely made it easier on my part. 
Wednesday morning, Elder Latu and I went on splits since we had to go to Cauayan for the meeting since we were both going to train. Meeting was pretty good. President used a lot of examples from the scriptures that related to being trainers so I liked that part. It was mostly just the things that I expected it to be...obey the rules, work hard, be an example, etc. It was a good time though since I got to spend some time with some other Elders I hadn't seen in a while. I was able to see Elder Poulter for a little bit while we were both there so that was cool even though it was only a minute or two. Also got to eat at McDonalds since there is one in Cauayan. They are supposed to be building one here in Roxas but it hasn't made any progress since I have been here. After we ate at Macdo, Elder Iuli and Elder Cruz (the zl in Cauayan) took us back to Roxas in their pickup. Nothing like a free ride with air conditioning so we weren't complaining! When we finally got back to Roxas, we went directly to Elder Latu's area because I had to do 2 interviews for then also. The interviews went well but by the time we finished it was night time and there weren't any rides to San Pedro. 
Thursday we didn't get back to San Pedro until a little later in the afternoon since we wanted to split in Mallig for a little bit since it is close to San Pedro and we weren't really able to do a real splits the day before because of the baptismal interviews. Splits was good though and it's always fun to teach with other missionaries and learn from them. 
Friday was finally a normal day. Almost the entire week had gone by and we had barely been able to be in our own area. As we are boiling water to cook lunch, the gas in the propane tank runs out. So then we didn't have anything to cook with and we don't have anywhere in San Pedro that you can go eat other than like a small snack. The closest thing in our area is like a 25 minute walk from our apartment. We ended up texting the zone leaders if we could come sleep in their apartment that night after work since we don't have anything to cook food with, plus we had to go to Roxas the next day anyway for the baptisms. So that takes us to Saturday, we were back in Roxas for the baptisms. Almost all the missionaries in the zone were there. There were 7 baptisms total which was really good for where we're at. It was way happy the whole time which was awesome! All the people that were baptized were super happy and had huge smiles on their faces. Definitely the highlight of the week this week. The baptisms started late just like last time so we were still here in Roxas at night again. By the time the baptism was finished it was pouring rain so we sprinted like 100 yards at a time looking for places to wait under until we got back to the zone leader's apartment. It rained pretty much every evening this last week. It would be super hot all day then around 5 to 6 the clouds come in and within a blink of an eye it is pouring rain. Luckily, we found a ride back to San Pedro Saturday night since no one likes to tricy in the dark and in the rain. Got home Saturday night and put all our stuff up to dry.
Church was pretty good but there wasn't very many people there again. Elder's quorum and Relief Society were combined and that is what we talked about. Why the last two weeks there hasn't been anybody at church. By the end of the class we had established a couple meetings to start having to be more organized and be able to look over the branch members. Right now there aren't any meetings that happen in the branch. Hopefully this won't fall through and will last more than a couple months. On the good note, the Lajo family that we reactivated my first cycle here finally came to church again yesterday. Also one other less active nanay came to church also yesterday. Hopefully they will continue next cycle and keep them here. Also Elder Pawin and I had to give talks. They decided not to give much of a warning this time. I just shared about studying the scriptures. Nice and simple that could last a decent amount of time for a talk. Also got a dinner appointment with a member so that'll be awesome! I miss having dinner with the members. Get to save money and it normally tastes better than the usual tomatoes, onions and eggs at the house. 
Alright week overall this week. Stayed busy with different things and it flew by. Hope everyone is well back home and I love you all!
Love Elder Haacke
 Walking to lunch from district meeting.
 Elder Lavelua, Brandon and I at district meeting.
 When we split with the ZLs and were walking to go pick up the fellow shippers.

 The baptism on Saturday.
Riding back to Roxas with Elder Iuli, Latu and Cruz.