Philippines Cauayan Mission

Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, July 27, 2015


I knew those pictures had to be fake! The one of mom and dad on the moose I wasn't too sure about from the picture but the one with Marissa falling off the buffalo was noticeable. I'm pretty sure I said I thought it wasn't real in my last letter. If I didn't, I at least thought it was fake. 

Pretty good week this week in here in the Philippines. Weather wise we didn't have any days like last week which was kinda a bummer. Last week it had cooled down quite a bit but this week it warmed right back up again.  Started the week out on Tuesday morning when all the Elders in half the mission went to Cauayan for Elder's Conference. The other half of the elders went on Thursday. Elder's conference was really good. The main topic was about becoming a man and the characteristics of manhood. No surprise there though right? Talking to a bunch of elders of course that will be the subject but it was taught really well and it was enjoyable. Lunch was super good of course then we had one last lesson to end the day. For the last part, President Rahlf lead a study about Ammon in the Book of Mormon. We read many scriptures about him and really got to know him. Looked at the traits he had and compared it to ourselves. It was a really good time overall and learned a lot. Because of the Elder's Conference we didn't have district meeting this week.

Sad to say but the work didn't really progress at all this week. It was another average week. We finally were able to contact sister Flordeliza but she was busy and didn't have time for us to teach her but we set an appointment for Wednesday so hopefully that will work. All other investigators are not progressing at all. It seems like we just go through the process of getting new investigators then dropping them in a couple weeks. This last week we didn't really do that great of a job contacting people. Something we need to really improve this week but I think we will be able to do that. Hopefully if we can smash the contacts this week everything else will fall in line. 

We went to a little water fall this week. It was pretty cool. Didn't go for very long but it was nice to be able to go. The water fall is in my area but pretty far. Tatay Gaspar took us in his makeshift car haha I'm just glad it stayed together the whole time. 
We did end up getting a flat tire and got stuck once but it could've been worse. We just drove up the wash since there wasn't any water and made it almost all the way to the base of the falls. Brought food to the falls so we ate a little, hung out for a bit then went back to San Pedro. 

Elder Latu is in a threesome with the zone leaders right now since his companion is now in Bambang. We went and got him from the zone leaders and he came to church in San Pedro with us on Sunday morning. Church was pretty good. We were at 65 for attendance which is alright for San Pedro. Lessons in class were good also. Talked about the atonement in Sunday school then we talked about families and making home a better place in priesthood. No investigators were there nor less actives. One less active had come 3 times in a row but he wasn't there yesterday so we will try and follow up with him this week. After church we went to Mallig and worked in his area so he could visit some of his investigators over there. We will probably end up doing this until the end of the cycle. Probably just one day a week we will have to go to Mallig and work over there. 
Overall it was a pretty normal week. We will hit the contacting hard this week to try and make up for this last week a little bit. Hope everyone has a good week this week!! 
Love Elder Haacke

PS- In exactly one year from now I'll be getting on a plane! #ainttrunkytho
 More from the falls.

 View from the falls.
Avocado's are finally ready! Avocado sandwich.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pig Blood--Yum?

I would have to agree with Sam...the weekly letter was a good one this week. The picture of Marissa flying off the buffalo was a crack up! It kinda looks fake though but I'll take your word for it that it's real. 
Another alright week here in San Pedro. Transfer day happened this week, some of my great friends in the mission have gone home now. Can't believe they're already gone but that just tells you how fast time really does go by! 
Nothing out of the ordinary happened this week. Pretty much just the same old stuff. I'm still waiting for something to happen work wise that will change things up but nothing has happened so far. It feels like we drop investigators at the same rate we get new ones. We haven't found anybody that is really progressing yet. Sister Flordeliza like disappeared or something. She is our furthest along investigator. Every time we have gone by her store she hasn't been there. Our phone broke last pday so we don't have her phone number anymore either. We continue to do our best finding new people and always talking to people and I guess that's just what we need to keep doing. On a good note, we are starting to get more help from the members. We went to quite a few members this week and they were really nice to us. Sometimes some of the members aren't to fond of the missionaries but this week was all good. Thursday night we got a call from the Gaspar family asking us to go eat with them so we did. We almost never eat with them. Only when a missionary leaves and comes into the area. Friday night we ate with the Ramos family. Then Saturday morning at 5:30 in the morning, Nanay Gaspar called and asked us to eat there again that night. We definitely didn't complain about three nights in a row with dinner appointments. The Gaspar family will be really helpful with missionary work if we can work together well. Dinner Saturday night was the only thing here I have a hard time eating...pig blood. I've had to eat it a few times but can barely swallow it down. Eating dinner was almost the longest thing ever cause it was nasty! Took me like 5 minutes to chew each bite but I did my best to not make it obvious that I hated it. 
Sunday was actually a pretty good day. There was back up to 70 people at church. It was actually a pretty good sacrament meeting too. Class was alright and for the first time in a long time we had a lesson in elders quorum. After church, two members came to the apartment to get some avacados from our backyard. We have an avocado tree and it is starting to get ripe. There were only a few that were ready but by next week or next next week it should be good! 
Overall the week was pretty good but it wasn't much of a progressing week. I have five more weeks in the area and even though I'm pretty tired of the area I'm gonna try and give it all I got for the last 5 weeks. Hope you all have a great week this week! 
Love Elder Haacke 

The rat we killed in the apartment. Figured since I used to always take pictures of them, why should I not now?

Getting the avocados from the tree.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Short Note

Another transfer week is here again believe it or not! Feels like transfer day just happened. Got the transfer list earlier today to see who is transferring and no changes for me. Not a surprise though because I still have the second half of training to do with my companion. The fact that I've already been doing it for 6 weeks is crazy though! Training has been an awesome experience so far. I've learned a ton and have really improved as a missionary. It's pushed me out of my comfort zone as a missionary by way of talking to people and leading lessons. Elder Estuaria is also doing really good and getting better week by week. It has been fun to see him improve since week one until now. I know he's going to be a great missionary these next two years. Definitely looking forward to another 6 weeks with Elder Estuaria and doing the training. There's a few problems in the district that isn't going to be very fun this cycle but there's not much I can do about that other than just do my best. 
Work this week wasn't anything special unfortunately. Sister Flordeliza wasn't there this week when we went by so that was pretty disappointing since she has been progressing well lately. Other than that the lessons were just the usual. Mostly less actives this week but basically all of them show no sign of a desire to return to church. Trying to get some fellow-shippers for them to see if that will help them come back but everyone is busy, so they say. Church this week was alright. We did have one less active come that has a good fellow-shipper which is why I think he came. He used to be the Elders Quorum President but then went less active. The fellow-shipper we use is our neighbor. He's old but he is super funny and he always jokes around with this less active so it makes him enjoy being at church. I think this made like the 10th Sunday in a row we haven't had a lesson in Elder's Quorum. All they do is discuss the activity for the end of the month then just talk. They say it is a waste of time to teach a lesson because there is only like 4 of them there. 
Sorry for the short letter this week. I was able to talk a little to Elder Poulter and Tyler then I realized I hadn't typed the long one yet. I'll do this one first next week so it'll be a little better. Hope everyone has a great week!!
Love Elder Haacke
 This was the baptism last week that I was supposed to baptize at but then the suit didn't fit.
 Roxas Zone.
 At the zone conference.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Weathered Week

Happy late 4th of July everybody! Sounds like the celebration went well back home. Didn't really do much of a celebration here but I thought about it a lot! The week here went by really fast again! Started again on Tuesday with district meeting. The lesson was sent to us over email so we didn't have to make one up. It was about the Book of Mormon and the importance of using it as we teach. It was fun to study about as well. Talked about our favorite super heroes and then related the traits they had to the Book of Mormon. For work on Tuesday we got punted pretty bad. The bright side was we got to have dinner with a member so that was nice. Made the day after a long day of work.
Wednesday was an alright day. Just the usual I guess. Taught sister Flordeliza on Wednesday. She's like our newest progressing investigator since Roann stopped. She's very fun to teach as well because she also asks a lot of questions and has the desire to learn. The lesson went for a little over an hour since it is so easy to just keep on talking and talking when they are actually listening. We left her with a Book of Mormon so we are excited to follow up next time. We ended up doing finding pretty much the rest of the day since the rest of the appointments fell through. We had dinner again but this time with the Ramos family. Tatay then gave us a ride home later that night. Thursday we had a meeting in Cauayan to follow up the new missionaries on how they were doing. We split into two groups, one of the trainers and one of the trainees. We didn't do a whole lot in my group. We just gathered together and basically talked as a group about troubles or successes we have had then helped each other if they have been having trouble with something. Also got to see President and Sister Rahlf after their trip to America. They are both doing great and it's like they were never even gone. Lunch was great and probably one of the highlights for the day. It was nice getting to visit with all the other missionaries that were there like Iuli and Teikauea from Bambang zone. We finally made it back to Roxas but not till kinda late.
Friday we had splits with the zone leaders. We came to Roxas in the morning to meet up with them. The sisters cooked us lunch so all four of us went over and ate lunch there. They made spaghetti and had a birthday cake for Sister Lewis' birthday. I worked with Elder Larson and we went back to my area to work. We went out to Marcos, the far area, and worked there for the day. We had an enjoyable time at the work and a good time talking as well. He goes home the second week in August so it's coming up. He's become a good friend here in the mission. The last lesson we taught that day was at the Ramos family then they invited us to stay for dinner again. Saturday we met back up in Roxas at lunch time to switch back companions and end splits. We had a baptism to go to a little later in the day so we ended up staying with the zone leaders until just before it started. I was asked to baptize the sister so that's why we were going. Got to the baptism and they only brought 2 suits. My baptism pants are still at a different apartment from when I let another Elder use them so I was just going to use a suit. Well, none of the suits were close to fitting me so someone else had to baptize. Waited all day for the baptism then I didn't even do the baptizing. It was still good to be there and a good baptism so it was fun. It rained all night Saturday night and Sunday morning it was still raining. Got up and went to church but there were only 5 of us there when it was going to start in 5 minutes. We started like 20 minutes late and by that time we had about 20 people so that helped a little bit. Felt weird having church with so little of people but the meetings were still pretty good. I guess nobody wanted to come to church since it was raining. Work was just about the same. Pretty much nothing. It stayed a light rain pretty much the whole day so I guess everyone just hid inside all day. 
Overall the week was pretty good. Got to go to Cauayan and had splits with the zone leaders. Hopefully this week the work will bounce back up after the slow weekend. Hope everyone has a good week this week! Love you all!
Elder Haacke

 The sunset the other night.
 Riding the jeepney coming back from Cauayan.

Riding on the top of the jeepney coming back from the meeting in Cauayan.  
Went to Magat Dam again for pday today, me and Larson hiked down to the water then a guy in a boat came and picked us up for free and took us on a little boat ride! 

Us at Magat Dam earlier this morning.