Philippines Cauayan Mission

Philippines Cauayan Mission

Monday, September 28, 2015

My Week in Review

Another week gone by! Super fast week! If any one is wondering, dropped under the 300 mark of days left! Be home in no time! ;) Joke, I am loving the mish right now and am learning so much! Wouldn't trade it for anything, other than some cold weather every once in a while!

But this week was a pretty good week. Not necessarily a stand out week but definitely not a bad week. District meeting on Tuesday was pretty good! I taught about the attributes of Christ again. The elders in my district weren't there since they were still coming back from Cauayan so we were short in numbers. The STL's ended up attending so that was actually a good thing since the elders weren't there. Lesson was good and everyone participated really well. I think I'm gonna do something a little different for district meeting tomorrow so we'll see how it goes. Had lunch with the zone at Fatkids again. Ate two burgers again. Super good. Then we went back to Amulung and went to work. Just worked in Estefania, an area close to the church and the apartment. Work was pretty good. Visited a member, taught two investigators and one recent convert. The last lesson was to the member and they gave us dinner. It was super good. I actually can't remember what it was, just that it was really good. 

Wednesday and Thursday were good days of work. We had a lot of success in teaching the people we needed/wanted to. I can't really think of a stand out lesson or anything but we worked hard. We taught 14 lessons in just these two days. I guess we had one lesson on Thursday to a less active family. Only the father was there so we just shared with him. It's the Pamitan family. We shared about having strong enough faith and trust in the Lord to rely on him in times of need. I definitely felt the spirit and I think the dad did as well. Their problem is they don't have the money to be able to attend church. Or that they need that money for other things I guess is a better way to word it. Even with a great lesson, he still didn't attend church yesterday so we will follow up with them this week. At night, we had a dinner appointment with the Padayuman family. After that, we finally went home for the night. 

Friday, the zone leaders came out to Amulung to do a baptismal interview for our investigator, Divine Grace Carlos. Before that, we went to the Abalos' house to have lunch and celebrate Tatay's birthday. It is always a good time with the Abalos family. They are super funny! After lunch, we met up with the zone leaders and went  out to where Sister Divine Grace lives. Interview went really well. Elder Olson said she was more than ready to be baptized. So this Saturday she will be baptized! The rest of Friday we only were able to teach two lessons. It was good though, we were finally able to visit sister Karen. First time since her baptism. Her husband has left now and won't be back for 6 months so it's important that we stay close with her to help her faith continue to grow. We taught her about baptisms for the dead and family history. She had a lot of questions which made the lesson really good! On are way home that night, we remembered all of a sudden we had been invited for dinner at a members house so we had to get off the van and go all the way back to where the member lived. We were only there for a little since we got there late then had to leave to still get a van to go home. But it was free dinner and a nice visit with the member so can't complain! 

Saturday was the family week celebration! If you remember back to one of my first emails from the Philippines, this was in one of those emails. In Bambang, it was celebrated with the entire district but here it was just with the ward so there wasn't as many people but still a lot of fun. Our goal for the day was to strengthen our relationship with the members. I think we exceeded the goal. We had such a fun time with the ward playing all the games, dancing and, of course,winning the contests. I also met a less active that is around my age and was able to build a strong relationship with him. I ended up spending most of the time with him. He is going back to Manila though to work so I probably won't see him again. Overall, the day was super fun. 

Sunday was alright. A little hectic at work. Starting at church, the day was going great. We had a coordination meeting with are new ward mission leader. That was pretty good. Hopefully we can make use out of the meeting. Sacrament meeting was great. Speakers were good and we had 7 investigators there! Jumped up a lot from the 2 last week. Also, we had two less active that are considered returned. Tatay Bacai and his daughter. Work on Sunday was kinda crazy. We always have sisters that want to work with us but only sometimes can get the priesthood. We hoped we would be able to get two priesthood to be able to split and work in two places but we ended up only getting one. So we weren't able to have a splits. Then, a nanay that lives super far asked for a blessing for her Tatay so we had to make a detour and go clear out to their house. We told the fellowshippers to just go to the area we were going to work and wait for us there. Anyway, we finally got to the house and the Tatay had left. He had gone to Tuguegarao so we weren't able to give the blessing. So we started walking back out to the highway and it starts pouring rain. So we got soaked. Finally got back to the highway, got in a van and met up with the fellowshippers that were waiting for us. We ended up only teaching one lesson the rest of the day. It was to a niece of a member that wants us to teach her. Lesson was long because each fellowshipper added in what they wanted to say. After the lesson, the member (Bro Taer) entertained everyone with a couple stories from his mission.  Then we piled on his tricy and he took us back out to the highway.  Overall, Sunday was not the most progressive day work wise but looking at the whole week it wasn't too bad. We are really excited for Sister Divine's baptism this week. She has studied really hard and done everything we have asked to prepare for her baptism.

Hope you all have a great week this week and I love you all! 

Love Elder Haacke
I thought I could screen shot on my camera but I was wrong. I have a lot of videos from the family celebration then I was hoping to screen shot from them but I can't. But here is one picture of me getting ready for a game.

Monday, September 21, 2015


Hello everybody! Had another great, fast week here in Amulung! Stayed super busy this week with different things which made this week go by super fast! Can't start this week out at district meeting because we didn't have one. We had zone conference as the replacement but I'll talk about that later. Since we didn't have district meeting, Tuesday was a normal and usual day of work. Went to an area called Manawag. There are quite a few less actives there is what everybody says. We don't know that many people there so we did some finding that day as well. We were able to eat lunch with the Abalos family then go out to work. Visited the elders quorum president since he hasn't been able to come to church the last couple weeks cause of his leg. I don't know what kind of sickness it was but he had like a hole in his leg it was constantly dripping blood. He said he's had it before so I guess it is normal to him. I've never seen it before. So we shared with him then went and bought him some lunch since he can't walk. We visited a few less actives, found a new less active, and got two new investigators which finished out the day. On our way out of Manawag, we went by the Abalos family again and they gave us some dinner. Then we made plans to help them at their farm the next day. 

Wednesday morning we got up at 5 and went back to their house. Met up with Nanay and the oldest daughter, Develyn, and another Nanay in the ward and took off to the farm. It was a pretty far walk but not horrible. Tatay was already at the farm when we got there making rows to plant the seeds. He went along with the plow and the caribou then we planted the seeds. Nanay and Develyn would finish 4 rows by the time we finished 1 but it was still really fun. Once we finished we all went back to the house and had lunch. So that makes 3 meals in a row at the Abalos family! They are a great family though and so it is really enjoyable to be around them. Finally got home, showered, took a quick nap since we were both wasted then went out and worked in Santa Teresa for the rest of the day. We were able to get a couple lessons to some recent converts to progress in their reteaching and also teach one investigator there as well. Overall pretty good day. Planting at the farm was way fun!

Thursday was zone conference! It was here in Tuguegarao so we didn't have to travel anywhere. There were a few people I was excited to see from the other two zones that were there but for the most part I didn't know a lot of the missionaries that were there. The mission has changed quite a bit the last few cycles. Lots of missionaries have gone home and the groups coming in have been pretty big as well. But President and Sister Rahlf did a great job as always in teaching us. We studied 2 Nephi 28 really well. About all the things that Nephi saw would be happening in our day. Also taught us a little about our purpose as missionaries and the uniqueness of our message. Then we ate lunch (super good), played a game, then went back in for the last bit of conference. For the second part we talked about the Sabbath day and how we need to really get the importance of it across to our investigators and members. Then it ended with a short testimony meeting. Overall a super good conference. Took almost the entire day but I learned a lot and loved the scripture study that we did!
Friday was the usual weekly planning. Not a fan but made it through. That is the one thing I won't miss. But Friday was a good day as well. One lesson I really liked was to the Alcasor family. I guess Elder Gabelo had taught them one or two times before but had now stopped for like 2 months. On Friday we were able to teach them again and just shared a simple message about prophets. They are really interested and want to listen. I think the only part that will be difficult is to get them to come to church. We will work on that though. The part I liked in the lesson was when Tatay gave the closing prayer. In the prayer he mentioned how he hopes and prays that the lessons won't stop this time and that we will be able to continue to share to him and his family. They didn't end up coming to church this week but we will definitely continue this time with the lessons and hopefully they will progress. 

Saturday we went out early, about 9:30 and went to a far area. One investigator lives out there that is close to baptism and she only comes home on Saturdays and Sundays so those are the only days we have to teach her. She was there and we were able to teach the rest of the commandments to her. We have scheduled an interview for her this coming Saturday. We want to be able to share with her one more time before the interview but even if we can't, we know she is more than ready for the interview. After we visited her, we ate lunch at a members house then traveled to Tuguegarao to do an interview for the zone leaders' investigator. The interview went well and had no problems. After the interview we came back to Amulung and just worked close to the church. Coming back took forever though. How travel works here is there are tents set up and so you go to that tent that has the vans going to your destination. As soon as the van is full (as in packed full) you leave. As we got there, the van just left so we were the first ones in the next van. That meant we had to wait for ages for it to fill up before we left. Eventually made it back and got three more lessons before it was time to go home. 

Sunday once again. Turns out I was a back up speaker and the person that was supposed to speak came so I ended up not giving a talk. The president and 1st coundelor from the stake came on Sunday. Talk about chastisement. His talk was a little harsh in sacrament meeting. Then he taught priesthood which was pretty harsh as well. Anyway, had 2 investigators at church which is down from last week but they all had descent reasons. We had the single adults work with us again on Sunday. Brother Sherwin and Roderick then Sisters Jingle, Rocel and Marge. We ended up splitting and I went with Brother Roderick. It was just us two and we were just going tracting while the others did the appointments. We ended up teaching two first contact lessons. One of them was super good. His name was Jacob. He was familiar with the church because of his friend at school. Before we even said anything he asked if we were Latter Day Saints. So of course we knew right away that he was familiar with the church. He is a smart kid and is very willing to listen. The lesson was alright and we told him we would probably be back next Sunday again. That was my second time now working with brother Roderick and we get along pretty well! I really enjoyed working with him on Sunday. 

Overall we had a good week! Had some success and a great zone conference! Lesson count for the week was 23. A little lower than normal but should be able to bounce back this week. Hope you all have a great week. Love you all!

Love Elder Haacke
At the Abalos' farm. The field behind us is one that we planted.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Must Have Forgotten What Food Tastes Like

Another week gone by! Went by super fast this week! I want to start off the letter though by telling Lachlan happy birthday! (I didn't forget, just waited till this week to say it.) Congratulations to Marissa for all her singing this week. Sounds like she had a great week at the fair! 

Had another great week here in Amulung. Started on Tuesday with zone meeting in the morning. Sister Ferguson brought marshmallow popcorn so we ate that during the lesson. It was super good. Also, the zone leaders brought treats. I felt so sick after the meeting from all the sweets that I ate. So the lesson was the same as last October. About accountability. It was pretty much the exact same as last time. Still good though and important especially as a missionary. After zone meeting we went and ate at Chowking. First time I've been there since this is the first zone I've been in that has a choice of where you can eat. It's pretty good but not the best. Rather go back to Fatkids. But it was good time eating with the zone. Work was pretty good. We didn't have a ton of time since zone meeting went a long time. We got a couple lessons then went to the Abalos family for dinner. Turns out it was one of the kids' birthdays that day so it was good that we went by. The Abalos family is super funny and they are all so alike. We always have a good time hanging out with them. 

Wednesday was just a normal day. Good day of work. Went out at 10 and went to one  of the furthest areas. It was alright out there. There are a few members out there and one investigator. Good thing is we got lunch with one of the members and then he fellow shipped with us in teaching the one investigator. After that, we went almost to the clear opposite side of the area to teach some of the recent converts and couple investigators close to them. We ended up getting 8 lessons again over the whole day so that was awesome. We've actually hit it quite a few times now but haven't broken it yet. 

Thursday we had splits with the zone leaders. Went in to Tuguegarao on Thursday morning. I split with Elder Olson. I don't know if you remember but we split one time my first cycle in Roxas so it was fun to split again and see how much we both have improved. We had an alright day. Started out at the baptism interview. I interviewed one of their investigators for baptism. Before the interview, he took us out and treated us at a panciteria or noodles place. So while I'm eating, I'm thinking there's no way I can't pass this guy, he just treated us to lunch! But the interview went well and he is ready to be baptized. His wife is already a member and now he is in the process of becoming one. Work started out pretty slow. We didn't get our first lesson until like 4:30. After the first it started to pick up though. We ended up having 5 plus a dinner appointment so can't complain! Had goat for dinner. Actually pretty good as well. All these weird meats that don't sound good are turning out to be pretty good. That or I just forgot what good food tastes like.
Friday we got back to Amulung, and started weekly planning. I hate doing weekly planning cause it takes forever but it is helpful for the rest of the week. The main purpose of today was to visit each one of the investigators that were going to be baptized on Saturday to make sure everything was going to work out. We were able to visit all three of them and share a message with them. 

Saturday was the baptism! It was so awesome. Everyone showed up including the speakers which almost never happens! Everyone was super happy as well. I was able to baptize Sister Karen and Elder Gabelo baptized EdMarie and John Mark. It was sad to see that Karen's husband wouldn't be able to baptize her but he was still very supportive and super happy for her! After the baptism, they all did a great job of sharing their testimonies. Overall it was a great baptism! By the way, you know how  my pants have the elastic waste? Well the baptism pants do not and I've gotten fat. Probably the hardest time I've ever had trying to button up a pair of pants!

Sunday was great as well. John Mark, Karen, and EdMarie were all there and got confirmed a member and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Also, I got assigned to speak next week. I thought I'd be good for a while but nope. I don't know why I'm speaking. My companion isn't, just me. Oh well, I'll probably speak about the Atonement. But church was good then we had a lot of fellow shippers work with us in the afternoon. That is normally how it goes on Sunday after church. Work was pretty fun having all the other members with us. Ended up eating dinner at Bishop's house then finally came home. 

Week went by super fast and was pretty busy! Even with splits and the baptism, we were still able to hasten and get 30 lessons this week. We were happy with our work this week and we are ready to do it again this coming week! Hope you all have a great week this week! Love you all!

Love Elder Haacke
 The baptism!
 Never sent a pic of the apartment so here it is.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Bowling in Amulung

What a week we had this week! Super fun and successful week in Amulung. Last Monday, after the net shop we met up with the youth in the ward and we went bowling! So the bowling isn't anything like the bowling back home. The balls are tiny so you could throw them way fast and put crazy spins on them so that was cool. Then down at the end there are kids that set the pins up and throw the balls back haha. Way different but it was still way fun! 

Tuesday we had district meeting but there was a lesson sent to the district leaders to teach so I didn't have to spend that much time preparing one which was nice. It was about commitments and following up. Lesson was good and so was the participation of the district again. For lunch we went to this place called Fatkids. They have super good burgers. There are like 2 places in the mission that foreigners love, Fatkids and Mrs. Bakers down near Bambang. So we might hit up Fatkids quite a few times while I am here. Hopefully it just doesn't make me more fat than I already am! 

I'm still loving the area and also the companionship. I still am having a hard time remembering the places we go and who lives there. This area is huge. My last area had 6 barangays to work in and this area has over 20 so there is a lot to learn. I love how big it is though and there are so many options of places we can go to work. This last week was the best week of work I've had in a long time! Maybe even my entire mission! Some days this week we changed up the schedule a little bit so we could work longer. We started going out at 10 and just work until we got hungry, eat lunch, then work until night. We both aren't that much a fan of language study so we just go out to work instead. This week we had a total of 31 lessons. That is my new record for my mission and I'm sure we will beat it while I'm here if not this week! 

I won't give a daily description of what we did this week but I'll highlight a few lessons that I liked this week. 
On Tuesday we had a lesson to a couple recent converts. They are youth but they are pretty intelligent and understand the gospel really well. One of them is named Jonothan. We planned to do reteaching to him but as the lesson went on it turned in to more of a testimony meeting. When he shared his testimony, I can honestly say the spirit came flying in. He is the only member in his family but he testified that even though his family are not yet members, he has seen the gospel bless him and his family. He has seen his family be more patient with each other and his home has become a more peaceful place. I haven't been here very long but I can already see his desire and love of the gospel. Every night he sends us texts of scripture quotes that he liked from his reading. 

Another lesson this week was kinda funny. He was just sitting on a bench so we went over to him. I guess Elder Gabelo had contacted him before so we asked him how his reading was in the pamphlet that they left him and stuff. Anyway, we ended up teaching him there on that bench. It was going okay. The kid isn't really all there but he's good enough to understand and respond to questions. While we were teaching, some old Tatay comes up and starts telling us he's a member of the Born Again church. We say it's okay and everything then Tatay starts asking a ton of questions. All of a sudden the other kid gets up and leaves and never comes back so we ended up just teaching Tatay instead but he wasn't all there either. Pretty weird lesson but oh well, probably won't follow up with that one! 

Last week I told you about sister Karen Requilino right? Anyway, we scheduled with President Rahlf to have him come on Sunday and interview her for baptism. We went to there house Friday night to do last preparations and make sure she was going to be at church. Anyway, she was there and President was able to do the interview. President said she his more than ready to be baptized! So her baptism is this coming Saturday along with two other investigators! We were super happy for Sister Karen. She was really worried going in to the interview but she was super happy when she finished. I can't wait for her baptism on Saturday. I know it's going to be amazing. 

That's the quick overview of the week this week. We were really happy with the work and the success we had this week! Hope everyone has a great week this week. Love you all! 
Love Elder Haacke

 Elder Gabelo and I on top of the area: