Hello everyone again!!!
This week was a pretty big change for me. Having your first Filipino companion is in fact as hard as what most people tell you that it's going to be. Not being able to use any English in your communication now is extremely hard but my communication in Tagalog has shot up A LOT in just a week! There's a big difference in cultures as far as living styles that you NEED to have charity and patience for or else it will be very very very hard to live together. But I LOVE Elder Angolluan! He is the man!!! He's from Antepolo (Manila) and is 23 coming up on 24 years old. During language study he teaches me Tagalog and I teach him English and it just seemed like this companionship was received from revelation specifically for this area in Laoag. He only has 3 months left on his mission and hasn't ever served in the city but he knows how to help wards progress, something that needs to happen in Laoag 3 BADLY!! It's been difficult these past few weeks here in Laoag and has gotten a lot harder lately.
The only progressing investigators that we've had for the last 8 months in Laoag 3 moved last week back home to Baguio. It was Ryan and Algen and I was so, so, so sad when they told me that. They just packed up everything and told us that they were leaving that night to go back to their family. We asked if they knew the church was true and with the most stern and reassuring voice they said, "It's true" then without even hesitating they said they're going to be baptized in Baguio and come back to church so we can see them as members. I was so happy when they said that! I've seen how much they've changed these last few weeks in trying as hard as they can to be worthy to be baptized. If they were here they probably would have been able to be baptized on March 7th but I hope and pray they'll continue being taught to be baptized :)
It's hard changing companions from an American to a Filipino in just a day and really have your world kind of flipped but it's getting a lot easier now :) The weirdest part at first was just having to speak, write, talk, text, EVERYTHING all in Tagalog. It's still something that I'm trying to get used to now but it's coming along :)
One thing that I learned this week was to learn how to receive strength to overcome these trials instead of trying to change the situation completely. Sometimes you can't change the situation you have in life, I'm sure there's a lot of people here in the Philippines that wish they can change their situation, and I wish and pray for the same thing as well, but something that I can do better and can learn from, is to learn how to pray for strength to NOT change these situations, but learn how to rely on Christ to make these trials made light. This knowledge has helped me out the most this past week to have the trials of living in a third world country be made light. It's not easy, it's the hardest thing I have ever done trying to do this day in and day out, every single day. But there was someone who did it perfectly who lived along time ago, so that when we face a small amount of the trials that He faced in His own life, we can have someone to look to for strength, and an example to look to, and for someone to cast our fears and our trials on and we will immediately be strengthened :)
Anyways this is it for me for this week, I love you guys, prayers will be accepted anytime :) hahaha!! But everything here is great!! I love the Philippines and Laoag!!! I couldn't ask for a better place to serve in :)
I love you guys!!!
Elder Oslund says:
So there's a lot
The cooking was done two weeks ago, that's ALL the parts of the goat, even the blood. Made into a jell-o type deal
Then an art gallery for Allen Rae was this last week. I was so proud of him! I love art now! This art really does capture all of the emotion and amazing detail of the Philippines that I can never describe in words. Art is amazing :)
Then the rest are for you to enjoy :)
The one with me pretending to pee on the wall is because the wall says "Only dogs can pee here" in Ilocano/Tagalog :)