Monday, March 30, 2015


This week in Vigan was amazing!! The coolest city I have ever been to in my life! The best way I could ever describe it is that it seems like Venice, only in the Philippines, with weather like California, mountains like the ones in Utah, with a country side like in Tennessee. So needless to say I have the best of all worlds here haha. Vigan is soooooo much fun though!! It's by far the most unique place I've ever been to in my life. I forgot my camera today but I'll send you pictures next week! Vigan is AWESOME! Plus we get to teach in the Philippines which makes it even better :)

So I realized this week that I'm pretty fluent in Tagalog. I understand every word that is being spoken of, I'm able to respond, and I'm able to read and write in it too. Of course there's still a lot more vocabulary I need to learn to be able to be better at the language but I've hit the point of fluency which is really really cool to think about. Plus it just makes it so much more fun when you don't really have to worry about the language all that much but I'll still be studying everyday for sure and trying to learn Ilokano too. Being in Ilocos Sur now there's not too much Ilokano speakers but it's still a nice skill to have to be able to communicate to ALL of the people here. And Ilokano is like 80% Spanish too so i might be able to pick up a couple more which is really really nice. Just got to keep working hard and keep studying, praying, and striving for the spirit. It would have been impossible if I didn't have the spirit with me :)

But my companion Elder Gamboa is different than all the rest of my companions. I'm grateful for all of my companions because I have learned and grew so much because of them and having to adapt to their different personalities, weaknesses and strengths, which has made me a better person in return. I'm very grateful for all of my companions and I have grown with all of them and the same will be with Elder Gamboa too :)

We worked really hard this week. We had 38 lessons and taught 30 new investigators. The Elders before didn't do anything in the area so it's kind of like opening up a new area. When I first got there there was no progressing investigators, no baptismal dates, and no teaching pool but we worked hard this week and got 12 new baptismal dates and 3 progressing investigators. Vigan is a REALLY big area so there's a lot of people who have been prepared and we're excited to be able to help them here :)

Everything else is great though! I'm in an apartment that's pretty big and pretty nice in San Vicente. Our area is actually mostly in Bantay, very little of it is in Vigan. But we live with two other Elders which is A LOT of fun to have. It's SO much fun in our apartment haha. Bantay is BEAUTIFUL. If there was an area where I think I could live in the Philippines it would definitely be Bantay. It's really really nice there.

The church is great in Vigan! Everything is organized and nice and calm and spiritual during Sundays and we're able to have a good church service which is really really nice. The chapel is BEAUTIFUL and it's been a really really nice change so far. I miss Laoag but I fell in love with Vigan almost immediately  :) Everything is great here! :)

I'm excited for this next week of work in Vigan! It's great here! :)

Anyways I love you all and I'll talk to you all next week! :)


Elder Oslund


So here's some pictures from the boodle fight, and some random ones and my farewell yesterday! Enjoy! Hopefully you can feel how much I love the members here from these pictures :) Love you all!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Heading Down to Vigan!

Hey everyone!!!

So my new home will be Vigan 2A! Going from one city to another but Vigan is apparently one of the 7 wondrous cities in the world (according to the people in the Philippines). So I'm really excited to get there tomorrow and start working down South! Vigan is the farthest area South of our mission until it gets into Baguio mission. From what I've heard it's really amazing down there because it was a city that the Spanish founded in the 15th century or so and there's a lot of Spanish culture mixed with the Philippines culture and is one of the top vacation spots in the Philippines. It's going to be a fun time there for sure! But I'll be able to find out more when I get there and start working and tell everyone about it after :) Elder Tanner came from Vigan and he says he misses it a lot. I'm excited to get started down there for sure :)

My new companion will be Elder Gamboa who is the same batch as Elder Angolluan so this will be his last transfer in the mission field so we'll be finishing it up strong for him with out a doubt! Being companions with Elder Angolluan has been a real blessing in my life. He's taught me A LOT in how to add power and boldness in the lessons and how to be loving at the same time. I learned how to serve my companion better with him. I learned that you serve the people you love not just that you love the people you serve. My time in Laoag has been amazing and has been the most growth both spiritually, mentally, and physically, in my entire life. 

This week was a good last week in Laoag! I'm very grateful and humble to have been able to have served in such an amazing place for the first part of my mission! There's Ivy Tolentino and Lexter De Guzman that I've told you about who will be baptized this upcoming transfer! :) Unfortunately I'm too far away from Laoag (about 3 hours) to travel by bus to see them be baptized but it's been amazing to have found them, teach them, and to help prepare them for baptism! I feel like I came and accomplished what the Lord wanted me to do in my time here in Laoag! :) We were able to get long time less-actives to become active again and we were able to learn and grow as missionaries and children of our Father in Heaven in my time here. Some of the experiences here brought me the purest and greatest joy I've ever had. :) I don't think you can get any other ward quite like Laoag 3rd Ward. They were the best!

Above all I just love doing the work of the Lord in the Philippines. I love learning and teaching and testifying of the truthfulness of His church and gospel to a world who is in essential need of the Restored truths. I love knowing that I have been called of God through a prophet to be here in this mission and teaching this people in their native language. I don't think there's enough words to describe how much this calling has meant to me so far. It's been some of the most precious and amazing, yet most challenging and difficult 6 months of my life but each second has been worth it. Every blood, sweat, and tear and mile has been completely worth it and I know that the pure motivation that I have to keep going is that I know that this church has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith, and that Jesus Christ is at the head of this church and this is the only true church restored again on the earth. My testimony of the Restoration and the atonement of the Savior has carried me farther on this mission than I could have ever imagined. And I'm very, very grateful to be able to keep learning and progressing, and to keep serving in my new area in Vigan. I can't tell you how thankful I am to be here! :) Time to get started working down South! :)

Love you all and I'll see you all in Vigan! :)


Elder Oslund

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Beginning of My Last Week in Laoag!

Hey everyone!!!

So as you can tell transfer week is coming up this next week and President Barrientos already told me I'll be transferring but I have no idea where to. I'll tell you next email! But he told Elder Risenmay that I want to go up north to Caguyan (which I didn't) so maybe that's a hint of what's to come.who knows! Time will only tell haha. But Caguayn is known as missionaries paradise in the Laoag mission. It's so green up there, white sand beaches, blue waters no cities, the people are humble and accepting and I heard nothing but amazing things. But like I told President when he asked me where I want to go "I'll go anywhere where the Lord wants me to go." :) So we'll see soon!!

This week was a pretty good one! I love working with Elder Angolluan! I've never had so much fun in my life because of how fun he is to work with! I've learned so much from him and it's been such an amazing blessing to have him as my companion this transfer! :) We're housing missionaries this week for a mission wide zone conference on Tuesday so Elder Risenmay is staying with us for this week and I didn't realize how much I missed him until we started talking about everything that's been happening. The missionaries here in Laoag are amazing and I know most will be lifelong friends after my mission as well! :)

Summer is for sure coming up quickly now. It's pretty miserable actually on some days because of how hot it gets in Laoag and there's no breeze, no cloud coverage, just sun, sun, and more sun when you're always on the pavement in the city too it's just brutal. It'll be nice to get the fresh country breeze again when I get transferred :) All I know is that Laoag is the most densely populated area in our mission so what that tells me is that the rest of my mission is pretty much little city and population outside of Laoag and Vigan! :)

Without a doubt I'm going to miss the members here in Laoag. I've grown so close with a lot of them and they have been such amazing blessings in my life to be able to serve them and to be able to serve alongside one another. I'm going to really miss the families here in Laoag 3! That's probably the thing that Laoag 3 is known for is just having amazing families that love the missionaries and are just amazing people! I love it here because of them!! :)

We had a really good week with the our investigators too! :) Unfortunately, John Neil and Allen Rae really don't have a desire to be baptized and they try everything to avoid being taught by the missionaries now so without a doubt it was a really hard day to realize that we can't teach them anymore as we had been doing in the past. I still love them a lot and I still pray for them but we need to find those who are ready to hear the gospel and it breaks my heart that we can't help them be prepared to be baptized. It really, really stinks. But we have new investigators now who are really doing amazing! Seeing one of our investigators come in when Antero Ligot picked her and her two kids up in Barit and drove her to church yesterday and seeing how joyful she looked when the sisters in Primary took her into their arms and care was probably one of the sweetest gestures of Christ-like love I have ever seen in my life. I love replaying that moment and that feeling I received when I saw and witnessed that love from the members of the church. It was one of the purest joys I have yet received on my mission.

Then we've been teaching Lexter De Guzman and he's been doing amazing! He's been keeping every commitment we've been giving him, you can see the interest and desire in his eyes to keep the commitments that we extend to him because he's witnessed that the commitments that we give him brings him profound joy and happiness and amazing blessings in his life. Unfortunately, his baptismal date is on the 28th and if he continues preparing for that then there's no doubt he'll be baptized on that date! I'm so excited for him!!

A lot of our less-actives that have been less-active for a long time are now considered active in the church and even Cornell is bring his daughter now to really try and help his family receive the gospel. It's been an amazing work in Laoag 3B and I'm so blessed and happy to have spent my time here and help others receive the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I can't be any more grateful for my time here and I will forever cherish the 4 1/2 months here as sacred and some of the hardest, yet most amazing moments of my life to this day. I love each and every member, family, investigator, and less-active that we have been able to teach. I can't tell you how much I love the people here. I'm sad to leave but I'm excited to see what's next in store.

I love you all and hope you have a great week! I'll talk to you all again next week and I'll fill you in on where my new area is! Wherever it is, it''s where the Lord wants me to be! :) Love you guys!!! I'll talk to you next week!


Elder Oslund

Monday, March 9, 2015


Hey y'all!!

I guess the heading brought out my Filipino and Tennessee side at the same time! HA!

As you can probably tell I'm in a very amazing mood right now! It's amazing to be serving the Lord right now in Laoag! I just can't control how truly HAPPY I am right now!! It's really for no special purpose at all other than the reason of being able to be here and doing this great work! I LOVE IT! :)

I'm surrounded by the most amazing people, with a companion that I truly love to work with and be around. With Elders and Sisters in Laoag who I just feel truly blessed to be around. I've truly NEVER EVER have experienced such profound JOY, LOVE and HAPPINESS in my entire life! This is truly the Lords work and I'm so happy to be apart of it! Out of ALL the things I could be doing right now and ALL the places I could be, there's NOTHING that makes me more happier than being here in the Philippines, with the most amazing people, speaking the most amazing language, with the most amazing members in Laoag 3. I can't express my true gratitude that I feel right now to be here serving our Lord and Savior. I LOVE IT! :)

This week really wasn't anything special! But man did I love every second of it!! From the moment we wake up at the crack of dawn to go running along the river in Laoag to the moment my head rests my pillow at night around 10:45 I can't control how much I love to be here. I feel like my face is just hurting all day because of how much I'm smiling and laughing throughout the day, any place at any time because of the love I have for the members and the people we teach and the love I have for my companion. I've never had so much fun teaching and testifying about our Lord and Savior and His gospel and His church that has been restored through His prophet Joseph Smith. 

I think the reason why I'm always so happy is because I'm teaching and testifying the TRUTH. I'm always so happy because I've seen how the Lord has helped me get through EVERY second of EVERY day as I learn to rely and trust in Him. He provides the strength I need to do His work. How else could I be able to be so happy being so far away from home, speaking a language that I never knew of until my mission call, and teaching in a place I never imagined myself ever going in my life unless it was truly from the Lord. There's no other explanation than that the Lord called me here to Preach His Gospel and to teach to His gospel to His children here in Laoag speaking Tagalog. I feel like I'm the most blessed person in the world to wake up every morning and to do this work until I fall asleep at night. And CONTINUE to do it EVERY SINGLE DAY. I can't express how grateful I am!! And I'm especially grateful to be here in Laoag 3 with the most amazing members you can ever ask for!! I just love it here!!! 

Today is just another P-Day but we'll be going to the Laoag Bell Tower later on to check it out. It was made when the Spaniards where here and it's one of the most unique places in Ilocos Norte so I'm excited to be able to see the history of Ilocos Norte a little better later on :) It's great to be a missionary at this time!!! To not have to worry about anything except serving the Lord with all of your heart, might, mind and strength is such an amazing calling to have in this day and age. I'm so grateful to be a missionary at this time!! :) 

Anyways, time is almost up!!! I hope everyone has a good week and can feel a little bit of the joy that I'm feeling right now! It's a Great day in Ilocos Norte :) haha

I love you all!!!!


Elder Oslund

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Only in the Philippines!

There's a reason why everyone says "It's always more fun in the Philippines" and "Only in the Philippines". To end Laoag's one month festival they had a 5 kilometer Boodle fight! Which here means, each Barangay (neighborhood) cooks up rice, ulam, and gulay (vegetables) and they build a 5 kilometer table. Close down the entire city. So that there can be a 5 kilometer eating competition between each Barangay in Laoag. There were 300 representatives from each Barangay, That did in fact beat the old world record which was ONLY 3 kilometers. SO, we were walking by and they were about to start when our ward mission leader saw us and told us to eat. So Elder Angolluan and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to eat and help break a world record so we decided to eat with our ward mission leader. Well, the Philippines News for Ilocos Norte caught us eating and put it on national news for the world's largest boodle fight. So needless to say, when we showed up to church yesterday everyone greeted us with laughs and telling us that we're making the church known here by breaking world records! HAHA! Who would have thought that that would have happened while serving a mission! That was TOO much fun! I love the Philippines and their culture here! It makes me smile just being around them and seeing how happy people here are! I love the Philippines!!! :)

These last two weeks have been awesome but difficult at the same time. So the language is coming a long A LOT better and I'm finally starting to understand native speakers and using proper sentence structure and the words are starting to just flow out of my mouth because of having Elder Angolluan as my companion. I love having him as my companion! I'm learning so much everyday from him and we're really able to get some good work done here! I'm really learning to not be shy because of the language barrier. He's helped me a lot with that. So instead of being shy I just act like myself with our investigators and if I make mistakes in the language or it doesn't sound right then they just laugh at me and we move on. HA! But because of Elder Angolluan helping me with that we've been able to gain greater access into the hearts of our investigators and the members here as well. I'm so grateful for that!

The work is so enjoyable here in Laoag! I really can't imagine a better place to have started my mission than here! The families that I've been able to meet and the investigators that we've been able to teach has helped my life and has helped me become a better disciple of Jesus Christ. The families in Laoag 3 are some of the most amazing ever! Each day I'm so thankful to be able to serve them and serve the Lord as His missionary! 

There's some great things happening here in Laoag! John Neil and Cornell are showing up to church again, we're finding new people to teach everyday, we're able to really LOVE the people here because of the blessings that the Lord has given to us and has given to His children. There's something about the Philippines and the people here that is just amazing and I'm so grateful to be able to be here and serving the Lord as well. Although times are hard sometimes and although it's hard having to come home after a long day and having to hand wash clothes and take showers using a bucket and cold water. There's something about the work here, and the love I have for the people here that continues to make me even more grateful and even more excited to continue serving and to continue doing everything we can to help the people here. The love I have for the people here in the Philippines and the love I have for my Savior and the relationship that I have been able to develop while serving him are some things that I will forever be grateful for. I'm so grateful to be here and serving the Lord and helping to bring His children His gospel!

Anyways I love you all, I hope you all have a great week again! Your emails always  are amazing and I'm so grateful for them! :) I love you all!!!

Elder Oslund