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

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