Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Missionary work, Lakers Jerseys, Just another week in Vigan :)

Hey everyone! 

So if you're wondering what the heading means it means that I'm getting everyone in Vigan 1 and 2 to start getting Laker jerseys so we can play basketball at night. The young men here are TOO much fun. Every night they call us and play basketball with us after work and we just play and make fun of each other here and we're just having A LOT of fun. You will not have so much fun in your life than with the members here in Vigan 1 and 2. We're spoiled with their love here so much! The basketball court we play on is at the church but we play on a dirt one to practice in the mornings for our workout time right behind our house. Some of the times we have here is too much fun with everyone in Vigan. I'm too blessed to be serving here. The Lakers jerseys are making their appearance here for sure :) Haha

This week was so much fun. It was a little hard at first just with the differences in our apartment but we were able to settle it a little bit better and end up developing such a fun and loving apartment with me, Elder Hoopes, Elder Rodrigo and Elder Leifi. We still have our differences sometimes but it's always fun. this work has always been fun for me since Laoag :) But it's just getting better and better now :)

Some of the things that we really need to improve on this next week is just finding and teaching new investigators. We haven't had supplies in our apartment (Book of Mormons, pamphlets, etc) for about 3 weeks here and the work hasn't been as fun without it because we've kind of been teaching empty handed lately and haven't been able to use ALL of our resources but we have a lot now so sacrament attendance and baptismal dates will go up again which will be nice to see :) The work has been suffering a little bit here because of the lack of supplies we have but it's all okay now :)

Elder Rodrigo and myself have very different proselyting attitudes. I like to find and teach new and progressing investigators and he usually leaves a good reading assignment for them and I've liked proselyting like that so far especially in Vigan since there's not too many members in our area and our area is big, but he mainly likes to go to less active houses and teach them. Both are good and are needed but we haven't been having the amount of lessons recently because of it and it feels like we are just kind of not helping anyone progress which is hard but we'll find a good way to proselyte this week for sure :)

Like I said, we have differences, but we become better because of it :) I'm excited to become a trainer after this cycle though. Elder Hoopes will be training here too so it'll be A LOT of fun to train with him here. Hopefully everything will go better and we'll be able to work better because of it :) I'm excited for it for sure :)

Anyways. nothing too much to report on on this side of the world. It was a good week of missionary work and a fun week with the Elders here again in Vigan. I hope to have more spiritual moments this next week than what we had this week but we'll be working hard for them for sure :)

Anyways I love you guys and I hope you have a good week this week as always :) I'll talk to everyone next week again :) Love you guys!


Elder Oslund

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Seemed like we just talked :)

Hey guys so I'll keep this short since we literally just got off Skype with each other but I just wanted to write so everyone can have an email too :)

Skyping was amazing today! It was great to see and talk to everyone again since Christmas :) I'm so happy to see that everyone is still doing great! I love you guys!!

As for me, my new companion is Elder Rodrigo from Davao, Philippines (Mindinao Region) It was a hard adjustment for the first couple of days but we got everything working yesterday and I'm just loving it now :) I can't be anymore blessed than to be here in Vigan right now with Elder Rodrigo, Elder Hoopes, and Elder Lefi. Each day just keeps getting better and better.

My Tagalog keeps improving it seems like everyday. At first it was hard because of my American accent kind of but I wouldn't say that I'm a "native" speaker now but I would say I'm about 75% of the way there. :) But let's just say that the language is no longer a barrier for me anymore which is so, so, so much nicer.

It was awesome to Skype on Mother's day though. Just being on my mission makes me so much more grateful for my family and especially for my parents. I know that families can be together forever through God's eternal plan for us :) That knowledge brings me so much peace in the troubling times that we sometimes have to go through in each one of our lives :)

Everything here is going great as always though. We're just getting the work started here in Vigan and hopefully we'll have Brother Bernandino baptized at the end of the month. He made some amazing changes in his life to quit drinking alcohol, quit smoking and drinking tea, and he's taking his first steps towards his baptismal date now at the end of the month :) I really hope that he'll continue to have these experiences and continue changing. I really hope and pray Elder Rodrigo can leave his mission with an amazing miracle in the lives of our investigators :)

We're helping a less-active family right now get a job so that they can come back to church and be sealed together in the temple as a family at the end of the year. They live so far away from us and the church and they are trying to support their kid while both being unemployed so they don't have enough money to really support all of their needs nonetheless enough money to go to church and back.  The scripture that comes to mind when I think of them is 3 Nephi 13:31-33. How great are His promises to those who keep His commandments first? :) Our Heavenly Father truly does know our needs before we even ask Him. He's anxious and willing to help us and I'm so grateful for the blessings we receive if we follow and keep ALL of His commandments :)

Anyways, it was a simple one today because of the Skype this morning but I just want to say I love you all again and I'm happy to see everyone and talk to everyone again :) I'll talk to you again on Christmas! :)) Love you guys!!


Elder Oslund

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Hello Ulit from Laoag :)

Hey everyone!!!

So I'm writing this email from Laoag right now since Elder Gamboa is going home now. The bus ride was horrible but we made it haha :) 

It's really, really fun being back in Laoag right now. We get to work in my first area and I guess it's pretty fun to see my old "stomping grounds". Laoag is a great place :) 

Everything is going great here though, Elder Gamboa and Elder Angolluan just had their President interviews and we get to work with Elder Angolluan again tonight which will be a really really fun time. Then I go back to Vigan tomorrow morning when I pick up my new companion from the GMW here in Centro. My new companion's name is Elder Rodrigo and he's the District leader in our district now and he'll be going home after this transfer as well. All I know is that he's Filipino haha. Elder Risenmay is still up in Santa Ana but now he's up there with my co-batch mate Elder Kelley. They're way too lucky! But when I was in the office today President Barrientos pulled me in and told me to keep Elder Rodrigo working this transfer so he can end his mission with a bang and go home having a memorable mission experience. Then he said that I'll be training and become the new district leader once this transfer is over which is pretty cool I guess! Something to look forward to I guess :)

It's funny to look back at it now and see how worried I was to have a Filipino companion for the first time and all the differences we needed to get over, but now I would love to have a lot of Filipino companions through out my mission. They're a lot of fun I'm telling you!

Our new apartment mate with Elder Hoopes is Elder Leifi who's also going home this transfer but we met a lot of times before this. He's a really, really built Samoan who's planning on playing some college football after this which is pretty cool. It's going to be a good transfer this next transfer :)

As for this week, it was A LOT of fun again! We got bikes in our area so it's nice to not have to pay for pamensahe (travel funds) everywhere, but now we bike to the mountains and back so it can take it's toll on you  in the summer heat but it's still fun :) Elder Gamboa went over a bump to finish up his mission yesterday and his front wheel completely fell off and he ate it pretty hard which wasn't fun at the time but now looking back on it it's pretty hilarious haha!

Rolando Baro is doing great still! He has a job at the Pepsi plant and is employed by a really strong member there but we aren't able to visit or teach him until Sunday afternoon but he's still excited as ever about the church and the gospel :) He was also able to get the Aaronic Priesthood conferred upon him yesterday which was really special and HOPEFULLY he'll be able to get a church calling soon. We'll be praying for him for sure through out these next few weeks :) Sister Janalyn took the kids and moved down South for her work yesterday morning which sounds devastating to us Americans but it's pretty normal here to move away for a long period of time to support your family. Keep praying for them to remain strong together though :) Everything will be great in the end :)

Things are getting a little weird in our apartment though just between us and the other Elders. There seems to be A LOT of murmuring going on which is really hindering our relationship in the apartment. Elder Gamboa just advised me with what President Barrientos advised him with when he moved into the apartment, just serve, love and be patient with yourself and the others. It's sad to have that in your apartment as missionaries, but it happens and you just need to work it out between each other. Hopefully everything goes better soon though :)

Everything else is going pretty great though!! I'm still loving it here in Laoag and in Vigan of course haha. I'm excited to keep working this transfer and hopefully we'll have just as much success this transfer as we did the last transfer. It's been a lot of fun lately though! I love it here! :)

Anyways, I love you all and I hope this week is great for everyone :) Love you guys!!!


Elder Oslund