Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hello from Aparri!

Hey guys!

Everything is great here now! Some tough experiences to get through, to learn and to get better. Moving up to Cagayan was like another culture shock for me all over again but it's a fun place to serve!

Basically my area now is one stretch of highway with houses on both sides and we proselyte there everyday so I've seen the same people each day for the last few weeks which has it's ups and downs but it feels like a small town here where everyone knows everyone and they really love seeing the missionaries here. It's a branch in a meetinghouse in Magapit, the meetinghouse is old and worn down, there's no air conditioning and the fans only blow hot air during Sunday service so needless to say I'm about to die during some of these hot summer days here. It's full of all new challenges but it's fun :) We haven't had a single second of work here without a member helping us so it's been a blast to have that kind of help here and share some experiences with the people here.

Like I said it's different, the food, the area, everything. It's very country here. It's very green, everyone is a farmer here no matter what, so we end up eating some pretty nice fruits and what not, but we eat other things. The other day Brother Bhong bought us Chicken heads, chicken feet, grilled chicken blood, intestines, Pork flesh, and I cooked a dog after it got ran over by a car also. I didn't eat it though. So yeah, it's pretty crazy here. A whole new culture shock but it was an easier adjustment this time :)

Our area is mostly walking but since we're in the middle of nowhere we ride on the back of flat bed trucks a lot that are driving along the highway. Elder Kabiling says they pull over especially when they see an American so I guess that's a plus for us here :) It's been a pretty crazy new adventure here for sure but the work is all the same :)

We're teaching a part member family and reactivating them right now and the 8 year old Precious will be baptized on June 27th here. It has been a lot of fun receiving the revelations for them :) They've changed a lot since I first arrived. The main concern is how hard it is to be a member in our church. One thing that I've learned, no matter where you live in the world, it is NEVER easy to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ because it was Never easy for Him. Elder Holland said that we need to pay a small amount of the price that has been paid for us. This mission has helped me to understand about 1/10000000 of what the Savior had to go through, and I still have trouble getting through at times. I'm grateful for the Savior in my life!!

The members here are so much fun to get a long with. Everyone here is easy going and just encourages you to work hard and have fun, and it's just so much nicer when you're with a companion and an apartment who enjoys doing the same. I love working hard, I love being obedient, and I love being a missionary here in the Philippines despite some of the hardships, but you experience hardships no matter what mission you're assigned in. I'm grateful to be able to experience them here in the |Philippines though. I have never loved people so much in my life, but I have never been tested to such an extreme in my entire life as well. Each day has been worth it, each day I've grown and I've gotten better. And I hope that each day from here on out for the rest of my mission will continually be a learning experience. 

I love you guys so much and thank you all for your emails! Sorry I wasn't able to respond last week but everything is great here now. I love it in Magapit! I love you guys! I'll talk to you again next week :)


Elder Oslund

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