Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February 23rd, 2015: Another Baptism &Forgetting Proselyting Tools

I am writing from Tibiao right now, and the internet is pretty bad.  I have been trying to send some pictures for a while, but I don't think it's going to work :(. I have some really cool ones this week too.  
SO, to quick just answer your questions.  My laundry is pretty rough.  I have been doing my own laundry for about 3 months now and its terrible.  I usually put my soap of whatever in a tub of water along with some bleach if it's whites. I let it soak for maybe a day.  I then just take a bar of laundry soap and a scrubber and scrub em nice and good.  My whites are starting to go brown though.  I don't know if there is anything I can do though.  
Chloe, I am not sure if I have ever heard of those before.  I do like applesauce though.  I hope you liked it! Were they good?
As far as me getting transferred, I would say yes.  I have been in Culasi forever and President has pretty hat I will be transferred.  That will be the second week of March I think.  
So, I have had a pretty great week. On one of our days, we went out to a village way otut in the mountains.  It was one we have never been ouit to before.  We had a referral out there, so we took a trip out there.  It was in the mountains, but not on one.  It was so beautiful, I really hope this computer decided to let me send some pictures!  It was about a two hour trip.  We get out there and start talking to some people swimming in the river.  I went to give them the Restoration pamplet and it turns out that none of us grabbed them, so we had no proselyting tools.  It was kind of a funny moment.  Anyways, we went into the village and sat next to these people on a bench and within 5 minutes, we had about 60 standing around us.  It was kind of funny.  It turned out that our referral was on vacation in boracay, so that didn't work out.  That was a fun day though!
On Saturday, we had a baptism of Boy Macuja.  He is the father of the family we baptized in November. The mother and daughter. We were really excited to baptize the father of that family.  He was really cool to teach him and to watch him make changes in his life so he can be a good example to his family.  We worked with him to make changes in his life and to help him overcome some addictions.  We had some really powerful lessons with him and his family.  Situations like his is what makes missionary work so rewarding!  Elder Coronel and I were so excited to baptize him.  
Yesterday, after church, while working, my toe was really kind of hurting while we were walking.  After a while, I figured something was actually wrong, so I stopped to take me shoes off to take a look.  I saw a black line in between my pinky toe and ring toe.  I called Elder Coronel over and we decided that it looked like a hair that got underneath my skin somehow.  I know that sounds weird, but it happened.  I just decided to wait till we got back at night to try and take it out.  After a little while more, it was really hurting, so I stopped to look at it again.  It had slipped further up into my toe!  By the end of the day it litterally had slid maybe 2-3 cm up into the fleshy part of my toe.  I tried to get it out with a needle, but it was just too deep.  It was so hard mentally to try and stick that needle into my toe.  I had Elder Coronel try, but he couldn't.  After a little while it started to bleed, so I couldn't see exactly where it was, so as of right now, it's still in there.
What else... we had a pretty awesome PDay today.  We went to Tibiao to go to some falls.  They were pretty cool!  After that, we went to go zip-lining! Tell John that it was a lot cooler than the one we went to in Green Bay.  haha.  It was a good day though.  Hopefully I can send you a couple pictures.  
Anyways, we are heading out soon, so I'll maybe try and send a couple pictures.
Halong hasta dason!
Elder Robertson

What a gorgeous picture...One to treasure forever!

Stuart and his buddy, Elder Preston Kellerstrass.  They were in the MTC together and then got sent to Culasi at the same time and have served there for 6 months.  They got to go zip lining on their P-day. Fun!!

Hiking to some falls in Tibiao on the P-Day

Monday, February 16, 2015

February 16th, 2015- Answangs and Testimony of Fasting

So every time that you tell me about the freezing weather, it totally catches me off guard. I keep forgetting that winter exists.  I feel bad for you all. About my package, I can't really think of anything that I want.  Thank you though!
Valentines Day here was pretty much nothing.  People celebrate it but there is hardly any decorations.  People were just saying happy valentines day.  A lot of the youth celebrate it.
I haven't eaten lunch yet and its 3 oclock here, so when I just read about Dad's stroganoff and cake and stuff.  It really hurt.  haha.  That sounds so good.  I will never complain about rice though because if I do, my life will be terrible.
I think it's really cool that you joined the community choir! You will have fun.  That's kind of funny that you share something from my emails in primary.  I gotta make sure I give some good stories.  haha.
So for your questions...
A common phobia that I think is so funny is the whole aswang thing.  I'm still not sure exactly what one is or what it looks like, but from my understanding it is kind of like a werewolf-vampire mix.  I think the direct translation is a monster.  But sooo many people believe in these things and claim to have seen them.  I love to get people started on these things.  I can just  be in a group of people and mention the word aswang and it will ignite a huge conversation about aswangs.  All of these stories of people running into them, places where they have been spotted lately.  We had one of our investigators who we visited us at night and then they wouldn't let us leave because it was a night when aswangs were out around the area.  haha.  I really love to ask kids about aswangs.  It just makes me laugh so hard.
My favorite day of this week was Sunday.  We fasted.  I am really starting to love fasting.  I just can feel the spirit so much more in my teaching.  Anyways, I gave a talk in sacrament meeting.  I was kind of inspired to speak about how to recognize blessings from God.  I had fun doing that.  After church, the Bugasong Branch President came up to do some interviews.  We had 4 men interviewed and found worthy to recieve the Melchezidek Priesthood.  It made me so happy.  We are so close to becoming a branch.  We have district conference (Stake conference) at the end of this month, so they will receive it then.  I'm so happy for them!  As far as our work went, on Sunday, it was a little disappointing.  We had two families turn down invitations to be baptized.  One of the most frustrating things is to feel like you are explaining something clearly and you feel the Spirit, and then they don't understand, or they don't commit to doing an action.  I have memorized the hymn 240.  If you look, its called Know this that every soul is free.  I jokingly always kind of sing it to myself every time we get turned down.  It just basically says that you can't force the gospel on someone.  "God will force no man to heaven".  I like that haha.  All we do is invite the spirit, and invite the people.  We really don't have any control of how our work is.  I got to say, sometimes it is really easy to get down on yourself.  You put so much planning in for an investigator, you put all of your attention on them, and you have such high hopes, and then they don't accept.  It just is really hard sometimes, but it makes me feel good to know that I did my job.  Every night we report to the Lord in our night prayers on how well we did at our jobs.  Even though sometimes we don't have a lot of success to report, it still feels good.
For a funny story, hmm.  Last pday, we were walking when a member pulled us into a little side restaurant and ordered us a bunch of food.  It was super nice of her.  We started eating, and she had to leave, so we just sat there and finished up our food.  We were about to leave when the lady in the shop said that the food was unpaid for.  So, this sister brought us in and ordered all of this food for us and then ditched without paying. haha.  I thought it was just her being really nice. So, we paid for our food.  We were kind of laughing though because we couldn't believe that had just happened to us.  On Sunday, we talked to her and it turned out that it was actually the store that ripped us off.  They made us pay double.  We ended up getting our money back, so it was all just a misunderstanding, but for a while we felt a little burned haha.
For the coolest name that I've heard so far.  I would have to say that this little girl that comes to church sometimes with some members.  Her name is nice-nice.  Yes, nice-nice.  Some people have crazy names here.  I've heard off a MichealJordan or BenStiller, both just the first name haha. A lot of people have normal names, but some names, it is just like random syllables put together.
My favorite meal so far... Probably was on New Year's eve in San Jose. I can't remember what food it was, but I just remember that it was a LOT of food. There is a dessert here though that is so delicious.  It's called Mango float.  It is like layers of grahams and cream with fresh mangos on the top.  It is soo good.
I don't know any missionaries from England in the mission right now. And, we teach quite a bit of young adults.  The easiest people to teach are teenage girls, like ridiculously easy, but we try and avoid that as much as possible unless they are a referral, have really sincere desires, or we can teach their whole family.  I've been to some areas though where 90% of the investigators are teenage girls. It's not good haha.
I had two meetings in Iloilo this week so half my week was spent down there, but we were still able to get some good work in.
I hope you have a great week! I'll try and send some pictures!
Elder Robertson

Actually nevermind about the pictures.  We are in Sibalom because we have interviews with President Aquino tomorrow and I just realized I grabbed the wrong cord for my camera.  Sorry! Just look forward to next week!

The Culasi Elders with their "We're so cool" faces.

Stuart and some of his MTC batch mates

Stuart looking kind of studly on the bus

Monday, February 9, 2015

February 9th, 2015: Second Hike to Osorio, Only to Get Punted

This week has been pretty great.  We have had some interesting experiences haha.  
We took another trip out to Osorio with Aileen Blancia.  It was really hot that day, so it was a pretty brutal hike.  I also had a pretty big gash on the side of my foot from last p-day from playing basketball in flipflops, so it didn't feel too good to hike up that mountain.  We timed the hike this time. From the base of the mountains, it took us 1 hour and 20 minutes. (Elder Kellerstrass says hi.)  When we were getting pretty close, we saw this kid sitting on a bag of rice in the path, so we took a water break and started talking to this kid. Apparently, its his job to go down into the rice fields, bag some rice, and then carry it up the mountain to Osorio.  I would say this kid was like 14 years old and maybe 60-70 lbs.  The bag of rice he was carrying was 25 kilograms which is pretty much as much as he weighs. I couldn't believe how terrible his job was haha.  So, I told him I was going to carry that bag of rice for him.  I only carried it about a third of the way he has to carry it and I was dying. It is so hot and the bag is pretty heavy haha!  Tell the kids about this kid next time they complain about doing chores haha! That kid carries bags of rice up a mountain in the Filipino sun every day!  
Anyways, we got up to Osorio, and we went to teach our investigator(This is the second time we have taught them).  The father in the family is the baranggay captain.  We got up there and he is sitting there with some buddies playing cards.  He started to tell us that we couldn't be there because we didn't have a municipal permit to be there.  We showed him our little card that gives us permission to be official representatives of the church and permission from the national government, but apparently that wasn't enough for him.  It was pretty obvious that it was more of a matter of him not wanting us to teach his family more than us not having permission to be there.  It was so frustrating because while we were trying to talk to him, he didn't once look up from his game of cards to talk to us.  We had also just hiked an hour and a half up a mountain and then he just kicks us out.  On our way out, I called our zone leaders just to make sure I wasn't crazy that we don't need a permit.  They were pretty outraged that that happened to us. They told us to just go back because there was nothing that the baranggay capitan could do about it, but I just told them that he was the father of the family that we went to teach, so it probably wasn't going to work out anyways haha.  We call it getting "punted"  when you go for an appointment, and then you get "punted".  That day was probably the worst punting I've ever got.  Walking up a mountain and then getting punted from the whole village haha.  Just to let you know, I got pretty burned that day and had the worst line from my neck collar. 
What else... Yesterday, I was talking with a lady who is apparently from Malalison Island.  She told me that on Saturday that over 50 Americans went to Malalison Island. She also said that most of them were girls! haha.  It is really crazy to see a white woman.  I've only seen 3 on my mission so far.  Yesterday I saw one get on a bus in Malacanang and then I talked to that lady, so I figured she was in that group that went to Malalison.  
So to answer the questions because I just got your email
I would say that I wash my sheets once every month. I just wash everything as little as possible because I hate laundry so much! It takes so long!
I would say that my most frustrating experience so far was the one above, about the baranggay captain kicking us out.  That one was pretty frustrating
So for a funny story... There is this kid that lives somewhere between our two apartments that really hates Elder Coronel. Like really really doesn't like him.  Its funny because its not for any aparant reason either. Anyways, this kid is maybe 10-12 years old and is really chubby haha.  We walk by where he hangs out a lot.  He always yells at Elder Coronel to give him all of his money.  One day we were talking to someone and he walks up to Elder Coronel and starts telling him to give him some money.  Elder Coronel is just ignoring him.  Then the kid just punches Elder Coronel.  Elder Coronel turns around and the kid is just is kind of like, "What? What? What are you going to do about it?"  Its just so funny because Elder Coronel hates that kid too, but he can't too anything to him.  That time when the kid punched him kind of started out a not so good relationship between the two. Yesterday, we were walking by and the kid sees Elder Coronel and just rips down his shorts, moons him, and shakes his butt at him.  Really not appropriate, but so funny.  I laughed pretty hard. 
I haven't seen too many fancy cars.  In fact, I can't remember any.  I have seen some pretty cool motorcycles though. 
I may or may not still bite my nails. 

We had a really great day yesterday actually.  We had church in the morning, and then had a great day of work.  We visited one of our investigators who we challenged to pray about the book of Mormon.  He said when he prayed, he was just overcome with the most powerful feeling.  He says he collapsed on the ground and was almost paralyzed for almost an hour because of the overwhelming spirit he felt.  It was really powerful for us to hear that.  It got us so pumped to have someone KNOW that the book of mormon is true.  This was really exciting for us because we have so many investigators that struggle to pray with sincerity, and therefore its hard for them to recieve answers.
As far as my package goes.  I can't really think of anything specific that I need. Thank you!
The package that I got was from the young men I think.  It had letters from the young men, a bunch of ties, skittles, oreos, muddy budies, and some jelly beans.  Was that the one from the branch?
And what is thicke?
I hope you all have a great week!

A weird seaweed dinner

February 1st, 2015: Long Hike to Orsorio (First Trip)

Hey guys!  
I can guarantee that you all are watching the superbowl right now.  You are so lucky!  Anyways, things here are all good. By the way, I got a Christmas package from the young men at the branch! Thank you so much for the ugly ties in there! haha.  Also the white chocolate covered oreos were maybe the most delicious thing I've eaten in a while! I am in Sibalom right now.  Its by San Jose, but we are going to play basketball later today with their university team of antique.  It is so much fun.  They are actually pretty good.  They have like a 6'6'' Filipino too.  He is so tall haha.  It's just fun to play a team that is good. So, that's pretty much our day today!  Tomorrow, we have  zone conference in San Jose.  We have two new zone leaders right now.  They are really cracking the whip.  It's good, but its a shift of gear.  They called me like three times last night to talk about my district and our numbers that we reported this week.  They are going to help our zone a lot.  I'm excited to work with them!
This week, we had a pretty fun adventure.  A lot of the pictures that I sent to you were from a trip that we took to baranggay osorio.  This is easily the farthest that I have been into the mountains so far.  The reason we went out here was to contact a referral.  The walk there was pretty intense though.  Right in the heat of the day too.  My clothes, including my pants, were pretty well soaked with sweat by the time we got there (I had drank a ton of water in preperation).  We took a trike out to the base of the mountain and then hiked from there.  The hike was pretty intense.  Very steep, very hot, very long.  It was really fun though.  Elder Coronel enjoys our adventures as much as I do, so we had a good time.  Our referral ended up being the baranggay captain.  He was just recently assigned as their captain, so he was kind of on an "authority rush."  He made us sign this book.   Everybody whoever makes the hike out to their little baranggay has to sign the book.  haha it was kind of funny.  He also asked us for our preaching permits, which we got in the MTC, but I don't carry mine around, because I'm pretty much sure that no missionary is the mission history has ever been asked to show their missionary permit.  He still let us teach him, but it just kind of caught me off guard when he asked me for it.  It is really funny, because the next day, we taught another baranggay captain and he asked for it too.  Two days in a row... so crazy haha. 
Anyways, on our way out of osorio, we got stopped by a lady who invited us in for a drink of water, so we just used it as a teaching opportunity.  She fed us some tree roots that she was boiling.  Like, I really just think it was some tree roots that she just chopped off the tree outside her house.  But, I asked her what it was called, and she said some word that I forgot, so I asked her what it meant in English and she said it is called "root crap."  I laughed so hard, but she was totally serious.  It was pretty funny though.  I just looked over at Elder Coronel and said, I'm eating root crap right now haha. 
We taught this one lady this week for the first time.  She was so cautious to let us in because she thought for sure we were going to ask for money.  It took like a minute to convince her that we didn't want her money, so she let us in.  We started out teaching her.  After a couple minutes, she is just staring at me with a weird look, so I stop.  She says, I just don't understand why you are here.  You don't want my money, you just want to a share a message?  You don't have any income for what you do?  There has got to be something that you guys want from me.  I just tried to explain to her that we believe that we have God's full truth that can bring eternal blessings.  Wouldn't you want to share that too?  But, she just wouldn't buy it.  She said, oh, I know, you guys just want me to go to your church.  I just said, if you do what we ask you, read this and pray about it. If you learn that it is true, would you not want to come to our church?  She just looks at me for a while, and then says, no.  I couldn't believe it.  She just said, I have had so many preachers come to my house and say their church is true and I didn't start with them, why should I start with you guys?  I have been aglipayan since I was a kid, why should I change?  I just told her, all we are asking from you is to read this, and pray about it.  Will you do that?  No. Why?  Because.  It was like there was no reasoning with her.  It was pretty frustrating, but of course we were very polite to her. The other day, we ended up going to her veggie stand and I recognized her.  She ended up giving us a bunch of free food and thanking us for our time and kindness.  It was really kind of cool. I didn't know what to think of it.  Maybe right now, she is just not ready, but who knows, she could remember us for a while.  
We had one experience that was pretty funny too, that I want to tell you guys about. By the way, I'm re continuing this email right now because there was a brown out a while ago.  So, we had just got down teaching this one lesson with a family.  We were standing up getting ready to leave when the grandma starts thanking me and then asks me if we believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ.  I said yes, then she just says, oh thank goodness, I have to tell you about the dream I had about the second coming of Jesus Christ.  At that point, she just goes off on this dream that she had 14 years ago about how Jesus Christ made is second coming on Mt. Majaas.  She explained in crazy detail, about the texture of His skin, the color his sash was, how much he looked like he weighed.  So, it was a little weird, but while this was happening, Elder Coronel is behind me and whispering in my ear about how he has the runs and how we need to leave right now, but obviously we can't do that because this lady is telling me about her prophetic dream of the second coming of Christ, but he just keeps talking into my ear, even though I'm listening to this old lady.  He is just saying the most ridiculous stuff about how he thinks he is going to go in his pants and stuff, so I start to get the giggles and then this lady is thinking that I'm mocking her dream.. Anyways, she gets done telling me the story and then starts showing me videos of her naked 3 year old grand kid playing in a river.  I feel bad trying to leave and then Coronel just keeps telling me that he is going to poop his pants.  It was pretty funny!
I hope you guys are having a good time in WI!
Elder Robertson

January 26th,2015: President Aquino- ROCK OUT!

So, I'll just answer the questions first because a lot of times they give me inspiration on what to right about.
So, honestly I haven't cried since I've been here.  Although this week while teaching a lesson, I was teaching about the first vision which I do like 10-15 times every week, I just got choked up a little bit.  I don't know why, I was just feeling like I really wanted her to feel that it was true.  I was completely focused just on that person, and I taught about what happened to Joseph Smith.  I don't know why I kind of got choked up. I just felt such great love for this person.  
My companion told me a while ago something like, "I think I'm growing immune to the Spirit because I feel it so much, I used to tear up sometimes when I felt the Spirit, but now I don't"  It was pretty funny.  
It seems to me like the most common gift around here is probably just food, but I have actually got two gifts.  One was a coffee mug, and the other was two cheap stuffed animals, so I don't really know what the standard for gifts is here. haha.
If I had to choose between weather, I would probably go with Philippines although sometimes I die for some cold weather.  Here its just the same thing everyday. Hot and humid.  The only change is rain and sometimes a little wind.

My superbowl prediction is Patriots by at least 25 points. 
Woah Chloe, I don't even want to think of that.  I think if I had to just say, it would probably be Salt Lake.
So, this week we had two-zone conference in Iloilo, so we we had a 2 day trip to go to that.  That went pretty well.  It was like a 7 hour conference though so at least it was worth our time, but after, President called me into his office to talk about the progress of the group up here and he told me that I will be here for at least another transfer, so hopefully that happens because I love it up here!  I don't know for sure though.  President can be unpredictable! haha. 
On Saturday we had a FHE at a members house.  It was a pretty good time. I was in charge of the lesson. I decided to just have everybody go to the beach and split into a couple groups.  Every group had to make something, anything and then relate it to the gospel.  There were a bunch of kids there so I just wanted to get everybody up and moving around.  It turned out to be pretty funny because every group ended up making a model of the tree of life. 

O-bedient (excellent obedience)
K-nowledgable (study the scriptures, memorize)
O-pen your mouths but lock your hearts
U-se time wisely
T-each and testify through the Spirit

I just have to send this to you because I think it is so funny that he uses rockout.  This is from President Aquino.  I don't know how, but this perfectly sums up his personality.  haha
That's all I got for this week!
Have a great week!
Elder Robertson

Photo Bomb-Champ

The lizard that won't let go of his chomp...for hours!

January 19th,2015: Climbing the Steep Mountains and Finding Less Actives

Maayad nga hapon!!(Gabi-i para kaninyo)
So I had a great week this week! I have a lot of fun stories and stuff, but first I'll answer your questions.
Our walk to the "Chapel" I would say is about 3 minutes.  Its close. Culasi might be 35000 people but Culasi is like a county.  There are a bunch of villages in it. The center part of it, where we live is probably like 5,000 i would say.  I don't know.  Its not big.  
The biggest spider I have seen would probably be the ones I saw in Pandan. Everybody says in the mission that the further north you get, the bigger the spiders are.  But, I saw a bunch of spiders with webs in the phone lines, and they were probably honestly about 6-8 inches long.  Pretty massive.  They were black, with no hair.  haha.  I couldn't get it a good picture of them though because they were far away and it was dusk.  
So, my pillow...hmm interesting question haha.  Its a pretty standard pillow.  I think it might be a down(sp?) pillow, but I'll leave it here if I'm transfered. By the way, transfer day is the 29th.  I have a feeling that I might be transferred.  I don't know though, its tough to tell.  

The craziest thing that has happened this week. hmmm.  That's a tough one.  Maybe the most memorable thing that has happened was that we got a referral, in fact we got a couple of referrals this week that are just way out in the boonies(we are excited haha)  in a barangay that is way in the mountains, in fact it is on top of one.  haha.  So, we are supposed to contact referrals as soon as possible, so on Sunday we took some of the members and took a trip out there.  The path though was pretty intense.  It was like a straight up wall.  The members were going to die, I thought.  Francis after about 5 minutes.  just sat down and said, I can't go any more! haha.  I just quoted a verse in the bible, which I knew was his favorite, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  haha, he just popped up and started up again.  He just said, come on, you can't just pull out my favorite verse! haha.  It was kind of funny.  Anyways, we made it to the top of this mountain, and had one of the best lessons I've had yet.  I came out of that lesson feeling so good.  There is no greater feeling than that, just having a lesson where the spirit was.  I just walked out of that lesson with a smile on my face and I felt like I could convert that whole village! haha.  It just feels good to be a missionary.  I already know I'm pretty much done with a quarter of my mission, as excited as I will be to go home, I am just scared for this to end.  It is just so much fun!  The people are kind and funny.  We just get to go out every day and our only job is to talk to them and to love them and share with them what we know.  
So, I have only thing to say about the Connor situation.  Just always stick up for the right!  Its hard, but if you don't just take a stand, it just makes you feel guilty.  There is no better feeling then choosing the right, even if at the end of the day, you end up with no friends.  You've got great cousins who are your pals!!  haha.  Just hang in there.  You will look back at these experiences after you have graduated and realize that it was a blessing that you have those kind of problems because that's how you grow stronger!
Elder Coronel and I this week have really tried focusing on just talking to everyone and inviting everyone to hear the gospel.  I can testify that it helps in more than one way.  Although we did get more people that just run away from us, we did have an increased number of new investigators, and of them, people who are genuinely interested in our message. We have come across people who are prepared by the Lord. I mean people that are just ready.  Its interesting, even though most of those people at first are kind of avoiding us and are nervous that we are talking to them, as soon as they get comfortable and can feel the spirit, they can open up to all of these things that they are wondering.  People who are first tell us that they are devoted Catholics, are asking us if they are really going to see their spouses again.  The thing is though, that if we don't open our mouths to talk to these people, we never find them.  Even though there are some moments in talking to everyone that are...unfavorable... its worth it because you are more likely to find those people who are prepared by the Lord.
One other story that is pretty cool.  Last week, we were walking through a barangay, and we were just passing through, but we decided to walk through it a bit to look around because we had never been there.  We end up walking to the back corner, and we decide to talk to this group of people. It turns out that one of them is a member.  She was baptized when she was fourteen in bacolod, and moved here with her husband and never knew there was a meeting house opened in april. She has lived here for ten years!  And then we just miraculously found her out in this tiny village out in the sticks. We visited her once this week but she didn't come to church.  She lives really far away and is way poor.  I really hope that she will decide to come to church though. I am really excited though because this is my first experience with a less active, everybody in my area is a recent convert, so there are pretty much no less actives.  We kind of had a funny lesson with her though.  She was cooking in bamboo hut, and it was so smokey.  Elder Coronel was like crying becasue of the smoke.  Elder Coronel was like crying and then he goes to speak, and I'm pretty sure he was going to say something really spiritual or something, but he ends up saying, sister, can i sit on the ground, its really smoky in here. haha.  It was pretty funny.  
This morning we had a zone activity where we hiked to some falls in Sibalom.  It was pretty fun.  I sent you guys from it.  I wore flip flops though and it was not a good choice.  It was so muddy and hiking through rivers and up and down pretty steep and loose gravel, so they kept coming off and stuff, so I ended up going barefoot for a lot of it.  ouch haha, but it was really fun.  I'm so tired today though.  I slept over in Bugasong and there was a festival going on all night.  ALL night.  Loud music.  I think i'll be fist pumping for a least a week haha.  On top of that though I was sleeping on a tile floor, so yeah, I didn't sleep much last night haha.  
Anyways,  I hope you guys have a great week!

Halong kamo, 
Elder Robertson

January 12th, 2015: Talking to a Crazy Lady and Learning Good Lessons From It

My week was great!  I had a lot of interesting moments, but I'll answer your questions first.
I feel like I've experienced many miracles on my mission.  Not things really that are completely unexplainable but things that I know would not have happened without God playing a hand in it.  I think that's really a miracle. One thing that I still consider a miracle in the MTC when I lost my shoes.  I looked everywhere and my roommates quadrouple checked everything, but we still didn't find them.  I didn't want to blame people, but I had to believe that somebody stole them, but later that night, I look in my drawer and they are right there.  I know I looked there and all the others said they did too.  I could really tell that God wanted me to learn a lesson there even though it may seem kind of stupid.  Even though I didn't want to, I blamed other people for something that I'm pretty sure I caused.  But, yeah I feel like I experience miracles all the time.  And I've realized that a lot of things happened to me before my mission that are miracles, but I didn't thank God for them.  All it takes is a grateful attitude and always looking for God's blessings!
What made me laugh this week?  This question makes me laugh because so many funny things happen every day.  One thing that I laughed at really hard was that one time, we decided to talk to a man walking along the road.  We talked for 30 seconds, introducing ourselves and our message when he said he needed to get on this bus that was going by, so we pretty much had no choice but to walk away.  I looked back though and see him walking the other way.  He didn't even get on the bus!  I just started laughing because I just did not expect that.  It was probably the most creative way someone has evaded us so far haha.  Elder Coronel said, "I'm not even mad!  If he can pull that one on us he can get away with it"  There were a couple other times this week where Elder Coronel wanted to Tagbalay these "houses".  One time he tried to tagbalay an attorneys office.  Another time while we were kind of out in the bukid, or sticks, he tried to oym an army base.  I guess the three layers of barbed wire fence and men in camo with machine guns didn't set off any alarms for him haha.  When he doesn't where glasses, he can't really see any signs or anything.
Did I try any new foods this week... hmm. actually just one.  We had fish and then dipped it in this spicy vinager sauce. It was pretty good. I didn't really try anything too exotic this week though.  
And yes chloe, I will send you a video(it moves)of this plant. Its pretty cool.  You will like it!
By the way,  I am actually in the internet shop in LS suites right now. 
So for my garments size. Mesh tops and bottoms are good.  Medium on the top and maybe something a little smaller for the bottoms. Thank you!
I just want to tell you guys another funny story.  This lady came up to us and started talking to us.  She spoke pretty good english, so we had amostly english conversation, but at first she was really interested to meet with us, but then after, when we were about to part ways, she said that she also wanted to share a small message with us.  She sat there for like 15 minutes and just talked about weird stuff.  Shes like. God speaks to us.  He talks to us right here in the philippines, right in antique, right here in culasi, right here, right now.  Can you hear his voice?  I was just like, literallly, and she said yes.  I didn't really answer. i just asked her, can you? And she said yes. At that point I knew she was a little crazy.  She then proceded to talk to the voice.  Like, having a conversation with God.  It was pretty weird and pretty awkward.  Elder coronels face just kind of said, what is going on, why are we still talking to this lady.  It was just weird.  She told us all of this weird stuff.  We had a good laugh about it afterwards, but I kind of just thought afterwards if that is sometimes how some people feel while we talk to them and tell them about living prophets and stuff like that.  I think it is really important to make people feel comfortable when you are talking to them about the gospel and really help them relate it to themselves.  It is always, for me, a process of re evaluating myself on how my appointments and oyms go.
At the beginning of the year, we started reading the old testament.  I just finished genisis today, but this is really my first time to actually study the bible even though we covered it in seminary, and I have to say, it is really interesting.  Those who believe in the Bible, but think its crazy that Joseph Smith may have had more than one wife I think have never actually read the bible.  The stories about Abraham and Jacob, and Isaac are a little weird to me.  Elder Coronel and I always have a good laugh about what we read in the Bible in our personal study.  
Oh by the way, we hunted some pretty massive rats in our apartment this week.  Maybe 5 or 6 times bigger than the biggest one I've seen so far in our apartment.  Pretty sketchy.  
Anyway,. I've got to get off, so halong til next week!
Elder Robertson