Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Week 12: Mission Christmas Party

Family! Hey there! I'm here!

It really is the Christmas season! I miss that familiar hustle and bustle around the house at this time. Nothing's changed here! Although, yesterday,we did have a Mission Christmas party! Every missionary in the whole Cavite Mission! It was tons of fun. We had a small gift exchange (I gave an R&B Christmas Hits album, and received a dispicable me mug and double a batteries ahaha), played games, had a zone talent show, had a devtional and a picture slideshow which Sister Tye said she was going to put on the Cavite Mission facebook page, so look out for that. I am featured in it multiple times. :) Anyways, that's why I couldn't email you yesterday! Our P-day was switched to today (Tuesday), just for this week.
Again, just remember that I did read the whole email you guys sent me but I cannot reply to everything! Just know that I did read it and I miss you guys! 
This week is about to be very busy! Tomorrow, we have a transfer meeting, and Elder Zacarias is getting transferred! Actually, he's training a new missionary again! Crazy. Which means I will be staying in Bacoor, but will be getting a new companion! I guess his name is Elder Acosta, I haven't met him yet, but I've heard good things about him. I will be the junior companion still, but I'll be leading the area! I'm really nervous. Hopefully I've listened and understood enough of the Tagalog I've heard from our investigators to know whats going on around here. ahahah. We have at least two investigators who are really progressing and on their way to baptism right now. One is a 54 year old man named Allen and the other is a 9 year old boy named John! John's mom and dad and older brother are actually members, but after his older brother was baptized, they fell into inactivity so John was never baptized. But they have started coming to church again and he is really looking forward to his baptism! If he is baptized, it will be a completed family and a less active family brought back into activity! It's really great. But now since Elder Zacarias is leaving, it's up to me to finish up his teaching and get him baptized! That's what's making me nervous, I'm getting a whole lot more responsibility, which is great! But it'll be tough. but I'm up for it, I think I can do this! With Heavenly Father's help obviously haha.
Anyways, I'll send some pictures now! Not a whole lot to say this week.
Oh, first! So about skyping on Christmas! So there is one internet shop where I would be able to skype, but its not private, it would be very weird. But I'd be okay with it! So we can definitely skype. It would probably be around 10 o'clock here, which would be Christmas eve around 7 o'clock in Flag. If it's better, I could actually skype you guys on the 26th, which would make it Christmas night there? Tell me what the better date is for me to skype on. I would also really love to talk with Maddie, so maybe you guys could have her over at the house for just like an hour on Christmas eve?  I guess I'll have to make a skype account next week though. no worries, everything should work out fine. It would be great if you guys could contact Maddie and make sure if it's okay for her to come over for an hour or two on Christmas eve though!
I love and miss you guys!
Elder Lasley :)
 Elder Fernando! He's from Sri Lanka and goes home tomorrow. Yay!
 I haven't seen any giant spiders here yet (I've heard they can be as big as my hand) but I did see this massive grasshopper bigger than my thumb that could probably kill me if it wanted to ahahaha
Elders of Bacoor District
 My lunch (ArmyNavy burger and burrito)
 Some dope graffiti

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 11: 10 Kilos of Spagehetti

First of all, I'm so sorry about last week! We had a Zone Activity in Tagaytay City again, so we had to email from 9 until 10 in the morning and i hadn't received any emails from you guys, so I didn't want to write you guys unless I had something to reply to, so I asked the zone leaders if I would be allowed to finish my emailing after the activity, at around 8pm and they said that would be fine. so after the zone activity, I guess without me knowing, elder zacarias planned a lesson that we had to go to. We actually aren't suppossed to work on p-days where we have zone activities, so when he told me we had an appointment, I was pretty unhappy. so I said "alright lets go, we need to make it quick so I can finish my emails" but nope it wasn't quick, it didn't end until 10pm, so I didn't get a chance to email you guys! I was not happy. I love hearing from you guys! 
anyways, about the zone activity, it was a blast! I love hanging out with the other missionaries in our zone. we went to tagaytay city again, but this time we went to a different area of the city and it was absolutely beautiful! about half way through, a cloud blew into the park we were at and it got totally foggy. we couldn't see about 50 feet in front of us, it was wild. and the wind picked up and it started raining, it was crazy! I'll send some pics a little bit later.
Thanksgiving sounded like a blast! what a crazy couple days. I would've loved to have been there with all you guys! Thanksgiving here was just a normal day. we didn't even eat well haha. that friday though the bishop took us out to dinner at yellowcab! its a pizza place and I'm pretty sure they have them in the US? anyways, it was pretty awesome. A funny story about church on Sunday now! So in elders quorum, of what I could understand, we were discussing a ward Christmas lunch that was to be had after church the next week (yesterday) and everyone was yelling out foods that should be brought. I guess, everyone was yelling out foods they were going to bring, which I didn't understand, I just thought they were yelling out foods that should be brought by someone, so I raised my hand and yelled "10 kilos of spaghetti!" because everyone was yelling 10 kilos of the different foods. so the elders quorum president said "okay elder missionaries will bring 10 kilos of spaghetti!" and I was very shocked because I was not expecting that I would bring the spaghetti so I said "oh what no on I cant do that!" so he said "alright, not 10 kilos, but you're bringing spaghetti." and I kind of shrunk down in my seat like "oh my what did I just get myself into" and the other 3 missionaries told me they weren't gonna help me, so I was even more sad ahahah.
anyways, that week was very normal. the next story I will tell you about happened yesterday actually, it was an awesome day!
So, on Saturday night, Elder Zacarias and I went to the grocery store so I could buy my materials needed to make spaghetti. so I bought two kilos of noodles, two kilos of sauce, and a kilo of ground pork! it cost a good chunk of my support money so i wanted it to be awesome.
so the next day, we had church at 8:30am! and I was told I would be able to cook the spaghetti at the church because the lunch was at 11:30am, so I brought the 5 kilos of ingredients to church! oh and before church we picked up an investigator and walked probably about 2 miles with a 10 pound backpack ahaha not fun. anyways, apparently, whoever was supposed to bring the stove so we could cook our spaghetti, forgot to. so we were frantically running around trying to find a place where we could cook my dang spaghetti! but to no avail :( we ended up not even cooking it for the lunch, so all my preparation had gone to waste. it was literally heartbreaking. 
so i ate the Christmas lunch in shame. without spaghetti. anyways, after the lunch, we had ward coordination meeting with all of the ward missionaries! so we talked about stuff and it was great and then, since elder zacarias had to go to another zone to do some baptismal interviews, we split! I went with 4 ward missionaries and he went with one. Me and the 4 went to two investigators houses and had two great lessons! it was a huge huge HUGE help having the ward missionaries there, mostly because they could speak fluent tagalog and I still sound like a 5 year old child ahaha. we went to one investigator who we've been teaching for like 3 months now and should've been baptized 2 months ago but we've had to delay and delay because she recently gave birth, and now she cant be baptized until shes married to the baby daddy! and it isn't looking good. apparently she is a Malaysian citizen and has overstayed her welcome in the philippines so if they try to go to the city and get the marriage paperwork done and stuff, they will find out shes an illegal alien and she may be deported or have to serve jail time. its a HUUUUUGE deal and we just have no idea what to do. we're just gonna let it simmer for a while.
anyways, after that appointment, we went to another appointment at this area where a whole bunch of children (and their families, but we only teach the children) live and we teach them all pretty often,. so we taught them and it went great and in the middle of the lesson two kids found a frog and were poking it with a stick and throwing it and stuff so i saved a frogs life and told them to put in back in the water ahahaha it was funny. i was like steve irwin. after both those lessons, we went to the house of a member and COOKED MY SPAGHETTI finally! it wasn't to waste! it was awesome. us 4 missionaries and 8 ward missionaries ate 2 kilos of spaghetti and just had fun and talked and laughed and it was a blast!
the rest of the work has been quite normal, always spiritual, but no specific stories to tell. I'll especially look for one this week though and I'll send a story next week! Transfer day is in a week and 2 days! I may be transferred to a different area! holy cow it's scary! and we have a mission Christmas party on the 16, that'll be a blast too. these next few weeks should be awesome!
I love to hear about family matters! I miss you guys a lot. everyone looks great! even "Adam" ;) ahahah thanks for including me! 
anyways, that's all for this week, I'll send some pictures and answer some questions from dads email now. I love you guys! 
Love, Elder Lasley

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Week 9: Exchanges and Balut

Mom! Dad! Family! Hey!
Greetings from the big P. I. yeaaaaahhhh boiiiiiii ahahah anyways...
This week has been great! 
First before I forget, the package got here on November 16! But I wasn't able to open it until yesterday ahahah. because, they kept it at the mission office for almost a week because they thought it was for Christmas! So a missionary told me there was a package for me at the mission office so I asked them to pick it up for me which they did! And then I opened it last night and we had some fun ahahha. Thank you guys so much! Some American snacks, well French I guess, were great. I already finished a box of the petite ecolier ahaha and the peach gunmmies! Don't worry, I shared. I gave my housemates and Elder Zacarias each a Santa hat and signed them each "from Elder Lasley" ahaha and put up the Christmas stickers and lights in our study room! its very festive.
I went to a funeral on Saturday night, a very strange experience. there was an open casket and everything! It was for the 38 year old son of a member. He passed away from heart complications due to a heart condition and pneumonia. I told Elder Zacarias I had had pneumonia before and he said "and you didn't die? oh wow!" ahaha I don't know if he knows it's not like a deadly fatal illness. Anwyays, funerals here are very strange! There's obviously mourning and consolation and all, but afterwards, everyone stay up all night and gambles, talks, joke and laughs and play cards and stuff ahaha it's so weird. I told Elder Zacarias what funerals are like in America and he was shocked ahaha.
I'll tell you one story about one of our investigators! So his name is Peter and we've been teaching him for a while actually. Just a few weeks ago, we started hearing rumors from his friends that we would see occasionally that he was involved in a homosexual relationship, that's why he was traveling to Manila so often, so we got a little bit worried. Anyways, last Monday, right before we were about to go and teach him, he texted us and said he didn't want to hear from us anymore! We were both shocked and sad and didn't know what to think! So three times this week we tried to contact him, but he wouldn't answer our calls, reply to our texts, and every time we visited, he wasn't home! So we just used our patience aahaha. and then the fourth time we went to his house, he was home! And he agreed to sit down and talk with us. During this time he explained that he was in Manila so often because he was in the process of applying and being interviewed for a job there! its a pretty good gig for him so we really hope he gets it. anyways, he explained that he said he didn't want to hear from us anymore because he was afraid getting this job would make him just too busy for any time to hear from us or read scriptures or pray. so we explained to him that if he gets the job, as long as he sincerely tries to read his scriptures and pray even just a little bit sometime during his hectic day, Heavenly father would provide a way for him to hear from us occasionally. he really loves our message and the gospel and we really hope he continues to try hard to choose the right and read the scriptures and we look forward to times when we can hear from him!
oh! also! i had the opportunity to go on two companion exchanges recently! one with our zone leader, Elder Grant, who's from Valencia California! we made great friends and we talk whenever we can haha, we have a lot of the same interests. it was a lot of fun! and the other was with a Filipino named Elder Hora who did not speak very good English at all. he spoke 4 other filipino dialects, but english just did not come easily. so it was a bit of a challenge, but it really improved my understanding skills. I walked by faith a lot that day ahahaha because I just couldn't understand him a lot ahaha but it was a great experience.
sounds like life at home is awesome! I miss you all and just the usual home life ahaha. but its great here still!
I would've loved to help coach Sam's team ahaha that sounds like a blast. I found a Versace shirt at a thrift store here! I'm not sure if its real or not, but I bought it just in case.and that highschool NJB sounds awseome too. Ben and Kyle and Brad are gonna have a blast!
Thanksgiving in Palm Springs sounds like its gonna be great! I'm jealous! I would love to be in Palm Desert with the family, they don.t celebrate thanksgiving here abviously, but maybe I'll convince everyone to help me buy a chicken or something for dinner ahaha.
yeah I do remember meeting her! congratualtions Austin! that's awesome! oh the Johnson family is gonna be crazy this year ahahah.
oh what that's so cool! I miss Jeffrey and his antics ahaha. i hope to see him when I get home! you should tell him to write me a letter! it takes about three weeks to get here, but that's okay ahahah.
anyways, I miss you guys a lot! I love you all! eat an extra plate for me on Thanksgiving! you know how much i like food haha.
Love you guys!
Elder Lasley :)

And heres your's truly :) 
and a two year old daughter of a recent convert named Princess! We were playing some Barbies. I don't know why but any of her barbies have clothes.

This is a very weird food I ate here this week! It's called Balut and it's a fertilized duck egg and you just eat everything in the egg.

 Here is the baby duck that I ate!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 7: Typhoon !

Family! Hey!
We as missionaries are pretty cut off from the rest of the world and even the rest of the country, so we heard about the typhoon but we literally had no idea of its extent! I'm glad JT is okay! That's crazy. We were only in the very very very edge of the typhoon, we just had moderate rain and pretty strong winds. We were told by President Tye to not proselyte on Friday so we just stayed in our house all day, it was a pretty boring day. But it all blew over over night. Good thing too, because on Saturday, we had 3 baptisms! That's right, another three! We are DOIN WORK HERE IN BACOOR. Since I've been here, the ward I'm in had already had 9 baptisms of new converts (5 by the other missionary companionship and 4 by us)! Our ward has a monthly goal of 2 baptisms and we've already almost doubled this months, and we tripled last months. I heard rumors of our ward maybe having to split soon. Our baptisms this Saturday were one 22 year old girl named Mary Rose, and then two children from a previously less active family (that we brought back into activity may I mention) a boy named Jonas Hular who's 11 and  girl named Jomerlly Hular who's 8. Elder Zacarias and I have gotten really close to Mary Rose and the Hular family. It was absolutely great to taste the fruits of our labor. I have had the opportunity to baptize 4 of our own investigators and 1 other who I was asked to by the other companionship. They all bore their testimonies afterwards and the spirit was so strong and they knew, even the 8 and 11 year olds, that they had made the right choice to be baptized and had entered through the gateway to eternal life! I really hope to be able to see the Hular family be sealed in the Manila temple, because they are able to now! that would be awesome. That's our number one goal here as missionaries, to complete eternal families! what a blessing it is to be a missionary and help people accomplish things that will lead them to live with our Heavenly Father again. Always pray for and be grateful of the missionaries! our work is hard but our labors do  not go unnoticed, especially by Heavenly Father.
Anyways, other than those things, this week had been a pretty normal week in the life of a missionary! We've been low on food lately, but we've graciously had the ability to eat at members houses an awful lot, which is nice, FEED THE MISSIONARIES. they like food., we all do. our meals are never guaranteed, such a hard life. just kidding ahahshd.
I love to hear about Ben and Sam! Ben's doing awesome in cross-country, he whooped my time! what an animal. I honestly didn't hink he would be so good. its a hidden talent.
and Sam's doing awesome too! even though his team isn't so hot, he's awesome. He's like Blake Griffin I think. He's a baller but he can never land a good team. I mean I don't know much about him right now because I don't know anything about the real world ahha but from previous knowledge.
well anyways, I have some pictures this week so I'll send you guys some! but other than that, I love you guys! I think about you all often but I dont let it distract me from my work, dont worry. I love you guys! 
Elder Lasley

The Elders of Bacoor District, Cavite Mission

The Baptism !

Rice fields at nigth

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 5: Tagaytay and Baptism

Dad! and Family!

Hey guys! This week has been pretty normal for the missionary life! Except on Saturday we did have 6 baptisms! Me and my companion only actually had one, the others were another set of missionaries. anyways, I baptized two of them! the first man I baptized, Ashly, when I dunked him, he put his foot up out of the water so I had to dunk him again ahahaha. Also, a funny thing is that I forgot to bring a second white shirt to change into after the baptism, so the rest of the night proselyting I had to wear a soaking wet white shirt ahahha and it was pretty much see through. but oh well! It felt good because it was quite a hot night.
anyways, we have a few new investigators, and two of them came to church on Sunday! It was great seeing them there. they actually came to the baptisms too! It was awesome. but one of them is moving to Manila next month or soon so we wont be baptizing him, we'll just have to refer him to the missionaries in manila.
that's really all that's worth telling this week! don't worry, every other day was just regular teaching appointments, you aren't missing anything. 
 Go Dad! You're like the sonoran gopher snake hunter! Steve Irwin! 
Wait no he was the Crocodile hunter. but that's okay you were close.
but that's awesome! I've only seen one snake here. and it was dead on the side of the road ahaha. it was about a foot long garter snake. nothing special. but I did catch a frog! 
I love haring about Ben and Sam's sports! Its awesome that Sam's playing soccer and basketball right now. and still staying involved in scouts! that cant be easy. it must be busy around the house, even without me!
Ben's doing awesome from what I hear. You should tell Ben and Sam to email be personally! I want to hear from them.
before I forget, I thought of something I want for Christmas! If we still have that little ipod shuffle, it would be awesome if you guys could fill it with a whole bunch of Disney music! like Up, the Incredibles, Tangled (a request from Maddie, she wants me to know every word to every song on the Tangled soundtrack when I come home), etc... that would be awesome! because apparently Disney music is allowed! yay!
now to answer some questions! 
my cheap umbrella is just fine, no worries! It hasn't rained much lately anyways. 
mosquitoes aren't that bad at all! I haven't even opened me DEET yet.
we have so little time to write in our journals! but I write a little something every other day usually.
my shoes are doing fine! I just shined them for the first time last week and they look good as new! I haven't even worn the hush puppies yet, but I will.
don't worry about asking questions, I'm fine with answering anything! 
tell Auntie Jen I think about her and Uncle Ron and Dylan oh an Nana and I actually had a dream about Auntie Jen ahah! I just have so little time to email so many people and I rarely get around to emailing her! but I love them and think about them! and everyone too! Grammy and Pops and Mia and the twins and uncle Robert and uncle Scott and auntie CJ and Rachel!!11
anyways, I love you guys a whole lot! and I miss you too. thanks for all the support and love I really feel it! I'm gonna send some pictures now yay!
Elder Lasley.
 Bacoor City

Bacoor City


Our District


Monkeys in a cage

 Zone Activity in Tagaytay

Tagaytay.  Crater Lake with Volcano


Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 4: My First Baptism

Sorry family! I just got back from an activity with my zone! We went to Tagaytay! It’s the city on the edge of Taal lake, a crater lake and it’s beautiful and awesome!

Anyways, this week was also pretty normal for a missionary in the Philippines! However, next Saturday, I have my first baptism! It’s a guy, yes a guy, named Ashly and I was asked to be his baptizer! That will be awesome. I'm doing all I can to prepare for it.

We also have a baptismal date set for this very receptive interested investigator named Kimberly. But there’s a problem with her because she’s due to give birth the day before her baptismal date, so we're gonna have to change it. Also, it is encouraged that she should be married if possible before her baptism, so it may take awhile to get her and her significant other married before she can get baptized. But she is very willing! She’s actually sad that she'll most likely have to wait for so long to be baptized. 

With regards to the earthquake, it was about 100 miles away from where I am and we didnt even feel it or anything, so everything's alright here!

Now to answer some questions! 
My companion is 22 years old, and has been in the field for abour 8 months. Hes Filipino and knows fluent Tagalog, Waray (another Filipino dialect) and English surprisingly well. He’s from an island called Leyte which is about 120 miles from where we are. He’s an extremely good missionary, always looking for teaching opportunities and he’s also very patient and caring with me! 

I have two other elders in our apartment, elder Velasco and elder Ripdos. Elder Ripdos is our zone leader! They’re awesome too. Both Filipino. Elder Ripdos speaks English fairly well, and Elder Velasco does not know much English haha.

We eat like kings! Just kidding, we eat like poor college students. Lots and lots of rice because its really cheap. We also eat a lot of cheap meats, like undesirable parts of the chicken, hot dogs, and this pork thing called tocino which is actually pretty good. I have oatmeal every breakfast, also because its cheap and I buy it in bulk hahaa. For dinner, we usually try to get fed by members or investigators, but sometimes we have to eat out which is pretty expensive so we try to avoid it. Or else we eat rice and cheap meat haha.

No we don't live in an apartment complex, its actually a house! So I don’t really know why I always call it an apartment. But whatever. It’s a small house and it’s not that bad at all!

The Tagalog is coming slow and painfully and is really quite a struggle for me. But it’s coming and I'm improving so everything’s fine. I'll get there!

Every morning have this workout routine I made for myself! Nobody else likes to exercise, so I'm usually alone ahha. But I do 50 push-ups (nose touching the ground on the way down) 100 crunches, 100 ab-rotate things, and a three minute plank. Sometimes I do some squats and calf raises and stuff. But I try and do that morning and night! I haven’t been able to play any basketball yet but I really want to! I think one of these days this week I'm going to convince everybody to wake up early one morning and go play some basketball because we have a concrete court right down the street from our house! 

As for Christmas presents, I though of something I was going to ask for earlier this week but I totally forgot! I have no idea still! But this week I'll think really hard and write what I think of down so I don’t forget it.

So far, I've heard from Harrison, Kyle, Maddie (obviously), Auntie Jen, Uncle Scott and Auntie CJ, and I've been meaning to ask for Uncle Terry's email address! He wrote me my last week in the MTC and I haven’t had time to write him back! Could you guys get that for me? Thanks! But no, I actually haven’t heard from Jeremy yet, or anyone else really. But that's okay! 

I love hearing from you guys! It makes my day! I'm sorry I don’t have time to respond to everything you write, but I love and miss you guys and I'm happy everything is going well at home! Tell Ben and Sam to remember to listen to you guys and always be positive too! That’s the key to life.

I love you guys a lot and I miss you! 
Love, Elder Lasley :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Week 3: General Conference

I’m going to reply to yours and Dad’s email in this one so here it goes:

This week nothing really very abnormal or write-worthy happened, we had lessons everyday and studying and just the normal missionary life. There was a bit of a storm, probably the very edge of a typhoon, on Thursday Friday and Saturday though!  It rained like torrentially and flooded, in many places there was like a foot of water on the road and on the streets.  It was pretty crazy. On Saturday and Sunday we watched General Conference which was awesome!  It toook pretty much all day both of those days, but it was totally worth it.  I have never gotten so much out of a general conference! 

Oh something that did happen was my nice REI umbrella was taken from the church during conference, so as of right now I only have my cheap one, but we're on the look out so no worries.
I will make that phone call to the bank later today hopefully! Not that I am in need of money, but I may be sometime so it would be a good idea haha.

I am becoming pretty accustomed to missionary life, and I'm settling in fine!  Everything is just fine here in the Philippines. I have not been to the mission home since the first day, but I will be going there on the 23rd I think for a new missionary follow up training!

I feel Ben, hahah, cross country gets very tiring and I always wanted it to end before it did also. He should totally do that highschool NJB with his friends, that would be a blast! I wanted to, but I didn’t have any friends to play with.

Sam sounds like the same old Sam! ahahah He makes me laugh. Personal hygiene? No biggie ahaha. He'll learn, no worries. 

Dad sounds no different either! ahah. That dang boat. And business trips, sound pretty luxurious ahah.

I'm not 100% sure if i will actually go to Hong Kong, its only if my permanent visa doesn’t go through. I think. I have no idea! But I would be going on November 20th I think.

I'm sorry I don’t have much to write this week, but it wasn’t a very exciting week. I'll send a lot of pictures next week, but there aren’t really any this week! Sorry! I miss you guys a lot though and I love you!
Elder Lasley

Oh oh questions!  My favorite scripture is D&C 6:36!
For Christmas? I have no idea. maybe a rain coat? Or a new pair of shoes? Whatever you feel! It honestly doesn’t matter to me, I'm easy going.
I don’t need anyththing, I'm doing just fine :)
And yes you can definitely post my mailing address on facebook!  That would be awesome! 
I love you guys, and I miss you.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Week 2: In the Philippines

Dad! I'm going to reply to yours and mom’s email in this one email so get ready it’s going to be lengthy.

I am in a city called Bacoor, it is east of Cavite city. It is extremely polluted and pretty filthy, but its my home right now! It’s usually very hot and humid too and these are the cold months. Boy am I in for it. Way too many people live here than should so it is totally packed and crowded and crazy! There are many poor families but also many wealthy ones too. Bacoor's economy is pretty much centered around a mall called SM City which is in the center of the city. It’s a huge 6 story shopping mall and there’s about 40 of them in the Philippines. It’s probably what contributes to most of the pollution in the city.

 Bacoor City

I kind of gave you a brief review of my work last week and I will do the same this week but include a little bit more!

Last Monday after I emailed you, we went to a family home evening at a member's house. We had a lesson and played games and ate pancit (noodles and chicken and vegetables, delicious) and it was a lot of fun. even though it was mostly in Tagalog. On Tuesday, we had our morning schedule (8-12, personal study, companionship study, language study and new missionary study) and then went out! We took a jeepney and a tricycle to a chapel on the other side of town where we had a district meeting with all the Missionaries in the Bacoor district. There were 4 companionships including mine, and one other American who had been here for 7 months and was fluent in Tagalog. We had a little meeting and then ate lunch at Jollibee which is like the Philippines’ McDonalds that serves pork hamburgers instead of beef becausue Filipino’s seem to like pork better. After that, me and Elder Zacarias, my companion, who is from Leyte, another island in the Philippines and has been out for about 8 months, had an appointment at a members house where we taught this member’s nanny/maid named Mary Rose who is a very good progressing investigator. After we taught her the member, Nanay Lopez (Nanay means mother and is what you call older women), fed us adobo which is chicken cooked in soy sauce and vinegar with rice and is very good. After that, we had a couple more lessons before we got home. Most days are pretty much like this..We get fed usually everyday, a lot of food! They're trying to fatten me up. I will share one more story because it is my favorite! 

 Elder Lasley and Elder Zacarias

 Elder Lasley

We were proselyting in a poorer area of town where all the houses are made of sheet metal and have mostly dirt floors and are not much bigger than my room. We found a Nanay doing laundry outside so we talked to her. Apparently she was a member, but her husband wasn’t, so she let us inside to go teach her husband. He was a 60+ year old, blind, diabetic. They also had a severely autistic son. Anyways, we taught him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and he was very interested and receptive and asked many questions. It was a great lesson. I shared some thoughts in my broken Tagalog. After the closing prayer, we asked to return another time and he said that would be fine so we set up a return appointment and talked to him a bit more. He told us he had about 10 percent vision and that he could only really see light colors, so he could tell we were wearing white shirts, and could tell that I was white, ahaha. He said "Amerikano?" and I said "opo!" and then he looked at me for a while and said "guapo-guapo" or very handsome, ahaha.  It was funny. I tried talking to their son and he just smiled, he was sweet. anyways, that’s the story!

Now to answer some questions. I will send you pictures of my apartment don’t worry. We live with one other companionship, both Filipino, so I hear a lot of Tagalog. But they all do speak English just fine.



 Living Room


I love the food here. Lots of rice every meal!  They even serve rice at McDonalds and KFC and every other fast food restaurant. I love the people too! They’re very humble and hospitable and they love Americans. They love white skin! It’s like the opposite of here. They use umbrellas everywhere and have skin whitening creams so they can have "more beautiful" skin. 
The kids are really funny too. Whenever I walk by a group of children they all yell at me in their broken English and call me names like "Father" and "Policeman" and "Justin Bieber" ahahah. 
All the adults and older children always ask me how tall I am and when I reply with 6 feet they say ohhhh, do you play basketball? Everyone loves basketball here, it’s the national sport haha. 
There are a lot of animals too! A lot of small bugs, nothing big, but a lot a lot of stray cats and dogs and even goats. and chickens and ducks too! A lot of families raise roosters for cock fighting. I guess its pretty popular.

There are no street laws really, so crossing the street is a dangerous adventure.  There are open air markets and street venders everywhere also. They don’t really have any copyright laws either so everything is usually fake.  Anyways, I'll send some pictures now! 

Washing Machine

Clothes Dryer

Oh p.s. I love you guys! It’s cool that Sam is playing soccer and basketball. I'm glad he’s enjoying it. He'll always be a monster outside shooter.  And Ben’s doing great in cross-country, that’s awesomse!  He'll no doubt be better than me. It makes me happy that I can be a role model for them, it’s nice to hear that they look up to me. I love and miss them!

I heard about Mom’s reunion. It sounded awesome! She got to see a whole bunch of old friends and be in high school again haha! 

I also love hearing about your missionary experiences. I do know the Corums actually! The daughter was a cheerleader at Flag High if I’m not mistaken. Keep working with the missionaries! Working with a member present is so much more effective than not. We don’t get General Conference here in the Philippines until next weekend, but I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for telling me what to look out for!  I think it’ll be in Enlgish with Tagalog subtitles, or Taglaog translations but Im not sure.

I love you guys and miss you all a whole lot!  Keep being the Lasley's, don’t change too much, I don’t want to miss anything! I get homesick sometimes, but I'm doing alright. I miss Maddie too! But we email also and we’re gonna start writing letters! When she comes over for dinner could you give her the address to write me letters? I think it’s in my call packet. If not, do you think you could maybe contact Sister Tye and find out how to send letters to me? Thanks.

I got a letter from Auntie Jen too but I don’t have time to reply! Tell her and Dylan and Nana and Uncle Ron that I love them and I think about them too and thanks for being so supportive! 
I love you guys, I'll email you in a week!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Finally in the Philippines!

I'm here! I'm in the Philippines!
Alright, first, I'm going to tell you about my whole experience here so far. I don't have that much time on the computer but know that I did read your whole mail even if I dont mention it all!
 Adam and his new companion in the Philippines
okay here it goes.
I got here in my area on Wednesday afternoon after we had a new missionary orientation at the mission home! Im in an city called Bacoor, it's very dirty and crowded and gross and there are a large amount of poor poor people, but there are also a good amount of wealthy people.  The first day, Wednesday, we rode a jeepney (crazy things) to our apartment (which I will send you pictures of, don't worry) which is in a more wealthy part of town. My companion Elder Zacarias asked me if I wanted to rest or get to work and guess what I said? rest! just kidding I actually said lets get to work! So he said we had two appointments with an investigating family and a less active family. They both lved in the same part of town, an extremely poor area. Their houses are about the size of the upstairs bathroom, with ust usually dirt floors. We taught the first family about the restoration and I bore my testimony the best I could in tagalog and then at the end, we gave their baby girl a priesthood blessing because she was sick. I annointed with oil and my companion sealed and blessed her (in tagalog). The second family was much like the first, but they had 3 grown chilren (18, 20 and 21) and spoke little to no english, so I kind of just sat there and bore my testimony the best I could. It was a very humbling exeperience.
 A girl named Princess


I dont have time to give you every detail of everyday so I'll give you the main stuff!
The next day we visited 4 familys, 1 of which served us lunch and the other served us dinner. Adobo! It's a chicken and vegetable dish, very masarap (delicous). The others, we tauight about the restoration. And that's pretty much what we did everyday until Sunday actually! A lot of lessons, a lot of testimonies born because that's about all I know how to do off the top of my head, and a lot of jeepney rides.
on Sunday, we went to church and I was called up as a new missioanry to bear my testimony! I was very nervous and I said most of it in English and I also started crying in the middle of it which nobody understood, but I did just fine I think.
After church we had more proselytizing and also had no food at the house so I went hungry yaaaayyy. I will send you pictures don't worry because there's a lot of details I am leaving out because I don't have that much time on here! I'll write letters too, but they'll probably be pretty outdated by the time you get them. But that's okay.
Anyways, today is P-day and I am in an internet cafe using a computeer to email right now. I'm emailing Maddie too! I'm really happy you want to have Maddie over for dinner, I was goiung to mention to you that I want Maddie to feel close to you guys because I know this is hard for her, so if she's close to my family it may feel easier for her. Yes have her over for dinner! And talk to her, she loves it! Have her over for dinner often!
I miss you guys a whole lot! It sounds like the same old same old in Flagstaff, which I miss. I've been pretty homesick these past few days, sometimes, quite often actually, I think "I wonder what everyone's doing at home right now" and I just get homesick. But it's okay, I'll get over it! I really miss Maddie too. But I don't let it distract me from my work! I just pray for her and you guys a lot.
I love you guys and here are some pictures! I'm sorry this is a bad email, but I really don't get enough time on here. I love you guys!
Love Elder Lasley

At the MTC with Elder Shelley and our Teacher

Snack Time at the MTC

Sunday, September 15, 2013

5 Weeks - Got our Flight Plans!

September 14, 2013

Hey family I just got the package on Thursday and it was awesome! You guys have some awesome taste in ties, I love all of them! My favorite was the greenish one with flowers on it, but I really liked the Liberty of London one and the "specially made by mother" one too ahaha, that one made me laugh. But I loved them all! Thanks for the stamps and candy and especially the pictures also, I loved them. I thought it was funny that Mom saw Maddie at Saver's! wWhat a coincidence. Have you guys been talking or staying in touch with her at all? I hope you guys are. We've been writing and emailing and from what I can tell, she's doing great. She gets discouraged sometimes but its bound to happen! I don't worry about her because I can't let her drive my attention away from the work, but she obviously crosses my mind pretty often. We're hopeful everything will work out! If you saw her buying ties also, I have a feeling I'm going to get another package of ties from her now ahaha. I have so many ties! I think I'm up to about 30-33 somewhere in there, but I'm only going to be able to bring about 7 to the Philippines because I cant bring silk ties to somewhere so humid because they bleed onto white shirts in the humidity. I have about 7 polyester or some other material besides silk that I will be able to bring but I'll have to send most of the rest of them home.
 All of My Ties

I love hearing about home life! Even if you think it seems boring, I miss all of it. I'm glad Ben is actually having fun in cross country! He sounds and looks like he's doing awesome. I miss him! and Sam too! How's Sam doing in school? ahah its funny to hear about his NJB jersey ahaha. I cant believe he would even agree to see Insidious Chapter 2! Holy cow, I could barely sleep the night after I saw Insidious 1! Those are some scary scary movies. Crazy Sam.

How are you and Mom doing? Your hair cut looks good! Very modern, ahaha. I'm glad Niles is doing as good as he can be and Kitty too. How's Jasmine? I miss all the animals!

I'm doing just fine here. I gave my first priesthood blessing on Thursday night to Sister Andersen, a sister in my district, who was sick. It was an awesome and spiritual experience.

Nothing extremely new is happening here at the MTC though! Last Wednesday (3 days ago) we got 8 new elders who are heading to the Philippines, and 8 new sisters too. None to Cavite unfortunately. It's crazy to think that I used to be one of those new overwhelmed and nervous missionaries and now I'm one of the most experienced ones here! One of the new missionaries went to the ER the first night because he got sick and was having an anxiety attack or something, poor kid. He'll get used to it though. Yeah I've seen Kyle a couple times too! I actually just saw him today! He leaves this Tuesday at 2:30 in the morning. He got here 3 weeks after me and is leaving a week before me ahaha. That's what I get for having to learn a language! Which is going well by the way. I definitely don't feel ready to go out into the field, but my teachers Brother Mansfield and Sister Briggs say that we're on the right track and we're obviously not expected to be fluent in a six week time period.
Elder Kyle Abbott and Elder Adam Lasley

Yesterday we got our flight plans! it was an awesome day, pretty much only because of that. I'll send you guys a picture of my flight plans a little later when I'm able too, but I leave the MTC on Monday the 23rd at 4:30 in the morning! Woohoo! We won't be sleeping that night. I'll send you guys some other pictures too! I don't have much this week because it was just a fairly routine week, nothing much new. but expect some pictures shortly!
Showing our Flight Plans to the Philippines!

My Flight Plans

I love to hear about your missionary experiences, its awesome that your agreeing to go out with them and experience what I'm going to be doing for the next two years! Lucky you get to do it in English though ;)
About the raincoat, I've been told that a raincoat is just about useless because I'm bound to get soaking wet pretty much no matter what, but I'm sure a raincoat would be nice. But if you're spending a large amount of money on it, don't worry about it.

I have heard that packages will take one to two months to get there, and regular mail will take about 2 weeks, so I'm guessing for writing I'm going to rely pretty heavily on emailing most likely. Here at the MTC, I'm allowed to email anyone, I'm not sure if that will change in the field though.

If you guys don't mind, I would be nice if I had a pair of brown shoes, maybe a Christmas present ahah. Black are nice, but brown's a nice change!

I love that my blog is a hit! ahah! I'll try to keep my emails and letters interesting so it stays that way! And I will definitely be sending pictures, more in the Philippines though when I actually get there because pictures here aren't all that interesting.

I love and miss you guys a lot and I'm really happy that I have such a loving and supportive family who are willing to do anything for me to be a successful missionary! Well I have to go now, but keep writing and I'll keep writing back! Love you guys, mahal kita, salamat po!
Elder Lasley
Me and Elder Bobu from Kiribati

With the The Missionaries from Kiribati

Our Room with Elder Shelley and Elder Egan

4 Weeks - Dreamin' in Tagalog

September 7, 2013

Its me, your son! Its 9:28 AM on Saturday. I woke up at 6:30 like I do every morning. But there was something different about this day...its P-day. What a glorious day. P-day. Time flies by here, I can still vividly remember getting out of dads truck and you guys saying your goodbyes to me, but I've already been here for almost 4 weeks. A whole month! I have a hard time picking what memories to place on what days of the week because everyday just seems to blend together. For example I sent you guys a letter sometime this week but I can't remember if I sent it on Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday so I have no idea when you guys will be getting it. 
This week Elder Shelley and I had 6 investigator appointments, 3 lessons each for two "investigators". It can get pretty stressful because we do not have a large amount of time to prepare for each lesson so it would be hard enough already in English, but oh no, we can't have English speaking investigators, that's unheard of! Our investigators speak only Tagalog, do not understand even one single word of English. So yeah, I guess I am getting pretty good at teaching the PMG (preach my gospel) lessons because I've got to know them in English before I hope to learn them in Tagalog. 

Tagalog is going pretty good though, I feel myself continually learning. Sometime this week, I had my first dream in Tagalog! Well part of it was. But it was so weird! I'm hearing this language too much my brain is starting to make people in my dreams speak it!  In other news, I think I have a new favorite word: "kamayangkang" which means "swagger" ahahah tell that one to Ben and Sam. Oh, and if they want to say it, all they a's make a short o noise. 

I love to hear about home! I'm jealous of Cafe Rio, and just home-cooked meals in general. The food here is getting SO OLD. I dread meals because the food makes me sad, but nevertheless I must eat. I don't quite think I'm gaining any weight though. I weighed myself yesterday and I weigh 143, about the same as when I left. I'm also doing around 20 pull ups a night, so I'm hoping to bulk up a little bit. If I do gain weight, I don't want it to be in fat, I want it to be in muscle! 

It sounds like Ben really does like cross-country, that's awesome. He'll probably be better than me pretty soon here. My best 5k was about 18:30, let me know what Ben's are! Sophomore year my best was about 20:30-21:00, somewhere around there. I feel like he could probably beat that. How's Sam doing? Is 8th grade going well? And tell those guys to stay on top of their school work or they'll regret it! How's Dad doing too? I'm pretty sure not much is changing or going on at home, but I feel like it is just because I'm not there! Like, I'm probably not missing much, but I sure feel like I am.

That's funny that Dad accidentally texted Jeremy aha, he was probably pretty confused. I haven't heard from him, do you think you guys could get his email or give him my email or something? Also, Kyle got here on Wednesday, but I haven't seen or heard from him at all either! I know there's upward of 2000 people here at the main campus, but I usually have no problem running into people I may know. I've run into 3 kids from EFY, a girl from Flagstaff who was in the Doney Park Ward, and Daniel Frost, but no Kyle! I hope he's not at the west campus, that would suck. I'm going to email him today and find out!

Anyways, the letter I sent sometime this week says more about the MTC I think, so be expecting that.

Oh and also, tie trading is huge here! I've traded probably about a third of the ties I came with for others, so it would be awesome I you guys could send me some cheap thrift-store ties like you did two weeks ago, I'll trade for some cool ones and send Sam and Ben back a few. But literally just a package full of ties would be awesome! 

I love and miss you guys a whole lot, keep me updated and I'll keep writing!

Elder Lasley

3 Weeks - Duece Lutiui's Cousin

September 4, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad and Ben and Sam, and Jasmine and Niles and Kitty,

Hey!  How are you guys doing?  I saw that Dad replied to my email on Saturday and I read it but my email time ran out before I could reply!

Anyways, everything sounds good at home, I'm glad everything's going well.  Tell Ben and Sam to keep working hard in school and do not let their grades get out of their hands!  Keep me in touch about Ben's cross-country and Sam's basketball.  I miss them both and I miss talking to them everyday.  Tell them to write me! If they want or have time.  I wanna hear how sophomore year is going and how 8th grade's going too.  I remember both of those grades so well, it's weird that Sam is almost 14 years old, and that Ben's gonna start driving soon.  I know I've only been gone for 3 weeks, but it feels like I'm missing so much!  Just keep me in the loop.

Yesterday, I met Deuce Lutui's, the Cardinal player's, cousin!  Her name is Sister Lutui and she's going to the Philippines also.  I was talking to her, and when I noticed her name, I had to ask!  I thought Sam would think that was pretty cool.

Oh, and I also saw Daniel Frost!  He's teaching English to Spanish speakers here at the MTC!  We talked for a little bit, it was cool.

Anyways, I miss you guys and Jasmine and Niles and Kitty too!  Hopefully everything's going swell.  I'm excited for Kyle to get here.

Oh, and stamps are expensive, is there any way you guys could send me some?  and envelopes too.  I haven't spent any of my money yet!  I just spend the six dollars I get each week on my I.D. card.  Keep on a look out for sweet vintage ties too.  I like those.
I love you guys!
Elder Lasley

Oh and P.S. I'm mailing two other letters with this one because stamps are a scarcity, so if you guys could mail them to who they go to, that'd be awesome
Again, Love,
Elder Lasley

For Harrison's letter, could you ask his parents what his address is now?  Thanks!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

2 1/2 Weeks at MTC: Creamery Chocolate Milk is the Best

August 31, 2013

Hey Mom!
I did get my package, thank you guys! It was awesome. I vowed to myself that I would never ever wear crocs in my life but my language teacher said they would be very useful so I think I'm going to have to rethink my vow. The tie you guys sent me is wild ahah I love it! That's the kinda ties I like! I like when they're not any kind of normal pattern. But the tag on the back says "gin and tonic as seen under the microscope" not too sure if that's appropriate for the MTC. I'll send you guys a picture of it in a bit. Everyone liked the Mentos too! They're a big hit. And I love the slippers, they're my favorite. 
I love hearing about home too. Its awesome that you guys (dad) set up a blog for me! I'll make sure to keep my emails interesting so the blog doesn't get boring. Sounds like Ben is liking cross-country, that's awesome too. But whats goin on with spanish again! come on Ben! 
That little story dad told me about Sam in Deacon's quorum really touched me actually. I'm glad to know that they miss me, I wasn't very sure that they would. I miss them too. 
Every two weeks we get new Elders and Sister in our branch/zone (Philippines) so just this week we got 12 new elders and 6 new sister going to the Philippines. None of those new 18 are going to Cavite. But I have met 6 missionaries going to Cavite! So there's a total of 7 of us going to Cavite at the MTC. One of the new elders is from Calgary though, I thought that was pretty cool. I told him I was born there and we had a little Canadian pride moment. There's another elder here who isn't new so this is kind of unrelated, but his name is Elder Bobu and hes from Kiribati. Its some super small island about 600 miles east of Fiji in the middle of the Pacific ocean. He speaks very very broken english but hes awesome to talk to. I've gotten to know him pretty well. they're really weird conversations, kind of like charades a little bit because his english is so shotty. But hes a really cool guy. There's actually 12 other missionaries from Kiribati at the MTC, but hes the only one I know. Hes definitely an islander.
Elder Hunsaker and Elder Bobu
I'm definitely getting used to the MTC life, its very routine. same thing most everyday, but it isn't too bad. The food is getting really old though, I just want a real home-cooked meal! I have 2 glasses of that BYU creamery chocolate milk every meal, its heavenly. 6 glasses of chocolate milk a day keep the doctor away! We get an hour of gym time 4 days a week and I usually play basketball, its a lot of fun. I'm practicing for the Philippines. With my height advantage, I think I won't have any problem making the Filipino national team. We go to the Temple every P-day so I've been twice so far and I'll be going again this afternoon. Its a great experience and I'm getting pretty accustomed to it.
Tagalog is going pretty well, I'm only improving. We've been teaching lessons to "investigators" about 5 times a week in 100% Tagalog and its a pretty cool experience. Its really hard saying what I really want to say sometimes, but if I speak from the heart the spirit touches to investigators and whatever I'm trying to say usually gets across pretty well. One of my new favorite words is "batuktok" which means woodpecker, but my favorite is still "pananampalataya" which means faith.
I know you guys are probably curious about what campus looks like and what my room looks like, so I'll send you some pictures later today. Our room is meant for 4 people and two bunk beds, but we have 6 people and 3 bunk beds, so yeah its pretty crowded. Also, we have like 20 guys competing for 8 showers every morning, its pretty wild.
Anyways, when a computer that I'm able to send pictures on opens up, I'll send some pictures!
I love you guys very much and I miss you all a whole lot.
Mahal kita!

Elder Lasley
Elders and Sisters

Photo-bombed during Technology Assisted Language Learning (TALL)

Me and My Companion Elder Shelley, "Shelley the Shellfish"

My District

Our Room, a little messy


Sunday, September 1, 2013

MTC Life

Aug 24, 2013

Mom! Dad! Ben! Sam!

Have you guys still not gotten my letter yet? I sent a hand written letter on Friday August 16th, over a week ago and you still haven't received it. I think the MTC has some mail problems. But I have gotten all your letters! I guess the problem is only with outgoing mail. So, expect a letter I hope! If you don't get it by like Wednesday or so, tell me and I'll write another. The Dear Elder works great  though, so continue with that.

But hey fam! I'm going to reply to Dad's email in this one too, so its probably gonna be a long one. And yes, my P-day is on Saturdays!
MTC life is rigorous and initially overwhelming, but I've gotten into the swing of things I think. I room with two other companionships besides my own. My companions name is Elder Shelley and he's from SIlver City, New Mexico! The other companionships are Elder Egan and Elder Johnson from Layton, Utah and Ranchocucomunga (spelling? that place is Southern CA) respectively, and Elder Hunsaker and Elder Sagario from Heber, Utah and somewhere in Hawai'i respectively. They are awesome guys and we all get along like we've been friends since birth. I'll send pictures of all of them and some others in separate emails. They are all going to the Philippines Luoag Mission.
Elder Egan:  memorizing

 Elder Hunsaker:  happy!
 Elder Sagario:  "Hawaiin Punch"

My companion, Elder Shelley:  Paparazzi
My District also includes 3 Sister companionships, and they are all awesome too. Sister Staker and Sister Anderson from Idaho and Utah, Sister Sims and Sister Andersen from Las Vegas and Utah, and Sister Briggs and Sister Teeter both from Idaho. 2 of the companionships are going to Luoag and the other one is going to Quezan City. I'm the only one in my district going to Cavite!

Learning Tagalog is the hardest thing I've ever had to do probably, but its coming along great. 
Kumusta po kayo? Ako po si Elder Lasley. Ako po ang misyonero para sa Simbahan ni Jesucristo ng mga Banal sa mga Huling-Araw. Alam ko po na tatoo ang Simbahan at alam ko po na salita ng Diyos ang Aklat ni Mormon.
That means:
How are you? I am Elder Lasley. I am a missionary from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know the the Church is true and I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
Crazy, huh? Its a weird language. There were probably several grammar mistakes in that phrase too, that was just off the top of my head. Conjugating verbs is probably the hardest part. My favorite word is probably pananampalataya which means faith! I also like biyaya which means blessing or grace, and paniniwala which means belief. Ahahaha such wild words. 
My Tagalog teacher's name is Brother Mansfield. He's 26 and got back from his mission almost 6 years ago where he served in the Philippines Manila mission. He served much of his time in Cavite though, which is awesome! He says I have the best mission and hes going to give me some names of people to ask if they remember Elder Mansfield. I love him though! He's a great teacher. 

I only have an hour on my email and its almost up, so I'll finish this letter in written form and mail it today, hopefully it'll get to you. 
But I love you guys and miss you very much! 

Elder Lasley

Elder Johnson, Me, and Elder Egan

 My name tag:  Elder Lasley

Oh! I forgot to ask for a few things that would be very helpful! If you guys could send some stamps and some laundry detergent packs, that would be awesome. Also, it would be awesome if you could send me those cool old brown slippers from the coat closet. Only for the MTC, I'll send them back before I leave. Also, I am allowed to make phone calls from the airport when I leave during layovers and stuff, so if you could send me some kind of prepaid phone with like 1-3 hours of calling time (atleast thats what I've heard) or a phone card with the same amount, I'll be able to talk to you guys from the airport!
I love you guys!
Elder Lasley