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