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!