Monday, 17 November 2014

Dear Family,

It is going great here. The people are so awesome, I absolutely love them all. I didn't know how much I could actually love my investigators till now. Its nuts, I want them all to be baptised sooooo bad!!! 

That is so cool that the Yadernuks visited your ward, I miss our ward. My branch is awesome, I love them all, but we have barely any priesthood and no one can sing and the girl on piano doesn't play a single sharp or flat so it sounds super bad....:'(. But that's alright. Don't worry about the rats, funny story actually. So I got grandmas spider traps yesterday, put them out, well an hour later we here something noisy. We go out of our room and a rat is stuck on i killed it, so the traps work. There was a giant spider on the trap and the rat was trying to eat it, so it is working great. We found another rat hole in the process too.

Yup! Kinda Gross!

I miss the cold so much though! I want snow, lol. 

Ok, so Zach is getting so old!!!! Tell him I am proud of him, and that having the priesthood is super cool. I remember I didn't really understand the priesthood quite like I do now, and it is super cool for him. And I heard Joey is getting baptised too, wow i am missing a lot. I can't believe Joey is that old either! its so weird how much everyone will have grown up by the time I get back. Tyler, dang has he sent his papers? How excited is he? I really want his email!! and Danny's too!!! and their families too! lol

Holy smokes I just sent Sterling a letter. I hope he is doing alright. Lots of missionaries come home from his mission because on health problems where he is. I bet that is super tough, at least Sterling can fully focus on the work. I bet he misses home though. Dang though, only two letters, that's gotta be super hard. I'm excited to call you at Christmas.  That call will be exciting, but it is gonna be only like 30 minutes I think sadly. That's what the white hand book says, so we shall see what happens. I will find out more. 

I have killed two snakes, seen hundreds dead on the road, and seen a black and yellow cobra. Grandmas sticky traps she sent have caught me two rats, which I have killed, plus that big first one I killed. And We keep finding scorpions, so it definitely is an adventure, but i sorta love it, hahah, cause i can handle it and it spices things up. I have more, our room is cozy, lol, Two beds and two desks, and a meter by meter of walking space, lol. and a fan in that space.  

So, I am getting you a small little nativity set that is about 700 pesos, or under 20 dollars here made out of pearl and stuff and it is all natural from here. Also, I can get a Nativity set carved. So would you be interested in that. I am still looking into it, elder Durham's mom wants one really bad so we have been searching and have finally found a guy. So if you do, what price range in dollars and what carved figures would you want? 

How are things with dad and school? How is all the family doing.   I miss Christmas decorations and snow a lot here, its rare to see that stuff, since everyone is poor and there is no snow...I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...haha, well, not sure if i am putting on weight or not right now, but everything fits me still. Anyway I love you all a ton.  Tell everyone if they wont to write me to please do it.  I will make time to write to anyone who wants to write to me.   Anyway love you all a ton, talk to you next week. 

Elder Schnoor

Horned Beetle
 I got invited to a Birdthday party at a wealthier home.  The food was really good!


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

November 3 2014

Well thank you. I have had a pretty good p day today, it is 3:30 in the afternoon right now. So today we went to go eat at wok express at the mall, well when I got there my zone leader put a bag on my head and walked me in, then i got a surprise birthday party sorta. The whole zone was there and sang, then a bunch had to leave but my closer friends stayed and we all ate cake too! It was pretty cool. Oh, and that Halloween candy will last way longer. If it doesn't, i don't know who else decided to eat it because I ate a ton of it....sorry bout that, same with milk. Is there lots of food and milk and cheese these days or has Zach helped keep that stuff gone, haha. So actually there is one thing i would love love love. On they just got pocket sized of all the standard works, bibles, b of m, p of great price,d&c and you can order it for 15 dollars and you can have it sent to me here in the Philippines in two weeks. So that would be super cool, you need a credit card. Also the book of mormon manual is super great too and you can get stuff rebound here with anything on it. Oh and i will love all you gave me, I honestly don't need much for Christmas or my birthday. 

Hahaha Christmas decorations already?  Decorate and tell me all about it. Everyone here starts celebrating Christmas in September, the malls play Christmas music all the time. but there is no snow and everyone is super poor so decorations are lacking here.  Just do what you can, I’m dying about the shows I am missing it, haha. And I feel tons of love from home, its great. And I can feel the Savior's love too, that's not even a struggle. Just keep writing me. And packages are meh, they are great but the mission is my time to serve the Lord and serve the people here, and that's the focus. Everything else doesn't matter. I have everything I need, and i will let you know. Just remember I love you and I am being watched over because I am serving my Heavenly father. I can honestly say I am happy, but it isn't easy. Its a huge sacrifice and everyday is work, but I am given strength and I know I am doing what I am supposed too. I love  you lots too!!! 

Elder Schnoor

October 27 2014

The mission is going great. I feel like I am growing so much, it is awesome to be able to be here.  We have lots of investigators. If you were to total up the amount of lessons we should be teaching to each of our progressing investigators and all that, we should be teaching 48 lessons a week. But that is a ton, and with the way it is working now we only get half that because the times when everyone can be taught overlap a lot so we might need to split our area in the future. In other words, me and elder Durham are finding lots and our area is pretty ready to receive the gospel.  Every kid we pass calls us Americano or Joe and always either asks over and over for money or they ask "what is your name?"  They do it to get a laugh mostly. And they follow you in packs everywhere too. 

So a little about one family. We were tracting one day and found this family. They were super nice. They have lots of kids, and so we taught them. The next time we saw them we went to the ladies sisters house and taught even more. Well they have really been progressing, but the problem is she wants her kids to be mormon, she keeps saying it is for the kids. Anyway, she decided to sneak away from her family and come to church without telling her husband. She loved it, but she got home and her husband found out and got mad. So we couldn't see them for a week. Well that passed, and they let us come back. The other day they invited us over to her sisters birthday party. They roasted a giant pig, had crab, chicken, noodles, rice, literally everything that is super good and expensive. Her sister is actually pretty rich for a Filipino. So that was delicious, so good. So they are a big focus for us right now, they are so nice and awesome. 

That is such an awesome conversion story you heard in Stake Conference. I love lots of the stories too, they are great. Lots of missions are all about the seed planting. Luckily the Philippines is considered a harvesting mission. 

It is so weird not having an ounce of snow here, just hot hot hot. I really do miss the snow and cold.  Some of the things i miss the most besides people like you guys is a washing machine and hot shower. Laundry is the biggest pain, it takes so much time having to hand wash everything all the time. I am never free to do anything. So so busy. But I am learning quite a bit.

I love you guys so much. My mission is already going pretty quick. 
Oh one more thing. I walked into a room today, and heard something above my head and to the side. Well I turned, and in the corner was a big black tail with yellow stripes things on it crawling into our ceiling. It was big from what I saw, and loud. WE talked to our landlord, and he said it was definitely poisonous. But it probably left after about an hour because there probably wasn't any food for it. We honestly have had everything known in our house. I have given several blessings now too, two this week, one to elder Durham. I gave a bunch in the MTC to people too.   I am getting better at the language though. I can start to understand people now. And it is crazy how people just seem to pop out out of know where too. Bohemian Rhapsody came on the neighbours radio while we were teaching a guy the other day. Brought up so many memories. But anyway, love you all a lot. Talk to you again next week. 

Love Elder Schnoor

October 22, 2014

Dear home,

So this week is transfer PDay is on Wednesday. It is back to Monday again next week.
Ok, when I was sick. Just a high fever. And the cough was sorta nasty, the only thing was i just haven't had a fever in years so that just made me quite tired. But I am great now.  Elder Durham is fine, he has a nasty cough but that's it, he is hopefully gonna get better soon. Sister tanner prescribed some antibiotics to me when I was sick. It is so funny here, she told us what to get and when to take it, so we went to get it from a pharmacy. The one in the mall wouldn't let us, so we went to a place in my area and they gave it to me without a real prescription. Its more like if I have the money, I can get whatever. So literally anything they have I can buy, hahaha. 

So less than a year ago. Bohol had a very terrible earthquake, it was big and destroyed a lot, 7.2 on the Richter scale. It was huge here, lots of people died too. So right after Elder Anderson of the twelve came and then left a blessing that they would be able to rebuild and get better here. Well, literally 3 weeks after the earthquake, that giant super typhoon, biggest ever recorded in history hit the island over from us, where half of my batch from the MTC went to serve. It was supposed to come here and hit Bohol too, but Bohol for some reason had low pressure and so it pushed the typhoon up over bohol and it hit the top bit of Cebu island and hit up that way, missing Bohol. So that was a crazy miracle. 

I can get a machete home, I think I just need to send it. I almost bought a taser, a huge one, but i decided not to waste the money. 

It freaks me out about Kaden and your guys driving in a bigger city. I hate it, stuff can happen a lot easier now. Be careful, but that's great about you being able to get to places, lol. So I probably wont email next Monday until a few hours later. I email usually around 10:30 am here but we are gonna probably do it afternoon next Monday. Love ya


Elder Schnoor 

I guess I can write a little more.
I love my new littel cousin. I now have three little babies I can't see. You still haven't sent me any of my new little cousins, and I want more. I like pictures too.  How is the kids and school going?

I am holding up great. Definitely the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and it is so hard with the language, culture shock, new schedule, and the mental stress, especially about the investigators. We have a bunch, and it is super hard because I immediately learn to love them and I see so much potential in them, but when they don’t progress or something happens. Or they refuse to understand or do something. It is tough stuff, I am drained every day. But I am growing so much, and realizing stuff about me and others. I do love this mission, and it is worth it to bring as many people as I can to the gospel. It is so hot here, I am about as used to it as I can get. The humidity is killer, and the sun. I have been blessed though about that, because I have only gotten a small sunburn once and besides that I have not gotten any, and i don’t use sunscreen really, lol, no time to put it on. I sweat a lot, darn heat. I actually haven't had balute. We don't have it in Balilihan really, so i haven't had a chance. I will eat it though. I can't believe how much rice I eat though. I eat about 2 cups a day, and mostly rice. I eat oatmeal for breakfast, pansit, beans, rice and soup for my other meals. Rice in each meal. And they give us some really good vitamins. one thing I wouldn't mind you sent would be calcium pills though. I don't' get much of that and these next couple years are the last years my body will add that to my bones. 

Love Elder Schnoor

October 12 2014

How has your last week been? So good news, I got rid of the rat. I caught it, then chopped off its it is dead. Quick death. So we will see if there are any more living in our house. We saw a huge centipede the other day. The Filipino's are quite terrified of those. They are super super poisonous. It was half the size of a pen. So this last week went good. We are teaching a family now and they really like us and we are teaching them and they are learning lots. They text our phone all the time...they texted us before we came one time and said "don't ask us if we read the Book of Mormon, because we didn't have time..." haha, they are so funny, but we are praying so hard for them. Its so tough to see people so close to accepting the gospel and then just not.  We are teaching a bunch of families and they are doing great, but as we teach commandments and they have to come to church and all that stuff lots of people won't accept us anymore, or won't progress so they can't be baptized. It is so sad, it reminds me of the story in the bible when that rich man asks the savior what he needs to do to have eternal life and as soon as the Savior said give up his money he was gone... its one of the hardest things. 

 My first transfer here is almost done. I will be here until half way through january, so three transfers. How are the kids doing. How is University life going? General Conference was great. We listened to it yesterday and Saturday. Such good talks, and when they refer to missionaries I feel cool now because that's me. In the priesthood session, the choir was the missionaries from the MTC. I would have been in that if I was still there, I actually saw 3 kids I new singing in it!!! they were so lucky. So I am really learning to live poor right now too. Evertyhing is so cheap here, and because of that we don't get very much money, just what we can survive off of so I have a tight budget. They do have one McDonalds on all of bohol luckily though. The mission is getting easier, and I am becoming closer to other missionaries now too. Oh, not to alarm you, but I did get sick 2 weeks ago. I had a fever three nights in a row that got up to 39 degrees celsius, and then I got a cough. But I got some medicine and its all good now.  There was a pretty big typhoon I heard that hit Japan. We had some nasty rain and wind from that for a week. We always here about Typhoons here, so i will probably experience one. Remember those stories about the typhoon and the missionaries. That was super close to my mission, it is one island over, and so I have heard crazy stories. And those missionaries after came to my mission for a while. And have I told you about the earthquake?  Anyway I hope everything is going good for you guys. Oh and I think if you guys wanted we could talk a bit back and forth sometimes on email. 

Elder Schnoor