Wednesday, 8 April 2015

March 22

 March 22
Well from that story i am glad you are alright, its snowing bad again?? I thought it was like 14 degrees. You totally just reminded me of your mom in the part where you said you burst out laughing, hahah, that's pretty good. Just continue to be careful. As for the service, keep it up. That is super awesome, you are being blessed by that. So about you moving then, are you guys gonna stay in Edmonton after dad is done school or you gonna move back to Lethbridge? or do you even know? 

Things here are great. Same old as well, I am pretty much over all culture shocks. I love giving stuff away to other people and seeing them so happy, i gave some stickers to some kids and they were in heaven, they put them all over there faces and ran around.
What else, we are teaching a new Jehovah's witness guy, he is interesting, not sure how interested he is in the gospel vs. just trying to prove Jehovah's are right but we will see, I have some pretty good questions for him next time that I am almost certain will stump him, lol. I talked to that American in my ward named brother Steve, he know soo much, we talked all about doctrine stuff and some other things, dang I am learning a whole ton of stuff at the moment its literally blowing my mind its sooooooo cooool some of the stuff with the gospel and patterns and the plan of salvation and even a little about temples, as much as can be said outside the temple that is. 

District meetings, well they are an hour and a half, and we go to the church, we share Christ like attributes, shining moments, what to do in an emergency, then after stuff like that our district leader teaches and then we practise teach. They really isn’t a whole lot to tell about, our district leader right now I am a little unsure about, me and the sdl's, or sister training leaders are the only Americans and we look at each other confused sometimes, but then after that we go out and eat. Literally anywhere, haha. But that's about it.  There have been some good ones in the past, some funny ones. Our district leader in my last area asked two companionships to share that day and the first one took the whole time and more, haha, and they knew they were too, i was laughing, and the district leader and me kept laughing at each other, shaking our heads. It was great. 

Tonight we have some basketball which i am excited about, it should be good, some real basketball with some investigators and less actives. Umm, p days right now are usually the same, wake up, studies, email, groceries, clean apartment/laundry( the bane of my existence, my raw fingers after washing garments, shirts, and socks and slacks for ever) and then work, and then basketball in the evening after the sun is down. That's about it, I have started eating way less rice, I have lost weight, I am getting in shape again, and I have been doing p90x as well, I even have gotten several people to notice I have lost weight. Its been 2 and a half weeks and people are noticing, lol. Well I can't think much else to say at the moment.

March 8

Dear home, 

My week went great. It is definitely a different transfer than my last. I think I told you about my house. It is pretty tiny. It has one big room, a little room with beds and our little bathroom. It is the nicest I think I have had so far, but also the tiniest. And to top it off, our house is across the street from the salt lake city of the catholic church. It’s this old giant church that looks like the church from hunch back of notre dame, its nuts, I wanna go sneak in and explore the top and stuff. Its sweet...except when the church plays this weird music at all hours of the night starting at like 3 in the morning, pastylan so annoying. 

So elder Gomolo is my new companion. We are actually "batch" which means we go home the same time. He is from the island just south of us called mindanou. That is an island I will never go too, only Philippines are sorta safe there. There are tons of Muslims and rebels there and when they see someone white or a foreigner, they will kidnap them, ransom them, and kill them if they get the money or not. And to top it off, in January (i found this out from my comp) 44 cops were killed in a fight with the rebels. The rebels are against the government because the government here is corrupt, I have even been warned of rebels here in bohol. But I am pretty sure we are safe, so no worries about that, the church is on top of things. But its a little crazy to say the least. 
So what else, the ward is great, the people are great, the area is super hard. It is a super catholic area and we don't get quite as many lessons as we would like too, its a little bit difficult. We try our best though, we have some great investigators though, and some good IBD's as well. There isn't much in this area though, the only thing that is sweet is the best place to get slacks and shirts and anything made in the entire mission is down the street. That's great, I got a couple slacks made up. I want to take advantage of it as well and maybe make some slacks for you guys to send home. White shirts, you name it. I have started working out again, man I am sick of this little tiny belly starting to form, it is almost gone though, and soon it will all be gone. I started eating a bit healthier too, I am trying to eat more like at home, I am seriously limiting my rice intake. Once a meal maybe a day, if I have to have rice that is. It is literally what the people survive off of, I love their food pyramid. It is like tons and tons of carbs, little everything else, hahah. 

I am continuing to be humbled. People here seriously have nothing, I really want to one day pay for some of my new friends here in the mission to come to Canada, and I will, after I become a doctor. I want them to see the world. They don't even know what hail is, never experienced snow, the movies, nice restaurants, and so much other stuff I cant even name, even the animals. Every time someone see that picture you sent of the chipmunk, they are like "what is that??" I say a type of squirrel that doesn't eat garbage and meat but nuts and seeds and lives in the trees, hahah. And the bears, its fun to tell them. 

Hahaha my nickname, at the MTC everyone called me Schnoorlax...or did sometimes when we were in our rooms since they were not really supposed too. It is a cool nickname, or nicknames since i have like 50. Those stories too, pastylan those are funny, gusto ko sa imo sa send more mga istoria gihapon kay funny kaayo sila!! lol, so I think I am finally vistok, or close to fluent, at the language when I teach people. I give the credit to the gift of tongues, cause my normal conversational still needs some work, (lessons = spirit) but I honestly don't feel that far in the language, but everyone is like, you are vistok or close and I look back at my first area and wow, I new like none, haha. Elder Gomolo is fluent in visayan daan, or he grew up with that as his language so i am learning lots from him. 

That is so true about trials, and literally everything in this life. We make whatever we want out of it. We can't always decide what choices or trials come our way or how others choices will affect us, but we decide how to respond and react. Its something I like to say I had figured out a long time ago, or some of it anyway, with regards to stress, school, ect. but by no means was I perfect. Its good to here though, I have taught a few people about agency and choices and the strength we get from the atonement. Two things, first, draw your attention to Nephi when he was tied up by his brothers(this is one of many examples in the scriptures that you can find later, (; ). So nephi understood the enabling power of the atonement, and some other stuff as well, but nephi, if you look, he prayed for the strength to overcome the bands which bound him. Or he prayed for the strength in the situation, not to change the situation. When we pray, a lot of times we pray for our circumstances to change, but lots of times or even most of the time we have those circumstances for a reason. Heavenly father is trying to teach us something, so instead of telling him you want it changed or for praying for it to be different, we can access the enabling power of the atonement and pray for the strength in the situation or to overcome it. I learned this from a talk, I think elder bednar's first talk at BYU to the students, cant remember, try looking it up. So good, but opens your eyes and is literally a slight adjustment. Also, Elder Holland uses this analogy. Imagine a rope going for ever to the left, suspended in air. That represents before our life. Now imagine it going forever to the right. That represents after our life on earth. Now take a tiny thread, rap it around in front of you on the rope, that is our life on earth. It is literally like an instant. 

Well I love you lots, take care everybody(mom, haha) 

Elder Schnoor

March 1st

 March 1

So that's great about the stake calling, I am sure it will be awesome, just don't be stressed, I don't know how else to put it, hahah, its easy for me to say but I don't think the calling was given to you so you can stress, just listen to the spirit and know everything will work out just great. But stress is natural and I am going on a rant.

So packages, the office does that and they just take it out of our support, its all good though. Finances are good, I got your nativity set being made, it will be pretty good I hope, and it is made out of tugas, a type of heavy wood only found in the part of the Philippines in the entire world. Should be good. 

Did I tell you that in my first area during one of our typhoons, a little title wave washed up on shore and swept some people and there homes into the ocean in the middle of the sad, i am a bit inland so that's good. 

HAHAHAHAHA i can see you getting mad at Zach, i look at that now when you get mad at people and totally just laugh about it cause i remember the olden days, i sent a letter home by the way with tons of pictures on an sd card. so expect that in a month or so hopefully. 

Well my new place is great, the ward is just awesome and I have been really affected. So, I was thinking, after the mission where am i going to school and who am I going to marry...because I can't think of any girls from America quite as pretty as mom, they don't where make up and there are some that are drop dead gorgeous!!!! In my ward too, like I don't know if it would happen but I have totally thought about coming back and marrying a Filipino,  that would be almost impossible and so tough but dang mom, dang. Good thing i got missionary work to focus on and keep me busy. hahaha

And oh ya, people don't have homes here, the other day I helped clean up some ones house from the earthquake still which was intense. The cockroaches... the chickens were having a hay day running and eating them. It was pretty cool to see that, but sad about the house. They have a little house with tarp walls.  Well thanks a ton for the update, I love hearing about everyone. Love you too, 

elder schnoor

a broken home

Feb. 24

This last week was probably one for the better weeks. We were able to baptize another one of our investigators and he has such great potential. He truly was amazing to watch. He was such a miracle. Back in December when I first arrived he was not a very happy camper. He really despised the missionaries. He would get mad at them, not listen, and was just super hard hearted. My first time teaching him....which took a long time to finally get an appointment.....was terrible, he pretended to sleep, didn't listen. I honestly had know idea why elder Albar wanted to teach him. Well, I told elder Albar that he is pretty much in the dropping stages if this is how he is and has been for a while, but elder Albar didn't want to give up on him, so we didn't. We kept with him, and slowly, over time, he changed. He literally has become a new person. He reads, he prays, he attends church, he has even worked with us. I had the blessing to baptize him this last Saturday, and just last night I asked him to say the opening prayer for our lesson and he automatically knelt and got his whole family to kneel as well. It has been a real amazing lesson to me and I honestly think of it as a miracle. He has let the Savior into his life which is amazing. It has been great to see, honestly. 

Well also, before I forget, I am transferring Bohol, this time to the top to Calope. I have a giant catholic church across from my house, haha, but the best part, about 15 minutes away there is a Mcdonalds, one of few here. Well, it has been a tougher transfer but i learnt a lot and hopefully will continue to learn more. I cant believe how fast time is going though. How is your work going? Same with the family, same old i am assuming, hahaha. Elder Smith is doing good. So hmm what else...I have had some weird dreams lately, showing you around a mall in the Philippines and it was snowing outside and the zone leaders were chasing us, hahaha.  Well love you all tons, email again on Monday in Bohol. love you lots, 

Elder Schnoor

Oh ps. The lizard living in my ceiling was a black and yellow big monitor lizard if you want to look that up on youtube. or a jao or bawahak, lol. Oh I also had a nightmare experience the other day. I was planning and we had our window open. Well something moved out of the corner of my was a giant spider, just huge on our wall, and it was holding something....guess what........a sack...!!!!!!!! of eggs, so I went a little closer and it took off outside so i grabbed my airsoft gun and went after it. I shot it in a couple of legs, so it could only limp so i picked it up on the end of a broom and this is where is gets bad. Minnie spiders went everywhere. There were hundreds, falling down on webs, climbing towards my fingers, it was terrifying. I threw it outside and poured permethrine, poison on it, and they all died. that about it for that story, at least they were not in my hair...

Feb. 1

FEb 1

Well, another week. How is the birthday girl or should I say "princess" (from the cruise). How was your birthday Ivy girl, I am writing on your birthday I think still, at night though. Well anyway, tell me about it, and about basketball. 

So yesterday...I got your package. And I have no idea why you stressed mom, that was absolutely the best package ever. There was not one thing in it that wasn't awesome, it felt like Christmas morning. The mac and cheese, the chips, the candy, the ring was awesome, thank you so much, it is awesome and fits just right! The letters, the cds and stuff, that is awesome. I am interested to listen to that Joseph smith cd, or cds. Anyway, it made my fast all the harder because I couldn't eat any of it until 9 at night, lol, it was just tooo awesome. But you don't need to send such a big one but I am super grateful. I honestly got excited about every single item! So this last week has been another week. Me and elder Cordova dont get along quite like my last companions, but that is nothing to worry about. I am still loving the mission. I feel like I have gained so much, and I am learning so much too! I feel like my mind is opening to so much. I cant believe it, and I think one of my favourite things is I smile at literally anyone and they return that smile. 

So what else to tell you, um I measured myself on a scale at the mission office, before my mission i weighed 157 ish, now I weigh 182...i am growing, but i am not super fat, I mostly have filled out, I look at the old pictures of me and I was skinny. Not much. I plan on doing that p90x in the morning starting at least at my year mark. That will get me back in shape. I refuse to come home fat. 

So how was Ivy's birthday?? And thanks, I got so much of what I have learned from just listening to talks and doctrine stuff, lol, sorta deep, just explained super good! I am glad it sounded good, I meant it. And that does mean a lot from you and dad, I honestly miss you all so much but I am not gone forever. I will be back soon, time is going quick. I honestly can say though I think I have grown a lot too, and I honestly didn't realize how much I loved you guys until I got out here. I miss everyone so much. And just a thought, how is grandma and her plays? And max? And send me more pictures of the family, I like putting them in my scriptures and books and stuff. I got to go pretty quick here, love you all tons, I look forward to email so much every week, I wish I had longer sometimes but oh well. 

January 25

So i will say my prayers were answered, I have prayed countless times for ivy's ankle...its healed, not biggy. ;) lol, I will keep praying though, and I will pray for this business of yours. Just have faith and know whatever happens is for your good, to refine you and shape you into more. As for my mission, the words come into my mind often, from Elder Bednar at a talk given in the MTC to missionaries "its not about you, get over yourself" ....its not about me mom, and that's whats keeping me going. And of course you guys, I am learning, truly I am on the Lord's errand, I have been called, called to serve a mission now at this time in this place. There is nothing else that matters. Take a rope that extends forever to the left and to the right when it is tight. It goes forever. To the left is before the earth, and to the right is after the earth. Now take a little piece of string and wrap it around the middle. That is our life on earth. It can get super super hard, it can hurt, it can be sad, hard, whatever, it is worth it because what comes after this life is infinitely better. Its not worth it not to endure and do whats right here on the earth. Its not worth it. This life is but an instant. My spiritual 

So this week was fun. I got to do two service projects. That was fun. The first reminded me of landscaping. We had to tear up some cement and shovel dirt for a few hours, haha, but the other was planting rice. It was actually sort of fun. I enjoyed it...but I only did it three hours, not my entire life. It would be super hard to do. My back Almost though. And it is actually hard! But ya, got to go almost knee deep at times  in mud. I was dirty. But ya. Not a whole lot new happened here either. 

January 18

Pastylan I forgot to say...Happy ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!!!  Dang you can surprise me with some tickets one day too, that’d be cool, but if you don't I will forgive you. Maybe I will surprise you guys one day. So yes the baptism happened and I was super excited.  It went great, lots of fun and I got to baptise her. Finally I used my temple clothes. It was great to be able to experience, I was so happy for her, it makes me excited to baptise my own kids one day.

Everyone is pretty awesome here, I have really grown to love so many people, it wasn't until I got here that I realised how much I would actually learn to love them. I just want them to grow in the gospel and do what is best.  This mission is not easy, I still think it is the hardest thing I have ever done. Especially at first, when no one speaks English and everything is different and you work hard long days everyday. It is flying though, I am past my six months mark.

The weather is...normal...for here. Rain, couple typhoons, hot sunny days. Same old, same old. I miss cold...i don't remember what it feels like, haha, I will definitely be here in this area until the end of February. Every six weeks is transfer calls. The way it usually works, new missionary come in, learns the area one transfer, then the old missionary transfers and the new one stays and trains the next missionary. Sometimes though you are only in an area for one transfer, or sometimes more if they don't want to transfer either missionary. So we shall see.  Anyway love you lots, talk to you later, and stay safe, and tell those Aunts of mine to slow down having babies and tell their kids to pause growing up until I am back. Love you all tons, 

January 13

Hello Family,

To answer your question, the temple is all in English here, but I have not gone yet. Only certain zones get to go and I have been too far away, I went a ton when I was in Provo. I went 7 times I think, or 6 maybe, I cant remember anymore. So have you watched the bible videos? They are honestly sooooooo goood they rock so much, if you haven't, watch some for FHE  or something.  They are great teaching tools.  If I have learned anything from the prophets and my mission, the light of Christ can penetrate anyone, and it changes there very nature, who they are. It is incredble to see. It really is such a crazy thing. 

Love you all lots, keep going strong!