Sunday, June 23, 2013

First Teaching Experience

Hey Everyone!!!

Thank you for the extra panalangin (prayer) mom. It was such an amazing experience to go proselyting out in the field, and it gave me lots of motivation to study harder. I got to ride a Jeepnee and a Trike (not sure how to spell either) for the first time on Wednesday. We fit 4 people on the trike! Which seemed pretty amazing to me. The trikes really are very small. Elder Maile and I were in the little booth smashed in there, and Elder Walker and Rivera (in field missionaries) both sat on the motorcycle with the driver. So the driver was sitting practically on the gas tank while driving. It amazed me the kind of conditions all of those people live in out there. Just concrete/dirt roads (sort of both at the same time) that are way dirty. The water that constantly runs on the sides of the streets is either grey, black, purple, or this urine/brown color. There are stray dogs practically everywhere and you have to watch them to make sure they don't nip your heels when they get behind you. 

There really are a lot of people in the Philippines. We will NEVER run out of people to teach here. I was able to teach a family of five in Tagalog with Elder Walker. It was the real thing! I taught the restoration of the gospel, sort of... and rather slowly, but the people here just love to listen to white people speak in their language, no matter how bad it is. Then with the help of Elder Walker, we related it to how priesthood power is the only way that families can be together forever, which is what they really liked about Mormons. We were able to commit them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and to go to church on Linggo (Sunday). It was such a great experience to be able to teach a real people, because we have been doing role plays for the past four weeks. It made me so so excited to get out into the field and starting to really learn the language. Elder Walker said that I did very well for my first lesson and he feels like I will be a great missionary. He also told me his first lesson was on the side of a freeway to a woman with about a dozen naked kids surrounding him, haha. There are naked kids everywhere here. 

The people of the Philippines are so loving and nice. I can't wait to get to know them!

Sorry, no new pictures this week. I got Grandma Rozsa's letter. It was postmarked on the 24th of May from Salt Lake, and I got it on the 12th of June, so its about 2 and1/2 weeks for mail to arrive.

We go to the Temple on P-day here in the MTC. I actually just got back from there. I am amazed that there are that many people looking at my blog!! (Here is a shout-out to all the blog followers!) Way to go Mom! Thank you so much for doing that blog so that others can share my experiences. And good job to Dad for fixing the Chrysler! I do wish I was able to go to Catalina Island with you all... but I'm on an Island already, and I get to preach the Gospel!!! I am so excited to serve. Everyone really loves my enthusiasm for wanting to spread the Gospel. I love you all and I thank you for all your prayers!

Love, Elder Schroeder

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Salamat po!

Your Tagalog is very close mama. You almost said "we love Elder Schroeder."

I cant believe it! I have been in the MTC here now for 3 weeks! We get to go out in the field for 4 hours on Wednesday this week! I am so excited! I will be in the MTC for another two and a half weeks. So my total stay is just over 5 and a half weeks. I can't believe that I am already past half way done in the MTC.

I am really excited to get the language down and speak fluently. I heard some native speakers really talking quick the other day, and I could hardly understand what they were saying, although I did get the main topic. About the language, it's strange because the verb comes first in Tagalog, then the actor, object, and location can be in any order as long as they have the right markers. Haha. Crazy. The verbs are different for whatever part of the sentence you want to be an emphasis on. So you can say and sentence in like 6-9 different ways with one verb sometimes.

Part of my district- lots of Sister Missionaries.

I am doing mabuting mabuti! And I am very glad that you are masaya. To answer your questions-The MRC is a place for injured missionaries to recover from surgery basically, I think. Rice and Chicken is typical, with some strange vegetables of unknown variety (like I really have no idea what the vegetables are) and some fruit. Like bananas or mango or papaya or pineapple. Sister Brockbank's uncle is a bishop there. Hahah, I just asked here now. What a small world huh? For exercise, everyone here loves basketball. I have been playing more basketball than I ever have before. I am actually getting a lot better. I can make a 3 pointer about 40% of the time. I also do a lot of push-ups, sit ups, and a bunch of other stuff. My companion can't run cause he has a torn ACL, so I haven't been able to run yet. We stay inside a lot of the time with air conditioning, but we do some teaching activities outside. I haven't heard about the broadcast yet, but I'm sure we will watch it.

Haha 106 sure is pretty hot. At least it isn't humid though... The rainy season is starting here soon, and it is cooling down a bit. It is strange, when it is in the low 80's and raining, it really does feel a bit chilly outside. I wish I could have some blackberries!! That reminds me for some reason. There are a few feral cats that roam around the MTC here. We just saw a baby kitten this morning chowing down on some bits of meat outside the cafeteria.

We get to teach role play investigators here in Tagalog which is a great blessing. It is challenging, but I definitely learn the most during those times of the day. We have 4 people we teach throughout the week, at least one a day, sometimes two. Two investigators, a former investigator, and a less active. It is hard to focus on the spirit when we have such a hard time even communicating, but we are improving and learning a lot every time we teach.

Thank you (Salamat po) to everyone for the emails!
Ingat po! (take care) at nagmamahal kayo! (and I love you guys).

Love, Elder Schroeder

Hey everyone, I'm a tad behind he sent this last Friday June 14th, 
I hope your enjoying the updates.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Love it here!!

I can't believe how busy it is possible to be in one day! I am going to be sending a letter out today as well because there really isn't enough time to read and say everything that I want to say in one email. I am going to have to get off very soon so I will be sending two emails most likely.

I am sleeping very well, cause I'm dead tired), and the food is amazing! We have rice breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's almost a 100% guarantee. It is so amazing to be in the MTC. I can't even believe I am in the Philippines. The city is within eyesight and there are so many missionaries going to the Manila mission with me. It is so much fun here and I learn so so much every day. A batch of Filipino's went out on Wednesday and we just got a brand new batch this morning. They are such a loving people. It is so incredibly amazing to me how much faith these people have even if they don't know much about the gospel.

Advice for those preparing for their mission's. READ AND STUDY PREACH MY GOSPEL. It is such a great tool and will help you so much in the MTC if you already have a strong foundation in it. Also, watch all of the district movies on the Internet because you will use them all the time in the MTC.

I also met Brother Villanueva (Taylor's Mission president) this last week. He is a very nice brother and really enjoyed serving with Taylor. He said Taylor was a very energetic and loving missionary.

Top- Filipino Missionaries
Bottom- President of the MTC, President Beck and his wife
The food here is way interesting. They love cheese flavoring on rolls, with sugar added. It actually isn't too bad. Many of the non-natives here find a lot of the food gross and do not eat it, but I haven't had anything yet that I do not like. We bought some ice cream today at the store while doing p-day things. It way a three flavor combination thing. One of the flavors in it was queso (cheese). Haha cheese ice cream. It even had little bits of cheese in it and everything. Everyone here is still amazed with my last name. They are constantly staring at it and asking me how to say it. Even my teachers, who have been with us for two weeks now, have a hard time saying it still. It is very funny to see them all struggle with the name.

We ran into a missionary here that was in the missionary recovery center. He had been out in the field for only two weeks and could already hold a full conversation with someone. I am so incredibly excited to get out in to the field. Everyone finds my enthusiasm for the work entertaining! I love to have the discussions, although frustrating in Tagalog, teaching in English just comes so natural. Sometimes it makes it very frustrating to not be able to get my point across.

Way to go MOM! by the way. Keep it up. Now you just have to get dad walking around and swimming with you. It is a weird feeling knowing that I won't be able to see you all for another two years except on Skype.

Tell Pablo that I LOVE his country. It is very hot, and has a distinct smell to it. But I can't think of being in any other place right now. The people here are so loving and caring. Let him know that I will be happy to speak Tagalog with him when I get back. The Philippines is a great country and I already love it.

I have seen so many blessing being poured out to me already while on my mission. The language training is going well. Or "mabuti" I should say. We have really been focusing on learning grammar the past week. It is a lot to learn but I am picking it up quickly. The language is very diverse and is so rich. There are usually about three ways you can say a simple English sentence depending what focus you want. I can understand a lot of what the natives say when they are speaking. The language is seeming to slow down a little bit too. It doesn't sound to me like that are talking at a million miles an hour anymore. I have really been trying to use the language a lot more around the MTC, not just during language training. which seems to be helping. I don't have much time left. Look for my letter.

Elder Schroeder (1)

FYI- you can look at Kyle's post and you'll see there is a little rivalry between our boys. They both think they are #1. They actually are; Connor was 1st born by a whole 4 minutes and Kyle was the 1st to leave on his mission. I think they are both great!!

Manila Temple
 Across the street from the Missionary Training Center

Monday, June 3, 2013

Manila MTC & first week

I meant to include this in the first post.
You can view Connor's profile and learn more about him and why he has chosen to serve a mission. I was impressed!! I am so proud of him, and I feel so blessed to be his mom.

Exciting to get the first prep day email. Connor's pday was change to Friday's. We were anxious to hear from him since we thought it was going to be Wednesdays. All is well:) 
Here it is:

Monkey at the Hotel first morning

Hey Mama!
Hi! Wow a lot has happened this week. First off, I met with nine other Americans going to the Manila and Quezon City missions at the Seattle airpot. The flight to Tokyo went well, from Tokyo to Manila, there were a lot of Filipino's on board. It was amazing to see and feel the difference in the people. They are so polite, loving, and they enjoy to talk. It made me very excited to be serving in the Philippines!

We got into the hotel at about 12:30am on thursday night/friday morning, and got to sleep at about 1 or 1:30. Then we woke up at 5:45 to get ready for the day cause we had to be out by 6. There was a monkey at the hotel by the way. The drive to the MTC was crazy!!! Cars and bicycles everywhere swerving in and out. It amazed me how there were no accidents. On the freeway there was a worker sweeping the shoulder on the side about two inches abay from all of the cars. 

I found out we are only the second batch of Language training missionaries here in the Philippines MTC. I've got three roomates. Elder Cava (pronounced Thava) from Fiji, Elder Seumanutafa from Samoa, and Elder Maile from New Zeland (he is my companion). He has a very deep voice and can sing really well. The other companionship both lounge around in suku vaka takagas (lava lavas) which is kind of interesting. It is very strange to be one of very few americas here. There are probably only about 100 missioaries here right now, most of them natives. It is very interesting to see the dynamics of how everyone gets along. Oh, I was also made district leader, because we each had and interview with the MTC presidency when we first got here. I have to lead 11 others schedule and make sure they are doing what they are supposed to. I am also in charge of teaching gospel doctrine class on Sundays, which is vary exciting to me. I think I have been labeled as the guy to ask any question to, about the gospel or anything else.

It is HOT here by the way, but I am really starting to get used to it. Its not as bad as I thought it would be. We also had to take a series of worm-prevention pills when we first got here. They are supposed to be able to protect us for the whole mission. That might ease mom's worries a bit haha. The days here are very full, and there is a lot to do here as a distrct leader. The staff the week before I got here was only to accommodate 40-50 native missionaries, so we have a lot more to do as district leaders. It's funny, whenever a Filipino asks where I am from "taga-saan po kayo", and I say california, they all say "wowwwwwww" in amazement. They say being an american makes it impossible not to get into a house to teach here. There is also a lot of pollution here. There is this smogy haze here that makes all the light this orangy color, kind of like when we have fires in california. We are able to teach a two role play investigators here each day, mostly in Tagalog, which is very difficult, but it is amazing how much the spirit can work to communicate to them. One funny story, we showed up "early" to an apointment, and we were trying to say sorry to her, and I said "walang anuman" which means your welcome. Whoops. So we had a good laugh over that. Learning the language is hard but I feel that I am picking it up very quickly.  We don't have much time on the computers here. I only have two sessions of 30 minutes, so I will send two emails probably. Sorry for not emailing wednesday too, they changed our schedule so that our p-day changed to today. We were also able to go the the Manila tmeple on wednesday. We wore a barong, a traditional filipino shirt, with no tie. I will probably buy one to take home. Well, I will talk to you next week! Bye bye
Connor/Elder Schroeder

top L- Missionary training center arrival,  top R- My district,
bottom L- "smoggy haze" Manila,  Bottom R- Beautiful sky