Sunday, July 14, 2013

Learning a lot!

FYI - from his last week email, I told Connor to watch out for crocodile's when he crossed rivers and he replied, "haha. worlds largest crocodile was found in the Philippines by the way."
He also said, "The fruit (Rambutan) is like candy"

Technology is amazing and such a blessing for communicating with our missionaries!! Tonight we took a Sunday evening walk on the beach @ sunset in Carlsbad. We sent a collage of pictures to him on my phone while we were there on the beach. It was so cool that he opened the email exactly 24 minutes after we took the pics. Not to many years ago we would have had to develop them and put them in the mail, taking weeks to reach him.

Monday July 15, 2013
Hey Family!

You look great Mama! Here is a picture of me eating dinner with a great family, in their Bamboo hut over a swamp

Your Tagalog is right, but sounds funny in Tagalog ( I think ). But I understand them. I would use nanay and tatay for mom and dad. Ama and ina are too formal, haha.

That is awesome that Pablo is following the blog. He really should be jealous because Palawan is gorgeous. I will be sure to take lots of pictures.... which reminds me. I think the battery for my camera is dead. Like dead dead. I think it is because I packed the converter to use as the charger. And it says on the battery to only use the approved charger... dang. We are going to see if they have the charger here in an electronics store... if not, you might have to send it. I will let you know next p-day. Dang :(. Anyways.

Here are some good stories. In PEC ( Priesthood Executive Council) meeting with the ward, I said, "we have many referrals" instead of "we need many referrals" Haha. so after I finished talking, it didn't make much sense. We got a good laugh out of that. Also, a lady breast fed right in front of us (just like kyle).... which was awkward, right in the middle of a lesson. There is a family we have been teaching for a while, I love them so much! They are working on their marriage paperwork so that they can be baptized! Their lives have changed so much from when we started teaching them. The husband got a hair cut, removed all his piercings, and their family is so much more happy! We had dinner at their house the other night. They asked their 4 year old daughter what my name was, and she called me "kuya." Which means "big brother." Such a great feeling. Except we still had to try to get her to call me Elder...

My companion is the district leader for our district. I have really been able to help him a lot, he isn't very good with English and he hates paperwork. So, I have been helping him with that. Our district meeting tomorrow, I will help him out and we will be teaching together. He is a great teacher and loves to work. We are such a great companionship and we are each helping each other learn our languages. I teach him English, and he teaches me Tagalog.

Tagalog is coming along great by the way! Learning so so much. I make mistakes, but it happens, and I will fix them. So much fun to be in the Philippines. I will talk to Pablo in Tagalog when I get back! haha. Excited. Love you guys!

Ingat po! (take care)
Elder Schroeder
First baptism he attended, the Sister missionaries taught these people.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mabuhay mula sa Paridiso

Monday July 8, 2013
Mabuhay mula sa Paridiso (Greetings from Paradise!)
Yep, I am on "paradise."  President Stucki sent me to Palawan to be trained.  I got to the mission home, interviewed, got orientated, and got sent straight to Palawan that afternoon. Pres Stucki told me that the Lord sends those he trusts to Palawan. I am in the Santa Monica area. Being training by Elder Avila!! He is such a great Elder and loves to work hard. He actually just finished his 12 week training program so we are both newish. He speaks Tagalog 24/7 and I can understand it about 95% of the time... But answering back is much harder.  I really am learning a lot of Tagalog. It is such a blessing to be here on Palawan. Our area is HUGE! We walk and walk and walk all day long, so as of right now, I will not come back fat.

You can tell Uncle Rick by the way that the orientation took place in the first Chapel ever built in the Philippines (I'm sure he has been there). It is surrounded by skyscrapers now. If you send packages, send them regular mail, because the import tax will be deducted from my money here. It will take a little longer, but the tariff is only 50 pisos instead of 1000+. 

My first meal in my apartment was spam and rice with some sauce called Mang Thomas. :) yum yum yum I really am starting to LOVE rice. It is actually very good. E. Avila likes that I am "good with rice." There is NO toilet paper here... just a little rigged up squirter thing. Which is fun. (sort of refreshing even). 

So here is the good stuff.
Before my first appointment, we had to cross a river to get there. Then we taught the first lesson to a referral named "L". I invited him to be baptized in Tagalog.... and he said YES! wow! first lesson.

I was able to bear my testimony in Tagalog in the Santa Monica Branch this Sunday and I did really well! It was so great see all the Filipinos congratulate me even though I am sure, I said things wrong. All of the members would come up to me and ask me what number area this was for me. (this is all in Tagalog).  I would tell them it's my first area. They were all so surprised by how well I speak Tagalog. Then I said, thank you and had no idea what else to say.... haha. I have had that happen to me about 10-15 times already. It makes me feel blessed, but I still can't speak very well. I have a lot to learn. Another story. We taught a recent convert named "R". She wasn't able to go to church because the fare to get there was too much. We recommended she save some money each day so that she could save up to go, because she really does enjoy church and was sad she couldn't go. Then when we left we found a pair of vice grips just sitting in the dirt. We gave it to her and told her to sell it (200 to 500 pisos). That's weeks and weeks of church. I hope she follows our advice! 
Boy this past week has been amazing! I taught so many lessons and met so many people. Found out that Elder Stephens is the Zone leader of the Nara Zone! Way to go Elder Stephens!! I'm sure I will see him some time. Well that's about it. I will see if I can get some pictures sent. It is great to know how everything is going. Say congrats to Sidney, Casey and Joy for me! I'm excited for them. Good luck with the 6th grade! Have fun in Ramona! Sad about the HHR :( Love you guys! I love Palawan and the Philippines!

Ingat po Palagi!  
Elder Schroeder

P.S. I ate some fruit called rambutan, look it up.

Looks happy even doing his laundry:)

Rambutan fruit (found pictures online)

Tip: Google Palawan images. It's beautiful there! I agree with Connor,  looks like paradise...
 I hope you are enjoying the updates:)

Monday, July 1, 2013


Mabuhay and Philippines! (kind of like "go Philippines!/ greetings")

It is great to know that you enjoy my emails. I have been able to learn so much here about being a leader and a missionary. Using the spirit in teaching a preparation is such a key thing. Without the spirit, there is no way that we can teach effectively as missionaries (or even find the people we are looking for). Which reminds me. Proselyting Wednesday! It is so so incredibly hard to find people here in the Philippines, especially in the squatter areas. The houses are just make shift concrete blocks and sheet metal. The alleyways, to get to houses are like my shoulder width or smaller. There are no addresses anywhere and there are street named that are about as definable as an invisible pen. It makes it impossible to find anyone in the city because the squatters are always moving or out of town. People come here to work and just move into a vacant house. Anyways, I was able to be a group leader for our proselyting activity. Elder Maile and I were with an Elder Latu ( a zone leader who had been out for a year that day). He taught us so much about how to be a successful missionary with our companions and with the work. One great experience was with Elder Maile this week. He had been feeling really sick the past couple days before proselyting, but he prayed for strength. He was given strength at the very hour he needed it and has felt much better since. It is amazing to see the Lord's hand actively involved in the work. We really worked hard to find someone to teach on Wednesday during our proselyting activity, but we couldn't find anyone. Elder Latu was really disappointed that we weren't able to find anyone to teach, but Elder Maile and I cheered him up. Then he taught us a lot on how to be a more successful missionary during our activity review. Some of the things he shared were: Our afflictions will be but a small moment, the Lord will give us what we need when we need it, to trust the Lord with the language, to use the gifts that you have been given, and to have fun within the boundaries prescribed. He also emphasized companionship unity and to be a decisive missionary. I found a lot of scriptures on what he said, but I don't remember all of them, and I don't have my scriptures with me. But is is great to see how what he taught us connects directly to the scriptures. Ive got to go now. But for Dad, I saw about 8-10 old super beetles on a road we walked on today, which made me think of him. Haha, best of luck with the VW. Have fun on Catalina! I pray for you guys every night! Next time I email you I will be out in the field!!! So excited!

Elder Schroeder

p.s. I will send the email I sent to Kyle to you guys, cause there is some good stuff in that too.  I learned this crazy one word yesterday. "nakakapagpabagabag" - it means "what is bothering you?

Here is the letter to his brother in The West Indies Mission:

Mabuhay and Philippines ang Trinidad! (Kind of like a greeting/go Philippines and Trinidad!)
It really sounds like you are learning a lot about following the Spirit in your teaching. I have really been trying to incorporate that into my teaching and preparation. I have found that, since I am trying to express my feelings in a language I barely even know, it is really really difficult to focus on the spirit or to even feel it. Though, I have been getting a lot more comfortable with the language and I am not afraid to mess up (cause I know it will happen regardless). So I am doing a lot better at focusing on the Spirit in my lessons. I can definitely feel the Spirit directing me in everything I do here. I have found that I am much more in tune to the spirit than a lot of Elders and sisters that are here right now. I feel the spirit so strong as I pray and ponder about my investigators (even though they are all role plays). Just yesterday, as we were praying before a planning session I felt the Spirit so strongly telling me what it was that we needed to teach a sister to commit her to a baptismal date. And it happened! We taught with the POWER and AUTHORITY of God and she committed to a date. It is so exciting to feel the Spirit testify while you are teaching. I cannot wait for that experience in the field with a real investigator. I know it will help me so much when I get out into the field on WEDNESDAY!!!!! I will not know the language well at all... but ANYONE can feel the language of the SPIRIT. So excited! I am nervous for the language but I know it will come eventually. My testimony has grown so much here and I have been a light to those around me. I love everyone here and I really work hard to help them know that. All the other district leaders come to me for advice when they are having a hard time in their district. The other day, a district leader asked if I could come into his district and give them a "motivational talk" to them... That sure surprised me. Instead of doing this for him, I shared with him a few scriptures that I felt (and the spirit felt) would help him motivate his district. It is great to be able to share leadership roles with others around me and is very humbling at times. Cause at home, I could almost always think of a solution, but a mission is much different. I am learning how to be a leader and a missionary in ways I never have though of. A mission is a humbling experience and I know there is so much to learn. I can't wait to grow and come closer to the Savior and His teachings. I love you so much Kyle! For your example and your love for the work. This truly is a divine work directed by the Lord.
Ingat po ka palagi!
Elder Schroeder