Sunday, August 31, 2014

Week 3

Wow alright I don't even know where to start. Maybe I will talk a little bit about the rain. So right now it is the rainy season and it has rained probably every day! And when it rains it really rains! And it is crazy the whole place shuts down and everyone goes in side and it is like dead so quiet. All the people who were outside are gone. And it just goes from no rain to raining so hard in a matter of seconds. And so what we do is run into a house and of course they let us in and have a lesson with them. It is not what I expected. Everyone you ask if you can share a message will let you into their house. They almost never say no or think that it is weird. It is so normal! I don't know what it feels like to have a door slammed in my face like you hear about! But that doesn't mean that they will read what you give them or come to church on Sunday. But I am sure that just sharing with them a little message helps! So then we run into the rain to the next house and do the same thing. They people are always way nice and super shocked to see an american here. Whenever I am walking down the street or in a jeepny. I am sure it is really weird to see a big (ya I am big here) white guy. I really stick out that is for sure. Like this morning in the city every monday they storm the streets and have a giant sell! where all of the people bring all of their fruits and rice and just a bunch of random stuff. There are thousands of people in the streets buying and selling things.  And when they see an American they really try to get my to buy their stuff. It was pretty crazy! The food here is so good. Even the baby chicken which is still in its egg. There are little bakeries everywhere which I love. It is such a cool place. With really good food. A lot of fish! But I haven't had anything disgusting yet. It is all way good
The youth here really like helping us with missionary work. They must not have a lot to do because a lot of them will spend all day going to lessons with us. They have super strong testimony's and is a super good sign that the church is going to be way strong here. When they grow up and have their own families! They help me a lot with the language's. Ya languages I have realized this week that I need to learn both Tagalog and Aklanon. So that is kinda crazy. There are just so many different words everywhere. I can't really tell when they are speaking Tagalog or Aklanon. I was able to understand a lot more this week than i thought I was going to. But the speaking is a bit harder and is going to take a lot of practice and a lot of time! 
On Mondays we have family home evenings with families we are teaching and those are awesome. We play simple games and they just have so much fun! Even the dads who are usually kind of sad looking love it and it is so cool. SO COOL to see the people who are usually shy or sad just break out of their shells and have fun with us. If you have any ideas for little games like that let me know! Just simple games you think they would like!
Well I am loving it here in the Philippines. I love everyday. Everyday is different and everyday is an adventure! I cannot believe that I am here. I am just learning learning and learning all day every day! I have a lot to learn so that I can teach the people and share with them the amazing message of the Gospel! It is always way nice to hear from all of you and sounds like you are all doing way good! I love you all so much! I hope you have a great week!
Elder Craythorne

Here are some questions he answered while we were emailing back and forth.

Have you had a good week?

Ya just having a lot of fun! We went to some cool places! Nothing really crazy happened just a good solid week in the Philippines. I think you can always have a good week in the Philippines. It is so crazy I am like never looking for someone to teach. Since everyone is always home you just go to their door and they will let you in and just talk to you. So that is just way fun!

Any success yet?

We have 3 people who really want to be baptized but don't have the money to get married. I should this month. But other that that nothing. WE are out of BOM is you can believe that or not. Our whole mission has been out for about 3 months. So I haven't even seen a Tagalog BOM yet. So that is a bit hard. The rule is the investigator has to come to church for 4 weeks straight before he can be baptized!

Where do you email from?

A Internet Cafe in New Washington.

How is the food?

I am eating really good. the natives here eat so much it is crazy. If I eat like them I will gain a lot of weight. But I haven't ate anything that I wouldn't eat again. Even the balut was good! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 2

OK well first off I made a voice recording to send but I totally forgot to bring it so next time! I like doing those I can put so much info in them in a way short amount of time! So I will be better at them so I can kinda prepare Ben, Ryker,Easton, Brooklyn and Lexi for an experience like this. I feel so lucky to be here in the Philippines. There are so many things I have to say and I had a lot in the voice recording that I forgot. But I do want to spend a little more time in this group email. Make it a little bit meaningful. So first of all today we had a way sweet zone activity today. We went hiking today to a waterfall. It was such a cool hike and we brought food with us and we just all threw it into a pile of banana leaves and just dove in. Eating as much food as you can with your hands. It was awesome. And my mission prez is so cool and him and his wife got in the waterfall. And let us all go under and we had a great time. I don't think that there are too many mission presidents who would let us do that but it really was fun! He works really hard and has a lot of fun. Everyone just loves him!

So my area in New Washington is awesome there is a super cool place. I don't remember if I told you about the island that we have but it is really big and there are a lot of people there. We go there about twice a week. It is such a different place than the rest of my area. Kind of isolated from the rest of the main island. They don't have a lot and it is a big sacrifice to go to church because it is such a long ways and you have to take a boat. But the people there are so amazing and nice. Everyone loves helping me learn the language and that's how I can really connect with them. They feel so good that they can help me out and makes for a better lesson. When I first ask them to help me and teach me they are more willing to learn from us! They all let us into their houses and let us teach a lesson. Just cuz they are that nice!

This week we had stake conference and wow that was so cool to see. There were so many people in the stake center that they could not fit everyone inside. People were sitting outside. There are so many families in this stake and I was amazing to see how happy they all are and how the Gospel has blessed them and made them all so happy.

So the language is coming! I learn so so so much everyday it is crazy. All of the people are trying to help me learn how to speak the language. There is about half Tagalog and half Aklanon. Which is a crazy sounding language that sounds like they are gargling mouthwash. But my comp is really good at Tagalog and will be so good for me! This week has been a little weird cuz it has been me and 3 other Filipinos in our house. They all are from the same area and spoke their native language which was way different. So that was really interesting. Not a lot of English this week. But that is so good for me. They are crazy and have a lot of fun. This mission is so sweet. The quote of the week I also forgot to bring with me but it said something like. "Humility is fertile soil where inspiration can grow." It was more beautiful than that but that was the idea and I really liked it because as a missionary you and in constant need of inspiration from our Heavenly Father and you really need to keep yourself ready to receive help. So thanks again for all of your letters I wish I could write all of you back but I can't. But I do love all of you and love hearing from you all. I have the best family! But I love being a missionary and love learning so much everyday! This really is going to be so good for me.


Elder Craythorne

So your area sounds really pretty.  Is it like that in the whole mission or you just got lucky to go to a beautiful place for your first area?

I think a lot of the areas up north and kinda farther away from Iloilo are beautiful. We are not in a mountainous area and there are a bunch of them. New Washington is kinda a beach town with a bunch of fishermen. And they eat a ton of fish!!! 

Do you keep pretty busy day to day?

O ya you are always busy always teaching. My comp is good at talking to everyone.

So what language do you study? 

I am learning how to speak Tagalog first. But I need to be able to understand Aklanon. But Aklanon is way weird and hard to speak. Everyone on this island understands Tagalog so all the missionaries say that I am lucky that I get to learn Tagalog first!  I can take that with me to all of my areas.

Anyone close to baptism yet?

From us? No.  We will have a few in the next month. The problem is none of them are married and they have to get married and that is expensive and hard for them to do! There is one sister who wants to get baptized so bad but she separated from her husband 12 years ago and now is living with someone else. So she has to get divorced and remarried. That is going to be tough for her!

Monday, August 18, 2014

First Week in the Mission

Wow OK I have had the absolute most crazy week of my life!!! So the reason it has been so long since I have emailed is because when I flew to Manila they had us stay for 5 days. They call it post graduate MTC Training. We were the first batch to do this but I think that is how it will be for all missionaries. Because of Visa changes. So that was cool. We were able to go tracking the morning we got there in the Quezon City mission. That was insane. It was a huge city and people everywhere!!! It was crazy. Not at all like the place I am in now! i am in such a beautiful place right on the beach!!! I am in New Washington. You all can Google Earth that!! It is such a cool area. We have a few islands that we take boats to. Ya it is awesome!!! Not at all like the city!! I feel so crazy. But they do speak a different language called Aklanon. Which is such a crazy sounding language. They sound really different and it is hard from my American mouth to say some of the words. So I am starting fresh with new languages. I have learned the power of hand signals and body language. And just nodding my head and acting like I understand when I really have absolutely no idea!!! My trainer is a little Philipino Elder Ragsag. He is super nice but is not good at English so our conversations are interesting as well. Haha but seriously this is like the coolest place ever. By far the coolest place I have every been. You would not believe the houses and bridges here!!! HAHA I can not believe that I am lucky enough to be here! The people are so super nice. They will almost always listen to your message and want to help you with the language. We have an awesome Ward here and members who help with missionary work. It really helps and they help me a ton. I still cant believe I am here and wish I could take a go pro with me everywhere so you could see the kind of place this is. All I can say is wow!!! Man I am so excited to learn the language and actually talk to people again!!!! I knew it was going to be hard to learn how to speak so now i am just trying to speak it whenever I can and everyone just laughs at me and then says something really fast and it is way humbling. Well it was nice to hear from all of you. I can't believe the summer is almost over. Wow that was so fast!!! I love you all!!!!

Elder Craythorne 

Questions From Mom

Tell me what it was like landing in Tokyo?  Was it a shock?  That was your first taste of feeling what it was like to be so far away from home.  Did you try to call and it didn't work or did you just not have time?   In Tokyo we were a little late so we only had like 15 min there so I didn't feel the shock there because we were in such a rush.

So you landed in Manila and then what?  Did you stay there overnight?  If so what was the hotel like? Manila was the shock there was people everywhere and it was really late. We immediately got bussed to the Manila MTC. The bus ride was when it got real. The places we passed was crazy and we realized that we were in ASIA!!! IT is a very Asian country!

When did you finally make it to Iloilo? I got to Iloilo on the 14th  Exact time? like 10:00 Who picked you up? The mission Pres and office missionaries!

Tell us about your Mission President and his wife. They are way nice. We really didn't get to know them very well but everyone loves him here.

How did you sleep your first night?  What did you think about?  Did you sleep good?  Were you already with your companion?  In your assigned area or did you stay in the mission home for a while? The first night in the MTC was not how expected. They have perfected the art of air conditioning. So I froze!!!! I was so cold my first night in the Philippines. But here in iloilo. We stayed in a Hotel room with no air conditioning and that was the exact opposite. You sweat all night long~! It is a weird feeling!

Tell us about where you live.  Your apartment?  House? We live in a decent house I think. It is by the beach on a dirt road kind of away from anything. I really like it! there is four of us and they all speak the language unless they are talking to me. Well after they realize that I don't understand what they are saying. 
Tell us about your companion.  Where is he from? Elder Ragsag from the Philippines. Tacloban mission. He is a convert. His whole family was. He really likes to eat good food and is a great cook. So that is nice. He cool really Filipino food!

What was it like to go to church for the first time?  How many people?  Do they need a piano player?:) There was like no English so I didn't really get much out of it. I Think there was like 45 people there. Mostly families. They are all so nice. I went up and introduced myself and they were all laughing!!!

Do you already have an investigator that your companion was working with before you got there? Yes we have a lot

 Talon 4 years ago.  Look at the lady to the left of the picture and look at the picture below.  Same shirt, same lady and Jackson is wearing the same tie Talon is wearing.  Talon gave him the tie the night before he went into the MTC.

Jackson's first companion Elder Ragsag

"My companion is so nice he is like Lexi as a guy!!!"