Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Beautiful River in Noble's First Area.


We might describe this animal as a water buffalo. In the Philippines it is called a carabao (pronounced kah-rah-bow. The bow is like bowing at a performance.)


The kids of Noble's investigator. Shana and I believe they are Rochelle Sagid's boys.


It appears that this is some unusual farming equipment. I'm guessing that by the pile of harvested hay in the background.


Meat Market in the Philippines.


Noble looking like one of the locals with a yellow bandana.


Noble standing in front of a banana plant. However, the bananas have all been harvested. There is a purple triangle shaped bud at the end of a bunch of bananas (We don't see that here).


Noble in front of the rice paddies. It sure is green and beautiful there.


This is an unusual bridge. You can tell that Noble is out in the jungle and people do what they can to make things work.

Wow! 1st of all I would like to apologize to Shay. You did your best to stop little red and I hope that your lip and air bag burns turn out okay. You've got a knarly story to tell your friends and you now can say you have been hit with an air bag.
Mom I am sorry I didn't tell you about our investigators. I was just too worried about that silly old truck. Anyways 1st we have Tatay Leonardo Almasan. He is the old man who had a stroke and needed our help to review and review the lessons so he'll remember them. Then the Dakanay's they are a family with one daughter and they are the ones who want to be baptized but are having pressure from their friends and need help from the members. Arnold and Richard are two great guys who we gave a Book of Mormon but they have a hard time with praying and this new family the Orbans with the 3 sons the youngest's middle name is rich man. We've only taught them once but they seem pretty interested. Rochelle Sagid has 2 kids and an alcoholic husband that uses the money she earns working abroad to buy more alcohol. She lives a hard life but we're giving her exactly what she needs. The gospel of Jesus Christ. We have others but we only see them every now and then and I don't remember all their names.
I didn't play piano in Sacrament meeting but I did in zone meeting! I could only do one hand and sometimes 2 but it didn't sound great. I had no time to practice. My companion heard they needed a piano player and volunteered me! We taught a whopping 14 lessons this week and 7 were with members present! We are getting the members to help us out on Sundays. It's hard with the branch Pres. in Manilla except for weekends and hardly any male members to work with and the ones we could work with are working their tails off during the day for their families. I love the people here they are so nice and hospitable. I want to bring some of their good characteristics back to the states. They always seem to have snacks to give us and if they don't they send someone out to get some for us! (see picture of pepsi and Hansle, soberong masharap) I'm getting used to the rice and things. So thats whats up there!
Dane keep memorizing Veggie Tales! They are funny and you'll love them! Love your big bro Elder Hamblin!
Devree, Thanks for writing! JK I love you tons! Wow you've got a lot going on in your life! A lot of friends coming over and a lot of things going on. I see that you are having problems with feeling the spirit. The things that usually help me is to go out and get to work. For you that could be service in any way shape or form to your fellow classmates or just people in the neighborhood. It's just a great way to lose yourself and help others. That usually helps me with listening to the spirit along with scripture study and meaningful prayer. Try that and tell me how you're doing. The movie quote you gave me was not enough! I don't know what it is! I'm gonna guess Alice in Wonderland but that might be wrong if it is, give me another line from that movie and I will try again! Thanks for being an awesome example to me and your little brothers!
Love your older bro, Elder Hamblin
Shay let me know when you get the election information. I hope you win the election and that you rule with kindness and patience just like Nephi did! Read the beginning of 2nd Nephi where it talks about how much the people loved him! You should lead just like him! Loved the joke! Stay in school and stay cool.
Well here's some things that have happened in my week. L.A. sent me a letter and the district leader yelled to all the other missionaries, "Hey Elder Hamblin, your girl friend sent you a letter!" I thought, "No I don't have a girl friend. I broke up with my girl friend for this specific reason to not have a gf on the mission!" But when I saw it was from L.A. I laughed my head off! I said "You were close. I have dated her but she is not my gf!" We were teaching a little girl and her mom and her dad. They are the couple who owns the RM bakery that you saw in the picture! The little girl had a friend and of course they were speaking in Tagalog and little did I know that her friend said to her to come out and ride her bike. She replied "Can't you see that we have a guest and we can't get the bike out!" I was in the way so she politely asked me to get out of the way and so I did and she was on her way. That was pretty funny the way she said it! For dinner I had Fish balls. (Not Fish Testicles) Fish don't have those! Anyway they are balls of fish that you can fry up in the Wok and they taste good but they are not very good for you with all the oil and stuff. Some other interesting things I've eaten. Dad I ate Dinuguan which is basically whatever animal you want, take its intestines and fry them in the blood of that same animal. The Cow intestines are really chewy but the dog ones are really bitter. I like the cow intestines more than the dog. But my companion disagrees with me. Haven't had balut yet but its definitely on my list of things to try! Yum Yum! Their spaghetti here is not like spaghetti in the U.S. It's really sweet and they put chunks of hot dog in it! Yummy! They eat it for birthdays and New Years because they believe in the long noodles giving them long life! I think we should start that tradition also! I like spaghetti. I've have had more Pepsi here than I've had my whole life! I sent you a picture of it! Enjoy!
Dear Dad,
Thank you Dad for telling me the whole story of what happened. Your words were beautiful explaining how "little red roared into action." Thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement! I really needed it this week. We were in a lesson with Rochelle Sagid and I was really tired and wasn't listening very carefully. When Elder Bates turned to me to say my part I told her in Tagalog that the Book of Mormon was true and it was important to the plan of God. Little did I know that she had just told us that she was having problems with her husband beating her when he is drunk and she was having a hard time. I don't know what I could have said to help comfort her but I felt horrible about it. It ate me up inside knowing that if I would have paid more attention maybe I could have said something that helped and didn't sound completely heartless! I got back to the house and felt lower than dirt. I felt useless and like a complete failure. I felt like I had made 0 progress in Tagalog and I was just really getting down on myself. Then E. Bates told me to stop thinking about it and learn from it. Today I'm doing a lot better and I am realizing that serving a mission isn't all peaches and cream it's hard work and I won't just wake up one day and know Tagalog. It's gonna take some hard work. My cross to carry may look big now but at least my foot isn't fractured!
I'm sorry to hear about Beth and I hope her foot heals well. I hope she knows she's loved and has a loving 2nd family that care about her also. Give her my best wishes!
I also enjoyed hearing about Low Rider and how he's learning to roll over! He's sometimes a really dumb dog but he does surprise us every now and then!
I really was feeling down on myself but now I have a new faith in the work and I will try harder to stay focused and stay apart of each lesson and contribute with what little Tagalog that I know. Each day I learn more Tagalog and I try to use it with my companion and members and with other missionaries.
I enjoy all your emails! I love you all and I hope you all stay safe and Healthy!
Love, Your 1st born in the wilderness and serving a mission in the wilderness,
Elder Hamblin

Monday, May 23, 2011

Little Red is Dead!

This is a shot of Noble's trainer (Elder Bates) walking up a board. Look at all the jungle!!! Noble is really on an adventure that he will remember for the rest of his life.


Elder Hamblin gets to do his laundry by hand.


So what do you think about washing your laundry by hand Elder Hamblin? You probably won't miss that when you get back to the USA.


Noble's beautifully hand cleaned laundry. Good job Elder Hamblin!!!


The back of Noble's apartment.


Noble's favorite drink in his 1st area.


Noble riding a tricycle with his trainer. This tricycle is a motorcycle with a sidecar. Noble likes riding on top where the breeze gives him some relief from the humid weather.


Elders that flew to the Philippines with Noble. The Elder in the middle is the picture that was sent to us with a form letter that said our Elder made it to the Philippines safely.


Noble flew to the Philippines with these missionaries. They all got to see each other again when they went to Cauayan for new missionary orientation. Noble said they learned how to change the water purifier filter for the kitchen sink, and other things that the new missionaries need to know.


Noble told us on our Mother's Day phone call that the trees are what he likes best so far.


Another shot of the trees around Noble's apartment (that he mentioned so fondly). We also need to see a picture of the infamous rooster that would not be quiet during our phone call. Noble said there was a rooster on the left of his apartment and to the right. These roosters don't just crow in the morning. They are happy enough to crow all the time.

WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED!!!! I don't know who did it but I just might strangle them with my ugliest tie! Goodness Gracious my Little Red is gone! Ripped away in one email just gone! I have alot of strong emotions tied with that truck. I used it for everything! I ate in it, I slept in it, heck I even learned how to make out in it and now its GONE! Please tell me what happened next email.
ANYWAYS sorry about that I just love my truck. So I liked your Quote Mom with Elder Hugh B. Brown and believe me I need my Heavenly Father every hour! I pray alot as a missionary. I pray for guidance and safety. I pray for my companion to put up with me. I pray to understand and learn to speak this language and to have patience in the process. I pray to find the people that the Lord has prepared and put in my path that I will know what to say to them! I pray for alot of things and I try to start and end every prayer in Tagalog and use as much as I can in each prayer. I learned alot of new things from my companion about how to speak Tagalog properly and how they speak it here. Alot of Tagalish (Tagalog and English) is spoken here. So they understand me if I break into English sometimes. If they don't my companion can translate for me.
Well Dad I'm really jealous! I would like some Christmas in May! So a brand new Laptop with the 3.0 USB and a 32 GB memory stick. You lucky Dog you! Hey by the way, can I have your old laptop when I get back? You know for school and things! You're the best Dad! JK Oh I have some songs you need to look up! One is from Brad Paisley that my companion had on a burnt CD its called "The Completely, Non-offensive, politicaly correct Holiday". Its on his Christmas CD so check that song out. It is hilarious! Also some songs in Tagalog for you to check out are "Maging Sino Ka Man" and "Ngiti" They are pretty good and everyone plays them around here! So go have fun with that!
Thank you for your last letter and the inspirational qoutes from this letter! They really help me stay motivated and learning this language even when I don't feel like it or I feel like I never will learn the language. It helps me have patience with myself and how I don't learn things as fast as others do. I will strive to learn all things with the help of the Spirit.
Things are going great! The pres. of our branch forgot that he wanted me to play piano for sacrament meeting (which is great because I had no time to practice!) So just in case for next week I will practice some hymns after zone meeting so that I can play something! Mom, Dad if you do send a package, send me some zip lock bags please! That would be helpful with all the humidity and mold! I went down 2 belt sizes so far and I think its because I'm losing weight like crazy! I am working out each morning and Dane, dont you worry, I will have a six pack in no time! I went back to Cauayan for the trainers/trainees meeting and I got to see my batch (the missionaries that I came in with!) They are all alive and well! Sister Pulu has a Philipino companion so she's picking up the language super fast! Elder Huffstutler has a Branch Pres. who thinks he knows everything about Americans and the US. And ELder Oliver ( The Tall red head you got a picture of) Is in the hottest part of the mission, Tagigaraw so he is trying to eat a ton so he doesn't shrivel up and blow away in the wind! In the meeting, Elder Oliver leaned over to me and said, "Hey ELder, do you remember when we ate Tongan food? I said "ya". He said "It seems like its been forever since then!" I said "It sure has!" He was talking about the plane ride from Salt Lake City to LA and how Sister Pulus parents fed us Tongan food! During the meeting they talked to us about all the saftey procedures and how to change the fillters on the sink and other important things! On the Way to Solano for P-Day we rode in a Trike and on the inside there was a sticker that said, The end of the world was on May 21st. Now as you can see we've made it past May 21st now and every thing is fine here! How are things back home? Has the world ended there? I'm just curious!
My companion pulled a dirty trick on me! He said that if you hold a 1000 peso bill up in a mirror you can see a monkey holding a 1000 peso bill. So being the dumb newbie that I am I went to the mirror and looked and looked until I realized that I WAS THE MONKEY HOLDING THE 1000 PESO BILL! That jerk! No really he's pretty nice most of the time! He helped translate some of the funny sayings of Bob Ong and he's a famous writter here in the Philippines. One of the quotes was, "When you say that your heart beats for someone or your heart longs for them in all actuality its not your hearts fault. All it does is pump blood for your body. So you might blame your brain instead for thinking about them all the time, but its not your brains fault either. It only does what you tell it to. So don't blame your Heart, your lungs, your kidneys, or intestines for your romantic problems. When it comes down to it it's all your fault!" Ya he's a pretty funny writer! I like his stuff! I just might buy a copy of one of his books and send it home for when I get back!
Well I hope every one is doing okay. I don't know why my fellow siblings have abandonded me in my time of need and didn't send me a message. JK I love you all soooooo much and i wish and pray for your success every night! I hope you can get the garage door fixed for free! I can't hope for too much more for little red. (tear falls dramatically to the ground)
I love you all and I pray for you all. I feel your prayers for me on the tough days. I love you alllllll sooooo much!!!!! Be safe and enjoy your new toys! (Dad)
And Shay look up Michal V and the Bubble Gang on Youtube and tell me what you find. I've heard he's like the weird Al of the Philippines! So go enjoy that.
Oh Devree I think your last quote was The Sword In The Stone so here's my quote: "I've a girl back home who's unlike any other. Ya the only girl who loves him is his mother." Try to guess that one if I haven't accidentally given you 2! Love YA

Elder Hamblin
Oh here are some pictures of me doing my laundry and the palm trees by our house and me ridding on top of the Trike! That was fun, The cup is a Zagu drink that is absolutely delicious and they have alot of flavors. This one is Strawberry! YUM YUM! Ya in the picture of my batch the one on the left tall and red hair if thats the one you saw in the photo thats Elder Oliver and he's the best! I hope we get to be companions for awhile mabe just one cycle that would be great! Love ya

On Sun, May 22, 2011 at 11:01 PM, Hamblin Family wrote:

Monday, May 16, 2011

First Letter from the Philippines

Missionaries at Festival

Members at Festival


"Love You" shirt

Noble Loves His Family

R.M. (Returned Missionary) BAKERY???

Wow alot has happened in the little time between when we last emailed and now. You have all written alot and have probably done even more! Your lives are exciting and fun and full of things to do. Between Shay running for class president, Devree getting into NHS and Dane playing baseball and piano. You all are busy. Mom had that tough night to deal with and Dads probably working his tail off for everyone. You all have a pretty exciting life right now, but I've got you beat!
Here's whats going on in the Philippines
Me and my companion wake up at 6:30 and get ready for the day. Somedays we have to do our laundry by hand before we take a shower with the bucket which is not that bad. Then we head out to work in the sun. It's hot but every now and then there's a cool breeze that helps out with the gallons of sweat. We went to teach one lady who just started breast feeding half way through the lesson! She just whips her stuff out and starts feeding and I am shocked but Elder Bates is used to it by now. Then it starts to rain. The rain here is not like pitifull Nevada rain this is manly rain! It pours down on you so hard it's hard to hold your umbrella some times! We go out and find people and teach in it. Some times the wife is home but the husband is a trike driver so he gets home late. We had to teach a family in a grass hut by candle light one time and it was hard to read the notes I took to teach them. Some days are Pakiau Sundays and Pakiau is a boxer. He is like a Philippino hero and he usually fights on Sundays so when we are trying to find people to share our message with they are inside watching him fight so its hard those days. You know how we didn't drink Pepsi well now I do because some of these people are saving up to buy me this Pepsi and I can't turn it down because I don't want to offend them. They have this thing called Spanish Bread here that is delicious. I miss bread with meals. They eat it here for snacks. I want a PB and J sooooo bad!
Also I love slaying cockaroaches. They are fun to kill with a flip flop or a binder. Usually we have them under control but sometimes there are alot of them hiding somewhere. We use the permetheran spray for them in the hive. The geckos are everywhere also but we like them because they eat our bugs for us. They will chase the bugs around and catch them every now and then. They usually chill on the wall and look cool. The dogs here are annoying and they sometimes have fleas. They bark at us and we usually hit them with rocks or sometimes even umbrellas.
For one of the District meetings they had an object lesson and I was the volunteer. They had a bucket of water and it was filled with dirt and rocks and leaves and other things and my goal was to find the treasure inside the bucket. I searched and searched and eventually found a 5 peso coin in the muck. My hand was really dirty. Elder Miller our Zone Leader likend this to how our investigators are trying to find the treasures in life but they sin along the way and can get really dirty. Then he pulled out a bar of soap with repentance written on the side. I went and washed up and he said that was the gift we must give them, the gift of repentance, to clean up their lives and bring them more treasures.
My companion also sharred some good wisdom with me from a talk. It said the 3 secrets to having a successful life are 1st God 2nd Hard work and 3rd Education because without those three things it is hard to be successful.
I tried Halo Halo the other day and it was pretty tasty! It is shaved ice in a cup with other various fruits and sugar, Halo means to mix up so Halo Halo is really Mixed up!
They are crazy about Avirl Lavigne and the Backstreet boys and the Beatles here. Sometimes you can hear it comming from houses and things.
When I was hanging up my clothes to dry the clothes line broke and they got all dirty again.
I accidentally crushed a cat because my back pack was hanging on the back of my chair and when I stood up the chair fell back and the cat was smushed. I said sorry and I think they forgave me! They love texting here it is the # 1 country for texting The jubilee was amazing and I loved every second of it! They did alot of cultural dances and some good hymns and it was overall pretty darn cool. My ride back was nice hanging on to the back of a Jeepney and going through some tight corners. Kinda scary but the wind was in my hair and I was enjoying myself!
When we went to church President Carlos asked me if I had any talents and so I told him I play the trombone and a little piano and he told me that I was going to play piano from now on during sacrament meeting! Shows me to open my big mouth!
Anyways I love you all and I look at the blog every p-day to stay up to date on what's going on in your lives and I love you and Stay in school. JK
Elder Hamblin
P.S. Heres some more pictures love ya!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Your Missionary Has Arrived Safely

The mission sent us a form letter that said our missionary has safely arrived in the Philippines. When you send your baby half way around the world, it is nice to know that he has arrived there. The problem is... the picture they enclosed originally was not of Noble. We had just received a picture of someone elses missionary that had arrived safely at the Cauayan Mission in the Philippines. LOL :-)

Thank heavens we were able to talk to our missionary on the phone for Mother's Day. Otherwise it would have been a quite unsettling letter.

Noble with President & Sister Carlos

Big Group Of New Missionaries That Noble Arrived With

Our Handsome New Missionary

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day!

Phone Card Bought at Carson City Philippine Store

Todd bought two international calling cards and Noble sent emails to Todd about what time to call. We got a text about 7:30 PM with the number to call. We got all 4 phones ready for everyone to listen. I promised I would let the rest of the family talk and ask questions. Todd and I listened on the same phone.

Noble said his flight was long but not unbearable because of the excitement. When they landed in Manilla, there was a van to take them to the Manilla Mission home. Noble said it was the LOUDEST PLACE he has ever visited. People honking and noise of everything was amazing. The missionaries discovered that their driver was a Catholic and Noble gave him an English Book of Mormon with his testimony written in it. The driver was very kind and explained that if you wanted a high paying job, you learned English. So they encountered many people that spoke English. The mission home is right across from the Manilla temple, so the missionaries had about 4 hours till the bus ride. They went into the temple but didn't have enough time to attend a session.

The bus ride to the Cauayan Mission went right past the area where Noble was to serve. He said the bus driver drove crazy but it was air conditioned. The Mission Home was air conditioned too. Air Conditioning is called Air Con and there is alot of Tagolish (combination of Tagalog and English) spoken. Although there are alot of old people who speak a dialect of Tagalog that is hard to understand. Elder Hamblin liked President and Sister Carlos. It was a very quick meeting and President Carlos said "So you're the Hamblin!" I asked "What did that mean?" Noble didn't ask.

Noble's trainer is from Boise, Idaho who has been out 19 months. His name is Elder Bates and we even talked to him on the phone. He said there isn't any milk or milk products in the Philippines. His family used to send him mashed potatos and mac and cheese but without butter and milk, it isn't as good. He says he likes rice now anyway. Noble told us there are animals everywhere. There is a rooster that crows on one side of the house and a rooster that crows on the other side of the house. There are chickens, dogs, cats, goats and water buffalo (they are called cari BOW like you take a bow on stage) EVERYWHERE! They lay the rice out everyhwere to dry and so Elder Bates says "That is why we wash the rice!" We all went "ewwww!" Noble says it is HOT! Hotter than anything he imagined. But it is GREEN! He takes a shower out of a bucket because there is no hot water. His companion told us that every apartment is like that. Only a few apartments have microwaves. They wash their own clothes by hand because of no hired help anymore. The church wants missionaries to do their own cleaning and washing. Somthing about tax situations and church employees. There are places to have your laundry done by someone else but the missionaries need to do their own underwear.

There is a McDonalds in their area and it is called McDoughs. He has taught a discussion already. I asked Elder Bates if he is trying to have patience with Elder Hamblin learning the new language. He told me he thought he was. I am glad Elder Bates sounds like a really good missionary. I teased him about UNR whooping Boise State. He said "I heard about that". He let Noble talk to us for almost an hour. Our 2 international calling cards had run out by then. Oh we are so happy for our missionary and the adventures he is going to have. We are excited to hear about his teaching adventures and finding those that have been searching for the truth.

Phone calls

So on Monday, May 2nd Noble was in transit to the Philippines. Out of his MTC district, 1 sister and 2 Elders, besides Elder Hamblin were sent to the Cauayan Mission. Sister Pulu's family made them all a big lamb dinner before they flew out of Salt Lake. When they arrived at LAX (Los Angeles) another Elder had his family meet them there for their several hour layover. The missionaries family lent Noble a cell phone.

It was so great talking and laughing with him. But I tried to get in as many questions as I could so I didn't share the phone much with Todd. His MTC companion was sent to another mission in the Philippines. Noble was waiting for a flight at 2am to Hong Kong which was a 14 hour flight. Then he would have another lay over before the 1 1/2 hour flight to the Philippines. Then he had an 8 hour bus ride to his mission. We talked and joked but when it was time to say Goodbye, I was a blubbering fool because it was so good to talk to him and I miss him so much. Noble is in the right place and doing the right thing.

Letter Snail Mailed on April 15, 2011

Noble says, "Keep this one just for fun!"


Korbattaaaa! Fell asleep during personal study.

Me receiving "Revelation".

Dear Hamblin Family,
Look Ma I'm writing with Pen! I hope you're happy! Ya I am leaving in 2 weeks! Its kind of crazy how fast time flies by. I really appreciate the words of encouragement! I feel like I only know a little Tagalog and I won't be able to talk to anyone in the Philippines. I know that I am trying my hardest and if I keep this up I will wake up one day and find out I know Tagalog!

In my mission they don't send many white American missionaries I have been told. I will probably have a native Filippino for my senior companion. I will probably be sent to the sticks but there will be one mall in the area! I have been told that I will be just to the left of where all the hurricanes pass through so I might get some of those. I also heard that I should protect everything from mold and other creatures that make their way into our apartment. Oh and there will be grass huts.

Something I am excited for is I will live with hardly anything for 2 years which will give me so much more appreciation for the easy way of life in America. At the same time it will prepare me for living like a poor college kid when I get back!

My brain melts when I have to conjugate verbs on the spot. It's hard for me to choose which verb and when I should use it. The where is easy. The verb always is in front of eveything else! Here's some examples or maga Halimbawat: I verbs object focus, root: ture to touch. Command: i turo Past: i tinuro Present: itimu turo. Future tense: i tuturo. I have to think what tense and then conjugate it on the spot! I have to stop my brain has melted and is leaking through my nose! Other things come easy for me. Puede po ba Kaming magbuhad ang mensahe tunkol san Jesucristo para sa inyo? May we share a message about Christ with you?

Thank you for your prayers! And thank you for the wonderful package! I loved the Easter egg basket and I thought about skipping down the hallways of my residence hall throwing eggs at people. But I refrained. The new shorts look amazing and I can't wait to show them off during gym. I appreciated the oreos and hid them in my drawer so people with hungry stomachs wouldn't gobble them up! Keep in mind that there are no full stomachs here. We Eat all THE TIME! Another paradox of the MTC. I thought the "Sweet Dreams" sleeping mask was pretty funny. I loved the pictures you sent. Devree's new wig looks awesome! So does the puzzle that Dad got done. Shay and Dane are still goofballs, so everything is in order. I love you all and I hope all of you stay safe and fed.

The" Beautiful Prayer" really hit me hard! I realized that I do pray for some of these things but most importantly I prayed for love for my companions and all who I come in contact with. Having the love of Christ is key to caring for your companion and for your investigators.

I love you and I love all your letters. Oh and by the way, while I am writing this letter to you, there is a bunch of Elders singing a hymn in German, right across the hall! I love you and thanks for the support. I pray for you everyday.

Love you, Elder Hamblin
P.S. Enjoy the Pictures! Work hard. Play hard and Sleep Hard!