Wednesday, February 29, 2012

3rd Area on Map

Elder Hamblin's 3rd area is called Solana, and it is above the 'O' in Luzon.

The Cagayan river runs by Solana on the right side of the picture above. The farther North that Elder Hamblin gets the more remote the area is. We really love the beautiful pictures he sends us.

Monday, February 27, 2012

February 26th, 2012 -Noble's 2nd Transfer

Elder Hamblin in new area of Tuguegarao Zone and the little quiet town of Solana.

New Companion Elder Makiling who also came out with Elder Oyardo, who Noble trained.. Look at how that horses back bone is sticking out! That is one of the skinniest horses I have seen. (Mom's comment)

This is the horse taxi called Calesa's.

I wonder if this is an albino water buffalo or Caribow as they call them in the Philippines.

So interesting, the coloring on this one.

Elder Makiling showing how they get their water.

Elder Hamblin getting the water.

I'ts a long way down there!

Elder Hamblin in the Bukid. the corn looks a little dry in this area, where the las area was getting too much rain for their corn.
"Oh no I have lost my companion!" Elder Hamblin cries.

"Oh there he is!" I don't know quite what Elder Makiling is holding in his hand.

Hey still don't have the letter from you guys so I think I'll just give you an update! So I got Transferred to Tuguegarao Zone. I am now stationed in the little quiet town of Solana and it is pretty darn cool here! Well not cool as in cold but it's awesome. Tuguegarao is notorious for being the hottest part of the Philippines Cauayan mission, and ....I was transferred to this area in March, the beginning of summer. Needless to say I am melting right now! My new companion's name is Elder Makiling and he also happens to be my new Physical Trainer! We got up and ran this P-Day! (Dane the 6 pack is coming!) Between sweating like crazy and running and walking and such the pounds are gonna melt off! We have these little things called Calesa's which are like mini horse drawn carriages that you take like Taxi Cabs to get from place to place. It's alright and we ride in style to our appointments. The problem is that we are kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place when its night time! No more triky rides or Jeepneys or even Calesa's so we walk and walk and walk Annnnnnnnd walk. Like the pioneer children! Good stuff! The pounds just melt off! So ya thats the area good stuff! Also we sang a song in our little branch last Sunday that really struck me by surprize! Its hymn number 273. Go check it out its the BOMB! Hey I love you guys and stay safe! Elder Hamblin

Hey guys don't freak out. I got it! Mom don't cry! Gosh if I don't get the letter from you guys you will just send me 2 next email. Don't freak out I got it so chill! Hey so now that I got something to send you guys I will respond to your letter!
SO My new area is a Branch and we have a cute little electric Piano to play for church. Mom, I am using that little easy Hymn book you gave me which is a big help and my piano skills are definitly growing now that I am the full time piano player here in Solana! I am the senior companion right now! I am Follow up training a member of the same batch of missionaries that came in with Elder Oyardo. Yes he is a guapo (handsome) Philippino and he's helping me not be fat! I don't know if the Baptism happened on Saturday but I am pretty sure that Elder Oyardo is taking care of buisness EVERY DAY! Taking care of buisness every way!(Part of a song by Bachman Turner Overdrive) He will make sure things are good to go and hold down the fort for me!
Don't cry! I'm sorry if this letter is kinda short! We have been quite a while at the computer shop and I think my comp is itching to get out! I hope I answered all your questions. I am actually emailing from Tuguegarao right now because it is the big city with all the food and such! Well I love you and take care! Elder Hamblin
P.S. GOSH you and UNR! Quote: "The HEATHEN School" I'll make sure Manny gets to hear that! Love ya you over protective Nanay!
Your movie was "Holes" and we are defeinetly having a movie marathon when I get back home! I love you Devrs and you should have sent the pie to me! JK I love ya little sister. Keep an eye on Shay for me! Love ya more Elder Hamblin!
Oh if you didn't get the movie qoute here it is again! "What do you want me to do dress in drag and do the hula?" "I'm a monkeys uncle!" Try that on for size! Elder Hamblin
Dear Dane,
Sounds like the big game went well for you little bro. The nerf battle definitly sounds like something I want to do when I get back home! I love you little bro and take care! Love Elder Hamblin
Dear Shay,
Don't kill yourself pole vaulting and stay away from the ladies! Between you and your many girlfriends and me going to the heathen school Mom's gonna have a heart attack! Love ya little bro. Elder Hamblin!
Dear Tatay,
ALA KA!!!! Grabe! Pasaway and Tatay ko! Busy Busy po kayo! Salamat Tatay sa email mo! Alam ko hindi nakalimutan ang anak mo! SALAMAT SA LAHAT!
You guys really are the blessing and crossing your fingers helped, but its time for me to get out of this computer shop! We have been here for 2 hours but not just waiting for the email! Thanks for everything! Don't over do it tatay! You're not a teenager anymore! Take a break and figure out what's most important and then make a check list that's what helps me out! Take care! Ingat Tatay!
Elder Hamblin!
P.S. I love you and don't stress about the email! GOSH! hehehe :) Love you! Elder Hamblin

Saturday, February 25, 2012

February 19, 2012

Looking out over the river and San Mariano. See how you can see the city is on an island in the river.

Playing with puppies. Noble did not say anything about eating this one for dinner.

Elder Hamblin loves his mail and he got a whole bunch of Dear Elder's from Sister Remington. Thank you so much for writing our missionary. I don't know if all of these are from Sister Remington.

This is Elder Hamblin with Elder Lundy. They are good friends and really enjoy the time to really express themselves in their "Mother Tongue". Noble says that is the most frustrating part of learning a foreign language is to be able to learn it well enough to really express yourself.

Dear Hamblin Gang!!!!,
What a great week it's been! So you finally got the letter huh? Don't worry about it. I was busy going through some self pity and my "valley of endless woe" phase in the mission. Things are better now. I am refocused and as you know your emotions on the mission are on a roller coaster! Ups downs sideways and loop-D-loops but its okay. Things are fine! It's never been easy being a soldier of God in the war zone of the world. It never has been easy being a member of this church. Life isn't meant to be easy. That was Satan's plan remember? It is important not to lose faith in your self even if you aren't seing LOADS of success. But that being said here are some awesome things going on in San Mariano: We had the baptizim of Lovely Lago. Shes a Member from a less active family. She had turned 8 but because the parents are busy trying to earn money for the family and aren't super active they weren't doing too much to get her ready for baptism. I've known the Lago family since I got her and have seen their youngest boy "Prince" grow up and he's beginning to walk now! I was afraid that if I didn't do something that Lovely Lago could become another one of those un-baptized child of records! So we got the baptism planned and taken care of for Brother and Sister Lago. They really appreciated it. When we asked her who she wanted to baptize her she picked me! I think its just cause I have known her for so long and I'm awesome. Hindsight it could have been better for her Tatay to baptize her but when we suggested it he just asked me to do it! I didn't want to push that subject so I happily obliged to baptize her. That was the background of what happened at the baptism! Because of a big black out we almost had to baptize her in the river. But the power came back on just in time to fill up the font and so all was well! We have our next baptism on Feb. 25 for Ramil Maramag and I am really excited for this and so is Elder Oyardo because he is the one who is baptizing him! Sadly I don't think I will get to see this one. I am probably gonna get transferred so they will have to carry on without me! THAT and we have A WHOLE FAMILY WITH A BAPTISMAL DATE!!!! The Bernas family! They are on the way on to the right path and know what we have been teaching them is true! We gave them a baptismal date WAY in the future so that Tatay Bernas can get his WOW (word of wisdom) problem under control and GO TO CHURCH! Gosh its like pulling arms and legs off to get these people to come to church! That and they're allergic to the rain apparently! GOSH! Then again they do have their agency to choose! I just wish they could choose the right! Now for some official business: Dear Elder Lundy's Mom, (and I know you are reading this! :) Thank you SOOOOOOO MUCH for treating us to dinner at Mang Ingnasal! You are the Best mom that Elder Lundy has ever had! We used that 20$ to the fullest. I almost barfed from all the rice I ate! (It was all you can eat!) Thank you SOOOOOO much! Your the best! LOVE, Elder Hamblin
Now back to the family. As my name and fame spread throughout the Cauayan mission people you don't even know are reading the blog! So thanks again for doing the blog for me! Its all worth it! Now to answer your messages to me.

Dear Mom,
I hope that was a good explanation of all the Baptism pictures I sent. Little Lovely is a cutey isn't she? Her prayers are the cutest of all. (in a small high pitched voice!) Good things are happening in San Mariano. It seems when good things start to happen I tend to be transffered! My training period is over and I know Elder Oyardo will be a true strong missionary from the things he has learned from our companionship! Please pray for the people I had previously mentioned! They need help to get through these rough times! The bukid life hasn't been easy lately. Because of the excess of rain from this Bagio were having the crops are getting too wet and if the crops get too wet they can't be sold and if they can't be sold then they don't get money and when they don't get money then their families starve! It's rough being a farmer in the Philippines. Its rough being a farmer anywhere!
Its good that they got Grandma and Grandpa in a nice and stable home now! I really hope it works out. Anyway things are good now so don't worry too much about me I'm fine. I just would like you to send a big plate of Sheppard's Pie in the next package! That and a big Costco pepperoni pizza! Yea that would be the bomb! I love you Mom, Love Elder Hamblin

Dear Devree,
I'm sorry to hear that you have, ahem, ..."issues" but I hope that you can find help through prayer and making a check list! That always helps me when I've got a lot of things to do! Sounds like you guys watched GALAXY QUEST TODAY! Hey if you have a magical wand that wipes away concerns from my investigators and my Less Actives you can send that in the next package! If you want to see some food I want to eat please refer to Mom's part of the message! Hey don't get discouraged! Lifes hard esspecially when cancer has kicked you but and you're trying to get up and hit the ground running. Remember you are a miracle missy and nothing less. Every day you are up and about doing good is a blessing to the world from the Lord! You are special! (and not in the handicapped way!:) Shine bright and let the world say and do what they will because you are amazing and nothing can change that! Be a good big sister for me will ya? Love Elder Hamblin

Dear Shay,
Hey I think that you should go for the candy! Don't go for the chicks yet just the candy. Wait till your 16 bro. I'm telling you bro, girls are just a bunch of trouble! Be prepared to get a job. One side affect of being around girls to much is your money starts to go missing from your wallet a lot faster than it did before! So get ready!! Hey you were watching Galaxy Quest too! Hey the box sounded pretty darn cool! I can't wait to shred it up with you guys when I get back! I think that will be a ton of fun! Did Dad come with you guys too? Who was driving? Anyway I love ya little bro and keep up the good work. Be a good example to Dane for me! Love, Elder Hambln

Dear Dane,
Hey Four Square was one of my favorite games growing up! We should play it when I get back. So you're watching the Teen Titans.... AGAIN!!? You must really love that show! I love you Dane! Just don't veg out and be a couch potato! Love Elder Hamblin

Dear TAtay,
Hey I had just recently read those Dear Elders you sent me in the MTC and the Good Timber spiritual thought was one of them! It really is a good thing to remember that our trials are what make us stonger and "The Ever Impressive" Thanks for your advice on the Less Actives. Me and Elder Oyardo are really trying to help these people come unto Christ. They just need to take the 1st few steps back into the light which sometimes are the hardest! I got to have the Mindset that i am here to teach them not force them into living the gospel. I love these people and they need our help! Thanks for all the advice and i think I might just use that poem for a spiritual thought some day! Thanks for everything! Don't have to much fun without me! Love your 3rd world missionary Elder Hamblin
So the pictures are a muddy road Elder Oyardo holding a sleeping puppy and me and Elder Lundy in the back of a van!
All those Dear Elders are from Sister Remington. (You're the bomb Sister Remington!) That and an Overview of San Mariano I think you can see the church steeple in that picture. LOVe Elder Hamblin

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13th, 2012

This is Lovely. She requested Elder Hamblin baptize her.
Lovely really is "Lovely".

These are Lovely's siblings.

Elder Hamblin, Elder Oyardo and Lovely before the baptism.

A big SPIDER at the end of Noble's bed. It is on the middle board.

There was too much rain for the bukids (fields) and now the farmers are worried for their crops.

More kids from San Mariano. They love Elder Hamblin

Say "Cheese"!

The two "studly" Elders as Noble says. Elder Oyardo and Elder Hamblin.

AHHHHHHH how are you all doing!!!? I'm doing fine here in the Cauayan Mission! But I think I have some bad news!
You see for the last 6 months or so I have been pumping my own water and trying to train poor Elder Oyardo and things are going okay but...well ...we need a new apartment. The mission is done dealing with our crazy land lady and wants us moved. If we can't find another apartment by next transfer meeting (Feb 24) they will pull the missionaries out of San Mariano. Pull out means they will remove the missionaries and will not place new ones in until they find a suitable apartment. This means our investigators will suffer greatly. We have to plan for how the ones with baptismal dates like Ramil will be taught and baptized. We JUST FINALLY got a WHOLE FAMILY with a BAPTISMAL DATE!!!! GRAAAAA! just when things start getting good we get another curve ball thrown at us! Anyway we will still be looking for that golden apartment with running water! They are near impossible to find in San Mariano. I hope that we can find one but the odds are against us. Please Pray for us!
Hey I’m actually writing from the same shop that I Skyped you guys from in Ilagan next to the Missionaries apartment here. We are getting ready to go to the BIG meeting in Tugegaraow. (That's how its pronounced I have no clue how its spelled!) The big meeting is our Zone Conference. WOW I am rounding up on my Year mark and it seems like the blink of an eye! I've done a lot of things here. I've touched too many lives its uncountable! I too write my baptisms down in the cover of my Preach My Gospel. Now I don't know how many names Kolten has. He’s the Bomb! But I have a good amount of names too! I just write down the names that I taught and saw or actually baptized. The ones I baptize personally get a cute little Star next to their names!
Alright now to respond to your HUGE Email to me!
Hey Mom if you could Email me the Home address of the Rice’s that would be great! I really want to keep Mailing Kolten! Now I hope this whole Baptism things isn't getting your hopes up too high for your son. I can tell you from personal experience that you must baptize people that you KNOW are ready for baptism. I have seen some of the people I have baptized go inactive because they were only kids and had no support system. That’s got to be one of the bigger heart aches as a missionary. You can baptize the world but if they don't stay active in the church its all useless! THAT'S why I am now currently in the process of finding and rebuilding the faith of many less active members here that have almost gone apostate. Turning back to other churches and smoking and drinking. Its a heart ache you know? But I can't give up on them. We are trying hard to keep up the work and we see success! One Sister in our ward is doing great! She’s almost come back for a month now and she is finding that strong testimony she once had! She will be a powerful help to the missionaries in San Mariano! Good things are happening here Mom and I know I was called here for a reason by a Prophet of God to help these people. How great is my calling! I'm trying harder to enjoy the journey now!
You are all super busy as usual. Having mini reunions and such! You are super Mom you know! Hey where did Kaylun fly in from!? Where is he living now? I hope that you are all safe and sound and well fed! Have fun with the cousins. I haven’t had too many Dip Stick companions yet. They all think I'M the dip stick! JK Love You. Elder Hamblin

Dear Devree,
I'm sorry you got your finger slammed in the door! I hope the skin grows back fast! Honor choir sounded like the blast and that you are still singing your heart out is a good thing! The Music Man is an OLD movie from WAY back in the day that they have redone over and over again! I would've liked to see it live! Sounded awesome! You know that’s Kolten up and down with music and such! I hope your head is doing alright now!
Your movie was My BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING! I think.... Heres mine:
"NO we named the monkey Jack!"
"But why is the rum gone?"
"You cheated!" "Pirate"
GUESS that one! Love ya little sis! ELder Hamblin

Dear Dane,
So no six pack yet but I made a pretty cool T-Shirt that makes me look super muscular! Ya I enjoyed my rotten egg that I ate. It was kinda crunchy though! I loved the nickname too! Nobie won kanobie has been my nickname since Star Wars came out! I think Dad gave it to me 1st! I hope you are still doing good in Basketball! Hey I am missing you lately! I wish we could play a board game together. Or cards or something!!! I miss playing with you. When I get home we got to have a great time alright!!!
I decided to throw in some smiley faces there! Hey take care and be a good little brother alright? Love ya Elder Hamblin

Dear Shay,
Hey Skyroom sounds pretty cool. But you shouldn't play it if its rated M. You know rated M stand for Mom right? Now don't go and think that once you get into college that it’s all a free game now! We have to honor our parents no matter how old we are! Don't freeze to death in the Swimming pool! I miss swimming! I miss doing all that normal people stuff! WE HAVE to make up for the time I missed when I get home! Thanks for making me Trunky Shay! JK I love you take care! Elder BIG BRO Hamblin

Dear Tatay,
Yes Tatay I did eat that Balut and he was a wee bit on the crunchy side. I don't know if I would eat one that was that mature again. I needed a lot of salt!!! You guys sounded like you had TONS of fun at both houses and that you are all safe and sound! The Forbidden Island game sounds pretty darn cool I would like to see a picture of it! or at least play it when I get home. Man I wish I could have a solid breakfast like the one you had. You know breakfast is my favorite meal of the day!!! GOSH TATAY!
Grandma and Grandpa staying in one spot sounds like a good idea. It’s really not healthy for them to be moving around so much! They do have a ton of drivers in the Krices house don't they?!
Your hard drive is still the BOMB!! Can't wait to mess around with it when I get home. I think I'm ready for a change. I have been in one spot for WAY too long and I think I will definitely get transferred this next cycle so get ready for some new pictures and hopefully some videos! I love you all and I hope you're safe and sound and receiving all the blessings from me pumping water!!! JK I love you Ingat Po Kayo!!!!!! Mahal Kita Love Elder Hamblin!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

February 5, 2012

Hey Hamblin Bunch!!!!!!
Things are going GREAT as usual! I miss you all as Usual and of course i LOVE YOU ALL! Heres some ASTIG highlights in the life of a stressed 3rd World Missionary:
So they printed out a ward list for us but they don't know how to print it out so that there are lots of names on one page. They printed out the Bio of every member, 1 page per each person so now we have a flippen 3-4 inch stack of Less Actives to visit! We organized it into sectors of our Area which makes things less hectic and more organized. We've been tracking these people down and bringing them back. ONE BY ONE! This is pushing us more than we ever have been pushed before! This has gotten us depressed a bit. That and other stresses and I just am trying to be all that I have to be! YA KNOW! Anyway some funny things have happened too.
Me and Elder Oyardo destroyed a chicken after I emailed you all last P-Day! We bought a live Chicken from the Palanky for 100 pesos and then we took him back to the house. (I held him on the way back and you should've seen the look on the peoples faces when they saw me a proud American holding a live chicken by the feet walking home from the market!) We got back to the house and while I held the chicken by the wings Elder Oyardo performed the killing strike. He severed a major atery in her neck and then left me to hold her while the blood drained out! It flipped around a bit and got blood on my feet. YUCK! Then we chopped the head off the rest of the way. DEAD! Then we ripped out the inards! We found the heart and intestines and 2 eggs in there! They were the shape of normal eggs but the hard shell wasn't formed yet! It was still just a squishy sack of jucies! Yum! We cooked those up the next day and ate them! We cooked the chicken and ate it too! I haven't gotten any intestinal worms yet so, so far so good!
Elder Oyardo used Listerine Mouth Wash for the 1st time this week and made funny sounds and faces when the chemicals started to destroy the Bacteria in his mouth! He wasn't expecting the burning sensation! I laughed alot at that. I then decided to be a macho man and gargle my Listerine! DUMB! It got in my throat and made me choke which sprayed Listerine everywhere. More Laughing. Good times! Things are going along just fine here in the Philippines and I am trying to stay positive and happy with the Pure Love of Christ always! Anyway here's the letter to ya all!
Dear Mama!
THANK YOU for telling me about what you were up to! You are super Mom you know that!? I also apprecitate you making the Movies list which will be fun to search and play with after the mission! Rough week let me tell you. I temporarily lost faith in the Philippines and in my area. That was a really low time for me but I am doing alot better now! I realize now that its Charity that I really needed and that is what's keeping me going through the rough times! Just keep on doing what you're doing Mom. You are the Best Mom I think I've ever had you know? Ha ha I love you Mom. The Less Actives are doing great actually! We have one nanay Sis. Malvar who has come back 2 times now to church! 2 more and she is officially re-activized! I don't know the term for it but its good! We have Investigators coming back to church which is great and things are good!
Ya Me and Kolten are gonna reactivize the whole family for SURE! I know that Kolton is going to be working on Chase slowly and carefully as the years go by and hopefully we'll see some fantastic results! I am stoked for all of this. This is a great work but a difficult one at times. I love you Mom and I can't wait to see The Adventures of Tin Tin when I get back to the States! Love Elder Hamblin
Dear Devree,
When I read, "Jamie didn't have a shirt on.." I thought "Why would Jamie G. not have a Shirt on? Thats stupid!" Then the"he"got me back on the right track again! Thanks I was really confused for a second there! Its good to hear that you are doing well! So hows the STAFF infection comming along? I hope your heads okay! The babysitting sounded like my old job! WAY TOO MANY KIDS! I don't like baby sitting that much! Don't get all depressed about not gettting your drivers licence yet. It took me 2 trys to pass my test and my reflexes are AMAZING. Not to mention my super powers and all. SO Patuloy lang! You'll win the prize! Just keep it up! Love ya sis! Stay positive! Its good you are playing with Dane. He needs some older sibling Devree, Dane time ya know? Be a good older sister to him for me will ya?! Thanks for everything!
Hey your movie was STARDUST boy am i good or am I good! Alright here's mine! :
"While the Step Mother and Daughters Scratched there newly found Itches, ______ ran away from those horrible............ Witches!"
You shouldn't have to hard a time with that one! I love ya ELder Hamblin
Dear Shay,
Shay I love you too! Hey you can even borrow my Snowboarding stuff if you want! Just BE CAREFULL! That stuff costs alot of money ya know? I hope you and Carson have a fantastic time! You be good and safe on the slopes alright? I miss you and most of all I miss snowboarding! JK I miss you WAY more than Snowboarding! Be safe and a good example alright! Love ya Elder Hamblin
Dear Dane,
How are you doing! Nope no six pack yet! I think it's all turning into muscle though! Don't give Devree too hard a time in Fusion Frenzy even though you are the Master at that game! Nice job at the big basketball game! We got to play some good games when I get home alright! Love ya little bro! Elder Hamblin
Dear Papa,
Everyone LOVES your magic box ya know! I got to see pictures of the new car that you were talking about okay? Hey so you converted ALL my movies into TV format? Is that so it isn't all grainy on the TV. Sounds cool whatever you did! I hope i can get in on that action later. Okay sounds like you are all really busy but I got to go. We are gonna make a kicken t-shirt later today so I'll send pictures take care you guys!
Elder Hamblin