Solana with a different view.
These are the little houses for the fighting cocks. Another view. There are so many little houses it looks like a graveyard for chickens!
A laundry basket and a cat.
A very small dog.
So tiny for a dog.
Wow what an EMAIL!!!! You guys are the best and I have a LOT of stuff to tell you. Where to begin... So: 1.) I am doing great and me and Elder Makiling are kicking booty in Solana! We are doing good and we have two Nanays that have come back to church from countless visits from the Relief society and of course US! They are good. The 1st Nanay Balubal has got one more Sunday to go then she is officialy counted as RETURNED to the church and active again. Nanay Lescuero is active now. WHOOOO! But her husband is not. AHHHHHHH! JUST COME TO CHURCH TATAY! WHATS YOUR PROBLEM? As you can tell the whole agency thing is really bugging me right now! We also have 2 baptismal dates set up. There is Elena Pagulayan and her date is the 17 of this month. (Pray for her and her Father to open his heart to the message again!) Then there's Tatay Raul his is the 31st of March and he's a stud! He's just got to shut down the Bukid on Sundays so he can always come to church! (Pray for him to always be free on Sundays!) Those are a few of our Go getters here in Solana!
2.) So last Sunday I was selected to play the piano. After the 1st hymn the 1st councilor stands up to make an announcement. The announcement was that there was going to be a baby blessing. Fair enough I like baby blessings. He continues telling the congregation that Elder Hamblin will be giving the blessing! My heart stops.....then kicks back on when he comes over to the piano to ask me to join him up front! I whip out my white missionary handbook with the Priesthood blessings listed in the back and read like crazy how to bless baby's. I made some mistakes at 1st but then I closed my eyes and started over and was shaky but I corrected my mistakes and then when it came to give the blessing as the Spirit Directs the words came in English so that's how I said the blessing..in English. The Mother (who's husband isn't a member) didn't understand the blessing but God did and I did and that was all that mattered right then. Later I told her that I had blessed her baby boy with health and the opportunity to marry in the temple and be a strong faithfull member of the church. It was nerve racking but it's over now. That was my 1st time blessing an infant. Crazy Huh? Never thought that would happen on my mission!
3.) In my new apartment I am not afraid to walk around bare foot! Ha! And we have running water which is the BOMB! We just cleaned up the bathroom really nice with Muriatic Acid (which is some powerfull junk) so now our toilet SPARKLES! Good stuff! Now I don't have to sing, "Great grinning ghosts come out to socialize!" Whenever I go to the Bathroom! Good stuff!
4.) We have some Sisters in our Zone Sister Martinez, Sister Galang and Sister Hoops and they all deserve a round of applause! During our Specialized training with Elder Brent Nielson of the quorm of the 70 (General Authority he's kinda important!) Sister Martinez asked a SUPER deep question about the "other worlds" that have been made and if Christ's Atonement covers all those people's sins too and he answered her that that was correct his Atonement is INFINITE and covers EVERYTHING! Before that, no one was asking questions they were all shy so I decided to start things off. I asked the question, "What requirements does the personal body guard of the Prophet of God have? How does the security work for President Thomas S. Monson?" It wasn't a doctrinal question but an interesting one! He aswered by pulling out his cell phone and showing to us the security brefing he received this morning about a bomb that went off in an airport far away from us in the southern part of the Philippines. He recieves a briefing like that every week so he knows where not to go and is always safe and sound! The church security system is amazing! Anyway that was a special experience. Sister Galang is a Philippino that is really good at English and is currently training the brand new Sister Hoops from Utah and might I say she is.......one....very blessed Sister. (There are people reading this blog like Sister Shainer that would get me in trouble with Sister Carlos if I say anything more!) :) Anywho things are good and up to speed in the Philppines Cauayan Mission!
Dear Tatay, I have a fun little sentence for you to translate into English for me. Here it goes: "Lahat ng ulo ay may buhok, nguni't hindi lahat may utak!" Try that on for size! Ya Tagalog Mabuti naman ang Tagalog para sa akin. Alam ko at indindihan ko ang Tagalog pero medjo mahirap para sa akin magspell lahat ng Tagalog words. Mahirap talaga habang Priesthood class dahil kung nagsulat ako sa black board hindi intindihan ang mga Priesthood holders and mga sulat ko! Sana intindihan mo ang sulat ko para sa Magtranslate siya sa English para kay Nanay! Salamat sa magbasa ang mensahe ko! I finally feel like a powerful Tagalog user but sometimes I get humbled because of my Loving Heavenly Father who doesn't want me to get too prideful. I understand my weaknesses and accept them and try to learn and grow each day with my understanding of Tagalog. Its an ongoing process but I do feel comfortable talking with people now. I just don't get it when they use slang or deep Tagalog or speak SUPER fast! ANYWAY yes things are good and I learn everyday! Its great that you are running again Tatay! Me and My comp are running roughly a mile in the mornings also and strangely enough I fell better throughout the day but I'm pooped when we get home! Keep it up Tatay. Mabe we'll ALL have six packs when I get home! HA!! Anyway here are the pictures. There's the one of the Solana Wood sign that looks like the Holywood sign and then theres the SUPER SMALL dog and cat. Also the little tent like things in one of the pictures is the little homes for their roosters because they do alot of COCK FIGHTING here in Tuguegarao. Cool stuff but a little scary. They also do SPIDER FIGHTS. Its kinda like poke-mon for kids here but with real creatures. They train their spiders to get strong and then have them fight other spiders to see who wins. It's pretty cool I'll show you a video of it some day. Anyway take care tatay I LOVE you! Elder Hamblin
Dear Mom, I like how Dad just says you guys ate sushi and you say ? threw up on you and you were taking chunks out of your hair! ASTIG! So things are going good and we are doing good as a companionship which is alright. I already talked about our Investigators. I didn't do anything special for my Hump mark but I do think I should burn some of my holey socks! I gave away a white shirt to the 2nd councilor here because his white shirt was getting kind of destroyed from wearing it EVERY Sunday! He appericiated the gift! I am getting two of my shirts fitted so they don't hang over so much and I look nice when I wear them. I'll take some pictures in the fitted shirts so you can see how much your chubby little boy has changed over the past year he's been gone! Way to go Nanay, make me all trunky talking about my 1 year mark and my home coming party! I know it just shows how much you love and miss me and want me back home! I miss you too Mom and I wish I could've eaten sushi with you! Not because of the sushi cause I hate sushi. No just cause I love you and want to have a nice long chat with you about UNR! I guess we'll talk about my very complicated future. Things don't get easier when you go home do they? O well, being Noble never was easy! Hey I love you and don't go running around with your head chopped off okay? Love Elder Hamblin
Dear Devree, Hey how did the talk go? I assume it is all over now and you did a fantastic job for sure! I love you did you know that? I hope you are practicing and getting to be a fantastic driver and pass the test with a breeze! I pray that everything with the surgery will go fine and that no bad stuff with infections and things will happen. You are a trooper you know that? Some grown men couldn't go through the things you've gone through! I am proud of you no matter what happens. I wanted you to know that. And you will always be my little sister even though I am Half way around the World I still love you as much as I did when I was home. You are the best don't forget it! The partys and such all sound awesome and have you decided where you are going for college? I hope its somewhere kickin! I hope I can go there too when I get home! Don't worry about me I'm doing fine. Just sweating off pounds like crazy here! Your movie was Star Dust which was a fantastic movie and I loved every second of it! I hope that you are not having too much fun with out me! Okay here's my movie! "This was my favorite shirt!" "Hold your breath Jump to the left..." Sorry if I already have done this one. Its been awhile since I've seen any good moives! Love Elder Hamblin
Dear Shay, Hey when it comes to pole vaulting you must have absoulutley no fear. Fearless you run down the lane and slide that pole into the pit. Then jam your knee forward like you are gonna kill some one and lean back. Don't worry about falling if you are running fast enough then your momentum will carry you into the pit. Point your feet up in the air and then do the spin. GET OVER THE BAR then come down and land gracefully in the pit! Have someone video tape you to see what you are doing wrong so you can correct yourself and you will be a champ. Now thats not too hard is it? I know it sounds impossible right now but that's how you get BIG jumps! Hey don't get discouraged if you're not jumping 10 feet in the 1st week thats okay just keep it up and you'll do gret better than me cause you're already in shape! What size pole are you using right now? DON'T EAT ALL THE ICE CREAM!!! Gosh save some for me! I am melting here in the Philippines but things are good. Some things like people denying the Holy Ghost bother me alot and when less actives and Investigators don't come to church thats SUPER frustrating but its okay. Everybody's got their agency. We all fought for it in the Pre-Earth life and if we don't use it here then its all for nothing! Hey take care little bro and be a good big bro to Dane for me alright. Love ya! Elder Hamblin
Dear Dane, Hey School sounds like it's going well and you're teaching Dad how to play video games which has been on my agenda for a LONG time! Hey Don't watch too much Bey Blade metal fusion without me alright? You need to GO OUT SIDE every now and then and get some Fresh Air. Its good for you! No 6 pack yet but it's getting close! I love you and stay safe little bro! Love Elder Hamblin Take care everyone and remember: "When in doubt speak the truth." -Mark Twain