Making memories one day at a time.......and then I write about it.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Philippines!

January 25, 2014

Transfers is this Thursday now. So I have three more days to work here! This week was very interesting for missionary work. A couple of things happened this last week to make things a lot of fun. For one, the Pope came to the Philippines, and two we had the Degagyan Festival both of which are of Catholic origin. So we pretty well lost all of our investigators this last week and they won't get back until tomorrow. Made for a lot of getting punted and trying to find investigators who are interested. Not very many were with us. But I have no worries. This week will be tons better. I am super curious where I will be going next week. I have heard almost everyday for a week now I will be leaving the area and so I am now very curious.

Two big things happened this week though. Ill start with the change of Bishopric. We got a new Bishop! It was incredibly unexpected and even the old Bishop didn't know until earlier that Sunday morning. Even better was I had just met with him last Friday and we made a bunch of new plans for the year of 2015-2016. Now we have a new one and I know he will be a very good Bishop for La Paz Ward.
Two. I hate spiders...I don't mind little ones here, they are super fun to play with and hold. And they like to fight eachother which I find super awesome! They don't have any real pokemon here so how kids play is they will go out and find spiders in the trees,bushes, etc. and then place two of them on opposite sides of a stick and let them at it. Its way cool and way fun! The loser then has to find a new spider because his is now dead. But those aren't the ones I am talking about.....I hate the big ones the size of my hands. But good things for all of us, they die very easiliy with fire. Got an awesome flame thrower here. Lighter and an arsenal can full of bug spray. Works so well.

Other then that it has been a lot of teaching and preparing the area for a new missionary to take over. My companion has decided to stay though he really doesn't want to 100% but I am very glad that he has decided to stick to it. He has so much to learn and I know he will learn a lot of things from his mission that will keep him active. I can sorta understand Cebuano so we can talk pretty well but he is just so shy its hard to get him to say anything. I really hope his next companion can help him with that.

For my spiritual experiance I have been learning a lot about sacrafices. From Adam till now we have been commanded to sacrifice. No, I did not sacrifice anyone other then that big spider.
When one hears sacrifice what are the first things we think of? For me it is like the kind Moses gave to the Isrealites, or giving up something important for something even more important to us. In 3 Nephi Chapter 9 verses 19 and 20 we learn we are to no longer give blood sacrifices. But instead we are to sacrifice ourselves through a broken heart and contrite spirit. If we truly want the blessings of repentance and forgiveness, we need to mean it. It must be sincere. And above all it must be for the Lord. These steps here from lds.org I think are the best way to accomplish this.

1. All of us in our natural, carnal, and fallen state on earth have sinned and transgressed the laws of God, for which a punishment is designated by the law of justice.
2. Jesus Christ is holy and pure. He lived a perfect life and was therefore the person least deserving of punishment for sin.
3. Because of his great love for us, Jesus Christ paid the price for all our sins. He suffered the punishment for the sins of all people.
Jesus Christ did not need to pay for our sins. He was perfect and thus forth was entitled to eternal glory. We on the other hand are, from the words of King Benjamin, lower then the dust of the Earth. Why? Because even the dust will obey the voice of the Lord with exactness. Thus the need for a Broken Heart and Contrite Spirit.
So that is about it for this week. I am so thankful for this time that I have had here in my area and I am very excited to see what happens next. Next week I will have a brand new companion with a brand new area.



Elder Rubow

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Toilet Talk

When I was little, the toilet was the perfect step stool to reach things in the bathroom.  I'd stand on it to reach the sink to wash my hands.  I'd stand on it to look at myself in the mirror examining my lack of bangs after taking scissors  to them.  Sorry mom.  I get it now.  The toilet was also where apparently my brother on his way to bed, would find me fast asleep and carry me back to bed.  Often.  Why??  I don't know!!  Why the fall asleep while using the toilet.  Not why my brother carried me back to bed.

As I've watched The Natives grow up and also use the toilet as a stepping stool to reach objects they shouldn't or more appropriately, to wash their hands after using the facilities, it never crossed my mind that someday, I would again, be using the toilet as a stepping stool.  What adult does???  Well, unless you are painting your bathroom and refuse to move the ladder all over so you walk from ladder to toilet to bathroom counter and try to perch on anything else you can find only to find that you are still too short so disgruntled you climb down and get the ladder.

Fast forward to the future where Levi is almost as tall as me.  Have you ever tried to shower and wash the hair of someone who is taller than you?  As I type/write this, the thought does occur to me that I could just have Levi sit down in the shower so I could reach the top of his head but where is the fun in that?  Much funner to once again stand next to the shower, nozzle in hand, precariously (I don't have the balance I once did as a kid) standing on the toilet lathering shampoo on Levi's head telling him not to open his eyes or it will sting!!!

This morning I got the giggles,  I had this vision of me as an elderly old shrivel standing on the toilet trying to reach up (despite standing on the toilet) to wash Levi's hair juggling both the nozzle and my walker with the tennis balls.  I'm going to need to invest in a really really big toilet.............

Monday, January 19, 2015

More From the Philippines!

Elder Rubow awhile back asked me if I had a favorite picture of the Savior.  I don't have a particular favorite but without knowing why or what he wanted, I sent him a few that I like.  He had this made for me.  It is made from bamboo.
January 12, 2015

The most frustrating and yet hopeful day of the week is Sunday for missionaries.  After teaching many lessons and your investigators say they will go to church but don't because they were washing plastic....thats really annoying.  And we cannot progress with our investigators until they are reading the Book of Mormon and going to church.  So now we have to wait another week and their baptism will need to be pushed back.  Grabi gid.

Other then that though it has been a very very awesome week.  As District Leader I am assigned to go with the other missionaries in their different areas and I was able to see the progression in language, teaching, investigators, and many more things.  It was way fun.  I was able to work with Elder A, a pretty new missionary, and with Elder L, another new missionary.  Elder L is from a nearby island and he is native Hiligaynon which is awesome because he doesn't have to learn the language here.  He grew up in the church in a very active family so he knows the doctrine and he used to work with the missionaries almost everyday so he knows how to teach.  So basically if he was from America he would be serving a state side mission for him.  Really awesome guy.

Um...that really is our week.  Not incredibly exciting and no more of our members are killing anyone so I think things are good!  One other thing that did happen though was three less active families have come back to church this last week which was awesome!  Thats going to be a big focus for the next couple of weeks though I will be transfering in two weeks. Thanks again for all you do and Ill talk to you next week!

Nothing much really happened this week but I hope more for this week.  I didn't have time to make a video sadly but I will have one next week for sure.  Thanks again for your prayers!  Do enjoy the pictures!

Elder Rubow

January 18, 2015

Elder Rubow is pictured in the center.  With Elder M on his left and Elder S on his right.  

So I have heard I am going to transfer next week.  And I am really sad because I am so close to some of the
people here and now I will probably never see most of them again.  Thank goodness for modern technology
though so I can keep tabs on everyone.

So it souds like you have been very busy with floors!  (I wrote and told him I am sick of cleaning carpets and if I had my way, I would yank them all out and replace with concrete and tile with a huge drain/disposal in the middle of the floor!)  There had better be carpets though when I get back.  I miss that so much.  Send me some pictures of that purse. (The SM bought me a new purse.  First impractical purse I've ever bought.  It's not brown or black.  It's cute and trendy and did I mention impractical??  Elder Rubow wants proof.)
 
So I prepared a video for you this week but it died and now it wont send.  I promise you one next week though and with some pictures.  I have a lot of those I need to send.  

So I hate to make this email so short today but I am on one of the worst computers for some reason and everything keeps crashing and not working and it is really frustrating right now.  Anyway this week was one of the best we have had in a long time.  And a lot of good things have happened as of late.  So I will just start with the top.

Exactly a week ago we had a Zone Activity with a bunch of missionaries.  Probably 25 of us total.  The subject of the activity was survival and we all went to a field that a member owns.  The Zone leaders made a bunch of obstacle courses and games for us and we were all put into tribes and the best tribe that was able to pass the tests won.  That was a lot of fun but I had just recovered from a fever so I mostly just took pictures and helped run the show.  In the course there was a lot of water holes because the members had water buffalos so a lot of missionaries got really muddy.  One of the couple missionaries lost his shoe in it.  But they had a lot of fun as well.

Tuesday was the most spiritual part of the week for me.  As a district leader I have the opportunity to lead 7 other missionaries which is a lot of fun.  One of my responsibilities as well is interviewing missionaries in my district.  A few of the missionaries have been having some difficulty with culture as of late. Most companionships are made up of one Filipino and one foreigner and we have a lot of differences sometimes.  I have been reading a lot about the gifts of the Spirit and how I can receive them and use them for good.  After hearing a few of the problems they were having I could literally feel the Spirit telling them what they needed to do.  I don't remember much that was even said but I do remember the look they had and they have been working together really well ever since.  

The other gift I have been experiencing is the gift of tongues. I have been pronounced fluent Illango here and I can honestly put 100% into the Spirit.  So many times I have felt the spirit enhance my knowledge and though I can't understand or say everything I have the spirit with me to help me.

This last Sunday was also amazing.  4 of our investigators were able to go to church and they all seemed to like it and have expressed a desire to return.  Then we had an answer to my prayer.  In La Paz we have over 300 less active members and this last week the ward has put together a rescue team to work with the missionaries and find those less active members.  We have found 4 families already and we also by chance found 9 new investigators who have expressed interest in our message and already have close friends in the church.  This is a huge growth!  The power of members is so strong.  Even I used to think that the missionaries are the ones to go out and rescue all those people but I can honestly say that it is the work of both the missionaries and members that will bring the growth that the Lord needs.  Such good things have started up.  And sadly I will be transferring to a new area next week.  But it was an amazing to have been apart of this huge growth.  I am going to miss this so much but I am really excited for some new experience and maybe even a new language.
Thank you again for all the prayers and I hope to hear from what is happening in your lives and what amazing blessing the Lord has blessed you with.

That is whats going on this week so yeah!  I can't believe that it is almost February already.  Time goes whether we know it or not.  It is going to be such a busy last week before I go.  Love you so much mom and you you do make faces! (I do not!!!!)

Elder Rubow

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Zits



Levi:  I have a sore on my nostroll.
Me:  It's not a sore, it's a zit.
Levi:  It hurts.
Me:  Stop picking at it.  Leave it alone.
Levi:  Cuz it will get worse?
Me: Yes, it will get worse.
Levi:  Iz a sore.
Me:  It's a zit.
Levi:  Wuz a zit?

Levi is covered in scars.  Anytime he gets a sore of any kind, a mosquito bite, etc. he picks.  Won't leave it alone.  Takes forever to heal.  I have been dreading the day he hits puberty and acne begins. The day when his face is covered in 'sores' and he won't leave them alone as he picks at them and scars his angelic face.

Levi has a zit on his nose.  He's obsessed with it.  I keep trying to get him to leave it alone.  Gross moment.  Maybe if I pop it and show him what's inside he'll leave it alone?

Me:  Hold still.
Levi:  Ow!  Dat hurts!
Me:  Look!  This is what comes out of a zit.  See?  Don't pick.  It's a zit, not a sore.  Leave it alone.
Levi:  You made me bleed.  Iz a sore.

Oh puberty, please be kind to my son............

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Adding Some Flair


Do not ask me what in the world I am looking at.  I handed Mr. B (eldest native) my camera and told him to take a bunch of pictures.  Grandma wants to see the sweater I've finally finished knitting!  I told him not to worry about my head.  I'd be cutting it off.  Just needed photos of the sweater.


Saw the photos and had to laugh.  Leaving the head and face.  Just out of the shower.  Hair thrown up into an awesome ponytail so it doesn't cover the sweater.  No make up.  There ya go folks!  Me.  In the raw.  You can thank me later.


P.S.  At least I did brush my teeth for the occasion.  You're welcome!

Pattern is from BERGERE de France Ref# 160.17
Yarn is:  BERGERE de France Pyramide L7642


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Philippines!! A Video AND Photos!


Playing basketball!! (Elder Rubow is wearing the white t-shirt.  Second in from left.)
Hello Mom!!


First of all, yes I did!  they are hanging right over my bed.  (I sent him some plastic snowflakes in his Christmas box because he misses the snow so much.)  Pressing end was indeed hard.  (Saying goodbye at Christmas when we Skyped).  Sorry you have all been so sick.  Thats not a fun way to spend Christmas.  I will be praying for you all to get better. 

So attached is a video of me!  I was thinking about sending you a video every week about the week and everything.  Let me know your thoughts and everything.  Ill send the weekly letter of course and all of that but the video is just an add on.  With such a short email I hope this will help a bit more.  So yeah!  I miss you all more then I can say!  Good thing May is so close.  (He gets to Skpe again for Mother's Day). I love you so much!  I promise you more next week!  This whole two hours I have been trying to figure out how to send videos.  Expect more next week!

Christmas is now over and New Year is just around the corner.  I did not believe that this day would come to be honest but I am so surprised just how fast it did come.  Christmas was amazing!  I got two packages from home which was awesome and we were invited to one of the members to play games and have food.  All of our investigators have been either very busy or have left for the holidays so we have spent most of our time with members and less actives and trying to build up the kingdom of God.  Then I was able to talk with my family face to face which I have not done in over 6 months.  It was incredible and I love them so much! That was definitely the highlight of the week.  2 hours was not enough at all but way better then not at all.  (Agreed.  Two hours Skyping wasn't near enough but we'll take it!  We're grateful we were able to Skype. Best Christmas present gift.)

My companion got sick after Christmas with a nasty flu of some sort so we spent two days in the house where he rested.  I was able to do some reading, origami, paperwork, cook, and pretty well just wait for him to recover.  This week was rather boring really.

We did have another highlight!  The stake had planned all the way back in October for a "White Christmas" to happen Christmas morning.  As part of that, we missionaries were to bring people to baptism for that day.  25 people were baptized that day including one of our investigators.  The spirit was very strong and I feel so lucky to be here serving in the Philippines.  Many testimonies were given at the end and I feel the testimonies of those who attended were strengthened.  I sure was.

A white Christmas. (Elder Rubow is bottom row.  Third in from left giving the thumbs up.)
I apologize for the short letter this week.  I just really don't know what else to say.  I can hardly remember what happened past talking with my family. 

Elder Rubow baptizing.
So I will just end with my testimony:  I do know that Jesus is the Christ.  He is our Savior and Redeemer and that only through Him can we come unto the Father.  We are so blessed to have the Restoration of His eternal Gospel.  We have living prophets and apostles, we have revelation, and we have the restored priesthood all here on the Earth again.  And all we need to do to know if this indeed really is true is to pray to Him in the name of Jesus Christ.  Then by the power of the Holy Ghost, we will know it is true.  Which it is.  With so many wars, storms, calamities and so much confusion, we can know the truth if we shall seek for it.  Those who seek shall find.  I know this to be true and I leave this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Elder Rubow

video

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Big, Black Truck



Life with Levi.  I've been told by many that I should write a book with this very title.  On Face Book, I often write the things he says because it is so random and hilarious.

A few years ago our family went to an old pioneer village at Christmas time.  There were activities for the natives to do.  One was, writing a letter to Santa.  When the natives were done, they put the letters in the fire place and off they went to the North Pole!  Brilliant!  Darling!  Did I ever mention Levi's love of fire and burning things?  Any excuse to put something in the fireplace to be burnt is just pure awesomeness for him!  And now, we have another excuse/reason to burn more items in the wood stove.  Letters to Santa.  FaaaaanTASTIC!

For a couple of years Levi has been asking for a big, black truck.  The kind that you can ride in.  The battery operated kind that little kids can drive.  You know the ones, the ones that cost major numeros amount of dollars??  Not to mention they aren't the most practical toy in the world.  This year, he upped the intensity.  All.  Year.  Long!

December came.  So excited.  Time to write Santa!

Levi:  Mom, how you write, big, black truck?
Me:  B-I-G  B-L-A-C-K  T-R-U-C-K

And then I go on to explain to Levi that those cost a lot of money and what else would he like Santa to bring???  He does need a new scooter!  Wouldn't that be nice?  Well yes.  Levi acknowledges that he needs a new scooter but he wants a big, black truck.

Christmas came.  First of all, do you have any idea how hard it is to buy gifts for a native who has special needs and the usual 'toys' don't even come up on the radar??  Unless it is a big, black truck.  Every year The SM and I wrack our brains trying to find things that Levi will think are awesome and aren't the same thing year after year.  And year after year, we pretty much get him the same things.  Because it is what he wants.  Rope.  Carabiner.  Another helium tank for balloons.  More handkerchiefs because one can never have too many bright bandanna handkerchiefs to wave around like flags...............  

It doesn't get a whole lot more exciting than that.  The awesome thing is he's thrilled!  He loves getting the same thing year after year.  Because it is a constant.  It isn't change.  Levi doesn't like change.  Unless it is of the monetary kind and then I ask that you all keep your hands close to your change or you will find it taken when you least expect it.  How Levi's piggy bank continues to grow full of change is beyond me and a blog post for another day.

January 1, 2015.  First item of business.  Levi is watching me build a fire.  It's cold.  I'm freezing.  I notice Levi out of the corner of my eye rummaging around looking for something.  He then comes and sits by me.  I'm not paying particular attention.  I'm too busy starting a fire.

Levi: Mom, how you write, big, black truck?
Me:  (I look over and notice he's found a marker and some construction paper).  Why?
Levi:  I need ta write Santa.
Me:  But you got a really nice scooter from Santa!
Levi:  How you write, big black truck?
Me:  Sigh.........  B-I-G  B-L-A-C-K  T-R-U-C-K

The letter is written and promptly placed in the fire I've just built.  Levi looks at me with satisfaction and as he's walking away says, "I want a big, black truck".

Yes, Levi.  I know.  Nothing's changed............