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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Out With the Old, In With the New!

I've been thinking about 2014 as it comes to a close.  2014 was hard.  In a lot of ways.  I remember at the beginning of the year thinking that I was really really disliking 2014 and the way it was continuing.  Several times through out the year I was ready for it to be over.

Looking back on 2014, there were some really big amazing things that happened (Mr. T going on a mission being one of them.......).  Looking back, I realize that the things that seemed so hard and were difficult going through them, in the grand scheme of things, compared to the amazing things that happened, have in fact, made 2014 a pretty incredible year!

There were a couple of things that we went through and are still going through that are hard but, as 2015 begins, I have decided that rather than choosing to be bogged down by the hard things, there are bigger and better things to focus on.  Like, a loving Heavenly Father who knows the beginning from the end and is in charge so I don't have to worry and stress!

Speaking of fathers........ when I was home for Thanksgiving, my Dad was out using his snow blower.  He had this ridiculous knit excuse for a hat perched on the top of his head.  It didn't even come down and cover his ears!  What's a daughter to do.............  so I knit him a new hat that will cover his ears.  As seen being modeled by Mr. J.

Throw out the old useless hat Dad!!!  And yank on the new!

Here's my 2015 wish.  May our noses not be drippy and if they are, may they be drippy from playing in the cold and from tears of joy and laughter!!  And what ever you do, if your Mum points a camera at you, do not!  Do NOT I tell ya!!  Crack a smile!  It's forbidden.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Adventure Is Out There!

I have no clue why I think this but, I have this tiny inkling that this little native just might, perhaps, just maybe,............. be an engineer when he grows up.  Just like his daddy.

I absolutely love watching what Mr. J and his creativity.  What he comes up with on his own with card board boxes is so delightful!  He gets so excited when he sees the local UPS man come with a delivery.  He could care less what is in the box, he just wants the box.  He told me recently that I needed to order some more things and would I order big things so he could have big boxes?

I adore the steering wheel.  It turns.  I adore that he has a flashlight inside that he can turn on and it becomes a headlight.  I adore that he found a corner of a smaller box and cut it out to hold the steering wheel.  I adore the hat and goggles made from canning lids, rubber bands, and pipe cleaner.

I adore this native.

P.S.  I don't adore the plastic in the back that was dumped out of the boxes but I do adore the coats and snow pants hanging in  front of the fireplace drying from outside adventures.  Trying to decide if I adore all of the pillows and blankets piled everywhere because we've all been sick all holiday...... don't adore being sick........ but adore our time spent together............

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Which Way Do You Face?

Ever since I saw Wabi (go here to see her wax ornament tutorial) make bees wax ornaments a few years ago, I have been dying to try to make some of our own.

When The SM became a bee keeper, I was thrilled beyond giddy!  Save the wax for me!

Last year I bought a nativity cookie cutter set for another project.  I haven't actually made cookies with it.  Somehow, I can't bring myself to bite into and eat a little baby Jesus cookie.  Anyone else find that weird?  But!

It was perfect for making ornament molds.  Okay, I did feel a tidge a lot  guilty for poking holes in everyone's heads but I couldn't figure out how to hang them other wise.

So, hopefully I'll be forgiven for that.  If anyone has some fantastic idea on how to hang these on my tree without poking a hole through their heads, by all means!  I'm listening!

P.S. Can I just say, making ornaments out of fresh beeswax is beyond heavenly!  It smells divine!  Even now, I'm sitting here sniffing my ornaments!  I had no idea beeswax could smell like this!  I'm hooked.  Sunk!  I want to make more things out of this bees wax!

My only complaint with the cookie cutter set is that there are no shepherds.  A sheep has to have a shepherd!  There is only one wise man but we just poured wax into the wise man cookie cutter three times.  No biggie.  Personally, I adore the camel.  The donkey kind of looks like a Scottie dog....?

This is our neighbor gift this year.  Wrapped in a clear plastic bag.  You make these labels to wrap around 'Treasures'.  Kind of fitting, don't you think?  I got the idea from this site.  I just love it when other people share their talents and ideas with people like me who are a bit "challenged".

Merry CHRISTmas to all of you!  As the day draws closer, I hope all of us can remember what the true Gift is and find ourselves turning our hearts and our minds towards that Gift.  God bless us, everyone.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Philippines! Love This Kid!

This week was a very very crazy week. Yes indeed it was.  With Christmas coming, transfers, and other responsibilities it has been awesome.  Seriously.  I love being a missionary.  These last few weeks we have spent a lot of time finding investigators.  And we have!  We have so many investigators right now we cant get to them all.  Every hour is filled with us going to members, less actives, recent converts, investigators and other missionaries.  That is when you know good things are happening.  I have been really fasting and praying for this to happen and now we are praying our investigators will continue till baptism.  

We had an awesome awesome Christmas party this last Thursday.  Many many members came to the party (Sadly none of our investigators could make it).  There was food, dancing, singing, food, games, food and I think some more food.  I was able to bond with so many of the members.  At the very beginning though we had a brown out which left us in complete darkness.  That lasted almost 20 minutes but the show went on regardless.

The rest of the week went on really fast.  We were able to find many investigators that we will be coming back to this week.  I will let you know how that goes.  

Thursday was transfers day.  Though I did not transfer I did become the new District Leader.  I have 6 Elders and 2 Sisters in my district.  Some duties of the District leader is to collect all the numbers and to give them to the Zone Leaders, interview people for baptism (Thats very interesting), lead district meeting, and a few others.  The biggest one for me is interviewing investigators for baptism.  I was able to do that on Saturday.  It was my first interview ever so that was pretty new to me.  The Sisters called me up and we set up an appointment.  The investigator was a small boy of 9 years of age.  He was awesome!  He was incredibly shy because I was three times his height and was a foreigner but little by little we were just a chatting away.  He loves Legos.  Loved him right then.  He will be baptized this coming Christmas with  my investigator!

There has been something on my mind this past week that I think is very true.  I tend to look at myself now and from before my mission and I really must say I am not the same person anymore.  One of my favorite sayings is simply "what more can I do."  Its a very simple saying but I think it really makes the difference.  Another thing I am learning is the phrase "I can do it."  One of the amazing blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the power to change.  I have looked back on my life so many times and seen how much more I could have done.  Which then I look forward and try to do better. There were so many things I could have done before my mission such as school, family, friends, sports, my faith, and on and on.  But what is so awesome is we can now look to the future and grow.  Instead of just looking back and saying, 'oh, I could have done that better', or, 'I can't do that' the reality is we can.  Its the process of life really.  Because of the Atonement and Gods Grace we can move bit by bit, step by step, precept upon precept.  I read an amazing talk by Brad Wilcox the other day about Grace.  I highly highly recommend it.  So many times we fail in the gospel, in our faith.  Its aggravating really.  But we can keep trying and keep progressing.  Here is that talk by the way.
Just copy and paste that.

Thats all I really have for today.  I wish you all a merry Christmas!!  I hope it snows for all of you that can get snow.....I cant....but Merry Christmas!!  May we share the spirit with Christmas with everyone and remember the gifts of the spirit that we have from God.  Pasko na!!

Well, I love you so so much and all that good stuff and I will see you very very soon!  Till then!

Elder Rubow

Saturday, December 20, 2014


The missionaries that Elder Rubow is serving with right now.
I love you too!!  one more week!  So I am hoping to skype you on Christ
mas day here.  I dont have times yet but I do need all the information next week so I can call you.  I dont really know how skype works but this will be interesting.  the time might either be very early for you or very late.  I dont know just yet.  Can't wait to see how this goes!!  I miss you tons!  Here is your letter!

This week has had a lot of success and some not very good success!  Christmas is coming way faster then I thought!  I am very excited for the next two weeks for so many reasons.  Ill just start at the top.  Last Monday was normal.  It was Elder H------- last P-day before he went home so we spent some time with him.  (We have 4 elders in the apartment, he is one of them) The La Puz Elders also came with us.  They invited us to one of the members in their area.  She ended up being a old nanay.  She was deaf but that did not stop her from talking our ears off.  She just kept a grinning with her toothless gums and telling us about all the other old members of the ward.  Super hilarious.  Later that night we went with a member from Bacolod with us to a birthday party.  It was the birthday party of one of the members.  We ended us having quite the reunion.  I have been at this members house many a time but it was Elder T--------- first time.  One of the sons from this family had just gotten back from his mission and had actually baptized my companion.  Way awesome!  Later that day, my companion told me that he really wanted to stay in the mission now.  Huge breakthrough!

Tuesday was pretty normal.  We went out to eat at Mang Inasal (barbecue place) and while we were there there was a brownout.  So all the lights went out and all the fans so smoke from the fires started to fill the place....the food was still good though!  Out of the ordinary though!  We revisited one of our potential investigator in the evening and it turns out she was a witch.  She invited us through the gate of her house and we started doing basic talking so we could get to know her.  We got to know her.  And we aren't going back.  I wish I could tell the whole story but I have so little time so long story short, she started talking about spirits, reading our palms, talking about other dark things and then wanted us to go print pictures of ourselves so she could do some other things.  Fun stuff!

Wednesday was our mission Christmas party.  But before we could go to that we went to a service activity.  It was at a local gym where we prepared relief goods for the people that are suffering from Typhoon Ruby.  That was a ton of fun and I also go the name Rice King....don't know how but that what they all called me.  We spent 3 hours doing that before we returned and got ready for the party.  The party was a lot of fun!  All the missionaries came to the mission home and we all played games, danced, ate good food, fire danced (that was way cool), presents, and so forth.  We were all sad to see it end.

Thursday was back to work.  We went back to the Relief Goods service again to help out.  I still have bruises from that.  I learned that rice is indeed very heavy.  As I believe I said last week, we have been focusing mostly on Less Actives.  That has been most of our teaching as of late.  We have been spending a good part of our days tracting.  Not the best way to get investigators I have been learning.  

Friday we had a meeting with Bishop.  He fed us wonderful food and we talked about the upcoming ward party and how we were going to contribute.  That will be on the 18th.

Saturday was more preparation for the upcoming Christmas parties.  We are going to be singing a couple of Christmas songs in Tagalog.  I am pretty excited! 

Sunday was pretty awesome.  One of our Less Active families went to church again!  So that was really awesome!  Then we had the Christmas Devotional from Salt Lake City.  That was way awesome!  I loved the music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  

Anyway that has been our week.  Christmas is right around the corner and so is 2015.  I am way excited for that!  Christmas is a huge part of the Philippines!  Everyone is going to parties, setting up decorations, working hard to get a bit more money, and so forth.  Though there is not any snow it is definitely Christmas.  It has been really funny trying to describe snow to the people.  I wish you all luck in your daily lives and remember Jesus Christ as the center of this season.  For God so loved YOU that he sent His only begotten-son.  That all whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  He is the gift.  And His gift is the Atonement.  It has your name on it, and it is from God.  

Elder Rubow
A Representative of Jesus Christ

Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekly Philippines Letter

As Christmas fast approaches, I can't help but look at this photo, at those who have so little, and not be appreciative of how blessed my little family is.  We have so much!

Elder Rubow on left and Elder Hopkins on right.
This last week has been mostly a lot of preparation.  Preparing for Christmas, and preparing for typhoon Ruby.  Though some members call it typhoon Rubow.  Go figure.  Anyway, ill start with the first.  One thing I did not expect here was Christmas Lights.  They are everywhere lighting up the roads at night and it looks really cool.  Every house right now has some tree, tinsel, lights, signs, and so forth.  I really love the Christmas spirit here.  They have been preparing for Christmas since September.  Its coming really fast.

The typhoon was supposed to hit on Sunday so we only worked for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday.  Then we waited....and waited...and waited and it never came.  Ended up not hitting our area so we are all good here.  Sacrament meeting was canceled as well.

This week was mostly spent finding.  We have very few people to teach right now so we went searching for Less Active and new investigators.  And we have found a few of them.  We don't know if any of them will progress at this point but we certainly hope so.  With Christmas coming up so soon very few people have been had time to listen to us.  Everyone is busy busy busy apparently.  I am expecting more things to happen after Christmas.  We have one baptism this month and we are planning for 5 more next month.  

One of the biggest highlights of the week though was teaching Less Active families.  The Assistant to the President worked with me two weeks back and one thing he told me to do was to start finding Less Active Families.  So this last week that was our focus.  While teaching a few of these lessons, I really focused on the Holy Ghost.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most basic principles that is also essential for not only our salvation, but our daily growth.  

I've come to see the five steps of the Gospel 1.Faith 2. Repentance 3. Baptism 4. The Holy Ghost 5. Endure to the End) not as steps but as a cycle.  We focus a lot on Baptism and Endure to the End I feel.  It might just be me though.  One of my favorite scriptures on the Holy Ghost is in John 14.  Jesus Christ teaches about the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost.  With Christmas coming up, we are all focusing on gifts.  Gifts we want and gifts to give.  One gift that we can receive is the Holy Ghost.  After baptism by proper authority we can all receive this wonderful gift from God.  In Doctrine and Covenants, we learn that Eternal Life is the greatest of all the Gifts of God.  But to be able to receive that gift we need the Holy Ghost in our lives always.  But we also need to qualify for that gift.  We must be worthy of His presence, which is why we first need to have Faith, then Repent, then be Baptized or the renewal of, and then we can have His presence so we can Endure.  So as this Christmas lets remember this wonderful gift the Lord has given us.  Thanks again for all the many prayers in my behalf and I pray for you as well.  Have a good week!

Elder Rubow

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Two Letters From the Philippines!

I'm behind with posting Elder Rubow's letters!  So, you get two today.  One from a week ago, and one from this past Sunday. It's a lot of reading but if you can make it all the way through to the end you will see why I love my boy so much.  He had a difficult experience and then what he does with it, this kid cracks me up!!!   Reminds me that he is still just 19 years old.  Both a man and a boy still.  Here is his letter from November 23rd 2014: 

If there is one big thing that I am learning from this mission, it is patience.  A lot of patience, humbleness and love.  My companion has really been having a hard time this past week.  I don't blame him really.  One very interesting thing I have been learning this past week though is how important it is to be positive and desire to be successful.  Just saying 'I Can Do It' has a lot of power.  If you don't think you can do something, you are right.  On the other hand, if you think you cant then you won't.  A positive outlook even when things are looking impossible can push you through things you did not think possible. Especially when you have the Lord with you.  Nothing is impossible with Him.  Yes, sometimes we have to do hard things but when we overcome hardships we will become truly successful and so much more prepared in the future.  Which brings me to my next thing. Preparation. 

A very big thing we do as missionaries is set goals and make plans.  Constantly we are planning to achieve our goals.  When we prepare correctly and make plans we can usually achieve such plans.  One thing I realize is I was incredibly good at setting goals before my mission.  But I was downright horrible at planning so I never reached many of the goals I had set.  Like the Prophet Joseph Smith said,

"When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel..."

Thats pretty well true with life!  There is now way we can reach our goals or wishes in life without setting a plan to accomplish that goal.  

We did have some sad things happen this week though.  Many of our investigators dropped us this week and did not want anything to do with us anymore.  Its always a sad day when that happens.  We have a lot of finding we are doing now.  We have found a few new investigators that we will be teaching this week.

Last Saturday we had splits with the Assistant to the President.  I must say that was the best day I have had teaching.  I never realized how important it is to have a good companion where we can both testify and teach in unity.  He taught me a lot of things in the short time we had and how I can improve which is always awesome!  I hope to be able to really focus on teaching the members, part member families, and less actives for the next two months.  We have a lot of work to do with Less actives.

Thats been my week in a nutshell.  I hope your are doing amazing as well and things are going great!  Remember to always be living the gospel to your best, and God will take care of the rest.  Seek ye first the kingdom of God and everything will be added unto you.  God knows you and loves you so very much and wants you to be happy.  He also knows what will make you happier and stronger.  Every trial we go through is essential for our eternal salvation.  Keep you face toward Zion and turn not astray.  I know Jesus is the Christ and that He lives.  That through His Atonement, all mankind may be saved.  All.  I love declaring His Word and serving others.  Thank you for your prayers in behalf of this work and I am praying for you as well.  Stay positive and look for good.  Those who search will find.  Whether it be good or bad, so search for good!  I leave these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Rubow
A representative of Jesus Christ.

Elder Rubow's Thanksgiving dinner that he and his fellow American missionaries made.  
 Letter from November 30, 2014:

I cannot believe how fast November went and now it is December already.  Christmas is already on the horizon and will be here very quickly.  To start off, we have been spending a lot of our time trying to find new investigators to teach and to preach to.  We have actually found a fair number and this next week we will be following up on them.  We did have Thanksgiving!  There is three Americans here in Lapaz so of course we whipped up the patatoes, got the gravy,  got the chicken (turkey is expensive), got the chips and all sat around the table and gave thanks and all that good stuff.  My companion (mommy note:  his companion is Filipino) was a little confused for that part but he seemed to enjoy it.  Made us very happy and thankful indeed for chicken!  Haha, we tried pie but nobody could figure out what we were looking for.  Americans and their pies...

So last Sunday I had a really cool experiance.  Lately our bishop has had some health problems and he texted me to give him a blessing.  So after church we hurried over there and Elder ---------- helped in giving his first blessing.  He annointed and I sealed.  The blessing was so simple but so powerful and afterward Bishop looked twice as better. I love being a missionary!

We also had another two baptisms! So awesome and happy!  Baptism day is the most stressfull and relaxing day.  Stressful before and awesome after!  One boy and one girl.  The boy is 17 and the girl is 15!  Elder ------- and Elder ------- baptized them.  They are two other elders in our area.  It was way awesome.

The big story of the week happend yesterday actually.  I went to jail!!  Whoo! So...long story short due to drinking and arguing.  (Mommy note:  Not Elder Rubow!  Mr. T was not drinking.  The less active members of the church were.  Just thought I'd clarify as drinking alcohol is against our religion).  One of our less active members killed their land owner and they called me and so forth so I was there for a while.  So now we wait to see what happens to her and the family and so forth.  But good news!  While at the jail I talked to a few of the people in jail and we ended up getting 6 more investigators whoo!  

Sorry gid.  I have little time today so it will have to be short.  One big thing I have learned though from all this is simply following the commandments.  We all sometimes see the rules and just that rules.  But what we dont see is why they are there till afterward.  God knows all things and loves us all so much!  Instead of saying we can't do these things lets say we won't do those things because if we know that following the commandments always brings better blessings. Thanks again and I miss ya tons!  Till next week!

Elder Rubow  

(Mommy note:  I told Elder Rubow that when the Savior was on the earth, He spent His time in the prisons and slums and that is where He would be today if He were here on the earth.  Trevor is doing that which he is representing!  As a representative of our Savior, teaching those in prison about the light and goodness of the gospel and the joy that it can bring to them, he is doing exactly that.  So proud of this kid!!!)
Another baptism!!
Elder Rubow is standing to the left of the missionary in all white pointing his finger at the girl being baptized.  (He's standing between the two men dressed in all white).  He looks so good to me!!!  I'm laughing at the basketball in this photo.  What?  They had a baptism and then played basketball?  That would be very typical of my son.  All work and no play makes life very dull indeed.  Mr. T has always been good at bringing in the 'play' while we work.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Knit Pickin'

I had to post this photo of these socks for Miss Wabi.  She'd posted some on her blog (click here to see them.  Her photo is way better as it is featuring little gnome feet.) so yeah..... this is for you Wabi!

This is supposed to be a sleeve.  If all goes well.............. 
 Anyway!  It is that time of year.  That time crunch time when the holidays are fast approaching and all the time in the world that you thought you had to make home made gifts is running out and...

Front and back of what is hopefully going to be the sweater that the above sleeve will be attached to when I finish both sleeves.  That is the plan...........  me and plans........ we don't always go together accordingly.  I'll keep you posted.
 You wonder what in tarnation you were thinking because you do this ever. single. year!

I find it impossible to knit something without writing all over the pattern.  Can you??  If you can, how do you keep it all together?  I can't keep anything together!

Proof!!  I went to download photos of my knitting and found THIS!  Youngest native so excited about the tower he'd built apparently took my camera and documented it!  Only, his tower is blurry and my disgusting bathroom is in full focus.

This, my friends, is my life in a nutshell!  The once, your house is so clean you can eat off of your kitchen floor!!!!......... is now reduced to, (I'm yelling from another place in the house so this is why all caps) DON'T FORGET TO CHECK THE SEAT BEFORE YOU SIT DOWN AND THERE ARE CLOROX WIPES ON THE BACK OF THE TOILET IF THERE IS A MESS FOR WHICH  I AM SORRY!  WELCOME TO MY WORLD!!!  Oh, and while you're at it Cloroxing my toilet for me, can you just Clorox the entire bathroom?  Thanks for visiting me!  Come again soon!  GO CUBS!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Weekly Letter From the Philippines!

Elder Rubow and his two 'brothers' he's grown to love over in the Philippines.  
 Transfers week!!  And it is going to be the hardest two transfers of my mission.  I am a trainer!  or here in the mission tatay.  My companion just arrived to the mission on thursday and it has been a roller coaster ever since.  My companion is elder -----------.  He is a Filipino and guess what, he cannot speak english or the mission language so President told me to teach him english.  whooo!  Im pretty stoked for that.  This last week went by very fast.  We are mostly focusing those investigators that are preparing for baptism.  We have two for this week and it should be awesome!  They are both very awesome and very close friends.  We have one more for the 29th of this month and we are hoping for up to 3-4 more for next month.  So yes things are going well.  I am so glad that I have this opportunity to be able to train this missionary.  Yes it will be challenging but we can do it.  so short letter for today.  Thanks for all you do!  you are a child of God. Yes we all do have trials but those are the true testing points so we can prove ourselves.  I love ya and  I hope to hear from you next week!

Elder Rubow

Elder Rubow and his new companion.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Depression and Suicide

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10  nkjv)

Not a very exciting topic, is it?  Depression.  Suicide.....

I read a book recently called, "Life, In Spite of Me:  Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice" by Kristen Jane Anderson, Tricia Goyer   It's a very eye opening read.  A book full of hope.  There has been one thing that has stuck out to me the most and I can't seem to forget even though I read this book awhile ago, and that is this:

The author is a teenage girl who while struggling with depression, decides to end her life by laying down on the tracks of an oncoming train.  She thankfully, isn't successful but does end up losing her legs.  As she comes to in the hospital, she is surrounded by family and loved ones.  They all tell her how much they love her, how grateful they are that she is still with them, that God loves her........  and she wonders to herself, "Where were you when I needed to hear this before?  When I needed to hear these things before, why didn't you tell me these things?"

Where were you??  This has resonated in my mind.  Where am I?  Where am I when my loved one's and friends need to hear that they are loved and cared about?  Do I tell those around me that I love them?  That I appreciate them?  Do I tell them to their face?  Do I reach out my arms and hug enough?

I know that I can do better......

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Brag Post.

I have been sharing emails with you from my son Mr. T (second eldest son) who is serving a mission for our church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and bragging about how proud I am of my son.

Mr. B, is my eldest son and it is his turn for me to brag about him.   Mr. B is fighting a battle.  A battle for his life.  Literally.  He has started a blog and is writing about this fight.  I've not talked about Mr. B and the struggles he's had over the years because of privacy but since he has chosen to write about what he is going through and has gone through, I can now stand here in as a proud parent and tell you how much I love this boy who has struggled for so long with an addiction to pornography.  Yes, my son has a sexual addiction.  Yes, my son has struggled with depression.  Yes, my son has struggled with thoughts and attempts of suicide.  This has been a long battle that started when he was about 8 or 9.  He is now 21 in December and still fighting.

Mr. B has started his blog knowing that he will be judged.  He will be shunned by those who pretended to be his friend.  He might even be harassed/bullied.  He knows this.  But, despite knowing this, he is picking himself up, standing up, looking the world in the face, and saying, "I have an addiction.  I've let it beat me for years.  It stops now".

There have been many battles in this war Mr. B is fighting.  It is wearying.  It is exhausting.  As his mother, I have watched him, cried with him, held him, worried over him, lost sleep over him, prayed over him, and never stopped loving him.  I am proud of my son.  Yes, my son has an addiction.  It's a difficult addiction, but this addiction does not define my son.

My son, Mr. B is kind, sensitive, caring, hard working, and an example to all of being a fighter and not giving up.

Have I mentioned how proud I am of my son?!  I am.  I am SO proud of Mr. B!  He brings me and The SM and our family such joy.

His blog if you'd like to read/follow and encourage him in his fight:

Just a warning.  It is honest and brutal.  Mr. B doesn't hold back.  It may come across offensive to some.  And that's okay.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

This Week's Letter From the Philippines

So....I was planning on catching you...but the world had other plans!  We had a service project for one of our investigators which lasted till about 12 here.  We are repairing his porch which was destroyed a good month ago.  Twas pretty fun!  Working with bamboo was a new experience  for sure!  I am so thankful now for the nails in america.  You think those bend easily?  Try it here haha!

So Halloween looked pretty fun!  I hope everyone had fun!  Ours was just another work day.  So I am not ever going to promise that I will be there but I really hope next week I will.  (Mommy note: On the Internet to chat with me which not gonna lie, is the highlight of my week!)  So by next week I will have a new companion and I may very well be training him.  It will be a very interesting week!  Ill find outThursday.  So here is the weekly fun and I love you and everyone and I hope to catch you next week!  Love ya!!

So big hurray!  I am done with training!  Its been a good 12 weeks and now its time to move on.  My trainer will be leaving this coming Thursday which means that I will be getting a new companion.  And from what I have heard I have a very big chance of training..I am super excited actually!  I have a long way to go and I really hope that this will increase my language a ton in the next two transfers. But then again, we will not know until Thursday!  

Well, to start of the week last Monday was a very fun!  It was a mutli zone 'olympics'  Every district represented a country and we all competed in certain events.  It was way fun!  We had ping-pong, basketball, races and so forth.  At the end we had an award ceremony for everyone.  After that we got ready for the week such as food.  Tuesday was also very fun!  We had our regular district meeting and right after we were all invited to a wedding that was about to start.  And of course weddings mean food so how could we decline?  I must say, the food was very good!    Oh, and of course it was nice seeing two people getting married.  Jokes lang!!  It was very interesting wedding and everyone was happy and laughing.  I have had the excellent opportunity to be friends with a lot of the people at the wedding.  Im very glad we had the opportunity to be there.

Wednesday and Thursday was a blur!  I hardly remember what happened.  We have been really focusing on a few of our investigators that are getting ready for baptism this coming month.  Brother -------- and Sister ------- WILL be baptized on Nov. 15.  They were very clear on the will.  Then Brother --------- will follow on the 29th.  We are hoping for a lot more for December so we can have a 'white Christmas'  We have 5 investigators that we are aiming to be baptized on the 25th.  I am aiming to double or even triple that number within the next 3 weeks.  Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

Friday was Halloween!  But since we dont have Halloween here I got some candy.  We had some good success with a few of our investigators but a lot of them are hitting the trials point and are dropping.  Its always the saddest part of serving a mission when a investigator either one, calls and says they are done, or 2, just stops progressing.  We have a lot more finding and searching to do now.  We are hoping that the ward will produce more referrals for us.  Thats always the best!  They usually already have a head start and do very well in the church.  

Saturday was the real holiday.  Its called 'All Saints/Souls Day'  Everyone goes to the cemetery to remember their ancestors or close friends who have passed away.  Then they go home and make deep Filipino food called 'suman'  Basically sticky rice with sugar.  Its pretty good stuff actually!  Aroz ala valenciana is another one that was very good!  I cant really describe it though.  Its mostly just meat and rice.  I need to figure out how to make it because it is really good!  Then at night they put candles out as an invitation for their ancestors to come in and they have a plate of food left out for them as well.  The ants eat very well on this day I must say.  :)  Since everyone was gone we had very little success this day.  

Sunday was very good as well!  We had an awesome broadcast by Elder Dallin H. Oaks for the Philippines.  It was very strong and full of love!  I love how clear he is when speaking.  He spoke mostly on the culture of the Philippines and how we can make it more in harmony of the gospel culture of Jesus Christ.  Twas very well done.  

And that ends the week!  I am so thankful again for this opportunity to serve the people here in the Philippines!  It is so much fun and I learn so much from these people.  I love being a missionary!  

Elder Rubow 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Philippines. No Photos. Don't Need Em. Good Stuff!

October 27, 2014

(Mommy note:  I love how each week his English gets worse and worse.  Means he's learning the languages quickly over there in the Philippines!) 

So....sorry but I dont have any pictures for you this week. My batch mate is using it right now week lang. :) Sorry for missing you! We had a awesome Zone Activity before transfers. It was the Missionary Olympics. (My district won.) It was way fun! But we didnt get done till about 2pm here which is way past midnight over there. So...yeah! I hope everything is going alright. I have indeed been getting some mail though! I don't know how much I actually get though and if some is just missing or you forgot so I hope you are saving them all. Ill send you my weekly email so you can know what up though. Its been very interesting week. I finally got your spill on Elder Bednars talk or book or thing. It was very good! I am going to look into it some more. So next time we talk it will be November....then December....then Christmas....I am looking forward to being able to talk to you all! My english is downright terrible though so dont be laughing at me. Ummm....Not too much is new this week. I love you so much as well! All of yall! For you information. I have no idea when I can get on the cpus. I try to get here but we have had a bunch of activities lately. I don't think we have one next week so we should be able to chat next week unless an emergency happens. I doubt something will though. Anyway, floods are fun! Playing frogger with real frogs is fun! And its all fun. Im hoping to pick up fishing here too! We shall see how that goes though. We can though! Its not bawal! Love ya!!

This week was a very strange but pretty fun week! I am finishing up my training now which is amazing! It seems just like yesterday since we got here on the island and now we are leading our areas. The week started off with a District activity in Lapaz B. We all got together around the ocean and played games, made amazing food, and just enjoyed eachothers company. It was way fun! Then Elder -------- got sick. He was incredibly sick for three days so we did not teach a single lesson for those three days. But very interesting, we got one of our recent investigators back! He had a baptismal date of the 25th of October but did not pass the interview due to a small problem with the Word of Wisdom. He was rather upset and decided that he no longer wanted to see us. This is not the first time it has happened to us. But! He is the first to return. He actually found out where we lived from a member and brought us a little bit of food because he had also heard Elder ------- was sick. (He is fine now) He completely apologized for saying what he did and wanted to come back. So of course we were really happy and we are teaching him again now. Super awesome!

Thursday my companion got better and we went back to work! It is always nice to be outside and working! Firday my companion went down a bit again but it was only a small problem. Then the fun started. The last few days my companion and I have split. Elder ------------ with one member and I with another. I was with two people, Brother Mark, a recent convert to the church, and Brother Jarod, a 14 year old teacher in the Ward. We had a ton of fun! I learned a lot of new words and grammar from them. We taught a less active family named the ---------- family. They used to be very strong members but have recently all together stopped. We taught them about the Temple, (a personal favorite lesson) And the power ofthe sealing power. But we need to be worthy to go to the temple. They have not been sealed together as a family yet. We committed them to go to church on Sunday and they said that they would....they didnt. But I feel like that lesson was a big step toward them coming back. I am very excited to see if we can help them gain back their testimonies. Lastly was kahapon, Sunday. We got up and immediately went to work. We again had splits so we could cover more ground. It was that night we had the biggest spiritual experience. It was at the -------- family. Brother ------------ wife passed away not too long ago. We went to the funeral and all. We went over and visited him for the benifit of his son. His son is a RM (returned missionary) but has gone inactive. His name is -------. We all sat together and started with the basic conversation and I was trying to think what lesson we were going to teach Brother Louie. I had planned to teach the restoration and about the Book of Mormon but it just did not seem right. I then had the impression to teach the Plan of Salvation. I laid out the little pictures to show the what the plan is and then we had a brown out. Basically that means no power for a while. So Brother ----------- got a bunch of candles and in the candle light we discussed the Plan of Salvation. The Spirit was there. I loved it. We talked about where we all came from, what is our purpose here in life, and the best part, where we can go after this life! We shared our testimonies, Brother ------- and I and we were about to leave when Brother ------------- said to wait a minute. He then with tears in his eyes thanked us. Since his wife had passed away has been very lonely and had forgotten exactly where we all go after this life. He then told us that he is now at peace knowing that his wife is no longer in pain and is waiting for him. He then told us that he would like a weekly visit from us and to continue teaching him about Gods Plan.

And how glorious is that plan! It is so perfect. And so full of love. We have no need to fear what happens after this life! As long as we follow the Savior of us all can return to Him and partake of a fullness of joy! I am so thankful for the Saviors atoning sacrifice for all of us. Without it we could not progress. It is what redeems us from the Fall of mankind. I am forever indebted to Him for that.

Well, I just want to thank you for all you have done for me and those around you. We all have a purpose in life. Stand tall, Stay firm. And hold on to that rod of iron. Kabalo ako nga kabuhi si Jesu Kristo, nga polanga ka sang Dios. Kag kun kita magsunod ni Jesu Kristo, magbaton kita walay katapuson.

Elder Rubow

Saturday, November 1, 2014


I had a realization this week.  A dumb one.  A lame one.  Which makes it being a big deal to me just plain stupid.  No, seriously!  It's stupid, only...... I have to convince myself of that.  That I am making a bigger deal than this 'thing' really is.

So, here's the deal Sparky!  It's Zoe.  The service dog.  I'm used to Levi having special needs.  I love him.  Everything about him.  I don't mind that he has a dog.  In fact, I love that it results in people coming up and talking to him because of his dog.  "His" dog....

Only..... Zoe isn't just Levi's dog.  She's mine too.  I hate admitting that.  I feel vulnerable.  When I am out and about by myself with Zoe, people ask me all of the time who I am training her for, what she is being trained for, etc.  And I get all red in the face.  I have no problem saying she is for my son who has autism.  It is way easier to say he has autism than to go into the whole spiel about what he really has and that autism is a side affect.  Autism is something people recognize.  No biggie!

"Oh how sweet"!  Yeah.  Isn't it?!  It's the other part.  Admitting that she is also a service dog for me.  For my seizures.  Why is that so hard to admit to people?  Because they all of a sudden look at me different.  Wow.  That hurts.  It shouldn't.  But it does.  And, it hurts that I even have to go there, ya know?  That I even have seizures now.  I don't want pity.  I don't like standing out and having people approach me all of the time now.  People stare.  I'm no longer just another face in the crowd. Everything takes a lot longer.  Can't just go to the grocery store and run in and out because everyone wants to talk to me about the dog and then, me all red faced saying she's for my son and not wanting to admit she's also for me so I leave that part out...........

I'm an outgoing person.  On my terms.  Having Zoe with me all of the time now, nothing is on my terms anymore.  I'm either stared at, talked about (children mostly squealing and bringing the dog in public to their parents attention-I don't mind them), or approached and asked questions.  My favorite are the people who think because I have a dog, I must be slow and hard of hearing.  Those I get a good chuckle at.

Vulnerable.  That is how this all makes me feel.  I don't like feeling vulnerable.  And yet, the whole purpose of Zoe for Levi is to draw people to him.  Well, one of the purposes.  Like I said, with him, I'm totally cool with it.  It's me that I'm not cool with.  Who knew I was so insecure?!

Which is stupid!!  And there is my confession!

Monday, October 27, 2014

My Mumbling Bumbling Thoughts

With Levi being so sick, The SM and I have been taking turns sleeping with him.  Last night, it was my turn.  Levi has been down on the couch.  I had The SM help me get out the blow up mattress and set me up a nice little bed next to him.  As I tried to get some sleep, I listened to Levi's breathing.  His breathing since being sick has been very labored, loud, and fast.  As I dozed off and on, his breathing was always in the background.  And then, it wasn't.  I jerked awake realizing that I couldn't hear him breathing anymore.  I jumped off the mattress and felt his chest.  Nothing.  I felt his tummy to see if it was going up and down with his breaths.  Nothing.  I think I said aloud, but I'm not sure, I know I thought it, "Dear God in Heaven please, no"! and I shook Levi.

Levi made a noise.  A complaint maybe, rolled over, and went back to sleep.  The reassuring sleep I'd been listening to earlier.  The rapid loud breaths.  And I breathed a prayer of thanks.  I don't know if Levi had stopped breathing and I was warned by a Heavenly Being and jerked awake to shake him to get him started again, goodness knows there have been many times in the past where that has happened, or if he was just breathing shallow.  Either way, a prayer of thanks that Levi is with us yet another day.

When Levi was little, I felt like I couldn't let him out of my sight for a second.  I was so worried about losing him.  It took me a long time to finally come to the place where I could place him in God's hands and realize that no matter how good of a mother I could be, when it was time for Levi to go back home, there was nothing I could do about it.

That was huge for me.  It gave me permission to be able to put Levi in his crib, turn out the light, shut the door, and go and sleep in my bed.  Each night, I would (and still do) pray asking that he be watched over.  I also talk to my grandma that has passed to watch over my boy.

For so long I lived with the fear that I would lose Levi and yet, for so many years and continuing today, Levi has had many opportunities to be called home and he hasn't!  That was another realization that I had to come to.  As much time as I was spending worried about Levi leaving me, the Lord has shown me time and time again that it isn't his time!  Levi still has much to do here on earth and there have been countless times when I have been made aware of situations (like last night) when I would notice he'd stopped breathing and bounced him back, or the time he fell out of the second story window and landed in the only place under the window that didn't have the wood pile.  All around there was the wood pile and other things that would have ended his life had he fallen onto them but the one place that was grass..........  the list goes on and on!

So, this evening, as I thought about what happened last night and it hit me, the 'what could have happened', I allowed myself to have an emotional moment, took a deep breath, tearfully sent up another prayer of thanks, shook myself, and moved on..........  I think.........  the amount of emotional eating I've been doing this evening might say otherwise.  No judging.  We all have our coping mechanisms.

I'm not sure what I'm trying to say with this post.  Just working through some thoughts I've had this evening.  Thoughts that have resurfaced.  What ever my bumbling mumbling thoughts may be, there is one thing I know for sure and that is that we have a loving Father in Heaven who knows each one of us.  He loves us.  He knows us by name.  He knows this is hard, being a parent, for He is a parent, and no matter what happens....... all will be well.

The Parable of the Pot of Chili

Next to my bed is a little notebook.  I call it my, Blessings Notebook.  Each night, before I go to bed, I write in said notebook.  I think about the day and the miracles and blessings that have transpired and write them down.  So many times, when I pick up my notebook and pen, I think there really hasn't been anything that day, but as I think and ponder, thoughts come to my mind, and I find there are usually several!  Well, besides the usual blessings and miracles that miraculously happen each and everyday that I merrily take for granted!!

Last night, as I thought about the blessings for the day, I thought about the pot of chili.  It reminded me of the book, "Stone Soup".  You remember the story?  If not, you need to go back and read it.  Or, you can 'read' it here where The Natives acted it out.

Anyway, on Saturday, our neighborhood had a chili cook off.  We've had it every year for as long as I can remember.  It takes place over at our church and all are invited to come, have some chili and other goodies, and sit and talk.  The SM had signed up to make a pot of chili and I signed up to make some cornbread.  The day was a busy day which involved some scouting stuff and Levi getting sick.  Really sick.  Scary sick.  The SM made his pot of chili.  I didn't get around to the cornbread.  Not feeling guilty.  It's life.  I stayed home with Levi and cared for him while The SM took The Natives over to the church for dinner.  The SM was busy with helping set things up and helping little neighborhood children make balloon animals so his pot of chili didn't get set out right away.  In fact, his whole pot of chili didn't get set out until everyone had had their fill of chili.  He brought his pot of uneaten chili home with him later that evening.

Not a problem!  We've a big family!  It will get eaten quite soon.  Sunday came along and Levi was still sick.  Yay for us!  We've a whole pot of chili that is untouched!  I don't have to worry about fixing dinner.  I did hurry and whip up some cornbread to go with but that was mere minutes to do.  No biggie.  I get a text from a dear neighbor friend asking about Levi.  She is praying for him and wishes she could do more but is home with a migraine herself.  She suffers from migraines.  Nasty business.  I can handle most things but migraines........ they put me under!

Guess what?!  Stone Soup!!  I have a huge pot of chili and some cornbread!  We send some chili and cornbread down to her family.  There's enough for both of our families because The SM's pot of chili just 'happened' to not get put out until too late at the chili cook off.  Coincidence?  I think not.  On Saturday I thought, "What a shame people didn't get to enjoy The SM's chili".  On Sunday, I was thinking, "What a blessing that The SM's chili was untouched and we've some to give to a family in need"!  See how this works?

And then, I get a message from another dear neighbor worried about Levi.  How is he doing and she'll be bringing us dinner on Monday night.  Do we have any food allergies....

Stone Soup.  (Or a pot of chili) It's a blessing.  It keeps growing.

Monday, October 20, 2014

This Week's Letter From The Philippines!

Elder Rubow with his "brothers".  These young men have become family to him. 
A ship that is being unloaded.
Elder Rubow at the ocean.  He looks so good!!!
Baptism!  Elder Rubow is standing in the back,  far left.
So here is the weekly letter for you
So sorry!  I only have a short email this week.  Super busy here and I am out of time.  We invited 5 more people to be baptized within the next month and they accepted!  Things have slowed down a bit here but will be picking up again for sure!  We also had a baptism of -------------.  She is the first of her family but no doubt many will soon follow.  They are all very excited! We also had another funeral this last week.  Half the family was catholic and the other Mormon.  So the funural was split into two days.  The first day was a Mass.  I have never been to one of those before.  It was very interesting I must say.  The next day was the LDS funeral and burial.  The difference between the two was I must say very interesting.  

Well, sorry again to make it so short.  I am so thankful for the Plan of Salvation and how we can know where we are going after this life.  Now is the time to prepare to meet God.  May we do so now!  Do not procrastinate!  It is not worth it at all.  Go to the temple often if you can and for those who are preparing, continue!  The temple is such a wonderful blessing to us and helps us so much both in this life and the life to come.  Thanks again! 

Elder Rubow

I spent my whole time writing you.  I hope your happy! :D (We spent most of his email time chatting back and forth and yup!  It made me happy!!)
Also, please give my love to the Stones.(Elder Rubow's adopted grandparents and good friends of ours.)  I miss them so much!  Thanks!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Sunday's.  It's a mad rush getting all of the natives spit shined and polished before heading out the door to church.  I can remember when the natives were little, The SM, was at meetings before church, and me at home getting them all ready by myself.  Years of getting baby natives out the door by myself.  I would literally have an assembly line.  I'd throw all of the boys in the tub, grab the spray nozzle, and hose them all down.   I'm amazed I kept going to church!  There were so many Sunday's by the time I'd get to church and plop down in my bench, I would sit there in a daze.  Don't ask me what was taught, don't ask me what was sung, who knows!  I was too busy in a daze feeding cheerios and what not to the natives to keep them quiet and felt myself accomplished if I'd gotten myself dressed and actually remembered to zip up my dress before heading out the door!

I would have to remind myself time and time again, I'm not going to church for me right now, it's about the natives.  I'm going to church for them because darned if I was getting anything out of the meetings at that time!

That's life though isn't it?!  A lot of times, it's about doing the right thing regardless of what our bodies and thoughts and what nots want us to do.  We push through!

Sunday's.  I love Sundays.  I admit, I didn't use to!  As I see my natives grow up in the church though, I'm so glad for Sundays.  I'm so glad my parents taught me what comes first.  I'm so glad as I sit back and watch my natives take off on their own putting others and service of our God first.  Not to say they are perfect.  We aren't.  None of us are.

There is still a lot of monkeying around.  Lots and lots of monkeying around, and laughter.  I like the laughter the mostest.  And winning.  Man, I sure like to win!  And when I don't........  I pout, and then I say, BEST TWO OUT OF THREE!

P.S.  Did I mention naps?  Sunday naps are the best.  There's a reason Henny Penny isn't in any of these photos.....