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

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Elder Rubow Letter August 17, 2014

There's my boy!  Elder Trevor Rubow is in front on the left in his suit holding the corner of the Welcome sign.
He looks so happy!!!!
I seriously do not even know what to talk about right now....ITS CRAZY HERE!!  Ive been here in the Philippines for a bit over a week now and every time I walk out its a new crazy experience.  So I guess I will start at the top.  I arrived in Manila airport at around 1 AM and was taken to the Manila MTC.  Our group stayed for about 5 days except for Elder (editing name for privacy) who got sick and had to stay for a couple more days.  Driving here is a joke!!  There is no real speed limit, no lanes or any laws.  I saw a sign that said 'GET YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE HERE IN ONLY 5 DAYS!'  Crazy people...  Everyone here has a mortercycle though too so those are always whipping by.  Im surprised more people do not get hit.

  After 5 painful days of being in the Manila MTC we flew once again to Iloilo!!  I said goodbye to most of my friends who left to another mission and my Birthday experience had begun.  It was a pretty crazy day.  All of the office missionaries (Assistants to the President) and President Aquino and his wife picked us up from the little airport.  That was also the last real time I have both heard/spoken true English.  We then dodged cars and made it safely to city of Iloilo.  Once there we went through basic training and received resources for our missions.  I then proceeded to go teach my first family of whom I cannot remember their names...Ill find out later.  Elder (editing name for privacy) was my companion for that day and he was awesome!!  Very few people speak english here though so it was pretty hard to communicate effectivly.  The next day we finally split and I met my senior companion, Elder (name edit).  He has been incredibly helpful!  He is a Filipino from another island.  Pretty chill dude he is.  His laugh is so funny!  We get along fairly well, I just wish I could talk to him... Haha, its awesome!  

Before coming on my mission I was told I would learn both Illongo (Hiligaynon) and Tagalog.  I was not told I would be learning three more languages other then those two!  They are all different so I do wish for your prayers in this aspect.  Iloilo has 5 languages spoken here which is the most of any other mission.  I've mostly just been sharing my testimony because it is so hard to listen and follow the languages here.  Thankfully I am in a Illongo area so I can get by.  Um...yeah, its challenging but so worth it.  The people here are so positive!  In all the languages it is such a positive dialect.  There isn't a way to say I hate or dislike.  Its just a up beat positive language.

Now for the people, I can now see how everyone has different challenges in life.  The people here are so stinking humble you cannot help but love them!  I seriously love being here even though it is so different.  You can talk to anyone here and have a good discussion (if you can understand them).  The hard part is keeping their interest.  The people here are sadly very lazy and are very short sighted.  I have yet to see a strong minded person.  Its super easy to get someone to come to church but to keep them in church is near impossible.  To put this in perspective: Lapaz city has about 400 members of the church.  Strong right?  Sadly not, about 330 are less active and no longer come to church.  It is the same everywhere here.  Its so hard for them to think about the future and to see how the gospel blesses their lives.  Yes they will try but once the missionaries stop visiting they vanish.  There are very very few leaders here in the Philippines.  And finding them is even harder.  Before leaving on the Manila MTC I was charged to 'find the Amuleks' or people willing to lead the church here.  The next hardest thing is not offending people here.  They can have such a strong testimony here but if they are offended by some stupid reason they will leave.  And they feel quite reasonable in doing so.  Our Elder's Quorem leader left recently because the bishop 'offended' him.  Its pretty sad.  So, it is our job to "Rescue" the Philippines.  To go out and find the people who have left and bring them back.  It's a challenge I am willing to take.
As many of you probably know, the Philippines are not known for being clean, thats for sure.  Its a dung heap here and it smells pretty bad.  All over the sides of the roads you can see burning trash piles.  Its really sad.

So good news!!  On my second day I was able invite Sister (edit name) to be baptized and she said yes!!  It was such a good feeling to be able to do something like that already.  Apparently it happens a lot actually, the hardest part is retention.  This Saturday was supposed to be two baptisms but sady after 3 weeks of going to church, Sister (name edit) and Brother (name edit) did not come to church.  So hopefully they will come next week and will be baptized on Aught 30.  We will be having 3 baptisms on that day.

So now I am in the area of Lapaz, Iloilo.  It is the city center of the island and is also the hardest of all the missions here.  Its awesome to be here doing the work of the Lord.  The blessings I see every day are just so amazing!  Its incredible to be a part of this work.  As in 2 Nephi 10, we are bringing in the lost tribes on the isles of the sea.  Thank you so much for the prayers in my behalf.  God truly does answer them, the Philippines truly are proof of that. I cannot wait to go home and tell you all the adventures I have been having but at the same time I do not want to leave.  Thank you and may God be with you till we meet again!

So how is everyone doing at home?  I can see it has changed a lot!!  Sorry about leaving the big mess!!  I had a work to do! :)  I knew there was a few things I was missing...
Thank you so much for the happy birthday wishes and such!  It was a fantastic day. :)Thank you for the pictures!  they were pretty great!  Levi looks just like a Levi should. :)  Henny Penny's room though!  Thats a big change.  Keep me posted on everything!
And no I have not received any letters yet but I hope they are coming soon!

I love you nanay (mom)!


  1. I've been rereading President Hinckley's biography this week, and he loved the Philippines as much as your boys does. What amazing experiences he's having! What good lessons he's learning! I really enjoyed reading his letter and feeling his enthusiasm.

    1. I LOVED President Hinckley's biography. That is when I fell in love with him as a prophet. :)

  2. It strikes me that this is a beautiful way to transition into adulthood.

    1. It really is. These young men and young women who go and do this. They leave as boys/girls and come back men/women! Already I can see/hear changes in my son that are truly amazing. I'm so glad he is doing this.

  3. I agree with W-S Wanderings, it really is a beautiful way to go forward in life and grow into adulthood with all the right values. He will become a strong, confident and well-balanced man as a result of these 2 years Rachel, certain in himself, in his beliefs and in the goodness of mankind. Wish all teenagers could have such an experience and free themselves from self-indulgence - the world would be a better place x
    PS. have just finished my toast and jam and did get crumbs in my keyboard!

    1. I'm laughing about the toast and jam part. I've read your beautiful letter to me and am looking forward to replying. Natives are off to school and things have quieted down. Time for me to go and get some toast and jam. Then it will be me with crumbs in my keyboard.

      I see other young men and young women come home after these missions and I am amazed at the growth that has taken place. My husband, back in the day served one of these missions. He still speaks of his experiences, they are that forever lasting. I didn't so I can't relate. I do, as you, wish that all youth could serve these missions as well. The world is always a better place when we put aside self-indulgence and look outward to others. You do this all of the time Julie!!! All of the time!! Maybe self-indulgence isn't the right word because you do need to take time for yourself, as you well know. Self centeredness (is that a word??) perhaps?


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