Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 26

Our family was able to skype with Dylan on Sunday December 23. He skyped from an internet cafe. It was so great to see him and chat with him.  He is loving the missionary work in the Philippines.  His missionary companion is a native Filipino from Manila.  He is teaching Dylan how to cook adobo chicken as well as helping him with Cebuano and Wary Wary. They are working on the island of Samar in the villages of Dap Dap and Delores. Dylan receives snail mail only once a month when it is brought from Tacloban.  Thank goodness for our weekly e-mail.  We were able to sing some Christmas carols with him and Tristan was able to blow him some kisses.

December 17

Hey family I am doing great today has been great so far! I have been in limbo the last two weeks with Christmas conference and Mission Tour. On a normal day we have our studies the first thing in the morning till 11 then we work from 1 till 9 but most of the time we adjust our schedule. Since I am a trainee we have a extra companionship study. I also have language study for an hour. So I have four hours of study each day since I am a trainee. So this last Friday and Saturday we worked. We visited less actives and we contacted people. We have five investigators that we will start teaching this week. We have a baptism on the 29th, my companion and I didn't teach her. Some other Elders did, but she just moved to our area and she wants to be baptized!

Tell everybody the Philippines is one of the MOST AMAZING PLACES ON EARTH. Well I love you all and Merry nga Pasko ha iyo!             

This is from his e-mail on Dec. 12

 I am doing great! The monsoon totally missed us. I changed course and went down to Mindanao. I have seen pictures of the devastation. 80% of all the banana farms in Mindanao were destroyed. Monsoon Bopha, look it up. We were only hit with a-lot of rain thankfully. 511 Maharlika Hwy, Fatima Vlg Tacloban City 6500 Leyte, Philippines. That is the address of the mission home. I have been doing fine in my area. Last week was in limbo with the storm plus we had Christmas conference in Tacloban. I haven't felt homesick at all! ;)  Basta, mail will reach me once a month. The zone leaders go down to Tacloban once a month for training and when they are down there they pick up the mail, so I will probably get it in January.

 I drink water and sprite all the time. The soda here comes in the old school glass bottles. I mainly eat rice, fish and other things, especially what we call chow mein in America, needless to say it tastes much better didi (here)!  Thankfully my companion and I have a washing machine pero, we still have to hang our clothes out to dry and no we don't wash our cloths in the stream. Thankfully we have pump well in the back of the apartment. 

I love riding top load on the jeeps kay (because) I can look at the beautiful nature of the Philippines as I ride.  Do you know the Wood's? They are in Star second ward I think basta they have a son here in the mission! I roomed with him in the same apartment during Christmas Conference we talked for an hour or so. I was great!. Oh it has been affirmed I can Skype you! On the twenty-fourth of December SO create a account and send me a friend request to dylan.joseph.kingsbury! So tell everyone I love them!

Friday, December 7, 2012

It was great to get a few pictures from Dylan this week.  That spider is sure freaky.  

Hey Family,
 I am doing great! I am in Borongan today for p-day. We were going to head down to Tacloban tomorrow for Christmas conference but I guess there is a super monsoon coming so it has been postponed. My companionship with Elder Canlapan is great we get along well. Because I am a new missionary in the field, we do this 12 week in-field training program,  we have an extra companionship study everyday. We have three investigators, we haven't started teaching them but we will soon. Our main focus in my area is re-activation of members. The numbers we have are low. It's hard to go to church here in the Philippines. Because the people live far away from the branch building they often can't afford the fair to travel to the building and, on top of that ,the land lord of the building that the members have been renting to have church in  in Dolores is raising the rent from P 5,000 to P 10,000. The members can't afford that, so at the end of this year they will be kicked out. The closest meeting house is in Dap-Dap which is about twenty minutes away.
 Basta (?) this last Sunday I taught Sunday school in Can-avid. It was an interesting experience. From Tuesday to Thursday this  last week I went on a split with an Elder in Sulat because my companion is a district leader and had a meeting in Tacloban. The people are so awesome! Especially the children, they are so cool. I did find one other white guy, he is an owner of a local restaurant in Dolores. He is Canadian we had a nice friendly chat about various topics the other day. 
 The food here is fine, it's actually not that different from America. One thing is for certain I HAVE EATEN SO MUCH MORE RICE!!. I have yet to try anything exotic. So how was Thanksgiving with the Babiracki's and Lundberg's?  I am missing the Christmas feeling we always had at home! Basta Gugma ko ninyo. Maaram ak nga ya'll will be watched over! God is on your side. 
With this busy time of year coming faster that I expected, I have been slow to update Dylan's blog.  So, first a little back tracking.  We were able to speak with Dylan several times on the night of November 19.  He was able to procure a disposable cell phone so were had several lengthy conversations.  It was so great to hear the excitement in his voice as he told us some of the details of his last few weeks.  He flew from Salt Lake City to LAX Monday evening and then had a layover before heading on to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific.  We anxiously tracked his flight path north up the west coast of Canada then west over Alaska across the Bering Strait then south across the vast oceans.  We were very relived when flight tracker said he was safe in Hong Kong.  I did not sleep the entire night.  After he arrived in Hong Kong we knew he would have a short layover before going on to Manila.  Unfortunately, flight tracker could not track his flight after he arrived in Hong Kong.  All in all it took him a day and a half of flying to reach his destination of Tacloban.  I was under the impression that as soon as he arrived in the mission home in Tacloban, that we would receive an email from the mission president confirming that he had safely arrived at his destination.  Well that was not the case.  It was a long week and I had made the decision to call the mission home on November 24 if I had not heard from him.  Thankfully, we received an email from Dylan in the wee morning hours on 11-24.  We have still not heard a word from the mission president, and I don't know if we will.  My mantra for that long week was "no news is good news".   I am on the Christmas Countdown to our next phone call.  He is 15 hours ahead of MST so I hope to hear from him on Christmas Eve.

This is the e-mail we received on Nov. 24

Hey Family! Kamusta Kamo

I have successfully landed in Tacloban I AM OK! I have p-day every Monday just like the MTC, so don't worry about me! I have been in my area the last couple of days. I am in the Borongan Zone. So I am learning WARY-WARY and some Tagalog. My trainer is native, he is from Quezon Province. He speaks Tagalog, Wary and English. I am so glad he speaks English! Otherwise I would be so lost right now.  My area is Dap-Dap and Dolores. I am on the Island of Samar. Eastern part to be exact. It took me seven hours to reach. The first 4 hours were to Borongan then the next three were to Dolores. Three hours were spent riding on the top of a passenger dyip (jeep) I got so sunburned. I puked on the first part of the trip because of the bumpiness. Other than that, I am alright. 
I spoke in two sacrament meetings yesterday! My companion and I have two branches and a group that we watch over. The group is only about twenty people. The focus of our area is reactivation. Like I said there are two branches. If both get enough attendance, the church will build a ward house and merge the branches to form a ward. I feel like a zoo animal sometimes kay (because) the Filipino's stare at me. I like it though. There are only two white missionaries in the Borongan Zone the other one lives in Borongan. So I now know what it feels like to be the minority. The Philippines are so beautiful, its jungle everywhere you go! The food is great. I have probably eaten more rice in the last week than I have in my whole life. Joke, Pero (but) I have eaten a-lot of rice. I love you all and I hope ya'll are doing great! 

Elder Dylan Joseph Kingsbury