I've created this blog to record Elder Zesiger's Mission in the Philippines.
Cole emailed us last night and it was so fun to hear from him! We noticed his first email...because we were checking ALL day, and then we were able to email back and forth with him. It was so fun...but not very good for him to type a lengthy email to everyone. He was "chatting" with Me, Jeff, Grandma Z, Shelby, and Caden. So I don't know if this is going to keep working out! However, he sent me photos of his journal entries so that I could summarize them and send them on to everyone!
So here it goes...
October 22nd...on the flight to Tokyo I knew I would have to sit by Sister Barton because 1.) it was 10.5 hours to Tokyo and 2.) I would rather get to know her than another stranger. My ticket was not by hers so we asked this Japanese man if he'd trade and he did. We were fine for a while until a flight attendant came over and got mad at me. I kind of just stayed and ignored her and it worked out!
When we landed in Tokyo we found another missionary, Elder Lopez, and we decided to call our families. I ended up giving them my Yen that Andrew gave me because I had a calling card. I called my mom and she actually answered (like I hadn't been watching the clock and phone all night lol!)! It was so good to hear their voices again! We only had a few minutes so we just told each other how much we loved each other and said goodbye.
When we landed in Manila we found more 6 more missionaries. I exchanged my $200 for 10,000 Filipino pesos!! Our driver that was supposed to take us to our hotel was not there so we decided we needed to call someone. I asked like 3 people and finally we found Carlos and he let me use his phone! I called the driver and he said, "I no drive no more, you find other ride". Luckily, Carlos was the nicest guy ever! He called the hotel and got two vans to come pick us up and charge the church. I almost got in 7,000,000,000 accidents on the way there!
October 23rd...Today was long!!! I am the most tired I have ever been in my life! I woke up by myself and didn't know what time it was because I didn't want to change the time on my watch from Utah time haha. I got so homesick and discouraged today I think because I was so tired. The package that mom put in my luggage was such a blessing. I love and miss my family more than anything. I got called to room leader which is cool because I am in charge of like 4 people!
October 24th...Today was also long but not as long as yesterday! I kept the analog time on my watch as Utah time so I can picture what my family is doing. We learned the language all day today and also got to teach our first investigator, Vicky. Her son passed away last year in a car accident and she doesn't speak any English, but I hope she understood us. My companions were very nervous and wouldn't say anything until the end when they had to bear their testimonies. This made it hard for me because I had to fill a 20 minute lesson! We used a lot of gestures with the little Tagalog we know to teach Vicky the Plan of Salvation. Even though we couldn't understand each other the Spirit was so strong. We closed with our testimonies and I said one of the most powerful prayers I have ever said.
Today was great and I really had a good day.
October 25th....Most of today was great! We ate breakfast which was rice again! haha We went to sacrament meeting and it was good except when they talked about how the mosquitos and water are dangerous! At dinner I challenged myself to eat my whole plate of rice and I did! The whole lunch room cheered! haha Elder Schwitzer spoke to us and it was amazing! We had a district meeting today. I don't feel that most of our class does not respect him. So I'm going to have to fix that. Everyone was being very negative and talking about what was wrong with everything so I asked the question, "What do you guys think we are doing well?" and everyone's attitudes changed. I think if we can focus on the positives we will be a great district.
October 26th...Today was Awesome! I taught Vicky and I challenged her to get baptized in Tagalog. At first she wondered why she needed to get baptized because she was baptized in the Catholic church. She didn't know what immersion meant and so I drew her pictures. She thought she would have to stay under water for like 5 minutes and thought she would drown. So I demonstrated on Elder Fawson right in front of her haha! I almost dropped him because he is like 6'8"! Then I asked her again in Tagalog if she'd get baptized and she said yes! It was the best thing ever I was happy for like 3 hours!
October 27th...Today we learned how to pray in Tagalog and I was called on to pray in the devotional in front of the whole MTC!
October 28th...We taught Vicky again today. She told us that she told her mom about her getting baptized and her mom was mad at her. I told her that I would pray for her that her relationship would improve with her mom. I ate the hottest pepper today. The senior missionaries gave it to us. It burned my mouth, ears, and chest for like an hour! We also had pancakes today with no rice! haha It was amazing! My mission is starting to get a lot easier and the days are going faster. I miss my family and my music like crazy! I will be able to email them tomorrow and I am so excited!
October 29th...Today was amazing! I woke up sick and was debating whether or not to go to breakfast, but I decided to go and I am so glad I did! It was cereal!! with wait for it...NO Rice!! It was like a dream! One of my companions was having a really hard time. So we gave him a blessing. It was probably the strongest blessing I have ever given and the spirit was so strong. We sat and talked for a bit. I felt I should read him the letter that my dad put in my suitcase. I started to cry after the 3rd word. It was a very powerful testimony and the spirit in the room was probably the strongest I have ever felt. He thanked me for sharing. This experience strengthened my testimony and makes me want to do my best to make my dad, my family, and my Heavenly Father proud. We then went to dinner and had hamburgers!! It was amazing! If I had these burgers at home I would have not liked them. But here in the Philippines they were awesome!! After dinner we went into a room and watched videos of us giving lessons to Vicky. They said we were good teachers and that I helped the lesson to keep going. As the video ended, and I felt really sad that I wouldn't be teaching Vicky anymore, she walked in! She was a teacher pretending to be an investigator, My mind was blown!! I had prayed for her, I had studied for her, and I had been so, so, so happy when she committed to baptism! I was mad! Tomorrow I can email my family and I am excited!