Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Palawan Baby!!

Dear friends and family,

This week was a really solid week. From start to finish, it was one of the best/favorite weeks of my mission. Lots happened this week. I will start with Pday. 

So last Pday we went to the the Jose Rizal monument in Pasay. Jose Rizal is the national hero of the Philippines. The monument that we went to was at the area where he was shot and killed by a firing squad. We had to get special permission for us to go there, even though the monument is super close to our house honestly. We saw the big huge statue, where they buried his remains. They have two Filipino marines guarding the statue. I had to explain to my companion that they were real people guarding the statue, they just aren't allowed to move. We paid to go back into the grounds area where he was actually shot and killed. They had HUGE 10 feet tall statues to portray him being shot. I have  pics of that. So we just walked around that area. It had a special spirit to it, it was basically a hallowed ground. It was super cool. There were a huge group of Koreans there on a tour, their Korean tour guide studied at the University of Utah, so he knew who we were. That was kind of cool to see. Anyways, so it was cool to be able to see the spot where all that went down. After that, we just toured some like Chinese garden areas and just walked around the area where there were lots of ponds and trees and stuff. It felt a LITTLE bit like Palawan. So that was cool. We walked to the end of the grounds area of the Rizal area and there was this huge statue. It was a statue of Lapu-Lapu. He was a king here in the Philippines like 500 years ago I think. But there was a 50 statue of this guy. So that was pretty cool. We got some nice pics at this place. I can't send them all, but I can send a few. It was a solid Pday. I also knew of this restaurant called "Army Navy." You can bet your bottom dollar that place had hamburgers AND burritos. So I smashed a burrito for the first time in 20 months. It wasn't quite cafe rio, but it wasn't bad. So that was our PDay, super awesome day. 

Tuesday and Wednesday was a pretty normal day. We just worked. Thursday we had zone meeting. We discussed a few new things that the mission will try out. One of the new things in the mission is the new OYM standard. Before we were to talk to 190 people a week. It got DROPPED to 105. I was a little mind blown. I think President is looking for more quality OYMs more than quantity at this point. So we will see how that goes. Also, our zone leader Elder Jim will be going home this week. So he gave his final words. He told a story, I will give a little run through, because it was so cool. So Elder Jim is from Ponpeii. I think thats the name, its like close to Guam or something. So this is the story, "So I knew a kid, who's father died when he was very young, he had 6 brothers and sisters, not including himself. He was the oldest of all the kids. This kid was kind of always getting in trouble, just kind of messing around with no direction in life. His family had a farm that he had to work on so they could have a little bit of food and some money to survive. One day he got into trouble with his mom, and his mom sent him away to work. While he was working on the farm, two "angels" (the words he used) came to him. These angels were wearing a white shirt and a tie, with a name tag. These 2 white skinned "angels" talked to this kid in his native language, which kind of surprised him, but kind of struck him. They asked to share a message. Now, this kid was interested, but his family was through and through Catholic, so he was reluctant, but he said yes. These kids came back the next day. The rest is history. This young man was baptized soon after, but only him. Not a single one of his siblings or his mom was baptized, just him. Less than 1 year later, this young man was in the MTC. Preparing to go out in the mission field. This kid marked 1 year in the church WHILE in the MTC. His family didn't want him to leave, but he knew it was the right decision. For 6 months of his mission, he didn't hear a single word or get a single email from his family. Until he was assigned in Quezon, Palawan. He got an email saying that his mother had been baptized a member of the church. He didn't know what to thing. After all his prayers and fasting, they were being answered. Since that time, 5 of this young mans siblings have been baptized. The last sibling lives in Ohio, she will be baptized on November 19, 2016, this coming Saturday. His prayers were answered. Prayer works." That is the story that Elder Jim told us. That young man, was himself. I had kind of known his story, but I had never heard it all in one big thing like that. The spirit was so strong. I am so grateful for the family situation that I live in. I have been so blessed. I was really touched by his experience. Tomorrow he will be going to the temple to have the temple work done for his dad. He will be baptized and confirmed for him, and then endowed. I love Elder Jim, he is the man. He is a spiritual giant. He will be missed here in the mission. 

Saturday was the next eventful day of the week. As a district and as kabahay (roommates) we had 4 baptisms! Sister Jahn Mae and Kristina Delacruz were baptized from our area, as well as Danny Santos and Rae Ann Delacerna from the other area. It was a great day. It was so SMOOTH! We made sure that every thing was in place, that the font was clean and everything. We did a good job and it went so well. The spirit was strong. The 4 candidates got up and bore their testimonies. Brother Danny Santos got up to bare his. He started crying, he knows he made the right decision. He dropped all of his alcohol and everything, so that he can be baptized. That was cool to see. Sister Kristina and Jahn Mae did great as well. Its funny because they are both the same age as Mckenna and Kelsie. It was a good day. I have so many pictures from this week I can't send them all haha.

It was just a great week. I couldn't have asked for a better last week here in Tondo. I think this will be my last week here. I have really liked it here. Like I have said before, my nose is numb, I have seen so many things that I think I could have lived my whole life without seeing, BUT I have loved every second of it. We will see where I end up on Wednesday. I wanna go back to Palawan of course, but I would be missing about 3 temple sealings, so its kind of hard to decided haha. We will see.

***Note from Mom:  This next section is regarding the recent Presidential election. Elder Lambert does not have a TV or internet access at all. So when he says he is out of the loop on the election, he means it! The only internet he has is once a week to email friends and family. So, I think really all he knows about Donald Trump is that he is a wealthy businessman who appeared on a reality TV show, which I think is what made him laugh. I'm sure he'll be more educated/involved when he is back in the country, but for now, his focus is missionary work! :)***

Another funny experience this week. So we all know that the election was this last week. It was actually very popular here. The Philippines really looks up to the US as like a big brother. So lots of people paid attention to it. Therefore, I was kind of in the loop about it. Now, I have no idea who I would have wanted in the election, I can't really say my opinion because I am super out of the loop on that stuff, but I laughed that Trump won. So yeah. Anyways, with that in mind. There is an American that lives in our area. His name is Bobby. He is from Maine. He knew right off the bat that I am from Utah, and we have talked before as well. I saw him on November 14th, which is what we call Veterans day in the US. I actually didn't know that... Because they don't really do that holiday here in the Philippines. But my homie Bobby, is retired US navy married to a Filipina. He was drinking some super hard alcohol in celebration for Veterans Day. He saw me and wanted to talk to me about the election. He asked me what I thought about it and I said something along the lines of, "Well, I can't really say. I am just a missionary and we actually are discouraged to watch that stuff so... I don't know." He proceeded to rip me a new one, (in English btw) "This is the problem with the young generation Americans! They don't care about politics. I care, I am a Navy veteran, I care! I want what's best for our country! You should pay more attention to that stuff to get an idea about life!" Now, he didn't really yell at me but he kinda just chastised me about not watching the election and paying attention to it. I kind of laughed. It was super funny for me. He is actually a really kind guy, and its good to see someone from the US every once in a while. He was super happy that Trump won and explained all that to me, but I am not emailing to explain about that. It was just a funny experience for me. 

I think that is all for this week. I figure that I should have a good last email for my last one in Tondo before I head off the paradise in Palawan. I don't know the area I will be in, but it is the same zone that I was in before when I was there. I love Elder Reber's AlphaSmart typer thingy. I might be going back to being lazy on emails in the future. So sorry about that. Thank you and love you all! 

Elder Lambert 

PS I have TONS of pics, but I can't send them all so sorry not sorry. 

Elder Lambert
Philippines, Manila Mission, Earth

Rizal Monument

Gotta rock the shades!

Close to the water, thank goodness for the selfie stick!

Gotta picture next to Confusious. Had to do a little Napolean Dynamite!!

This tall statue is Lapu-Lapu, it's like 50 feet tall!

My boy, Reber!

We are all squinting, it was so bright outside!

Gotta smash that burrito!

This is my man, Elder Jim!

This is Danny Santos. We love him lots, even though he is from the other area.

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