Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Changing Things Up

Eating lunch at a members house before Ehlert left
Being silly!!

Sorry if this is a short one. I've been up since 3 am and I got like one hour of sleep last night.. I was just sweating my butt off all night long! 

This past week has been good though. Elder Oana and I get along well!  I just speak to him in Tagalog and he speaks to me in English.  We have had quite a few good laughs together, especially with the ninja stuff from my birthday package. (I sent him Ninja Nerf blow darts and face masks. I know my boy!) We may have had a war with all of those blow dart things.. So much fun!

 Nothing of the work here has really stood out this week. We have just been continuing to drop people and find new people to teach. It's slow going though. Our numbers have definitely taken a fall. But it's all for the better! Really the highlight of this week was my surprise birthday part from all the ward missionaries! That was a ton of fun and it was just great seeing everyone and just having some good laughs. I also finally wore through the pads on the inside of my shoes! They are looking WAY worn! Like the heels are completely worn down and sorta lopsided. They look hilarious! Then I guess the only other thing is just that on Saturday we had a "mini MTC" at the church. It was just an MTC experience for all of the primary kids. Each of the 4 Elders got a district and we taught them a little bit and did some practice teaching. It was way fun! I loved doing that. All of the kids are just so awesome in this ward.

 But ya. that's about it for this week. Sorry! Not all too exciting. Haha 
Love you all and more next week.
Elder Krueger

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Leading the Area

One of the girls in Patrick's zone took this picture and her mom posted it, thank heavens!
This must me Patrick's new companion next to him with the black shirt.

Ya. So this is happening. Leading the area. It's really not TOO bad, I just have now realized how much Elder Ehlert did for the area. I really like Elder Oana though. He is a way cool (and a way short) guy! We have had some good laughs thus far. It was weird saying bye to Elder Ehlert though. Just like "Well, see ya," and he got in a taxi and left. Then Elder Oana came the next day and the work resumed as normal. Part of what has made this week so hard is that both of us have been battling sickness for the past week. Makes the work very difficult, especially when I'm the only one who knows anyone and where people live. But the work moves ahead as always! 

Nothing all too exciting happened this week though.. The ward had a Valentines Day party and that was WAY funny! I'm getting to the point where I can understand humor in Tagalog and I just love joking with everyone! They played these hilarious games at the party and that was actually a good time. Tagalog is slowly taking over my vocabulary. Like yesterday I couldn't remember the word "hammock" because all I could remember was the Tagalog word "duyan." Strangest feeling in the world. I've also lost just about all of my German. I could barely remember how to say good morning! Haha I was sad at first, but then I realized how much Tagalog I can speak and I was totally fine with it. 

We also did a Zone CSP (Community Service Project) this week and that was way cool! We went to this one persons house and just did what ever they needed, which mostly involved us carrying large bags of cement up three flights of stairs. I did a lot of lifting! haha We were all just sweating so much and it all mixed in with the dirt and dust and cement on our skin... I felt so disgusting.. It was nice to hang out with the entire zone though! We have some really cool Elders and Sisters in it! My lolo (grandpa) is also my Zone Leader. He was the trainer of Elder Ehlert! I also learned that my family tree of trainers is quite extensive. We have a way big family tree haha So that's fun. 

This week is looking to be good as well! Elder Oana's birthday is actually today! Turning 21! And then we have mine on Friday. Should be exciting. Not really sure what we will do to celebrate, but maybe someone will have us over for dinner. 

I had a way cool experience this week with one of our LA's (less active's). I have always been sorta troubled about how exactly to "follow the Spirit." It never really made sense to me, but I know now EXACTLY what that means. We were in this guys house and it was the first time that we have ever visited there while he has been home. We were just going to see how he was doing and then teach a little bit of the Restoration, but I had this strong impression that I needed to share something about prayer, so I pulled out 2nd Nephi 32:8-9 because I just had this feeling that he might not feel "worthy" enough to pray. I then found my opportunity to share it after Elder Oana asked how his relationship with God was on a % scale from 1-100. He answered 20% and I took my opportunity. I shared the scripture and talked about prayer for a few minutes. Just about how much of a blessing it is that the most powerful being in the UNIVERSE wants to hear from us personally and how we have this ability to ask Him any question we want and receive an answer through the Holy Ghost. I finished and he looked at me and just said, "Thank you, that is exactly what I needed." He then went on to explain about his life and just that he had forgotten that we have this divine connection with our Father in Heaven and the knowledge and guidance we can receive from it. It was just so cool to hear those words, "That is exactly what I needed." I just know that it wasn't me that was the one who decided to share that with him. I received that prompting from an outside source. From the Holy Ghost. 

I'm so thankful to be doing this work and for the help that we can all receive from our Father. We need only ask. 

I love you all! Have a great week.

Elder Krueger

Monday, February 10, 2014

Finally Done with Training!

Well, it's done now. Training is over. We have transfers tomorrow and Elder Ehlert is leaving. I get a new companion named Elder Oana (pronounced Oh-ah-nyuh). He's a Filipino dude, so that'll be cool to have a Filipino companion! I'm going to be the only American in the apartment now. All Filipinos. I'm gonna be learning Tagalog fast! haha 

This past week has been good. We had a baptism this week!! WOO! That was way cool! I was the one who got to baptize her too. "Her" is one of our investigators named Eva. She is just way nice! Has 4 kids and is married to another Recent Convert. Just a really nice family. Elder Juario and I also sang a duet of "Brightly Beams" and I sang the tenor part. Sounded WAY good!! Like even Elder Ehlert, who had heard us practice for like EVER, said that it sounded incredible. That was fun! 

Another exciting thing this week- those cats that were in our ceiling? They abandoned one kitten and just left it there in the ceiling. I finally just reached my hand up into the little hole in the ceiling and felt around until I grabbed it and pulled it out. We had no idea what to do with it so we just left it in a box behind our house... It's gone now. Not really sure what happened to it, but it's probably living happily in cat heaven now! 

I also tried chicken feet last night. Made me feel sorta really sick! Haha Just sucking off the meat from the toes of a chicken.. Fun.. It was in this soup stuff and it was way alarming to just be eating your soup and then pull out an entire chicken foot. But that's what you get over here! Yummy. 

The teaching is coming along as well. I'm starting to know enough Tagalog that I can actually share personal experiences during lessons and stuff. It's exciting! It wouldn't be so bad if the grammar wasn't super weird! Just takes a while to get used to the word order and how the verbs change and conjugate and stuff. All in all, stuff is going good here. 

Sorry if this email is a bit shorter.  But I'm happy and still alive! I love you all and more next week!

Elder Krueger

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Almost done... with training!!

We haven't seen any pictures from Patrick since Christmas and he said it takes forever for them to download so he is going to send home his SD card. Can't wait to see them!!

Well, Just one more week and I am done with training! Finally! It actually feels like it's been no time at all and I feel way unprepared haha but life moves on and now I will be a total complete 120% missionary! So excited for that! 

So, I have quite a bit of stuff to get through today. Last week on PDay we got a bunch of good food from the mall. I got cream cheese and that is like the best tasting thing ever! I have it on toast all the time and I feel like crying every time. So good. We also got a bunch of cake and ice cream to celebrate Elder Ehlert's one year mark in the mission! WOO! It's insane that he's been out a year already! That's gonna be me pretty soon actually. Just blows my mind every time. So ya, that all happened. This next thing is pretty crazy though. We have thought for the past 3 months that there has been a rat living in our ceiling, but then one day I heard the soft mewing of kittens. I thought I was going crazy, but then I looked up and realized that it was kittens in our ceiling! We took out one of our light fixtures and pushed our cameras through and eventually caught sight of these 5 kittens that are living in our ceiling! They are just the cutest tiniest things you have ever seen! We just left them there because we don't really know what to do about them.. but ya. We have kittens in our ceiling. Speaking of small animals, our bishop also has these 7 TINY puppies at his house! They are just so great! They don't know how to grip on concrete yet and they were all just slipping around. They seriously just looked like tiny little balls of fur. So cute. Also, on our way over to his house, we saw a pig being slaughtered. I'm not sure if anyone has ever heard the sounds a pig makes as it is being slaughtered, but it is not pretty. You just know that that pig knows that it is going to die. Just horrible squealing and then silence.. ugh.. There's a lot of that here though. Why, just the other day we saw a guy with half a pig just slung over his shoulder. Like literally exactly half of a pig. It still had one ear and half of the head and the tail was still on. Just exactly half of a pig! Crazy! 

Elder Ehlert and I also got these electrical massage device things from one of our investigators! They are like WAY sketchy and we use them all the time now. You attach these two gelatin pads to anywhere you really want and just turn it on. It has a few different settings and strengths and stuff. It's just super sketchy because it looks like some sort of torture device and, since all it does is shoot electricity into your muscles, you often times lose control of your muscles. I always put it on my shoulders and it just makes it look like I'm shrugging like crazy. My shoulders are just up and down and up and down. It is the funniest thing in the world! I wish you guys could see it! I also found a butterfly knife in the apartment and I can now do a bunch of tricks with it now. A great way to pass the time! Just gotta be careful not to get cut too bad. It's crazy how many times I've already cut myself with my pocket knives. I think I'm up to at least like 6 or 7 haha Nothing all too bad though! Don't worry! He cracks me up! I love that he is still Patrick!! "Don't worry mom, sketchy elecricity and knives! I am having fun!" 

Now onto some more "missionary" experience type of things. There is this one grandma that we teach named Clarita. We are teaching her because she was a referral from one of her daughters and, let me tell you, she was prepared for this gospel. She came to church once and instantly wanted to be baptized. She said that she had a dream and had seen our church in that dream. She said that she saw the two pillars on either side of the door and instantly recognized it as the building from her dream. How crazy is that!? She just instantly knew that this is where she needed to be and wants to be baptized like as soon as possible! And then a cockroach dropped from the ceiling right onto my shoulder.. Sorta killed the mood.. I kinda freaked out haha But anyways, I though that that was just sweet! 

We also had to OYM (open your mouth) one day, and I HATE OYMing... It's just so awkward when I still don't know too much of the language to just walk up to someone and start talking to them. But the Lord really is funny in how he gets you to act. Elder Ehlert and I were arguing about who would do the next OYM because neither of us wanted to do it, and then some guy just walked up to us and said, "Do you have a pamphlet I can read?" Like this guy just totally OYM'd himself! He was way drunk and was smoking, but he wanted the gospel. He apologized for being drunk and for smoking and just said that he wanted to change. Then he was like, "Thursday at 7 come to my house and teach me." And it just so happens that our only free time on Thursday is at 7, so we are definitely going back to that guy. Just got to love those missionary experiences! 

Well, that's about it. Nothing else really especially exciting happened this week. I love being here and in 6 weeks I will be one fourth of the way done with my mission. THAT is crazy! I'm so grateful for everyone back at home who continues to support me week by week and I'm so grateful that I can have this opportunity to be a missionary. 

I love you all!
Elder Krueger

*I thought I would let everyone know that they are opening up the Tacloban mission again (the one they closed after the horrible Typhoon) and all the missionaries are slowly returning. One of the Elders from Patrick's apt. is heading back on Tuesday. The stories will be amazing coming from this hard hit area.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Feeling Good!

This week was SO much better than last week! We have had some of the best numbers we've had in the past 2 and a half months! Everyone is doing great that we are teaching and I'm back to my regular old self again. One really cool experience is just meeting this OYM  (open your mouth) that was completely 100% prepared for us. He just agreed with whatever we said because he just thought that it made SO much sense to him! It is just awesome seeing how these people that are put in our path have been prepared to hear this exact message that we have to give them. I love that. 

We also talked to this other SUPER drunk guy one day right before we went into one of our lessons. He kept on giving us high fives after everything he said and was asking the strangest questions. We finally said bye to him and walked into our appointment's house, who was Sonny Q... and this drunk guy followed us inside.. Elder Ehlert and I had like no idea what to do as did Sonny Q and his daughter, Sherine. We all just sorta sat there awkwardly just laughing while this drunk guy went off for the next 15 minutes. We were all crying we were laughing so hard. This drunk guy kept on asking how an African American was President of the United States because he thinks that only white people live in America haha I just lost it when I heard that! We finally got him to quiet down and we taught our lesson. It was just so awkward with this random guy that nobody knew just sitting in. Funny experience though! 

Speaking of Sherine, she is our favorite investigator over here! She just has such a strong want to share this message with EVERYONE and has given us like 7 referrals already! She's awesome! She also comes with us to all those lessons that she referred us to and her testimony is just like rock solid. Her husband is just as cool. He's a soft spoken guy, but he is just the nicest person you'll ever meet. I just love that whole family! But ya, this week has been good. 

I don't think you guys back home would recognize me anymore though. Not that I've changed physically but ya. To put it simply; I do the dishes now. Just because they're dirty. And yes, that means EVEN the pots and pans! Crazy, I know. I also cook now, and clean, and organize. I'm basically like Patrick except I don't really procrastinate now. Okay... I still procrastinate... I've needed to do laundry for the past like 4 days.. But I'm getting better! You'd be proud! I also take the lead in a lot of the lessons we teach now. Why, just yesterday Elder Ehlert and I went on splits with our ward missionaries. I basically taught all of our lessons. I felt awesome!  Haha I even threw in a few jokes! It was great! My Tagalog is getting way better. People can't believe that I've only been in the field for 2 1/2 months, so that's a good sign. I can't wait until I'm better though! I need to get there soon. It's killing me that I still can't say all that I want, but all in due time. 

I love it here though. Everything is still just so.. different. I wish every one of you back home could just be here even for a day and experience this world! 

I love you all and more next week.

Elder Krueger

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Week number... I dunno what week this is actually..‏

MTC buds reunion- love Patrick's face!

This week has been pretty tough. We have definitely had some good and fun experiences, but the work has been slow and my mind has been at home. This is probably the most trunky I have been yet and it is just way hard to get over. I have to keep constantly reminding myself the importance of why I am here doing this.  But this isn't anything I can't get over.  The work moves on and I won't let myself get left behind. 

Even though I've been dealing with this stuff I haven't let it get to me when we are out working. I always strive to stay 100% in it when we step out that door at the start of the day. It really is easier when you get lost in the work. And, let me tell you, I may be getting lost a little more literally then I'm supposed to be. Elder Ehlert has been letting me lead to get to the houses of people for the past little while and it has really been stretching my brain muscles to remember how to get everywhere. We end up taking the long way to get like EVERYWHERE, but I'm finally picking it up now. Just have to keep my sense of direction and I'm okay. 

But there HAS actually been some fun stuff happening this week! My zone took part in the MTC exchange program and they actually split me and Elder Ehlert up so we were both taking someone from the MTC. I had an Elder from Australia and, just like me when I was in the MTC, he knew like NO Tagalog. It was just crazy seeing where I was just a couple months ago. Luckily his teacher decided to go with us as well, so I could team teach with him, but ya, that was awesome. It was just fun being sorta on my own with someone who looked to ME for the answers. That was awesome. We taught one lesson and then OYM'd (open your mouth) for the rest of the time. At the end of it all, the teacher said, "I am really so impressed with how much Tagalog you know. This whole time I've been listening for any mistakes and I only caught two." He then went on to tell me that he really liked how I taught this MTC missionary and that he had a strong feeling that I am going to train next transfer! So let's hope that that DOESN'T happen! I don't know what I would do if I was training!! Haha But that was just a real boost to my self esteem to hear that. So I guess I'm doing well in the language! 

Another way cool experience is teaching our landlord. I think I mentioned in a previous email that we taught a couple people who worked for him the 10 Commandments in a super random, really weird lesson. I also think I mentioned that he said we were going to teach a bunch of his employees the next Saturday and that we were supposed to teach the story of Job. Well that actually happened. We went over to this little gathering place they had outside underneath this huge mango tree with lights all over it and we taught the story of Job to 24 people. Yup. 24 people. That was awesome. Such a great experience! It was such a different teaching style then it is with teaching 1 or 2 people at a time. They also fed us dinner over there so that made it infinitely more worth it. 

Speaking of dinner, we also had dinner with another family last night. The thing is is that their house was covered in cockroaches. I had like 5 or 6 crawl on me during like 45 minutes of actually being inside their house. It was just... awful.. The funniest thing is is that the Filipinos are all so terrified of cockroaches as well. Like these things are EVERYWHERE and they just start screaming when one comes near them! Hahaha so ya, that was fun. Anyways, it was a good week now that I look back on it. Fun experiences and I'm definitely looking forward to this coming week. 

I hope everyone back home is doing well and I love you all! More next week.
Elder Krueger

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I'm Doing This!

This week was actually really good! We met a lot of our goals this week with teaching lessons and everything and my absorption of Tagalog seems to be accelerating finally! I was actually able to talk to people at church without Elder Ehlert and have some real conversations! That was when I was seriously just like, "Ya, I am TOTALLY doing this!" Such a great feeling! 

We have some prospective investigators this coming Saturday! Elder Ehlert and I were dropping off our rent at our landlord's house and he just invited us inside and was like, "Sit down! Teach these girls the ten commandments!" And so we did. It was probably the weirdest lesson that I have taught thus far because it wasn't even our lesson. He would pick when we moved on to the next commandment and he would do most of the teaching. He was a hilarious guy though, so it was all good. But then the weird part is is that he asked us, or rather told us that we are teaching about Job this coming Saturday. But, the thing is, is that we are teaching like 20 people all at once. I don't even know like how this happened. Haha We have SO many opportunities just handed to us on silver platters. So that was really cool and weird. 

We also got invited to a fashion shoot by one of our more wealthy investigators. We didn't actually end up going, but it was just so weird that we would even be invited. There's another shoot this Friday that he might invite us to though, so we'll see about that. Nothing else really all too exciting. 

We are doing good here in the Philippines. People are coming to church and we are starting to finally get people reading the Book of Mormon. I love seeing these people progress and just become so happy. I'm so happy that I get to be here as a missionary and I really wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

 I love you all and more next week.

Elder Krueger

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

This Week...

This week was pretty normal actually.. Like we did missionary stuff anddddddddd that was about it. We went to SM (Super Mall) last P Day and there was the BIGGEST Forever 21 I've ever seen in my life! I had to go in just so I could brag to Audrey and Xandra! Haha So ya, that was good.
 What else.... Oh! I REALLY miss poptarts!!! Like crazy amounts! Elder Ehlert got a few boxes from his family and MAN are those thinks good! They had this cupcake flavor... Oh my gosh. To die for. And the don't sell poptarts ANYWHERE in the Philippines! Like it makes me so sad! But ya, I'm just missin some food type stuff from home right now! Haha (Do you think maybe he is putting in a plug for someone to send him some Poptarts??) 

Elder Ehlert and I are trying to look for more Less Actives in our work because then ones we are teaching aren't really progressing at all. We found this one family that had this crazy old grandma lady living with them. It was priceless. She was like the super stereotypical crazy lady. Short and deaf and blind with all this white hair. The glasses that she was wearing were like contraction super magnified ones that made her look all the more crazy. We got there and the lady who was taking care of this old woman was just super nice. She talked to us and then, whenever she'd want the old lady to hear, she'd stand up and literally scream into her ear. The first time she did it Elder Ehlert and I just started cracking up. It was seriously like we had stepped into some sorta of comedy show, except it was real. I dunno, that's about the only thing that's happened this week.

 Oh ya! We had transfers this last week. Of course, I stay here because I'm still in training, but other people were transferred. Our ZL's came up with these hilarious stories about where people were going and stuff. One of them was like, "One day Elder (I forget his name) got up and rode his flaming Magmar (a pokemon) over to (the place he was assigned to) so that he could battle his rival (his companions name)" Ya... It's funnier when you actually could here them...and know the Elder they're talking about...and actually know what a Magmar is... but ya! They were all super funny and then they got to me and Elder Ehlert. "Elder Ehlert and Elder Krueger became best friends so they decided to stay together." YUP! That's it! It was like SO anticlimactic! haha SUCH a lame story! 

But ya, oh well. I''m having a blast here in the Philippines and love the work! I'm excited for when I can actually speak the language, but I still have a lot of fun. I love you all back home! Thanks for all the support!

Elder Krueger

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!

New Year's Eve with one of our families

Our Christmas Tree!

Grandpa, Father, and son!

Christmas Carolers! Our ward missionaries

Ehlert getting a "special" Christmas letter

  • I'm Back!‏

Woo! It has been a LONG time! Just between battling sicknesses and the whole Christmas thing and everything, it has been tough to find time to write a long email. But I'm doin it now! Where to begin though... I guess Christmas would be good. I got the Christmas package and everyone said it was the biggest box they've ever seen a missionary receive! Felt pretty awesome. I loved all the gifts! I had a breakfast of champions with some like peaches, instant mashed potatoes, and beef jerky. That was good. Tell the young women thank you for the beef jerky and everything else they gave me! I loved it all! 

Christmas was rather quiet. It came and went. It didn't really even feel like Christmas. It was just way to hot! My favorite present though has been that voice recorder! I LOVE that thing! I've been using it every night! I like it better than just writing cause I get all these comments from Elder Ehlert and everything. They all turn out pretty hilarious! We just get SO off track and just start talkin about random stuff. I love it! We had a good Christmas conference too. The talent show was pretty hilarious! So many "talents" that just made you go, "What?... Why?..." haha There was this one kid who was the son of the woman who makes all the food, and he was an INCREDIBLE beat boxer! EASILY took the entire talent show! He was young too. No older than 13. SO sweet! 

We have been teaching a lot and meeting a ton of new people! We had 11 new investigators last week! Crazy! They are all progressing really well too. I'm beginning to understand more and more Tagalog. I now only have to have people repeat what they say twice instead of three times. Quite the accomplishment. 

Oh! I had a dentist appointment this last week! That was fun! We had to go all the way to Manila and then we found out that the dentist was like WAY backed up. Took a few hours but we finally got my filling and got back to work. The office was actually super nice. Pretty much the same as in America actually. Except that it only cost me 800 pesos ($17). So it was just a LITTLE cheaper than America! haha! The dentist lady was really nice too. Made sure I was doin good and just started drilling away. 

New Years was also a lot of fun. A ton of members wanted to have us over so Elder Ehlert and I had like 4 meals in 5 hours. And they weren't small meals either.. I'm still full from it. I just gotta say that I never thought I would enjoy real cheese as much as I did yesterday. And ham. And grapes. You just don't get those things too often here and it seriously tasted like heaven. Along with some REAL chocolate cake!!! They usually just call brown bread "chocolate" but the stuff we had last night was legit. SO good! Ya, we had curfew at 7 and we ended up just playing with those card games that I got for Christmas for a few hours. The fireworks were insane. They started at about 10 and went until 1 in the morning. The GIANT fireworks they have in America for the Fourth of July are only like 20 bucks a piece here, so EVERYONE puts on their own firework shows. There were multiple people lighting off on our street. We were RIGHT under these huge fireworks! Sorta frightening actually. But ya, getting to sleep was super hard. Had to wrap two shirts and my pillow around my head to block out some of the sound. Crazy. 

Well, that's about it for the past three weeks. I'm sorry, I probably forgot a BUNCH of stuff, but it's hard to remember everything from the past three weeks! Just know that I've been writing, and now talking, every night so it's all recorded. Just not in these big emails..... 

Love you all! More next week!

Elder Krueger

Patrick sent some audio journal entries and has some great stories. I am going to attempt to transcribe some of them and I will add them here soon. Wish me luck!