Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goats at church

HECK YA PACKERS!!!!!! That's what I'm talking about!!  'Bout freaking time they got their act together!! 
 
Thinking he is so cool!  He bought about 10 pair of sunglasses there.  I guess they were about $1 a pair.  Couldn't resist the great deal!
Christmas was awesome! I was glad I was able to talk to you guys!!  I couldn't believe that it was actually Christmas though.  It really didn't even feel like it here.  It was so different!! Haha   I am so jealous that you guys went to Colorado without me.  What a bunch of tools you guys are!  That sounds like a totally awesome fun thing to do and of course you would do it once i left.... losers... hahahaha
 



The goats!  The goats were at the church.  The missionaries had to chase them away!
Here it has been pretty good.  The mission achieved its goal of having 1350 baptisms for the year of 2013.  So everyone was way happy be cause that's a lot of people!  It's crazy to think that I'm going to be part of this next year for the whole year! That really makes me excited because I want to actually contribute to the baptisms!  I have just found out that my area is probably one of the hardest ones.  That didn't really surprise me because there really isn't too much stability in our area.  We're part of a branch in Moncada.  That's far away from where we are so we are still getting a lot of people to try and build a strong foundation!  This last Sunday (yesterday), we had the most people at our church that we have ever had!  That was so cool.  We had 4 investigators show up.  And we had 2 from the earlier session of the church that we went too!!   So in total we had 6 investigators come to church.  That was so cool!!!  2 of the grandmas that came had friends there.  I think that they really felt welcome and comforted.  So I hope they continue to come.  Then they will be able to be baptized on the 25 I think!  So that is a goal that we have!! 
 
This last week we got a couple of new investigators.  It was the first time that I have seen people cry while we were teaching!  I bore my testimony and it was amazing.  They really listened to what I had to say.  They said that it was so great!  I felt really amazing after that.  I was so happy!  So I hope that they will continue to investigate the church and that we can still teach them!  We have to get a lot of new investigators still because we always need more and more so that is always fun!  
 



This is pictures of his area.  There are a lot of fields like this one.  He said it's so pretty.  To see the green fields everywhere.  Not sure what is being grown, I better ask him!
The kids here are still crazy and always want to talk to me in English even though they don't say anything besides whats your name, and where are you going.... hahaha  So I'm practicing my Tagalog with them and they just act like "what the heck he knows what to say?!?!"  That's pretty cool!  So I'm learning a lot from the little kids which is really good to do.  I was glad that we have a lot of recent converts that are like 13 and 12 because they help me with the language.  I'm learning a lot from them also.  It's cool seeing how welcoming the people are here.  They just like buy us drinks and stuff and snacks.  Then we ask why and they just say that they like to help us.  So the family's of people are really nice to us!  And then the kids like 17 and 18 look at me like "what the heck is that American doing here?"  hahahaha  That is funny.   
 
I just found out today that things here don't have a copyright, so if I find a tailor, I can get like a jersey with all the Nike brand stuff and all the other stuff on it, and it wont be illegal.  So I hope I find something like that soon.  I'm gonna make a jersey that says Air Mormon instead of air jordan.  I thought that would be pretty funny.  I will keep my eye out for some cool stuff!!! 
 
Hanging out at church with other missionaries.

Mac and his companion.  They think they are so cool!  I am biased, so I agree that they are!
I miss you guys and will send more next week!  I love you and have a great new years eve!!  Keep on the gospel study, it always helps!! Love you guys!!
Elder Hedman

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Skype Call!

It was so exciting to talk to Mac via Skype on Christmas Eve.  It was his Christmas day.  He said it didn't feel like Christmas since it was so warm.  He went to a cyber cafe in Paniqui to make the call which is a 45 minute bus ride.  They could take a bus with out air conditioning for 50 cents or a bus with air conditioning for $1.  Yep, he is my son, he spend the extra money for air conditioning.

Some things we learned:

They drink a lot of soda.  And the soda comes in glass bottles, but you can ask for plastic.  When you do, the pour the soda in a bag (like the kind you get when you buy goldfish) and tie it up.  Then they put a straw in it.  When people are done with their drink, they just throw the garbage on the ground.  There is garbage everywhere.

They get around by bus or tricycle.  A trike is a motorcycle with a sidecar.  Sounds fun to me!



His companion is from one of the southern islands of the Philippines.  His whole family are members of the church.  There are over 7000 islands that make up the country.  Mac said it costs the locals around $50 to serve their whole 2 years!  But they have to save for years to come up with that amount and many can not afford to do so. 

His area of San Manuel is the hardest area of the mission.  There is not a church and very few members.  It is a new area that just opened up. 

The people are so fun.  He loves the people and the language.  Everyone calls him Joe (reminds me of the TV show MASH, how all the locals would call the Americans Joe.)  The people try to touch his forehead a lot since that is a sign of a blessing.  The kids all come up to him and try to talk to him.  When he speaks back in Tagalog, they are shocked and amazed.  But the people, especially the kids, want to touch him a lot.  They don't see a lot of white people there.  So he uses a lot of hand sanitizer.



We could tell that the people sure loved him.  All during the call, there were locals walking behind him and looking at him and us.  There was one lady that was just staring at us.  It was so funny.  Plus kids walking up and down behind him would look and laugh.  His companion was sure sweet to let us talk for so long as well (2 hours!!). 


This was the best Christmas present ever!  The kids loved talking to their brother.  It was so great seeing how happy he looked and how happy it made his brother and sisters.  Miss our family being together, but know that he is doing so well, makes us so happy! 


Monday, December 23, 2013

Jokelang

OK, so I sent a email about the information about Skype.  I really hope you guys get that and know that the time is going to change.  I will Skype at 12:00 here, it will be 9:00 there I think.  Sorry about that change but we are having a district meeting that morning.  I didn't know about it so I will just Skype you guys after!  And don't worry for Skype, I will have enough time.  I'm only gone for 2 years, so I'll see you guys again!  Haha I think we get around like 40 minutes to like an hour.  Depends on if my companion is pasaway or not (pasaway means disobedient hahaha)  So I guess we will see.  We might skype just a little longer like 45 minutes, ya I'm a rebel... hahaha jokelang, (joking)

The Elders look like they want to ride the motorcycle!

So I freaking miss the snow and the mountains most of all, so that really sucks because here it is so flipping hot!  I really miss going into the mountains.  You really forget all the small blessings we have in Utah until you are out of the state!  I really miss the snow and mountains, I swear I'm gonna sweat like 1000 gallons of sweat because it is so freaking hot.  They say this is a really cold time of the year.  I'm pretty sure I will come home in summer and then go back to the Philippines in the winter, because it is gonna be way to hot... hahaha just joking.  When Tim said that it would be really hot, he wasn't kidding.  Holy crap, it sucks... hahaha


I like getting letters that are hand written.  They're really nice.  Sometimes they come really fast!  I got some in like 10 days.  So they can get here really fast.  Maybe I'll write you one mom, if I have some extra time.  hahaha  I will try though, don't worry!

The streets of the San Manuel area.  Very rural!

If he tells me he wants one of these as a pet when he gets home, I'll be pretty upset!

I can't believe that happened to Brigham and them, that is completely crazy!  (our relatives got robbed)  I would have been so mad.  It probably is good that Nate and Brigham weren't there because Brigham and Nate would have probably killed the robbers.  But, I'm glad to hear that at least something good is going on back in America!  I'm glad that they got that secret Santa because they really deserve it.


The people here are really funny!  I will share the funniest thing that happened this week.  Here they love to listen to American music but they really don't understand the meaning of the lyrics. So its kinda funny... we had a Christmas party this week.  But the people do a lot of dancing and singing and it's really cool!  I'll learn how to dance here so I can actually dance when I get back! hahaha


At first the young women, who were like 14 - 18, danced and it was the funniest thing ever.  Don't forget this is inside the church building and in the church.  This would never happen in America.  The other Americans and I were just cracking up laughing!  But the songs that they danced to were  "I'm bringing sexy back, by Justin Timberlake, Low by flo rida, and they like a shakira song.  So inside the chapel in the church they were dancing to those songs.  They had no idea what on earth the songs meant.  Holy cow it was probably one of the funniest things that I have ever seen!  After that the young men danced and they danced to some songs, I can't remember the name.  Then I heard the back street boys.  I was like oh my gosh... I LOVE IT!!   hahaha  The people were dancing to the backstreet boys in the church!  Oh gosh, when I get back to America, our church needs to change a bit because this was the funniest Christmas party I have ever seen inside a church.  It just cracks me up!



At the Christmas Party
I'm excited to talk to you guys too. I can't wait.  I miss you guys!  Please remember to send a list of the emails of the other missionaries in the ward.  I want to email Adam Lever, Christina, Katie, Ryan, and the others.  I already talk to Austin, Latu and Semisi but that's it.  I talk to Easton and it's cool.  But I'm pretty sure Latu is gonna live with us after!  Hahaha (his family moved to California right after Latu left on his mission.)  I hope he can if they don't move back to Utah!  I would love to have a list of all the missionaries emails so that i could email them!

Mac and Elder Biolena, his companion, plus another companionship from the district.  Both Mac and Elder Biolena are new to the area.  Mac's companion is the district leader.  I don't really know what that means! 

 Mac went to his first baptism in his district.  The Elder who did the baptism was in the same group from the MTC. 
I miss you guys and I'll talk to you soon!!   Love you stay strong remember the church is true! pinakapoki si elderhedman dahil nagdasal ako at nakatanggap ako ng sagot para sa panalangin ko. (Elder Hedman is the most attractive because I have prayed and received an answer for my prayers.) Yeah, I'm pretty good (; haha   Just kidding!  Love you guys!  I will talk to you on Christmas day!!


 **we were emailing each other back and forth so here is some of our conversations
I wrote:  What are you planning on doing today?  Anything fun?  I am watching the Sound of Music on TV and trying not to get annoyed by the other kids.  Haha!  We bought some stuff from Costco from the Philippines.  That is how we are keeping you close this Christmas.  Do you have to do your own laundry?  Or do you have someone do it for you?

After you left, Patches (our dog) would stay in the front room for a long time, waiting for you to come home.  He would sit in there for another 1/2 hour to an hour and wait for you.  So sweet!  He misses you!

His response:   I MISS OUR DOGS, the dogs here are the most nasty things ever... they are not like American dogs... haha the ones here just suck.  I don't know what our plan is for today. I think we are going to go and see another Christmas party thing. What did you get from Costco? (Mango and Coconut)  As far as the laundry, we have someone do it for us.  It's like 200 peso's but she does it all and its really nice so we don't have to do our laundry!! 200 Peso's is like $4.50.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Asian Water Buffalo or Carabao

Dear Family,

OK, so first off ill address the Skype thing.  For Christmas, we are planning on going online here on Christmas day.  So it is going to be your guys Christmas eve.   9 o'clock in the morning here, so it will be 6 o'clock in the evening on Christmas eve.  Make sure that you guys are ready for that!!

Something I would recommend doing as a family is reading a scripture every night.   I don't care what Jessie and them say about it.  Make sure that you all do it together.  I promise you guys that it will help so much.  Everything will start to go better.  I would recommend either 2nd Nephi, chapter 9 or Alma 26 (both in the Book of Mormon).  Those have become some of my favorite ones.  Moroni, chapter 7; that one is also really good!!


OK, as for the eating and everything, don't worry, I am making sure that I brush my teeth.  I would have to say that I am quite attractive now because I am doing this stuff on a daily basis!  So I can't imagine what all the people here think of me! hahahaha

It's great here.  It's really hard but I know that the hard times are to help build us and to make us stronger.  Everything here is good! A story I would like to share is from Tuesday.  We had a referral of a guy and so we traveled quite a ways to go and see him.  He was so happy to hear from us!!  He had been baptized into the church 21 years ago.  When he moved, he lost the church and couldn't ever find it or anything.  Plus he couldn't travel due to money problems.  So he was so happy to hear our message.  I think Howard W. Hunter (president of the church from 1994-1995) was the president of the church last time he went.  He missed all of Gordan B Hinckley (president from 1995-2008)! That was the biggest shock to me!  He wants to try to come to church with his family.  Plus, he wants his daughter to get baptized!  They have to come 4 weeks in a row first though.  We are really trying to get them to come!  So that is a pretty cool story so far!!  I love seeing the smiles on their face when we share our message.  The work is so important but hard.  But it is also so rewarding!  I'm so glad for the way I was raised in the family! Thank you so much for that!!

So nice that his walls match his towels and the duct tape on his suitcase!

I got like 4 packages! 1 from Kimarie and 3 from you guys.  So I am getting them!  The other elders say that I must be really loved because they all arrived on 1 day.  They were all very jealous!   hahaha

Make sure that everyone is reading the scriptures and saying their prayers.  I know it will help so much!! Especially Jessie with school.  Make sure she does her best and that she stays on the right track.  I don't want her doing anything dumb while I'm gone!  So make sure she reads and prays every night.  If she doesn't, I'll fly home and beat her up.  Then I will come back to my mission!  But I hope everything is going good back home!  Don't worry about me, because basically I'm the best!!  So... as you can see, I'm still a humble servant of the lord! (; hahaha

Mac and the Carabao or Water Buffalo.  I asked if that animal is where he gets his milk from.  His reply, THERE IS NO FREAKING MILK HERE.  I'M MAD!! HAHAHAHAHAHA

I'm so glad to hear Keegan's (neighbor leaving for the Mexico City mission) talk went good.  Try and get his email address for me because I want to talk to him!  That would be so cool!!   See if you can get a list of all the missionaries in the ward.  I would love to email them all!   I talk to Austin and  Latu (other neighbors serving in Madrid Spain and Anchorage, Alaska missions) every week which is way sweet!!  This week Semisi (neighbor serving in Honolulu, Hawaii) emailed me.  I'm going to talk to him as well!   I want to hear from everyone else also!  Thanks that would be awesome if you could do that!
All different sun glasses in each picture.  Apparently, he had to take pictures with every pair to make sure he looks cool!

I miss you guys but remember the church is true and that you will be blessed if you continue to put the lord first.  I love you guys!! Miss you all!! STAY STRONG!!!!!!!! (: LOVE YOU! (:

Love,
Elder Hedman

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monkeys......

So mom and dad, Jessie still didn't send me anything from the songs.  So in 2 years I'm going to beat her up... just remind her of that!! hahahhahahahaha  Oh gosh, I am still so funny.  I bet you miss that!!!  I would if I was you guys!!

So, wow, it has been so crazy.  Most of the people in our (MTC) district came to the Angeles mission.  Only 2 didn't, they went to Olongapo and Urdaneta!   One of my really good friends from my MTC district is in one of those 2 areas.  I can't remember which but he met Elder Longson.  I am pretty sure that its one of my really good friends from high school.  He emailed me saying how he met him so that was so cool!

Elders Hedman & Biolena
Our p days (preparation days) are going to be Mondays now.  So that is kinda cool and different.  Wow, it is so crazy here.  Like you saw from the email that the Mission President gave you, my first area is the San Manuel area.  It is so different!!!   My senior companion is Elder Biolena.  He has been out for 14 months but only in Angeles Mission for 2 weeks.  He is completely new to the rules also.  He was assigned in the Tacloban mission but when the disaster happened, the mission was closed down.  He was reassigned in the Angeles mission.  So we are both kinda learning as we go.  It's pretty freaking crazy!!
Elder Howlett, Sister Dullette, Elders Hedman & Boilena. Can't read the ones behind them!

The area here is so different.  I'm so grateful to have grown up in America because here it is so weird!  There is just trash everywhere.  They just don't care about it!!  The people, when they are done with something, will just throw the trash on the ground.  Then when a pile of a big trash has started to form, they just decide to straight up light that pile of trash on fire.  I feel like some days the whole city is gonna go up in flames!  It's kinda really funny, but its not deadly to us at all.  The people here like to smoke, so if I make it through the 2 years and I come back smelling like smoke, I promise that it wasn't me who was smoking.  I am still a good little boy!! (: hahaha!

So as for the people we teach, we are teaching a lot of recent convert kids and so that is pretty cool! It's nice because they understand a little bit of English, so if I mess up, I can use an English word and they will know what I am saying.  So I get to practice tagalog a lot, but wow is it hard!  It is so stressful trying to learn everything in such a short amount of time!  But I decided that if I just take things 1 small step at a time, then everything will eventually come to be.  I'm so grateful for that because I was so worried about having to get everything done in a short amount of time!!  That's basically all of the stuff for the mission so far!!

We do have 2 investigators that we just got.  They seemed really interested, so I hope that we will have 2 baptisms coming up in the next 2 months !! (:  The hardest part, in order for them to be baptized, they have to come to church at least 4 weeks in a row here.  But my area is a brand new area.  We really don't have a church, so it's just held in the back of someones house!!  Ya, that really sucks.... but we will have to work with it!

Our apartment isn't too bad.  We have a shower but the water is freezing.  So I decided I won't shower for 2 years!  (sarcastic little stinker!!)  Oh just kidding!  I shower daily.  It does wake me up in the morning!!! hahaha

Elders Biolena, Hedman, ?little guy?, big guy, Elders De Leon & Delante, Another tall guy and sister missionaries
Here is a funny Tagalog phrase I'll share with you!!

Wag nagaalala para sa unggoy mo, dahil sa pamamagitan ng plano ng kaligtasan, magliliktas and lahat ng unggoy. Alam ko na sa pamamagitan ng pagbabayad-sala ni jesucristo makakakita tayo ng lahat ng unggoy sa piling ng diyos, at kahariang celestial.

So I like that sentence even though it has no real meaning!! But what is says is " Don't worry for your monkey, because through the plan of salvation, all of the monkeys will be saved, I know that through the atonement of Jesus Christ we will all see all the monkeys in the presence of god and in the celestial kingdom."   Just thought that would brighten your day up!!

Remember that the gospel is true and that I love you guys!!  I am gonna try and send some pictures now!  Oh and when you ship me stuff,  DO NOT USE FED EX OR UPS!!!!! EVER!  Because I will have to pay a boat load of money for them.... so use the normal postal system, what ever that is  (United States Postal System).   I haven't gotten the packages yet, but I did get the mail that you sent like the day I left!!  So I think I will start to finally get stuff now!!  I miss ya guys!!  Love you all!!  Remember to work hard and the Lord will provide a way!!

Love,
Elder Hedman!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

First Area!

Blue Stars are the zone and location of his apartment.  Black Star is the Mission Home.  Click on the picture to enlarge.
Mac has been assigned to his first area - San Manuel in the Paniqui Zone. His senior companion is Elder Boilena. Once missionaries leave the training facility, they are assigned to work in companionships or pairs.  It is kind of like a business partner.

Here is an excerpt of a letter that we received from his mission president.


THE CHURCH OF
JESUS CHRIST
OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS


PHILIPPINES ANGELES MISSION
F. TaƱedo Street, Barangay San Nicolas
Tarlac City, Tarlac 2300
Philippines


December 6, 2013


Brother and Sister Kirk Hedman,


We are delighted with the arrival of your son here in the Philippines Angeles Mission. He has had an orientation session and is now serving in his first area with a senior companion. I appreciated my first personal interview with him. Enclosed is a photo taken with Sister Martino and me when Elder Hedman arrived.

Your son has been assigned to the Paniqui Zone, which is shown on the enclosed map. You will want to keep this map to follow future assignments your missionary will receive.

Thank you for preparing and sending Elder Hedman to us!

Sincerely,

David C. Martino
President


Sister Martino, Elder Hedman, President Martino





Elder Boilena and Elder Hedman


*The zone, Paniqui, is a regional area in the northern part of the mission.  He'll be in an apartment in San Manuel, a neighboring city of Paniqui.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Leaving the MTC!


Mac is leaving the MTC today!  He looks thrilled!  Or maybe he is just tired.  It was 7:11 am (Wednesday) when his teacher sent this on to us.
Here is a group picture of this MTC district.
Front Row: Brother. Santos (teacher), Sister Rose, Sister Koster, Sister Brady, Sister Comenta (teacher)
Back Row: Elder Ramiah, Elder Bodily, Elder Garratt, Elder Gines, Elder Hedman, Elder Taniera


Later this evening I saw these lovely gems on Facebook!   So exciting!


27 new missionaries just arrived!  Mac is right in front!!


It's great being Facebook friends with the Mission Presidents wife!!

Dinner for all the arrivals.  That's a lot of food!!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Not in Kansas (or Utah) Anymore

OK.  First off, pound and maim Jessie because I wanted to see something in my inbox that had to do with music!  I want a couple of song titles.  Just the first lines of the song so that way I can sing when i get bored!!! (He sent Jessie an email asking for these things.  Apparently, Jessie didn't reply yet!)

OK.  As for Thanksgiving, it was so boring here.  It was just like any other day!!  I kinda expected it though because we aren't in America.  I miss Thanksgiving.  Sad.

Make sure when you send the Christmas packages, you put a lot of stickers of the cross and stuff on it because they will take stuff out of it when you don't!!  Also, make sure that you get the thing for  Kimarie from me because I'm too afraid to send something here.  I think that it will get stolen. 
Don't worry about me showering and stuff.  I do at least 1 time a week. (The mom in me wanted to make sure he is showering/brushing his teeth/doing laundry)  Oh, just kidding, I do every day.  I don't really know what a tooth brush is so I don't know if i can brush my teeth.  Oh jokelang, hahaha that's Tagalog.  The showers are good and my razor is good.  And, no I'm a pro and I don't cut myself.  I guess I'm blessed I would say!! hahahaha   I share a room with 6 people.  It kinda sucks but they are all really cool guys so its not too bad!

That's so funny about Jessie's work and that's not good also!  (Jessie works at a local fast food restaurant.  2 employees got fired for being naughty!  It was NOT Jessie though!)   hahaha

I get out to the field on Wednesday!!  So I don't know when my next p day is going to be.  So don't worry if you don't hear from me for like a week and a half.  I have no idea when its going to be!! 
Tell Dad happy birthday from me.  I missed Thanksgiving which sucked.  I feel bad for Brigham (his cousin)  hahaha,  But here it isn't too bad.  I can't wait to get out into the field.

I want to share what happened this week.  I was so crazy!   I kinda told Kimarie something, but I don't wanna type it all over again for you guys, so I'll share something different with you.  You can talk to her if you want the other story also.

(First, the story he told Kimarie:    Okay for the spiritual thing it happened yesterday.  My companion and I were studying for our investigator and what we could do to help them.  So we said a prayer.  I have had a prayer in my heart for her the whole time we have been teaching her.  I know that she wants to come unto Christ, but it is really hard for her because the rest of her family doesn't want her too.  We were reading in Moroni (in the Book of Mormon).  It talks about how he was the only one for 21 years.  He had to keep the word alive for that time all by himself!!   Then how blessed he gets because of it!!  So we shared that scripture with her and it made her cry.  I almost cried!!  it was so amazing!!)


So this week we were supposed to go proselyting with the people in the Quezon City North mission.  But, in an unexpected turn of events,  they had to cancel on us.  So we were worrying that we were not going to be able to go.  I really wanted to go because I still feel like this is a prison but a good prison. hahaha   So when we were getting ready to leave, they told us that we still would be going proselyting but that we would be going as just our companionship that we have in the MTC!!  SO I WAS SO FREAKED OUT!!!   We went out into the field.  And we just started tracting (going door to door).  We had a teacher who was watching over us but we had to do all the talking to people and teach the people.  Some of the people were mean.  I was really shocked because I was told that everyone loves the Americans here.  So we just kept working and,  just like dad said in his email to me, the first couple doors we knocked on just said they didn't want to hear the message because they didn't have time.  We kept walking around and around and some of the people called us Joe.  That's what everyone here calls us!!   So that was funny!  But then we went down this street and we saw a guy who was sitting on a curb.  We started to talk to him and he told us that he was catholic.  We started to just kinda talk to him and we ended up getting his number.  We left him a pamphlet of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ!!  It was so cool because we would speak Tagalog to him and he would speak English to us to show off his English skills.

The best part was the next people that we met.  They were just sitting out in the street.  We said hi to them, and then we heard one of the guys call for us to come into his house.  So we went in and he started talking nonsense about how he was also an elder but for the catholic church but said that he is part Mormon also.  So we just kinda let him talk to us.  We shared another message and they really seemed to like our message.  We were able to give them a Book of Mormon to read!!  They gave us their number and they said that we could call them at anytime and that he would try and make time so we could come by and teach him again!!   So that was really cool!!

But the funniest part was after that.  So, that was good because we left 2 pamphlets and a Book of Mormon with them.  They were going to read them so that we can follow up.  The best thing was that they don't know that we can't do some things.  So he tried to buy my companion and I a stripper that was walking down the street.  He wanted us to see the show.  We just told him that no and no and no,  that it was forbidden, etc.  He just waved her off.  But it was so weird because a lot of the guys here want to be girls.  So they just switch their gender.  So he almost bought us a stripper that was pretending to be a girl that was a guy!  It was the most disgusting thing that I have ever seen in my life!  Thank heavens that the lord provided a way that we could get out of there in time!  Because that was so disgusting!  But I do know that our message will help them.  I know that his gospel is true!! 


Sorry for just rushing at the last bit,  but I have run out of time to email.  So I will talk to you guys the next time I have a p day.  I don't know when that will be!!  But remember that I do love you guys.  I'm safe and the Lord is watching over me!!

Love you guys!!

Love, Elder Hedman!!

P.S. The internet here just like shut down.  We didn't have time for pictures!! So when I get out into the field,  I will send pictures.  I love you guys!! Thanks for everything!! 


Friday, November 22, 2013

Pagkakaroon ng masaya (having fun)

Here it has been so fun but at the same time it really is hard!! One of my good friends is Elder Loy (picture from the previous post) to answer that.  He's a way cool guy.  The guys here are just all so cool!! The batch (group) above us just left and I swear they reminded me so much of my friends back home.  There was a guy who reminded me of Tanner Burton (neighbor).  It was fun because we just talked about the coolest stuff.  There is a guy who reminds me of Josh Margetts (neighbor) because he seems like the guy who would get all the ladies!  hahahaha  Oh, tell Josh if he doesn't email me once, when I get back I might just beat him up!  Just a possibility!! haha  I want to hear from the people on the running team also!! SO TELL THEM OR SOMETHING!! Thanks for that!!

Elder Loveland, Elder Hedman and Elder ElmsThese 2 were like my favorite before they just left for their mission!!!

It's cool here because I can email anyone so I have been talking to Easton  (his cousin serving his mission in Grand Rapids, South Dakota)!! And Latu (neighbor serving in Anchorage, Alaska, Tongan speaking)!!  I miss Latu.  That guy was just awesome.  What a funny guy!!  I can't wait till we get back.  We are going to party together!!

Elders Bartel?, Jensen, Loveland, Loy, Callister & Hedman

So the language is coming pretty good!!  I feel like I'm starting to understand a lot more.  I love my 2 teachers!!  They are the best ones here no doubt!!  They teach in a way that I actually understand.  Which is what I worried about when I thought of learning a language!!  But they really are so cool, they help a lot.   They are also our investigators.  It's cool to see how we get personal insight from them about the things going on and what we need to work on!!


My companion and I do a pretty good job I think.  When we practice in English, I feel like I'm the most amazing person ever because I'm just pro from going to all the mission prep classes!  But then once it gets to Tagalog, I know what I want to say to help them personally but it's so hard to try and translate it so they can understand and know that its personalized for them!!   But it is so worth all the hard work when you see that they are understanding you and your work has payed off!!


I love the language!  When I get back,  Uncle Tim (his uncle served a mission to Manila Philippines) and I are gonna have secret conversations and no one is going to understand what we are saying because we will be the only ones who know!


I miss you guys a lot still.   I'm gonna send a separate email about the really cool thing that happened so I can focus on that.   But I still haven't gotten anything in the mail.  It just takes forever!  So emails are great!  Put a crap load of pictures of Jesus and stuff on things you send.   Because then they won't get into them.   I miss you guys.  I miss just relaxing and having fun!!  I will start working on that other email now!!  Miss you guys and love you!!   REMEMBER I AM THE BEST!! (: Thank you.


Elder Hedman
 
He wrote this in a separate email:


Ok, now for the spiritual thing that happened this week!! 
So on Wednesday, we got to go out proselyting.  Wow, it was the most amazing thing that I have ever done in my life!!  The spirit was just so strong and it was something that I have never experienced before.  At the MTC, I don't feel like I'm really a missionary because we don't really do anything about teaching people who aren't really in the church.  They are just fake investigators.  But when we got to go out, we taught real people who were interested in the Gospel!!  I had a companion who has only been out for 3 months and so his Tagalog isn't the best either.  But we were able to communicate with basically everyone!   I was pretty shy and didn't say to much but it was so cool!! 
The kids here just follow us around because they have never seen white people.  So they just follow us and we talk to them.  It is so funny because they just laugh and run off when I say something because I say it weird!  The people just point at you and giggle and laugh just like Uncle Tim said they would!!   And it is so cool!!   I love seeing the people here.  They really are so nice!


We only had 1 investigator that we were able to talk to.  She was a girl around 20 and we couldn't go into her house because we didn't have another member there that was a guy, so we just talked to her on her doorstep.  (They don't allow members of the opposite sex be alone together for safety reasons.)   She is getting baptized on Saturday.  So it's so cool to see how she is accepting the gospel and is going to be a strong member!   I really love the people here they are so fun to talk too.   It makes me kinda hate the MTC because it feels like prison.  When we go out there,  we can talk to anyone and just tract if we don't have anyone to teach.   So he showed me around and we handed out some pamphlets of the gospel.  We got like 7 return appointments for Sunday!!  So it was way cool getting to see the people and meet them.   I really can't wait to get out into the mission field!  It's going to be so great!!  I love you guys and miss you!! 
Elder Hedman

Syd's Email

Sydney, Mac's sister, sent him the following email:

dear mac,
Hi, so we went and saw catching fire and i got soda.  Someone drank it.  I was asking everyone then dad said maybe mac drank it so... WHY DID YOU DRINK MY CHERRY COKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:-)
love
sydney

Mac's reply:

You are all a bunch of weirdos!  hahahahaha  Goodness, you guys send me the most random stuff in the world.  But yes I did drink your soda, it was good!! SO DEAL WITH IT!!!  hahahaha

Love,
Elder Hedman

Explanation of why this silly email message exists...
We went to the movies this last week and Syd's soda pop disappeared and she wanted to know who drank it. No one would fess up and so since Mac isn't around to defend himself we jokingly said "Well, it must have been Mac." :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

That's Buhay (life)

It's been a completely crazy week!!  But as for the missionaries, it was good.  They all got here safely.  (The missionaries from the typhoon area were flown to Manila and are staying at the MTC until it is safe to return to Tacloban)  I even found out more about them.  I know that 2 of them graduated last year from Bingham (his high school).  I haven't seen them yet but they are OK!  So that was really good!!  My companion and I disobeyed and stayed out 30 minutes later that night the missionaries arrived so we could help them find the things they needed.  It was cool because 2 other companionships did that as well.  It was amazing because the people were just so grateful for the help they had gotten.  

In front of the MTC entrance.  What is up with the "thumbs up" sign?
The most spiritual thing was hearing Elder Gong of the 70  talk to us and saying how we could donate a few things to help them out! (the "Quorum of the Seventies" is a group of the senior leadership of the LDS church.  It is kind of like archbishop or a president of a diocese in the Catholic church.) I donated a shirt to help them out.  All in all, the whole MTC donated so much stuff!! The willingness of the people here to just help others out in their times of need is so cool!!  The gospel is so true and I know it with all my heart!!


I don't think I'll be able to see the links until I'm out in the field.  (I sent him links to his blog and the TV video clip that he was on.)  I will come back and look at them all after I get out into the field.  My teacher has been telling me things about you guys and that you said hi!  I was like, what the heck how does he know my family?  It was so weird!! haha  He is a way cool teacher.  He's easily the best one here!  The language is coming along pretty well to me and my companion.  We are teaching really well in Tagalog now.  It's so cool to see the change and how much we are learning!!  I'll give a short testimony in Tagalog!!


Alam ko po na totoo ang simbahan ni jesu cristo ng mga banal sa mga huling araw, alam ko po na tumawag ang diyos ng mga misyonero para sa atin, alam ko po na totoong propeta po si thomas s monson. alam ko po na buhay po si jesu cristo. alam ko po na manunubos po si jesucristo, sa pangalan ni jesu cristo amen.

(Google translate is the best!  I know that the true Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saint, I do know that God's call for us missionaries, I knew  I knew I would be a true prophet thomas s Monson. Please know I am living Jesus Christ. I know redeemer Jesus Christ, in the name of Jesus Christ. AmenIt's not perfect, but I get the gist!)

 
So that is a really short testimony because I can't type Tagalog to save my life.  It's just so different from English!!  I'll try and add a little each week.

When you send things to me, make sure you put lots of pictures of the Savior and even maybe a cross.  The people here are catholic and if they see a cross on a package, they think that they will be cursed if they take things from the package, so they leave those ones alone!  So make sure you put pictures like that on the things you send or the stuff could get stolen!!   As for mail, it takes so long to get here.  I still haven't even gotten anything but that's okay because I hear a lot of it just gets lost also!!  Things that people sent on October first are just barely getting here for other missionaries who are already gone out of the MTC.  So send everything to my mission address not the MTC one!! (see the sidebar to the right for the address) 

As for the week, we just study and study and then teach an investigator.  It's basically the same schedule every day but its good.  It's really exhausting because unlike physical labor where you can just relax and not have to think about anything, I have to be constantly focused so I can learn more about the language.  But it's really worth it!!! (: 

Elder Loy and Elder Hedman
I miss you guys but I know that I'm out here for a reason!!!  There is a purpose for me serving here and I can already start to see it in my life!!  This upcoming Wednesday is the first time that my batch (group) gets to go out of the MTC.  It's going to be so cool!!!   We get to go proselyting and go out to real areas and teach real people!!  I can't wait for that.  We get matched up with a companion who has been out in the field.  I have heard from the missionoaries that have already been out proselyting that it is so different.  That the MTC is just like a heaven compaired to the rest of the world out there!!!  So I can't wait for that.  I will let you know more about that when that moment comes!!


My favorite days are easily P days (preparation days) because even though it's still a freaking schedule, which totally sucks, it's a lot more laid back.  We get more time to relax and not have to worry so much about everything!  I love playing basketball here because the people think that I'm really good!!  Even though I am of course, I mean really I'm just amazing at all i do!!  hahaha

I'm jealous of you getting to go snowmobiling!  The weather here hasn't changed like at all.  I sometimes can't even remember what day of the week it is because it all seems like one big mash up of craziness!!!  But it's so worth it!  My understanding of the gospel has greatly increased and I love it!!  I know that I can rely on the Lord for everything!!  It just helps me get through all the hard times here.  I do have a little more hard times then I thought so I will type up a prayer in Tagalog!!

Ama po namin sa langit, nagpapasalamat po kami para sa ebanghelyo ni jesu cristo, nagpapasalamat po kami para sa araw nyagon, nagpapasalamat po kami para sa mga pamilya namin, at mga kaibigan namin, nagpapasalamat po kami para kay jesu cristo, at kay thomas s monson. basbasan po ninyo kami ng kaloob ng mga wika, bigyan po ninyo kami ng kalasugan, at kalakasan, at kapayapaan, at lakas, at lakas, nagpapasalamat po kami para sa, mga biyaya. nagpapasalamt po kami para sa oputunidad para mga misyonero. sa pangalan ni jesu cristo amen.


(Please Father in heaven, we thank for the gospel of Jesus Christ, we thank for the day nyagon, thank us for our family, and our friends, we thank for Jesus Christ, and with thomas s Monson. Please bless us of the gift of tongues, please give us an kalasugan, and strength, and peace, and strength, and strength, then we are grateful for, the grace. Please nagpapasalamt us for oputunidad for missionaries. in the name of Jesus Christ amen.)


 
That's a small prayer and the grammar probably isn't right but it's kinda the gist of it!!  It's so fun to learn a new language and talk to others about it!  We just communicate in Tagalog a lot and we try not to use English.  That way we can learn the language!!  I love hearing from a lot of different people, so please again let everyone know that I want to hear from them!! (:   Thanks so much!  I miss you guys and love you!!!


Love Elder Hedman
Make good choices!!  haha love you!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bonus!!

They gave us some time just so that I could email you guys to tell you that I am safe and that everything is going okay here!!

I was going to jokingly tell you guys that I lost a leg but it was no big deal, but I decided since you guys panic about everything, that you would just freak out! hahahaha  We only got hit with some wind and a little rain where we are.  It wasn't even as bad as some of the storms in Utah! But the south got hit pretty hard.  All the missionaries are safe though!

There is a lot of damage and stuff that happened.  We aren't allowed to go down and help because its like a 4 hour trip I think they said.  Plus it's too dangerous right now.  So the missionaries down there are going to be helping them out a lot!  (They are moving all the missionaries to Cebu and then onto Manila until it is safe to come back.  Safe drinking water, food and violence is a problem right now.)

Here it's just the usual stuff that keeps going on!  Make sure if you guys send me stuff now that you send it to the mission address.  By the time it gets here, I won't be at the MTC anymore.   I will be out in the field.  Send it to the other address not he MTC one!!

Also about music, I have no idea how to get anything down here, so maybe if you guys could send like the cheap mp3 that has music already on it that would be great.  Maybe just some church stuff, like hymns, classical, etc.  Don't do it yet though.  Think about it because I will find out more and let you guys know in the upcoming weeks!!  Thanks!!

Love you!
Elder Hedman

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Mac's MTC district.

We just received a picture of Mac and his MTC district.We are so happy to see that he is doing well and is safe and sound after an eventful weekend.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Mac in the Philippines During Typhoon Haiyan 11/8/13 News

This is a news report that KUTV Channel 2 here in Salt Lake did about Typhoon Haiyan as it was hitting the Philippines on November 8, 2013. They reported about how some of the local Salt Lake City residents are dealing with knowing about the status of loved ones over seas in the Philippines. This video is about 3 minutes long.

YouTube Link:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHAtHd4X3_4&feature=c4-overview&list=UUIGCF4xHHBUU-axinbx6axQ

Kumusta (hello)


Dear Mom,
So this week was pretty fun!  The language has been so much easier to learn now and I'm really starting to get the hang of it!  Don't worry about me and Kimarie (girlfriend), we talked a lot about what is going to happen.  It's all going to happen for a reason.  So don't worry about that!
 
So far it has been such a crazy schedule!!  We wake up in the morning and we study for like an hour.  Then we have classes on the language and we study again.  Studying is basically the only thing that we do which sucks because I don't like to study at all.  But the language skills are really improving!  I can now talk about my testimony and say prayers in the language.  So that's pretty cool!!  We are teaching the people or our investigators in Tagalog so its so crazy.  We have to use only Tagalog and they pretend that they can't speak any English at all.  So study is what the day consists of!!
The food here is just totally weird.  We eat so much fish and it sucks because they don't cook things they way they do in America!!  We have to eat the food here.  We rarely get anything that is from America!!! This Monday and Tuesday, we got American food.  It was the greatest food I have ever eaten!  But it was also the worst American food that I have ever had because it wasn't made right!  But that's OK because i just really needed some American stuff!

As for cards, I haven't gotten anything yet.  They say it takes forever for it to get here.  So I have no idea when the things you sent will arrive.  I would start sending things straight to my mission address that you guys have because it will probably take until then for them to get to me.  (I'll post the new address in about another week.  I think the weather is the reason things haven't gotten to him yet.)  I haven't sent anything to you guys yet.  We can only send cards or letters.  It takes up way too much time to write out a whole page of a card when I can type and get so much more written in the time that I have.

I'm mad you guys went to Vegas!  I really wanted to get some dancing done there (haha).  I knew you guys were gonna rot!  So you might as well enjoy it while you can!! hehehehe
Elder Anderson's talk was really cool.  It was my favorite thing so far.  As for my companion, we actually get along pretty well!!  It was pretty cool, a whole new batch of missionaries just arrived today.  We haven't really gotten to know them yet.  A lot of them are from Murray and some other areas in Utah, so it's cool.

We get to go to the temple on Friday's.  So today, when I was there, I was just pondering the things that have happened in my life.  When I was in the celestial room, I said a prayer.  What happened next is probably one of my most favorite memories I will ever have!  I felt like the Lord was speaking directly to me.  It was like He was there and talking to me, telling me that it is all going to be OK.  That my family and friends are being watched over.  That they will be safe.  The spirit here is so strong!!

I just love the people.  They are so nice and so welcoming!  They just kinda laugh if you say things wrong and then they will help you out!

Well I'll get going now!   I'm going to try and send some pictures!! (in another email he wrote:  I can't get the pictures to work.  I'm sorry!  I really am trying. I will keep trying but it might be until I'm out in the field that i will finally get it working!! SORRY LOVE YOU GUYS!

So I love you guys!!   Tell Jessie to aim for the heads of the zombies and it will help out a lot more!  (Jessie - his sister - wrote this in an email to him:  I learned how to play black ops so don't worry while your gone.  Being the oldest at home, I feel it is my responsibility to keep us safe from the zombies and now I can!)   Love you guys!!!!


Love,
Elder Hedman

Oh, I forgot to tell you guys that it really hasn't rained very much here until the past couple days. But when it rains it is soooo cool and it feels soooooo amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I love the weather here!  I love you guys! Remember the church is true!!

* all items in parenthesis were added by me

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan

Wow, he's been there 2 weeks and gets to experience his first typhoon!  This is headed to the south islands but he'll still feel the effects of it.  Keep in mind, the wind information is in kilometers per hour, not miles per hour.  I freaked out at first!  This may cause a delay in his weekly email since many parts of the country suffer power losses.  Luckily, since he is in the "big city," he may not have that trouble.  Keep him and all the people of the Philippines in your prayers.