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


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! (:

Elder Hedman

Monday, December 9, 2013


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!!

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.


F. TaƱedo Street, Barangay San Nicolas
Tarlac City, Tarlac 2300

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!


David C. Martino

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!!