This Blog is about Elder Hennessey's two year mission, in the Philippines Baguio Mission, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Before I tell the story, here is a little language study:
Balik - Return
balikan - Return for something
babalikan - you are going to return for something/someone (often times referring to returning for someone in order to marry them.)

We have a new investigator who we have given the nickname Tatay Gro-ot. He is pure illokano and knows about as much Tagalog as I used to in Spanish, so not a whole lot. The first time we taught him (in iIlokano) a lightning storm hit our area 5 minutes before the end of the lesson. By the time we had said the closing prayer we were in the middle of high winds, heavy rain, and lightning every 10 seconds. Tatay told us “There’s kimat (lighting) and the sound that follows is Groot (thunder).”  When he said thunder he shook his body and raised his voice and it was really funny. So the second time we went back to him we have a running joke now where we ask him "Tay, pag nalipas ti Kimat, adda ti..." (tay, after there is lightning, there is...) then he says "GROOT" and we all laugh. He’s 74 by the way. 
His 14 year old granddaughter and her best friend also 14 came up to the house where we were visiting with him. The best friend Angel started asking me about America, at the same time that Tatay was talking to Elder Vilela. Angle asked 
"nageesnow ba sa inyo?" Does it snow where you’re from?
"Oo" Yes, I replied.
I didnt know that when she asked me the snow question, tatay also asked me:
"Agsubli ka para kanyana?" will you babalikan her? To which he heard my reply of:
"oo" Yes.
Elder Vilela turned to me and asked me if I was serious, "Are you going to balikan her?" I was shocked and confused and worried, I said "what? no, What?" looking back and forth from Angel my future spouse, Tatay my future grandpa in law, and finally resting on Elder Vilela in a desperate plea for help.
Elder Vilela kind of cleared things up with a joke. "You see tay, he can’t, he already as a wife, 2 actually" then we all laughed and moved on. 

Hope you got a laugh out of it. My house mates sure did when I told them. Have a great week.

Elder Hennessey

Monday, September 11, 2017


Yo Yo Yo We got a new puppy WHAAAAAt!   This is my new puppy in America!
Please vote on a name:







A Golden Doodle (golden retriever/poodle)
This is yet another week of pics. Enjoy.

Companion exchanges with Elder Lloyd, the first time I've ridden bikes as a missionary. We went across Calaba bridge which is a super long
bridge with a suuuper pretty view.

Another picture from our exchanges, this is someone’s house with an amazing background. I love how there are sceneries here that are similar to computer backgrounds, they’re actually real places pala.

A CSP from last Monday. We were mixing cement to be poured into the back end of the room so they have a raised sleeping area to put their raised bamboo platform on that they sleep on. On the wall are 2 pictures of Jesus and the certificate of marriage from the Temple. That is the only decoration in the whole room. #Priorities

A birthday party we went to. We had spaghetti with soup instead of sauce which was really good, and fried Grape and sweet potato leaves, also maserap. We had blue Mountain dew (I think that’s what it was) in Coke Bottles: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

I don’t have much to say about this week but earlier today we went to a wag-waggan (2nd hand clothes store, where most of the clothes are shipped from China in big assorted bags).  Me and Elder Vilela both bought 4 ties. We talked them down from the original price to 4 for 100 pesos. 4 ties for 2 bucks :) I normally wouldn’t have bought any because I already have ties but I would like some so I have an easier time giving them away when I leave the area as SRs, or Special Remembrances.

Hope ya’ll are havin a  great week. Miss ya. Be good, go to church.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

This week we had what is called a Mission Tour. One of the Elders from the quorum of the 70 (one step below the quorum of the 12 Apostles), Elder Schmutz, came to our mission and had a seminar with 1/3 of the missionaries at a time. We learned a lot of really good things, and were able to feel the spirit a lot while he was with us. One of the best things that I heard him tell us, that as missionaries, we represent Jesus Christ in our areas. And as his representatives, we have the right and the authority to extend to our investigators any and all blessings that are found in the scriptures as well as any that we feel inspired by the Holy Spirit to extend to them. I think it will help to be more bold and powerful in the lessons we teach. I hope that people will be able to recognize the truth we tell to them and actually act on their faith and follow the commandments.

On Saturday and Sunday we had District Conference. So all of the Members of the District, which includes 6 different groups of members, all met in Bangued to listen to speakers.  5 out of the 6 speakers' topics were on Tithing... Which is a super important commandment that we really need to follow. Tithing is the Lord’s law of finances, where we promise to give 10% of all our income to the church for the purposes of caring for the needy and building the kingdom of God on Earth. President Andrada (the man with a blue tie in the pictures) said "it doesn’t take money to pay tithing, it takes faith". Which is very true. He also said, if you want to be right in this life, pay tithing, not meaning that we will become missionaries, but that we have been promised that God will open up the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that we will not have room enough to receive it. (Malachi 3:8-10)
"What’s bigger? A door or a window? *a door* Yeah but there’s more windows" -President Bangal hahaha, love that guy.

My companion doesn’t yet have his patriarchal blessing so we are going to make an appointment to go to BAGUIO CITY for him to receive it. If you have any questions on a Patriarchal Blessing, ask my mom, she would love to explain it.

Have a great week!!!!

Monday, August 28, 2017

This is after a service project, where we carried buckets of sand and large rocks to build a retaining wall where they will eventually build a small house. Elder Vilela started stacking rocks on this sleeping puppy, but then the kids took over and started covering him. kawawa (poor thing) But he woke up and stretched when it got too heavy - don’t worry. 

Last Pday after Email we had some free time so Elder Lloyd showed us a minimart that has a pool room you can rent for 125 pesos ($2.45 USD) an hour per person. I didn’t know where we were going at first but we went behind the counter, through a small hallway, through another door and opened up into a cellar of a pool room, but it was cool enough for us. We played for a good hour, next time we will probably stay longer. It was funny how back room it was. Never would I ever expect there to be Billiards (as it is always called here) in the back room. 

Lastly, this is my companion Elder Vilela at a calenderia (outside eating place) and I finally decided to try the thing that’s in my hand. “What is that?" you might ask, It’s grilled chicken heads. They were good, a little bit bony but I would eat it again. Only 10 pesos for 3 (20 cents).

We are teaching a family of 5. The Father and the daughter are the ones we are teaching but we will try to have a FHE there to get his 2 other younger boys to join the lessons and gain interest too. The father is really cool, really funny. He believes everything we teach him, is living the word of wisdom, but his problem is he won’t come to church, and wants to wait for his wife to come back from working abroad so they can be all baptized together. We told him that he should take the opportunity now because he will be able to help his family more through his example. He is getting really close we can feel it, we just need him to come to church instead of driving people around in his Tricikel. I'll try to get a picture with them next week, he is a roly poly kind of a man, haha He’s awesome. 

Thank you to the people who emailed me this week, you know who you are. The missionaries in the field are soo appreciative of letters, emails, or any pictures you think to send. If you have any questions about what I’m experiencing, I’ll try to answer as best I can. 

Have a great week Y'all

Elder Hennessey

This is Sister Brown and Sister Manu. As her first District Leader, I  am Sister Manu's mission dad, and as her first “stl”, Sister Brown is her mission mom, meaning that we are a couple and this is our kid, which makes my facial expression pretty funny in this pic. 



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

This week was cool. I had for the second time in my whole mission a Family Home Evening at the investigators house without another member present. It is a weird concept for people just to gather with Family and then have some quality laughs. We always supply the games and a short message. The father of the family missed the lesson but came in for the games which was amazing because usually he is very shy towards us. The games allowed us to break the tension very easily. The mother has fake teeth and one of the games requires you to say a phrase without showing your teeth, even if you laugh you need to keep your teeth covered by your lips. The nanays teeth fell out!! haha It was really funny and she sat out the rest of the game because it was an "unfair disadvantage." 

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Invite the missionaries over for dinner!! I don’t know if they do fun games like we do here, but if you ask them to beforehand, I'm sure they’ll come up with something. 

Have a good week!

These are pics with my new companion Elder Vilela.  He is from Batangas, Phillippines, a place where Tagalog IS the native language, but it’s not just tagalog, it’s a very deep dialect. The way he explained it to me it sounds like they speak the Tagalog equivalent of Old English, and instead of saying happy they’d say overjoyed. Anyways, he’s a super cool guy.

We rode in the back of my branch president’s truck, #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines

Monday, August 14, 2017

Last Friday was a memorable day of work. First we met a guy who was really old and after we gave him a pamphlet with introduction to the Restoration of the Church, he told us "ok, I have a story to tell you, I spent 2 years in grade 1, 1 year in grade 2, 2 years in grade 3, 1 year in grade 4, and 3 years in grade 5.” That’s all the education he had, but then I said "Yeah that maybe true, but if you add all those years together, you get 9 years of schooling!" He laughed and said thanks for the pamphlet. 

The next person we saw was fixing some shorts, so while I introduced myself, I grabbed some of the other shorts he hadn’t yet fixed and got to work. I was halfway done when his neighbor came to sit by me and said I was doing it wrong. I hadn’t stretched the elastic taught before sewing, so it wouldn’t have been able to stretch and probably just tore. Also I had sewn the drawstring into the seam so it wouldn’t have adjusted anymore. Silly me. I undid it, we laughed a lot at my blunder, and I fixed them the right way. They’d probably already been fixed 4 times by the 4 other color threads I saw. 

I really enjoy finding, meeting all new people and trying to let them see I’m not just some foreigner, but I’m a person too and I have a message that will raise the quality of life. It is so easy for me to see the blessings in the lives of people here because even if there is a big house, if the inside of the house is full of hate and contention and no one is being nice then the house is worth nothing. But there are many people here whose lives are not super luxurious but they are happier than many others that I’ve met all because of the gospel of Jesus Christ and obedience to His commandments. 

Elder Hennessey

Elder Pitt at the Balun. He is nagbabumba, or pumping water.

Elder Jenson, Elder Campbell and Me inside a Trike.

The small river our Trickel had to cross. We drive onto the raft then they pull us across. On our way, there were 2 trickels on the raft, we were in the back, but because our trickel had 4 amerikanos in it, it was heavier, and the raft was off-balanced. It slid back maybe a foot and a half when our end sunk down into the water. We all yelled and pushed at each other to get out of the cramped Trickel. It was very fun.

Elder Campbell and me before he left. I'm wearing a sweater even though it made me super sweaty.

The longest bridge in the Phillippines.


Harvesting Corn.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

I don’t have too much to say about this week, other than it went by super fast. On Tuesday I went to Bukay on Companionship exchanges with Elder Siojo, he’s almost 2 months into his mission. We had a good time, I only go there when they need me to interview someone for baptism, since I’m the district leader. They had two Baptismal candidates that both passed, they’re baptisms were on Saturday and confirmations the following Day. While in Bukay, we had a nanay and tatay that worked with us the whole time, from the first appointment (which was a referral from them) to the dinner appt (at their house).

It was a fun time, and nice to be with someone so young in the mission because they haven’t relaxed yet. It was hard to return to Bangued because my companion and Elder Pitt's Companion will be leaving this Sunday night. They will go home and never return to missionary life again... unless they do a senior mission. I'm so gonna be super sad to see them go, but it will be hard thinking that I still have a year to go, and they'll be seeing their fams within a week. But it’s ok, just as long as I come home when I'm supposed to, and not earlier due to disobedience.

This rice was 46 Pesos a kilo, which is kinda expensive, but it was very delicious. I have gotten the bad habit of sorting out the rocks and leaves from the uncooked rice. It’s really time consuming and doesn’t make too much of a difference, but all those little rice shells and rocks came just from the rice on the plate. Sometimes I will be eating rice and chew down on some tiny rock, luckily they are usually softened a little by the boiling process. But the worst thing I ever experienced with eating rice was chomping down on a small piece of...not rock,... glass; that did not get softened in the cooking process. But it’s ok, the Ulam (rice topping) was still good and I didn’t break my teeth.

Some Sweet Basketball shoes, see if you can find the unusual bit. A funny evidence of imitation shoes. 

Elder Jensen’s ingenious way of drying the pants that he would need to wear later in the day. 

Don’t forget to email your Elders in the Field:

Even just one sentence, and an attached picture will go a looong ways. 

Have a blessed week. In 2 weeks I'll have a new companion. Hopefully I'll be training again :)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

This week was pretty normal... besides the fact that I JUST HIT 1 YEAR IN THE MISSION!! But yeah, pretty normal. For my 1 year mark I bought our house pizza, because there’s this really good pizza shop that’s run by some big white guy and a Philipina and they both speak with really thick English accents. I bought 5, 10 inch, Pizzas for 640 Pesos. That’s right - we got stuffed on 5 pizzas for less than 13 Dollars. Then we went out to proselyte like regular.

We're currently having a level 1 Super Typhoon (basically just a tropical storm) passing through the Philippines. This means it rains in the morning when it normally doesn't rain until about 3 in the afternoon like clockwork. And at night it gets really windy. I have mixed feelings about a super typhoon hitting Abra. Yeah of course it would be really hard on the people, many many houses would get wrecked and everything would get wet, and there would be floods everywhere. But it would be fun to do a lot of service, and we would probably not be able to work for a few days and we’d get bombarded with opportunities to serve the people. And it would be humbling to witness the Raw power of a super typhoon, just the name sounds intimidating.

Shout out to Elder Rennaker in Argentina. He’s experiencing probably the opposite things from me weather-wise. I have yet to receive pics from Elder Symes, maybe his Mother can Send me some (Hi Audry!)

More pictures from the resort that my Branch President designed.

Elder Jenson buying MacDo on a bike at the Drive through-window. 

Elder Rennaker in Argentina.

Monday, July 24, 2017

This week we went out with our branch President to our areas to know where it is ok for us to work, because there are 3 other companionships working in Bangued and its not effective if we are always working in each others areas. Anyways it was very helpful, And relaxing to drive around in his car with airconditioning on. He showed us all of the buildings that he has designed. He’s designed probably 40 buildings in Bangued alone! And also designed the resort at the top of Bangued, I will have a picture of it next week but these pics are ones from the top of the highest building in Bangued. 

We were finding this week and found the house of a girl who had come to church with some of our other investigators last week. We were very surprised that we found her out of the blue. She was very nice but since we knew we wouldn’t be able to teach her "because she’s a young girl without a male in the house” we gave her all 3 starting pamphlets: The Restoration if the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Plan of Salvation, and The Gospel of Jesus Christ. She texted us later that night asking questions like "Why are these pamphlets so easy to understand when I’ve been going to church for my whole life?” and “Why don’t other people teach about eternal families or a loving Heavenly Father?'' And we returned the next 2 days to give her a book of Mormon because she had already finished the Pamphlets.  We have high hopes for her, we just need to find a way get a guy to fellowship, or just sit in the lessons so we can teach her.

I really like the pamphlets because you can figure out all of the truth without even having a missionary. Thats why we walk through a Barangay and give out like 40 pamphlets a day. "OoOh im da Mo'mon Fa'ma!!"

Love ya'all

Be safe have a good week

Elder Hennessey

Sunday, July 16, 2017

This week was cool. The highlight was definitely the "Come Unto Christ" Musical Devotional. We sang a variety of songs combined with some of the missionaries from the Mission Centre San Fernando, We invited everyone from 5 different municipalities to come to our small church building to listen. It went Great, besides the fact that I was asked to give a small solo from “His Image in Your Countenance." I was super nervous but it was over before too long. One of the concerns of our investigators who didn’t come was that it might rain and on the way home it would be all wet. They were right. It did rain, and it Rained HArd. We were in the 2nd to last song when it started, but we knew it was coming from the wind and darkening clouds. It was awesome though because even if there was monsoon level rains and thunder every 30 seconds, there was still a very strong spirit with the group of Saints listening to and singing songs about the life of Jesus Christ. It was a very cool experience and very worthwhile. 

Last Monday we went to eat pizza at a pizza shop owned by a white guy and a Philippino woman who is from England and so she only speaks English with a very thick accent. While we were eating I wanted to add Barbeque sauce to my BBQ chicken pizza but the cap was very tightly shut. I struggled for a second before it popped off with a splatter of BBQ sauce that got all over me and the table. I was feeling pretty scrubby but we cleaned up a little and then went shopping afterwards. Elder Pitt had me clean his tie which I was happy to do since it was a very unfortunate accident. 

We went to the municipality (province) of Bukay 40 minutes away to interview some baptismal candidates for some other Elders. A trike costs 150 pesos ($3 USD) going one way, that’s super expensive, but the drive is really far and a lot of uphill. We finally got there, walked for an hour to the people’s house, interviewed, walked to another place, and interviewed a boy who had just turned 8 years old. We then stayed for his birthday dinner which was Maserap! Before we left though, we said that we were gonna go to the waiting area to get a tricycle (a motorcycle with a sidecar, so 3 wheels) going home. The father laughed as he said there were no more tricycle running at that time, and we would have to sleep in Bukay for the night. After 25 minutes of hunting and waiting we finally found a Member willing to drive us back to Bangued. It was 7:30 and dark by now and raining pretty good. But he told us if he were to drive us it would cost the price of 2 trips, because he would have to come back afterwards... Kind of reluctantly we got in, 10 minutes into the drive, we were at a curve in the road and the headlight went black. The breaks screeched to a stop and he got them working again. I had actually been praying for safety on the wet downhill roads when it happened, so I was terrified when I opened my eyes to pitch black and brakes squealing. We finished the 30 minutes, and handed over another 300 pesos. We hoped he would lower it at least 50, or maybe even to 200, but we weren’t going to fight a member on the price after he rescued us from being stranded in a mountainous province. 

Have a good week

Elder Hennessey


We had just started to walk down a really long road to our area when a rainstorm started to pass overhead, so instead of getting soaked to the bone right at the start of the day, we hid out there for maybe 10-15 minutes. "at nandoon and area namin - And our area is far that way"

My old Companion Elder Bagnall. He just got out of the Hospital where he had kidney failure, basically 50/50 chance of dying but he pulled through. We knew it was serious but not to what level when our Mission President texted everyone and told us to say a prayer for him and anyone else who has a sickness at 9:30. Since he was my companion just 3 months before I got pretty worried. Buhay Pa! Still Alive!

All of the missionaries that participated in our "Come unto Christ" Music Devotional with Mission President and his wife in the center. 

My Church Building. 

My Branch president’s daughter about to touch a giant spider holding a cookie...jokes that’s the cookie is its egg sack. Look at the Bic pen for scale.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hey hey hey, I finally made it to my 3rd area in the mission; Bangued Abra. It’s awesome here. But first I wanna say how my 4th of July was. I started it at midnight by drinking tea with Elder Walsh, a Brit from Manchester, then after hopping on a bus for 3.5 hours I got to my new area, where I sang The Star Spangled Banner with 3 other Americanos before going to sleep :) It was a day to be remembered.

My new house is awesome, super big and new, which means it hasn’t had enough missionaries pass through it to become dirty. I love Philippinos but there is a little culture barrier where conversation topics don’t come up all the time.  But with 4 Americanos we almost never have a quiet moment in the house, and there’s the perfect amount of space for us to do whatever we want. 2 nights ago we practiced our cricket bowls in the living room since Elder Jenson lived in New Zealand until he was 6, so basically he’s American but he can still get a sweet accent if he wants.

On Wednesday we were trying to find new people to teach so we took a trip up into the mountain. We saw a big gazebo, and went over to check it out. We looked over the back and saw what we originally thought were terra-cotta statues. Upon further inspections they were... statues of biblical stories maybe (?) there was a lot of Jesus’s and roman soldiers and people praying. It creeped me out and reminded me of Weeping Angels from Doctor Who. 

The area of Bangued is awesome. All of the missionaries that come here think its gonna be a tiny place that’s super 3rd world country...and it is but there are also some beautiful arkitexture here. I'd say it’s bigger than Bacnotan, and definitely hotter. There’s a lot of boarding houses which is something I’ve never noticed in my other areas. We teach people in 3 different boarding houses which is nice because we can go to one place and teach 2 or 3 separate lessons. 

I'll try to get some videos sent to you, I’ve got a lot but the Internet cafe I'm in right now said it’s not allowed to watch YouTube or upload video files because it will take up too much gigs. Since they’re not on an unlimited plan, it’s like 50 gigs or something. 

Love you all!

Don’t forget to invite the missionaries over to your homes, They're too shy to ask for it but they'll bring the spirit into your home. Worth it. 

What it looks like when 2 missionaries are packing to leave an area.

Our district breakfast, morning of Transfer day, at the beach. We ate mashed potatoes, hotdogs and rice, plus water. (I just have a butcher knife on my plate haha)

My new housemates: Elder Jenson, Elder Pitt, Me, Elder Campbell. Each pizza was 155 pesos ($3.05 USD) and we got a “Buy 4 get 1 free” deal.


My new Zone.

Monday, July 3, 2017

This week was the most productive out of any week of my entire mission. We had 43 investigator discussions, and met 33 new investigators. The finding we did last week really paid off. This area is set up really well for the next missionary because I'M TRANSFERRING! I will finally be going to my 3rd area. Bangued Branch 2. I have heard amazing things about this place and even if it is way far away it is a growing area. I will be very sad to leave Bacnotan really, the people and the work and the ward and area are amazing, but I am excited to go to my third area where I will kill Elder Campbell (I'll be his last companion before he goes home).

I love and hate packing. It’s good to throw things away but it’s hard because I get bogged down with reading old Letters people have sent to me and old pictures I've been given or printed. Please write your Elders. Email is good, but Letters are 100% to make their week, and you'll probably even get a response which will be written during our language study time (chAr haha).

I hope everyone will have an amazing Fourth of July, in Celebration of the Glorious Country of America. For my Fourth of July, I will wake up singing our National anthem for Elder Walsh, who is from England, Great Britain. We have a good time arguing about whose country is better, it’s all in good fun; He's even admitted he likes America and would love to visit after the mission. 

Be safe! Blow something up for me :) Or surprise attack someone in Silly String :)

Elder Hennessey

Conrado and his family after they fed us spaghetti lunch. 

Abenohar Family

Bawal magmotor "Not allowed to not Ride motorcycles"

A crab Elder Dosdos found in a puddle as we walked back from Abenohar Family. Elder Bulseco ate it and his mouth went numb. We don’t know if he’s allergic or it was affected by Acid Rain.

Abenohar's Family Rules

Bishop Baro and His family, and Elder Walsh, my Lolo (grandpa, or trainer of my trainer) in the mission.

Elder Dosdos my Companion Getting a Vaccine, we all got them. The Elder giving them is Elder Thomas, who was a Medic in the Army and served 3 years active duty before coming on his mission.