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, January 30, 2017

How do you not have money for the bus? Did you not have your wallet? (Kelli told him how she took her car in for repair and then realized she had only a small amount of change and her phone couldn’t connect to get the Trimet Ap for a ticket. She walked 3.2 miles home!)  I walk probably an average of 4 miles a day, so it’s not too much, but sometimes is waaay up in the mountains. Sometimes we will walk 2 miles on our way home at night.

We had a record number of people attend Sacrament meeting, 99. The number really goes up if we get all the less active families to come. We had a recent convert and a newly ordained priest bless the Sacrament, but Elder Salingay and I passed the sacrament. The new priests kinda broke the bread really big, and since there were so many people we nearly ran out, which is an easy fix but if the church service doesn’t run smoothly it looks bad to our investigators (if any of them ever come to church).

Here in the Philippines, Ghost stories are real. Straightup, real. Elder Maners and Beck have even given blessings to cast out Devils, because the Priesthood is real. But seriously there are, so last night me and Elder Salingay are making dinner and we're talking, and he is telling a story and right when he says the word "ghost" there is such a loud ruckus upstairs, it sounded like some really big rats just running like crazy right above our heads. Of course I thought it would be cool to jump up and hit the ceiling to make them stop but it made them go even crazier. Then they must have found a hole in the wall cuz they busted out onto our tin roof and made a big noise. I was so scared because, yeah, we have rats, I already knew that, but that they started going absolutely nuts when he said "ghost"...I don’t know man, that sounds pretty spooky to me. It’s believable because there are so many people that die in their houses, that there’s so many haunted buildings in Agoo, and just the Philippines in general. I've even heard stories about missionaries getting possessed or visited by spirits, good and bad, but mostly bad. We only go upstairs to get supplies, but if its dark outside we just wait until morning. Call me a scaredy cat if you want, but I don’t mess with ghosts.

One thing I really want to do after the mission is come back and give service/aid to some of the people here. There are so many instances when just a little bit of support from America can go such a long way. As missionaries we can do service projects but we can’t just give aid to people. One experience that Elder Beck had in his area was when he visited an inactive member. The cause for going inactive was he started working every possible second to pay for an MRI for his wife. They had done the MRI already but the hospital wouldn't let him see the result/diagnosis until he paid the fee. The fee was 5,000 pesos, the man had been working and saving for 2 years and still wasn't halfway there. The worst part was Elder Beck, having just withdrawn from the ATM, and granted the exchange rate is 50-1, had 8,000 in his wallet. There are programs where the church leaders can work with members to give aid like this, so Elder Beck struggled to get the leaders to help this family.

I encourage us all to try and help those in need, we don’t need to do anything enormous, just enough to make someone smile can go a long ways sometimes. And I know that when we are in the service of our fellow man, we are only in the service of our God. (Mosiah 12:17) And we will feel and receive the blessings when we extend the helping hand. There are a lot of things I can’t do here, but I try to look for service projects and be helpful in any way I can. These people are so humble and sincere. I am really thankful that I am able to spend two years here learning and loving the people of the Philippines. 

Have an awesome week!

Elder Hennessey

Thursday, January 26, 2017

January 23, 2017

Hahaha ok, tell Grandma Hennessey I say “Hi” back. When did that letter get to you? The lady said it would be two weeks, but it was 2 weeks to Argentina and New Zealand too... It’s like in the restaurant we go to, they always say, that’ll be a 28 or 7 minute wait. I say ok because it always turns out to be like 12, or actually 7.

That’s crazy that there was a woman’s "march" What was the reason, or purpose they were trying to get across? Also what is Trump doing? I've heard he's pulling out of Asia and "doesn’t want to be the world’s cop anymore" Also that he told Japan to build nukes if they want them. I don’t know what to believe and I don’t even want to believe that, but if you could give me a quick rundown of some of his policies that would be nice for me to be informed. I did see the inauguration video where the MOTAC sang the National anthem, that was cool.
"OH There Goes Gravity" haha that’s the second line to a song by Eminem, the first line was the title of your email to me, “Back to Reality”. 

Yeah I was surprised when there was no email, but I understood, you’re in the promised land having a blast. About the weather… It’s probably about 95 average at noon but the humidity when you’re walking through a freshly watered rice field is WOW, waves of heat just rising up at you. I see the pictures of snow on the ground and I just wanna feel that. The real cold, not fake 16 degree Celsius aircon.

I actually wrote down some notes for things to say to you this week. 

I thought of some things about the language you might find interesting. Mostly some of the silly struggles I've had. First, everyone try nakakapagpagbagabag, yup sound out every syllable. It means "to cause stress" basically anxiety. That one’s just a fun tongue twister that the pinoys always try to get the Americans to stumble over. Also pangalin =name panalangin=prayer and pangangailangan=need (like I have a need for food when I'm hungry). Sagot=answer and sugat=wound. This one is really important to not mess up because we always say "when you pray to God you WILL get an answer" If you mess up it sounds like God is going to Smite you. Also if you say I have a sagot on my hand, but you mean to say wound on my hand, they will be very confused. 

Another aspect of our church is that I've been teaching the adults Sunday school class for the past month and a half, half of the weeks they will hand me the teaching manual right before sacrament and tell me they need a teacher. But we finally got a lady called to teach so I am relieved from my second calling. And 2 weeks ago we taught a recent convert (Johnathan, who I baptized) how to bless the sacrament, so we are helping our branch to become independent from the missionaries.

Sister Dulce, the super old lady who is self sufficient, while her husband was still alive, he said she couldn’t go to church, but she still found a way to go to the temple 3x. Which is impressive because the temple is in Manila, 5 hours away, and usually they'd stay for nights. Just goes to show that if we really want to do a righteous action, God will prepare a way for us to complete it. 1 Nephi 3:7 we have a commandment to go to the temple and worship, so if we are righteous, no matter what the circumstances, that dream will become reality.

Be safe in the snow and ice! I'll try not to get heatstroke at the same time.


Elder Hennessey

My comment is that please don’t send unsealed candy. Even if it’s like a starburst if it stays out for 3 days it’ll get soft and start leaking. But if it is a Butterfingers it will be good forever, and that is officially my favorite candy bar, Reese’s are good too but WOW those ginger cookies were bomb. Also tell grandma her BrownIes were delicious and not in the least bit moldy, but I put them in the freezer so the rats wouldn’t eat them

But I kinda have a bad habit of eating candy during studies and then I’m not hungry for lunch, so I’m just getting weak and fat :)

YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST I love you all

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

This week is transfer week. Every 6 weeks you have a possibility to transfer out of your house or get a new companion. Last Saturday Elder Binsalleh called me and said "I have good news for you, you’re going to transfer!!" "No way" (because normally trainers finish their 3 months with their trainees) "There was an emergency transfer with one of the Assistants to the President and you need to go be the remaining AP's companion. "NOO WAYY" I freaked out, "You are qualified and President asked for you" I was freaking out hard, and kept saying "No way! Stop Joking" for a good 5 minutes he kept telling me to calm down and that I was qualified for the position of Assistant to the President... Then he said he was joking. I'm still just a District leader trainer.

But Elder Beck and Elder Dosdos are getting transferred, and their area is getting dissolved because their branch leaders weren’t supporting the missionary effort like they said they would if President Bangal gave them another companionship of missionaries. 
January 8th

Woooooow! You guys must be having so much fun! I'm pretty jelly in case you didn’t guess. Oh yeah, that was their first flight. Flying is exciting. The take-off is scarier for me than the landing, and flying over the pacific ocean was a little intimidating knowing that if we went down and lived we'd just float in a little rubber tub for the rest of my life... :)  I cannot wait to go swimming, or even to go 2 days without wearing procelyting clothes. Greta’s saying reminds me of Incredibles. "This was the Best Vacation EVER!" Hope you are having a lot of fun even if the party is 10 hours farther West (me!)  Yeah i could chastise yal about keeping the Sabbath day, our Lord's day, holy.... But you guys are in Hawaii and I'd probably do more than you would haha, it’s ok, I've always liked your idea of church vacation even if we just went up to Lincoln city. 

My name in the sand, drawn by Elder Faingaa, a Tongan from New Zealand. We stopped at the beach for 5 minutes before our meeting in San Fernando.

Me chopping wood for nanay Dulce, I figured I can do a weeks worth of wood in about 20 minutes instead of her having to do a little bit every day.

A monkey in a dish, her names Maimai and she bites.

My view from the back of a Jeepnee.

Purple flowers for my momma, I’ll start taking pics if they’re pretty.

The area of Pugo from my exchanges on Wednesday.


A pretty pole plus vines that I thought looked cool.

Monday, January 2, 2017

At the end of Tiegue’s email, he mentions people could ask questions to him on his blog. If anyone does this I can copy into my weekly email and will post his response in the following blog. He mentioned when we skyped that Sundays are very busy for him now that he is a DL (District Leader) but he’s enjoying the responsibility.

This week’s highlight was defiantly Christmas and New Years. For both of the holidays we had a curfew at 6 pm because after that things can get a little wild. Because our curfew was so early, I asked if we could bus up to the other Elders apartment and have a sleepover.  I'll take every chance to hang out with other elders because I've been in a single companionship house for this whole mission, even if it means sleeping on a tile floor with a sheet wrapped around me (we pushed their 2 mattresses together for New Years cuz that floor is cold and hard). Living literally 24/7 with someone completely different than you can be tiring, and trying.

For Christmas we had a Balut party, 6 Elders and 25 Boiled duck eggs, apparently they are super high in cholesterol so you shouldn’t eat more than 4, or eat them too regularly. Elder Dosdos ate 9.... that’s just too many duck fetuses if you ask me. (I can’t wait to find out where to buy Balut in Portland, or make it, for my family and friends to try. It’s actually good.) Also it’s tradition that members bring food to the house of the elders on Christmas Eve. I don’t know if it was lucky, or sad that the members in my area forgot to bring food to us, it’s good though because we weren’t there.

For New Years Eve (in the other elders house again) we tried really hard to resist buying fireworks since they’re not allowed for missionaries. If normally we'd spend 100 USD in America, that’s about 5000 Pesos, enough to buy a whole stand of mortars, bottle rockets, flash grenades, and huge firecrackers. Luckily the neighbors bought their own. New Years here means noise, plain and simple. Whether it means fireworks, horns, clapping, revving your motorcycle, or dragging sheets of tin roofing behind your trike, they'll find a way to make noise. I'm looking forward to making American versions of these pinoy (philippino) traditions. 
I'm getting really bad about emailing because I don’t have time on Sundays to plan what I wanna say. I'll try to be better about it next week. If you have questions that helps, I'll answer anything (mostly). Maybe if there is a way for them to ask on the blog they could ask. Depends on you :)
Love ya,
Hope your Christmas was bangin, and your New Years funtastic

Elder Hennessey

Tiegue forwarded these pictures from Elder Keliiokalani. Thought we would enjoy!