Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hey Everyone Almost There!

Flight plans for the Philippines, Great moments speaking in Cebuano, and a great story about speaking by Skype to a Philippine. 

I am so thankful to all of you for the prayers given for me, and the letters I have received. Prayers are so much help when I am learning the language, I feel them as words are brought to my remembrance, it is super cool.
I have been asked what is the best way to contact me next week and beyond, when I am in the Philippines, I honestly don't know, when I get there I'll do my best to let everyone know. Thanks so much for caring about me so much :D

Last Friday Night we got our flight plans, we are to be ready at 6:00 AM on Sept. 4th and we leave from Utah at 11:15 AM for Tokyo, from there we have a 2 hour lay-over, then a flight to Manila, Philippines, and arrive at 10:20 PM ... on Sept. 5th. So a crazy long flight.

This week I had some great moments speaking Cebuano. Our distract has been going to choir every week practicing singing songs for the devotional and listening to great stories from the choir director (they are about how the Mormon Pioneers set up the church, and the crazy struggles that they faced, or about where the song we were singing comes from). They're awesome. Last week I didn't really want to sing, and choose to study in the same room as choir practice because my companion still wanted to sing in the choir. Well, I guess I wasn't supposed to be there if I wasn't singing, and was asked to leave by a security guard, who put me in a courtyard with a bunch of missionaries learning Spanish. They had done the same thing as me, and explained to me that the security didn't want us just roaming around. Then, I started talking with them for a while.

This is where the story gets good. I saw my teacher Bro. Johnson, in street clothes, as he said "Kumsta" to me. We had a conversation in Cebuano him asking what I was doing, and about my day, etc.. then said goodbye to each-other. Then I turned around. Those missionaries faces...priceless, I was was trying not to laugh at there faces, they looked in awe and super scared at the same time. They were scared, because every Spanish Missionaries fear is that the Spanish they are learning won't match to where they are going (Spain Spanish vs Mexican Spanish) And they thought I was speaking American Spanish because they heard "Como Estes" instead of "Kumusta" on top of that I have an English name-tag, instead of a Cebuano Name-tag. So they thought I must have already known Spanish before my mission.

It was so great, I was laughing all night about it, and the next day with Bro. Johnson. After I explained to them that it wasn't Spanish, Instant relief followed by confused looks, they were still surprised that I could speak Cebuano so well, and had been learning it for just as long. Then as we were walking into the devotional, some old man, asked if I wanted a front row seat, I of course said yes, and got a reserved seat, it was pretty cool, but I still don't know why I got it.

During weeks 5 and 6 at the MTC, if you are learning a language you get to Skype a person from where you will be going on your mission. Me and my Companion were skyping a philippine, and we were sharing favorite scriptures. He shared 1 Nephi 2:15 "He dwelt in a tent." I thought he was joking because he was a pretty cool dude, and I have never taken this scripture of much value before. After reading it, he then explained that it was his favorite scripture because Lehi had given up all his gold and silver to obey God, that he gave up everything and now was dwelling in a tent, in the middle of the wilderness, waiting for the next thing. It was such a cool testimony, and even cooler that me and my companion understood it. What a great guy, his name was Gurcov Wong.

I thank you again for the prayers you give me, I can't believe next week I will be in the Philippines.

Elder Remer 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hey everyone!

This week has been amazing at the MTC. There have been some funny moments in our room, some great teaching activities, and amazing stories from my teachers about their missions.

Lets start out with our apartment/dorm. When we go shower, usually someone forgets there key and needs to either knock, or wait for someone else. One of the days this week, our next door room had one of the funniest experiences, because they all forgot their keys, and wrapped in there towels, they of course didn't want to walk across campus to the main building to get another key, and my room was making fun of them for quiet some time. I laughed and smiled at first, but then I felt pretty bad for them, I mean anyone could make that mistake. However, our room kept being a little to mean to them.

Now, the best part. Later in the day, after gym. My room went to go shower, and I of course brought a key because I didn't want to be laughed at/embarrassed. I was the first of our room to get done showering, and closed the door to our room. I heard a knock at the door, but chose to ignore it as I was reorganizing my bag. I thought to myself, wouldn't it be funny if they all forgot their keys. Then I heard, a voice saying 'Hey do you have a key?" "No..." this repeated, until they realized that they were locked out. They all started panicking and calling "ELDER REMER!" trying to find me, because I had been quiet up to this point. A few minutes past, with me being quiet thinking of what I wanted to do, before I answered the door. I was deciding on a few, and choose to act like a Philippine. I spoke in Cebuano, asking "Who is it?" and "What do you want?" And other questions like that. I found out something, that none of them knew the word for open. The other room that they laughed at earlier will not give them the answer, so they start saying sentences like "We want you to not close the door." and other phrases that were good attempts, finally them found the word for open, and now know it by heart. :D

There are always great activities in our class, this week we were learning more Cebuano, and our attention was lacking. So the teacher stopped the lesson, which has never happened, and said "We are going to practice riding a Jeepney!" And walks outside the class and starts dragging chairs from all the classrooms, We were all so confused. Then the teacher asked us to go inside this small room, packed with two rows of chairs facing each other, that sitting down, our knee would touch the other chair. Then we all got crammed in this room, and the teacher turned on two loud fans and said that we needed to practice giving quick 2-3 min messages with lots of distraction, and so we did, the teacher choosing the topic each time. On the first run there was lots of yelling, a good message, and no spirit :( But by the end, it was yelling still, the same message, with testimony, and the spirit touching our hearts it was super cool

And last Brother Niki. Brother Niki is a man that My teacher baptized. Before the missionaries, Bro Niki had the worse reputation in the town, and Brother Johnson had doubt that he could convert him. Turns out he was the best investigator ever. After listening to all the lessons, and doing all the commitments, it was near time for him to get baptized, but He stuggled with the word of wisdom. Brother Johnson and his companain were debating dropping him, because there was no more to teach, and Brother Niki was not following the commitment. During the "last lesson" they decided they would give him one more chance, They sat in quite after he said he couldn't do it. Then to Brother Johnson's mind came the scripture Ether 12:30 30 For the brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin,Remove—and it was removedAnd if he had not had faith it wouldnot have moved; wherefore thou workest after men havfaith.  Then Brother Niki said "Brother Johnson, are you challenging my faith?" and Brother Johnson replied "Yes, I am."

Brother Niki did it, stopped all addictions he had, got baptized, and attended the temple. Then after that, people saw the change in him, and asked him what happened. This is when Brother Niki invited them to church. Brother Niki wanted to share the feeling he felt with these people. They tried the gospel, and to read the Book of Mormon, and found out it was true, by praying and feeling the spirit. In two Months Brother Niki baptized 80 people! And a short while after Baptized enough people himself to form a branch. It was crazy! I wouldn't believe it if Brother Johnson didn't show us the pictures. Just think, that he could have never been challenged, then all those people would have not come to church, or waited a long time, before ever hearing the gospel and feeling it in there hearts. The Lord truly knows what we need.

Thank you for the letters, It is so cool all of the things you are doing, and great to here about just everyday things that I relive when I read your letters. Please send me pictures, if you can, of all these great experiences, or everyday activities. Oh and any emails that you want me to add to the list.

Thanks Everyone For your Time, Prayers, and Love. I feel them all.

Elder Remer

Friday, August 15, 2014

Kumusta kamo!

Thanks everyone for the letters and packages that I received, I am still receiving some letters but so far this week for just letters/postcards I got a letter from Zoey, 5 from my family, 3 from Grandma and Grandpa Peterson, 1 from Ashleigh, and 5 from the other Remer's( that I just barely got so I haven't read yet).

I didn't win the competition, because one elder was winning, and then got 6 more letters on the same day.

So I have been asked by multiple people some questions I would like to answer, I am going to answer a few of the common ones.

What is the best part of the MTC?

There are a few "best" things about the MTC. 
Spiritually, its crazy the amount of revelation that I recieve here. Whenever I have a question, it seems like it is always answered by the end of the day, or I gain the perspective that I will find the answer later. I really enjoy the amount of spirit I have felt and how it is helping me learn the language.

Socially, The best part of this week is a tie. I have been trying to speak the language since the first week of the MTC, because of this I have gotten great at speaking cebuano(not even close to fluent, but its been 4 weeks, so..) and my Companion Elder Lewis has become great at hearing Cebuano. The rest of our distract started this week, and with the exception of one Elder, All are struggling. We however are having fun speaking fast in Cebuano and watching their confused looks.

Second, We also have been translating movie lines, comedy quotes to cebuano and reminding each other of funny mistakes we have made, or other distracts have made.

Some funny mistakes we have made.
Elder Lewis: send and sin are similar words so he said
Jesus sinned for all of us, instead of Jesus was sent for all of us

Elder Giauque said he had 6 kids instead of having 6 siblings

And the best, someone from the next door distract
They each took turns testifying instead of I know in my heart that Jesus Christ died for all of us
they accidently took turns testifying that they knew in their hearts that that Jesus Christ killed all of us.

Here are some pictures for all of you.
I can't see them, but they should be of my room, the mail I just received, me, a picture of me with a picture of a shark and a cebuano phrase, and maybe other stuff?

Oh and I found out that Google translate is terrible in Cebuano, so I wont be sending anything in cebuano because of how bad it translates.

Friday, August 8, 2014

It has been a great week at the MTC.

Kumusta. Malipayon ko. tudlo kita hapit na kada adlaw. kat-on Kita gamay sa gamay sa Cebuano. Akong paborito nga pulong sa "kwan." dula kita sa bolibol hapit na kada adlaw. lingaw ako basa sa akong kasulatan ug sulat ako sa akong basahon.
(You can google translate that before continuing, I'm not sure how much of the grammar is right, but hopefully you can understand it)

I have been studying the language of Cebuano like crazy and I am starting to absolutely love some parts of the language, like how some words have so many of our english words that it makes learning easier. "sa or ang" are the words for any english "little" word, "a, is, on, by, etc." Its great.

As I said before Kwan is absolutely the best word in this language. Kwan is a word that you can use to replace any other word that you might forget. Its sorta like a "um" in english except better because you do not need to remember the word.
um... nugbasa ako sa akong kasulatan kaaron adlaw
I um... read my scriptures today
kwan ako sa akong kasulatan karron adlaw
I kwan my scriptures today
its awesome. I love kwan.

Funny Story this week.
You might not believe it but, The room next to us got yelled at by a deaf kid to quiet down. Its funny because that is the room of our district leader.
Also, at the MTC we are doing something called SYL, basicly you speak as much of the language (that you have been taught) and fill the words you don't know with english. I have been doing this for the past few weeks, and now when I get asked an english question, I answer in Cebuano, The person gives me a puzzled look and then I realize that I just spoke Cebuano to them. So I translate for myself. It is nindot kaayo ;)

Thanks everyone for the letters, drawings and packages that I have received. They make me so happy. Our district is having a competition to see who can get the most letters during the MTC. If you guys could help me out, I would love to read any letters that I get, and beat my companion. Thanks :D

Oh by the way, I really enjoyed the snacks that everyone has sent me, thank you so much. We are now completely full of food. We got pranked by a leaving distract and got so much food that we are barely managing to keep our room clean of boxes on the floor. Are thought was "So awesome" at first then ... we started cleaning... and now, we have no idea what to do with our food, because our next door room, got the same prank, so they won't take any of ours.

I can't wait until next week,
Elder Remer

Ryan also sent me some pictures that I am attaching. The pictures are of his teacher Brother Johnson, his companion Elder Lewis, his friend Elder Kim, MTC classroom, cebuano notes, and his district at the temple. In the temple picture the people are: Top Row: Remer, Thomson, Achoo koon, Camiling, Giauque Bottom Row: Simons, Lewis, Schnoor, and Hepler

Friday, August 1, 2014

Hello everyone Kumusta,

This week has been amazing. I love how organized it is here at the mtc. This week has been constant language study with a few breaks in between. We do so much in Cebuano, here is a small list of the past week and the general topics that we study for 6-8 hours a day learning vocab, learning grammar, teaching in cebuano, singing, praying, testifying, reading the scriptures to try and figure out what they mean, or just everyday communication.

I have one fantastically funny story this week at the MTC. 
Before I begin I must tell you about Elder Kim, He is a missionary that is in the room next to our distracts, you could say our "neighbor." Elder Kim is asian and does not know very good english, yet with his faces and fantastic reactions he might possibly be the funniest Man alive. He is pretty big, and doesn't exercise too much, this is critical knowledge for the story.

Elder Kim when up the stairs to the 2nd or 3rd floor of our building in order to teach his investigator in cebuano. When they get to the room, Elder Kim is completely exhausted from the stairs, it was like he ran a marathon. Pause, The "investigator" is really a teacher that already knows cebuano, and must pretend that they do not know english. Ok, unpause. After they sit down, The investigator asks Elder Kim in cebuano if he is feeling ok, concerned about how completely exhausted he is. Elder Kim says in English "No Cebuano, Not focused... a few gasps for breath....the stairs" This gets the investigator to laugh along with Elder Kim and his companion Elder McItrye for a long time. They finally calm down, trying not to start the laughter up again by letting a laugh slip out. They then realize that there "investigator" can speak english, and causes more laughter, I have no idea how long they were laughing for. Elder Kim then instantly becomes serious and says along the lines (in cebuano) "We will now teach you" The face of Elder Kim going from relaxed to serious made his Companion burst into laughter, this then caused Elder Kim and their investigator to laugh as hard as they did before. They laugh for several minutes while we are sitting in the classroom. When the laughing ends Elder Kim has the great idea of asking the investigator if they will be baptized on his birthday, august 2nd. They laugh again some more and the investigator says yes. Then instantly Elder Kim gets up and leaves after the investigator says yes. This leaves his companion and the investigator in tears still from laughing so hard.

There have also been really cool moments in the MTC with me and my companion, Elder Lewis.
We are managing to teach the gospel to our "investigator" named Jaime. He is patient with us and loves the gospel. We have managed to teach him in this crazy language not only about the church, but have somehow managed to invite the spirit into the room. When the spirit is there, the room becomes calm and peaceful with a bit of... warmth... I'm not sure if there is any moment when I realize the spirit is present. When it comes, suddenly words are said that we did not plan to say, and the lesson changes slightly. Its a miracle to me because I am sure if during our practice teaching the lesson, if we changed just a little bit, we would not know what was next in our lesson. This changes when we are in teaching, we ask a question that wasn't in our plan, or bear testimony in the middle instead of the end. Then we still manage to know what to do next, its really pretty cool.

The spirit of our lesson about the Book of Mormon has been the strongest, it has reaffirmed to me the truth of the Book of Mormon. It was so strong, I wish everyone could feel that witness as strong as me, Elder Lewis, and Jaime did that day. It was an amazing experience.

Extra thanks to the Chadwicks for the package of food, the tie pin, and some stickers. Everyone Here thanks you for the food especially.

Thank you to those that send me letters, I love getting them to read at night before I go to bed, they also really help with giving me time to reply to emails on P-day. I get why everyone loves missionary letters so much, they make me feel loved and help me to be able to write back to people on P-day. It really makes the world of a difference.

Thanks everyone,

Elder Remer

I really would like to here from anyone who has the time to write to me.

again my address is

Elder Ryan David Remer
2007 N 900 E Unit 51
Provo UT 84602

for slow mail

my ID is 888-44-1017
Mission is Philippines Cebu East
Leaving September 04