Monday, March 31, 2014

We ran out of money..

Here is the email we received this week.  Apparently we will be sending him a new camera charger since he lost his.  That way when or if he finds it he will have two.  Hopefully he is thinking and charges all of his batteries when he borrows one from another elder.  :).

Dear Mom,

This has been a very interesting week for me and my companion. We ran out of money halfway through last week, And the bank here in my area is closed until further notice. So we traveled to a nearby area and I withdrew from my personal account. 

So about the baptism. No one showed up. Like literally, no one. So we're going to go visit tomorrow and see whats up. 
Tell me about your church building.  How far are from it? (Mom's questions.)
The church building for me is almost on the other side of town, maybe 15 minutes walking.
It's the only building in the mission with an indoor basketball court apparently. its about half the size of ours back home. 
Tell me what kind of shower you have.
Its a very weak shower head and a bucket. I've taken enough that the water is no longer freezing. 
Do you have a real toilet?  Toilet paper?!?  
Sure, it's real enough. It doesn't flush. You have to dump buckets of water in it to "flush" it.
No TP. If you take care of business,  you have to shower afterwards. They only have TP in the big cities. 

I didn't take Jake's shirt, that's the one you sent me in the MTC. 

YAY A PACKAGE! I wonder when I'll get it. The picture's going to have to wait, I didn't take any pictures this week. I was hit with the curse of the Bacolod mission. (Everyone has lost something important, My battery charger went missing. But I got lucky, An elder in my zone ahs the same exact camera so He's letting me borrow it on Wednesday.) The boundaries changed, but I don't get a new companion. Or at least I don't now. No transfer for me! Also, Transfers here are different. Normally it's 6 weeks, but here I'm thinking its every 4. 

Love you mom. And the rest of the family too.  Gotta get back to work.

Elder Archuleta

Also, Dad asked about conference. It's being broadcast here at our building, but its at like 8am or something. I'm not really sure yet, We'll find out for reals on Wednesday.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I love it here!

WE GOT A LETTER!  So did Grandma, so I am including that in here too.  We also got pictures, this Mom's favorite, even the random ones he sends make me smile.  

Dearest Mother of mine,

We had to reschedule it for 2 weeks from now (I think the fifth of April?)  So my REAL first baptism is this Saturday, and his name is Jamye (James).  He is awesome.  He can understand English (but can't speak it) so I can talk with him with my halo-halo- linguahe (Ilonggo for "mixed language").  Yes, I received the letters.  But whoever's idea it was to put glitter all over one of them WAS NOT A GOOD IDEA.  I had glitter on my hands for like a week, and it was all over the floor.  So far though, everything has been going great.  My favorite thing about the Philippines:  Since I am American, they like to point that out.  So everyday when Elder Cano and I are out tracting, someone has to call out "Hey Joe!"  I love it.  all of the other American Elders hate it (or at least most of them do.)

On a sad note, I am down to my second to last Clif bar.  On a good note, I'm losing weight!  I have to cut my belt soon because I have too much extra belt-ness going on.

It's really hot here in the computer place, So I'm gonna hurry and send some pictures.

Elder Awesomeness

Also, eventually I should send you a better picture of me.  I just found my blog and I look fat in the picture of me in my suit.

Letter to Grandma from "Elder Awesomeness" 

Life as a missionary is busy.  So I check my email at like this computer place thingy.  It's literally just a building full of computers, and its like roughly 15 pesos for an hour (which is equivalent to like 35 cents I think?)  The food here isn't that much different.  Except for the fact that rice is included with everything.  I've had so much that I feel sad when I'm eating something without rice (which rarely happens), so when I get home we will need a LOT of rice for me.  Also, at McDonald's here, THEY HAVE SPAGHETTI!  Totally random.

Elder Archuleta

Here is a group of kids that followed us.  That is Elder Agustin, we were on temporary splits for like 3 hours.

I found this at the store and literally screamed "THEY HAVE TACO FLAVORED DORITOS?!?!"

I love it here.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 3 - Pictures of the week

Pictures were all we received this week, at least there is some information with them.  :)

Awesome waterfall place we went to today.

I see these tiny little puppies EVERY WHERE AND THEY ARE AWESOME!!!

This is my companion with 2 girls.  The one on the left is J and we will baptize her THIS Saturday!  The girl on the right is the daughter of J's mom's friend.

Here is our district on our adventure today!

Zone Conference Pictures

Elder Archuleta's emails are rather short, and offer no information for his mom.  So, when she found out he had written his brother she asked him to forward the email so it can be added here.  It gives a little bit more of a glimpse into his first weeks in the Philippines.

Its hot here, I'm like always sweating.  The fish is, well, Fish.  The pineapple here is SO much better than back home.  Along with Mangoes.  Yea I teach everyday, it's different here than back home.  Like basically everything is almost opposite.  But the one thing I absolutely love about here is that there are: 1. No speed limits  2. No seat belt laws  3.  The people here when they see me always say "HEY JOE!" for no reason.  Its like my favorite.  That and I'm like one of the tallest people here.  The jet lag sucked, I'm still catching up to everything.  My house is like no joke the size of the front living room.  Also, every wall is blue.  The floor is blue.  The only thing not blue is the furniture. (plastic chairs and 3 tables).

Zone Conference happened for Elder Archuleta this past week as well.  I am sure he is loving all the food they get while they are there.  I will try not to add EVERY SINGLE PICTURE of him.  (Mom as she looks at all the pictures: Ooh look!  There's his head!  There's his ear, eye, etc...I am a freak when it comes to seeing him in pictures...even if it is just parts of his face.)

Zone Conference - Bacolod North and La Carlota

Breakfast @ 7am before Zone Conference 8am-3pm

6 Steps to Mastering your Mission Language

The power went out for 4 hours.  The sisters used these feather fans to cool off and some used large manila envelopes. 

(They were probably asking for volunteers to sing...and we all know THIS Elder Archuleta does not sing!  ha ha)

La Carlota Zone & Bacolod North Zone

La Carlota & Bacolod North Zone with President and Sister Lopez

La Carlota Zone

La Carlota Zone with President and Sister Lopez

Elder Archuleta and Elder Cano

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 2 in the Philippines

This week Elder Archuleta wrote his Dad and sent his Mom 3 pictures.  

Dear Dad,

No, nothing too crazy. The craziest thing I've had so far is fried quail egg, it tastes like chicken and eggs. Its pretty much the same as home, except for our schedule is backwards (So its Priesthood, Sunday School, then Sacrament). I've started to get used to it, but I still sweat like crazy. It's getting better, They talk a LOT faster here than they do in the MTC, so I've had a hard time with that. Elder Cano is from the Philippines, somewhere near Manila I think.

    This is like one of the three pictures I was able to take this week.  

Steven ( his actual name was Whitey, but I refused to call him that). Also, he died yesterday.  It was a sad day.  He was my favorite little doggy, even if I only knew him for almost a week.

This picture is my favorite.  This is my companion and the other two Elders in my zone at dinner.

Monday, March 3, 2014

First Area!

We figured that Elder Archuleta would be tired, so the easiest way for him to give a lot of information is to ask specific questions.  Both Mom and Dad got an email and we got a few pictures as well.  None with our Elder in them..of course.  :)

Dear Mom,

It's fine.  I have been busy here, trying to understand what everyone is saying.  They talk A LOT faster here than they do in the MTC.

1.  I want to know the details of your flights!
     It was the longest flights(s) in the world.  I literally just sat there and tried to sleep.

2.  Where did you stay when you got to Manila?
      I stayed at a hotel next to the airport.

3.  How was the flight to Bacolod?
     Short, it was about 45 minutes

4.  Was it a big plane?  
     Not from Salt Lake to SF, and then plane from Manila to Bacolod

5.  Were you worried your luggage would get lost?

6.  Who did you sit next to on the plane from San Francisco to Tokyo?
     Everyone.  I moved around a lot.

7.  Did you have fancy seats that laid all the way down to sleep?

8.  What did you do for most of the flight?
      Lost my sanity. (not kidding, spending like 22 hours total on a plane is annoying)

9.  What did you eat on the plane?
      Sprite and pizza

10.  Were you excited to finally meet your Mission President in person?
       Of course!

11.  How long of a drive was it from the airport to the mission home?
       20 minutes

12.  Where did you stay that first night?
        Another hotel

13.  What did you eat for breakfast the next day before you went back to the mission home?
        Chicken and rice and orange juice

14.  That pizza looked incredible!  Was it as huge as it looked?  I noticed it was almost gone, it mush have been delicious!
        It was amazing.  It had random toppings but it was still tasty, and yes it was HUGE

15.  Elder Cano looks like he is fun.  Are you two getting to know each other well?
        Yes.  He helps me with the language

16.  What is your first area called?
        La Carlotta 2

17.  Did you get right to work the day you left?
        I started working right when I got to my area.

18.  Tell us about your area.
        There is a city about a mile wide, but after that it's just open fields and bamboo hut houses.

Dear Dad,

Yes, I was very tired.  Actually about 30 minutes after I got to the mission home, I was sleeping on the couch.  I'm slowly getting used to the time difference, but I'm not fully adjusted yet.  I should have pictures to send mom.

Elder Archuleta

Here is the SMALLEST AND MOST ADORABLE PUPPY EVER!  You could literally hold it with one hand.

Here is my apartment.  It's about 15' x 15'

Study room


Here is my companion and the two members we teach with.  Also, that is what I walk through everyday.  ITS AWESOME!!! (even if it's the hottest and sweatiest)

The outside world....sugar canes