Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 7, 2011

Hey mom! Thanks for your email. Love you! 

I'm jealous of the cold weather you are having. It's so stinking hot here. This past week hasn't been too bad. It has rained like crazy every day this week. Which is good because it definitely cools this place down. That would have been fun to go up to Camp Verde with Dad this past week. I love that drive, and I love the weather there. It would have been really nice to go with him. 

This week was really fun. We had the ZLs come do exchanges with us, and the Elders from Panganiban. Elder Mckendrick came to our place. It was way fun having him at our apartment for 3 days. We had a curfew one of the nights he was here because it was "All Saints Day." We played card games and ate lots of food, so fun. Today we are heading to Daet to withdraw!! Woohoo  I'm so excited to get some money! We are going to eat at Alvinios or Mang Inasal, the best 2 places to eat in Daet. On Wednesday we are going to Daet again. We are going to spend the night there with the ZLs. We have a training meeting in Naga on Thursday morning and it takes forever to get to Naga from where we are. It is still at least 2 hours from Daet IF you take a van. Its about 5 hours in a bus. I can't wait to see Naga, I haven't been there since I got here. 

By the way I just had my 4 month birthday in the mission yesterday! We are going to the SM (mega mall) in Naga after the meeting to buy things. They have legitimate American stuff there!! I'm going to look for protein bars. Also I texted the Zone Leaders this week to text the Finance elders to pick me up some milk in Pili!! THEY BOUGHT ME LEGIT MILK<3! Real milk from a real dairy. Booya. I will get it on Wednesday when we are in Daet. The ZLs are bringing it back with them from Naga for Zone Leader Conference. I will pay them then. They got me chocolate and mango flavors. 

Anyways this week will be crazy. We wont be home until Friday around lunch time.  Oh yeah another thing, I'm dropping my laundry and sheets off at a Laundromat in Daet on Wednesday. They will be ready by Thursday night :))

This past week was really good. On Saturday right before we fasted, I ate Adobo with rice, and a hamburger with egg. Then a sister in the branch called and asked us to come over for a merienda. We said OK because her husband is less active and we figured we could teach him. Elder Smith and I brought 2 loafs of super sweet bread to eat there too for all of us to share. Elder Smith and I shared a whole loaf. After that she gave us giant plates of spaghetti. I was so full but she kept loading more on my plate!! :( I was sooo stuffed and felt sooo sick. People here like their spaghetti sauce super sweet!! It was so weird. After that I passed out on my bed for 4 hours, and had LBMs most of that week anyways. We only taught 1 lesson that day because I felt so sick. By the way I had LBMs so bad on Monday it was insane. Elder Smith and Mckendrick almost died from the smell. I thought I was going to die. 

Welcome to where we buy our meat in the Philippines


I wont be with Elder Smith during Christmas time. I'll most likely get my 1st Filipino companion next transfer! I'm having a lot of fun here! We just got back from Daet. I got a snickers bar with almonds there STRAIGHT FROM AMERICA! It was so good. I got it instead of a milkshake. I also bought some Quaker oatmeal cookies to eat after dinner tonight, whatever that may be... 

All I want for Christmas is my hat, peanut butter, and any sort of food from home! Oh ya and email me some pictures of you guys!!
Love you! Love Michael :)

Photos - October 30, 2011

 Missionaries in the Daet Zone with President and Sister Bliesner
 Mayon Volcano, just outside of Naga City, at Sunset

October 30, 2011

We are going to go play basketball today, which should be fun. We are playing with some teenagers here. As of zone conference, Ive lost more weight. I think I'm down 14 pounds. I'm not that happy about it because its mostly muscle. I'm skinny. 

The language is getting better. I've been trying to lead the lessons that I can, but Elder Smith always picks up for me afterwards. Yesterday seemed to be a really good day for the language though. I am getting better. This week has been alright. We got punted a lot. 

Everyday we've had to walk all over town trying to think of people to go to that we can teach. We have some good less active, and part member lessons going on. The biggest problem here is with people and getting married. Its so expensive here. Also, once you're married its super expensive to get a divorce. AND if you do get a divorce, you can't get remarried. People can only get remarried if their spouse dies. 

We taught 20 lessons this week which is alright. Because I'm being trained, we have different schedules than everyone else. That makes it harder to teach as much as other missionaries. President wants our focus to be on the new training program, then teaching. 

We had Zone Conference this week which was really good. I hit my head way hard on the stupid AC unit outside the stake center. It was actually pretty funny. It was Elder Smith and I, and our zone leaders who saw it. One of my Zone Leaders caught my glasses when they flew off. I'm tall here. Any Filipino person can walk under that AC but Americans, like me, have to watch out or they'll get domed. 

Random thing that happened this week, I was showering (more like pouring water on me with a ladle thing) and a big fat cockroach flew onto my leg. It was gross. I killed it. Don't worry I didn't freak out or anything. Also I've seen 2 big huge spiders this week. They are so big. We just killed them with my sandals. I don't know what else to write. 

Love Michael

Monday, October 24, 2011











October 23, 2011

Hello family!
This week has been crazy too! Its been a really fun week though. This past Wednesday we did our first CSP (Community Service Project). It was crazy. We went out to a Barangay named 'Tabas'. I had no idea that this Barangay even existed. Elder Smith and I had to take a 20P (Peso) tricee (tricycle taxi) ride up a mountain and to a river, then we had to take a 5P ferry ride to the other side of the river. After that we had to take another 20P ride. Lastly we had an almost 2km walk through the forest. It took forever to get there. In case you didn't know 20P is a lot for a tricee ride! They normally are 8P a ride. 

It took forever for us to get out to this lady. She makes charcoal for a living. Making charcoal is hard work and doesnt pay a lot. Elder Smith and I had to carry all of her wood from where she cut it down to the fire pit. At the fire pit, we cut all of the wood into smaller pieces with itaks. An itak is a Filipino machete. It took us several hours to do. It was hard work. The forest we carried wood through is super thick. And of course it was hot and humid outisde. We look so gross in our pictures. I'm glad we could help her though. I wasn't too excited about having a CSP this week because it was going to take away from teaching time. But I felt bad for even having any negative thoughts. She was so greatful. She doesn't have much of anything and it was good being able to help. 

Afterwards she cut down fresh Buko, which is coconut, and we sliced it open, and drank the water inside. I knew this from my workout magazines, but coconut water is way higher in electrolytes than any other drink available. It was sooo good right out of the coconut. After we drank all of the water, we cut it open and ate all of the coconut. On our way back home, we had to wait forever for our tricee driver to finish his lunch break, to take us back to the ferry. We sat on his tricee while he ate. He parked his tricee right outside of the local school..... 

The kids got out of school for lunch right after we sat down. IT WAS INSANE. Elder Smith and I had no idea what this sound was. I honestly felt like Taylor Swift. Everyone was shouting 'Joe' and 'Beautiful' and 'Guwapo.' It was so loud. Within 30 seconds we had about 63 kids (girls) surrounding our tricee with cameras. It was hilarious at first. They kept screaming and taking pictures. After a while they started talking to us and asking us questions. It was fun talking with them. I just talked to the boys about basketball, etc. Elder Smith tried magic tricks but failed...lol. That was such a fun day. 

Saturday we had a baptism. There was supposed to be 2 people baptized but one of the girls parents wouldn't let her get baptized. So I got to baptize someone. It was really cool because I've never done it before but mom, please don't cry when I send some pictures, because I know you will. I had a lot of fun at the baptism. It was really nice out. The ocean temperature was really nice too.


Yesterday was our stake conference. It started an hour late. Filipino time is worse than Mormon standard time. While we waited I got to talk to the new missionaries in my zone, and to President and Sister Bliesner. They are awesome! We have zone conference on Friday so I get to see them again. During stake conference I did some extra language study. Most of the talks were in Tagalog, though they try and use as much English as they can. The stake president really got into it at the end. He spoke/chastized/and shouted a bit in his 30 minute talk. I really like him, he loves the missionaries. That's most of it for this week. Its been a fun week.
Love Michael

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pictures from the Philippines

Pictures from my apartment, me, and the remnants of the typhoon...







October 17, 2011

Hey! 

I loved seeing those emails from Ethan and Emma. I think that Ethan is growing up way too fast, and where did Emma learn to send emails in all those different colors? Tell Ethan I miss him a lot too! I hope he and Emma are doing good. If you got a chance to meet the Stotts that would be so cool. They are both awesome. Laura Schadt's letters might be here in the Philippines but I have to wait until I have a zone conference or training or something like that to get mail. It's too inefficient to have somebody go out and deliver the mail out to missionaries everyday. 

I love Elder Carroll so much. He sent out an email to all of our old MTC district. I loved reading it, it was hilarious. I'll forward it to you. Morgan better write him back and include some pictures from her post half marathon training. Holy crap I miss Taylor Swift so much. Send me Taylor Swift pictures or something. I miss her and everything about music. Surprisingly that is one of the things I miss most is good music, and being able to go for a drive and listen to all the music I want. That's one of the first things on my to do list when I get home.

This week has been really good. Right now we are typing our emails in Daet. We had to come here to withdraw our support for the next two weeks. We have to be in here again on Sunday because it is stake conference. I don't mind the drive though, it's nice. Elder Smith gets so sick in the vans. Everyone here is a horrible driver. If you don't kill someone, you are a good driver. He gets so sick. He doesn't get car sick in the buses though. They go slower and don't pass as many people as vans do. It just takes forever to get somewhere on a bus. 

You also asked if we watched conference. Yes, we watched all sessions. We watched them at the Stake Center but there were 4 brownouts on Saturday so it kept getting interrupted. They were all really good talks though. And the people we gave money to to get to conference was from our own personal money. We are not allowed to give out anything, so we just used our personal money... It was worth it though. 

Today has been good. We did laundry and I got a haircut too. The guy at the place cut it way short though. Its a 2 or 3 on top and a 1 on the sides, I like it though. This week we worked our butts off. We taught 21 lessons which is pretty good considering we were only able to do 8 last week. Last week was so busy with conference and stuff, I'm glad this week was more beneficial for our investigators. On Saturday, we have a baptism! It's for a 14 year old girl and a 19 year old girl. I won't put names in because this will be online but they are so excited to be baptized. I get to baptize them in the ocean. I think this is the Philippine Sea... Also this week I was able to go on exchanges with Elder Chauncey. He is going home today. He was a former AP here and was our district leader as of yesterday. He is an awesome missionary, he taught me a lot. That was a lot of fun. 

Also, we have these cats that keep sneaking into our apartment while we are gone, and while we sleep. Sometimes we get home before they leave.... Lets just say my umbrella serves an extra purpose besides keeping me dry. Those cats are hating their lives right now. We stopped showing mercy the 3rd or 4th time we found them in our house. We are getting screens installed on our windows so that we can keep our windows open at night, and not let bugs or cats in. By the way Ive only seen 3 cockroaches and 0 spiders here. I <3 Paracale. I don't know what I'll want for Christmas. Money would be nice so that I can buy things. I'm starting today to become really tipid. Tipid is Tagalog for frugal. I spend too much money on things I don't really need. Money would be good so that I can continue to buy somethings. If you want to send anything a Taylor Swift shirt is much appreciated. :) Send me her address BTW, I'm sending her a letter, no joke. Thank you for everything, ever! I appreciate it all, especially now. Love you!

Love Michael

October 10, 2011

Hello. 

I'm doing good. This week has been tougher. We had a double district meeting last Thursday in a town called Labo. Its between here and Daet. We went so President could interview our districts. That was fun because I finally got the Carabao belt I ordered through my zone leader. Its a black rough cut, Elder Smith got a black polished cut belt. I really like it, you can probably google them to see what it is. 

Carabao belt made from the horn of a Carabao (Water Buffalo)
We just got back from Daet last night. We have been staying there since Friday afternoon. We stayed there so we could stay with our zone leaders. We watched conference at the stake center. People only came for the Sunday morning session, which isn't great. We gave our investigators money to come to Daet and watch it, they came on Sunday. It was a really good conference. I took 23 pages of notes in my little notebook I bought. Other than that, our week has been pretty boring. We only taught 8 lessons. I'm not sure why but this week was really slow. I wanted to teach more but we didn't. This week has to be better or I'm going to go insane. In my planner I pushed us to having 23 lessons taught. I hope we get it done. 

We did give Sister Casipong some money though. Her husband has had some fishing troubles and switched over to doing some mining. I think it has to do with the time of year...anyways we left her some money for food and stuff, she wouldn't take it but we made her, she started crying and was really grateful.

Love Michael

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 2, 2011

Hey mom and family. 

Thanks for your extra prayers! The typhoons (a second one hit shortly after the first passed through) weren't too bad here. They did hit signal 3. That means all missionaries have to stay inside. It hit Manila area the most. The whole Bicol region is doing good, just lots of extra rain. Some people's houses flooded a little bit but they are used to it. Its so sad. Paracale didn't flood. We got a lot of rain but its ok here. I love the typhoons here because it really cools this place down A LOT. Its so nice when I can walk outside and not sweat. Actually its nice when I can sit on my bed and not sweat lol.

Photo courtesy of Sister Rachel Hancock (presently serving in Naga)
I heard President Packer gave a really good talk. What about Elder Holland? I've listened to all 42 of his talks on my iPod. That's awesome that everyone was able to get together for priesthood. Was it weird without The Burns and me? Who are the Elders in the ward? I love Elder Baldree, is he still there? Can you find Christian Gibson on facebook and ask him to send me an email? I feel like he was my first companion because of all the splits we went on. 

The language is coming slowly but I'm getting better at it. Every time I hear some people talk I can kind of follow what they are saying. Other people talk so fast that I have NO idea what they are saying, so I just laugh in my head and pretend like I know whats going on. 

By the way Ive lost more weight, I like it. Ive been eating healthier because there isn't a whole lot of crap food here. I'm still warming up to the foods here. I have eaten intestines, Balut, lots of liver, and other random things. My favorite dish here might be Pancit. There's a place in Paracale called Cowboy Hauz and they have really good Pancit. I always try and guess what meats are in the dish but I can never tell. They use lots of liver here and other things. They don't waste any of the animal. It tastes good though. Liver is good if its cooked really well done. Mostly everything is fried though. I think I'm at about 12+ pounds gone. I bought a mat made out of woven reed and grass to workout out on. Ive been doing abs and push ups every other day. I hate doing abs and always have but I want to beat Aunt Emily in 2 years. Also on days I don't do abs or push ups I do calf raises on the stairs leading to our apartment. There are about 2 flights so its a good little workout. I haven't been reimbursed yet for my luggage but I bet I will be next time I see President and Sister Bliesner. I withdrew about 2200P for some personal things. I bought a Carabao (Water Buffalo) belt and it should be done by General Conference this coming week. Ill pick it up when I'm back here in Daet for conference. A member here makes them. I'll send you a picture when I get it. Its a belt made of water buffalo horn, they're so sick. Every missionary has one and every teacher at the MTC had one too. I got a black rough cut belt. It was 800P. Also I'm getting pants made today for 300P. Its nice to have an extra pair of those. Before I leave Paracale I'm going to buy a custom ring too. A lot of people in Paracale work in the mines by town. Silver and Gold are way cheap here. 

I included Joel in my 24 hour fast. (yes a whole 24 hours) I don't think he realizes how big of a life change it is. It's harder than I thought. Make sure he is spending time with Bro. Beck or Bro. Arnett or Bishop. Those guys know what they're doing. I know Joel is working with Dave. I hope he keeps it up. Brother Beck is awesome. He just sent me an awesome email.

We are about to have 7 people committed to baptism. I hope they workout. We found this guy named Jeffrey the other day. He kicks butt. He is a neighbor of one of our investigators. He wasn't part of our planned lesson but by the time we were done teaching he was an active part of the lesson. We've been looking for more men to be baptized because lately its just been women. More priesthood and then hopefully soon Paracale will be a ward and not a branch. 

There is a lady here that is in our ward who is less active. She is soooo poor. Her house is tiny, made up of plywood, etc. Her husband is a fisherman without his own boat, and he can't read. They have 4 little kids. They are poor. We went over to their house the other day and we shared a message Elder Smith felt to share Jacob 2:8. After that she told us that when her youngest baby was born, he had breathing problems. He was there for 4 days. While he was there she couldn't afford to eat. So all she had was water and her scriptures and prayer for 4 days and she is grateful for it. She says she's blessed. I didn't understand what she was saying but Elder Smith told me after what she said. She is really awesome. 

Love Michael

Sept 26, 2011

Hey Family! 

It sounds like we are all doing fine at home though. Tell all the families who are expecting to name their babies "Michael." Its a good name. 

We've  been pretty busy. This was one of our slower weeks though. I'm sick with a cold that isn't going away, I hope it does soon!! I lost 9 pounds in less than 2 weeks, and keep losing. I'm weak. I can feel the lack of strength. Today we went to the big town about an hour away called Daet. The mayor and some of the police wanted to play the Joes in basketball. It was supposed to be a big game, it was announced on the radio, and the stake made jerseys for us and everything. This morning a level 2 Baguio (Typhoon) hit and its been pouring non stop, the power has been going in and out. Because of that the game didn't happen but we still played anyways because we were already in Daet when we found out. I did really good! All the practice from the MTC is paying off because back at home I stunk at basketball. I think when my tennis shoes finally die, I will buy some basketball shoes here. Hopefully that game happens though!!! I was looking forward to being a temporary celebrity in a giant basketball game. Hopefully soon... :)

We are about to have 7 people committed to baptism! Its hard though. I cant hardly speak. This is real Tagalog, not MTC Tagalog. Its hard to be myself around people because they don't understand me. I wish I was going on an English speaking mission. I would feel more productive... Whats your advice? 

Elder Smith's first name is Craig. He is from Clinton Wisconsin. He is a dairy farmer that is allergic to milk...lol. I think that's so funny. He has a girlfriend of 2 years that just got baptized. We are the missionaries of the Paracale branch. There are about 25 people including the 2 missionaries who actively attend each week. That includes kids, and babies, etc. I was told when Pacquio(spelling) fights, church is dead, the town is dead. Everyone watches the fight. 

We eat rice with everything. I love Pancit. Pancit is one of my favorite dishes here. Its a noodle dish. Because there are now cows there isn't beef in it... Also Filipino people use every bit of the animal when they cook, we always try and guess what it is. I know they use a lot of liver which is gross if its not thoroughly cooked. Before I got on the computer, I ate intestine... Its filled with poop, and tastes like it. It wasn't that bad actually but its not my favorite. For dinner that past couple nights Ive had Cup of Noodles seafood flavor. It has so much MSG but its cheap and quick. I miss American food sooo much! We also eat a lot of hamburgers here. Again we don't know what the meat is but its good. They use a lot of banana ketchup, which is good. If you're lucky they use mayo too. Also cabbage is on there instead of lettuce. They are seriously so cheap. 10p for one. That's about 25 cents. At the branch activity the other day a member brought "Maha" as a dessert. It is super popular I guess but so gross. I hated it but kept eating it to be nice. It is made of rice, cow fat, corn, and something else. Served at room temperature. You say they serve root beer floats in hell, I say they serve Maha. 

Also Ive tried Halo Halo. That's alright also. Its a little weird having beans and vegetable flavored ice cream on top of shaved ice, sprinkled with cheese. We also drink a lot of Tang. Its sooo good. My favorite is pineapple flavored. Strawberry is good too. They have every possible flavor. 

Thank you for helping me get prepared for my mission. This is so hard though. I know I will love it once I learn the language. I wish it would come faster. Thank you also for putting all of those talks on my iPod, I listen to them all the time.  Another random thought, look up James E Faust's talk Voice of the Spirit. I found it as a Mormon Message. It's so good. I love his talks. I think I've also listened to every Holland talk I have. I'm about to start Bednar.

This week I read a lot of the Book of Mormon and I plan on finishing it soon. I read 1st Nephi in one day, 2nd Nephi the next day, and through the small books and some of Mosiah the 3rd day. Its like my new coloring book. I've been highlighting so much and I'm remembering what I read. 

Every time we go to Daet I always want to go to a place here that has real milkshakes!! I use personal money because they are a little pricey. About 120 pesos which is about 3 bucks. That's a lot for a Filipino. I had 1 today. We have to go to Daet 2 more times in the next 2 weeks. If you wouldn't mind putting money in my account that would be awesome. Its definitely cheaper than shipping milk. I was told there is a real dairy with real cows and real milk in Naga!! Too bad that's 4+ hours away. Once I learn Tagalog I want to be transferred there. They speak Bicol there. I'm so excited for General Conference!! I think ours is a week later than yours. We are staying in Daet for a couple days with the Zone Leaders for that. That means milkshakes and air conditioning at the Stake Center!

Love you,
-Guwapo

Sunday, September 18, 2011

September 18, 2011

Hello family,

I live in the fre##n Philippines. Sorry about the "language", but there really isnt any other way to describe it. That's hilarious that Ethan made such a big purchase. I hope he at least bought something worth watching, other than Barney or something.

As for me and this new home/zoo of mine, its hot. I wake up sweating and wet and go to bed sweaty and wet. I hope that ends quick but it won't. Like normal people do, I sleep on a bed. It's a thin little mattress that my feet and legs hang off of. My best friend is named Fan. He's the fan that keeps me cool at night. I had 2 but 1 broke :( Hopefully I will get another one soon.

Our apartment is pretty nice compared to what some people have here. It's all cement, and there are ants everywhere. We hardly have any mosquitos or spiders. I've only seen 2 spiders since I've been here. It has a cool view though. We can see boats docked from our kitchen window. The beach is seriously so close, its really nice. You can see 2 other islands from the beach.

Laundry by hand isn't too bad. Laundry machines are better though haha. My pants are soaking in soap and water right now, actually. You dont have to send me TP. Some places here sell it. I keep 1 roll in my backpack and another by my bed. I only wipe with my hand when Im showering. I try not to poop any other times of the day. If I have to though I carry the TP with me for that emergency.

I haven't been reimbursed for my luggage yet. I dont know how I will be, I'll ask my mission president when I see him. I do use the repellent before I go to bed, just in case.

Yes, we have eaten at other member's houses. Every Sunday we pay Sister Tess money. She only asks for enough to cook us a meal, she gives us the change after. She cooks really well. Other members feed us sweet breads, soda, fried bananas, etc. when we come over - that's if they are rich.

Ive lost weight. I look like such a weiner. I dont have any muscle :( I look good though dont worry. Everyone calls me 'guwapo'. It means handsome and it gets old because everyone says it. Oh and they also say I look like Harry Potter. I told them, I don't like Harry Potter, but they say it's a compliment. In America everyone wants to be darker, or tan. Here everyone wants to be whiter. They sell creams and stuff to lighten your skin.

YES! I miss dairy. I paid like 40P (40 pesos is less than a dollar but thats expensive here) for a single serving box of chocolate milk from New Zealand. It definitely wasn't my favorite but it wasn't bad. I miss milk. I also bought some ice cream, that's expensive too. The main ingredient in ice cream here is water, not cool - I only bought that once too because I dont want to spend to much money.

Elder Smith is awesome, he's from Wisonsin, I don't know what else to say about him. I also don't have a specific address. The best guess would be "the 3rd floor purple and orange apartment, left of Mister M, and behind a hotel." Thats how some people's addresses are. Play it safe and send whatever to the mission home.

Oh by the way mom I sent you a letter a couple days ago... Hope everything is going good. It's about 1030 am here now, I will check my email again later today.

Love you!!
Michael

Friday, September 9, 2011

Welcome to the Philippines Naga Mission

Dear Brother and Sister Kornegay:

We were happy to welcome Elder Kornegay here in the Philippines Naga Mission. Your son is excited about his mission and enthusiastic about entering the Lord’s service in this area, as is evident in the attached photographs. He has had an orientation meeting and is now serving in his first assignment with a prayerfully selected trainer.

Your son is assigned in the Daet Zone, to labor in the Paracale area. His companion is Elder Smith.  We hope you will write Elder Kornegay each week. Include encouraging news of family events and achievements, spiritual experiences, and other matters which will bring joy and deeper commitment.

This is a wonderful mission, and your son is in for one of the greatest experiences of his life. With your support and encouragement he will mature and progress beyond your expectations. He will develop a great love for his fellow missionaries as well as for the people we serve and bless.

We appreciate the opportunity to work with Elder Kornegay. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you. We love your missionary and want this mission to be a great experience for your entire family.

Sincerely,

Ronald D. Bliesner
Mission President
Philippines Naga Mission


Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 23, 2011

Dearest Pamilya po ako,

Hello. What's up dudes?! I'm sorry I wont have much to write about. The MTC is quite boring. I love it and I love the people but it is so repetitive. I'm sorry it has taken me forever to get this letter written and sent. I lost the one I was writing. I was about halfway done with it. How is home going? Tell Ethan I miss him a lot! I can't wait to see him in 700ish days!...

I love being a missionary! But I can't wait to leave. We get our travel plans on Thursday! I'll call home at the airport, so yes a calling card would be great.

Today is Tuesday so that means we have a Devotional tonight!! Love Devotionals. Also I'm in the Choir, we sing tonight! That's what helps keep me sane during this repetitive schedule...

Joel got his mission call to Kentucky Louisville!! That's so awesome!!! I'm super excited. I got the pictures yesterday, I love them. Can you set the one of me and Emma as my facebook profile picture please? :)

Random stuff:
  • Elders Claiborne, Grob, Kunzler and Carroll want to move into Orem or Provo after their mission for school.
  • I finally got a haircut (it's nice)
  • My Tagalog is getting better
  • My testimony is growing stronger
  • I made a list of life goals today
  • There's a super cute Sister Missionary here
  • I want to move to Provo/Orem for school
  • People think I have the best ties, thanks to Aunt Emily!
  • I miss music
  • I miss my family
  • I miss Joel
  • I love you all hope all is good
Mahal kita (translation: I love you),
Elder Michael Kornegay

TRAVEL PLANS - via email Friday August 26
Monday September 5, Delta Airlines flight 1211.I leave Salt Lake City and fly to Los Angeles. I leave the MTC at 4:30 pm, my flight is at 8:15pm and I get into LAX at 9:22 pm. Then I leave LAX at 1:35 am September 6 and get into Hong Kong baby at 7:15 am on the 7th!!!!!
How sick is that??!??!
My flight is Cathay Pacific Airways flight 881. Then, once im in Hong Kong I hangout until my flight leaves for Manila. That's flight 901 Cathay Pacific Airways. I leave Hong Kong at 9:10 am and get to Manila at 11:15 am on the 7th!!
I'll be staying that day in Manila and the night. That next morning I leave for Naga!!! Im so excited!
Love you :)

Pictures!

MY MTC DISTRICT

 

Standing Left to Right: Hunt, Fronk, Lindsey, Berg, Grob, Kunzler, Tenney, Me, Wardle
Kneeling L-R: Claiborne, Humphries, Carroll

MY MTC FAMILY

Me, Portia Neville, Seth Anderson, Rob Neville

The week before I arrived at the MTC my cousin Seth Anderson got here. He is heading to the Honduras Comayaguela Mission. Last week my Aunt Portia and Uncle Rob arrived. They will be serving at the Lima Peru Temple.

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 19, 2011

Hey mom!

Ill write a letter tonight. Can you please write me back and tell me about the stock market (somebody messed with the computer and the question mark button won´t work lol). Also the email server went down today so for some reason I have extra email time today! HAA! What movie are Morgan and Dad seeing.... What movies are out.... I was emailing Brother Beck and he told me how Morgan loved driving over at night in the Charger to come babysit lol. He said that car is a little dangerous for her haha. I would love my calender please!!!!!!!!!!! The year is more than halfway done too. I wont even use it that much (smiley face). I´m getting good at laundry by the way, I take all of my things out immediately so I don´t have to iron them. Also, could you please email me the second you find out where Joel is going....... I will check my email at the end of next week because I need to know ASAP. I´m so happy for him! Also Chad Mayberry and I have emailed a bit he is doing good, he will write me back more on Monday. I´m sorry there really isn't a lot going on here, the MTC is the same everyday so I'll think of something exciting to tell you about in my letter tonight. Love you! smiley face

Thanks for always being there mom. I love you and can´t wait to get your next letter. Don´t worry about anything!! We are all fine here, pray for me because the language is still hard. Elder Kunzler bought an Arabic Book of Mormon so we can look at it every time we feel depressed about Tagalog. It makes Tagalog a lot easier LOL.

Love you!

Things you may or may not want to know... August 7, 2011

  • I haven't had a haircut since I've been here
  • I miss home and can't wait to leave the MTC and get to the Philippines
  • I'm the best at f@?^!#& in my district [I categorize this one as a NOT know]
  • I miss music
  • I don't know if I should read Jesus the Christ or the Doctrine and Covenants after I finish the Book of Mormon
  • I'm not sure of what I'll do after my mission
  • I still want to be a Dr. 
  • I wish I saved more than I spent
  • Tagalog is hard
  • I love being a missionary
  • There are some people here who drive me crazy
  • I want to go to Disneyland every time I wear a Mickey Mouse bandaid!
  • I eat too much ice cream when they have it on Sundays and Wednesdays
  • Can you send my Taylor Swift calendar and a T-Swift shirt if you get a chance...(HEART)

August 7, 2011

Pamilya ko na!

Hello!! 'Pamilya' means family, 'ko' is the possessive form of I and 'na' makes it an exclamation, like an exclamation point. 

Mom & Dad,

How is everything going on at home? Thank you for all of the letters. I love to get mail. What has been going on?... Thank you for buying an electric razor, I need one my face hurts from shaving everyday. I think we should bring the 1800's choppers and beards back like Lorenzo Snow haha...If possible could you also send my razor from under the sink? It's way better than disposables and my teachers said they sell lots of American things like razor heads in the 'Pines. Also I haven't beaten the pullup record yet. It's hard to pass 25+ pullups (which is where I'm at now). 42 will be tough. Now to answer your questions...No, I didn't finish the Book of Mormon yet. I restarted it once I got here. I'm already into Helaman, I'll finish this week. I love it. I know it's true. I've been buying paper, supplies, etc. I bought a pricey scripture bag. I needed one that would fit all my scriptures. The MTC gave each of us a Tagalog triple combination (Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price) so I need to carry that around. I hardly ever buy food, maybe once or twice.

Thanks again for sending the protein bars! Laundry is going good, I just finished. It is easy. Oh, I also spent $ on buying a big thing of detergent and developed photos FYI...Also, my glasses are awesome and holding up good. Can you send the glasses cleaners? I need some!! Also look for my teacher Gian or Giancarlo Molina on Facebook. He is no longer my teacher, But he was amazing, amazing X6. Write me! Love you!

~

Morgan!!

I love your Dear Elders! Keep sending as many as you can. How is Joel? Your friends?...When are you getting your car? I was talking with other Elders they said try Labotamy school! [Not sure he meant Lobotomy or Phlebotomy school, we're guessing the latter but you never know...] Pays good. How is summer? I miss my friends and music so much! What have you been doing?...What do you want to know? Ask me anything and I'll write you a.s.a.p. I love you and miss you so much.

~

Ethan and Emma:

Happy Birthday Emma! How is summer? Write me letters! I make my bed almost everyday and I always pray. Too many to count. Write me!

Love Elder Michael Kornegay

Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 31, 2011

This week has gone by so fast but so slow. The MTC is so boring but I'm trying to have the best attitude about it. Its weird, I haven't been in a car, or anything like that in about a month. The food here is alright, haha. I swear it eats away at your insides. My district and I are always making jokes about it.

My district consists of me, Elder Fronk (my companion), Elder Tenny (roommate and Dsitrict leader), Elder Kunzler who we call "Tuns-of-funzler" (roommate), Elder Claiborne, Elder Lindsey, Elder Wardle, Elder Grob, Elder Berg, Elder Hunt, Elder Humphries, and Elder Carroll. We have so much fun together. I miss all of my friends back home too. Can you post my address on my facebook page? My branch president here told me we were allowed to have facebook pages activated at home, but we just could't sign onto them. Can you reactivate mine please, and change my name to 'Elder'? I want that so that you guys can post my address, email, and blog website on it for my friends to see. 

The Tagalog is pretty hard. One of the teachers here told me that in the Naga mission there are about 10 common dialects, in the area. He said for the most part the sentence structure is the same but the vocabulary is all different! He also said that everyone speaks Tagalog, but if you want to reach their hearts, you will speak in their dialect! No pressure or anything...lol. I'm doing my best to keep up with making flash cards and stuff like that so I can study. The language is fairly easy on paper but it takes time to learn to be able to speak it. 

Today is P-day so I'm about to go start my laundry. Its kind of sad that I look forward all week, to being able to do my laundry. Haha. After that I'll probably spend the rest of today trying to write letters. Its hard to keep up but I want to stay in touch with everyone. After that I'll just lay around until after dinner, when we have class :( 

My favorite days here have to be sundays. I thought it would be p-day, I love the sunday devotionals. Plus I dont have any Tagalog classes on sundays :) This morning we got to go to the Provo temple! Its finally open! Its been in cleaning ever since i've been here. I love going and its pretty cool to be able to walk there, like we do every sunday after sacrament meeting. I want to be a temple worker, part time in the Phoenix Temple when I get home. I think it would be so cool. 

Is there anything you guys want to know? Really, the MTC is kind of boring haha. Nothing changes we wake up at 6:30 and go to bed at 10:30. We have 7 hours of Tagalog class every day. 3 square meals. Some personal study, language study and companionship study, etc. Speaking of personal study for the most part I've just been reading ng Aklat ni Mormon and some old testament stuff during that time. I decided to start the Book of Mormon over again. I started the first day of the MTC and I want to finish up Alma today. I love reading it. The thing that slowed me down was highlighting so much scripture. It slowed me down so much that I stopped highlighting and I'll start highlighting again after I finish. I want to have read it in Tagalog too by the time I get to the Philippines. That should be pretty easy considering Ill be traveling for about 22 hours haha. 

By the way, we stop in Hong Kong on our way to Manila. I would love to get out and smell Hong Kong like you told me about, before we get on the plane to go to Manila. I guess there is usually a pretty decent layover in Hong Kong before we finally fly to the Philippines. 

What else do you want to know? There is never anyting new happening, but I love it here. This is definetly the place where I'm suppossed to be. Its a lot of fun, and really awesome, spirtually, wise haha. Could you guys send me some things? I like getting 'things' lol. Mom your cookies are better than anyone elses mom's but I think I should stick to lemon protein bars because I eat too many cookies here haha.

Monday, July 25, 2011

As If A Mom Needs A Reason To Cry . . .

It's as if life around here is being written by Rodgers and Hammerstein; Evie breaks out in tears as often as their movies do songs. So she never really needs a reason for a nice gentle motherly cry. That being said she got this little note in the mail. Needless to say . . .
Dear Mrs. Kornegay,

Hi! I know we haven't met before, but your son and I are sitting here on the grass writing letters, so I thought to myself, "Why not?" So, here I am, writing you a letter.

Things are going well here at the MTC. The food's not bad, the Spirit is strong, and the language isn't too difficult.

Just thought I ought to let you know that your son is a fine upstanding young man, and even though I've only known him for a few weeks, he is someone I really look up to and greatly respect.

Hope everything is well back in Arizona!

Your fellow servant of the Lord,

Elder Lindsey

July 25, 2011

How are you? Thank you so much for the hat and shirt. I've been wearing them all P-day [Personal-day]. How was Logan? Morgan told me about her horse ride LOL. What about Ethan and Emma, did they have fun? . . . I literally just got handed your letter about Utah Ha-Ha. But keep telling me more about the trip.

I'm doing my laundry right now, we'll see how it turns out. It's really not that fun LOL.

Tell Brad and Christian I said congrats. It's only a matter of time until Joel gets his. I miss him. How is he doing, do you know? Talk to Sis. Rollins for me.

My companion is Elder Michael Fronk. He is from North Ogden, Utah, he is Guatemalan. We all make fun of him because he is short LOL. He always falls asleep in class, which is easy because we have 6 hours of Tagalog class a day Ha-Ha. Tagalog is so hard!!! I'm picking it up though. I can just about pray and bear testimony in Tagalog.

My District is by far the best. We have so much fun together. Every other District looks way lame compared to us Ha-Ha. I lead the zone in pull-ups and eating. You should all be very proud of that. Oh and me and some other guys do a Pec Dance [flex Pectoral muscles] too. Elder Fronk hates when I do it because I'm just so good :)

Our schedule is usually this...

6:30 Wake up
7:10 Breakfast
11:40 Lunch
4:40 Dinner

In between (and after) all of that time we have class in 3 hour increments. All in Tagalog. It takes all of the happiness out of people LOL. We also have an hour of Language Study, Hour of Companionship Study, 1-2 hours Personal Study, hour of TALL (Technology Assisted Language Study) (which $*@<$), and an hour for gym. I'm getting pretty good at basketball!! I'm having a lot of fun with that. At 9:30 we are back in our rooms getting ready for bed until 10:30 lights out. Oh yeah! I'm trying to break the MTC pull-up record which is 42. Wish me luck.

...Here are some Tagalog words for you.
  • magandang umaga -- Good morning
  • kamusta -- How are you?
  • ebanghelyo -- Gospel
  • mahal po tayo ang Diyos -- God loves us.
  • totoo -- true
  • mahal -- to love
There are 2 ways to count in Tagalog: Tagalog numbers and Spanish (a little different).
  1. isa
  2. dalawa
  3. tatlo
  4. apat
  5. lima
  6. anim
  7. pito
  8. walo
  9. siyam
  10. sampe
Write me please!! (packages are cool too) :)

Love Elder Michael Kornegay

Oh yeah! Please update my blog asap. I tell everyone to check it so I don't have to write so much LOL. And please post everything including the little side notes from my District. Love You...
(Top left margin)
P.S. Elder Claiborne loves your goofy son. He's a good man!
Hi Mom & Dad! Love, - Elder Austin Claiborne

(Bottom left margin)
P.S. Elder Lindon says hi!


(Bottom right margin)
P.S. Hello I'm Elder Berg. I'm from Montana. I want to be a Chiropractor. Enioy each moment you eat steak because they don't have it here.

July 20, 2011 - BEST BIRTHDAY CARD EVER

"Our Birthday Wish!
Have a plum of a birthday,
no ifs, ands, or buts!
To an absolute peach...

From all of us nuts
in District 2"

Elder Fronk

Elder "Tons-of-Funz" Kunzler!


Elder Tenney


You Da Bomb - Bro. Molina


Elder Berg

Elder Humphries


Elder Hunt


Elder Grob, Happy Birthday to you! Enjoy!

Happy Birthday! ~ Elder Lindsey

- Happy Birthday Pops!
- Elder Claiborne

Dad! We all miss you so much and are thinking of you oft. Happy Birthday, you deserve it. Thanks for always being there for me! Love You! Elder R. Alan Carroll of Phoenix, AZ 85048

Thumbs Up! - Elder Wardle
I drew u a heart


Love you Dad!! Happy Birthday thank you for everything. Have a good birthday. I love you. Michael 'Elder' Kornegay

July 9, 2011

I just figured out how to sign into the MTC mail box!! I love it here it is really awesome. My companion's name is Elder Fronk and he is going to Naga too. We are rooming with Elder Tenny and Elder Kunzler, who we call Elder Tonsoffunzler :) They are both going to Manila, Philippines. President Bliesner emailed me and I just emailed him back...

Im still sick!! Ive been sick since about a week before I left and I'm hoping to get over it soon. Ive seen the Dr. at the BYU medical center because a nurse here thought I had strep. I dont but he wrote me a prescription for my pink eyes. Yes it's in both eyes now!!! All of that together costs about $20 and I have a follow up appointment on Monday. Please send me mail and tell everyone my email and mailing address. I love you guys!

Love Elder Kornegay

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Airport Sendoff

So the time has come...

Yesterday, at 8 o'clock President Weathersby came to the house, and I was set apart as a missionary in the Philippines Naga Mission. Joining us in the circle were my dad, President Merrill, Bishop Bentz, and the Elders from our ward.

Packing was completed and we drifted off to sleep, as much as we could, knowing today was the day.

At 4 a.m. the alarm sounded and I awoke with pink eye! Yeah! Following some medical attention and a shower we loaded in the car and were off to the airport. We arrived safely, checked in, got my boarding pass, and paid for my two pieces of luggage.

As we left the check-in an unknown man walked passed me and asked, "Where you headed Elder?" I proudly announced Naga Philippines!

Off to the side of the security screening entrance to "Concourse A" we waited for family. While there we saw two other Elders preparing to board, probably my same flight, to Salt lake City.

I had a quick breakfast. Family arrived, we hugged, and took pictures . . .

2/3 of the Eliason grandchildren
Mike, Ang and the boys
Annie and the kids
Emz!
Grandma Kornegay

Rainman, Morgan, Baby, and me!

My FAMILY








. . . then it was time!

Goodbye Joel


* Here's a Facebook post from Morgan to put this next picture into perspective

My Brother = My Best friend, Partner in crime, Twin, Missionary. 
I love My Michael. :)
Goodbye little sister!!!
Goodbye Mom, I love you!
People of the Philippines, here I come. . .
I landed in Salt Lake City just after 10 a.m., and am now on my way to the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC). I'll be there before you see this.

I'll write as often as I can, and Morgan and Dad will keep this blog updated. See you in two years and enjoy the blog!

I Love you ALL!