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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blog is up & running: MTC, Quezon City North Mission begins

Special Birthday email for Mom

Sorry I'm gonna miss your birthday but I like to think you'd rather have me here! For your present I thought I'd share a very special experience I had this week. On Sunday we went over just to spot by a member on our way to a dinner appointment. The woman we were going to go see was going through the death of her mother. More than that most her kids are inactive and her husband is working abroad. She said she was ok and just had lots to do making all her guests comfortable. As we turned to leave I felt the need to ask if we could give her a blessing. She thought for a moment and said yes I need that very very much. Not only that but she then asked me to give it! I was so scared I had never given a blessing before! My knees were shaking so badly during the blessing I'm sure it would have been funny to watch. Needless to say I was not eloquent at all with my words. Nevertheless the word knows the desires of our words better than the fluency of our words. I felt impressed to tell her that her mother had been received in the Spirit World and would soon be taught the Gospel. I felt the Spirit running through me stronger than I ever had before in my life. Among many other sacred things I was impressed to say, I closed the prayer. I saw her there with light tears in her eyes with great gratitude. The reason I share this story with you is because she reminds me so much of you! She is the first thing that has made me the least bit home sick since I've been here! Sister Simkonte is soooo strong in her testimony and just like you, her favorite thing to say is "just do the right thing". There are so many attributes about her that remind me of you! Shes was certainly preordained before this life to bear the burdens and afflictions because of others. Nevertheless she has carried on in the faith of Christ and endured all things. I am very grateful for you as my mother and hope you have a wonderful birthday! Some suffer lots and some suffer little, but all suffer none when the Savior suffered ALL. Our afflictions and trials are for our own benefit and just like the promise given to Joseph Smith, if we endure them well we shall be exalted on high! Keep pressing forward! Love you mom! 
Elder Krueger T

Week 8

This week was a wild one and a mild one, as the temperature was cooler than usually. No complaints about the work, we had a couple of break throughs in church attendance and investigators keeping commitments so that was pretty rad. Here's a quick run down of the daily highlights.

Tuesday - We had district meeting and the mission president and the AP's showed up to deliver our mail run (they were there to go to the other district in our zones meeting). Anyways we talked with them for a little bit and President Sperry is a way cool guy to hang out with! He told me it was my duty to convince Elder Jensen of the truth that BYU is the greatest university. I made him a promise in return that Elder Jensen would be my greatest convert. Since then I have labored tirelessly to convert him unto the Lord...s university. Another highlight was teaching our investigator Shella, whose family is interested but doesn't speak Tagalog or English. They came to church this sunday anyways though and there 12 year old, Richie, apparently said he wants to be a missionary like us when he grows up. They're an awesome family, it takes a lot of faith to be open to listening to the Spirit without understanding the words we teach. 

Wednesday - In the morning we took part in a zone service project which basically consisted of shoveling garbage for 4 hours straight. Absolute nasty and foulness you cannot describe with words. The worst part, they'll probably just move the trash somewhere else and dump it anyways. That's the worst thing about the Philippines, trash EVERYWHERE. They don't burn it, they don't dump it, they just throw it wherever they want. For instance, last week when we went on our hike last week this Pilipeno in our zone just chucked his trash down the mountain right after our ZL said not to litter. Then he goes, "Its ok we're in the Philippines!" It was way funny but at the same time shows the mentality here that no nobody really cares, they just do whatever and its ok because everybody does it. 

Thursday - Today was our heaviest work day we taught 7 lessons and got a new investigator. The busier we are the faster and slower time goes. It's really weird you hear this saying all the time. "The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days". Basically days are long but somehow Heavenly Father alters our perception of time so that when you look back it feels you've been time traveling. He who loses his life shall find it I guess! Same concept, the harder you work the faster it goes, plus you get to look back with satisfaction rather than remorse. 

Friday - Elder Jensen and Elder Waite had district leader training so I was on exchanges with Elder Chato for most the day. The Zone Leaders came over and we did our studies with them which was pretty fun and then we went out to MacDo, which was so incredibly delicious I nearly started crying. Elder Jensen and I only got 3 lessons in but the last one was the strangest thing in my life. Basically we taught an insane lady, a gay guy, and a Muslim woman all in the same lesson. Well we didn't really teach the Muslim lady because that's bawal (forbidden) but she sat in and keep trying to get me and Jensen to invest in some kind of real estate, we still don't know what was going on. Later the fellas at the house convinced me to try Balot. Which is basically an egg but they let the bird grow a little bit before you eat me. It was disgusting but they promised me it was the only way to learn Tagalog, so I partook. I have noticed a great increase in Tagalog compression since however.

Saturday - We went on a referral hunt and ran into this 3 members who could speak English and were visiting from out of town. One was a pioneer of the Church in the Philippines, one his son who is a RM, and the other was an Australian who served a mission in South Africa. Both the RMs had pretty crazy stories about getting threatened with guns and such. I was way jealous of the the Australian guy he had a wicked sweet accent and served in South Africa during the apartheid days, so you know it was a crazy two years. Anyways that was really fun and nice to speak some English, plus Elder Jensen got all trunkie because he found someone to talk about Rugby with. 

Sunday - Fast Sunday today which we broke with a huge feast later in the evening. Then we went to teach lessons and ended up getting fed dinner two more times! On a side note I got asked to speak in church the Sunday of and Elder Jensen were both like are you crazy nobody will understand a word I say. Basta, Elder Jensen said he'd help me write it and hopefully the ward will just nod their heads and pretend like they understand. 

Monday - Just got my haircut and headed over to email! Going to out to eat today because its Elder Chato's birthday. 

All in all it was a great week! Personal study I've just been reading through Jesus the Christ and cross referencing to scriptures. That book is thick, but filled with incredible though sometimes fairly opinionated insights on the life and ministry of Christ. 

Anyways all is good out here! Elder Jensen is the man, I hope I can get him to go to BYU so we can hangout after the mish! 

Hope all is well and going great!

Elder Krueger T 

                                      President and Sister Sperry with Elder KruegerT

                                                          Trainer!  Elder Jensen

 Finally convinced to try balot!!
 Elder Jensen seems happy about this adventure.
 The balot remains.  Yuck?!?
Just got his haircut and visiting the internet lounge.

Week 7

This Week flew bye pretty quick, since we were having a lot of success in the area and this whole weekend was covered by stake conference.

Tuesday - We had made a goal to OYM more often this week because we foresaw are investigator pool would dwindle as our current investigators and less actives were strengthening in the Gospel. So on Tuesday we just decided to stop and talk to this random house (first OYM) and sure enough she invite us to come back for another lesson on Saturday! Needless to say we return with our ward mission leader and found 6 new investigators waiting for us ready to hear the Gospel! we're going back again tomorrow so hopefully all continues to go well. 

Wednesday - We visited an old investigator who at first got made at us for it being so long since the missionaries had seen her (the old missionaries dropped her cause she wasn't progressing). Well long story short and I'm still not that sure what happened in the lesson, but somehow she wants to get baptized and we set and bapt date for Jan 4! She was already trying to figure our what she's going to wear to the baptize and we were just like wear whatever, you're gonna be changing into all white anyways!

Thursday - We taught a recent convert named Sol and her husband who is an investigator named Gerry. Gerry is the man he knows as much about the gospel as any investigator I've ever heard of. There's no doubt he knows the Church is 100% true, however it would seem Satan has a great desire to keep hold of him and he struggles to trust enough in Christ to let go of his smoking addiction. He's been trying to quit for quite sometime now but Elder Jensen said Gerry just had an experience were he and his wife randomly woke up in the middle of the night and she just turned to him and was like, "when are you gonna finally do this thing". So hopefully he'll be off the smokes within the next week or so and then he should be baptized exactly a month later. The biggest problem I seen in the Philippines is action. Everybody here believes in Christ (which is awesome) but not many people do anything to show that they are following him. Truly faith without works is nothing and that's the first lesson I've learned first hand in the Philippines. True faith generates a desire to put of the natural man and follow the example of the Savior and ad-hear to the promptings of the Spirit.

Friday - Highlight was teaching the Silvoza family. Their son was baptized and 1 year later went on a mission. He came home, married his girlfriend in the temple, baptized his mom, and is now already serving as the second counselor in the bishopric of our ward. Yeah, Michael is the man. The big break through this week was that his father started listening in on our discussions with Sister Silvoza. Then he got really sick and we had the opportunity to give him a lesson. It must of given him some great gratitude towards the Savior because two days later he came to stake conference! That was a huge breakthrough and we are continuing to pray for big things for him and the rest of the Silvoza family, that one by one, are coming into the Gospel.

Saturday - Pretty much just had stake conference all day. They had a 4 hour session that was leadership council conference and then a 2 hour session of adult session later in the evening. Some of it was in English which was pretty sweet. The best part about conference was getting to meet some other elders from the Montalban zone. Elder Wuu is known as the godfather of the mission and I got to meet him and bless him (respect thing in the Philippines) before he goes home on Wednesday. Elder Jensen nearly shed tears of joy at the glorious occasion, he said he had long since dreamed of his son getting the chance to bless the Master Wuu.

Sunday - More stake conference and taught another new investigator whome I shall write more about next week! Fingers crossed for this guy and his wife though, I think I smell gold (not just cause he's rich but cause he's also a perfect investigator so far). 

Well thats about it for the week. Sorry this email was late but we climb the highest mountain in our province and I'll send some pictures! It puts the Y hike to shame. We could see the whole city (was kind of smoggy though) and we were so high up we were above the clouds! 

Mahal ko kayo,
Elder Krueger T

                                             Thanksgiving dinner.....Filipino style

                                             The Master......Elder Wu
                                                  Hiking on P-day

                                  Hiking with Elder Jensen.  Where are those sunglasses??


Week 6/7

Pretty wild week so much went down I don't know where to begin! Basically we gathered on Wednesday at the Mission Home for and interview and briefing (I passed) then we headed over to the Church to meet our trainers. I was assigned to the San Jose Area with Elder Jensen as my trainer. He's been out on his mission for 9 months now and speaks crazy good Tagalog. My trainer is awesome and is super obedient and hard working I've never been so tired in my life! The language is tough, they didn't really give us any study materials at the Manila MTC, pero I know that through obedience and hard work the Lord will give the Gift of Tongues! I've heard this is the coveted area of the mission and the work is great so I am super thankful for that. Like I said Elder Jensen is a very hard worker (I didn't even unpack my bags for like the first 4 days).
We get up every morning at 6:30 workout and study til 1, then work straight til 9:30 when we go home. We taught 27 lessons in 5 days! 19 of those lessons were to less actives and recent converts though which seems to be the focus of the mission. Our area isn't that pretty but all the areas around us in our zone are way beautiful apparently so I'll probably get some great pictures. Pretty thrilled about how the work is going already, aside from the language nothing seems that difficult. I mostly just say the prayers, bare testimony, and smile during the lessons. Luckily the people are so friendly here and are always cracking jokes about my height. I guess Tyler Haws served in this area and the people are still talking about him haha. Not gonna lie its super mainit (hot) here but I've started getting used to bathing in my own sweat. Mission life's pretty sweet except for sometimes when my mind wanders during lessons cause I have no idea whats going on. 
President and Sister Sperry are super cool and friendly so I know I'm in good hands! Apparently this was a terribly disobedient mission area before President Sperry kinda changed things. I guess when they split Quezon and Quezon North they sent a lot of the bad missionaries into Quezon North. It got so bad at one time that a group of missionaries literally referred to themselves as the Gadiantons and would break just about every rule and commandment around. As a result and many missionaries sent home later, we have a lot of rules. We aren't allowed to communicate at all with any missionaries outside our zone and just a bunch of other little rules like that. Its all good though I don't know how any missionary could find time to do anything bad with Elder Jensen, he just rolls house to house preaching and teaching!
Sorry to hear about Toby I had a feeling his time was nigh at hand :/ He's almost a hundred years old in doggy years I feel like he's ready for heaven. Good to hear the hawks and the Cougs are ballin out. Wish I could say I was surprised that Skyline lost but when I went to the game back home I could tell they did have the IT factor championship teams have. It could be a couple years til they find the way back to glory. 
Well keep it classy I'll try to email more next week with details about investigators and the work, right now its all to much at once I wouldn't know where to began! Oh little background on Elder Jensen though, he's from St. George and loves football/rugby.
He went to SUU for a semester before his mission and is a super awesome missionary!
Til Next Week, Elder KruegerT

                             Balot (an egg where the chick embryo is grown slighlty)
                                                   The real work has begun!!

Week 5

Good to hear Toby is still alive and no surprise life just isn't the same without me, I'm sure Makayala has been complaining non-stop about it. Also good to know the Seahawks have received the blessings of my service, please tell Russell if he would like the wins to continue I'll be expecting a letter of gratitude shortly. Tough about BYU seems like things were going so well for awhile but they will no doubt make a bowl game and as an independant team thats all you can ask for besides a national title anyways. Weird to think its almost Thanksgiving over there you said? Kinda of lose track of what month it is in the MTC every thing is measured in weeks. We head out to the field on Wednesday morning and I'll get time to email once more on Tuesday so I'll give you the details then. As for this last week it flew by! A lot of crazy stuff went down with the missionaries coming in and all. He had a 70 come and speak as he was in town for the relief effort. They keep us as far away from the Taglobab missionaries as possible but we were able to hear a few things from them. The missionaries arrived Tuesday night, soaking wet, having walked many miles through water up to their chests for 4 days. We all gave some of our clothing to the arriving missionaries and while we weren't there to see them come in, we were told there was a storm of tears when they walked in and saw hundreds of shirts, ties, pants, and socks donated for them to wear. Mom you said the death count was around 250? Not even close. Try over 10,000. One companionship said a group of 5000 were gathered in a gymnasium were they locked are the doors to escape the wind. Unfortunate the floods came and 3,000 people drowned in the gym. Every missionary told of seeing dozens to hundreds of dead bodies floating all around the city. As they all gathered near the airport they describe the scene as "anarchy". If you have ever read the Leviathon it tells of humans resorting to survival instincts in crisis and fighting to the death over limited resources. Appartently mobs formed and people were doing everything they could to get their hands on food or clean water. While it is a miracle the missionaries all survived, the true sadness is that those without the gospel are the ones who died. Had the missionaries or members died they would have been exalted on high returning to the presence of the Savior to await the second coming. But for the thousands that died in darkness will be received by a temporal hell. I am reminded of Mosiah 28:3 I believe that says the Sons of Mosiah were so saddened by the thought of damnation that the very thought of any soul dying without it caused them to shake and tremble. I do not know specifically why God chose to spare my life when I was in the grasp of the adversary. I have pondered much on that fact this week, and do believe in was not in some hidden purpose of myself but rather because God answers the prayers of the faithful. I am eternally grateful for all the prayers offered on my behalf and having now tasted of the atonement of Jesus Christ, it is my only desire to labor in his service as a shephard before His flocks. I prayed harder than I ever had before this week trying to comprehend why I Christ suffered the 99 to save me, the lonely lost 1. Through much torment of my mind one clear statement resounded in my head. It was not an answer to a question but rather a command. "Feed my sheep, til all are filled, feed my sheep". To what purpose or end this was given I know not. However I refuse to believe this thought was provoked by my own mind. Heavenly Father has a specific plan for each and every one of us. Just as the Savior was foreordained and strengthened by the Father specificly to Atone for the sins of the world. We too have a plan and it was made known to us before the Earth was. I would invite you to recognize the aspect of our individual foreordaination and redouble your efforts to follow Christ. Give more. More of your substance, more of your time, and more of yourself. Nang taos-puso, Elder Krueger T   

Week 4

Wow I can't believe I've already been on my mission for a month now! This week flew by way faster than the last 3.  it felt like it was just Pday, but I guess thats cause we've settled into the routine of the MTC. This past week was the by far the best one yet, mainly because we got spagetti, burgers, and tacos which are the first regular meals we've eaten since we've been here! Don't get me wrong I love eating rice 3 meals a day but it blocks me up better than a left tackle. Anyways the real highlight of this week was on Wednesday when they let us out to go proselyting (the last two wednesday of the MTC they let you go out). We actually drove up to the Quezon City Mission and thats where we went teaching and preaching! Elder Simpson and I got paired up with Elder QaQa. He's been out for 20 months and speaks pretty much perfect Tagalog. He's a tall, skinny Fijian dude and was way cool.  I hope I get someone like him as my trainer! We met at the stake center and after getting assigned to companions, we boarded jeepney's out to our respective areas. The city is absolutely crazy! You hop on the jeepneys as they pull over in the middle of the road and there's always traffic like you've never seen before. Everyone drives within 6 inches of each other and there is no concept for lanes its just mass chaos. I would say that they are bad drivers but the truth is Filipinos are probably some of the best drivers in the world they can text, collect cab fare, give you your change, and drive within 6 inches of other cars, all while stopping and starting as cars swerve in and out of each other (They don't even let the president of the MTC drive a car, he has a personal driver that takes him around whenever he has to get out). Quezon City is practically New York City, if it was dirtier, cheaper, and 90 degrees everyday. Needless to say I love my mission already. The people are so friendly its unlike anything in the states. We walked past a group of like 20 little kids and they all ran up to me saying, "so tall, so tall!" and kept trying to jump up to give me high fives haha. Even though QaQa told us they love white guys here, I was still kinda shocked at how many of them yelled at us as we walked down the street, I got called baby a couple times haha now I see why Tyler got so attached to Africa it must have been a dream come true after so many years of lady troubles. We taught this lady name Geronimo and her son, J.R. Both are less active members of the Church but have recently started going back to church and J.R. wants to go on a mission! We visited for a little while and then taught a lesson about the BOM and I had to bare my testimony and say a prayer in Tagalog (about all I could do). It was unlike any experience I've ever had though you could just feel the Espirito Santo all over the place as we taught and Geronimo was feeling it too for sure! The people live in such humble circumstances and yet are the happiest people I've ever seen. There is a massive hurricane going through the Philippines right now (not so much in our area) and its likely that hundreds of thousands will lose everything. Last time a storm came through over a thousand people died. It's incredibly saddening so pray for the people of the Philippines, that they might overcome the storm but also express gratitude for the doors to thousands homes for missionary work will be opened. The Philippines has been prepared to receive the gospel since the Spanish came hundreds of years ago and introduced christianity. Now the field is extremely ripe here and millions are prepared to accept the Simbahan ni JesuCristo ng mga banal sa mga huling araw as the only priesthood authorized Church on the Earth. The field is so close teaching at the MTC feels almost pointless compared to the real world where the eternal souls of many lie in the balance! These last 11 days need to hurry up there is to much work to be done to waste a moment longer sitting behind a desk! God Bless my Filipinos! Elder T Krueger

                                                          Grocery shopping

                                      Sporting his new ring from the 'ring lady'

Week 3

This week went by pretty quick, a lot faster than the last two! One of the Elders in our district got sent home so Elder Simpson and I got a new kasama, his name is Elder W. At first I was like this sucks he talks more than Tyler does and this is gonna be a pain having to go everywhere in 3s. But after humbling myself we taught our first lesson as a trio and had great success, in fact the lessons we've taught since then have been some of the best lessons since I've been at MTC. Just goes to show you can make the best out of every situation and once I started looking for the good in the new companionship things started going great, we're killing it now! Having basically been an only child for the last 6 years at home I can already tell having a companions with me all day every day is going to greatly develope my level of patience. Things are going pretty great for us though our companionship has been nicknamed the "Sons of Thunder", brownie points if you know who that is.
The highlight of the week (whole MTC experience) was on Tuesday when Elder Anderson came and gave a devotional, with help from President Clayton of the 70. The second Elder Anderson walked in the door in was like a wave of the Spirit.  I can't imagine what it must be like when the prophet goes somewhere! After shaking everyones hand (yes the two Elder Kruegers stood next to each just to make him do a double take) Sister Clayton, President Clayton, and Elder Anderson's bodyguard spoke to us. They all gave great talks but as soon as Elder Anderson got up it was like game over, he just took over the whole gym. He first stated 6 times about the importance of being patient with ourselves and said that he felt prompted as he was shaking our hands that many of the missionaries felt inadequite and that he could truely feel the love of our Heavenly Father at that moment. He told stories about how difficult it was for him to learn French and then went into detail on the steps it requires to develope the ability to see that which is unseen. He said we are only beginning to comprehend the spiritual side of the world and that its a process to be able to decern the thoughts and feelings that are from Heaven and those that are from our own minds. The majority of his talk however was then directed at the atonement of Jesus Christ. He said that while Christ was prepared physically and mentally for the atonement he may not have been fully prepared spiritually for the withdrawal from the light of God. He said that while the atonement is incomprehensible, it is clear that in the moment of sacrifice Jesus was completely and utterely alone. That he even begged the Father saying "Aba" (which translates to daddy) for him to take it away, but only a moment later he said, "nevertheless not my will, but thy will be done". Basically saying that he carried on completely alone, removed from the presense of the Father, in an effort to glorify the Father through us. Pretty incredible that the Savior being a perfect being had the ability to back out at any time during the atonement but because he had inexplainable love for us he carried on and it was Christ who decide when the atonement was finished. Elder Anderson said that in every thing we say we should preach of Christ, whom without there is no life, light, or mercy. The only way I can descibe the tenderness in the voice of Elder Anderson as he spoke of the Savior was by recommending the last chapter in John. This is because I could just tell Jesus loves Elder Anderson in the same way he loved John "the beloved". I'm also 99% positive that Anderson has seen the resurrected Christ which is pretty freakin sweet! After closing his remarks he got back up and changed the hymn to "I know that my redeemer lives".  Stating that after this life every word we utter about Christ will be like a plaque or a badge of honor for us, so testify of Him in all things. Even if you had no testimony whatsoever of this Church, if you spent 10 minutes with one of the apostles I don't know how anyone could deny that this is Christ Gospel. So that was pretty much the coolest talk ever I can't imagine what it'd be like to be able to speak with so much power and tenderness all at the same time. One thing is certain, Elder Anderson was meant to be at our MTC that night and Christ was definitely with him.
Other than that life goes on at the MTC just scratchin to get out of here and onto the real thing. Oh the MTC president said your family will recieve more blessings from missionary service than you will so basically you're welcome and you should feel pretty good about depositing money into my account each week cause its only gonna benifit you more and more the more you give to me :0
They don't celebrate Halloween here but we all got some skittles which was pretty cool. Rustans market was closed today so we didn't get to restock on snacks which means this week will be rough. Oh and speaking of extra blessings that just reminded me, can I have 20 bucks? I ordered a ring today from this lady who does personal engravings. It's pretty cool she's engraving Lehi's Dream around the ring. If anyone wants me to buy one and send it back later just let me know they are really nice and she customizes all of them to say or have whatever you want on them. She only comes every friday though so you'd have to let me know what and what size by then.
Yeah I guess thats it this week, just on that missionary grind!
Stay Classy,
Elder Krueger T

                                                           Hair cuts by the pro!

                                                           Dinner time, Yum??

                                                          Custom rings

                         Yeah for ice cream!! Doesn't look like they have chocolate.

Week 2

                                                             2 Elder Krueger's!!!

                                        Elder Patrick Krueger & Elder Taggart Krueger

                                                       Elder Simpson at the fish market.
Normally I suppose when I am out in the field I will try to keep my emails somewhat organized based on the events of each day. However, at the MTC everyday is exactly the same so my thoughts may be quite random! Basically we get up at 5:50 every morning and go to breakfast, get dressed, and have class and teach an investigator til lunch. Then we have 3 hours of language study and gym, next dinner, followed by 3 more hours of language and teaching investigators, and then quiet time at 9 and bed at 10. Every hour is scheduled but that's basically how the day goes. The days are flying by now that we've settled into a routine. I can understand the language ok and can speak in simple sentences but carrying on in full conversations with investigators can be pretty rough at times (investigators are fake but treated as real progressing investigators). Last tuesday my kasama had to go back to the hospital just for a check up on his foot and I got to go with him this time and see the city. It's hot and dirty but sooo awesome. I just want to be out in the field already the people are so awesome! I like talking with the little kids cause they speak english and tagalog and I don't feel as embarrassed when they laugh at my tagalog haha The people are super shy to talk to Americans when they are speaking english but are the friendliest people when you speak tagalog. The Filipinos are always smiling even when they have no reason too, which makes it easy for me to stay positive at the MTC for sure. I read through that entire "pocket reference book for missionaries" and most the verses it gives and that thing is the bomb! I learned more from that book than 4 years of seminary and a year in religion classes at BYU. Highly recommend reading it and particularly reading the scriptures it suggests as obviously thats where most the knowledge comes from. We also got to go to the Temple again today and I think its become my new favorite place (tied with LaVell Edwards Stadium of course). Theres so much symbolism in the scriptures that directly corresponds to what we see in the temple. Reading the scriptures is also becoming more awesome as we have learned how to "slowly disect the scriptures like a surgeon". You could spend a thousand hours on just one chapter of scripture and still not get everything there is to get out of it! Anyways enough preaching just thought it was cool and surprising that previously my biggest worry about a mission was that I would get tired of all the Spirit stuff that goes on. Don't get me wrong its exhausting but its also the first time I've actually enjoyed learning! On a different note I ate squid, eel, fish, and about 20 pounds of rice this week. All that rice blocked up my digestive system so the nurse gave me some C-Lium which quickly turned the Hoover Dam into Willy Wonkas Chocloate Factory if you catch my drift. Also there were rumors circulating that the other Elder Krueger might be able to take me in a game of ping to the pong. So we played best 2 out of 3, which turned into 3 out of 5, which turned into 4 out of 7. In other words 4 straight victories quickly dispelled that rumor. He's a really cool guy though, everyone thinks we're brothers! He wants to be a neurologist when he gets back but I've still got ping-pong on him so whatever. Yeah thats pretty much all thats going on around here. I'll try to email some pictures later after we go to the grocery store! Kapayapaan Krueger the Elder

Week 1

 First night in the Philippines after a long, long day of flying.

 Monkey at the hotel in Manila.

 Elder Taggart Krueger and his first companion, Elder Simpson.

I Can't believe it's only been a week it feels like a year! In a good way though, mostly. On last Thursday our connecting flight was super close so I wasn't able to call, sorry about that! But yeah it was a long flight and not super exciting I didn't think we were allowed to watch movies (found out later it was cool) so instead I just set a record on the golf simulator. 10 hours straight of the same golf game, I knew that somewhere T.C. was so proud. Anyways we finally got to Manila two days later and waited at the airport for like an hour and a half until we finally just said forget it and we walked over to the Hotel (which was like down the street). I'm starting to realize the Filipinos are just so laid back and relaxed, which would be cool if it weren't for the heat! Sitting around in the heat here is the worst thing in the world. It's so humid somedays that its literally hard just to breathe. The Air Con is probably the best part about the MTC, otherwise I'd rather be in the field. Everything here is so detailed and scheduled way more than any other MTC, probably cause most the Elders here are from Polynesia. Friday and Saturday were probably the longest days of my life...we only got like 10 hours of sleep in 72 hours, and I missed my precious sleep. By Sunday, however, I had already adjusted to the sleeping routine and it hasn't been to bad since. I really only get tired once a day for about 20 minutes and other than that feel pretty energized. My kasama (companion) is Elder Simpson, he's a pretty cool cat and is super into competitive biking. At the Hotel he got bit by something while he was sleeping and his foot swelled up like a watermelon, so we gave him a blessing and one week later the swelling is finally starting to go down. That was a real welcome to the Philippines I guess haha we're both just excited to start working out again in a week. Gym sucks but I'm getting pretty good at ping-pong I haven't been beaten yet. One week and three days and I'm ready to take on these Filipenos in some bball. Saturday and Sunday were cool because we got to see general conference again (they get it a week late here). I really liked President Eyring's talk about the Good Samaritan (priesthood) were he stressed the importants to help others even when we are busy. It was a nice reminder that we were called to SERVE not baptize. Monday we already started teaching a full lesson in Tagalog! The language is crazy, I'm shocked at how much Spanish I remember (theres a few words in Spanish) but its ten times harder than Spanish. Every word is about 2 times longer than the English word so they talk so fast. My favorite so far to say is Ikinagagalak ko pong makilala kayo, I guarentee you are saying it wrong. Though the lanuage is hard I have pananam palataya (faith) that I will get it eventually. The rest of the week has started to go by a lot faster we just teach and preach and study. Sorry not too many pictures we are only allowed to have a camera for 30 minutes every PDay. Its a good thing my district is so cool though or else I'd go crazy, we just jokala all the time even our teachers can't stop laughing. If it wasn't for humor I'm convinced we would all be dead already because they drive us like slaves. Its all good though the work is going forward with or without us, so we might as well hop aboard! Running out of time we're off to the temple right now! Kinda sad all these Filipeno Elders and Sisters have never been through and this mission may be one of their few chances to go through in their lives. The things we take for granted when they are just down the street! I don't know how to make new lines these computer are hindi po mabuti. Peace out, Elder Taggart Dwaine Krueger 

Elder Krueger's arrival to the Philippines

October 11, 2013

No dice on the empty seat next to me on either of the flights! It's been a long two days, have only slept about 3 hours! We had to run to our connecting flight and then didn't get into Manila til 12. We waited at the Airport for like an hour and finally just walked over to the hotel haha We stayed in a "villa" at the hotel which in Tagolog must translate to 'tiny room with 8 beds'. Its been super fun though just exhausting! Don't have time to say much only giving us 5 minutes to say we made it ok! About to go through the welcoming and grab some lunch! Hopefully I'll be given a lot more time to email on Monday there's too much to write down now!
Much Love, Elder Krueger

Elder Taggart Krueger entered the Philippines MTC on Oct 11th, 2013.  
These are photos from his District while learning in the MTC.


  1. What wonderful letters! It was so touching to read of his experiences and feel his testimony. What a great Elder you've got. I loved his special birthday email to you, Lori. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Glad to here you like my book, "The Pocket Reference Book for Missionaries." It is now on the Kindle -hyperlinked for when you get home.
    The author, Adrian P. Call, Jr.