Below is parts of the e-mail he wrote 11/11/12:
"Another week here in the Philippines and let me just say this place is incredible! We have an incredible area! It is huge, hot, and sweaty, but the people are so worth it!
...Lets see, it has really been so busy! ...It's almost 5:30 p.m. here, and we still have to get food for the week! We are a bit behind! Well, Elder Reyes and I have been super busy! We taught 14 lessons to less-actives alone, this week! We are teaching a few part-member families as well! It is amazing to see these peoples' desires to return back to church as we share gospel truths and bear testimony! The Holy Ghost is our third companion! Whenever he testifies, we have great lessons ;) haha, but seriously.
Missing you has not seemed to go away yet...haha. I don't think it will ever go away, but I am okay with that! I frequently think of how great the future will be to help get me through the tough days! The key to being successful out here is all in the attitude! I literally look for joy wherever I can find it, and now I am just happy all the time! Its amazing! ...Less than 22 months left to serve! NAKU! I got to get cracking. It's crazy how time flies! Especially as you focus on the purpose at hand! Staying focused on your purpose is literally everything in the field! If you stray from that 2 years will feel like 200 years, and if you are focused, 2 years will feel like 2 months! I can't believe I have been here for over a week...it is actually scaring me quite a bit! I cannot wait to take you here someday so we can meet all the people of Naguilian. They are incredible!
President Tanon (thats said tanyon, but i can't get theenye button to work!) is the branch president. He literally gives all of his time when he is not busily at work to help and reactivate those who have strayed. The most amazing and effective way we have taught some of these people is sharing a spiritual message with them. They then make up an excuse why they are less active and then we ask, "Is the Book of Mormon not true?" Not a single one of them deny its truthfulness. This is always the changing factor in any investigator or less-active. "You have a problem with the Word of Wisdom...is the Book of Mormon true...yes? ...what do you need to do? Quit drinking?" ..."Yes, Elder you are right." IT IS INCREDIBLE! The Book of Mormon IS the keystone of our church! (Ch. 4 PMG). People who are inactive cannot deny its truthfulness! The book is real and true! Gosh, I just love this work. It is amazing!
Well I really miss you! You and my family are in each one of my prayers throughout the day (usually at 5 or 6).
....We have put our hands to the plow, let us not look back until this work is finished! Excited to receive a letter in the future!
Forever your Missionary!
I love you!
Elder Ryan Anthony Betancourt"
Elder Reyes and Elder Betancourt coming home from Santiago with some people from their zone!
Elder Betancourt sent a lovely picture of their bathroom. They have no running water so they shower with buckets, no toilet seat so they have to squat, and NO toilet paper!