Below is parts of my letter sent out 11/15/2012. It is about his first experiences in the Philippines. He wrote, "I'm guessing you want to hear about the Philippines?! Well after about 20 hours of flying, a lengthy but not quite lengthy enough phone call, a day of chilling at the MTC, and another 8 hour night full of suicidal bus driver driving (Nobody follows traffic laws! No one!); I made it here in Cauayan and met my Mission President! Dev, he is amazing! He is quite intelligent, hilarious, but so spiritual and no doubt was he called of God. Soon after we met we had transfer meeting! I was matched with Elder Reyes! He is a convert! This is his last transfer! This means I will have 2 different trainers! Elder Reyes for 6 weeks and another Elder for 6 weeks. Elder Reyes is amazing. He puts so much love and care into this work. He truly gives everything he has!
The weather here is hot and humid...about80 degrees with a sun that fries you! The nights are gorgeous, warm, and humid with a slight breeze. I have never seen such a beautiful place with such amazing sunsets!..
....It is such a different world here. Telling people they are fat or skinny is just a normal part of a conversation, a very casual thing to say. Oh, and I shower with buckets! HAHA! The only running water we have comes at 10:30ish. ...The people here are unbelievably kind and unbelievably loving! The children adore us! haha. These people have a genuine love for their fellow brothers and sisters.
Here is parts of his email that he sent to me on 11/25/2012, He wrote, "Another amazing week in Naguilian! ...This week has been so amazing, Devynn! We have been working harder than ever, but at the same time I am happier than ever. This goes to show that the harder you work the more you are blessed! No doubt! I wrote a pretty solid letter about this week! Thanks for the beautiful pictures of you and the ladies! :) I am excited for you to return home! Make sure Trace and Devin are being good boys! Haha I wrote both of them but have not yet heard back! I sure do hope they are doing well! This week I have tried a few Philippino energy drinks like STING and COBRA haha they are masarap! Delicious! haha! Life is amazing here! The Lord is progressing his work! I see it each and every day! Here in the field good days are good and bad days are good! Its really hard to get down! Even when you feel like there is no success because you know you are doing it all for him! Elder Reyes and I made a sign for our apartment that says "All For Him" with an hour glass off to the side! It is scary to think 1 transfer has already passed...WOW! Well almost passed, two more weeks! Seeing people truly give everything they have to make it to church blows my mind! Like Brother Jessy Gauiran! He is a very sick old man who we are teaching. He said when he sees others go to church he gets jealous because he is too weak to attend. We gave him a blessing to give him the strength he needed. The next day, he was in church. He said he rode is bike, pushing one pedal at a time. I have learned that the Lord provides a way for people to keep the commandments, especially keeping the sabbath day holy and attending church! When people pray and have faith, He makes it happen! It is amazing! You will learn about other experiences in my letters! Wow! It is amazing here! Keep working hard at home you are making me proud! I will mail your letter this week to your home! I have sent a letter each week...so I think you should have 3 going to Idaho! And this one will be going to VA!
Well keep working hard! I miss you like crazy! But I cant wait for the outcome of our missions!
Don't ever forget that I love you! That I pray for you and that I will be seeing you in the airport in about 1 year and 9 months!
Elder Ryan Anthony Betancourt"
Elder Betancourt with some of his friends at Core Shelter Baranghay (Neighborhood)
Elder Betancourt with his friend Moshi at church! Moshi is ten years old!
Elder B. wrote, "MACDO (AKA Mcdonalds) in the Philippines..every meal is a happy meal...haha seriously Filipino sized is tiny. It's hilarious!
The sign Elder Reyes and Ryan made for their door. Everything they do is to further the Lord's work! I couldn't be more proud!
The beautiful sunset and Elder Betancourt!
Elder Betancourt wrote, "My zone leader and I in the back of a truck. Traveling in the Philippines is interesting and usually very...sketch!"