Mga Pamilya at Kaibigan ko!
I can't believe it has been another week!
The time is finally started to fly by! I can't believe that today is my
2 month mark! I know the time will keep flying and soon I will be
wondering where it all went. This week was good for the most part! The
past two days have been a little rough, but there were definitely still
happy moments in those days. Many moments of growth that I am already
thankful for. I don't even know how to describe how tired I am though- I
really think I could easily fall asleep while walking and it is a
struggle to stay awake during lessons and the biggest struggle to get up
in the morning. I am hoping one day I will wake up energized- just
hasn't happened yet.
So this week we traveled to Guino Batan for exchanges. I liked the area-
but not as much as Legazpi. The people just didn't seem as loving and
interested in our message. There is an American sister in Guino Batan
and she made French Toast and Grilled Cheese for us! So some American
Food was nice! While we were there I worked with two different Filipina
Sisters. They were very nice...but teaching was SUCH a struggle. They
talk super fast and use really deep words that I don't understand, so
when they would look at me to talk I would have no clue what was even
going on or being talked about. I would make my best guess and just
start talking. I often got the pity smile from those we were teaching.
I'm thankful for my trainer who helps me during lessons. It is nice to
have a trainer that has learned the language, but is fluent- she
understands what I am going through and therefore knows how to help me. I
had many firsts in Guino Batan! I tried my first Pili- it is a nut that
has no taste. It is in a giant shell that looks like an avocado, but
the nut it tiny and white. I just liked it because it required a machete
to open it. Then I had my first Santol fruit. I didn't think I would
like it because all the other sisters don't really, but I loved it! It
is sour and yummy. Then I had my first experience with showing up to a
lesson and the person you are going to teach is totally drunk. It was
his birthday so yeah. In the Philippines that means lots of food,
drinks, and Karaoke. The karaoke was pretty halarious...but yeah it was
So the start of this week we had a Brown out for 2.5 days. So that
was fun! not. SO HOT! Super hard to sleep. That is common, but usually
there are during the day which sucks, but at least we don't have to try
and sleep during them. It is because most the businesses in the Albay
don't pay their electricity so the goverment just shuts it off for the
entire province of Albay. There is a rumor that it is going to be shut
off for an entire month is people don't start paying. I will be moving
to the church or the hotel where there are generators when that happens.
So on Wednesday we had MLC- missionary leadership council. It is for
Zone leaders and Sister Training leaders, so I get to tag a long
because of my companion. I really want to be sister training leader
later on in my mission. It is fun to serve the sisters and get to know
them. We take them to the doctor, bring them supplies and lots of other
stuff. I really love it. I love meetings with other missionaries because it helps me
realize that I am not alone is the craziness. There are so many other
missionaries working hard also. It is very comforting. It gives me hope
for the language when I hear other fluent greenies. I got to see sister
Christensen at MLC because her Companion is the other STL. That was so
nice to see her and talk to her about our experiences, but in the middle
of the meeting she got way sick. She ended up in the hospital and had
to get her Apendix out. It was so scary, but she is fine now and will be
staying with the Guanzons for a while. We were able to visit her a lot
at the hospital because it is down our street. I think we will visit her
at the Guanzons too, maybe. She said it was good to see a familiar face
because she has felt really homesick just laying in bed. I feel sooo
bad for her, but am glad she is okay. She is so strong!
On Friday we had zone training! I got to see Elder Wilcox from my
MTC district while was really great! We even got to practice teach
together! It was fun to finally meet everyone in my zone! They are
awesome and so hardworking.
So since me and my companion travel so much, we work, work, work when we
are home. We have been a little frustrated because we have so many
investigators, but only a few are progressing. We make a point to visit
all of them and all our less active members as often as we can, and
often they aren't home when they say they will be. We have been having a
hard time getting people to church also. We have a few GOLDEN
investigators, but 2 of them need to be married before they are baptized
and they just won't budge to be married, but they always attend church
and keep their commitments. Then there are 2 young girls whose parents
won't sign for them to be baptized. They are so ready and it is so
frustrating! We are trying to find, find, find people that are ready and
will progress. Since we are limited on time we have really asked the
ward to step up and help with less active members. They have been really
helpful and we actually had quite a few less active members attend
church yesterday!!! We have one new investigator from this week! So we
started teaching the Altavano family 2 weeks ago. I think I talked about
them- Ceal's family. Our ward hasn't had a family baptism for over 2
years so I am excited about them! But anyway, we went back to teach them
and Ceal wasn't home from work yet- but her kids were all there and a
friend of her oldest daughter. So we taught them about reading the Book
of Mormon. The two older girls were so interested! So the friend Carla
really wants to be taught and join the lessons, so new investigator!
YAY! When I told her I would bring her a Book of Mormon next week she
got so excited and couldn't stop saying thank you. A new book is a big
deal for many people here. I am so excited to keep teaching this family.
If they are all present this weekend we will invite them to be
baptized. Well the father isn't interested- but we are hoping to change
that. Tatay's are very stubborn and stern here.
Another cool experience- So one of our investigators, Joseph Ayo- he
is pretty old. Maybe 75? So his family always hides when we come over-
his wife and daughter, but at least they leave the grandchildren out
there to play with us (But they have never seen me, they just hide
around the time we say we will come). Anyway, he has been in Manila
seeing his other children- but we decided to go and see if he was home
yet because we had extra time on friday night. They didn't know we were
coming so they couldn't hide and guess what? They let us in even though
Joseph wasn't there! They were so interested in why I was there all they
way from America and wanted to talk to us. What a blessing to be an
American here haha. Talking about why I am here- led to a lot of
discussion and now they love us and want us to come over all the time!
What a miracle! So now we can teach them as a family and maybe Joseph
will be allowed to come to church- he hasn't come because of his wife. I
love seeing hearts be softened! Missionary work is so rewarding!
Scariest moment of my mission so far and maybe my life- So on
Saturday we were beginning a lesson with an investigator-Jenny. She owns
a shop and we just teach her at her work. It is just open to the
outside like most stores here. So we hear all this ruckus and banging on
the front of the shop and shouting and people in the streets screaming.
I had NO CLUE what was happening. Jenny just takes me and hides me
behind all these clothes- because I am American haha. But I was freaking
out, and shaking, and praying and thinking I was going to get kidnapped
or something. Apparently a group of men had got in a fist fight and had
taken wood off the store and were hitting people with it against the
store so it was really loud. So I wasn't in danger, but I was terrified.
I was shaking for like an hour after..but all is good. That really is
the only time I haven't felt safe and Jenny said they would not have
ever hurt me they were just fighting with each other.
A few things I have learned this week from Ward Council Meeting about
how to be a missionary, when you don't have a badge that I want to share
in case anyone wants to know: 1. When you see a new face at church, say
hi! It could have taken all the courage in the world for them to come
to church and what if no one says hi to them? 2. Go with the
missionaries and be the member present. Be that fellowshipper for
investigators. Missionaries love for anyone to accompany them. It helps
investigators so much. 3. Have the missionaries over for dinner and give
them referalls. It makes us feel at home (as long as the food is good),
but as we build relationships with members we hope that they will trust
us enough to give us referalls. 4. Always invite, but don't force.
Invite again and again, but there is only so much you can do. You never
know when someone will accept your invitation though- so always invite.
2 things that have really helped me get over being homesick and get
over the hard times this week are something our AP's read to us from
some talk- "Choose to serve THIS day, and the next will be better." It
is so true. As I decide to work my hardest THIS day I am so much happier
at the end of the day and the next day is even better. There are ups
and downs, but I am happy and glad to be a part of the Lord's work. This
morning I was looking through an old ensign and found this quote my
Predient Eyring from when he was called to be in the First Presidency-
"If we can just align ourselves with what Heavenly Father and the Savior
want, we can do far better than we've done. God will touch people's
lives through us more effectively than we could ever expect, and He will
make more of our lives than we could ever imagine. Despite our fears
and inadequacies, Heavenly Father will guide us. If you move ahead in
faith and if you're humble, you will hear his voice." That is exactly
what I needed to hear this morning. What are the chances that I chose
that 2007 Ensign from the stack and flipped to that page and read that
paragraph while I waited for my Companion to grab her wallet. Not a
coincidence. That is going to be my comfort quote this week.
It has been really rainy this week, so a little less hot, but still
hot and more humid. I love the rain in the Philippines. When it rains-
it pours and pours. There is no avoiding getting soaked. I love it! We
are supposed to get 4 typhoons this month- so that will be fun! What
else, I had McDonalds today. It tasted to good to have some American
food- even if it was McDonalds. I love the food here- but it is nice to
have a break from rice and meat.
MAHAL KITA! Miss you all! Have a good week! Keep sending emails. I love to hear from anyone and everyone!