Thank you so much for your emails they are so uplifting. I find all of the info very interesting but won't comment on everything just to save time. They help me feel close to you throughout the week. :) Okay, so most of what I have to say is random. But that works, right? :)
Today we had a district activity for p-day. It was fun to get together with other missionaries and ward missionaries. Plus it was cool cause we saw some of the more beautiful parts of Palawan. For the activity we went hiking... but it was my kind of hiking. The kind without a real trail. Most of the time we were either walking through the river or on the rocks lining either side. At the end of our hike we reached a little waterfall. It was nice to be outside just sitting around. Hiyahiy. Okay that is not how you spell it but kind of how you say it: hi-yah-hi. It's an expression that means like "doing nothing". I love it. It's fun to say although I can rarely honestly use it. :)
Some things that you might find interesting that I haven't mentioned: 1.We take off our shoes before entering a home to teach. (To be honest I'm still mastering the skill of doing so quickly and gracefully. I get it most of the time but sometimes not so great. haha :P ) 2. I was standing in a members home this week and realized, I don't think I have seen carpet once since I've been here. there have been a few small rugs but all the floors as tile or linoleum. It makes sense because we have the hardest time keeping the dirt out of our house and it is quite humid. With no air conditioning and the windows open carpet probably wouldn't survive even though no rain comes in. 3. Roosters crow all the time. I have had people tell me this before but I am experiencing it first hand and just want to bust the myth that they crow at sunrise. I was up before the sun today and they were already going at it. And when we go to bed at night they crow then too. When they sleep, I dont know but I can sleep through it so I dont care. :) 4. When we go up to doors. We don't typical knock. Instead we say, "Tao Po". Which in gist means People or anybody home. Then if anyone is home they can open there door for us or tell us to "Pasok" (enter).
As for your questions: Typical day-- Wake up at 6am and either run or do laundry (they are about equal in physical exertion! haha jk but seriously it works up a sweat.) The 4 of us take turns in the shower and eating breakfast. At 8 we start personal study (a beautiful time of day. I can hear the birds chirping. I am clean and cool. The light comes in the window onto my desk. I study the scriptures. Pure bliss.) Then we move to companionship study at 9 which since I am in the 12 week training program lasts 2 hrs instead of 1. So at 11am I start my one hour of language study. Noon we have lunch and we usually leave the apartment around 12:30, sometimes one. Then we visit less active members and investigators. This keeps us pretty busy but we are always finding along the way. Talking to anyone who we feel prompted or who is hiyahi-ing :) Its so fun. I like talking to random people about the gospel, especially when they are interested. That is what we do everyday. We haven't visited any hospitals or anything. We just contact all the people we need to and that keeps us busy, which is cool. The work is going pretty well.
As for diet.... well, its a bit like college. Rough schedule and I'm simple to please. Breakfast is oatmeal with milk ( I found a milk that doesn't have corn syrup or something powedered in it! yay! Thank you nestle and the cows in New Zeland) My favorite new thing is to put "saging" in my oatmeal. Those are the bananas here but they are very small and sooo sweet. They taste somewhat like our bananas but I think I like these better. Lunch is sometimes a Filipino dish with rice, or when we are lazy I eat ramen or peanut butter on crackers or an apple (which I absolutely love. I think PB is a comfort food for me.) We usually skip dinner because we are out working. I either eat some bread from a little shop that dot most of the roads here or a protein bar and then eat my raisin cinnamon bread or crackers or apples with peanut butter. Anyway. It works for me. And don't worry, Im taking my vitamins. :) We have yet to eat at a members home... so when that happens I will let you know what we eat.
As for some experiences this week. We are teaching a 12 year old girl who's parents joined the church a couple of years back but have since gone inactive. We had her baptism planned for the 24th but since that was over the mission conference baptisms, activities etc were not allowed. So we told her we needed to move it. Established a new date after the lesson and closed with a prayer. When we finished the prayer she was crying. When we asked her why she said it was because she was really excited for her baptism. It was such a sweet moment. I felt bad for her but at the same time my heart swelled with joy because of her desire. It was a beautiful exhibit of her testimony and desire. I can't wait for her baptism.
Another experience was with this cute little family of 5. They joined the church just as I was entering the MTC. They are so strong in the church though that I thought it had been a lot longer than that for the first week I was here. Well anyway, this week Brother lost his job. It was so sad. Many of the families here live pay check by pay check and in very meager ways. We went to visit them the night he lost his job and they talked about how they prayed and then this valiant father went walking around the whole city applying for every construction job he could. Nothing came of it but the couple were being very positive and faithful. We shared a message and left. We visited them a couple of days later and watched as they gave some left overs we brought to their children. It was hard, knowing the parents had been fasting and were probably worried. We asked if they would be able to make it to church (it costs 8 pesos per person over a certain age so they would cost 16 or 24 for them just one way.) They told us they would make it. They were there at church. The lesson in gospel principles was providing for our family and how those who don't provide for themselves should not eat. I sat there thinking oh my gosh! And then suddenly the thought came to me as Heavenly Father, "They are My children and I will take care of them. I know them." I had been worried that they would be offended or something but I "sinned in my" worry. Heavenly Father knew what the family needed to hear. He wants His children to be happy, He wouldn't want them to be hurting in that lesson. Anyway. So in coordination meeting we brought it up and had 3 job offers. We checked with Brother after the meeting and it is going to work out! What a wonderful gift. Thank goodness for wonderful ward members who jumped to find something and for the faith of this family. As we left the church building, we saw the family. Brother said to his son, "We are walking today." And they took off. The youngest in arm, the 6 and 4 year old walking with their parents the miles home. It was so sad and yet so inspiring to see their faith and dedication to the Lord! I thank Heavenly Father for this family and their example. :)
Well I think that is about all for this week. All I have time for. I love you all!
Love, Sister Jaclyn Hamm
Please give my love to my brothers especially. I miss you Tyler. I miss you Nathan. I miss you Jacob. I miss you Josh. Love you so much!!