Monday, December 3, 2012 4:11 AM
Thank you of course for your emails. I love them so much. Thank goodness for technology! :) This week has been great! Thank you for your prayers with the language, I certainly need them, but I can feel the help of Heavenly Father and know that I am progressing even if it doesn't feel like it. I'm so grateful for a native companion that can help me so much and for the other sisters in the apartment who help me. :)
My companion and I have set lots of new goals this week to try and help us move the work along better. I have also set some personal goals. I am excited about all of these.
We went and did a service project weeding the back yard of a part-member family this week. That was fun. We did it with the other two sisters and another set of elders in our district. It was hard work but felt good to be outside serving. It was also fun to be with the other missionaries. We had a zone activity today in which we went to a waterfall and then had lunch. Then we ended up going to the beach as well. The water was so blue and green. It was gorgeous. The car trip with the Senior couple (2 hours) was really fun. One elder brought his guitar and the other brought his uke. They played and we all sang hymns. It was so fun. It was great to be around everyone and hear of their experiences before and during the mission. It is always nice to see the American elders who can now speak Tagalog because it gives me more hope. :)
We are teaching a 9 year old of a less active family right now. It's....fun but also rough because he has (like all 9 year olds) a very short attention span. So we are trying to figure out how to make the lessons with him more interactive and interesting. Send any ideas you might have. :)
So we always talk about how it is harder for those who have money to be humble, etc. and I've understood why... But I have seen it first hand recently and it is sad. We went tracting to some of the bigger and more well built houses to try and find families like we have been encouraged to do. Most of them have maids that were there and seemed willing to listen but the owners were almost never willing to listen to us. One man was very abrupt (probably more like the reaction of Americans haha) and told us not interested before we had said anything past missionaries. :/ It was such a stark contrast to most people who even when they seemed not interested at all, are willing to at least listen. Sayang (too bad). It is just sad to realize that he doesn’t even realize what he is missing. He has a car (most of the people we teach do not), he has a job and a family and he is successful. He is probably relatively happy and doesn’t realize what he is missing out on. It makes me want to start our message with, "We have a way you can be happier than you are even now. There are 3 kingdoms of heaven and in the grandest kingdom we can live with our families and God forever, and we can teach you how you can obtain entry." Anyway.. just a little side note.
Thanks dad for sharing the Philippines in the service of God.... :) At first I was like, you must have been thinking of me that's crazy but then I thought wait... fellow beings - it does sound like Philippines!! :) That's exciting. I was remembering today about when I opened my call and the spirit I felt when I read Manila Philippines mission. :) So fun. Now I am actually here doing it... it's a cool feeling. :)
Yes we do dishes and laundry by hand. It doesn't seem very hard anymore which is nice. Heavenly Father strengthens me in so many ways everyday. :) We always have electricity, unless there is a brown out (rolling black out) they are relatively common (couple times a week while we are home) but usually last less than a half hour and often are more like 10-15 minutes. We went to the church for PEC this week and were surprised to find it dark. It looked empty but we thought institute should have been going on. As we cautiously walked toward the dark church someone waiting in a trike out front said brown out (even though all the buildings around were lit.) Then suddenly the lights came on and the whole church lit up and we could see that all the institute students were sitting along the side of the bldg. haha. It was funny and fun to see it all come alive. :)
During language study I memorize vocab that I have heard in lessons the day before that I didn’t know. So fun going over that list. haha. The other day out of 17 words (it’s not that those are the only ones I didn’t understand but those were the ones I didn't understand that I understood enough to write down :) ), we found one that was a name of a grocery store, one that was 7 o'clock in Spanish that had sounded like an English swear word to me :), and one that we couldn't find a word in Tagalog for. I also read the pamphlets in Tagalog and write out phrases that I want to say first in English, then in Tagalog. Then I go over them with my companion and she corrects them and then I try and memorize them so I can use them later. At first I was hesitant to memorize phrases because I want to be able to express my thoughts and follow the spirit but not only do I memorize phrases that are often what I want to say, it also helps me become better at forming different but similar phrases, so yay! :)
Many people here are Catholic but other popular religions are 7th day Adventists and born again Christians. We did meet a Jehovah's Witness the other day.
I love you all so much! I pray for you every morning and every night. Hope you are all doing well.
Good luck to Josh on his finals and mission prep. Tyler-- your Halloween costume looked great. Nathan-- keep working hard at school esp. on that German. Jacob-- I love you. I had a minty watermelon mento the other day and had a good laugh remembering your discussion trying to return that pack of mentos. haha. Thanks. Choose the right. I didn't realize just how important the gospel was until I came on a mission and now more than ever I hope you are reading the Book of Mormon and praying every day. Hope you are having a great senior year. Mom-- thanks for your encouragement and love always. Enjoy every bit of the holiday season and I will enjoy every little bit of my mission. :) Dad-- I hope you are enjoying work. Remember that sometimes retaining the Christmas spirit takes a little work. I always love how excited and happy you get over the Christmas season.... make this a great one!
And my favorite filipino dish is Minudo. :)