Monday, March 4, 2013

Mahal ko kayo

Dear Family,

Thanks for all the exciting news. Tell Shalisa Congrats for me and that I will totally babysit when I get back. :) haha.  I can't believe Jacob Snyder got called to the Philippines. Sadly, we won't be able to talk to each other afterwards very well since his main language will be Cebuano. :)
So.... drumroll.........  I am currently in.......... The Dasmarines zone (that probably means very little to you, but you do have a map). This means that if I am not transferred by July 1st I will become a part of the Cavite Mission, but of course July is a long ways away and who knows what will happen.  I have been assigned to the Bayan 1st Ward!  So I am back to a bishop instead of a branch pres. :)  My new companion is Sister M. She is from Samoa and has only been in the mission field for 2 transfers more than me.  The Lord is definitely helping us as we are both still working on our Tagalog skills.  haha. This is her second area as well.  I will be her first companion that she doesn't "kill off".  All of her previous companions went home (as scheduled :) yea, no jokes or worries there) with her as their last companion.  (wow that should not have been that hard to explain in English but it was. You get the info though.)  So she is excited to have someone not close to going home. :)
So lets see new area.  The first day and night were a little harder than I was expecting.  More on that later.  So this area is way different than my last one.  As we walked the streets it was funny to find my mind reeling at the fact that here people have..... paved roads with sloped curbs and sidewalks, cars!, metal screen doors.  It was funny all the little things my mind noticed. They live in neighborhoods here and people have real addresses.  There are less trees but the area is actually quite pretty still and clean as well.  It is characterized as province since there are areas with fields and cows and we aren't in the heart of Manila but it is a small city-like area.  Kind of like Blackfoot with a downtown area and neighborhood areas.  Hard to explain.
It is actually cooler here and less humid.  Crazy right.  But it is noticeably so and at night there is a breeze that rolls in and it is gorgeous.  Reminded me of California nights, not quite that cold though.  I got to wear my light jacket on Sunday!!  I will admit it was probably 70 something degrees (rainy and breezy too) but the jacket felt good and it was fun just to be able to wear it again. haha
So like I said.  The adjustment was a little harder than I thought.  The first day we went out and taught a couple people which is always fun.  Then we went and visited the Bishop. He is great and was very kind but as we sat there and taught in his (modest but more well-off than almost any on Palawan) home I was suddenly homesick for my friends/family on Palawan. I missed them so much and there humble homes and spirits.  Anyway, it was also after getting up early that morning and then having 4 or 5 hours of travel by plane, bus and tricycle with a blood sugar that just would not stay up. So I flopped into bed and every day since has been so great!  I will be doing my laundry by hand later and after 4 weeks off, I am dreading it actually. haha.  It's not that bad a little at a time but when it is a weeks worth of clothing it gets quite tiring. It'll be all good though. :)  I am already good friends with this awesome ward missionary, Brother P., who only has one hand b/c of a work accident and is in his 60's.  He is really nice and always willing to come to appointments and share his testimony. Plus he complimented me on my Tagalog so brownie points there. haha
Sorry my email this week is lacking on the spiritual side.  I am short on time now so it will have to wait till next week.  But just know that the miracles never cease and God's grace is amazing!  So grateful for Christ's atonement and the ability to change and become better everyday.  I love you all and pray for you.  Make it a great week!
Sister Hamm

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