Monday, August 5, 2013

Balis ang buhay


Thanks for all the love and emails and letters.  I thoroughly enjoy them all. This week has been great, mostly normal, mixed with hard moments. Like when my favorite skirt got caught this morning and tore, but it just gave me the satisfaction of fixing it. :) haha. and also mixed with lots of good. Lets see-- we got a couple of new investigators that we are really excited about. They are a couple. The husbands family are almost all members and he has finally decided the church is true. They have an adorable little 1 1/2 month old baby.... so hard not to hold him!  Then we also got to visit a less active family.  They usually hide from us, but this time the father is home from working abroad and let us in.  It was a good visit although difficult because they had been offended.  We hope we did some good and that they felt the Spirit.  Heavenly Father was kind and a torrential downpour started right after we got under a waiting area for a jeepney. However, in the trike that we rode the water leaked in so I was soaked to the skin by the time we got out. Haha.  It was totally worth it because at that appointment we taught the word of wisdom (if you don't know what that is feel free to look it up on or cause it's great!).  It was great-- no problems with cigarettes or alcohol and then of course we said coffee... and the first word out of her mouth was "Bakit?" (Why).  But then the miracle happened.  After a very short (re)explanation about the fact that the revelation came from God she accepted it immediately and asked for the rest.  She was obviously prepared by Heavenly Father.  By the end of the lesson she said she was so grateful that she had learned this now so that she could receive the blessings of living it.  If we could all look at all of the commandments that way! All of Heavenly Father's commandments come with promises and I know they will be fulfilled and we will be blessed if we follow them. Plus we had an investigator come to church and she brought another investigator with her. :) Can't explain how exciting it is to see a person you care about walk up to church knowing they are qualifying themselves for more blessings than they have previously received.  Same with Less actives. My heart just leaps for joy because I know what a big step this is for them and I know all the joy they have been missing out on.  I thank Heavenly Father for the opportunity to witness people changing their lives.

What do most people eat for breakfast?
Well for those of you who don't know-- people here get weak if they don't eat rice in a day... and usually they have rice 3x a day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Which is why meals here are usually what they call "ulam" which is any dish you can eat with rice. So sometimes they will have spaghetti or pancit or soup and that is not ulam but pretty much everything else is. So telling from the smells floating up to us as we do laundry; most people have dried fish, hot dogs, or eggs with rice for breakfast.  Sometimes they will have pan de sal (bread!) with the hot dogs or a spread. Sometimes pancit, which is like ramen noodles but without the brooth and come in lots of different flavors. mmm.
What is the thing that they do that seems most different from how we do it in the church here?
Well, not much. Something is that FHE is very regimented.  It isn't like just you get together and have a lesson and game and then dessert.  One, it is usually accompanied by dinner. "Dessert" isn't like a big thing here. haha. Plus there is a program in which there is always opening remarks and closing remarks. All games must have a "punishment" for the loser and is the "punishment" is usually preforming a talent in front of everyone.  It's lots of fun! The only thing I still struggle with sometimes is the opening and closing remarks. haha. oh, and of course dinner happens after the FHE is over, not before it starts.
Do they eat popcorn there? 
YES.  I love popcorn.  It is one of my new favorite snacks.  During weekly planning we eat a bag of carmel kettle corn (the kind you buy at wal-mart or safeway, not the kind at a fair).  I also make popcorn on the stove at least once a week. Usually just salt but sometimes kettle and I tried cinnamon once. It was okay. :)
 Do they have shave ice?
Shave ice is probably a no but they have lots of shaved ice.  They use it for halo-halo.  Another popular thing is bananas in a cup with some sugary juice with shaved ice or canned corn in the juice still in a cup with the shaved ice. That is called Maiz con yelo.  But for you spanish speakers it isn't maiz (maze) it's more like My-eez.
Is the music you hear people playing US, or Philippine and is it in English or Tagalog?
A little bit of everything.  Well, it is a lot of US music. (I'm guessing Avril Lavegne has a new song... something with "down" in it over and over haha) There is lots of the new stuff but also a lot of 80's which is a sinful pleasure for Sister R and I. :D Then there are also Filipino songs in English and Tagalog. I actually have a couple of favorite Tagalog songs because they play all the time so even though I've never played them I know a lot of it. So yep, really mixed although most frequently new American music.

No big spiritual thought this week.  Just keep moving this work along.  Never forget that those around us, everywhere are missing out on blessings we are enjoying so don't be afraid to share.  Also the fact that Heavenly Father's whole goal and thus ours as well is to bring as many of His children as He can back to Him to live in everlasting happiness and this is only possible through ordinances available in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  So be brave and share what you have, or ask to learn more if you aren't yet a member, I promise you won't regret it

SO that is it for this week.  Hopefully, this email makes up for none last week.
Sister Hamm

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