September, 9, 2013
Hello family! (and friends)
So this has been a really great week. Nothing in particular that made it extra good, just little things everyday and the Spirit bringing that "walking in sunshine" (EFY song) feeling. So first off I will answer some of your questions.
SO I mentioned that our toilet does not flush... by this I mean that there is no button or handle and no automatic flush. This isn't actually new... all 3 of my apartments have been this way because the option of automatic was broken. The difference now is the toilet just looks different because it has no back on it. So for those who don't know-- we do flush the toilet every time we use it. We do so by using a bucket. So in the bathroom we have a big blue tub and a little orange pail. So you pour water from the pail into the toilet to flush it. haha. It is so simple and not hard but it does take a little technique if you want to do it quickly. :) Like you can get it to spin just right to get it to not spill over the edge or splash too much. Plus sometimes it takes up to 4 or 5 pails of one right after the other to get enough force for everything to go down. But it great, no big deal. (Hopefully that wasn't too TMI or weird. haha)
So the pail and bucket that we use to flush the toilet is also what we use to shower (this I have also been doing since Palawan). I actually love it now and I'm thinking I might have to invest in a bucket and pail when I get home :D I think it might save on the water bill but I'm still not sure on that.
Next, well we have finally entered into what is called the "brrr" months (yes, I know in the states too but here it is what they are CALLED a lot more than what they actually ARE. :P ) So I was here in the Philippines last brr months and today and this last week it's like in the states when it's fall but you still have 90 degree weather and you are waiting for fall to actually start. I have no idea what the temperature is here but I am telling you it feels really hot! haha. We are actually also just coming out of wet season so it still rains pretty frequently. Which has pro's and con's for sure. So yes, hopefully pretty soon we will enter into the cool season. And on Fast sunday the high councilman wished us a Merry Christmas. As I have mentioned before Christmas "season" starts here on September 1st. This is no joke. many stores now have Christmas trees in there windows. We visited a less active and he was busy de-tangling lights. His house in now quite festive. Other houses have started bringing out their 6-12 inch christmas trees. :) It's kind of weird but to me it still feels like July so... yep.
So to get to this area from my last one we actually took 2 jeepneys to the Molino chapel and then this great member from another ride gave the 4 of us sisters in Cavite a ride in his car to our new area. The car wasn't air conditioned but it was soooooo nice to ride in the car and not worry about luggage being stolen or luggage being in other peoples leg room or anything. Over all it took like 2 hours to get to the chapel and then another 1.5 hours to get to Cavite.
So for a little spiritual thought I have been thinking lately about trials and then in my Book of Mormon reading yesterday I read Mosiah 23 and 24 and it just was a really good experience. Hopefully I can relate it with the Spirit. So I feel like many people have the question, "why do bad things happen to good people?" I think this question could have many answers and really takes a lot of pondering and understanding that I still haven't fully done but here in Mosiah 23 I found one reason. So here are these good people who have entered into a covenant with God and they are keeping their covenant, serving Him and keeping His commandments. Then it says, "Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith." (Mosiah 23:21) So here we learn that even or especially the righteous are not exempted from trials and through study we learn that this is our purpose here on Earth. We are here to be tested, to see if we will follow God no matter what and strive to become like Christ in order to return to God's presence. But as the prophet Gordon B. Hinckley said, "Life is meant to be enjoyed, not simply endured." And as the following verse says (Mosiah 23:22) "Nevertheless-- whosoever putteth his trust in [God] the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and this it was with this people." I know that as we trust in God he will support us in our trials. Elder Andersen stated, "By definition, trials will be trying. There may be anguish, confusion, sleepless nights and pillows wet with tears.... These fiery trials are designed to make you stronger, but they have the potential to diminish or even destroy your testimony of the Son of God and weaken your resolve to keep your promises to Him. How do we remain steadfast and immovable during this trail of faith? We exercise faith in Jesus Christ, we pray, we ponder the scriptures, we repent, we keep the commandments and we serve others." (This is a great talk! Highly recommend it-- Nov 2012 Trial of your Faith.) Peter teaches in 1 Peter 4:12+19 trials are a natural part of life. And that if we endure them well we will come away all the stronger because of it. Just like we give little babies injections with sharp needles in order to prevent them from suffering chicken pox or paralysis from meningitis or polio our loving Heavenly Father lets us experience pain in order to protect us and prepare us for the future. Sometimes in the moment it seems we are alone, but we never are and He always has a plan. So no matter what you are currently enduring, turn to Him and let this make you stronger with the help of the Lord. Have a great week!