Sorry, I don't have much time this week, so this letter might be a bit short...here we go!
This week Sister McIver had me start leading lessons and everything else. It was really hard at first, especially with the language, but I know it's for my own good. We taught Samuel Lobitana. His wife wants to go to the temple so badly, but he just doesn't have the desire to come to church. We were trying our best to ask inspired questions to find out his underlying concern, but we ended up having to end our lesson early because his relatives wouldn't stop talking and the Spirit just didn't feel present anymore. :( BUT! We must have done or said something to bring the Spirit for a little bit, because he came to church on Sunday! yay!! Oh, i was SO happy! That night we taught Marjolet and Doug. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and when we were talking about kingdoms, before we even talked about the celestial kingdom, she whispered to Doug, "Celestial Kingdom" with a big smile on her face. I can just see in their faces how much they want to be a forever family and they just know how important it is! I love it. They are definitely a highlight of my day to visit and teach. :)
Thursday we had a follow up training...I was able to see everyone from my batch except Elder Winward. Oh, it was so good to see everyone! They are all doing so well. I love our trainings because they always motivate me to do better and do more. Later we taught Lucia about tithing (she is a less active) and she went on to tell us how paying tithing has helped her. I'm still struggling with the language a bit, so i didn't fully get what she said, but I could feel the Spirit anyway as she bore testimony of how tithing has helped her. :)
Saturday we visited Sister Suarez. She's an older sister and can't see to read so we read the introduction of the Book of Mormon with her and discussed it with her. She is so sweet and wants to be able to read it so badly, so I'm glad we're able to help her at least listen. :) That night we had ward FHE which was super fun. We gave the lesson about John Tanner and Marjolet's friend came! She is now our new investigator. :) Marjolet is already being a missionary! It's so great. :)
Sunday, our investigator Mansuito came to church! I was so excited because he's the first investigator that I've started with from the beginning, to come to church! He's in his 60's and so sweet. :) He told us he thought Priesthood was fun, so I'm glad the members were able to fellowship him. :)
Anyway, sorry for the short letter this week! Just know I love you all! Happy birthday to Grandpa Warburton on the 3rd!
I hope everyone is doing just dandy! This week was a pretty great one. Here's what happened...
Monday after p-day ended we had FHE with the Aniban family (active members) and invited the YSA to attend. Because of the difficulty of having money to travel, there wasn't a huge turnout, but we still had fun with the people that were in attendance, and the Aniban family is super funny.
Tuesday we had a Mission President's training. Beforehand we had interviews, and I just have to say that I absolutely love my mission president. He is truly inspired and he knew exactly what to say to me. His words of council helped me a lot. Our training was awesome. Because we're the model zone for our mission, we really have to step it up. We've been asked to do a lot but I'm grateful because it keeps us busy, working hard, and it's helping me know what to do for the rest of my mission in other areas where the potential can be greater. I'm hoping to take what I'm learning in this area to help other areas I go to, grow.
After our training we visited the Padios family. Their daughters birthday is this Tuesday and they want to have an FHE with us on her birthday, so we'll be going there tomorrow. :) Larry Padios, the dad, has a word of wisdom issue, but as he's started to wear his garment again, it's helped remind him to say no when ordering coffee or other word of wisdom issues. Pretty neat! They didn't come to church yesterday, however, :( but we'll keep working with them. They are such a fun, awesome family. :) We also taught Lourdes and Florence Arribas. Lourdes is the mom and Florence is the daughter. They also have a son, Darryl, who is a recent convert and preparing for his mission. We taught his mom and sister lesson one and about the Book of Mormon. Darryl was there, so we had him participate in the lesson. He was a little shy about it, but I could tell he was excited that his family was listening to us. I could just see in his face how much he wants for them to accept the gospel. Later we taught the Lobitana family. They have 3 sweet little girls. They are all active except for Samuel. He is less active and has a word of wisdom issue (pretty common here if you haven't guessed). His wife wants to go to the temple so badly, but he just won't come to church. Lately every time we visit, Samuel hides so we haven't been able to teach him. So we just taught his family about prayer and scripture study and to pray for Samuel to have the desire to go to church. I said the closing prayer, and it's been the most sincere public prayer I've given in Ilonggo. I want so badly for this family to go to the temple, and I just prayed with all my heart that Samuel would have the desire to attend church so they can make their way to the temple. That night we taught Marjolet! Oh how I just love her and her sweet little family. The missionaries usually end up needing to teach the recent converts here instead of the members, but that's okay because I love teaching her and Doug. :) Her two boys joined us for a little while to until they got too restless. haha We went back to lesson 1 about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. You can just see in their faces and hear in their voices when they bear testimony that they know this Gospel is true. I love seeing the change the Gospel brings in people and the happiness that it brings them, despite their very humble living conditions.
Wednesday we did something that was so weird. We started online proselyting on Facebook. We discussed this in our Mission President's Training and it was talked about in the Worldwide Leadership Broadcast. The Bacolod South Zone is the first zone to be trying this in the Bacolod mission, so hopefully we can figure out a way to make it work best to carry it on to other areas. It was beyond weird logging onto Facebook. But we've been creating a missionary page for our ward for members, investigators, and less actives to go to to learn more about the Church and read testimonies from members, talks, Mormon messages, etc. Pretty neat! Next we just need those tablets they talked about in the broadcast. ;) Wednesday was also my one month mark in the field! Crazy. Sister McIver was so sweet and wrote me a card and made little hearts with scripture quotes and put it on the wall above my desk. We also met with Ryan Dinio, our ward mission leader, to talk about what we discussed at our Mission President's Training. I'm so grateful for our ward mission leader. He works so well with us to do what we've been asked. :) Afterwards we went to our apartment because some senior couples were moving two new beds into our apartment for 2 new sisters to move in! We are getting 20 new sisters next transfer and our area is being split! The work is hastening!! :) It's pretty exciting. Later that night we taught Missy Gulayan. She is the sister of a member of our stake presidency. They always have us over for dinner on Wednesday nights (they're the ones that gave us the Durian) and then we teach Missy. I can see how much President Gulayan wants her to accept this Gospel. We are taking it a bit slower with her, just because she was hesitant at first, but she's really starting to open up to us and our message. I just really hope that when the area splits we get to continue teaching her!
Thursday was a true testament to me that the harder you work, the better your day goes. We taught a lot of less active members and I tried extra hard to speak up in the lessons, despite my language barrier. I know that the Spirit is the one who leads and when I just relax and let the Spirit guide, the words just flow from my mouth, and our message is understood. It's pretty amazing how the Spirit works through us and how it touches those we teach. We also visited the Tan family (the mom is sisters with Samuel Lobitana). We went to see if she needed help with anything since she just barely had a baby. Five days old at the time we visited. :) Filipino babies are so sweet and little! We also talked to a woman sitting in the shade outside her house who had a baby less than a year old. We talked about eternal families and hopefully we'll be able to visit her sometime this week. Babies just have a special way of bringing the Gospel and feelings of love from Heavenly Father into our lives, don't they? It's awesome. :)
Friday we had weekly planning then visited a few families the rest of the day. Saturday we we supposed to have a ward missionary workshop, but everyone came 1-2 hours late, so we just did a quick thing about "resolving people's concerns" and we'll have to do the rest another day. It's hard here because time isn't that strictly enforced here, so it takes a lot of patience sometimes. haha Afterwards, brother Willar (councilor in our bishopric over missionary work) and Paige Rosales came with us to visit and teach the rest of the day, which was awesome. The member's testimonies add a lot to our lessons, and it shows people how the gospel really blesses everyone. they don't just have to take our word as missionaries for it. Sometimes i think people think missionaries are all knowing and perfect to a degree, just because they're missionaries, when really we are faaaaar from it, so it's nice to have the members come along. :)
Sunday I gave my first talk in Sacrament meeting about strengthening the youth through missionary work. I tried my best to give it in Ilonggo and the members were so kind and told me afterwards that my Ilonggo is very good. The Filipinos are so nice. Even though I have a long way to go, it helped me feel better about learning this language. :) After church we met with Mya Lamigo. We taught her lesson 1 about Joseph Smith. Every time we teach about the Restoration, the Spirit is so powerful, I love it! We committed her to pray to know if Joseph Smith is a prophet. We also committed her to baptism, but she wants to pray about it first. We were so excited because we could tell she was sincere about it and wants to take it seriously. We'll meet with her again next Sunday. :) We had a few other lessons that I wish I had time to tell about, but what I can say is that the work here is progressing. Slowly at times, but surely! It's amazing to see the Lord's hand in our day is we go about doing His work.
Happy birthday to Aunt Cami last week! I got letters from Grandma Warburton, President Olson, a postcard from Melissa Regis, and letters from Elder Bell and Hill. Thank you so much! You're love and support is overwhelming and I'm so grateful for all of you in my life. Have a wonderful week! Love you all!
PS Just for fun/random:
It's 15-20 pesos (40-50 cents) to take a tricycle ride (which we do a lot here) :)
Filipinos use their umbrellas when it's not raining so they don't get tan from the sun. I use mine to be shaded from the heat. haha
The other day there was a speeder of a tricycle driver. He was probably in his 60s and had a DVD playing on his tricycle. So awesome. Not something you see everyday! ;)
This is a sad fact, but there's no age restriction for buying cigarettes. I've seen kids 12 years old smoking. :( So sad.
Dinner at President Plaza's (stake president) house. I'm with Kate and her teddy bear. :) The berry is called lomboy. It has a grape taste with a cherry texture. They have the best fruit ever here, and the avocados are the best I've ever had.
One month in the field! Hearts from sister McIver. :)
The effects of humidity on my Altoids. There are holes in them as if they've been soaked in water, and they are no longer hard altoids, but chewable altoids! haha there's no other way to explain the humidity unless you've been here I guess. I'm getting used to it though! :)
Monday, after p-day, we attempted to have FHE with a family, but it fell through, as well as our backup. We decided to talk to the Rosales family to see if we could figure out where some unidentified living quarters of less actives lived. while we were there, a family came over and Sister McIver knew the husband! He went to BYU Hawaii with her and married an American. She was there as well. They have two cute little girls and need to live in the Philippines for two years so he can get his green card. They've only been here 3 months...I could sense it was hard for the wife. She was happy and upbeat, but I could tell she missed home. It would be hard to do that with a young family and not know any of the language. It kind of put things into perspective for me, so that was good.
Tuesday we had district meeting and then visited Mary Jane Limb. She is a less active member and likes to talk a lot. :) We taught her how the gospel blesses families. We also taught Sister Musni about the Atonement. She's a less active as well, so hopefully she'll come to church. She has the cutest daughter and I want so much for them to go to the temple! Later we taught Marjolet and Doug in preparation for their wedding on Saturday and her baptism. she was so happy and we were beyond excited. We asked her how we could help her prepare and get ready, and she said she didn't know how to do makeup. I told her I'd be happy to help her out. Service as a missionary comes in many different ways, but I never thought helping someone prepare for a wedding would be one of them! I was so excited!
Wednesday was kind of rough. We got punted most of the day, but were able to get a few lessons in with Sister Ortiz, the Neri family, and Narcisso family. Sister Ortiz is less active and doesn't really have a testimony--she's been offended in the past. We left her with the introduction to the Book of Mormon. hopefully we can help her out. When we went to the Neri family, their daughter, Charity, came home from school crying because someone had stolen her new pair of shoes. My heart just ached for her! They already have practically nothing and I just wanted to give her a big hug and give her all my shoes. In the Narcisso family, they are all active except for the dad--he isn't baptized. We started lesson one with him and will continue to teach him. :)
Thursday we taught a woman named Lucia (less active) about prayer. Her son was so cute. He came in and was like, "Spiderman ako!! (I am Spiderman!) He started climbing all over the chair and then onto the wall. haha He was cute. But it was awesome because Lucia came to church on Sunday!
Friday we taught in an area where it's gated. We love the guy in charge of opening the gate, Almar, because he always has a new friend with him each day to introduce to us. :) Almar's not a member, but he's always like, "these are my friends Dixon and McIver." haha it's awesome because we've been able to get a few new investigators through him! One in particular is Ronald. He read the entire lesson one pamphlet we gave him (we were shocked--it's not often they do what they say they'll do) and wants us to teach him more! We also taught a girl named Jessica. Her daughter is sponsored to go to school by the baptist church, so they won't let her go to the LDS church, even though she's been baptized. It's tough for them, because school is expensive, and they don't have much money, so it's a tough situation. We talked with her and told her to pray for strength to know what to do, and that Heavenly Father will bless her as she endures. Her sister-in-law, Lyn was over as well and had a 2 month old baby. Oh my goodness, she was adorable!! I think the hardest rule for me in the missionary handbook is not to hold babies. I wanted to just snuggle with her--she was so cute. :) That night we had dinner with the Ledesma family (they feed us every Friday--they are so nice). They could be considered millionaires in the Philippines, but they are so very generous. They have helped Marjolet prepare a lot of her wedding by helping her find a dress and other little things. they are truly a Christ-like family and help our ward out a lot.
Saturday: Wedding and baptism day for Marjolet!! It was such a wonderful day. We started out with helping the YW with their one day mission, and had a few other appointments. But then we got to help Marjolet get ready for her wedding! There were so many tender mercies along the way. She didn't have any makeup, but luckily I had some eye shadow and some waterproof mascara so it wouldn't smear after she entered the water. She decided she wanted her hair up but she didn't have any hair elastics or bobby pins. Luckily I put two hair bands in my hair for the day (normally it's just one). I used the extra one plus a bobby pin I had in my hair and two that sister mcIver had to do a twisted updo. It was simple, but we made do with what we had and she looked gorgeous! We also made a bouquet for her with flowers from the church (i don't actually know if we were allowed to do that. haha) and wrapped it in a ribbon we found on the floor in the chapel while we were cleaning beforehand. It was perfect! We found a pin to made it all stay in place and gave it to her when we went over to help. There were just so many things that just fell into place. :) She looked absolutely gorgeous and she was so happy! We went to the chapel together and as they were sitting, waiting, I just pictured them a year from now in the temple, and how much greater their joy and happiness would be. The wedding was wonderful and I got to sit with Kirk (their almost 4 year old son) to keep him occupied. I also got to play the piano for the wedding and the baptism, which was neat. After the wedding, Marjolet Concejeros (and now Chua!) was baptized. :) She was all smiles and afterward gave a very sweet testimony. I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear the entire time. I'm just beginning to understand the statement in D&C 18 about how great shall be your joy if you bring souls unto Christ. It is literally the greatest feeling ever. Marjolet had such a happy spirit, and her light was just glowing. I'm so happy for her and I can't for her and Doug, with their kids Lars and Kirk to be sealed in the temple someday. To be dressed in white twice. :)
Sunday Marjolet was confirmed and when we asked her how she felt she said that she felt like Christ had actually been the one to bless her and she felt so happy. :) Ah! I love it. I really can't describe the happiness I felt for her. :)
In all honesty, this week had it's ups and downs, but the ups outweigh the downs and I've learned a lot from the downs. The joy of someone coming unto Christ can't be described and I feel so blessed to be able to do this for a year and a half--to help others come unto Christ and experience the peace and guidance and happiness this Gospel brings. I love it. I know it's true.
Have a great week everyone! Thanks again, as always, for the prayers and support. I love you all!!
PS The cure for not wanting to feel sweaty, or somewhat preventing an oily face is baby powder. :)
Everyone here thinks I wear contacts--as in my eyes are fake. They don't believe my eyes are this blue and I tell them I love brown eyes, so I'll switch with them any day. :)
Mango floats are the best:
mix crushed graham crackers and mango tang for the base
put chopped mangoes next
top with a can of sweetened condensed milk with cream of the same amount and freeze overnight. so delicious!!
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A HUGE spider that was in Sister McIver's bathroom that traveled to the room next door. I know it doesn't look big, but it was the biggest spider I've ever seen and the biggest one sister McIver has seen in a house. Ick! It was so creepy, especially when it would move it's fast legs.
Sister McIver was the brave one and shot it down with Permetherin. :)
Huge pig in someone's yard
The picture of the fruit: Left-Durinan (and far right on the plate), on top-mango, red thing-Rambutan (eat around the seed), below: lanzones. You peel it like an orange. They are all so sweet and delicious!
Durian! King of the Fruits. I really have never tasted anything like it...it was custardy and tasted bitter yet sweet....don't know how I feel about it. ;)
Hello everyone! I hope all is well with everyone. This week was good, but I'm starting to see the hardships of missionary work. The people here commit to do everything...pray, read, go to church...but don't do it! It's so frustrating! We only had one investigator come to church, and we taught 35 lessons this week. It's okay though..the Lord works with His own timing. The investigator that did come is getting baptized this Saturday after she gets married. I'm so excited for her! She is so sweet and has two cute little kids named Kirk and Lars. :) The language is coming along...I can understand a LOT better than I can speak, but it's amazing how much I can comprehend day by day. It's tough not being able to speak back in Ilonggo. I'm speaking more and more in lessons though, so I know it will come!
We had a Zone Leader's Training this week that was really good--we talked about working with the members more, and I got to see the Adams! On the 4th, Sister McIver and I had a lot of fun. For breakfast, she made french toast, eggs, and oatmeal, and made this cute 4th of July sign. During lunch we roasted marshmallows over our stove and made s'mores. We also plugged in these lights that look like grapes that flash. I clapped my hands and we had, "fireworks." haha she's such a good sport celebrating an American holiday when she's from New Zealand. It was great!
We had some pretty neat lessons this week--We taught a family who is less active but has gone to the temple--the Padios family. We've been working with them for a while to come back to church. In one of our lessons, we decided to talk about tithing and how they've seen it bless their lives. Brother Padios told about a time when they only had 300 pesos that was supposed to go to tithing. They decided to pay it, even though they wouldn't have enough for food. It was around Christmas/New Years and because of all the food around celebration time, someone brought by food every single day that week. Ah! Isn't that amazing! I could see in his eyes that he was remembering how blessed they were. They also pulled out some pictures of when they went to the temple. They were just glowing! I prayed so hard for them to come to church on Sunday, and what do you know...they came to church!! Yay!! I was so happy! They have so much potential and I hope they continue to endure. :)
We also taught the Deloeste family this week. They are less actives as well. As Sister Deloeste was talking, I couldn't really understand what she was saying. She finished this long explanation and then Sister McIver just didn't say anything--she was waiting for me to respond. I just prayed in my heart that Heavenly Father would put the words she needed in my mouth. I opened my mouth and let the words flow through. I honestly can't really remember everything I said, but after the lessons Sister McIver said it was perfect for what she had just explained. I know that it was ALL Heavenly Father. He guided me to say the words she needed to hear at that time. It was amazing to feel His power work through me.
We teach this sweet 14 year old girl named James Fernandez. She helps out in President Plaza's house (our stake president), and we visit her every Thursday. She is so ready to be baptized but her dad won't let her. We taught her about fasting and the blessings that come from it, and committed her to fast this last Sunday for her dad's heart to be softened. She said she would. She is so sweet and so ready to be baptized...I hope her dad's heart will be softened soon.
Things are getting better day by day. I couldn't have asked for a better trainer. Sister McIver is so patient with my language and in learning everything. She is so kind and tells me that I will be very gifted with the language--she can just tell. I sure hope so because it's pretty frustrating right now. But she is very encouraging and helps me a lot. She's had some pretty rough times in her life and I've learned a lot from her example as she's told me some of her experiences. She tells me all the time that she was exactly where I was at the beginning of her mission. I see her now and how amazing she is, and know there's hope for me. haha She is amazing!
Here are some random things for today: my umbrella is much bigger than I thought and everyone always says, your umbrella is dako!!! (aka huge!). haha. Every time we pray in our house, we kneel on our flip flops because the ground is so hard. If we don't, we get bruises on our knees. It's a perfect solution! There are ice cream tricycles here, and even they play music. When Sister McIver hiccups, it sounds like water droplets hitting a pond.
Anyway, there is so much that goes on in our week, I wish I could tell you everything! What I can say is that I know this Gospel is true. Study time in the morning is so sacred to me because I learn so much and my testimony really grows. I love it! I feel so blessed to be here in the Philippines right now sharing this wonderful gospel to our Heavenly Father's children. They are such sweet people, and I want so much for them to feel our Heavenly Father's love!
I hope everyone has a fabulous week! Happy birthday to Kari! I love you all so much. Thank you for you constant prayers...they really do help! I can feel them! :)
Eating at Mang Inasal in Guysano last P-day...the dessert is called Halo halo and the meal is mang inasal---bbq chicken and rice with soy sauce and some kind of oil...we eat it all with our hands. :)
Outside the front of the church.
View of the street in front of the church...if you continue left, our apartment is just down the street.
View from a tricycle ride...notice the one with everyone piled on the jeepney. haha they can fit a LOT of people on those things...and the tricycles.
Inside the tricycle
Rain. it always rains. :)
This is what Sister Dixon and Sister McIver used to make s'mores.
So glad they didn't burn down their apartment!!
These kids are so cute. The one making a silly face and with her hands is Adrian Borda.
She's a recent convert. :)
Lovely little lizard friend in my bathroom---ah!! they move so creepily. This one is called a Tiki lizard because they make that sound when they croak? I don't know, whatever it is they do. haha
Hello everyone!! I can't believe it's already July!! I hope you have a wonderful 4th! I'll probably clap my hands to make firework sounds and sing My Country Tis of Thee to celebrate. :)
This week was a LOT better than last week. I feel like I'm adjusting more to the sights, smells, humidity, heat, food, people..just everything!
Last Monday was awesome! We went to Guysano...a mall to do our shopping, and all the missionaries were there! It was SO good to see people from my district in the MTC, and even missionaries i've never met--there's just something about seeing people that have the same purpose as you, you know? And that fact that i went from being surrounded by hundreds of missionaries 24/7 at the MTC to just my companion. don't get me wrong, i love my companion, but it was nice to see people like Sister Smoot and Sister Van Slooten. :) We ate together at Pizza Hut (yay for American food!) and then went shopping at the grocery store. I was amazed at how many things they have that we have in America so that made me feel better! :) Afterward we went home and washed our clothes---it's gonna take me a while to get used to doing all this by hand. haha After our p-day ended, we taught Sister Marjolette Consejeros. She's living with Doug Chua and they have two kids. They are getting married July 13th and she's getting baptized the same day!! I'm so excited for her! She is so incredibly sweet and I hope so badly that they can save enough to go to the temple next year. :)
Tuesday we had exchanges. It was my first one and I was scared beyond belief. I hadn't even been here a week and I was supposed to show Sister Portugal where to go and what to do in our area. Yikes! It was a tough day...I had never been to the area we taught in, but luckily Sister Marilou, a member missionary, came with us to show us where everyone lived. Sister Portugal is Filipino, so I couldn't understand her English very well, and I couldn't understand anyone we taught. I felt like a failure at the end of the day, but sister portugal told me my nanay (mom, or trainer--sister mciver) would be proud. On Wednesday, we were still having exchanges and during companion study, SIster Portugal actually helped me a lot. I guess after the trial come the tender mercies, right? She gave me a lot of encouragement and even wrote me a cute little song. She told me just to forget myself and work work work. President Lopez told us that the cure for everything is work, and in PMG it says work will prevent homesickness, and it's so true! As I've focused more on the work, it's been easier to adjust and not feel so homesick. :) Sister Portugal also taught me how to cook a filipino meal and eat it filipino style (with my hands). It was fun! Even if i was scared to do exchanges so early in my mission at first, it turned out to be a HUGE blessing. Sister Portugal helped me out a lot. She's an amazing missionary and I hope to be like her someday.
Thursday we taught a few less active members and a new investigator! Her name is Sarah Mae and we taught her about God's love and how the Gospel blesses families. Hopefully we can teach her again next week! That night we stayed with the sisters in Alihis--Sister Bushman and SIster Ulusasa, because the next day was Zone conference and we wanted to be closer to the chapel so we didnt' have to travel as far. Sister Bushman is from utah and went to USU and sister Ulusasa is from Samoa--they are great!
Friday, the Rasmussen's, a senior couple in our mission, were so kind and drove us to zone conference! Oh my goodness, zone conference was amazing! It was just the boost I needed to get motivated to WORK! We watched the worldwide leadership broadcast and and president lopez taught us a lot of inspired things to help our mission grow. He told my zone (the Bacolod South Zone), that our zone is the model stake/zone of our entire mission. Crazy! I feel like that puts a lot of responsibility on me..to learn fast enough in order to keep our zone progressing and stay the model zone. SIter mcIver is awesome though and is helping me a lot. Presdient says he expects a lot from us in this zone. I feel humbled that he trusts me, so hoepfully I can live up to his expectations! It gave me that much more of a boost to be better and strive harder.
Saturday we had our weekly planning and Sunday was wonderful! We didn't have a brown out (where the power goes out) this week, so that was good, and the AC worked in the chapel--a nice plus. ;) Sacrament meeting is always so wonderful for me, to just ponder and remember the covenants I've made. We had an RM speak, so that was neat! I thought about myself being in that position someday, and I actually got a little sad--i really will miss this place! the people are so easy to love! After church we met with the Bishop and Brother Ryan(ward mission leader) to disucss goals for our ward. I love our bishop---he is so willing and ready to help us work. I think it will help us a lot to succeed!! He is awesome. and so is brother ryan. That night the bishop fed us. I cannot believe how much we are fed here. I thought i'd go hungry, but we definitely don't! the members are so kind to us. try this for a dessert sometime---corn, shaved ice, sweetened consensed milk, brown sugar, corn flakes, and cocnout jell cubes. mix it all together and you have a filipino dessert! it's actually pretty good!
Well, I've gotta go, but thank you SO much for all your prayers this week! They truly have helped me get through the tough times and I'm so grateful for the love and support I have back home! I love you all so much! And Rebecca...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! I love you so much! I hope you have a fabulous birthday week. :)
EVERYONE calls us, "Sis."
Filipinos in this area LOVE karaoke.
Tiangee's are awesome and Piaya is the best dessert I've tried here (a pastry with brown sugar in the middle).
I saw a cat the other day jump like 10 feet and grab a lizzard off the wall of someone's house. Welcome to the Philippines! :)
"Pizza hut! It's in Guysano--the mall we go to to get groceries and eat lunch on p-day. It was so nice to finally have AMERICAN food!!! And to see so many missionaries and sister van slooten! It made my sore heart happy. :)"
"Eating dinner at the Ledesma family's house."
"the big grey building is where they have the 'derby' or cock fighting. it's HUGE here, so the arena is very large. don't tell rissy about the cock fighting though. it's sad. :("
Jessica's first cooked Filipino meal. She even ate it in Filipino style--with her hands!
Doing exchanges with Sister Portugal
"one of the houses along our way to someone we visit"
"blurry pictures of the streets we travel. it was at night and we were in a senior couple's car coming home from zone conference, so i felt safe taking out my camera, even if it's blurry. :)"
A coconut tree
"colored chicks. yes, they actually dye the chicks. Pink and purple!! crazy!! i think they inject the coloring in the egg before they're born or something. i don't actually know but it was crazy!!"
She also said that the kids are kind of scared of her beautiful blue eyes because they have never seen blue eyes before!
"grove of trees we walked through that sister mciver calls, 'the sacred grove.' :)"