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 baptizedafter 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, 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. 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. :)
utside the front of the church.
iew 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