Magandang Hapon!! (good afternoon)
Well, I made it 4 weeks in the Philippines...does someone have one of those watches that slows time down because it is definitely crawling haha!! I feel like this month has lasted forever!! I can't believe everything I have gone through so far. So the highlight of this week was going on exchanges with Sis McCormack--an american!! We had the best 2 days together!! I stayed at her place and we just had so much fun...and worked stinken hard too! We really had to rely on the Spirit because we didn't have native companions to fall back on, so if we wanted to be understood you bet we called upon the Holy Ghost to be there! We got 4 new investigators and contacted a lot of people!! That is more work than we each do in our individual companionships! So many crazy things happened though, if you can imagine--2 young american girls who don't know the language or the culture lol!! We got served tea (we're pretty sure it was, but we drank it all cause we had just extended the baptisimal commitment) and cow skin (SICK!!!!). I also extended the baptisimal commitment to a member lol, wasn't informed before hand that he was a member and it was his mom that wan't--but he was answering all the questions right and when i asked if he knew it was all true...i commited him to be baptised...oops! It was way fun and sooooo good to be with someone who understood everything i was saying and feeling!!!! It gets so hard being with a companion who has no clue what im going through and i have no clue what she is going through!
When I got back from exchanges, I was very depressed lol..that was a rough day. Sis Rivera had a lot on her mind and I thought she was getting annoyed with me so I was just feeling so sad and alone. That night I had a major break down (by myself cause I didn't want sis rivera to see me) I just didn't know why I was there and didn't feel like I was doing anything or making any progress. When we went to bed that night I said the prayer and then after sis rivera asked me if she hurt my feelings. So this is funny....I asked her the question "when?" however, in Ilacano when means "yes" haha so when i said when, she apologized and gave me a hug then turned to say her prayers. I was really confused for a little while then realized i just told her yes. Which, i guess my feelings were hurt but i wanted to know why she thought that. Anyway i thought it was pretty funny and the next day we worked everything out. Holy cow, so many ups and downs on a mission!!! My emotions can't handle this!
I've started taking bucket showers...they aren't bad, I actually like them. Dad, you would love the water saving that goes on here haha! We pore water down our toilets, take bucket showers and wash our own clothes! The water bills are SUPER cheap! Another cool thing about this place, instead of knocking on doors, cause usually there aren't any, we say "tao po!" which means "people are here!" its pretty sweet! The work has been rough lately, none of our investigator have had time to meet with us and none of them are going to church. I really don't know what this place needs but we are praying so hard to know what to do! Sis rivera said the city is a little tougher because there is a lot of pride in people's hearts. But at the same time, I know there are hearts out there that are ready, we just need to find them! Crazy, i asked the bishop how many ward members there are--500, and guess how many attend--100, on a good day, about 80 when its rainy. inactivity is a huge problem here! We need to work so much with our recent converts to make sure they have a solid testimony and wont drift away easily.
My teacher at the mtc told us that in order to become fluent in a language the statistic is that you neeed to make 2 million mistakes....dang. To me that means that you can't be afraid to make those mistakes or else you will never get there. And I think that applys to all aspects of life :) So just get out there and do it, right?! So I was reading yesterday 1 nephi 8, lehi's vision and found a cool contrast. in verse 30 it talks about the people who were steadfast and when they reached the tree they fell down most likely in gratitude that they had made it--their journey had meant something to them. Then in verse 34 it mentions people falling away. That made me think about life. When times are really hard and we think we can't do it anymore (which happens to people more than we think), do we fall down to our knees and ask for the Lord's strength and support....or do we fall away because we just can't do it anymore? It makes me think of the quote at aunt shawnie's house..."when life gets too hard to stand, kneel" that is so true. The Savior suffered and died for us so that He could walk each of our paths with us at the same time we walk them. We need to remember that He is right next to us, all we have to do is reach out and lean on His arm for the support we need. How much I love Him and look forward to that day that I can fall at His feet and worship and praise Him for what He did for me personally. He is my strength and my light and His invitation is not just for me, it is for all. The message I bear is not my message, it is His.
Family and friends, I love you so much, thank you for your support and prayers--I know those have gotten me through the hard times :)
Okay I tried posting pics but it is super slow, i'll ask what the recommened picture sending is for our area. mom in answer to some of your questions: for sis rivera you can get her a children's song book, she loves songs and asked me if i had one of those! also, granola bars, no mole skin im okay now, and pics from home please :) my hair goes up in a pony every day! its frizzy and annoying! they have cool belts here that everyone gets....family i will get you some and you can choose a color: black, brown, or tan, they are pretty sweet, if not to wear, just as a cool souvenier!