August 22, 2010

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Mabuhay from the Philippines!!!

So why did the chicken cross the road?? Lol, the other day we were on a tricycle ride to an investigator's house and had to come to a stop as a chicken crossed the road,

I laughed to myself then asked Sis Rivera that question...she just smiled--pretty sure she had no clue what I was talking about! I had to just keep that one to myself! Communication gets a bit difficult at times between sis rivera and I...I can't fully express my feelings and what I am going through because she really has no clue. I just keep praying that she remains patient with me, and for the most part she is every single day! I'm starting to try and use more Tagalog in my teaching which means I don't say very much but sis rivera understands and always does a good job of teaching most of the lesson. I just sit there and smile at the people a lot. I hope they know that I love them and care about them--that's why I am here. Some people just sit and stare at me when I'm talking, others knod their heads and smile and try and help me with words and sentences.

Oh day I will really appreciate this haha! For the most part, I love it...every minute of it and at the same time, it's the hardest thing in the world i've ever done!!

Last week we had zone conference and let me just say...President Odjers is so amazing!! As he taught us the spirit was so strong, he is a very humble and loving man. I was able to talk with him one on one and he asked me how things were going. I said I like it....but its so hard. He asked if I had any homesickness and I told him yes. He said that is totally normal, it is an inevitable feeling. He said he had those same feelings when they first came to the Philippines. He promised me it would get better and he said in the mean time, if i ever needed to talk or take a break from anything i could get in touch with him and sis odjers and they would come to me and talk or pick me up and take me to the mission home to make some cookies for an hour just to get everything out. I felt so very cared for at that point. He told me they were there for me if i ever needed anything...he wanted me to feel good about things. He also asked about the language and I said I do most of it in english right now and asked if that was okay...he said that was perfectly fine!! That was all he could ask, he even gave me permission to do it becasue the Spirit is what really matters.

I walked away from that meeting feeling so so happy! I had been feeling like I didn't matter at all, that I was just an object that the Lord was using for the people in this area. We're told to forget about ourselves and that it's not about us, it's about the investigator and I truly believe that but as time went on I was feeling like I wasn't important at all. And then I would feel bad when I would think about myself or home or how hard this was. It was a vicious cycle. However, during that meeting with President Odjers I felt like I did matter very much. I felt so at peace and loved by President Odjers. That night during my prayer just before bed I asked Heavenly Father if that was how He felt about me and I got an overwhelming feeling of comfort and confirmation that I meant the world to Him. He let me know that I was being taken care of and though this was hard, it was worth it and it was only for my good. He let me know that He was with me during everything and that I could do this.

Let me just say that 10:30 is my favorite time of day...haha and not because its bedtime, but because I get to talk to God one last time before the day is over and talk to Him about everything. I always go to bed with peace in my heart. The bible dictionary defines prayer as the time when the will of the child and the will of the Father are brought into correspondence with one another. How very true that is. Each time I pray, I feel that my will is swallowed up in His and I feel a renewed sense of "I CAN DO THIS!!" Pray is truly amazing, the Lord does "abide with [us]" during our prayers.

So, I am determined to enjoy every single day and every single hard moment! As I tell myself that I enjoy something that is hard I realize how much I do actually like it haha. And if I dwell on how hard it is...guess what, it gets harder lol, funny concept. What we get out of our trials are what we put into them! I am just going to let this time run its course and in the mean time, I am not going to waste any of it wishing for something in the future. I had a dream last night that my mission was over and I couldn't remember anything! I do not want a hollow year and a half because I kept waiting for one thing to be over with only to wait for the next thing to be over with.

The work here is going strong....people's hearts are ready for the gospel the problem is that they don't have any sense of urgency to live the gospel standards. Getting people to church is like pulling teeth, especially on rainy days!! A lot of people have testimonies and they pray every day, but when it comes to going to church or reading their scriptures, they don't see the NEED. And boy is there ever a NEED! The only way for us to receive revelation for our lives is through prayer, scripture study and church. We need those things as a foundation to protect us from Satan and his many attempts at destroying us. I get a little discouraged at the fact that they don't understand that. We really try and emphasize it and they seem to get it and we commit them to living the gospel and to do those things...and then when we follow up at our next visit, they haven't changed anything. Inaku!! They are sure great though, the people. So nice and funny! I do really look forward to becoming more apart of their culture!

Haha, those three 9 yr old of them has a dad that's not active, the other's family doesn't want anything to do with it, and the 3rd one with a baptism date, her dad just started taking the discussions and we are going to try and commit him to baptism this week...he seems very receptive!! Speaking of baptisms...i dont think i mentioned that we had a baptism the day after i got here! That was pretty cool, it was an older man and he is just the sweetest ever, he always feeds us marienda's and is just so nice everytime we come over to teach his daughter! And as far as overweight filipinos...there are some that are heavier but they mostly just have big bellies--from all that stinken rice which i told sis rivera that i can only eat it when we have meals at member's houses!

This week we are going on exchanges with sisters in the next area (one of them being the american who has only been here for 6 wks longer than me) and guess who I am going with.....the american girl! haha, somehow they trust us to be put together for 2 days not knowing the language. I think the district leaders or whosever in charge feels like we need to talk to one another about things!! Haha, im way excited!!!!

I want to end with this scripture that I found during my personal study and thought it fit quite nicely:

"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life"

3 Nephi 5:13

Alam ko na nabubuhay and Mananubos ko!

Mahal ko kayo,

Sis Carroll

BRGY #50 Buttong, Airport Ave
Junction Tangid RD, Laoag City
2900 ilocos Norte

Mom: Thank you soooo much for the email haha!!!!! lol i figured you would feel bad after i told you i didn't get the dear elder (which i still havne't gotten, guess it takes longer than expected!) but really, don't worry about it, im okay!!!! Thank you for the comments of others...that is a real strength and boost!

As far as something for sis rivera...i will pay attention this week to things she says and let you know in my next email! But really the Philippinos dont ever say that they want anything or that they like things haha. Some things to add to that package: contacts from ginger...kiki or michelle can probably get them (6.0 + perscription), trail mix, one of those foot scrubber things that you like, floss threaders and floss. And something that I would love to get right away is my Another Testament CD!!!! I have been dying without that cd so if you could get that mailed before anything else i would LOVE that!!!

Thanks for the update on everyone!! Glad to hear things are going well for the most part! Dont' worry, the wedding will be all over with soon hehe!! I wish I could be there to help, but for now I just pray for everything to go smoothly! I am out of time, thank you again!!!! Life is great over here, and I am happy!!!!!

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