Sobrang masaya ako! Ibinibigay ng Diyos maraming pagtulong at biyaya sa akin at grateful talaga ako para diyan! :) I haven't written in Tagalog in a while so i just had to get that out! I said I am so happy and that God is giving me a lot of help and blessings and I am so grateful for that! I just love this language and I really can't wait until I can actually speak it regularly haha, I also have really grown to love Ilocano which i can't understand a word of but hopefully will some day! These people are just so amazing and so kind to us!
Well, this week was interesting (haha, I guess EVERY week is interesting!) But really, it started off with Sis Mcc. getting hives last monday from some fish lol, I dont know if i mentioned this in my last email but she woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me that she had a crazy rash all over her body and that I needed to come look at it lol! So funny, we had to go to the mission home to get her some medicine. Then we had wednesday....long hard day. We had 2 fellowshippers with us for 4 hours in the middle of the afternoon and we kept getting punted (no one was available) so it was the 5 of us walking around in the heat all day long with only 2 appointments and they were less actives which is sometimes hard to teach because they dont really care to change. Luckily the day ended well as we contacted some people who seemed interested. Then for like 3 days after that I had a slight fever and a weird pain throughout my whole body. Awesome! On Thursday we had another counseling session during our comp study--this time it was sis mcc....she was feeling very discouraged with everything--and comparing herself to me a lot which made me uncomfortable. This girl has had it rough coming here. She has gained a ton of weight so just feels horrible about herself, she cant get a grasp on the language, her first district activity she ran into someone and knocked her front tooth way bad and now it has turned dark....and she just feels like she needs to change a lot about herself to become a better missionary. Poor thing, what can you say to all of that, its not like my words are really going to make a difference. She ended up talking to President that afternoon which made everything better but that meant we had to go back to the mission home. I feel bad, I dont want to be a problem companionship that the president and his wife have to worry about. Everything is all good now though. I'm trying to help sis mcc with eating right, exercising, tagalog....it gets rough cause she will get major down on herself and then it doesnt matter what i say, life just sucks.
I was trying to tell her about our trials making us better and stronger. I read this talk by Prs Packer and he used an analogy of a football game and i really liked it. its called The Mystery of Life and here is a quote from it:
"Each player will have a test sufficient to his needs, how each responds is the test. When the game is finally over, you and they will see purpose in it all, may even express gratitude for having been on the field during the darkest part of the contest."
So true, God knows what He is doing in our lives and when all is said and done, we will be so ever grateful to him for the things we went through and for His support that was with us all along. We can choose to either harden our hearts during times of trial or allow God to mold them. What will make the difference?
So other than that day, the companionship is going so good, we all love each other and are still on the same page! Sis Estrada is doing really well, she hasn't once mentioned a desire to go home, and she tells us that she likes being with us :) 2 crazy american girls! I definitely know that she is supposed to be here, she has already touched the hearts of many--i feel like i have just been the guide for her really. I lead her to the people we need to teach and she works her magic! Man, I do get a little discouraged though, I feel like I still dont play a part in people's changing lives. I am trying to not let that get to me. I know it doesn't matter if im the one who says the right thing or not--all that matters is that the Spirit is there and that our investigators are feeling it. Sis estrada does a good job of bringing the spirit. I just have to keep going and hope that I am doing the same!
We had a baptism on satuday at sobrang maganda iyan!! I have never felt the spirit so strong during a baptism as i did this one. It was our 9 year old girl Frances and she even bore her testimony and it was just so special. Even better, her dad (an investigator) was able to attend and then when we taught him last night he asked "if i get baptized would it be like that" :) Oh yeah, he's golden. He told us to talk to his wife and he wants us to teach her too! So excited for this family! We taught him how to pray and he said the closing prayer and it was so cute, he started then kept asking us what came next and then said he would practice lol. It's moments like that that keep you goin :) Earlier that day we taught another man who is totally ready for the gospel...it was the man who we taught in the rain with the tin roof last week and we gave him moroni 10: 3-5 to read and then yesterday he told us that instead of those 3 verses he read the whole thing and he was very proud of himself. I love it!!
So one of the days we were walking down the street and this big old gruff lady stopped us and told us to come into her house haha so we followed and we all sat on her chairs and the first thing she says: "I used to be a mormon" but imagine her saying it in the dirtiest, gruffest, spanish accent and that is how she sounded!! Hilarious. She then told us "But I was born a catholic and I will die a catholic" then she told sis estrada "you will play me a song" and pointed to her guitar lol, so she did and then the old lady played us a song. Funniest thing ever.
Okay mom, maybe you can look this up, the sky here is unreal!! I really wish I could explain, but it is so so so beautiful and it is so huge! it is a different sky than in the states, just very vast and tall and when there are clouds, holy cow, its jsut the prettiest thing in the world. I want to know why the sky looks so big here!
Oh and mom, instead of binabae haha, which is not really a word people use here lol who knew....use Ate (ah-tay) it means older sister and that is what they really call their older sisters. I just love this place so much! It is home to me now. Oh and guess what Im buying a guitar :) They are super cheap here and president said we were aloud to and sis estrada knows how to play so she is going to teach us! Sweet, im so excited!! We are going to get them today!
Haven't seen the broadcast yet....we watch everything a week later so we'll watch it on sat and im so stoked. then we will watch conference on the 9th and 10th. so you will have to tell me next week how you liked it!!! Holy cow, what in the world happend to september?! I am really trying to figure that one out! Time is beginning to go faster!
Well, fam and friends.....The way is laid before us and the Saviour is calling to each one of us. He offers us open arms and an outstretched hand. His invitation is for all to come unto him and be healed. May we take His name upon us that we might be partakers of His everlasting love. It's a lot better than what satan is offering: everlasting chains. We are the ones to decide which path we will end on.
Mahal ko kayo nang sobra!!!
Cocs....how is school going??? College is super different isn't it?! I forgot to tell you thank you for your letter that first week I got to the philippines, you are so sweet :)
Alec, you behave yourself you hear?! :) I hope you are still doing well in school, tell you little girlfriend hi for me....and stop unfriending your mother, if it weren't for her you wouldnt be here!
Dad, thank you for your email last week!! Glad to hear you are still alive. I hear you are doing great things for the weddings, keep up the hard work :)
Kiki...im emailing you so you dont get anything in this one hehe.
Mom....do send trail mix haha, i would like some of that, but really dont need any other food. also, send razor heads for the venus embrace haha or whatever the name is--like yours! and i would like that one song "held" by coco's friend maybe you could just burn some church music for me off our itunes :) thanks you are the best!!!! Oh and thanks for the comments from other...those really do give me a good boost. Keep em comin!