Kumusta lahat kayo!!
Sana masaya kayo!!! This week was A TON better, I took some introspective time to myself last Monday after I emailed and it was definitely needed. I gave everything to the Lord, and He took it all :) what would we do without Him?! Seriously, I am so very happy to be here, it's hard, I still can't communicate my true feelings and testimony, we walk SOOO MUCH and get punted a lot, but as I was sitting in a lesson a couple days ago I just realized, or remembered really, how much I love these people and how much I love the Gospel. I was taken out of this little missionary box I live in and given a broader perspective on life. It helped me a lot. I came to realize that having a love for the people you serve is so much more important than anything else. When love is what drives your actions, you don't need to worry about what to do or what to say to someone....it just comes. From that lesson on I just tried talking to these people like they were my friends and didn't try thinking of what a "missionary" would teach them. After all, if Christ were actually here....that's how He would treat them. There is just soooo much more to life then the little every day activities we have going on. Life is short, plain and simple. If we could just get a glimpse of what awaits us I know we would press forward with more faith and determination than ever. I came across an awesome/very true scripture this week: D&C 58:4 "For after much tribulation come the blessings...." How true that is :) Keep moving and pressing forward and our reward will be great. Another word about Christ....you start wondering what you are doing wrong when NO ONE wants to talk to you and all you here is "next time na lang sisters" ....did I say something wrong? do I not have the spirit with me? why didn't they feel the power of my testimony? It's so easy to blame yourself for others not wanting to listen but I am reminded from time to time that even Christ himself could not get people to listen to Him and accept Him. This work is hard because salvation is not easy--that's from Elder Holland. At the current time we are finding it difficult to get new investigators. We have a mission goal of 10/week and all we have been able to get are 2-3/week. It's been weighing on us.
Sis Hernaez leaves in like 2 1/2 weeks...AAHHH I really don't want her to leave, we have been having a lot of fun together and a lot of good laughs! She is a very good missionary and she knows everything, I can't have her leave me yet! It's funny, she actually speaks English better than I do haha! She was an English teacher before the mission so I have to get after HER for speaking English....she is more comfortable with it than Tagalog ha! Go figure.
The language....well, it's coming. I understand a lot now, speaking on the other hand doesn't come as easily...definitely when the Lord needs me to use it though, He puts words in my mouth! But normal every day speaking, I can't seem to make my mouth do it! So I've heard from numerous sources, and from "the other side of heaven" that reading your Book of Mormon in the language you're learning is very helpful and powerful. I do that everyday, read out loud from the Aklat Ni Mormon, but this week I wanted to really step it up and completely put my faith in that book. So a couple days ago I was reading it and thinking hard about it, and thinking about the movie and I didn't understand a word from the book (it's really deep Tagalog, they don't even understand most of it) and I just got this really overwhelming feeling and almost started crying....it was the weirdest thing I kept reading and holding back tears. What was I reading?? Why did I feel like this, it was so cool. Later, I looked in my English BOM and it was 2 NE 8...a chapter I really like and have actually talked about in an email before. It's all about Christ comforting us in the last days and how we don't need to bow down to our enemies anymore. I was filled with the love and spirit of the Book of Mormon. Even in another language, with no understanding of the words, I am able to feel of it's power. That book is true, I am not one to have ever felt the spirit when others would bear their testimony in another language in sacrament but I can testify now that the spirit is the one true, universal language. It bears witness of truth, and when you are reading something as pure and as true as the Book of Mormon, the Spirit is going to be there telling you that what you are reading are the words of life, the pure word of God. I know up and down that without the Book of Mormon, we would not know of Heavenly Father's plan for us. We would not be able to return to Him. That is the Book that will save us in the Kingdom of God....we NEED to know it's words, we NEED to have those words "written in our hearts" So, that is my word about the good word :) READ the Book of Mormon, test God and His spirit to give you a personal witness for yourself of it's truth. Every problem and question can be solved/overcome/answered through it, that is my promise as a representative of Jesus Christ.
Dad, if you met our bishop here, you would love him and I'm sure you would be instant best friends...he reminds me so much of you! He is an auto electrician and has a shop and is always greasy and dirty haha. But he has the biggest heart and would drop anything for anyone---that is how I have always seen you :) Dad, you've got some serious potential in this church, it needs you!
Okay so we had our district activity today---BEST DISTRICT ACTIVITY EVER!!! We went to the BEACH!!! Holy cow, it was awesome! We had sooo much fun! We played volleyball, football, some other random games, we got to walk around in the water, we got fed great food and all the while we had a huge crowd watching everything we did haha! It was great! I love this place so much! Sometimes, from our house you can hear the ocean!
Funny story: So, it's normal to have people stare at me and call me beautiful, nothing new but the other day we walked by a group of construction workers and of coarse they all stop and watch us walk by and one of them starts singing "pretty woman, walking down the street, pretty woman...." we started laughing so hard. Sis Hernaez just can't get over everyone having to say something when I walk by and someone even started speaking Spanish to me yesterday. I feel bad actually, I would hate it if everyone only told my comp that she was beautiful and they didn't even pay attention to me. Sis Hernaez is super pretty too! They are just obsessed with white people! I assured her that I don't get any such comments when I am in the states! I told her that Heavenly Father just sent me here so I could build confidence in myself haha.
Another funny: When I left sis mack and Sis Estrada in Laoag 3 they were super sad! Haha, they told me in a letter that when they went back to the apartment after dropping me off they wanted to sing a happy song to cheer them up so they sang "there is sunshine in my soul today" Little did they know, the 2nd verse says "a CAROL to my king" haha, they said they both stopped and started crying! Poor things! It was really hard to break up the 3 Nephites!
Well I've said a lot, it was a really good week and I'm excited for more to come! I hope you all are happy, or at least striving for it :) I know our Father in Heaven is aware of YOU, and loves you so much. Just remember that, I know it's hard to remember at times, but He is there and He is on your side :) LOVE YOU ALL!!!