Naibag Nga Aldaw!!
Haha, I just spoke Ilocano! Holy cow that language is a beast to understand and speak, good think I am only required to speak Tagalog! It's fun though, learning these languages. Sometimes I will just sit and listen to people and smile to myself because I can understand them...it's fun! Definitely the humility and patient test of a lifetime but fun all the same.
Um, so one night we were at a family's house with their 3 small girls who adore me and have to sit all around me and hug me and hold my hands whenever i am there. Super cute!! However....this night in particular sis Estrada gets a comb and starts brushing one of the girls hair onto a paper and they are talking about it and i was really confused and then i saw bugs fall onto the paper and sis Estrada asked me if i knew what they were......yeah, don't worry its just lice and about everyone has it. I know pray very very hard everytime we go to their house and their girls touch me and hug me. There is no way i want to deal with a lice problem!!
So this last week was pretty good, had it's ups and downs...mom you are right, the days are very much the same if you look at it from the outside, but holy cow, they each bring their challenges, disappointments, and joys I tell you what. One day you will feel completely happy and like everyone wants to listen and accept your message and then the very next day, no one likes you and you can't seem to do a thing right. For pete's sake!
Thursday we had exchanges, I went to Candon with Sis Villegas who is an awesome missionary, in 9 hours of work we got 9 lessons which is like perfect and i have no idea how we did it, but that's normal for them. Gosh, in our area, we struggle to get 4 or 5 lessons a day. So I was a bit discouraged coming back to my area. I felt like we were doing something wrong or maybe not being as obedient as we could. Mission standard is to get 25 lessons a week and we usually hit about 22. I felt a huge weight on my shoulders Friday morning. I just couldn't understand what we were doing wrong. I felt like we were trying hard and that the lessons we did teach were good lessons but it didn't seem like enough if we weren't reaching mission standard and compared to the candon area. During my prayer to open my personal study Friday morning i told heavenly father about my feelings and then told him i just could not be comforted. If we were getting these results week after week, we must be doing something wrong so why should i deserve to be comforted. Well, i came across 1 peter 4:12-13
"Sister Carroll, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."
Well now isn't' this a lovely scripture....it sounded great to me but i still would not let myself be free of these feelings. This wasn't a trial I was going through, it was something i brought upon myself. However, as i pondered about my feelings...why i had them, what was the source. I realized that I truly did feel good about the work sis Estrada and i were doing. I didn't think we were doing anything wrong. The only reason i felt bad about our work was because i felt pressure to get certain numbers. I was comparing which is a big no no as you can imagine. Every Sunday night we have to report our numbers to the district leader and he always asked tons of questions about the work and why we didn't get a certain number of something. So of coarse my mind would focus on getting something more. As i pondered more, i realized that if i took everything aways....all the other missionaries, the numbers, the pressure, i would be happy with what we were doing with our area. I feel like we have built good relationships with the investigators and the members. They can trust us and we are sincerely trying to do our best with what we've been given. I also thought of the Savior. If he were here right now doing this He wouldn't care how many people he taught in one day. He wouldn't care about what other's thought, he would just be friends with these people and teach in the way he felt best for each person.
Low and behold by the time my personal study had ended, I had no more feelings of doubt and discouragement, I literally felt lighter and happier. This scripture in Peter really was talking to ME. This is just a trial that i have to overcome. Something to learn from. Holy cow, the Lord truly knows each of us and desires to comfort and support us in everything, even when we don't feel worthy of his help. He is our Father and he has our back :) He knows what we can do, what we can't do, and what we are trying really hard to accomplish. Lesson learned.
That really is a great scripture. I've found that the scriptures that talk about trials and joy have become my favorite, I know that through our trials we become stronger and happier as we work to overcome them.
The work is good and moving forward, I am so happy to be here. My joy is deep and even when times are hard and frustrating, I am amazed at how happy i am to be doing this. I know that we can all experience this joy as we reach out to God's children and help them see His eternal plan for them. May we all be the missionaries we were sent here to be.
Ay-ayaten kau, (I love you all, ilocano)
I only put a couple pics, hopefully it works!
A beautiful place in our area.
Cute little guy, I call him my boyfriend.