Kumusta kayo, mga mahal ko?!
Oh boy where do I even begin......it's been a rough but very good week. First of all, haha my new area is called Lal-lo and it is just gorgeous of coarse, but the philippines has somehow managed to go from green and lush to even more green and lush up in this neck of the woods--don't know how it worked that out, but it's just like in a movie or something, so beautiful!!! So during the transition of me coming up here, I spent a night in my old area - laoag, and worked there for a day... so weird!! I felt like I was starting my mission all over again because it rekindled the same feelings of wanting to go back to where I had just come from. Not sure if I liked having those feelings again, that stinken apartment is a symbol of change and new beginnings....i'd rather not go back there again haha.
The next morning we got on a bus for Lal-lo....6 hours on a luxuries (not) bumpy, rickety old school bus almost. Not my favorite, but let me just say the view was worth it!!!! We drove through a place called Pagudpud and Claveria.....I can sum these up in 3 words:
Jurassic Park/Utopia/Paradise land that the dinasours found on The Land Before Time.....not even kidding, I was struck and glued to my window! I definitely travelled to like the most obscure place in all the world I am sure! Haha, this is a cool little place I am in. First of all, my house looks like a haunted house....old wooden furniture, wood walls, tall ceilings, and it's huge! And not to mention there is a dining table built for 12....now is that really necessary?! Good new though, I upgraded to a seat on the toilet! Bad news....downgraded to a non-flushing toilet :/ Those are so annoying. Even more annoying that we have no running water in the bathroom so we have to fill up buckets at an outside faucet (which is slow as molases) and bring them into the CR. Which means for my shower, I am limited to the 2 or 3 buckets I take the time to fill in the morning, don't worry, I've already come to the reality that I will never be fully CLEAN while I am a missionary, and I'm okay with that. At least I have everyone outside telling me how beautiful I am!
Now for the hard part.....I have missed Sta Lucia like crazy, and Sis Estrada too! I didn't realize how close she and I became and how much I just loved her until we were split up. She has truly become a best friend of mine and I really look forward to seeing her again! As much as I have missed my last area, holy cow the Lord has given me more strength than ever to be here and work hard for these new people. I can't even explain the peace and comfort I have felt this last week. One morning I started to take my bucket and with the first pour of dagger-cold water I started crying haha.....there were 2 emotions going on here. One, I just wanted to be back in my old apartment doing the things I was used to there, and where the water wasn't quite so cold. and two, I was overwhelmed with gratitude because I was taking an ice cold shower and it was okay....it was as if it wasn't my body being soaked, it was the weirdest feeling. "In the strength of the Lord..." I know that is just one silly example but it really hit me how much the Lord is with me helping me through new and changing things so that I can give my all in His great work. Over and over again this week I have felt that same strength in other areas.
My new comp is great, we got right along and jumped right into the work. I am the senior but I don't like those titles, she does just as much as i do, if not more. She is always happy and smiling. Her name is Sis Casas she is 25 and a convert of like 3 years. We work well together! It's a branch here, my first branch, however there are more active members than both the wards i've been in! I've heard that the people up in this part are super humble and receptive. They have all been so nice, and guess who the new piano player is.....the one and only haha, how did i end up as the designated piano player? I really should've stuck with piano lessons back in elementary school haha!
Just in the last 2 weeks i have noticed an incredible improvement within myself...language, teaching, personality. It's so awesome!!
Language: I understand about 90% now of everything that is said and can say maybe 70% of what I want. Yesterday I bore my testimony in sacrament and afterward a member told me he thought i was giving my farewell speech before going home! Haha, now I think he was giving me a little bit more credit than was due, I'm not THAT good! But it made me feel good about myself and really thank Heavenly Father for what He has helped me with.
Teaching: Um, I don't know what happens when I teach but its awesome!! In the beginning I used to be afraid of saying things as to not offend anyone, and especially the less active members....i never like teaching them--too scared. That has all completely turned around. I LOVE being bold in teaching and telling people exactly what they need to do. I just feel a great sense of urgency to "make these things known to the inhabitants of the world" Seriously, I feel like a character straight out of the Book of Mormon, I know the time of the Savior is close at hand and these people need to know it....and they need to be ready for it. How else are they going to know if I dont tell them? I love teaching....the hard part is making sure the Spirit is there guiding the words and lessons. They need to FEEL it or else it wont mean anything.
Alright this email is long...I probably forgot to mention a lot of things....next week! I am doing well, the saddness of leaving my old area is being replaced with the joys of this area and I know it will only continue to grow!! Prayer is SO POWERFUL!!! Use it!
Love you all!