Naimbag nga aldaw (Ilocano) Good afternoon!
Haha, like i really know Ilocano, but its fun to say the phrases I know! Alright, whats the news this week.....First of all, our old tatay who is 87 and came to church last week, came again yesterday!!! AND he now has a baptism date :) :) Who says you're too old to humble yourself and accept the will of the Lord?! As long as we're living, there's still time.....He is SO cute! The work is going really well these days, I am very happy with the growth I am seeing in the area. I am so grateful that there are 4 of us, huge strength! As far as Sis Francia and I, I feel like we are friends, I feel like we can talk and enjoy one another's company and there haven't been any contentious feelings or problems, it's just all too good! Next week is transfers.....holy cow, time gets faster and faster, I feel like we just became comps...most likely nothing will happen because of the new curriculum which now is 2 transfers with your trainee, but the zone leaders said there could still be a transfer....hope not cause I love it here too much!
The only downside really to having another set of missionaries in the area though is that I have the tendency to compare myself to them....I know, not good, it's a weakness and I don't like it, but it still happens. I can get discouraged at times and that's kinda what I felt this last week on and off, it's rather annoying. But last night ended really well and today we had a district activity so it was a good time to just chill and not think about work and walk around in clothes that aren't skirts that you are sick of :) Oh man, I can't wait to just give away all these clothes at the end of my mission and start fresh! And I am happy to report that I still fit into my jeans....first time I've worn them since the MTC....just a tad tighter than I'd like but they still fit thank you! I have gained weight though just these last couple weeks, its really hard sitting for 4 hours before lunch and not eating, plus you have a filipina who makes awesome food in the house.....i gave in though and told sis. Francia I needed to stop eating like crazy and so she's gonna help me....gotta at least look a little better than this when I go home! And yes mom, I am with you, my hair is super long and I wont even recognize myself without a ponytail.....actually the other day my hair was pretty tame so I decided I wanted to leave it down....after about 5 min I put it right back into a pony....for one, its hot, for two, I feel super weird with my hair down...like I'm trying to impress someone or something, it's just not right!
Sometimes I still have realizations that I am living in the Philippines, can understand the people, and have this HUGE love for them when just over a year ago I couldn't say any of that. That happened the other night as we were teaching one tatay who is like 70+ and also has a baptism date and really wants to follow Christ but has a smoking problem and we catch him sometimes smoking. As we were teaching him Saturday night (after finding him smoking) I just saw him as this little innocent child who doesn't know much but knows he wants to see his wife again (who has passed away) and make it back into the presence of Heavenly Father. I couldn't help but realize how merciful the God is.....He truly looks on the desires of our hearts, if we really desire to serve him to the end and are trying our best, it doesn't matter to Him what we keep messing up on. He is not going to make judgements just based on what He sees, but what He knows about who we are. I am truly grateful for that knowledge I have. We have to allow Him to love us and forgive us along our way.
I am so blessed that the Lord has allowed me to be apart of these people's lives, My heart is so full of joy because of them!
My testimony of fervent prayer and relying on the Lord has been strengthened once again as I gave a talk in sacrament yesterday! Gosh, I get so nervous to give talks in sacrament just cause I still don't feel like I am awesome at the language and want to be able to fully express myself as I speak to a group of people. I also want to make sure that even though it's in Tagalog, I am still completely following the promptings of the spirit to be able to meet the needs of everyone in the congregation....member and non member alike. So when the 3rd Sunday roles around I start praying mightily to know what to say and to be able to say it. I feel like the weakest person ever when I stand up in front of them.....but every time I do with a humble and sincere heart, a miracle happens and I deliver the message God wants me to deliver. I always FEEL my words, and not just say them. Yesterday especially, I spoke about missionary work and even the days leading up to it I felt inspired then when I gave it, I definitely had feeling behind my words which made it more powerful. I was so very grateful for the Holy Ghost at that moment....it is Him who works in us when we ask for help, we don't have to do it alone! I just have the biggest passion for missionary work (obviously) and want everyone to feel that as well....this is the ONLY way the world will know of God's plan and He wants EVERYONE to make it back to Him, not one soul left behind. We have a responsibility...lets not take it lightly.
So yes, when we ask we will receive, i know that to be very very true! I love prayer and I love Heavenly Father.
Okay, that's about it....I feel like my letters aren't exciting anymore haha, things are just happening and going by so fast I don't have much time to think about them....hope you don't get bored reading my emails! Haha, its mostly just my feelings. If you have any questions or specific things you want to know about....just ask and I'll be happy to share. But no, there have not been any bathroom blowouts I'm sorry to say....things are pretty normal in that department :) as normal as they can be here!
Love you all, keep on keepin on!
1 Nephi 14:14 "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory."