(My beloved family, please Hello all of you?)
This week has been good but the days seem to blend into one another and I don't really know where to start. A couple fun facts: I found out that my birthday is Independence day here in the Philippines so that will be fun to see how they celebrate. Apparently they love to play with fireworks - mensan makakakilabot ito.
They also have the most delicious bread here. We live in this quiet neighborhood but a street over they make the most delicious bread so sometimes we will go buy it for lunch or something like that. I will definitely miss that when I get home. Well actually, I am hoping to learn how to make it before I go home. They also have these little chocolates called haney's that are my guilty pleasure. It's basically just like ground up peanuts and chocolate. I will have to send some home to you.
The snacks here are so funny, and everything you eat is packed with MSG. I don't know what kind of effect that is having on me but hopefully nothing too serious. I think that I already told you this, but we have to burn our garbage every week. And this week, I decided to hire one of our investigator's to wash my clothes because she offered to do it for basically $1 and it would save a lot of time so we'll see how it works out.
We also got through our first Transfer Day with no transfers in our apartment. We were so grateful. I love all of the sisters in my apartment so much and I am so grateful for them. I know that it won't always be like this so I need to enjoy our friendship while I can:)
Sister Ott is so funny – we have the same sense of humor. Sometimes we will speak in Tagalog to each other, but speak in a New Jersey accent (you know that is my favorite…)
Last night, I woke up at 4 am. And was scared because I was half asleep and everything is enhanced when you’re half asleep. But I heard some running and chewing noises and I thought there was a mouse in the cupboards in my room. We turned on the light and looked and couldn’t see anything and I was still freaked. We turned off the lights and got back in my bed but my leg touched my alarm clock and I thought it was the mouse and I screamed and jumped in my companion’s bed. Then I just started laughing my head off because I knew that I was being so ridiculous. Luckily, I didn’t wake up our house mates.
We get our chicken and pork from the market and it is the SKETCHY-est looking place ever. Full pig legs hanging from the ceiling and blood everywhere. We asked about some of the pork we were buying and he killed the pig that morning so I mean it is really fresh.... haha but still it just looks really gross. But maybe it is more fresh and safe than the meat in America?
Last Saturday, we went to this big Relief Society activity in Lipa with one of our investigators and it was CRAZY. Magulo. So many women haha and it was just crazy. Very different from the activities at home. They had all the wards stationed around the walls and so much food haha but you could hardly move because there were so many women and chairs everywhere. We also had to go after our studies in the morning so we didn't get to try much food but it looked fun. Then afterwards they had all of these funny games but the host was speaking really loud and fast in the microphone directing people around and so I was pretty much lost the whole time. But, our investigator seemed to have fun for the most part.
As for my language, everyone keeps telling me they are impressed with how much I can say but I know that I still have SO MUCH to learn. Haha but it will just take time. And the thing is, I feel like I can say most everything I want, but to fully understand people. That is my problem right now. But I will continue being diligent and try and have faith. I know it will come. I can feel the gift of tongues in effect though because I am so surprised with myself remembering some words. I have seen how it has helped my memory, but it is up to me to work and learn the language first. But it is fun, and I have learned to love this language.
We are excited for Jason and Marylin. We went to the municipial with them on Thursday and they have everything squared away so they will get married on the 28th and baptized the following week. They are really excited and I can see the change that has happened with them.
Also, this last week we got punted and so one of the members said we check out some apartments by her store. We met Loida and she told us that she was Born Again and wasn't interested in another religion but she still invited us in. She let us share a message with her and surprisingly accepted a baptismal date. She asked US if she could come to church, which is unheard of here. That is the hardest commitment to keep - coming to church. Anyway, one of the members picked her up and everyone was so good about fellowshipping. She had a really good experience and said that she wants to come with her husband next week. Anyway, I have just realized how important it is for the members to work together with the missionaries. Without a fellow-shipper or friend, it is almost impossible for them to progress. And I also realized that no matter what they say, you just can't judge a book by its' cover.
The work is going well and I am becoming more and more aware of my inadequacies but I know that over time I can overcome them through Jesus Christ. I feel like Alma 26:11-12 represents how I feel right now in this work. I love these people so much. They are so humble and loving and just a beautiful people. Despite how tired I may be, I just feel happy waking up in the morning. I am learning so much and I am so so grateful for this opportunity. I don't know what would have happened if I hadn't made the decision to come. Thank you for your support. Love you all.
|Sister Ika, Me, & Sister Ortiola|
We go to the Lipa stake center for our district meetings which is about 45 minutes away.
|Elder Wooden & Me. We have been together since the MTC|
|Elder Pulido, Elder Tabbilos, Sister Ott, Me, & Elder Sinilong|
In the pictures I am sending today you will see a pink shirt. I bought it from this ukai-ukai in Lipa which is like a thrift store but they have sooooo many clothes. It was almost overwhelming. I got it for 100 pesos which is about $2.50? Haha so good deal
Love Sister Ras