|That's Hazel, Danico, and the little girl is Sarah. She is by far my favorite little girl. So cute.|
I know that last week my letter was lame but I ran out of time! It is so hard to e-mail individual letters back AND write a good family letter. So this time I will write the family letter first and try and type like lightening. I also made a list of things that I wanted to tell you so that hopefully it would be a little more quick.
So a few funny things that have happened to me here in the beautiful yet crazy country of the Philippines:
Last week, the other sisters got home before us. When we came home they had left the front door open (which isn't a big deal, we usually leave it open while we are home to let the wind in. Plus we have a big giant gate around our apartment that we keep locked so it is safe). We have to be home by 8:30 pm. Anyway, Sister Hingano and me walked up to the apartment and started unlocking the gate and a cat casually just walked out of apartment. nonchalant. Haha soooo funny. It scared us way bad and then we laughed about it.
|Sister Hingano, Sister Ott & Me in front of our house|
While running with Sister Ott in the morning, it was the first time that I have had to dodge a ginormous dead rat just chilling the road. When we got back, our 11 year old neighbor was driving him and his family out of our subdivision. Naturally.
Last week, there was a huge birthday celebration at Nanay Corachea's and I unknowingly ate goat. I didn't know but it tasted good haha. I forgot to mention that last month I ate liver.. MOST DISGUSTING THING EVER. I will never eat that again.
On Wednesday, we went to teach an investigator and she insisted that we eat. The rice looked a little sketchy but I didn't want to be rude. I felt something sobrang hard in my mouth. I pulled it out. A rock. hahaha. I just laughed.
Also, have I mentioned that I have seen more public breast-feeding than I ever dreamt I would see in my life? Haha it is such a casual thing here. On the street, in sacrament meeting, in our small, intimate, close quartered lessons. Haha and the other night..... ohhhh my gooodnesss.... hahahaha Nanay Mercey (You call older people by Nanay and Tatay which means mom and dad). Anyway, Nanay Mercey agreed to work with us with a few of our investigators and she was getting ready. I turn around and she says, "Wait na lang sister!" and then.... she straight up flashed me!!!! haha I think she was trying to tell me that she didn't have a bras or something? But she straight up flashed me. I was SHOCKED. And keep in mind this is a Nanay.... ibig sabihin older woman. Hahahah it was so funny though. It was just so outrageous I couldn't help but laugh.
My worst fear now, is officially hungry pigs. Right next to the house of Jason and Marylin is a giant pig coop, cage, stye, area (haha I don't know the name. That's how unfamiliar I am with farms). Anyway, if they are hungry, it is the scariest sight you have ever seen. They are soooooo loud and jumping and climbing all over each other, slobber everywhere. They will hoist themselves up so their feet are hanging over their cage. I can't be near them when they are hungry like that. NAKAKAKILABOT!!!
I'm not afraid to kill the biggest spiders anymore, and I have seen more than a few cockroaches that are bigger than my thumb.
Haha but despite the scary and ridiculous sights here, there is a lot of beauty. We get to walk through rice fields to a lot of our investigators and it is breathtaking. These huge bright green fields and they smell so fresh. Whenever we trek to the Cantos family, it is evening and there was a tree filled with fireflies (My first time ever seeing fireflies). Because there aren't many lights, the stars are many and bright.
Two mornings ago we were exercising and this little boy, 8 years old, came up to us. His name is Aaron. We were jump roping and we invited him to join. Magaling siya!!! Then we raced him up and down the street. So fun. His voice is so cute and I love the way the little kids speak Tagalog. And their sentences are full of 'po's so that they are respectful to those older than them. So cute.
Yesterday, Sister Ott & Sister Dicen made him get in the the tricycle with them on the way to church. He watched me as I played piano. We're hoping that we can teach his parents. I have said it before, but seriously the people here are so beautiful, funny, hospitable, kind, selfless. I love them. I love the people here in Rosario and the members of the ward. I will be very sad to leave this area. We will probably get a hint of what will happen at the next transfer on Friday, because we have our first zone interviews. The President will interview all of us individually.
But the pinaka-mabuting aspect of being a missionary is teaching. Seeing your investigators progress, feel the spirit, and change. Sister Hingano and me are so excited about our investigators right now. So I think I hinted at it last week, but last week we tracted this woman named Vanji. She was walking to the store and we started talking to her. I figured that she had stuff to do but I asked her if we could just come and teach her right then. She agreed excitedly and her husband was home. They have both been through multiple religions and are really searching for the truth (which is bihira, or rare here because everyone is catholic). Anyway, the spirit was strong as we taught them and as the wife was reading how to pray, just READING how to pray she started crying. Neither of them would pray, so as I was praying she started crying and crying. I know she felt the spirit. We went back to teach them this week, and unfortunately the husband wasn't home. But it went really well with the wife, and after scriptures and some convincing she agreed to pray, and again, tears were streaming down her face. We picked her up for church yesterday, and she had a really good experience. It was a great testimony meeting and I think that she could feel the strength from the member's testimonies. Her husbands name is Ramos, and we're meeting with both of them this week. He is convinced that God and Jesus Christ are the same person so we are going to have to work with him a little bit but they are super potential. We have faith.
Also, Marylin will be getting baptized at the end of the month. She is ready and Jason will be able to baptize her. Jason was baptized on Saturday, and we 4 all sang my new favorite hymn "Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy." Last night we taught Marylin and he told her that when she is baptized she will know this is the true church. He said that he didn't feel anything different at the actual baptism. But he said that when he was confirmed in sacrament meeting, he felt something really different. He said that he felt a burning feeling and he didn't know how to describe it. Siyempre the Holy Ghost:) Then he said that when he sat down he just kept having this prompting to bear his testimony and he tried to ignore it because he was shy daw but he finally got up and it was such a simple sincere testimony. He is very excited for his wife and family.
Yesterday Tatay Ronnie came to church, another man that we tracted into. We have taught his family a couple times and they didn't seem very interested at first but now they are finally seeing the difference of our message. Ronnie was really excited at church and had lots of questions during Sunday school. We are going back to teach his family tonight and we will show the restoration video. It is weird because as we went back in our area book, we saw that one of the Elders taught them before but only once and never even followed up with them. I guess it is just about timing, but we are really excited about them.
We have a few other investigators that we have faith in. It is so fulfilling to share the gospel. I have never been happier as a missionary. I am so grateful for this time. I love Sister Hingano and my housemates. My President is strict but absolutely incredible. I will be sad when he leaves in June, but I am sure the new one will be just as great.
I love all of you so much, and I just want you to know that I know with all of my being that this is the true gospel on earth today. By the power of the Holy Ghost, I know that the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith is a true prophet, the gospel of Jesus Christ is restored on earth again. We are so lucky to have this truth and I encourage all of you to share as much as you can. Be an example for those who don't have the truth.
I love all of you. You're in my prayers.