Sunday, May 25, 2014

Heto pa rin!

(Still here!)
Kumusta po kayong lahat??

 Sister Flosa.  So darling.  I love her.  And we are cooking Sopas but it's not my favorite dish in the philippines.  It's like chicken noodle soup but sketchy hot dogs instead of chicken noodle soup.
namimiss ko na kayo.  I hope all is well.  This week was a little slower dahil sa pigsa ko.  Grabe naman!!!  So.... I finally went to the doctor this week because my foot was so swollen.  Sister Ott was like Sister... I don't want to alarm you... but your foot is literally twice as big as the other.  I didn't notice because there was no pain but it was still swollen!!! I had gotten an infection in my foot and the doctor insisted that I had to rest two days with my foot elevated.  She put me on a stronger antibiotic.  So, Sister Hingano and I had to stay in for two days.  Those days were VERY LONG.  I know that I needed to get better but I still felt like I was being disobedient in the back of my head.  But now it is completely healed and everything is back to normal.  I guess it was nice to catch up on some letters and study lots.

Monday night we went and taught a family in our ward for FHE and had them bring referrals.  It was so fun!!  At the end we played this game (sort of like the instrument game) but with fruits.  Everyone has a fruit assigned to them, and you say your fruit first and then the fruit to which you pass.  The only thing is you have to cover your teeth with your lips as you talk (like you're an old person).  It was sooo funny.  It's hard enough to speak Tagalog let alone like that.  Haha and it was even worse because I didn't know all the names of the fruits that they were using.  Haha but we were laughing so hard and the investigators loved it.  I think it was good to see that as missionaries we're normal people and we can be funny sometimes too.. at least I think so haha.

Tomorrow we are singing in front of almost the whole mission so we are pretty nervous.  We are going to practice later today.  We will be singing "Be Still My Soul." I didn't expect to be singing and playing the piano this much on my mission but I absolutely love it.  Elder Christensen from the 70’s is coming to speak to us and we are so excited.

A couple days ago, Sister Hingano and I were tracting and I saw a little head poking out of a house off in the distance and I had a feeling we should go talk to her.  We approached her and she was super nice, but she had a huge sign from her church on her house: Back to Christ, and she was wearing a necklace from her church.  She told us at least 5 times how active she was in her church, but I still felt like we should share with her.  She kept telling us to enter so we went in to share a message with her.  She was soo interested the whole time.  At the end she said, "I have had all sorts of missionaries come to my house and I always send them away, but for some reason I let you in.  You're lucky!"  I was's either because I am American or it was the spirit.  But I hope it was the latter.  And she just kept saying how it was really touching her heart and asking when we can come back and share.  So to me, that is just an example of the small miracles that happen every day.  We will follow up with her later this week.  But I have a huge testimony that, especially as a missionary, the Lord is always putting people in your path.  We also found some new investigators yesterday... a huge family and we taught all of them and their kids.  They were also super interested.  We are excited to see where it goes.

These shoes were made for walking!
Hellen is ready to be baptized.  She really wants to be baptized but wants to know if she should wait for her family.  Ronnie might be going to work abroad because he can't get a job here, and none of her kids are really interested.  But the blessings that have come into her life from the gospel are so obvious.  It is amazing to see the change that has happened in her life from the first time we met her.... as she applies her commitments - reading, praying, and going to church.  Despite how hard it is within her family, she is finding peace.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to share that peace with her.

 A member of the ward that we have reactivated.  She is super cute and cool and just feels like a normal friend.  Her name is Sister Shiela Joy Guste.  Her husband just left to go work abroad so she is all alone with her son now:( But that is a pretty normal occurrence in the Philippines.
Since my letter isn't that exciting this week, I just want to share my testimony.  Our mission has been reading the Book of Mormon but focusing on repentance.  The more I study repentance, the more I have come to realize that it is just aligning your will with God's will.  That all your desires, wants, hopes, become His.  You turn from the natural man and become one with God.  Through the Atonement (which of course is broken down to At-one-ment) you can become one with Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.  And through doing so.. through daily repentance. you see that it is really only by His will that we can experience complete, full, perfect joy.  I am so grateful that I am here right now.  I know I continually say it but my gratitude is overflowing.  I have learned so much and still have so much to learn, but I know 100% that this is the only true and living church on earth today.  It is only through the gospel that we can be happy.  That we can find peace.  That we can become one with our family, love our spouse more, or overcome challenges.  I am so grateful to have been born in the covenant.  To have these things.  How great is our duty to share this truth with everyone we know.  So many people are wandering in darkness, without the truth and light of the gospel and most of the time they don't even know it.  But I have seen again and again how as they are brought to the knowledge of the truth, they can fill that void in their life.  I know that these things are true and I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior.

I hope this makes sense.  I love all of you so much.  Thank you for your love and support.  I pray for all of you constantly.

 Ingat palagi.

 Sister Rasmussen

Sister Hingano is just pointing at how green and gross the river is.

Monday, May 19, 2014


Hello family!! How are you all?  It was so nice to talk to you on skype.  I loved seeing your faces and hearing your voices.  I felt like I had just seen you, yet when I thought I wouldn't see you again until Christmas it felt really far away.

This week hasn't been AS great as last week, but still good.  So first off earlier this week, I had this little spot on the top of my foot/ankle which I thought was just a bug bite.  It sort of itched so I itched it for a second and then I stopped.  Later that day I looked at it again and it seemed sort of swollen and I was asking the people we were visiting what it was from and they weren't sure.  Then, later that night I looked at my foot and it was starting to really swell and was hot and I couldn't really flex my ankle.  So I called Sister Peterson and she thought I was having an allergic reaction so I got some benadryl (sorry if I spelled it wrong).  I took that night and slept great haha but it didn't really help.  Half way through that day my foot just hurt so bad and it was really red and swollen.  We went to go teach one of our part member families and all of a sudden my stomach was hurting really bad.  As we were sitting talking to the members they asked me what was wrong and I started tearing up haha I was SO EMBARRASSED and I felt like I was just being a baby but I just wanted to keep going.  I showed them my foot and you could see a red streak coming from my knee and wrapping around to my ankle because of the blood supply.  I was basically crying and they kept saying oh it's a "pigsa!!"  But they didn't know what that was in English.  Anyway, as I was sitting there a little bit miserable, the mom of the family just started dancing like a crazy person trying to make me laugh and I couldn't help but just laugh.  Haha I started laughing my loud cackle, Rasmussen laugh like I know you all know.  Haha I was just grateful for her and helping me to not take it so seriously.  Anyway, I found out it was a boil!!! So weird.  I honestly don't even know exactly what that is or what causes it but now I am just taking an antibiotic and advil and it is slowly going away haha.

Luckily it has gone down enough today because we had our zone pday where we went to the 1500 steps at cuenca.  SO BEAUTIFUL.  Oh my goodness.  I forget that I am actually here in the Philippines in the middle of Asia and there are some beautiful sights.  It is this big gorgeous turqoise lake and you have to go down
 1500 stairs to get down.  Sister Ott told me the rumor is that in the middle of the lake is an island, and on that island is a lake, and on that lake is another island (now keep in mind that the Philippines itself is an island in the middle of the ocean).  So apparently they call it, or maybe just Sister Ott, inception lake.  Haha anyway it was beautiful haha but a lot of the sisters legs were shaking when we got to the bottom because of all the stairs.  We played basketball and games and just walked along the beach.  So beautiful.  It is good for your soul to take a break every once and a while and the sight was so gorgeous.  I was very grateful.  Coming back up the stairs was pretty hard afterwards but I felt pretty accomplished after. 

One food that I ate this week which I thought you would think is interesting was just a boiled banana.  Haha they have these really fat big bananas that taste kind of different and she just stuck it in boiling water with the skin still on.  It was good though!!
Classic Haley Face

So, I am sure you are all wondering what happened with Mac and it didn't end well, Unfortunately.  But it was a good learning experience.  We followed up with him and he had only read one page of the Book of Mormon but was doing a lot of research online.  Of the bible and of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.  When we met with him he was talking and talking and wouldn't let us get a word in.  He offered a lot of false information about the church, but Sister Hingano and I both felt very impressed to not say anything.  He said that he prayed, not to know if the Book of Mormon was true, but just prayed in general about the truth.  He said that he received a very direct answer from God that said, "I have already given you what you need.... why are you still searching?"  I respect him and his interpretation, yet that answer doesn't sound at all like God.  He always encourages us to keep searching for truth, keep learning, keep progressing.  I was looking at him and listening as he was giving all of his reasons, almost getting red in the face, and I just felt two things.  Love for him and sadness.  I was so sad for him.  I was sad about all of the blessings that I have that he won't know.  I was sad about his future.  I wished that he could have heard all of the contradictions that he made while he was explaining.  I just realized that you have to just respect others' agency and love.  That's all you can do.  You do your best, but we all have our agency, which is a beautiful gift from God.  We left that lesson sad, but grateful at the same time.  It was a good learning experience.

We felt better later that night when we went to teach Ronnie and Hellen.  Unfortunately, Ronnie was gone, but you can see the HUGE change that has been made in Hellen's life.  If we ever pass by their house, she is inevitably outside reading, and studying her Book of Mormon.  She told us how she has seen so much more peace, love, and happiness in her life as she has been praying morning and night and reading every day.  She says that feels so wonderful and she doesn't ever want the feelings to leave her home.  She loves to go to church and says that she wishes she could go to church every day and she always hungers for the scriptures.  It was so great to hear.  I teared up as she just thanked us so sincerely for bringing this truth into her life and into her family.  I am so grateful to be here and help bring some light to the lives of my brothers and sisters in the Philippines.  Her husband Ronnie however is a different person when we are there, or at church, but apparently he has anger issues and a hot head.  Hellen says that she tries to remind him to read the Book of Mormon and pray but he just won't apply these things in his life.  He is not yet convinced of the truth, but we know it is because he is not acting.  So we are really trying to work with him to humble himself and just experiment - just TRY and act.  Because once again, no matter how long he'll never know the truth through us or anyone else.  Only through himself and his own actions.  We love both of them so much.

AND Sister Estellita.  Well, almost all of her siblings and her parents are members but she has a very hard head.  One of her sons has served a mission, and one is preparing right now.  Missionaries have visited her for first time visits only because before, she was so hard.  But the change that is happening with her is also incredible.  It is all about timing.  The first few visits with her were a struggle, but we finally convinced her to read the Book of Mormon.  We explained that it is the key and evidence to our entire message.  She finally said, ok, I haven't read the thing yet so I will.  When we went back the first time she had read way more than any of our investigators have and she has continued.  The Book of Mormon has really helped her to feel of the truth.  She says she wants to read a book (like 1 Nephi or 2 Nephi) every week so she can finish as soon as possible.  She wants to read the whole thing for herself and make a decision for herself, which is great.  It is super important.  Her son also told us how she used to drink coffee all the time but now she has stopped.  Last night, we had a testimony meeting with all of her siblings and it was so spiritual.  Sister Estellita teared up multiple times.  She will be baptized soon, and I am grateful that I could help her in that journey.

Her family, the Austria family.  I love them so much and I will visit them all again at the end of my mission.  They are the pioneers of the area which means they were the first baptisms in Rosario.  For a second there, with all of them together, it made me really miss my family and extended family.  But I am so glad to be here, I wouldn't be anywhere else.

I love all of you so much!! I know I say it every week but I do.  Whether you think so or not I miss you but I know I am in the right place.  I am so grateful for the things that I am learning.  Invaluable.  I love you all!!!

Love, Sister Rasmussen

There was a ward pool party and that was the nicest pool ever.  I never expected to see anything like that here in the Philippines.  Just in a super rich nice subdivision.  There are some really poor areas but also some really rich areas too.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Napakaganda and lingo na ito!!!

(This stunning and weeks!)
Each BRGY has a fiesta a certain day where basically every house in the area takes the day off, makes tons of food, drinks, and sings kareoke.  Funny.

This week has been so beautiful.  I can't wait to tell you about it.  But first, I will tell you a few funny and trivial things.

So earlier this week we went to this restaurant with our district that serves Mexican food (SUPER RARE.)  OH MY GOSH.  I didn't realize how much I missed it until I ate it again.  There's not very much spicy food here and nothing like Mexican Anyway, it was so amazing and just appreciate all those little Mexican... even the dirty Mexican restaurants in Utah.  Maybe Greg and Lindsay feel a little bit of my pain because there isn't very much Mexican food in Michigan right?

Mom!! One of my pinakafavorite foods here is Caldareta.  Look it up and see if you can make it at home.  So good.  It's basically just like chicken, potatoes, and carrots but the flavor is amazing and siyempre.. of course you have to eat it with rice.  Sister Hingano and I were going to go to a member's home later today and learn how to make it but she has had some problems getting in contact with home so we are going to try and call her family again later.  Next week na lang:)  Also graham cake and graham balls.  Again, mom, look it up and learn how to make it.  Super simple but incredible.  And here in the Philippines, they pronounce graham, gray-ham.  Haha and if you try and ask for graham crackers how you normally would pronounce it in english, they won't know what you're talking about.

On Tuesday, we went to go teach a part-member family in Itlugan (isan brgy dito) and before our appointment with them, we ate lunch at an investigator's house.  Then they fed us at their house, and because it was a fiesta in their brgy she insisted that we go over to her cousin's house where we had to eat more! and then they made us go to her OTHER cousin's house and eat more!! I could not handle it and they were just waiting and watching us get our food and eat and make sure we liked it.  I don't know if I have ever been that full in my life.  It was the worst.  She tried telling us that we had to go to another house but I jokingly ran away. Haha I was like, "Sister, I'm sorry, but I can't eat one more thing." Haha she joked and said that I was bad but it was ok.  I thought at that moment I would never eat anything ever again.  Haha anyway...

Haha but, we have one investigator that we taught last week... her name is Sister Estellita.  All of her siblings and parents are members and so she has been investigating for a long time.  But I really think that this is her time.  Haha we followed up with her and asked her about her Book of Mormon reading and in two days she had read until 1 Nep. 14 which is unheard of here because these people really hate to read and the Tagalog is really deep and hard to understand.  We were so impressed and asked her how she felt. She said well... I felt sleepy, and then hungry, and then full, and then itchy, and then I watched TV. Haha at least she was honest.  Hahaha it was so funny we couldn't stop laughing.  She kind of reminds me of Aunt Elayne.  But then she recounted everything that happened in the story and even about the 3 and 8 witnesses at the beginning.  She said in all these years that she has been investigating, she never read the Book of Mormon and so she finally decided to read it.  You can already see the change it is making and her heart is softening.  Haha then yesterday, during sacrament meeting, there was a boy who recited the 13 articles of faith and when he finished she started clapping so loud hahaha it was hilarious.  She loved it and she had so much conviction in her applause.  I will give her that much.  We really love her.  I have faith she will be baptized soon.

Yesterday, we had 11 investigators at church!!! It was nuts!  The most we have ever had come to church is 6.  It was crazy.  And that doesn't include the kids of 3 families that came.  It was so amazing and you could see that it really excited the members about missionary work.  I know it's not about numbers, but the numbers are key indicators for your work inviting others to come unto Christ.  Anyway, we were really excited and we're so excited about all of our investigators.  I can confidently say that they could and will all get baptized.  The work is hastening!  We know that we can't do it without the strengthening and enabling power of the atonement.

Then last night, one of those investigators opened up to us how it has been so hard for her for her mom working abroad and she has no father.  She was full of resentment and sadness.  But after two lessons ago, one night she decided to kneel and pray about the Book of Mormon and ask if it's true.  As she described the experience her eyes welled up with tears (and she is the type of person that I never thought I would see cry) and she said it was as if for a second everything was ok, she had chills everywhere, and she knows that the Book of Mormon is true.  She asked us if she can get baptized next week haha but she is living with her boyfriend (only 17 years old) and smokes.  So it will take some time, but I know it is possible.  And we know it is so important that she had that experience because as she struggles overcoming some of those things, she can hold on to that spiritual experience which is deep within her.

On Friday, during personal study, we received a text from President Peterson saying he was on his way to do companionship study with us.  Haha we were super nervous, but this is just something that he does randomly with companionship to help train.  Anyway, it was such a spiritual and inspiring experience.  I asked him what to do if our investigators just feel like they know it's true on the first lesson and it has been hard for us to get them to read and pray about the book of Mormon because they already believe it's true.  Again, he emphasized how important it is that they have that witness for himself.  He referred to 2 Nephi 33:1,"for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men."  Siyempre it is important that we teach with the spirit.  So important.  But it can only carry it UNTO not INTO the hearts of men.  In order for them to have that really deep conversion, it can't be through us missionaries or through anyone else.  It must be within their relationship with Heavenly Father lang.  Anyway, we have really really been trying to focus on that and help our investigators have that spiritual and lasting witness.

Now, I know that this is a long e-mail, but I saved the best story for last.

On Sunday, our new neighbor moved in.  He is a 59 year old man from the Tennessee who is dating a 23 year old philippina.  Anyway....... He's your typical "jo", what they like to call them here.  We talked to him a little bit and he told us how he is a retired pilot in the air force and he has had a crazy life.  He is divorced and says that his kids won't talk to him.  He told us that his son is a Mormon and I jokingly said, "well shoot, we gotta convert you too!" Haha and he replied, "ha... good luck with that!!"
Anyway, we ran into him again the next day and talked and got to know him a little more and he said that growing up the best friend he ever had, Tom, was a Mormon and he knows a lot about the church.  But finally he invited us to come over for an intellectual and animated conversation.

Haha sister Hingano and me were a little nervous, because to be honest, it feels really weird and awkward to teach in English because we are so used to Tagalog.  I was expecting him to argue with us the whole time and I had lots of mixed feelings about it.  I know that it is easy to judge his situation, but I just have a feeling that he has gone through a lot and is just really lost.

So on Saturday, we sat down and started talking with him.  He said that growing up his neighbors were Mormon, and his best friend.  He complained how he feels like religions are so corrupt and become businesses.  He went off about how corrupt our government is in the US and how you are more free in the Philippines than you are in the US.  He is well read and I think a little bit of a conspiracy theorist, but I do think there was some truth to what he said.

Just a side note.. the whole time he was telling me about the corruption in our country and in the churches I was just thinking.. yeah... it's inevitable.  The world is getting more and more evil and man is more and more corrupt because the second coming is sooner than we think.  I am just so grateful that we have knowledge about the plan of salvation and don't have to live in fear, despite the corruption and evil that surrounds us.

Anyway, he shared his understanding of the lds religion, which was a little skewed, but anyway... finally he just said, "You know... all I really want is the truth.  That's all I want.  I am 59 and I have made a lot of mistakes, and I know I'm not going to live forever.  I want to make things right with God, and I just want the truth."
It led perfectly into our lesson and I just explained to him that all we wanted to share with him was the truth.  That was why we were there.  That even though we don't really know him and his girlfriend, we love them and pray for them, and all we want to do is tell the truth.  You could see his countenance change.

We started by asking him his knowledge about God, and he said God is a spirit and came down in the form of Jesus Christ.  We went to the bible and talked about John 3:16 (which he had memorized) and how they are two separate beings, and he was still a little less convinced.  Then we talked about the creation of man which was in God's image which means he has a body of flesh and bones.  He thought he was clever when he said, "there's where I have the problem.  Because flesh deteriorates, so how can he live forever?"  Then we talked about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and asked him how Christ lives forever if He has a body right now.  Anyway.... I am just giving you these details because the spirit was so strong and it was just a smooth lesson.  Again, you saw his demeanor change and he said, "you know I guess I just never asked myself these kind of questions."

So we taught him about the restoration through Joseph Smith and he started crying 3 times.  It was so amazing.  We then told him that we didn't want him to know the truth through us, but through the Holy Ghost directly.  He said, "you know.. it was hard for me to listen to Tom because I had another friend, another voice in my ear, who was always trying to convince me that the Mormon religion was corrupt.  I read a book about the lives of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and it didn't have good things to say about them, and I don't necessarily believe that's true either.... but I never actually read the Book of Mormon for myself."
So he told us that he would go through it with a fine tooth comb (which is exactly what we want to hear from all of our investigators haha) and that he would pray.

I shared my experience about how I received an answer that the Book of Mormon is true, and he was like, "so that's why you're here.  I didn't understand why all of these 20 year olds would give up two years of their life."
Anyway, it was just such a cool experience.  After telling us more about how corrupt Obama and our country is, he prayed at the end and started crying and just thanked us so much at the end.  I wouldn't be surprised if he gets baptized.

Sorry this is so long and if there are grammar errors.  Anyway, I just love it here and I love this work so much.  I am so grateful for this experience and everything that I am learning.  I love these people.

Thank you for your support!

See you on Skype tomorrow.


Love, Sister Rasmussen

Monday, May 5, 2014


Sister Hingano & Me with the beautiful sunset

 Wow this week has been so great.  Where do I start?

Well, earlier this week President had to come and interview Marylin for the baptism on Saturday.  After the interview, he just told us that she could be baptized Saturday but he wanted her to have a spiritual witness that the Book of Mormon is true.  He told us to teach her every day, to make sure she is on her knees twice a day asking if it is true, and reading it every day.

I am almost embarrassed that is has taken me this long to realize how crucial that spiritual witness is.  For all of our investigators.  Because unless they have it, they really can't progress and they won't have a deep and lasting conversion of the truth.  So Sister Hingano and I have really changed our efforts and focus to this - with all of our investigators.  No matter how many times we teach them, they go to church, or hear someone else's testimony, they won't know that it is true unless they find out for themselves.  It is only through their relationship with Heavenly Father alone, through the Holy Ghost that they can know that this is Jesus Christ's gospel on earth today.

So we met with Marylin, and really challenged her to kneel and pray morning and night if the Book of Mormon is true.  Because if the BOM is true, then Joseph Smith is a true prophet, and this is the only true and living church on earth today.  She promised us that she would. (to be continued)

The next day, we went and met with Helen and Ronnie (some of my favorite investigators).  For that whole day, we just planned on helping our investigators to receive an answer to their prayers.  When we got into the lesson they started telling us how they just don't feel like they have received an answer and started asking sort of trivial questions like why there are more people in the Catholic church than in the Mormon church and stuff like that.  Finally, we got down to business and focused on Moroni's promise at the end of the Book of Mormon.  We talked about everything that is required of us to receive an answer, and what the Holy Ghost feels like when we receive it.  As we were approaching the end of the lesson, I kept feeling like we should just kneel and pray right there... that they should just ask right then and there if it is true.  I was a little hesitant.  I know it is silly, and probably just shows my lack of faith, but I was worried that if they asked right there they wouldn't receive an answer.  Then I just remembered, that literally anything can happen depending on our faith.  So I invited Helen to kneel and pray right then and there if the Book of Mormon was true.  We knelt down, and I immediately started pleading in my heart for them to feel the spirit and feel that it is true for themselves.  It was silent before she began to offer the prayer and I felt the spirit so thick and heavy in my chest - you could not deny it.  She started to pray with such sincerity and just asked, "Father, I want to know if the Book of Mormon is true, I want to know if the message these missionaries have been sharing with me is true.... if it is.. please let me know."  As she continued to pray, I couldn't help tears streaming down my face, and she began to speak quieter and quieter.  She was crying.  When she closed the prayer, she just couldn't stop crying.  Ronnie said quietly, "This is real."

It was such a beautiful experience.  She then told us how in that moment she felt like everything was ok.  That all of their problems were gone for a moment.  She had a hard childhood and she has hard feelings and a grudge toward her parents and family.  She said at that moment it was like those feelings were gone and that she could forgive and love her family.  (all evidences of the spirit)  Ronnie is still working towards receiving a sure answer for himself, but I know they will get baptized.  (hopefully first week of June).

They did say that the feeling is so different when we come to teach them.  I guess Ronnie has some anger problems, and Helen said it is like he is a new father, and then for the rest of the night their house is so much more peaceful.  I am so grateful to witness little miracles like this.

After our appointment with them, we went to Marylin to follow up.  She was so excited to see us.  She said that the previous night she knelt down and prayed (after Jason was asleep).  Same thing.  She just asked God to let her know if the Book of Mormon is true.  She said that she had chills everywhere, and beautiful feelings in her heart.  She said that she actually heard a whisper - she heard a voice - saying to her "yes, the Book of Mormon is true."  You could see in her countenance how much that experience changed her.  I know that it helped her to have a much more lasting conversion.
Me, Jason, Marylin, & Sister Hingano
On Saturday, Jason baptized her.  It was so beautiful.  She was so excited.  Her parents and family have cut off contact with her because of her decision, but she knows that it is right and can't wait.  They also can't wait to go and be sealed in the temple (and I think that I will be able to attend a year from now!!!)

Jason passed the sacrament yesterday, and bore his testimony!! He was so excited about it.  Except, at the end he just said thank you and went to sit down.  Haha then he realized that he didn't close in Christ's name and ran back to the pulpit and closed.  Everyone kind of giggled but it was just so funny and sweet.  He sat down next to us and kept saying, "I am shy.  I am shy."  Haha it sounds weird in English but it is a normal expression in Tagalog.  Hahah so funny.

Another one of our investigators that we thought wasn’t interested anymore texted us this week asking for us to return.  The husband said how he had a dream about seeing two personages just like Joseph Smith described.  He didn't have time to explain it to us but they were very excited to continue the lessons and came to church yesterday!!  It was so sweet: They expressed that they didn't have clothes for some of their kids and so one of the members collected a bunch of clothes and gave it to them at church.  You could tell that they were so grateful.

There are lots of other investigators that we are excited about, but those are just some of the highlights from this week.  It's always nice when they ask you themselves when they can be baptized, like Sarah did, a 19 year old girl.  We are also planning to try and rebuild our teaching pool.  As tiring and as hard as this work is, it is so worth it to see the change in your own life and in the life of others.
 I don't know what got into me but I asked for the honors to cut off the chicken head. 

Saturday was Sister Ott's birthday and all she wanted to do was go buy a bunch of food for this family in our ward.  It is these two girls named Sally and Erica.  They were companions for a transfer and now they are living together.  They have adopted 6 kids yata whose families abandoned them.  They are such incredible examples to us... they are so consecrated and given up their lives for these children.  They don't have very much and so Sister Ott just wanted to get them a feast.  So after the baptism, we went and got pizza and a huge thing of pancite and bread.  We went to their house for lunch and they were all so excited.  They knew it was Sister Ott's birthday and so they brought out this cake that they made for her - it ended up being a mashed potato cake!!! Hahaha so funny.  They know that is an American specialty and we both loved it.  Then they gave us a bunch of fresh picked guavas which were delicious... I am really going to miss all of the fresh fruit here.  It was so fun.  I have grown so close to the members of this ward,

 I am really going to miss them.

Just a funny fact.  Something that I forgot to tell you was about the funny wives tales that they have here - which are kind of outrageous. 
 But Sister Dicen is full of them.
-if you take a shower at night, your feet will sweat the next day
-ice water makes you fat and coke makes you skinny
-if you don't eat rice you won't have strength to do anything

Anyway, there are more but I can't remember.  But every time Sister Ott and I hear one that is just outrageous... we made a little theme song and 
we sing "Philippino Theory!!"

Haha I don't know if that makes sense but it is funny.  I just love it here in Rosario and I can't believe I get to be with these three sister for 4 1/2 months!! So crazy.  I am so grateful.  
Thank you for your support and everything and I can't wait to skype you!!

 I love you!

Each BRGY has a fiesta a certain day where basically every house in the area takes the day off, makes tons of food, drinks, and sings kareoke.  Funny.