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!!
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