|Sister Hingano, Elder Pulido, Sister Lero, Elder Spezia's parents, Elder Spezia, Elder Parry, Sister Tafiti, me|
Kumusta po kayong lahat? Oh my goodness so we had transfers this week. 1) I AM SO HAPPY because Sister Tafiti is not transferred. We get to be together one more transfer and harvest some of the fruits of our labors. She is one of my favorite companions and turning into a best friend. I love her so much. 2) GUESS WHO MY NEW HOUSE MATE IS? Sister Bennion is transferred and Sister Lero found out her new companion is...drum roll.... Sister Hingano!! Can you believe it? What are the chances that we would be together AGAIN?? So weird. So I will get to live in my little comfort zone for the next 6 weeks. I am so close to my companion and my housemates and I love this branch so much. I feel so blessed and lucky. I know that it won't always be like this and so I want to enjoy it while it lasts.
|Sister Tafiti in the rain|
Anyway, I know all of you are worried about the bagio.. typhoon... but don't worry about it. I think I am in a really safe area that isn't affected too much by storms. The President did text us to stay in our apartments Tuesday which was a big bummer because we had some really good appointments that day and nothing even came until Tuesday night. Tuesday night while we were sleeping it was just raining REALLY hard and windy, but that's it. The next day it was calm but we were just out of power. But... this is rainy season. It's stormy season and so it is just going to be like this and we have to deal with it. I do know that Manilla and Alaminos (mission home) were hit REALLY HARD and they have no water and electricity. Super sad for all of the people living there.
But on Thursday, while Sister Hingano went to the mission home and road the boat over here, I got to work in my first threesome. Sister Tafiti, Sister Lero, and I worked together and it was way fun. We were laughing all day. Even though it is kind of hard to teach, with transitions from one companion to the next, it is still so fun. That night we went to follow up with a member about referrals. Haha so embarrassing... at the end of the lesson I meant to say, "Don't worry Sister.. I am Philppino in my heart (puso)!" But I said, "Don't worry Sister.. I am Philippino in my cat (pusa)!" HAHA the member started laughing, and she has the wheeziest funniest laugh, and could not stop. We were all crying laughing so hard.
|Me & Sister Tafiti at the market|
Then Sister Tafiti talked about how her last companion used to always say, "Ahhh! There are so many chickens (manok)" Hahahah but she meant "Ahhh! There are so many mosquitos (lamok)" HAhahhahaha when we told her that I was scared she was going to have a heart attack she was laughing so hard. All of our stomachs hurt afterwards. The next day I was speaking to Sister Lero in Tagalog and we were talking about boys. I ended up telling her, "Well sister you know there's still lots of ocean in the fish" Hahaha gosh.
I have been terrible this week. I probably needed to be humbled. Then we went to the pier to pick up Sister Hingano and my companion and I hid behind a big truck and popped out and scared the heck out of her. Haha she is so happy though. It has been her dream to come to Mindoro. I am so happy she is here. It is also her birthday next Sunday if you want to contact her.
Friday night, Sister Tafiti and I spontaneously decided to eat our first balut (philippino delicacy). It is an egg with a half developed baby chicken inside. The ones we ate were cooked but there are some that are raw. No... we weren't that buck wild. Haha anyway... we sat down in the middle of the night market and peeled it off and it smelled so sketchy. But all around us were Philippinos just downing them like it's no big deal. We kept trying to convince the other to take the first bite.
Finally we went in together and it was soooo nasty (even after we tried to cover it in salt). Looking at the little bird covered in blood and bones and feathers. Bleehhhh I thought I was going to throw up.
We went in for the second bite right when there was a brown out (a black out, but here they call it brown out). So it was pitch black in the middle of the market. There was no way I was going to finish it like that. I ate a few more bites of the yoke which tastes ok but I couldn't. I will never attempt that again. But I guess, at least I can say I tried.
As for our investigators they are really progressing. Wayne had his interview on Saturday, and the District Leader told us afterward that we should be really excited. That he is truly converted and ready for baptism. I guess we didn't really notice it but Wayne told the District Leader that his life has completely changed since the first time he took lessons. He prays every morning and night and loves to read the book of Mormon. He is much happier and feels like there is purpose to life - but to us he has always just been a really good kid, prepared of God.
That night we had an FHE in the ward. So fun. We played a bunch of games and then watched the Testaments (about Jesus Christ's mortal ministry) with a projector outside. It was awesome because all of these less actives came and then ended up coming to church.
Yesterday, we met with a referral, Sam and Zenaida. Zenaida is very open and interested but she won't do anything unless her husband takes the lead. So we are really trying to focus on him. Last week, our first lesson with him he was very argumentative and had tons of questions but was still interested. Yesterday, we went to go teach him with Sister Mau (a return missionary in the ward). It was amazing. He started by asking all of these questions trying to prove Joseph Smith wrong. Sister Mau is an incredible scriptorian and she calmly and confidently answered his questions and showed how both the Book of Mormon and Bible support one another and why the Book of Mormon is so necessary. By the end we finally told him that he doesn't need to and shouldn't believe us. That the only way he can truly know is to ask God himself. He had no argument for that and he said that he would read and ask God. We know he needs more time but we are really excited to see where things go. We think that if we can get him to pray about the Book of Mormon his heart will soften.
Then we taught a couple who actually approached US earlier this week. She basically begged us to come and teach them. We went and they are SO PREPARED. Holy cow. She said that she isn't Catholic because she thinks that their doctrines and practices are corrupt. She said that she has gone to lots of churches and felt like the spirit wasn't there at all. She had lots of questions and we ended up teaching them the Plan of Salvation first, which is really rare. They are both searching for the truth, especially as they have one baby and another on the way. We are excited to follow up with them.
Elder Pulido just became my new zone leader and so he is in my ward. He is Philippino and SUCH AND EXAMPLE. He is 21 years old. He was actually baptized when he was 12 and was the only one to be baptized in his family. His friends really encouraged him and helped him to prepare for a mission. His family is very catholic and very against the church and especially against him serving a mission. But he worked for a couple years before in order to save up the money to serve. He continually asked for their approval and said that he cried a lot as they continually rejected his desire to serve. Finally, he decided to go without their support and said that the day he left he just called out, "ok. I am leaving now." No hugs, no goodbyes, no nothing. He has been serving for a year and has not had one contact since. So sad. But he is and INCREDIBLE missionary and knows why he is here. Such and example. But I just realized how grateful for all of the love and support that I have. Thank you!!
The crab picture was when we were teaching the Acidilio family. The father and his sons were trying to catch something behind the cupboards (some animal and me and Sister Tafiti were a little freaked out) and they brought out that crab and showed it to us. They kept letting it run around on the floor and we were freaking out haha it was super funny.
It is hard to explain all of the incredible/funny/embarrassing/spiritual experiences that I am having here in one e-mail, but I hope that you get a taste. Besides the ginormous cockroaches and rats that scare my pants off - and give my housemates quite the laugh at my dramatic reaction - I love it here soo much. There are too many miracles and I feel the spirit too strongly and the effect of the gospel is too evident in people's lives for me to deny the truth of this work. I can't. I know that God lives. He is our Father and He sent His son Jesus Christ. I have been studying the New Testament and feel as though I am coming to know Him more. But it is through the Book of Mormon that I know that He is our savior. He is the way and there is no other way (2 Nep. 31:21). I love all of you so much and I am so grateful that through temples we can be together forever. I miss going to the temple and encourage you to go more. There are people waiting anxiously in the Spirit World for those ordinances to be completed for them. I love you so much.
Ingat po. Mananalangin ako para sa inyong lahat.
|Elder Kuhlmann who was on the same flight to the Philippines with me. He is being transferred to become a trainer.|