(Good morning! ... Or afternoon turned out ... for you)
|Sister Martinez and Me|
This week has been amazing. I feel so blessed. So as you know... Sister Tafiti and I separated and it was hard. For our last district meeting we sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" and as cheesy as it sounds we both bawled. I am going to miss her so much... well I already do. But the great thing is I LOVE MY NEW COMPANION. Her name is Sister Martinez and she is from Mindanao Philippines. So actually her native language is surigaonon... yeah I have no clue what that is. There are 79 dialects here in the Philippines. I am lucky to be in San Pablo mission where I only have to worry about Tagalog. But anyway... my companion is incredible at both Tagalog AND English. So she can help me out. I feel like my language skills have already improved even more.
But I will start with earlier this week: Sister Tafiti and I rode to the mainland and traveled to a sisters apartment where we were going to sleep over.
|Sister Tafiti & I leaving Mindoro|
As we were getting off the jeepnee at the sister's apartment, Sister Tafiti got the BIGGEST smile on her face. She exclaimed, "BROTHER!" and started running across the street. I went to meet her and she introduced him as one of her first converts in her first area. He was super happy as well and told her that he was getting sealed in the temple Sept 2.. tomorrow! Even though he wasn't my convert, I felt just as excited as Sister Tafiti. He looked super healthy and happy, had a back pack on and was coming from school. She explained that when they first started teaching him, he and all of his family were very skinny and very poor. He would speak super quietly and wouldn't look you in the eye. It is just amazing to see how a year later he is so much happier, healthier, and full of light.... all from the gospel and the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. We both walked away with him feeling so happy - THAT is why I am serving a mission. I hope that I will have similar experiences at the close of my mission and can see that change in some of my converts as well.
That night we had nothing to do but wait for the sisters to come home and so we started talking to their neighbor. He is from Africa and is studying in the Philippines right now (it is superrrr rare to see a black person in the Philippines).
Anyway, he had a really interesting story and is actually very religious and literate in the bible. We ended up talking to him for about an hour. Unfortunately, we couldn't teach him because there was no other girl to be present for the lesson but we talked about many gospel principles and shared verses with each other. It was so sad because so many of his beliefs were in line with ours and I know he would accept the gospel but the problem is he CANNOT accept that there is any other piece of scripture besides the bible. He was so close minded about it. I tried sharing 2 Nep. 29:3 and 6-8 but he was still super hard hearted. It just made me sad how confused people are and the devices of the devil to keep them from the truth. But, hopefully he will have another opportunity to accept the gospel.
The next day we went to the mission home to meet the new trainees coming in. You can definitely tell the brand new missionaries from the ones that have been here a while. Haha they all look so fresh and confused and a little scared (I know that I was like that when I first got in the field). There were only two new sisters and one of them was super nice and smiley so I was secretly praying that she would be my companion. Then we went into a big room and had an orientation and they announce the new missionary (who stands up) and then they announce who the trainer will be. It is super climactic haha. But I lucked out and got the smiley, darling Sister Martinez.
|Sister Martinez & Me On our way to Mindoro|
She is so humble and kind and just wants to be the best missionary she can be. To be honest, these past few days, I have been the one learning from her. She is so talented and I know that we were put together for a reason. I am so excited for these next 12 weeks and I already feel so much love for her. I know that through our faith we will be able to accomplish great things here in Calapan before I peace out.
Sister Tafiti got transferred right into San Pablo. My roommates are still here - Sister Lero and Sister Hingano.
I am sorry, but we didn't spend much time in our area so I don't too many cool stories, but I am sure I will have some next week. We are also leaving again to go to Mission Tour so I am sure that will be awesome.
Pictures from my last week with Sister Tafiti.
|Minda Mendoze and her son Ephraim. They're hilarious.|
|Tatay and Nanay Aldevino, they're son brother Boy, and their grandson JM|
|Vanjie and her kids|
On the boat to the mainland with Sister Tafiti.
On the boat back to Mindoro with Sister Martinez.
Our first week together...