Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Little Piece of Heaven

Dear my loving family,

It has been a really good week here. We are really excited because we have a baptism this Friday.  His name is John Paul, and for the second time he biked for an hour in order to be able to come to church.  He is so awesome.  He has also been such a great example to his family and because of his example his older brother, who has more or less ignored us before has agreed to meet with us tomorrow which we are really excited about!  The work really is hastening.  Me and Sister Davis also get to attend a sealing Friday of a really great couple in our ward.  He is the second counselor in our bishopric and is one of Julius' relatives so we work with them a lot, and we are so excited to be able to see them.  I also get to get to the cebu temple for the first time which is way exciting.  Friday will be the pinaka-epic day ever.

We have also had some really amazing lessons this week.  Our investigator Julius who is the most amazing person ever and "is already planning for his enduring to the end".  Its so funny he is so excited to be able to home teach and bring back the less active families.  Anyways, we had a lesson about the atonement and for the first time he promised he would stop smoking today.  So we set his baptismal date for April 26.  We are really excited for him, and me and sister Davis felt super great about this date before we even told him and he feels really good about it too.

Then we also got to teach Jennifer this week.  She is married to a Canadian who has been a member for a long time.  She comes to church every week, but doesn't feel like she knows enough to commit to be baptized yet. But we had a really good lesson about how if the book of mormon is true then everything is true, and she is really excited to read the book of mormon for herself now.  She is starting for the begining and I am really excited for her!

Then our investigator Roxelaine.  She is so funny, she absolutely loves everything we teach.  Like yesterday we taught her the 10 commandments and with every single commandment she got so excited and had a story about why it was important.  She also makes fun of my bisayan a lot.  With some people I feel really good about it, and then with her every time I speak she always has this really concentrated face.  She is so funny.  Then she always talks about how I don't understand what is going on, and then I always tell her no I understand what you guys are saying, you just don't understand me.  She is seriously my favorite though.  And we also have set her baptism for April 26.  April 26 really will be such a good day!

Other than that I had a really cool experience doing laba (laundry) with one of our investigators.  We washed it all from a pump and it really made me think about living here and how my appreciation for things have grown and how much I have already learned from the people here.  The kids are my absolute favorite.  Every time they see us they run up to us and shout "Americano" and then bless our hand which is a really cool custom here.  I love it here.  Missionary work is the bomb!

I hope you are doing well and finding joy in the journey!  I love you all so much!

Sister Hancock

P.S. My pictures are of me doing laundry, I can't send my favorite one so that on will have to work. And then the other one is a really cool sunset, the evenings are my favorite here.  Also everyone makes their own house, so most houses look like that.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Have I really lived in the Philippines for 1 month

Dear Family,

Time is flying by for me.  It feels like I just emailed you yesterday and now I have another P-day.  Its crazy I have really been living in the Philippines for a month now.  It still sometimes amazes me that I am on the other side of the wold learning a language I never knew existed before.  Its so cool!

Haha one thing I definitely need to learn more about is the culture here.  I am so ignorant.  For example we were tracking at night because a family we were suppose to teach couldn't hear our "AYOs" (that is how you let people know you are at there house, there is no knocking or door bells), because it was so loud, which is normal here.  Anyways so we were talking to these people about how we have a message about Jesus Christ, and as soon as we said that they were like sit down join us.  In my mind the whole time I was like this is great they are so interested.  Then after we left I was talking to Sister Davis about it, and she said "Ya they weren't very interested, it probably isn't worth returning." What? Haha I am still use to america culture...

Another really cool thing that happened this week was something one of our investigators did.  John Paul, who is 13 and scheduled to get baptized on March 22 rode his bike for an hour to get to church because his father has been sick all week and so their family had no plete (that is the word for money you use for transportation.)  I was so amazed.  He is such a good example of the importance of coming to church!

One cool thing that makes me feel like I definitely fit in here is everyone loves basketball.  Every night there is a game around where we teach, and every night the place is full to the brim.  It is just like a junior high level game too.  But everyone gets so into it and is so loud the whole time.  Its like a Utah State game crowd excitement, with a less amount of people.  One time these kid asked us if we want to play, we didn't, but I did shoot the ball really quickly.  I air balled it... I am blaming it on the fact that I was wearing a skirt rather then the fact that I haven't played in a very long time

Anyways I love it here, I hope you are all happy and your lives are wonderful!

Sister Hancock

Monday, March 10, 2014

Place of refuge

Akong Hinigugmaong Pamilia,
(Cebuano is a very long language, hence all the slang here)

I hope you are all doing wonderfully!  I pray for you all the time.  Anyways, here is one thing I have to write about before I go into detail about the work here.  So this week we did a CSP (community service project), only this time we cleaned and elders apartment in zone, a little weird right.  But then when I got there I was shocked with exactly how bad of condition the house was in.  I would have taken pictures, but unfortunately my camera broke so hopefully I can buy a new one.  But I felt like you know that book where the character is just sweeping dirt floor and then she realizes that it is pointless, that was exactly my feeling.  Lets just say I gain a lot of gratitude that I am a sister and that they give us the good houses to live in, cause that was just shocking.

On other news we are seeing a lot of miracles here in Cordova, we have some amazing investigators.  Here is a the story about how we found two of them which I think is a miracle.  Anyways so no one has an address in the Philippines so whenever we get a referral we just have to ask everyone if they know where that person lives.  So while we are doing that we normally get led to other people for some reason or another.  Anyways twice when we were doing this we found Marvin and Roxylane.  Marvin had missionaries teach him in 1998 and didn't know why they didn't return, but still had his book of mormon in super good condition (which is a really hard thing to do while here in the Philippines).  And Roxylane is married to someone who is a member, but less active, and her mother in law is a very strong member who actually sent her in as a referral, but it didn't get through I guess.  Anyways we found both of them and they are both so excited to hear the gospel
 and I just love seeing their excitement, it always renews mine! It's just sooo coool! And we found out that Marvin is actually really good friends with another one of our investigator Julius.

I haven't told you about Julius.  Julius is soo awesome.  Everytime we go and teach him he talks about how much he wants to help getting less actives back to church and how he just wants to spread the gospel.  He would be baptized but he has been smoking all of his life and in order to get baptized here they have to go without smoking at all for 4 weeks, so we are working on that right now.

I love this gospel and I love all the miracles we are seeing here, it really is a testiment to me that people are prepared to hear this gospel and just how valuable it is.  So if you get the chance share it.  Because like Roxylane said (she is at home all day alone with nothing to do) when she reads the book of mormon it is like she has a companion.  The lord will always be our companion and everyone needs to feel that kind of love.  I hope you are all doing well.  I pray for you all, and love you so much and am so grateful for your example for me.

Sister Hancock

P.S. I was going to send you an old picture, but this computer is being weird, its the philippines right?  Next time though, and hopefully I will have a camera by then too.