To my beautiful family,
Life is full of it's vicissitudes (not only am I learning a second language,but I am also ever increasing my english skills.) The good news is Roxelaine got baptized! The bad news is I was very sick this whole week. The good news is Sister Davis still let me work. The bad news is because of the overexertion I lost a leg. The good news is the gave me a really cool cane. The bad news is I sound like a man today. The good news is apparently when I speak bisaya I always speak higher so I sound like my normal self.
But seriously I was pretty sick for a while and then the night of Roxelaine's baptism I asked the elders in our ward to give me a blessing, and then that night my fever stopped. Since then I just have a manly voice and I cough a lot which has been a great blessing.
Roxelaine's baptism was a really really awesome experience. They always have new converts bear their testimony and she talked about how much she has changed because of the gospel. It was so awesome to hear that. That is probably one of the coolest parts of being a missionary is to see people change their lives for the better. It is so rewarding.
And other good news of the week, Julius is getting baptized this week! Wahoo, we are seriously so excited. After the interview the elders who interviewed him said "he will definitely be a leader of the church". And I said "I know, I am excited for that moment when he speaks in general conference and I can say, I taught him." He is crazy, he is already on numbers in the bible.
Another investigator I have yet to tell you about is Melody. She is sisters to one of our recent converts and she is so great. She feels very strongly about the family and that is what caused her initially to be interested. Her baptismal date right now is May 17, and we are trying to get her daughters interested. They always listened when we teach, they just haven't committed to baptism yet.
In other news we currently have a mouse swimming in our langanan (the things we do laundry in). When I found in I cried out "I need my nanay", (sorry mom I didn't mean you.) Unfortunately neither of us know how to kill it, and I couldn't kill it with a knife, so if any of you have any ideas we are very very open to suggestions that don't involve touching it. Also I learned I can't eat rice with just a fork anymore. I don't know how to do it. I can only eat like a filippino now. And I crave rice now. And I like coke now. Not that you really cared about those details, but you know the Philippines changes a person.
I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!
P.S. The first picture is Roxelaine's baptism. The second picture is the Ligan family. It goes Anging, Krisha, Alyn, Nikki, and me:)
P.P.S family, so apparently my whole week schedule is completely changing so my p-days will be on monday, so you all should write me before it is monday here, I don't know what time that is there.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
To my loving family
I hope you are all doing well and that you all enjoyed your Easter feasts very much. Easter here was great! Holy week is a very big deal here. Everyone closed their stores and everything for wednesday - saturday (they were all open on sunday again though which is kind of ironic to me. It was crazy not having tons of people line the streets, it kind of reminded me of america haha. But every night (since we live right across from a catholic church) we got to see a parade of saint and people holding candles its crazy how many people participate! Then easter day was amazing because we had so many investigators at church. We had to actually move gospel principles to a new room because there wasn't enough space for everyone. I was just so happy all day!
We also got to teach the ligan family (anging and krisha and others) a lot this week. Which was great because teaching them is my favorite thing. They are so great we just barely taught them about Tithing and that Sunday without us even knowing they set up a meeting with bishop and payed their tithing. They have so much faith I blows my mind. Krisha also was taking notes during church which amazed me because I have never ever done that. She has such a strong desire to learn as much as she can so that she can be a good missionary. Then we were telling the how we were baptized when we were 8, and they were like "wow we must be late bloomers". And then they said "No we aren't late bloomers, they just came late". Haha they are seriously the best.
Other then that we have roxelaine's baptism this week which we are excited about! We also had a mission tour and it was soo good to see everyone from the MTC, and be amazed at just how smart general authorities are. In other news our apartment has increasingly been infested with bugs. I find bugs in my oatmeal every morning now. Oh well that's life in the Philippines.
I love you all. That you so much for the support every week!
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Due to popular demand I will be writing about the typhoon. To be honest I don't actually know what day it struck haha because everyone said it was suppose to be on different days and it has been cloudy all week. It did rain a ton last night though so I am assuming that was it? But we have had a lot of brown outs. Which means you just lose power for a while. And our bucket showers have been freezing all week. Whenever it rains our showers are always freezing, I don't actually know why haha.
Conference for us was really great. Here there where a lot of people that feel asleep because they show conference in english. They have a translation in to cebuano, but the church translates it into pure cebuano (no mixing in any other languages) and no one understands that. English is easier for them to understand that pure cebuano. All of our resources to learn Cebuano are in pure Cebuano, so sometimes it is an adventure when you use a word that you just learn because you never actually know if they understand haha. Mostly I just study words that the people give me. But for me conference was really great. I felt very spiritually fed after it.
So Julius finished the Book Of Mormon. Crazy! Now he is starting on D&C, I love how much he loves learning. Unfortunately he lost his job and then had to move to a new city for a new job and only comes back on weekends and all that stress caused him to make 1 mistake and smoke, so we have to move his date back another 4 weeks. Haha he might just finish D&C by his baptismal week too.
I don't think I have talked about Krisha and Anging enough. They are perhaps some of my favorite people. Krisha is 17 and Anging is her mom. We asked them to be baptized in the first lesson and they said of course. Then Krisha last week started talking about how she want to serve a mission. She is fantastic, we were kind of thrown off because we had never even mentioned missions. But now she always talks about serving a mission. She actual kuyoged with us to a recent convert and started helping us teach. She is really going to be the best missionary every! Her mom is the sweetest lady ever too. They are both so funny and I laugh a lot when I am with them.
Anyways thats all for me this week. I hope you are all doing fantastically. I pray for you all the time and am so thankful for all of you!
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
I hope my email finds you satisfied and content with life. As my title states, we have had a lot of success this week. Everyone we extend the baptismal commitment to says yes. Its crazy! I really hope all of them follow through cause that would be great.
Thank you for all being so obedient to make request. ... I was just going to insert missionary humor right there... Aaaah I am such a missionary because I really think missionary humor is funny, and before I thought it was the worst thing ever. I have changed so much haha. But anyways I did get to see a sneak peek of the saturday morning session this morning when we went to the temple and Sister Davis and I started freaking out and then we started freaking out more when the conductor was the same conductor at the MTC. The workers there were laughing at us. Wow I am such a missionary haha. But it was crazy we watched the women's conference this week and when they filmed the choir all I could think was how white everyone there is. It was so weird. Its funny because here whenever you see a white person we pretty much have a social obligation to stop and talk to them. I don't know why, its weird
But anyways after that really long and pointless tangent, I want to share with you my favorite experience of this week. So we were teaching Jennifer (I have talked about her before, but she is married to a canadian who has been a member for a very long time and has been investigating the church since September I think), anyways so at the end of the lesson we asked her to pray right there if the church was true. So she did and the spirit was just so so strong the whole time the after we sat for a while and asked her how she felt. And she said she knew it was true. She said she had only felt that way one other time and that was when she went and saw the temple. She agreed to get baptized after that and we are so excited! It seriously makes me happy every time I think about that experience. THIS CHURCH IS SO TRUE!!!
Sorry I have so much more to say but unfortunately my time is almost completely out! I guess I will just have to tell you later!
I love you all! Hope you enjoy the pictures
It is definitely summer time over here. The kids are out of school and it is hot. Like really hot, as long as there is wind it is fine, but if there is not wind it's dili maayo.
It has been a really good week here for us. Oh before I continue, I have to wait a week longer to see conference here, so if there is any life changing announcements you are not allowed to talk to me about them until two weeks. All right? Sounds good.
One thing me and my companion have been talking about is that it is really cool to see how god works. For instance, So we visited this less active and the next week she brought one of her friends with her. So of course we went to teach her and she lived in this part of city that we had no idea even existed, (the only way to get there is you have to cross a basketball court, there is literally no other entrance weird huh?) Anyways after we went over there we talked to her family and neighbors and they all are super interested, but most importantly we found Anging and Krisha. They are seriously some of the greatest investigators. They ask really good questions about the book of mormon during our lesson and they absolutely loved the plan of salvation. When we asked them if they would be baptized they said "of course". So right now their baptismal date is set for May 3 and we are really excited about that!
Our other investigators are doing great! Julius absolutely loves the book of mormon and his goal is to finish it before his baptism, and he is in 3 nephi right now so I am pretty sure he will do it. He is so great because he brought his wife to a relief society acitvity and then just sat in the corner and read the Book of Mormon, He is great. And we gave him a bible and a book of mormon with his name on it. And his reaction to the bible was "WOW! It has both the Old Testament and the New Testament." That made me laugh really hard. He was also afraid to touch it because he was scared he was going to make it dirty. On top of that we taught he about family history. Our ward might be one of the only wards in all of the philippines that is really into family history, so he had a lesson on it during church and he said he really felt like his family was just waiting for him to be baptized so that he could do their work for them. Our other Investigator Roxelaine is also doing really well and loving the gospel, in fact she loves it so much she spend 45 minutes talking about 1 verse haha. Most of the time she was trying to explain to us that full in bisayan can have two meanings haha. Even after we told her that's how it was is english too. We love that she loves it so much, we are just glad we are done with the lessons with a lot of content at this point.
In other news I had an epic fight with the biggest cockroach I have ever seen that was crawling all over my stuff. I had a defaulty sprayer (we kill them with permetheron) so whenever I got brave enough to attack it never worked. Eventually I did kill it though. According to the people here it was over killed because I sprayed it ten times. But there is nothing wrong with being safe right?
Anyways life is good here. The gospel is good everywhere and I love you all so much! Keep it up!
P.S. One of the pictures is normal food here in the philippines, and then the other one they told us they were going to move to tacloban yesterday, and the today they said they weren't so we took farewell pictures. But I thought you might like to see it so you could see what a house looks like in the philippines from the inside. Imagine bamboo flooring with that haha its great!
To: the people live on the other side of the world
I have officially lived in the Philippines longer then I lived in the MTC, crazy. I love looking back and seeing how much I have progressed. So transfer news.... I AM GOING TO BOHOL. Haha just kidding I am still getting trained so nothing changed for me. And if things are normal I probably won't serve on Bohol for an extremely long time, but you never know I guess.
So I told Julius I wanted to tell the world his good news, and considering that you all are on the other side of the world I thing this counts. He has gone 6 days with out smoking now! We are so excited for him! If he keeps it up we might move his baptismal date up, which will be a first.
We had John Paul's baptism this week. I was such a neat experience. We have also been talking to him about serving a mission, and initially he wasn't so sure but we have a really great young men's group here and one person is leaving on their mission soon, and now he really wants to go. I loved talking with him about it. And it is so good for filippino's to serve because during their missions they focus on helping the learn english which is why our mission is considered an english speaking mission. And if he learns english he will be able to get a good job which will completely change his life. Their family has been going through a lot of hard things this week and it is so sad to see, but I love how much the church can help lives in so many different ways.
So this week my bisayan was pushed haha. I taught gospel Doctrine this week. It is pretty common here that there isn't a gospel doctrine teacher, but our ward is pretty good about making sure we always have a teacher. However this week we did not. And my companion turned to me and was like " sige, this will be a good experience for you" " what? Hala!" But it actually was really great. Naturally we switched off like we do it in lessons so it wasn't all me, but it was an on the spot lesson about service. It made me confident that my language grew a lot more, and it was kind of fun to be honest. And I have been getting a lot of compliments about my bisayan, which is good However Roxelaine still gives me her face every time I talk haha so don't worry that still keeps me humble.
We also got to go to the temple for a sealing, which was such was so cool and the spirit was so strong. And the cebu temple is amazing. I might have been more amazed by it because I have been around people with nothing for a while now, but I was awestruck by it. It was absolutely amazing!
Also I had my first filipino barbeque. It ate Buso which is the best rice ever. It is the kind of rice we saw on bizarre foods that is cooked in a banana leaf. It is sooo good, I wish they had it in america. They also have chicken liver and chicken intestines. I had the intestines and they were actually really good. Its funny I am not picky about filipino food at all, but if people feed us american food I become more picky. And guess what, I have liked every single fish I have eaten here. That really is a miracle.
Anyways I love you all so much and am praying for you!
Me, Renante, Hanz, Roxanne, and Sister Davis
Cebu Temple at night time - so gorgeous!