Thursday, November 13, 2014

October 27 (and 21. She forgot to hit send last week and we never received our weekly update.)

Rice shovel. Got rice?

Boodle fight... again... this is my "no other choice but rice" face.

Only hands are allowed

Yeah, we were definitely meant to be house mates. 

Our districts got jerseys made. We play together every p-day! Dad - guess what number I had put on my jersey? Yep, 24!!! My lucky number. When I wear it I never miss!!

We all ended up wearing floral on the same day. I bought this outfit at the street market

Sorry everyone, I didn't hit the "send" button on my email last week! My apologies. This is what it said:

On Sunday, the mission president came to our meetinghouse for stake conference. When he said he had "something to discuss with me in private after the meeting," my heart relocated itself to my stomach. After the meeting he told me that he wanted to do something very unusual by making me a sister training leader while I'm still only 8 months in and still training a new missionary. There are only 3 companionship's of STLs in the mission and then there's me, the lone STL. I won't have a trainer to teach me how to do this calling, I get to teach myself. My responsibilities now include taking other sisters from different zones around the mission on exchanges and helping them improve, help sisters with problems, go to leadership council meetings to discuss the needs of the missionaries, and occasionally give workshops in zone training meetings and mission conferences. I am overwhelmed and feeling so unqualified. At the same time, however, I'm humbled and grateful for the opportunity to grow. I can't wait to get to know the sisters of this mission better.

The work itself this week has suffered a bit because of all the meetings we had. Our greatest success this week was probably the Fontamillas family who came to church on Sunday as a family and had a wonderful experience. We've only taught them twice. They loved the focus of families in our church and as they explained it, "ang sarap ng feeling dito!" or in other words, "the feeling here is delicious!" They couldn't believe how happy and friendly everyone was. We got to introduce them to President Bertin and the bishop brought them into his office to eat brownies and meet his family. Then our ward mission leader gave them a church tour. They left feeling so happy that they came. I really feel that they will accept the gospel. 

And this was what I wrote to the mission president in my letter this week if you'd like specifics on the work:

We started off this transfer on a great foot. We have 5 investigators preparing for baptism this coming couple of weeks. Marvin is the husband of our recent convert. He's amazing -- he has read from the title page all the way through Jacob in this fast pew weeks. Last time we taught him, we asked what he had learned from all this reading and he basically taught us The Gospel of Jesus Christ from 2 Nephi 31. He doesn't need coercing or constant reminding, he just genuinely wants to know. The only problem is his work schedule. His family is pretty poor and they need work (he has no days off) and his wife stays home to care for their one autistic son. He came to church a few times but they couldn't stay because the son with problems could not physically control himself. He has panic attacks around large groups of people and they were embarrassed at his behavior. Most of the time they can't find a babysitter so one parent has to stay home. So we're working through that issue, and the ward is doing everything they can to help as well. 

We also have Hershey and Kaycee, a set of 10 year old twins from a part member family, who are pretty rowdy in lessons but keep their commitments nonetheless. We just baptized their cousin last month. 

Then we have Brother and Sister Fontamillas who are attending church and taking lessons but not reading which concerns me. I was trying to decide whether to feel excited or disappointed when they said, "The relationship we have with you two is not purely religious." I don't want them to come for social reasons so we're going to start cutting our lessons shorter and reminding them the purpose of our visits. 

 The highlight of our week this week was when we felt prompted to visit an LA that had not come to church in 4 months. Sister Gison really felt what missionary work was all about in the lesson. Brother Alberto is almost destitute with no wife and 9 children. They don't even have all 4 walls. So Sister Gison wanted to teach him about how the gospel could bless his family. The spirit was so strong and I could tell Alberto felt it. The next Sunday, we climbed into the jeep and there he was, in a white shirt and tie clutching a Book of Mormon with his kids surrounding him. I was amazed. 

Anyway, this week there was a leadership training at the mission home and I ended up being companions with an elder for a day just for traveling. That was pretty weird. The best part was seeing Mama Surio!! She really feels like my big sister. As for the sad news, Dallin H. Oaks ended up receiving a more important assignment so he will not be visiting our mission after all... BUT Elder Lynn G. Robbins who spoke in conference about which way you face will be coming instead. 

Here's a few fun facts for this week: I finally got my hair re-bonded (chemically straightened) so it's beautiful now! Also, I met a Filipino on the jeep last night who, get this: lived in West Jordan for 24 years. He spoke Tagalog until he found out where I was from and then suddenly he turned into an English speaking Filipino with a UTAH accent. It was the weirdest thing of my life. I told him where my house is and he told me the exact coordinates. \And if eating balut the first time wasn't bad enough, Sister Carlota made us eat it again but this time it was fried and on top of rice with vinegar. You'd think that would be better but it's definitely not. 

There's not tons to say beyond this except alam ko na totoo ang simbahan na ito! Sobrang masaya ako dito sa mission. Mahal ko kayo at sana kayong lahat ay maayos. Ingat sa linggo na ito. 

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