Hoy, magandang hapon po! It’s another rainy P-day already here in Tuguegarao City! Also, still very hot and sweaty. Mainit! (hot)
Sige, so first off, this week is transfer week! I am already done with one cycle (6 weeks) in the field! And it’s great because as soon as Wednesday happens, my batch won’t be the babies anymore in the mission. Almost babies, but not completely, haha. Anyways, neither Sis Barril or myself is being transferred this week (I still have 6 weeks of training), so we will continue working as usual. But Sis Ramos is being transferred aaaand we’re pretty sad about that. Sis Ramos is probably one of the best missionaries in the entire world right now. She goes home in 6 weeks…supposedly. We’ve heard rumors about extension. But that wouldn’t be a surprise, because she is just an absolute rock here. Such a great missionary, such a great friend. We’re hoping she doesn’t get transferred too far.
This week went by really quickly. I’m not entirely sure what we did this week. All the days start blending together and it’s really difficult to keep track of. I was sick last week, last pday, so that was not so fun, and Tuesday I was really tired as a result of that, so I think after district meeting we went back to the house and I fell asleep so fast and was out for a couple hours. Then we went and taught a couple lessons and it was good.
We continue to work on unity in our companionship, which can be difficult at times, but every time we choose to work something out, miracles follow. I know for sure that part of the reason we are companions is to figure out how to work together despite our differences and to learn to love each other. We work on it every week and it is improving and becoming easier. It absolutely amazes me how much I’ve been learning about relationships with other people here in the mission, but it’s definitely a lot easier to see your weak spots, and even better is that due to the difficulty of the mission, you’re generally humble enough to recognize and fix the weak spots as opposed to being blind to them the same way I might be at home. and when it comes down to it, the only person I really have out here is Sis Barril, so if our companionship tanks, the overall quality of life goes way down because I get lonely really quickly.
Jessica and Eloiza, both about my age and attending school, accepted the baptismal invitation this week! Really great. We had a lesson with them in the morning (which is unusual) and the spirit was really there as we discussed the Atonement. They both want to be baptized to be able to really begin to apply the Atonement in their lives. Even better, that wasn’t the only miracle that happened that morning. On our way to the lesson, we OYMed this lady who happened to be in the trycie with us. She’d heard of the church before through their wheelchair charity thing they’ve done. We went and visited her on Saturday, and taught her and her nephew and niece. She had a ton of questions, and our answers really helped her to clear up a lot of confusion she’d had about religion for many years. she is really intelligent–she has 3 degrees…IT, Law, and something else–but has been really confused about religion because she’s heard from so many different religions. And then they came to church the very next day. She is really prepared to receive the gospel.
We are being blessed with many people who are incredibly receptive and willing to actually listen to our message. Angela and Gail also have a baptismal date, and so do Rowena, Carol, and Romel. hopefully Jovic and Jomel will have dates soon, too. They know it is true, but they are still working some things out for themselves, I think. I’m never entirely sure of the situation because I miss a lot of the conversation, and a lot gets lost in translation, but we feel they are really ready. Jovic has been to church 3 Sundays already so he just needs one more before he can get baptized! (the rule here is 4 consecutive Sundays before they can be baptized) and even better, he brought his sister with him yesterday to church 🙂 We were really excited about that. If things continue to go well with our investigators, we ought to have about 9 baptisms the first week in October. Really exciting. 🙂
I continue to love the people here more, especially the ward 4 members. They work with us every week for member present lessons and we are beginning to receive more and more referrals. They are very kind and friendly and we love them very much! Dinners have gotten a lot more fun for me because I understand more of the conversation and the banter that goes on and can catch onto more of the jokes. And Filipinos joke aaaaalll the time, haha.
There is a great quote by Pres Ezra Taft Benson that I read this week that says essentially, “The world world works from the outside in. The Lord works from the inside out. The world tries to take people out of the slums. The gospel takes the slums out of people and then the people take themselves out of the slums.” I love that, because it’s really true. The purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ is change and progression. It can change our hearts, and then we change our thoughts, words, and actions as a result. We change our environments to match the environment of peace and light inside us. Every principle of the gospel enlightens and empowers us–individually and as families. It’s truly beautiful, and we are so blessed to have it in our lives. Many lives here are very dark from their trials and the worldly things that are everywhere…but the gospel brings them out of that dark place and into a life that is far more hopeful and beautiful than the place they were before.
I love you all and I am so grateful for the wonderful family I have been blessed with! I am always praying for you.
PS Pambahira is a really funny term that’s used in similar situations as like…”ooooh my gosh”….like “oh, you forgot your umbrella at their house!’ “ay, naku! pambahira!” and…naku is like “dang!” haha. lots of funny expressions, but I enjoy it. 🙂