This week was a looot better than last week. The only thing is, Sister Barril is sick now, and so I’m not really sure how this week will play out, but I guess we’ll see.
I really loved being able to go back out and work this week, though. It was frustrating at first, because I hadn’t really spoken much Tagalog for four days so getting back into the language was rough. But the Lord is incredibly generous and I had one lesson in particular this week where I was able to talk for quite a while and say the things I wanted to say, more than I’ve ever said at once before. The other great thing is that I’m really starting to be able to understand people better–I almost understood all of sacrament meeting, and now I can generally respond to people’s questions better, and so that is really great. 🙂
This week we had some cool miracles. One day, some of our plans fell through and we had to decide where to go. There is this investigator we have who hasn’t really been progressing, and we’ve been prioritizing a lot of other progressing investigators over him and haven’t been for a few weeks. I suggested we go there, and when we did, we had the best lesson we’ve ever had with him. We think finally, he might actually stick with the commitments, which I am super excited about. The next day, more of our plans fell through, and then all of our backup plans fell through. We were like oooookay…and we decided to go to this LA family we’ve been trying to contact. We got there, and wala sila, nobody was there. It was pouring rain, and we just stood in front of their house under a porch-thing for a while while we responded to some texts, and by the time we finished the texts and were about to leave, the mom pulls up in a trycie and we were able to talk to her! Super great. right after, we decided to go to an investigator’s home, even though we couldn’t reach them by phone. Same thing: we showed up, nobody was home, and as we were about to leave, the whole family pulls up in their van. yay!! lesson. We got into the lesson, and this family has two craaazy 1 year-old twin boys who are always jumping all over the dad, who is the investigator (the rest of the family are members). We were teaching about the Atonement, and even though the atmosphere was crazy, I knew that at the right time it would all turn out right, because one time I was on splits with Sister Cope at home, and we were teaching someone who had theeee craziest kids, but right as we talked about the Atonement, they all ran outside and the atmosphere was such that the spirit could touch the investigator’s heart, and after the moment passed,the kids ran back in screaming. I knew if He could provide a way in that situation, surely He could here, too. And He did. And the next day, the brother attended church for the first time, and we were so excited.
I have been taking the advice of my mission president and spending a little time each day to specifically think about Christ. It’s making a huge difference in my testimony and in my relationship with my Savior. I know that if I were to do that at home, even just for three or four minutes, it would really have made a huge difference. It’s something to try 🙂 the way I do it is when I write in my journal, I try to think of one thing about Christ, one thing of what He means to me. It’s really helping me.
The mission is a crazy, hard, but wonderful and miracle-filled place to be! But I want all my older cousins to know how much their examples mean to me. It brings me comfort on difficult days to know I have cousins, as well as aunts, uncles, grandparents, and Dad–who were able to accomplish their missions and love them. I am grateful to all of them and I love them so much!
I love you all!
(Excerpts from other letters)
– Amber is talking about the Chikungunya fever she had last week
It’s good that you can really only get it once…although I heard that it stays in your system for a long time and that it can have a tendency to relapse. but who knows, I feel like everything medical here is rumors. I had really ugly rashes all over my body for like 3 days. face, arms, legs. Yuck. I hated that. even my palms were super ugly. But luckily they went away, so I don’t have to worry about that anymore.
Thanks for the recipes! We eat good food at members’ homes each night, but I don’t think living off of hot dogs, rice, and fried eggs the rest of the time is very good for me. I have been trying this week to be healthier….but it’s hard. I eat dad’s mission-style oatmeal for breakfast every day, because the cereal I can buy here isn’t fantastic. One thing that has helped me a lot is spending a little more and buying higher-quality bread. Before I was eating this super cheap cream bread stuff and now I am buying wheat bread. That has helped my digestive system out a toooon. It’s definitely worth the extra money. The only thing is, wheat bread isn’t consistently available, so I might still have to eat cream bread sometimes. Bread here really isn’t all that great. Sometimes I get pandesal though, which is really good. I mostly just feel really unhealthy no matter what I eat because I don’t like eating rice twice a day, and we eat out probably two or three times a week for pday and district meeting, at least for sure. Iv’e been trying to have more fruits with my meals and I try to eat lots of vegetables at members’ homes. I don’t know what I’ll do with myself once I get transferred somewhere I’m not consistently fed, haha. For lunch we usually have hot dogs, but the other days we either eat leftovers from the members, or my companion makes chicken or pork to eat with our rice. chicken and pork is the most common thing….grocery shopping, even in the actual grocery store, kind of freaks me out because like…the meat is in sections. There’s a little section for chicken, where the attendants are there to help you. But they hand you a bag, and the people just kind of pick through the meat with their hands and then continue shopping. So people go around touching tons of other things with raw meat germs all over their hands. Also, it’s not super common for people to wash their hands after they use the bathroom, which is still something I’m trying not to be super grossed out about, seeing as I shake hands with people on a regular basis. I use a lot of hand sanitizer.
Still just not a huge fan of so much rice, haha.
I haven’t heard anything about a typhoon. I know there was like a signal 2 storm that was supposed to come through the other day..it rained a lot this week, but nothing extreme. I don’t think the storms usually hit Tuguegarao too hard, which is nice. Usually they hit other areas more.
It’s good to hear everyone is busy and happy. I am glad things are going well for everyone!
I miss you all and love you so much!