Magiging Trainer na ako

Hello Dear Family!

This week…was absolutely insane. Heh, again. But 500 miracles later, our baptisms pulled through and we had two on Saturday!

Their names are Carol and Romeo Tamayao. Very humble, and have a lot of faith. Everything was going fine and they were really excited to be baptized. They’d been cleared by the district leader and everything.

Tuesday we teach them and start filling out their paperwork. “When were you married?” ……”hindi pa.” (not yet) ……what?? well, that was a shock to us, because somehow even though we’d taught them everything, including the law of chastity, and through their interview, we didn’t know they still weren’t actually married. Crud. We called the District Leader, who referred us to the Zone Leaders, who told us to text President, and President said they just needed to get married.

So we called the Bishop, and he said there was a member who worked in that department in the city hall. So we went to the Municipio and talked to her. She said normally the paperwork takes 10 days…but that she could get them married by Friday. so the adventure started, haha.

So Wednesday we had to hunt down some paperwork to fill out and we were back and forth all afternoon to the Municipio. that night I received a call from the AP’s saying I would be a trainer next cycle and that I needed to go to Cauayan on Thursday for new trainers’ training. So Thursday, I went to Cauayan with Sister Cabada and Sister Meinzer and Sis Barril went with Sister Vaelua to do the rest of the paperwork.

While I was in Cauayan, Sis Barril had to track down their birth certificates and the birth certificates of their 6 children. Plus a bunch of other paperwork. She texted me later saying if the mayor was just available Friday, they could get married, but if not, they wouldn’t be able to yet. So we opened a fast right then that the mayor would be available. Sis Cabada and I got in a van to come back to Tuguegarao. Halfway there, the van suddenly told us to get out and we needed to get on this huge ugly bus instead. So we got on the super crowded bus. Poor Sis Cabada was coming down with Chikungunia and felt bad. The bus took us to Avocado street in my area. We got out and we started walking to get a trycie to San Gabriel, when we crossed paths with Sis Barril and Sis Vaelua! We un-splitted and Sis Barril and I hurried to San Gabriel to meet with the Municipio lady. She signed the papers and told us we just needed a lawyer to sign it. She referred us to one, but it was just past 5pm when we arrived there and it was closed. Miraculously, these random people outside said there was a lawyer the floor above who might still be there. we went upstairs and she was there! We got all the papers signed.

The next day, the Mayor was available! We went to ‘People’s Day’ in Annafunan East (where the city govt officials set up booths in a barangay to assist the people there instead of having the people come all the way to the municipio for help) and sat there for three or four hours before they did the marriages.  Eight couples all got married by the mayor simultaneously in this barangay hall place…it was just weird. But it was all legit, so everything got signed and good to go, and our investigators were married on Friday. 🙂

Saturday, we were teaching them the last few commandments. At the end of our lesson, as we were talking about baptism and confirmation, this missionary from their old church showed up at their house and awkwardly watched us teach. Then we left. Later, we were at the church. The baptism was scheduled for 5pm and at 4:45, still our investigators weren’t there yet, and we were kind of worried. So we got in Bro. Maddagan’s trycie and went to their house. We run over and the lady next door is like, “alis na sila!” (they left) and we go over to check and all the little kids who are always there run over, “alis na sila! alis na sila!” So we get back in the trycie, and get a text from Sis Wilkins that our investigators made it to the church. Yaaay! Later we found out their old church people came back two times that day to try to convince them to not be baptized. But they are wonderful, and have strong testimonies and told them that they knew this was the true church and wanted to be baptized. The baptism was great, and they were so happy. It was awesome to see their humility and their faith, and to hear their testimonies. It was a great thing to be a part of and to witness so many miracles that happened for these wonderful people.

That was pretty much the focus of our week. Our trainer’s training was really good. I am excited to be a trainer, except also really nervous. I don’t really know how everything will go down, and it’s very possible my companion will be a foreigner (not filipina) fresh from the MTC with less Tagalog than I have. So it will be an adventure, haha.

Besides that, I just want to say I know the Atonement is real and very powerful, if we choose to use it. I know prayer is immensely powerful as well, because that is how we access the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives. Don’t forget to pray–because nothing could help you more.

I love you all!

Love,

Sister Carr

Baptism

Baptism

Mga bata :) little kids who always call us 'tita' (aunt) haha

Mga bata 🙂 little kids who always call us ‘tita’ (aunt) haha

Us at Callueng's with Jovic

Us at Callueng’s with Jovic

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Our Adventures with St. Paul

Deeearest family of mine!

This week was absolute chaos, and our KI’s this week are….ehhh….not good. it will probably be long, but read all of it–it’s probably more interesting than you think 😉 hehe.
Monday was business as usual–pday, grocery shopping and emailing and all that great stuff. That night we had a super fun lesson with Jamvee and Ramvee, (between Clara’s and Sam’s ages) on tithing. We brought treats to illustrate the principle and it was really fun. They are pretty much beautiful children and super kind. We love them so much!
Tuesday, we had district meeting, and Sister Pace (my bff from the MTC) wasn’t feeling too great. By the time we got to Mang Inasal for lunch she looked pretty miserable, had a fever, and had rashes. So we’re all like, ah, Chikungunia strikes again. So she goes home. That day, Sister Barril and I worked super hard. We had a plan, and backup plans. Between 10-12 people for like 5 or 6 hours worth of work. And, despite our best efforts and visiting all of those people and more–we taught 1 lesson.
Wednesday all the foreign missionaries had to travel to Ilagan for fingerprinting by the government. Apparently they wanted us all to go to Manila, but President didn’t want to fly like 100 missionaries to Manila to be fingerprinted, haha. So they came to ilagan and we did it there. Ilagan is about 2 hours from my area. Sis Barril is Filipina, so she went on splits with Sis Alecando, while the rest of us went to fingerprinting. Sister pace looked suuuper miserable. Sister T and Sister Wilkins took her back as soon as it was done and the rest of us ate lunch and then went home. As soon as I got back, Sister Wilkins needed me to go with her to a lesson, and Sister T stayed with Sister Pace.
That lesson was with Sis Wilkins’ investigator, Albert. He’s come to church a few times, and had seemed super golden for a while. But due to sickness and other things, Sis Wilkins hadn’t been able to teach him for 3 weeks, and he hadn’t come to church for a few weeks either. When we taught him, by the end he just said, “Sisters, I’m grateful for all you’ve taught me and believe it. But I don’t want to leave my old church.” So that…was pretty much that. We prayed, we said goodbye, he said, when are you coming back, she said, I don’t know. And during the prayer, and as we walked away from his house, I felt a real sorrow for Albert. I never knew you could feel so sad for someone you didn’t know. and Sister Wilkins was heartbroken, because she’s been teaching him for more than a month…it’s just sad.
That night Sister Pace stayed in Sis Wilkins’ and Sis T’s apt so that she wouldn’t have to travel back to her apt in Peñablanca. Sis Pace’s companion was still on splits in Peñablanca so she wasn’t there. But Sis Pace’s temperature was really high, 40 C or getting up to around 104, so they took her to St Paul’s hospital that night. The next morning, we got a text from the sister trainers, and they had been there all night, so we went as soon as we got up and switched them shifts. We stayed at the hospital with Sister Pace for 7 or 8 hours. At first she wasn’t in a private room, and there were five other patients. It wasn’t necessarily crowded, but not private, and not a super great room. Aaand hehe, man, I think I’d take American hospital food over Philippine hospital food any day. Rice never sounds good when you’re sick. And then they also gave her like..dried fish skins with her rice for breakfast. Sweet.
Later we went home and slept. My joints had started feeling bad and I started feeling slightly feverish. we taught a lesson for Sis T and Sis Wilkins who were back at the hospital to a family of theirs with a baptismal date. After, we went home and I had a fever. Tthen the next day my fever was higher, and I stayed in bed until 12. I was taking paracetamol though and around noon I felt really good, and I felt like we needed to go teach our investigators who will be baptized this week. So we went there, taught, and as soon as we were done, I started feeling bad again, so we went home and rested all the rest of that day. The next day I was slow getting up again but didn’t feel quite as bad.
Sister and Pres Rahlf ended up taking Sis Pace to Cauayan. She’s doing good now, though, so no worries 🙂
Conference was after that. Aaahhh best thing ever. I absolutely loved watching conference. Not very many people come to watch, except for Sunday morning. but I got to see all the sessions and it was the greatest. I learned so much.
One message I got was that yes, the Lord is hastening His work by increasing the number of full-time missionaries, but the real hastening will happen through the members. If we all start really working together, that is when the work will move forward. Elder M Russell Ballard mentioned something about how if all 15 million members introduced the gospel to someone by Christmas how big of an effect that would have. He said it as a seeming suggestion, but I think it’s more of a challenge for all of you at home. And it would be suuuper helpful for the missionaries 🙂 so take him up on that challenge and see what miracles can come of it.
One more thing about how the Lord answers prayers. We haven’t been able to work much this week, but before we went to the Sunday session I prayed that at least one of our investigators’ hearts would be softened enough to feel the prompting to come to conference. We had been working on inviting them for several weeks now, so I know we had done all we could do even though we couldn’t teach much this week. During conference, I happened to check our phone during the song right before Pres Monson spoke–and right then, our investigator Tina was calling! She was on her way. She got there right as the prophet began speaking. and then another surprise–we had a text from Jovic, and he was also on his way! Both of them were able to hear the words of the living prophet of God for the first time in their lives. I am really excited to follow up with them on their experience. But I know God heard my prayer and answered it, and that they were listening. 🙂
I love you so much! I hope you have a super great week. This week will be my last full week with Sis Barril–transfers are next week already.
Love you all!
Love,
Sister Carr
Ah, and I had tacos this week, courtesy of the bishop’s wife. Pretty much the best thing ever. Even without salsa, and that it was cabbage instead of lettuce…and okay, they are definitely Filipino tacos, but still great 🙂
Also, I rode in a  Jeepney for the first time this week. See picture with Sis Brown, hehe.
Amber with Sister Brown in Jeepney

Amber with Sister Brown in Jeepney

Another pic of the beautiful sisters we traveled with -- they are from Tonga, Samoa, and Kiribati.

Another pic of the beautiful sisters we traveled with — they are from Tonga, Samoa, and Kiribati.

Nasty Hospital Food

Nasty Hospital Food

Super good Merienda (snack) from our neighbor. Sugar coated and grilled banana and sweet potato.

Super good Merienda (snack) from our neighbor. Sugar coated and grilled banana and sweet potato.

Pinaka-suwerte kayo lahat!

You are all theeee luckiest, because you already got to see general conference! We don’t get to see it until next weekend, due to the time difference (see, it was already Sunday here when you watched the Saturday session). But I’m super excited to watch it! It’s so nice to have a chance to be taught instead of being the one teaching, haha. That’s why we love Sundays as well. But we got to watch the Relief Society general broadcast on Saturday and it was sooo great! So spiritually uplifting, and made us even more excited to hear from many other leaders in the church in the upcoming week.

 
This week seemed like it went by really quickly, and the next two, which are the last two of this transfer cycle, will probably fly by as well. This week we will only have one full day of work because Monday is pday, Tuesday we have district meeting in the morning, Wednesday all the foreigners have to go to Ilagan or Cauayan or something for fingerprinting, Thursday we will work all day, Friday we have weekly planning, and Saturday and Sunday we have conference. The next week will be mostly normal except if I end up training and need to go to Cauayan for the new trainers’ meeting. which is very likely, because there are 29 new missionaries coming in next cycle. Either way, one of us will be getting transferred, because my 12-week training will be completed. kind of nervous, but excited din (as well)!
 
We’ve had some struggles with people with baptismal dates and progressing investigators. Satan sure doesn’t want this work to move smoothly. and here in the Philippines, you run into a looooot of weird situations that create difficulties with being baptized. The biggest of that being the divorce laws here–divorce is pretty much against the law. and annulment is incredibly expensive. so many people will get married, then separate and find a new partner, and then actually establish a family with the second without actually being married. We run into a lot of problems with the law of chastity–which has to be followed completely before baptism–and the law of the land. It creates a lot of hard situations, but…we’re trying to get it figured out. I think after five years of being together they can be baptized, but I”m still not exactly sure how it works.
 
We had two great referrals this week that seem very promising! haha, maybe I already mentioned them last week, but we started actually teaching them this week and it’s gone really well so far. 
 
The best thing that happened this week was that on Sunday, a less-active family we have been visiting since august CAME TO CHURCH! Sobrang Masaya! 🙂 it was so great. And the whole family came, which is great, because we can really get them geared toward the temple and becoming an eternal family. Many families here are part-member and that can be a struggle.
 
Sister Wilkins got Chikungunia too last week, and was really covered in rashes. They didn’t work for like four days the week before, and then she kind of got better, but then the rashes came back. So on Tuesday I stayed with her in her apt and Sister Barril and Sister T worked in both our areas. Sister Wilkins slept pretty much the whole day, so I just watched church movies on the Dvd player and did some Tagalog Book of Mormon reading. 
 
The 9 and 10 year olds we are teaching, Jamvee and Ramvee, whose baptism date we thought for sure wouldn’t get moved is now…moved. 😛 There are issues of some sort, (we’re not exactly sure) their dad is kind of hard to deal with. So when we said, “okay, we have planned for your baptism to be on october 19” the Mom, and Jamvee and Ramvee were excited, and then the Dad said something like, no, November 7. (he’s really into numerology…) and we said, well, that’s not a Saturday…how about October 19? and he said, well, then..not November 2, but November 2 plus 7, is November 9
 
So after a week of trying to get him to change it, I think it’s Nov 9 now. Buut I’m not quite sure if we’ve given up on our hopes of October 19, haha.
 
Well, it’s weird to hear about how it snowed and how it’s been getting cold….as far as I’m concerned, it’s still August. haha, Although I see Christmas trees (although not exactly traditional) and lights all over now, as of a couple weeks ago, Mid-September. The Filipinos are all really excited that it’s almost Christmas, haha. 🙂
 
I read this morning in D&C. Christ says, “pray always, that you may come off conqueror.” When Christ gives us wisdom like that, we can be assured that if we apply it, His promises will be sure. I know that no matter our trial or struggle, sincere prayer will be our lifeline to Christ’s Atonement and our Father in Heaven–and they will help us come off conqueror. Never forget how truly valuable prayer is. Don’t take it for granted–just do it. 🙂
 
I love you all!
 
Love,
 
Sister Carr

I got my hair cut

Don’t worry, it was intentional.

My hair was starting to get reeeally difficult to manage, super tangly, fluffy, pretty much untameable unless I put it up…and also washing it, trying to get the tangles out, lots of it would come out and I wasn’t too excited about losing all my hair.
So after I started going crazy because of it, and getting really frustrated, I finally decided last night I needed to get it cut. So after a stressful morning of almost not being able to get support (haha and we were really poor by the end of these two weeks because we had to pay our electric bill) we finally made it to a salon. And they take us back to get my hair cut, and the person who is to cut my hair starts talking to us.

She was really nice and I think did a pretty good job on my hair, especially since I didn’t really know what to do with it, just that it needed to be a lot shorter. Turned out better than I hoped, haha. I just need to buy a flat iron here today so I can do it sometimes maybe.  And it was great, because I only paid 38 pesos for it. which is about a dollar. And all of them in the haircut place were talking about the color of my hair the whoooole time. “Is that your natural hair color? I love it. it’s so ashy.” I don’t know what ashy is, buuuut okay. so that was an adventure today.

The rest of the week was great!
On Tuesday we went to Ilagan, about an hour and a half from here, for Zone Conference. It was absolutely wonderful. Pres. Rahlf talked about God the Father and the Nature of Jesus Christ. It was so cool to have the whole focus of the conference on Them. I learned so much. We’ve been working on making sure all our lessons are centered around Christ. It really changes the whole spirit of the lesson if you consciously try to do that. I’ve been really trying to think of Them more often and learn about Them, and my relationship with Them has already grown so much. It makes the work a lot more joyful and a lot easier to be faithful on the difficult days. I love knowing I can receive strength from the Atonement.
Our wonderful ward members gave us two great referrals this week! Super prepared sila. They have a lot of potential and I’m really excited about teaching them this week.
On Saturday, it was the Family Week celebration for the whole church in the Philippines! So the whole stake met at the Cataggaman church building and there were games, food, and fun all day. Super great, and super fun to spend time with the members and play with them. I juggled a volleyball with some kids, and one kid actually plays soccer, and was pretty good! So that was really fun. And then I joined four of the relief society sisters from our ward in a sack race against the other wards. We destroyed. And afterwards, I think half the stake came up to shake my hands and tell me how fast I am at sack-racing. “mabilis mo! ang galing mo!” hahaha. I caught a great picture of a brother in our ward during the men’s sack race, ahaha. We ate dinner at their house last night and they were all just laughing so hard. The whole day was really great. Later we had a great lesson with the family who lives near us, who then attended church the next day. 🙂
Those are the main highlights from this week, I think. We had a good week. We only have 3 weeks left until transfers and I’m getting kind of nervous because I don’t feel ready for Sis Barril to be transferred or to train (which is the most-likely scenario) but we will just see what happens, I guess. It’s a great time to be a missionary right now, though!
I am happy to be here and am learning so much. I hope you all have a great week!
Love,
Sister Carr
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New Haircut!
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National Family Week Celebration                                                                Ward Four Winners!