This week

Hello family!

This past week was kind of crazy, and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do a whole lot of work. Monday was pday, and that went just fine. Ttuesday, though, we started working around 1pm and as we left our first lesson, I started feeling reeeally weird physically, and I said to Sis Solis, I think I’m getting sick…I am exhausted. so we went home so I could just take a rest…and I ended up being totally out for a three hour nap. we taught a couple other lessons that night, and I still felt weird.
Wednesday, we got up early and went to Cauayan for the new missionaries/trainers meeting. Mostly it was for the benefit of the new missionaries, since the trainers really didn’t learn anything new. but it was fun to see some of my friends, and then we traveled back up to Tuguegarao on a super crowded bus. 
Thursday, we had zone meeting and interviews with President Rahlf. I learned a loooot of things about my companion during that interview, and then we were going on splits with the sister training leaders, Sister Tulikihihifo (Sis T) and Sis Diola. I was with Sis T. after Sis Diola and Sis Solis left on their split, Sister T and I spent the rest of the day talking through a lot of what has been going on and figuring out how we can improve our companionship.
Friday, we finished the split, but we also got support, and since none of us had food, we all went to Savemore to do shopping. We only were able to teach a little bit that night.
Saturday I was starting to feel pretty sick, so me and Sister Solis only worked for an hour and then we went to a baptism, where we were happy to see that one of our investigators accepted the invitation to come! But the whole baptism both Sis T and I were feeling really bad. After the baptism, we were both exhausted and so we went to my apt and Sis Solis and Sis Diola went on splits again. 
Sunday, I was only able to work for an hour again, and left church an hour early. I have kinda bronchitis-like symptoms, but I’ve been trying to get enough rest and drink a lot of water, so today I think I’m doing better than the past few days. Hopefully it goes away so I can start working again. I hate slow weeks.
Haha, man, there was this one baptism in some other area…but I saw a picture of the water in the baptismal font. ahahahaha. Think Mountain Dew. It was seriously green water. Well, the baptism happened anyway, haha. I think the next baptism is planned to just be in the river.
But things are good, and I’m hoping that we can have a great week this week! I am happy to hear that things are going well at home!
I love you all!
Sis Carr
It’s crazy everything that the Tacloban mission has had to do….President Rahlf sent us a bunch of information about it today. All the missionaries from that mission went to Manila and were reassigned to 11 other missions in the Philippines. (not here, because they are all Cebuano speaking missionaries and ours is a Tagalog speaking mission) and since there are already so many missionaries here, in some missions, all the missionaries in those missions who only had 2 months left were asked to go home early so they could absorb the new couple hundred of missionaries. That’s insane.

Baptism AND Confirmation!

Hello dear family!

This week was really full of wonderful things!
The Area President of the Philippines, Elder Nielson, and his wife toured our mission this week! They spoke at a member-investigator-missionary devotional on Wednesday night. They spoke a lot about member missionary work. One thing Sister Nielson said that I loved was about how we go to church to give. She said so many times, we go to church thinking things like, “I hope the lesson is good today. I hope the talks are good today. I hope so-and-so prepared well for the lesson…” and we just hope to get and get and get. really, we go to church to GIVE. we need to be more aware of the people around us. if there are people there you don’t know, we should go introduce ourselves. see who you can help. things like that. I thought it was really true and noticed I always look forward to church to ‘get’ when really, church is the time we should all be trying to edify each other.
On Thursday, Elder and Sister Nielson held our zone conference. It was fantastic. Sister Nielson had a meeting with the sisters in the morning. She talked about ‘becoming holy.’ she spoke a lot about how holiness requires opposition, but usually we have a perspective where we can only see or feel the opposition and don’t feel a whole lot of holiness.Hher remarks were based around a book she read, which compared it to like when you walk in your house and your kids made a huge mess again and you have to clean it up, how it’s easy to just become angry and frustrated. she said she had to laugh because a week or so before she read that book, she did that very thing, and got so frustrated that she went and got a rake and raked up all the stuff in her kids’ playroom into a huge pile. hahaha Ah it was so funny. But then the book talked about how we can either look at it as a frustrating mess, or we can realize that your kids have warm clothes, toys, and food that makes all those crumbs and clutter, and that your husband has a job to pay for it all. same thing with other things in life…how we can either just focus on the opposition, or start recognizing the holiness that is around us. She said there is a lot of holiness in someone trying to do their very best to do the right thing. She related a lot of it to missionary work, and I needed to hear all of that. She also said, “missions are hard, and your hair looks terrible the whole time,” which is true, and we all laughed at that. 🙂
Sister Rahlf spoke on devotion, which was another great talk. President Rahlf spoke about Christmastime and how it is a wonderful time to be a missionary because we can share the true message of Christmas with people. I gained a lot from that as well. Sister Nielson spoke about companionships that gave me a loooot of new insights on how to be a better companion. Elder Nielson spoke about receiving revelation, and then helping our investigators receive revelation as well.
All in all, zone conference was wonderful.
Then I got the christmas package! haha, I already opened all of it…sorry. but it was really great. I am so grateful to have a wonderful family. I felt so much love from each of you! Especially the pillowcase, that was my favorite part.

Saturday were the baptisms of Jamvee and Ramvee!!! I love them so much. They are wonderful kids, and man, I was so happy to see them get baptized.

The next day, Sunday, we got a text that I had known for weeks would probably come. I had been praying for weeks that Ramvee and Jamvee could get baptized on Nov 9 and confirmed the next day, because I didn’t want Bro Lito delaying it even further again (they were supposed to be baptized on Oct 19). Sunday Sis Pauline (bro lito’s wife) texts us and says that Bro Lito got in  a fight with his mom and wanted to delay the confirmation until next sunday. I knew if it would ever actually happen, it needed to happen that day and not be delayed. I asked her to pray and try to get him to change his mind. we texted a bunch of the missionaries and members and asked them to pray that jamvee and ramvee could be confirmed that day. then Sis Solis and I opened a fast. shortly thereafter, Sister Pauline texted saying that he had miraculously changed his mind, and they would be coming to church for the confirmation.
They arrived at the church, and Jamvee and Ramvee were confirmed by their grandfather, and it was wonderful.
I know when we do all we can and give our best to the Lord, He is willing to give us miracles! And I especially know that this is His work, and that He is the one in control. We are truly His instruments.
I love you all so much!

Sister Carr

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Typhoons are fun…and good for finding!

magandang hapon po sa inyo lahat!

This past week fleeew by. Most assuredly, the next one will too, and I’m pretty sure November will be very quick indeed. 
ayon, so last monday was pday as usual…with our usual macdo-computer shop-savemore adventures. haha, although it was one of those pdays where we don’t have support yet, so all the missionaries need food but are way too poor to pay for it.
tuesday we went to district meeting. we had a great lesson from our district leader, Elder Berends, on finding people to teach. I got really excited to go out and work. then we went to mang-inasal for lunch and then as we were about to arrive home…sister solis threw up. so I made her go to bed and we didn’t work the rest of the day. luckily, I think it was just a 24-hour flu thing, so she was fine the next day.
Wednesday we had a full day planned…and then pretty much everything fell through, so we did about 4 hours of just walking around our area, trying to oym and think of other places to go. Something sad also happened…we have one investigator who has committed to be baptized for a while now, but has been trying to overcome his smoking addiction. we showed up for the lesson on wednesday, and the nanay (his mom? anyways..she goes to church every week) says, “pagtulog na siya.” He’s sleeping. and I just stood there looking confused at her because I had just barely seen him. so finally she says, “Lasing siya. next time na lang, sisters.” pambihira. yep, our investigator was drunk. super. so we left. and he didn’t come to church on sunday, either, and hasn’t for a few weeks. so we’re pretty concerned about this situation for now, but we really want to keep trying and try to help him progress again.  I just felt really sad as we walked away from his house.
Thursday was very unusual. Wednesday night we received a text about a typhoon, saying that the eye would hit tuguegarao and that there would be a lockdown for the tuguegarao zones from like 1-5pm. finally we all had support (yaay!) and so all the missionaries were at savemore in the morning buying food. we bought food, ate lunch, went home…and the typhoon started. we did more companionship study for her 12 week training, and then I was suuuper tired and took a nap…woke up and the typhoon was still raging outside (level 2) aaaand….lockdown for the whoooole day. happy halloween, haha. then the power knocked out at about 6 and we did the rest of the evening by candlelight. such adventures!
Friday we did our weekly planning in the morning, and then we went to the church to meet Jamvee and Ramvee for their baptismal interview! ….only, Elder Berends texts and says the church was nakalocked. so we met them there, and then jamvee and ramvee’s grandpa brought them on his motorcycle. so then we had to go to the ward 2 elder’s apartment so elder berends could conduct the interview. Sister Solis and I waited outside. the whole thing took longer than we thought, but happily, jamvee and ramvee will be baptized this saturday!!! we just hope their dad doesn’t change his mind….his new strange request is that his kids are baptized by an american, so we arranged for one of the elders to do it so that the baptisms will actually happen this week, haha.
But the best part of Friday was the morning. We were about to start personal study and I looked outside and noticed all our neighbors were cleaning up from after the typhoon. no real damage was done, but there were just tons of tree branches and leaves everywhere. so we changed into regular clothes and went out to help and somehow all our neighbors were gone already. so we thought to go over to Tina’s, one of our investigators, and help her out.
we went there and she was outside sweeping the road in front of her house. we asked if we could help, and she said yes. so we start helping her clean up her yard. after about 30 minutes, her next door neighbor called her over and started asking her questions about us. Tina is already a super great missionary and started telling him all about us and the church. then we went over and introduced ourselves. the mom, Hazel, started asking us lots of questions and seemed really interested in what we had to say. We asked if we could come back another day and teach her more, and she happily agreed and gave us her phone number.
super great, right? 
but that’s not even the best part.
like 12 weeks ago, probably the second week I was here, Sister Barril and I tracted that whole neighborhood and OYMed everyone we could find. Hazel was one of them. She didn’t really listen to us and just kept telling us she was busy. After that, everytime we walked past her house, we would say hello if she was outside and she would ignore us.
12 weeks later…she’s prepared. We were at the right place at the right time, and now she is prepared. 
We visited her and her family on sunday. She and her husband have 3 kids, the oldest is just 7. all we did was how to begin teaching, but she was super excited that we were there, so willing to listen to our message, and already so open. The Spirit was so strong, and I’m super excited to continue teaching them.
Saturday, though, was the saddest thing. We’ve been teaching the Calluengs pretty much since we got to this area, so for the past 3 months. in total, they’ve been being taught by missionaries for over a year. for a while they progressed, and kept commitments..then they stopped keeping commitments and unfortunately, our lessons now are kind of just…bible study. no matter how much I do to try to help them learn why they need to pray or why scripture reading is important and however many different ways we try to say it–their hearts aren’t into it. So we went to the calluengs’ on Saturday night, and I had this new idea that I was hoping would help them to remember the testimonies they already have. We got there, and it was just super awkward at first, because I couldn’t think of a single thing to say or ask them about…so we just started the lesson. then Jane says, “sister…magiging Iglesia na ako…sorry sister..” Her boyfriend, who is Iglesia (Iglesia ni Cristo….it’s a big religion here in the philippines..), has been trying to get her to convert. but I guess now they are getting married, and so she just decided to convert to make him happy. so that pretty much broke my heart, and all I could think to say was, “malungkot kami, sister..” we are sad. and she said, “malungkot ako din sister, kasi, hindi pa ready ako sister..” she didn’t feel ready to make the decision, but she did anyway. the whole rest of the lesson was just really hard. at the end, I just bore my testimony. I felt the Spirit really strong in my heart, and my testimony was confirmed to me again. but then we left. and I was just heartbroken. and not sad because I felt like I had failed, but sad because for the past 3 months I’ve been working every single day to help them understand and accept the gospel and wanting them to gain these blessings so badly..and then knowing that she is choosing to walk away from the most beautiful blessings there are, and choosing to walk away from Christ. It’s another one of those times when I felt the smallest piece of the sorrow of our Heavenly Father. But I just went home and prayed and prayed that she would have more chances to receive the gospel, and that hopefully one day, she will accept it. I know God isn’t giving up on her. Not at all. He will keep trying, and will always keep trying.
This week will be exciting because the Philippines area president, Elder Nielsen, is doing a mission tour of our mission. We will be having a devotional wednesday night with him and then zone conference on thursday. he’ll also be doing apartment inspections so let’s just say our CR (bathroom) is a lot cleaner now than it’s ever been, haha. 
I love you all! I really loved seeing halloween pictures. hope all is well with you at home. 
Love always,
Sister Carr

New Cycle


Well, it’s a new cycle, and I am now a trainer! My new companion is Sister Solis. She is from Manila. She is very excited to be in the field and very motivated to work, which is great 🙂
Last week was kind of crazy with transfers and everything. Sister Barril is now a sister trainer aaaand got transferred to Cauayan and is now companions with Sister Wilkins!! Which is crazy to me, but probably means nothing to you, haha. I miss having Sister Wilkins here, though. I’m super happy that Sister T is still here in Ward 4.
We had stake conference on sunday. I played piano for musical numbers during the youth and adult session. It’s nice to be able to play the piano, even if it’s just straight from the hymn book.
President and Sister Rahlf came up for the conference and it was great to see them. I always love seeing them! They gave great messages about missionary work.
The transfer meeting was crazy because the flight from Manila to Cauayan that day was cancelled. Which meant the new missionaries had to fly to Tuguegarao, then be bussed to Cauayan. With a delayed flight and all the travel…transfer meeting started at 7pm instead of 3pm. We didn’t get back to Tuguegarao until midnight.
Our investigators don’t seem to be doing too well right now…lots of them are kind of on the verge of being dropped, which is really hard. People just don’t make it a priority. Then it’s frustrating because they let us into their houses but they don’t let the gospel into their hearts. So every lesson is just like us desperately doing everything we can to help them understand it and them just sitting and nodding and then not keeping commitments. I think we are often referred to as ‘bible study,’ no matter how many times we try to explain our purpose up front.
I wish so much that people would just understand the gospel. The problem is that people just aren’t’ ready or willing to change. The gospel is intended to change us constantly…so if people are too stubborn to change, no matter how beautiful the gospel is, how real the Atonement is, and how merciful Jesus Christ is, their agency allows them to harden their hearts and choose not to let it into their hearts. And it’s the saddest thing when someone rejects the gospel. 
Hopefully we can have a good week this week.
I love you all!
Sister Carr