Well, this past week I ate BALUT!! and surprisingly enough it wasn’t bad at all. What you do is you take the egg, crack open the top, drink the juice, then finish taking off all the shell and then eat the chicken… hair and all. The worst part is the juice. I don’t think I will every buy it but if I needed to, I would eat it again. I wasn’t planning on eating it but the other day I came home and my housemate said she bought one for me and so I couldn’t say no. As far as I can tell I am not sick from the experience so that’s good.
I am going to be honest, this past week has been very challenging. The whole week my companion has been feeling inadequate as a missionary and that she is doing everything wrong. The other day we had a great lesson, I thought, but she didn’t think so. My housemates have been helping me with the language and I was able to go on companionship exchanges again which helped me get through this week. I got to lead out in my area with the other Sister and we accomplished so much. I decided to go finding in an area that I have never been to before and we found 4 new investigators and got to teach 6 lessons all in one day! While working with her we were able to visit less active families that I had not met before and it just felt like a very productive day. It was a great day and we just worked hard and moved very fast, I was able to talk a lot as well. On a good day with my companion, we are lucky if we get to teach two lessons.
We have a progressing investigator, her name is Sister Flory. I don’t know if I have mentioned her before. We extended a baptismal date to her and she said yes but she doesn’t have a birth certificate and therefore isn’t married so there are a few complications that will take time. I love it when we go and teach Sister Flory. The other day we were teaching her about faith and I asked her how she was feeling and then she just started to cry and said “I understand” she continued to share with us her feelings and I told her it was the holy ghost teaching her and witnessing to her that these things are true. It was a great lesson. I thought it went great, I thought it was the best lesson that we have ever had with her because I actually said what I wanted to say in the lesson and could see how she was changing. She didn’t come to church yesterday though and I think it is because she was sick but i’m not sure. Her mom, who is 102, is also very sick and she is taking care of her so that is another possible reason why she didn’t come to church.
I am excited to continue to visit Sister Flory and to see her testimony grow in the gospel. Even through hard times the Lord is blessing me with something to look forward to that always helps me get through the day. I can truly see His hand in my life.
This past week was very exciting, there was something to look forward to everyday which made the week go by fast. On Tuesday we had Zone Training so I was able to meet all the missionaries in my zone. It is always fun to meet and talk with other missionaries and hear their experiences. I was talking to another sister missionary who has been on her mission for 10 months. She transferred to Kalibo the same day I did and she told me coming to Kalibo was the first time that she has ever been rejected by people. She told me that people are usually willing to listen. When she told me that I was so surprised. On Wednesday we had companionship exchanges so I was able to do missionary work in another area in our zone. It was nice to have a companion who knew and understood the language. She would teach me words and she would always give me a part in all the lessons we taught. One of the families we visited while I was with her was so cute. There are six kids and they were all under the age of 8. One of the boys would just keep on saying “amen, amen” throughout the entire lesson. One of the girls would keep on looking at me and smile so big the her eyes wouldn’t be open. When I asked who wanted to pray they would all raise their hands. It was so great to see a family with that strong desire to sit and listen to us. It was so great. On Thursday we had a district meeting because our district had to put together a workshop for Zone Conference. On Friday we had Zone Conference and it was so great to see President and Sister Aquino again. President Aquino talked to us about the importance of having a good attitude and to set high goals. It was so great to hear and I know I need to develop a deeper love for my area. On Saturday the mission president surprised us (the eight sister missionaries in our zone) by inviting us to dinner on Saturday night with the stake president and his wife as well. On Sunday we had Stake Conference and it was surprisingly all in English. I don’t understand why because none of the people we teach or communicate with understand English. I had the opportunity to be in the stake choir and sing in Stake conference. During stake conference I learned how much responsibility is put on the members here. Our bishop’s wife is a Primary Stake president, seminary and institute teacher, works, and takes care of a family. The second counselor of our Bishopric is also a stake counselor as well. There are so many others who have more than one calling and so it is very hard fr them to fully understand what their calling is and all the responsibilities of their calling because they have so much to deal with. The members in our ward are so strong but they struggle to fill all the positions of the church. Our mission president and his wife also spoke in stake conference and they both talked about the importance of being a missionary… that every member is a missionary. They also expressed the importance of being obedient. It was so great to hear all these great messages. It helped so much and it helped me set some goals on how to help the people in my area.
I am still trying to open my mouth more as we go out and work and to actively listen to what people are saying. It is funny.. many times when I am out, drunk people will come up to me and start talking. And surprisingly I learn more vocabulary and words from them than from anybody else.
This week was the last lesson we got to teach to Lilibeth. We introduced her to the missionaries that are in her area and so we will no longer be teaching her. But she continues to progress and yesterday she did attend Stake Conference. I am sad that we won’t be teaching her anymore because she was always so happy and she had kids that we would teach also and she came to church! At least I will still be able to keep in touch with her.
The weather isn’t so bad. I don’t seem to be hot but when I touch my skin it has clearly been sweating. haha. It’s not the dry season yet so it isn’t burning hot yet.
Palangga ko kamo.
Nahidlaw ko kamo.
12 August 2013
My area continues to need a lot of work and my companion and I are doing all that we can do to fulfill our purpose here. We don’t see our efforts have much success but we understand that the seeds that we plant each day may one day help people in our area. A couple of days ago all of our appointments fell through because no one was home or they just didn’t want us to teach them that day so my companion gave me the opportunity to lead where we would go and who we would talk to. It turned out to be a great experience.. I was actually opening my mouth and talking to people. The first couple of people didn’t really respond to us and nothing much was happening and then my companion said that we only had time for one more. So we walked a little further down a street and I decided that we needed to cross the street and talk to the man that was just sitting outside. He allowed us to share a message with him and soon a lot of his family came out and started listening to what we were saying as well. His cousin was getting really interested and would ask us questions. We set up a return appointment for the next day. We went to his house only to find that he was in the hospital so we weren’t able to teach him again this week. But yesterday his cousin was outside while we were walking down the street and she called us over and wanted us to teach her. We shared a message with her and then I taught her how to pray then asked her to pray. She said a very beautiful prayer and it was very exciting to listen to her pray. she told us that she has never prayed like that before. We invited her to go to church and she said that she would… she even asked if she could have our phone number! It was great. After we taught her and left, my companion turned to me and said that she doesn’t live in our area. (she just lives on the wrong side of the street) so we have to refer her to the other missionaries. I was very sad to hear this because I thought that I would be able to see her grow from the beginning to watch her maybe be baptized. She did come to church yesterday and I was so happy that she did. She said that she felt good feelings while she was there. I am a little disappointed that the other missionaries get to teach her now but I guess I am just not the one to teach her.
The other day we were doing some finding by going from house to house and at one of the houses there were hundreds of big red ants. they immediately started crawling all over me and biting me… it hurt so bad but the worst part was I was jumping around and slapping at my legs while my companion was talking to the lady. Both of them just standing there having their conversation about what missionaries are. I felt bad that I wasn’t standing still and listening intently to the conversation… and I don’t know why I was the only one with the problem. Haha
This week I we attended a funeral. The family and bishop just shared some remarks and then they fed us a snack. A snack here is noodles (so like spaghetti or top roman type stuff) They fed us Zopas… a noodle recipe.. and mayonnaise sandwiches. It was very interesting to attend this event and see how everything turned out.
It continues to be a challenge to find people to teach and meet with the less active members. It seems that no one has the desire to hear the gospel but we continue to work hard to improve our area. There are many people here who have problems with the word of wisdom. A lot of the men drink and smoke even the husbands to many of the active members. We strive to keep a positive attitude and continue to seek for those who have the desire to hear our message. Going from door to door is not productive at all and we ask people for referrals but we never receive any. This area is very challenging to work in but I am learning and growing so much.
My normal routine is getting up at 6:30 prepare for the day then have studies and lunch from 8-1. We go out from 1-8 and are back home between 8 and 8:30. I never go to the bathroom while we are out working.. I hold it until we get home if I ever need to go. On P days we go to the markets and buy our fruit, meats, and some other food there and then go to a grocery store/mall type place for the rest of our food. The mangoes that I bought last week were so delicious.. the mangoes just melt in your mouth. We go to an internet cafe to send emails. And then return home to do our laundry by hand. I am not quick at doing laundry at all… last week it took me a couple of hours to do it because I am still learning. But my clothes didn’t smell bad so I guess I did something right. Our P days go by way too fast.
I have been blessed to have two other housemates who are Filipino and they love to cook. So everyday they cook us lunch. The other day they cooked us talapia which is fish… and finally had the chance to eat some adobo (chicken) it is so good. This week they told us that we need to learn how to buy and cook the food so this week I will be learning how to make adobo. I am excited.
This coming week there is a lot of stuff to be excited for. We have Zone training tomorrow morning then Zone Conference this week. The president’s wife might come and work with my companion and me! On Sunday we have stake conference. There is a lot to look forward to this week which will make the week go by very fast.
This past Sunday (yesterday) one of the less-active families we visited did come to church which was very exciting for us. This past week we have truly been blessed even though the plans that we make never turn out we always are able to teach at least one other lesson a day.
Palangga ko kamo!!