April 13, 2014
How is everyone? Thanks for all the sweet emails that you are sending me! My absolute favorite part on Pday is opening up all these emails and hearing how you are all doing! I love knowing what is going on in each of your lives and it is so fun to stay involved!!
I hit my one month mark of being here in the Philippines!! Can you believe it? I can't! And next week is already transfers! I have a feeling though that I will be staying here in Cogeo for quite some time though... I am totally fine with that though because I feel that I still have a lot more work here to do!!
On Monday night we went over to Rex and Connie's house for FHE and dinner. That was the second time we have been invited over for dinner by someone here and it was so fun! Rex recently became reactivated, and his wife Connie is an investigator. She is amazing! The other sisters in our area, Sister Racaza and Sister Houser, are teaching her and she is really progressing!
On Wednesday I got to go on splits with Sister Houser. I was kind of nervous and first because I am so new and I really don't know the language very well, but she totally put all my fears and inadequacies at ease. I had such a great time with her, and she gave me the encouragement that I needed, especially when it came to the language. She kept praising me and helped me to see how far I've really come. Heavenly Father answered my prayers through her. She gave me the perspective and outlook that I was in dire need of. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father answers my prayers. I am grateful that we each have the opportunity to also be the answer to others' prayers as we live worthily and strive to stay in tune with the Spirit.
On Friday morning we had an awesome opportunity to do a service project! We took a tricycle about 10 minutes past Cogeo Loob and entered Cluster C. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. It was exactly what I had pictured when I imagined serving in the Philippines. It was so green and jungly, with windy dirt paths. For our service project, we collected bamboo and then helped the Less Active man build a fence out of it. HOW COOL?! I really don't think I was much help, but it was sure fun trying and it was so amazing to experience the beautiful scenery. We worked with the missionaries in our zone, as well as some of the recent converts, and ward missionaries. One of the ward missionaries decided that we all needed a drink, so he took it upon himself to climb up multiple trees and chopped down coconuts for each of us. Can you say cool?! I seriously am serving in the most amazing place ever!! Oh... and I fell again as I was carrying bamboo down the hill... no surprise!
Our investigators are doing well! Eunis and Shanin, the 2 young girls, are still doing great! They are so adorable and their friends still join us in the lessons. Whenever we ask questions, they all reply in unity and it cracks me up! I have never met a more well-behaved group of kids! We are going to extend a baptismal date to them next visit.
One of our other investigators, Imelda, is also really progressing. We met her when we were up visiting one of our less actives. She agreed to stay for the lesson, and now we have been meeting with her ever since. She has accepted a baptismal date and two of her kids, Madelyn (12) and Justin (8), also told us that they would like to be baptized. We invited them to come to conference, but did not think they would come, BUT they did! It was a great experience. We were able to tech her again last night and she said that she prayed and knows that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. You can literally see the change that has developed in her heart. I could not be more excited for her!
Judy Ann is doing amazing. Her faith is so strong despite the terrible circumstances in which she lives. She went to conference with us on both Saturday and Sunday and stayed for all 4 hours. Even though her 2 little girls can be hard to handle, she did not let that keep her from hearing the prophets voice. She is so amazing! We are hoping to get the marriage plans in order really quickly.
Speaking of conference, IT WAS AMAZING! It felt like Christmas, anticipating the time when we got to listen to the Prophet. I went into the conference with a prayer in my heart and many questions. I am so happy to we have a living prophet. Through his words, and those of his apostles, my questions were answered. My very favorite talk was President Uchtdorf's- the one on gratitude. I can't wait to study these talks in more depth.
The language is coming!!! It really is!! I am still soooo far from fluent and it don't understand a lot, but I am getting a better hold on it! Last night we met a lady named Rhosalin. Sister Judd was talking to her neighbor, and so I decided to speak to this sweet women. I was able to understand her and we talked back and forth for about 15 minutes.. WHAT?! It was amazing! I gave her a pamphlet and she kept thanking me over and over for stopping by and talking to her. It seemed as if she is really yearning for something more in her life and I know that the gospel can be the answer to everything in her life. We had a great time conversing, and when I walked away, I could not have felt better. I could understand her, I was able to say everything I wanted, and the Spirit was there. I feel so grateful that Heavenly Father really is blessing me with this gift.
Well nothing very funny happened this week... Too bad! But I am enjoying every minute here!! I love serving the Lord and I love being on his errand. It is definitely hard- the hardest thing I have ever done, but I have also experience more happiness than I ever have. I know this is where I am supposed to be and my heart is so full of gratitude to have this opportunity. I know Heavenly Father hears and answers each and everyone of our prayers. I love Him, I love the Savior, and I love serving the people here.
Thanks for everything! I can't wait to hear from you again next week!