My name is Marissa Anderson, and I have been called to serve in the Philippines Quezon City mission. I enter the Provo MTC on January 29, 2014. Please take part in my journey as my mom will be posting weekly updates, emails, and pictures.
Well the Typhoon hit and it was
CRAZY!!! It was a signal 3, so that's pretty hard! The Tacloban typhoon was a
signal 4, so that kind of puts things into perspective with how hard it hit us.
I woke up on Tuesday Morning at 2:45
and the wind was just howling outside., I had never heard wind like that
before. It was pouring buckets and it looked like the end of the world was
coming! I tried going back to sleep but couldn't because the storm was going
crazy outside and at 4:00am our power went out.
When our alarm went off at 6:30, all
4 of us sisters went into Sister Rupp's and Alailima's room to watch the storm
from their big window. The wind was whistling sooo loud and the glass of the
windows was shaking to the point where I thought they were going to break! We
decided to go into the back area of our apartment where we hang our laundry, so
that we could watch the storm from there. We all pulled out our hymn books and
decided to sing, "Master the Tempest is Raging." How fitting! We then
sang like half of the songs in the hymn book as we watched the storm. It was
At about noon, the water also turned
off. At first it wasn't that big of a deal because we had waterbottles in our
72 hour kits and we had filled up some buckets earlier with water, but then we
began to realize how important water really is!! We need water to wash our
hands, o the dishes, cook food, shower, and flush the toilet.... yes, flush the
toilet. We went about 2 and a half days without running water and so we had to
get REALLY creative... so we came up with the idea that we would all coordinate
when we had to go to the bathroom so we could go one after each other and then
only waste water on one flush. Aren't we geniuses?!
Food wise we also struggled. We had
to be really careful how we used our water and we came to realize that making
pancakes was one way that we could really conserve our water! So we ate
pancakes for probably 7 meals- regular pancakes, puto pancakes, and samoan
pancakes! It has been great fun! Since we still didn't have electricity, we lit
a "#1" birthday candle, and for dinner we ate spam by candlelight.
Doesn't that sound romantic?! Mom and Dad- I think you were also inspired to
send me that packaged food- it's been perfect!
We weren't allowed to leave our
house on Thursday either because of the aftermath, so we tried to find ways to
spend our time... LONGEST DAYS OF MY LIFE! I don't know how I used to be able
to waste time! So to spend our time, we made videos,and read, and wrote
letters, and hunted for bed bugs! It was great fun!
Sooooo it has been 7 days now and we
still do not have electricity... It's not that bad except for the fact that we
don't have a fridge to keep food cool... so basically we are living off of
pancakes, trail mix, noodles..... and anything that doesn't perish. So all we
are eating are carbs! Great great fun!!! I don't even have milk for my cereal! And
every night when we come home from working, we get to plan by candlelight and
then shower by flashlight! Wahoo!
On Friday morning, we still had no water so we got
permission to travel to the other sisters in San Isidro to be able to shower.
Sister Alailima and I hadn't showered for 3 days!!! We stunk soooo bad!! When
we got to the sisters in San Isidro, they told us that we looked like
cavemen... We totally did!! After I finished my shower, I realized that I had
forgotten to bring my towel.. shoot!!! So Sister Kaloi gave me one of her old
sheets to use as a towel... I think it had been sitting in a corner for a year,
just collecting dust. I am pretty sure that I was more dirty after taking a
shower than I was before!
On Saturday was Brother Mangboy's
baptism. All 4 of us sisters brought our flashlights and cell phones to the
church so that we could charge them because they were running out of
batteries.. We are so pathetic! The baptism went really well though and we had
SOOOOOO much support from them ward. It was honestly a miracle! Brother Mangboy
was confirmed on Sunday and it was a great experience for him!
Things here are going great!!!
Loving the work and everything about it!! Shout out to my little Brother Jace
who leaves in just a few hours for the MTC!!! You'll be the best missionary in
all of South Korea, Jace. I love that you are joining me here in the mission
field. I LOVE YOU!!
This week has been the BEST week here so far! Ah, I wish I could just express how amazing it has been, but I just can't. Sister Alfoja and I worked hard, found some new investigators, and to top things off, THE HONREJAS FAMILY WAS BAPTIZED!!!!!!
The baptism started over an hour late, Bishop never showed up, nor did one of the speakers, but it was okay! It was still an AMAZING experience. There was no words to describe how I felt to see them all dressed in white, with smiles on their faces, so excited to enter into the waters of baptism. Wow. And watching them go one by one into the font to be baptized.. There is honestly no greater joy. I cried as I watched them follow the example of their Savior as they were baptized. I really wish I could express how I felt but I honestly can't. It was just a little piece of heaven on earth.
Allan, Victoria, and Joan bore their testimonies after they were baptized and the Spirit was so strong. Allan bore his testimony for about 10 minutes and he really is a changed man. He knows without a doubt that this church is true and he doesn't just have a testimony- he has really started his conversion process. It was so touching as they each bore their testimony, they mentioned me and the impact I have had on their lives and their family. Again, I wish I could express how this felt! At that time, the Spirit witnessed to me that the Lord really does use the weak and the simple to do his great works. I am still a new missionary, I struggle with the language, and I am far from being a master teacher, but look what Heavenly Father did? He used my weaknesses and allowed me to be an instrument in His hands. I take absolutely no credit for their baptism. I just feel so blessed to have been able to be a part of their conversion. There is no greater joy!
Yesterday morning as Sister Alfoja and I were tracting, we got a call from President who said that he was at our chapel and that we needed to meet him there. We rushed over and he said that he wanted to check our apartment to see if it was safe. We were relieved that it was not bad news and whatnot, and were excited to when we found out that they would be staying for our sacrament meeting to see the Honrejas Family be confirmed. President and Sister Revillo were supposed to have flown to Mindoro on Friday, but their flight was canceled so they were not able to go. Brother Allan sadly couldn't make it to church because he got called into work last minute, but the rest of the family was confirmed. Because it was fast and testimony meeting, President Revillo stood up and bore a beautiful testimony and said, "I know that Heavenly Father had a reason why we were not able to fly to Mindoro, and now I know why. He wanted us to be here to witness the confirmation of the Honrejas Family." His testimony was so strong as he bore witness to the Honrejas Family of the correct decision they made to be baptized. Sister Revillo did the same thing and the Spirit touched every single heart that was in the room. Sister Victoria Honrejas got up and bore her tender testimony as well. I have never been in a more amazing testimony meeting in my life. It was a little piece of heaven on earth.
I wish everyone could have been with me the past few days here in the Philippines to witness this miracle. I have never experienced anything more amazing than this. The Honrejas Family has blessed my life in ways that I cannot even begin to explain and they taught me more than I ever taught them. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father to have been able to have this experience and help guide the Honrejas Family to the waters of baptism. What a miracle.
I love you all! Thanks for all of your prayers on my behalf! Keep praying for the Honrejas Family and for all the people here!