Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving and Tricycles

I had to give a talk in church yesterday.... in all Tagalog. I wrote it all out in English and the \n my companion translated it into Tagalog for me.... there was this one word... larawan,,,, I just couldn't get it! I messed it up every time and everyone just laughed at me. I felt so frustrated! Afterwards everyone in the ward came up and told me how to say it, and then they congratulated sister Francia on writing such a wonderful talk for me. What the heck!2 I wrote that talk! haha She told everyone that though, so it was good:)
Thanksgiving was really good:) we had cooked ham, mashed potatoes, corn peas and ice cream! Oh man... I'm such a great cook haha.

I am obsessed with sticky rice! It is soooo goood! Apparently it takes a lot of work and it pretty much takes all day to cook, but I don't even care! I'm gonna learn how to make it and make it every Christmas when I get home! I love it so much! There is a family here that makes it everyday and then sells it.... we teach them.... and every time we go over there they give us a huge plateful of it.... oh man oh man do I love teaching them!
My word for this week is kasingningning which means as bright as. its difficult to say. :(
Lastly, we teach a couple of people in a barangay called sallacapo, and to get to on of the houses, we have to walk across a super sketch bridge. its pretty much 4 pieces of bamboo that go across the water.... we usually just walk the mile around to get to their house. I will try to get a picture though.

Questions this week

Have you met many people not from the the Philippines? In Spain I met people from EVERYWHERE. Apparently Spain is a hoppin' spot. 
I haven't really met anyone from anywhere else..... sorry, that's lame.

What's a common thing people know about the United States? example: People always asked if I lived close to New York City. They always knew big cities like NYC, L.A. and Miami. 
California! Everyone here knows California ... in their opinion, that is really the only thing that exists in the United States.

What food do you miss the most? I just miss knowing what I am eating.... most of the time I'm eating things that I have never even heard of before. The veggies here are delicious though... so I won't complain too much about those.

How hot is it really and how do you deal with that? It's usually around 97 degrees. I wouldn't say that I really deal with it. My hair is always up. I always put sunscreen on my face, I sweat from every pore and I'm always sticky. We shower twice a day and they are always cold showers, which I don't mind, because it is basically the only part of the day that you are even close to feeling cool.

How do they celebrate Christmas there? Are the stores decked out? Christmas music? Not too much Christmas music, but there are a lot of decorations.

Do you do much public transportation? If so what is it? 
 For transportation, we mostly go around on tricycles. Which is a dirt bike with a driver and then a little, I don't know how to explain it, like a bucket seat.... only more legit. Best as I can describe it, I would say that its like those cages that they have at lagoon that you sit in, they are pink and purple, and you can spin in them.... it's like a Ferris wheel, but you spin your cage and you can lock it upside down and stuff... you know what I am talking about?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Golden Investigators and nasty flies

This week:
We had a zone activity, we went to a really lame museum and then went and played volleyball at the church.

The young women here love me... and I love them! They are so great! They came out and worked with us yesterday, and two of them aren't even members yet! They are our golden investigators.

I have a really bad rash on my arms still and now on my stomach... it's getting bigger... I'll probably die....

The word for this week was makakababa.... which means degrading, I just like the word. It is a lot more fun than the week before's word, which was nagngangalang...... which means named. That's like really hard for Americans to say.... but I'm pretty much a pro now.

The investigator that made me cry last week decided to be my friend this week.... maybe she felt bad haha.

There is a family that we are teaching to read right now for our community service! They are the nicest family ever! I love them! They are just so great!

And I (Cathy) asked her some questions to answer so here are those, if you have any you'd like her to answer on the blog, just message me on facebook or comment on her blog. :)
What's the weirdest/grossest thing you've had to eat?
The meat here is pretty much straight up fat.... its not my favorite.... and its all straight off of the bone. I pretty much only eat canned items now.

What's your favorite thing to eat? 
They have really good recipes and ideas for spaghetti sauce here. mixing it with cheese or milk and putting in hot dogs. The hot dogs here are actually really good. Not like the ones at home hahha.

Any creepy crawlies you've had to deal with?
I always have flies all over my ankles... I HATE IT!!! It drives my crazy! The people here, it doesn't even phase them, but I can't stand it!

Have you had anyone propose to you yet? (I feel like every sister missionary has at least one of those) 
No one has proposed to me yet, but people tell me they love me all the time. And everywhere I go, you can always here "americana, americana, americana"... over and over and over....

What missionary in your District or Zone do you admire the most?  Why? 
 Actually i barely know any of them. Ive only interacted with them three times.... so that means that Sister Francia takes the winning prize:) Because she works really hard and is always looking for ways to improve.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mashed potatoes and pancakes

well..... this is taking forever to upload so we will just type this blog of mine. Not much new to report this week, we have been working really hard and it is really hot. I did get to make mashed potatoes though! The food of my people! they were delicious!
Sunday at church one of our recent converts, LJ, gave me a friendship bracelet. With me being all emotional now and stuff I almost cried.... no joke. Moments like that are what help to make it worth while to be gone from everyone that you know for just this short time. 
I found "my investigator" though this week.... well she's not really an investigator, she is a less active, but for some reason, I'm like obsessed with teaching her, even though she made me cry the first time that we taught her cause she was so mean. We went back and I was surprisingly really happy to see her and felt very comforted just being around her. We are basically best friends now. I think she is 64.... I cant really remember.
I'm getting better at cooking pancakes in an actual pan now, I just had to modify the recipe a bit so that they would turn out better.
Great news! We found a post office somewhat close to our apartment today so I was FINALLY able to send some letters home. Still haven't gotten any yet, but that's okay I will just keep pretending that I have some to make myself feel better lol.
One of the less actives that we have been teaching, his name is Reginald, and he was able to bless the sacrament for the first time on Sunday! He was soo happy he had the smile of a four year old on Christmas the whole time! It was awesome. I think he is like 30.
We taught one lady that used to be my favorite, but she told us that she would prefer it if I didn't talk during the lessons anymore.... so now she is not my favorite. Yup... I cried pretty hard after that one. 
I think that that is pretty much it. I really want to hear from you all at home! So don't forget to write!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Rough times

Okay... so Another short one probably.... but there was a lot of stuff that was going on this week...... but we will see what we have as far as a blog goes.... This week we went and visited an investigator that hasn't been baptized yet, but he is so great! When we got there though, they were just about to eat, so we sat down to eat with them and they were eating crabs... little tiny baby crabs. That was an adventure for me because I had no idea how to eat them, it took me like 20 minutes just to get it open and then there was only like one nubble of edible stuff... not worth the time....

And here is where I (Cathy) have to cut in. This is what I had on my email at 11:08 p.m. last night. It had only been in my inbox 21 minutes and it said to be continued at the end. I of course knew from that, that she must still be online, so being the responsible sister that I am, I emailed her real quick to see if she was still on. I remember on my mission that sometimes my dad would be at his computer while I was doing email time and we could email back and forth for a bit, kind of like instant messenger, but not quite so instant. Anyway, she never got around to finishing her email because we were emailing back and forth, so that first little paragraph is all you get this week, but I'll share a few things I got from her and some things my mom told me this morning as well.

She's been sick and she's feeling homesick. She's frustrated with the language and stressing because she'll be training in January. The ward she is in is really struggling because of the missionaries who were there before them who were not very good and actually got sent home early. 

Normal mission struggles, but struggles none the less. I'm sure she could use all the prayers she can get and letters would be a great boost. Mailing info is in the sidebar.  She's one tough cookie and I know she'll make it through. I'm doing that "Be thankful for something everyday in November" thing and this was what I chose for yesterday. 

November 4
I was struggling to think of something to be grateful for today. Not that I don't have things, but I didn't have anything that really stuck out that I was particularly grateful for, until I just checked my email, because you know it's Monday in the Philippines and that means it's p-day for my sister. To my great surprise and delight there was an email, but it was short and said to be continued at the bottom so I looked at when it was sent and it was only 21 minutes ago! Do you know what that means!? That means she's on right now so I can email her and it's like instant messenger, only not so instant, but we can have a sort of normal conversation through sending emails back and forth. I did that with my dad on my mission. BUT back to my grateful thing for the day. I'm grateful for my SISTER!!! I just love her. She can always make me laugh and make a sour situation great. She is strong and determined and full of life and love and energy. I love the inside jokes we have and how when we both get laughing it can go on and on and we're both crying and can hardly breathe. THAT is a good time. Who knew that my mom was right, when I was 15 and my sister was 9 and I didn't want her to tag along with me and my friends and I just didn't really want a sister, and my mom said, someday you'll change your mind and she'll be one of your best friends. True statement. Mom is smart. I miss her like crazy with her being on the mission and sometimes I go to text her to ask her something or tell her something funny only to remember she's in a different country and won't be able to respond, but I'm so proud of her for going on a mission and being an example to my family. She's a gem and I'm glad if I only have one sister that she's it.

What a blessing to our family to have a missionary out right now. We sure love her and are proud of her for her service to the Lord and the people of the Philippines. 

She sent this picture, I don't actually know what it is besides what looks like food and a cake . . .