Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Extreme makeover Philippines edition

Sorry this is a bit late. Ironman got in the way. Julie had an awesome surprise for our dad since she couldn't make it to the race. She made us (Cathy and Julie) matching shirts and sent me mine and then took pictures of herself in hers holding motivating signs. I then put them on the mirror in the morning, inside his bike shoes and his running shoes. It was great!

This week has been pretty good. I have been pretty sick the whole week but we were still able to work so it’s nothing to worry too much about. Actually on Tuesday Elder Teh came and talked to us and we took turns reading scriptures and stuff on the mike…. Of course he started with our area…. Man I said a little prayer and was so sure that my voice would come out alright and then… Fail! Oh man it was a fail! Sister Woahn was laughing so hard and everyone was giving me this oh man you’re so sad sounding look… it was embarrassing, but whatever, Sister Walker saved the day when she took the mike from me and read the next scripture!
Speaking of Sister Walker, She has been doing really great this week with everything. She has been a lot more involved in the lessons and has been doing really great with all of the paper work and stuff. I don’t think that she is quite ready to try, but she would definitely be able to lead the area really well…. Actually she would rock at it!
This week I also got to go on exchanges with…. SISTER WOAHN!!! Haha bet you didn’t see that one coming! It’s actually way awesome because she is one of the sister leaders, so they have to go on exchanges with all of the sisters, which means that even though we share a house and an area, we still got to go on exchanges with each other. It was awesome to see the progress that we have both made in the language and with the teaching since the MTC and even since our last exchanges. We are hoping that President Barrientos will receive some revelation that we need to be companions for our last transfer… that would pretty much be the greatest ever! I think that since we have to stay until March…. It’s the least he could do….
This morning we cleaned and repainted the apartment…. It was like a dungeon. Let’s just say that if they decided to make an extreme makeover home edition in the Philippines…. I totally know 4 Sisters that could totally take on the job. Sometimes I feel like they should have some Sisters who just go around to all of the apartments and make them better and livable and stuff. It is much needed sometimes, at least for our apartment it was.
Well, not much else to report except that we had a great baptism this week! Brother Rolden was baptized and he totally has the potential to be a great leader in the church! Oh and also, Sister Walker and I started teaching the missionary Preparation class….. It was awesome! The upcoming missionaries are so excited to learn and this is going to be a really great thing for the branch!

Monday, June 17, 2013

The whole shebang

Okay! How are you all doing this week? Sana…. Mabuti. So this week has been going by sooo slow…. But now that it is time to email, I feel like it has actually gone by way fast! This week was Sister Walker’s I want to go home week. Considering the fact that at her point in my mission I had already had about ten of those, I would say that she is doing really well.

This week was a little rough because we both were really sick. Colds, coughs, headaches…. The WHOLE shebang, Seems like I pretty much got the worst of it but hopefully it passes soon.

I sang a solo the other night at our fireside. Sister Woahn made me do it. I was ticked! Haha I wasn’t really all that mad, I just felt a little bad for all of the poor people that had to listen. Our fireside this last week  was really well prepared and set up mostly by Sister Woahn and Sister Tauti…. But we helped…. A little. We put everything together and the branch was supposed to all come out and support and invite everyone that they knew. There didn’t end up being a lot of people that came, but we still continued on with the program. Actually funny story: So right before it started  there was hardly anyone there and we were a little bit on the mad side, so we decided to just go out and invite  everyone that we could see… so we did. We went to a bunch of different houses and just told everyone about to. No one came. But we were at least pleased with our efforts.

The branch is really starting to work and understand the missionary work a lot better now in this area so hopefully we will see some changes for the better pretty soon and we will really start seeing a ot of miracles and baptisms in this area.

Tomorrow Elder Teh the Area President is coming to do a fireside in our area, so we are all pretty ready and excited for him to come. Oh yeah…. Sister Woahn is making me sing again…. She’s so meanJ But at least this time it’s not a soloJ P.S. I only say that Sister Woahn is so mean, because I know that she is going to read this next week and it will make her laugh…. But really she is nice!

Monday, June 10, 2013

The mission is rough

So on Monday we had to pay our bill in Apari…. I had only been there once and never paid my bill…. But first we had to go and withdraw, So we get to Aparri no problem and go to the bank…. No monies…. So we walk all the way back to where we were when we started…. No monies there either…. So then we walk back to a somewhat sketchy looking bank…. FINALLY!!! MONIES!!!! To bad that only took like a whole HOUR!!!!! Pay the bill no problem and come home…. With only like 1 hour to spare. L So no letters this week.
Tuesday we worked in Fusina, that’s our most progressing area right now and I love to work there, the people are so very nice. J Oh I forgot to mention…. For the 1st 3 days of this week Sister Woahn and Sister Tauti were in Laoag. L…. I missed them.
On Wednesday we worked with a lady in the ward who has always been a little rude to the missionaries, saying things like we aren’t talented because we don’t have baptisms and stuff every week, but this week when she worked with us, the work was really hard and the people were not being very nice to us. She said, “Wow…. Missionary work is hard…. People are rude to you and they don’t respect you.” She has been a lot nicer to us since then and always sticks up for us when people are being rude. J It makes me super grateful that Heavenly Father is still working to change the hearts of members along with the hearts that he is preparing to have us teach. J We also taught this one lady on Wednesday and at first she wasn’t too interested in listening to us, but then our fellowshipper was like do you know what missionaries lives are like (this was after she was way mad at the people who were rude to us) She was like “Missionaries apply to live here for 18-24 months…. They pay for all their food…. They don’t have cell phones…. They aren’t allowed to “hang out”… they aren’t allowed to talk to their families except in letters and emails once a week…. They wake up, prepare lessons, and then walk for miles, to share this important lesson to people like you!!!” then they lady said, “Okay, I’m listening. J
On Thursday working with the members was another story…. We got punted a lot and so we had them show us where the less active’s houses were that we were supposed to be teaching….. all the time the fellowshipper just kept saying how kuwawa (pitiful) I was because I’m an American training an American and I don’t EVEN know how to speak in Ilakano….. s’cuse me ma’am…. But on my mission call and everyone who is called to serve in this mission it says that we have been called by a prophet of God to teach in the language of Tagalog…and my Tagalog is fine.... needless to say…. My companion and I both might have cried after that one….. and I don’t want to work with that fellowshipper EVER AGAIN!!!
Friday was weekly planning…. Can’t believe it’s already Friday.
Saturday- I held a lizard thing today…. It was dead, but it was still disgusting!!!!! I thought that I was going to die!!! We worked in Fusina again, the really progressing area, Sister Walker is getting a lot more confident with the teaching, so hopefully my voice will be restored to it’s full potential again soon. J
The dead lizard
On Sunday we had PEC…. Let’s just say that PEC here is not my favorite. I’m pretty sure that no matter what we do, the branch always has something negative to say about it, this one was ridiculous!  so we just baptized this lady that is SOOOO great! So strong in the church, but she really has like nothing, and she has never even asked for anything, but the branch is treating the whole situation like it is the biggest pain in their butt.... or in their words, pain in the head. They basically tore us apart and were like you all are not good missionaries, you shouldn't be baptizing the poor people you should be baptizing the rich..... that's the closest that I have come on my mission to cursing.... I just said, "you're probably right, I think that is exactly what Jesus would do too....." Oh man.... Sister Woahn and Sister Tauti and I were fuming!!!! Sister Walker didn't really understand what was going on cause it was all in Tagalog but she was still mad with us.:) Then after church we walked with about one kajillion (or 4) fellowshippers. I haven’t figured out how to tell people that we should only work with one or two so it's not overwhelming for the investigator, but it was still good. J
They changed the time for us to report on Sundays, so now we have to be back to the apartment by 6:30…. That’s nice. J I really have no objections at all to that J afterwards we just have…. Time J I love that. J
Keep writing me letters! J I love and miss you all!!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Busy Busy

Well this week has been another interesting/frustrating one but good and exciting as well. So on Monday, we will start off with that, Sister Walker got her first taste of buying stuff in the Philippines and getting ripped off as an American, luckily I was there and we only sort of got ripped off. J It’s been an adventure since we re-split the area to try and find all of the people that the other sisters were teaching before. After getting lost about 12 times, we finally made it to one of the recent converts house! Yes! We were able to teach a great lesson!  Then there is one progressing investigator with a baptismal date that we tried to find…. After looking for about 30 minutes with no luck, we decided to bag it and just go to the next appointment, after walking in the opposite direction of her house for awhile, the other sisters texted and said that it was her birthday so we had make sure that we went to teach her…. Back the way we came, finally found it and taught a great lesson! Success! I got to wash my laundry with Sister Woahn, we have the greatest chats about life during our laundry washing time. J Thank you Heavenly Father for the tender mercies that you send me. J
On Tuesday, I will admit that I was a little more than frustrated with the members here, yes I realize that I don’t know Ilakano and my companion doesn’t speak very good Tagalog yet, but they pretty much tore us to shreds because of it. It was like a 20 minute lesson of them telling us how “kuwawa” (pathetic) we were….. thanks guys, love you too. Actually I sort of wanted to punch… oh yeah I’m a missionary…. God bless them. J  We continued on in the loop of our teaching and had to run from a pack of vicious dogs towards the end…. Gotta love those mission stories that everyone talks about. At night when we went back to the house there was a group of Muslim women outside of our house, they were waiting for someone to bring them a new tire because there old one went flat, so we got some mike and ikes and share with them about being missionaries, obviously they weren’t converted or anything, but at least they got a nice “taste” of LDS missionaries. Learned how to cut a pineapple today…..
On Wednesday we had lunch at a members house… it was spaghetti….. that’s safe right? Nope Sister Walker didn’t want it so I had to eat a ton of it! Basically  the story of my life right now. L We wouldn’t want anyone to get offended. L So instead I’m getting fat…. Kuwawa.  Then we worked with some of the members, it was mostly like we were the fellow shippers… they talked A LOT but afterwards we explained to them about what their responsibilities are as fellow shippers, they did a little bit better after that, I think that that is one of the most difficult parts of working with members, is just making sure that they know what they are supposed to do and not trying to overstep their calling or take over ours, but it’s definitely more effective to work with the members. I taught the Plan of Salvation in about two Minutes today in a lesson haha they were like uh…. We have to go. And I was like 2 minutes, just 2 minutes…. Shared with them AND got a return appointment! Yes!
On Thursday we taught the first vision in a grove of… palm trees? Haha that was really awesome! We had some really great fellow shippers with us that day and so we were able to get a lot of work done and their testimonies were really powerful, that was also the day that we were able to teach one of the people that we found last week, his name is Jhon, we haven’t been able to teach him yet because we haven’t had a fellow shipper, but I think that he will really start to progress, he came to all of church yesterday and he said that he will be baptized, we didn’t give him a date yet, but we are still really hopeful. J It is a little tricky at times with an American companion, I remember when I got here I didn’t ever want to talk and stuff but Sister Francia was Filipino…. So it was okay, now when I run out of Tagalog… I just gotta keep going haha we are both learning and growing a lot.
On Friday….. we might have had a little bit of a breakdown, it happens to the best of us. J Sister Walker was just feeling very overwhelmed by everything.. So we didn’t do our weekly planning on Friday, it just wasn’t going to happen, so We instead attempted to make a cake and she told me stories about her life once we could actually get her talking again. I know she’ll break out of it soon enough. But we did have a sweet lesson on Friday, so to start off with, the day was crap! We got punted like 3 times in a row and then the lessons we taught were just so so. I’m losing my voice from talking so much and I’m way tired, so I was a little edge-y, So I was like can we just sit for like 2 seconds on this bench? Sat down seriously like 7 seconds in all and I just said in my head, “Heavenly Father, will you just give me a break?” then at our next appointment we started to teach and a ton of people just came from other houses and started listening! It was a miracle! Afterwards I was just like, “Ah…. Thank you Heavenly Father. J That was very nice of you. J
Saturday the other Sisters had a baptism, it was really great that we were able to attend because she was my old investigator, but there really wasn’t a lot of support from the members at this baptism, so that was a little bit disappointing, Hopefully the next few are better. We didn’t have time to teach everyone that we had planned so instead we just ran the fusina loop (it’s like 2-3 miles) and stopped at everyone's house and invited them to come to church! It was effective. J We had five people from that barangay come and one family of less-actives.
On Sunday we were able to have our PEC. It was really good and we have a lot of projects that we are going to be working on with the branch so hopefully all of that goes well. Actually I always get really frustrated in PEC to be honest, not that I don’t love having everyone tell us constantly that we can’t be successful because we are all foreigners, but…. Actually I don’t love that. Afterwards we worked and then did our weekly planning, man it’s been a long week…. Gotta love missionary work!