So this week I wrote down a few of my favorite things about the Philippines. Of course there are many, but these are my really really favorite. #1 The Stars. I don’t know if I have mentioned them in previous emails, but the night time is the best time here because of them. I am telling you, they light up the sky. You know that movie theater in the Clark Planetarium that is just a sky that you look up at? Well it is exactly like that. Because there are no bright lights here like at home, so every star is visible. I have a favorite star that is brighter than the rest, it kind of follows the moon, and I look at it every night. 🙂 The greatest thing though is riding on the back of the tricey on our way home from far out in La Paz, and all there is is the night sky and the cool wind in your face. 🙂 #2 Floating Lights. Speaking of La Paz, brings me to my second favorite thing. The lights they put out on the River. They literally put lights in bottles and they float. I think I sent a picture last week. They use these to mark the fish nets they have on the ilog (river). So siyempre, at night time, they are all you can see! I wish I could take a good photo of it, because it is so MAGANDA. #3 Coconuts. Right now people are getting the coconuts off the trees and we always happen to go to someones house right when they are breaking them. They are SO masarap (delicious). We drink the coconut water and then scrape the meat right out of the inside and eat it. Just a natural beauty of the Philippines. We also use them to make delicious coconut shakes. My favorite. #4 Legendary Mangos. Enough said. They are so incredibly good there is kind of no way to describe them. All I can say is after I cut in to it, it is gone pretty quick. Everyone always talked about the mangos here, but i didn’t really care to believe them or anything. Definitely my favorite treat here. I wish they were easier to get and they weren’t so darn expensive. Hopefully the price will go down when they get in season. #5 Letters from people! Joklang. 🙂 but they are nice haha. So those are some of the beauties of this place. Wish I could share them with you all!
Drinking Coconut Water…..She loves it!
This week was pretty sweet. We went on exchanges and it was a good time. It is always a really good learning experience. For some reason my tagalog was so bangit and I felt like a trainee again hahaha. Oh well! Life goes on. That day I also got asked if I was 6’7. I mean yeah, I agree that I am tall, but not that tall. If these filipinos actually saw someone who was 6’7 they wouldn’t know what to do haha. That day with Sister Pamittan we went to find someone who we wanted to teach and the only person there was this old Nanay. She had cataracts and couldn’t see. Well we went in and asked her how she was and said we were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints and asked if we could share a message with her and she just started to cry and cry. It was such a powerful lesson. She told us how her life is so hard because she can’t see and told us she had been waiting for missionaries. She had two siblings who were members of the church, and she wanted to be baptized. WOW. How cool. I can’t wait to hear about her baptism.
We have been working harder than ever this week to hit standard and meet all of our goals. My testimony has grown so much from working to achieve these. Goals are such an important part of missionary work. It is how we learn to stretch ourselves and improve. We set the goal of hitting over standard in our lessons and WE DID IT! Not only did we just meet our goals, but the blessings that poured in because of it were amazing. We saw some incredible changes of heart in our investigators and a much more strong desire for them to follow our Savior. The Javier family from La Paz that we have been teaching has made some huge steps. Sister Joan has always been so interested in our message and been willing to come to church. She reads the Book of Mormon and prays always. She is living the Word of Wisdom, and everything we commit her too. She told us this week that she loves everything that we teach her, but she just hasn’t known FOR SURE, that it is true. That it is the church she needs to join. I guess this week she was outside doing her laundry by herself and she began thinking about the church and stuff. Out of nowhere she heard a small little voice tell her that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. She now knows that it is the church she needs to jon and it is what Heavenly Father wants her to do. Man. Miracles are happening every day and its a blessings to be able to see. Not only that, but at church this week we had a couple less active families that once again have not come forever. People we were never even planning on coming back anytime soon. They showed up at church and our jaws dropped to the floor. Out of joy of course haha. Just these little blessings that the Lord is giving us, AND them. Makes me happier than ever.
We have Christmas Conference this week and it should be pretty darn awesome. The whole mission is coming in to Laoag for it. All two hundred and something missionaries. We are having a devtional, doing skits, doing our folk dance, and singing in tagalog. Basically everything I can’t do. I guess that’s what happens on missions right? But we do get to play sports on Wednesday and president keeps telling me we are playing soccer. The real quesiton I asked him is if HE is playing haha. And like nothing, transfer calls will happen again this weekend! I don’t think I will be transferred, but just the thought of it is crazy.
Well I think that calls it a week! It feels as much like Christmas as it possibly can in our apartment, and I hope that you and your families are enjoying this Holiday Season as well!
Masipag tayo palagi!
P.S. if anyone knows what to do if your hair is getting thinner LET ME KNOW.