This is probably one of my most favorite letters that Courtnee has written. You can feel the love she has for the people she is teaching. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:
Sister Wood and Sister Ramos teaching their investigators
GOOD AFTERNOON BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
It’s me again. I hope you all aren’t going and forgetting about me. And I really hope you are reading this e-mail/letter because it is going to be a good one.
Haha so to start off, I know I have said it a million times, but you can basically get anything here. I am not joking. Last week i went and had a stamp made with my name and address on it haha so that I could just stamp all my letters instead of write them. This old man carved it all by hand in like 3 hours. Haha I am crazy, but I love it so much! So here is the thing… if you want to see my stamp in action, you have to write me a letter. That’s the catch. Along with the stamp, I got my dress… hope you can all see the photo of it. I am pretty excited about it. Let’s hope I have occasions to wear it to….
:)Yeah, so we had exchanges again this week. It was pretty good. We went and found all the rich people in their area and just basically knocked on their door. We ran into an Australian Filipino who was just here for a vacation staying at their house here. I quickly came to realize the culture differences that I will have to get used to again haha. I just started asked him all about his family in english, asking names, ages and stuff. Cause that is what we do to the filipinos here! Haha he quickly stopped me and said, what are you doing? Interviewing me? Just something I had to realize wasn’t normal to do haha. Only here is that okay! We found them such good potential investigators.
I still don’t like that apartment in Camalaniugan. You would think after being here for almost a year I would be used to everything, but the water to the shower with is the color of pond water and there was a frog in there with me when I was showering…. ugh I was in and out as soon as I could.
We had a pretty cool experience this week that i want to share! I wrote it in my journal so i will just quote what I wrote. “We were walking in Centro 1 along the beach of the river when all of a sudden out of nowhere, what we though was a boy, was really a girl, and came up to us with her arm out to shake our hand. Of course we shook her hand and proceeded to ask her what her name is like we do with all the little kids. She didn’t reply. We tried another question, and nothing. Not even an expression was made. Sister Ramos said, “I think she is deaf sister wood.” A woman walking by saw us struggling to communicate with the little one. She confirmed to us that she was deaf. I immediately said we have to find this child’s home. She obviously has a family. I grabbed her hand as we began walking towards Punta (the other sister’s area). We were asking where she lived from the people around. With the help of all the people we found the little girl’s home. No one was home, but her aunt informed us that the mom walked out on them when they were tiny, and the dad was a fisherman. Obviously this was a family that need the Gospel of Jesus Christ.Our conversation ended and little Cherrilyn was inside sticking her head out the window. We told them the other sister missionaries would return. They had never seen missionaries before. I waved to Cherrilyn goodbye and a bright smile lit her face as she waved back. I learned a valuable lesson from that girl today. From a child who cannot even communicate with the world. A child who never will be able to because sign language schools are far too expensive. Yet, she has the most important thing. A Spirit so sensitive to recognize 2 missionaries from the true chuch of Jesus Christ. she couldn’t hear it, or read it, but she could feel it. I know that our spirits spoke to each other today. I don’t know what will ever happen to her family reguarding the church, but i do know that because of this little one’s sensitive spirit, she has now opened the doors for her family to hear about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.” I am so grateful that Heavenly father allowed me to feel and experience this tender mercy. It showed me the power of our spirits.” Anyways, it was a really cool experience, and the other sisters have gone back to teach them.
Now, on the complete opposite spectrum of that, there are so many drunk people here. Ugh it drives me crazy. But at the same time, you can make them do things they otherwise wouldn’t do if they were all there. Haha this man was just going off about how beautiful I was, and wanted to take a picture of me, and telling me he has never seen someone so beautiful. Then he was about to light a cigarette and start smoking and i told him not to, and to throw it in the water. Haha he immediately taken them and throws them in the water. I just turned to my companion and said, well that was easy! Someone who probably just wasted his only money on cigarettes, and then just throws them in the water. YAY. I laughed so hard.
So the next thing is that Noriel and Mayline got married this week! Such a big thing because now he for sure can be baptized on June 9th! They got married at the catholic church. But hey at least they are married! haha the night before their wedding we went and visited them and taught them. We too, an article from a conference talk on marriage and shared it with them. It was a pretty funny site. Two sisters who know nothing about marriage, but on top of that, probably the two biggest hopeless romantics in the mission! Haha we are so lame. That baptism is set in stone and we are super happy about it!
The biggest greatest news of the week will follow…. We taught 50 lessons again this week and holy smokes it opened the doors to so many amazing things! We had 34 new investigators and they are so receptive and good. I want to tell you about some of them real quick. We taught a whole barkada (group of friends) this week. The friends of Jeffrey the recent convert. They are the roughest looking boys. There are 8 of them. They live in a very rough place. None of them go to school. They catch fish and crabs all day. That is their job. So they are all super dark skinned and spend their open time fixing fish nets and stuff. They were the type that we wouldn’t have even looked twice at to teach. Well, this week we taught them all with Jeffrey. They are the most kind and respectful boys ever! Teaching them is the best. You can see them in a lot of the pictures! All of them accepted baptismal date for august 2nd. We of course invited them all to go to church on sunday and they said they would all go. We said that we would go by their homes on sunday more to remind them again. Haha we go their on sunday, none of them are anywhere to be seen. We start asking around. They are playing basketball daw. We have the tricey driver take us to where they are. What do you know, they are all dripping sweat playing basketball. I walk off the tricey on to the court kind of like their mothers would do and say do you know what time it is? Haha they immediately start walking off the court because they know what they should be doing haha. They told us they would shower and then come. We went and picked up more people for church. We got to church and they weren’t there, and sacrament was already starting. I had faith that they would come. at this point we had 10 investigators already there. about 20 minutes into sacrament meeting, a tricey pulls up stacked with boys. 8 boys on 1 tricycle! THEY CAME!!! Oh I was freaking out. They had all showered and put on their best they had. Which I am sure you can tell that black was a common color hahaha. We ended up with 17 investigators at church, and it was the greatest sunday of my mission so far. I can’t wait to keep teaching those boys! I know that they can find their true purpose in life. Their lives will be forever changed!
The 8 boys that came to church
So can you see what i am talking about when I say that the Lord is blessing this area? You know how I said that I will probably only be here for one transfer more? Well, I am just hoping and praying that I get to stay for one more because there is so much good happening and i do not want to miss it! I WANT TO STAY! We will see if President is cool with it.I think I could handle 7 1/2 months here!
Alright, hope you enjoyed our week as much as a i did!
Love, Sister Wood
Gospel essentials class