Ups and Downs

Hey everyone. 🙂

How was the celebration of America? Believe it or not they have a holiday here on the 4th of July. Something like Philippines and America friendship day! Haha I thought that was interesting. As far as celebrations go, there wasn’t anything too fancy. We made barbecue chicken and mashed potatoes if that counts. I wore my America get up like I wore in the MTC and on September 11th, but that is about the extent of our partying. It is so weird to me though that holidays and things are starting to repeat themselves! Since I have been gone over a year! But it was a nice day to remember our amazing, beautiful, glorious country.

So I have had my eye on this jacket from an ukay-ukay the last month or so… My companion wanted to go back and look around, so of course i agreed because i don’t have a problem with shopping. But the problem with me is I rarely walk into a store and walk out with nothing. Especially here because everything is so cheap. Well, I left there paying p500 for a black sequin blazer and a real Polo flannel shirt. That’s about $10. To say I am happy about it is an understatement. This place rocks. On the flip side, both pairs of my only proselyting shoes got large holes in them. My Toms which is what I was using, and then somehow my disgusting crocs with holes got back to me from Laoag, and I used them once but my feet were just flooded with water the whole time. Luckily the next day, the elders brought up my much urgent package with my new shoes in them. Perfect timing!

On a mission the weeks are really bi-polar. They can start out super good, and then end just dreadfully. We had a great start of the week and it ended not what we wanted it to. As a part of the 17 investigators that were at church was a group of young women. This week we of course went back and taught them and had a great lesson about the book of mormon. This was on the 4th of July. Afterwards they were saying that their hobby is singing so sister ramos told them to give us a sample. Each of them just took a turn and started singing. It was good, but so awkward at the same time. I just don’t like singing and stuff, plus we were all just sitting there watching. Anyways, maybe it is a common thing here in the Philippines because Sister Ramos did it too! Just gave them a sample of her singing. So then they were SISTER WOOD SISTER WOOD!!! Bahahaha i just told them heck no I am not singing. Somehow we started singing The Star Spangled Banner, and they know like the first line of it, and then it quickly falls away, so i was left singing it. Oh my gosh let me just tell you that I am overcoming fears like no ones business here. They didn’t come to church this week…

The barkada of boys. Oh boy oh boy. Their problem is word of wisdom, so we knew we would have to teach that right off the bat after the Restoration so that they can start following it so that they can be baptized. The lesson went so great. We had them each write their name on a piece of paper. (some couldn’t even hardly write their names). Then write what their problems are. It was the greatest thing ever. We obviously knew it wasn’t going to happen over night, but we told them we would help them. They all committed to live it. Jordan one of the boys was smoking a pack a day, but we went back the next day and he had only had 2 cigarettes! BIG PROGRESS! All of them. So awesome. We told them that we would randomly come by their homes and as how they are doing and if they haven’t drunk or smoke or had coffee, we would give them a piece of candy. It has been working. We just get candy from Mercury Drug store which is more imported type, and that is their prize if they are keeping it. They look at it like it is gold! Along with word of wisdom, we taught them about the book of mormon and gave each of them their own book. It was a really great lesson because we had a RC there who is struggling with some of the same problems. It was so cool seeing all of these boys holding a book of mormon in their hands. We taught them how to find the different books and how to find the pages. Stuff they have no idea about because only a few are going to school or even educated. There are a couple who don’t even know how to read. They all committed to go to church and to read and pray about the book of mormon. We went back on sunday to remind them about church. It just happened to be a day where the fisherman had caught a lot of fish and were coming in from the sea. Causing all of them to go and help them bring it in because most of them are providing life for themselves. If they help carry the boat in, the men will give them a couple fish for free. They think of it as their meals for the day, so they all go and do it. It is interesting to watch, but pretty sad at the same time. They knew they had to go to church, but they put that as number one priority, so none of them ended up coming to church. Yeah, we were heart broken. We were expecting 20+ investigators to be at church and only 4 ended up coming.

Brother Noriel the one that was supposed to be baptized on July 19th. Haha in my last email I wrote june 9th. Yeah, don’t know what i was thinking with that one. But he didn’t come to church yesterday, so i think we are going to have to move his date too. Ah I hate doing it, but they have to know that the sabbath day is the most important, and we can’t baptize people that are just going to go less active.

So that is what I mean when a week can start out awesome, and then just go in the slumps because no one came to church. I know I have said it before, but Sundays are like the hardest days in the mission! Either super awesome, or super sad. We did everything we could to get them all to church, but they have their agency. We just need to help them use it wisely.
Well, this sunday we will find out about transfers! I think i have a 50/50 chance to stay here, or to leave. I will go wherever the Lord wants me to go. 🙂 I will let you know what happens! We are all anxious, but can’t believe that it is already over.


Sister Wood

A terrifying bridge that Sister Wood has to cross everyday. The original bridge was washed out in a storm, so the locals built this contraption.

Lynn asked why the city doesn’t fix the bridge and Courtnee responded , “hahah, Dad, you have no idea. I could run the city over here.” hahah. She probably could.

The market in Laoag

Laundry day

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