Maupay nga Aga Everyone!!
Quick update on Nanay Mila: She told us this morning that her marriage papers are done finally! So that means she just needs to see the cost of getting married and she can get married on the 10 and baptized on the 19 hopefully! She is so strong and I love her to death.
Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I started off the day with making my roommates banana pancakes and they absolutely loved them!!! So did I 🙂 I couldn’t find turkey…or anything for that matter. So our Thanksgiving meal ended up being fried chicken, rice, lots of desserts from a bakery, and GRAVY. At least we had the gravy haha. Oh and rolls. But I made name things for everyone like we do at my house and we went around the table before we ate and said what we are grateful for. So it was a pretty good Philippines Thanksgiving. The sisters who had never celebrated before were so willing to help and participate and they loved it 🙂 We also got three new investigators that day, so Merry Thanksgiving to us 😉
We had a specialized training this week with the President Maurer and it was awesome. I was able to talk to President a lot and build our relationship. Our mission is starting this new thing where Sister Maurer(President’s wife) sends us a new talk from the past general conference every week for 16 weeks and we study it all week. I want to start telling you the talks I am studying so you can do so for yourself if you want 🙂 This past week we studied President Uchtdorf’s “A Summer with Great Aunt Rose” and it is SO GOOD! I remember it from conference but reading it a few times was an awesome reminder. My favorite quotes from it are:
“There is enough that doesn’t go right in life so anyone can work themselves into a puddle of pessimism and mess of melancholy. But I know people who, even when things don’t work out, focus on the wonders and miracles of life. THESE ARE THE HAPPIEST PEOPLE I KNOW.”“Faith in the Savior taught me that no matter what happened in the past, my story could have a happy ending.”
What inspiring quotes. In this mission I am serving, it would be easy to get caught up in the bad things so every night Sister Cerdenia and I talk about the small miracles we saw and all the good things that happened that day, not even mentioning the bad. I want to continue to do this even after the mission and I think if everyone did this, the world would be a much happier place. About the second quote, I can relate to this because my faith and testimony in this gospel and Jesus Christ allow me to know that there is a plan and everything happens for a reason. I love President Uchtdorf and the way he taught these principles in this talk. This week the talk is: It Works Wonderfully! By President DIeter F. Uchtdorf.
ALSO: the Church came out with a new video for Christmas that we are using for missionary work and the video is only 2 minutes but invites so many questions, specifically one: Discover why the Savior was born. Go watch it and share it if you like it it is just christmas.mormon.org.
Time for a FUNNY STORY: So we met with a member whose husband is less-active but he was not home, so we decided to share a message anyway. Sister Cerdenia had me lead the lesson and just teach according to her needs. Since I still can’t understand Waray/Tagalog/Cebuano that well, she was translating some of it for me. She started off telling us about her family and her husband and his bad medical condition. I decided to keep it simple and share Moroni 7:33 about faith. I then asked her, “Pauano sa pagtuo ni Jesukristo makabulig sa im sa imo kinabuhi?” which roughly translates “Has faith in Jesus Christ helped you in your life?” She started telling a long story that I could only pick out words from, so I was not sure what she was talking about. Sister Cerdenia leaned over after Nay Alcera has been talking for about 5 minutes and whispered “the cow was lost”. Nothing else did she decide to translate. That is what she decided I needed to know from her story without knowing anything else. It took everything I had not to bust up laughing because that was the last thing I expected her to translate I knew there had to be more important details or things she could have translated. After the lesson I told her about it and we laughed for so long.
Now for a story where I cried 😦 but good tears! We did a member visit early Saturday morning to Sister Emelda, a single mom of two boys. Her husband left her when the mga lalaki(boys) were young and the boys don’t come to church. We shared a message about the Book of Mormon and Sabbath day on her front porch because the boys were still asleep. We asked how the gospel has helped her with her family and trials. She then, with tears in her eyes, talked about how it was hard to be a single mom and have to work and take care of her two boys, but the Gospel and church members have made a huge difference in the attitude she has with the trials. Even though she sometimes feels alone physically, the gospel has helped her to know that Heavenly Father is always there and the ward members too. She reminded me of my mom when Meghan, Emily, Spencer and I were young and she worked for and raised us alone from the time I was 2 until like 6 or 7. I could see the struggle that my mom must have had in this woman’s eyes and I tearfully, shared to her about my mom and how I know it was hard for her but the gospel in our lives made all the difference. I was able to share with her that FHE and family prayer and the leaders in our ward made us so strong as a family, even without a dad in the home. I was able to bear my testimony with her that even without a priesthood holder in the home, the gospel brings so much happiness and peace to families. We were now in tears together as I thought of my mom and how her endurance in the gospel made my life so amazing. I love my mommy and the faith she had to raise me and my siblings in the church even through the hardest times I assume, and that I can now share my testimony and the gospel with these people.
This week, we got a lot closer to our ward, including today. This morning at 5, we had an activity at the BEACH with the ward missionaries and YSA of the ward. It was GORGEOUS. We played a lot of Filipino games on the beach and a lot of them reminded me of variations of capture the flag. SO FUN. They are all so funny and have helped me a ton learn the language. Sister Sol, the one with just me and her reminds me a lot of me so we get along really well and she is who I do language study with most.
Well. That is all for this week 🙂 I love and miss you all dearly and you are all in my prayers. Remember to look for miracles and wonders everyday even the hard days. And endure to the end. Let your motivation be your future or current children, because I am a witness that my mom’s endurance lead me to the Philippines to preach the gospel.
I love these people with my whole heart and want to help every one of them.
LOVE LOVE LOVE,
PS be so thankful for electricity. We had a “brown-out” for the past three days. No fans/lights/ or running water for three days. Bucket showers for dayzzzzz. I am so grateful it is back now 🙂