First, I'd like to say that this internet cafe shop we are at is a bit crazy! My keyboard is kinda broken and it is super slow at sending pics, and I also have Filipino people watching me, and watching me type, so bear with me. :)
First, I have to let you know that I am just fine. I woke up Sunday morning and my Vertigo was completely gone!! No more dizziness, or nausea, or spinning, I am back to myself!! Thanks for all the prayers given in my behalf. I could literally feel all the prayers back home lifting me up. Prayers are answered, and Heavenly Father is very aware of each of us.
Yes, we were able to hear from Neil L. Andersen! It was great! I took pics of my notes and will send them you next week. It was such a cool experience. Being in the presence of an apostle. We all got to shake hands and hear from Whitney L. Clayton as well. Before we heard from Elder Andersen, we as in the whole CEBU mission, gathered outside of the temple to take a picture. We were all situated and waiting for Elder Andersen when what do you know...it starts to rain...HARD! All 200 of us just have to stay there, but we started singing songs to make it more enjoyable. We also received umbrellas, so that was nice. Singing "Called To Serve" and "Armies of Helaman" is something I will never forget. I got to see everyone from our MTC zone, except for the Tacloban missionaries. I did see Sister McCurdy and Jenkins, who I LOVE, and that was so great.
A sister from my MTC district went home the first week here in Cebu. She went home to get married. I am just so glad I get to be here to learn and grown and become the person I need to be before I have to worry about marriage. because I know being here is totally preparing me for being a wife and mom.
I LOVE Sister Tueller!! She is seriously the best and love her so much. She is so patient and understanding. She pushes me but she also knows what I am capable of. We have a lot of fun together. We are really good at making the everyday, mundane things fun. We are always laughing!! She is great!! She was such a saint when I was so sick. She literally took care of me and was sooo kind to me. I LOVE her so much!!
The next thing I would like to tell you about is written in my journal as "The Gahad Experience". Yes, it needs it's own name because it was that crazy. There is a neighborhood in Sibonga called Gahad. So on Friday evening we went to this neighborhood to find some less actives. Well, we get there and there is this LOUD music playing, I mean LOUD. People EVERYWHERE. We walk in and immediately kids swam around me and Sister Tueller and everyone wants to hold our hands, touch our hair, etc. Then they lead us into this house and sit us down at the kitchen table, where I ate the strangest Filipino foods yet. PORK FAT!! yes, I ate a slab of straight PORK FAT! I seriously was gaggin inside the whole time. It made me laugh about how careful mom is about cutting the fat off our meat, and here I am eating a nice slab of fat. I ate it, just so I could tell you guys that I ate it. I don't go out looking to eat weird things, but when people feed us, we eat, because this is all they have and they are giving it to us, so in a weird way, I am thankful for that pork fat. :)
After eating, we went outside to where there was a big celebration going on with some videoke. (kareoke but with a video and words.) and a large pinata. Some big guy with a jedi braid was singing "Eye of the Tiger" and there were people around him doing weird dance moves, something in between a robot dance and some weird lunges. I can't help but laugh everything I think about it. Then this guy tells me I am so pretty and asks me if I am Italian....WHAT!!?? It was so crazy!! We found the less actives, but unfortunately, we weren't able to teach them in that kind of party atmosphere, so we will go back again. :) I wonder what it's like to be a missionary in the USA. I am getting a one of a kind experience here in Cebu...It's great!!
A little run down of our investigators....Remember only in the Philippines.
Christine, She is 20 and a college student, she loves Americans and doesn't understand tanning salons. She has read the whole hymn book, but not the Book of Mormon.
Sister E., Mom of 9 kids, but 5 have died before the age of 3. She just miscarried last month, is having a very hard time going to church because she is so weak, but she knows it is a commitment from God.
Susana, we were looking for her daughter but taught her instead. She didn't want to listen to us until we offered to help her fold her clothes. Then she said she could listen to us. Taught her how to pray and she was teary eyed afterwards. She knows it's true.
Sister C. oh my heck, I LOVE her!! She loves us so much! She has the biggest heart and feeds us fresh fish all the time. I fell the first week here at her home on her wood plank floor.
Ninia, This week I committed her to baptism and we will be holding her baptismal service on Nov. 30th!! She is so wonderful.
Jolly, has a BIG house and we speak English to her. She is an ex nun with an internet boyfriend. Well, unfortunately we have not been able to teach her because "Someone is sabotaging her water supply, and she needs to get to the bottom of this." NOBODY is sabotaging her water supply, the city just cut back on how much water she could use. Too funny, she is a crack up.
Oh yeah, and just a few days ago, I celebrated my two month birthday on the mission!! Sister Tueller and I celebrated with some halo halo. Elder Glines likes to refer to halo halo as the "Filipino garbage can" and it's kinda true. This halo halo had your typical shaved ice, and cube ice cream and gellee cubes, but I also got some corn flakes, corn and kindney beans. YUM!! not really! haha!
Every week I feel more like the Grinch, not during the movie, but at the end of the movie when his heart grows so big it breaks the meter/scale thingy. I feel like every week that my heart can't get bigger, but it does, and my family is expanding...these people are MY PEOPLE!! Heavenly Father is so wise. I feel like I should have been born a filipino, not an American, I know it's crazy!! I just loooove these people so much! Not sure how I am going to come home in 16 months, want to come live here???? just kidding, but I am really glad I have 16 more months to be hre with them. Did I mention to you that I love them?? I truly do.
Have a great week! and know how much I love you and pray for all of you. The church is true, even in the Philippines!! Thank you again for all your prayers on my behalf, I can truly feel them.
Sister Joslyn Harris