HELLO EVERYONE!! This has been one of the craziest weeks of my life and I am so excited to tell you all about it! Sorry my thoughts might be all over the place, there is a lot to cover this week!
I couldn't email you yesterday, because we had no power at the internet cafe. Bummer!! So, I was able to get permission to email you today.
I will try to answer all of your questions as best as I can. I was emergency transferred out of Sibonga and to CarCar. I am still in the Car Car zone. I am now in the CarCar C area. There is a WARD here!! No more church in a house. :) The zone leaders are in our ward, Elder Glines and Elder Millan, and there is another set of sisters, Sister Smith and Sister Zamora. I love all of them! Sister Smith is a Tacloban missionary, and I am sure you have heard about her. She was with the 10 sisters who were trapped in their apt. during the typhoon. She has quite the story, and she is amazing. She is seriously like not even human.....she is amazing and I absolutely LOVE HER!
My companion is Sister Princess Minguez, Yes, her first name is Princess. Yes, I got a native companion! She is from Quezon City, her first language is Tagalog. She is so hilarious and we are seriously having the funnest time here. I finally got a companion who likes the color pink. :) She told me the other day that the past few days have been the best days of her life and she says I am a 'little darling". haha.
So this was an emergency transfer, yes. The next transfer isn't until the last week of December first of January. I was really getting down on myself in Sibonga and the work was literally dead there, no work day after day, after day was getting really draining, so I texted President Schmutz and asked him for a blessing. All I wanted was a blessing, not a transfer. I am tough and I could have finished the transfer in Sibonga, but that is not the revelation President Schmutz received. I went to the city on Friday, and met with President Schmutz and we had a great talk about everything. He asked me if I wanted to transfer. I told him I didn't want to make that decision for myself and it was up to the Lord if my work there was done or not. He then gave me a blessing. After the blessing, he told me that he felt very very strongly that my work in Sibonga was done. That I had done everything I was sent there to do. He told me and Sister Tueller to head immediately back to Sibonga and I was to start packing my bags immediately.
I sure do love President Schmutz. He is so amazing. he told me how proud of my progress he is. He told me that at first when I got here, he underestimated me. He said I sure have proved him wrong and have made him proud. He said he sees so much progress and growth in me so that was really nice to hear.
He told me he would have the AP's call us as soon as President made the decision about where I needed to go. So I get a call about 9:30 pm that night and Elder Mejos AP told me I would transferring the next morning, Saturday.
So Saturday morning rolls around, and Sibonga greeted me with a warm goodbye in the form of a HUUUUUUUUUUGE Parade!! I woke up to the sound of extremely loud druns and trumpets right outside my window. HA Ha!! The AP's and zone leaders came and picked me up and about 10:30 am and brought me to CarCar. Since then I have been in CarCar. and I am really loving it here. The ward is really great and they have been very welcoming to me thus far. There are even a few Americans in this ward! There are two men who married women from the Philippines so they are here. I get to speak a little bit more English in this ward too which is nice.
So, we live in a cute little blue house and we share this house with Sister Smith and Sister Zamora. It's so much more fun living with more missionaries than just your companion....for sure. Especially sharing a house with two Fillipino sisters is just super fun. They are super cute and soooo nice. They both think I look like Britney Spears, haha, and apparently that is a good thing. (?) :)
Having a Fillipino companion has been super good for my Cebuano speaking abilities. In my blessing, President Schmutz blessed me with a quickening of the gift of tongues. I don't know how it happened, but the gift of tongues is seriously so amazing. I have no explanation for how this has happened but in Sibonga, I couldn't even speak in full sentences, and I was really having a hard time with the language. But, here since Saturday, I have spoken the most Cebuano I have ever spoken. I have been able to lead lessons, talk to people by myself, and I am even going on splits with a member this afternoon. I am understanding people so much better and I am speaking better, it is incredible the progress I have made. The gift of tongues is seriously such an amazing gift.
I was hard to leave Sibonga though and Sis. Tueller. When I first got to Sibonga I had this big vision of being the missionary to go in there and change them and make that branch a ward. Well, I wasn't the missionary to do that. And I am ok with that, because that's not what Heavenly Father wanted me to do there. Sibonga changed ME more than I changed Sibonga. I love the people there and I will always cherish the experiences I had there. I changed into a different person there....it was physically impossible to hold onto the person I was before the mission in Sibonga. I had to let it all go. I had to let got of everything that was important to me before the mission and embrace the person Heavenly Father wanted me to become.
Something that was really hard for me, as you know if you know me well, was my self image. For most of my life I have struggled with noth thinking I am pretty enough, etc. What I learned in Sibonga, when I was without myt make up for quite some time, was that Beauty isn't about make up. It's not about my hair straightener that I sent home from the MTC. It's not about any of that. TRUE BEAUTY is knowing you are a daughter of God and you created in HIS image. I really did learn that in Sibonga. I was teaching people who were so poor who could have starved in the Typhoon...I was teaching people who had dirt floors and no furniture and some of skirts that were lighter colors I couldn't wear because they would have been ruined because it was so dirty in some of those houses, but I have never felt more SPECIAL or BEAUTIFUL to my Heavenly Father. I couldn't have learned those lessons anywhere else and now I can carry that knowledge with me to all of my other areas on my mission. Yes, I have my make up now and I do wear some....very little because it's sooo hot and it just melts off my round face, but that is not why I feel pretty or special. I feel special because I know Heavenly Father LOVES ME and I am HIS daughter...I am truly a daughter of a King...A Princess, and I am soo glad I learned this huge lesson in Sibonga.
So, I am just trying to adjust to a new area, a new house, a new companion etc, but I am loving it so far and continuing to learn. We are trying to build our teaching pool as this is a new area. But, I did open Sibonga too, and I have some experience with opening an area and that will really help me here.
I am sooo excited that we have a member here who can do our laundry and WANTS to do our laundry!!! She comes with us to appointments and her family LOVES the missionaries. They feed us a lot too!!
Monday we go to the misson home for a Christmas Party. I am excited. It is with the Cebu South area...so all zones on south Cebu. There is a talent show, and us CarCar sisters are going to be performing an interpretative folk dance....yes, sister Zamora and Sister Minguez are putting it on. Sister Smith and I are super excited hahahah it will be sooo cheezy and sooo tacky but we are going to support our companions, because they really want to do this. :)
That is about all I have for this week, sorry not as many funny stories this week. :) I do love you guys a whole lot and I am so thankful for your love and support. have a wonderful week.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS:
MOM, I am out of the jungle!!! I think my feet will be more dry now!! I am in a more modernized area in CarCar. I saw the most humble and poor circumstances in Sibonga that my eyes have ever seen. I LOVE those people in Sibonga.
I can't tell you how much I love the Fillipino people. They are the most kind and sweet and humble people I have ever met. They don't have much, but they give you soooo much love. I don't have the easiest of living conditions, but the peoople sure make up for that. I can't tell you enough how much I love them. They love me sooo much too.
I am going to be using Drop Box for my pics for now on. Elder Glines told me about it, and I think it will be easier to send. They are taking me forever to download. This will be soo much easier.
I get to Skype you guys on Dec. 26th at 7 am YOUR time!! I seriously can't wait to talk and see your cute faces!!!
Allie Sue, oh my goodness, you are beautiful!! I love your school pic! You are growing up!! You make your older sis soo proud!!