Hi everyone! I hope you have all had a great week! First I want to say thanks so much for the emails, every week when I get online I feel so loved so thanks for all the love and support from back home. You guys are thee best!
I forgot to write about a cool experience I had last week in the temple. So before my mission I would always read D&C 4 whenever I went to the temple. I did this all through the MTC as well. Well, last Wednesday I was able to sit in the temple and read D&C 4 in Cebuano! It was just super cool to see how things have come full-circle, and yet how this gospel is the same wherever you are, whatever language you are speaking...it's all the same.
Some announcements for all of you! The new Philippines Cebu Mission president was announced this week and it is....Terry McCurdy! I don't know anything about him but I am sure he will be great. Also, Siquijor, which is an island in the Cebu mission known for it's witchcraft...was opened this transfer! There are now 2 sets of elders there. The work is moving forward!
Also, Sister Zamora was emergency transferred to Lawaan (Talisay Zone) so Sister Smith got a new companion. Her name is Sister Robidillo and she is from Tolosa, Leyte. Her first language is Waray Waray so Sister Smith is getting to use some of her first mission language again! haha.
So last week we were in the city every day but finally we are starting to get slowly back into the work and I am so thankful for that. I have never been so appreciative of the opportunity I have to WORK before! Sister Sepulveda is waiting for her toenail to grow back before she works again (I tried to tell her mine took 8 months to grow back, she promised me she heals fast) and so this week I have been going on splits with a lot of the relief society members. I'm so thankful that they have been willing to work with me because if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be working!
Thursday we had zone training, which is once a month and the zone leaders give us a workshop from President Schmutz. I am really thankful for our zone leaders. I have seen the changes in the zone from Elder Mingus being here and I am so thankful for that.
Saturday, we were supposed to go on splits with members, however, there was a "signal 1 storm" and so nobody wanted to work with us. I think they forget that Yolanda was a signal 5. It's so funny how the filipinos are seriously so scared of the rain. They can't do anything if it's raining...but the work continues :) It wasn't even that bad it was just a rain storm haha.
Sunday, we saw the effects of the "signal 1". Usually our attendance is around 130, however on sunday, our attendance in the carcar ward was 80. Funny people. We went and visited members this week to see why they didn't come to church, and one lady's answer was: "How can you expect me to get out of my house if it's raining?" crazy people.
Also, Sister Weller gave a great talk on Sunday. I took it upon myself to sit next to her 14 year old daughter, Hannah Mae, during sacrament meeting and make sure she wasn't texting the whole time and paying attention to her mom :) Well during sacrament meeting a Filipino walks in with his American girlfriend and really loudly, right during sacrament, Hannah Mae says to me, "You are SO much prettier than her!" I was really embarassed and probably the whole ward heard but it was funny.
Also, there wasn't a lesson in Relief Society since the teacher stayed home, the relief society president stayed home too so we just had a nice chat (or in Cebuano, "chica") with the old ladies in the ward. They are hilarious. I wish you guys back home could experience church the way it is here in the Philippines...people just shouting out over the pulpit, no teachers showing up, it's so funny how they run things here.
Monday I went on splits with a cute member named Emma Fe. We went to visit Christine, one of our investigators, and her friend Criselda. Christine's husband works in Mindinao, but he has lost his job so he was at home. I felt like I needed to invite him to be baptized, so I did, and he said yes! It's amazing how the Lord prepares people. I am hoping Christine and her husband can be baptized the same day. :) Criselda's baptism date is February 12, the day before transfers haha. I recommitted her to baptism since she had some concerns about her previous religion and baptism in another church, so we talked about priesthood authority and I am really excited for her baptism.
During this lesson, another one of our investigators came up to me and told me she had a gift for me. Her name is Lermie and I think I've told you about her before. She is 8. Well we go to her house after the lesson and she made me a pink purse out of paper! It's so cute, on the front it says "I love yuo Sizter" and on the inside it says my name...soo cute. I will definitely be saving it.
Yesterday we only had one appointment that was home, so that was kind of a bummer but I was just thankful to be out of the house! Being confined to indoors with Sister Sepulveda's condition, has made me really good at doing chores. You guys would be so proud at me. I've become quite proficient at washing dishes, emptying garbages, cooking, cleaning, etc. I have left garbages a little full in hopes that she would take the chance to empty them, but she never does, so I am just finding more ways to serve her :)
I am really thankful for this transfer. It's been a blessing in disguise, really. I have never felt the need to come so close to my Savior. I have never had the desire to study, and I mean STUDY the scriptures. My prayers have become more sincere. My desire to just WORK and be a missionary has increased. My ability to look at things with an eternal perspective has gotten better too. I can't even put into words the comfort I have received this week knowing that the things I am going through right now are preparing me for SPECIFIC things to happen in my future.
So I want to leave you with a spiritual thought on that same note- please remember that trials are God's blessings. He doesn't look at our trials as trials, he is just looking for more ways to bless us. Never ask to be taken out of a trial you are going through but pray for an understanding that what you are going through is for your benefit. We always can become stronger and wiser through our trials. And in the end we look back and realize that they aren't even trials at all. :)
Remember ALWAYS how much I love you guys and even though I miss you all...there is nowhere else I'd rather be right now than serving our Heavenly Father.
Have a wonderful week! :)
Cute paper purse from Lermie 8 yr old
Poor part of CarCar
New pants I bought for 40 pesos
My desk at home
Me and Sister Weller my saving Grace
Sister Weller is a great cook I love her food and her.