My dear family and friends! Well another week down and I never really know how to start these emails so I'll just get into what's been going on this week...
Even though I didn't transfer, the zone leaders assigned me to be the "travel leader" for the people that would be transferring into our zone. So Thursday was quite the hectic day but everyone got to where they needed to go.
Sister Smith and Sister Kalonihea got a call on Thursday and they returned back to the Tacloban mission on Sunday. It's so crazy that all of the Tacloban missionaries will be back in Tacloban by the end of this transfer!
Last week for a fun P-day activity, Sister Weller took us shopping at the market and we made some Filipino food at her house. Now I finally know how to make lumpia and pancit so I can make it all the time when I come home! Everyone who knew me before the mission would be so shocked that now I can cook and I like to cook. That sometimes, I just crave tuna or dried fish. What is happening to me?? :)
We have this awesome investigator couple, Lorana and Ulysses. They are so sweet and I love them so much. To be baptized, they have to be married, and there is a free mass wedding coming up in CarCar, so we are trying to make sure they have the documentation and everything ready for the mass wedding. They are funny and they forgot twice to attend their orientation meeting, instead they took a tour of the CarCar city museum :) So hopefully everything will go through so they can get married.
The elders recorded a CD with a member here from France, in his music studio in his house, and it's getting to be quite the popular thing...the members love it. Haha :)
On Saturday we had an awesome opportunity to have a meeting with Elder Nielsen, who is the area president over the Philippines. We were instructed to read a talk by Elder Bednar called "The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality". I want all of you to go onto lds.org and read this talk! It is so incredible and it really helped me so much to understand the Atonement. With this new transfer I've been given, comes new challenges and new opportunities. I'm learning more and more to trust Christ and His Atonement and my relationship with him is becoming something that is truly priceless.
Our recent converts, Matt and Isay, are so great! I love them and their mom isn't a member, but she is super sweet and receptive. She loves to crochet, and she is pretty good at it too. She is making me a pink pig crochet hat. It's the one I'm wearing in some of the pictures, but she is making me my own :)
The youth here in CarCar, and in the Philippines, are just absolutely amazing. They are so strong, so set in the gospel, and they are just awesome examples to me! They are so cute, there are like 5 young women who have been planning me a surprise birthday party and it accidentally slipped and I found out about it. Isn't that sweet? And they are always willing to work with the missionaries too.
We had stake conference Sunday in Minglanilla, so I was able to see some members from my first area, Sibonga! I love those people so much. I just love the Filipino people.
We have the cutest member, her name is Sister Hibionada and she is in her 70's, lives alone. Her husband and her have been separated for 40+ years and he recently surprised her and came back on Valentines Day and gave her a cell phone...which she has no idea how to use. So she asked me to teach her. Fun times. I am always amazed at the strength of the people here. The cute little old nanays who have been through so much in their lives and yet have the biggest smiles on their faces.
Yesterday I went on splits with Sister Kaafi, one of the sister training leaders, and it was probably the slowest day of my whole mission. We were punted from all of our appointments. It was like 1 and we would finish working around 7...so about 6 hours with no appointments, nothing. It was hard.
However we had a lot of fun walking around and talking to people. We talked to some funny people. I just have a question for you all, why does everyone here think I look like Mama Mary? I am still getting Mama Mary comments every week, at least it's pretty entertaining and makes me laugh.
Also, people have recently been asking for pictures with me. We will just be walking down the street and people will stare at me and then either ask for a picture, or just pull out their phones and cameras and start taking pictures.
I love being in CarCar and I love the people so much, and I love seeing them make changes in their lives. We have been working with Amelyn, a recent convert, the whole time I have been here. She has recently started coming back to church for the first time since she was baptized in July, and just yesterday, she told me that she wants to go on splits with the missionaries!
Another less active, Nobie, is the wife of the less active Julius and they have recently started coming back to church too. We went by her house yesterday and she was sitting outside her house talking to about 5 people about the church. She looked super cute and was wearing a modest cute blouse and some cargo shorts. We don't even have to tell her she needs to change, she just makes these changes and it is a huge change from the first time I met her, when she didn't want to talk to the missionaries.
I haven't had any baptisms yet on my mission but I am starting to see people change through their coming closer to Christ and that makes it all worth it for me. Bisan unsa mga pagsulay, to see these people have a desire to know their Savior more, makes ANYTHING I have to go through, any trial, any hardship, WORTH IT. I am seeing myself change so much through these experiences I am having and it makes me so happy to know that That this life we have been given is a continual progression back to our Heavenly Father. I can't imagine the joy I will have when I get to be with my family, and all of the people I have grown to love so much here in the Philippines, for all eternity. I love you all so much and I am so thankful for the love and the great support system I have back home.
That's about it for now...tonight we are going over to the Weller Family's house for some American BBQ ribs, mashed potatoes and gravy, and lemonade. Three things that they don't have here in the Philippines. I am so excited. They are spoiling me so much here!
I love you all so much, NEVER forget that! ug nasayud ko nga gihigugma kita sa dios. ganahan siya magtabang...bisan unsa mga pagsulay. kinahanglan ta magampo kanunay.
love, Sister Harris :)
Cooking with the Wellers
CARCAR a beautiful place
Sister Hibionada teaching her to use her first cell phone
Splits with training leaders
School girls wanted a picture with me